Saturday, February 13, 2016

Don't believe the Hype!

The academic establishment in their ivory tower is trying to shove some
more of their pseudoscience down the throat of the public yet again.
For thirty years, a cabal of Caltech and MIT scientists have bilked the
US taxpayer of a billion tax dollars via yet another unnecessary governmental
agency, the National Science Foundation (where in the
Constitution does it say that the government should support basic science
research? If it's so valuable, the free market would support it). In order
to keep their jobs and their plush summer salaries flowing, these ``scientists''
are trying to convince the public that they've finally measured something.
But they've gone too far, claiming a huge signal that perfectly matches what
the numerical results predicted (if they were a bit smarter, they would have
made it a bit more different!). And the system they claim to see would have
been orbiting for hundreds of millions of years, and the second they turn
on LIGO they just happen to see these black holes merge? What a coincidence!

None other than the great scientist Albert Einstein showed that gravitational
waves don't exist! Yes, I know his paper showing this was rejected, but do you
know which publication this was? Physical Review! The very same publication
that is pushing LIGO's latest by publishing their ``detection'' as a Letter.
We need to investigate who's funding this journal. I wouldn't be surprised
to find a Soros or Bill Gates funneling cash their way.

The astute reader will notice the similarities between this gravitational
conspiracy and the whole global warming hoax. They're following the same
basic plan...put a slick looking graph (e.g. the hockey stick) out there,
argue a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, and ask for more money. Let's all rise up
and call on our Congress to investigate and subpoena their emails. As mad
as you are reading about this, just think of all those poor, duped individuals
calling for a Nobel prize (of all things) for revealing a fundamental property
of nature and developing the technology for further discoveries. Hardly!
We need to put these people in jail for scientific fraud.

Update (03/02/16): As per Doug's comment, let me say explicitly this post was written in complete jest. I thought maybe it might produce some reactions one way or another, and so I monitored it for a while. When I saw no reaction for a week or so, I got busy and forgot about it.


Douglas Natelson said...

Fifteen yard penalty for getting too close to Poe's Law. Repeat first down.

Svik Vik said...

It Should have been 8 sigma plus.

5 is just too perfect. It think the crunched the data just until they got 5.

And why can't they find a month's worth of slowly decaying orbits.

Unless of course the black holes were split from a large fast rotations star????????

Svik Vik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What are your views on global warming? You seem to bring it up on a regular basis and you appear to be very sceptical for various reasons. Is that being farcical or is it serious? Because you say in this article:

"The astute reader will notice the similarities between this gravitational
conspiracy and the whole global warming hoax"

It would be unusual to undermine something you believed in a way that affirmed the charges laid at the door (of GW skeptics due their arguments being fallacious and disproven)

Angry said...

Svik: Any number is as perfect as another (in other words, one can always accuse someone of dishonesty because of a single number). If it helps there was another event that did not in fact reach the 5 sigma threshold. As for finding the slowly decaying orbit, one has to factor in low frequency noise as the binary sweeps through the appropriate bandwidth of the detector.

Anonymous: Yes, completely farcical. People need to realize that one can always adopt sufficiently complicated conspiracy theories, and that the more intelligent one is, the easier and better job one can do. That's why lots of mathematicians and engineers are AGW deniers. I see AGW, Copernicus/Kepler/Galileo/heliocentrism, lunar landings, and various other "stories" as good lessons for learning how science proceeds. The whole way that the "scientific method" is taught as a total sham. Science is so much harder than that and requires constant vigilance for one's own biases, misperceptions, and self-delusion.

Anonymous said...

Hi it's me, anonymous of the global warming question above.

My answer to you is: Ok very cool that's amazing. I had already fallen for your global warming scepticism, which was why I was suspicious about your claim to farce here.

I love it when I'm fooled...I just wish it didn't happen so often.

I'm really glad your global warming stuff wasn't serious....I had actually stopped reading your blog because of it. The truth is, the scientific community is liced with cryptic or outright denialists, using hackneyed false argument. It is only a minority but it seems that they act with impunity.

But I don't think it's right to discredit the concept of 'conspiracy theory', because for one reason, most periods have had widespread suspicions that were discredited at the time as conspiracy theory, but that we now know to have been true.

At minimum this means that dismissing something as 'conspiracy theory' is a tactic of the guilty!

But reasonably, the fact the majority of the conspiracy theories that were taken seriously by large numbers of people sufficiently enough to get the theory publically discredited as conspiracy, that they remain readily available to hand now, are now known in fact to have been true, amounts to an important consideration.

examples would be things like the mafia which was discredited as conspiracy theory until the 1970's. After that, you've got things like British skulduggery that targeted American public opinion in the lead up or during the two world wars (e.g. deliberately getting that passenger liner sunk by German U-Boats. At the time it was silenced by diplomatic outrage and well placed newspaper articles.

Or the infiltration of left wing organizations by the Soviets. One of the big out comes of the end of the Cold War is that, like the roundheads in the English Civil War Macarthur wasn't and isn't the easy to love pretty one, but what he was, was right.

Anonymous said...

sorry that's McCarthy

Angry said...

Re: "I don't think it's right to discredit the concept of 'conspiracy theory'", Yes, I agree. But that's the problem in discussing scientific reasoning. There are very few hard rules...things you can simply rule out or discredit as an entire category. Conspiracies certainly do exist. My point isn't to discredit conspiracy theories generally, but simply that if one is inclined to believe a conspiracy theory, one should understand that it's *easy* to believe one. Therefore, one should be very careful to go down that road to avoid fooling oneself. It's really as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Hi it's me again, anomymous of above,
That's true...and the reason why it's is that nearly all kinds of conspiracy in the popular zeitgeist are ridiculous and ludicrous, which is so obviously deliberate (tee hee)

But you say this and I agree: "The whole way that the "scientific method" is taught as a total sham. Science is so much harder than that and requires constant vigilance for one's own biases, misperceptions, and self-delusion."

But that says to me that you do suspect LIGO got it wrong, just not one of those ridiculous ludicrous conspiracies.

They may have too because, for one candidate reason, they separated the two detection sites 500 miles apart, as a way to control for earth tremors. IN their reportage they point out that it would take two identical quakes local to each site for the cause to be an earth tremor, because the same tremor would have to travel superluminally to make it to the other site on time.

That's rubbish, and it shows that didn't retain a senior academic seismologist on their team. Earth tremors have been detected as deep in the interior as 800 miles. There will be regions in the interior from which an originating tremor would reach the surface at both sites simultaneously. All else being equal, the scale adjusted region in this case is the mirror of where it is in the sky.

Anonymous said...

"But that says to me that you do suspect LIGO got it wrong, just not one of those ridiculous ludicrous conspiracies. "

Apologies that doesn't follow and I take it back. What I meant was that...a possibility space for reasonable scepticism of LIGO is opened up.

Conspiracies are easy and almost always wrong, but they are also understandable in the absence of decent expert guidance. In this particular context, expert guidance would have to involve seriously intrepid examinations of big announcements like LIGO.

The world outside science is not free when it comes to making certain kinds of criticism whether or not that criticism is in fact true. Laypeople are experts in detecting that sort of situation, because they live day in day out with the sort of red-lines that must not crossed, but also must not be acknowledged or spoken of.

Such red lines don't exist and on the contrary the very opposite of what the reality would be were they to exist, is what is true. This is the situation in the worldplace, in politics, and very often in the family. So lay-people are not fooled by pretence to intrepidness, or when an expert proclaims independence of mind without fear nor favour, but whose views just happen to not cross any red lines nor express any awareness of such red lines.

It's very complicated and totally incomprehensible, but that's ok because everyone knows what it means anyway. If science is wondering where the faith has gone, it's partly because of faux intrepidess from scientists at the science-lay interface. Scientists think among themselves that lay people are sheep to be controlled. And they are, but it's only sheep fancy dress. Underneath they are just doing what they have to, to survive.

But when you live like that, the importance of their being at least somewhere in human affairs even if one cannot personally touch or part of it, where intrepidness and true independence of mind still exist. And people look to science for that. But they know instinctively when it's not really there any more. That cannot be hidden from the public because they know what that is like, because they live every day in it.

Back LIGO who represents from within the mainstream represents the hard-boiled scepticism? Because it's when that no longer exists that people turn to conspiracy theories.

Willie Johnson said...

Really great article, thank you!