Archive for December, 2012

Feedback on Ron’s Open Letter

December 28, 2012

Judging by the comments made about Ron’s open letter, his friends are being made rather nervous by his promulgation of perpetual motion (oops! “spacetime energy”). People like his friend, the notorious conman Searl, apparently make themselves a comfortable living by perpetually asking for funding with which to develop their unworkable gizmos. And there  are – due to the dumbing-down of science education and the rise of the internet – an ever-increasing number of gullible entities possessing more money than sense and willing to fund them. For instance, NASA generously funded Podkletnov, and even discussed the ludicrous Dean Drive in its internal reports. BAe Systems once flirted with the equally ludicrous Kidd Machine. At least one British university holds a patent on an hilarious ‘gyroscopic space-drive’. Even if the paymasters do not really believe in the devices, they may use the funding of a sure-fire failure in order to benefit from a disproportionate R&D tax write-off. So, the last thing that any of these crackpots and their supporters want to happen is for this cosy arrangement to come to the attention of the general public. And that is what will happen if an ‘investigative journalist’  ever looks into the matter – encouraged by the apparent authority of the ‘Civil-List Scientist’. The prevailing mood could quickly change from ‘blue-sky research’ to ‘white-collar crime’.

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Dubious Historian Resurgit

December 27, 2012

How many times does it have to be said? Turner-Thomas has no knighthood or other gongs, is unknown to the Society of Genealogists (who also deny that Wessex has an official biographer) and is best known in South Wales in connection with a police enquiry into missing concert funds. Can such a fantasist be trusted, even by another fantasist?

Open Letter to the Royal Society Press Office

December 27, 2012

It has come to our attention that the Society is being pestered with open letters from  a crackpot, Dr Myron Evans, who is obsessed with perpetual motion (e.g.  cold fusion) and UFO-style levitation: just some of the fruits of his lunatic theory which has supposedly displaced all other theories of physics. You might like to have a damage-control  defence ready in case New Scientist or Nature take an interest and bring this nonsense to the notice of the general public. For you have only yourselves to blame. It seems that the Society recommended him for a Civil List Pension, thus sullying the memories of Faraday, Heaviside, etc. , and forever undermining respect for the accolade.  As a result, Evans has become an insufferable boor. By the way, the Society then compounded its error by rewarding Evans’ biographer with a prestigious prize. The biographer was a schoolteacher who co-authored an anti-Einstein book with Evans. Physics students have always had problems in overcoming ‘Aristotlean’ fallacies; is it a good idea to reward teachers who promulgate anti-Einstein fallacies? Why did Ofsted not notice this travesty? We shall be asking them later.

Does This Remind You of Someone?

December 25, 2012

“Dr. X  is a pseudoscientist crackpot who makes grandiose claims about being a “paradigm-shifting” high-energy physicist. He also claims that he deserves the Nobel Prize several times over, and has been nominated for it, but that it has been denied him … He does not tolerate criticism and has earned a reputation as a legal bully.”

Yep, that Mohammed El Naschie is a nasty piece of work.

A Merry Christmas to Our Devoted Readers

December 25, 2012

Especially Ron, Tugboat, Shame of Siemens and Big Ears (down under).

Ron Ignorant in Every Department!

December 25, 2012

“This is my ancestral cousin Henry VIII by Hans Holbein, the best portrait of Henry VIII in my opinion. Hans Holbein also painted Thomas More and Erasmus, capturing the inner character brilliantly.” Ron, Christmas Eve

Er, no. According to our history expert, this portrait was by Joos Van Cleve.

Perhaps Ron should stick to admiring Pollock: a pathetic alcoholic who lived like a drunk, painted like a drunk and thankfully died like a drunk. But hey, even the most disreputable person always attracts an admiring audience. How does that French saying go: “un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l’admire”.

Another Silly Opinion from Ron

December 23, 2012

“self citation is the best kind of citation, because a self cited scholar is productive and also an excellent teacher. The didactic method in science goes back to my distant ancestral cousin, Sir Francis Bacon.”

Nope: a ‘scientist’ who works alone is the very paradigm of a closed-minded crackpot. Science is, by nature, a group activity. Without accepting criticism from others, the loner does not  know how badly he is going off the rails. Neither is a surrounding pack of adoring yes-men of any guidance. And Ron is certainly not following the precepts of Bacon; he is behaving more like Aristotle. That is, he is accepting travellers’ tales (about cold fusion, etc.) at face value and immediately plugging them into his fits-all theory without employing any of the safeguards that Bacon introduced. As for direct democracy, it is difficult to imagine a more stupid idea. Its immediate implication is that a country would always be ruled by an entity having an IQ of 100: by definition! Is that really desirable?

On Stalking

December 22, 2012

Ron of course pejoratively refers to all legitimate and well-informed free speech as being ‘stalking’. Whatever. He is certainly having an easy ride when compared with more successful pseudoscientists. The awful Mr El Naschie is haunted by a ‘shadow blog’ which is entirely commensurate with his dishonesty:

http://elnaschiewatch.blogspot.co.uk

(be careful to get the link correct: El Naschie has set up his own shadow shadow blog in order to confuse the gullible even more). The most entertaining sections of the genuine blog relate what happens when the irate El Naschie tries to take legal action against his critics. Enjoy!

Some Quick Notes

December 22, 2012

Being in the possession of lives, and being free from shared delusions, we have been giving Ron an easy ride of late.  However, it must be noted that:

LENR = Cold Fusion = Perpetual Motion (since CF was simply the result of extremely poor experimental technique, plus wishful thinking, on the part of an apparently  senile academic). Historical  note: the first reported attempt to con people using electrolysis dates from 1856.

We have never criticised approved cancer radiation therapy: we ‘merely’ pointed out Ron’s illegal backing of a notorious crackpot cure. Incidentally, Ron would still be breaking the law even if he recommended an accepted therapeutic treatment in the guise of a supposed expert.

Let us recall that Ron has no qualifications in physics or mathematics; something which he proves daily. On the other hand, one does not have to be a psychiatrist to know when someone is several sandwiches short of a picnic. As we noted long ago, his exonerating doctor’s letter is dubious on several scores: undated, illegibly ‘signed’ by a non-practice doctor and rather tentative in tone. We agree with Rodriques’ assessment, even though we regard him as being just as flaky as Ron with regard to perpetual motion. It is strange, is it not, that Ron continually refers to that barrister’s opinion. Why does he not post the document itself? Does it really exist?

Yes, of course scientists refer to their own work: but the idea, Ron, is that others should also cite that work. A whole new form of scientometrics is needed in order to deal with citation-manipulating crackpots like Ron, and mutually congratulatory conspiracies like the AIAS, and this is ‘in the pipeline’.

Finally, some readers may be impressed by Ron’s dramatic demand that a murder case be re-opened. In fact, it seems that there never was a murder case.  What happened was that a heavily (and seemingly habitually) drunk person was robbed of a small amount of money. A few days later he was found dead, having apparently spent the intervening period repeatedly falling down in an alcoholic stupor. The 2 incidents were never linked by the police (nobody in his right mind would).