Posts Tagged ‘Peer review’

Fake news: the Elephant in the Room

April 11, 2017

When commenting on the “new” phenomenon of “fake news” with presumably a multiplier effect with the Internet, there is an elephant in the room getting ignored by most of the traditionally respected actors in the sphere of news and commentary. They have formed a kind of “mutual admiration society” with a circularly reinforcing view of events that excludes outlying and dissenting views.

The ones who are most troubled about fake news and looking for ways to limit its effect are the ones often most guilty, in other words.

Tabloids have peppered newsstands in stores and supermarkets for decades, including testimonials of women who gave birth to two-headed aliens.

This “new” theme of “fake news” was tossed out first in the 2016 presidential campaign, pushed by both Obama himself and the Clinton campaign.

In a typical use of the term, the Washington Post was so aghast at the fake news scare that it published a list of fake news sites, throwing in serious right-leaning sites questioning official ruling party views, like Breitbart.com, in with actual blatant and overtly “fake news” sites like “The Onion”.

And of all the accused “fake news” sites getting fingered by “authoritative” sources in this discussion, is a simple news link aggregator, www.drudgereport.com,Ā  that does not even pretend to offer its own content, and does not even have original commentary, and includes links that are even helping drive people to traditional newspaper sites like the Washington Post itself!

That list was made by an apparently “fake front” for some group that demanded anonymity from The W. P. to protect itself from blow-back purportedly, and then quickly disappeared into the cyber ether.

But let us look at a mere handful of items from the history of “fake news”.

The sinking of the Battleship Maine was immediately blamed on Spain by the Respectable Establishment Press in the United States. To this day the cause of the explosion that sunk it, deep in the bowels of the ship, is a mystery.

The sinking of the Lusitania was used as a pretext to involve the U. S. in World War One, the “Great War”. We now know, a fact hidden then, that the Lusitania was loaded with all kinds of bellicose material. Instead of reminding both Woodrow Wilson and the public of his guarantee that he would not involve the country in that war, it cheered the battle and helped cover up the military nature of that ship’s cargo, using civilian passengers as “human shields”.

More recently, the chemical attack in Syria in 2013 proved to be a “false flag” attack by the rebels supported by the USA in funding and equipment, as reported in several European newspapers and by respected award-winning journalist Seymour Hirsch: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line
Those rebels were actively developing these weapons. The version of the recent 2017 attack that a standard Syrian bomb hit a rebel depot storing such weapons is a much more credible version.

And yet, most, though not all, the Elephant in the Room swallowed up the story without questioning why the winning side of the war, now not having to worry about Trump’s administration removing him (“Regime change is off the table”), would want to risk it all by using chemicals.

There is much ado about nothing. The winners of any crackdown on “fake news” are in a Truth is Lies ministry, as in Orwellian worlds. “War is the health of the state”, the saying goes, justifying attacks on civil liberties.

There is another good example of the “wild west” Internet doing more good than bad. ACM Communications recently published an article about the posting of what purported to be a solution to the “P versus not P” problem. It was refuted quickly, in about one day. One day! That used to take submission to peer review, with months required for review then publishing, and do it again for a refutation if it got past the months of peer review.

The Internet is Peer Review on Steroids.

In computing and science, there is not much to fear there either, except from the self-appointed “opinion leaders”. America still has a great many people thinking for themselves.

Time to review peer-review itself

November 8, 2016

Only a tiny percentage of the world can’t do the math nor conceptualize what most Quantum Mechanics papers talk about.

That leaves how many? Ten thousand? One thousand? How about getting every possible eyeball that is interested in the subject a chance?

That is all the more reason that the wide-open Internet is better than trusting the old ways of “peer review”. Having three or four people to pass or veto new ideas because of the cost of paper and ink is a very obsolete notion now.

Joao Magueijo is no intellectual lightweight. In his book “Faster Than the Speed of Light”, he penned his complaints about the peer review process he had to go through, only because his theory was possible a “breakthrough” that challenged a basic dogma current cosmology and physics. He was put through double the usual trouble, and points to the Internet as facilitating good alternatives.

Climategate exposed the dark essence of peer review, with one of the conniving hoaxters colluding with a colleague about using it to censor out dissident papers. James Watts discusses peer review in the context of climate hysteria at his blog:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/01/climategate-begs-the-question-is-peer-review-in-need-of-change/

Nature Magazine hosted a web-based discussion on the subject of peer review, at a link that Watts provided as useful:

http://www.nature.com/nature/peerreview/debate/index.html

Socialism is theft by dictator or by majority vote and drives AGW

November 10, 2011

“The power to tax and the power to spend = the power to enslave”. It’s a paraphrase from a decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall, in writing the Supreme Court’s decision in McCulloh vs. Maryland, where they said Alexander Hamilton‘s Central Bank was constitutional (one of the earliest unconstitutional decisions). Maryland opposed the Central Bank and so imposed a tax. The Court’s answer was that it was an attack on the supremacy clause, that the federal government had implicit power (there they go again) to empower such a bank, even if it was run by a bunch of private bankers.

They said if Maryland’s claim to power to tax it was the same as the power to destroy it (Marshall’s word).

Pure “democracy” is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. It must be restrained by respect for individual rights.

In these two following sentences is subtly hidden one of the most popular and most wrong ideas about wealth:

Capitalism: Concentration of wealth.
Socialism: Dilution of wealth.

The idea that a majority vote makes confiscation of the fruit of a man’s labor, his “wealth” is okay, is a misguided notion that had me once fooled. It’s an easy delusion.

Confiscation of other people’s wealth, rich or not, is not “democracy”. When one robs his neighbor, it’s theft. The government makes it illegal because it wants to have a monopoly on taking what is yours.

People go along with it because they’ve been indoctrinated into thinking majority vote to rob from the rich is somehow good.

I used to be Leninist gullible idiot myself, duped into buying into the socialist deceit.

This book from Ludwig von Mises lays out the scientific economic analysis of what economics is really all about, what socialism is and why it has led to both dictatorship and economic poverty where it has been done:
http://mises.org/books/socialism/contents.aspx

Capitalism: “An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.”

Capitalism doesn’t “concentrate” wealth. One might “accumulate” wealth by investing, but Steve Jobs accumulating wealth did not prevent Bill Gates from accumulating his. George Soros would be a better example of “concentrating wealth”, because he uses his government cronies to game the system where he has trashed currencies for his own benefit, and greased the financial meltdown for his own treasure trove. “Crony capitalism” is not “capitalism”.

But I don’t care so much about capitalism as I do free market principles, wherein everybody is free to engage under the same rules.

Socialism does indeed dilute wealth, it is confiscation without recompense, and destroys the best incentive for wealth creation, that of one’s fruit of his labor, or the fruit of knowing what other people want to sell it to them.

Socialism is a zero sum game where everybody loses except the rulers on top, the “deciders”.

Socialism in the US meets definition of #2 from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary:

1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

But in principle the idea that the government (supposedly elected in a fair election or not) takes what it wants and lets you have what’s left, is the socialist idea at its very core, the idea that it owns it whoever has the nominal “title” to it.—

PEER REVIEW, SCIENCE, AND AGW-DRIVEN POVERTY CREATION

Peer review is status quo enforcement. There are (totally non-creationist) alternative theories to origins that don’t get the first look in peer review journals. Genuine alternate energy technologies such as at http://newenergytimes.com/ are blacklisted from peer review journals but basement labs keep plugging at it.

Besides AGW big name Phillip Jones just blew the whistle on it too. At its best ideal, peer review is a status-quo-enforcement mechanism when it comes to basic establishment paradigms. It’s a formalization of Thomas Kuhn‘s concept of old science stamping down dissent.

Richard Muller published his study straight up so it could get lots of eyeballs immediately. Peer review is under criticism in scientific journals, muted since the journals depend on it.

Hey, that’s what I’ve been saying all along, for years and years! And yet so many people are so gullible to swallow the media-hyped and regime-approved stuff packaged with the label “science”, and accept it, and think they’re smart because somebody told them that the big bad oil companies would oppose it, and of course even though you’re supposed to blame big bad oil companies for the scientists calling foul, except don’t say they’re “scientists”.

Big Money Media is made up of the same things too.

Eventually, though the truth comes out for those who want it.

If you kick off the spin, the packaging and the hype, Richard Muller’s study only corroborates what the AGW-dissenter scientists have been saying all along.

Big Money Media has successfully Pavloved even smart people into confusing AGW with GW in their thinking, so much so that Big Money Media’s writers see this as their own corroboration.

And everybody’s ignoring another fact that one genuine climatologist pointed out: Muller’s own data actually shows that global warming has stopped cold for a decade, and counting.