Internet

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Fri Dec 3 14:48:43 MST 2010


On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 1:50 PM, Nicholas Leippe <nick at leippe.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 8:00 AM, Charles Curley
> <charlescurley at charlescurley.com> wrote:
>> Very interesting, indeed. I note that the author also graduated in
>> history, specialising in history of science. Perhaps specialists are too
>> specialised?
>>
>> This reminds me of the Michael Bellesiles scandal.
>> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Michael_Bellesiles I
>> happened to have a ring-side seat to the debunking of Bellesiles. I
>> noted at the time that not one of the people involved in the debunking
>> effort was a professional, academic historian. Cramer is an amateur
>> historian and subsequent to the debunking effort earned a masters in
>> history but continues to earn his living as a software engineer.
>> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Clayton_Cramer
>>
>> Perhaps those folks with cross-discipline educations have a perspective
>> that helps them avoid the herd mentality?
>
> I find it a very similar tale reading through Miles Mathis works on
> physics and the state of the current physics community.
> He's an artist w/a degree in philosophy--coming at it sideways.
> http://milesmathis.com/

I just want to point out that just because someone makes an argument
that looks reasonable at first glance doesn't mean they're right.
Sure, every once in a while, someone who attempts to refute the status
quo is right, but there are a lot of people trying and most of them
are wrong.

I don't really trust some random dude's overview of studies on
fluoride, though I'm open to the idea that the studies he surveyed may
have been insufficient to causally link fluoridation and decline of
tooth decay.  I would bet that there has been a lot of further
analysis and meta-analysis of the issue since then, though.  I don't
really care about the issue enough to look into it, though.

And the idea that some random artist dude has discovered some insight
that undermines the foundation of the current mathematic and physics
community is absurd on its face, and although I admit that it's
possible that such a thing could happen, it would require some
extraordinary evidence to get me to believe it.  It looks like
standard crankery in the form of unusually well-crafted sentences to
me, though.

Anyway, I can't claim definitively that either of the examples of
people bucking "the herd mentality" are wrong, but I'm certainly not
going to change my overall thoughts on fluoride or mathematics and
physics based on the discussion so far here.

        --Levi


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