Against the Tide

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Against the Tide

Postby Gary » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:28 am

The purpose of this thread is to discuss the pros and cons of freedom of thought in the world of theoretical science. What follows is background material for the discussion, and a synopsis of a new book about the trials and tribulations faced by those wiling to risk their careers by challenging the scientific establishment.

" ... the problem with the unintelligent persons who operate the archive is that they seem unable to make the distinction between 'nutty' ideas (which either have no scientific meaning or contain serious errors), which should be barred from the archive, and unusual ideas which may or may not be right, and also may turn out to be important, which should be allowed on the archive ..."

Nobel Laureate Exposes 'Intelligence' Failure: It's not only the CIA that suffers from bad intelligence. Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson and a group of dissident physicists expose covert censorship at the world's most important physics archive.

Intelligence: The capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, thought and reason.

Fascism: Governing by central authority under a dictator, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, covert oppression, and dictatorial control.

It is the world's most important internet physics preprint archive, known world wide as a mecca for interesting and exciting scientific research, a testing ground for new approaches to unsolved problems.

In the past www.arxiv.org has been touted as an intellectual center where freedom of thought fuels the creative juices of the most brilliant minds on the planet. Now a group of scientists including Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson intend to expose the archive as the tool of covert censors, seeking to oppress anyone writing papers beyond the mainstream of scientific thought.

Professor Josephson warns of potential damage if an important scientific idea lies undiscovered as the result of targeting certain scientists and their unorthodox research. "It is true, of course, that standards should be maintained. But the problem with the unintelligent persons who operate the archive is that they seem unable to make the distinction between 'nutty' ideas (which either have no scientific meaning or contain serious errors), which should be barred from the archive, and unusual ideas which may or may not be right, and also may turn out to be important, which should be allowed on the archive."

By comparison a recent scientific paper funded by the United States Air Force Research Lab explored such exotic subjects as "Star Trek" like transporters, spacetime wormholes and psychic teleportation. Why would the military spend thousands of dollars on the kind of research most mainstream scientists would call crackpot?

According to an article in USA Today, when asked why the Air Force sponsored such a study, spokesman Ranney Adams said, "If we don't turn over stones, we don't know if we have missed something."

Those charged with running the archive should pause to reflect upon the present situation in mainstream physics. The recent discovery of mysterious dark energy and the still unexplained dark matter may require new, exotic and original theories beyond the standard models. It is now thought that ordinary matter makes up only four percent of everything in the universe.

In response to the restrictions employed by the archive, Josephson and the other scientists have created a new web site that documents their experiences with the archive's secretive operators. Their personal stories of the problems they face in dealing with the present management of the archive can be found at:

http://www.archivefreedom.org/

Professor Brian Josephson has published his personal story of the battle against censorship and blacklisting of scientists at:

http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/arc ... /main.html

AGAINST THE TIDE the book:

http://www.universal-publishers.com/boo ... 1599429934

Synopsis

Nobody should have a monopoly of the truth in this universe. The censorship and suppression of challenging ideas against the tide of mainstream research, the blacklisting of scientists, for instance, is neither the best way to do and filter science, nor to promote progress in the human knowledge. The removal of good and novel ideas from the scientific stage is very detrimental to the pursuit of the truth. There are instances in which a mere unqualified belief can occasionally be converted into a generally accepted scientific theory through the screening action of refereed literature and meetings planned by the scientific organizing committees and through the distribution of funds controlled by "club opinions". It leads to unitary paradigms and unitary thinking not necessarily associated to the unique truth. This is the topic of this book: to critically analyze the problems of the official (and sometimes illicit) mechanisms under which current science (physics and astronomy in particular) is being administered and filtered today, along with the onerous consequences these mechanisms have on all of us.

Apart from the editors, Juan Miguel Campanario, Brian Martin, Wolfgang Kundt, J. Marvin Herndon, Marian Apostol, Halton C. Arp, Tom Van Flandern, Andrei P. Kirilyuk, Dmitri Rabounski and Henry H. Bauer, all of them professional researchers, reveal a pessimistic view of the miseries of the actual system, while a glimmer of hope remains in the "leitmotiv" claim towards the freedom in doing research and attaining an acceptable level of ethics in science.


About The Author
Editors:

Martín López Corredoira is a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Tenerife, Spain). He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of La Laguna at Tenerife and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Seville (Spain). He has authored articles in peer reviewed journals of astrophysics, and two books on philosophy in Spanish: Diálogos entre Razón y Sentimiento and Somos Fragmentos de Naturaleza Arrastrados por Sus Leyes.

Carlos Castro Perelman is a researcher affiliated with the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems at Clark Atlanta University (USA). He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of over 115 articles on such topics as: the extended relativity theory in Clifford spaces, gravity, supersymmetry, strings, p-branes, fractals, quantum field theory, mathematical physics, number theory.
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Re: Against the TIde

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:03 am

OK Gary, I will jump in on this one:

Gary wrote:It is the world's most important internet physics preprint archive, known world wide as a mecca for interesting and exciting scientific research, a testing ground for new approaches to unsolved problems.

In the past www.arxiv.org has been touted as an intellectual center where freedom of thought fuels the creative juices of the most brilliant minds on the planet. Now a group of scientists including Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson intend to expose the archive as the tool of covert censors, seeking to oppress anyone writing papers beyond the mainstream of scientific thought.


There is one great, and overarching truth about freedom of any kind in our democratic/capitalistic society. And it is good for all to keep this in mind: He who pays the bills has the freedom to get what they want, and keep out what they don't want. With that thought, please observe the disclaimer at the bottom of the Cornell arxiv page:

The contents of arXiv conform to Cornell University academic standards. arXiv is owned, operated and funded by Cornell University, a private not-for-profit educational institution. arXiv is also partially funded by the National Science Foundation.


Now, I suppose some might say that because it is partially funded by NSF that anyone who has anything to publish should be able to get it on arxiv. But I think we all see the fallacy in that.

Professor Josephson warns of potential damage if an important scientific idea lies undiscovered as the result of targeting certain scientists and their unorthodox research. "It is true, of course, that standards should be maintained. But the problem with the unintelligent persons who operate the archive is that they seem unable to make the distinction between 'nutty' ideas (which either have no scientific meaning or contain serious errors), which should be barred from the archive, and unusual ideas which may or may not be right, and also may turn out to be important, which should be allowed on the archive."


What professor Jospephson needs to demonstrate if he (or you, Gary) wish to make the "fascism" label stick is that there is NO OTHER PLACE for such ideas to be published. The fact that arxiv is "elite" does not mean that anyone and everyone (degree or not, credentialed or not) should be able to get their idea approved. So why does not professor Josephson and his comrades start their OWN server/service to rival arxiv and be the HOME for the "potentially nutty but potentially real" ideas? Capitalism is all about recognizing a need in the market and filling it!!

By comparison a recent scientific paper funded by the United States Air Force Research Lab explored such exotic subjects as "Star Trek" like transporters, spacetime wormholes and psychic teleportation. Why would the military spend thousands of dollars on the kind of research most mainstream scientists would call crackpot?


That is an easy one to answer: The politics of budgets is at least partially responsible for this. Perhaps AD can offer his view (as a true insider), but I am also somewhat of an insider because my division of Northrop-Grumman does a lot of work for AFRL. Basically, they get so much budget, and they ARE in the business of pushing boundaries. If they don't spend the budget, they not only have to give it back, but it will also likely affect their budget for next year in a negative way. Sloppy budgeting standards? Maybe. But that is the way it is.

In response to the restrictions employed by the archive, Josephson and the other scientists have created a new web site that documents their experiences with the archive's secretive operators. Their personal stories of the problems they face in dealing with the present management of the archive can be found at:

http://www.archivefreedom.org/


So they choose to expend their own energy (and funds) to whine and complain about someone who will not let them play in their sandbox... but it seems they are NOT willing (or have not thought about) to build their own sandbox???

It is a nasty, TERRIBLE aspect of our current society that was not the case when I was growing up: Whining about the Powers That Be instead of rolling up your sleeves and doing what is necessary to overcome them. America is too reliant on lawyers and complaining about others rather than taking personal responsibility for their perceived problems in society and doing something about them on their own!

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Re: Against the TIde

Postby Gary » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:20 pm

Ray made some valid points, but perhaps he would also address this:

There are plenty of papers at the arXiv.org that deal with all kinds of pseudo-scientific or philosophically based speculation, including telepathy, quantum brain, warp drive, extraterrestrial politics, etc.

It does appear to be a problem when individuals abuse their powers to target specific individuals for personal reasons.

Comments?
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Re: Against the TIde

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:32 pm

Gary wrote:Ray made some valid points, but perhaps he would also address this:

There are plenty of papers at the arXiv.org that deal with all kinds of pseudo-scientific or philosophically based speculation, including telepathy, quantum brain, warp drive, extraterrestrial politics, etc.

It does appear to be a problem when individuals abuse their powers to target specific individuals for personal reasons.

Comments?


I thought I did address this when I wrote:

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:He who pays the bills has the freedom to get what they want, and keep out what they don't want.


It is not like arxiv has a monopoly, and it is certainly not a project fully-funded by the government which would impose an "equal access" requirement on it. But there is another way to look at it... let me give an analogy:

If I were to be screaming from every mountaintop and internet forum about the evils of Freemasonry, should I be surprised that they would not want me as a member?

It all just seems a tad catty to me (on both sides, Gary. I am not extolling arxiv as a bastion of great, philanthropic people). People will do what they can get away with, especially if they are empowered by others with funds. Life ain't always fair. I could relate stories of orgs and associations that I was not privvy to join or be a part of. Sigma Gamma Tau (national engineering honor society) did not want me back in the college days. Eh...big deal. But now as a professor, they want me to support them and encourage students to get involved with them (so they get more dues-paying members). Fat chance I will lift a finger, or my voice, to help them.

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Postby Access Denied » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:15 am

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:
Gary wrote:By comparison a recent scientific paper funded by the United States Air Force Research Lab explored such exotic subjects as "Star Trek" like transporters, spacetime wormholes and psychic teleportation. Why would the military spend thousands of dollars on the kind of research most mainstream scientists would call crackpot?

That is an easy one to answer: The politics of budgets is at least partially responsible for this. Perhaps AD can offer his view (as a true insider), but I am also somewhat of an insider because my division of Northrop-Grumman does a lot of work for AFRL. Basically, they get so much budget, and they ARE in the business of pushing boundaries. If they don't spend the budget, they not only have to give it back, but it will also likely affect their budget for next year in a negative way. Sloppy budgeting standards? Maybe. But that is the way it is.

Now how did I get dragged into this? Obviously Gary is another fishing trip.

[love those out of context quotes!]

Who's side are you on anyway? :x

Wait, is this about $435 claw hammer, the $640 toilet seat and the $7,600 coffee makers again? I think it is… :wink:

Actually Ray it didn’t have anything to do with budget cycles. Where did you get that idea? The cost of the study (an outside subcontract) was only a very small part of a much larger contract. If you’ll recall this happened right around the same time NASA cancelled their BPP Program. Ranney already said it best…

Air Force report calls for $7.5M to study psychic teleportation
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004- ... tion_x.htm

[talk about a misleading headline!]

Star Trek fans may be happy to hear that the Air Force has paid to study psychic teleportation.

But scientists aren't so thrilled.

The Air Force Research Lab's August "Teleportation Physics Report," posted earlier this week on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Web site, struck a raw nerve with physicists and critics of wasteful military spending.

[snip]

The Air Force paid $25,000 for the report, part of a $20.5 million advanced rocket and missile design contract. The report calls for $7.5 million to conduct psychic teleportation experiments.

"The views expressed in the report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Air Force, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government," says an Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) statement sent to USA TODAY. "There are no plans by the AFRL Propulsion Directorate for additional funding on this contract."

Explaining why the lab sponsored the study, AFRL spokesman Ranney Adams said, "If we don't turn over stones, we don't know if we have missed something."

The good news is now we know we didn’t miss anything. :D

Anyway, as far as the subject of this thread goes, I'm not suprised these folks are having trouble getting published and funded. Not too bright to bite the hand that feeds you…
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:36 pm

Hi AD,
Access Denied wrote:Actually Ray it didn’t have anything to do with budget cycles. Where did you get that idea?


Well, I got that idea because it happens all the time in the GOV-funded biz, as you know. Right around the August timeframe budgets are reviewed and Estimates To Complete are analyzed to make sure all budget will be allocated and used, so that none has to be given back. Moreover, I do agree that it is an awful big stretch to claim that "psychic teleportation" has a close relationship with advanced propulsion research. :)

While I am always amazed at the areas AFRL is pushing the boundaries on, every so often I see one that makes me go "Hmmmmmm....". I've got some stones that I'd like to overturn that could use some funding! :lol:

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Postby Access Denied » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:58 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Moreover, I do agree that it is an awful big stretch to claim that "psychic teleportation" has a close relationship with advanced propulsion research. :)

You think? Imagine how surprised we were!

Funny how the AIR report isn’t mentioned isn’t it? Here’s just a few choice quotes…

There are also a small number of credible reports of individuals who reported being teleported to/from UFOs during a UFO close encounter, which were scientifically investigated (Vallee, 1988, 1990, 1997).

Well see there you go it must be true… case closed.

The debate among scientists and scientific philosophers is highly charged at times, and becomes acrimonious to the point where reputable skeptical scientists cease being impartial by refusing to examine the experimental data or theories, and they prefer to bypass rational discourse by engaging in ad hominem attacks and irrational “armchair” arguments.

Or could the real problem be the theories are bunk?

I’d be interested in seeing a comparison of the RV “history” given in this “study” vs. what Mike has turned up from various other sources. Anyone familiar with the usual suspects should easily be able to recognize the not so subtle influence of our Aviary friends behind it…

http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/teleport.pdf

The “scary” part is I wonder how many gullible folks this (unpublished) “study” has been passed off to as “legitimate” research “endorsed” by the AF?

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:While I am always amazed at the areas AFRL is pushing the boundaries on, every so often I see one that makes me go "Hmmmmmm....".

If I had a dime for every time the government didn’t get what they paid for I’d probably be a rich man…

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I've got some stones that I'd like to overturn that could use some funding! :lol:

Well, sometimes all it takes is one bad apple to upset the entire apple cart…

The good news I suppose is nobody can say that NASA, AFRL, et. al. didn’t at least try and give some folks the benefit of the doubt… but of course we all know that won’t stop the “fringe” from complaining that nobody ever listens right?

[as evidenced by the subject of this thread]
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Postby ryguy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:39 am

[sarcasm]

You guys are just trying to help the government cover-up all of that breakthrough free-energy/perpetual motion/high-freq-grav-wave/zero-point-energy...etc...etc...etc... technology that would save the world if it weren't for the evil and nasty illuminati-funded government and top-secret private-industry cabal always shooting them down...

[/sarcasm]
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Postby Gary » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:55 pm

ryguy wrote:[sarcasm]

You guys are just trying to help the government cover-up all of that breakthrough free-energy/perpetual motion/high-freq-grav-wave/zero-point-energy...etc...etc...etc... technology that would save the world if it weren't for the evil and nasty illuminati-funded government and top-secret private-industry cabal always shooting them down...

[/sarcasm]


Now that the sarcasm is over, how about an interesting-sounding variation on the standard quantum teleportation scheme:

Quantum Energy Teleportation

Entanglement opens the door to a lot of attractive quantum tasks including quantum teleportation, which teleports any unknown quantum state to distant places only by local operations and classical communication (LOCC).

In this Letter, I propose a quantum energy teleportation protocol for spin chain systems, which transports energy to distant sites only by LOCC. In principle, the dissipation rate of energy transportation is zero because we transmit only classical information through a classical channel. The protocol utilizes the ground state entanglement among spin sites.

In the quantum energy teleportation protocol, the negative localized energy
plays an essential role. The zero of energy in the system is naturally
defined by expectational value of Hamiltonian of the ground state. It is a
very significant fact that quantum states with negative localized energy, compared with the ground state, can be created by use of quantum interference.

The negative energy effects of relativistic field theory have been investigated
for long time. Though the concept of negative energy density is rather
familiar to relativistic field theory, it has not often been applied to condensed
matter physics, quantum optics and quantum communication so far. As an
exceptional example, a fundamental lower bound of actuating energy of photon
switching has been recently derived by use of a gedanken experiment of
input waves with negative energy density.
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Postby Chorlton » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:00 am

What ??
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Postby Access Denied » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:50 am

Ha ha Chorlton… my sentiment exactly. :)

Well, since the subject of “negative energy” has been brought up, now seems like a good time to try and explain (in terms that hopefully anyone can understand) that there’s just one teeny tiny (err… make that astronomical) problem with so-called “zero-point” or “free” energy “powered” warp drives, wormholes and the like that our space brothers “allegedly” use for traveling around the Universe. Take this theoretically possible but seldom "fully disclosed” propulsion method for example…

Image

SPACE-TIME BUBBLE is the closest that modern physics comes to the "warp drive" of science fiction. It can convey a starship at arbitrarily high speeds. Space-time contracts at the front of the bubble, reducing the distance to the destination, and expands at its rear, increasing the distance from the origin (arrows). The ship itself stands still relative to the space immediately around it; crew members do not experience any acceleration. Negative energy (blue) is required on the sides of the bubble.

Sounds pretty simple right? Not so fast…

[pun intended]

In Alcubierre's model, a warp bubble traveling at 10 times lightspeed (warp factor 2, in the parlance of Star Trek: The Next Generation) must have a wall thickness of no more than 10-32 [0.0000000000000000000000000000001] meter. A bubble large enough to enclose a starship 200 meters across would require a total amount of negative energy equal to 10 billion times the mass of the observable universe.

Minor detail. Moreover, there's some nagging problems with the second law of thermodynamics and conversation of energy to consider...

If negative energy is thought of as an energy loan, the loan must be repaid with interest. The longer the loan period or the larger the loan amount, the greater is the interest. Furthermore, the larger the loan, the smaller is the maximum allowed loan period. Nature is a shrewd banker and always calls in its debts.

Or as we often say in the propulsion business... TANSTAAFL 8)

Anyway, this is all discussed in much more detail in this January 2000 article published in Scientific American for anyone who's interested...

Negative Energy, Wormholes and Warp Drive
http://www.phy.duke.edu/~hsg/55/related ... n-2000.pdf
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Postby Chorlton » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:08 am

I think I'll stick to the bus thanks !

But dont let me stop you, carry on.
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Postby Access Denied » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:58 am

Chorlton wrote:But dont let me stop you, carry on.

Ad Astra!

[or not] :lol:
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Postby Chorlton » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:25 am

Surely

"Opta ardua pennis astra sequi" applies here?
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