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Troll policy discussion

We’ve been getting persistently trolled by one person over the past month. Remember krooscontrol? How about Tomas C? chaoticinflation? All the same person. He has a couple of tells that make him easy to detect once I picked up on them. That latest incarnation, chaoticinflation, is now banned, but if his past record is any guide, he’ll invent a new pseudonym in the next day or two and be right back at it, so if you see any familiar arguments emerging from some new person who just popped up, let me know.

I have a few questions to discuss, though.

One, why are these people who show up to argue for godly objective morality so consistently unable to represent honesty and forthrightness? I’m thinking it either means their god is a lying sleaze who left those traits out of his list, or more likely, that being a dishonest coward is a prerequisite for being a fanatical Christian. They aren’t showing their faith in a good light, that’s for sure.

Two, as a matter of policy, I’ve had zero tolerance for people who show up under false pretences: if you’ve been banned and then leave comments under a sock puppet account, I delete those entries. There should be no reward for evading our rather simple mechanisms to filter out bad actors — really, any idiot can do it, as all the idiots have demonstrated. Unfortunately, this bozo has left over 600 comments here.

Think about that. This obsessed kook has shown up here to lie at us about 20 times a day. The boy has fuckin’ problems.

Now I’ve got all those comments queued up in a list — I told you, there are some easy searchable tells — and I could just click the button to select them all, then click “delete”, and they all get flushed. I know some of you don’t particularly care to see gaps that big appear in threads, so I’m holding off for now. You tell me: flush the crap or let it stand?


OK, people, one thing will not change: when some demented asshole like Graeme Bird shows up, spews a lot of garbage that includes outright racist/anti-semitic slime, I will delete it. No question. No hesitation.

I know it’s hard when the lunacy is so extreme it becomes comedic, and it’s also hard when the wretched racist just dumps a swarm of comments (Bird commented 73 times last night), but try to resist. Now all of your comments are left dangling without referents.

Comments

  1. Bicarbonate is back says

    It’s often educational for me to see the Troll’s arguments and their rebuttal. Without the original bad arguments, I believe I’d learn less.

  2. Rich Woods says

    or more likely, that being a dishonest coward is a prerequisite for being a fanatical Christian.

    I wouldn’t say that. I think it more likely that fanaticism of any sort tends to warp peoples’ viewpoints and engenders unpleasant traits such as dishonesty and wilful ignorance. I wonder, though, if the application of those traits subsequently extends into other parts of a fanatic’s life, rather than just being used in defence of their particular beliefs?

    You tell me: flush the crap or let it stand?

    I’m undecided on this. Sometimes the level of idiocy shown by trolls can be amusing, and the responses to it can be informative and educational (and, given the turn of phrase some people here are capable of, even more amusing). It can eventually reach the point where it becomes tedious, though.

  3. Tekore says

    I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d like if you could hide them like (sigh) youtube and reddit do with down-voted comments. That way it’d be possible for people to skip the comments unless they feel a need not to. . . . If you can’t do that, then leave them. It makes threads confusing to read when there are people responding to non-existent posts, and it further confuses things when the post numbers get shifted.

  4. Sastra says

    But if you’re an atheist then there is nothing objectively wrong about lying!

    I rather enjoy the debates and admit that I’ve more admiration for theists who stand and fight than those who rest on their privilege and passive aggressively avoid challenges to bad ideas — but if someone has been banned then they need to find another forum. As for being ‘obsessed” — well, life circumstances are different for different people and for all we know there can be perfectly good reasons someone is hanging out online.

  5. sondra says

    Flush them. I’m pretty sure that the trolls don’t read the informed comments, they just like to stir things up. If they became informed, they wouldn’t have any fun.

    My question is, how many trolls have ever commented that after reading your discussions, they changed their minds? My guess is none. So, unless people are enjoying the back and forth for it’s comedy and recreational value, it seems sort of pointless.

    If it’s just fun for awhile, pick one or two really dumb comments. Eviscerate the commenter for awhile and then pull the plug.

  6. fentex says

    Is there a WordPress mod that would let you classify them as obnoxious and hide them from everyone who doesn’t explicitly permit th display of ‘Obnoxious’ comments?

  7. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    I preferr to see the comments, otherwise the thread makes no sense when I’m trying to catch up. Seeing people’s replies can be educational, but only if you can see what they’re replying to. Can you make the banned person’s comments all comic sans (or something like that) as easily as you could delete them? Just some sort of visual marker that the person has now been banned, but that leaves their comments legible? That would be my preferred option, if possible.

    It’s interesting that all three were the same person. Kroos Kontrol and Chaoticinflation were obviously Christians, but Tomas C was a libertarian MRA supporting douche with (IIRC) no hint of Christianism. Presuming I have recalled correctly, the fact they took such wildly different, but known as offensive to the commentariat here, positions leads me to the conclusion that they weren’t his opinions at all,a nd he really was just trolling.

  8. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @sondra

    My question is, how many trolls have ever commented that after reading your discussions, they changed their minds? My guess is none. So, unless people are enjoying the back and forth for it’s comedy and recreational value, it seems sort of pointless.

    It’s not necessarily just for the troll’s benefit. Lurkers and other commenters find those discussions educational.

  9. Forrest Phelps says

    They have obvious comedic value, which I would miss. I learn a lot from the responses. It’s also a good policy to leave comments alone even if it means more clutter, simply to counter anyone feeling they were “silenced” and are therefore martyrs, etc. But use the Ban-Hammer as you see fit when a troll gets too . . . [insert attribute here].

  10. hoku says

    Keep, but disemvowel. Makes the comments shorter and easier to ignore, but still leaves the record intact so people don’t look like they’re responding to something that isn’t there. Also prevents confusion from changing the numbering and replies using the “@ 3″ style.

  11. ck says

    Personally, I’d vote to just leave the comments. Removing them doesn’t change the fact the troll will be dominating the conversation in that thread (with their comments present or not), and it just makes the thread read oddly as people address things apparently never said. Besides, they can stand as a testament on what not to do.

  12. chigau (違う) says

    In this case, I prefer to see the comments.
    If it were earlier in his career and there were only a few comments, I’d say flush.

  13. Sastra says

    Why flush the comments? I don’t really understand this. If people choose to respond for whatever reason then there’s a little subsection of Pharyngula which is happily engaged and nobody else has to pay attention. This is a very large, very active blog with numerous comments. We all have to skip and skim all the time; it becomes a necessary skill. If it’s a “save me from myself” complaint because someone just … can’t … resist … answering … then perhaps that needs to be worked on.

    Why argue with a “troll?” To practice responses for real life situations in a ‘safe’ environment. To consider new lines of argument. To discover unexpected rationales on the other side. To watch people on your side be interesting or funny. To watch people on the other side be interesting or funny. To get frustration off your chest. And, sometimes, to change minds. Persistence doesn’t necessarily entail intractable dogmatism: every now and then it’s the fury of faith in its death throes.

  14. says

    Tough call… There’s a balance between not wanting to give raving lunatics a platform or the attention they crave, and the often valuable and frequently entertaining back and forth between those kooks and the well-honed rhetorical skills of the hoard.

    If it were me, I’d lean towards keeping the comments unless they are violent, racist, or otherwise truly objectionable. However I can’t imagine the administrative nightmare for PZ in trying to sift through and delete on those comments, especially with a whackaloon with such a high posting frequency. Maybe empower a trusted moderator to identify posts that “cross the line” and either delete them or forward them to you for deletion?

  15. Amphiox says

    If you flush all but the first 10 of his comments, nothing much woukd be lost, since he hasn ‘t said anything new since.

  16. twas brillig (stevem) says

    I too, dislike seeing numerical gaps in the threads after the troll-pasta has been eliminated. Even leaving blank comments to let the numbers remain is not quite good. I would vote for the ancient technique of “disenvoweling”. I.E. simple deletion of all the vowels in the troll-pasta. Leaves enough to see what all the later “re’s” are referring to, while making the troll-pasta require hard thinking to read.
    .
    Another alternative is to change the font color of troll pust to white. Only when the pust is mouse-selected by the reader (for a possible ctrl-C) does it become readable, by Windows reversing the colors of the font and the background).
    ———————————————————————————————
    Final word: Stop being so attractive to the obnoxious trolls! They are here because of you! It is your fault they are here. They are just testing you, to verify that you really know what you’re talking
    about! You have to let them speak here, free speech demands it !!11!111!11 [bbbbbllllecccchhh]

  17. says

    The reason for deleting the comments is to remove the incentive for him to return.

    I can delete wholesale with two clicks. Going in and disemvoweling 600 comments, one by one? I don’t have time for that.

    I guess the majority want to keep them around, so that’s what I’ll do for now…but if this asshole shows up again, there will be no mercy given.

  18. says

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for over a year now and this will be my first comment. Most of the time I prefer to listen and learn rather than offering my opinion, but in this case, I thought I’d chime in. I agree with some of the other people, comments by trolls can be informative and educational when they lead to discussion. I also agree that they can become tedious after a while. I think, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide at what point tedium has been reached.
    Either way, I don’t mind scrolling past annoying comments if you leave them.

  19. wcorvi says

    Let the BozoTroll waste his time. Can you just divert the discussion to another page? And let him troll away? Those who want to read it can waste all their time, too.

  20. doublereed says

    I’m actually surprised how tame the trolls are around here, as well as the lax banning policy. I’m used to far more stringent rules with immediate warnings and subsequent week-long bans (as opposed to bans on specific posts). Though usually I prefer a blank or “~~DELETED~~” post to actual missing posts.

    Keeping that in mind, I say burn those posts to the ground!

  21. Lofty says

    I’d leave the comments in, they are part of the décor. Just not the really nasty ones, the personal attacks..

  22. ekwhite says

    It depends on the individual case. If the troll is harassing another commenter, then you should delete the comments. Otherwise, I suppose the commentariat has spoken. For my part, if the troll is motivated by seeing the comments remain, then delete away.

  23. hoku says

    Would the white font option be especially hard? I like the idea of hiding them in plain sight.

  24. sqlrob says

    @PZ:

    I can delete wholesale with two clicks. Going in and disemvoweling 600 comments, one by one? I don’t have time for that.

    Put a feature request in for mass disemvoweling :D.

    Shouldn’t be that hard to write, but I’m sure there’s plenty of more important features to be done first.

  25. Louis says

    PZ,

    I like fentex’s suggestion in #6 if it is a) easy and b) possible. If it involves individual marking of comments (as opposed to 2 click deletions) then sod that for a game of soldiers!

    For my money, I am a fan of banning for egregious trolls/shitheads. If it’s possible to delete the body of the most extremely unpleasant comments (really nasty bigotry, doxxing etc) whilst leaving the numbering intact for the commentariat’s convenience without this being onerous (i.e. more than the 2 click delete) then please do this. If it’s more work, delete them, I for one will cope.

    Where the comments are just stupid or dishonest (as opposed to actively unpleasant), I’d err on the side of not deleting them when banning the repetitive troll/unending sock puppets/morphers. Again, the caveat is if this is easy to do, then that’s my preference. I am all for 2 click solutions to muppets. This blog shouldn’t be much more work for you than the posts, in my view.

    Louis

  26. John Hartung says

    Get rid of them! Trolls beget trolls, and more learning will take place if we’re not churning over the same old trash. Worse, what if we attract a racist troll, a homophobic troll, or a or a transphobic troll? If they get a highly visible comment, just like hydrophobic surfaces repel water, troll comments have the potential to drive away people with different viewpoints. Many people already surf with the rule “never read the comments” but pharyngula is a rare space where comments are good. If the first comment section I read here was just more engaging with horrid people I wouldn’t have bothered with any more. I’d rather have the possibility of a single additional good commentor than all 600 worthless troll posts.

    This isn’t Reddit, so why should we give nightmare people voices?

  27. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I’m totally cool with keeping comments from trolls like this around as long as it’s an attempt at actual discussion. They make good teeth sharpeners.

  28. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    twas brillig #16 and hoku #23

    I could deal with the idea of making the font white. My preference is just a different colour so it serves as a visual marker that the poster is banned while still being legible, but I understand that some people simply wouldn’t want to read them, and I’m capable of highlighting to know what the fuck’s going on.

    PZ, is it possible to do this en mass, or is it a one-by-one job like disemvowelling?

  29. Ben Lutgens says

    Even better, tag his posts with some sort of marker like: [BLATANT TROLL PSEUDONYM] but leave all the content there.

  30. says

    Re: keeping the comments because they are educational, lead to discussion, etc.

    Sometimes I find that true but most of the time it’s Groundhog Day all over again. When we see nothing new or the noise to signal ratio becomes irritating, flush.

  31. says

    Actually you’ve been persistently trolled by two people for the last month — it’s been nearly a month since ‘harrisonfjorde’ came to visit, in this thread. Of the two, the godbotherer has had more to say and offered more opportunity for the Horde to practice their technique in rebutting his rubbish. The other douchebagge… not so much. He’s vile and sadistic, has a pathetically obsessive grudge going back years, but mostly he’s boring as hell and ineffectual. I think content-wise there’s no question that Kroos/Tomas/chaotic has resulted in a better outcome from the responses, and ruining the numbering of a whole lot of threads a long time after they’ve finished isn’t very satisfactory, especially when people frequently use the comment numbers for referring to the discussion rather than the timestamps/html anchors.

  32. Sastra says

    The most valuable change PZ made a long time ago was to put the poster’s name ABOVE their comment. It used to be at the end and so yes, you’d start reading a long post and go “wait — I just wasted time reading X again.” As it is, I don’t see what disemvowelling or other tricks do that isn’t already pretty much taken care of by nym recognition — especially if we’re dealing with someone who posts a lot.

    When I first started hanging out on the internet (debate chatrooms) I slowly came to a horrifying realization: as bad and stupid and thoughtless as the arguments made by theists often were — they were actually a step above the ones which are normally made in real life. Those who consciously choose to come in and argue generally have some sort of background and system because they’re mentally prepared for counterarguments. But your family and your neighbor and your co-worker? Brace yourself.

  33. Artor says

    In general, I’d prefer to keep most posts around, especially if others are referring back to them. It gets confusing when people are responding to posts that aren’t there anymore. But some troll shit is just pile & vitriol that never warrants a response. Those should just be disappeared, if you can take the time to distinguish them from others that might be kept. Sometimes the most obnoxious trolls inspire eloquent rebuttals, and those can be a joy to read.

  34. peptron says

    I have a question about the alternate idea PZ put in the OP:
    “One, why are these people who show up to argue for godly objective morality so consistently unable to represent honesty and forthrightness?”

    I know why that is, but I’d like to know if someone here knows if there is a psychological term for that. There’s got to be, because it is extremely common.

    You know, the mental inversion of cause and effect that some people experience when they are part of a group. Wrongly thinking that they have a characteristic because they are part of a group, rather than correctly thinking that they are part of a group because of a characteristic.

    Like thinking that you are honest because you are Christian, rather than thiking that you are Christian because you are honest. Leading you to be able to lie your heart out because you are honest by default from being Christian. Your lies “CANNOT” be lies, because you are honest.
    Or skeptics that say things that are obviously unskeptic, because they are skeptic by mere association to a skeptic movement making them automatically skeptic no matter how unskeptic their thinking actually is.
    Or people going “What I think is what the founding fathers think.”, even though what they think is essencially the opposite of what the founding fathers thought.
    Or North Korea being a country led “By the people”, because what the leader think is that the people think. If you go against the leader you go against the people, making you an ennemy of the people, even if that’s actually what the people think.
    Or Mensa people saying the most stupid things that can be said, and said things are actually sayings of brilliance, by mere association to their in-group. And if you cannot see their brilliance it’s obviously because you aren’t as intelligent as they are.
    Or… really, I could write a book. I even bet there is already one on this topic.

  35. says

    Any alteration to the content of comments – even those by a single commenter – is a one-by-one process in WordPress. Perhaps Jason T. or someone else with the technical chops in the FTB backchannel could find a nice bespoke plugin to allow custom actions like comment blanking to be capable of being run as batch actions (the only actions you tend to be able to perform en masse are things like approving, disapproving, marking as sp@m and trashing messages) but otherwise when faced with 600 messages PZ has the choice of deleting them or letting them stand. Bear in mind there is the hushfile available; even if this doesn’t run on all platforms it’s better than nothing.

  36. bargearse says

    In the case of thomas/kroos/chaoticinflation (I always read that as chaoticinfection for some reason) I think the comments are worth keeping. He’s a William Lane Craig fanboi and the responses to some of his arguments have been educational. They wouldn’t make as much sense without the original. Now, as for the other recent troll who only turns up when PZ is asleep? Step on him, scrape the slyme off your shoe then forget about him.

  37. gardengnome says

    I can appreciate all the arguments for keeping their posts and it appears I’m in a minority here but my reaction is to say “Flush ‘em”. Like graffitti on a wall; if you paint over it immediately there’s no incentive for the perpetrator to keep up their vandalism. I don’t find them amusing – just irritating.

  38. says

    It’s not necessarily just for the troll’s benefit. Lurkers and other commenters find those discussions educational.

    I agree up to a point. These guys do have educational value in a Salviati vs. Simplicio sort of way but very often it gets tiresome because they can’t learn.
    Someday we will have an intelligent bot that will prescreen the input and let new stupid through while sending the same old to the FES. That’s like the FAQ but for Frequently Erupting Stupid.

  39. davidchapman says

    My only contributions are to agree that the subtraction of posts results in messy confusion, because the numbers all change; and to say that I’m not totally comfortable with the effect, which other than the mismatched numbers makes it look like the guy or guyess has never been. This is a bit Orwellian — totally inadvertently I’m sure, an artifact of the technology, but not ideal in my opinion.

    If the decision is made to remove the tedious fuck’s messages, I think it would be better to leave the space blank except for a message saying they had been trashed and giving the reason — in this case the double infamy of arch-trolling and deceit. Hopefully this can be done with the minimum of clicking.

  40. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Two things:

    The color of the font would have too alternate—properly—between white and gray in order to disappear.

    Some of us have Macs, where highlighting doesn’t reverse colors.

  41. Bruce Fuentes says

    Delete burn and flush them. There is only one way to truly deal with a troll. Stop feeding him. Since other commenters will continue to feed him, the only way I see to deal with the issue is to delete his comments completely. There are other trolls here, there always will be, but there are some that deserve the final punishment.

    This moron is one.

  42. pinkey says

    As the sign in the bathroom at one yoga studio I visted says, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” I think it holds here too.

  43. pinkey says

    It would also be interesting if you could affix (automatically of course) a TROLL icon on each of the posts you’re “allowing” to stay. Or a color change indicating “beware the troll”. Of course, you wouldn’t want something to draw TOO much attention to the post, but almost something to make it look “less” than a regular post. Like, light grey text on white background, but not so much that it’s hard to read.

  44. Owlmirror says

    My vote is to keep. Unlike certain other trolls who leave nothing but stupid slagging and sneers, this one has, at the very least, been making arguments. Maybe they’re bad arguments; often they misrepresent or distort what they are in response to, but at least they’re something vaguely coherent.

    Also, leaving them up gives people more to use to recognize later incarnations. “Didn’t X use that same argument/phrasing that we’re now seeing from Y? [Google X's comments]”

    I think it’s educational as to what bad and dishonest argumentation (and trolling) looks like.

  45. Bicarbonate is back says

    I haven’t counted but I think a majority so far is in favor of keeping the trolls’ comments either for educational/entertainment purposes or for thread coherence.

    Obviously any solution that requires inordinate amounts of time to be spent on PZ’s part is out of the question.

    I don’t think this is an urgent issue. Give your tech person some time to find a 2-click solution for making troll comments appear differently from regular comments. Or put in a request for WordPress to do it. That way people who don’t want to read them can skip. As for hurtful personal attacks and the like, maybe the monitors could be given the power to individually disenvowel posts so that PZ wouldn’t have to take that time.

  46. raven says

    Leave them.

    The day after a comment thread is made, it becomes almost archival. Few go past the first page. After a week they are archival.

    I will say, we need better trolls. The one under discussion was incoherent, not responding to others, and repeating the same assertions without proof that were wrong dozens of times.

  47. davidchapman says

    16
    twas brillig (stevem)
    I would vote for the ancient technique of “disenvoweling”. I.E. simple deletion of all the vowels in the troll-pasta. Leaves enough to see what all the later “re’s” are referring to, while making the troll-pasta require hard thinking to read.

    Hang on, isn’t that how the Qur’an got started??

    For fuck’s sake, don’t do it PZ!!!

  48. Sastra says

    Bruce Fuentes #42 wrote:

    Since other commenters will continue to feed him, the only way I see to deal with the issue is to delete his comments completely.

    Ah, so we are also policing the other commenters?

  49. consciousness razor says

    The reason for deleting the comments is to remove the incentive for him to return.

    The incentive would be that if he reappears under another pseudonym, people would respond again (perhaps until they find out who it is). It’s at least as much about wasting our own time as his. We’ve already gone and wasted our time. You deleting a bunch of past comments won’t change that. A nice, quick banhammering next time is all you really need.

  50. opposablethumbs says

    Depends to some extent on the troll; in this case many of the arguments against have been interesting, informative and often amusing so I’d vote for letting these threads stand. If at any point in the future the IT wizard janitors make it quick and one-click-easy to make all of a given troll’s comments grey or white or visibly TROLLIFIED, then that would be a great bonus.

  51. tfkreference says

    Flush. Although a good exchange between articulate creationists and the horde is entertaining and educational (even though they always end with the creationists posting what they think is an unbreakable argument and disappearing), when trolls just spew nonsense and doesn’t answer any questions posed to them, it’s just annoying.

  52. Alexander says

    Vote here to keep but flag (I like the Comic Sans font suggestion or disemvoweling; for the latter you can find a WordPress script to do the labor for you). Like others have stated before, I find rebuttals to be very informative and lose much of their value when you cannot go back to the original statement in some fashion.

    Even if you decide to purge all troll comments, it would be the most proper in my mind to just replace the text with exactly what rule they were breaking (i.e. “Comment deleted for violating rule I.1, bigotry and slurs”); this will (1) help those who did not realize they were breaking a rule and (2) pacify those other who have asked here to leave the comment numbers intact.

  53. says

    I vote on letting it stand. I personally dislike the idea of deleting posts, period, regardless of who, or what, is in them. This may be as simple a matter as feeling that the best way for an idiot to be shown to be one is to let them talk, not shut them up, but a big part of it may also be the tendency of even totally legit places to get upset over accidental breaches of some etiquette issue, or a misplaced word, and, instead of providing the means to correct the problem, warning of it (when their system is using auto-filters anyway) or just censoring the bit they object to, they wipe out paragraphs of valid response, because you got pissed and called someone a name, or something, in the middle of it. I hate the idea of doing to someone, even when I feel there is some legitimate reason for it, what can be done to me for entirely arbitrary, and non-legitimate reasons, and so.. it bugs me when I see it, under any circumstances, no matter how justified.

    I do not, however, have a problem with, for example, some mechanism being available to, say, hide/bury/relocate, or otherwise make such posts less disruptive, as long as a means remains for people to find out why every other one of the obviously visible ones are screaming at the nonsense of some clown that is professionally trolling. That would be my third reason, in fact, for at least having them still accessible, if somehow adjusted to be less derailing – the ability of anyone that might arrive later to understand the context of the replies to such a fool, instead of just wondering what the heck got everyone pissed off at him/her. Lack of context reflects badly, for the repliers, in many cases, and just lends the sort of people who would delete anything and everything that contradicts them, on their own sites, ammunition to say that their opponents do the same thing, so its fine what they do.

    Unfortunately, blogs don’t seem to consider mechanisms to shuffle problem posts to a holding area (or, just mark them as, “Let me see this, or otherwise its going to be folded over, and not visible). They, pretty much, push the idea of being ethically questionable, by only letting you wipe the post, not make it less of an eyesore. :(

  54. keinsignal says

    I agree with everyone who’s suggesting hiding the comments if possible (with the option left to the user whether to display them or not), and if that’s not possible, let them stand. Gaps and renumbered posts are more annoying than trolls.

  55. twas brillig (stevem) says

    The problem with deleting (errr “flushing”) is that trolls think their words are so important that they will just keep coming back to repost them. Look how often they repost, when their words are left hanging here. Deleting them will just redouble their reposts. Disemvowel them; to challenge them, to read their posts without any vowels.
    .
    Enhance your disemvoweller app: so you can give it a list of post numbers that is can go through and disemvowel automatically. AND have it not just delete the vowels; instead, discolor the vowels to white, so highlighting the word reveals the vowel. Just makes it harder to read without having to puzzle out the deleted vowels.

  56. Rey Fox says

    Well, so much for my old “It’s not a sock puppet, lots of people think these things!” gripe. I don’t know if I should feel good or bad about that.

    Though to be fair, I think I was the first person to accuse chaoticinflation of being a sockpuppet once I first saw them sort of tiptoe around citing William Lane Craig and then outright cite him.

    I also say to keep the comments up. Hopefully the little pest knows we’re onto them.

  57. anteprepro says

    I think the treatment should be very situational. In this case, keep the tri-fold troll’s droppings because it would just confuse shit if they were removed. If the troll comes back, wipe if you catch him early enough. Judgment calls, not particular important for this brand of inane wankery brand of troll. But for the slyme and other assorted bigots, wiping their comments should be far more of an option (though again, there should be SOME caution).

  58. Nick Gotts says

    I agree with anteprepro@59, with the addition that we regulars (especially monitors) should be on the lookout for this particular numpty’s style and both challenge suspected sockpuppets directly (a lot of Christian liars don’t admit to themselves they are liars, and so will be reluctant to say directly “No, I’m not previoustrollincarnation”), and report suspicions.

  59. Ewout says

    Delete them. I read a lot of comment threads, although I don’t post in many. But honestly, your trolls are of the repetitive kind. Every single thing they say (I do think there are two like some other people have mentioned) has been said a thousand times before. Get rid of it. Nothing of value will be lost.

  60. freemage says

    As a twice-a-day reader who occasionally comments, I’m gonna suggest a content-based policy.

    1: If the Troll has been banned for a policy that deals with the content of the post (such as using bigoted language, rape apologetics, or the like), then they get the BIG hammer–all their prior posts (regardless of content) get flushed as well.

    2: I If they’ve been banned for things like sockpuppeting, then the posts get to stay. So in this case, Mr. 600+ gets to stick around.

    Now, that said, I rather like the idea, if possible, of marking the posts in some fashion. Can you change the ‘Nym of a banned account retroactively, making the new ‘nym appear on the new posts? Turning “chaoticinflation” into “chaoticinflation, sockpuppet of Kroos Kontrol” would serve to let everyone know what’s going on, but make it clear to late arrivals that there’s probably not that much point in engaging with the lousy argumets put forward in the post.

  61. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Speaking as someone who was never really religious, but who was for a while dead set against atheism…

    I was dead set against atheism because I could not bear the thought of not existing. The idea that I, me, all that is who I am, would cease to be upon death, filled me with a terrible, persistent low-key anxiety. I hated the idea of not existing so much that I actually spent time reading books that offered arguments as to why it “wasn’t possible” that we just snuff right out. Specious arguments to be sure, but they offered the comfort I needed, and I did some pretty remarkable mental acrobatics to allow for them. Maybe this is why some of the religious trolls and apologists do this. They come here seeking validation not necessarily to support religious conservative values, but occasionally to find “holes” in atheist arguments so that there’s always a faint hope that they can rely on for life everlasting. Fear is a powerful motivator.

    Aside: I became an atheist soon after my first really serious bout of depression. I’m actually okay now with not existing past death, because life has been so painful that oblivion means an end to that pain. If there IS something after death, that’s probably fine too, because it won’t be Hell. Hell is here on this earth, in my head, and in the spreading nebula of emotional pain I fight with every day.

    Hm. I apologize for the whine. :-/

  62. markd555 says

    Keep.
    This person is NOT rational enough to care if his comments are deleted or not, he will just keep going. Deleting will do nothing to prevent yet another account.

    But a record of stupidity is a great tool to teach others exactly how bad things are.

  63. nich says

    I second, third, fourth, whatever, the idea that the truly vile Slymepitter-style shit gets flushed, but keep the comments from those who were simply banned for being repetitive but otherwise innocuous.

  64. nich says

    Actually…what am I talking about!? This is a Gestapo style echo chamber that loathes freeze peach in all its forms! Ban all dissent! Memory hole! He who controls the past controls the future!!! Big Squid is watching you!!!!!!

  65. says

    Ewout #61

    But honestly, your trolls are of the repetitive kind. Every single thing they say (I do think there are two like some other people have mentioned) has been said a thousand times before.

    As a regular reader I agree that it can get tedious… but for the more casual reader, there is still value I think in the interactions, even if it’s the thousandth time regular readers have heard it.

    PZ created the Lounge and Thunderdome some time ago, and that has done a somewhat reasonable job of at least attempting to keep discussions within threads on topic, and shunting everything else to one of the catch-all threads, and regulars do often try to move discussions that are veering off-topic to those forums. I do like the idea of somehow marking troll-ish posts and making them easily identifiable… serves the dual purpose of giving the reader the choice to quickly ignore them if they are not interested in the discussion, or quickly identifying them for those of us who have a twisted desire to see the gruesome carnage of a car-wreck.

  66. says

    Well, as an infrequent commenter, mostly a lurker, I’d rather see them flushed. Leaving them up allows the troll the satisfaction of his/her message remain on the record and provides incentive to keep coming back. This is entirely different from someone who may simply disagree with another — this person is a troubled troll. How about just putting a distinguishing symbol in place of said troll’s comment? The context can often be derived from subsequent comments especially when the original text is quoted as reference.

  67. meristoma says

    I agree with posters who prefer they be kept, for reasons given by others – it keeps context for any replies to them; the replies are often hilarious; renumbering would make replies confusing (@4 for example). OTOH, it’s your house.

  68. cubist says

    I think disemvowelment is the best solution as far as us in the commentariat are concerned; the comments are still there, which avoids all the problems associated with simple deletion. As far as PZ is concerned… yeah, mass disemvowelment is required.

  69. says

    I’m in the leave the posts in place camp, at least for Mr 3-names here (does that make him the Unholy Trinity of Trolls?). The responses from various Pharyngulites were both entertaining and instructive.

    The really nasty trolls, though? Those posts need to be scrubbed from the thread, especially if they’ve hurt someone or have potential to hurt.

    As long as PZ doesn’t have any more work piled on his poor be-tentacled head.

  70. earthonly says

    “One, why are these people who show up to argue for godly objective morality so consistently unable to represent honesty and forthrightness? ”

    No-ones going to respect your blogs integrity because you are a goose-stepping doctrinaire gate-keeper who will believe any stupid mainstream thing on faith alone.

    I can predict your irrational faith-based views in advance. You believe that comets are snowballs. No snow no ball but you believe. You believe in the Keynesian multiplier. No evidence yet you believe. You believe that evolution is a one-planet affair. No evidence just faith. You believe in the big bang. No evidence has ever surfaced for this most embarrassing idiocy but you will goose-step to this young-universe tune. Maybe if you got your shit together as a scientist people will take your blogs integrity more seriously. You cannot find evidence for special relativity …. another Jew fairy tale. Yet you believe out of pure racist tribalism.

  71. earthonly says

    How about Phobos being porous? No possible geological process could produce this result and leave Phobos up there orbiting Mars. Yet you will believe it. Your belief system can be predicted by inferring pure anti-science bigotry and by sussing you out as the tribe who believes in everything at Randi’s internet sewer.

  72. earthonly says

    How about plate tectonics. Its impossible, no force vectors can be drawn to make it possible, But you will believe in it.

    We don’t need another goose-stepper in this world. No-one ought to respect your blog.

  73. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Earthonly

    Big Bang evidence: Cosmic microwave background follows a blackbody curve nearly exactly.

    You really are one dumb troll.

  74. earthonly says

    How about the conservation of mass? It cannot logically be the case since if matter could not be created it would not be here. But still you believe.

  75. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Boy, earthonly seems to be a live one. Tell me, little one. How do you know Phobos is porous? Spend much time there?

  76. mothra says

    Strip off the ‘nym’ and title troll comments (all sources) as simply ‘troll.’ This applies to the sockpuppets under discussion. Bigoted, racist and sexist comments are still ‘disappeared.’

  77. anbheal says

    Yeah, I’d vote for the principle of letting them go for a while, until it’s boring. I’m a regular reader of Pharyngula and Culture Wars and a few other blogs on FTB, a very occasional commenter, and really only an occasional peruser of the commentary, but one of my very favorite things is when your toothiest regulars sink their teeth into a troll. Sorry if I don’t know all their tags, but the guy with the Drew Carey icon — modusoperandi, maybe? One of the funniest guys (well, who knows, one of the funniest people) in the entire progressive blog-o-sphere. Damn, he’s channeling Oscar Wilde some days! The woman (again, I presume) with the icon that looks like Starbuck on BG but with vampire fangs? OMG, she’s a freakin’ SCREAM when she gets to hammering away on a troll. Then you have the incredibly well-informed scientists among the regulars. The politically astute. Some really impressive and efficiently expressed thoughts emerge from the best of your regulars when somebody comes stomping in with a chip on their shoulder. I really enjoy it. I bet a lot of other more-or-less silent observers do as well The new asshole…..it’s so meticulously torn!

  78. says

    I’m going to nth support figuring out a 2-click way to either white text or disemvowel troll posts. When I’m bored I like seeing what the troll of the day is saying. I also hate the number changes. Confuses the hell outta me, but it’s your blog PZ.

    I was able to politely and succinctly shut down a MRA on a friends Facebook, because I’ve gotten to read the idiocy and the responses here, so there is that.

  79. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    I vote to leave the trollery in. At some point someone is going to write a dissertation on the evolution (or lack) of theistic dissent on the internet (or some such topic) and all this good research material needs to be available.

  80. Sili says

    Ideally the best way to avoid screwing up the numbering works be to replace the troll comments with excerpts from On The Origin of Species to make them educational, but I guess that can’t be automated.

  81. Roberto Teixeira says

    Someone, quick! Create a WordPress plugin that allows PZ to quickly set some comments to always show in Comic Sans :)

  82. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Laughing at Earthonly

    How about plate tectonics. Its impossible, no force vectors can be drawn to make it possible,

    Because earthquakes happen when we draw the right arrows on an onion-ish drawing on a piece of paper. Yeah. If you can’t draw it, it doesn’t happen. That’s how reality works. yeah.

  83. OldEd says

    “It either means their god is a lying sleaze who left those traits out of his list, or more likely, that being a dishonest coward is a prerequisite for being a fanatical Christian.”
    .
    .
    Why, oh why, oh most puissant one, does it have to be an either-or situation?
    .
    .
    Why can’t it be BOTH?
    .
    .
    In fact, I think it is both.

  84. chigau (違う) says

    So was earthonly anyone we know?
    Or just a really badly executed ‘bot?

  85. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Boy, this is the biggest idiot that’s been here for a while! “macro-level” experiments, Gomer? How about the GPS satellites. The corrections for Special and General Relativity work with precise accuracy.

    How about the atomic clocks carried in airliners in opposite directions around the world? Special Relativity confirmed exactly.

    Plate tectonics isn’t “forcing” anything apart. Ever try to float a washrag flat on the water in the bathtub? Sooner or later, one side will start to sink and pull the rest sideways and down. That’s what the subducting slabs are doing, and pulling the plates apart on the opposite side, so magma has to rise up to fill the gap. Most people think of it exactly backwards, like…well…you!

  86. Denverly says

    Lurker delurking to vote for mass extinction of the trolls. I liked Chris when he would put the bunny pictures, but the suggestion upthread to replace them with a sock-monkey would be cute. A croco-duck would be nice, too. :-) Just to keep the numbers from being displaced, you understand. I rather like reading the trolls, but I can read all of that on youtube or cnn.

    Another aside, I LOVED the picture of the banhammer PZ used to use.

  87. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    The GPS works via triangulation—and very precise clocks. Those clocks would run slow because of their orbital motion (Special Relativity), and fast because of the lower gravitational field (General Relativity). Without correcting for both, their longitude would wander by several degrees a day. With corrections calculated in SR and GR, they’re accurate to many significant figures. Explain that, genius.

  88. consciousness razor says

    I’m still checking my instruments, but there seems to be a source of infinite stupidity somewhere around here. Is anyone else seeing that?

  89. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    We owe the enormous prosperity of the US from WWII to the first oil crisis to Keynesian economics. We owe the great economic collapse to 30 years of anti-Keynesian economics initiated by that twatwaffle Reagan.

  90. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Okay, #101 is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen written down. Congratulations!

  91. consciousness razor says

    The fool treats c as if it were infinite speed.

    299,792,458 m/s = ∞ m/s

    Teach the controversy. We report; you decide.

  92. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Cosmic background radiation is not evidence for the big bang.

    Special relativity is science fraud.

    Citation to the peer reviewed scientific literature needed. Only more science, not mere religious belief, refutes science. Your opinion will never be scientific evidence. It is dismissed without evidence.

    Think of the first bit of media hype in 1919 where Einsteins science fraud first started to be locked in.

    I hope you never, ever, use GPS. A special relativity correction factor is present in ALL satellite clocks. Why? They go out of sync if they don’t have that correction factor, for both special and general relativity. You lose loser….

  93. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Completely wrong. A correction is needed for clocks operating under different conditions. Its all a lie that it is to do with time dilation. Just more propaganda.

    Unevidenced assertion, dismissed without evidence, like all lies and bullshit. Even Wiki acknowledges the relativity correction factors, and cites the evidence for them in the footnotes. Unlike YOU.

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still waiting for one peer reviewed scientific literature reference refuting any relativity….

  95. consciousness razor says

    You see what is going on here?

    Sure, geometry is voodoo. And that’s why you failed it in high school.

  96. chigau (違う) says

    antifaith
    Are you arguing for something or are you just really, really scared of The Jews.

  97. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    I’d say the decision to flush or keep should be flexible. For instance antifaith here is immensely amusing* and I’d vote for keeping those comments, or I would have until they started in on the racism. Now I’d say flush them.

    *I was literally eating popcorn as I read them. Life is good.

  98. chigau (違う) says

    antifaith# 120
    “aether”
    You need a better hobby.
    Your trolling is become pitiful.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, still no peer reviewed scientific evidence, so totally dismissed as fuckwittery. I suspect it is our bigot from earlier today. Can’t think its way out of a wet paper bag with a map, a book of clues, and a gps which it turned off the relativistic corrections on…..

  100. Al Dente says

    Just another common or garden antisemite here.

    What am I bet that antifaith will tell me that semites include other groups besides Jews and therefore antisemitism is not hatred of Jews?

  101. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    So its not okay to talk about Jewish racism?

    Of course it is, but you haven’t been doing that. All you’ve been doing is dismissing the findings of a Jewish scientist because he was Jewish. Ad hominem in its most blatant form.

  102. chigau (違う) says

    antifaith #125

    I don’t know who they are.

    How do you function?
    THEY™ are out to get you?
    Are you safe in your own home?

  103. says

    I thought reality had a well-known liberal bias. Apparently, I was mistaken; it’s actually a Jewish bias. The more you know…

    The troll is not funny anymore, just depressing. Bored now.

  104. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How do you function?
    THEY™ are out to get you?
    Are you safe in your own home?

    Obviously xe needs the Pullet Patrol™ patented (in Harry Potter magic land) pseudo tin foil helmet, guaranteed to block all rays and detection devices from the Elders of Zion, the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, the Trilateral Commission, and the UN…..Operators standing by, have your credit card ready…..

  105. ck says

    Now, while I suggested keeping the trolls in the original post, I can’t say I’d suggest the same thing for earthonly/antifaith/whatever-is-next. Racism, sexism, or abuse would seem like things that should definitely get your posts all scrubbed.

  106. zenlike says

    antifaith: weird piece of performance art, or someone who is trying to make the case that yes, troll comments should be flushed because they add nothing to any discussion (except racism of course).

  107. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    He was a plagiarist and a fraud.

    Hmmm, if he was a plagiarist then for his finding to be fraudulent the person he was plagiarising must have been the actual fraud. Thinking antifaith, you’re not doing it right.

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, conspiracy theorist are so boring….they all say the same things, not an original thought since Notradamas….

  109. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    The Soviet Union was the second-most anti-Jewish government in history after Nazi Germany. Your neo-Nazi sources have sold you a bill of goods. Try reading actual history.

  110. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But Nerd, dontchanow that Nostradamus was part of the conspiracy! Eleventy!

    And here I thought the History Channel was real…*snicker*

  111. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    antifaith, you need help. Your ranting belongs in a clinical setting, not online. I hope you get help. And I hope you do not own guns.

  112. gog says

    I’m really bored of earthonly/antifaith. It’s not even creative trolling, it’s just a bunch of “Protocols of the Learned Elders” conspiracy theories. Dump the shit, while you’re at it. Don’t give the sockpuppet users the joy of seeing their lunatic ramblings responded to by the fashionably-late-to-the-party.

  113. Rob Grigjanis says

    @antifaith: ‘Hypothetical Muons’ is a great band name.

    Macro-evidence for Jew-science is right here, asshole.

    Citations for your alternate non-Jew theories are welcomed.

  114. nich says

    Rob Grigjanis@145:

    Citations for your alternate non-Jew theories are welcomed.

    I think antifaith would consider traditional evidence for something to be actual evidence AGAINST something. The more scientists agree, the more the fix is in. Peer review is just more evidence for Teh Conspiracy!

  115. says

    My favourite recent example of putting General Relativity to the test – testing that six specific parameters agree with values predicted by the theory – is the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039A and B, located a couple of thousand light years away in Puppis. It’s the only known pair of co-orbiting neutron stars which are both pulsars, allowing precise timing of pulsar A for almost all of its orbit, and enough of pulsar B’s signals to reconstruct its motions to the exact point of co-rotation.

    General relativity survives gruelling pulsar test [CSIRO]

    Needless to say, GR came through with flying colours. Eat shit, troll.

  116. Rob Grigjanis says

    @antifaith This isn’t complicated, sunshine. Just give us your alternate theory explaining the perihelion precession of Mercury. If you can do better than the Jew, you may have a point. If not, you’re just another sad loser. Focus. Perihelion precession of Mercury. Theory. Explain.

  117. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Ad hominem, it’s not just a breakfast cereal, it’s world view that makes everything easy. Why just yesterday I was considering between two brands of shoes. A little research showed that one company might have a Jewish CEO: decision made!!!!111!!

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There is no evidence for space changing shape

    Yet you don’t supply a peer reviewed scientific paper showing that, only your mere paranoid view….

  119. nich says

    I’d think the guy was that Mabus fella, but his spelling leads me to believe he is from the UK. I’m pretty sure Canadians spell “criticising” the way we do down here in ‘Murrica. Which is to say the right way.

    RUNS!

  120. chigau (違う) says

    antifaith
    What do you think about Reptilians?
    What do you think about Masons?
    (thanks FossilFishy)

  121. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Un-evidenced assertion as argument: its not just a C-beam off the Tannhauser Gate, it’s a strategy that makes life easy. Why just yesterday I wanted to convince my child that there were no monsters in her closet. I yelled at her from the lounge room: “Of course there are no monsters in you closet. Sheesh.” and saved myself all the trouble of walking to her room, not to mention the difficulty of opening the closet door.

  122. nich says

    Yet you don’t supply a peer reviewed scientific paper showing that, only your mere paranoid view….

    “PEER reviewed joo voodoo is still JOO VOODOO!!!!@@!21!”

  123. ck says

    @160,

    You’ll find that Canadians spell ‘criticising’ either way. The American variant is a little more popular, but both forms are present.

  124. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    “Ad hominem, it’s not just a breakfast cereal, it’s world view that makes everything easy. ”

    Bravo. Absolutely. Our science mafia uses ad hominem and the cult of personality in order to control our beliefs. I prefer to use insults and logic to point out where the mainstream is wrong.

    [looks down at the smoking ruin of his irony meter]

    Hey! That was a gift from my late mother, you monster!

  125. Rob Grigjanis says

    @antifaith The Jew Einstein gave us testable numbers. They’ve been verified. Give us testable numbers or shut the fuck up. You got nothing, cupcake.

  126. nich says

    antifaith sez:

    Well you like to be open-minded.

    You combine close-minded racism with a mind so open to every whacked out conspiracy theory that your brain is practically oozing from your skull. I think the most accurate term is sieve-minded.

  127. Rey Fox says

    Wow. Growing Earth and luminiferous aether. We got a live one here.

    I went to a Jewish kids birthday party one time

    I’m pretty sure this was a violation of your parole.

  128. psanity says

    Well, I wasn’t going to comment, because I was so ambivalent about vanishing posts, but circumstances have concentrated my thinking a bit.

    Slyme should be cratered. Ordinary trolls should have their droppings left as evidence. But sockpuppets should be oblivionated. They just want to see their drooling fanaticism publicly posted. They will go to any lengths to keep it up. Their gratification should be removed, even at the cost of hashing up the comment numbers. Any educational value they may have is no loss, because somebody else will be around with the same stupid arguments within, at most, a few weeks. There are plenty of chances to demonstrate troll-fighting prowess to the learners and lurkers.

    I really hate comment numbers to get screwed up, for obvious reasons, but until Jason or somebody can come up with a tool for batch disemvoweling or bunnification or something, I’m willing to cope.

  129. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    nich and Rey Fox No fair stealing from chigau’s shovel pile like that!

  130. psanity says

    Besides, maybe if the trolls can’t just sockpuppet the same old persistent drivel without getting erased, maybe, far-fetched, but maybe, they’ll improve their game a bit.

    Q. Can a change in environmental conditions cause trolls to evolve differently adaptive behavior? If they’re creationists, will this make their heads asplode in an entertaining manner?

    I know, I know. Wishful thinking. Rainbows and ponies.

  131. chigau (違う) says

    antifaith
    Are you arguing for something?
    Do you feel like making a statement?

  132. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    So, what are the odds that antifaith is a sockpuppet of earthonly?

    299,792,458 to 1 in favour. Mind you, that’s only true in the vacuum of antifaith’s head.

  133. says

    “@antifaith So you can’t explain the observed precession?” Only to the extent that a single formula cannot substitute for a mechanism. We don’t have a rational mainstream mechanism for gravity. The covert ops people may have one. But anyone attempting to formulate a mechanism for gravity can never go mainstream and complete the work.
    So how much of the sun is solid and how much is gas? Comets normalise their orbits, pull in their entourage and become either moons or planets when they are captured. Moons grow to rocky planets. Rocky planets to gas giants. Gas giants to stars. Along the way many of these will explode and there we have an endless cycle that has presumably gone on for a trillion to the power of a trillion years.
    If we had a mechanism for gravity and we had the makeup of the sun then we could explain Mercuries movement a lot better. But there is no mystery to it in that we would not have expected the one formula to carry the entirety of gravitational observations within it.
    Now it is said by stupid people that spectroscopy shows us that the sun is mostly hydrogen. This is idiocy since the outer ionosphere of any large body is going to be mostly hyrdrogen. By mass we would expect the sun to be mostly iron. Since iron is held to be the most stable of all atoms then in the universe around us we would expect most of the mass to be iron. If there is more hydrogen by mass then iron that will be just a result of protons breaking away from all other matter.
    So you see the formula just won’t do. And a mechanism to fully predict how Mercury ought to be moving awaits an understanding of the make-up of the sun and not just where its centre-point is. The photosphere is akin to the suns outer-atmosphere. Got nothing to do with its solid or molten “planetary” surface.

    Preserving this comment so that this rather sublime example of idiocy will be saved when PZ gets around to deleting all of this troll’s ravings.

    How many things have you got wrong in such a small space? We do have a rational, if still incomplete, mechanism for gravity: have a read about the Higgs field mechanism. And there’s plenty of people working on theoretical extensions there. Sorry, did you say covert ops? LOLocopter.
    Astronomically, your ravings are a mess. You’ve gotten a twisted idea of the development of solar system bodies probably from reading too much Velikovsky. You’ve obviously no idea about the composition of the sun, or any other solar system bodies. You’ve regurgitated some half-digested ideas about iron being the most stable nuclei without understanding that in terms of the nuclear fusion of elements iron is at the end-cycle of a star’s energy generation, when all of the lighter elements have been consumed; or similarly mangled and warped ideas about using spectroscopy that can only reveal information about a body’s surface. Even then, you’ve got no idea about the terminology: you don’t even know the difference between the photosphere and the chromosphere, for example. And you certainly don’t have the maths to be able to cope with the rather easier cases of Newtonian and Keplerian orbital analysis, let alone the tensor math to be able to deal with the well-known effects of GR such as the orbit of Mercury. Ten to the twelve raised to the power of ten to the twelve years? LOLagoogle.

    In short, your science is nothing more than a cargo cult of stolen items you don’t know the meaning of, and the demonstration of your intellectual capabilities indicate you are nothing more than a ranting crank. Do have a fun time with that.

  134. chigau (違う) says

    just so you know
    <blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>
    does this

    paste copied text here

  135. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    antifaith:

    I am arguing for science based on evidence.

    And yet you present no evidence.

    Why, it’s almost like you haven’t any. Strange that, given how strongly repetitively you’re asserting your claims.

  136. Al Dente says

    I am arguing for science based on evidence.

    No you’re not. You’re spouting antisemitism and displaying your ignorance of actual science.

  137. nich says

    Magnets. Yeah. Still a bit of a mystery via the incompetence of twentieth century science.

    My buddy, who wishes to remain anonymous, has it on good authority that magnets are powered by Magnetons, an ancient race of tiny beings enslaved by Joos and forced to live inside magnets where the Joos have trained them to push toward metal whenever the Magnetons are in its presence so that the Joos can find precious, precious metals within the earth!!!! Those magnets on your fridge? Basically a tiny fucking Holocaust in your kitchen.

  138. ck says

    antifaith wrote:

    Its important never to be ashamed of pointing out the disproportionate level of Jewish wrong-doing. Its as if it were a social faux pas to point out pedophilia within the Catholic hierarchy.

    You seem to have missed the circumcision thread. Or the threads about child sexual abuse within Hasidic sects. Or some of the topics that have documented the cruelty of the Israeli military. Yeah, there isn’t a social faux pas against criticising Jewish people for things that they have actually done that are wrong. There is, however, one against being anti-semitic or a neonazi.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am arguing for science based on evidence. PZ is in favour of dogmatism based on faith. S

    Yet PZ has hundreds/thousands of peer reviewed scientific papers at his use, You have ZERO. Which, to this scientist, says all about your lack of honesty, integrity, and science….

  140. says

    I love the inanity of this idea that ‘mainstream science’ is somehow voodoo and separate from whatever crank magnetism ‘alternate science’ that antifaith subscribes to. Obviously I’m a stupid woman (sheesh, can’t you do any better than that?) and a shill for Big Astro, spruikin’ untruths for the radio telescopes. What I want to know is if that’s the case, where’s my megabucks?

    PS, just like ‘alternative medicine’, ‘alternative science’ is worthless. If it actually worked, then we’d call it… science.

  141. ck says

    The things I have said are so obvious that they don’t require government funding.

    And this is why you fail science. It’s obvious that heavier objects fall faster than light ones, but it’s also completely fucking wrong. It’s obvious that the sun goes around the earth, and also completely fucking wrong. It’s obvious that matter is completely solid, but also completely fucking wrong. We have science and the methodology behind it because our intuition is easily deceived, so we need to test even what seems obvious.

  142. ck says

    Oh, and it’s also obvious that the earth doesn’t move through space, but that’s also completely fucking wrong.

  143. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Paper submission instruction for Science and Nature. Until a paper is published in the peer reviewed scientific literature, it doesn’t exist….

    Not like all this other science fraud you believe in through faith alone.

    And your fuckwitted EVIDENCE is WHERE????

  144. Rob Grigjanis says

    Give us testable numbers or shut the fuck up

    Is there something about this sentence you don’t understand, antifaith? It’s simple English. The best theory wins, regardless of origin. Put up or shut up.

  145. chigau (違う) says

    antifaith
    <blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>

    paste copied text here

    A baboon could do it.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I understand this completely. Its just a faith-based idiot making demands. No mystery there.

    You expect us to take your word on FAITH. I am skeptical therefore, of everything you say. Your attitude is typical of liars and bullshitters, not those with real scientific evidence, which is POINTED TO, with a nice link, like Evolution: Lenski 1, Lenski 2, Schneider.

  147. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The fact is all my claims made here are true and there really is no getting around them.

    And your EVIDENCE is where? Not in your words, which are dismissed without evidence….

  148. Rob Grigjanis says

    The fact is all my claims made here are true and there really is no getting around them.

    Use your claims to explain the perihelion precession of Mercury and the decay of muons, and you’ll probably have a captive audience. Until then, you’re just another clown. Keep dancing, clown. We’ll keep on laughing.

  149. ck says

    Okay, antifaith, I’ll bite. If relativity is a dirty “Jew Lie”, why do GPSes work, when they are pretty much entirely based on the concepts of relativity?

  150. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Did the sheeple laugh at you at the academy antifaith?

  151. moabite says

    Thanks. Unmoderated comment sections too easily turn into a waste of time. I was about to complain. antifaith had 37 posts in about 150 minutes. I couldn’t read them so I just counted them.

  152. chigau (違う) says

    dammit
    I wanted to teach them blockquote-ing.

    Oh, well.
    That’s what this thread was for.

    When they return, will they blockquote?

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As far as trolls go, he isn’t worth the effort.

    SIWOTI is strong in these parts. GB has trolled us before. With similar results….

  154. zetopan says

    Here’s a suggestion. One of the websites that frequent has come up with a rating system that allows the viewers to up or down vote each entry (I don’t consider that to be the most important part though). When a sufficient number of down votes occur (and this would be equivalent to your ban hammer) that posting gets “compressed” so that it becomes necessary to click on a “show text” in order to view it. This will greatly reduce the clutter when scrolling through the comments, and it allows those who want to read the idiot posting to do so on an entry by entry basis.

    In short, if possible, your flushing the toilet could tag each entry with a hide posting text (compression), inserting a “click to view text” message so that viewers can elect to skip of expand idiot postings as each prefers. If it isn’t clear, the moron post shows up as an entry from that poster, only the content of the text is “hidden” requiring a “click to view”. This maintains the original posting sequence of all posts.

  155. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Since this thread was a topic of, “what to do about trolls?”, I have to accept as a delusion, that “antifaith” was somebody honestly mimicking a troll (performance art) to provide a graphic example of the subject under discussion. Reading this long thread with very many references to that sockpuppet’s gibberish; it was very confusing, especially with several referring to comment numbers higher than the comment itself (apparently pointing at a future comment). That’s why I think this was just a performance art; as it reinforced my argument for disemvoweling instead of deletion.
    But that’s just my “opinion”, ;-(
    PZ’s blog, PZ can do what he wants. :-|

  156. says

    I have just tested a search and replace option in small-scale on one of my test installs, and it worked and should scale, even for Pharyngula.

    It involves a Search and Replace plugin which allows one to change the comment-author-email field (there’s only one I’ve found which does so, even though the WordPress repositoty says it hasn’t been updated for a year and is not tested with the current WordPress version, it worked fine on my recently updated test install). I changed the comment-author-email field to one that a friend created years ago to be associated with a Mark Of Teh Troll gravatar.

    If you’re interested PZ, I’ll share the details with you for cases like the 600+ sockpuppeteer.

  157. chigau (違う) says

    tigtog #190
    You should send PZ a direct email.
    There is a link on the sidebar, right under his photo.
    be specific in the subject bar

  158. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Re my #180

    Three minutes late. Damn you customers, trying to provide me with an income!… grumble, grumble, grumble….

  159. says

    Careful earthonly/antifaith, I think the new padding on your rubber room is actually a secret zion government slime mold, which is designed to eat your brain, so they can replace it with a voodoo computer!

    What the F does this idiot even think voodoo means? Because… I don’t get it. The people that talk about alien mind control devices use their terms with more coherency than this guy does with that one word…

    This isn’t entertaining at all, its more like watching a mental patient try to eat the walls, while dressed like batman, and screaming that the spiders are coming for him, or something. Its not a freak show, its a complete meltdown.

  160. says

    Huh, sorry, running down these through email, so.. had no idea the nut had already been cracked, found to be rotten, and ejected into the furnace level.

  161. sebloom says

    Delurking to vote…

    I learn from responses too harmless trolls. Keep them.

    Not so from abusive trolls. Trash antifaith and his ilk.

  162. zenlike says

    Someone ate my comment. Anyway, Graeme Bird has mentioned this on his blog, and has a copy of his posts, for anyone who is interested in reading the writings of a terminal victim of Dunning-Kruger. Google is your friend (the link probably triggered the spamtrap).

  163. says

    He has a wordpress blog with an unimaginative domain name, graemebird

    Comment on the current post (on some other topic)

    graemebird on April 12, 2014 at 3:49 am
    Yeah I kicked ass again. Actually better than before. But this time he wiped all traces since he had no chance debating me.

    The Dunning-Kruger effect, is there a greater exponent?

  164. says

    #196 Xanthë:
    Of course those of us who’ve been around the #auspol-osphere for a few years are all too familiar with the Bird, and I suspect it’s his almost universal banhammering from #auspol sites (even The Cat, FFS) that has led to him targeting websites further afield. I guess if he’d won that by-election he’d be otherwise occupied in Parliament, but that seems to high a price to pay, don’t you agree?

  165. says

    Adding plug-ins currently isn’t an option — we’re very close to releasing a brand new fancy facelift, with a new and much more useful main page, so there’s a lot of behind the scenes construction work going on. It would be a bad idea for me to go to the company we hired to put it in place and tell them “oh, yeah, one more thing” at this late date.

  166. says

    The suggested plugin is purely an admin plugin, so almost certainly won’t affect the fancy facelift, but I grok you.

  167. vaiyt says

    If I’m not too late, I say flush them. They already had their chance; any further engaging with already banned people is just going to take valuable time and space in the discussion.

    I’m still surprised that Kroos and Tomas are the same person. I guess there just aren’t that many obtuse glibertarians around after all.

  168. says

    I’m in two minds. Overly persistent trolls are of course crapulent, but seeing a clueless Christian nitwit (and the ensuing responses) around here is almost refreshing, considering the recent skepbro plagues. It’s like old times.

  169. twincats says

    Very infrequent commenter here; I don’t care either way since the choicest trollery usually gets blockquoted in replies and/or I can figure out that repetitive troll is repetitive and scroll past. Stuff that is triggering and hurtful is ripe for destruction, though.

    That being said, I also think that the various theories about who trolls and why are pretty much useless. I’ve read a fair few reeeeealllly long threads (including all of elevatorgate) and it seems that any given troll has its own reason(s) for trolling and trying to ascribe causes, effects, and specific remedies are a waste of time. Whatever policy is ultimately decided upon won’t be able to address every form of trollery so, it is what it is.

  170. chigau (違う) says

    haterofstupidity
    I’m sure that Jesus would not approve of you commenting while you are drunk.

  171. chigau (違う) says

    What’s an ‘idiot mate’?
    And why do wait until you are drunk before commenting here?

  172. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    For any lurkers bemused by the existence of such stupidity in a person obviously able to read and write:

    Gravity of course does not propagate instantaneously; it travels at the speed of light. If the sun were to suddenly disappear, we wouldn’t notice it for over 8 minutes. Newtonian theory calculates orbits on the basis of instantaneous gravity—in the weak-gravity slow-motion regime of our Solar System, this is the main reason General Relativity makes slightly different predictions. The only place where it makes enough of a difference to easily measure is the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, and: Ta da! General Relativity is precisely correct. Secondarily, since GR assumes light-speed gravitation, its exact confirmation also confirms that.

    As Xanthë pointed out at #158, the binary pulsar observed for the last 40 years by Hulse and Taylor has a very close, eccentric orbit, making its decay easily measurable by our radio telescopes. General Relativity predicts the amount of energy lost through gravitational radiation, and therefore the exact decay rate of the orbit. Ta da! again: GR’s prediction has been confirmed to 14 significant figures—the most precise prediction in science. Take that, Quantum Electrodynamics! 11 significant figures—pathetic!

    Of course, QED don’t need no stinking ether, either. (Ha ha!) Do I need to go on to highlight Graeme Bird’s abysmal ignorance? It’s really tragic that in the 21st Century, primitive minds like his are still around, holding us down.

    Of course, when he laid that “Hitler was a Jew” turd in our punchbowl yesterday, I realized that this was a level of pathology I’m not qualified to deal with….

  173. chigau (違う) says

    haterofstupidity
    There is not much point in engaging with you, since all of your comments will be deleted in a few hours.
    However, if you were sober, you could not have … created this sentence

    Everyone who will hold science accountable to logic knows that there must be an aether.

  174. chigau (違う) says

    To repeat
    <blockquote>paste copied text here</blockquote>
    causes this

    paste copied text here

    That’s not too difficult for you is it, haterofstupidity?
    What with the drink?

  175. says

    Graeme, your old rants about fractional reserve banking at the Cat were more entertaining. I give this hobbyhorse a 1 out of 10.

  176. chigau (違う) says

    What’s an ‘argument idiot’?
    Do you even remember doing this when you sober-up?
    Or is it new for you every day?

  177. chigau (違う) says

    Graeme
    Is HTML a jewish conspiracy?
    Is that why you don’t use <blockquote>?

  178. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Special relativity never predicted anything worthwhile and has been refuted many times.

    Special Relativity predicts the exact increase of mass as particles are accelerated in the Large Hadron Collider. Cyclotrons ran up against Special Relativity and became no longer usable in about 1942, but using SR, we can calculate exactly how much energy needs to be added at each pass, and can see it go into increasing the mass of the particles—they can’t move any faster: They’re already a whisker from the speed of light.

    Gravity travels at the speed of light: This is an observed fact. Newtonian mechanics assumes instantaneous gravitation and therefore makes incorrect predictions. GR assumes light-speed gravitation and makes correct predictions.

    There is nothing “circular” about the prediction of the loss of energy by the binary pulsar in the form of gravitational radiation. It confirms GR to 14 significant figures—deal with it.

  179. screechymonkey says

    Gangsters of science. That is what you are.

    True, but we prefer to pronounce it “Gangstas.”

    Original Gangstas represent!

  180. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    What in the everlasting fuck doe “orbits unraveling” mean, anyway?

  181. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    If I can grasp the place of stupidity that this “mass is not conserved or why is there mass?” comes from:

    Mass/energy is conserved. To say that it’s not is to say that time doesn’t flow homogeneously (Noether’s Theorem, remember: To say that momentum is conserved and to say that space is homogeneous is to say the same thing. To say that angular momentum is conserved and to say that space is isotropic is to say the same thing. To say that mass/energy is conserved and to say that time is homogeneous is to say the same thing. Every conserved quantity reveals a symmetry and vice-versa.)

    The mass/energy content of the universe is probably exactly zero. Remember, gravity is always attractive and so it’s energy contribution is negative. Add up all the mass and energy in the universe and it adds up to zero. Always has, always will.

  182. Amphiox says

    What in the everlasting fuck doe “orbits unraveling” mean, anyway?

    It means the current incarnation of this troll is suffering from a lot of self hatred.

    Tragic, really.

    Tomorrow his vomitus shall vanish like spooky action at a distance, while the correct predictions of Relativity, of course, shall remain.

  183. says

    You tell me an I’ll let you know when you are getting warm. Because if you don’t get that you ought not be commenting on a science blog.

    The classic reply of a charlatan. You are proposing this concept, you need to define this. If you cannot then don’t complain when people do not listen to you. Put up, or shut up.

  184. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Why in the fuckety-fuck do you think particles get harder to accelerate as they move faster? It’s called “inertia”—yet another word for “mass”. Why does inertia increase at the exact rate called for by Special Relativity? In your own words—I’ll wait.

  185. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Propeller-driven planes—WTF? So what’s your equivalent of air resistance that’s preventing the particles from reaching the speed of light?

  186. says

    I don’t need to defend the obvious you fucking moron. I don’t need to defend what you already agree with? What are you disputing? Are you claiming that our orbits ARE INDEED UNRAVELLING? What is your claim you loser?

    I did not make a claim, at least not one related to your ideas. Why ever did you think that I did? Even if I did, you are responsible for defending your ideas. You are the one that made the claim and were asked about it. You were asked what the term meant, you were not even asked to defend it in that case. When you make use of a new term, you should define what you mean. At least supply some sort of mathematical description to describe what an unravelling orbit is and demonstrate that this would happen if gravity did not propagate instantaneously. That would be quite helpful and unambiguous. It is not enough to simply state this is the case, so do the work and demonstrate your ideas are correct.

  187. chigau (違う) says

    There are actual sciency words you can use when discussing planetary orbits.
    You don’t need to use knitting terminology.

  188. Rob Grigjanis says

    @222:

    The orbit of Mercury was understood well before Einstein.

    You’ll have a citation for that, then?

  189. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Explain exactly what difference it makes whether the gravitons that are reaching the Earth from the Sun left an unmeasurable instant ago or 8 minutes ago. As long as the flux is the same, why would our orbit “unravel” in the latter case, but not the former? I’m afraid we’re going to need more than hand-waving, because the light-speed propagation of gravity is an observed fact.

  190. says

    You won’t defend yours

    I have not made any statements about my ideas because they are irrelevant to you explaining yours. Even if I believed that the universe was completely filled with cheese it would not impact the veracity of your ideas. You have been asked to define what you mean by “orbits unravelling” and have not done so. This is not a standard term in physics, it is not clear what you mean by this term because you alone use it. Please define what this term means, and demonstrate that orbits would do this without instantaneous propagation of gravity.

  191. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    After the perturbations of all the other planets were accounted for, there was a residual precession of the perihelion of Mercury of 43 arc-seconds/century. Telescopes told us that. They certainly did not help us “understand” that. Newtonian theory was helpless to explain it without inframercurian planets (Vulcan) or oblateness of the sun that doesn’t exist. General relativity came along and made a slightly different prediction for the precession—exactly 43′/century greater! “Telescopes” would never have helped us “understand” that without a new theory of gravity. A theory now confirmed to enormous precision.

  192. says

    Let us put your ideas up against my ideas and see if you can defend them with the vigour and logic that I defend my own.

    If you want to test your ideas then please make some specific, testable predictions. How would your theory affect the fine structure constant? This value is known to extremely high precision. If your theory predicts some deviation in this value it would be quite interesting.

  193. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    You haven’t come up with evidence for gravity propagating at the speed of light in the first place. So its you who is waving his hands about.

    Newtonian mechanics assumes instantaneous propagation of gravity and makes incorrect predictions. General Relativity assumes light-speed propagation of gravity and makes correct predictions. What the Hell more evidence do you need?

    And your “angle they left” is completely meaningless. Are you having a stroke?

  194. Rob Grigjanis says

    @257: I know that telescopes predated the work of Le Verrier, who tried, and failed, to explain the precession. If you have an alternative to GR, show your work. If your ‘theory’ has no testable predictions, you have nothing.

  195. says

    They are not irrelevant to you setting me homework. Now I am defending my ideas. You tell me what PRECISELY are you disputing.

    Once again, please define your terms and demonstrate this specific claim. It is simply not enough for you to make a statement without doing this. You have claimed that gravity propagates instantaneously and that if this is not the case orbits would unravel. You have not defined what you mean by “unravelling” and it is your job to explain this. This term is not a standard term in physics and you have to define what you mean. You must also demonstrate that “unravelling” would occur unless gravity propagates instantaneously. If you can derive this result it would be wonderful. This is not assigning you trivial homework, this is the basic minimum work you must do when you make any sort of claim. You must rigorously demonstrate this follows from your ideas.

  196. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    That is simply historically wrong. Special relativity IGNORES incorrect predictions. And then makes jive up to explain its incorrect predictions. Take those 1970′s satellites just for example. The invention of dark matter and dark energy is another. So now you are not describing this religion properly. This religion made no verifiable predictions but it simply jiggered itself into the data that was already available at the time.

    WTH “70′s satellites” are you talking about? Dark matter is there, all right. We can map it using gravitational lensing of more distant galaxies—another prediction of General Relativity, which Einstein thought could never be observed. Fortunately he was wrong.

    And we know the mass distribution inside the sun. We know a lot more about the interior of the Sun than we do about the interior of the Earth. We sure as Hell know there’s no “rocky core”—Jeebus MacCree, you’re an idiot!

  197. says

    Once again tell me what it is precisely you are disputing? Travis if you cannot do that I have to assume that you have fallen for some sort of idiotic epistemology of Popperian origin. It is like you want to compete with me in Tennis and you insist on me placing my net very high, and you don’t have to use the same net.

    You made this claim, please support it. If I made a claim such as this, I would expect that others would require that I demonstrate it was the case. I would demonstrate that it follows that if gravity does not propagate instantaneously orbits will unravel. This is not a separate net, it is the same one. You should be able to show, and must already have done this if you make the claim, that this is the case.

  198. Rob Grigjanis says

    @266:

    The matter must be resolved with finding out the atmosphere of the sun, and its rocky “inner planet” as it were.

    WTF? The structure of the sun’s interior does affect the precession, chiefly through the gravitational quadrupole moment. This has been understood for some time (see here), and is still far too small to explain the anomaly. Where do you get your information from?

  199. says

    Maybe I could help you out Travis? Maybe gravity is a stronger force then we always thought it was.
    And that this extra strength makes up exactly for the time delay due to its (mythical) light speed propagation.

    If gravity is a stronger force than we expect, this would have effects elsewhere. This would have effects on stellar formation, it would have effects on the formation of galaxies. You should be able to make some unique predictions if you propose this.

  200. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    So no cites of these “70′s satellites”? Shocker. There’s an “’00′s satellite” however, that confirmed frame-dragging, the gravitational equivalent of magnetism—again, exactly as predicted by General Relativity.

    We know the composition of the Sun, but that doesn’t matter, because matter is matter (is energy) as far as gravitation is concerned. We know the reactions that are going on in the Sun, we know the reactions that will take over when the hydrogen runs out, when the helium runs out, etc., etc. We know what elements will be produced and in what proportions, how they will mix with the solar atmosphere, how they will enrich the interstellar medium when the Sun leaves the Main Sequence. We understand the creation of elements past iron in supernovae, the proportions in which they are produced, and guess what? It matches the distribution of elements in the Galaxy!

    We know so, so many things that you have no conception of. Your ignorance is truly pathetic—not in itself, a lot of people don’t know much, but because it’s willful. You’re absolutely determined NOT to know anything about anything and make up your own meaningless drivel instead. It’s tragic, really.

    Well, I’m done with you for the night. I’ve got things to do.

  201. Rob Grigjanis says

    @280: Wow. You’ve never heard of helioseismology? And not one citation to support your nonsense.

    quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur

  202. says

    Travis what are you disputing…. So for the most part I’ve only relied on facts that are not open to disputation.

    You are confused, I am not necessarily disputing anything. You have, however, made a claim that is not obvious and a claim that you should be able to demonstrate. Your claim about orbits unravelling is not a common one. I have been unable to find any literature or websites discussing this idea. As I said before, unravelling is not a common term used by physicists, so it is unclear what you mean by this. It is not a wild goose chase, it is a basic statement that you made, and one that should be quite easy for you to expand upon.

    Today I only wanted to concentrate on where the science mafia had been busted as full of shit outright

    You are not the leader of this conversation. You may have wanted to discuss this, but other points have come up in the mean time.

  203. says

    If you are not disputing anything you are wasting my time. Because the logic of the facts that we should agree on support my conclusions directly.

    But you have no used any logic to come to this conclusion, you have simply stated it as a given. As it is so simple I expect you should be able to demonstrate this quite quickly. As I said before, this result does not appear to be commonly known, so it appears that it is not nearly as intuitive as you think. If you were writing a paper, or talking to someone about your ideas, you would be expected to demonstrate the claim was true. Here, this LaTeX editor should help you: http://www.codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php

    I am sure it will not take long for you to demonstrate your conclusion follows from follows from the premise.

  204. says

    Look I want to help you Travis because you are just a child. You are an undergraduate living in Carelton right. I lived there too. And I’d catch the tram along Swantson or Swanson street. You need to examine your rules of debate.

    You cannot even be creepy correctly. I do not live in Carleton, Carleton is a university in Ottawa, ON. Nor am I an undergraduate, I already have degrees in physics and computer science.

    What I am asking of you is the most basic work a person would have to do if they were coming up with original ideas in physics. To convince other physicists you have to demonstrate what you say actually follows. You should be able to do this. As I have said over and over, you have not demonstrated anything, you have not even made a logical argument on this point, you have simply stated it as fact.

  205. Owlmirror says

    Jesus was a fictional character invented by Titus and Vespasian.

    You never read of a conspiracy you didn’t like, I guess.

    When the Jews rejected Christianity they rejected the Logos. The Greek concept of an ordered universe with natural laws and logic and reason. In beginning was the Logos. See the book of John.

    When the Jews rejected the religion of the fictional character invented by Roman Emperors, they rejected the Greek concept of an ordered universe with natural laws and logic and reason?

    Because the Roman Emperors were secrectly Greek, and an ordered universe with natural laws and logic and reason is fictional?

  206. Lofty says

    selfhating troll

    This is what the Jew and Oligarchical dictatorship does to science.

    Science does not depend on the ethnicity of the people doing the science. Science deals with observed data. You deal in conspiracy theories. Your deluded posts put you straight into the class of pseudoscientific crackpots. I assume you got your “facts” from your fundamental orifice as most other crackpots do.

  207. Owlmirror says

    No, wait — Titus and Vespasian were secretly Jews! So they invented a fictional Jewish character who was the anointed son of the line of a Jewish king but also the Greek concept of an ordered universe with natural laws and logic and reason… and tried to convince people to believe this because… of… something to do with the aether and unraveling orbits?

  208. Arawhon, a Strawberry Margarita says

    Graeme Bird at 295 and 296

    You really dont understand how your antisemitic speech doesnt paint PZ as the bad person, do you? All this antisemitism is painting you as a nasty racist. Same with your homophobia, misogyny, and other assorted bigotries. PZ is the one coming out of this looking good, not you.

  209. Owlmirror says

    So… A fake Jew was created by secret Jews to convert real Jews to their fake Greek Judaism, leaving the Jews who didn’t convert to become fake, because of the aether?

    The 3 year preaching career of Jesus matches with the 3 year military campaign of Titus.

    Any fool can plainly see that 3=3.

    The events of both have a one to one matchup 70 years apart.

    I am sure that many will be surprised to learn that Titus walked on water, gave out free magic food, and was crucified and came back from the dead.

    I don’t originate ideas for the most part.

    Do tell.

  210. Owlmirror says

    The Jews are being used as our oppressors trip-wire. And the minute you show you may be feeling remorseful for over-simplifying matters then the shadows grow and the bigtime demonic confidence comes in. Its not a racial thing. Its a crime-gang thing. And we have to target the elite wing of this community until such time as they stop collaborating with oligarchical evil.

    Weren’t Roman emperors the elites of their community; part of the oligarchy, in fact?

    Aren’t you collaborating with them, in a manner of speaking, by promoting their fiction?

  211. Owlmirror says

    Its my duty to keep tripping this trip-wire. Even if the things I’m saying are only shorthand for what is really going on. Its Jews Jews Jews Jews Jews. Until we are no longer in fear about talking about our oppressors.

    Actually, you’ve almost convinced me that the optimal strategy is to convert to Judaism. I mean, if they’ve been so successful as you claim — corrupting science for 100 years, and so on — they are unbeatable. Completely unbeatable. So since we can’t beat them, we should join them.

    They probably won’t want you, but who would?

  212. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    The 3 year preaching career of Jesus matches with the 3 year military campaign of Titus.

    Half-life 3 confirmed.

  213. Arawhon, a Strawberry Margarita says

    What I get from your posts Graeme is that you are trying to rationalize a deep seated irrational fear of Jewish individuals, and desperately rationalizing it as a cabal of evil Jewish tyrants who use Science as their vehicle of oppression. All this rationalization is to hide a man who cant admit he is wrong about how the universe works. Doing so would mean having to confront how he isn’t as smart or as knowledgeable about the world as he thinks he is. What event(s) in your life made you so desperately afraid of modern science and jews?

  214. Owlmirror says

    And the Jews were the biggest threat to the Roman Empire that there was. Because they were so conpirational and cohesive.

    No doubt all those descriptions of the various 1st century Jewish factions — Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, etc, etc — were just fake propaganda put out by the cohesive conspiracy.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Gospels, being the remnants of that propaganda, along with the later works by Josephus, who was, uh, best buddies with Vespasian and Titus…

    So Titus and Vespasian came in and mercifully smashed these racist bigoted savages

    Why did Titus and Vespasian keep the propagandist around? Were they confused? Or did they want his advice on becoming better elite oligarchs?

    Why do the faked-up gospels include this propaganda?

  215. Snoof says

    Should a righteous man like you ask me I am singling them out its only the result of the fact that a tripwire has been set up and I don’t know if the oligarchs are Jews or not.

    You also don’t know if they’re Welsh or not.

    Or if they’re lactose-intolerant or not.

    Or lizards or not.

    So why don’t you call it a lactose-intolerant Welsh lizard conspiracy?

  216. Owlmirror says

    Get out of my country.

    It’s pretty clear that it’s the Jews’ country now, not yours.

    YOu don’t belong here.

    The Jews belong in the country that they own.

    You are vampires.

    Jews are forbidden to drink blood.

    Don’t come close to me because I will kick you in the shins with my steelcaps.

    I suspect that the Jews will twist your attacking Jews who come close to you into “assault and battery” and “hate crime”.

    This asshole needs to be taken out the back and shot.

    I’m sorry that you are suicidal. Maybe you can see a nice Jewish therapist and talk about your mother.

  217. Owlmirror says

    These are the remnant evidence of the desert hermits after the Romans destroyed all the history that they could get a hold of.

    According to you, the gospels were written by the Romans, not destroyed by them. And Josephus published with Roman approval.

    You are looking at a highly filtered version of what was going on

    And even with the filters, the Jews managed to get their propaganda out. Face it: they’re too clever for you.

  218. Owlmirror says

    It seems that way and I am glad to see you gloating and showing your teeth.

    But the Jews aren’t gloating. They’ve got you to gloat for them!

    Yes you have taken over. And yes you are very proud.

    According to you, anyway.

  219. Owlmirror says

    The empirical evidence says that Jews are a menace
    and that the Christians are innocent in this matter.

    But the Christians are just followers of fake imperial Roman Judaism.

    This proves that it was the Jews that were mostly the problem and not the Christian authorities.

    No, it proves that real Jews are better than fake imperial Roman Jews.

    Josephus himself, in this fairy tale, was a Jew adopted by the imperial household in adulthood.

    So you agree that the imperial household was Jewish?

  220. Snoof says

    This is between me and the boss.

    The Lactose-Intolerance Welsh Lizard Overlord? I hear he’s on Facebook.

  221. Owlmirror says

    Actually they are really stupid.

    It’s horribly stupid to say that they’re really stupid when you’ve just gloated that they’ve fooled everyone for thousands of years.

    But they are really cohesive and good at destroying people more clever then they are.

    That’s stupid. It’s impossible to destroy someone more clever than you are and stronger than you are.

    So they destroyed the Armenians, then the Germans, then the Japanese

    The Jews are so clever that they destroyed people and left so many of them alive that they don’t look destroyed?

    How does that work?

    and now they are deep-sixing the Americans.

    Do tell.

    Because maybe it is to late for us to save our girls from your genocidal instincts.

    Don’t be stupid. Tell your girls to be smarter than you are and to convert to Judaism. The real Judaism, not the fake imperial Roman one.

  222. Owlmirror says

    Now I look like I’ve been arguing with myself. Which is probably what I deserve.

    *sheepish*

  223. Al Dente says

    So Bird rejects basic physics and somehow it’s the Jews’ fault. Or something.

  224. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Now I look like I’ve been arguing with myself.

    Sure, but it was glorious while it lasted.

  225. dean says

    Lactose-Intolerance Welsh Lizard Overlord

    He was just in the piano lounge at a local casino. Great act.

  226. David Marjanović says

    *applauds Owlmirror*

    GR’s prediction has been confirmed to 14 significant figures—the most precise prediction in science. Take that, Quantum Electrodynamics! 11 significant figures—pathetic!

    I thought it was 17 for both?

    I mean, if they’ve been so successful as you claim — corrupting science for 100 years, and so on — they are unbeatable. Completely unbeatable. So since we can’t beat them, we should join them.

    There is in fact a neonazi somewhere out there who has called for an end to antisemitism because he’s so deeply impressed by what the Jews have survived…

  227. David Marjanović says

    Oh, on the topic: PZ, can you change a commenter’s name or avatar? Keeping in mind that name changes on FtB are retroactive, it would be awesome if troll comments were headed by the name “troll” and the trollface…

  228. says

    Lactose-Intolerance Welsh Lizard Overlord

    He was just in the piano lounge at a local casino. Great act.

    Those guys are the best, though I haven’t seen many of them around recently since a whole lot of them were in that Doctor Who series three or four years back. Maybe most of them are in hibernation.

  229. says

    David Marjanović,

    Oh, on the topic: PZ, can you change a commenter’s name or avatar? Keeping in mind that name changes on FtB are retroactive, it would be awesome if troll comments were headed by the name “troll” and the trollface…

    PZ is able to do this, but by default on WordPress this is limited to altering individual comments one at a time. tigtog at #187 mentioned a WordPress plugin that can be installed to add a batch action that can alter multiple comments at once; filters can select out a batch of comments by a troll quite nicely and then the batch command can alter their username and e-mail address, the latter alteration should change the comments’ displayed avatar. PZ answered at #200 to suggest he’s unwilling to add this plugin at the current time owing to other FTB changes taking priority over niceties to deal with trolls.

  230. says

    Owlmirror @264:

    Now I look like I’ve been arguing with myself. Which is probably what I deserve.

    I started reading this thread after the antisemitic troll was banned, so I didn’t get to see his comments. I figured out enough (thanks to various commenters quoting the asshole) to enjoy your responses to him though.

  231. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    DM @ #268:

    I thought it was 17 for both?

    You could be right about GR from the binary pulsar measurements—they’ve been following it for a few more years since I picked up the 14 figure.

    On QED, My understanding was that they spent the 1950s, ’60s, and part of the ’70s calculating the third terms of all those series expansions, and even with the computers we have now, no one can stand the thought of tackling the fourth terms—especially since there’s no immediate prospect of more precise measurements to compare them with. I’d love to be wrong, though…now I’ve got to look it up.

  232. Rob Grigjanis says

    TVRBoK @208:

    GR’s prediction has been confirmed to 14 significant figures

    I vaguely remember reading about the Hulse-Taylor binary, and thought it was 4 or 5 figures (observed/predicted for some parameter). Do you have a reference?

    I think QED is still around 10 for theoretical prediction of the electron’s anomalous magnetic moment.

  233. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I’m actually surprised, but I’ve learned something from Graeme Bird—oh, not form the antisemitic paranoia, that’s just disgusting—but he’s probably the most florid science denier I’ve ever encountered, at least that wasn’t coming from a religious perspective. I think I’ve discovered something about his “reasoning” process that might be applied to others.

    Several times he used terms like “circular reasoning” or “the fix was in”…I think what he meant by that is that when measurements coming from two different directions just happen to agree, and to conform to theory, when they could have been anything, most of us see this as a beautiful intermeshing of evidence that almost orgasmically comes together to agree with a theory that couldn’t have taken any of them into account, since it would be decades before such measurements could be carried out.

    What surprises and delights us with fresh evidence confirming theory he calls “circular reasoning”. In general, evidence agreeing with theory is circular—only “logical” arguments that he pulls out of his ass constitute evidence, and if reality disagrees with them, so much the worse for reality.

    I even finally figured something out about orbits “unraveling” because of the “angle” gravity works at if there’s a light-speed delay. The light-speed delay is the main reason GR’s predictions differ from Newton’s—till you get into really high-field, fast-moving regimes, anyway. If the Earth and the Sun were alone in the Solar System, for example, and Earth’s orbit were slightly eccentric—as it is—under Newtonian theory the orientation of that orbit would never change, it would only precess under the influence of other bodies in the system. However, GR predicts that it would precess anyway—and the closer in, like Mercury, the more. In a much higher field like the binary pulsar, it’s really obvious.

    The punch-line is, this is the result of that light-speed delay, and that gravity is working at a slightly different “angle”. The orbits are “unraveling”! Or maybe “Spirographing” would be a better word?

  234. says

    Holly! I think we have found, with this guy, the black hole into which all intelligence in large segment of the population disappears into. Its an inescapable conclusions, people like Bachman, Palin, etc. are like they are because they got too close to this jokers event horizon, and their brains where sucked out, and just increased the overall mass of his own stupidity by a tiny fraction. If we don’t get away, assuming its not too late, his “logic” will swallow up the planet, then the nearby planets, and the sun, and then the rest of the galaxy, and there will be nothing left from a bunch of ape like things, babbling gibberish at each other, with roughly the same level of awareness as the extinct Dodo.

    Is he using different IPs? How is this nut managing to repost with a new nom de non avenu?

  235. says

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge,

    First of all, in my earlier comment #158 I wasn’t actually referring to the binary pulsar PSR B1913+16, the subject of Hulse and Taylor’s work; it’s a single pulsar in orbit with a massive unseen companion (i.e. but not another neutron star). Their 1974 discovery was still sufficient to demonstrate the existence of gravitational radiation, a discovery worthy of the awarding of the 1993 Nobel prize in physics, and the dynamics of the pulsar’s rotation and its orbital elements observed over 40 years are known to absurdly high levels of precision. The more recent 2003 discovery is of two co-orbital pulsars, allowing a yet more stringent set of tests on GR since both partners in the system can be observed.

    Anyway, sorry for this long wall of text by way of explanation of his wrongness.

    The fun thing about Birdbrain is that he’s revealingly wrong about things which have been known problems with theories of light since the late 1500s; various solutions to this problem (such as ‘luminiferous aether’) were tried out from the time of Tycho Brahe onwards. The non-instantaneous propagation of gravity has a very similar analogue in the non-instantaneous propagation of light and the resulting effect of stellar aberration; the earth’s motion around the sun causes a small, systematic, annual variation in the apparent direction of starlight and was one of the pieces of evidence in support of heliocentrism over geocentrism. In the case of aberration, the earth’s motion causes a small angle between the direction from where the sun’s light appears to come from and its actual position – similar to the argument with gravity, that the sun’s gravity would be ‘pulling’ toward a place where the sun was, relative to the earth, about 500 seconds earlier, rather than where it is at the present time.

    While this angle (about 20 arcseconds) is comparably easily detectable for light and was measured for the first time by Bradley in 1725, a similar effect for gravity is much less observable; but the presence of very large, concentrated masses (à la neutron stars) will greatly magnify the effect. Thus the energy lost by the binary pulsars results in the measurable contraction of the semi-major axis of their orbits. The dissipation of the energy in the form of gravitational waves is thus similar to the case of energy lost in emission of electromagnetic radiation, which is what Einstein was writing about in 1905.

    Just as there had been attempts to explain aberration via means of an aether that allows propagation of electromagnetic radiation, Pierre-Simon Laplace had tried to argue that under similar conditions with a finite speed of propagation of gravity planetary orbits would not be stable, and since the planets haven’t spiralled into the sun, therefore the speed of gravity must be infinite; however Henri Poincaré showed (in the same year, 1905) that this argument no longer is valid within relativity theory.

    In the solar system the gravitational effect that is ‘akin’ to stellar aberration is most noticeable in the motions of Mercury, but complicating the solar system dynamics are perturbations from other bodies, most notably Jupiter and Saturn. Birdbrain described this as ‘taking two to tango’ – a laughable over-simplification – but the solar system isn’t even truthfully an N-body problem; this conceals a mathematical conceit of reducing quasi-spherical bodies with uneven mass distributions, composed of upwards of ten to the power of forty particles, to point sources – which is an understandable simplification long honoured since the time of Newton; I remember grinding through the mathematical proof of Newton’s shell theorem as an undergraduate (grinding being the operative word) and I doubt Birdbrain would have the brainpower to appreciate the subtleties of the arguments, which are highly technical and mathematical. And that’s just to deal with the easy cases.

    Nevertheless, provided you can find useful cases – binary pulsars are among the best nature has provided – the observations made turn out to be in striking accord with the mathematics derived under certain principles, and among those principles are that there is no such thing as an ‘aether’ – either for electromagnetism or gravitation – and that light and gravity propagate at the speed of light. We would quite possibly see different results if this were not the case – but we don’t. 14 significant figures (it might be more? Not that it matters hugely, since it’s an absurdly high level of precision…) say Birdbrain is utterly wrong.

  236. chigau (違う) says

    boyoboy
    That’s probably going to invoke or possibly evoke a manifestation.

  237. says

    Perhaps. It’s probably the same sort of dynamic as back on the old scienceblogs threads in 2010, where first of all Birdie invaded an unrelated thread which metastasised until PZ closed it off after 700 comments, before PZ started a brand new thread dedicated to Birdie himself (which anteprepro cited at #199): the underlying problem here is Someone Is Wrong On The Internet, with great determination at being as wrong as possible.

  238. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Welp, I can’t seem to find any cites for that 14-significant-figure rating for General relativity on the t00bz, so I’ll withdraw it. I have read it in several books (We used to slice up trees and print words on them with black stuff—and we liked it!). Maybe they were all copying each other, á là the eohippus-fox terrier meme Gould wrote about. All the results so far are certainly consistent with the predictions of General Relativity, though.

    The 11-significant-figure rating for QED I got from Feynman. I don’t think things have changed much, because the measurements of most of these quantities are up against the limits of Uncertainty already. The idea that nobody can face the thought of calculating those fourth terms I’ve read several places, but who knows? With nothing to compare the 3 or 4 new decimal places against, it really would be a waste of time.

  239. says

    Very Rev’d Battleaxe (Knowledge),

    Joseph H. Taylor’s 1993 Nobel lecture mentions the methods for obtaining high precision orbital data – he says,

    Necessarily, some model parameters will be easier to measure than others. When many TOAs are available, spaced over many months or years, it generally follows that at least the pulsar’s celestial coordinates, spin parameters, and Keplerian orbital elements will be measurable with high precision, often as many as 6–14 significant digits. As we will see, the relativistic parameters of binary pulsar orbits are generally much more difficult to measure – but the potential rewards for doing so are substantial.(on pages 81–82 as numbered)

    It looks like it’s a confusion between the precision of the orbital elements of the pulsars (which are highly precise) and the derived parameters that demonstrate that their motion is in keeping with GR; recombining the data to tease out different measurable quantities reintroduces error, so the relativistic parameters won’t have as high a level of precision.

  240. Rob Grigjanis says

    After some poking around, I think the 14 significant figures refers to measurement ability, not the accuracy of GR. For example, in the 2003 Cassini time delay experiment, the team could measure the frequency shift to an accuracy of 1 in 10^14, but the agreement with GR predictions was 2 in 100,000. That’s in line with most results I’ve read about (and bloody good, IMO), but it could have improved recently.

  241. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Rob Grigjanis @ #282:

    Just remember, if theory predicts something and measurement agrees with it, that’s “circular reasoning”.

  242. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    We know for a fact that gravity cannot propagate that slowly or else all our orbits would unravel. They would get massively larger every year. But you have no argument against this. So you always start with the light preamble to lie to the public.

    This is abso-fucking-lutely meaningless. Why would orbits get larger? The value of the gravitational attraction doesn’t change—the source position is just retarded slightly depending on distance. This is why orbits would precess even in the absence of perturbations from other bodies. Witness the binary pulsar. Any other bodies in that system would certainly be negligible in mass (since both stars exploded as supernovae, there almost certainly aren’t any). Yet the orientation of their orbits precess. Rapidly. Newtonian instantaneous-gravity theory predicts they wouldn’t precess. At all. Game, set, match.

  243. says

    Birdbrain has it wrong as usual; Laplace made specific predictions about the evolution of the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn if gravity propagated at finite speeds; one would spiral inwards, the other outwards. They don’t, but that isn’t the reason why Laplace is wrong; the effects are too small to be measurable over the current lifetime of the solar system, as the dissipation of gravitational energy is tiny by comparison with the energy being radiated by say a binary pulsar.

    Birdbrain, the other day another troll by the name of ‘cryogenic’ identified you – his rubbish gets deleted too, since he’s turned up like a bad ha’penny every day or so during the small hours of the morning, Minnesota time. Is he a friend of yours?

  244. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I just demolished your argument, Shit-for Brains.

    Here it is again: “Gravity does not act instantaneously BECAUSE ……” The value of the gravitational attraction doesn’t change—the source position is just retarded slightly depending on distance. This is why orbits would precess even in the absence of perturbations from other bodies. Witness the binary pulsar. Any other bodies in that system would certainly be negligible in mass (since both stars exploded as supernovae, there almost certainly aren’t any). Yet the orientation of their orbits precess. Rapidly. Newtonian instantaneous-gravity theory predicts they wouldn’t precess. At all. Game, set, match.

  245. says

    haroldlloyd:

    Get fucked Tony.

    I would (I do love me some gay butt sex), but for this darned hemorrhoid. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    I’ll keep my hatred of racist crime gangs right where it is.

    Deep in your bowels where you get your other ideas?

  246. says

    Finish this sentence ….. Gravity does not act instantaneously BECAUSE ……

    (You watch. I won’t be able to shame these people into a straight answer or a valid argument. )

    Laplace was wrong BECAUSE ……..

    You went with Mad-Libs? Why couldn’t you have chosen Pictionary? I’m much better at that game.

  247. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Also. “Gravity does not act instantaneously BECAUSE ……” Nothing can act instantaneously. Any faster-than-light propagation of matter or energy would allow signaling into the past, violating causality.

  248. says

    haroldlloyd:

    How about you Tony? Finish this sentence:

    Gravity does not act instantaneously BECAUSE ……

    I can’t finish the sentence. I’m not a scientist and I have precious little knowledge about the subject matter. Due to that lack of knowledge, I think it is best to avoid pontificating about it. Shame you won’t do the same.

  249. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Faster-than-light travel violates causality because of the geometry of the Minkowskian spacetime we live in. It’s safe, Birdbrain—Minkowski wasn’t Jewish.

  250. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    So “Newtonian instantaneous-gravity theory predicts that the orbits of the binary pulsar system won’t precess. General Relativity predicts that they will, because of the finite speed of gravitational influence. Observation finds that they do precess, to precisely the degree predicted by General Relativity.” is a circular argument? Please explain how.

  251. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    A lot of people try to find alternatives to General Relativity—mainly because the arithmetic is really hard. You don’t run into many Special Relativity deniers—it takes a special brand of stupidity because its effects are so easily observable in so many ways. (Hint: We use other examples besides moving trains these days.

    The universe has a flat, Minkowskian metric which can be distorted by the presence of mass. This is a fact. Deal with it.

  252. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    OK, #311 is absolutely meaningless in every particular. I’m forced to ask again: Are you having some kind of stroke?

  253. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    #316 throws your idiocy into stark relief. There’s no red shift involved in determining distance. This system is in our galaxy! Their “material makeup”? “Precise distribution of their mass”? They’re neutron stars, idiot! You know absolutely nothing about anything, and yet you come on here and flaunt your ignorance as a badge of honor.

  254. says

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    You know absolutely nothing about anything, and yet you come on here and flaunt your ignorance as a badge of honor.

    Sounds a lot like a current Thunderdome nitwit, biasevolution. They should swap numbers and go have coffee. I can just imagine the deep bond they would forge after long hours of talking about subjects they are staggeringly ignorant about.

  255. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Measurement of the distortion of spacetime (Oogah-Boogah!!) by the Sun’s mass.

    It’s OK, Birdbrain—differential geometry isn’t a Jewish plot—Gauss wasn’t Jewish! (Though come to think of it, I suppose Tullio Levi-Civita was.)

  256. says

    haroldlloyd:

    Even though he was just a blockhead and a person of bad character.

    If that’s the basis for your rejection of Einstein’s work, then surely you won’t mind us rejecting your arguments because of your bigotry.

  257. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    #322:

    People don’t usually deny Special Relativity because its effects are so easily observed—like I said yesterday, cyclotrons reached the end of their potential about 1942 because the period of the deuterons’ orbits was changing because of time dilation. We’ve accelerated particles much. much faster than that now. The time dilation and mass increase predicted by Special relativity are precisely borne out. If they weren’t, no particle accelerator designed in the last 70 years would remotely work. I repeat—Effects due to Special Relativity are observed every day, and SR predicts their value with incredible precision.

  258. says

    haroldlloyd:

    Its less of a wall of molasses and much easier to refute outright.

    Oh fabulous! I’m off to bed now, but I hope to wake up to subsequent comments from you with extensive citations to these refutations. I’m sure you understand why I’m wary of accepting your unevidenced assertions.

  259. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    In fact, the oblateness due to rotation is the main mechanism by means of which neutron stars low down their rotation with time.

    Here’s a good discussion of the observations. And here’s the elements. The distance is 21,000 light years, measured by parallax. Remember with very-long-baseline interferometry, we can measure parallax for radio sources much farther away than stars with visual light.

  260. rorschach says

    This is either the worst troll ever, or there is some underlying mental problem. I suspect the latter. So maybe we should not entertain it.

  261. Rob Grigjanis says

    haroldlloyd @287:

    There are two forces in the universe. Push and Pull.

    Is this you on your path to wisdom?

  262. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Special Relativity involves only two axioms; everything else follows from them:

    1) There is no preferred frame of reference.

    2) The speed of light is the same for all observers.

    Everything in SR follows by very simple arithmetic from these two axioms. Which one do you deny? The second one has been verified to extreme precision since Michelson-Morley, remember, so it must be the first.

  263. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    The Lorentz Contraction falls out, automatically, from those two axioms when applied to relative motion. Yes, Lorentz was a great scientist. No one revered him more than Albert Einstein, by the way. Also, he wasn’t Jewish.

    Henri Poincaré—another great non-Jewish scientist—derived the equations of Special Relativity without seeing their implications, as did David Hilbert—also not Jewish.

    The original paper really is a thing of crystalline beauty, accessible to anyone with high-school algebra. Much clearer than a lot of the bafflegab that’s been written to try and “simplify” it.

  264. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Well, there went the “floosh”! I apologize for feeding the troll so much. Also, as Rob Grigjanis sussed out, I’m really arguing above my pay grade. I’m just bored, and somewhat giddy to see a chewtoy who’s not an MRA/Slymer—although Tomás Kroosinflation did eventually get there. John A and Graeme Bird are much more like the trolls of yesteryear. I guess because they are the trolls of yesteryear. <sigh>

  265. says

    Oh dear. Birdiekins isn’t very happy with us at all, but he especially hated my comment at #277 – he’s treated it to star status, worthy of an entire post to rebutt it! As far as actual arguments go, well as usual Birdie can only manage pretty thin gruel, a whole lot of illogical, rambling assertions without a shade of scientific evidence or historical justification; and he doesn’t hold back with what he personally thinks of me:

    Brainless Transvestite Sluts. [That’s the title of the post.]
    This stupid transvestite…
    Now this entity. This person. This girly-man
    the lady-boys double talk
    …a slut tumor removal…
    Explain in your own words why this stupid transvestite slut is right?
    Just another stupid goose-stepping he-bitch.
    The slut cannot even get Laplaces argument right.
    No no you stupid slut.
    What a fucking tramp.

    Ohhhhh, what a sweety we have here. I feel really chuffed that he’s thought up all these special endearments for little old me.

    Anyway, on topic – this troll has adopted the same morphing techniques as the others: change to a new nym, come back another day. Is there any practical alternative to letting these goons run riot for a few hours overnight and their excreta hosed away the next morning?

  266. Owlmirror says

    I apologize for feeding the troll so much.

    Meh, better physics than anti-semitic ranting.

    The regurgitation of Atwill’s crankery did make me want to write a dialog between Vespasian and Titus, where Vespasian tells Titus that the Jews are the most dangerous threat there are, and Titus is all “wut?” and Vespasian commands him to cook up a fake Jewish Messiah (with Greek mystery philosophy in) and convince Jews to convert to follow this fake Jewish Messianic cult, and Titus is all “whaaaaaaaat?”, and so on and so forth.

    I also have much more vague ideas about all the mathematicians and physicists at or before the beginning of the 20th century being secretly Jewish and leaning on the editor of Annalen der Physik to publish these papers by this nobody called Einstein.

  267. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I know we’re not supposed to diagnose people online, so I’ll just say Graeme Bird’s…problem…has gotten much worse in the last 4 years. I looked over the “Memorial Thread” and its predecessor—Imagine my surprise that I had a comment in the MT, but I don’t remember word one of it otherwise!

    He was already a Special Relativity denier, but he said Albert Einstein was a “great physicist” and a “nice man”—just completely wrong, of course. This really florid fear of Jews is something that’s developed since then.