Censorship, FOIA, and Mary Yugo

  • On another thread colwin wrote:

    Quote


    Mary Yugo wrote:


    "This week" eh? Long week...Possibly it has been received already, yet you prefer to suppress it, because it doesn't fit your unique narrative, à la Gary Wright?Or possibly you won't be around here long enough to publish it? Two strikes already by my count... Although maybe that's the plan, to save face?


    In reality what has happened is that under the shiny new LENR Forum censorship policy Mary Yugo has been banned (though this fact, or the reasons for it, have not as far as I know been disclosed here).


    Now I can understand many here being thoroughly annoyed by Mary's posts. She (I respect internet pseudonyms) propagates her strong views that free energy is full of scams, adduces scam on evidence less than most people would, and argues her case forcefully and without tact.


    On the other hand her posts are cogent and contain real information. Lose her, and you lose it.


    In this case, she has just recently received the FOIA report on what TEG devices were or were not tested for Rossi at U of Austin. I know a number of people here were interested in the topic. Alas she is now banned and therefore cannot post it.


    Internet forums are the last and best place for dictatorships. The owner has full control. That is proper - no-one has to read or post to a forum, if you don't like one forum's policy you can start your own.


    I'm resigned to the fact that if my posts here cross that "annoyance threshold" I will get banned. What I'm not going to do is moderate, by even one iota, what I post. Personally, I am confident that I post what I think true as I see it and fair comment, and while I argue forcefully, when others present contrary evidence I listen and if it is cogent accept it. And I do that relatively politely. If i step beyond fair comment I'll fess up and apologise. But if I start to moderate my expressed views for fear of banning I might as well not be here. I have previously expressed admiration for Alain who here I thought epitomised the best of French intellectual culture - a love of ideas and robust debate without fear, favour, or censorship. MYs banning does not seem to me consistent with that.


    I'm actually more against trolls than most here. I think sitting on internet forums cheerleading for one side or making snide remarks is lowest of the low - while I probably do it occasionally on off days it is not something I approve of.


    Mary is not a troll, just someone with strong and inflammatory views very different from the majority here. Redeemed by her interest in facts, as evidenced by her FOIA result.


    If you prefer to stay in a bubble untroubled by contrary facts, however untactfully they are wrapped, then I'm sorry.

  • As an engineer I'm interested in knowledge which enables me to create a successful product. Under such a perspective Mary's comments are merely anecdotic.
    Under a much broader perspective - as a scientist – I'm also following the ambigous Lugano thread. From the forum discussion I sometimes draw valuable experimental input and that's it – nothing else.
    But what shall I do with post to sites like 'freeenergyscams ?', which Mary left in her comments?
    To draw a conclusion: Either this forum is focused on science/engineering & methodical fact proving or it is a huge melting pot for any thing regarding the LENR context.
    Because I'm interested in politics too, for me it would be OK to run a separate thread, covering all “human” aspects dealing with LENR. This could reopen the Forum for people with just philosophical interests.

  • I'm curious. If you think that a rule of this forum introduces some restriction about sharing contrary facts, please explain. As you wrote, the owners of this forum have nothing to prove and I guess they would make any appropriate change if required. Let me share my opinion. Without trolls, scientists and others people would publish more information. Trolls are the illness of forums. A lot of valuable information is not or never published on forums. This why Animators have to work so hard to find these information. Finding some consensus on information is what makes (temporary) facts on a forum. Why people use a forum? What is not a fact has to be proven: it is a fact. But this fact is not a proof. Whatever the topic is, the troll has something to say, to say "it is not a fact". This is good metric to detect them even it is not enough. The troll is not only a troll but can also contribute on some topics, even be a true expert. But experts do not know what other people do not know. If a forum is to share information and to help people to know... a complex topic....:-)

  • @Wyttenbach


    Quote

    But what shall I do with post to sites like 'freeenergyscams ?', which Mary left in her comments?


    ignore


    Quote

    for me it would be OK to run a separate thread, covering all “human” aspects dealing with LENR.


    I agree. Censorship is Ok when it is optional - and there are many people who like the focus got from such optional censorship. in this case having "open" boards or "closed" boards would still allow Mary to do her stuff.


    More generally - I would say that 95% of stuff on this forum has no relevance to engineering successful products. I can't say that proving Rossi's historic ventures are a scam (if that can be done) contributes much to this, but it might alter slightly the equation for those doing LENR experiments, pushing them to areas other than the now ubiquitous Lugano reactor "replications". So you could say it has some indirect relevance to some type of engineering.

  • The FOIA report is probably more of a lever to continue the behaviour that has been warned against many times, than a generous treat from an excessively passionate scientist searching for answers, IMO. If not getting it is the price for civility so be it. Someone else can get the report.


    The administrators have been working to encourage greater civility here, and they must have teeth, and use them, not just show them, or it will be known that they are all bark and no bite.
    There will always be something lost when people are excluded. But this forum is not a country or neccesarily a democratic institution. It is not a sandbox. It is a special interest group. One of the groups' special interests is civil discourse.

  • You don't seem to understand a very basic notion Thomas, I don't know if it makes any sense to attempt to explain this to you.


    The core mission of this forum is to be a tool of communication for all who, despite of the censorship of the scientific community that is imposed on the world when it comes to nuclear transmutations at low temperatures and pressures, want to conduct experiments in this field.


    Our premise (Do you know what a premise is? Check your dictionary if not) is that experimentation of things that haven't been researched AND documented before is never wrong as long as the experimentation causes no harm to anyone.


    Due to the censorship I just mentioned above, our budgets are limited and of course all scientific rigour, the one you wish for, can't be fulfilled. That is why we look for order of magnitude effects, that cannot be explained by any systematic error and thus are convincing also without scientific rigour.


    You are convinced that the 1/r Coulomb potential, the exponential Yukawa potential and the law of superposition of electrodynamics are everything there is and that they are generally valid and appropriate to describe nature. This is an assumption, nothing else. A good assumption, no question about that, because that is what has been observed in most experiments so far. But there are still a lot of physical configuration, that have NEVER been examined.


    Our premise and our curiosity thus force us to try this. Stay constructive and take part in our work or leave this forum.

  • Seriously, I invoke the "safe use" doctrine...the thing Gary Wright uses in legally protecting himself, to post MYs comment from ECNs, so you decide (I am neutral):


    "Thanks. Not only do I have the paper that believers think is a “smoking gun” in favor of Rossi’s thermoelectric claims but also, I have contact information for Munson and am mulling over how to get him to confess his role in the whole Rossi/CERL thermoelectric scam and fiasco.


    Meanwhile, LENR Forum goes the way of all religious and mythical/paranormal type forums. They can’t stand to argue for their views against candid and effective opposition so they simply ban it.


    Never did I use obscenities. Never did I waste forum space. I only insulted what people did (ie. Axil word salad) and did not insult people specifically, ie. “Axil is a woowoo idiot” tempting though that might be"



  • Quote

    I'm curious. If you think that a rule of this forum introduces some restriction about sharing contrary facts, please explain.


    It all depends on the interpretation. MY posts facts here that no-one else does, and they are I believe accurate. She also interprets these in a way that many here don't like. The rules here presumably ban her, and thereby lose facts. If MY were a troll, contributing nothing, I'd understand it. As it is she represents one end of a spectrum of opinion - the "scam-max" view". And she brings facts that she thinks support that view.


    If you ban the "scam-max" view you miss out on the corresponding facts. you don't have to hold that view (I don't) to think that the facts are worth something.

  • Thomas

    If MY were a troll, contributing nothing, I'd understand it.


    Censorship in a 'free' society is a questionable thing but necessary under certain circumstances. The problem is that if we have to have it then we must ask ‘what are the motives of the censors and are they appropriate and just?
    I fail to understand your logic though. By extrapolation you seem to be saying that it is okay to be a 'troll' providing you also contribute something. Remember when we had the discussion on the thread “Cambridge University Professor Huw Price on the ‘Reputation Trap’ of Cold Fusion (Update: Response in Popular Mechanics)”. Professor Price’s conclusion seemed to be that the construction of a ‘reputation trap’ was detrimental to free unfettered ‘discovery’ and I agree with that. It is my view that much, but not all, of Mary’s contribution was ‘enabling’ of such a ‘reputation trap’ and therefore was ‘unhelpful’ to free discourse and discovery. So Mary was in a very subtle way imposing her own censorship on contributors, some of whom stood up to her, others feared personal insults perhaps with justification.
    The term ‘reap what you sow’ comes to mind.
    I hope she returns a reformed character.

  • The problem, Thomas, at least for me, has never been MY's facts or even the rigid denial based on solid and reliable scientific theory. The problem lies in the endless slander, and the hypocritical claim that, while scientific rigor denies the validity of many LENR claims, the conclusion of MY that various individuals are FRAUDS stands without proof. Such claims have no more been proven than have the claims of LENR success. In a sense that makes MY as much a fraud as any of her targets. He/she radiates absolute certainty regarding the fraudulent or incompetent nature of her targets with no more concrete evidence than have the true believers in LENR regarding their claims. That hypocrisy is what constantly makes MY the most offensive (and ineffective) advocate in the many sites that she/he haunts. You, on the other hand, are a very effective rebutter of LENR claims precisely because you do not sink to that vigilante "judge, jury and executioner" attitude.


    I have tried to relate this simple position to MY on several occasions, and I, in return, have been accused of being a true believing dupe, which I am not. Even brilliant scientific minds have a need for civility and good techniques of persuasion, and those glaring absences in MY are why people want to shun and expel HimHer. MY is to thick to get it, or even care that HisHer goal of persuasion is totally stifled by an arrogant, obnoxious and uncaring persona.

  • The rules here presumably ban her, and thereby lose facts. If MY were a troll, contributing nothing, I'd understand it. As it is she represents one end of a spectrum of opinion - the "scam-max" view". And she brings facts that she thinks support that view.


    2 Corinthians 2:11
    in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.


    Mark 9:43
    If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

  • Axil


    I asked my grandson (he is only 9) the other day why God would have created the devil. He said 'but granddad, if he didn't have the devil how would he know who was good and who was bad!


    Maybe we do need Mary, otherwise we may get lazy and relax too much, the road is hard for a reason.


    I don't think that we should accept bad behaviour though so the team has my support.


    Best regards
    Frank

  • Quote

    I fail to understand your logic though. By extrapolation you seem to be saying that it is okay to be a 'troll' providing you also contribute something.


    No, I'm saying that MY's factual comments mean that she is not a troll.


    Quote

    the conclusion of MY that various individuals are FRAUDS stands without proof.


    I agree, but her targets are free energy companies that have never yet sold a product, nor given any credible demonstration of their claims, while attracting significant investment. There is strong evidence that they are vaporware. This is nothing to do with an academic "reputation trap" and to conflate these cases with honest LENR academics is unhelpful.


    It is, arguably, of benefit to academic LENR research for companies with vapourware to be recognised as such. While MY's interpretation of vapourware as necessary fraud is contentious that view is not necessarily negative towards LENR, whereas an uncritical acceptance of vapourware (at best) as genuine LENR is so negative.


    In any case if stating unproven conclusions that are derogatory towards named individuals is a banning matter then Alain, Abd, Ed Storms, etc should be banned. They have all made (from respectively anonymous or real ids) derogatory remarks about me. Indeed Alain's remarks about me, if believed, would be quite destructive of my reputation since he is saying that I deliberately make false statements about science. Abd is saying that I am irrational in my judgement of science, etc, etc.


    I'm not saying they should be banned - just that banning MY is wrong.

  • Quote


    Axil
    I asked my grandson (he is only 9) the other day why God would have created the devil. He said 'but granddad, if he didn't have the devil how would he know who was good and who was bad!Maybe we do need Mary, otherwise we may get lazy and relax too much, the road is hard for a reason.Best regardsFrank


    My views precisely. Banning heretical opinion moves down a slippery slope on which honesty of the majority view cannot be challenged, and therefore cannot be checked.

  • Thomas


    Some of Mary's comments are 'troll like' some are objective; the 'troll like' comments are the problem here.


    My grandson is very wise for his age, but if he is disrespectful he is chastised in such a way that would allow him to think on the consequences of his actions and is encouraged to present his actions and opinions in a way that he would like others to respect his.


    Sometimes he gets grounded, but I still love him.


    Best regards
    Frank


    PS:

    her targets are free energy companies that have never yet sold a product


    Frank Ackland has bought an 'Orbo' so it looks like you do make false statements!

  • Thomas


    No, I'm saying that MY's factual comments mean that she is not a troll.


    So are you saying that her claims of 'fraud' and 'personal insults' in every case are factual? Would this claim withstand your cherished Bayesian scrutiny? I think not unless you can give some examples?? Any example????


    Bayes' Theorem is a means of quantifying uncertainty. Based on probability theory, the theorem defines a rule for refining an hypothesis by factoring in additional evidence and background information, and leads to a number representing the degree of probability that the hypothesis is true. To demonstrate an application of Bayes' Theorem, suppose that we have a covered basket that contains three balls, each of which may be green or red. In a blind test, we reach in and pull out a red ball. We return the ball to the basket and try again, again pulling out a red ball. Once more, we return the ball to the basket and pull a ball out - red again. We form a hypothesis that all the balls are all, in fact, red. Bayes' Theorem can be used to calculate the probability (p) that all the balls are red (an event labeled as "A") given (symbolized as "|") that all the selections have been red (an event labeled as "B"): p(A|B) = p{A + B}/p{B}