Censorship, FOIA, and Mary Yugo

  • Frank,


    Thing is, some people are just naturally abrasive. MY is one such. Eric says it well above. I don't like banning except when applied to contentless nuisances. MY is not contentless, however annoying.


    It does not mean that I agree with her lack of politeness. But then if we banned everyone who I disagreed with there would be no-one here...


    Tom

  • Quote

    Thing is, some people are just naturally abrasive. MY is one such. Eric says it well above. I don't like banning except when applied to contentless nuisances. MY is not contentless, however annoying.


    MY brags about destroying people and their life's work. She is like a big game hunter that points with pride to the heads displayed on her rec room wall full of glee and accomplishment in the havoc and pain that she creates; in the application of her considerable set of skills to the state of complete emptiness and destruction that she can foment: "Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war"... She is a case study in the Shakespearean classical and age old description of pathological evil.

  • I agree Axil. Time to get on to the business at hand. The business of LENR. MY is a circus sideshow in comparison to the gravity of the discussion this site is dedicated too.


    Personally, I think Thomas has created a fuss about MY's justified censorship to divert attention away from his weak performance defending Dr. Shanahan. That is just my opinion though.

  • I see two possible alternatives to the current protocol:


    1) Crowd-sourced moderation - the view-ability (video contrast) of any post is diminished linearly by the number of Dislikes (thumbs down votes). At some negative number, maybe -5, that post will become blank. This is automatic and easy for the moderators, and is partially implemented here. But it depends on source-level configurability of the forum, and it's vulnerable to possible abuse, for example by someone with five forum aliases.


    2) Full moderation of the offender's posts, including editing of content without restriction. This is an added work burden for the moderator(s), but ensures that possibly valuable content hidden in the weeds can reach the forum. It also allows the offender right of access, while protecting the forum as a community from harmful disruption.


    I've been running a forum with around 1500 members for over 10 years, and I've found the second approach to be workable and fair. It needs moderator(s) willing to clearly define and then apply the forum rules and focus.

  • @magicsound


    While the suggestions you make are sincere, I have doubt about the efficacy. After all this is much like the Wikipedia vetting process. Anyone on the "wrong side" of some controversial issue such as "Cold Fusion" at Wikipedia will be familiar with the rather miserable failures there. So, at least, let's be careful what we wish for.

  • Thomas


    It does not mean that I agree with her lack of politeness. But then if we banned everyone who I disagreed with there would be no-one here...


    You are right that we must not extend censorship to those with whom we disagree but why give the impression that people who are 'naturally abrasive' and even worse; are welcome because some things they say may have merit.


    Remember what you said to me, 'ad homs do your case no good'. Now you appear to be saying 'ad homs' are okay if you are MY. Now bear in mind that if you had not censured me a while ago I would not have stopped and thought about being respectful even with people with whom I disagreed. Your argument is at best flawed and at worst disruptive in my opinion and in any case contradictory with your previous position, none of which I assume you can feel comfortable with. But then I suspect none of us feel 'comfortable' with this.


    Best regards
    Frank

  • Quote

    Personally, I think Thomas has created a fuss about MY's justified censorship to divert attention away from his weak performance defending Dr. Shanahan. That is just my opinion though.


    LOL. Shane, did you by any chance grow up with an older sibling in a family where you got a lot of practice stirring? That is maybe an ad hom - so please don't ban me...

  • Quote

    Now you appear to be saying 'ad homs' are okay if you are MY.


    I'm not saying they are OK - just that they do not justify banning.


    Let us take a precise example. A group of people are discussing Dr. X - a figure who claims to have invented an anti-gravity device. X (fact) obtains a lot of money from naive investors after massive internet publicity and fan sites. X (fact) does not allow proper scientific testing so it is not possible to know her stuff works and it is ignored by the mainstream press. X makes wild claims for how her AG devices are going to be marketed and sold, but after 15 years no devices have been sold. however, during this period Dr. X has accumulated (fact) a large amount of personal wealth.


    Dr. X makes a new demo for her "improved" devices. Some of the fans are convinced this is for real. X seeks more money from naive investors and gets it. There is no more evidence her devices work than existed 15 years ago when she made her first claims. Now - in an objective (not fan based) internet discussion board what should we be allowed to say about Dr. X? That her claims are vapourware? That she has repeatedly lied about imminent commercialisation? That the chances of her device really doing what is claimed are very low? That her avoidance of honest testing means she is afraid of this? That she is running a scam? That she is fraudulently obtaining money? Which of these statements constitute ad homs?


    Personally, I don't think much of this is an ad hom. Saying your judgement of the evidence is that a given enterprize is not successful/vapourware/scam/fraud is not replacing argument about evidence with argument about individual character. Except the fraud/vapourware distinction which cannot be determined from external evidence and has no importance except to inflame people's feelings. But exactly because in almost all such cases fraud/vapourware can never be proven I can't myself worry too much about somone classifying this stuff as fraud rather than vapourware. It is not great to be working for 15 years, using other people's money, on something with eye-catching claims that differ wildly from reality, not allowing proper testing, and I do view this as despicable practice whether it is fraud or just delusion.


    Quote

    Now bear in mind that if you had not censured me a while ago I would not have stopped and thought about being respectful even with people with whom I disagreed.


    Well I'm happy to point out to MY that her language and assumption of fraud when this can never be proven means that her points are not heard by people who react to the tone. I probably have done that at some time. But I know exactly what she will say:


    (1) my accusations of fraud are all true, and proven by facts
    (2) calling a pig in a poke a pig is not an ad hom
    (3) my tone is not abrasive, because I don't criticise discussants, just arguments I disagree with

  • zorud - I'm of course happy for you to down-vote any number of my posts. It is your privilege. But I'd like to understand why my gentle joke directed at Shane - who himself enjoys such rhetoric (and uses it) was so dislikable? Shane frequently accuses me of having no sense of humour, and indeed it is sometimes the case...


    zorud and Michel - ditto for the post about what it is fair to say about companies of public interest. Down-voting my comment does not really indicate your views on this matter, which I'd be interested to hear. For example, would you reckon any such enterprize should only attract any positive comment? Or (I'd be near to this myself) allow negative comment, including noting previous false statements, give opinion as to likely reality of product, but do not speculate on the fraud/scam issue since that goes beyond fact?


    The point has been made that MY's tenacity in exposing the sniffex scam probably saved lives. In the LENR area I doubt we would have any such justification, but I guess exposing scams, like critiquing bad experiments, would help to reduce the number of distractions and allow research to concentrate on areas where there are real anomalies. That sounds like a good thing to me - though it does not need use of the word scam - vapourware has the same effect.

  • Thomas


    For example, would you reckon any such enterprize should only attract any positive comment? Or (I'd be near to this myself) allow negative comment,


    Whilst I know you have directed this question to Zorud, I cant see why you should interpret a 'dislike' as a signal to ban critical comment. It is just that a 'dislike' at the moment at least. But suggesting being aggressively disrespectful, impolite, libellous, etc. etc. is somehow the same?


    You were held as a sceptical 'icon' at least in my mind; who would dissect an argument with clinical and masterful precision and objectivity of sorts. But flying the flag for MY is just 'flim flam', subjective and dare I say 'political'.


    You do your case no good. I hope that returning this observation in a way that you pressed it home to me, there will be a comparable 'awakening'.


    Best regards but very concerned
    Frank

  • The debate is not about an endless discussion about what a debate is but about the behavior of people participating in this debate.I know this is your thread - you've created this thread - and you are on the endless debate about what a discussion should be or not to be. You mean that to dislike what you write is censorship? :-)

  • @ Thomas


    To be honest - feel free to interprete in my dislike what ever you want. I have no problem with people who are challenging some or many experiments and results in this field, but I really dislike some of your ongoing attempts to defend MY's "positions" that are completely discrediting the hard work and efforts of people not only in this forum. This forum is dedicated to sharing all kind of research and any activity that will shed (more) light on this fascinating topic. This is what it is about - and the reason why I am here for quite some time, even if I do not post, just carefully following very interested all conversations . I think I have a basic idea, I am holding a diploma in solid state physics (Charles University Prague) and I am convinced that our current knowledge in this field is still lacking of well proven theories in many directions to explain phenomena we are facing (not only) here.... There is more out there and I believe in a better and brighter future and in scientists who will help to find the right story and theory for what we call here LENR.
    I am clearly NOT here to read endless and annoying stories why LENR can't be real and that all these "strange" results are comporimized by wrong calorimetry etc..... So, finally, I am glad to see folks like TYY (hopefully?), MY and potentially other disappearing which - at least in my opinion - clearly has a noticeable positive impact on the [lexicon]conversation[/lexicon] in this forum. Thanks, admins!

  • @ Frankwtu. I have told MY (long time ago, in a personal communication) that he was "trying too hard". It was not just about ad hominems (those were flying both ways) but about repeating himself. Yes, his style is abrasive even for those who agree with him, but I believe that a ban is too hard, considering that he provides good information.


    Maybe benching him for a couple of games, as a warning, would be a more proportionate response.

  • MY has contacted employers, contributors, publishers, sponsors, and schools of higher education connected with LENR activists in order to get these agencies to drop support for the LENR activists. If MY finds out where you work, go to school, or do business you will receive no mercy. MY believes in total war.


    Yes, MY is "trying too hard".

  • I very much hope that Mary Yugo has not been permanently banned from this site.


    I am very sorry to see MY vilified. I am greatly sad at the prospect of MY being banned.


    In my view, M.Y.'s spirited, informed, and usually well-reasoned criticism/skepticism of some reported manifestations of LENR is invaluable to the furtherance of our collective inquiry.


    I, too, had some private exchanges with MY in the early days of Rossi's demonstrations. I remember that (s)he shared my/our fervent hope about the prospects for LENR--but that her/his hope was not blind to obfuscation, errors, and--yes--outright fraud.


    This site will be much diminished if it muzzles such dissent.


    Shame on us all, if M. Y. has been banned forever from these pages.



  • As a very new member of this site, are you a new persona that MY is using to circumvent the decisions made by the site's management with regards to the banning of MY?


    I find it hard to understand how MY could contribute anything to the progress of the LENR effort.

  • Quote

    Whilst I know you have directed this question to Zorud, I cant see why you should interpret a 'dislike' as a signal to ban critical comment. It is just that a 'dislike' at the moment at least. But suggesting being aggressively disrespectful, impolite, libellous, etc. etc. is somehow the same?


    I'm not a fan of dislikes, or likes except in rare circumstances.


    Where a post is not offensive, if I disagree with the content, I state that disagreement with reasons in a post after it. I think in the two cases I noted "dislike" was being used as a way of indicating disagreement without the responsibility to sate and defend that disagreement. I was not suggesting that being libellous, etc was the same. However the same principle, that communication is best done on the basis of clear and explicit facts or arguments, can be applied.


    I'm not complaining about the dislike - though when somone says I've done something wrong it is always nicer to be told why this is.

  • Axil said: "MY has contacted employers, contributors, publishers, sponsors, and schools of higher education connected with LENR activists in order to get these agencies to drop support for the LENR activists. If MY finds out where you work, go to school, or do business you will receive no mercy. MY believes in total war."


    MY attacked Sniffex and Defkalion, both confirmed scams. He attacked BLP and Steorn, two companies that had taken millions of dollars for many years from investors, while showing no product as a result. He has attacked unreplicable claims "a la Parkhamov". He has attacked Rossi, who has just proven himself a liar, if not a scammer, when saying: "I have invested all my money plus of investors in Leonardo I cannot disclose." when it's in the public record that he has bought over a dozen condos in Miami. I have no problem with these actions by MY. Don't you think it's good for LENR research that the wheat be separated from the chaff?


    Maybe you can give examples of the other nefarious activities you accuse him of engaging in.

  • Quote

    To be honest - feel free to interprete in my dislike what ever you want. I have no problem with people who are challenging some or many experiments and results in this field, but I really dislike some of your ongoing attempts to defend MY's "positions" that are completely discrediting the hard work and efforts of people not only in this forum.


    Thanks for that zorud. I can understand your point of view but I wonder whether you are mistaking tone for content. I don't think (though I may be wrong) that MY has been criticising people here. She reserves her extreme criticism for companies that she believes to be fraudulent: Snifex (it was), BLP, Rossi, etc. She does robustly criticise what people here say when she disagrees with it - but that is different from criticising them. It don't think such criticism discredits people, and if their arguments are wrong it is helpful, if their arguments are right than the criticism of the argument will not stand. In that case for an argument to be criticised and withstand it makes it more convincing in my view!


    Quote

    Whilst I know you have directed this question to Zorud, I cant see why you should interpret a 'dislike' as a signal to ban critical comment. It is just that a 'dislike' at the moment at least. But suggesting being aggressively disrespectful, impolite, libellous, etc. etc. is somehow the same? You were held as a sceptical 'icon' at least in my mind; who would dissect an argument with clinical and masterful precision and objectivity of sorts. But flying the flag for MY is just 'flim flam', subjective and dare I say 'political'. You do your case no good. I hope that returning this observation in a way that you pressed it home to me, there will be a comparable 'awakening'.


    I appreciate the trouble you take over this, and find your views interesting. I'd like to point out that you are speculating here (negatively) about my state of mind. Perilously near to an ad hom? (That was sort of a joke for those who would not realise that).


    You will see if you look at this thread (or my comments elsewhere) that I do not "approve" of MY and I'm certainly not "flying the flag" for her. Actually, I do approve of her actions [/b]over the Sniffex issue but I was not aware of this till somone else noted it. I don't think the debate here needs to be tribal, though it can easily slip that way.


    If you look on the substantive threads you will see that there are many believers whom I agree with on specific issues, and say this. The reverse is also true.


    I think the main difference between us in is how we see discourse, and this is perhaps a matter of personal preference in which case there can be no absolute "right". I like to be polite because when communicating (with others here) politeness aids genuine communication and lack of politeness, name calling, etc prevents this. A certain tact and lack of abrasiveness if very helpful here too. In this I am sort of the opposite of MY.


    OTOH I believe in frank discussion, directly exchanged points of view, and saying somone is wrong when you believe this. I don't see it is disrespectful or a problem for somone else if I challenge their statements. Either I am right, and they will realise this and benefit, or wrong, in which case they will correct me and I will benefit. When neither apply we have a disagreement, and making this explicit can sometimes elucidate the differences in assumptions etc that lead to this. Although sometimes it degenerates into tribal warfare - more interest in that is pretty limited so I tend to disengage, once it is clear there is no agreement possible, as soon as any interesting (to me) points have been made.


    The case of MY making potentially libelous comments about third parties cuts between these two things. Because the third parties are not engaged in discussion there is not the same danger of replacing argument by emotion. To ban such comments would mean that scams (e.g. Sniffex) would not be seen for what they are. But it is also true that very few free energy companies are known fraudulent. To take the example of Rossi:

    • I despise his dishonest (it is the correct word) attitude towards scientific testing and claims made for tests.
    • I find most distasteful his self-enrichment (I don't think anyone can argue about apartments in Florida - though if there is some other reason for his having these, and I've got this wrong, I'll apologise) while claiming he is mortgaging his house to fund research.
    • I find the inconsistency in what he says, on both technical and business issues, most unfortunate
    • All his statements and actions are consistent with him never having had working product.


    None of these things settle the matter of fraud, and I have no specific reason to think Rossi fraudulent, although I view his operations as being unhelpful in many ways to LENR research. MY would make the same points but in a more abrasive manner, and add fraud.


    It comes down to "what is pussyfooting". I like calling a spade a spade. MY and others would reckon not calling Rossi a scam when I hold the views I do is pussyfooting. I see shades of grey she does not. Some people here would agree with her that those shades of grey don't exist, or don't matter, and that what I have said above is equivalent to calling Rossi a fraud. I don't agree with that.


    I realise that this thread will stick in the craw of some here, but for me disclosure on these matters helps clear communication. I strongly believe that an internet Forum such as this needs a frank and uncensored exchange of views to be respected. Certainly it does that for me to be comfortable posting. Banning MY maybe does not prevent that, but it certainly is a step along a slope which ends where ECW now is.


    I will state this view clearly, and the reasons why it matters to me, not because of some tribal or political argument but because I believe passionately in the benefits of frank and robust debate. No-one who has read more posts here could think otherwise, I'd hope. So I reject your statements about the reasons for my raising the matter of MY's banning.


    I'm not saying I have any right to decide this matter. That is entirely up to Alain. I will however exercise my right to raise this issue and make clear my reasons for raising it. If the manner in which I do that contravenes site rules (repetitive, disrespectful, etc) then it is probably right that I should be banned. I'm not expecting that, but will not one iota change what I say here because of the possibility.