Sunday, November 23, 2008

The beginner.

"Whom would these men [of the establishment] fear most, psychologically, and least, existentially? The brilliant loner. The beginner. The young man of potential genius and innocently ruthless integrity, whose only weapons are talent and truth. They reject him instinctively, saying that he doesn't belong. To what? Sensing that he would put them on the spot by raising issues they'd prefer not to face. He might get past their protective barriers once in a while, but he is handicapped by his virtues -- in a system rigged against intelligence and integrity. We shall never know how many precociously perceptive youths sensed the evil around them before they were old enough to find an antidote, and gave up in hopelessly indignant bewilderment. Or how many gave in, stultifying their minds. We do not know how many young innovators may exist today, and struggle to be heard. But we will not hear of them because the establishment would prefer not to recognize their existence, and not to take any cognizance of their ideas." -- Ayn Rand.

10 comments:

Anaconda said...

ungtss:

I like the quote you present in this post. It has relevance in scientific debates with the "establishment".

I read your comments over at Clastic Detritus regarding Expanding Earth theory.

You handled Brian with a finesse that clearly made him uncomfortable and maybe even exposed his weaknesses to those inclined to side with his side of the argument.

I thought it was perceptive of you to point out that all he was doing was repeating rote conclusions as opposed to facts and analysis.

I appreciated your analysis of geology textbook format.

I don't know for sure, but it seemed that might have been the burr that got under Brian's saddle.

I've noticed from prior discussions with young geologists they are touchy about what is said about their instruction.

Perhaps, even they are conscious of the rote manner in which they are instructed.

Good job.

BrianR said...

Anaconda says: "You handled Brian with a finesse that clearly made him uncomfortable and maybe even exposed his weaknesses"

I don't see how stating that I need a sufficient amount of time to look up, compile, and synthesize relevant references and data is a weakness.

ungtss said...

Thanks for your kindness, Anaconda!

Anaconda said...

BrianR:

Since you asked me a question on ungtss' website, I'll answer here.

BrianR states: "I don't see how stating that I need a sufficient amount of time to look up, compile, and synthesize relevant references and data is a weakness."

Brian, because that's not the tone in which you first delivered your edict. The above quote is "back-fill".

Initially, it was you who expressed irritation when confronted with the idea that your response to ungtss wasn't self-evident.

When he politely pressed you to offer a word or two more than your initial conclusionary response -- which I think rightly demonstrates a flaw in the instruction of geology -- the response was dismissive. You're a master at making answers that can be spun both ways later: A put-off that can end discussion, but if the questioner persists, can be spun, later, if called on it, so that you can feign injured sensibility, that all you were doing was asking for more time to respond.

As I stated on your website directly to you -- you are a master of "plausible deniabilty" and I'll add here, having it both ways, and spinning a previous answer just the opposite way from which you originally intended when delivered.

And, of course, the all purpose -- when asked a question respond with a question instead of answering what is already been put to you.

And there's the, "I don't know what you mean," response when even a third grader would undertand.

You're slippery like an eel.

(Is that a back-handed compliment, maybe, or something else, I'll let the readers decide.)

Asking for a few short facts and analysis is reasonable -- these are web debates after all.

Brian, truth is, I've rarely, if ever seen you actually grapple with or acknowledge the strength of the other side's case, rather, it's similar to the above situation: "I'll need "weeks" of research to respond effectly...that's why I said over at your website, "I've seen Brian's 'act' before."

You would come off more reasonable and genuine if instead of the brush-off, "I'll get back to you." You simply said, "Yes, XYZ are a strong piece of evidence," or, "You are right I can't explain that."

It becomes apparent you would rather give up your "eye teeth" than admit your side of a debate has weaknesses.

Brian's rule of thumb -- never let the offending, inconvenient piece of evidence cross my lips.

I think this is a direct result of the way geology is instructed.

And it may work in the "group think" circles of the geology community, but it's unpersuasive beyond the geology confines.

Caveat: There are many geologists that are independent and follow the scientific method wherever it leads inspite of the threat of ostracism in quarters of the geology community that view any diviation from the party line as a betrayal.

BrianR said...

Anaconda says: "When he politely pressed you to offer a word or two more than your initial conclusionary response ... the response was dismissive."

I offered a general response, and when ungtss responded by asking 'Based upon what facts...' I said it would take time. I'm sorry ... I don't have all the facts at my fingertips. I don't see how a word or two could possibly represent the facts that back up that statement. If I had given another sentence, there most certainly would've been follow-up questions demanding facts, right? Are you telling me that another sentence would've been satisfactory? Really? I have a hard time imagining you wouldn't want at least some details.

I've apoligized numerous times for not being able to, without any preparation, provide these facts. I know you don't think I'm sincere, but ... that's the truth. I don't have the necessary data and references memorized or sitting next to me on my desk.

Anaconda says: "Asking for a few short facts and analysis is reasonable -- these are web debates after all."

I agree, I didn't say ASKING for them was unreasonable, I just think that demanding answers after I've said over and over again that I would like to take time to gather the info is a bit unreasonable.

Obviously, you both disagree with that strongly.

ungtss said...

Brian:

No one's asking you to do a bunch of research. You selected the topic of the Andes, and brought it up. If you didn't know enough about the topic to answer basic questions (or have the means to look up the answers to basic questions) about it, then you should have picked a different topic to discuss.

Now that we've established you don't know enough about that topic to discuss it, feel free to select one you do know about, or better yet, address the topics I brought up.

Fred said...

Ungtss,

In my great interest of this expansion theory I came upon the electric universe http://www.electric-cosmos.org/indexOLD.htm

I hope you enjoy this knowledge as much as I have.

ungtss said...

Fred: Very, very interesting -- thanks for the tip.

auxotectonics said...

Hi,

I'm a skeptics and scientist and I got interested in Earth Expansion for a couple of years.
After intense research, lot of reading of peer-review paper and books of the field, I finally reached the conclusion that this theory is globally correct.
Though, the theory has been hijacked by many cranks who simply discredit it.

Besides, there is no current consensus on some important concepts like upduction/eduction (see Scalera and Yu Chudinov).

I'll be interested in discussing the theory and share ideas with you.

Let me know.

Regards,

ungtss said...

Would love it -- I'm at ungtss@live.com