Talk:Jack Sarfatti

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Lead[edit]

I changed the lead to read: "Jack Sarfatti (born September 14, 1939) is an American theoretical physicist who believes there is a relationship between quantum physics and consciousness. Working largely outside academia, he argues that mind may be crucial to the structure of matter, that retrocausality may be possible, and that physics—which he calls the "Conceptual Art of the late 20th Century"—has replaced philosophy as the unifying force between science and art." I think my change was fair considering that Quantum conciousness has no acceptance within the scientific community, and it's his beliefs. Slim changed "who believes" to "specializing in the idea that", which makes it look like it is a valid standard specialization contrary to WP:FRINGE, and seems awkward at best. IRWolfie- (talk) 21:41, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

The lead had been stable for a long time, and opened: "Jack Sarfatti (born September 14, 1939) is an American theoretical physicist specializing in the relationship between quantum physics and consciousness." You changed that a few days ago to Sarfatti is "an American theoretical physicist who believes there is a relationship ..." [1] which sounded odd. I therefore changed it to "who specializes in the idea that there is a relationship."
The point of the first sentence is to tell us who he is, or what he does. Starting with his beliefs alone makes it sound as thought WP is distancing itself too much, rather than being disinterested. Because this is a BLP, it's important to get the tone right. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:27, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with IRWolfie. "Specializing in the idea that..." is needlessly awkward. Perhaps "believes" isn't quite right, but we need to say that he's working to establish or research this thesis. As it is, it appears that he's helping to develop a well-represented topic. Phiwum (talk) 23:31, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The tone is wrong because you are giving quantum conciousness extra validity. An alternative is "is an American theoretical physicist who advocates for a relationship between quantum physics and consciousness". I'm not here to dismiss Sarfatti or something; I simply don't want to see quantum conciousness being given more validity than it's due by weight of sources. IRWolfie- (talk) 11:36, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
The tone of IRWoflie's edit is wrong because he is unnecessarily introducing ideology into the first sentence of a BLP. SlimVirgin's version avoids that. — goethean 12:30, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Elaborate on "ideology" and what you are talking about, IRWolfie- (talk) 22:07, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
There is no speciality of "quantum physics and consciousness" within theoretical physics. Using the word "specializing" legitimizes a fringe position. --92.2.66.203 (talk) 22:43, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

The difficulty is that Sarfatti is someone with perfectly solid credentials and history in theoretical physics, but who is best known for ideas that have little or no mainstream acceptance. (Although this may seem surprising, it's really not so uncommon.) The goal here should be to describe both of these aspects without letting either one color the other too much; that is, we don't want to diminish his credentials or generally recognized work because of his non-mainstream ideas, or conversely, to use his recognized work as an argument-from-authority for his non-mainstream ideas. I think any construction that tries to link together "theoretical physicist" and "relationship between quantum physics and consciousness" will tend to be problematic for this reason, and it's perhaps cleaner to just split them into separate sentences. --Amble (talk) 00:59, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

That makes sense. We could split the sentence so it would read:

Jack Sarfatti (born September 14, 1939) is an American theoretical physicist. Working largely outside academia, Sarfatti specializes in the idea that there is a relationship between quantum physics and consciousness. He argues that mind may be crucial to the structure of matter, that retrocausality may be possible, and that physics—which he calls the "Conceptual Art of the late 20th Century"—has replaced philosophy as the unifying force between science and art.

SlimVirgin (talk) 02:13, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
That sounds great to me (for what my two cents are worth). :-) Thanks. --Amble (talk) 02:52, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Done. Thanks for suggesting it. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:17, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't "specializes in the idea that there is a relationship" a bit wp:weasely? Shouldn't that be "claims that there is a relationship"? - DVdm (talk) 10:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
"Claims" would be the weasel option (see WP:W2W). Whether quantum physics can explain or provide a vocabulary for the problems of consciousness (qualia, time, mental-to-physical causation, the appearance of free will) is a valid subject, even if not discussed in physics classes. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:04, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that "claims" would be weasel here. I think it could even be sourced ;-)

But never mind, this is not really worth wasting thought —let alone mind— on. Cheers - DVdm (talk) 22:30, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

It's a valid subject according to you, but not according to the scientific mainstream. That needs to be clear in the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 23:21, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Kaiser overuse[edit]

All of these articles on Fsyick group members are being dominated by David Kaiser, using his source to a really large extent. Seriously, what is with the over reliance of the book by this historian to prop up all of these articles? Also note that reviews of the book indicate that he may have overreached in his claims for the influence of the group, IRWolfie- (talk) 16:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

This was a troubled BLP for a long time, triggering several complaints, including I believe to the Foundation. It was rewritten using David Kaiser's work as a source, and has been quiet ever since, so I hope nothing will be done to stir it up again. Kaiser's book and talks are good sources, in fact ideal sources for this subject. He has a PhD in physics and another in the history of science, both from Harvard. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:42, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't address my comment. IRWolfie- (talk) 10:23, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't know what else I could say to address it. David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, himself a physicist, has written fairly extensively about Sarfatti in a recent book, and has discussed him in lectures. Therefore, we use that material extensively as a source, because it's a great source. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:42, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
But we don't need to base so much of the articles from the book if we know its shortcomings (I wouldn't expect any persons original research to be universally accepted either, so it seems like bad practice to base on article on it). I'm not saying it's not a fine book for opinion, just that it is being overused when we have specific reviews that counter some of the points. The book appears to be a pop-history book, aimed for public consumption, and not by a university press, IRWolfie- (talk) 23:48, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

David Kaiser is a Ph.D. physicist with a degree from Harvard and he is on the physics faculty of MIT head of the Science and Technology group. Kaiser is a professional historian of physics. The book has been reviewed in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Nature, Scientific American, American Scientist, Physics Today. Sarfatti's photograph is in the first three. Sarfatti is a public figure influencing national security policy and well as mass-culture quite apart from his work in physics and to restrict references to university presses is improper. Kaiser's book is impeccably professional of the highest standards expected by an MIT faculty member. It is written both for the public and for physicists and received an award from the British Institute of Physics in 2012. Finally, Sarfatti is a strident critic of "free energy conspiracy theorists" yet the article at the bottom libels him by falsely insinuating that he is a member of that crackpot group. He is not. Please correct that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:9:6380:B7:2CDA:5A40:775B:25E6 (talk) 17:59, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

So What Has He Done?[edit]

Found the main page very odd, it reads like home made Sarfatti "Fluff". Taken from some idealistic memory of the past, but it never happened that way.

I know he has a massive ego, self-promoter, very self-opinionated and does not like critics… but what has this to do with anything in the requirements of a Wiki page?

Tell me "Fundamental Fysiks Group" was something positive rather than a group of drug nuts with crackpot ideas that never came to anything just talk. The idea that he influencing national security policy and well as mass-culture is wrong on all counts.

And, why do we have a very large subsection on Uri Geller?

Sarfatti from looking at the references is a flake and from all accounts also an arrogant old man.

He does need a refrence in Wiki but this amount... Got me?

Vufors (talk)

I'm also surprised to see him on Wikipedia. AFAICT he is a classic example of what Germans call "Hochstapler". There is no good English equivalent. It's basically someone good at making easy and unoriginal (but frequently correct) work appear original and profound. His background in physics is solid. The stuff he does is not incorrect, just shallow and of no consequence. It's true he is arrogant, all people of that type are.JanBielawski (talk) 05:00, 7 March 2014 (UTC)