User talk:Brian Josephson

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Welcome!

Hello, Brian Josephson, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Again, welcome!  -- ALoan (Talk) 17:12, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Contents

Psi[edit]

Hello, if you are 'the' Brian Josephson, I'd like to personally welcome you to Wikipedia, your insights on parapsychology and psi are really needed here. Very dogmatic sceptics often hijack Wikipedia, so the community here would benefit greatly from an eminent scientist adding solid support for psi. I have just been engaged with a discussion on psi and Dean Radin on my talk page, take a look if you are interested in commenting. Best wishes - Solar 19:36, 25 September 2006 (UTC) PS - I have also been discussing neuroscience and OBE, which might also be of interest.

Unfortunately, my experience suggests that being an 'eminent scientist' cuts no ice at all in these parts! --Brian Josephson (talk) 13:12, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Reincarnation[edit]

Sire, in the Beyond belief symposium of 2006 you have been mentioned as a supporter for reincarnation, yet I failed to find any references or quotations that I may use to study it further, from your point of view. Thank you. :)

Curiositly yours --Procrastinating@talk2me 19:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I guess my attitude is that I put it in the class 'quite likely to be true'. The reason you've not located any references or quotes of mine on the subject is that I've not written anything on it! Brian Josephson 09:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Which are some facts that would support the existence of reincarnation?--5.15.46.186 (talk) 19:08, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, this user page is not a helpline. Try Google Search. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:08, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Dreadstar RfA[edit]

Daytona beach sunrise.jpg

Thanks for your support! I took the easy way out of thanking everyone by stealing borrowing someone else's card design...but know that I sincerely appreciate your support and confidence in me! It is such an honor to have earned your vote, I thank you from the bottom of my heart..it's wonderful to have your support, Professor...! Dreadstar 09:36, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated allegations and implications[edit]

It is not acceptable for you to continue to make (implicitly or explicitly) allegations of a cabal or conspiracy or squad of editors with some vaguely-specified but utterly repugnant conflict of interest. While I realize that you disagree with me about the nature or seriousness of your remarks, I have asked for independent comment at Wikipedia:Wikiquette alerts#Unsubstantiated allegations of cabals and conflict of interest by User:Brian Josephson. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:18, 22 April 2011 (UTC) (out of date) --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Sarfatti[edit]

Hi Brian, thanks for your comment on the Sarfatti page. I was about to try to find an email address for you (I didn't realize you were a Wikipedian) to ask for your advice. I'm trying to rewrite this, and I was hoping for input from someone knowledgeable in the area to make sure I'm using the right sources and interpreting them correctly.

Would you mind keeping an eye on the article as it develops, and giving me a nudge if I've misunderstood or overlooked something? Any input like that would be much appreciated—bearing in mind that I can only use what has been published, per WP:V and WP:NOR, including material published (and self-published) by Sarfatti himself. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 16:18, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Evidence and sources[edit]

I've observed your interest about Energy Catalyzer, and I have a question: if you really are the Nobel prize Brian Josephson, what does have caused this interest? Why do you think the experiment to be considerable? ^musaz 14:42, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your query. Back in 1989 I accepted without question the general view that the CF claim was in error. Then several years ago a visitor gave me the 'Fire from Water' video (which you can see on Google Video I believe). This showed what appeared to be ordinary scientists discussing expts. in the usual way. It then, on a basis of a detailed study, seemed to me very likely that the scientific community had made an error.

The next stage was that I was in Boston for a conference, and before setting out I asked the late Gene Mallove if there was any possibility of seeing an expt. in the area while I was there. He arranged for me to visit Mitchell Swartz's lab. He explained how he measured the excess heat (it involved using a resistor as control). This seemed to be pretty straightforward and definitive. I have visited a number of other CF labs since.

So I am 2 steps up on yer average sceptic: (i) I have studied the evidence rather than dismissing it out of hand (ii) I have visited actual labs -- very important as you get pretty limited information if you just read about an expt., and you can ask questions.

Re the Rossi reactor, someone told me about this beforehand as they wanted my advice. Let me summarise by saying the evidence seems pretty convincing so far and overall hard to reconcile with either fraud or error. I have to say I find it pretty shocking the way w'pedia seems to work -- expertise seems to count for nothing, and I suspect that most people after studying what is happening would conclude that certain people are not interested in providing information but only want to exclude anything too positive. The rules surely allow some flexibility but just look at the way they wanted to highlight the failure of the patent application and allow nothing to be included about the positive side. And all this 'dog and pony show' stuff. Dear, dear! But then, I meet stupid people all the time, even scientists -- they will happily trot out clearly invalid arguments to disprove memory of water, ESP, etc. You might like to look at some of my videos/ppts on this, e.g. http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/664718, Pathological Disbelief --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:42, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the awnser. I asked you that because i'm a student, and I think the experiment is a fraud being impossible to realize nuclear reaction at 800K in a small-volume space. There aro no scientific pubblication explaining what happens in the E-cat, and the inventors affirm not to know about the psysical process involved by the experiment. So I was a bit interested in the scientifical features that suggest you the experiment's validity. Regards, ^musaz 18:25, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Well -- nuclear energies would be enough. If you think it is fraud you need to say (a) how it was done despite the precautions being taken by the investigators, and (b) what would be the point in it, given that Rossi's contracts stipulate that no money changes hands until the buyer is satisfied. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:34, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
These questions should be awnsered by the inventors, not by me or someone else. The inventor has to explane how does the invention works, and if his argumentations are acceptable i can value the physical meanings of the experiment. Other ways to deal the question are not scientific, because the heat they notice could have been preduced in a lot of fraudolent ways. ^musaz 14:15, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
It's a commercial device not a scientific experiment, so different criteria apply. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:18, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Ok, i asked you because i thought you stated the experiment was a scientific experiment, and i didn't understand how you could have belived in it. In my honest opinion the experiment's fame is not sufficient to justify a wikipedia article, but I really thank you for the awnsers. Regards, ^musaz 13:50, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

This discussion is getting distinctly confused so is best terminated at this point. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:02, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

However, I will just add that it is the invention's promise rather than its fame that justifies its inclusion in w'pedia. But would the 'cabal', or however they would prefer to be called, allow that to be talked about? I suspect not directly -- the cabal can always cook up their reason -- though if you read through the Ny Teknik articles in the references you can probably pick this up. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The 'cabal' would allow the experiment to be talked about if the invention's promise became true. If it happens, there will be a lot of authoritative souces that make the experiment a good wp article. ^musaz 10:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Obviously, different people will have different opinions as to what makes an article 'good' and, quite frankly, it seems (to me at least), that a lot of irrelevant arguments are being put forward (quite legitimately in view of w'pedia's rules) by people who don't have the expertise needed to make adequate comment. We'll have to agree to differ on that issue. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:39, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
With the greatest respect, perhaps it has eluded you that users of Wikipedia have no way to verify the identity of editors. The consequence is that the credibility of content cannot be contingent on the credibility of those editors. Hence we have a hard and fast rule that "Encyclopedic content must be verifiable", as every editor is reminded with every edit. "I'm an expert authority and I say X is true" carries less than zero weight here simply because it demonstrates that the writer understands neither the audience nor the medium. On the other hand, experts who arrives normally bring a ready familiarity with and understanding of the significant publications in their field, so that wp:citing sources is more readily done for them. One area that experts often find troublesome at first is Wikipedia's preference for secondary sources over primary ones. This too comes down to the same cause. Our readers should not be asked to trust that pseudonymous editors are competent to assess the relative merits of primary papers. We instead await (or at least should await) secondary sources to see which results stand the test of time under the publication, peer scrutiny and review processes. Fortunately we have no deadline and can afford to wait for experts to publish reviews or other secondary texts in the subject literature. Regards, LeadSongDog come howl! 18:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What a way to run an encyclopedia! But I can't quite see how your remarks are relevant anyway as the references concerned are primarily secondary ones, having been reported in e.g. reputable technical newspapers which have high standards. Mainstream news reporting is generally considered to be reliable for statements of fact (In the talk page, Mats Lewan has made it clear that that is the category in which his articles should be placed). Tilting at windmills? --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:35, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd challenge, at least in part, the statement that editors are not verifiable as to their character and reliability at least. Looking at the totality of what individual editors do, I think one can build up a pretty good and I would say pretty reliable picture of those editors. Some clearly understand the subject matter while some do not, some seem to make thoughtful contributions to the debate while others seem more interested in the book of rules (and, quite frankly, I think we could do without so many editorial interventions by the latter kind). People whose jobs don't involve much in the way of making judgements of this kind may have more difficulty, of course.
And again, say an editor has a user name like 'Brian Josephson' or 'matslewan', people can look at what the w'pedia person is doing and what the person with the equivalent real name does and decide for themselves if they are the same. Fake writers don't often go without detection for very long; it's not like the world of art.
And I think experienced people, once they have appreciated that W'pedia is not a blog, will quickly pick up the point about needing secondary sources. After all, when one is writing a paper one gives references and is careful about the choices. One does, admittedly, sometimes say 'private communication', but normally only when the person cited has the relevant qualifications so there is some reason for people to trust what they say. And if you say you don't trust experienced people, I have to ask you, why? And if you say you can't make such judgements then I would say, just stay out of it. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:55, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Running an encyclopedia this way certainly has numerous difficulties, yet openness has also brought substantial results. There are few other venues where so many disciplines intermingle so freely, with experts and near-illiterates contributing in their own ways. (Some even argue that vandalism exerts a constructive force, though on balance that's hard to support.)
In cases such as yours or Mats', where an editor voluntarily chooses to associate an on-wiki account name with their off-wiki identity it is, of course, possible (even simple) to make that association more or less incontravertible. Indeed you have both done that. But Wikipedia is "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit", where that "anyone" includes people who need or wish to protect their off-wiki privacy. It is also written for a worldwide readership with the widest possible range of background knowledge. While one reader will take as true anything he reads from any writer, the next will actually read the cited references to articles. As editors we have to cater to them both, we can't simply say "I trust author Z so you should too." The best articles have been based on tough vetting of sources, but they still cite them. Although someone writing in Phys. Rev. Lett. might be free to omit citations in support of statements which any BSc(Phys) would take as easily established or conventional, we do not have the luxury of leaving verification as an exercise for the reader. We strive to minimize the barriers to readers so far as possible without undue "dumbing down". An intelligent but innocent reader with some diligence should be able to understand what publications back up an assertion. Of course citation has the ancilliary benefit that in the process of reading those sources readers may gain a better understanding of the topic, but that is not the principal reason.
Similarly, we can not assume that a reader of Wikipedia will know how to, or bother to, look behind the covers of the editing process to find out which editor made a specific edit and then assess their credibility. It is intended and accepted that articles are reused by many different republishers, usually without the associated edit history and talkpage content.
Finally, in the all too rare case that an expert editor such as yourself can attend to an article, we want to make it possible for you to efficiently see the sources, so that any errors in representation of those sources within the article can readily be identified, explained, and corrected. We value your time and want it to have the most positive effect possible upon the quality of our collective product. LeadSongDog come howl! 19:59, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I've changed the title of this section to one that I think better reflects its content. In the main I agree with all that you've said, but differ to some extent on matters of detail. One problem is that while I agree with the principle that articles should have suitable backup, a number of editors don't really know which sources can be considered a priori reliable. Take the case of the reports on the reactor. The point of a report as opposed say to an email or a blog is that the person's reputation is behind it -- if there is an error in a report that someone produces it reflects badly on that person in a way that something in a blog doesn't, just because reports are supposed to be carefully considered before they are released. They may still contain errors, of course, but then the same applies to journal articles -- referees will spot obviously dubious papers or obvious errors but some things may not be noticed, and in any case in the case of data this has to be taken on trust (cf. the case of Schon, who got numerous fraudulent papers published before someone spotted something fishy). In the case of the E-cat article, editors who seem to go by unreliable gut feelings rather than knowing what they are doing have tried to get characterised as unreliable sources and thus subject to removal references that add greatly to the value of the article.
Re what readers do, I think it is widely understood that w'pedia can be extemely useful but content should not be taken as necessarily reliable. I suspect that when people want to check on something they have read they will find it hard to judge just seeing where something has been published but will do a search to see how much other sources agree (the Ecat is a special case as for sociological reasons and because of the commercial aspects very little can be found outside the references in the w'pedia article). I agree with your point that readers' background knowledge cannot be assumed and that good references should be given to help such people.
When I wrote, why don't you trust experienced people, I was referring to trust not by readers but by editors. Editors do have a chance to consider the status of other editors and should, where appropriate, be able to trust their judgements. Readers in turn should be trust that the editors have acted appropriately. But do they act appropriately always? Who will vet the vetters, as a Roman said once? I think that if someone uses language such as ???? For example, comments that certain editors make in reference to material under discussion make it plainly obvious that attention to detail by the writer concerned was virtually non-existent. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:02, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

New Energy Times report on the Rossi 'Energy Catalyzer'[edit]

Professor Josephson, I don't know whether you have as yet seen the New Energy Times report on the Rossi 'Energy Catalyzer'? [1] It seems somewhat damning, and I'd like to hear your opinion regarding the validity of the science-based arguments therein. Can I ask in particular whether you think that the diagrams "Conceptual Diagram of Correct Way to Measure Energy Balance" and "Conceptual Diagram of Incorrect Way to Measure Energy Balance" are valid criticisms of the tests previously done on the 'Cat'?

There are other matters regarding Rossi etc in the report which also seem to indicate a less-than-transparent approach (e.g. his 'factory' on the 5th floor of a Miami Beach apartment block), but that is rather by-the-by if the 'Cat' turns out to be nothing more than a way of heating water by mains electricity, as the NET article seems to imply - except for anyone who may have invested in the device... AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:22, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Things are never as simple as they seem, especially when the 'Black Knight' is involved (see below), but I accept there may be problems with some of the measurements. In any event, I am in contact with the people who will be testing the 1MW device and am confident that they at least will use a rigorous measurement technique. The 'Black Knight' who runs the web site is not renowned for his interest in accuracy -- he has made two inaccurate statements about me in the past (a claim that I organised a lecture because I had a financial interest in the company owned by the lecturer, and a claim that I had used a Bushnell quote out of context) and, much more seriously, refused to make a correction or even allow comment. In the latter case, he even removed the comment facility I had used to try to set the Bushnell situation straight.
Incidentally, Rossi claims the device continues to generate heat even when there is no energy input. If this statement is correct, then the reactor is a genuine device though it may not generate as much heat as has been suggested. All this should become clear when the rigorous test is carried out.--Brian Josephson (talk) 08:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd perhaps best not comment on the animosity between Steven Krivit and yourself, though it does put the NET article in a rather different light. As you say, the important thing is going to be the results from rigorous tests, and I look forward to seeing these - assuming that the apparent breakup between Rossi and Defkalion doesn't delay things further. This split seems to leave several questions unanswered - notably the disparity between what Defkalion had claimed to be doing, and what Rossi has said regarding the information he disclosed to Defkalion. All rather odd, but perhaps things will become clearer in the next few days. The again, perhaps not... AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Defkalion[edit]

I notice that the agreement between Defkalion and Rossi is at an end. I also noticed that, according to Daniele Passerini's blog, you will be present at the USA test of the 1MW plant... could you please confirm? 94.170.239.207 (talk) 21:24, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm not at all keen on travelling and will be happy to read the reports! By the way, I'll 'reject' your YouTube comment as it seems to me it was basically just a communication to myself. YouTube does have a mechanism you can use to contact people directly (and I get notified by email when this has happened) (unless of course you are the user I blocked eventually because a pointless discussion had arisen and I did not wish to waste further time with that person, in which case it would not have got through to me).
I should add that I'm planning to add a comment on the Defkalion situation to the YouTube video as no doubt a lot of people will be wondering about this.--Brian Josephson (talk) 08:44, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your response; I've not had any pointless discussion with you (yet :), so yes I will use the other mechanism if needed. 94.170.239.207 (talk) 18:11, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I deleted that comment as I was able to check who I had barred and saw that it was a different person. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:10, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

E-Cat suggestion[edit]

Hello Prof. Josephson. According to some, you have agreed to participate in a 12 hour examination of the E-Cat on October 6. I just wanted to drop you a message to suggest an obvious idea. If time constraints eliminate the possibility of a control experiment, venting the hydrogen during the last part of the test and observing the effect on output could be an excellent compromise. Previous tests have not held the other test variables constant after venting. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to true critical thinking. Enslaved robot boy (talk) 18:22, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Apparently the rumor was false, sorry to disturb you. Enslaved robot boy (talk) 19:41, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Nuclear reactor[edit]

Hello Prof. Josephson! Could the E-Cat be considered (reliably sourced) a nuclear reactor? Some people disagree! Please share your thought at Talk:Nuclear_reactor#Energy_Catalyzer.--79.119.214.15 (talk) 09:35, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia[edit]

Welcome to Wikipedia. I hope you are not put off by the somewhat less than warm welcome or are shocked by the very hard uncompromising positions of some. This place is not so bad compared with my early experience in the work-place where I was seated between one man on my left who was a holocaust denier while on my right sat a man who had fought his way across Europe and was among the first to enter a newly discovered death camp. It made for interesting times.

The truth will out eventually. But in the meantime I must say it is a shame that people with real insights are pushed to one side. We can always hope that reasonable words will win out eventually. In the meantime there is a small cadre of those who have learned to quote the rules, spout invective, and generally poison the waters until the more moderate editors leave, then they can rule the roost. They have learned to game the system and the system really is not too interested in pulling them into line or throwing them out for fear of being labeled tyrants.

One rotten apple can in fact spoil the whole barrel or in the parlance of a manufacturing engineer: the 0.01% of miss-manufactured parts if allowed to enter the assembly cause 99.99% of the trouble. I suspect much the same is true of human populations, large and small. Only a small percentage of career criminals commit the majority of crimes and only a small number of irritating people can spoil the atmosphere on Wikipedia.

I wait each day for the next shoe to drop W.R.T. the E-Cat. It’s invention may be a harbinger of truly dramatic changes. We live in interesting and hopefully better times. Zedshort (talk) 04:24, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

A We the People Petition[edit]

I have created a “We The People Petition” for the review of the E-Cat by the White House that you can sign by going here: http://wh.gov/j3P

I suppose only U.S. citizens can sign the petition but maybe you can spread the word. Zedshort (talk) 02:51, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

A petition asking Rossi to allow his E-Cat to be properly independently tested would be a darned sight more useful... AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:59, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Defkalion appear to be doing this at least. Mats Lewan (see bit.ly/CFteknik) has reported on the involvement of the Greek govt., though so far only safety checks have been done. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:20, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

:Energy Catalyzer - your open letter to Rossi etc[edit]

Professor Josephson, given that Talk:Energy_Catalyzer#UK_Department_of_Energy_and_Climate_Change.2C_Josephson.27s_open_letter_to_Rossi. relates to you, I wondered if you would have any comments? Thanks. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:13, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

The people who edit and discuss this page are beyond the pale as far as I am concerned and I'm not going to waste my time on this (I found out about your comment because I logged in to comment on a conventional article on maths and saw an alert). The US military seem satisfied enough to have ordered more than a dozen reactors, and soon the second buyer, who is not as coy about his identity as the defence people, will probably be giving a favourable report. If and when that happens all this critical stuff will miraculously disappear. If of course that doesn't happen then you people will be having a field day. C'est la vie! --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:34, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
"If and when that happens...". Yup. "If" - as the Spartans once replied to Philip II of Macedon: [2] Thanks for the response, anyway, and have a happy whatever-you-celebrate-(if-anything)-at-this-time-of-year. Maybe by this time next year everyone will be roasting marshmallows over a red-hot E-Cat, though no doubt I'll be restricted to a diet of Brussels-sprout and stale-bread sandwiches for being so wrong... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:54, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Charming! --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:36, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Henry Stapp[edit]

Hi Brian, sorry to be so slow to respond to your note on my talk page. Just to say you're welcome (re: getting rid of the non-notable template). Glad to be of help. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:47, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

A bit of humour in poor taste for you[edit]

The E-Cat event and the seemingly interminable waiting drove me near to madness and so I was compelled to seek for humour and condense it into a play: Waiting for E-Cat. http://deadstickarizona-zedshort.blogspot.com/2012/03/waiting-for-e-cat.html

I hope it gives you a laugh. Everyone is skewered but no one dies. There is time enough until the end of the year and no doubt more events to come so I have no doubt I will have material for a third act.Zedshort (talk) 16:33, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

What is currently anticipated is the e-cat factory swinging into larger scale production, and patents being granted in due course, all of which take time. Just like any new technology, in fact! --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:54, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Can you provide an estimated time frame for when you would be surprised if it wasn't available? A month? 6 months? a year? IRWolfie- (talk) 23:15, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
People who are familiar with the trials of bringing an invention to market say these things are unpredictable, so I will not venture an estimate. Perhaps you should consult a psychic. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:27, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
You are in a better position than I to recommend someone with good psychic ability, no? :) IRWolfie- (talk) 22:08, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, you're on your own here. I must get on now so responses may be limited for a while. --80.3.229.12 (talk) 22:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, cheers, IRWolfie- (talk) 22:19, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Before people write in to object, the remark concerning psychics above was a joke. As regards times, there is an assertion at http://pesn.com/2012/09/11/9602180_2012_E-Cat_Conference_Report--1_MW_E-Cat_Ready/ that "Within a couple of months, a 1 MW unit is supposed to be installed in Northern Italy that will be able to be inspected by potential buyers." --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:07, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
How much weight do you, personally, give that assertion? IRWolfie- (talk) 21:31, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I, personally, prefer to wait rather than to weight. --80.3.229.12 (talk) 21:45, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
see http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/?p=791&cpage=3#comment-663403 for latest developments. --Brian Josephson (talk) 12:03, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
Who are they? IRWolfie- (talk) 12:20, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
No doubt when (if) they publish they'll reveal their identities! Brian Josephson (talk) 12:50, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
And if these purported experts never publish and are never disclosed, what will you conclude? IRWolfie- (talk) 14:29, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
  • It seems the purported independent experts where in fact Levi et al (Levi has had a long association with Rossi, if I recall correctly didn't Bologna University sign an agreement with Rossi for a time?), and they still didn't have independent access to the machine, IRWolfie- (talk) 09:39, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Another 9 months goes by, no E-cat, :) Second Quantization (talk) 00:10, 3 March 2014 (UTC) (Formerly Wolfie)
I find your editing activities on Wikipedia beneath contempt, and will not respond to your query other than to quote this very apposite comment from a colleague:

These Wikipedia trolls don't actually do anything of consequence in the real world. They are internet trolls. That is what they do. They have plenty of time, and work in teams. It's like having one's house attacked by black mold.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 08:34, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Now there is a detailed account of the whole saga from Mats Lewan. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:04, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Superconductors′ electrochemistry[edit]

Hello Prof Josephson!

Do you happen to know if there are some achievements in this field?--82.137.11.181 (talk) 14:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

A superconductor is a region of constant chemical potential, so it is not clear that anything of interest can happen here! --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:57, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps the question implied an interface between a superconductor and an electrolyte.--188.26.22.131 (talk) 17:32, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

This context raises a question concerning the existence of superconducting electrolyte.--188.26.22.131 (talk) 17:36, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I'll leave it to the experts, I'm not working in this area at this time. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:47, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Do you know some experts who might have adressed this topic in some works, perhaps among them John Bockris?--188.26.22.131 (talk) 09:53, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Josephson effect - request[edit]

Hello Professor Josephson!

Could you add more details concerning the derivation of the equations at Josephson effect?--188.27.247.229 (talk) 08:04, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Hmm ... W'pedia doesn't think highly of people who know what they are talking about, and experts tend not to have much spare time anyway. If you were thinking of editing the article yourself, I could draw your attention to the fact that the calculation was based on one by Cohen Falicov and Phillips that was referenced in the paper, but included the influence of the phase that is present on account of broken symmetry (the article on that is not very good however). There seems not to be a link to my Nobel lecture, which would be helpful and more so than the Nobel link that is there. You need to find someone with both time and knowledge to make it a proper account! --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:52, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Since I wrote the above, our college library has scanned my Trinity College fellowship dissertation of 1962 (NB not my 1964 Ph.D. thesis for the University), and you can see it at http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/243916. This goes into the logic in much detail. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:53, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
The readers of wpedia thank you for the availability of this link. 82.79.26.145 (talk) 15:29, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia loves people who know what they are talking about, but not those who assert as fact views that are out of line with the scientific consensus. We also recommend those who are directly involved with a subject to propose edits on the discussion page to avoid any potential reputational damage due to perceived conflicts of interest. Guy (Help!) 20:59, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
That's what I normally do, so what inspired you to write that? --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:25, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

The Guardian wins the race[edit]

Cold fusion generally (not the E-cat) has suffered from a vicious circle where a false account of CF is endlessly recycled and never corrected since the real situation is blocked from view by editors unduly influenced by the false account. The Guardian has bucked the trend by publishing my obituary of Martin Fleischmann based on a wider perspective; contrast this with the presumptive review in Nature by Philip Ball. Ball's full text is available only to subscribers but his conclusion will indicate his misguided main theme: "... once you have been proved right against the odds, it becomes harder to accept the possibility of error. To make a mistake or a premature claim, even to fall prey to self-deception, is a risk any scientist runs. The test is how one deals with it."

The Obituaries Editor Robert White is to be congratulated on this: when I sent him some text first he said they were already planning an obituary and suggested I send in my piece as a comment. But he began to recognise that there was an important story here and suggested I send in modified text based on their traditional format. The final result was a collaborative effort by the two of us (plus some advisers who supplied additional detail). --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:50, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I can add to this account the fact that Nature published a letter from me correcting the aforementioned typically misleading obituary by Philip Ball.--Brian Josephson (talk) 17:19, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

A very good friend of mine was in Fleischmann's lab at Southampton during the cold fusion debacle and actually played a part in running some of the experiments. He is a full professor at an English university now, with an extensive list of publications and patents. I asked him about the article, he considers the version that we Featured some years back to be accurate, balanced and entirely fair. Guy (Help!) 21:02, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

There could well have been a time when it was thus. But that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone (with thanks to whoever it was who wrote that originally!) --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:23, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

I showed him the Featured version about two or three years ago. What has materially changed in the last two or three years? Other than us having to ban a few True Believers... Guy (Help!) 12:06, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
I had a look at one from early 2011 and it looks like I was wrong -- things were just as bad then. By way of clarification, have a look at the letter by me that Nature (more open-minded than w'pedia, clearly!) published, and show it to your friend too. That letter explains how most scientists got misled in various ways into erroneously dismissing cold fusion, and misled into characterising the w'pedia article as being, and I quote: "accurate, balanced and entirely fair". Still, one can't blame busy people for just accepting the general belief and passing it on to keep it going, rather than taking the the practical approach as I have, of not only studying what has been done in this area but also visiting a number of CF labs to acquaint myself with what has been going on.
You might also find it of interest the views of Robert Duncan, vice-chancellor of research at the University of Missouri. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:52, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Invitation to comments[edit]

Come join us on talk:Cold fusion. I've posted all sorts of proposals, It would be great to have your opinion about these.
Thanks! --Brian Josephson (talk) 19:21, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Your quote from Nature[edit]

Hello, Prof Josephson! On talk:Cold fusion I expressed the view that your quote to Nature must be included in the article. I'd insert it myself but it seems that unregistered users are prohibited to edit the article thus creating discrimination towards unregistered users.--5.15.205.101 (talk) 19:56, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Useless suggestion! Don't imagine such a change would last for more than a moment!--Brian Josephson (talk) 19:18, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
After my most recent comments regarding the source, no one has posted any objections. It seems that the consensus for inclusion is formed. I could register as I explained in the section with unlocking request and insert the citation in the article. Then we could see who makes a misconceived revert against the consensus.--5.15.200.238 (talk) 17:48, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Invitation[edit]

Hello! As there is a Wikipedia article about you, you are cordially invited to contribute a short audio recoding of your spoken voice, so that our readers may know what you sound like and how you pronounce your name. Details of how to do so, and examples, are at Wikipedia:Voice intro project. Please feel free to ask for help or clarification on the project talk page, or my talk page. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:01, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Doubtful reasoning against CF[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you regard (the validity of) Huizenga's reasoning against cold fusion by appeal to a supposed Nernst equation missinterpretation by F&P?--5.15.200.238 (talk) 17:41, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, can't comment, as I've never heard of this before. I see you have to read the book to find out what was said. I wonder what makes a book a reliable source? I'd have thought that H., being a high-energy/nuclear physicist, might well have been writing outside his 'area of expertise'.--Brian Josephson (talk) 18:17, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
As a nuclear physical chemist Huizenga (having received 2 awards in nuclear chemistry as pointed out by Google search) may have considered that he was entitled to suppose that some missinterpretation of a basic electrochemical concept like the equation mentioned must have occured to F&P because their results deviate considerably from the common knowledge about nuclear processes. This is somewhat similar to the common knowledge in geophysics when Wegener formulated his hypothesis on continetal drift. Similarly today the exact conditions of occurence of CF phenomena are not known exactly compared to the nuclear fission where it is known that the neutron flux holds the main role in sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction.
Concerning the established fields of expertise it is naturally that when new experimental facts appear which do not fit exactly in established fields of expertise some experts are inclined to disconsider facts as anomalous based on the established lines of reasoning instead of a rigourous application of the scientific method. The labelling pathological science is due to Huizenga based on the omission of statistical aspects in his conception of reproducibility. New experimental anomalous facts may require emergent fields like nuclear electrochemistry or nuclear solid state physics which draw from more established field like nuclear chemistry and physics.
The lack (yet) of a wikiarticle for Huizenga seems surprising considering his involvement in the development of the field.
It is unfortunate that the teaching of (established) sciences does not delve much into the character of the making of experimental science, which as you've mentioned, is much like the production of industrial goods. The key aspect which is defficient is a better structuring of knowledge required for a rigourous application of the scientific method. It seems that the necessity of exercising the scientific method is insufficiently considered or completely ignored in the process of training the specialists.--5.15.177.40 (talk) 15:00, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
John Adkins and I 'proved' experimentally that the supercurrents I had predicted didn't in fact exist, or at least if they did exist they were orders of magnitude less than the prediction. They do exist of course, but for a rather subtle reason discovered by Anderson they were unobservable under the particular conditions of the expt. There's a moral there for cold fusion deniers perhaps.--Brian Josephson (talk) 20:31, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Indeed it should be. But is seems that regarding CF on w'pedia some sources (Huizenga-like, the deniers) are considered by some to be reliable by default, while others (Josephson-like, etc) are questioned instantly. How is this situation that Huizenga's reasonings should have more wp:weight than Josephson's? On what grounds? Is Huizenga more entitled to wikiprominence than Josephson?--5.15.179.120 (talk) 19:33, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Prof Josephson, given the context of the most recent discussions you've been part of, to what extent (if any) do you consider that wikiconsiderations like mainstream and fringe positions apply in the case of cold fusion article?--5.15.194.246 (talk) 17:59, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps the situation could be summarised by saying it is pretty well mainstream by now but most scientists go round wearing blinkers and haven't noticed. Of course the fact that people still go on referring to it as if it is all an error has something to do with it. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:04, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Orphaned non-free media (File:Defkalion demo display of power info.png)[edit]

Ambox warning blue.svg Thanks for uploading File:Defkalion demo display of power info.png. The media description page currently specifies that it is non-free and may only be used on Wikipedia under a claim of fair use. However, it is currently orphaned, meaning that it is not used in any articles on Wikipedia. If the media was previously in an article, please go to the article and see why it was removed. You may add it back if you think that will be useful. However, please note that media for which a replacement could be created are not acceptable for use on Wikipedia (see our policy for non-free media).

If you have uploaded other unlicensed media, please check whether they're used in any articles or not. You can find a list of 'file' pages you have edited by clicking on the "my contributions" link (it is located at the very top of any Wikipedia page when you are logged in), and then selecting "File" from the dropdown box. Note that all non-free media not used in any articles will be deleted after seven days, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. Thank you. Werieth (talk) 15:58, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out the problem. I used the screengrab concerned in the discussion at Talk:Cold Fusion but it seems to have disappeared, so I've put it back. It is difficult to make the point I was making without actually showing the display I was referrring to. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:19, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

Hello. Wikipedia's policies do not permit novel synthesis (or original research). Your recent edits to cold fusion include such material. Please also be advised that this article is under general sanctions due to past whitewashing and other problematic activities by advocates. If you are the Brian Josephson then you may well be considered as having a material conflict of interest; either way I recommend you discuss proposed edits on the article's discussion page as most of your edits are being rapidly reverted as violating policies and guidelines. Guy (Help!) 20:57, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

In the courts, a key test is, what would a reasonable person conclude? I doubt if a reasonable person who had studied the w'pedia page on novel synthesis would think it reasonable to invoke it to throw out my edit. This is a nice example of tendentious editing. --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:06, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
To amplify this point for the benefit of people who don't know the details: the cold fusion article has a paragraph related to the fact that people had difficulty reproducing the claims of Fleischmann and Pons. I added a highly relevant fact (including citing an appropriate reference), that the behaviour of materials is often not reproducible, something that would reduce the significance of people not being able to reproduce the F-P claims (and which is probably responsible for some of the failures, though many failures were simply the result of people not getting the conditions right). I also indicated that the previous comments did not take materials irreproducibility into account (I hadn't in fact checked this and would have withdrawn the comment if someone had been able to challenge it, but it is my assumption that if they had taken it into account they would not have drawn the conclusions cited). I submit that a reasonable person would have said 'good point' and considered it a good addition to the article. Instead we have editors set on their PoV quoting the rules as an excuse for removing the comment, no doubt glowing in self-satisfaction as they did so. --Brian Josephson (talk) 07:46, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you are best placed to judge how an independent person might view your edits (none of us is, after all). Several experienced Wikipedians appear to have independently reached the conclusion that your edits are problematic, so it is probably best to simply propose changes on the talk pages for discussion and avoid drama. In any case, it reads to me as special pleading, and there is an extensive history of that kind of issue with this specific article. The standard on Wikipedia is verifiability not truth; it is verifiably the case that the overwhelming view of science as expressed in several reviews not least by the US Department of Energy, places cold fusion in the realm of pathological science. Guy (Help!) 12:04, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

DoE report[edit]

If you think the DoE characterised CF as pathological science, you are seriously misleading yourself. Look at the actual report (the second one especially), rather than going by second-hand reports on it. If I recall correctly, a large proportion of the independent committee felt there was good evidence for excess heat, hardly 'pathological science'. I cannot emphasise too highly the importance of going to the source, and hope you will look seriously into the subject.
Further, I don't think my colleagues, and people who have talked with me, would dismiss me as being unable to be objective (as you appear to be doing), and as a professional scientist I feel rather insulted by the suggestion. Perhaps it is rather your own lack of objectivity that needs to be looked into instead. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:18, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
You may well reply in response to this that there are other professionals, including your friend, who have come to the opposite conclusions to myself, and we cannot both be right. Indeed that is so. However, in the CF community it is well known that misconceptions and fallacious arguments are rife in the scientific community as a whole, and that is a very significant point. Those who have studied the issues in depth have more right to be taken seriously than those who have not. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:44, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
No, the DoE characterised it as not supported by the best evidence. Commentators (e.g. Bob Park) characterised it as pathological science, and that is well supported. The issue is not whether individuals have come to one view or another, but the scientific consensus. Which is, t put it mildly, uncharitable towards cold fusion. The "CF community" are ignorable. Wikipedia's job is to document things, not to Right Great Wrongs. Guy (Help!) 23:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm hardly surprised to see a gross oversimplification here. What this oversimplification fails to mention is the fact that fully half of the reviewers believed there was convincing evidence for excess heat:

Evaluations by the reviewers ranged from: 1) evidence for excess power is compelling, to 2) there is no convincing evidence that excess power is produced when integrated over the life of an experiment. The reviewers were split approximately evenly on this topic. Those reviewers who accepted the production of excess power typically suggest that the effect seen often, and under some understood conditions, is compelling.

As you say, 'Wikipedia's job is to document things', and in the light of that fact the quote above, which seems to me to be extremely notable given the credibility of the source, and which serves to discredit your PoV and that of many other hostile editors, should certainly be in the article to correct any unbalanced impression that might be obtained from the selective quote currently there. I trust you would not object to its inclusion? --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:57, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
I'll just add that what the reviewers felt was not well supported was the claim of a nuclear reaction, which is more difficult to establish than excess heat as the reaction products corresponding to the excess heat are present in quantities that are difficult to detect. The two should not be confused; failure to establish one claim conclusively does not discredit the other. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:44, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Image reply[edit]

Hi Dr. Josephson, I think I may have forgotten to reply to a message you left me a few weeks ago. I think what happened was a non-free image was only being used on a talk page, and copyrighted images have to be used in an article by policy. I used a script to bulk delete all the non-free images that hadn't been in an article for one week, and part of the script's function is to add the "commented out" notice around images. It doesn't make as much sense to hide the link in this case, but I'm glad to see you were able to replace it with an external link. Thanks for your contributions, Mark Arsten (talk) 23:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

OK, fine!--Brian Josephson (talk) 10:15, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

The World is Watching![edit]

Interesting article here from MIT Technology Review, on The Decline of Wikipedia. The main thrust of the article itself is that the decline in number of editors is leading to a loss in quality. But it is the comments that really get to the point; here for example is a contribution by one Le_comment:

If there were a movie of Wikipedia editing, it would look something like "The Road Warrior". Since no one was in charge, roving gangs formed to impose their edits and bully anyone who got in their way - with a focus on suppressing women. The rules became so arcane that they could only be used (selectively) to win a "wiki war": the winner would always be who knew the minutia of wiki rules and where the hidden dust bins were, not who had made the right edit. The NPOV tag was horribly abused by self-aggrandizing (male) wiki-weenies who scored ego points by imposing their own point of view as transcendentally neutral. ...

And again from ZimbaZumba:

Wikipedia is Orwell's Animal Farm in real life. Wikipedia started as an optimistic, open and free entity. With time some animals became more equal than others and it spiraled into a hierarchical and dictatorial dystopia, just as Orwell would have predicted.

The comments as a whole really make it clear to readers the way some very dubious editing practices by fanatics are impinging on the value of the encyclopedia.

And now from indio007:

The administration of wikipedia is replete with double standards, arbitrary rules enforcement and little men. Politically sensitive topics , usually involving the government and any facet of criminal justice, are manipulated with a fervor reminiscent of OCD.

While again mkschreder has said:

The last two times that I have tried contributing to wikipedia, I was met with a dick admin that deleted my articles with an attitude as though my articles were against his own opinion on things. HELLO! wikipedia was supposed to be free. Where is the voting system where 1000 votes would be needed to say that some piece of information is false? Where is the system where each paragraph can be voted by the users to be as true or false? It's this arbitrary reversion and deletion of people's content that they have spent their time contributing without getting any pay is what conditions people around the world to never contribute anything to wikipedia ever again.

... just to let the editors who manipulate pages such as that for Cold Fusion see how their efforts are seen by the outside world. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:55, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

A new one just in:

BarryG said:

kww Bahnfrend I'm sure there are political and science denier nutters out there who need a ton of editing, but there's also guardians over various topics that keep out changes they don't like and they win by being more anal/have more time to waste. I've contributed mostly to technical topics, often trying to give an additional alternative, easier explanation or a "gist" to an area or at least how something is actually computed in practice (and discrete computers often technically violate a theory done in terms of continuous space). Anyhow, I've had these edited away as technically mathematically incorrect or mostly it's just erased w/o comment. I've given up and so a lot of arcane technical stuff remains correct but unreadable to most even though I left the rigor and just provide an intuitive understanding below.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 11:03, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

They just keep coming, these comments from people who have seen what is happening:

kroyall said:

Wikipedia is a product of the true believers who have the time and patience to see to it the site reflects their version of events ... etc.

gustnado responded:

kroyall You are absolutely right about areas of controversy. I learned that the hard way trying to correct a history of an event I was present at. ... etc.

and then Smink:

bowlweevils You are typical of the type of person who should be motivated to voluntarily share knowledge in some non-profit broad-based project. People like you who manage to overcome the wikimarkup barrier quickly encounter a group of immature (mostly teen-age) admins who will torture and abuse you until you flee. The other type of contributor is the paid editor/PR agent, who puts up with the admin abuse, for money. The end result of the wikitext barrier, the immature admin corps and the paid editors is a conversion of what was once an interesting collaboration into a mess with a lot of point of view bias and highly unreliable information.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 11:45, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

followed later by this from the same person:

The point is that the Wiki-pros play their little game to win. One of their popular techniques is to "ban" people who disagree with them or who call them out. So, we have a group of admins (many of whom are teenagers) who have adopted the goal of "banning" editors who question their tactics (many of whom are subject-matter experts.) The result is a long-term trend away from building a valuable reference work toward a site where wiki-warfare predominates.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 22:16, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

There are any number of people who have criticized Wikipedia after being unable to get their point of view "properly" displayed, either because it is not appropriate for Wikipedia, or they are unable to present their view as being from reliable sources. (Few people want to be thought of as "unreliable", even though many subject-matter experts may be, unless published.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:00, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
That may give them a motive for criticising w'pedia, but does not mean they are wrong to do so. And 'unreliability' as defined by wikipedia is just a bit of w'pedia jargon, and in all probability the people involved in the above quotes are reliable in the usual sense of the term. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:32, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, IMO, some of the criticism is justified, although many subject-matter experts are incapable of accepting the fact that they could be wrong or that their view may not be "mainstream" (or may even be "fringe") in their field. (I know this from real life, rather than from Wikipedia.)  :::As in the mainstream media, Wikipedia's editors are generally left of center (in their respective countries), and the content of political articles follow.
However, "mkschreder"'s comments show a lack of understanding of what Wikipedia is or could be, and "BarryG" attacks a question on the purpose of Wikipedia. "BarryG" probably should be editing WikiBooks rather than Wikipedia, although it may have its own problems. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:12, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with your comments to quite some extent. The difficulty is that one can't have a real discussion with the editors to find out what's really behind what they are doing. Some I think one has to assume are only interested in 'policing' articles to keep out views they don't like, while others are uncertain what to think and fall back to the 'fail safe' position of the rules. Whatever the motives may be, it is not possible, in my experience, to have a meaningful discussion on the talk pages on controversial topics because of the way the wikipedia 'gangs' or cabals take over. --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:14, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

--Brian Josephson (talk) 17:49, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

As for Cold Fusion, I've read a number of the references you've suggested, and most either do not support the statements or represent fringe views—enough so that I no longer check the rest of them. My apologies, but "WP:AGF is not a suicide pact". You have to admit that your views are considered "fringe" by some of your colleagues. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:18, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't think my colleagues use terms such as 'fringe', so perhaps you should rephrase that comment so we can understand what the claim is. I'm having problems discovering what references I have given and what the context was, as many of them seem to have been 'disappeared'. In any case, there seems to be some circularity in what you say, if you are going to say 'paper X supports CF, so it is 'fringe', so I can ignore it. Under such conditions, how would it be possible to take it seriously even if there is good evidence? --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:31, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

A colleague admires the skills of the Wikipedia cabal in finding excuses for biasing articles to fit their PoV:

I just read the site [ the article concerning Eileen Garrett ] for the first time. These people are thorough. There is hardly a line that is wasted as a tool for hammering away at the validity of psi. Consider the distortions of the observations of Jan Ehrenwald. He thought it was interesting that Garrett, like many high performers, had a tough childhood and made a dissociative adjustment to the bad situation ... [but he] hardly saw it as a way of writing off the phenomena.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 09:31, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

The illuminating website wikipediawehaveaproblem.com asks the question:

What happens when the largest repository of knowledge becomes run amok with bands of activist editors who have bullied their way to the top of the food chain?

--Brian Josephson (talk) 15:23, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

There are several good short essay's by User:Piotrus, including: User:Piotrus/Morsels of wikiwisdom#Why edit warriors can win, and User:Piotrus/Morsels of wikiwisdom#Why good users leave the project, or why civility is the key policy, and other sections of User:Piotrus/Morsels of wikiwisdom. I happen to think the key terminology is bullying, and that obviously bullies thrive and are attracted, or not-originally-bullies find their way to the joys of it, and that the institution is silent on the issue. While many schools, corporations, other institutions have decent programs. Related are empirical works on organizational injustice, where (obviously?) employees in injust situations consider their options to fight, to leave, to adopt the prevailing attitude, or to undermine/sabotage (there are 4 options named prominently in the literature, i am mistating them here). In general, there is extreme perverse delight in bullying anyone who asserts expertise, or who gradually reveals expertise. To a certain degree, skepticism of asserted experts is good, but... In the past i did try to interest some colleagues in contributing to Wikipedia, but now I would not ever recommend it to anyone who is a friend. --doncram 22:01, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Dean Radin[edit]

you are a notable defender of Radin. His article has recently become rather antagonistic to him. There is a section of the talk page that concerns your arguments - it would be ideal for you to contribute to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Dean_Radin#Brian_Josephson

There is also an interesting article that has some statistics and corroborating examples that you might like to use - you might also find it of interest for philosophical reasons: http://www.explorejournal.com/article/S1550-8307%2812%2900219-4/fulltext

I have done what I could in this case, and contributed what I am willing to contribute - the ball is in your court. For obvious reasons, you may want to extend the defense you made many years ago to a defense in talk section of, and corresponding edits to the wikipedia page, lest it be unnecessarily antagonistic.98.210.147.182 (talk) 00:09, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your efforts, but really, you are wasting your time trying to fight the cabal, or 'Guerrilla Skeptics' as they like to call themselves. You might be interested to watch their instructional video on 'how to impose your own PoV on to a wikipedia page' (that's not its official title, but that's what it's all about. By the way, I've archived the video just in case it should disappear). --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:59, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a better name would be Skepto-Inquisition.--86.125.176.38 (talk) 18:44, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Interesting to notice this ′charming′ link. It is also very amusing their claim about helping ″the public have a better understanding of science and critical thinking″.--82.137.12.87 (talk) 21:15, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Aneutronic fission[edit]

Prof Josephson, I've noticed your posts at Talk:Cold fusion. I was wondering in the context of this topic what is known concerning the possible triggering of the conventional fission of uranium by other factors than neutron flux, perhaps a flux of protons, deuterons or alpha particles? Could the flux of protons and deuterons act not only in gas phase from accelerators, but also in electrolytic environments of say uranium salts subjected to a perturbation like an alternating electric field like that required by, for instance, Wien effect and Debye-Falkenhagen effect?--188.27.144.144 (talk) 13:25, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

One could remark also the existence of the wikiarticle aneutronic fusion, but not aneutronic fission.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 13:28, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Labs visited[edit]

Prof Josephson, you have mentioned somewhere having visited some labs with experimental CF results reported. Could you specify some of the labs?--5.15.62.129 (talk) 11:00, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Right. As far as I can recall there were 4 scientific labs, visited while I was in the area concerned:
  • Mitchell Swartz's lab in the Boston area. He has his device inside a metal box and uses temperature rise to measure heat generated, with ordinary resistive heating in an identical box for calibration.
  • Thomas Claytor's lab near Los Alamos (while this was funded by NSF the work was done in LANL itself). He measures tritium generation, verifying it is tritium by (a) the spectrum (b) the decay rate. See http://institute.lanl.gov/ei/LADSS/lecturers/2006/Thomas%20Claytor.pdf for his biography.
  • X.Z. Li's lab at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
  • Francesco Celani at INFN (Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics), Frascati. Celani has made his samples available to people so that they can attempt replications. Here is a lecture given by Celani at CERN.
Of these, only Claytor attempts to detect nuclear processes directly, the other people detecting only excess heat. Besides these I have been a consultant for a UK firm, who moved to Europe to get a more supportive environment. Their results were replicated by a group at York University using samples that they provided. Their heat measurement process, based on the temperature rise of water flowing past their device, has been verified by the UK's National Physical Laboratory.--Brian Josephson (talk) 15:51, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

About Francesco Celani, is it possible he might be somehow also connected to the E-Cat tests? I remember some comments posted on E-Cat talk page 2 years ago by an IP who said : ″It′s me, Francesco″. Or perhaps other Francesco (Scaramuzzi?) was involved?--5.15.203.84 (talk) 18:36, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

A search on the talk archives shows that this was a reference to a Forbes article re one of the e-cat demos, posted by Celani. The 'it's me, Francesco' is there because he was not logged in when he posted the reference first so added that info later. His connection is just that of being interested. In fact he was st the first demo and was told to turn off his spectrum analyser! --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:46, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
″By whom (it was told)?″ is a natural question following in this context.--5.15.187.19 (talk) 20:21, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
By Rossi himself. Speculation has it that gamma rays are part of the secret process and knowing the spectrum might have given clues as to what this process was. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:42, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
I thought that the neutron spectrum analyser was involved somehow. I've talked to someone who has measured neutron emission, from here the supposition that perhaps someone other Rossi requested the turning off in a conspiracy style.--5.15.49.211 (talk) 21:20, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Prof Josephson, are you interested in visiting more (other) labs?--5.15.28.220 (talk) 20:53, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Awareness to the scientific method[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you consider, based on your experience, the state of awareness (or its insufficiency) to the subtleties of the scientific method among average scientists?--5.15.177.124 (talk) 15:05, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Briefly, I'd say most scientists are probably well trained in the scientific method. But on controversial issues there is a lot of groupthink, and there is the sometimes unwarranted assumption that if the majority of scientists believe X then X is the case. As I say on my home page, my motto is 'take nobody's word for it'. This extends to people who advocate controversial issues that I view positively as well -- I consider their claims carefully and on occasion point to flaws. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:15, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Is somehow groupthink involved in the reaching of scientific consensus in controversial topics?--5.15.53.77 (talk) 10:30, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Another question appears in this context: what is the exact relation between the existence of scientific controversies and awareness of scientists to the scientific method?--5.15.53.77 (talk) 11:46, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
It seems that subtle deviation from the scientific method manifests itself sometimes especially at a collective level by the propagation of unwarranted assumptions based on majority beliefs. This is a case of majority argument.--5.15.177.124 (talk) 16:19, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
Especially in controversial issues the subtleties and strength of the scientific method must be fully acknowledged and come into play when dealing with competing hypotheses. It seems that some scientists are more prone to fallaciously disregard some hypotheses and evidence. This situation is quite manifest in the case of cold fusion for instance applied to Huizenga.--5.15.177.124 (talk) 18:20, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

I have just noticed the groupthink article which I have linked above. Is there some case study available regarding the groupthink in the scientific community to include in the article to Case studies section?--5.15.37.249 (talk) 18:44, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

Regarding groupthink involvement in the reasoning about CF I′ve noticed the following blog which states (just above - An alternative - section): ″To some extent, both skeptics and believers are victims of Groupthink, dualistic thinking and thinking small.″--5.15.21.138 (talk) 10:41, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
In the case of wikipedia I get the feeling that it is not just groupthink that is involved, but also something not unrelated to the 'rule by roving gangs' that I quote above in the section The World is Watching. I may write more on this subject when I have the time.--Brian Josephson (talk) 11:50, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure you'll find it a rewarding exercise hunting for something suitable yourself! ;-) --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:55, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
However, you might find it worth listening to the lecture I have suggested for the memory of water page (see section near the bottom of the talk page for that article, currently awaiting an excuse from the cabal for it not to be included as a reference :-) ). --Brian Josephson (talk) 12:40, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Of course it is worth listening.(I′ve had some problem with the player and could not write this feedback sooner).--5.15.185.254 (talk) 21:04, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Statement about the scientific method[edit]

I′ve noticed recently a book by F. Woodbridge Constant ″Fundamental Principles of Physics″ which is one of the fewest to unique from what I′ve encountered to contain an explicit reference to the scientific method (approximate quotation from memory): It would be better to say that there is not a scientific method but (4) key ingredients that account for the success of the scientific procedure: experiments, unbiased judgements, the noticing of surprising events that occur fortuitously and ability to correlate various facts from different subfields of science.--5.15.0.43 (talk) 11:01, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Neutron-involving CF models[edit]

Prof Josephson, from the diversity of proposed models regarding CF how do you consider the status/plausibility of models involving neutron role in CF, like Widom Larsen or Kozima′s Trapped Neutron Catalyzed Fusion which assume the existence of trapped neutrons in certain solids originating from background neutrons?--5.15.37.249 (talk) 21:04, 10 November 2013 (UTC) ...in regard to their predictive or explanatory power?--5.15.51.242 (talk) 12:27, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

I've not been following theories of CF in detail, readers of this page please note! --Brian Josephson (talk) 12:34, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Religious aspect to editing[edit]

When I read this article: 'The supreme court is hearing arguments that Obamacare violates company owners' religious freedom. It's a bogus claim' from today's paper, describing how fundmentalists in the US are trying to control how employees can use their healthcare benefit, the thought that ran through my mind was how similar this is to what is liable to happen on wikipedia. Should one infer that belief in the nonexistence of the paranormal, water memory, etc. can be of a religious character, and that some edits on w'pedia get reverted or disputed because they are experienced in a similar way to the way an attack on a person's religion would (that's a change from the 'teenage gang' theory that some have espoused)? --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:12, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Certainly some fundamentalism is involved in the denial of some topics. The religious denial of some concepts is not new, but it was considered stronger some centuries ago like in the debate over heliocentrism and geocentrism, for instance.--5.15.49.211 (talk) 21:47, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a combination of the two aspects is more likely. Depreciating truth (by WP:V) does have many supporters among editors who are active in scientific topics. This is because dealing with editors who have a wrong understanding of a theory, who are very fanatical about defending their POV, is then a lot easier.(small excerpt from WP:ESCA) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 5.15.46.239 (talk) 20:50, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Continued discussion from CF talk[edit]

Here seems an appropriate place considering the context for continuing a discussion from cold fusion involving tangentially cosmic harmony and its (religious) ideatic background. The following excerpts are useful pointers:

Perhaps this discussion should be continued elsewhere or the cabal will become restless ;-) I just wanted to make the point though that surely Newton at least was aware that hyperbolic orbits were equally in conformance with his laws? --Brian Josephson (talk) 12:17, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Of course the discussion could be continued elsewhere to prevent allegations of irrelevance. I was trying last night to post something similar on your talk page, but the content has at some moment suddenly disappeared. I′ve posted a rephrased version of the lost content here this morning.--5.15.197.78 (talk) 12:41, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

continued discussion:

Concerning Newton′s laws and trajectories/orbits involved it seems curious that Roger Cotes contributions regarding spiral trajectories and their connection to an inverse cube term in force law expression seem to overlooked in some textbooks.

This discussion about force laws could also be relevant for cold fusion considering the usual objection to the fusion of deuterons in CF different from the thermonuclear standard version namely that usual forces assumed to be involved are not enough to bring the deuterons close enough to fuse in condensed matter fusion.--5.15.34.105 (talk) 13:36, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Feedback from the founder of Wikipedia[edit]

Concerning the persistent tendentious editings due (partially) to the lack of WP:Competence, what reaction do you anticipate that Jim Wales would have if you notify him on his talk page about the situation where technical understanding is required in assessing RS status for some wikiarticles, understanding that seems to be lacking to some editors who persistently interfere by denying RS status to some sources?--5.15.177.249 (talk) 14:41, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

It is said that he is not keen on 'experts' himself.--Brian Josephson (talk) 16:20, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
He may be not very fond of experts (a subjective factor), but the issue of RS denial due to lack of technical understanding is a very serious aspect that can affect Wikipedia. I posted some thoughts on WP:CIR talk page and I intend to probe his view/reasoning on the issue by posting something on his talkpage.--5.15.198.179 (talk) 11:06, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Defkalion status[edit]

Professor Josephson, what are latest news/info that you are aware about the (trial/commercial) status of Defkalion devices?--5.15.177.249 (talk) 14:53, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

No recent information (but see below). I guess perfecting a device to the level where it can be sold to people takes time. Also safety people need to be satisfied your device is safe, and of course since nuclear reactions are involved that can be more difficult. But you may well have a radioactive device in your home. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:21, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I hear now that Defkalion is mastering the task of making the device suitable for users, while Rossi is having problems with control. But this is all more rumour than authoritative fact. --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:18, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
In the broader context of recent discussions regarding among other conference articles I have noticed this conference article about Defkalion PIM 2013.--5.15.7.8 (talk) 10:45, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this to my attention. John (Yiannis) H., one of the authors, is the chief experimental officer of Defkalion. Of course, since this conference includes an invited or plenary paper on cold fusion it cannot be a RS as we know [wink], even though the Proceedings were published by the American Institute of Physics. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:55, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate your thanks and I'll continue to bring info/facts to your attention.--5.15.54.28 (talk) 11:50, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Of course that is something some people would want to th(w)ink based on begging the question error, but the conference was not an exclusive CF conference but on the broader topic of processes in isotopes and molecules. Therefore it can have relevant aspects/papers that can be included in the mentioned domain.--5.15.54.28 (talk) 11:18, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
In regard to the subject of this section, Defkalion's home page currently states that they expect 'commercialisation' in the 3rd quarter of 2014. This is apparently a reference to the steps that have to be taken to go from having a product that is ready to sell to being actually allowed to sell it. --Brian Josephson (talk) 13:53, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
It seems that are some rumors of Defkalion test failure on Talk:Energy_Catalyzer#A_big_delusion:_report_from_Gamberale_and_Cappiello_.28ex_Defkalion_Europe.29--188.27.144.144 (talk) 14:00, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I've commented on that on the talk page you've referenced. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:34, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Another bringing to your attention of a conference: The 14th Meeting of Japan CF-Research Society JCF14 ABSTRACTS, December 7-8, 2013, Tokyo Institute of Technology. (Perhaps you were aware of this conference). At this conference the previous mentioned Kozima will present some papers. It has been brought to my attention by the co-author of Yiannis at PIM. I′ll exchange some emails with H. Kozima in the following days on his hypothesis concerning the trapped neutron in solids and possible generation mechanisms.--5.15.30.52 (talk) 21:14, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

I've heard of that, but that is an exclusively CF conference of course. National Instruments in the US has organised some meetings, I believe -- they have connections with Rossi. But I don't have time to take up such issues in the CF/Rossi reactor pages. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:18, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Explanatory theory vs experimental facts[edit]

I open here a new thread/section regarding the very important issue described in the title. I notice a POV that disconsider facts due to lack of explanatory theory. This brings up very important epistemologic issues connected to the scientific method. Please share your thoughts.--5.15.54.28 (talk) 12:00, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Let's wait and see what user Jojalozzo has to say in answer to my question. That should be very interesting. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:51, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
The answer is rather trivial. It appeals to the necessity to use secondary sources.--5.15.30.52 (talk) 19:52, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
The fact that he should have said something so obviously wrong in the first place bears out the idea that our critical editors are driven mainly by the wish to disrupt, and don't bother to consider very much whether their objections make sense or not. But no doubt this was 'just an accident'. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:15, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

This POV that disregards facts has some similarity to Huizenga-like reasoning style.--5.15.54.28 (talk) 12:05, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

A quote from Edmund Storms very relevant to the perception of cold fusion and denial of experimental facts:

″People reach conclusions about cold fusion without any knowledge of what is known about the subject or even what is accepted in conventional science. I can understand why conventional scientists think the people who believe CF is real are deluded. If I had not studied what is known and seen the effect myself, I would be one of them″ (from CMNS group).

Perhaps this could be posted on CF talk page.--5.15.41.17 (talk) 13:59, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

A quote by Gell-Mann on the alleged theoretical impossibility of CF occurrence and criteria_of_acceptance_for_a_cold_fusion_theory - lecture in the Portland State University in 1998: (from PowerPedia)

“It's a bunch of baloney. Cold Fusion is theoretically impossible, and there are no experimental findings that indicate it exists?(ref7) .--5.15.41.17 (talk) 14:15, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

And how much has Gell-Mann studied the experimental findings, I wonder? And the theoretical discussions largely ignore the fact that we are not dealing with isolated particles.
I'd take Baym and Leggett more seriously -- they are well-balanced people whom I know well personally. Their papers prove an impossibility theorem -- up to a point. You'll find at the end of it that they had to put in an additional assumption, to the effect that a lot of particles would have to act coherently, to be able to prove their theorem. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:01, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Good question about Gell-Mann! Regarding Baym and Legett, what is their POV regarding the status of the additional assumption? I′ve seen the paper by B&L mentioned together with Ichimaru S. (1993) Rev. Mod. Phys 65, 255 Nuclear Fusion in Dense Plasma mentioned in Kozima book 2006 The Science of Cold Fusion Phenomena. Appendix C4. p 140 (Momentarily I can′t access the full text of B&L).--5.15.41.17 (talk) 20:40, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Categories of models regarding the approach of the potential barrier comprise the following types (Chechin VA Tsarev VA etall, Int J Theor Phys 33, 617,1994):

4. 1 Barrier Circumvention (Avoidance) 4.2 Barrier Reduction 4.3 Barrier Ascent 4.4 Narrow Nuclear Resonances (NNR) 4.5 Multibody Fusion 4.6 Exotic Chemistry--5.15.191.239 (talk) 08:31, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the information, but might I suggest you register for w'pedia and put this kind of thing on your own talk pages instead of cluttering up mine? If you want to remain anonymous (as most of the cabal do), you can invent an appropriate user name so people won't know who you are, and also people will then be able to send you messages. --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:40, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Of course I intend to register (anonymously of course:)). Sorry for the cluttering up, was just provisionally. I think the mentioned types of models can posted on CF talk in the mean time.--5.15.5.252 (talk) 08:56, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

I have posted a text received in a new section on CF talk regarding the ′′′Quality of experiments′′′.--5.15.41.17 (talk) 21:55, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Reflections on tendentious editing[edit]

Editing can run wild when it starts to put views as to what content there should be (PoV as WP calls it) ahead of considered discussion of that content, as really seems to be happening on some pages I have been involved with recently. Such editing may be done in good faith, but the outcome can be disastrous if an editor's order of priorities is wrong. One editor has been making statements that are clearly incorrect in order to support particular content (Procrustes would have been proud of this!) --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:41, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

ANI Notice[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The thread is Brian Josephson editing on Water Memory. Thank you.   — Jess· Δ 22:54, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know -- I have responded. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:25, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi[edit]

Hello, Professor Josephson, I just wanted to say that it's an honor for Wikipedia to have you around.

By the way, as regards water memory, here is a quote from Abraham Lincoln: "Has it not got down as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death?" ---Sixth Lincoln-Douglas Debate (October 13, 1858); reported in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953), vol. 3, p. 279.Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:46, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia Policies[edit]

Hi,

Looking at the WP:AN post on you, there were a few things that I believed I should be explaining to you about some of Wikipedia's core policies.

First, while we would like experts to come on Wikipedia, and it's a great privilege to have someone of your status working here, Wikipedia policies dictate that all editors are treated equally. I understand it may be a counter-intuitive concept, but that is the way it works. We treat all editors based on their edits made, not on who or how esteemed they are. That directly implies that the Wikipedia policies apply equally to everyone. So please do not question others' qualifications when they are trying to edit Wikipedia.

Now there are two policies in particular I would like you to know. First, WP:COI strongly suggests that editors do not edit articles related to themselves, and therefore edits that cite to your own publications are not accepted. I understand that someone who is an expert in a topic will know much more about it, but even then, there are other possibilities, like suggesting on talk page, or citing someone else's work, which wouldn't be COI.

The second policy in concern is WP:RS. That policy unequivocally states that Wikipedia takes whatever is the majority view of the scientific community on a topic, while mentioning any significant minorities, even if the view is incorrect. While I understand you have a strong viewpoint on articles that you have been researching on, we cannot add that on Wikipedia unless it is backed up by strong, reliable sources. So if there are two differing sources, we default to the one widely accepted by other academics, and therefore, the one that is more reliable for Wikipedia's purposes.

Lastly, no editor owns an article and therefore, they cannot decide what goes into it, without their edits backed up by relevant Wikipedia policies.

I hope you understand the spirit behind these two core principles of Wikipedia, and would continue to follow them to work collaboratively with other editors here. Please feel free to ping me if you have any questions.

Regards, TheOriginalSoni (talk) 10:42, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I know all this. You should fix your system so that it does not have this 'conflict of intelligence' between what wikipedia considers reliable and what the world at large considers reliable.
May I ask if it is also wikipedia policy that editors do not have to try to understand comments by other editors before dismissing what they have to say? I ask this because I have been making strong arguments in favour of certain changes in the water memory article, and other editors have simply been ignoring them and repeating statements that I have refuted? Is this behaviour OK with you?
Anyway, since editors such as MannJess have the power to ensure that the water memory article can never become a good article, and there is little point in merely trying to make it marginally less bad and biased than it currently is, I shall cease watching what is happening there. The news of the destructive actions of particular editors is gradually spreading into the wider world, as in a section above. Have fun! --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:05, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Brian, may I say what an honour it is to have you dropping in and getting involved in our little project. It's great to have you on board. The good news is you will get a lot of people giving you respect for the insights you can bring from your specialised knowledge of physics. This may work more in your favour when it comes to generalised background than for specific points. Because: the bad news is, our COI rules are strict and prohibit using yourself as a reference, something I have seen you do in talk discussions. The way forward is to engage with other editors, however maddening that may be to someone of your status, and sway them towards your point of view, if that is still what you wish to do. It will be to your benefit to edit in some other areas which are less controversial, to get more of a feeling for how our processes work. Do you have any hobbies or interests outside Physics? Some of our articles on cars, sports personalities and settlements could do with improvements. I'd suggest a month or two working in these areas which tend to be less fraught, and recharging your batteries and reconsidering your strategies before coming back to the water memory and cold fusion areas. Does that make sense? If you need any help or advice, now or in the future, please do ask for it, here or at my talk page. --John (talk) 18:29, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your attempted help, though I would appreciate less of this 'honour to have me dropping in', 'great to have me on board', etc., of whose sincerity (unlike with the unconditional approval that I sometimes get from people here) I am in serious doubt. On the face of it, your suggestion of 'engage with other editors' sounds very reasonable, and sometimes I have had it (on other pages), and indeed worked together with these editors to improve w'pedia pages. Here, however, there can be no doubt that we are dealing with people (teenagers, some have speculated) whose only aim is to be disruptive, and normal considerations do not apply. Being very critical of such editors is perfectly reasonable. Serious editors would carefully consider what I say, and instead of this we find only responses intended provide justification for avoiding the issue; or the editors remain silent and do not comment on what is said if they can't think of a response.
Re the RS issue, I will confine myself here to commenting that this aspect of wikipedia is very easily abused.
I'd like to comment also on the 'conflict of interest' question. This legitimately applies in cases such as when we have someone who works for a drug company and that person tries to fix the pages so as to 'promote the product'. It is not appropriately applied in the case of someone engaged in research outside the commercial sector (as is the case with myself for example), and the CoI issue should never have been raised in my case. If people do want to increase awareness of their work they would typically do it by posting their work to an archive such as arxiv.org, not wikipedia, or if it was some kind of breakthrough they would try to get interest from the media (you should try asking people who are not involved with product promotion whether they would ever try to increase awareness of their research by putting a link to it into a wikipedia article. Except for people doing very low quality work which they could not get published I'd be surprised if you found any significant use of w'pedia in this way).
Normally, people would suggest linking to their own research because they believe that the research concerned provides relevant insights so that including it would be of benefit. The difficulty, perhaps, is that the people who frame the guidelines do not have familiarity with the world of research. It would be good if some body including such people were set up with the aim of repairing what is obviously a broken system. That, I suggest, is the real way forward. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:08, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Brian, why are you wasting your time with this project. Other academics tried to edit it, and left in disgust. For example please read the post made by an award winning physicist http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&diff=prev&oldid=205868902#Conclusions

The case is now over. The evidence is in, the closing arguments have been made, and the judgment is clear.

The modern notion of Encyclopaedia was a product of the Enlightenment and intended as an educational vehicle to raise the level of the masses. The Encyclopaedists included some of the greatest thinkers of their time. They valued, above all: knowledge, understanding, truth. The "scientific method" was based upon the same foundations: empirical knowledge, verifiability and careful reasoning. These were the ideals of the Enlightenment , together with a belief in justice in society.

Wikipedia is an embodiment of the opposite. It is a return to the Dark Ages, with an element of chaos that is greatly enhanced by the mass communications tools available in the internet. It involves a reduction of all genuine achievements to parity with the very basest, most primitive notions of the ignorant and undereducated. The encyclopaedists would never have proposed that their work was to be an equal collaboration of the ignorant and the educated. It was to be a vehicle for raising the former from their ignorance by making the most valuable achievements of human endeavor available to all.

Wikipedia, on the contrary, is the enshrinement of contempt for learning, knowledge and expertise. It is, for many, a diversionary hobby to which they are prepared to devote a great portion of their time, as others do to computer based video games. Unfortunately, it has led also to an inner cult, shrouded in anonymity, with structures and processes of self-regulation that are woefully inadequate. Many of these tools and procedures are reminiscent, in parody, of those of the Inquisition: secret courts, an inner "elite" arbitrarily empowered to censor and exclude all those perceived as a threat to the adopted conventions of the cult; denunciations, character assassination, excommunication. An arbitrarily concocted "rulebook" and language rife with self-referential sanctimoniousness give a superficial illusion of order and good sense, but no such thing exists in practice.

It is truly a "Tyranny of the Ignorant"

Also please read this article, and feel free to let me know, if you'd like to see more examples. Regards. 67.169.11.210 (talk) 01:50, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Many thanks for your thoughts and the link, 67.169. I have listed some similar comments above, though these are more in the nature of soundbites. I agree there is no point in trying to fix the water memory article now and in the admin page where someone is attempting to get me blocked I have announced that I have stopped watching it since this is unproductive use of my time.
Should I abandon w'pedia altogether? Possibly not. The current saga has highlighted very well the defects of w'pedia at this point, but how much are the defects the fault of the rules, or of the deplorable editors who abuse them? What I think I will do when I get the time is to add further thoughts to this section. What I have to say may worry Jimmy Wales enough that he will decide something needs to be done about it.
I like your 'enshrinement of contempt for learning', which seems an excellent way of characterising the attitude of some of the editors (you'll note my remark about insincerity above). It is said that Jimmy Wales does not like academics very much (and of course I myself dislike some aspects of the scientific community, e.g. its dogmatism regarding certain issues), but I doubt if he goes quite as far as contempt and may be responsive. This section of my user page may turn into a forum which can build up a strong indictment of certain aspects of wikipedia. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:43, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I see the 'enshrinement of contempt for learning' was from something you were quoting, not your own words. I've been looking at that admin thread in its totality. Quite amazing! The word that comes to mind particularly in regard to the uncouth editors and admins (sorry I can't think of a better word there, but I don't have time to consult the thesaurus) is 'arrogance', the implicit assumption that 'we know best': unlike the real experts, who have had proper training in their field, and experience. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:00, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi Brian. You write: "What I have to say may worry Jimmy Wales enough that he will decide something needs to be done about it." I am not sure you realize that Jimmy Wales has no power over his "passionate", as he calls it, community of anonymous. For example three years ago Mr. Wales tried to use his power to delete porn images from the site. Guess what, his "passionate" community voted almost four to one to remove his co-founder flag, and then another member of his "passionate" community uploaded this video probably to punish Mr. Wales, although Jimbo Wales called this video "sexual harassment" it is still hosted on the WMF site.
Besides I believe that Wikipedia brings more harm than good to the students. More and more students don't go to libraries. They go to Wikipedia instead. I believe using Wikipedia stops many students from doing research on their own. It will impact their ability to succeed. 67.169.11.210 (talk) 17:49, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I see. 'The monster is out of control'.--Brian Josephson (talk)
In view of all this, perhaps the thing to attempt is setting up a kind of meta-wikipedia, where real experts, of the kind despised by wikipedia, assess wp pages to indicate to potential visitors to what extent they are worth looking at. Perhaps there could even be collaboration with Google, who could move bad pages further down their lists, and even broadcast warnings where appropriate. Dangerous, though! What do you think? --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:26, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, there were many suggestions about adding some kind of filters, but all proposals have failed. Barney the barney barney suggested you ask Larry Sanger. I don't know what Larry thinks about Wikipedia now, but two years ago Mr. Sanger called Wikipedia "the Wikipedia insane asylum" and continued:
I mean, they're so ridiculously self-important, when they aren't acting like trolls, and show no sense of grace, humanity, or even style. Admins and even rank-and-file contributors go around making high-sounding declarations and announcements, as if they were government officials dispensing court orders."
It is hard to disagree with Mr.Sanger's analysis. 67.169.11.210 (talk) 03:33, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Hey Brian, why don't you ask Larry Sanger (talk · contribs)? Barney the barney barney (talk) 22:53, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
i would say less dark ages, than new Scholasticism, even if scientific method has moved on from Ptolomy. it's a method for the blind leading the blind, without knowledge of reality. it's a culture of the precocious schoolboys who have taken over the schoolroom: they know the authority but not the pedagogy. they know sophistry tactics, but not War of ideas strategy.
your meta-wikipedia is similar to the Wikipedia:GLAM, where the museum professionals are getting organized to build links to their source material. perhaps a Josephson editathon is in order. in the past these have been attacked as canvasing, cabal or COI, but a lot of good work has been done.
the search engines have begun front ending wiki results on the right hand side of search. if wikipedia doesn't reform then it will be reused, with the drama edited out.
you might consider the Philip Roth method, an open letter to wikipedia; you have the makings of an essay here. there is a small cadre of admins, arbitrators, who do respond to shaming. the wikimedia foundation tries to steer clear of content disputes; they're more interested in coding. they note the editor decline and Iron Law of Oligarchy, but are not prepared to act. the chapters are engaged in content creation, perhaps some contact with wikimedia UK would be productive. changing the toxic culture is a long term project. Duckduckstop (talk) 21:00, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Perverse editing: a Socratic analysis[edit]

The following imaginary episode illustrates well the problems with Wikipedia, and argues that particular editors are more to blame than the rules.

It begins when editor P finds a relevant quote A in a 'reliable source', and includes it in an article. An expert E is unhappy with A as he knows it doesn't properly represent what is known, and may mislead. He therefore replaces it by B, which is quite similar but not problematic in the same way, explaining his reasoning on the talk page. P objects on the grounds that there is a RS for A, while there is none for version B, OR being involved in A's argument for B. Furthermore E has published in this area so there is a conflict of interest (CoI), and anything he says is suspect.

After telling us this, Socrates continues by saying that in this situation there seem to be two approaches editors can take, the first being P's approach that he characterises as perverse, involving ignoring E's analysis (E's CoI is cited as justification for this, as well as the fact that 'E appears not to be self-critical'). Certain otther editors Socrates classes similarly: they do study the analysis but bend the all-purpose RS rules in very dubious ways so as to be able to claim that E is using unacceptable sources in his argument.

Socrates then tells of an editor that he characterises as reasonable. A reasonable editor, he suggests, studies E's analysis, and agrees, on the basis of it, that statement A can mislead so should not be there as it stands. He sees that B does represent the situation better, and is not at all convinced by the arguments that P and his allies produce against using the sources cited by E. He thinks it reasonable to trust these sources given E's expertise (which he sees as a benefit rather than a reason to dismiss anything he says), and considers B to be the version to use. He thinks that, rather than slavishly following the rules, it is more reasonable, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to assume the expert knows what he is talking about.

In the intellectually challenged world of wikipedia, 'putting in what appears to be correct' is an alien concept. Anyone who suggests it is reasonable to put in text that appears to be correct, rather than something demonstrably misleading, is abruptly told 'that is not how we do things here; take a break and come back when you are better informed'. End of story. --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:07, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

That's an interesting parable. I see it as a far more straightforward and more intractable problem. We have some people here with a very shallow education level in science, and none whatsoever in the philosophy of science. They fundamentally misunderstand the nature of science, believing it is a fixed orthodoxy, a set of rules and a body of knowledge, as though meteorites and continental drift had never passed from being pseudoscience to accepted science. Then along comes a subject expert with fringe views who wishes to use himself as a source for his own arguments. Although the neutral and experienced editor and admin feels sympathy for the expert, he has to yield to the shallow thinkers, who are right, albeit for the wrong reasons. As a crowd-sourced encyclopaedia, it necessarily behoves us to be extremely conservative in areas like this. My advice to you stands; you should gain experience in what we call "editing for the enemy"; find some dreadful promotional article on some kind of snake oil, written by its proponents (there are plenty of them), and gut it, adding real sources. I did this a while ago to theory of multiple intelligences and it was very refreshing. See also the quote from Galileo on my user page. Best regards. --John (talk) 09:57, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I've just imagined Galileo Galilei editing Wikipedia... Galileo writes an article about the Earth orbiting the sun. The article gets deleted because Galileo hasn't used a reliable source. Galileo publishes his discovery in a scientific journal, and once again tries to introduce his discovery to Wikipedia, using his article as a source. The article gets deleted because Galileo has violated the COI policy. A few other scientists publish the articles on the same subject. Once again Galileo writes an article on Wikipedia, using other scientists articles as references. This time the article is allowed to stay, but somebody adds criticism section to the article. The criticism section states that it is not yet proven that the Earth is orbiting the sun. Galileo deletes the section, but gets reverted. He's blocked for edit warring for 3 days. In his unblock request Galileo writes:"Only the Court of Inquisition doesn't agree that the Earth is orbiting the sun. Please unblock me." In their decline message a Wikipedia admin writes: "You mentioned the court. It is a legal threat. Now you're blocked indefinitely."
"Editing for the enemy" means betraying yourself and often betraying the truth. 67.169.11.210 (talk) 16:41, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I was with you right up until the end. If you can't edit neutrally then you have no business editing here at all. This is not the place to right great wrongs or to promulgate "The Truth". In fact, if you even think like this, you too misunderstand the nature of science. --John (talk) 17:22, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
John, don't worry I am not editing here, and not going to edit here. I used to, but a few months ago I noticed that one of the articles I wrote was changed. It was not vandalism. It was not changed to introduce neutrality. It was changed because the user who changed it doesn't understand what he's doing. I decided not to fix the article. What for? Even if I fixed it, sooner or later somebody would destroy my work. And about neutrality, I believe encyclopedia should be more right than neutral. The Earth is orbiting the sun. Period. There's no use in introducing the view point of the Inquisition to make the article neutral. No consensus could ever be reached between honest educated and ignorant. 67.169.11.210 (talk) 00:34, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Since Galileo has been mentioned in this context, it is perhaps worth mentioning (somewhat off-topic) that these days, but 399 years ago, a decisive attack against Galileo is started by Tommaso Caccini in a sermon in Santa Maria Novela church in Florence using Galileo's letter to Benedetto Castelli from the previous year (1613).--82.137.12.24 (talk) 21:55, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
A correspondent familiar with the way w'pedia works has an interesting idea: "One paid managing editor, responsible to the WMF board for enforcing defined policies, could radically transform the situation. That managing editor could simply ensure that neutrality policy was followed, by interrupting the ability of factions to ban disagreement." I wonder if that could accomplish anything. I also agree with John's assessment, which might be paraphrased as 'some editors are pretty thick', but thought it more discreet not actually to say that. But it's hard to tell, in any given case, whether thickness or perversity is the problem. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:15, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
But for now, having stirred the pot I will leave it and see what comes up. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:47, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Neither thickness nor perversity is required to explain the behaviour you are experiencing. Philosophy of science isn't widely taught in the US or the UK; I estimate only about 5% of science graduates and close to 0% of the general population have any idea what, for example, falsifiability is. Then on this project consider the endless succession of out-and-out loonies who want to add material on their pet theory of gravitation, what really happened on 9/11, anti-gravity drives or whatever, and you can excuse the intentions of those who have come to view excluding and ridiculing "fringe science" as a reflex activity. Think of it as a feature rather than a bug, and try to work around it (though in reality of course it is both). I've given you some good advice. If you follow it I think you will gain insight into how this messy but wonderful project operates. --John (talk) 21:00, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
The low estimate made by John about science graduates awareness on falsifiability is rather concerning as it is one of the pillars of the scientific method. If science graduates rank so low, what is the estimate for the practicing scientists which come from the mentioned graduates? The aspect pointed out by John has connections with the above section on this page Awareness to the scientific method.--5.15.3.6 (talk) 11:24, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps the estimate should be higher among math graduates, due to the nature of mathematical proof used?--5.15.3.6 (talk) 11:29, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Work around it? How could 'working around that feature' possibly turn the 'memory of water' article into a credible one, with the wreckers, be they ignorant or disruptive, in full force (with ignorant editors, perhaps, but with some at least disruption is clearly the aim). The idea that you can educate such people is fantasy. I don't think your diagnosis helps very much as it can at best deal with a component of the problem. I think you are too entranced with Wikipedia's good side; tt is at best a 'potentially wonderful project'. It was not set up following good design practice, and such systems generally run into problems that are hard to fix. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:13, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

It was not "set up" (if by that you mean "designed") at all but has evolved over a decade from millions of contributors. I am not at all blind to the faults inherent in its structure, but efforts to design a crowd-sourced free encyclopaedia with a better structure have failed dismally. In instances like this one, the options are to try to educate others or to leave. Wikipedia's good side merely means that it is better than Facebook and better than Britannica. It's anarchic, inefficient, and frustrating, like the human species it uses to produce its articles. I'd love to think I could help you to have a better time here (I'm actually familiar with your work) but of course I cannot force you to take any particular path over another. If you're willing to work with me, I think I can make more suggestions that will probably help you. At least you could say you had tried. --John (talk) 22:01, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Obviously it was designed in some sense at the beginning but a 'design of no design', i.e. it was set up in such a way as to make problems likely as it evolved. But some projects such as operating systems evolve better, even though there may be no single person in charge (I'm not too familiar with the details but presume that someone, perhaps a part of a team, comes up with a new concept that is considered useful -- though consensus is achieved there through a coherent unit even if not an individual). --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:21, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
But do send me more suggestions (best by email?) --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:23, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
A quote from the verifiability talk page

Some editors' ability to willfully misread policy pages is essentially infinite.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 11:37, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

barnstar[edit]

Purple Star.png The Purple Barnstar
for your exemplary behavior under sustained wp:hounding. pearls before swine. Duckduckstop (talk) 19:15, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks! --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:09, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

double-blind in animal trials[edit]

I am afraid that Mr. Benveniste's definition is a bit narrow, and it's not shared by other researchers. Double-blind is applied to animal trials, for example. This definition applies also to Benveniste's experiment, since the researcher handling the water could treat tubes differently depending on whether they are control or not. See Aviva Petrie; Paul Watson (28 February 2013). Statistics for Veterinary and Animal Science. Wiley. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-1-118-56740-1.  (emphasis in the original):

"Chapter 5.7 Avoidance of bias in the assessment procedure (...) We ensure that our trial is free from assessment bias by making the trial blind or masked. There are two levels of 'blindness' - double-blind and single-blind."

  • "Ideally, we should design the trial to be double-bind so that neither the carer(s) of the animals nor the assessor of response to treatment (test or control) is aware of which treatment each animal is receiving (i.e. they are blind), it is possible for them to handle the animals impartially and removes from them the temptation to atone, either consciously or subconsciously, for the supposed inferior control regimen. It is essential to keep the assessor blind if the response to treatment is subjective, this guarding against the tendency to favour or disfavour a particular treatment. Clinical trials should have the maximum attainable degree of blindness in order to remove potential bias in the assessment process. Double-blind trials are desirable but not always achievable.
  • "In some circumstances, the trial may be single-blinded in that only one of these two parties, the carer or the assessor, is blind. If the response to treatment is objective, then it may be sufficient to have only the carer blind; if it is possible to distinguish the test and control regimen, perhaps because of experimental procedures, then it may not be be feasible to make the carer blind. For example, in a single-blind fertility trial of semen diluent treatment when only one treatment contains egg yolk, the inseminator will be aware of which treatment is used; the assessment of fertility (pregnancy test) must then be performed blind."

The authors is expert on medical statistics [3]..

I suppose that further searches would find definitions that apply explicitly to experiments where the subject is inorganic. --Enric Naval (talk) 08:34, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I wonder why you didn't do these further searches before commenting, since this is clearly not an animal test? These authors are no doubt correct in that in the case of animals there are two levels of blindness, and that might be important in animal testing. In the case of the Benveniste expt. I can't imagine any test where the assessor knew what the treatment was as being considered blind at all, especially where the assessor has an interest in the outcome.
You can find the normal usage of double blind in any dictionary, distinguishing it from blind by whether the subject knows what treatment is being given or not, and that is not relevant in this case. It is very probable that the people B. was quoting did not know of this distinction and was using the term ignorantly. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:05, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
In short, you have failed to provide credible evidence for your assertion that Benveniste's definition is not shared by other researchers. He was an immunologist, carrying out the kind of investigation that immunologists routinely do, and it is most unlikely that he did not know how the terms blind and double blind are normally used by researchers in this type of situation (in vitro investigation, not involving live animals as in the type of situation covered by your quote). --Brian Josephson (talk) 12:15, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Wellll, in Talk:Water_memory#APS_test, Benveniste implied that it was ridiculous to use term double-blind in "experiments with cells or organs or animals". It looked strange to me because I have read before about double-blinding experiment with animals. And I found this source, showing that the term is used for experiments with animals. So, Benveniste's statement was correct only in part.
It's not that much of a leap to think that the rest of the statement might also be mistaken.
And it's also an example where the handler of the subject, not the subject itself, was being blinded. And it was to avoid the bias from the handler, not the bias from the subject. Benveniste said ""double-blind" means that neither the operator nor the cell or the mouse knew what was what", but under this definition neither the cell or the mouse need to be blinded at all, only the operator needs to be blinded.
Anyways, I did perform the searches, and I found a few examples of "double-blind" being used for experiments on non-organic material:
  • Thomas E. Johnson; Brian K. Birky (9 October 2012). Health Physics and Radiological Health. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-1-4511-5423-8.  "Double Blind refers to "'a sample, known by the submitter but submitted to an analysis in such a way that neither its composition nor its identification as a check sample are known to the latter' (footnote #4) These definitions of 'blind sample' and 'double-blind' are applicable to certain uses in quality assurance, but these terms are also commonly used with other, somewhat different meanings."
  • Committee on the Mathematics and Physics of Emerging Dynamic Biomedical Imaging; Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; National Research Council (29 February 1996). Mathematics and Physics of Emerging Biomedical Imaging. National Academies Press. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-0-309-05387-7.  "A double-blind study in which radiologists tried to find lesions from images produced by two different algorithms concluded (...) "
  • Park (23 April 1985). Solid State Physics: Surfaces. Academic Press. pp. 418–. ISBN 978-0-08-086007-7.  "A double blind procedure was used in an attempt to objectively evaluate [the images of biological molecules obtained via microscope]." (oh, hey, I just realized that the author is skeptic Robert L. Park. The world is such a small place)
So, "double-blind" is used in the real world for experiments with inorganic materials. Even if this is not the dominant definition, Randi's group usage of "double-blind" might not have been as inappropriate as Benveniste suggests. For example, Randi evaluated the performance of dowsers; from his point of view the subjects of the experiment were the dowsers themselves, and double-blind was an appropriate term [4].
Author Philip Ball, writing in Nature years later, also called Randi's experiment "double-blind"[5]
Of course, if you want to argue that the dominant definition is the only correct definition, and that it should used by everyone whenever they say "double-blind experiment", then, yes, Benveniste is totally correct.
P.D.: what the heck, even Benveniste himself used "double-blind" with the same meaning as Randi when he replied in Nature Dr Jacques Benveniste replies:, page 5?? Benveniste's complaint now sounds to me as a post-facto rationalization. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:25, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Re your last point, Benveniste would probably have accepted that his usage was incorrect, but he was after all responding to a statement that used it incorrectly also. It is probably no coincidence that all your examples have physics connections, from which one is tempted to conclude that physicists may use incorrect terminology through lack of familiarity. The question is at what point incorrect usage becomes accepted usage? Should we for example stop criticising people who say 'refute' when what they really mean is repudiate? --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:20, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
(Languages have the characteristic that an incorrect usage becomes an accepted usage if enough people uses it. English has no central authority that dictates the "correct" meaning of words; compare with Spanish language and its Diccionario de la lengua española).
As far as I can tell, a "double-blind procedure" is used by several sources as meaning "blind both the person who performs the experiment and the person who checks the results". This definition is wider than the definition used in medicine, and it would include the attempted controls on Benveniste's experiment. You could say that physicists use the term incorrectly, but I would rather think that they took an useful term and gave it a different meaning. --Enric Naval (talk) 15:41, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Leading to much confusion all around! In any event, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines double blind as meaning

used to describe an experiment that is done so that neither the people who are doing the experiment nor the people who are the subjects of the experiments know which of the groups being studied is the control group and which is the test group

so perhaps you should tell them they've got it wrong.
But in any case, I think far too much significance is being attached to a jocular response made in an email to my own comment. But that's no more than I've come to expect from the wikipedia cabal editors. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:45, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
I would tell Merriam-Webster that they only cover the most popular interpretation, and they are neglecting other uses of the words.
I always tell people that it's amazing how a wikipedia editor can turn a small detail into a huge dispute. Then they remind me that I am one of those editors. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:18, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

List of scientific societies explicitly rejecting intelligent design[edit]

This article points out to signs of massive groupthink.--5.15.178.60 (talk) 12:15, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes indeed! The basic principle is 'don't study, just assume'. This applies also to the deplorably misinformed article on Stephen Meyer where on the talk page I've added comment on the (deliberate?) confusion between ID and creationism.
And here[1] is a nice article on ID in an unlikely place, detached and objective, just what the w'pedia article should and could have been. --Brian Josephson (talk)
That ref. was supposed to have been put on the Stephen Meyer talk page instead of here, and I've now put it there as well.--Brian Josephson (talk)
This is groupthink in the same way that a list of scientific societies rejecting geocentric cosmology would be groupthink. The need for a position on intelligent design is purely political. Scientifically, evolution is fact and intelligent design is a religious position unsupported by scientific evidence. In an ideal world there wouls be no wingnut creationists trying to teach religion in science classes, but while they exist, scientific bodies feel the need to stand four square behind the overwhelming scientific consensus and in opposition to a concept which exists only as a stalking horse to insert religious belief where it has no legitimate place. Guy (Help!) 10:32, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for making your opinions so clear. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:01, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Rejecting geocentric cosmology is not groupthink, just the scientific method in action.
The statement by Guy (Scientifically, evolution is fact and intelligent design is a religious position unsupported by scientific evidence.) seems an appeal to scientific consensus instead of applying the scientific method. Science by consensus is not exactly science, but rather wishful thinking.--5.15.50.155 (talk) 21:50, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I'll leave you to fight it out among yourselves, I have better things to do. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:53, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
I think that the above reply from me was needed to clarify the situation for our confused (and biased) wikifriend JzG Guy.--5.15.50.155 (talk) 22:15, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Certainly I wince when I see people writing that evolution is a fact -- it is an inference rather than a fact (you might equivalently say there is strong evidence in its favour).
But the paradox is that ID people do not deny evolution. This is a myth resulting from the endemic inability of critics to understand that creationism and ID are radically different things (in this connection, I might add that Stephen Meyer has told me he is not a creationist as usually defined). Creationism implies ID but not vice versa. ID people in the whole believe in the existence of God, but say their aim is to see what can be inferred from a scientific analysis, and draw a clear distinction between the science and their beliefs. You'll find that Meyer treats the question of the influence of intelligence in a very scientific way. You may disagree with his arguments but it is an error to call his reasoning unscientific.
I'd not dispute the claim that ID people have an agenda. But scientists do have agendas when they believe current science has it wrong, and in such circumstances they typically wish to gather evidence to prove their position. And in this case it is important to get the science right and not have an institutionalised quasi-religious attachment to materialism. Feel free to call this a stalking-horse if it pleases you to so, but that would be our friend's wishful thinking rather than logic.--Brian Josephson (talk) 08:04, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

ID, detrimental to the advance of scientific knowledge?[edit]

Interesting to notice the assertion mentioned in the title of this subsection by this astrophysicist!--82.137.8.43 (talk) 20:00, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

CF prospects 2014[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you regard from a probabilistic POV the perspective on CF 2014 stated here?: http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/2013/12/lenr-outlook-2014.html --5.15.200.152 (talk) 15:11, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Pretty likely, I think. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:39, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
An important book has just come out, An Impossible Invention by Mats Lewan. My review can be found on the Cold Fusion Now web site. --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:10, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

25th anniversary[edit]

Are there some scheduled events for the 25th anniversary of CF?--5.15.36.186 (talk) 18:56, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Here's something: http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/09/25th-anniversary-cold-fusion-conference-at-mit/ --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:33, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Memory of (heavy) water[edit]

Prof Josephson, are you aware of some studies concerning the isotopic effects (like the memory of heavy water) on the memory of water?--5.15.4.233 (talk) 13:15, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Repository[edit]

I bring to your attention another repository of CF papers and particularly one titled The physics of cold fusion phenomena (paper no 29, January 2011) from here.--5.15.55.216 (talk) 00:57, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Working hypothesis on forces in CF[edit]

Prof Josephson, I have noticed this paper on Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. How do you view the effectiveness of the hypothesis presented there, based on the action of gravitation at nuclear level in CF, knowing that there some additional terms to the law of gravitation have been proposed over time, starting with Newton himself?--188.27.144.144 (talk) 12:31, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your ethics and courage[edit]

Like yourself, I sought to edit at wikipedia under my real name, even though only a fraction of people here do this. For this, we are penalized with repeated conflict of interest issues, even though so many editors here are hiding behind their COI, making their attacks on us a classic example of projection. And typical of the many contradictions at this site, they allow medical doctors to edit on health and medical subjects, though they do not allow a homeopath to edit on homeopathic subjects or they harass you when you edit on a subject such as the memory of water for which you are an expert. Rather than use your (or my) expertise, they conveniently fabricate and enforce rules that disable certain experts to help make this website more accurate and truthful. It is particularly remarkable and unfair when editors here claim you have a COI just because you've gone on record as an EXPERT about the memory of water issue, even when there is no financial interest involved. I admire you, your brilliance, and your courage. DanaUllmanTalk 02:01, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment, Dana. In short, these people are plain stupid clearly not up to the standards that ought to be demanded in connection with such an important job. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:34, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Your thoughts on the psychic Matthew Manning[edit]

Professor Josephson have you read the following book by David Marks? I recently read the book and he mentions you on one page. David Marks writes:

In his book The Link, Manning presented his own story about poltergeists and other strange happenings that took place at home and at school from the age of eleven. Like Geller's My Story, The Link is an autobiographical account and, although it makes fascinating reading is of minimal evidential value.

Manning described how, after watching Geller perform on television, he discovered that he too could bend cutlery and other metal objects. Physicists, like Nobel laureate Professor Brian Josephson, F.R.S., and mathematicians, like Dr. A. R. G Owen, flocked to study Manning's miracles. Josephson is reported by the Daily Mail of London to have concluded: "We are on the verge of discoveries which may be extremely important for physics. We are dealing here with a new kind of energy." The introduction to The Link promises a series of learned papers "following research on Manning's powers by twenty-one giants of science" in Toronto during June and July 1974. Twenty-five years later we are still awaiting these publications with great interest. Paraphysicists seem to be perpetually "on the verge of discoveries" and no closer to actually making any.

From his book The Psychology of the Psychic. p. 100.

I would be interested in knowing do you still believe Matthew Manning is a genuine psychic? Even when magicians have replicated his feats by trickery, and James Randi caught him in fraud? And what happened to your claims about discovering the "new kind of energy" (psychic energy?) thirty or so years ago? Goblin Face (talk) 15:50, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Can you give the reference for Randi catching Manning in fraud please? Have they ever met? And your assertion that parapsychologists have never made discoveries is, quite frankly, weird.
The introduction to The Link does not make the statement you claim it makes, though there is something somewhat similar on the dust jacket: "In June 1974 MM was the subject of extensive tests and experiments in Toronto [true, if you interpret 'extensive' flexibly]. 21 leading scientists [a bit of hype there but it is a dust jacket after all] including [myself] and Owen examined Matthew [true]. As for 'flocking', a bit of hype by your friend Marks there. The sober fact is that Owen arranged a conference on psychokinesis and invited a number of scientists to it as one does, mentioning that there would be the possibility of performing tests on Manning. Here is the key of mine that he bent (fortunately I had a duplicate at home!); it would be interesting to know how Randi could have accomplished the same with more then a dozen people watching closely and no distracting movement or talk, and it being effectively impossible that he had an identical key to swap with. Incidentally, John Taylor caught him out when he attempted to demonstrate metal bending before an audience, and Randi then tried to pretend that he was deliberating doing the trick in such a way that people could see how it was done (he hadn't announced he would do be doing this beforehand and no one was convinced by this). Re subtle energies, I have published a number of relevant papers, check out my Wikipedia page.
Two comments on Manning's supposed psychic abilities:
  • As it happens, I have met the headmaster of Manning's school. He confirmed that the events described in the book did happen.
  • After we were back in my college room after having taken him to dinner once he said he'd try to get his contact Dr. Penn to diagnose someone's illness and asked us to name someone who was ill. We suggested ASF Gow, and Matthew asserted that he was suffering from some specific illness which someone present said was the technical term for arthritis. This was correct: Gow did not dine with the fellows in Hall on account of it. Of course Matthew could have done investigations beforehand and guessed that we would suggest Gow, so that is not very strong evidence as far as the sceptic is concerned.--Brian Josephson (talk) 17:18, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify in the above quote box is a quote from David Marks, I have not made those claims myself it comes from Marks but he is correct about one thing, if you have made claims of discovering some kind of subtle energy or psychic energy over 30 years ago then you have obviously failed to prove your claims. You seem to have a long history of doing this like all parapsychologists. The burden of proof is on the claimant and you have failed. You have made extraordinary claims without a shred of evidence. Think about it, if this "psychic" or subtle energy was a reality it would turn science on it's head, it would be all around the world in the top scientific papers and could bring about some very important improvements in medicine or technology. Instead no evidence has been presented that it exists. I am not interested in conspiracy theories about "censorship" or pseudoscience fringe journals. Science is about repeatability this is why anything "psychic" fails the test. As for Manning caught in fraud, he was caught lying about some things which he published in a book this classifies him as fraud. I am not expecting you to change your view about psychic powers as it's obvious you heavily believe in them but the following is from the magician Henry Gordan:

Ostensibly, one Matthew Manning executes art work while in a trance. Drawings and paintings in the style of Bewick, Rowlandson, Beardsley, Klee, Matisse, Picasso, and other great names began to appear over the walls of his rooms and then all over the ceilings. He was visited by the spirits of these greats — according to Manning.

In an article in the San Francisco Examiner, Manning claimed that an art expert with Sotheby's gallery in London had said that one of the Picasso's he had drawn looked like an original, and that Sotheby's would have vouched for that if they hadn’t been told that Manning had done it. Fellow skeptic and psychic investigator James Randi decided to follow up on this story. He wrote to Sotheby’s. A reply by a Sothby’s official declared the claim "absolutely not true." He wrote that the various drawings done by the "spirits of various artists" had all been rendered by the same hand, and that they were very clever but not very convincing forgeries of existing works.

Manning made another claim in the London Daily Mirror. He had made a drawing of a monkey "while in a trance," and published it in his book, The Link. It had caused great excitement at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, he said. It was similar to a Savery original that was in their vaults and had never been published. Randi sent another letter. A reply from the museum cleared up the matter. The drawing had been published, first in 1905 and again in 1965. It was still available. And the original was on display to the public, not locked up in a vault.

These are only two items that were investigated. How many people will take the time and the trouble to check upon the myriad claims made by phony psychics? It is so much easier to sit back and say, "Hey, isn't that fantastic? This guy works miracles." It's more exciting, more out of the ordinary — makes for more stimulating conversation. It's also a lot of hokum.

From Henry Gordon's book Extrasensory Deception.

So basically Manning was a deliberate liar, a fraud. He had obviously seen the drawing and then lied by claiming it was in the vault. As for John Taylor I communicated with him before his death. He originally endorsed spoon bending but later came to realize it was nothing more than trickery. He also wrote an anti-paranormal book which I consider a classic. Regarding the bent key and a "dozen people watching" you can read how it's done in the book Gellerism Revealed by the magician Ben Harris, it contains photographs and shows the reader how to do it. Anyway the point in raising all this is not a personal chat on the subject. I am fixing the Matthew Manning article. Any references would be useful. As you knew Manning perhaps you can help cite some on the talk-page if you know anything. Thanks. Goblin Face (talk) 17:53, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Your quotes hardly prove fraud; very many interpretations are possible. The story about John Taylor is that he thought he could bring fame to himself by showing you could explain metal bending etc. by conventional means. When he found he couldn't get the numbers to work out he inferred that the phenomenon was unreal and he had been deceived. He did not test that hypothesis. The incident I mentioned was prior to the reversal of his position. In 1974 people had not discovered chemical means to promote metal bending. I'm afraid I don't have time to look into Harris's explanations and can't help you with the references -- it is a very long time since I last met Matthew. You'll note though that I did discover one informative reference, which I've added to the article, when checking what you said about Uvani. --Brian Josephson (talk) 19:01, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately John Taylor has been misrepresented by the parapsychological community. The trickery hypothesis was tested, a group of scientists at Bath University tested Taylor's metal bending subjects who were mostly young students (observing them through hidden one-way mirrors) and they observed the subject's to just bend the spoons by trickery. He also found in his own experiments how air currents could move some of the objects. He also did a further test with Uri Geller and the results were negative (hardly any parapsychologists mention this). Taylor is like myself and this is why I contacted him before his death. I used to believe in the paranormal but after investigation discovered it's trickery, sensory cues or psychological errors. I won't debate that with you as I know you will disagree lol. Which other article are you talking about the Eileen J. Garret one? I didn't revert you on that or delete the reference (I was the first to find that one) and he was a paranormal writer, so Dean Radin's claims about only biased skeptical sources being used is false, as you can see paranormal writers and parapychologists are allowed to be cited on Wikipedia, just not undue weight given. If you look closely I moved the Hastings reference to the end of the quote. The "Uvani" was not another psychic it was Garrett's trance control i.e. one of her subconscious fictitious personalities. Goblin Face (talk) 18:45, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

I've removed the duplicated quote (I don't claim to have found it first -- if you look carefully you'll see that I gave your ref a name so I could reuse it) and corrected the spelling of Uvani. The ref. I added is the last one in 'further reading'. It is very well known in the parapsychological community that people bent spoons by hand when they thought they were not being watched.--Brian Josephson (talk) 19:01, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

WP:3RR[edit]

Hi there, just a friendly reminder to adhere to WP:3RR you're currently getting a bit close to the limit on that at Eileen J. Garrett and I'd strongly recommend you taking the discussion to talk before trying to reinsert this edit. Simonm223 (talk) 22:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

This is all a game, isn't it? You just lurve to do this. --Brian Josephson (talk) 23:16, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Memory of persistent correlations in hydrogen bond dynamics[edit]

Prof Josephson, I think concerning the disputed Cowan reference can be used non-controversially in relation to hydrogen bond article where its whole content (not just abstract as some people who can't acces do) could be cited more extensively and thus the abusive use of it can be diminished. I'd do it myself, but unfortunately from this IP I can't access the full text from Nature.

What means are there for a more extensive citation of its full text that could be used to this end for users who can't access its full text in order to prevent a misquoting? Please share your thoughts.

I have also noticed a wikirule who forbids the citing of sources that haven't been read entirely by those who wish to cite them.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 13:29, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestions, 188.27. That's an interesting rule (though I don't see it in citing sources), but no doubt the cabal would find ingenious ways around it. I don't think it worth taking the effort myself to work with the details in the article, but if you email me as to how to get it to you I could send you the text for you to peruse. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:28, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
The rule is mentioned at WP:SAYWHEREYOUREADIT. Thanks for the offer of sending the text of Cowan ref. I can be found (by email) at user:U18827144sqr.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 12:06, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I've send you an email from the registered acount.--U18827144sqr (talk) 12:20, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I've put the link to the article misquoted by Huizenga mentioned in the email in a section from Nernst equation and also here [6]. If you don't mind, please also send it me to be perused in appropriate articles.--U18827144sqr (talk) 12:48, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I've emailed them to you -- hope you'll be able to use them profitably! --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:37, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm analyzing them these days. If I encounter some aspects less clear or vague, I'll ask you. Thanks again.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 12:28, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

As (preliminary) remark(s) on full text of Cowan, the source is rather qualitative, no formula being included (unlike the other paper by Huot) and some vague concept are not (enough) detailed like the memory of persistent correlations. Some experimental spectroscopic data are presented and no sign of the memory of dissolved substances.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 14:41, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

The reasons why the Cowan quote is irrelevant to the article, and/or used in a misleading way, have already been made. The real problem lies elsewhere, viz. in the way wikipedia is set up in such a way that little can be done to stop wreckers doing their work. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:05, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Of course the analysis of Cowan quote has been made, but the tendentious editors have ignored it and refused to accept the necessity of reading the full text. Now, since there is at least another open-minded person who has access to full text of the source according to the mentioned wikirule, I say that their misconceived/baseless objections are easier to oppose and eliminate/debunk.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 11:03, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the best thing initially is to bug them on the article's talk page. I'm afraid I don't have time to be involved in this at the moment and have stopped watching the page to avoid being distracted (I have however done some editing on other pages, where sanity rules so it is not so much of a waste of time). --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:11, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I have noticed another wikirule about editors who think they own article(s) by Wikipedia:Ownership_of_articles#Multiple-editor_ownership.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 14:38, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
I understand the issue of time. I do have some time at disposal among other activities to deploy a sequence/graph of activities to counteract the so-(implicitly self)-called debunkers. I've also added a more appropriate word to my previous comment, namely to debunk because the action necessary here can be called debunking the debunkers/sophists.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 11:44, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Ionic conductivity difference of deuterated aqueous salts solutions[edit]

In this context of dismantling misconceived objections I think it is also useful to attack the alleged (by Taubes) heat generation in CF only due to difference in ionic conductivities of deuterated salts solutions compared to protiated/standard aqueous solutions. Are you aware of a such misquotation of an article by Gary Taubes in his (magnus) opus, made similarly to Huizenga?--188.27.144.144 (talk) 14:12, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Topic of current interest in CF[edit]

Hello Prof Josephson! I have made some edit proposals (and source quoting) on talk:cold fusion. Please share your thought there.--5.15.29.151 (talk) 21:17, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

I had a look but I'm not really sure what you are getting at exactly. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:34, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
More specifically on the proposed topics of current interest presently undecided and some left blank your feedback is useful. For instance what key excerpts from Baym and Leggett source mentioned there do you consider appropriate for citation?--5.15.53.167 (talk) 07:43, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Re Baym and Leggett, I did once read that paper and have downloaded it again to refresh my memory. They claim to prove that for background condensed matter effects to enhance tunnelling enough for CF to occur an energy of 80eV would have to be supplied, which requires ~1000 atoms. They say

While we have not been able rigorously to rule out such an exotic long-range effect operative only at finite temperature, it seems extraordinarily implausible.

It seems to me that implausibility is in the eye of the beholder. CF is commonly thought to be an effect associated with nanostructures, and if a nanoparticle could act as a single quantum system it would have roughly the right number of atoms. The problem. of course, would be fleshing out the 'somehow'. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:09, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
In introduction BL paper lists 3 possible sources of enhancement of nuclear reaction rate (1)suppresion of Coulomb barrier from many-body screening effects, 2) enhancement due to solid state environment or 3) an exotic mechanism relying on coherence between fusion processes involving different deuteron pairs) and concludes that the phenomenon is unlikely in the extreme to be due to solid-state enhancement. They say they focus in the article on the first possibility. They do not say anything about the 3rd possibility , an exotic/unknown mechanism.--5.15.38.95 (talk) 18:08, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
As a conclusion of this analysis could be the question : How (and what from) BL can be cited in the article?--5.15.38.95 (talk) 18:17, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Any quote would need to be clarified by a bit of OR, which is not allowed.--Brian Josephson (talk) 18:40, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
I have proposed a phrasing (excerpt) that could be cited that leaves room for the third possibility, an exotic mechanism.--86.125.167.74 (talk) 20:42, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
The proposed adjusted citation from B&L can now be requested on semi-protection edit request.--86.125.186.149 (talk) 11:17, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Also a corroboration/correlation of B&L to Chechin&Tsarev could be useful in discerning the proposed mechanisms of CF.--86.125.186.149 (talk) 11:24, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

I've had a response from Leggett and Baym now, which I've added to the cold fusion talk page.--Brian Josephson (talk) 09:05, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Quote from Huizenga[edit]

Prof Josephson, re the paper by Huot cited by Huizenga that you sended to me, I haven't figure out how to access the discussed quote in order to properly deal and adjust the cold fusion article because as I can see there is no Amazon preview of the book. Could you send it to me by the email where you have send the Huot paper or even post it here in order to fix the matter of the quote and its usability once and for all. Thanks--188.27.144.144 (talk) 16:00, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm -- I haven't got the book, so can't help there. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:12, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps our friend Enric Naval, who said somewhere that he has (read) the book, could help in this aspect?(!) How do you consider Enric Naval's reasonability as wikieditor?--188.27.144.144 (talk) 09:44, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Hmm -- I'd best refrain from comment there. Actually, I believe our library has the book, but I don't think it effective use of my time looking for something to quote, and then struggling to get it accepted for the article. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:52, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Another theoretical paper - Ichimaru 1993[edit]

There is another theoretical article which refers to CF (tangentially?) and it would be useful to be analyzed to see what it has to say. The article is authored by Setsuo Ichimaru, Nuclear Fusion in Dense Plasmas, Reviews of Modern Physics, 65 (1993), p 255-299. (I'm bringing this article to your attention.)--188.27.144.144 (talk) 09:36, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm focussing on doing science at the moment (leading the revolution!). --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:39, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Of course doing science is more constructive and demanding than standing aside and criticizing (and sometimes trying intensely to deny the results of) those who do science without whose works those that criticize wouldn't have material to work.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 09:59, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Neutron radius[edit]

Hello Prof Josephson! The article neutron lacks some info re neutron radius and methods of determining it. Please share your thoughts on this topic at Talk:Neutron#Radius.--188.26.22.131 (talk) 10:59, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Not my area of expertise, sorry. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:12, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
Do you know some people who might be in this area of expertise and possibly used as sources on this topic?--188.26.22.131 (talk) 12:59, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
My consultancy rates are GBP 400/hr. (that's what seems to be the going rate these days for private medical consultations, at least). Let me know (privately), if you are interested. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:12, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Taleyarkhan results in relation to CF[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you view the circumstances of fraud allegations against Rusi Taleyarkhan's results in sonofusion in relation to the so-called scientific consensus?--5.15.186.102 (talk) 11:49, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

I doubt if the allegations had any factual basis. I found misconceptions in Nature's analysis, and they proved to quite unable to understand the complications of the considerations involved (moving to editing books for children could have been a wise move).
As to problems of replication that others claimed, it is important to bear in mind that the temperatures reached in bubble collapse depend critically on how small the bubble gets, and that will also depend on how symmetrical the initial bubble is. It is entirely possible that over a period of time T. had figured out the optimal way to do this and others did not attain the necessary skill -- and it could have been convenient for some if successful people were discredited.

Interesting new developments on talk pages[edit]

Prof Josephson, I notice interesting new (intermediary) developments on talk pages (and even in article) of water memory and E-Cat that I thought useful to bring to your attention.--5.15.186.74 (talk) 20:39, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I think it must said that TOAT has put a question about the utility of request for quotes (Huizenga etc) which he semi-humorously calls them scavenger hunt. His question is answered with many details in sections that have been problematically (or conveniently?) archived. The situation seems tragicomical.--188.27.144.144 (talk) 13:54, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Assessment by Radin[edit]

This comment on wikipedia by Dean Radin is worth quoting here:

If Wikipedia honestly advertised that its goal was to reflect interpretations of the status quo by people who have no expertise, then I'd have no problem with it.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 08:54, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

ANI notification[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:41, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

May 2014[edit]

If people really want to know about this sordid attempt to stop me editing, they can read all about it here.

The BLP Barnstar[edit]

BLP Barnstar.png The BLP Barnstar
Your efforts to improve the biography of Russell Targ have not gone unnoticed! If you decide to go to the media over this, rest assured you have my full support. One day, hard science will triumph over pseudoskepticism. Thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia! A1candidate (talk) 12:14, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks for your support, A1! Much appreciated. --Brian Josephson (talk) 13:55, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
A1 what effort? Brian has a total of 3 edits which he added on the 6th of May, and even those edits were unsourced. Check the edit history of the article, it was me and MrBill3 who have spent countless hours searching for sources and adding sources to the Targ article since February. Goblin Face (talk) 15:36, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
The quality of his edits counts.--George1935 (talk) 16:56, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
That's what Goblin Face said. Guy (Help!) 21:17, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

One more star[edit]

BLP Barnstar.png The BLP Barnstar
Your efforts to improve the biography of Russell Targ have not gone unnoticed! One day, hard science will triumph over pseudoskepticism. Also ---Thanks again - for your efforts - --George1935 (talk) 16:56, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Unblock granted[edit]

Hi, the discussion at the Administrator Noticeboard gave a clear majority for immediate unblocking, and I have accordingly unblocked your account.

Two bits of advice. First, it is always a good idea to avoid anything that might be perceived as a legal threat. In most cases referring to the internal policy on biographies of living people and what in the article is violating it will get the point across adequately. Also suggestions that you will go to the media and so on are usually frowned upon because it may be viewed as trying to intimidate other users. In the vast majority of cases, disputes on Wikipedia can be settled internally on Wikipedia. Sjakkalle (Check!) 18:18, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice which I have noted. Just like to add though that it has been far from my experience that disputes can be readily settled internally, though perhaps this may be the case for people who have unlimited time to spare on such enterprises, which I have not. --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:25, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Molesworth[edit]

Do I detect a closet Molesworth fan? Guy (Help!) 21:03, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

'fraid not (I had to look up the name to find out what you were referring to). My diet of that genre was Billy Bunter and Just William. Re the latter, we were pleased to catch readings from the latter on BBC Radio 4 recently.--Brian Josephson (talk) 21:09, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Billy Bunter was drawn by C. H. Chapman, whose son lived two doors down form me. Same surname, no relation (I believe theirs was an alias, actually, with a deserter in the family somewhere - so Tom told me, anyway). Molesworth used the phrase "as any fule kno" or "any fule kno that". The Martin Jarvis recordings of William? Hard to see how anyone else could do it. Like Suchet's Poirot or Petherbridge's Wimsey. Guy (Help!) 21:19, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
It looks like it was Martin Jarvis, yes, but I believe it was a new recording. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jg5cp. I think 'any fule kno' has become quite a popular phrase, and I was unaware of its origins. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:33, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Unintelligent Criticism[edit]

{{uw-coi}} Murry1975 (talk) 15:27, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

The 'back story' (as they call it nowadays) is that I spotted an error in my biography article. My physics master, Emrys Jones, is referred to in the article as 'M S Jones', so I corrected it. Emrys and M S sound pretty similar and it looks as if someone misheard the name and introduced an error. But on the caution/conflict of interest issue, it really requires an amazing lack of intelligence to imagine that my correction could involve a conflict of interest.

I might also draw attention to a remark made by a very experienced editor on the talk page for Talk:Russell Targ: Lighten up! Targ can edit his own biography as long as he does not violate the COI guideline. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:17, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

You accused me of removing your edit in an edit summary, please check edit history before making accusations. I corrected spelling nothing else.Theroadislong (talk) 16:20, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
My sincere apologies. I had noticed I got the person wrong as I noticed that a different person posted something relted to CoI to my user page and had been busy responding to that. I'll correct the error. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:26, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
I guess one 'can't change history' so my misattribution will remain on the history page, so instead I've added a section about it to the talk page. --Brian Josephson (talk) 16:47, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I've removed the COI warning. It obviously does not pertain to non-controversial corrections that a primary source is cited anyway.--v/r - TP 20:37, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Stop icon

Your recent editing history at Russell Targ shows that you are currently engaged in an edit war. Being involved in an edit war can result in your being blocked from editing—especially if you violate the three-revert rule, which states that an editor must not perform more than three reverts on a single page within a 24-hour period. Undoing another editor's work—whether in whole or in part, whether involving the same or different material each time—counts as a revert. Also keep in mind that while violating the three-revert rule often leads to a block, you can still be blocked for edit warring—even if you don't violate the three-revert rule—should your behavior indicate that you intend to continue reverting repeatedly.

To avoid being blocked, instead of reverting please consider using the article's talk page to work toward making a version that represents consensus among editors. See BRD for how this is done. You can post a request for help at a relevant noticeboard or seek dispute resolution. In some cases, you may wish to request temporary page protection. Theroadislong (talk) 11:47, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Your remarks would be better addressed to MrBill3, who has been very active in reverting my own edits. Let's have a little truth in these parts!
And you might bear in mind that there are people who have been praising me for my edits. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:52, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, several of those praising you are known to the admin community as advocates of fringe theories. You should be very careful interpreting the support of any individual editor as any kind of endorsement, many have been misled by the peanut gallery and have ended up blocked as a result. Your input on the discussion page is certainly welcome, but it should be obvious to you now that your edits are generally reverted for policy-based reasons. Guy (Help!) 20:42, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
And in fairness, some of the criticism has been anti-COI radicals. This revert for example where Brian is reverted for fixing a misheard name from a video made by Brian himself. I'm shocked that we could use a primary source and then revert the editor who published the source when the editor who added it misheard the source. That's baffling to me.--v/r - TP 20:49, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed that the source was my own talk, and that it was the reverter who had done the mishearing! But I don't find this behaviour at all baffling. The first quote in my 'world is watching' may give a hint. It exaggerates of course but this particular revert can be readily understood as a straightforward case of antisocial behaviour. Is there any other reasonable explanation? --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:32, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
You misunderstood me, SlimVirgin did the mishearing. Murray1975 did the reverting a correction you made to a mistake that was cited to you anyway.--v/r - TP 21:45, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I see. But it doesn't make any essential difference to my point -- it was the reversion that my criticism applies to, not the mishearing.--Brian Josephson (talk) 21:57, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Right, we're saying the same thing. I'm only adding on that the source that was misheard was you yourself. So reverting you correcting someone who misheard you is nonsense and should never have been done on those grounds alone.--v/r - TP 22:14, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
There's a lot more nonsense in w'pedia editing than that kind of thing unfortunately. Guidelines are guidelines, fair enough, but unintelligent application of guidelines is all too frequent and that is a very different issue. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:08, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Notice of Edit warring noticeboard discussion[edit]

Information icon Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion involving you at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring regarding a possible violation of Wikipedia's policy on edit warring. The thread is Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring#User:Brian_Josephson reported by User:MrBill3 (Result: ). Thank you. MrBill3 (talk) 11:58, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Meatish behavior[edit]

Hi Brian - Please don't act as a conduit/meatpuppet for Russell Targ, who is currently blocked. You're welcome to express your own views in your own words, but directly copying and pasting a statement from someone who is calling for assistance with his Wikipedia page offsite is problematic. Best. Kevin Gorman (talk) 21:01, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Please don't write such silly things. I write soley what I believe to be right, and don't let anyone else dictate. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:37, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I missed a slash in my original post and corrected it, feel free to revert it if you object. Directly copying and pasting to project pages large chunks of text written by currently blocked editors frequently is interpreted as disruptive, as meatpuppetry, or as proxying for a blocked editor. I have no intention of blocking you for doing it, but I take a much lighter view of it than many other people with a block button do. You would be really well advised to not continue to copy large chunks of text written by blocked editors to the talk pages of articles. Kevin Gorman (talk) 21:46, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Dear dear! People just can't get out of the wikipedia way of thinking once they get involved with it, it must do something to their brain functioning just as it's said watching TV too much can do (I'm not directing this comment at you specifically, I hasten to add; your brain may well be functioning perfectly, but it does seem that people can only think of people's actions in one particular way, and your comments above illustrate this very well. It's you, the addicted WP editors, that can't avoid interpreting people's actions in one particular way (meatpuppet, conduit, suspicion of copying large sections of text when they illustrate a point perfectly ... ). Lighten up, get a life, etc., as they say). --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:07, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Brian - you're looking at this from a worldly-perspective. We're looking at it from an online-encyclopedia-that-anyone-can-edit-that-frequently-attracts-trolls,-point-of-view-pushers,-religious-and-pseudoscience-proponents-perspective. Our rules might seem silly to someone not 'on the inside' but they seem entirely justified and logical to those of us who have had to deal with issues unique to this website and this project for many years. Instead of trying to fight something that you haven't taken the time to understand, consider seeking guidance from others. I guarantee the quickest, and really only, way to the result you desire is through the community. There is no higher authority on content then the group of people you see around you. Plain and simple. The WMF will not intervene on your behalf. You can believe it, or fight it, but the rest of us have experience working with the WMF and we know what will get them to move or not. Some of us are trying to actually help you by explaining these things to you. "I write soley what I believe to be right, and don't let anyone else dictate" is just not going to work on this project. This is a collaborative project and the community has standards and norms. It's as if you were trying to get a paper published in a journal - you have to follow their style guide. Same is true here.--v/r - TP 22:27, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Sure, but the best editors manage to combine both perspectives, and on most pages this works: there need be no incompatibility. There is absolutely no need to shut down ordinary thinking while editing. Have you considered the possibility that there may be something to the comments I have gathered in my 'world is watching' section? (this station is now closing down for the night, BTW).--Brian Josephson (talk) 22:33, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Not here. The editors here cover both perspectives equal to the amount of weight given in reliable sources. If 90 sources say it's pseudoscience and 10 sources say it's not, then no more than 10% of the coverage on the subject should be critical of the term 'pseudoscience'. We do not give equal weight just because both perspective exist. We only give equal weight when the secondary sources give both perspectives equal weight. That's what neutrality is. We shouldn't give Flat Earth half of the space of the article on Earth just because the both sides exists. If what you claim about remote viewing is true, and you get more scholarly sources to support it, then the article will naturally change on it's own. At the most, if 10% of the sources were supportive of you, we could say "Some in the scientific community are critical of calling remote viewing pseudoscience." That's about the extent of editorial control when dealing with neutrality where the predominant opinion is that it is pseudoscience. But the sources have to change first. Wikipedia is never the first-stop-shop to bring about that sort of change. We are a tertiary source.--v/r - TP 22:38, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I am available via email if you ever have a question about Wikipedia's policies or processes.--v/r - TP 22:48, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I have two things to ask here. First is simple politeness: I have worked for American firms for the last decade and more, and even before that, informal address was the norm. Oddly at work. as an affectation, I use more formal language with my peers than with my customers eve. However, it seems somehow presumptuous to address you as Brian, as I refer to my friend Prof. Colquhoun as David. If you consider this rude, what do you prefer? I have no wish to insult or belittle you, I hope this is clear, but in Wikipedia we are all theoretically equal, even Randy from Boise.
Second is, do you want or need any help with Wikipedia policies and such? I know a couple of people who may be able to help.
Um. There's a third, but not Wikipedia. A mate was in Fleishchann's lab during his PhD and did work on the experiments. He's 50 in a week or so, any chance you could send him a birthday wish? This is him. Disgustingly clever, working on cutting edge biosensors, but also a man of faith, humble, not in any way inclined to big himself up. You would like him a lot (on the basis that everyone does). Maybe email me if you feel obliged to0 do a low cost favour for a good scientist working hard in a field with much competition, not all of it scrupulous. Guy (Help!) 23:04, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
In the light of your unreasonable revert of https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cold_fusion&diff=575491348&oldid=575425555, I'm afraid the answer is no. Did you expect anything else? Feel free to let him know of my regrets, and the reason for them. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:07, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
In fact, I'd be very interested to know what he thinks of your edit -- I rather doubt if you'll be able to persuade him that a better article was the outcome. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:21, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
On the other hand, since I can contact Higson myself using the email address provided in your link I can raise my concerns with him directly in my letter. BTW, I tried clicking on your 'email me' link and got back a message that you had not supplied a valid email address!! Perhaps you should fix that. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:02, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
That's odd, I get a steady trickle of email addresses via Wikipedia. Unwarranted revert? No. I explained it: he's known for his contribution to the pseudoscience around remote viewing. That is absolutely the case. I completely understand that he disputes this, but that's not really our problem. Feel free to try to recruit Séamus against me, I suspect it will give him a giggle, which is nearly as good. Thanks! Guy (Help!) 23:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Detective bdj has figured out what the problem was -- a typo in your link. You put Jzg instead of JzG and it seems userids are case sensitive so the system objected. --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:11, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Oh, right. I have bone-deep burn scars on my left hand and cannot type for toffee. Thanks for pointing out the problem, I will try not to make the same mistake again. Guy (Help!) 18:46, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

WP:WIKIHOUNDING[edit]

You said elsewhere, "there is reason to believe that some people watch over my edits and mindlessly revert these edits automatically". This is called WP:WIKIHOUNDING and is not acceptable behavior on WP. You have every right to edit WP (within guidelines and policy). The WP community benefits from a variety of viewpoints and the opinions of even small minorities should be thoughtfully and courteously considered. Activities that disrupt another editor's enjoyment of editing are strongly frowned upon (policies and guidelines can be burdensome enough). If you feel that an editor is hounding you please take the time to ask them to stop on their talk page. If you feel this behavior continues or is being practiced by a group of editors acting indistinguishably and in apparent concert you can bring your concerns to the Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. While I have issues with your behavior or editing from time to time, I do not condone behavior that is against policy, disruptive or rude. There are a variety of things which may create the impression you are being wikihounded when that is not the case (WikiProject Skepticism, the Fringe Theories Noticeboard, user watchlists may frequently overlap your areas of interest for instance). Best wishes and happy editing. - - MrBill3 (talk) 11:37, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your thoughts. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:06, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
You should consider the possibility that they revert your edits because they are not compliant with policy. Your views are often at odds with the scientific consensus, and it is the scientific consensus that we follow, that is our policy. Guy (Help!) 19:48, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
@JzG: I'm not sure if you saw it above, but I've given an example of where reverts were not policy compliant and were blind application of WP:COI where it didn't apply.--v/r - TP 19:56, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I know. But more than one editor is reverting, and the claim is that the reversion of edits does not take account fo content, which is at best a generalization from the specific. There's no evidence that most reverts are the result of who made the edit, but rather the content of the edits themselves - at least most of the ones I have seen. The example of the edit to Brian Josephson is an example of an editor who does not understand that WP:COI does not prohibit correcting uncontroversial errors of fact, it's not hounding. Guy (Help!) 20:16, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
I haven't been active on Wikipedia for the past few weeks, but WP:WIKIHOUNDING includes:

Correct use of an editor's history includes (but is not limited to) fixing unambiguous errors or violations of Wikipedia policy, or correcting related problems on multiple articles.

Many of your edits have been, and can still be, considered "related problems on multiple articles." I haven't (and don't intend to) check your edits to determine whether the edits in question could, in good faith, be considered as such. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:38, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Let's leave it then, shall we? I'm sure we all have better and more productive ways of using our time. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:37, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

What part of "no legal threats" don't you get?[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. The thread is Legal threats from Brian Josephson (again). Thank you. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:22, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Kindly enlighten me, please -- where is the legal threat? That is certainly something I don't understand, given that both Russell and I have declared that we have no intent to take anyone to law over this. And it is quite clear that your action is intended to stifle discussion, and I believe there is a guideline referring to that. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:11, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

ANI notification[edit]

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:24, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

ORCID, voice[edit]

Hi,

Do you have an ORCID identifier that can be added to Wikidata and thus to the {{Authority control}} template on the article about you? If not, I encourage you to sign up for one. Also, please would you record your voice for our article about you, as described at WP:WikiVIP? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:02, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestions. I don't think I have one of these. It may be good to get one but it is not high on my list of priorities. Re voice, a voice recording of me giving my frank opinion of wikipedia would be good, don't you think? ;-) These days though special voice recordings for posterity are less important as there are plenty of audio and video recordings of my talks on the internet. --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:40, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a interesting idea, if you ca word a complicated matter simply ;) - We asked a professor to repeat his speech (translated: ""Injustice can never be made right. It is important, though, to remember. It is important to call injustice, injustice.""), but he replied that he's too old-fashioned. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:51, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
How many of those recordings are under an open licence? How many include you pronouncing your name? How many will stay on line in perpetuity? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:10, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/871489 might be a good choice. It is on the university's audio/video site so I should think it can be assumed to be there 'in perpetuity' -- it is not a person or research group web site where anything might happen. After referring to me as 'Brian' many times in her introduction, my colleague who is introducing me mentions my full name just at the end, at about 1:34. I guess I own the copyright. If you click on 'formats' you will see that downloads are permitted, but no doubt some formal licensing arrangement can be set up if you can instruct me in what would be needed.
Something seems to be happening on the media site at the moment as suddenly all the videos generate an error message, which didn't happen when I played that video a short time ago. You might therefore have to come back later. There's another video that might do if an introduction is included but I can't check that out right now. --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:37, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
Update: the person in charge of the CU Media Service confirms that the site isn't functioning properly at the moment, but regrets that it can't be fixed right now (I guess that can't be done remotely). Meanwhile, on this defective site (Wikipedia) I see that editors are still busy using WP:RS to ensure that site content is exactly what they want it to be: nothing more, and nothing less. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:56, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
A temporary fix has now been done so you can see the video. The other one I mentioned is not suitable as there is no introduction so you don't hear my name being said as you requested. You could just do a clip from the video with the last part of the introduction and part of the talk. --Brian Josephson (talk) 13:54, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Some further points:

  • Audio-only versions of the talk (AAC and mp3 formats available) can be accessed via the 'available formats' tab. You could edit the file so that it begins just before my name is mentioned by the chair, and then include as much as you consider appropriate of the lecture.
  • Re copyright, as the uploader of the video I can simply edit the copyright field to include whatever statement w'pedia consider appropriate.

--Brian Josephson (talk) 09:56, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

The videographer, Andrew Marin, would generally own the copyright. Did he release rights to the video to you? Assuming that you do indeed own the copyright to the video, if you wish you can upload the video to Commons and release it as you describe. Any editor could then pull the audio file and edit it for the key section, as derivative works are permissible per the CC-BY-SA license. I can volunteer my time to do the editing if that would be helpful. VQuakr (talk) 18:09, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
(text here originally replaced by comment below) --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:59, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
As you wish. The offer to help was sincere; sorry if I caused irritation. It is reasonably accurate to say that I am unfamiliar with copyright law as applied to recorded academic lectures in the UK. VQuakr (talk) 05:24, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to apologise also -- as you are probably aware, I get a lot of trouble from editors here and your posting did look rather like an attempt to make trouble. So I am removing the above and will replace it by the following.
I'm not an expert on copyright law either, but believe the situation is that it is the creator of a work that owns the copyright. There are cases where a person saw something interesting and decided to record it, e.g. Ice Skating at Central Park or The Sun Sparkles on Lünersee (plug), where clearly the person who took the video was the creator. In other cases someone else would be primarily responsible for creating it and the recording person would have only a subsidary role. For example, in BBC documentaries the recording person might be mentioned in the credits but the copyright would be given as the BBC or the person behind the enterprise. Prof. Driscoll has confirmed that Mr. Marin (the student in the group that she asked to do the recording) just handed over the tape for processing afterwards, and there was no discussion of copyright, certainly no suggestion that he owned it. I assumed copyright myself and she agreed to this.
There remain some issues arising:
  1. If I change the copyright field to something indicating release under the appropriate CC licence, will that satisfy the license watchers? If I have to go through a process of proving I own the copyright I'm not that interested. However, I gather if one uploads one's own material the situation is less problematic.
  2. How big a file can be uploaded. As our AV people recommend, I originally saved the video as HD (the format of the source) and DV, and I think the file was around 10GB total. Wikimedia would probably not be amused by such a large file (the media service like the best format available to take into account possible future developments, e.g. 720p has become available only since the upload). The highest quality currently available for download is 720p, approximate file size 1GB, but 480*360 is available in a 160MB download and audio only in a 40MB file. Which do the experts recommend? --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:03, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for updating your response. I think changing the copyright field on the University webpage to release the video under CC-BY-SA, if it is convenient for you to do so, is the best way to go because all subsequent steps can be performed by anyone. File uploads above 100MB are more difficult but not impossible. VQuakr (talk) 19:44, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm not that sure I really want to go that far with this video, so I'll leave it for now. Having it also on Wikimedia is redundant, as I've explained. And people can already download and embed it, as has been done by some with the Rossi video. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:00, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Profile (of a skeptic)[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you regard the profile of this author, Steven Novella, whose work from Skeptical Inquirer has been inserted recently (as secondary source) in water memory article by Enric Naval in support of keeping the (misquoted) Cowan reference?--82.137.11.52 (talk) 15:09, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm afraid I've been engaged elsewhere for some time and must limit my activities, so I will not be tempted to look. I can well imagine that 'dirty tricks' are going on there as they have been in the places I've been involved with. An indepth study of techniques used in this regard to expose their vacuity might well be in order, but that will have to be some other time. --Brian Josephson (talk) 15:15, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
I see that the person discussed here is also mentioned on talk:Russell Targ#Science vs pseudoscience, right above your presentation of book re Dogmatism in Science and Medicine.82.137.15.181 (talk) 15:23, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Research[edit]

Thank you for your contributions to WP. I appreciate your active engagement and strongly encourage you to provide suggested content based on good sources. I hope you are interested in improving WP and willing to devote some personal effort. As you have access to some of the possible references on Russell Targ I would greatly appreciate some paragraph length quotes that I could paraphrase and add or at least become comfortable using these sources as references to support existing content. Feel free to post them to my talk page. While we may disagree on the significance and prominence due Targ's laser research, I am willing to consider your position if more support from reliable secondary sources is available. I believe WP is improved by having the positions of a variety of editors presented and evaluated. As you are intelligent and have some familiarity with a variety of topics in a scholarly context I urge you to consider contributing across multiple subjects on WP. I am somewhat puzzled by the way you present information. If I might be so bold I suggest an attempt at suggested encyclopedic content on talk pages. With your notable experience in academia I am confident you are skilled at concise, factual, cited writing. I again temper my allegations of POV pushing with an appreciation for your thoughtful engagement. I think everyone has a POV and that is fine, on WP what counts is policy and source support for assertions. Again thank you for the time and effort you contribute to WP. - - MrBill3 (talk) 22:10, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for this. I have a number of points to make in response:
  1. While it would be nice to be able to contribute to 'multiple subjects' as you suggest, time is limited. I am focussing on the Targ article at this time as I know he is very distressed at the misrepresentations evident in the article. This is less significant in cases such as those of Radin and Sheldrake who are robust people who are quite used to being attacked, and Benveniste, of course, is no longer with us. Cold fusion and possibly the e-cat are different: they are worthy of attention since it is likely that they can contribute to dealing with climate change (the e-cat situation may be clarified soon as it is rumoured that details of a new test will be published soon). But here what is written in w'pedia is of little moment: people in general may look there for the facts, but the people who matter know that it is not reliable and are following the primary sources (which have a better reputation among experts as they unlike wp editors are able to pass judgement tnemselves).
  2. Again I cannot spare the time to hunt for appropriate secondary sources for quotes. However, I'll ask for assistance in this regard from parapsychologists who may be able to assist.
  3. more when I have the time and opportunity --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:17, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

DYK[edit]

Hi Brian, in case you didn't get the ping about this, please see Template:Did you know nominations/Brian Josephson. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:17, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks -- I was unaware of this. With a certain degree of effort I've managed to track down what exactly this is about. My response I think is that given the nature of the article about me I'd prefer not to have it linked to the w'pedia home page (as I gather has been suggested). Thanks for checking! I agree that what follows the DYK is not a problem, the link to the article goes with it. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:45, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Brian, thanks, if you could post that on the DYK page the reviewers will take it into account or the nominator will withdraw the nomination. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:49, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Have done! --Brian Josephson (talk) 18:27, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Fringe labeling[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you view the labeling as fringe of some w'topics by people who don't show enough technical understanding of the topics involved?--82.137.9.40 (talk) 20:55, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

I guess one needs to look at the definition: 'We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field. For example, fringe theories in science depart significantly from mainstream science and have little or no scientific support.' I guess the first sentence applies (one has to stick to the definitions) but little or no scientific support does not in many cases. So there's a case for arguing that in the talk pages, so go ahead if you feel so inclined. I wish you luck, but I doubt if you'll get anywhere quickly. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:04, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

It seems that a rather interesting poll to determine the level of support for CF as fringe or non fringe is taking place on talk:cold fusion#Going Forward - RFC or in the wording from there whether cold fusion is considered by most of the academic community to be pathological science. Your feedback could be useful.--82.137.9.172 (talk) 20:05, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for drawing my attention to this -- I've contributed to the discussion there. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:02, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

The initiator of the poll has emphasized somewhere the importance of technical understanding.--82.137.9.172 (talk) 20:33, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Guideline[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you view the utility and benefit for wikicontent of the guideline WP:FRNG? Please share your thought!--82.137.13.98 (talk) 17:19, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

What are its weak points?--82.137.13.98 (talk) 17:21, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

On bias[edit]

Would it not be great if it there were some procedure for adding to articles (where appropriate) a tag providing the information many scientists consider this article to be totally biased? Then people would know not to trust the article. Just a thought! Dream on -- the same people that biased the article in the first place would never permit such a tag. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:44, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

A feeback to your thought: This tag would be useful and more specific than NPOV tag.--5.15.15.62 (talk) 15:40, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Cold fusion[edit]

Commons-emblem-notice.svg Please carefully read this information:

The Arbitration Committee has authorised discretionary sanctions to be used for pages regarding pseudoscience and fringe science, a topic which you have edited. The Committee's decision is here.

Discretionary sanctions is a system of conduct regulation designed to minimize disruption to controversial topics. This means uninvolved administrators can impose sanctions for edits relating to the topic that do not adhere to the purpose of Wikipedia, our standards of behavior, or relevant policies. Administrators may impose sanctions such as editing restrictions, bans, or blocks. This message is to notify you sanctions are authorised for the topic you are editing. Before continuing to edit this topic, please familiarise yourself with the discretionary sanctions system. Don't hesitate to contact me or another editor if you have any questions.

This message is informational only and does not imply misconduct regarding your contributions to date.

Robert McClenon (talk) 21:52, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

It hasn't informed me at all; it's all gobbledook as far as I'm concerned. I'm well aware that sanctions are possible, and this curious wikispeak adds nothing to my overall knowledge. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Come on Brian, you know that these notices mean that if we are naughty in an area covered by these notices it makes it far easier for Admins to sanction us under the rules. Wear it like a badge of pride, we've all had them if we stray into dangerous territory. Regards, - Roxy the dog (resonate) 00:50, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Noted, many thanks for the translation into the Queen's English! --Brian Josephson (talk) 09:09, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Kirk Shanahan[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you regard the aspects pointed out by Kirk Shanahan in the present talk from CF? He seems a person quite reasonable with whom it can be talked unlike the other editors like Andy theG, Johnunig, JJ, Roches, Enric Naval who have low argumentative value interventions due to repetition of cliches/buzzwords? (As it has been underlined, RFC is not by counting votes)--188.27.144.144 (talk) 11:52, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Agreed, KS is not like the other editors you have mentioned. But there is the question of whether his science is correct, and the general opinion in the field is that his objections are misconceived. I haven't made a study of this myself so can't comment on details. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:46, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Cambridge University involvement[edit]

Prof Josephson, are you aware of any inside info re a possible interest in CF by, say, Cambridge University Electrochemistry Department?--188.27.144.144 (talk) 10:58, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't know any people in that dept., but I know a number of people in the university (including my 'co-star' in our Rossi reactor video) who are vaguely interested, and who might well become considerably more interested if suitable funding were available to carry out investigations. --Brian Josephson (talk) 11:07, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Re suitable funding, an important question is who decides the approval of a research project funding draft? What do you consider the most challenging aspects of formulating a CF research project funding memo? Somehow stating its objectives, due to fuzziness and possible/probable unexpected outcomes during investigations?--188.27.144.144 (talk) 08:30, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It would be done on the basis of referee's reports, but given the competition for funding the chance of getting a grant from conventional funders must be close to zero even if a report was favourable. --Brian Josephson (talk) 10:47, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Lawsuit brought against Wikipedia editors[edit]

It is interesting to see that someone has brought a lawsuit against specific wikipedia editors for information added to his article that he considers erroneous and “defamatory.” See http://www.dailydot.com/news/wikipedia-lawsuit-yank-barry-10-million/ for details. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:17, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Comment on scepticism[edit]

Psychologist Julia Mossbridge, when asked how her academic interest in parapsychology began, said:

I started out as a staunch materialist, until I met a very bright student who asked me why I was so sure of my position. I was a neuroscience student at Oberlin, and she was a religion major. I balked at her question, mocking the idea of God and/or anything outside of the materialist point of view. As I did it, I remembered feeling superiority as well as embarrassment for her that she should be so ill-informed.

She simply told me I was being arrogant and using that arrogance as a shield against any information that might counter my bias. I was taken aback, but I knew she was right. I could feel the arrogance, and I could feel the fear underneath...the fear that I was wrong. That science could have it wrong.

I had felt that before about various scientific dogmas, and on the occasions when I had, my feeling that science had it wrong turned out to be correct.

Sceptical editors might do well to reflect on that comment. --Brian Josephson (talk) 20:16, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

This was hlarious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI1wQswRVaU 84.106.11.117 (talk) 20:42, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting talk -- thanks for the reference. I added a comment to the effect that Haidt and his colleagues might themselves be influenced by a dogma (materialism). --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:46, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Dean Radin (cont.)[edit]

You say you want to improve the Dean Radin article. The problem is that this can not be done any further due to lack of reliable references. I have spent a long time looking in books, magazines and science journals that mention Radin. All of these contain negative comments about his paranormal beliefs or only mention him in passing detail. I have not come across any reliable sources i.e. mainstream science publications that are favorable for Radin or his beliefs about psi. As you are in contact with Radin, get him to compile a list of reliable references (not parapsychology journals) that mention his work in a "positive" light and send it to me here. The problem is that you will find that none exist. Feel free to prove me wrong though. You say you want to improve the article so I would like to know what sources you actually were thinking of. Goblin Face (talk) 16:33, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

There are plenty of favourable reviews if you don't use your selected definition of RS to tip the scales in your favour. I might, if I may be permitted to do so, in this regard point to the flurry of sceptical sources from which negative comments have been selected in the Radin article -- how reliable are they I wonder (are they properly refereed for example?). A tilted playing field indeed (but you can no doubt effortlessly find guidelines to quote to justify tilting the playing field, that comes as second nature to cabal members!). --Brian Josephson (talk) 19:18, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Honestly there are no favorable reviews in reliable journals for Radin's psychic books. I am very interested in book reviews and I spend a heck of a lot of time on JSTOR digging them all up for Wikipedia biographies that I edit. For example Brian Inglis the psychical researcher (whose Wikipedia page I spent countless hours fixing) received two positive reviews in the British Journal for the History of Science and I cited these on his article. I recently fixed the psychical researcher Whately Carington's Wikipedia article, his book on telepathy received a positive review in the British Medical Journal. Yes there are a lot of negative reviews for parapsychologists books but there are a few positive reviews in reliable journals (history/philosophy/science etc) that exist on the topic, I do not suppress this information - I cite it when I come across it. There is no suppression on Radin's article or any other parapsychologist, favorable reliable sources just don't exist when it comes to Radin. But like I said if you know of any then do let us know. Do you not find it odd though not a single science journal has positively reviewed Radin's work? Surely this must be telling you something :) Goblin Face (talk) 20:10, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
To me, it simply tells us something about how journal editors' minds work -- just look at how fiercely Nature's editors resisted admitting that Good had got something wrong (see http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/psi/doubtsregood.html). According to a media person:

Any time a reputable news organisation gives its readers or viewers details that later turn out not to be true, they are obligated to tell the truth.

But Nature wouldn't follow that ethical principle. There's real suppression of parapsychology there. --Brian Josephson (talk) 21:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
"Do you not find it odd though not a single science journal has positively reviewed Radin's work?", you say. With not much effort I found one, peer-reviewed (but more objective in its reviewing process than is the general rule) but, in the manner of Humpty-Dumpty, I'm sure you will say 'that's not a science journal' if I tell you which journal it is. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Re the issue you raised, how many science journals have reviewed a book by Radin positively, what actually was the number of reviews of books by Radin in science journals that you found in total? Were there many? I've tried searching using JSTOR myself and got nowhere. --Brian Josephson (talk) 14:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Positive reviews for Radin (self published):

1. Remote viewer Courtney Brown [7] [8]. (Not reliable sources, I already asked about this).

2. New age website "Enlightenment" [9] - fringe source not reliable.

3. Spirituality and Practice [10] - fringe source not reliable.

4. Publishers weekly [11] - Already cited on the article.

5. The Monroe Institute [12] - fringe source not reliable.

6. Conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett [13] - Fringe source not reliable.

7. MindFutures remote viewing [14] - Fringe source not reliable.

8. Journal of Scientific Exploration [15], [16] - Considered a fringe/pseudoscience journal. Not reliable by Wikipedia standards.

Other links

Encyclopedia of American Loons [17] - Not a reliable source, but funny.

Goblin Face (talk) 17:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

You seem to be having an off-day, Goblin Face, as your answer has nothing to do with my question. And you say 'self-published', but the ones in your list aren't, unless you're using an unusual definition of 'self-published'. And you refer to sources that are unreliable, but I look at the ones cited in the article and all I can see are ones published by sceptical sources, not proper journals: Skeptic's Report, Skeptic's Dictionary ... . Dear, dear; how objective are they as sources? Throw'em out! They have dreadfully low standards. --Brian Josephson (talk) 17:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Situation on a talk page[edit]

Prof Josephson, how do you consider the most recent situation from talk:cold fusion where a rather unfortunate insistent intervention from the IP 84.106... has lead to semi-protection of that talk page?

It seems rather concerning this incident has provided a convenient pretext to discriminate legitimate comments from IPs on a talk page in favour of registered users this being against wikirule against the discrimination of IPs. (User:Callanecc has semi-protected considering hastily also against wikirule that it has been persistent disruption beside the most recent rather unfortunate intervention from the mentioned IP.)--5.15.23.182 (talk) 21:30, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The mentioned IP has also initiated a request at Arbcom that has been perceived as an attempt to by-pass consensus formation by RFC. In this volatile situation, how long do you consider that RFC duration on that talk page should be compared to the default duration (30 d) and what uninvolved editor is entitled to appreciate (close RFC) whether or not some consensus (or lack of) has emerged?--5.15.23.182 (talk) 21:43, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm ... (interpret that any way you wish) --Brian Josephson (talk) 22:11, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Closure of RFC has been done by user:Number 57 just by purely counting votes and a pseudo-consensus has been claimed to have emerged by Robert McClennon. Please comment on talk:cold fusion#Moving on from RFC, as it seems necessary that (AMAP- As Many As Possible) objections to pseudo-consensus and premature closure of RFC must be stated.--5.15.178.130 (talk) 15:23, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Prof. Josephson, your Nobel prize in Physics notwithstanding, I find this comment as "disruptive" and I'm afraid I have no choice but to report you to the Arbitration Enforcement brute squad to be "dealt with". We can't have someone of your lowly credentials disruptively disrupting the place, especially on unapproved science pages. (btw, deep snark intended) Ronnotel (talk) 23:05, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I was asked to state my objections and did so (do you have a problem with that?), but since you might have found my final sentence inappropriate I have removed it. OK? --Brian Josephson (talk) 07:39, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I could well report you, Ronnotel, to the AfC or whatever it may be called for making snark comments, which I'm sure violates some WP:guideline or other, but this is all par for the course as far as I am concerned, and I will merely bite my lip, and refrain from doing so. --Brian Josephson (talk) 08:11, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
my apologies, despite my intentions, I'm afraid you misinterpreted my remark. I was trying to be intentionally ironic to show how ridiculous it is that a Nobel prize awardee can have his input on a matter so aligned to his specialty be completely disregarded on the cold fusion talk page. To be clear, I think "reporting" you to anyone for your comments would be beyond absurd, yet sadly not beyond the realm of what's possible. I hope I made myself more clear. If not, I'd be happy to refactor my comment. Ronnotel (talk) 11:09, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah! Thanks for the clarification. I've partly restored my 'inappropriate comment' now. The trouble is that what you wrote was within the realm of the possible, especially as I am considered inexperienced on wikipedia (check out Talk:Dean Radin to see what I mean). There's another point, that I had at about the same time written something for which I could well be attacked (comment involving 'gaming the system'). When I got notification of your addition to my web page I assumed it was about that. In fact I have in the interests of discretion deleted that remark but will write an appropriate commentary on gaming the system here in due course. --Brian Josephson (talk) 12:06, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Layton, Julia. "How Intelligent Design Works". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 

Comments by Radin[edit]

Before I get on to Radin's comments, let me just say that it was interesting to hear Jimmy Wales on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning. He was there as a representative of Google, commenting on the topical issue of deletion of links from Google search. It is a pity that John Humphrys didn't also quiz him about the way sources on Wikipedia get removed!
That's a good preliminary to Radin's comment. As you can imagine, there has been much discussion about the unbalanced nature of his Wikipedia article, and he has recently made this comment:

In the world before Wikipedia, when books and articles were usually published by and vetted by experts, [...]'s work would never have passed peer review. In today's world, anyone can publish anything.

In fact, the situation is worse, as Wikipedia can pick up such unreviewed publications and treat them as authority, then Google will place such articles high on its search list, and the possibly uninformed content will be seen by people who may treat such content as seriously as they would the contents of an ordinary encyclopedia compiled by experts. This is built in to w'pedia's revered secondary sources mechanism. The idea is that somehow, if somebody has written about something, that in itself makes that thing appropriate to be in the encyclopedia. The idea is absurd, of course, and it leads to editors being able to pick and choose sources that will support their own point of view (not to mention the various tricks that editors use to remove references they don't like).
Wikipedia seems not to know of the existence of the peer review process as adopted in the world of learning to check the quality of work that has been submitted; if you look at peer review you'll find that the only kind of peer review w'pedia knows about officially is its own process for resolving disputes. Failure to acknowledge peer review as a some guarantor of credibility, preferring instead the indiscriminate mechanism of 'secondary source', is a serious failing on wikipedia's part. --Brian Josephson (talk) 19:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)