User talk:TimothyRias

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Constructor theory (and importance scale)[edit]


You disagreed with me about its importance and you seem to know physics - I'm no expert. I just wander what you base your judgement on. Is it simply that the theory is new and unknown? Wikipedia should follow sources, and maybe someone else has to say it's "high importance" (not me based on my understanding of it and what I've read about it)? Or is it that you basically disagree that the theory is important? Or is it only a very limited success? Are you familiar with the theory?


  • Mid: Cover articles that pretty much only people in the know heard about, while not being over-specialized.

"pretty much only people in the know heard about" - might apply.

  • Top: Fundamental and famous physics. Any physics article listed in Wikipedia:Vital articles or Wikipedia:Core topics - 1,000.

Fundamental - yes.

  • High: Important or famous. Something an undergraduate physics major could have heard of or studied.

Important yes(?) - famous no(?). comp.arch (talk) 17:25, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

This is a textbook example of a fringe subject with practically no coverage in the physics literature. It barely passes the bar for notability. Hence its importance to the WikiProject Physics is low. Nobody knows about this. Nobody cares.TR 08:39, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm in no hurry to change the importance scale. You didn't however answer my question, have you read about it? Or the final paper on it. Because I have (not the most recent v2 - don't know if I can get a diff) and it seems it might be a big deal. I'm not an expert on in and would like to know what an expert thinks (besides what I've read about it). Yes, it new in its final (it seems) form. Is that your only reason to consider it not important or fringe? comp.arch (talk) 02:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


Hi Tim, how about discussing on the talk page prior to reverting. As per WP:CRYSTALBALL, the Higgs is theoretical until all of CERN agree its been discovered. So far, this is not the case. (talk) 19:03, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

MECOs section deleted - please explain[edit]

Hi Tim,

For your information; I am a real human being, not a sock puppet for Mitra, Robertson, or Schild, and I was not constructing Straw Man arguments. So your summarial judgment with a flimsy explanation for deleting a whole section appears suspect or unduly dismissive. Your straw man comment actually sounds like you are making fun of me. Please explain why the paragraph stating there is evidence for strong magnetic fields in galactic nuclei is not relevant, or is not an explicit validation of the MECOs concept. Do you imagine that the authors - Zamaninasab et al. and Eatough et al. - need to explicitly mention MECOs or name Robertson and Schild as a source, for that reference to be admissible? That seems to be a rather narrow interpretation of Wiki guidelines, given the official definitions. One would need to be deliberately averse to the notion that MECOs can exist, or that the model explains some black hole candidates, to assert that widespread evidence of strong magnetic fields is irrelevant or inapplicable - just because Schild et al. were the lone voices making this claim in 2006 - and they were proponents of the MECO model.

It is clear that the new evidence does indeed validate the earlier claim that galactic nuclei have a stronger magnetic field than would be expected if what was at the heart of that galaxy is a Black Hole. The insistence that the research finding magnetic fields must contain explicit reference to the MECO model is artificial. The definition of the word Magnetospheric is satisfied by these objects found in nature, like it or not. The only relevant issue is whether it is legitimate to state that the levitation of an accretion disk above an event horizon is the same as infall stopping short of that horizon - which could prevent an event horizon from forming. So I need to ask; are you perhaps upset that people are still talking about MECOs because you feel strongly that they should rightly be designated Black Holes? Are you resentful when someone like Zeeya Merali writes an article for Nature with the title "Stephen Hawking: Black Holes do not Exist"?

As luck would have it; I sent her a PDF snapshot of the article just last night, asking for her comments as to its veracity and neutrality, and she has consented to provide feedback.

I'd like you to give some further validation of why the theoretical advances appear irrelevant, as well. If MECO proponents say there is no event horizon, and this same pronouncement is echoed by Hawking and others, why is it synthesis or OR to state this? Can you explain why the fact that top theorists are now arguing against event horizons and central singularities does not validate the claims of MECO advocates? I'll consider your reasoning or motivation if you have something more to say, before I raise a challenge or complaint.

Taking out the section in the middle leaves only the critique, which is inflammatory and can only be admissible in my view - if the evidence pro is allowed, in addition to the arguments con. Otherwise; it is defamatory. This seems to be an attempt to use the Wiki to discredit the MECO proponents, rather than a legitimate judgment that the prior inclusion was improper or is disallowed. I will not revert the page yet, and I will consider any defense of your actions you might offer, but I do not consider your action to be impartial and proper, or just following the rules. I do consider it to be an abuse of power, on your part, to simply delete evidence for models you would rather just went away. JonathanD (talk) 04:51, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

How about this one? I wanted to mention that there are at least a few offshoots of the MECOs theory, among current researchers, even though the originators are now elderly gentlemen nearing retirement. I'd like to bring to your attention Removing black-hole singularities with nonlinear electrodynamics by Christian Corda and Herman Mosquera-Cuesta. This paper extends the ideas of MECO researchers through NLED, but it makes explicit reference to the earlier work of Mitra, Robertson, Leiter, and Schild (see page 6). Notably, Mosquera-Cuesta hosted a symposium on NLED Physics in Rhodes, Greece as part of the ICNAAM conference, earlier this year. According to my friend Andy Beckwith, who attended and presented there, it was quite a lively event. That hardly makes it sound like the subject is dead. JonathanD (talk) 05:19, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Insignificance? Are you of the opinion, Tim, that it is the duty of Wikipedia editors to trivialize topics of low importance by emphasizing their insignificance? Just curious. Seems from the above comments, you might feel that way. JonathanD (talk) 07:00, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

  1. Look up straw man, you might learn something. (For your information, the wall of text you posted above here contains a few.)
  2. The sections I removed were textbook WP:SYNTH. If there are no sources that link other research results to MECOs, then making such a link is OR.
  3. More specifically, the specific claim of (M)ECOs is that GR does not allow the formation of event horizons. Consequently, any discussion of why event horizons should not form in quantum gravity is irrelevant to the topic.
  4. Again, specifically the stuff about magnetic fields and accretion discs was about the dynamics of accretion disks (a currently not very well understood subject) and cannot directly be seen as saying something about the nature of the compact object (BH or otherwise). In particular, there is a significant scale difference between the scale of the horizon and that of the last stable orbit (i.e. the lower bound for the inner edge of an accretion disk). Consequently, there is no physical relation between "magnetic levitation of accretion disks" and infall stopping just over the horizon. (For one, a neutron star is completely within its own isco, so a mechanism stopping the inflow of an accretion disk at the isco cannot stop a neutron star from collapsing to a BH if it is massive enough.)
  5. The above objection to the links that you made, at the very least, that these connections are non-trivial and should therefore be support be reliable source in accordance with WP policy. Accordingly, the sections contain this original synthesis were removed.TR 09:17, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Tim,

I appreciate that you took the time for a detailed reply. I did look up straw man, so it's easy for me to call you out on the straw man argument you make in point number 3. You state "the specific claim of (M)ECOs is that GR does not allow the formation of event horizons" but you are conflating ECOs and MECOs here, pointing out the flaws in the ECO formulation (your straw man) and asserting that the objection applies to MECOs. However; what I read in the MECO papers clearly states that the mechanism for the halt of collapse in the MECO model is magnetodynamic, so you are shooting down a straw man, and your objection is therefore suspect. There was no mention made of a diverging Jacobian, no discussion of physical vs coordinate singularities at the horizon, nor any implication in the content or citations making the point that GR contradicts itself at an EH - which would make your objection valid.

As to point 2; your allegations of WP:Synth and WP:OR may have merit, but after reading the guidelines I really don't think you have made your case. The issue of attributability to respected sources has been satisfied in my view, so what I put in was neither synthesis no original research - in my view - but conclusions well supported by the literature. That tends to blow your point 4 out of the water as well.

Regarding point 3; the scale difference you point out is the crux of the argument for MECOs, and the specific evidence cited by Schild - to support their existence. A paper by Cohen, quite a few years back, asserted that the inner edge must stabilize outside of 9/8 the Schwarzschild radius, for gravitational collapse to be halted - and this still seems reasonable. However; nothing I put in would suggest otherwise. In my view; ANY observation by the experts that verifies the claims of MECO researchers (non-formation of event horizon, non-existence of central singularity, presence of magnetic field) should be admissible without being labeled Synth or OR - if it explicitly validates or echoes those claims.

Ergo; I feel that your judgment that "any discussion of why event horizons should not form in quantum gravity is irrelevant to the topic" to be POV and not verifiably accurate from respected sources. I feel that some of the content that remains in that article is OR or Synth, designed to discredit the MECO concept, or MECO researchers, and that for the entry to be neutral - or to present the views on the topic without bias - the supporting evidence must be allowed. Wikipedia is not a platform for you to prosecute your opinions, so perhaps you need to publish a critical paper yourself, if you feel that such connections are unsupported or indicate underlying errors in reasoning. JonathanD (talk) 16:57, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

To your first paragraph. I refer you to the abstract of the first paper cited in the lede:

It has been recently shown (Mitra,- astro-ph/9910408, astro-ph/0207056) that the timelike spherical collapse of a radiating, physical fluid in General Relativity, as seen by an interior co-moving observer at rest in the physical fluid, does not permit formation of ``trapped surfaces. This followed from the fact that the formation of a trapped surface in a physical fluid would cause the timelike world lines of the collapsing fluid to become null at the would be trapped surface, thus violating the Principle of Equivalence in General Theory of Relativity. In this paper we generalize and extend this result by studying the problem from the point of view of the exterior Vaidya metric of a collapsing radiating fluid as seen by an exterior stationary observer, and find that the "no trapped surface condition" becomes g00 > 0 consistent with that obtained for the interior co-moving metric. Since we have shown that the Principle of Equivalence prevents trapped surfaces from being formed in collapsing, radiating objects, then true event horizons cannot exist and Galactic Black Hole Candidates (GBHC) must have physically observable intrinsic magnetic dipole moments. Because of this fact it follows (Robertson and Leiter - astro-ph/0102381, astro-ph/0208333) that GBHC can be consistently described, within the framework of General Relativity, in terms of a magneto-spheric eternally collapsing objects (MECO) without true event horizons.

They are arguing that formation of event horizons is incompatible with the equivalence principle and build the MECO concept from there.TR 23:11, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Textbook Synth? You state "If there are no sources that link other research results to MECOs, then making such a link is OR." This seems to imply that even if the new publications validate every claim of MECO researchers, you would disallow such inclusions unless they use the same terminology, cite the work of Mitra, Robertson, Leiter, or Schild, as a basis - and so on. This seems unduly restrictive or obtuse. Perhaps if the summary listed the salient features of MECOs and claims of proponents, the statements about halt of collapse before an event horizon forms - due to magnetic levitation - might enable other evidences to be allowable without appearing like a stretch. I still contend I have been journalistically impartial, rather than venturing into speculation that should rightly be labeled Synth or OR. A textbook example? NOT! JonathanD (talk) 17:33, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

It is impossible to conclude that a new publication validates every claim of MECO researchers, without violating WP:SYNTH, unless that publication (or another reliable source) explicitly makes that observation. That is how the rules work. It is not our place as wikipedia editors, to interpret the research. We always need sources to do that for us.
Simply put: the fact that you (or I) think there is a relation between A and B is not enough. Any statement about relations should be back by sources. Everything should be back by sources. TR 17:59, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

What about silenced voices? Thanks again Tim.. But your rationale still seems like you are interpreting the rules to favor your opinion about the subject, rather than simply following the rules. That is, of course, my opinion.

I am concerned about the mistaken impression your application would imply, due to attrition. Leiter has passed away, and Robertson and Schild are elderly men of retirement age. It seems you would require us to undo the effects of aging, bring Leiter back from the dead, or whatever - so that current findings could be incorporated by the original sources of MECO research. This hardly seems fair, since the main proponent of MECOs is not around to defend his work.

I co-authored two papers, a few years ago, with Ray B. Munroe. We each made up for the other's weaknesses with our strengths, so it was a fruitful endeavor. But it hit me very hard when he passed away, and put a damper on my own academic writing for several months, at least. I almost feel compelled to finish his research, because of our work together. So I can understand why Christian Corda and Herman Mosquera-Cuesta felt they needed to team up with Robertson and Schild, and to solicit the input of Dr. Mitra, publishing a couple of papers with Leiter posthumously, then following up with other papers citing his work with Robertson and Schild. I gave one example above.

But I'm wondering if you think is reasonable to conclude MECO research is dead, once the primary authors have left the field, because they are not around to defend their work. Should it be entirely incumbent upon other researchers to adopt their model, for new evidences and observations of the salient features of MECOs to be allowable? This seems grossly unfair!!! I am doubtful "that is how the rules work," I feel strongly that you have misinterpreted the intent of those who framed those standards, and observe that you are being deliberately obtuse. I will stop short of accusing you of having your own agenda, but I have my suspicions. JonathanD (talk) 18:45, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

If nobody outside of Wikipedia, has made the connection between observation X and MECOs (and published about it), then Wikipedia (being a encyclopedia, i.e. a tertiary source of information) should not be the first to do so. This not just my opinion but one of the pillars of Wikipedia. The connections you are trying to make are non-trivial. They require a proper understanding of both the observations and of the predictions of MECO proponents. They clearly do not fall in the sky is blue category. Also, you might want to lay of the innuendo.TR 22:54, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

I guess the issue of dispute here is the question of what constitutes interpretation and what is considered observation of the facts instead. If a double standard is applied, where articles on mainstream Science are allowed to make such a connection without citing reliable sources, but articles on fringe or alternative theories are held to a higher standard of proof, there is something wrong. In both cases; we a talking about what the primary researchers claim, and what others have written about it. I thought the standard was that statements made on the Wiki are attributable to respected sources, NOT that every statement must be attributed to a specific source - and that the obvious connection (prediction of magnetic field with observation of a magnetic field) is disallowed. To impose such a condition seems evasive and unfair.

I guess we have a different opinion about what constitutes well-known facts (that do not require proof), and which models are considered proved. Do you feel that the reality of Black Holes is unquestionable? When I have heard prominent scientists speak on the subject, they have not universally spoken about this matter as settled, but prefaced their statements with caveats. Do we need to re-write the Black Hole article to reflect this?

Regards, JonathanD (talk) 19:25, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Sounds like a personal attack over MECOs[edit]

Gee whiz Tim,

I noted your addition of the words 'fundamentally flawed' describing Mitra's proof, and doubling down on the link to comments by John Baez and Chris Hillman, which is to a newsgroup thread and not a published work. Sounds like you are engaging in an attack, or are attempting to discredit both MECOs and Mitra, using the Wiki article as a platform for your own OR and Synthesis - given it is not an academic or journalistic reference, and it is just your opinion otherwise. Newsgroup items and blogs are just a step above hearsay, in my view, and should not have been included in the first place. No reputable publisher would print such an item! It is way too inflammatory. I'll probably delete that citation, and the 'fundamentally flawed' description.

Since we don't know your real ID, I have to ask; are you sure that your editing on MECOs is not an example of COI? Do you have an agenda of your own, beyond a journalistic representation of the facts? Above I asked "Are you of the opinion, Tim, that it is the duty of Wikipedia editors to trivialize topics of low importance by emphasizing their insignificance?" It appears your actions have answered this question in the affirmative. You are of course free to disagree or defend your actions, but I now label you as an antagonist, not a neutral party looking to highlight the truth. This makes it hard for me to believe in the impartiality of Wikipedia, sours me on the idea of editing the Wiki at all, and convinces me you feel justified to behave like a bully. At least when I was contributing at Azimuth, John Baez was a whole lot more civil than you have been here. JonathanD (talk) 21:18, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

You might want to read WP:AGF.TR 22:41, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

I would like to assume you are acting in good faith. It is apparent you feel that I have not done so, or that my criticisms of excessive use of force demonstrate a lack of good faith on my part. I tire of innuendo easily, and I wish you would refrain from that practice as well. Is a truce or compromise possible? Or will you act adversarially (as it appears you have), rather than aiming for journalistic neutrality? While I appreciate your pointing out rules and guidelines, I am hoping you will follow those rules too. I have not seen clear evidence of your impartiality so far, but perhaps I need to give you a chance. JonathanD (talk) 23:47, 25 November 2014 (UTC)