Talk:Bernard Haisch

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  1. June 2006 – June 2006

Archived discussion[edit]

This talk page discussion had gotten very confusing (repetitive and messy) so I archived almost all of it. Please see next section for discussion of current version (14:31, 13 June 2006). ---CH 22:07, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Most recent version (14:31, 13 June 2006)[edit]

I changed the flag from {{totallydisputed}} to {{NPOV}} since as far as I can see, no-one is claiming that there are any factual inaccuracies in the article. The dispute seems to concern whether or not the article is slanted against Haisch. ---CH 21:41, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Well this statement "have proposed can in fact be used to propel spacecraft" vs what Haisich version: "have proposed can perhaps be used to propel spacecraft someday" might be claimed to be a factual inaccuracy (Outstanding issue number 2 below). Paul August 22:27, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I again request User:Haisch to take a few days off from discussing this article as per WP:DR. When he comes back here, I feel he should raise any additional concerns in this talk page and let me (or some other hopefully neutral WP editor) make any needed changes in the article itself.

I suggest that any new concerns go in this section because this talk page has become rather confusing to read. TIA ---CH 21:33, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

To mention one issue: I requested Haisch for a bit of standard biographical information (birthdate, birthplace) as per comparable wikibios. Not absolutely neccessary, I suppose, but given the detail on other things, it seems like a good idea. I think it would be best if he replies here after his break and lets me or Paul add this information in our own words.---CH 21:39, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Copied from the just archived talk page:

  1. First sentence:
    1. Current: "… might be used for spacecraft propulsion."
    2. Old: ""… might be used for spacecraft propulsion someday (perhaps in the far future)."
  2. Speculative proposals section, 3rd para, last sentence:
    1. Current: "… have proposed can in fact be used to propel spacecraft."
    2. Old: "… have proposed can perhaps be used to propel spacecraft someday.
    These statements are in conflict. Which is it? Did they propose that it "can in fact" propel? Or that it was merely a possibility? What is the source for this? Paul August 18:48, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
  3. "Fringe publications" section, first sentence:
    1. Current: "Haisch is a former editor of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, …"
    2. Old: "Haisch served as the second editor of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, founded in 1987 by Stanford professor Ronald Howard, …"

As I said on the archived talk page I'm particulary concerned with the second item. Paul August 22:20, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Paul, are you sure you are looking at the current version as I write?
  1. The first paragraph reads: "Bernard Haisch is an astrophysicist best known for developing (with Alfonso Rueda) a speculative theory proposing that a hypothetical "zero-point-field inertia resonance" might provide a physical explanation for the origin of inertia, and more controversially, might be used for spacecraft propulsion. In internet culture, Haisch is also known for his interest in the UFO phenomenon and his willingness to seriously consider a wide variety of unorthodox topics."
  2. Speculative proposals section, 3rd para, last sentence: I'll have to look for a cite but have temporarily removed that.
  3. Fringe publications section, first sentence: well, what is the difference between "second editor" and "a former editor" that is so important? The latter appears to me more meaningful to the general reader.
---CH 22:43, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes I am looking at the current version. Do you see some discrepancy between what I wrote above and the version we are talking about? In particular what I wrote above agrees with what you gave for the first sentence. Perhaps you are misreading what I wrote?

1. First sentence: The difference in the first sentence is the phrase someday (perhaps in the far future), which Haisch had formerly appended to the end of your first sentence. The idea I assume he was trying to convey was that use of this for spacecraft was a "blue sky" kind of thing, not something which was likely to be used soon or even ever. The current version could be read to mean that they are saying that their theory has immediate practical application for space flight, which apparently Haisch claims isn't true. Again a good source would be helpful in resolving this.
2.Speculative proposals section, 3rd para, last sentence: Yes, I agree, removing that until we have a good source to examine, is the right thing to do.
3.Fringe publications section, first sentence": My assumption here is that this was added by Haisch to counter the impression that JSE was run by "kooks" with no academic standing.

Paul August 23:45, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

  1. I understand that is the issue, but I am not sure I see a good way to briefly address this, since "someday (perhaps far in the future)" seems very clumsy. At some point, we need to value readability over the tender feelings of the subject of a biography.
  2. OK. If you have time, see several arXiv eprints coauthored by Haisch.
  3. Haisch has protested that notion that JSE is a "fringe journal", but I think even he recognizes that it is seen that way by most of his peers. However, our focus here should be to push any discussion of that issue off onto Talk:Journal of Scientific Exploration. Note that I have extensively rewritten that in order to neutralize it. It presented JSE as a mainstream scientific journal until I came along, so I rewrote it from scratch. Haisch protested, so I completely rewrote it a second time, and I think my most recent version is a good compromise which makes the key points in a concise way.
---CH 03:30, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Comments by Haisch[edit]

I'm glad to see that we are converging, but I do request that the "neutrality disputed" flag remain for the time being. Here are some remaining issues working my way down through the article, but overall my anxiety level is considerably reduced at this point.

(1) You keep emphasizing the spacecraft propulsion claims, instead of the physics. In our refereed physics papers we talk about a "quantum vacuum inertia hypothesis" based on stochastic electrodynamics analysis. That is our substantive scientific proposal. The spacecraft propulsion is popular article speculation. In fairness you should therefore reference our "quantum vacuum inertia hypothesis" instead of "zero-point-field inertia resonance."

(2) If you do keep a reference to our propulsion speculation, please be fair to report that I always indicate that even if the physics is correct an application to propulsion could be decades or centuries away... and indeed perhaps never.

(3) Change "Extreme Ultraviolet Physics Laboratory" to "Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics."

(4) People usually assume, as you did, that I founded the Journal of Scientific Exploration. I did not. It was founded by Prof. Ronald Howard at Stanford University in 1987 who served as the first editor for a year and a half before I took over. Since it is widely assumed that I founded the Journal it is an important piece of information for this article that I did not.

(5) Why have you left the derogatory "Fringe" in the section "Fringe Publications"? "Non-mainstream" would serve better. Please respect NPOV.

(6) It is editorializing to say: "In particular, it sells videotapes of lectures on such topics as faith healing, Gaia, and life after death." I am not responsible for what the Institute of Noetic Sciences sells. This is really an NPOV violation.

(7) My postdocs at CIPA actually spent more time on string and brane theory and general relativity than on stochastic electrodynamics. This can be verified by looking at the CIPA-funded papers published by Halyo, Shmakova and Tung. Only Hushwater spent much time on SED. So a fair representation is not "stochastic electrodynamics and other topics" but rather "string theory, brane theory, general relativity and stochastic electrodynamcs" or whatever order you choose.

(8) They were not "students." Their appointment terms said "fellows." All had Ph. D.s (and came to CIPA from prestigious departments: Stanford Physics, SLAC, U. Chicago, Princeton, U, Maryand.

(9) Under "Digital Universe" I strongly suggest that you remove "Some observers have questioned whether the involvement of Joe Firmage and Haisch might compromise this goal." First of alll, who are the observers? and even so, if Wikipedia is seen as trashing a competitor, that will backfire on you eventually

(10) In references you should list the Phys. Rev. 1994 paper by Haisch, Rueda and Puthoff that started all this.

(11) You again have "fringe" in Categories.

Haisch 19:16, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

  1. I do request that the "neutrality disputed" flag remain for the time being. OK by me; can we take it that you agree that there are no factual errors (e.g. wrong birthdate) in the article?
  2. my anxiety level is considerably reduced at this point. Good; we have a well-tested process and it seems to work fairly well if everyone plays by the rules.
  3. "Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics Laboratory". Done. BTW, I have no quarrel with Paul August anglicizing "Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (space physics)".
  4. JSE "was founded by Prof. Ronald Howard at Stanford University in 1987". Last I checked, the current version of Journal of Scientific Exploration said this. My understanding is that you are cofounder of the parent organization, Society for Scientific Exploration. "Since it is widely assumed that I founded the Journal it is an important piece of information for this article that I did not." Let's take that to Talk:Journal of Scientific Exploration – hopefully after a break since I need to attend to other things.
  5. "Why have you left the derogatory "Fringe" in the section "Fringe Publications"? "Non-mainstream" would serve better. Please respect NPOV." As a newbie, you probably don't know that WP editors have discussed the issue of a maximally neutral term, and I at least concluded that fringe science is the most suitable term. I have no doubt that "fringe publications" is appropriate in the section where that term is used. I trust you noticed that Haisch and Rueda papers are described as presenting a "controversial hypothesis" and I think that at this point you should gracefully accept that whether you like the term or not, the "journals" in the section Fringe publications are widely regarded as fora for fringe science. Please note that the alternative term would be pseudoscience. One could argue (and some have) that even "non-mainstream" is pejorative. Clearly we need to fix some term and "fringe science" is the term which seems best to me, particularly since you presumably would be even more upset if someone wanted to describe Haisch and Rueda as "fringe science". Again, please note that the current version represents quite a compromise in deference to your objections. My feeling is that if the subject of the wikibio of a controversial figure is only mildly unhappy with it, then WP editors have probably done a pretty good job of coming up with a fair and accurate article.
  6. "It is editorializing to say: "In particular, it sells videotapes of lectures on such topics as faith healing, Gaia, and life after death." I am not responsible for what the Institute of Noetic Sciences sells. This is really an NPOV violation." The article doesn't imply that you are responsible for what INS sells. It implies that INS is not a scientific organization, which is neccessary in the service of our readers (including students, recall) who would otherwise see only the term "science" in the name and might not be sufficiently experienced to recognize that INS is not a scientific organization.
  7. "So a fair representation is not "stochastic electrodynamics and other topics" but rather "string theory, brane theory, general relativity and stochastic electrodynamcs" or whatever order you choose." It now reads "gravitation physics", which is I think is even better.
  8. "They were not "students." Their appointment terms said "fellows". All had Ph. D.s (and came to CIPA from prestigious departments: Stanford Physics, SLAC, U. Chicago, Princeton, U, Maryand." The article now says just "physicists". I remember seeing an eprint (on Reissner-Nordstrom electrovacuum) by one of them which I had to correct by email, which is presumably why it was withdrawn. "Prestigious departments" doesn't impress me. Good work impresses me.
  9. "Under "Digital Universe" I strongly suggest that you remove "Some observers have questioned whether the involvement of Joe Firmage and Haisch might compromise this goal." First of alll, who are the observers? and even so, if Wikipedia is seen as trashing a competitor, that will backfire on you eventually." By "you" I presume you mean Wikipedia. I have myself pointed out that it is a tricky issue how to handle this, since some of the observations I have in mind have been in Wikipedia pages, and include comments by myself. Let's let this stand for a while since I expect experienced Wikipedians will comment (hopefully including some who have seen my earlier comments and know how much thought I put into this issue).
  10. " Phys. Rev. 1994 paper by Haisch, Rueda and Puthoff that started all this." I insist on keeping the citations limited since this is a general encyclopedia article, but I will add that using the citation template if you give me the citation so that I am sure I know which paper you have in mind.
  11. "You again have "fringe" in Categories." The alternative is the subcategory Category:Pseudophysics. Let's leave this for now because there is an on-going wider discussion regarding that category and changes shouldn't be made until that is resolved.
---CH 01:28, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Chris: Re (9): "Some observers have questioned whether the involvement of Joe Firmage and Haisch might compromise this goal." What is the source for this? Re (11) "the alternative is the subcategory Category:Pseudophysics", this seems like a false dichotomy, why does it have to be in either category? The term "fringe science" definitely leaves a pejorative impression — when I see this I immediately think "lunatic fringe". I also wonder whether it is verifiable. What is the source for the claim that Haisch is a "fringe" physicist? Paul August 06:02, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Paul, does the current version say that Haisch is a fringe physicist? Unless I overlooked something, it does not. The category is needed because as I take it even Haisch agrees, his name is frequently invoked in some cranky contexts. While doing something else I came across [ Venturing to the Zero Point] from a website which tends toward the credulous, which may or may not be an example (too busy to read it in detail right now), but anyone who Googles for websites mentioning Haisch, Puthoff, Bearden, Naudin, etc., will soon see what I mean. Hope this allays your concern.---CH 20:25, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

No, of course, the article does not say that Bernard is a "fringe physicist" explicitly. But I think that is a reasonable inference from the fact that this article has been placed in the category fringe physics. I think placing a person in a category needs to be verifiable just like any other statement of fact about a person. Paul August 21:37, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Reply from Haisch[edit]

Here are my replies to the issues numbered according to your list.

(1) I assume that the "neutrality disputed"" flag can remain indefinitely if necessary, correct?

(3) This is a rare example of where a transliteration gives an erroneous impression. Yes, "extraterrestrische Physik" translates as "extraterrestrial physics" but really is the same field of research as what we call "Space Physics" in the U.S. which does not carry any "alien" implication as "extraterrestrial" now does in the U.S. The institute is after all leading German research organization within the family of Max-Planck-Institutes.

(4) I had nothing to do with founding of the Society for Scientific Exploration. The fouding committee was composed entirely, I believe, of university professors and I joined a couple of years later.

(7) My postdocs did research in string theory, brane theory, general relativity and stochastic electrodynamcs. That is a fact and you should therefore list those topics. "Gravitation physics" could be misinterpreted. Do not censor this list, please.

(10) The paper is: Inertia as a zero-point-field Lorentz force, B. Haisch, A. Rueda & H.E. Puthoff, Physical Review A, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 678-694 (1994).

Now on my list you did not address:

(1) You keep emphasizing the spacecraft propulsion claims, instead of the physics. In our refereed physics papers we talk about a "quantum vacuum inertia hypothesis" based on stochastic electrodynamics analysis. That is our substantive scientific proposal. The spacecraft propulsion is popular article speculation. In fairness you should therefore reference our "quantum vacuum inertia hypothesis" instead of "zero-point-field inertia resonance."

(2) If you do keep a reference to our propulsion speculation, please be fair to report that I always indicate that even if the physics is correct an application to propulsion could be decades or centuries away... and indeed perhaps never.

There is of course athe broader issue that you have picked only the controversial parts of my career for this article, which raises NPOV issues as well.

I would certainly like to hear Paul's views on this.

Haisch 23:59, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

  1. No, we would not like POV flags to remain indefinitely.
  2. This is a very minor point and you are overdoing the nitpicking.
  3. Noted.
  4. Is this article about Bernard Haisch or abott his postdoctoral students who are not students?
  5. Done.
  6. So according to you the article should mention only your writings in certain journals, not those in certain other venues? That is absurd.
  7. I see no problem here.
Enough, already! You have already gotten far more attention than any journal would grant. You never provided the additional biographical information I requested and you never bothered to respond to my request for confirmation that you agree that there are no factual errors in the current article.
I really must insist at this point that you let this go now. In my opinion, you are over the pettiness limit regarding your objections to this article. By the way, it would be nice to hear a "thank you" for the effort of myself in addressing your concerns promptly and fairly, instead of more complaints. ---CH 19:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Chris you seem to be getting exasperated, I'm sorry for that, and especially if you think I have contributed in any way to your dissatisfaction. I think you have done a good job so far in dealing with most of Bernard's (and my) concerns (if not so much our persons). I think the article is in much better shape than it was and I think you deserve a lot of credit for that, so thanks. But I don't think you have any right or authority to "insist" that Haisch "let this go". Nor is there any "pettiness limit". If you are running out of patience with Haisch and dealing with this article, then perhaps you should consider taking a break from this article and let other editors deal with it. Paul August 22:04, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Bernard re your points:
1. As Chris said, we don't want the POV flag to remain forever. like everything else in the article It should remain so long as the consensus among of editors is that it should. Some guidelines for keeping it would be a clear statement, by those who dispute the neutrality of the article, of what any outstanding POV issues are. And a willingness to respond civilly to attempts to address those POV concerns by other editors.
3. Concerning the Max Plank Institute, in particular, since I was the one who made that change I'm happy to restore the original version — it may be nitpicking, but that's what nits are for ;-)
4. Can you point me to any source which mistakenly mentions that you were the founder of JES? If so that might warrant a dispelling footnote.
7. How might "gravitation physics" be misinterpreted? Can you think of a better way to summarize the research topics?
10. Re the Puthoff paper, although Chris replied "done" to this he hasn't actually added the reference yet (perhaps he forgot), so I will now.
second list:
1 and 2. I don't think I fully understand the dispute here. From the point of an encyclopedia, your "popular article speculation" may be no less important than your "refereed physics papers". I suspect that your notability may have as much to do (if not more) with the former rather than the latter. I agree we need to fairly characterize the degree of speculatively you place on the application to propulsion. Right now I would favor adding a qualifying "someday" in the first sentence. But I want to think about both of these some more.
Paul August 23:45, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

The attitude displayed in Christine Hillman's latest posting is rather appalling. As a self-appointed "editor" she decides on her own "authority" to summarize my career. Her first crack at it is full of errors and NPOV violations. When I discover this I am told that by "your rules" I am supposed to keep my hands off this article about me. My only "right" is to complain on a separate page, that most readers never visit. Never mind whether or not I wish to be in the Wikipedia (I don't) or whether this will damage my reputation. I wage an uphill battle to get the facts straight with partial success, but while the process is still underway Hillman decides she has grown weary of my ingratitude and I should shut up and be thankful for her efforts. I truly now see the dark side of Wikipedia, and I expect that the Wikipedia experiment will experience a train wreck eventually over this kind of authoritarian, and probably libelous, behaviour.

But returning to your own very reasonable question. The world is full of gravitation theories that are totally flakey. There is absolutely no good reason not to list the topics which were "string and brane theory, general relativity and stochastic electrodynamics." That's actually what went on there. Haisch 00:21, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me, Haisch, a deliberate insult to CH to continue to refer to him by the wrong name, "Christine". I have watched enough of your behavior to think he is absolutely right to suggest you need a time out. You do not get to choose whether or not an article on you appears in Wikipedia, and you have no veto power over its contents. The article can cast you as a genius or an imbecile, a respected scientist or a crackpot. Experience shows excesses tend to dampen over time, converging to something factual and NPOV. If your reputation depends on what Wikipedia says about you, it is a very fragile reputation indeed. The fact is that at any given instant a vandal could replace a page, any page, with total gibberish. The page on Einstein might have a statement inserted to the effect that he was a Nazi collaborator, or that his theories have been totally discredited, or that he was a silicon-based lifeform from Proxima Centauri. Wikipedia is what it is, and to treat it as if it were, say, a peer-reviewed journal will only doom you to endless frustration. Wikipedia does not operate by your rules, but by its own conventions; I suggest you learn to accept it. I have been exasperated on occasion, as has CH, as has any thinking person who has been involved here for long. The fact that anyone would treat the contents of Wikipedia with respect is an indication that somehow, miraculously, its crazy non-academic methods produce unexpectedly viable results. I don't claim to understand it myself, but I can assure you resistance is futile. In my view, not only CH, but also other editors, have been doing a fine and generous job within Wikipedia conventions to accommodate you. You may never be satisfied with the result. Ah well. Outside of Wikipedia the same thing is true: you don't get to impose on people what opinion to have of you, nor with what respect to treat your work. As in life, so in Wikipedia. Your only power here is the power of persuasion. Please feel free to continue to use this talk page, but you may be surprised to find what a week away from the struggle can do for your equanimity, and your effectiveness. --KSmrqT 20:08, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

My goodness Mr. KSmrq, you certainly seem to be intoxicated by the power of the faceless, nameless proletariat. You have done an excellent job of articulating the danger of mob rule, though I don't think that was your intent. Haisch 06:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the last point: if the organization is important enough to be mentioned, then we should say what they do specifically. I changed the article accordingly (I left out brane theory since that is implied by string theory, at least in my understanding of the term).
I also understand Haisch's exasperation with the stress that the Wikipedia article puts on his speculative articles. While his more speculative theories are obviously more interesting to the general public, which is the audience we are writing for here, I feel that the article is indeed unbalanced in hardly describing Haisch's work in mainstream science. Looking at his CV, it seems his main focus was solar flares. Bernard, is that correct? Could you fill us in a bit about your work; e.g., what publications would be good to cite? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 05:28, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank goodness I finally have a couple of editors involved, you and Paul August, who are more neutral than Hillman. Here are three papers worth citing that relate to my solar-stellar astrophysics work.

DISAPPEARANCE OF CORONAL X-RAY EMISSION IN STARS WITH COOL DENSE WINDS, B. Haisch, J.H.M.M. Schmitt and A.C. Fabian, Nature, 360, 239 (1992).

SOLAR-LIKE M-CLASS X-RAY FLARES ON PROXIMA CENTAURI OBSERVED BY THE ASCA SATELLITE, B. Haisch, A. Antunes, and J.H.M.M. Schmitt, Science, 268, 1327, (1995).

FLARES ON THE SUN AND OTHER STARS, B. Haisch, K.T. Strong and M. Rodono, Annual Reviews Astron. & Astrophys., Vol. 29., 275, (1991).

My main research from the mid 1970s until the late 1990s was high energy astrophysics, and specifically the ultraviolet and X-ray emissions from coronae and flares on the Sun and other late-type stars. I co-chaired two major International Astronomical Union conferences on these topics: Solar and Stellar Flares at Stanford University in 1988; and Astrophysics in the Extreme Ultraviolet at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995. Haisch 18:32, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Category Pseudophysics[edit]

I've removed the Category:pseudophysics (twice) from the article, since I've heard no convincing argument why it is an appropriate category for this article. Could those who think otherwise please give an explanation, together with sources, why this category applies here? Thanks. Paul August 00:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

One editor who thinks otherwise is a bot, who misinterpreted a CfD result of "Keep, and merge creationist articles to Pseudoscience" as "merge". Due to the moves, I thought that was the decision that was made, having not seen the actualy CfD. Sorry about that --Philosophus T 00:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
By the way, if you wait a bit, Cyde should make Cydebot change all of the merged Pseudoscience cats back to Fringe physics, so there is no need to try to do so yourself. --Philosophus T 00:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Paul August 01:01, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

So, how about adding a few of the things above that actually reference my long mainstream astrophysics research? Haisch 05:21, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Looks like this has been done. Please remember that it was I who asked for examples like this! All I ask is that the reference list not grow any longer than it is now. WP is a general encyclopedia, not RMP, so we need to keep the number of citations to research papers strictly limited and the we are right at my own informal limit (fills up a typical browser screen). I think the current version makes the point that Haisch has published quite a bit of "ordinary science" while not disguising the fact that he has also published claims which might raise eyebrows. All I ask is that no-one remove the examples of fringe papers in odd venues which I added, as I think Haisch wanted to do.
I take it that everyone now agrees that the article contains no factual errors? It seems satisfactorily balanced to me, so maybe Haisch (talk · contribs) will agree to remove the flag now? (I at least don't want to get into any more long discussions with Haisch, by the way; it seems to me that a simple "yes" or "no" will suffice.) ---CH 17:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Why Propulsion Speculation over Physics?[edit]

Our published scientific papers are about a "quantum vacuum inertia hypothesis" which would be an alternative to the Higgs explanation for mass. That terminology, "quantum vacuum inertia hypothesis," is in fact in the title of our last paper. The concept of modifying inertia for propulsion is purely a popular article type of speculation. So why is our work on inertia couched in terms of propulsion instead of in terms of what it is on the basis of our refereed papers: a proposal for a possible alternative to the Higgs? Why are you ignoring the terminology we actually use? Choosing the former for discussion in place of the latter merely serves to sensationalize, which is why I still claim that this is not yet neutral. Haisch 18:17, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Students beware[edit]

I created the original version of this article and had been monitoring it, but I am leaving the WP and am now abandoning this article to its fate.

Just wanted to provide notice that I am only responsible (in part) for the last version I edited; see User:Hillman/Archive.

I emphatically do not vouch for anything you might see in more recent versions, and given an obvious conflict of interest on the part of Haisch (talk · contribs), I have reason to believe that POV-pushing will be a particular problem with this article for the foreseeable future.

Good luck in your search for information, regardless!---CH 22:31, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

For Haisch's take on the controversy (again!) see LA Times Op Ed - which (in my view unnecessarily) puts blame on the Wikipedia community for the initial problem - and fails to credit it for a resolution which has allayed many of his concerns.Eh Nonymous 19:01, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
In his OpEd, Haisch accurately notes that he now bears a Damoclean Sword: the "resolution" is subject to random editorial whim. Let's be brutally honest here: how would you like it if someone parked a howitzer in your front yard, aimed it into your living room, loaded it, and left the trigger open to use by random passers at their sole discretion? Would you feel better if, when you complained, someone just flicked the safety on and called it a "resolution"? Far better, more fair, equitable, etc, would be to simply give the subjects of biographies the same absolute veto you have over the contents of your frontyard. mdf 13:34, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I shudder to think what would remain of the George W. Bush article should we grant him absolute veto. =) Powers 13:31, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I just came to this discussion after reading the article in a local paper. My first thought is that everyone involved is way too close to the argument and should take a breather. Maybe Bernard should write an autobiography if this article doesn't suit his self-perception- that has been the traditional solution. I thought that the article gave ample credit to his mainstream endeavors while deliberatively contextualizing his other pursuits with statements like "within internet culture" etc. If this was my first exposure to the subject, I would come away thinking that Bernard was a serious scientist with a remarkable range of interests. YOu would think that this would be satisfactory. Richardjames444 15:28, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Are you talking about the current version of the article, or the version as Haisch first found it? Paul August 15:40, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Department of Time: Healing All Wounds Division[edit]

Looks like contrary to my fears, this article hasn't changed much since I left the wail of dismay in the preceding section (one of many similar messages--- possibly not my wisest comments on record!). One thing which wasn't clear to me from the L. A. Times piece was whether Haisch is still unhappy with his bio, which actually looks quite reasonable to me as I write. In any case, I share his frustration with the fact that the hard work put into this article by several people can be undone in an instant by any anon. Be this as it may, curious readers can see User:Hillman/Media_commentary_on_Wikipedia for my running compilation of criticism of Wikipedia in the mainstream media. I think many of these critics make some telling points and I'd like to see the Wikipedia community acknowledge this. ---CH 00:37, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Living person policy[edit]

Just a quick reminder that we have a living person policy. I strongly encourage folks to adhere to it! - Ta bu shi da yu 22:27, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Also a quick reminder that we have a neutral point of view policy. Just because a living person criticises the article about himself in the media, or because WP:LIVING applies, does not mean that we should exclude well-sourced negative information, or that we should adopt a sympathetic POV. --Philosophus T 19:31, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
Finally a quick reminder from one of the authors of the neutrality policy: neutrality as a principle states that the article be written in a way indeed sympathetic to all parties to the dispute, as far as that is possible. This straightforwardly implies that the article as a whole simply cannot be a negative one, for the simple reason that Bernie and his many colleagues (i.e., the people who actually know him, unlike most of you writing about him) take a decidedly positive view of his life and work. -- Larry Sanger 19:32, 27 July 2006 (UTC) (still having to teach Wikipedians stuff about Wikipedia, it seems)

Some background: Three sections from Paul August's talk page[edit]

Since there has been increased interest in this article of late, I thought it might be useful to copy here, three sections from my talk page which concern this article (much of which should probably have taken place here in the first place). They provide some more background into how this article was written. Paul August 21:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

(Start of copied text)

Reply from Bernard Haisch[edit]

I am ready to present justifications for each of those changes, but sincerely hope you and Hillman might simply accept them as reasonable so that I don't need to waste more hours on this. There is one additional change that I think is fair: to substitute "non-mainstream" for the pejorative, value laden term "fringe."

Otherwise I think we have come to an entry that is accurate and fair. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Haisch (talkcontribs) 16:47, June 11, 2006

Hi Bernard. I will reply at Talk:Bernard Haisch. By the way, as a courtesy to other editors, can you please "sign" your talk page posts by typing four tilde's "~~~~"? The software (under the default settings) will replace the four tildes with your username, together with a time and date stamp (like the one following my post here). Regards — Paul August 17:07, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi, Paul, could you please use this version for your comparision? Presently your section in Haisch's user talk page makes it look like I simply reverted the version by Haisch, which is not true. You might also see my user talk page, since I think that if you look into this, I have in fact been highly responsive to Haisch's concerns, I just don't think he should be allowed to write his own profile here. Therefore, I think the version I cited above should be the basis for your revised revision. Also, could you explain in Talk:Bernard Haisch what you did after your new revision? TIA ---CH 20:31, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi Chris. The link you provided above for "this version" points to a previous version of Talk:Bernard Haisch, so I'm not sure what you mean by "use" it for comparison. The two versions of Bernard Haisch I compared were: 02:00, June 11, 2006 Hillman, which was the version created by your most recent edit, and 04:50, June 11, 2006 Paul August, which was the version created by my most recent edit (with Haisch making this edit in between). My intent was to compare the differences between your last version (which I assumed corresponded to a version with which you were reasonably content) and the current version (with which Haisch seems reasonably content) to try to produce a version we can all live with. If there is some better version to compare, please prode the link, or the date and time stamp. Thanks.
I didn't think I wrote anything that implied that you had revereted, and upon rereading it, I can't see what you are refering to, can you point me to any language that seems to imply that? Anyway I didn't intend that and I apologise if I somehow left that impression. Nor was that section meant to be any sort of criticism of you (or anyone for that matter). I would be happy to rephrase anything I wrote there to make it more clear.
As for your request for me to explain what I did. Do you mean what edits I made? Here is a diff of all my edits following Haisch's edit: [1] As you can see they were all minor copyedits. If you want me to explain any of them (or anything else) I'd be happy to ;-)
About the article itself, I have no strong feelings about any of the differences between your version and Haisch's version. I just think it would be helpful to discuss the differences on the talk page and see if we can't come up with something which is acceptable to all of us. I have been following this discussion for awhile, and I though I see if I could help out. I hope I can ;-)
Paul August 23:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I would greatly appreciate your continued involvement in getting this article to be factual and unbiased. Christine keeps letting her bias show through and does not even see it (see the latest on the Bernard Haisch article talk page). Haisch 16:33, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I plan to stay involved for awhile at least. I think I understand your concerns and I'm prepared to try to address them on the talk page of that article. For now I would prefer if we all could discuss any substantive changes on the talk page first before editing the article. To that end I have reverted your last edit for now, I hope you don't mind. Please join the point-by-point discussion on Talk:Bernard Haisch. By the way if you have any wiki-related questions I'd be happy to try and answer them. Paul August 17:05, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

How do we do this? Would you mind terribly making an updated list of the differences so that we have a current point of reference. I feel really lost and overwhelmed by this discussion scattered across many pages. Actually, Paul, I really do think the kind and ethical thing would be to work backwards from my version. It is my reputation that has been attacked and here I am fighting an uphill battle. I am really beginning to see the dark side of Wikipedia. Please do consider re-reverting to mine to work down from that... please. Haisch 17:15, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I was working on an updated list of differences when I saw your post above. As for starting with your version and working from there, I've already proposed that but without much success, but I will see what I can do. I'm hopeful we can work things out on the talk page there. Paul August 17:31, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Again, thanks for your intervention. But what gives Christine Hillman the right to set the terms? You have as much right as she does. And what about my rights? Now that I see this process up close, I can begin to appreciate those who were tainted as "commies" by McCarthy. That's how I see her fixation on the obviously biased term "fringe." Have you seen "Good Night and Good Luck?" Haisch 17:48, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Well Chris doesn't get to "set the terms", we all (including you) set the terms by consensus, so I have to consider Chris's concerns as well as yours. As I said I will see what I can do. If you feel strongly enough you can revert back to "your version", I won't revert again, but someone else might, in which case you could revert again … but see Wikipedia:Edit war and WP:3RR. However I strongly urge you to please give the discussion on the talk page a chance for at least a day or so, to see if any progress can be made there. The article has already changed significantly based upon the points you have raised so far. I am confident that that process can continue.
By the way, I know in a case like this, when you think your reputation is being attacked, it can be difficult to remain civil (which by the way I think you have done for the most part). In particular though, please try not to make this about the individual editors involved (see WP:AGF and WP:NPA), whether accurate or not, negative characterizations of fellow editors or assumptions concerning their motives are unproductive.
Paul August 18:30, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I will await your updated list of differences on the talk page of the article, and then give my reasons for each one. Thanks for your efforts. It is genuinely appreciated. Haisch 18:59, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Your welcome. Paul August 19:01, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Do you have any objection to my putting up a "disputed notice" on the article page until these issues are resolved? 20:30, 12 June 2006 (UTC) Thought I was logged in but I wasn't.Haisch 20:32, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I have no objection to that. That is probably a good idea. Paul August 20:34, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Bernard Haisch-Journal of Scientific Exploration[edit]

Hi, Paul, I don't think anyone can discuss anything with Haisch until he calms down and agrees to play by our rules WP:CIV-WP:AGF. I think I have bent over backwards to be helpful to him as a newbie but his childish insults are beginning to grow tiresome. Please note that I have urged him several times to review our policies for talk page behavior.

I made a good regarding the version of Bernard Haisch I cited in my previous message. This would be too confusing to try to explain, so let's start again.

I have reverted to my most recent version and am willing to discuss line by line, but only after Haisch has taken a few days to calm down. I don't think the differences between my version and his are really that huge, but I resist the idea that he should be given license to rewrite his own wikibiography in his own words, since I think this compromises WP:NPOV.

In the service of our readers, I think it is important that our articles should strive to be readable as well as fair and factually accurate, and that is why I think it is best that I implement any changes the WP community feels are neccessary in Bernard Haisch: comparing his versions and mine I think it is obvious that I am the better writer, at least on this subject, and since I wrote the original version I also can more easily see where to fit in new material in a way which respects the flow of ideas.

Just to be clear: do you disagree with the principle that the subject of a wikibiography should be discouraged from himself writing or rewriting his own wikibiography? Please note that everyone appears to agree that the subject can contribute on the talk page to express concerns, suggest factual corrections, or describe changes he desires. However, as I say, I think it is best if more neutral editors make any changes to the article itself. ---CH 18:18, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Hi Chris. I have no major disagreements with the guidelines set down in WP:AUTO. But I don't think we should prohibit an editor from making any edits at all. At any rate I have some concerns of my own about the Bernard Haisch article, as expressed on Talk:Bernard Haisch. Can you please respond to my talk page posts there? Thanks. Paul August 19:21, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Huh? I specifically said that I don't deny Haisch the right to suggest changes in the talk page. And of course he has the right to make edits to articles on topics which are not controversial or in which he is not directly invovled. I am saying that it would be best if he confine his participation regarding his own wikibio to the talk page, however. Hope this is clear now.---CH 19:29, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I meant any edits at all to Bernard Haisch. Anyway I don't think we really disagree about this. I'm perfectly happy to ask and encourage Haisch to refrain from editing that article, and as you suggest, instead make suggestions for changes on the talk page. However at the moment I'm really more concerned about the changes that I want to make to the article. Can you tell me why you have reverted the changes that I made to the article? Did you read my comments posted on the talk page first? Paul August 19:37, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Paul, please help. Hillman has taken down the Disputation banner. That should certainly be my right to display. This is inappropriate behaviour on Hillman's part.Haisch 19:47, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Well it's back now, and Chris has also added your postdoc info, so let's see what developes. Paul August 19:51, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I have responed to the latest version. I think we are converging at last. Thanks. Haisch 19:25, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, and you are welcome. Paul August 21:09, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Just to let you know that I have again replied.Haisch 00:01, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Reply from Haisch[edit]

Once again, thank you for your intervention.

Could you clarify the issue regarding Hillman's proper name. I believe I am using her correct name.

All necessary biographical information on me is available at CV. With regard to your suggestion that "as much as you think Chris' behaviour has been inappropriate, I think saying so is probably unhelpful" that is part of the problem. No one should be expected to sit back and be passive when one's carrer is being inappropriately misconstrued. I have tried and will continue to be civil, and indeed appreciative for assistance from you. But I maintain that Hillman has shown enough bias to warrant ceasing further involvement with my entry. But once again, thank you.Haisch 18:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

By the way, have a look at the Discussion page of the Journal of Scientific Exploration by others than me and you will see further evidence of NPOV violation by Hillman.Haisch 19:00, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

And again you are welcome. As far as I know Hillman is this person, and is a "he". In any case Hilman goes by "Chris". Paul August 21:29, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I can confirm that I am this mysterious entity, and that I generally go by "Chris" :-/ ---CH 02:36, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I think my good friend Larry Sanger created a Frankenstein when he set up this anonymous editing. You see, my career is totally out in the open and it would be really nice if Wikipedians were not allowed to be so shadowy (note that I did not say shady, a different connotation). I would prefer to deal with people whose identity I actually know, as all of you know mine. There is an unfair asymmetry here. As for the Hillman nomenclature, Chris apparently made the same transition one of my best friends made, but my friend did everything in the open and managed to continue a highly successful career in astrophysics in her new persona, which I greatly admired. There was no attempt to become "this mysterious entity." Haisch 05:52, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

(End of copied text. — Paul August 21:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC) )

Larry Sanger is watching also...[edit]

If you check out the DU blog and look for:

  • Bernard Haisch, DUF President, reports his travails with his Wikipedia bio
  • July 24th, 2006 by Larry Sanger

which, as mentioned above, refers to this article in the LA Times:

"His Willingness"?[edit]

I came across the op-ed piece in the LA Times and I still think that there is a dash of value judgement here:

In internet culture, Haisch is also known for his interest in the UFO phenomenon and his willingness to seriously consider a wide variety of unorthodox topics.

That to me is a sentence that is way too short. It immediately implies that he has a personal interest in and is a willing (impulsive) believer in quack topics. To the neutral reader who is reasonable, yet time-constrained, such a sentence should be enough to turn her/him off since it conveniently appears at the top without qualification. It fails to mention that he advocates the rigorous use of the scientific method in studying phenomena outside the scope of science.

Even a recently declassified Ministry of Defence document judges that UFOs are real, offering up a conservative estimate that they are a natural phenomenon worthy of scientific study, and potentially dangerous to aviation. So even if UFOs are not of extra-terrestrial origin, there is clearly a need to study them scientifically. In light of this, Haisch in my view is simply being a good scientist---as he clearly is. But you have to look below the "turn me off" phrase to get to the meat of it.

The phrase "in internet culture" is also deceiving as it implies that his "unorthodox work" is somehow disseminated or born of that incarnation of the internet where "you shouldn't believe what you read". Or that only "people on the internet pay attention to that stuff".

Finally, what is this business with the "bizarre saga with Joe Firmage"? How is it related to Bernard Haisch's biography? It seems more like tabloid journalism than an encyclopedia entry...especially since Haisch's comments in that article are more level-headed than Firmage's outbursts. Granted, it is entertaining---however it feels more like a smear campaign of what are effectively the leaders of a Wikipedia competitor.

Trelayne 09:13, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Funding of Calphysics?[edit]

Was the Calphysics institute mainly funded by Joe Firmage? Considering [2], the timing seems about right. Iin [3] I read that Firmage served as "chairman" of the institute, and in [4] he claims that the Calphysics institute is the "theoretical studies division" of his Motion Sciences Organization. AxelBoldt 16:20, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Totally disputed tag[edit]

This article has been editted by the subject in clear conflict with WP:AUTO. It is also clear that the article is filled with meaningless accolades and legitimizing remarks in an attempt to thwart WP:NPOV. Many of the statements are not backed up by sources listed and lack WP:V (ie what the subject is best known for). If you want to see how to treat controversial fringe scientists such as this, look to Eric Lerner, currently undergoing a major reworking. This kind of posturing is WP:NOT for Wikipedia. --ScienceApologist 21:53, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

The article was almost completely written by User:Hillman, who is not sympathetic to Haisch. I don't see how the article fails to be neutral, but please list specific statements here that you find questionable. I removed the "best known for" part; the other [citation needed]'s you added were supported with evidence further down in the article. For instance, does anyone dispute that he is an astrophysicist, that he is involved in ManyOne, or that he wrote a book attempting to reconcile scientific belief with religion? AxelBoldt 18:42, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Sourced material removal[edit]

User:Sammyterry is still removing sourced material, and I don't want to exceed 3rr. I reported it here and here, and given the subject of the article edits himself here, also noted it here. Please pay extra close attention on this BLP article. · XP · 21:32, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Citations & References[edit]

See Wikipedia:Footnotes for an explanation of how to generate footnotes using the <ref(erences/)> tags Nhl4hamilton (talk) 07:58, 6 February 2008 (UTC)