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comment by Raemon · 2020-08-07T21:01:19.881Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nixtaken, after discussing things with other mods, I’m banning you for 3 months. I think you have some interesting ideas and domain expertise and hope you can one day be a productive LessWrong user. But if you want to participate on our site, you will have to make peace with the fact that (sometimes critical) feedback and downvotes are a key part of the culture here.

I realize our culture here is fairly different from the rest of the internet. But LessWrong deliberately has several norms that aim to preserve a good space for discussing challenging ideas. Those norms are enforced with a meta-norm that people are encouraged to downvote things they feel are detracting from LessWrong. 

I haven’t yet dug into the object level disagreement here, and I’m not 100% sure who’s factually correct. But you’ve repeatedly responded to arguments with indignation, accusations of bias and sockpuppeting, rather than engaging with the substance. It is pretty typical and expected on LessWrong to respond to that with downvoting. Several people have explained this feedback. Another moderator, Ben Pace, noted that [LW(p) · GW(p)] you'd probably need to change your posting style significantly to get a different reception here.

After 3 months, you are welcome to try participating again on LessWrong, but if you do so know that you’ll be expected to respond to arguments with substance. If you’d like to return, I’d recommend reading other recent highly upvoted posts and comments to get a sense of what’s encouraged here, as well as reading through the sequences if you haven’t already.

comment by areiamus · 2020-08-07T13:58:03.129Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is there any way to have posts like these hidden from the lesswrong RSS feed?

Replies from: Dagon, Raemon
comment by Dagon · 2020-08-07T16:45:41.576Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's interesting to try to define "posts like this", assuming you don't just mean "personal blogposts". How would you write such a filter?

comment by Raemon · 2020-08-07T17:23:30.368Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think you should be able to set your feed such that it has a karma minimum, which I'm guessing addresses your concerns. (Posts show up with at least 1 karma by default, and then it takes a little while for downvoting to take affect)

Replies from: Dagon
comment by Dagon · 2020-08-07T18:35:02.174Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The choices are 2, 30, 45, and 75 - I'd argue that "10" is missing. Also, I wonder if a delayed feed might solve some of the noise problem - "posts with X karma after at least 12 hours".

(note: I don't use RSS for LW; comments matter too much. These are just thoughts for those who do. )

comment by alexgieg · 2020-08-07T13:35:45.810Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Making such a simulation is exactly what gjm did and he inadvertently proved his thesis false.

You haven't shown this mathematically, only conceptually. This isn't enough. Do the calculation and present them.

The point of the post was to explain the root causes of the mistakes EHT and gjm are making, not to prove that they made a mistake by tying themselves in knots that prevented them from seeing what they'd done.

Unless you can provide specific counter-examples demonstrating your affirmations in practice, you aren't actually proving there are mistakes. If no mistake has been strictly demonstrated in the first place, there's no talking about root causes, for the very presence of mistakes still is, by this point, a speculative hypothesis, making any discussion about root causes a speculation on top of a speculation.

If the fact that mistakes were made isn't obvious to a reader, there isn't really much that anyone can say to help that person understand.

This is, at its core, pure math. Applied to physics, yes, but still math. As such, there's no need to appeal to subjective notions of obviousness (or lack thereof). All one needs to do in such a case is to provide the equations and parameters that result in one or more counter-examples. This will prove the presence of mistakes, at which point, yes, discussing their potential root causes becomes feasible.

comment by gjm · 2020-08-08T16:50:00.276Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's flattering that you call me a "black hole astronomer" (since it implies that what I've written about black hole astronomy looks like it's written by someone who works in the field), but I am not one.

Everything in my comment is in response to things you wrote. That makes it the exact reverse of a Gish gallop.

I do not have any sock puppets. (I can think of exactly one online thing where I have more than one account. It's an internet chess server that can serve you up puzzles and give you a numerical indication of how you're doing at solving them. I wanted two accounts so that I could use one for trying to solve the puzzles in limited time and another where I would think for as long as I needed before trying a move. I emailed the people who run the server to check they didn't mind. I mention all this just as an indication that I am unusually scrupulous about this sort of thing.)

So far as I can see, this article consists of (1) a little bit of "framing", (2) lengthy quotations from something I wrote, your response to it, and my response to that, and your (very short) response to that, and (3) a self-congratulatory remark about what a great job you did responding to me. I am at a loss to understand what you think that will achieve.

comment by alexgieg · 2020-08-07T20:11:17.733Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is a form of censorship that would ordinarily be considered shameful in any community that held itself to any form of intellectual standards.

Actually, this is by design [LW · GW].

comment by alexgieg · 2020-08-07T20:00:01.293Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Organizing your data according to how weird it looks to you is not scientific.

Taboo the words "weird", "looks", "scientific", then restate your affirmation so we can actually understand what territory you're mapping.

That is all you need to know to understand what EHT and gjm did.

Any solution or counter-argument to a complex problem that begins with variants of "It's simple! Just..." is almost always, almost invariably, wrong.

comment by gbear605 · 2020-08-07T18:13:05.944Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also as a sidenote, accusing people of being sockpuppets isn't a very convincing argument when the people disagreeing with you have had active accounts on this site for years.

comment by gbear605 · 2020-08-07T18:06:56.421Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think part of why your analysis is so unconvincing to many here is that you are saying

You admitted above: "each individual measurement's phase is scrambled" That means you can't use it. Without phase information, the amplitude data is useless, end of story. There is a saying in meta-analysis: "garbage in, garbage out" and this measurement was attempting to spin garbage into gold.

However, you're showing no proof of this. A common phenomenon in statistics that I, a non-scientist, know about is that data can on its own seem to be entirely random while in fact there is information present. You can combine that seemingly random data with other seemingly random data to get meaningful results. For a specific example, consider private key-public key cryptography. Data encrypted by a public key has no meaningful information that can be extracted just from that. But by combining it with the private key, which has no meaningful information, you can get accurate data: the original message. The hashed data is garbage and the private key is garbage, but the result is gold! So at least sometimes garbage data can be used.

It's entirely possible that you're 100% right here and the amplitude data truly is useless. But just saying "That means you can't use it. ... the amplitude data is useless, end of story" is not a proof. Because of this, if you want to convince the audience of non-scientists here, you will need to provide a stronger basis. Your current argument convinces no one that doesn't already believe you or want to believe you. And inherently, someone who is coming here saying "I'm right about science and statistics and thousands of scientists and statisticians are wrong" is going to have to make a strong case for their evidence.

comment by alexgieg · 2020-08-07T13:03:45.623Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you want to prove your point, take that random noise image from your other post, and make it turn into a cat image by using the same algorithms and techniques the black hole photo crew used. Do this for two or three more perfectly random images becoming anything you want them to become. Explain precisely how you managed to make those specific algorithms turn random noise into pre-selected images, providing the specific parameters needed so that anyone can reproduce them. Then you'll have constructed the targeted counter-examples that'll provide the hard-evidencial basis for your conceptual criticism.

Until you do that, what you're providing is philosophical speculation. It may or may not be valid, but by itself it isn't enough.

comment by gbear605 · 2020-08-07T21:01:22.918Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

To be honest, I'm not a statistician and I don't know the difference between correlated and uncorrelated errors. But that exactly proves my point. You're using arguments that only physicists and statisticians can debate with language that only they know to try to convince laypeople. Unfortunately, that's the nature of the internet.

comment by gbear605 · 2020-08-07T17:49:40.545Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It seems that your problem here is the term "weird". Supose EHT and gjm instead used some more scientific term like "lambda coefficient" (entirely made up by me). That of course shouldn't change your argument, but the crux of your argument seems to be that their use of "weirdness" is unscientific because it's based on what a person sees. But from what I can see of what gjm is saying, weirdness is a perhaps bad name for a very specific and scientific value that can be extracted from a set of pixels.