How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop 2020-08-07T09:07:16.912Z · score: -37 (11 votes)
How to Respond to a Gravitational Wave Astronomer's Gish Gallop 2020-08-07T08:12:35.085Z · score: -15 (5 votes)
How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight 2020-08-04T08:31:43.501Z · score: -1 (11 votes)
Signs of the Times 2020-08-04T07:09:41.553Z · score: -7 (15 votes)
Medical Diagnostic Imaging, Leukemia, and Black Holes 2020-08-03T05:40:41.128Z · score: -11 (5 votes)
Artificial vs. Real Intelligence 2020-07-19T12:52:34.280Z · score: 4 (4 votes)
Evolution of Group Delusion 2020-07-18T17:12:41.245Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Filtering Out What You Want to See 2020-07-18T17:06:23.839Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
The Schumann Resonances 2020-07-18T14:08:37.805Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
The New Scientific Method 2020-07-17T14:44:18.686Z · score: -24 (9 votes)


Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T18:41:13.385Z · score: -7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I find it interesting that this community has removed every single relevant tag from this post and the last. This is a form of censorship that would ordinarily be considered shameful in any community that held itself to any form of intellectual standards.

Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T18:38:10.141Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You used an example with correlated data when in this context the error is uncorrelated. If the error is correlated when you assume it is uncorrelated, you will measure a correlated error rather than what you intended to measure. This is what they did.

Does this community understand this sort of language? So many communities these days have their own private speech patterns. It is as though the internet caused the tower of Babel to fall.

Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T18:31:21.664Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There are some very old sockpuppets in many communities. I've known community managers who maintain small armies of sock puppets for various passive-aggressive purposes. I just got here and can only go by the experience I've had as a newcomer.

Also, I keep getting the same number of downvoters - 8.

Does this community have more than 8 members?

Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T18:29:47.397Z · score: -10 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Weirdness is the appropriate word. It means that they organized their data according to how they thought it should look. That isn't scientific.

Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T18:27:43.190Z · score: -1 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Could you have this discussion elsewhere? You are being very rude.

Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T16:51:13.534Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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

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

Just because you can use an algorithm to automate such a process doesn't make it any more scientific.

Comment by nixtaken on How to Respond to a Black Hole Astronomer's Gish Gallop · 2020-08-07T13:21:39.457Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Making such a simulation is exactly what gjm did and by doing so, he inadvertently proved his thesis false, even though he was still so tied in knots that he couldn't see that was what he'd done.

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.

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.

Comment by nixtaken on If Many-Worlds Had Come First · 2020-08-06T13:26:06.054Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Incidentally, I wrote a novel in which a science experiment adopts a many worlds interpretation and all hell breaks loose. It is a satire about the pitfalls of social engineering and I named it My Adorable Apotheosis: Don't Look Back, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, but I've been told that the title is god awful and that I'd have better luck with something along the lines of

Information Theory: A Novel

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-06T07:33:01.577Z · score: -2 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I encourage people like gjm who want to make comments that are longer than the post itself to make their own posts. In, he claimed that, like EHT, he could organize random data according to a 'weirdness criterion' and that the result was scientific. Such a seemingly magical result would surely be worth publishing far and wide, if true, but if all of his points rest on such a false premise, his whole argument must fall like a house of cards and it is pointless to go through each individual point. I don't like making unnecessary noise.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-06T06:59:48.007Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for your very diplomatic response. I understand that disruptions must be carried out slowly and with caution. I'm also beginning to understand that from certain perspectives, the purpose of physics education is to keep certain types of people busy, so that they don't cause any trouble. I find it unfortunate that many non-troublesome people get trapped in this net alongside the people who need more institutional support. This was a theme in a novel I wrote and I think that literature is a great way to help unbalanced people begin to see more sides of the issues that concern them.

After having already posted 6 articles here laying out the problem of black hole astronomy in both technical and colloquial terms, I did have two more articles that put the material into a larger context.

But they have a more energetic tone and perhaps now is not the right time for that. Sometimes ideas need time to sink in.

Thank you for the suggestion about the quantum and physics forums. I might be able to contribute there in a less controversial manner.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T19:12:21.099Z · score: -3 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Online rule number one: never engage a gish galloper and never engage a person who insists that you 'refute' someone.

I broke it when I replied to gjm and you, but I can learn from my mistakes. Please excuse me from further conversation.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T19:03:08.279Z · score: -2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Let me dig up that list of a hundred US and Russian papers from the 1970s...

I wonder why the physics community never published a widely circulated paper about that time that a large fraction of the community did something really dumb. Maybe its memetic immune system acted up - as it has in response to my articles.

The story of Weber and the gravitational wave debacle of the 1970s is the sort of lore that gets passed down within physics departments, but it is described in more oblique terms within the pages of Nature and Science. You have to be a party to the oral tradition of physics and be able to read between the lines to be able to understand and pass the stories on. I am giving this story to you. You are welcome. Analyze it for self-consistency with other things you know and do what you will with it. Write your thesis on it, for goodness sake.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T16:10:51.182Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

When someone makes several comments that are longer than the post itself, and when the reasoning is demonstrably fallacious (weirdness criterion!?), I think it is fair to call the comment a gish gallop when that is the most economical way to express what happened.

I like economical language and tongue in cheek humor and that is why I condensed what dustin wrote to [your post is glaringly obvious yet clearly incorrect]. If I rewrite it in a less condensed form, this is what it would look like:

["You just wrote a bunch of stuff that is obvious to all of us and it was too long. You went on and on ad nauseum about things that people do, but we don't agree that it is right because we (rational scientists) don't do that sort of thing."]

I'll now copy and paste what dustin actually wrote so that you can compare, contrast, and complain about discrepancies.

" don't think you're saying anything here that longtime community members do not understand. Most here have discussed the basic human biases you're describing ad nauseum. The pushback you've received is not because we do not understand the biases you're describing. The pushback you've received is sourced in disagreements that scientists are doing the things that your analogies imply they are doing. "

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-08-05T13:25:11.640Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So, she adds errors together and calls them uncorrelated, even though they are correlated (systematically related to one another). Interesting.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-08-05T13:17:11.385Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ordinarily, a researcher would take the average of their phase noise and determine the noise floor of their measurement. They would conclude that they can't measure anything below this floor, even if they have 100 detectors that measure the same, noisy thing.

Instead, this group added their uncorrelated phase noise together to make it look like their error was smaller than it was. I called this a cardinal sin. It was an invalid way to make it look like they were overcoming hard resolution limits.

They also didn't notice that their phase noise was correlated with the light of the sun leaking into their measurement

This means that they accidentally constructed a measurement of their correlated error - i.e. of sunlight leaking around the earth.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-08-05T12:54:52.889Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

At gjm's recommendation, I'll try to point out where this analysis misses the mark.

The common-mode error of the toroid could have only been eliminated if they had constructed an adequate control variable. For example, if every other pulse was Helium rather than Hydrogen, and the data was randomized and analyzed without knowing which pulse was which. That would be a double-blind, controlled experiment.

The frequency of the laser was not a very good control variable because, even though the ejection angle changed when the frequency (ejection energy) changed, you still can't disentangle the deflecting field from the field of the thing you are deflecting.

The Xenon test was not a good control variable because Xenon is quite different from Hydrogen and it was not done at the same time and under the same conditions.

In response to your last statement: if experimenters are not motivated to repeat experiments that show things they think they already know, then they should have chosen a different career.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T12:02:53.152Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In response to what you wrote in parentheses:

If you combine noisy data and get a signal, you might be fooling yourself if you only select the data that gives you the signal.

If you combine noisy data and see randomness, you are probably not missing out on finding some secret signal that is hiding in the noise.

If you manipulate your data to see a secret signal hiding in noise, you are probably fooling yourself.

There isn't anything tricky here. You seem to see a trick when the logic is reversed. This isn't a trick. This is a natural consequence of entropy and the flow of space and time.

Smart people tend to make errors when they execute logical shortcuts. It seems like it makes sense to invert a concept until you think about the details.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T11:51:52.435Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Weber says, "I have measured a cosmic gravitational wave with this device. The source of the signal is not of this world."

A hundred other researchers say, "We have used the same device to measure gravitational waves and found that it is too sensitive to local sources of noise (gravitational waves of undetermined origin) to be able to conclude that anything it measures is cosmic in origin."

Weber and the others were all measuring gravitational waves, but they disagreed about the origin of the waves. Some of the people thought that they would measure gravitational waves of cosmic origins and others thought that they wouldn't, but that wasn't relevant to their experiment, it was just their pre-existing bias, something that should not affect a well-designed experiment. Because an experiment is only well designed when it is conducted in many ways by many groups, when more people compared results, the more they would be able to see whether or not the statistics were random, which they were. That is the nature of the scientific method and my words reflect that, even though you seem unable to extract that context from the articles you read. Everything you read must be read within its proper context and experience with experimental research gives a reader context with more depth. As in, as you age, you get better at reading between the lines.

Without knowing the context you are carrying to this forum, it seems to me that you are deliberately misunderstanding what I wrote and that you are exploiting a lay-reader's confusion about a very narrow definition of the term 'gravitational waves'.

Weber's wife was Virginia Trimble and he lost NSF support after publishing his measurements. She would be the person to ask for the inside details. The narrative I described was passed to me in a classroom and it is consistent with the articles you linked to.

Comment by nixtaken on Signs of the Times · 2020-08-05T09:41:21.594Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Compartmentalization is a good way to make sure that no one ever understands the big picture and what I am writing about are things that are going on at the meta level which are obscured or hidden when people only focus on myopic detail.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T09:32:30.167Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, if you'd like, I can respond to the criticism I've received:

After my first two posts, starting with the frontpage story, The Ghost of Joseph Weber, the response was a series of gish gallops by gjm in which he argued that organizing random data according to a criteria called 'weirdness' was scientific. (It is not.)

He was supported by dustin and by the moderator who removed the 'scientific methods and philosophy' tag from the posts, even though that was clearly the topic of the posts.

Several posts later, after my Karma had plummeted to -87, I was told that readers here don't like what I write because it is too long and that I should make shorter posts that are more focused, rather than drawing from a range of specific examples.

So I did that in this post, but then I was told by dustin that I've written something too glaringly obvious yet clearly incorrect and controversial. Instead of using specific examples from published papers, I used simple examples from everyday life and I was criticized for that as well.

There seems to be no winning with a crowd that doesn't like to see their favorite team (science) painted in a less than glowing light. I think that some of the elders of your community might be needed to help teach these people that science isn't about team loyalty, it is about a method, and that is what I've been writing about.

Your community has demonstrated the very problem that I claim is corrupting the physics community.

Comment by nixtaken on How Beliefs Change What We See in Starlight · 2020-08-05T05:51:23.573Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The voting system here makes it look like there is far more community consensus than there is. At first glance, it looks like 11 people upvoted your comment, but upon closer inspection, it was only 3, and it may have been fewer if anyone has a sock puppet. I am always suspicious of people who claim to speak for a community.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-08-05T05:32:41.145Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You seem to have missed the points I was making and you clearly didn't check into who I am. I have a research gate profile and have worked in this field of research for 20 years.

Comment by nixtaken on Signs of the Times · 2020-08-04T16:26:24.252Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

There are tools and there are how those tools are used by high-profile researchers. I think that it is unfortunate that she was put out into the public eye at such an early stage of her career, before she could fully understand what she was doing.

If you do calibration prior to looking at your result, you can be sure that you are not biasing your result, but if you do calibration at the same time that you decide which data to include in your result, you are mis-using a tool and she showed no awareness that was what she was doing.

Just because a tool is widely used doesn't mean that it is used correctly. If her team was using the CLEAN algorithm to encourage the sort of image they wanted to see, they were not using it correctly and she showed no awareness that was what she was doing.

In her talk she compared two methods to generate the black hole image:

one allowed the user to hand tune the image by selecting areas that should be brighter (CLEAN)

the other allowed the user to bias the 'priors' in a form of automated delusion (CHIRP).

Comment by nixtaken on Medical Diagnostic Imaging, Leukemia, and Black Holes · 2020-08-03T17:12:10.027Z · score: -12 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I see that of your 28 posts, most of them are related to organizing Less Wrong meetups. That must be a great way to build up Karma. You are a community builder and I imagine that your instinct is to avoid confrontation, make friends with the right people, and support group norms. This is essential if you want a community to grow, but if you want a community to maintain a high standard of inquiry and rationality, controversy and ideas that are not universally popular must be tolerated.

You seem to dismiss this post based on the wide range of physics topics to which it links, but it does have a clear narrative and focus: how educational corruption in physics might affect something as seemingly unrelated as medicine.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-08-02T19:28:53.340Z · score: -6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

When noneconomical language is used to obfuscate, it is necessary to paraphrase in order to restore clarity to the discussion and make the simple, silly, underlying errors easier to see.

I have made 6 posts on Less Wrong about physics experiments that I find to be particularly bad in their understanding of the scientific method and in their experimental design. You have chosen to defend two of those experiments at length. That you equate your defense of these experiments as an attack on 'bad science' (i.e. me) suggests that you may be suffering from cognitive dissonance and you are using projection to comfort yourself.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-08-02T19:19:28.387Z · score: -6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Whenever people come to vastly different estimates of how much a project costs, one that calculates opportunity cost and another that makes a naive estimate of accounting costs, there is a lesson to be learned about the importance of multidisciplinary education that trains people to think along multidimensional lines. This would prevent discussions like this one from happening so often.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-21T08:16:10.027Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

" That is a way to make a rough estimate in the same way that providing the construction costs for a whole shopping mall is a way of providing a rough estimate of how much it costs for me to walk in the door of said mall. "

So you think that I grossly underestimated the cost by multiplying the cost of one of the cheaper facilities by the number of facilities? You are probably right, since some of the facilities were in rather inhospitable climes (the south pole) -- and that would surely add to their cost.

I am most certainly sticking to my guns. I've seen no counter-arguments here that hold even a teaspoon of water.

I've got you insisting that my estimate of the project cost is dishonest because I don't have a detailed accounting of all ten facilities.

I've got gjm insisting that adding and subtracting uncorrelated errors to reduce the error of a measurement is a valid way to do error propagation. (he wrote this in the comments on my The New Scientific Method post)

I've got gjm insisting that organizing randomly scrambled phase data according to 'weirdness' is a valid experimental technique. (his comments on this can be found in my New Scientific Method post)

and I've got the moderator, Oliver, defending gjm's reasoning and insisting that my five articles on the practice of the scientific method do not deserve the 'scientific methods and philosophy' tag for which he is responsible. I believe that he considers himself to be an expert in 'many worlds' quantum mechanics.

In short, since I've arrived in this space dedicated to rationality, I've encountered three, rather hostile people who have managed to team up to give me a Karma of -87 by downvoting all of my comments and posts. I'd like to find out more about what motivates these people.

Comment by nixtaken on Artificial vs. Real Intelligence · 2020-07-20T18:50:17.966Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by nixtaken on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-07-19T18:01:32.756Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've made a few unusual purchases in recent months:


Grow some Artemesia Annua. I found seeds and tinctures, but it isn't clear if one can trust a tincture bought online. It helps to learn about the different varieties of Artemesia and the ways in which they have been tested. Combining Artemesia Annua with coffee increased its antiviral effect in lab tests.


Buy some sage smudge sticks to reduce the viral load in a house where sick people are wandering around. Lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and green teas are good traditional cold remedies. I'm not entirely sure about echinacea.


Buy a bunch of aspirin, paracetamol, and cigarettes, yes cigarettes. If there is a banking crisis or a lockdown prison environment, cigarettes are excellent currency and there is a strangely persistent negative correlation with smoking and death via the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, there are also reports that young people who vape and smoke are turning up in the ER with covid at a high rate in Texas.

Comment by nixtaken on Anthropomorphizing Humans · 2020-07-19T07:00:56.773Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose that it wouldn't be a satire if it had been written by an AI, but since it was written by a human and humans have always anthropomorphised one another, it is funny.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-19T06:39:41.806Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I thought that giving an example and link with information about how much a radio telescope costs to build addressed the points.

Without a detailed list of the EHT project budget over the past decades, I provided an alternative way to make a rough estimate.

Comment by nixtaken on Anthropomorphizing Humans · 2020-07-18T16:06:02.860Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is the best satire I've read in a while. Brilliant!

Comment by nixtaken on Reality-Revealing and Reality-Masking Puzzles · 2020-07-18T15:39:49.863Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

After decades of working within relativistic, Riemannian physics frameworks, I've become frustrated with its reality masking attributes and I've spent some time rebuilding my worldview in an absolute Cartesian framework. This has removed paradoxes that are not paradoxical from my lexicon and given me a new appreciation for the implications of Galilean vs. Lorentzian versions of Maxwell's equations.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-07-18T11:26:35.193Z · score: -13 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I'm really sorry that you've based your career on these methods. You organized random data according to your assumptions about what is 'wierd' or 'not the image you want to see.' This method is invalid.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-07-18T06:30:51.629Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The point I wanted to make was about bad training facilities supported by the government. They produce data scientists who will be hired by companies where they will spread the bad methods they learned. Bayesianism just makes it easier for them to hide the mistakes in what they are doing. That is its biggest flaw.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-07-17T22:46:40.624Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If an analyst isn't well versed in the pitfalls of both frequentist and Bayesian analysis, I wouldn't trust them.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-07-17T21:51:10.030Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't mention overfitting, but I did mention how error propagation on a Bayesian network can render error estimates meaningless as the uncertainty about priors (initial conditions) compounds. In short, the method systematically underestimates errors in error propagation and I've met data scientists who didn't know this.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-07-17T21:41:10.857Z · score: -11 (7 votes) · LW · GW

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.

You admitted above that they added uncorrelated phase errors together. That is a cardinal sin of data analysis.

You suggested above that resolution limitations could be overcome by 'just taking more data'. If your data is noisy garbage, you can take data forever and your result will not improve. In any case, there is a reason that they can't take data forever - the earth is turning and this imposes hard limits on what they can measure. They somehow convinced themselves that they could overcome these hard limits by breaking every rule in the book.

I think that your comment is a good example of why a gish gallop is not a convincing rebuttal. So much bad science relies on burying the reader in redundancies and redirects.

"Look at this, not at that" can distract a reader from the convoluted logic and weakness staring him in the face.

The only defense against this form of attack is simplicity and clarity and that is why I wrote my post with the simplest, clearest argumentation I could summon. If you had wanted to have a real discussion about real issues, you would've used more economical word choices.

I think you betray yourself by insisting that every single point I made was incorrect, because anyone who read what I wrote will see that at least some of it must hit the mark. Then again, certain types of people are fooled by extreme, black-white thinking and lack of nuance.

Nice effort, though. Given the stated purpose of this website, I'm surprised that your argumentative style is allowed.

I think it would've been better if you'd picked out one point upon which all others rest and then disassembled it (like I did in the first paragraph). If the argument I had made in the article was truly weak, you would've been able to do that, but since you couldn't, you created an avalanche of words, attacking everything and insisting that what I wrote was incorrect because I didn't convey what was said in the lengthier, jargon-rich way you would've. On a site dedicated to rational discourse, I wouldn't have expected that so much smoke and mirrors argumentation would be allowed.

Comment by nixtaken on The New Scientific Method · 2020-07-17T19:04:14.313Z · score: -9 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to draw your attention to the related post I made analyzing LIGO's conception of the scientific method and it was downvoted into oblivion, even though it was quite popular elsewhere:

This was the first thing I posted here on Less Wrong and the two commenters used some of the most blatant techniques of misleading internet rhetoric to undermine what I wrote.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-17T14:50:29.778Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

She was the leader of the data analysis team and in charge of presenting the data to the public. It would be absurd if a PhD student was the leader of a billion dollar project that spanned decades.

The assumptions the EHT collaboration made about the resolution of their measurement were absurd and comparing it to taking a picture of an orange on the moon was appropriate.

If you would like to see a more complete analysis of what Bouman said in her talks about EHT, I've posted another article here:

The article posted here is intended to focus on LIGO, EHT's sister project.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-16T12:53:54.116Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Links to TED and CalTech talks by Bouman and to a talk I gave at IdaLabs in Berlin can be found in this post:

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-15T17:20:26.052Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There was a second video in the post, later on.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-15T11:49:47.737Z · score: -3 (6 votes) · LW · GW

You seem to be close to understanding, but not quite there. What is the difference between a phase shift and a time shift?

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-15T11:45:35.288Z · score: -3 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The leader of that project said exactly that when she sold the project to the public in her TED talk. Yet she was undeterred. Amazing.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-15T08:04:28.353Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am aware that the climate changes and that it is necessary to increase the efficiency of our use of fossil fuels.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-15T06:36:59.839Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It is the easiest to explain because gjm's other points demonstrated a deeper misunderstanding of what I view as fundamental epistemological issues. What is very concerning about EHT and LIGO is that they are used as training facilities for data scientists who apply these methods in other fields. If these flaws see the light of day, an entire industry is threatened - not just black hole astronomy.

I wrote an article about this for an introductory level audience

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-15T06:23:41.950Z · score: -2 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't given up. I think you should try harder to understand what I wrote above.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-14T19:54:48.186Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The telescopes are not cheap, even if they are supported by the work of many institutes. The data center alone for this one is 80 million. For the telescope itself:

  • 5,030 person hours have been spent working on site, by 27 dedicated team members  (including 130 hours by the Student Army, a team of 7 students from Curtin University) since January 2012 to ‘build’ the telescope
  • 7 km (4.3miles) of trenching has been dug
  • 10 km of low voltage electrical cable has been laid
  • 16 km of fibre optic cable has been laid – by hand
  • 42 km of coaxial cable has been dragged and laid- by hand
  • 9 tonnes of mesh (400 sheets) has been used to create the antenna bases – each lifted and placed by hand
  • 4,608 RF connectors have been used – each secured by hand

I'm not arguing that the telescopes are useless, but rather that some experiments are not useful and that they are harmful to good pedagogy.

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-14T16:55:20.244Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm sorry, I didn't read as closely as I should've. You wrote a lot and I am happy to address individual points, but not all of them at once. I do not have the numbers on hand for EHT, but since it combined the efforts of ~10 radio frequency telescopes, if EHT kept the telescopes in operation when they would've otherwise lost funding, it may have been quite expensive. The telescopes themselves have surely cost billions to build and operate. One was located on the south pole.

I find EHT absolutely absurd for reasons that I didn't go into in this article, but I gave a talk about that project at IdaLabs in Berlin in March.

I wrote it up in this post:

Comment by nixtaken on The Ghost of Joseph Weber · 2020-07-14T16:09:13.269Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you subtract chirped signals from one another with a slight phase shift, do you get a chirped signal that looks like the initial chirp? This is another method to get the signal in the prize winning figure. It does not require templates or hand tuning. That was the point I was trying to make.