SNAFU, LENR Forum “Improved”

So I looked at LENR Forum today and the look of the site had drastically changed. It looks much better.

The home page: http://lenr-forum.com. There is still the 403 error for a referred link from CFC, apparently this domain has been added to the .htaccess file to prohibit incoming links. So no change there. (Originally, I warned users about this, so they would not be puzzled seeing it, but then found that I could set my site, by default, to open a new tab and not allow a referer field in the request, so lenr-forum no longer gets information about access to that forum from this domain. It was basically a dumb move to attempt to suppress external commentary.

And, of course, that I tell them that a dumb move is a dumb move, they are “furious.” So they make more dumb moves. That’s how life works.

However, function has changed, and a change in function almost always takes a toll on users. Where did the Unread Posts option go? (It’s now a menu item.)

[Update, evening of the 16th: LF now apparently forwards the old links properly, so barty fixed what is described below. Still the 403 error though.]

However, something far more serious changed. All incoming links I have checked so far, to specific posts, created before today, are broken. Here, created last night to a post by Peter Gluck:

https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/4745-Rossi-vs-Darden-developments-Part-2/?postID=45875#post45875

This link does not return the post, it is translated by LF to:

https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/?postID=45875#post45875

The post now has the direct link:

https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/thread/4745-rossi-vs-darden-developments-part-2/?postID=45875#post45875

All incoming links to lenr-forum, generated before today, are now broken. Links from Google? Broken. It will take a little while for Google to recover.

… This is almost certainly barty who did this. Barty did something with his own registration:

https://www.lenr-forum.com/user/1-barty/

One of the original LF administrators just registered, Jan 16th 2017?

From this profile page, Recent Activity is blank. His Likes show, though. His posts can be found in other ways. (Admin tricks have been used to hide other member activities, this is not the first time I have seen it.)

Checking out the user name 1-barty (which is the actual name for barty), on the Internet Archive, I confirm that this was his user name as of December, 21, 2015. The last site update is January 18, 2016. The site has apparently been set to not be archived. (robots.txt?) Sites do this to hide something, it is not the default.

He may be able to fix the links thing with a redirect, I’m not sure. Making changes to a site with a vast content would properly be done with great care. Experienced administrators would let the community know what is happening, such a shift would be planned and reviewed.

The only time I saw LF admin consult the community, they got a lot of comment, which they then ignored without comment.

Someone should tell barty that “court” is not “curt.”

One improvement I see. Looking at my profile there, I see a little lock symbol. That shows that my account is locked out. I can see one other locked user.

Attempting to log in to my locked account, to see if function has changed, I used the Facebook log-in option. It’s broken, Facebook won’t allow the referral. I try the regular log-in. Doesn’t work, password doesn’t match, it tells me. So I used the forgotten password option. It tells me a message is sent. No message shows up.

Not logged in, I cannot see the messages that were sent to me with the ban. I’m surprised that the Facebook login doesn’t work. What was happening before the site changes is that the log-in would be accepted, then all pages on LF displayed an error message, i.e,. the site could not be used, and logout was not allowed, so I had to kill cookies, etc, to log out.

This is all unskillful administration, and it has been highly resistant to suggestions. Indeed, no reason has been given for my ban, other than perhaps being annoying. and suggesting improved moderation procedures. Users who were blatantly racist, disruptive, and users who consistently post utter nonsense, laden with contempt, are not banned, now that I can tell. Goes to show.

In the words of the immortal Emily Litella:

Gilda, we miss you.

 

 

Kablooey!

For those who don’t know colloquial English, definition of kablooey.

For those who need it spelled out:

Yesterday’s filings:

Mediation reached an impasse. There has been some misunderstanding. Attendance at this mediation conference was obligatory. Coming to an agreement was not obligatory, and the mediator will not criticize the parties, generally, if they showed up and appeared to be participating in good faith, which could still be quite stubborn.

IH filed a motion to extend certain deadlines, adding 60 days to the dates set by the Judge in D.E. 23.  These remain before the trial date set in that Order, but the latest deadline is only two days before the “calendar call” on June 20, 2016. See below for more implications.

With the motion for extension, IH attached copies of emails involving Rossi, Bass, and J.M. Products. Summary:

Britt Wilson, 2012

Continue reading “Kablooey!”

Just when we thought it couldn’t get more ludicrous

It did. Yesterday, IH revealed a Rossi objection to a Discovery Request where Rossi objected to a request for communication records:

REQUEST NO. 4: All Communications between You and Giuseppe Levi, Evelyn Foschi, Torbjorn Hartman, Bo Hoistad, Roland Pettersson, Lars Tegner and/or Hanno Essen.

It included this:

ANSWER:  … It is clear from this request that Defendants seek only to harass and intimidate Plaintiffs through this request as Defendants know that some, or all, of the above individuals participate in the nomination process for the Nobel Prize and their involvement in this matter could jeopardize any consideration Plaintiffs may be receiving for such nomination.

Never mind that none of those people are members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which votes on the Nobel Prizes, nor that the disclosure of correspondence with them would have any effect on Rossi’s potential, never mind that Rossi is an engineer, not a scientist, and didn’t discover anything as to basic science (NiH reactions were suspected or shown before his claims), and never mind that Rossi has not shared his discoveries with the world as yet, and if he does, and if they are real, it would completely wipe out whatever oppobrium might settle on him from disclosure, and never mind that if he wanted to avoid this, filing the lawsuit would be, ah, counterproductive. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. One might think.

But today he topped himself. Continue reading “Just when we thought it couldn’t get more ludicrous”

SRI Brillouin HHT report

SRI_Progress_Report_News_Release refers to SRI_Progress-report. The news release PDF links to the SRI Report, but is not properly formatted and so the link fails unless fixed. (restore the hyphen in wp-content). I have placed both these files in our Media Library here. If they are updated (or taken down) I will note that. [The link error was fixed.]

This is a study of the report, which will eventually include commentary seen in many places on this report. It begins with an import of the Report to WordPress. Continue reading “SRI Brillouin HHT report”

The New Fizzle

Facts are facts, or why Darden et.al will lose the ECAT Case

This is a post, last updated in August, 2016, on thenewfire.wordpress.com, a site apparently owned by Rends, a lenr-forum.com moderator. I never saw any abusive moderator actions by him on lenr-forum, but when Alan Smith claimed to have the support of Staff, in his deletion actions and perhaps for his later ban, he could be part of that.

The blog is full of misinterpretation and conspiracy theory. The tagline is “Supporter of the LENR Revolution”, but, in fact, this is Planet Rossi, at its worst.

I received an email asking about a claim made on the blog page, so I’m looking at it in detail. Continue reading “The New Fizzle”

A guiding light: The Guerilla Skeptics

Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

If you would like to join our project, we would love to have you. Open up a Wikipedia account, friend me on Facebook so I can add you to the Secret Cabal and write to me at GSoWteam@gmail.com

This is behavior that has gotten other users sanctioned on Wikipedia. As Susan Gerbic gains experience, and as experienced users join GSoW, they will exert power, Wikiedia is highly vulnerable to coordinated factions, it is vulnerable even to uncoordinated, ad hoc factions (which is what I confronted, and the evidence — which was clear — was rejected by the Arbitration Committee, and even deleted, later). The problem is Wikipedia decision-making process, which is arcane when conflict is present. Few know how to navigate it. Those who know, on what might be called the “believer side,” will be attacked and sanctioned as “POV-pushers,” but GSoW is pushing a POV, it’s been called “SPOV,” the “Scientific Point of View,” which is a misnomer, because science has no point of view, it is a process that transcends point of view, thus CSICOP, “Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.” Notice: not “Skeptical Investigation,” because science is always skeptical, but not opinionated.

The other side, the “believer side” is disorganized, generally, and uninformed. And then neutral Wikipedians, who may be skeptical but who seek to follow encyclopedia creation process and policy, are considered “believers,” or otherwise as enemies, by the SPOV faction, and may face threats or the reality of sanctions, if they make any mistakes at all, whereas the SPOV users who make mistakes are supported by factional administrators, often the same administrators who push for sanctions or declare and execute them.

I studied all this years ago. The Arbitration Committee majority, my opinion, saw the problem but had no idea how to fix it, and the Committee tended toward black-and-white decisions, implementing retroactive application of new ad hoc policy, that never created precedent. A bureaucratic nightmare in a community that supposedly rejects bureaucracy. So instead of a functional bureaucracy, with responsible bureaucrats, they get ad hoc bureaucracy, disorganized and following no clear policy, such that user could expect community response, i.e., “rule of law,” they get a complete mess which most sane users abandon after they realize what’s going on, leaving behind an increase in those who love to exercise power over others.

All created naturally without intention. So who is responsible?

We are.

Susan Gerbic, in that post, outs some of her members. I would guess with permission. I would hope with permission!

I want to make clear that I consider Arbitration Committee’s past sanctions of those who participated in an “interest group” mailing list to be short-sighted and immature. The problem is not coordination, the problem is a decision-making system that is vulnerable to factional editing. In that environment, there is a motive to create factional communication, and it will happen. It is unavoidable, but most of it will be invisible. It cannot be prevented, and most factions never become visible. GSoW is unusual. In fact, it should be encouraged, with some policy caveats. How to deal with the problem is not necessarily a simple issue, but if it is resolved, Wikipedia would become far more reliable.

So to her members. She gives a list of articles and names members. So here I will associate those with the Wikipedia accounts, if it is clear or likely.

From Gerbic’s post:

December 2015 I announced that GSoW was going to focus on Skeptic Books. We had big goals and worked off this Wikipedia list. This list was envisioned and written by GSoW and during the 6 months we focused on this Book Project we completely expanded this list of over 500 books. 

From the timing, yes, very likely created by a GSoW member.

List of possible members, numbers of edits in parens where small. There are some who edited the page who are general Wikipedians; however, editing the page shows possible interest in the topic. It would take more careful research into the overall editing patterns of the user to confirm or disconfirm possible factional POV, rather than “cabal” affiliation, or the cabal may have some long-term sleepers who become — or were — already Wikipedia editors and who continue.

Being listed here is not, in any way, an allegation of policy violation. Possible policy violations will be considered separately.

2013: NmillercheDaniel Skitt (17), LineJockey (9), 81.7.185.2, (2) DynamicimanydJoshH21122.109.40.153 (1), 75.118.113.129 (2), Jin-oh Choi (7 edits), LarianLeQuellaOttRider?, Caem586Rjmail98.217.42.67 (1), Your Funny uncle (22), BuboetheratBullRangifer?, KConWiki?, PetertrussellMrBill3JoolzztNorthamerica1000?, Dthomsen8?, Bgwhite?, JourneySarah?, JustAGal?, 

2014: Welsh?, OnlydemiDodafiskarBrainDadProper StrangerNederlandse LeeuwLaurencarr24PCHS-NJROTC?

2015: Gronk Oz188.25.25.155PapaSmirkJollyfisch, 211.30.17.74?,  Neptune’s TridentVaDawn

2016: Topbanana?KrelnikPh250076.174.20.198JulieMay54

101.119.14.128 is notable in the editors, supported deletion of the article in Articles_for_deletion/Skeptic’s_Library. Susan continues:

 What happened is that GSoW went through a complete turnaround with its training, organization and leadership. It was a massive change that I called GSoW 3.14, because of this we lost our focus on the Skeptic Book Project. 

So I apologize to anyone out there that was expecting great skeptic book pages to be turning out every couple days. The fact is that it takes a very long time to write a Wikipedia page correctly and everyone on my team has busy lives and we are all volunteers after-all.

Yes. She noticed.

Enough with the excuses, lets see what we did turn out. 

Right. We watch with interest.

Several of these books were not done in the last 6 months, but in the last few years. I’m going to include them anyway as they were created by GSoW and well worth some extra attention from our community. 

Tracking the Chupacabra by Ben Radford was created by Nathan Miller in June 2013. 

I Sold my Soul on E-bay by Hemant Mehta re-written by Christine Daley Feb 2014


Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait was created also by Nathan Miller as well as Plait’s other book Death From the Skies


God Sent Me: A Textbook Case on Evolution vs. Creation was a Wikipedia page I wrote after reading a review of the book in a Skeptical Inquirer magazine. The book was written by Jeffery Selman. 


The Psychology of the Psychic written by David Marks was created by April Poff


Paranormality by Richard Wiseman I wrote March 2016


Psychic Blues written by Mark Edward received a brand new page by April Poff


Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova was written by Janyce Boynton


Flim-Flam! by James Randi was rewritten in August 2014


Mysterious New Mexico written by Ben Radford was written by April Poff


Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend written by Joshua Blu Buhs received a brand new Wikipedia page from Janyce Boynton

Far far less than was our intention. Yet, each of these pages are strong, well researched pages that our community can be proud of.

And giving us plenty of material to look through for factional editing. Thanks, Susan. Most of this is likely to be decent encyclopedic work, my opinion starting out.

One more thing. What do the numbers look like? How many views have these Wikipedia pages received in the time that GSoW can say they took responsibility of the page?

This number is only a page view count, we can not know if these are unique visitors or how long the viewer stayed on the page. Just raw page views.

As of the writing of this blog on July 31, 2016 they have received

57,016 total views

4,387 in the last 30 days

975 in the last 7 days

Still quite an achievement.

Perhaps. Perhaps not. Compared to what? My top Answer on Quora has about 800,000 page views. One Answer. However, it’s a factual Answer to a silly Question, that’s part of what made it popular, the deadpan literalism, sarcastic or not? That shows what is popular! Susan is demonstrating how to lead a project. My question for her would be if she knows how to turn it over. There are signs in what she writes that maybe not. She’s the leader and that’s that. But this is guesswork on my part.

Her greatest accomplishment so far: doing what she has been doing since 2013, and not being sanctioned.

If you would like to join our project, we would love to have you. Open up a Wikipedia account, friend me on Facebook so I can add you to the Secret Cabal and write to me at GSoWteam@gmail.com

My experience is that many will complain about situations, but few will actually do something. Fewer still will persist. It is the human condition, so far.

My plan here is to, if there is any interest, examine the vast array of linkages now exposed as possibly connected with the “cabal.” So far, I’ve seen nothing that truly violated policy. But I have not looked carefully at that AfD, at the voting there. There has been no seriously controversial editing on the List page, the GSoW work there was mostly unopposed, except for that AfD.

So what about the AfD? The arguments given for deletion were cogent, though it is possible that a consensus solution would be Merge.

The result was keep. LFaraone 05:48, 26 November 2013 (UTC).

This was a classic lazy close. In theory, Wikipedia does not vote. But many administrators treat AfDs as a vote, and just look at what appears to them to be a majority opinion. “Wiki” means “quick,” and these processes often exemplify that. To study an AfD, to consider all the arguments, to assess consensus with a consideration of who might be involved and who might not, would take hours. What Faraone did took minutes. And then, nobody and no faction being seriously offended, he was elected to the Arbitration Committee in 2014. This is adult supervision on Wikipedia:

LFararone, own work:

Very nice, to be sure. I have not reviewed anything else from LFaraone, nor do I plan to. He might be brilliant, it is only in this case that he did not explain his close, when there were real issues involved that remained and are still active, likely. Basically, the notability of the books and authors. And, again, I have not studied the article. Yet.

New files with a $150 million tidbit

Several new files appeared on the Rossi v. Darden case docket in the last few days. This is mostly technical stuff, but there is a bombshell buried in it, or at least a loud firecracker! A piece of fireworks! It’s in red below if you are an Impatient Cow.

Continue reading “New files with a $150 million tidbit”

Activity on 3rd Party Motion To Dismiss

Yesterday, IH filed an Opposition to D.E. 90, the renewed 3rd Party Motion to Dismiss, which had been filed on December 19, 2016.

Summary: Not much is likely to happen here, the arguments to dismiss are weak, unlikely to prevail in an MTD, where all plaintiff allegations that appear to have any factual basis at all will prevent dismissal and require at least discovery and perhaps trial to resolve. Continue reading “Activity on 3rd Party Motion To Dismiss”

Is LENR real?

Yesterday, on lenr-forum.com, THHuxley wrote:

As someone who tends to be a debunker I can answer that [question about why people argue so much on lenr-forum]. Internet sites like this tend to be fan sites, where the object is admired. In this case people here would believe or hope LENR exists and come to see what new proofs and applications have been found.

I introduce here evidence for the reality of LENR. Continue reading “Is LENR real?”

Lenr-forum miscellany, with a fast and clearly-earned ban

I’ve been cleaning up the blog, creating structure, having fun, and, today, mostly, I wrote for the private CMNS list. Then I looked at lenr-forum, and saw some Stuff. This is miscellany and I don’t know yet what I’ll call this, it’s just what hit me. Continue reading “Lenr-forum miscellany, with a fast and clearly-earned ban”

In the heart of Planet Rossi

What is “Planet Rossi”? This was originally a pejorative term, apparently coined by Dewey Weaver, for the community that “believes in” Andrea Rossi’s work. However, I recommend to those who support Rossi that they accept the language. “Planet” really just means a community. Human communities will have characteristics, but individual “members” may vary greatly.

There are two hearts to Planet Rossi. The first heart is the Rossi blog, which is how Rossi uses the Journal of Nuclear Physics, regularly commenting there in comments that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the article they are appended to. This is almost the only regular information as to what “Rossi Says.”

The other is E-catworld.com (ECW), apparently founded by Frank Acland, who authors most posts. While critics of Andrea Rossi often think that commentary on ECW is heavily censored, I have not personally found that to be so.

The occasion for this post, today, is a discussion on ECW of the recent disclosure of “interested parties” by J.M. Products, see Does Rossi’s “customer” matter?
Continue reading “In the heart of Planet Rossi”