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Post "Speaking as a Scientist," Troll Farms, and Potemkin Villages; from Gary Moore
Created by John Eipper on 02/24/18 4:14 AM

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"Speaking as a Scientist," Troll Farms, and Potemkin Villages; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 02/24/18 4:14 am)

Gary Moore writes:

I'm amazed at Istvan Simon's replies to news, already old, that quantum physics has steadily progressed in closing the loopholes in "entangled photons" theory, even well before the Chinese, earlier this year, announced they had successfully used the advances to cause "action at a distance" in a distant satellite.

Less lengthy successes had already been achieved in the US and Canada--and the world has no shortage of scientists who can tell Istvan that these events have indeed occurred. When he says that "as a scientist" he doesn't believe in this long-standing trend, as if it were some crank's isolated imagining rather than a settled landmark on the Web and elsewhere, the frightening thing is that he sounds like Agassiz denying Darwin (now used proudly by Creationist heirs), or, worse, like the Church denying Galileo, speaking on the basis of what "must" be--rather than what is tested and demonstrated.

When Istvan says he speaks "as a scientist" though suggesting an interestingly religious-like faith, a disturbing portrait is provided of the possible limits of discourse in some directions. The comments apparently sprang to life so suddenly that no effort was considered to be needed at even cursory inquiry into the readily available background.

Moreover, in a world moving rapidly to outflank received wisdom, such resistance leaves scant room for turning to today's own newer revelation, in another changed-world dimension, that of politics and information. I'm talking now about the "troll farm" revelations in the Russia indictments--directly relevant to a thread that has commendably caused extended comment on WAIS, though we lacked the background to dissect the clues.

Remember the mystifying Catalan alarm mass-email--the one that seemed to directly benefit neither of the contending parties? Suddenly the flood of revelations today is back-lighting a generic structure, chapter and verse. In a world where public information itself can become a Potemkin village (the New York Times's felicitous comparison), the act of leaping to the defense of Aristotle or Joshua on the movements of the heavens might seem doubly worthy of review.

JE comments:  At least Potemkin villages were an attempt to make destitution seem like prosperity.  Troll farms do the opposite.  (I have read that the Russians call them "factories," not "farms.")

I wonder:  ruble for ruble, has there ever been a more effective (and economical) tool of psychological warfare than the troll factory?

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  • Quantum Entanglement Again...and the Bet's Off (Tor Guimaraes, USA 02/26/18 7:15 AM)
    As Gary Moore stated on February 24th: "the world has no shortage of scientists who can tell Istvan [Simon] that these events [atomic particle entanglements] have indeed occurred."

    Besides Brian Greene, I have one more researcher who might be able to convince Istvan he should reconsider his negative view on this topic: Mani Bhaumik, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA.

    Regarding Istvan's proposed wager, I regret that I will move no further in that direction.

    JE comments:  We'll still stay on top of this over the next couple of decades.  WAIS plays the Long Game.  And no worries about the bet, Tor:  Earthly treasures are fleeting, but bragging rights are eternal!

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