[time-nuts] A philosophy of science view on the tight pll discussion

Steve Rooke sar10538 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 4 15:15:07 UTC 2010

On 4 June 2010 07:11, Didier Juges <didier at cox.net> wrote:
> ---- WarrenS <warrensjmail-one at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Ulrich posted a bunch of logic stuff, some of which I did not understand.
>> but  I do think he missed the main point
> I personally think Warren missed the point entirely, but it's just my opinion. This statement is a good summary of what has been going on. You cannot dismiss something that you do not understand, yet that's what you have been trying to do for a long time now.

I'm not sure that that the point was made clear or if even there was a
point to this unless you are taking a specific side.

Examining things:-

The physicist obviously had a a good general education which included
biology, genealogy, logic and nursery rhymes. He deduced correctly
that the likelihood of a black sheep occurring naturally via a second
occurrence of natural selection and that the black coat was due to a
genetic anomaly which indicated that it was very likely that the gene
for a black coat was in the sheep that were close to the this place
which meant that it was most likely that black sheep were in Germany.
He dismissed the idea that the farmer had just shipped the black sheep
into Germany because his daughter liked nursery rhymes as he logically
knew that farmers never do anything that costs them anything only
things that make them money. He remembered the age old saying, you'll
never see a farmer on a bike. He therefore deduced that this was proof
that there are black sheep in Germany.

The mathematician was obviously deeply engrossed in his complex
mathematics education which took up most of his time and didn't care
to much for other subjects. He was a romantic and remembered his
mother saying all the nursery rhymes to him when he was young. Being
that he spent so much of his time in his own head, he had no real idea
of life outside that and really had a childlike attitude to things in
the outside World. When he saw the farm and the black sheep he
obviously thought of a happy farming family and deduced that the
really nice farmer had gone out of his way to find the only black
sheep in Europe so that he could make his daughter happy. It did not
cross his mind that a black sheep had anything to do with genetics but
he had enough sense to know that animals had the same colours on each
side, after all the zebra in his little farm set he had as a child had
stripes on both sides. That was logical to him so he deduced that
there was at least one black sheep in Germany.

The logician ate, drank and slept pure logic all his life. As far as
he was concerned, the World was all binary, true and false, black and
white. To him everything in the World could be explained by logic and
everything was logical. As logic explained everything he had no time
for any other disciplines as they were superfluous, after all,
everything could be explained by logic. Having never ventured from his
deep dark dungeon with black and white walls he was intrigued to see
the World outside. He made no assumptions on what he saw and always
understood that everything could be explained by logic. It was
therefore completely logical for him to deduce that what he was
looking at was the black side of a sheep whereas he could not make a
deduction on the other sheep as they were all facing the other way. So
his deduction that there was at least one sheep with one black sheep
was perfectly logical to him and he went back to enjoying his train

And the moral of the story is, you only see the World with eyes that
are open and been trained to see what you have experience in. To step
out of the square you are standing in can be very hard but the best
approach to life is to adopt that of a child and enjoy all the
wonderment around you.

> Warren, you probably would be a more effective communicator if you did not see everything as a personal attack. Unfortunately, the value of your messages is lost in pointless arguments about who is right.

Well, I do think that there have certainly been quite a number of
personal attacks and i believe that Warren had kept his cool under
such abuse for quite a while but there are limits to this.

> It is too bad that a lot of good information has to be dug up through mountains of "less valuable stuff".

I guess we have to make the environment conducive to such sharing with
positive feedback.

> Bruce has been trying to help you and you dismissed him. You were convinced from the first second that your method was the best there was, and absolutely refused to admit that it could be improved in any way, and you could not even be bothered to explain the limits of that method. Now, Ulrich tries to help you and you dismiss him the same way.

Now I disagree with you entirely here. Warren has presented something
that he wanted others to look at and try. Bruce was not interested in
even looking at it without changing it with his entrenched opinions.
Before you can criticise something you should evaluate it properly
without making comment until you are finished that process otherwise
it is what we call being rude.

Bruce was convinced that it could be improved without even evaluating
it and Warren has been saying all along lets try it this way before we
all get to criticise it. Sadly it is in the nature of man to think
that they all know better than any other man, it takes a great deal of
maturity to accept what others may say or even to accept that there
may be two differing opinions as it's mostely a case of each oponent
trying to make the other say what they believe. We have caused this
problem due to the way that we have structured society to be highly
competitive.  In that way society raises as high as the highest person
can reach. Other societies have a different approach, take the bee for
instance, there is no inter-bee competition with the worker bees there
(yes there are other factors between the drones and any new queens,
yes I'm a trained apiarists). Bees work together in collective
competition so the value of the hive is worth more than the sum of the
bees. It's like the bee society supports each and every other bee
reaching its highest potential just like bees standing on the
shoulders of each and every other bee to reach far higher than any
single bee to reach.

> If I recall correctly, the argument started because Bruce faulted you for stating that your method was "good enough" without characterizing the limits of that statement, not because Bruce criticized the method by itself. Then you quickly refused to accept that there might be merit to such characterization.

I think the boot was on the other foot. I think that Warren said it
was "good enough" and Bruce said that it could never be.

> Every method has limitations. If you do not know the limits, how do you know an experiment is within the capabilities of that method? Simply achieving the same results (under some conditions) as an expensive piece of test equipment only has anecdotal value if you do not know the limits. More testing certainly improves the confidence, but it is not a replacement for a sound analysis of the errors. Otherwise, it is nothing more than an interesting gadget.

I think we already know by now that this is not the results of a
single "test" so it makes this comment academic.

> I think I have heard enough about the tight PLL method for a while, and I am ready for another thread.

It is sad that it has come down to statements like this when people
have tried to give something of value to the community but have been
denigrated because they have not done it the way that some entrenched
member sees as the only way to do it and will not move on. All of this
could have been avoided if some curtsey had been applied earlier on
and so the environment would have been open for such things to
progress. Sadly we all have ourselves to blame for this, any of us,
all of us could have shouted out and said lets make this space a place
to share and respect each other, then our passion as time-nuts would
have been satisfied.

Best regards,

> Didier
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Steve Rooke - ZL3TUV & G8KVD
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.
- Einstein

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