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

Mark Kahrs mark.kahrs at gmail.com
Fri Jun 4 15:48:13 UTC 2010

I for one, have grown tired of the ad-hominem anti-intellectual attacks.
This is supposed to be about science and engineering, not words.  Therefore,
I'd like to see analysis.  As Lord Kelvin put it:

"In physical science the first essential step in the direction of learning
any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable
methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when
you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you
know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot
express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory
kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your
thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be."

What I want to see in the future are equations.  Please use LaTex notation
so we all can see what's going on.  Until that happens, it's all just fuzzy
semantics --- neither science nor engineering.  If you make a claim, support
it with equations.  If you can't, then don't make the claim.  It's that

On Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM, Steve Rooke <sar10538 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> journey.
> 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,
> Steve
> > Didier
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> > To unsubscribe, go to
> https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
> > and follow the instructions there.
> >
> --
> Steve Rooke - ZL3TUV & G8KVD
> The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.
> - Einstein
> _______________________________________________
> time-nuts mailing list -- time-nuts at febo.com
> To unsubscribe, go to
> https://www.febo.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/time-nuts
> and follow the instructions there.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list