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A soldier once told me, "Nobody ever won a war, not in the entire history of humankind. I lost a brother and two cousins, and you lost a brother and only one cousin, and you won? No. Burying a brother and a cousin isn't winning. Picking the right numbers on the lottery is winning. Burying a brother and a cousin isn't winning. Such is the nature of war, and no, it is not physically possible to win a war. The only legitimate reason to fight a war is to win the peace."
This thread has been an intellectual war, and no, nobody won. Usually, after spending this much time on a thread, I have a whole new model for something, because a bunch of new information was presented, some interpretations were attempted, which didn't work, and this begged a more detailed study, which led to a far richer understanding, and a new model. What did I get out of this thread? I made a bunch of enemies. So why did I fight? To defend my reputation, and to show that my work can stand up to attacks? To show the ends to which others will go in attempting to defend positions that are otherwise indefensible? All that I have actually done is prove that I am good at arguing. But there is a lesson here. Nobody gained anything from this. And that's the lesson. If we lay out our information and our ideas, and listen to our critics, we learn. When others present their works, if we offer constructive criticisms, they learn. Usually, so do we, in coming to understand someone else's work to the point of seeing how we can help. But if we attack each other, we get entrenched, and there is no forward progress from entrenched positions. If this thread has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the futility of arguing, it was worth the effort.
To win the peace, we all have to agree that this isn't going to happen again. We all need to listen to each other, and we need to offer constructive criticisms. We cannot allow ourselves to get entrenched. If mainstreamers get on here and needle us with specious arguments, we need to wish them a good day and send them on their way, wasting as little time as possible in the process. But if legitimate questions are raised, we need to seek answers. Hidden behind every tough question is a new discovery. If we like discovering stuff, we should actually look forward to tough questions. It isn't easy to be this way -- it's a learned skill. By nature, we all want to be right, and when challenged, we all want to prove that we're right. But if we take a step back and look at the whole process, we can easily see that when we're wrong, if we acknowledge that we're wrong, we gain the opportunity to get right. And since we all want to be right, we then get what we want. This turns it into a question of whether we want to seem right by being good at arguing, or be right in the end. So, as many times as I've been wrong on these threads, I guess I don't have much of a reputation left to defend. Being good at arguing doesn't help. But I do listen to my critics, and this is how I've made progress. All of the pieces in the various models I'm now using, for the variety of stuff that needs to be explained, came from people on these forums. I did the work to reformulate the models to address the issues that were raised. But I had neither the information nor the understanding -- I got all of that from discussions in these threads. What does this tell you?
Listen to your critics. Don't waste time arguing, but when legitimate questions are raised, thank the person who raised them, since that is your friend. If some of the existing EU positions are indefensible, let's find what's wrong, and fix it.
Fortunately, we have excellent reason to believe that we're on the right track. If we were on the wrong track, then behind every tough question would be an even tougher one, and then, in the distance, beyond our reach, we might see the evidence that there is just no way to make this work. But in our case, we don't have to worry about that. We know that the Newton-Einstein framework is busted, and that EM forces are the only other possibility. So we know that we're on the right track, and behind our tough questions are discoveries.
We also know that there are more discoveries to be made than explorers to make them. "Corpuscles", in one of his kinder moments, suggested that I'll have a hard time getting people to play ball with me if it's my game, my rules, and a foregone conclusion that I'm going to win. There is certainly truth to that, but what's wrong with it is that it frames the endeavor as a matter of who is going to win the argument. A better way of thinking about this would be to say that there is a New World out there, which Columbus (or Maxwell, Heaviside, Birkeland, Thornhill, et al.) has discovered for us, but Columbus didn't map all of it. It took a whole generation of explorers just to determine the boundaries of what Columbus found, and many more generations to realize the full value. So this is my game, my rules, and a foregone conclusion that I'm going to "win"? In the end, some of the stuff that I've discovered might yield lasting value. (It's hard to imagine, as many times as I have been wrong, but anything's possible. ) Am I going to get all of it? That ridiculous. Maybe I'm a Vasco da Gama or an Amerigo Vespucci, and I get some of it. Maybe. But nobody gets all of it. Astronomy is a big discipline. So if you want something named after you, go for it -- it's all up for grabs right now.
But let me give you a tip. Don't look at my discoveries (if they are, in fact, legitimate). Look at my navigational methods. See how I arrived at more advanced positions than previous explorers. I didn't set sail from Spain, pointed in the direction of the New World, and poised to defeat any argument that the ship is off course. I looked at the reports from previous voyages, wondered what better discoveries might still be out there, and made constant course corrections as new information kept streaming in. I wasn't trying to start right -- I was always trying to get right. The discoveries weren't in Spain -- they were all in the New World. And most importantly, I paid close attention to the emerging picture from the variety of discoveries that others were making. Their maps inspired my voyages, and my maps will inspire new voyages. The most value comes from seeing the Big Picture that is emerging. From that, we can deduce where the most gold is.
And one final point should be made. This is my game, and my rules? No. The methods that I'm employing were first worked out by philosophers in ancient Greece. This is simply how a proper scientific inquiry is done. Get with that and you'll make discoveries. Refuse to employ these time-honored methods and you'll get nothing in return for your labors.
Regards to all,
Astrophysics wants its physics back.
The Electromagnetic Nature of Tornadic Supercell Thunderstorms
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