Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Universe

Many Internet forums have carried discussion of the Electric Universe hypothesis. Much of that discussion has added more confusion than clarity, due to common misunderstandings of the electrical principles. Here we invite participants to discuss their experiences and to summarize questions that have yet to be answered.

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Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Universe

Unread postby Giffyguy » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:26 pm

RationalWiki.org is perceived as a "notable" source for debunking crazy ideas these days, for better or worse.
Usually they focus on debunking creationism and the like, but they also have an article on The Electric Universe that desperately needs to be fleshed out.

HOWEVER, please read the below information before attempting to edit the article.

Some members of the EU community have already tried this in the past, and failed.
The failure is usually because they appear to have planned to convince people using an argument, rather than simply presenting sourced facts and letting people believe whatever they want - this is something we need to remain conscious of at all times, if we want to improve the external image of The Electric Universe hypothesis.

The biggest mistake we can make, is to forcibly change the "tone" of an article.
This is something that will get your wiki edits auto-deleted by the moderators.

Currently, the article categorizes The Electric Universe as "pseudo-science."
I know this is aggravating, but we need to ignore this for the moment and just edit the article to include non-argumentative factual information about the EU hypothesis, without changing any of the disrespectful language that is already in the article.
In fact, mimicking the existing negative/skeptical tone is actually a good idea at this point (IMHO), since it will help our edits to be accepted by the moderators for now, and as the evidence stacks up the tone will start to seem inappropriate to everyone who reads it, and the moderators will eventually be motivated to correct the tone of the article themselves without a fight.

As time moves on, and as we fill the article with non-confrontational and indisputable information, we can gradually convince the moderators to re-categorize EU as "proto-science" - which is both more accurate, and less demeaning to EU.

I've started the process by adding a couple brief paragraphs mentioning Pluto, Comet 67P, and Project SAFIRE, with at least 1 or 2 sourced footnotes/references per sentence, pointing to appropriate pages at ThunderBolts.info and NASA.gov
As I described above, I tried not to make it sound like I was proving anything, and I even mimicked the existing negative tone ever so slightly, but in a way that did not appear to directly compromise the integrity of the statements I was making.
This should help the greater community over at RationalWiki.org to accept the information at face-value, rather than rejecting it immediately without bothering to read about it a little first.
The key is to let the good information outshine the bad tone, thereby giving the moderators a good reason to clean up the tone in the future.

Here's what I've added to the wiki article so far:
EU proponents from The Thunderbolts Project claim to have predicted the natures of Pluto and Comet 67P more accurately than NASA or ESA.[3][4]

The International Science Foundation, a group which claims to neither support nor oppose[5] the Electric Universe hypothesis, has provided $2,200,000 USD to fund an unprecedented laboratory experiment to test the Electric Universe claims regarding the nature of the sun.[6] The intent is to compare the results of this experiment to the results of NASA's Solar Probe Plus mission[7], and thereby demonstrate whether the EU solar model has any grounding in reality whatsoever.[8]


With 10 or 20 more blurbs like this, I feel like the negative tone of the article will start to sound childish and ridiculous (as it should), and the raw facts will start to appear legitimate, informative, and noteworthy.

I'll continue to try and add good information to this wiki article, but a group effort could speed the process up considerably.

What other good tidbits do you think we could add to this wiki article without sparking fights with the mainstream?
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby Pi sees » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:49 pm

I wish you good luck in your endeavor, but to be perfectly frank RationalWiki can go f**k themselves. Their real mission is not to promote rational and scientific inquiry, but to defend a very particular scientific and ideological paradigm. The EU simply does not fit into that paradigm, end of story.

RationalWiki can be as snarky, condescending and infantile as they like, but until they can come up with some substantive criticism of the EU then I will not lose any sleep over what they think or say and neither should you.

PS Weeding out the the unnecessary parasitical ideas that have tacked themselves onto EU (e.g. dipole gravity, morphic resonance) would be far more helpful than trying to fight a losing battle with the RationalWiki mods.
Last edited by Pi sees on Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby Giffyguy » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:05 pm

Pi sees wrote:I wish you good luck in your endeavor, but to be perfectly frank RationalWiki can go f**k themselves. Their real mission is not to promote rational and scientific inquiry, but to defend very particular scientific and ideological paradigm. The EU simply does not fit into that paradigm, end of story.

RationalWiki can be as snarky, condescending and infantile as they like, but until they can come up with some substantive criticism of the EU then I will not lose any sleep over what they think or say and neither should you.

PS Weeding out the unnecessary parasitical ideas that have tacked themselves onto EU (e.g. dipole gravity, morphic resonance) would be far more helpful than trying to fight a losing battle with the RationalWiki mods.


Your attitude damages EU's purpose, actually.
You could say the same thing about any organization that parrots The Big Bang narrative - e.g. any university or Wikipedia.

Writing them off only serves to increase the significance of the opposing influence they already have.
And I agree that RationalWiki.org isn't entirely "rational," but that doesn't mean their influence is negligible.

Right now, they are one of the top search results when you Google EU, and they are considered a credible source of information (unfortunately) by a large portion of the population.
It is in the best interest of EU proponents, to improve the image of EU on such websites - and we have the power to do it, in this instance, so there's really no excuse for total inaction.

And how exactly would you weed out bad ideas that have attached themselves to EU, without bothering to set the record straight at external websites (which are frequently misinformed about these things, and get way more traffic than ThunderBolts.info does)?
As I stated in my initial post, it's only a losing battle if we act like idiots around other people's websites - this should be easily surmountable.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby Pi sees » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:15 pm

The kind of people who are lazy and feeble-minded enough to make up their mind about the EU based on the first Google entry they read are exactly the same kind of people that the EU community can happily do without. Especially if that search entry happens to be an irRationalWiki page.

Quality over quantity.

PS What good is there in "setting the record straight" at RationalWiki when they can just set it back by referring to EU-sponsored talks and articles about irrelevant parasitical woo-woo?
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby Giffyguy » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:36 pm

Pi sees wrote:The kind of people who are lazy and feeble-minded enough to make up their mind about the EU based on the first Google entry they read are exactly the same kind of people that the EU community can happily do without. Especially if that search entry happens to be an irRationalWiki page.

Wow, thank heavens you don't work in anybody's PR department ... you'd be a disaster.
And you personally sound lazy and feeble-minded enough that this endeavor could happily do without you.
For your information, Google ranks it's results based on what it "believes" is the most trustworthy AND the most popular, so the fact that RationalWiki.org shows up on the first page is absolutely nothing to sneeze at - and the fact that you don't understand the scope of this influence, even among academic readers, kills your credibility in this discussion.

Pi sees wrote:Quality over quantity.

This mindless proverb has little or no applicability in the current context, that I can conceive.
Are you suggesting that a few lesser-known "good" scientists with terrible public reputations are better than a generally good public image among a large and diverse group of academics and scientists?
Or are you suggesting that higher-quality websites are more important than higher-traffic websites?
Because frankly you'd be dead-wrong in either case.

Pi sees wrote:PS What good is there in "setting the record straight" at RationalWiki when they can just set it back by referring to EU-sponsored talks and articles about irrelevant parasitical woo-woo?

You refer to "they" as if it was an opposing political party or something.
All "they" care about, is that the standards of their wiki are upheld - which isn't that difficult to do.
If they can "set it back" by referring to a TBP-sponsored article talking about actual nonsense, that's not RationalWiki's problem, that's TBP's problem - such articles need to be disowned explicitly and publicly by TBP, so we can then point external wikis back in the right direction using legitimate sources.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby David » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:50 am

Giffyguy wrote:Currently, the article categorizes The Electric Universe as "pseudo-science." I know this is aggravating, but we need to ignore this for the moment and just edit the article to include non-argumentative factual information about the EU hypothesis, without changing any of the disrespectful language that is already in the article.

In fact, mimicking the existing negative/skeptical tone is actually a good idea at this point (IMHO), since it will help our edits to be accepted by the moderators for now, and as the evidence stacks up the tone will start to seem inappropriate to everyone who reads it, and the moderators will eventually be motivated to correct the tone of the article themselves without a fight.

It looks like the RationalWiki entries for David Talbott and Stephen Crothers could also use “improving”, as you put it.

And if I am not mistaken, Wallace Thornhill will soon have his own RationalWiki entry that will all but certain need “improving” too.

However, RationalWiki has a large staff of knowledgeable and dedicated writers who may well take exception to an external organized effort aimed at “improving” their page entries. In fact, one of them will most likely shout vandalism, and then a horde of moderators will descend on the scene.

But by all means, have a go at it. If nothing else it will be amusing and entertaining to watch.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby Giffyguy » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:31 am

David wrote:However, RationalWiki has a large staff of knowledgeable and dedicated writers who may well take exception to an external organized effort aimed at “improving” their page entries.

Um ... it's a wiki bro, not a newspaper ... make yourself part of that "large staff of knowledgeable and dedicated writers" ... problem solved.

David wrote:In fact, one of them will most likely shout vandalism, and then a horde of moderators will descend on the scene.

Um ... don't vandalize ... problem solved.
It's like nobody reads the opening post before replying ... I mentioned idiots from this community trying crap like this in the past, specifically for the purpose of avoiding a repeat ... but I guess that didn't sink in.
I didn't have any problems with the edits I made, and you won't have any problems with your edits either, if you just stay mindful about what you are writing.
The EU community needs a LOT of improvement in this area, if anyone here intends to be taken seriously at some point in the future ... perhaps you don't care about that, though.

David wrote:But by all means, have a go at it. If nothing else it will be amusing and entertaining to watch.

Great attitude bro, thanks for the help.
Meanwhile I'll just go ahead and create the EU page at actual Wikipedia, since I'm opening up some constructive conversations with the moderators over there as well (unlike here) ... purely for your entertainment, of course.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby BecomingTesla » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:55 am

Jesus, do people here have no understand of how public relations and marketing works? What Giffyguy is proposing is an extraordinarily good idea, and he's advocating nothing more that (a) gathering the published, peer-reviewed papers that apply to our framework and (b) submitting them to rationalwiki with minimum argument so that a more well-rounded, academic view of the EU can be gained. This in no way could possibly be a bad thing, and to say that people should take it upon themselves to decide that rationalwiki is bullshit, is an excuse.

This is about expanding our reach legitimately, earning ourselves points within the larger scientific establishment, and embracing a larger audience through the tools that they're already using.

@David: Your comment seems like it's a bit more interested in harping on Crothers, Talbott and Wallace. This is not what Giffy was talking about. He was simply suggesting that we gather our empirical resources, present them scantily and let them stand on their own to the rationalwiki moderators. If the moderators at rationalwiki can't handle that, well, then that is bullshit, but at least we'll have the documentation that we've made the attempt, done it correctly, and we can present that to the people we're trying to reach.

@Giffy: This is a great idea, but I think you're going to find that the resources you're looking for are extremely spread out. The range of work covers from Crookes, Tesla, Faraday and JJ Thomson to Birkeland, Alfven, Carlqvist, Juergens, and now definitely Childs - and so, so many more. All of this work has to be brought together, the physics needs to be understood clearly and lucidly, and the connections have to be bridged as much as they can, without descending into hypothesis and argument. Of course, all of this *needs* to be done, but it's going to take a long time and you're not going to find many here willing to do the work.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby David » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:15 am

BecomingTesla wrote:What Giffyguy is proposing is an extraordinarily good idea, and he's advocating nothing more that (a) gathering the published, peer-reviewed papers that apply to our framework and (b) submitting them to rationalwiki with minimum argument so that a more well-rounded, academic view of the EU can be gained.

“An extraordinarily good idea” with one colossal hitch:

Michael Shermer wrote:The EU folks I met were unfailingly polite, unquestionably smart and steadfastly unwavering in their belief that they have made one of the most important discoveries in the history of science. Have they? Probably not. The problem was articulated in a comment Thornhill made when I asked for their peer-reviewed papers: “In an interdisciplinary science like the Electric Universe, you could say we have no peers, so peer review is not available.”
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby BecomingTesla » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:29 am

@David: Thornhill should never be allowed to speak for the EU paradigm as a whole, particularly because he spouts this kind of freaking nonsense. No peer-review? Literally every person that I mentioned has published material from a wide-variety of journals like IOP, the IEEE, the AIEE, various treatises' like Birkeland's, etc. Suggesting that there is no peer-reviewed material is completely baseless - there are dozens of papers written and published by Alfven alone. What Thornhill meant to say was that his own theories, which bare no empirical evidence whatsoever, have not been peer-reviewed. Which even *this* is incorrect - Wallace has published a couple of papers of his own on electric star hypotheses in the IEEE. He's talking completely out of his ass.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby chrimony » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:44 pm

Giffyguy wrote:Here's what I've added to the wiki article so far: (...) I'll continue to try and add good information to this wiki article, but a group effort could speed the process up considerably.


That's a nice edit. In my opinion you would have been better off continuing on your own instead of publicly announcing for help here. It may be slower going, but entrenched sites generally don't like "brigading" and you really can't rely on a group to follow your example. Most people just don't have that kind of patience or tolerance.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby chrimony » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:55 pm

Pi sees wrote:PS Weeding out the the unnecessary parasitical ideas that have tacked themselves onto EU (e.g. dipole gravity, morphic resonance) would be far more helpful than trying to fight a losing battle with the RationalWiki mods.


"Electric Universe" is a marriage of plasma cosmology and Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision" and is generally hostile to mainstream science. It's the founders who embrace fringe science from other areas -- in other words, dipole gravity and morphic resonance haven't "tacked themselves onto EU".

BecomingTesla wrote:@David: Thornhill should never be allowed to speak for the EU paradigm as a whole, particularly because he spouts this kind of freaking nonsense.


That's going to be difficult, as Wal Thornhill and Dave Talbott literally wrote the book on "Electric Universe", and I seemed to recall Talbott saying that Thornhill coined the phrase. If you want a neutral term for a defining role of electricity in space, stick with "plasma cosmology".
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby seasmith » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:17 pm

Chrimony wrote:
I seemed to recall Talbott saying that Thornhill coined the phrase. If you want a neutral term for a defining role of electricity in space, stick with "plasma cosmology".


Intellectual luminaries have been using the term "Electric Universe" at least since the late 1800's and early 1900's.
That may be part of the baggage connected to it, provoking some of the critics.


Several of those books are still in print, btw...
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby chrimony » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:56 pm

seasmith wrote:Intellectual luminaries have been using the term "Electric Universe" at least since the late 1800's and early 1900's.


That may be so, but in it's current incarnation, it's Thornhill and Talbott who were the main founders.
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Re: Improving RationalWiki.org Entry for The Electric Univer

Unread postby seasmith » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:47 pm

~

yup

~
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