archive: Re: SETI: media management

Re: SETI: media management

R.J. Fear ( (no email) )
Sat, 31 Oct 1998 12:52:00


At 11:37 AM 10/31/98 EST, you wrote:
>In a message dated 10/31/98 6:53:51 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> writes:
><< Chip,
> I wouldn't throw stones if I were you. The press release house built by
> Boston University is somewhat crystaline. You and Boston University were
> not the first to debunk the data, The SETI League were. We had made an
> assessment of the data and come the conclusion two days prior to you (and
> the public email list) even seeing it. I don't honestly care but I have
> little tolerance for those that don't practice what they preach.
> R.J.
> >>
>Excuse me;
>WHERE is the debunking you refer to by the SL ? I seem to recall my post on
>10-26 to this effect. This was BEFORE SL posts. Please repost.

You take me wrong. I'm not saying that SL was the first to publish
publicly a position on the signal submitted. We were the first to analyse
it and found it to be deficient in many ways... so much so it couldn't be
considered good science and following the Argus Protocols was dismissed and
given no more attention. Anyone submitting data to the hits list must
conform to the submission protocol. It wasn't until two days later that
the posting was made on the public SL list. (I wouldn't think of reposting
internal communications, I agreed not to.) I'm not looking for a
retraction Chip, I wanted you to understand that by not fully participating
in the process you're missing most of what's going on and your press
release didn't tell the entire story.

Even if we had chosen to release the information you would still have
beaten us to publication. We don't have the resources for quick turnaround
and speaking for myself I'm glad of it. I would rather we be late than wrong.

>The press release on 10-29 was a reiteration of my comments from 10-26 and
>10-28, made public in the media in order to STOP the nonsense.
>What IS your problem! You owe me an apology.

My problem is I sent an email stating that we had looked at the data and
and that we prefered to keep it quiet until additional information could be
obtained. If you'll remember the reasoning stated was: we don't want to
give the guy a list of corrections to be applied to his next set of bogus
data. This was before your press release.

>Now what is it that I am not practicing what I am preaching. This is an
>comment .

No Chip, I don't owe you an apology. And, I'm not suggesting you owe me or
the SL one either. Practicing what you preach was a nicely as I could put
it, and yes, fairly obtuse. It's hard to understand why The SETI League
wasn't mentioned in the press release. No sour grapes intended, just
dissapointment. It's also hard to understand why you participate on a
public SETI list and complain when people are put off by taking the ball
and running with it.

Speaking as clearly as I can: You were the first person to build and send
a press release of your evaluation of the data. You were not the first to
analyse the data and determine it as false. If the winner is determined by
who publishes first then the trophy is and will always be yours. It was
never our intention to be first to publish. It's not irresponsible, it's
good science. We (a group of 62) detect, record, analyse and elliminate
10s of signal hits every month. None of which merit a press release or
annoucement of any kind. It's pretty boring science.

Thank you for the speed with which you knocked the bad data down it is

R.J. Fear

---------- if you're forwarding.... feel free to snip here ---------------

Robert J. (R.J.) Fear North Central Regional Coordinator
President The SETI League Inc.
Topia Inc. ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, WI, IL, MI, and IN
Adaptive Design and Development Corp. Project Argus Station ID: EN70en
225 North Boots Street
Marion Indiana 46952 USA
voice (765) 668-4198 fax (765) 668-4197
email: ICQ #: 111461

"If we don't know where we're going how will we know when we're there?"