archiv~1: Re: SETI Hoax and Fringe off topic

Re: SETI Hoax and Fringe off topic

Mitchell Jones ( )
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 16:26:59 -0600

>I agree that all of the UFO and hoax traffic that has buried this list
>lately is off topic and unwanted. Perhaps those posters felt they were
>insulted when it seemed they would not get the hint that they were off
>topic, that is unfortunate, but the fact remains that the posting of
>such information and the scores of 'my good name has been besmirched,
>how shall I cope?' messages is off topic. If someone has taken a
>pot-shot, then that someone may be an a**hole, but ranting and raving
>about it off topic is just as rude (if not more so for subjecting the
>rest of us 'innocent bystanders' to more regurgitated crap).
>This list, from its description and content, seems to have been designed
>for the purpose of SETI in a limited, narrow sense -- the search as it
>relates to EM scientific techniques, with the occasional related branch
>of another discipline where it may relate to the original topic. No one
>is saying this is the only way to find out if we are alone in the
>universe, though many may feel it is the best way. However, this list's
>focus is related to this hard scientific branch of it, and anything
>other than the occasional digression is off topic. There are many other
>lists where such other disciplines are merrily argued ad nauseum -- this
>is not the only forum on the Internet.
>There may be many members and lurkers of this list who have not made up
>their minds about UFO's and alien visitation. However, the fact remains
>that posts of such are off topic.

***{I agree completely. Since the *only* poorly reasoned and unscientific
posts that have appeared on this subject have been posts like yours, put
forward by people who would rather snuff out the discussion than
participate in it, why don't you guys simply stop bitching and move on?
--Mitchell Jones}***

There may be many members and lurkers
>who do not believe that hard science is the end-all solution of
>describing the universe. However, the fact remains that posts of such
>subjects are off topic. There may be members of this list who are
>musicians, or Christians, or artists, or anarchists who don't feel that
>their world-views are being correctly represented here, and that their
>exceptions to on-topic politeness is warranted in their particular
>limited case, but that is untrue because such posts are off-topic, which
>again has been generally agreed as being the scientific search for ET
>life using one particular scientific field.

***{Real science looks at experimental evidence, which very explicitly
includes photographic evidence and evidence collected by radio and optical
telescopes. Hence it is perfectly appropriate to examine the SOHO photos,
the Art Bell photos, and the radiotelescope data collected by Project
Phoenix, "Paul Dore," "K.F. Benton," the Australian radiotelescope array,
etc. All of these discussions, when conducted in a polite and rational
manner, are fully as scientific as are similar discussions of the more
conventional deep space SETI results. --Mitchell Jones}***

>I'm not trying to advocate some sort of blind acceptance of

***{Obviously not, since you violate it by means of these off-topic,
censorious posts. --Mitchell Jones}***

Off topic posts happen, people ramble, the
>Internet is still occasionally a free forum of ideas and sometimes these
>posts break up a stale period in an otherwise decent list. However,
>continued off topic posts and flame wars, no matter how restrained, long
>past the point of the original destraction, are indeed rude and unwanted
>and a disservice to everyone on the list. Pretending otherwise just
>advertises your rudeness in neon, something most of us don't need.

***{Agreed. Does that mean you guys are prepared to cease these off-topic,
censorious posts and the ad hominem attacks? --Mitchell Jones}***

>I would hope that the next round of childish, 'I'm not rude, I just want
>the last word!' messages that will inevitably follow will be the last
>for a while.

***{When you guys cease your off-topic, censorious posts and the associated
ad hominem attacks, then others will stop responding to them. At that
point, we will be able to return to the reasoned, scientific discussion of
on-topic material, which must include all observations that have the
potential to reveal the presence of extraterrestrial intelligence, whether
located near some distant star, or in oujr own back yard. --Mitchell