Is it me or is this site in its death throes?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Bowser, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. river

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    MR is all of this true ?
     
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  3. river

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    Bells , Mufon files will give all the information you need and more .
     
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    This is cherry picking on a quote, but have you investigated such occurrences?
     
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  7. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    To be honest, if he wants to evangelize or argue in bad faith on other forums, that's up to said other forums to allow him to do so (or to not allow it). Simply put, there are rules here that he has been told time and again what they are... and has chosen time and again to simply ignore them as though they do not apply to him. If he would just try to have a good faith discussion, then all of this could be avoided...
     
  9. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

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    Cue... Dumbest man, clueluss and the God.
     
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  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    This is actually quite an interesting discussion and one well worth having, if we ignore the distraction of Magical Realist's personal battles with the moderators.

    I think part of the problem with general statements like "eyewitness testimony is usually accurate" is that it's not always clear what level of detail we're talking about. And, it is important to remember that eyewitness testimony is not usually just the eyewitness's report of what he or she saw, but rather that it is the eyewitness's report of his or her interpretation of what he or she saw. Because no sensory perception is "pure" and unfiltered. Eyewitnesses are only able to report on what they observed or experienced after the experience has been filtered through their brains and memory. The eyewitness's expectations, past experience, sensory peculiarities, biases, memories, and more can and do affect the eyewitness's recall of events.

    Most of us, most of the time, are not great observers. Pick a random scenario. Suppose many witnesses saw somebody running from a shop chased by security guards. Let's assume the offender escaped the guards' pursuit but that a suspect was picked up by the police later. The police interview the eyewitnesses to try to confirm that the suspect was the shoplifter, or else to try to eliminate that suspect from the investigation.

    It wouldn't be particularly surprising if all or most of the eyewitnesses interviewed by the police said they saw somebody being chased by guards. But to get a conviction for shoplifting, a court of law will need a lot more evidence than that. Was the offender male or female? What was he or she wearing? What did he or she look like? What colour was his or her hair/hat/shoes? Was he or she carrying anything? If so, what was it?

    An eyewitness to such an event would not, in all likelihood, be expecting it. The eyewitness might not even appreciate what is happening until the offender was some distance away. It might be minutes, hours, days, weeks or months before the eyewitness is asked to give details of what he or she saw to an investigator or to a court. The eyewitness might be interviewed several times, from an initial interview soon after the event, to a formal police interview as a witness days later, to a committal hearing in court months later, to a final trial of the suspect months after that.

    The eyewitness will not only be asked to "try to remember" details of things that he or she might never have actually observed ("Do you remember seeing any scars or blemishes on the offender's face?"), but also to "think hard" about minor details that may never have properly registered in the memory of the witness. "Did you notice the brand of runners worn by the offender? Did they have a blue or red stripe on them, or some other other distinctive coloured marking? Was the offender even wearing runners, or could he or she have been wearing boots?" And the thing is, memory isn't like a video recording. It is a reconstruction. Suppose a witness is asked five times, hours or days or months apart, what colour the shoes were. The first time, he says he isn't really sure or can't remember. Could they have been red? Yes, they might have been red, but the witness really isn't sure. The next time he is asked about the colour, he has a vague memory that the colour red had come up before, so now the shoes he saw were possibly red. In the first court hearing, months later, he is asked again. He tells the judge he didn't get a good look at the shoes and only really saw them for a few seconds, but maybe they were blue. "Wait!" says the defence lawyer, "In the statement you gave to the police, you said the they were red." Oh yes, that's right, they could have been red. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I remember they were red now. And in the final trial, the witness is asked again about the shoe colour. Now he has a clear memory that the shoes were red and he answers confidently "Oh, yes, I clearly remember noticing that the offender had red runners on."

    Is it possible, in this situation, that the eyewitness is completely unreliable in all respects? Is it possible that he never saw somebody running from that shop at all? Unlikely. But is it possible that the offender that the witness saw was actually wearing blue runners rather than red? Yes, it's very possible, despite the witness's confident statement at trial to the contrary.
    ----

    An example was given of road signs. How many times have you driven past a speed limit sign or the sign for a turnoff and almost immediately thought something like "What did that sign say again? That was a speed limit sign. But did it say the speed limit here is 100 km/hr or 80 km/hr?" You saw that sign. You looked right at it as you drove past. But it didn't register. You have a feeling it said 80 km/hr, but you can't be sure. So you look around at the other cars on the road and try to keep pace with them, and you wait for the next sign to confirm that it's really an 80 limit here.

    The point is: if somebody were to stop your car, drag you out, put you against a wall with a gun to your head and demand that you tell them what the speed limit was on that sign you just drove past, could you really be confident that you'd get the answer right - that you'd be a "reliable witness"? You saw the sign. But does that make you a competent and reliable witness of the fact of the speed limit right here?

    ----
    Where solid information is lacking, your brain will often fill in the gaps with something, and that something has no guarantee of being correct. You might not even realise that you never properly took in what the speed limit was on that sign. You could very easily roll along the highway honestly believing that the limit is 100. But then the highway patrol pulls you over and asks why you were speeding. "But officer, I'm sure the sign back there said the limit is 100." No, that won't work, no matter how sure you are. Maybe go with "Sorry officer, I thought that speed limit sign said the limit was 100 here" or perhaps a white lie might give you more chance of avoiding a fine this time: "What speed limit sign back there? I didn't notice a sign, officer."

    But why are you so sure the sign said 100 in the first place? Maybe it's because the limit is 100 along most sections of this road. You're used to seeing lots of 100 signs on this road. Just a little further back from the relevant sign, there were a whole bunch of other signs that did say 100. You were expecting 100, subconsciously. And even though you never really saw that sign even though you looked right at it, your brain easily and naturally fills in the gap. The sign said 100. That's what you'd testify that you saw if you had to.
    ----

    And in all of this, I haven't even touched on cases where an eyewitness misidentifies something, which is another common failure of eyewitnesses. Was the shoplifter male or female? The eyewitness is confident the offender was a woman. Why? Because the witness remembers seeing the offender from behind, and she had longish blond hair and a light build, and stretch jeans, and some other details. But does this rule out the possibility that the offender was actually a man? No, it doesn't. Here, it is quite possible that the eyewitness remembers what he observed completely accurately. The hair length is correct, the body shape is correct, and so on. But there's a problem with how the eyewitness interprets what he observed. His brain filled in the gaps, based on his own biases, experience and so on. The eyewitness saw (in his mind) a woman, but the offender, as it turns out, was not a woman at all and the eyewitness was mistaken.

    Is it really so inconceivable that people regularly mistake the planet Venus for an alien spaceship? I think not. They see the planet just fine, but their interpretation of what they see is simply wrong. Their mind filled in the gap in their knowledge and made a mistake, so they ended up with a constructed memory of something that was never there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Even if all of our observations are made by means of instruments, the instruments' readings still have to be observed. And any reports on what the readings are will be (you guessed it) somebody's eye-witness testimony.

    And in real life scientists are doing a lot more than just reporting the readings of scientific instruments. They are interpreting those observations, applying all sorts of preexisting theoretical assumptions to them, and then drawing conclusions about what all of it supposedly means.

    What I don't like is...

    1. There seems to be strange assumption here on sciforums that if we think that somebody is wrong when stating some proposition, then any argument we present against that proposition must therefore be a good argument.

    So we have Kittamaru and Bells who don't like your ufo reports, producing philosophical arguments that, if correct, would seemingly render all of human cognition (and empirical science along with it) impossible and pointless.

    2. The board's moderators seem to fall prey to frustration when they aren't winning arguments and successfully defending everything that's right, good and decent. So they try to insult and bully people into submission. So rank-and-file board participants' end up suffering because of moderators' frustration.
     
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Uh, not to sound dumb, but I think the moderators have done a standup job here.
     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The PM was actually quite specific. It advised me not to post anecodotes of paranormal encounters without critical analysis and without replying to every post made to me in those threads. It accused me of evangelizing by posting beliefs which I in fact never did. I simply posted anecdotes of paranormal encounters. It had nothing to do with supporting evidence or even responding to a moderator who was targeting me for infractions as has been happening in this thread. Your standing by and letting this shit happen is noted for all the members and lurkers to see. If you can't do your job just admit it. But don't blame it on me.
     
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  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    That's why this forum is dying. Bullying moderators and abuse of power. If I were a lurker looking over these posts I'd never join this group. It's a big attempt by the moderators to censor members for disagreeable content. And lord knows we don't ever want a discussion forum where people disagree with the mgt.
     
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  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    So obtain a spine and leave this place, a place that you apparently despise.

    Or keep posting if it satisfies some odd need in yourself - but then you'll have to follow the same rules as everyone else. Up to you.
     
  17. Bells Staff Member

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    Once again, you keep attributing things to me that I have never actually said. Once again, you are proving just how unreliable eyewitnesses can be, because you are applying your own interpretation to what I have said and turned it into something else entirely.

    That PM also advised you that you stop posting anecdotes of paranormal encounters, unless you can provide a critical analysis of what you are posting. You were also advised that your unwillingness to discuss what you are posting and your repeated refusal to actually discuss anything that does not fit into your personal beliefs, your repeated evangilising was not acceptable.

    Take this thread as a prime example. You were asked to provide proof to back up your claims that eyewitness testimony was reliable, because you keep arguing that eyewitnesses to the paranormal were reliable in what they were recounting. You went on for pages and pages about it, without being able to show any studies to back up your claims that eyewitness testimony was in fact reliable. When presented with multiple sources of studies, papers, statistics of just how unreliable it is, you declared that those statistics were useless, clearly failed to read or account for them and instead, repeated the frankly wrong and incorrect claim that it was all reliable. This is the sort of behaviour you have been warned about repeatedly, most recently by admin. And you are yet to abide by this site's rules and requests from staff of all levels that you stop the behaviour.

    It had everything to do with your posting supporting evidence and being able to critically analyse what you were posting and it had everything to do with your continued refusal to actually discuss anything or answer even basic questions posed by anyone in any thread, MR. I would suggest you stop being disingenuous yet again.

    What would you have me do, when you have consistently refused to adhere to requests made by all staff and admin about how and what you post on this site, MR?

    What would you have me do, when you have repeatedly insulted me, made me out to be a liar to my colleagues by consistently continuing with the same behaviour I had convinced them that you would stop doing in the many many throw-downs I have had with staff about you being moderated, because I had some hope that you would change? What would you have me do when you refuse to adhere to instructions and advice from admin about how and what you post here?

    I am not to blame for you receiving infractions MR. You are.

    I am letting it happen? You are the one doing it. The only way I can stop it from happening is to ban you from posting in this thread and/or any other thread where you continue with the same behaviour. Is that what you would prefer? Do you want me to ban you from threads the moment you start to exhibit the same troubling posting style you have been repeatedly warned about, so that you do not get an infraction? Because at present, that would be the only option left open to me, MR, if you want me to help you.

    No one here is making you post as you do and what you do. We would all be thrilled if you stopped, if you actually applied some critical form of analysis to what you posted, if you were willing to even discuss the subject matter, if you (this one would actually make us jump up and down with joy!) actually read scientific reports people posted and were willing to discuss them and back up your own claims for or against those reports. But you do not. You simply refuse to. And that is not on me or anyone else, but you and only you.

    Have you failed to read the Politics sub-forum?

    If you are able to back up your claims, you can disagree as much as you want. It's not about disagreeing with management, MR. It is about your inability and abject refusal to apply any scientific standard to what you are posting. It is about your repeated refusal to critically assess what you post. It is about your refusal to even discuss what you post. It is about your repeated refusal to even read or critically assess and address anything that goes against your personal beliefs. It is about your continued need to preach what you believe, and refusal to actually discuss it with anyone who dares to question it or provides evidence that you may in fact be wrong. I could go on and on. You can believe whatever the hell you want to believe MR. No one here actually cares. What we do care about is how you post.

    This thread is a prime example. You were asked to provide proof that eyewitness testimony was reliable as you keep claiming it to be. You are yet to do so. Instead, you keep making the exact same claims, without any evidence or studies to back up your claims, refuse to even consider the many studies provided that showed you were wrong, claimed that those studies were worthless without being able to provide any proof to support that claim, refused to even read those studies.. You also kept demanding evidence when evidence was already provided, yet you consistently refused and failed to provide anything to back up your claims. It's not about disagreeing with management. It is about your continued failure to post in good faith. And that is what everyone is fed up with, from members to moderators to admin. So stop passing the buck and placing blame on something only you can control and fix. This is not on us, but entirely on you.
     
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    There is no rule saying I have to back up my claims with studies. I backed up all my claims with logical argumentation, explanations, and examples from real life that nobody here has been able to refute. You know this. Yazata knows this. And all who have been following this thread know this. Nothing you have presented has refuted our claims that eyewitness observation is both reliable and accurate. If it weren't you wouldn't even be alive. You have consistently failed to provide stats on the number of eyewitness testimonies that have convicted criminals. Your refusal to do so proves you don't have an argument to make anymore. Just admit it Bells. You lost another argument. And letting me be banned isn't going to make you a winner. It just makes you a useless moderator who gets off on flaming and abusing valued forum members just because she had a bad day at the office.

    "Appropriate supporting evidence or explanations should be posted together with any opinion, especially on contentious issues."

    Okay. Thanks for your permission.

    278 posts and counting. Plasma Inferno would be quite proud. The owners see what is happening.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2017
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  19. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Come on... everbody likes MR's threds... thats why anybody whos sombody shows up at 'em.!!!

    Beware of wantin him gone... you may just get what you wish for

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  20. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    I'd be incredibly surprised if they even knew your name lol... you really think they pay attention to things at this level?
     
  21. Bells Staff Member

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    From this site's rules:

    E13. Appropriate supporting evidence or explanations should be posted together with any opinion, especially on contentious issues. Sciforums is not your personal blog, and should not be used to promote your unsupported opinions.

    [...]

    E15. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. If you’re claiming that Einstein was wrong, or that evolution does not occur, or that aliens are visiting Earth, be prepared to provide strong evidence in defence of your argument. If you only have an opinion, avoid posting on topics such as these.

    [...]

    H12. If you ask another member for evidence, be prepared to read the information that he or she provides for you. Don’t claim that evidence has not been provided just because you didn’t take the effort to read it.

    [...]

    Trolls tend to follow certain patterns of behaviour that may include:
        • Posting of similar responses and topics repeatedly.
        • Avoiding giving answers to direct questions put to them.
        • Never attempting to justify their position.
        • Demanding evidence from others while offering none in return.
    [...]

    I26. Evangelising is where the poster’s main aim is to spread the word about his or her beliefs, without being interested in real discussion or critical analysis.

    You have been advised repeatedly that your anecdotal evidence was not acceptable. You have been advised that your refusal to engage in any real discussion or critical analysis of what you are posting and your repeated refusal to provide a critical analysis of what you post is and was not acceptable.

    You have been repeatedly told that your extraordinary claims demanded extraordinary evidence. You have been shown study after study that anecdotal eyewitness evidence was not acceptable because of the fact that eyewitness evidence is often wholly unreliable for a variety of reasons. You have been advised that your constant demand of evidence to counter your claims, while failing to provide any actual evidence yourself, is not acceptable.

    As for Yazata, he has shown just how eyewitness evidence is unreliable because he has repeatedly attributed things to me that I have not said, based solely on his interpretation of what he read of my posts, interpretations that are completely tainted by his own bias.

    I have asked the both of you to supply evidence that eyewitness evidence/testimony was reliable. Instead, you have both consistently ignored that request, continued to make further claims, continued to interpret things out of context based solely on your own personal bias. You have again made claims about eyewitness testimony that you are unable to back up with any actual evidence. There are countless of studies, papers, and evidence that looks at eyewitness testimony and evidence, all of which say that in its current format, is unreliable and is literally putting innocent people in prison and even on death row. You have been provided with evidence of just how the legal system stymies anyone attempting to re-open cases or ask for retrials to prevent evidence that can counter eyewitness testimony, because prosecutors are only interested in conviction rates. You were provided countless of studies that show just how easy it is to taint someone's account of what they witnessed, and how personal bias and personal beliefs, the media, past experiences and even malice can and does taint eyewitness accounts.

    And you are still claiming that eyewitness testimony must be reliable because of the number of criminals it convicts? As I noted before, your refusal to even accept or even read the countless studies quoted, your abject refusal to even consider the absolute evidence because to do so would mean that you would have to accept that your anecdotal evidence could be wrong, borders on the malicious, because you are praising a system that is literally imprisoning and even killing innocent people is reprehensible.

    And you have been repeatedly told that the evidence you are providing is not appropriate.

    It is this level of disingenuous posting that is repulsive and amounts to trolling. Why didn't you post the rest of his quote? Why did you leave out the rest of it, that goes directly to the issue?

    If you wish to keep posting here, you will have to abide by the exact same rules as everyone else. This is not your personal blog. If you are not interested in any discussion, if you refuse to participate in any form of critical analysis, there are plenty of websites that will allow you to blog what you want to blog as you wish to post it. This site is not one of them.
     
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    While you're strutting around waving the Rules banner, stop to read these too:

    Netiquette
    • Abide by basic standards of good manners and courtesy. Remember the human who is reading your post.
    • Do not insult or harass other members.
    • Avoid engaging with members with whom you have a personality clash.
    • Beware of the potential for discussions to become heated - particularly religious and political discussions.
    • Do not flame other members.
    • Do not engage in ad hominem attacks (i.e. attack the argument, not the person).
    Ring a bell? "Personification of evil?" Really?

    Every hellfire sermon you preach about the rules here is undone by your consistent failure to abide by these simple ones. Physician heal thyself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    The only embarrassment is the temper tantrum you are throwing.

    And yes, we are able to see your posts, even when you edit them afterwards... You have had everyone from other members up to and including Administration tell you that you do, in fact, have to follow the rules. If you cannot manage that simple thing, then you would be better served elsewhere - Facebook, perhaps... Maybe Twitter.
     

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