Warning: this is long.
It turns to Cold fusion as an example of factional misbehavior tightly related to the Climate Change situation, as an example, easily seen in article text, how the neutrality of the project has been -- and remains -- warped. An abstract is given from a recently-published review in a highly reputable mainstream journal which would make a fair lede for the article, perhaps with the addition of whatever contrary source could be found (it would have to be an historical note, there is no recent reliable source contradicting this, on an equivalent level of quality). But that edit would not survive for a day, no would any compromise be allowed. Unless something changes.
QUOTE(Lar @ Wed 20th October 2010, 8:44pm)
I didn't think it was terribly mangled, for a newspaper.
They didn't mention that the other side got tromped on also, including Lar, who was the equivalent of me, this time around, the only difference, really, being that I wasn't an admin/steward/ombudsman. Lar asserted, essentially, the same thing I'd asserted and that I was banned for. (The MYOB ban.)What ArbComm has consistently failed to notice is that there is a difference between ordinary POV-pushing and POV-pushing by administrators and by factions that include administrators.
Instead of recognizing that administrative bias is a larger problem, requiring bolder solutions, than that of ordinary editors, it tends -- greatly -- to sanction ordinary editors before admins. The "admins" are more "valuable."
They are, in a way, of course. But that value is not fundamental to the mission of Wikipedia, a *neutral* encyclopedia. Banning entire factions, which is what can happen, is about guaranteed to warp the project.
Rather, solutions that channel factional behavior into constructive negotiations, and that only ban people who will not communicate within boundaries, and only banning to the minimum necessary for reasonable order, are what have long been needed. I would not have totally banned any of these editors from Climate change; not initially, in any case.
I'd have simply required them to follow COI rules with respect to the topic, and civility policy. The cabal editors are now complaining about experts having been excluded. While turnabout is fair play -- this is what they did and supported -- it's a terrible idea for the neutrality of the project. Expert participation *for advice* is crucial. "Expert" should include anyone with a serious involvement with the field, which would include amateurs, and experts develop strong POVs, it goes with the territory.
ArbComm has not realized the depth of damage that was caused -- and which *continues* to be caused, by the factionalism that the Global Warming cabal represented. It was broader than global warming, and it infected the defacto ways in which Wikipedia operates, making knee-jerk decisions by "neutral admins," based on what ultimately may be content judgments or mind-reading, assumptions about the roots of behavior, the norm. The Cabal had no patience for negotiation, no understanding of how to incorporate opposing views and find truly balanced, consensus text.
And it's still going on.It's little realized that my ban from cold fusion and my MYOB ban were a consequence of my intervention at Global warming,
which started with RfC/GoRight, where I noticed a radically offensive attack on GoRight, and investigated and reported, probably staving off his site ban for a year or more. This was all about Global warming, and I tried to edit that article for a time, and I found that every text was scrutinized by a consistent group of editors for "whitewashing," as one term that was used. Clarifying the meaning of terms used in the conclusions of the IPCC, which very precisely defined the certainty of its conclusions, was prohibited, "too much detail," "likely to confuse readers." Sure. The truth always is more complex than a simplistic polemic. Using the terms without clarification would lead readers to assume the ordinary meanings, not the special ones specified, which caused an impression of stronger conclusions than were actually made by the panel. That's what these editors wanted. They wanted polemic to convince readers of their position. It was utterly impossible to work on that article.
For lesser behavior, other editors were site-banned.
And WMC predicted that I'd be banned, when I pointed out an instance of his abuse of tools, and worked to ensure it.
I'm again banned from cold fusion, "discretionary sanctions," based on a highly selective examination of editorial behavior. I was only editing Talk, and the usual suspects showed up, removing reliably sourced text, preventing even discussion of it, and, of course, JzG showed up at AN to suggest what he'd suggested for others before. Ban.
Admins are accustomed to looking at a situation where a number of editors are upset with the behavior of one, and the assumption is very, very easy and strong that the problem is the single editor. If we look at the overall history of cold fusion, though, as I'm starting to do at netknowledge.org, it is many editors who have attempted to bring the article into compliance with the policies and guidelines, as clarified by RfAr/Fringe science, opposed by a consistent few, backed by the political clout of some admins. That arbitration banned ScienceApologist for three months from all fringe science topics. He's back, and responding to him was a major factor in my latest ban. His behavior is not improved from before, it is worse. I'd worked with him on occasion, and his collaborative side has totally disappeared.
I saw GoRight as an editor, a global warming skeptic, who was quite willing to compromise, to respect the truth that global warming was a general scientific consensus, but who also was not willing to tolerate the unfair attacks on skeptics, the smearing of them in biographies, and the suppression of the level of scientific dissent that exists. I never agreed with GoRight on his views, but minority views are extremely important in maintaining project neutrality. GoRight was site-banned, partly for defending me.What happened at Global warming was quite complex, I can show the case at Cold fusion much more easily,
because it is a situation where the true scientific consensus (the opinion of those most informed about a field, specifically the peer-reviewers at mainstream scientific journals, and expert panels convened to review a topic) has flipped over the last five years. There is now a large body of recently published review of the field. It is heavily contradictory to the sense of the cold fusion article at present. The article does contain some shreds of balance, constantly under threat of removal, and, indeed, they have been slipping away.
Having largely given up on Wikipedia, I did some editing of a paper being submitted to a journal. I did not know what journal it was, but the author had been quite friendly and supportive of the research I myself have taken up. He'd written a review of the strongest evidence that fusion is taking place in these experiments, and he asked me to comment on it. I did, and he submitted it. He then told me that he'd been asked to, instead, write a review of the entire field, which he did, and he again asked for comment and suggestions. I made them, and they were incorporated. And then the article was accepted and he told me that this was for Naturwissenschaften. And it was published last month. This was brought to the attention of editors at Cold fusion, and it was fascinating to see the response. I took the review to RSN and the consensus of neutral editors there was that this was clearly strong RS. But, of course, the pseudoskeptics found every excuse to attack it.They are so busy making sure that no "fringe" nonsense gets in the article that they don't notice that this really isn't fringe any more.
(The real operating definition of fringe for these people is "something that I think is nonsense.") It has not qualified as fringe for about five years, but there is no recent reliable source that says "fringe" or "not fringe."
Nevertheless, from the treatment of the topic, which is mixed, this is clearly "emerging science," still controversial. There is inertia, where someone writes something and uses cold fusion as an example of "pathological science," it's not really about cold fusion but about the author's ideas, these authors have not researched cold fusion itself, they use and repeat ideas that were common ten to twenty years ago, ideas that may have been true then (such as "never replicated," as to early 1989).
Just for fun, here is the abstract from the review. I was credited in the article itself. There is an available preprint copy.
I'm credited, which is way better than a barnstar....The phenomenon called cold fusion has been studied for the last 21 years since its discovery by Profs. Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The discovery was met with considerable skepticism, but supporting evidence has accumulated, plausible theories have been suggested, and research is continuing in at least eight countries. This paper provides a brief overview of the major discoveries and some of the attempts at an explanation. The evidence supports the claim that a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium can occur in special materials without application of high energy. This reaction is found to produce clean energy at potentially useful levels without the harmful byproducts normally associated with a nuclear process. Various requirements of a model are examined.
This review covers the critical heat/helium ratio, which is, by far, the strongest basis for concluding that fusion is taking place. These reactions are producing helium. It only takes a tiny bit of helium to account for the excess heat found, and since helium occurs naturally in the air, at levels higher than what the experiments produce, it was easy to dismiss the reports as due to leakage. However, some very careful work has been done, and "leakage" is untenable as an explanation. And there isn't any other explanation except a nuclear process, contamination of materials with helium has also been ruled out.The WP article has, on the relationship of heat and helium, only a blatant error
drawn from the summary of a bureaucrat who misread the documents provided, a claim that 5 out of 16 electrolytic cells that were producing heat were also found to have produced helium. The error was pointed out on Talk cold fusion more than a year ago. Edits that substituted reliably sourced information on this were reverted by the pseudoskeptics. It was pointed out again, recently, on Talk, by me. I could no longer edit the article, not because of a ban, but because of COI.
Editor Kirk shanahan, a long-time critic of cold fusion, agreed that part of the statement in the article was an error, but asserted that the "5/16 heat producing" part was correct. When I pointed out precisely the error, that this was really only 5 out of an unknown number producing heat (from other evidence it was probably five cells!), heat data had been given for only one of the 16 cells, and some of those cells, probably 8, had been control cells with hydrogen -- no heat, no helium -- he simply stopped responding. And nothing has been changed. And Hipocrite and others changed the Talk page archiving to very fast, so almost all the unresolved discussion has disappeared from the active Talk page.
The article still has the blatant error, easily verifiable as such, that, if true, could be evidence against fusion, not for it. The reality is that, almost without exception, when a cell produces excess heat, enough to create measurable helium, and if helium is measured, it correlates by presence and by quantity, with the measured excess heat. Storms bases this on results from twelve research groups, and four of those reports were detailed enough to use as a basis for relative accurate estimate of 25 +/- 5 MeV/He-4, which can be compared with the theoretical value for deuterium fusion of 23.8 MeV/He-4.A much looser correlation was called "spectacular" by Huizenga, dedicated skeptic, in 1994
. That's reliable source, by the way. There is enough material in solid, reliable source for, probably, dozens of articles relating to cold fusion. It would require forking. "POV forks," they said when it was done, thus forcing everything into one article and then creating an appearance of "imbalance" whenever detail was inserted.
It has almost all been excluded. That pile includes peer-reviewed secondary source reviews, this is not new with the recent Storms review, there have been many, in mainstream journals. There are many fascinating details of the history, easily sourced, all missing. The pseudoskeptics have reduced what Huizenga called -- it's in his book title -- the "scientific fiasco of the century," and it probably was that, especially with what we know now, to a very shallow and cherry-picked summary.
This is not "recentism." The basic work on heat/helium was known and noticed more than fifteen years ago.
For my efforts I was banned again. The article remains erroneous on the 5/16 thing. There are two or three editors who would want to see it improved, but they are mostly toothless, timid. They argue on Talk, making only a few edits and doing nothing when reverted. ArbComm has banned, or allowed the continuation of a ban, on every editor who was or who became expert on this topic, and most importantly, banned the only two editors who understood three things: the topic, the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia, and how to escalate discussion when needed to get a sane decision when parties involved in local decisions will not negotiate consensus. Pcarbonn and myself.Multiply this by many editors and wider interest, you get the Climate Change mess.
Many of the same pseudoskeptical editors are involved in both. I was banned by WMC on the excuse of conflict with Hipocrite, now climate change banned. Verbal was very involved at Cold fusion. Other CF pseudoskeptical editors escaped sanctions, because they only argued before ArbComm defending WMC et al, but hadn't been involved in the article editing. I attempted to identify this faction to ArbComm, it ignored the evidence and reprimanded me for trying. I wasn't claiming misbehavior, per se, but the effect of factional affiliation and mutual involvement, it was necessary to see this to understand why so many editors would pile into RfAr/Abd-William M. Connolley to complain about me.
This is the House that ArbComm Built, by failing to represent and defend the best of Wikipedia, against the forces of factionalism and the shallow, impatient, incautious ignorance behind that.
In real life, below is what is happening with Cold fusion, aside from my own research, which is coming right along, I expect I will be publishing early next year. One way or another!Cold science heats upEditorial
In the reader comments there, an anonymous and clearly obsessed writer shows up, "Kemosabe." From lots of clues, I infer that this is very likely ScienceApologist.
(Some in the field think it is Kirk shanahan, but SA would have read, quite likely, at one point or other, all of Kirk's arguments. The style is different from Kirk, and there is mention of homeopathy and other special interests of SA, i.e., Joshua Schroeder, an astronomy grad student at Columbia University and former community college physics instructor.)
Someone not familiar with the Wikipedia debate would have been unlikely to mention that Storms is the cold fusion (LENR) editor at Naturwissenschaften, that was not very widely known, using this as a reason to deprecate the review. I found that at newenergytimes.com; the appointment was in December, 2009, and, as soon as I saw it, I'd mentioned it on Talk:Cold fusion.
NW had started publishing articles on cold fusion in 2005, and the best in the field started submitting there, so they needed an editor familiar with the topic. But, contrary to what both Kemosabe and ScienceApologist have contended, he did not review his own paper, it was independently reviewed, i.e., what one would expect at a journal like this. It was also a solicited paper, thus representing a high-level editorial decision. Springer-Verlag, the second-largest scientific publisher in the world, is staking its reputation on cold fusion, this review can't be missed, it was on the first page of the September issue of the journal.
Their major competitor is Elsevier, which has also been publishing papers in the field for some years.
This SA argument is typical of the mud that would routinely be tossed by cabal editors to impeach sources that they didn't like. It actually has the opposite implications: why is a mainstream journal appointing a LENR editor? Is that done for fringe topics?