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Forums > Social Discussion > Taking stuff as truth cos its in writing

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:having just spent the last two days trying to work out why a proof to do with aligning imaginary multi dimensional spaces with the real world was wrong, I decided that instead of coding up each line of the proof (something I did in the derivation process only to spend 11 hours proving that 0 does in face equal 0) that I would verify all of my assumed numbers.

Imagine my surprise and ecstatic joy when I discovered that the horizontal field of view was 45 degrees and NOT 50 degrees and shown on the box, manual and manufacturers website. I swear if you haven't proved it yourself then its a LIE. /rant

It makes me wonder how much of the "science" and "facts" that we use in pop science discussions are based on the "truths" found in the written word and just what need an individual must have to challenge these "facts". I wonder if wikipedia where to become like an open peer reviewed journal where you had to submit all your data along with your findings, along with data/links to make changes if it would lead to an exponential leap in accurate knowledge. Thoughts?


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:Well my initial thought is that of realism. Obviously at some point you have to trust the word of others, as you can't be an expert in everything. But a good peer-review process can go a long way to helping you find this trust.

The downside is the amount of extra effort required in this. Maybe the ideal situation would be having wikipedia articles marked as "peer-reviewed" when the relevant checks had been passed? This would help you to know just how accurate the information is without stifling the ability of those without the means to perform a full data-collection process to pass on knowledge?


Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted: Written by :willworkforfoodjnr



Obviously at some point you have to trust the word of others, as you can't be an expert in everything.



Not really, it would be more like making science more like maths, where if you dont understand a "rule" you can look up the proof. If a proof can be shown to be untrue then it can be reviewed and all of the other literature that relies on that proof can also be reviewed.



If i hadnt set up an experiment to verify the properties of the camera and just taken the word of the people who supposedly ensured all the checks had been passed then I would be trying to find an error that didnt exist.



I dont think it would stifle anyone it would have something like



background



F = m * a



F = Force

m = mass

a = acceleration



links to relevant topics



link to experimental setup

link to experimental data



simply a new way of presenting data so that the collective user logic becomes the peer review system of a self referencing system


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:Thats fine to a point - but try applying that to the ("proven") rules of quantum physics - you may have to spend months learning before you get it - simply having the formula is not always enough.

To clarify - are you talking about facts in general, or more specifications of equipment/processes?


Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:Ben - even maths is getting so complex in some areas that the 'proofs' are sometimes taking many years before being exposed as wrong. Thats where maths becomes science...and thats where we are at.

I understand where you are coming from tho smile


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 3044
Posted:truth? proof? facts? science?



how define what each of the above actually is?

how can conclusions conflict from 2 people looking at the same data?

how does it all relate without your brain exploding?



theres an entire field of study who look at all that - Philisophy/History of Science



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science



its a pretty good overview - and covers a wide range of topics - theres some pretty epic theories regarding the relationship between science, truths, and facts.



just because a paper written and submitted to, and approved by a scientific journal doesnt necessarily mean its fault proof wink

EDITED_BY: Dentrassi (1211335452)


"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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BrettStar
PLATINUM Member since Oct 2004

BrettStar

old festy hand


Total posts: 765
Posted:also the per review process means that theories that disagree with your peers... or new ideas... to get through.... eg flat earrth etc...

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted: Written by :Pyrolific


Ben - even maths is getting so complex in some areas that the 'proofs' are sometimes taking many years before being exposed as wrong.


See if the information where all interlinked it would be simple, with multimedia and animation being what it is it would be possible to explain "complex" theories visually (in how what the bleep makes the dual slit experiment available to everyone to understand, theres nothing difficult about the theory itself its just difficult to visualize). With the math on how the higher level rules come to be available it means that everyone can challenge it without having to redo everything from scratch.

 Written by :Dentrassi


just because a paper written and submitted to, and approved by a scientific journal doesnt necessarily mean its fault proof wink


exactly my point, most papers gloss over stuff at a high level (usually without saying very much) without getting into the nitty gritty which means reviewers just look at the results and as long as its not outrageous then it gets accepted. It would also serve to massively condense the body of knowledge.

 Written by :BrettStar


also the per review process means that theories that disagree with your peers... or new ideas... to get through.... eg flat earrth etc...


which is exactly why a wiki style body of knowledge would be awesome, you can present all of the information at different levels of abstraction which would mean that to reject a theory would require the error in the data and the conclusions drawn from it to be shown. Different theories would receive different ratings based on the amount of evidence for and against it.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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87wt2gxq7


87wt2gxq7

veteran
Location: Birmingham

Total posts: 1502
Posted:ben-ja-men, do you mean something like sholarpedia?

 Written by : Scholarpedia front page


Welcome to Scholarpedia, the free peer reviewed encyclopedia written by scholars from all around the world.

Scholarpedia feels and looks like Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Indeed, both are powered by the same program - MediaWiki. Both allow visitors to review and modify articles simply by clicking on the edit this article link.

However, Scholarpedia differs from Wikipedia in some very important ways:

- Each article is written by an expert (invited or elected by the public).
- Each article is anonymously peer reviewed to ensure accurate and reliable information.
- Each article has a curator - typically its author -- who is responsible for its content.
- Any modification of the article needs to be approved by the curator before it appears in the final, approved version.

Herein also lies the greatest difference between Scholarpedia and traditional print media: while the initial authorship and review processes are similar to a print journal so that Scholarpedia articles could be cited, they are not frozen and outdated, but dynamic, subject to an ongoing process of improvement moderated by their curators. This allows Scholarpedia to be up-to-date, yet maintain the highest quality of content.




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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:That's a great thing, Scholarpedia, if it's as good as it says

I had a teacher who used to make things up and then not tell us till right before the test. He told us he wanted us to think about our history/econ lessons and not take everything as true just because he said it


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:thanks for the link it looks like it could evolve into a very interesting website

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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fanged_angel
BRONZE Member since Jul 2007

fanged_angel

poiromaniac
Location: liverpool, uk

Total posts: 162
Posted:well to be fair, in reality trying to prove anything as fact is little more than an assumption made on random data, iv been doing alot of coursework lately for science subjects and you have to use a null hypothesis which you then aim to disprove and even then its pretty difficult all you can do is try to prove there is a significant difference in two samples.

....long story made short, question everything and welcome to the rabbit hole neo


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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Taking stuff as a truth simply because it's in writing...

Like the Bible/Koran/Book of Mormon..?

Oo, can of worms


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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87wt2gxq7


87wt2gxq7

veteran
Location: Birmingham

Total posts: 1502
Posted: Written by :ben-ja-men


thanks for the link it looks like it could evolve into a very interesting website



I really hope it does too. Too bad it's starting from quite a specialised base of theoretical neuro/AI/dynamical systems articles and so it'll be a while before it gains popular momentum to break out of there into other areas of scholarship.

Good for those who like geeky maths though smile


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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:The nature of scientific fact means that practically everything you read is potentially wrong. A lot of things I've read up on have turned out to be wrong in practice, and I have some grave suspicions about a lot of what I've read in ecological theory. Suspecting everything as wrong is just something a scientist has to learn to do, but it doesn't come naturally.
 Written by :ben-ja-men


Imagine my surprise and ecstatic joy when I discovered that the horizontal field of view was 45 degrees and NOT 50 degrees and shown on the box, manual and manufacturers website. I swear if you haven't proved it yourself then its a LIE. /rant



Out of idle interest, are you talking about a camera?
 Written by :ben-ja-men


It makes me wonder how much of the "science" and "facts" that we use in pop science discussions are based on the "truths" found in the written word and just what need an individual must have to challenge these "facts". I wonder if wikipedia where to become like an open peer reviewed journal where you had to submit all your data along with your findings, along with data/links to make changes if it would lead to an exponential leap in accurate knowledge. Thoughts?


Wikipedia needs to stay as conservative as possible to function at all, but there are collaborations involving the same software with your aims in mind. Uptake has been limited due to unease from older academics, but it might just take off for some things (like taxonomy, which is ridiculously unwieldy at the moment).

Things you might want to look at:
Encyclopedia of life
Scientific use of Wiki software
Copyrights issues


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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