EE #4, The Good the Bad and the Crazy

First we have The Good, a very rational tolerant engineer, the kind that makes me proud of my profession rather than embarrassed to admit it.

Some people believe that at the end of the ride it’s, whew, that was fun, can’t wait to get in line and do it all again.

Some people believe that our little fun park is a frivolous waste of time and that the real good stuff happens after the amusement park closes.  I would say, what a waste, but it’s their choice to make.

Here I tread lightly, but I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.  We could debate in a friendly way how each of us has decided to make our lives better, and learn some things along the way.  That’s a Good Thing(tm).  No, it is the other stuff that worries me.  And not in a paranoid way, but in a very real and “fear for my life” way.  This one wants to cut off my head because I don’t believe in flying horses, and that one wants to beat me to death over a disagreement about a cracker.

I would like to believe that no one on this list would wish me harm for anything I’ve said, and if someone did, they wouldn’t dare say it publicly.

On the other hand, there are too many places in this world (including the southern state where I grew up) where if I said, “Sorry, I don’t happen to believe your fairy tales to be literally true”, then I would fear for my safety and my life.

Hey, I see a Pharyngula great cracker incident ’08 reference in there, an engineer who reads PZ is always a good sign. Of course one of the embarrassing engineers had to reply with The Bad:

But if that is so, why would you say something like that? I guess I see the point (or a point): it should be possible to say what you want, to disagree how much you want, without fear. But that’s one of the conditions here: nothing is perfect 🙂  So we have to accept that things we say have consequences, and they are not always easy to predict.

Wow, he thinks it’s to be expected that people will hurt or kill you over ideas and that’s acceptable. I know he is not from the US but I think even in Germany and Brazil it’s against the law to cause physical harm to others and killing over words is murder. He does not grasp the concept of freedom of conscience but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. His previous posts have shown me he doesn’t grasp the fundamentals of science or critical thinking either.

Next I bring you The Crazy:

Can’t help on sci journals, but I did wire plants up to bio-feedback circuitry & got some fascinating experimental results…

The device was a wheatstone bridge detecting changes of resistance from electrodes attached to stems of Foxgloves & houseplants.  Output created a rising needle & rising audio pitch if resistance rose, & the converse if resistance reduced..

With Foxglove, once the needle stabilised I tried talking to it, no difference or a small fall.  Tried torturing a leaf, slight rise.  Then a motor cycle passed by noisily, & the needle & pitch shot up, then slowly went down again. Then a gust of wind blew, & the needle fell.

With a houseplant wired, I tried talking to it, small fall.  I tried torturing a leaf, barely discernable rise that quickly fell.  Then I asked a colleague to have a go.  He wasn’t interested but with cajoling he turned & looked at the plant -from 15 feet distance the plant screamed!  Needle & pitch went off the scale & I had to turn down sensitivity & readjust.  He thought I was taking the piss.

I gave it a few minutes, there was a small fall, stabilised, then I stepped away & asked Phil again to try.  Once again from several yards away he simply looked at the plant, & the plant’s resistance shot up & a scream came from the loudspeaker.  This time there was no fakery possible from me – I too was several yards away.

I make no attempt to publish ‘findings’, & instead invite that others also experiment…

Typical pseudo-scientist, won’t document or publish any of his alleged results so that others can try and replicate his experiment. Instead he simply insists it works and tries to get others to start from scratch. When you see this crap you just have to call it for what it is, Bulls Hit!

A Good reply to some more Crazy:

And sometimes we progress by going back to old ways.
Medicine comes to mind.  We used to think using leeches was crazy stuff from older times.
Now we’ve found them quite useful.

That’s true, but not quite.

Why they were using them in the middles ages is different to why they’re used now.  You could say we found a new use for something that was supposed to be useful but wasn’t.  (You might need to take a deep breathe first.)

An engineer who has appeared here before, showing a Bad grasp of reality (emphasis mine):

It comes as no surprise that the majority of people will trust CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX News, NPR, NY Times and Washington Post as though they publish truth.  But they all publish the same story, the same way from the same source and it is always flavored with a left political bias.

Wow what planet is he living on, I have lots of problems with FOX News but a liberal/left bias sure as heck isn’t one of them. In the past year this guy, as far as I can recall, hasn’t gotten one technical detail correct and evades owning up to the errors when called on them. Thankfully the list is inhabited by many excellent engineers so, his technical mistakes are always corrected. I thought this guy was just a classic BS artist, you know the type who pretends to be knowledgeable and can talk his way out of trouble when he’s caught having no knowledge. Now that I’ve seen his utter failure to grasp reality twice I’m beginning to think he’s just nuts.