Monday, July 26, 2010

An Outrageous Lanza Article

If you are new to this blog please see the Introduction.

If you want to join the group protesting censorship on The Huffington Post please send me an email at this address: RedDog071@gmail.com

Here is a great example of more Lanza censorship on an article where Lanza compares himself to Einstein and essentially claims that Biocentrism has solved the grand unified field problem and unified relativity and quantum theory. The following was provided by a new contributor to this blog, describing an experience he had and some thoughts on how Huffpo's actions correspond to their published policies.
My Dear Fellow First-Amendment/Free-Speech Fans,

I, too, have had politely relevant but critical comments deleted from Robert Lanza's

insipid and ironically self-referential "false art" and "vain wisdom" anti-Einstein flame,
("Did Einstein Set Science Back 100 Years? We're Not As Insignificant As He Thought,"  posted in The Huffington Post's "Living" section on July 23, 2010 at 07:00 AM.)
 I had just noted a comment (which I paraphrase as "Why bothering to imagine into existence all those readers if you delete 95% of their comments?") which had been "posted 1 hour ago" and had just hit "REPLY"
when I received the message "You are attempting to reply to a comment that has been deleted."

My understanding of policy is that expressed on their FAQ page as:

(I) The Huffington Post welcomes all users to join our community and to comment
    and treats all members of the community equally.

We do not discriminate based on the person who is posting, and we never censor comments for political or ideological reasons.
We never delete an appropriate comment because we disagree with its viewpoint or ideology...

(II) We want the Huffington Post to be home to open, transparent conversations in which people connect, discuss, share ideas, and debate the issues.

(III) We are also committed to maintaining a non-toxic atmosphere.

(IV) In order to preserve a functional and civil conversation,
     we do not allow trolls, trollish behavior, or stalking.


Beyond the "pending" period, as I understand it, a comment would only be deleted if
"2. Your comment violated the policy above.
We pride ourselves in providing a medium for engaging and thought-provoking stories and encourage
our users to speak their minds freely, provided comments fall within our commenting policy.
We must respect our writers and protect them from vicious and inflammatory comments.
They too are entitled to free speech- the right to share their opinions
 without being subject to scathing and mean-spirited remarks."

Below is my comment that was deleted yesterday, July 23, after being up for an hour or so.
Please read and judge for yourself:


Far from "setting us back 100 years," with admirable childlike sense of wonder and true humility
Einstein said "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."
"Comprehensible" meant mathematical, repeatable and predictable --if only in a statistical sense.

I'm sure Lanza's characterizations of Einstein's contributions as "false art" and "vain wisdom"
are well-meant, inaccurate only in deriving from visible misunderstanding of quantum mechanics
and an excess of the fuzzy-based-on-wishful thinking I tried to discourage in my med students.

Richard Feynman's Nobel-winning Quantum Electrodynamics makes predictions as accurate
as a hairsbreadth in the width of America, yet never invokes an "observer" -- except to "select"
(retrospectively) which of all possible paths a quantum has taken in a specific observer's "reality."

Biocentricism (like Geocentricism or SpeciesCentricism/Creationism) reverses our "significance":
the Universe shaped Us, not vice versa.  True, our minds DO affect our bodies far more than
we yet understand, but without lapsing into nihilistic *cynicism* (which has no place in science
nor the heart of a healer) we must still retain our healthy scientific *skepticism* as we are advised
by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins:
"Airplanes built according to scientific principles WORK, stay aloft, get you to your destination.
Airplanes built to tribal or mythological specifications, such as the dummy planes
 of the cargo cults in jungle clearings or the beeswaxed wings of Icarus, DON'T.
Show me a cultural relativist at thirty thousand feet and I’ll show you a hypocrite."

When the comment was removed without explanation after a few hours (during which time another reader had become a "fan" and "replied,") I added the following comment -- which lasted only and hour of posting:
 
Curiouser and curiouser... Who is empowered to dismiss & delete dissent or disapproval?

About 16:30PDT today (Friday, 23 July, 2010,) I posted a comment to this article beginning with
a quote from Einstein and ending with a quote from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

This comment was removed without explanation after a few hours (during which time another reader had become a "fan" and "replied.")  If anyone know what happened, please reply to this comment.

Of course, like Krautman's comment on Lanza's apparent comment deletions, it, too, was deleted.

SOooo, just now (13:49PDT on Saturday, 24 July, 2010,) I re-posted the original dissent above. 

before I did so the article listed "96 Comments - 1 Pending" and after "96 Comments - 2 Pending",
but now, a few minutes later at 14:04PDT on Saturday, 24 July, 2010, we see "96 Comments - 0 Pending".
As a good scientist (health physicist then instrument designer then physician[radiologist] now H.S. science teacher)
I always document my work, so a screen snapshot of my 13:49 posting is attached.

What should we do about this arrogant suppression of polite informative dissent by the man humbly self-described on his various websites as "one of the leading scientists in the world"?

(Sources:
  http://www.robertlanza.com/
  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-lanza/#blogger_bio
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lanza)

3 comments:

  1. Linda (HappyHumanist)July 26, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Same thing happened to me. I didn't keep track of what I wrote or when--except my last unpublished post. It's a screen capture pre- and post censoring. But I have proof that a clearly respectful but critical post was not published.

    I emailed huffpo and demanded an answer to my questions. Still silence.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Linda, I would like to post your screen capture example. I think the more examples we have documented the better. Please send to RedDog071@gmail.com if you would like to see them posted.

    Red Dog

    ReplyDelete
  3. Linda (HappyHumanist)July 26, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Done. With explanation. This is fun!

    ReplyDelete

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