Talk:John Duffield

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John Duffield[edit]

Moved from Talk:List of Internet kooks. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 21:46, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi guys, what am I doing here? I'm not a "kook", my aims are pretty much the same as yours. I get some stick for allegedly pushing my own version of relativity, but that's not what it is. For example I'll refer to the speed of light varying with gravitational potential, and some guy will say "Bah, everybody knows the speed of light is constant, you're banned". But it isn't, that's pseudoscience. See Einstein talking about this in the second paragraph here: . It's similar for aether. Einstein is supposed to have done away with the aether, and in 1905 he did. But he reintroduced an aether for general relativity, see his 1920 Leyden Address at and check out arXiv for papers with aether in the title: There's a lot of ignorance and popscience woo out there, and now that the Einstein papers are on line, I hope you'll come to appreciate just how much. And that people who peddle pseudoscience sometimes use words like "kook" to try to persuade people to ignore criticism of that pseudoscience.— Unsigned, by: JohnDuffield / talk / contribs

Your theories about space being full of aether are full of nonsense. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:58, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not my theory, it's Einstein's theory, and he referred to space as the aether of general relativity. See the links above, and see Aether theories on Wiki and note the quote "We may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an aether". Also note the quote by Nobel prizewinner Robert B. Laughlin who said "It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed". It's all there in black and white. It isn't nonsense. Again, search the arXivfor papers. I'm not making this stuff up. I'm not a "kook". The guy who says it's all nonsense is the kook.
Uh huh, I see I was added by somebody with an IP address of on April 25th 2012. That’s his only entry on RationalWiki, and it’s an IP address in Mespil Road Dublin. Now who do I know in Dublin? Probably Catsmate1. He’s one of those hyperskeptic naysayers on what used to be the JREF forum before Randi distanced himself. If you google on Catsmate1 you soon bump into the bdsm, rape, and yeuch, enough. Guys, I don't know if Catsmate1 is responsible, but this is a malicious entry from some anonymous troll. Can we lose it please?
So when we get past all the appeals to authority, do you have an actual point here? King Skeleton (talk) 14:20, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the point is that I'm right, so I don't deserve to be on the internet kooks page. Referring to Einstein and the evidence isn't some appeal to authority. It's physics. See Baez for more about the speed of light. See the quote by Irwin Shapiro on Wikpedia. Check out Ned Wright saying In a very real sense, the delay experienced by light passing a massive object is responsible for the deflection of the light. It's a popscience myth that the speed of light is constant, one that's right up there with the Earth was created six thousand years ago. JohnDuffield (talk) 16:42, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
People have been pointing out the flaws with your ideas for over 5 years and you keep championing them without change. That's the definition of a kook or crank to hold ideas without regard to their failure in reality. As far as I am concerned unless you get this accepted you are a waste of time. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:07, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
No, they haven't been pointing out the flaws at all. And they're not my ideas, they're Einstein's. Only a kook would dismiss Einstein and the evidence and call me names instead. Optical clocks go slower when they're lower, because light goes slower when its lower, because the speed of light varies, just like Einstein said. JohnDuffield (talk) 16:42, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
This is not the place to argue new physics ideas. You can't add crap to an idea and claim it was the origionators decades after his death as a shitty appeal to authority. I have placed a page on the Wiki quickly with references to the blogs you have commented on, their replies, and a link to your books reviews in order to show why these statements about your crank credentials are accurate. You can argue with them to take it down. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Ugh, what a pile of dishonest defamatory deliberate libel it is. Anybody, how do I get EmeraldCityWanderer's details? I suspect that he's my "friend" in Dublin. And how do I get RationalWiki to give him the heave-ho? JohnDuffield (talk) 19:30, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

You don't find out Emerald's details, because that would be doxxing. Why not go to you fancy new page and present evidence (preferably mathmatical proofs) that your ideas are correct. If you can convince us, you get off the kooks page. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 20:57, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

And if you wish to have anyone removed from RationalWiki, please go to the Chicken Coop and present evidence of broken rules. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 21:02, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Doxxing? Geddoutofit. My ideas? They're Einstein's ideas, and who the hell are you? I've stated my position on the talk page associated with EmeraldCityWanderer's defamatory page of lies, now moved here. RationalWiki can either remove EmeraldCityWanderer's malicious dishonest crap along with the entry in the kooks page, or give me EmeraldCityWanderer's details. Or my beef is with RationalWiki and Trent Toulouse providing a platform for libel. It's that simple. JohnDuffield (talk) 21:45, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Doxxing is when one reveals a person's real-life details, as you requested us to do.
Your statement, "They're Einstein's ideas, and who the hell are you?" is both an appeal to authority and incorrect. The quote of Einstein that you are so fond of using is merely Einstein attempting to use "aether" as another name for "spacetime", which everyone accepts, and which you do not promote.
If you are threatening to bring a libel suit, please, tell us what specific statements in the article are libelous, provide counterevidence, and show that they are malicious, so that we may remove them.
Thank you. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 22:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I merely expanded on what was there from the references, with some snark, that was put in long before I knew of RW's existence. I never knew about you before today and just aggregated what has been said in different locations that supported what was said. Getting things changed here won't remove anything that has been said on those sites. If you are threatening a libel suit the US has a much different set of laws than Ireland, where the Emerald City is located. Not the Emerald Isles.
If I violated the rules of the site I will be punished accordingly for breaking those rules by the sysops. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:46, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
And if you violated the rule of law you will be punished accordingly. Being an anonymous poster on a "platform for libel" doesn't protect either of you. JohnDuffield (talk) 15:18, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh no, not the e-lawyers, anything but zzzzzzzzzzzzzz King Skeleton (talk) 16:01, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Anything but? How about if I get in touch with my mate James Delingpole about some journalist writing a piece? Like this one by Will Storr in the Telegraph 9th December 2014. It's all about how James "rent boy" Randi is a charlatan and a liar. JohnDuffield (talk) 16:39, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
So people say you are unhinged and you respond with legal threats and vague implications that you "know people." Yep, can't think how those two things might be connected. King Skeleton (talk) 16:44, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
No one said they were above the law/rules…just that you needed to prove it. It’s what a scientist (like Einstein) would have done. There is lots of documentation of cranks spouting vague legal threats, asking for personal information to intimidate/harass people, and threats that some third party will do something mean. All these exchanges are doing is providing more evidence that the statements in the article are correct. If you wish people like me to stop viewing you as a kook then stop behaving like one. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:51, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

This is malicious dishonest libel[edit]

Moved from User talk:JohnDuffield. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 21:46, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm not some champion of some old discredited theory of aether. I'm an amateur "relativist" who is determined to oppose popscience woo. And who knows that Einstein dispensed with the luminiferous aether in 1905, but reintroduced an aether for general relativity. See his 1920 Leyden Address, and check out the arXiv for papers with aether in the title. Einstein referred to space as the aether of general relativity, see Aether theories on Wiki and note the quote "We may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an aether". Also note the quote by Nobel prizewinner Robert B. Laughlin who said "It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed". It's all there in black and white. There is absolutely no way that any sane person can argue against it.

And it simply isn't true that I don't answer questions, see for example The God's Eye Gist of General Relativity or Einstein's gravity. The former was thephysicsforum, the latter was Cosmoquest, look at my posts and see if you can work out why I got banned. Because I'm good, and civil, and a threat to some "moderator" who brooks no challenge. And absolutely no way have I ever bombarded scientists with emails/calls/letters. Yes I self-published a book called relativity+ in 2009, but it's 222 pages not 400+ pages, and the honest reviews are pretty good, there's no quantum nonsense in there, Deepak Chopra's publisher never got a look in, and it's no longer on sale apart from a few secondhand copies at silly-money prices. There's references to Einstein and hard scientific evidence, but no threats to beat up anyone who disagrees, and no way have I ever been "babbling incoherently like a madman about the universe being a hallucination". I think The Matrix is science fiction, and whilst it was a good movie, it wasn't particularly credible. I have a reputation for mundane physics, and for being opposed to time travel, the multiverse, M-theory, the mathematical universe, and similar pseudoscience. See my review of Fairytale Physics by Jim Baggott.

And FFS, what is this: "Since blogs are not getting John the attention he needs he has started emailing and calling people in physics departments around Europe, the LHC, and CERN". That's nonsense, a lie, a libel. So is "His targets have posted his rants online to show the quality of someone who wishes everyone would take him seriously as an academic. Which has become more worryingly unhinged as of late with even more vague threats and terrible spelling, with additions seen in 12 year old texts (ending one with "kthx"), in his proposals." I haven't been making threats, in 2008 some nutjob quoted something I wrote on the Dawkins forum. My spelling is very good. I have no connection with conspiracy theorists or any NWO militia. Nobody has ever "posted my rants online". Yes I did some blogging last year on something called Bogpaper run by James Delingpole the journalist, but it was all good stuff. See for example my take on quantum gravity. I'm not a "well known internet crank on physics blogs". What I am is a nuisance to quacks and charlatans peddling woo, the sort who give free rein to trolls and ad-hominem abuse like EmeraldCityWanderer has posted here. By the way, what's his real name, and can I have his address please? And can somebody get rid of him and his crap? Pretty please with a cherry on top? JohnDuffield (talk) 21:20, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

This should go on John Duffield, not here.
In order for something to be malicious, it must have intent to harm. Where is the intent to harm? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 21:32, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I explained that above. To reiterate, phrases like well known internet crank and babbling incoherently like a madman and worryingly unhinged and much more, are totally untrue and demonstrate a clear intent to harm. They aren't facts, they're lies, and they're malicious, and libellous. They demonstrate a clear intent to damage my personal reputation which will impact my ability to earn. I have a wife and a six-year-old boy at home. If I can't earn money, that's harm. And impacting my ability to earn a crust isn't the only harm. Especially since there's even more intent to harm below with words like nutcase harass and kook. JohnDuffield (talk) 15:15, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
I would like to see that as well. Pointing out facts might be hurtful, but it is not an insult or malicious, and not libel. I also wonder what is intended since this is very well covered by the first amendment. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:07, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
One point here is IIRC he's British, and over here libel does not have to be false, only harmful. This is why Bush made a law to prevent the British legal system being used on Americans, and why he was entirely correct in calling it a threat to free speech. Stopped clock and all.
Though what I see here is a nutcase who's trying to get hold of someone's details to harass them IRL, which hardly shows he isn't a kook. Good job there, mister dufflecoat. King Skeleton (talk) 05:57, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that it's entirely about UK libel cases not having "to be false, only harmful", but that unlike elsewhere in both UK and foreign law, it's the party accused of libel who has to prove the alleged libellous statement to be true, rather than the plaintiff having to demonstrate it to be false. In what essentially amounts to the reversal of the burden of proof, UK libel law creates a lot of problems in, to take a hypothetical example, demonstrating that someone is deliberately corrupt, rather than "merely" sloppy or ignorant, or that someone is lying (i.e. intentionally dishonest), rather than making an "honest mistake" or simply ignorant. These problems have led to some adjustments in Defamation Act 2013Wikipedia. In this revision, section 1 requires that a statement be "substantially harmful" (to be demonstrated by the plaintiff) and section 2 excepts "the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of" if this can be shown (unfortunately still by the defendant...) to be "substantially true". I can only be amazed at why the hell this revision didn't simply do away with the silly reversal of the burden of proof, so that it would be the plaintiff who had to demonstrate the falsity of the statement. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:28, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, for one thing, people aren't always prepared beforehand for having all kinds of things claimed about them. What if someone spreads false rumours about you but you don't have physical evidence or witnesses to back up your side of the story? If the plaintiff has to demonstrate falsity, then that empowers the libelist. (talk) 20:15, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
That may be, but by the same rationale (which btw, at least tacitly assumes guilt on the part of the accused), we might as well start reversing the burden of proof in other legal areas too (a very bad idea in my eyes). Not to mention that I think it ought to be a great deal easier for a libel plaintiff to demonstrate that claims about them are false (since they presumably have easy access to information about themselves), than it is for the accused to demonstrate the claims are false (again: How do you demonstrate that someone is deliberately lying?). Considering the sheer financial implications of being found guilty of libel, I don't think putting the burden of proof on the accused is any more reasonable than demanding than a suggestion that any other accused have to prove themselves innocent. Basically, UK libel law has a worrying level of "guilty until proven innocent"-logic built into it, which is why the UK became so popular a "destination" for "libel tourists" that the 2013 Act also imposed demands that foreign plaintiffs have to demonstrate that a UK courtroom is the proper venue for their libel suit. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:03, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I dunno, I think "try not to be a dickhead" would be a good start. Mr Duffield might be a frothing nutter, he might be a normal bloke who had a runin with someone on a forum, he might be a mostly-normal bloke who you just don't want to get onto physics because he starts frothing. It's entirely unclear. This is a bad article on the face of it. Perhaps it's a crypto-good-article, it might have good bits, and it might have a rationale to exist, though I can't see it right now (e.g. he's not recruiting others into a cult or something). But if you're going as far as internet-lawyering on the talk page with the target, then the Bayesian probability outlook is not good for the proposition - David Gerard (talk) 22:08, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I see your point, though if the plaintiff has to demonstrate falsity, aren't they being treated as guilty of whatever the libellous slander claims they're guilty of until proven innocent? If people go around spreading libellous claims about other people, isn't it preferrable from a societal point of view that they're discouraged from doing so if they don't have some verifiable evidence to back up their claims? Maybe the controversy about this comes from many Europeans not holding free speech as valuable a right as Americans do. Not that we don't care about it at all, but our notion is more one of free civilized speech. Are hate speech and baseless rumours really that valuable that they need to be included in the right to freedom of speech? (talk) 23:18, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I hope it's okay that I rearranged your reply to fit chronologically, BoN. However, I think that the feature of UK libel law which privilege the plaintiff isn't about "many Europeans not holding free speech as valuable a right as Americans do" but a particular quirk of British (legal) history. If I'm allowed a conjecture, it's likely a leftover from the days where your "good name" among the "right sort of people" was extremely important, not just socially, but economically as well. While I admit to not being a lawyer, I think that the fact that foreign citizens aren't lining up to get libel suits in front of other European courts is a pretty good indication of this being a British peculiarity. Hate speech is quite a different kettle of fish from libel and practically every country has specific laws governing this category. While baseless rumours or gossip hardly counts as a valuable contribution to public discourse, wishing to curtail them is probably not particularly feasible, and the potential chilling effects of libel laws on quite legitimate public discourse is a pretty strong argument in favour of caution against (overly) strict libel laws - for instance, the (in)famous McLibel caseWikipedia would have set a nasty precedent, if not for the existence of the European Court of Human Rights. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:55, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I dunno, my post wasn't a reply to Gerard and Gerard's post didn't seem to be a reply to your post. Is this how you guys usually indent here? (talk) 01:07, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
I usually don't rearrange replies (one exception being a certain RW poster who, apart from being a general pain in the neck also inserts his replies within other people's posts - grrrrr!), but will admit to personally disliking inserted replies in the middle of threads (that's just my Rain Man kicking in, I guess). However, since Gerard's post didn't seem to be part of a or encourage a continuous back and forth, I thought it'd probably be easier to follow if I left his post above yours and then immediately responded. Don't take it as a sign of some commenting style you absolutely have to conform to ;-) ScepticWombat (talk) 01:19, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
"LogicMaster"? ;) (he doesn't really live up to his name, does he)
Ah, okay. It seems a bit odd to me that Gerard's post is now lost in between posts that have little relevance to it, though. Oh well, guess there's plenty of bigger fish to fry to worry about little things like that. (talk) 01:42, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Pointless hit piece[edit]

This article is a hit piece that does little to nothing to explain what this guy's positions actually are and why they're wrong. I don't see anything objectively false, just a lot of opinion and irrelevant nonsense. The article relies on name calling, characterizing, argument by assertion, hyperbole, and snark as an excuse for a general failure to address the merits. When challenged, the groupthinkers hunkering down to protect anything they say are demanding that this guy prove statements are false, which really shifts the burden away from these great debaters having to justify their claims in the first place. Maybe he's a crank. Maybe not. Write a quality article. John, I'd delete this article if I had the power. It's embarrassing garbage, but the quality of our newer editors is poor and I have no editorial control. If you wish to make any actual legal threats, keep in mind that I will immediately block you from posting here unless and until any litigation is concluded. You will need to have your attorney contact the RationalMedia Foundation, which owns this site but also exercises no editorial control, through its registered agent. If you wish to discuss the merits, you're going to have a hard time getting very far with Fuzzy Cat Potato and Emerald City Wanderer. They can't hear you because they reside in an echo chamber. Nutty Roux (talk) 21:44, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

All points noted. I'll give some serious thought to writing a quality article. Meanwhile I see the page has gone. Thanks to all concerned. JohnDuffield (talk) 15:53, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you do anything but bitch about how much better things were back in your day?--TiaC (talk) 21:47, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Show me where I'm doing that. I see you're yet another great debater. Nutty Roux (talk) 21:49, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey, Nutty. I have a suggestion. When you react so negatively to other people's work, they tend to get defensive. Instead of attacking other people, I suggest that you try offering constructive criticism about the article? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 02:49, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
This article is Encyclopedia Dramatica quality. Write something sober and considered or this needs killing - David Gerard (talk) 21:57, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
The references are poor, mostly forums and an Amazon site; little is verifiable and there are no real attributions. Sterile (talk) 22:18, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Rationale for this article?[edit]

Just for the hell of it: Why do we need this article on RW? I mean, Duffield hardy seems like a very savoury character (to judge from the aggressive and threatening behaviour above), but is he or his ideas really important or interesting enough to actually merit an RW article? Pitch in with ideas for and against below. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:09, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

I've put in an AFD RationalWiki:Articles_for_deletion/John_Duffield, that would probably be a good place too - David Gerard (talk) 22:16, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Yep, just saw the nomination for deletion, so feel free to pitch in there instead/too. PS. I HATE effin' edit conflicts - oh well, mobocracy at work ;-) ScepticWombat (talk) 22:19, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
He's not unsavory. How would you feel if some anonymous cowards wrote an article like this about you and then taunted you? Pretty crummy, right? Nutty Roux (talk) 22:26, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Given the history (such as emails linking to Farsights ideas and papers), and his actions on the talk page trying to get personal information in order to intimidate people...I would say those are not the actions of any savory character. If he just went around just championing his idea, right or wrong, without this additional junk I would say this crap is all out of line. If that makes me a poor editor in an echo chamber, as you have already judged me, then so be it. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:42, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Interjection re this ↑ : those emails are nothing to do with me. So some nutjob repeated something I said about E=mc² on the Dawkins forum. Big deal. And I'm not peddling "my ideas". I'm not some my-theory guy. I'm a relativity guy. I'm telling people about relativity and what Einstein etc said to dispel popscience woo. And I'm catching flak for my pains. From some malicious hyperskeptic naysayer who dismisses Einstein and the evidence, just like some Creationist dismisses fossils and radio-dating. JohnDuffield (talk) 14:24, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

I haven't looked into your edit history, so I don't know if you're a poor editor or not. What I do find silly is that you created an article about this guy as a reaction to his complaint of being labeled a kook. So from an oustide observers perspective it looks like: "I'm not a kook!" "Yes you are." "Well then prove it!" "No problem. Check out this article I wrote about you after 15 minutes of googling." --Inquisitor (talk) 22:49, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Hint: he wasn't asking for your name to harass you. He was asking for your name because he's considering suing you. Yes, you're a poor editor who repeats poor arguments poorly, and you have poor judgment. What's unsavory here is circle jerking with your new pals over harassing this guy and defending it. Nutty Roux (talk) 22:52, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
(Double EC) Nutty has a point, in that this article spends too little time talking about why his theories are incorrect and too much time talking about him. While it's certainly true that the onus is on Duffield to show why his theories should be taken with more than a grain of salt, it also doesn't seem terribly fair to the scientific method that this article should choose to handle his ideas in the fashion it does. The references in the article show some decent refutations, yet the article doesn't bother. Why not parse those refutations instead? Of course, I don't believe we necessarily need an article on this at all, and will pitch my thoughts on the AfD page. - Grant (talk) 22:52, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Nutty has a point - regarding the standard of the article. However, I do find it a wee bit ironic to claim that a person who gets into a yelling match over being called an "internet kook" in poorly written article on a website and then start threatening legal action is somehow behaving in a completely normal manner... Or perhaps I'm just from a place where "I'll call my lawyer" is not the knee-jerk reaction that it apparently is elsewhere... Or perhaps anyone disagreeing with Nutty is automatically "circle jerking" "new pals" of Emerald (eeewww!)... ScepticWombat (talk) 23:06, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Personally I don't think we should be calling people "kooks" period. Rather, I believe we should let these hypotheses/theories stand or fall as evidence either supports or destroys them respectively. Being known as a "kook" can damage a scientist's career, even if much of their work is valid or sensible. - Grant (talk) 23:11, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Yeah, I can see Nutty having a point with that. To be honest I decided to let others take over as soon as the threats started so I wasn't able to do a good summary from Farsights posts. It can be deleted as is or redone by someone who wants to deal with his crap. I think calling someone a kook is wrong if they have weird ideas...but I think it's very appropreate with more outlandish behavior as Farsight has exhibited. Not like I am highly motivated to take Nutty seriously when everything he comments on tends to have as many silly demeaning insults as possible. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:18, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
As regards not calling people internet kooks at all, quite a lot of the kooks in the category aren't scientists at all, nor should scientists be exempt from deserved ridicule if they espouse kooky ideas, especially if they do so in fields in which they have no expertise. However, if a scientist has indeed performed legitimate and well-regarded research, I'd put a pretty high threshold on the level of unrelated nuttery that scientist would have to promote in order to be lumped in with such obvious internet kooks as Spirit Science, Ian Juby, Kent Hovind, or Alex Jones - let alone David Icke. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:24, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
EC as well but hey something nice about me. Read what you wrote there, dipshit. I have a point, but you don't take me seriously because I insult you, but it's ok for you to insult Duffield because you're right. -Nutty Roux (talk) 23:28, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Same here. If someone is shooting from the hip, or proposes something new, or has something that is mathematically possible but never seen then it's just cool conjecture. I didn't find that in Farsights posts. I find it in kook territory to use appeals to authority with Einstein, dismiss criticism, write a book that (from the few reviews) doesn't do the math correctly, or write appalling (and sometimes threatening) spam. Not Icke level of nuttiness, but not pleasant either.
(EC) If I am doing stuff worthy of it then I deserve it. I find just calling people poor editors and going on about their circle jerking not productive, where others say what is wrong and why. I pointed out the bad behavior in the piece, and not in a nice way because I didn't find what was done pleasant, and provided the references that made me think so. I certainly didn't demand your personal information to start legal action or harass you for insulting me as John has done when people question his integrity while looking at the history of his actions. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:43, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Integrity? That's rich coming from an anonymous troll telling lies about me and dismissing Einstein. JohnDuffield (talk) 15:14, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Removal of entry in "list of internet kooks"[edit]

Please will you remove me from the list of internet kooks? I'm not an internet kook, and I'm not pushing my own version of relativity. I refer to Einstein's version of relativity to combat popscience misinformation, and some anonymous troll is trying to discredit me for his own reasons. See this physics thread post #17 as an example of what looks very much like stalking. Put an entry on rationalwiki, then follow a guy round on the internet linking to it. Great trick. Talk about integrity. JohnDuffield (talk) 14:45, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

I removed you from the list of internet kooks on notability grounds. Enjoy. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 19:25, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not very notable. But I like to think I am very rational. JohnDuffield (talk) 14:44, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm glad we could settle this amicably, considering how unfair it must have seemed from your perspective. Ikanreed (talk) 14:45, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Me too. And I'm heartened by the free speech in science here which has allowed me to state my case. All too often those who sling mud are also promoting pseudoscience that can't stand up to scrutiny. So they censor any challenge, claiming it's "unorthodox" even when it's backed by hard scientific evidence and robust references. As if science is some medieval theocracy that brooks no dissent. Anyway, I hope I can demonstrate that I'm on the side of rationality in the future. Thanks again. JohnDuffield (talk) 16:53, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to restore a modified version of the page | Result: ?[edit]

The article has previously been deleted. Since this page has already been deleted, if it is to exist, the case must be made to restore it.

The proposed restoration is was here. Here is a comparison of the previously deleted and presently proposed pages.


  1. The article is on somebody who's relevant to the mission, covers and somewhat debunks their ideas, and is free from unreferenced accusations. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 02:40, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
  2. He's a loon and he pops up frequently in the skeptic community. I see no reason why he should not be documented; after all, we document Serdar Argic. Same brand of loon, different emphasis. --Castaigne (talk) 03:07, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
  3. Having a John Duffield page can be a great help to the internet community as a whole. While he is probably best known for spamming message boards, you can find him wasting a lot of time on the PhysicsWorld pages, (here, here, here where he tells a commenter to shut up", and here where he promotes climate change denialism). His posts can now be found on many science blogs. It would save a lot of time and hassle if people could point to a clear list of Duffield's claims and tactics. A list of the rebuttals to Duffield's points would be helpful, too. I'm sure that this wiki came to his attention because someone brought it up on the physicshelpforum site, where Duffield offered his (to be charitable) alternative interpretation of physics as "help". Now that he has been removed from the wiki, this valuable resource is not available to quite easily deflect the damage Duffield might do to people trying to learn physics.
  4. I propose a modified version of the article, one which discusses "Farsight" and his beliefs without mentioning John Duffield directly. I think that it is worth having for these reasons:
    1. Farsight's theories are a novel sort of physics crackpottery. Until about 1920, there were lots of anti-Newton physics crackpots, and since then, there have been lots of anti-Einstein ones. Farsight's theories represent a new stage in physics crackpottery: claiming to support Newton and Einstein while rejecting newer theories.
    2. Farsight often argues by scriptural exegesis, sacred-book interpretation. Like making a big issue of Einstein's Leyden Address and how he supposedly talks about space as opposed to space-time. He also claims to be returning to the physics of Newton and Maxwell and Minkowski and Einstein and the like, as if their theories were the original revelations and more recent ones corruptions of them. This reminds me much more of theology than of science.
    3. A novel reason for rejecting mathematics and preferring nonmathematical argument: that one has to define one's terms.
    4. Inversions, a common feature of crackpottery, as Martin Gardner had noted. Instead of motion being derived from time, time is derived from motion. How it's supposed to work, he does not explain. For all his Einstein-thumping, he also ignores the fact that it's contrary to relativistic space-time unification.
    5. Rejection of the Higgs mechanism on the ground that E = m*c^2 is a good-enough explanation for elementary-particle masses.
    6. A "Farsight" has appeared in several messageboards, with identical arguments in them, so he does have a bit of notability.
    7. Me: --Lpetrich (talk) 09:01, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
    Here are some more reasons I have:
    1. Farsight has argued that all angular momentum, even elementary-particle spin, is macroscopic motion. This is related to his belief that electrons are circling photons.
    2. One of his arguments for that is a quote from Wikipedia's description of the Einstein-deHaas effect. In effect, he treats Wikipedia is an inspired text.
    3. His dismissal of mainstream theoretical speculations as woo-woo, because there is "no evidence" for them. Speculations like supersymmetry, monopoles, strings, multiverses, ... This is related to his belief that we must go back to Einstein's original relativity and the like. He has also attacked some critics for advocating or seemingly advocating such theories.
    4. Me: --Lpetrich (talk) 09:29, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
      If you'd like to recreate the article, good luck. When I tried, it got deleted and went nowhere. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 16:48, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
      I'll have to do a lot of research to get all the citations down, but I'm confident that I can do it. It would be an entirely separate article, however. I'd start out by saying that I make no judgment on the identify of Farsight, that Farsight may be like Nicolas Bourbaki. That's a pseudonym that several mathematicians have been using for over half a century. I'd also note additional collective pseudonyms like Publius, used by the authors of the Federalist Papers in their advocacy of the US Constitution, and Brutus, used by their opponents. --Lpetrich (talk) 20:45, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I’m not some “my theory” guy. I refer to Einstein and the evidence, but there are people out there like lpetrich who want to censor Einstein because they flatly contradict relativity, and they don’t want you to listen to me. I give an Einstein quote, and lpetrich is trying to get you to ignore it by saying it’s bible-thumping theology and I’m some crackpot, when I’m not. It isn’t me who goes round peddling multiverse theories. I don’t reject mathematics. My alleged “inversion” re time relates to A World without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein. And it isn’t my fault that "the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content". That’s what Einstein said. He didn’t say it was a measure of its interaction with some kind of cosmic-treacle field. It sin't my fault that the Higgs mechanism flatly contradicts E=mc². And I didn’t make up the Einstein-de Haas effect which “demonstrates that spin angular momentum is indeed of the same nature as the angular momentum of rotating bodies as conceived in classical mechanics”. Yes I am critical of multiverses, there’s no evidence for them. Ditto for supersymmetry, ditto for strings. There’s as much evidence for these things as there is for heaven and hell and sweet baby Jesus. And because I point all this stuff out, people like lpetrich want to trash my reputation with all sorts of sophistry and dishonesty. He knows full well that everybody knows that Farsight is John Duffield. JohnDuffield (talk) 18:39, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
It is evident that I'll have a lot to write about. I am planning to carefully source my article, with multiple sources as is feasible. I will likely end up with a paragraph per sentence or so of what JohnDuffield has recently written. I initially planned to have a comprehensive list of threads by Farsight in various forums, but that proved to be way too long. So I have settled on making a list of forums where he has been present, but even that is rather long. --Lpetrich (talk) 09:59, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
What Lpetrich won't do is link to anything that demonstrates that I'm a reasonable rational guy. For example see my threads on ThePhysicsForum. Take your pick and read one, such as The God's eye global gist of general relativity. It's good stuff, with robust references to Einstein and other physicists. But it got kicked into some trashcan by a "moderator" because I know more physics than him. All too often a moderator is a self-appointed expert who brooks no challenge and who cannot bear to be corrected. The situation for Lpetrich isn't totally different. He wants you to think he's the expert, and he wants to censor me and trash my reputation, not because I peddle nonsense, but because I know so much physics I can shoot down the multiverse woo and the other nonsense he peddles. So don't hold your breath waiting for any links from him. All you'll get is mud. JohnDuffield (talk) 10:06, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Keep deleted[edit]

  1. Keep this version deleted. I concur with the points in "goat" - David Gerard (talk) 10:32, 12 February 2015 (UTC)


No. This is not a voting situation. You have just taken the same article and recreated it with some edits. You need to make a real case, with actual evidence, and, since defamation is an issue and it is not allow by site policy, you must provide clear evidence that there is none in the article. Listing a hyperlink does not do that work for you. It is utterly offensive that one user thinks he can reverse the decision of multiple users on a whim, since the article is not substantively different than before. It's basically an attempt to reverse a decision as hoc. If that were the case, anyone can just reverse a decision to delete by hiding an article in their user space for awhile, which makes no sense. I will continue to delete this article, regardless of this sham vote. Sterile (talk) 04:23, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Query - what is clear evidence that there is no defamation in the article? It's been asked that there be guidelines for this, but the only answer I've seen is "exercise good judgment", which is functionally meaningless. By your comment that "listing a hyperlink" is insufficient, I take that to mean that issuing refs to posts or documentation on the internet which prove that what is being said is true (and truth being a complete defense to charges of defamation) is insufficient. If so, what suffices? If I am incorrect in my interpretation of what you say, please correct me and provide me with criteria would be sufficient. --Castaigne (talk) 04:31, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Sufficient? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 05:02, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Obviously not. At the very least (like minimal here), how can you seriously argue that random forum posters thinking someone is a crank makes it okay to call them a crank? Is that really what you consider well-sourced evidence? - Grant (talk) 05:05, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
I've expanded that source. A crank has unorthodox views; so does he. Other problems? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 05:14, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
In common usage, crank is a pejorative term for something a bit nastier than "having unorthodox views" (see the WP article on the subject if you would like). Your expansion doesn't solve the problem; rather, it just shows that you fundamentally don't understand the problem. Remember all of that stuff about how impugning someone's professional reputation is bad news? - Grant (talk) 05:16, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Alright, that sounds reasonable. Would changing "crank" to "unorthodox" work? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 05:45, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
For that particular problem, yes, I imagine that would be an uncontroversial thing to say (in my opinion). Please don't interpret this as approval or support for putting the page back up, however. The main thrust of Sterile's point still stands, and even if it didn't, TiaC brought up some good points below as well. - Grant (talk) 05:47, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

There appear to be four arguments against this page from the previous deletion.

  1. It's libel.
  2. It's a hit-piece.
  3. He's not actually notable enough.
  4. The sources cited tend to be pretty bad.

FCP, please address all these points. --TiaC (talk) 05:20, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

1: Libel must be two things: Untrue and harmful.
I've tried to address untrue by pointing out that every single claim in the Duffield article has a source, and most of the article is based on things Duffield himself said. So, if it's untrue, it's Duffield who was being untrue.
Harm is harder, because portions of the article reflect badly on Duffield. However, the article is not accusatory, is low on snark, and is pretty unemotive when discussing any proposed failing of Duffield's.
I think that the best option for this criticism is to look at individiual statements and see if they are too harsh. If so, they can be toned back. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 06:17, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
2: I think the current proposed article avoids being a hit piece. While the previous article only attacked Duffield as a person, the proposed article doesn't go into much unnecessary detail about Duffield and instead examines and attacks his ideas and argument style. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 06:29, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
3: First, notability is stupid. We have massive pages on individual editors on a nearly-deserted wannabe Wikipedia. Why? Because stupid is stupid, regardless of how many people care. He's missional, and that's all that matters.
Second, he's not unnotable. He's pretty active on physics forums and physics-related news comments, and can get noticed by a lot of posters. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 06:35, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
4: Well, I won't say the sources are good; but they are good enough. Asserting that Duffield goes by "Farsight" doesn't require world-class sources; it has links to the places where he goes by "Farsight". Asserting that Duffield said something doesn't require a superb citation, just a link to where he posted it, which is what we have. If you look through and see bad sources, please say so or just remove them. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 06:51, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
We have massive pages on individual editors on a nearly-deserted wannabe Wikipedia. And Conservapedia space is in dire need of another cleansing fire. (I remember the whines from CP-watchers when I suggested that maybe Conservapedia:Conservative seriously needed to be made into a less stupid article to exist ...) Terrible ideas elsewhere don't make this one a good idea - David Gerard (talk) 10:34, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Suggestion: Get rid of the individual pages for the editors and compile a list of major and minor editors instead, with a few sentences as to their bugaboos and quirks and perhaps some examples of good egregiousness. That would seem to me to be a sufficient compromise. --Castaigne (talk) 17:09, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
My point about notability is more general; why should RationalWiki ever not debunk somebody? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 02:50, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with that, actually - though I would say minor folk shouldn't get their own page, but should be issued to a list I gave above. --Castaigne (talk) 05:23, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
My problem with listing "minor folk" somewhere is that it almost never allows any real debunking of their ideas, because debunking needs enough space to explain an idea and refute it, which lists rarely provide. For example, List of Internet kooks is basically a list of people who've said things we don't like, without any reasons that we don't like what they've said. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 00:05, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
If you want to debunk his ideas, you can do it on the Alternative cosmology page.--TiaC (talk) 02:09, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. Alternative cosmology is about alternate origins of universe, but Duffield is more like an alternate physics system. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 02:18, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not into alternative physics. I'm into correct physics. Don't blame me if Einstein and the evidence doesn't square with what you've picked up from some popscience magazine. JohnDuffield (talk) 14:13, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Hi. I've been away from the site for a while and have not read the original article - though it seems that things were hectic here for a while. Unfortunately, the WP article looks like a stub, so I'm wondering where I could go for an unbiased review of Mr Duffield's opinions. Cheers.--Coffee (talk) 14:43, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Deletion request[edit]

Polite cough. On two separate occasions recently I've had people referring to this page as some kind of evidence that I'm some sort of "internet kook". Could we delete it please? JohnDuffield (talk) 18:09, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

@JohnDuffield This page has been deleted since 2015. CowHouse (talk) 16:25, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
@CowHouse This talk page is still here. People are using it to badmouth me. JohnDuffield (talk) 15:17, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
@JohnDuffield Eh, no, they’re not. Look at the page history. Until you decided to reboot it, this talk page has seen no activity since 2015 when the article was deleted. Keeping the talk page is a good insurance against someone accidentally resurrecting the article, since it illustrates not only that it has been deleted once already, but also why. ScepticWombat (talk) 01:59, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
I think JohnDuffield meant that people were referring to this page on other websites. Other than that, I agree with ScepticWombat. According to our community standards: "Talk pages should never be deleted. This includes talk pages in editor userspaces. This preserves a publicly viewable record of the decision to delete a page or a file." CowHouse (talk) 09:19, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
Ah, I see I misunderstood the meaning about people using the talk page on other sites, not this one. Nevertheless, I agree that this is no reason to vaporise the talk page, as you point out, CowHouse. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:15, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
People on other sites are referring to this talk page, then saying "look, Duffield is a crank/crackpot/etc". This talk page itself means RationalWiki remains a platform for libel by anonymous trolls who peddle pseudoscience and misinformation. Please address that issue and remove the content that allows them to do this. JohnDuffield (talk) 17:23, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
@JohnDuffield You have been informed that the talk page is here to stay whether you like it or not. My advice is to either grow thicker skin or remove yourself from the internet if these people are that much of an issue to you. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:10, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie LOL, I won't be removing myself from the internet, and as you can see, I already have a thick skin. Who are you by the way? Are you just another random anonymous poster, or are you an employee or associate of RationalWiki? — Unsigned, by: JohnDuffield / talk / contribs
@JohnDuffield First off, given your insistence on reviving this talkpage three years after it was last active solely to complain about it's existence, I think anyone would infer that your skin has all of the durability of rice paper. Second off, given that I am a user here (not to mention that RW lacks anyone meeting the definition of "employee"), I do believe I fall under the category of "associate". ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:39, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie I didn't revive it, I followed a link here when I found some anonymous troll badmouthing me on the internet and pointing to this page as "evidence". JohnDuffield (talk) 19:43, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @JohnDuffield Two points, one: would you mind linking to the post in question, as well as pointing out the comment in question? It helps establish context. And two, if this is merely some troll all you have to do is point out that this is a Talkpage, not an article. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:12, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

@GrammarCommie Oh hello. I'd forgot about RationalWiki poisoning my well for the past four years. All the time with their hands up in feigned innocence claiming this is just a talk page, not an article. Meanwhile when I make a physics point and refer to the Einstein digital papers, some anonymous quack uses this webpage for their ad hominems. Here's the latest example: arstechnica. You guys aren't fighting pseudoscience. I'm fighting pseudoscience. You're peddling it. JohnDuffield (talk) 14:45, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
@JohnDuffield Mr Duffield, I have attempted to assist you in your problem, however if you cannot or will not link the thread in question my options for postulating a solution are limited. Further, your accusations of ulterior motives on my part is most disrespectful given my interactions with you thus far. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:19, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie Huh? I linked to it. It's here: arstechnica. And by the way, this is my "physics detective" website: Hopefully you can see it's good stuff. JohnDuffield (talk) 16:40, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
@JohnDuffield I see. Well that case you appear to be on your own. The comment in question bears none of the hallmarks of trolling, seems to address your points and indeed makes a few of it's own. The reference to this talkpage appears to be as an example of your debate style, rather than "lulz he's stupid see?". ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:49, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie Are you for real? He uses the word crackpot and says anyone looking to engage should see this first, referring to this web page. So it's clear I'm wasting my time trying to talk to RationalWiki. You aren't fighting pseudoscience, you're defending it. By providing a platform for quacks to slander the people who do fight pseudoscience. JohnDuffield (talk) 17:51, 11 November 2018 (UTC)