Talk:Tony O'Connell

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Suggestion for Deletion[edit]

I suggest this article for deletion. It is the same scheme of creating a weird article as we had it some days ago with "Thorwald C. Franke". The accuasations are wrong. Tony O'Connell is a collector of all kinds of Atlantis theories, including weird ones, yet he himself is quite reasonable. This article is wrong, and it is not missional. Please delete it! --Wonderworld (talk) 19:13, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Tony O' Connell believes that the earth is expanding[edit]

According to Tony on his website "I am sympathetic towards the idea of earth expansion finding it somewhat more credible than plate tectonics." [1], the expanding earth idea is long discredited pseudoscience yet Tony thinks it is more valid than hundreds of years work of plate tectonics. This article is very missional. This guy is a pseudoscience promoter. Spiritualist debunker (talk) 20:23, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

"Fringe" book "Meet me in Atlantis?"[edit]

I doubt, that "Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City" by Mark Adams is a "fringe" book. The author visits and talks to many established academics and fringe authors as well, and tries to make up his own mind about all this. This is not what usually is called "fringe". The book is well readable for Atlantis supporters as well as Atlantis skeptics. It is a kind of journalism, a coverage about what is going on in the scene, both supporters and skeptics. "Meet me in Atlantis" is not about making and presenting an own hypothesis about Atlantis (although the author tries this in the very last chapter in a journalistic way to show his cluelessness). -- And Tony O'Connell's Atlantipedia can be seen under a similar perspective: It is not what usually is called fringe. --Wonderworld (talk) 19:12, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Nope, it is a journalist puff piece, a book that contains fringe ideas not written by a academic or scholar:
"Adams tries to make the case that Noah’s Flood really happened (citing comets, meteors, and tsunamis) and that Atlantis truly was the antediluvian world, praising Immanuel Velikovsky for rehabilitating catastrophism even while formally debunking his planetary claims." He thinks Noah's flood amongst other buffoonery." [2] Tony believes the earth is expanding and this crank Mark Adams believes Noah's flood was real. Please stop wasting our time. This is fringe nonsense. Spiritualist debunker (talk) 20:18, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Don't bother replying, Wonderworld is yet another sock of User: Thorwald C. Franke who has been blocked. Frank creates fake accounts om amazon to review his own Atlantis books while pretending to be separate people.
Franke created the fake user Melville E Nicholls to 5 star rate review his own self-published book. He did the same for his other book; Franke pretending to be someone called Ralf Bülow. Note how both these accounts only have 1 review for Franke's books and nothing else on their pages. They're obviously him. The Atlantis community has attracted a lot of crazies and deceptive people like Franke. HamiticRenaissance (talk) 21:21, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Copied over from the Talk page of User:Wonderworld:
As far as I understood from various comments on various pages talks, User:Thorwald C. Franke was blocked because it was a mikemikev sock. This was also the official blocking reason. HamiticRenaissance himself claims (on my talk page) that User:Thorwald C. Franke was a sock of mikemikev. Now he claims, that User:Thorwald C. Franke was really Thorwald C. Franke. (ScepticWombat doubts it, too.) HamiticRenaissance should really decide what he wants to suggest: Was User:Thorwald C. Franke a sock of this certain mikemikev, or is User:Thorwald C. Franke the real Thorwald C. Franke? You cannot claim both, just as you like it.
When I read the still existing talk page of the deleted page on Thorwald C. Franke, I would say that User:Thorwald C. Franke was the real Thorwald C. Franke. Now then, if User:Thorwald C. Franke was NOT a sock of mikemikev, but the real Thorwald C. Franke, as HamiticRenaissance claims it now, why is he blocked, then? Could any friendly experienced user please explain me this? Because I really do not understand it. And just a second very interesting question: How could the real Thorwald C. Franke counter a blocking by mistake, and claim successfully that User:Thorwald C. Franke was really his account, i.e. that he was blocked by mistake? Or is a person which was blocked by mistake doomed to be blocked and defamated forever and forever on RationalWiki, without any possibility to reply?
By the way:
Melville E. Nicholls and Ralf Bülow are real persons. You easily can google this:
Cf. Mel Nicholls: "The Real and Imaginary Atlantis", book from 2014.
Cf. Ralf Bülow: "Wo das sagenumwobene Atlantis wirklich lag", article in German magazine Focus, 2013.
(And why do the experienced users of this Wiki not recognize the real socks who repeatedly put forward false accusations that this or that person is mikemikev or wrong claims in articles about these persons?)
--Wonderworld (talk) 19:11, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
In two words: So what?
Meet Me in Atlantis gets the label of being a fringe book based on its contents as it peddles several of the myths prevalent among "Atlantisists", e.g. their persecution complexes where they claim that the reason their pseudohistory and other branches of pseudoscience aren't being taken seriously by actual academia is that there is a conspiracy of silencing and denigration at work (see, for instance, Jason Colavito's review which also points out that the author of MMiA, Mark Adams, doesn't have a clue about the subject matter and merely prattles on using secondary sources and little if any critical scrutiny). MMiA and Adams essentially strikes me as the poor man's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Bill Bryson with all of the lighthearted story telling and little of the earnest and hard labour of actually understanding the topic, rather than telling amusing anecdotes.
As for your second post, meh, I don't really see the point in it, and certainly not in relation to your first post in this thread. For the record, you aren't blocked but the O'Connell talk page was protected by an editor who apparently got fed up with your tedious whining and concern trolling.
Again, Wonderworld, you've simply slapped some vague, indignation-filled material together with even more of the usual aimless "You're just being so unfair"-rhetoric I've pointed out several times now. I really don't care a fig if you think that RW or the world in general is being unfair if you can't provide a coherent and precise argument as to what the problem is. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:26, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I have read the book by Mark Adams on my own, and I have not found any claim in it, that there would be a conspiracy of silencing. Mark Adams writes about a conspicuous reluctance even only to touch the topic, but not of a conspiracy. And in Jason Colavito's review I cannot see where he imputes a conspiracy theory to Mark Adams? You cannot cite any sentence from Jason's review which supports this claim. I have the feeling, you see ghosts because you want to see them?
And may I offer an alternative review of Mark Adams' book? It is critical, too, but partly in another way, as you will see on your own. It is -- by the way -- written by Thorwald C. Franke.
Yes, I expect fairness. I expect a Wiki which is called RationalWiki to be rational. I expect such a Wiki to write enlightened criticism, and not just biased articles against unwanted opinions. I expect that such a Wiki can live with criticism by the critizised persons.
And what is your opinion about blocking User:Thorwald C. Franke, and his chances to get rid off it, since he most likely seems to have been blocked by mistake?
--Wonderworld (talk) 13:49, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
End of: Copied over from the Talk page of User:Wonderworld --Wonderworld (talk) 14:45, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Missing criticism in a lexicon is no sign of approval[edit]

Atlantipedia by Tony O'Connell is designed as a lexicon, and as such it describes its topics and lemmas as they are without necessarily pointing out what is right and nice and what is not. Especially, when considering that this is a lexicon about Atlantis, which means, that approving / disapproving statements can be exptected about Atlantis, but not about any other aspect of an authors view. I think it is necessary to show in each single case that Tony O'Connell does not only report, what some crank is thinking but also that Tony O'Connell approves the crank's work, before you can attribute the crankery to Tony O'Connell. --Wonderworld (talk) 15:07, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Does O'Connell really "approve" this and that?[edit]

The current article contains several claims that Tony O'Connel claims this and that, or approves this and that, but when looking up the source, he does not. Examples:

  • (a) "cites with approval the extremely ancient Sphinx nonsense of Robert Schoch[wp] and others,[8]". - I cannot see this approval. Where is it?
  • (b) "for example O'Connell thinks that there was an ancient African settlement in the Americas based on "negroid" features of Olmec heads, supporting the dubious "research" of Afrocentrist crank Clyde Winters.[3][4]" - I cannot see O'Connell approving Winters. He only inserts a "probably" concerning the features of the Olmec heads, but not approving Winters. I wonder whether this is a bad sin, since Wikipedia writes in the article "Olmec": "The flat-faced, thick-lipped heads have caused some debate due to their resemblance to some African facial characteristics. Based on this comparison, some writers have said that the Olmecs were Africans who had emigrated to the New World. But, the vast majority of archaeologists and other Mesoamerican scholars reject claims of pre-Columbian contacts with Africa." O'Connell takes a dissenting minority position, as it seems, but does he "approve" Winters?
  • (c) Ignatius Donnelly: Is the article really "fawning", as RationalWiki states? Can you put forward evidence for this claim? O'Connell cites somebody without approving the claim. Is he consenting? Is he citing this to "allege" something as the RationalWiki article claims? Not that I can see. And his sentence "Some consider aspects of his ideas to be somewhat racist!" is well true: Some do this. And it is fully ok that O'Connell mentions this. Or would you not agree on this? If you see a "fawning" quality of this article, you should better substantiate the claim!
  • (d) "If any cranky idea can be used to boost the case for a historical Atlantis, O'Connell will latch onto it". - Sorry, I can't agree. Surely not true. Tony O'Connell is not approving everything which helps supporting "the case for a historical Atlantis" (whereby you should be careful choosing your words, you should better write of a literally true Atlantis).
  • (e) "Thus O'Connell lavishly praise the Haig's Law hyperdiffusionist website Migration & Diffusion[5] and its founder, Christine Pellech,[6]" - Sorry, there is no such praise.

And so on and so on. --Wonderworld (talk) 15:07, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Tony O'Connell is editing his pages since he was exposed as a crank and you probably emailed him his RW page. Funny that he's suddenly (as of 26 Oct as recent edits on Atlantipedia show) withdrawn his support for he expanding earth and has now written "which may or may not involve the vindication of the expanding earth hypothesis" to make out he is neutral. He's also recently updated his Olmec page (on the 28 Oct) and no doubt removed some of his support for pseudo-history. He's basically rushing to remove his fringe/crackpot/pseudo-history statements in response to his RW page.Apso2 (talk) 15:38, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm not particularly enamoured of either the kind of retroactive damage control described by Apso2, nor by the various examples of O'Connell employing teach the controversy-style balance fallacies where he just reproduce various crank concepts without mentioning that these are, indeed, pseudoscience or whether he agrees with them or not in order to gain some plausible deniability. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:38, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Hm, simple question: Is this now bad or is it good? Is this a success of RationalWiki, that he is cleaning up some of his statements? Or do you feel betrayed that one of your "subjects" does positively react and improve his page? I hope you can agree that it is an improvement? Do you? You are interested in making this world more rational, are you? This would be the right time to congratualte Tony O'Connell and say thank-you in the name of RationalWiki to him, woudln't it? Or do you *hate* your "subjects" even if they react positively? -- And last but not least: Did he really remove weird statements, or did he rather clarify misleading statements which RationalWiki exploited by calling them crankery, although it was not intended to be crankery, and RationalWiki did not invest the appropriate effort to clarify it accurately? --Wonderworld (talk) 22:39, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
...aaand so we return to form with more JAQing off and concern trolling, Wonderworld. But to answer your questions, the reason I, and I imagine others too, are not falling over ourselves to congratulate O'Connell's newfound scepticism is that it is far from clear whether he is being sceptical at all, or is merely inserting some vaguely hedging remarks, such as "which may or may not involve the vindication of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis", rather than actually subjecting the concepts to critical scrutiny. It is thus far from clear that O'Connell has actually changed his mind on these topics instead of merely inserting a series of verbal escape hatches. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:09, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
I'll just add that no one does 180 degrees turn in 24 hours concerning their theories/views. Connell is only suddenly modifying his statements in response to his RW page to seem more credible, he's not changed his mind on anything. Furthermore his website has hundreds to thousands of pages. We could dig up lots more of his fringe/crazy stuff. I also agree with ScepticWombat about his "teach the controversy"/balance fallacies e.g. Connell doesn't just state the Oera Linda Book is a hoax.Apso2 (talk) 23:18, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

We turn around in circles, now. Objectively, there are some irrationalities in Atlantipedia. Yet you fail to produce an appropriate judgement on their quality and motivation. You do not strike the right tone. For you, this criticism of yours is "concern trolling". Yet in truth I only try to describe YOUR way of being irrational. You totally ignore that Atlantipedia is full of scepticism and irony against pseudoscience! You create a picture of Atlantipedia as if it were the crankery of all crankeries! How ridiculous! This biased perception and this ignorance of you is a major flaw, a serious failure in rational thinking. If reason has not all input it needs, reason produces biased output. This exactly seems to be the core principle of this most irrational RationalWiki. I think, it is time to leave RationalWiki now. All what had to be said is said, now. You have had your chance, more than once. Now, I can condemn you with full conviction for your irrational attacks against reason, and your unfair treatment of real persons. --Wonderworld (talk) 19:02, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

As we have tried to explain several times now, the kind of criticism you find on Atlantipedia is pro forma, i.e. it inserts various vague hedging "add ons" and otherwise makes no attempts at actually trying to evaluate the contents or investigate the validity of the oodles of pseudoscience reproduced there.
By contrast, Jason Colavito's blog provides an example of what actual criticism and scepticism looks like what dealing with these and similar topics.
Even worse, some of these hedging statements on Atlantipedia have clearly only been added as damage control after RW has highlighted specific articles for their crankery. O'Connell basically seems to swathe himself in the trappings of scepticism the same way William Lane Craig adorns himself with an academic veneer; in both cases the adherence is only skin deep and is more about image than substance. Just as O'Connell takes a swipe at Von Däniken, Craig has taken one at YECs, yet in both cases the actual difference between the critic and the criticised is minuscule compared to the similarities (just as Craig is an evolution denialist cdesign proponentsist, O'Connell's disagreement with Von Däniken is merely over which flavour(s) of pseudoscience each supports, similar to a hollow Earther ridiculing a flat Earther). Another difference between Craig and O'Connell is that Craig's rhetoric is better (as in more artfully obfuscatory) and that his starting and end point is "Therefore God", rather than "Therefore Atlantis". ScepticWombat (talk) 22:09, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
The strange thing is Wonderworld attacks anyone he doesn't like as a "crank" or "pseudo-scientist", yet moans when Rationalwiki criticize actual pseudo-scientists. Here is an edit of Wonderworld at Wikipedia, calling Mary Settegast a "pseudo-scientist". However, Settegast is not a pseudo-scientist. Wonderworld slanders her, like he does any other Atlantis researcher because they have a different Atlantis hypothesis to him. There's an essay on Wonderworld's website revealing his warped mindset - its called "why Atlantis researchers can't team up". Wonderworld wants all the fame since he wants to be the *only* person who finds Atlantis, that's why he hates rival or competing Atlantis theories to his own. He's made an internet career calling other Atlantis researchers as pseudo-scientists. The only reason I presume he came here to defend Connell is because he is one of the few people to write something positive about him at Atlantipedia; to see him here complaining about "defamation" against his or Connell's name is perversely hypocritical.Arcticos (talk) 22:33, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
(As I said: I have left this Wiki. Judgement done. Game over. Have your strange "fun" without me.) --Wonderworld (talk) 19:33, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
It's sad isn't it. What a bunch of assholes. (talk) 20:09, 2 November 2016 (UTC)