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Vic Daring
New Member

49 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  11:20:30  Show Profile Send Vic Daring a Private Message
Don't know how many people here post or read at the James Randi Forum (www.randi.org), but if you do, you know things have gotten very weird there.

I'll continue to read and post at JREF as long as its available, but the hubbub led me to explore other skeptic communities and I found this one and I think I'll grab me a chair.

Who knows, you may be seeing others wandering in as well.

So I guess that's a, "Hello, pleased to meet ya," post, which I usually abhor but, well, there it is.


The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  12:13:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
Welcome to SFN Vic! I have read about what's going on over there and it's a shame. There's nothing like seeing a popular haunt torn down.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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Computer Org
Skeptic Friend

392 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  12:29:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Computer Org a Private Message
Welcome, too.

I seldom get to post anywhere and, when I do, it's here. What's going on?

". . . a popular haunt torn down," @tomic?? Strong words. What's happening.

I do know that two things are happening in "skepticism". First, and most odious, it has become popular to be skeptical. Nothing is more disasterous than for the "in crowd" to glom onto a turf.

Second, and a good thing IMO, is that skepticism has sort of gone the way of Buddhism: Toward the Middle Path. That is to say: In the olde days of yore, one was skeptical in one direction, usually against some piece of logical garbage. In this sort of "New Wave Skepticism" (purely my phrasing), one tends to be skeptical toward both directional extremes.

Example?
  1. So-and-So sees a ghost.


  2. I am slightly interested but very deeply skeptical of So-and-So's ghost.


  3. A skeptic vigourously attacks So-and-So and the the entire concept of ghosts.


  4. I become fascinated and deeply skeptical of the 'blind', vigourous skeptical attack against any concept, whether ghosts or otherwise.
My view, anyway. Could that be what's going on at the ArchSkeptic Randi's site?

Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. --Falstaff
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Computer Org
Skeptic Friend

392 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  12:49:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Computer Org a Private Message
Well, I've just applied to join the JREF Fora so mayhaps I'll find out for myself "What's up with this?". Hmmmmmm.

Hmmmmmm.

Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. --Falstaff
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Computer Org
Skeptic Friend

392 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  13:23:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Computer Org a Private Message
Could this posting (3rd down) from this thread give a hint?
quote:
Hello all....

As I'm sure you're all well aware, there has recently been a huge amount of scuttlebutt on the Forum that has resulted in many hurt feelings, misunderstandings, presumptions, and outright errors of fact.

(How that differs from my day-to-day work, is another matter. It sounds, to me, very familiar!)

In consultation with Hal Bidlack and Linda, I've agreed that there must be some basic changes made here -- and I don't think we need to go into all the details here on the Forum.

As I've said before, sincerely, Hal and Linda have my total confidence and trust. They are not only good friends of mine, but they are good friends of the JREF. I want that to be clear and in place before I go any further.

From this date, May 6th, 2004, C.E., Hal Bidlack will be charge of the web site and the Forum. He will make suggested changes upon which we've agreed, as he sees appropriate. This not only removes much of this burden from me, but gives me confidence that those areas will be more productive and more interactive. Hal will welcome suggestions, I'm sure.

I will earnestly try to look in on the Forum more often, and may make comments where I think proper.

In closing, let me assure you all that any apparent conflict between Hal and myself that might have seemed to have been seen on the Forum, was illusionary. It was largely the result of my not having looked in on the Forum as often as I might have. For that, my apologies.

Enjoy the Forum, warts and all, changes incorporated. This will be painless and very agreeable to all, I believe.

Thank you for the use of the hall....!

James Randi.

Is the whole thing over some technical changes to the computer system? Or is it something else that @tomic refers to?

Vic Daring? Where are you? Any comments?

Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. --Falstaff
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  13:28:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
All community type forums will, if I read it all correctly, be moved to another site and the existing forum will be much more JREF specific. By torn down I don't mean that the entire forum is going but the forum as it existed before will most likely be no more. Take a look at the forum structure for yourself. It may be that what they are doing is beneficial to JREF's operations but it will still be sad for members that enjoyed using those parts of the forum.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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Computer Org
Skeptic Friend

392 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  13:36:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Computer Org a Private Message
Or could the problems be found in this posting, a little later in the same thread:
quote:
<snip>

Recently, I did a statisical analysis of posts across all the sub-fora. The data showed that between 95% and 97% of the posts had nothing to do with the JREF mission at all. Yet we have continued to operate this forum, feeling that there is some value in having a place where skeptics and non skeptics can gather. I, as a member of the JREF Board of Directors, now publically state that I feel the forum is a net loss for the JREF in terms of reputation and character.

Should the forum continue in this manner, you may assume there will be dramatic changes in the not too distant future. I have been forced to monitor the forum due to ongoing legal issues, and believe it to be in steady decline, in spite of the superb work of the Admin, Dep Admins, and Moderators. If you want this forum to go away, keep up the type of nonsense and whining demonstrated here.

Hal Bidlack
Director
James Randi Educational Foundation


Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. --Falstaff
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  13:47:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
No, something else happened that drew protest. I think there was some posting of abused Iraqi prisoners with "humorous captions" or something like that that led Hal to do the above research. But if that statistic is right then perhaps some adjustment should be made. As I said, take a look at the structure of the forums. Sports, Entertainment etc...these discussions will go on but if you structure your forum in such a way that it almost encourages these topics then you might have a problem. Maybe not. I should add that some JREF board members may be delighted by the changes coming. What displeases some is bound to be paradise to some others.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:00:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Hi Vic! Come in the house and sit yourself down. The catfish and 'puppies'll be ready directly.

I read JREF on a weekly basis, it's always interesting, but after lurking around the forums, I decided not to post. I haven't visited them in some time.

Again, welcome! Looking forward to your imput.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Vic Daring
New Member

49 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:05:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Vic Daring a Private Message
I really, really, really hope I didn't open a thread that seems like an invitation for Randi bashing.

James Randi's work and influence are huge and I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned as a member of the JREF Forum.

The "split" is much as atomic describes, and lot of forums survive this kind of stuff with little difficulty. Some don't. So, like I said, I'm kind of homesteading, just in case. 'Course, now that I'm here, I'll probably post here too.

Also, a small word of caution...the folks at JREF take copyright issues very seriously. I don't think CO's posts are a violation, but please exercise caution when cutting and pasting from JREF.

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
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Vic Daring
New Member

49 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:07:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Vic Daring a Private Message
Ugh. That sounds so...stuffed shirt.

So, thanks for the welcomes. I promise I'm more fun than my last post might indicate.

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.
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Computer Org
Skeptic Friend

392 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:14:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Computer Org a Private Message
Thanks, @tomic. As I lurked around I got some bad whiffs about the Iraqi prisoners. Thought that it was posting pics without the blur-outs. As I posted elsewhere (ugh!), it was just last night that I first heard that the most widely spread photo --- the thumbs up by PFC L. England while pointing at a prisoner's crotch --- was actually a pic of the prisoner while masturbating. (Double ugh!) Not the kind of thing you'd want on a family-friendly site.

(I could bet BANNED from the Public Library's computer privileges for looking at the uncensored photos from A.G. Prison.)(Maybe.)

Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. --Falstaff
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:17:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
I wouldn't worry Vic. I certainly wasn't trying to sound like I was bashing Randi nor do I think anyone else was. We were just trying to fill people in a bit. Once you post something like this people are bound to be curious.

We take copyright very seriously, too. But we certainly won't find offense with "fair use" snippets that accompany discussion. Wholesale article and content theft is another matter.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:19:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
quote:
(I could bet BANNED from the Public Library's computer privileges for looking at the uncensored photos from A.G. Prison.)

Now that's a scary thought. If you did get banned for real research on a very newsworthy subject and such a thing happened I would think you'd have grounds for legal action.

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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Computer Org
Skeptic Friend

392 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:36:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Computer Org a Private Message
Try this one for size: Their problems may be much grimer than they know.

Registered as "Computer Org" at JREF a half-hour or so ago. Just got the following bizarre E-mail from Randi.org
quote:

You gave your location as Florida, but your IP address resolves to CA. Unless you can give me a good explanation, I'm unable to process your registration to our message boards.
Linda Shallenberger


I am here. I really am here, sitting in a hot Florida Public Library.

What in cyberspace could this possibly mean? How could it even be possible, for Pete's sake?

I gave Linda L. the Library's phone number (the Reference Librarian said that she will vouch for my existence) but how is it even possible for a public library to be diddled with --- they have a large (and I think competent) computer security staff. (County funds, etc.)

@tomic: Can you tell my IP? Florida or Calif?

Bizarre!!

Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life. --Falstaff
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 :  14:41:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
I peg you at Sarasota County Florida.
quote:
OrgName: Sarasota County Government
OrgID: SCG
Address: 100 Arthur Andersen Parkway
Address: 3rd Floor
City: Sarasota
StateProv: FL
PostalCode: 34235
Country: US

@

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!

Sportsbettingacumen.com: The science of sports betting
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