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Old 2014-03-06, 17:07   #1
Fusion_power's Avatar
Aug 2003
Snicker, AL

7×137 Posts
Default Having an irritated moment.

Do you catch yourself reading a forum where someone posts something subtly wrong and several people post comments in support of the incorrect post? Do you get the urge to post something countering the incorrect information, balanced and correct, but clearly stating what is wrong? What if several of the supporters then call in question your motives for "taking potshots" or "explain why this is important"?

This happened to me on a beekeeping forum over the last 2 days. A woman posted something subtly wrong and every post after it corroborated and approved. My post with correct info got "the treatment". I got irritated and perhaps for just a few minutes, I understood what Bob must feel when someone posts garbage mathematics.

Bob, I'd like to apologize to you and thank you for providing me with a couple of very sharp lessons over the years. They have come in handy.

The world is full of positive people, but just because they are positive does not mean they are right!
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Old 2014-03-06, 17:42   #2
xilman's Avatar
May 2003
Down not across

2·3·13·137 Posts

Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
Bob, I'd like to apologize to you and thank you for providing me with a couple of very sharp lessons over the years. They have come in handy.

Been there, done that, scars are fading.
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Old 2014-03-06, 17:43   #3
cheesehead's Avatar
"Richard B. Woods"
Aug 2002
Wisconsin USA

11110000011002 Posts

(pun withdrawn)

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2014-03-06 at 17:47
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Old 2014-03-06, 22:37   #4
ewmayer's Avatar
Sep 2002
República de California

3×3,877 Posts

I run into the "wildly, flagrantly, patently, easily verifiably wrong but attracting much love from fellow idiots" phenomenon much more often than the "subtly" one, it seems. I dream of the day that the online inanities might be of the subtle variety.

"Possibly correct but purely speculative and highly subjective, yet claiming to be objective and unique truth" is another wildly popular webforum meme.
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Old 2014-03-06, 23:53   #5
TheMawn's Avatar
May 2013
East. Always East.

11·157 Posts

The same happened a couple of days ago to me, where even I could see the wrongness, which was a first. On the other hand, coupled with the wrongness was a serious lack of any attempt at understanding it for oneself. That's the part that got me going.


In my own case, I don't know very much about all this stuff we do. I took all the high school maths and four engineering calculus courses, but very little of that helps with understanding P-1 factoring or ECM factoring. If I went and asked about it, instead of trying to explain it to me in language that makes sense, he would chew me out for not having taken an entire mathematics degree in the first place, chew me out worse for not being willing to go spend four years on getting one, and then chew me a little bit more for not being willing to learn at all, despite having approached him for help in the first place.

Enough rambling for now.

Last fiddled with by Brian-E on 2014-03-07 at 00:38 Reason: Some personal remarks removed
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Old 2014-03-07, 00:52   #6
If I May
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"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002

3·31·103 Posts

Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
Enough rambling for now.
If I may now take the "talking stick"...

I understand where Silverman comes from (in this particular case). Humans are generally annoyingly (and amazingly) stupid. But it doesn't hep to talk down to them -- it just makes them annoyed, and talk more.

I now hand the "talking stick" back to anyone who would like to take it. (BTW, my SWMBO arrived home a short while ago, and I had to apologize profusely for being me...)
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Old 2014-03-07, 10:01   #7
Nick's Avatar
Dec 2012
The Netherlands

2×839 Posts

I once found myself in a social group in which one member introduced ideas which he knew to be flawed in order to watch the others taking the idea seriously in discussion, a bit like dropping a pebble in a pond to watch the waves. Presumably he found it entertaining, but those of us who realized what he was doing found it manipulative and wrong.
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