Confessions of a banned Unmanned Spaceflight member - Page 2

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r lewis Author Profile Page

Posts: 202

Reply: 21

PostPosted: August 25, 2006 12:23 AM 

Hey, I'd like to be banned from UMSF.

On the other hand, it is true (regarding re 5) that alien rain has nothing to do with unmanned space flight. It is not an extraterrestrial phenomenon, in as much as the rain occurs here on EARTH. If it were alien rain on MARS that would be different, but you have to admit he was justified in culling it at least since it was off topic.

Anyway, I prefer to do my own censoring. There are one or two trolls we have had here whihc have annoyed the heck out of me, but I jus thad to learn NOT to read there posts, or encourage them by posting back and telling them what an idiot they were. But, I can do that. We don't need someone to tell us what is or is not appropriate for discussion (well, at least not most of the time).

Now, if anyone wants to get into a SERIOUS scientific debate on the results of Gil Levin's labeled release experiment form viking, or why the MER team never investigated the "magic carpet" from the very first sol, or any number of things they continue to ignore, I'm sure it would not be welcome on that other site. That's science.


a1call Author Profile Page

Posts: 509

Reply: 22

PostPosted: August 25, 2006 12:25 AM 

I think it is not said enough, You are a rareity and are doing a great job here.
Thank you for providing a great place on the net. It's a great place because one needs not to fear being banned if he happens to disagree with you. You certainly put up with more than I would and for that I respect you.
Thanks again for this blog.

Paul Anderson Author Profile Page

Posts: 243

Reply: 23

PostPosted: August 25, 2006 8:14 PM 

Yes, r lewis, I can understand it (the red rain) not fitting in as a primary topic, but there is the EVA MMU sction (for non-unmanned spaceflight type topics) where I thought it could have been placed instead of just deleted. Oh well. And Doug had let it go for several weeks, with a lot of good debate happening.

I've never had one negative comment, about that or anything else, from anyone else in that forum, only Doug. I think he just doesn't like topics like that because they might attract the "woo-woos" (I hate that expression, btw).

It's the general attitude toward "non-core group" people, and not being willing to admit mistakes, that I don't like.

indy Author Profile Page

Posts: 117

Reply: 24

PostPosted: August 27, 2006 1:56 AM 

Haven't had a chance to check in here for a few days and only just found this thread. Gil, I'm very sorry but not surprised about your experience at that other forum. It's really a shame but what can you do. Rolling Eyes I certainly don't blame you at all for not wanting to post there with "Big Brother Doug" constantly watching over you. I said a mouthful on this topic previously in the BillyMer thread here back when he was also banned from that other place so I'll just say that I'm glad you're posting here. I, too, have read about the geysers on Mars and found it a fascinating topic. Smile

Ben Author Profile Page

Posts: 2270

Reply: 25

PostPosted: August 27, 2006 1:36 PM 

Everyone has their own reason for participating in a forum. Mine is to be able to conduct intelligent discussions with others about what we see in the images.
The other forum appears to be more of a club where you advance? by your # of posts which encourages a lot of inconsequential trivia. There also appears to be an excess of clubbish butt patting over images etc.
Hort doesn't need to be complimented over everything he does. He already knows he is the best.

THat was not a butt pat!!!!

dbn Author Profile Page

Posts: 131

Reply: 26

PostPosted: August 28, 2006 4:37 PM 

Interesting post from Caplinger has now been added to the original gil nodges thread over on the other forum:

mcaplinger. 8-24-06 6:33 p.m.: "OK, I've checked the situation and it's a bit more confused than I wish it was. As has been discussed before, the definition for the entry for SUN_AZIMUTH depends on a left-right "flip flag" in one of the other fields and is defined relative to the image that appears on the PDS archive volume. I had been under the impression that the "processed but not map-projected" version of the image in the MOC Gallery was identical to the PDS image, but it turns out that they are being rotated in some manner (at least for the more recent releases), but the SUN_AZIMUTH parameter is not being adjusted appropriately. I'm going to check to see if the people in charge of the gallery can clarify this situation. In the meantime the official PDS release is correct, which is the important thing."

"That said, I checked image S08-00321 and the sun direction is as it says in the "image of the day" release, so I don't see how those dark streaks could be the shadows of geysers."

r lewis Author Profile Page

Posts: 202

Reply: 27

PostPosted: August 29, 2006 12:43 AM 

Well, isn't that interesting (re 26). It is not clear from the excerpt you posted if Caplinger has actually reversed his original position or is simply making a clarification that he was right all along


it seems like

1) Gil makes a comment regarding the solar angle in some MOC images

2) Caplinger "corrects" him and points out the solar angle is really such and such.

3) Gil has the audacity to disagree and is summarily banned from UMSF

4) Caplinger later realizes that he was in fact wrong. Sorry Gil.

Just goes to show that it isn't important what you say, or whether you are right or wrong, it is who is saying it Wink

Isn't that how sciens is supposed to work ?


r lewis Author Profile Page

Posts: 2

Reply: 28

PostPosted: August 29, 2006 1:07 AM 

PS my smileys don't work any more, what is up with that Sad

By the way, this whole mess is a perfect example of how "real" science is often impeded by "real" scientists.

Here is an interesting but true story. Back in 1970, a "real" anthropolgist, Dr. Louis Leakey (you may have heard of him) was involved in a dig in Yermo CA. They unearthed stone tools, made by early humans, that were more than 200,000 years old. In California.

If you are interested in reading more, go here:

So anyway, Dr. Leakey's dig, which was funded by National Geographic, hosted a conference to anounce this amazing discovery of early man in America 200,000 years ago. As you may know, the accepted theory (clovis) is that the first humans did not arrive in America until about 11,000 years ago. Some anthropoligists had written articles, books, lectures, and staked there achademic careers on this being true.

Naturally some of the scientists were skeptical. But, the artifacts were there, and the dates were real, so what could they say? One of the challenges they posed was how did you know the stone tools were really tools, the work of man, and not just funny broken rocks that LOOKED like tools but were formed through some natural process. This may seem vaguely similar to many arguments and challenges we have had on this forum.

Dr. Leakey's reply was, essentially, I've been digging up rocks for 50 years, and I know a stone tool when I see one!

Naturally, the scientists who had staked their careers on the fact that these funny broken rocks, which Dr. Leaky claimed were stone tools, were in fact just broken rocks were not convinced by this argument.

Today, people are still taught that the Clovis culture, which came to America 11,000 to 14,000 years ago, was the first presence of humans in the new world. There are some very old stone tools in California which seem to say otherwise.

In science, right and wrong is as often determined by who yells the loudest or who has more to lose as it is by who is actually right.

Sometimes the "real" scientists are wrong.

And with all the talk of water on mars and a warm wet past, and even methane and frozen lakes near the equator, some of the NASA scientists are starting to mention that, well, Gil Levin's labeled release experiment actually DID seem to detect signs of life back in 1976. 2 years ago it would have been an absolute no way Gil Levin is wrong. Now its well sure maybe there COULD be microbial life on mars, there IS water after all...

See the quote from Chris McKay:

"Viking landed in the equatorial region and didn’t find any organic material. There was some concern that the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer didn’t work, but I think that’s been put away – it worked. A separate issue is how to interpret the labeled release experiments. Of course, Gil Levin still thinks that they found life, but I’m not so optimistic."

Funny how they change their story when the facts get in the way.

Thank you for your patients, I yield my soapbox now.

Henry Author Profile Page

Posts: 2896

Reply: 29

PostPosted: August 29, 2006 10:13 AM 

Nice discussion, R. Lewis. Thanks.


indy Author Profile Page

Posts: 117

Reply: 30

PostPosted: August 29, 2006 9:11 PM 

The sad thing is that it sounds like Caplinger is still trying to find out information on this but now Gil has no chance to respond because, right or wrong, he dared to question him. Bearing in mind that Forum Owners/Mods can read PMs, is there any way of discretely informing Caplinger that Gil has been banned?

gil nodges Author Profile Page

Posts: 84

Reply: 31

PostPosted: August 30, 2006 12:22 AM 

Thanks Indy. I informed Mr. Caplinger via email that I was banned on the same day it happened (just in case he thought I just dropped out of the thread). Its not that easy to get rid of me Wink He responded that he had no control over how Doug runs his site, but that I should feel free to keep track of the discussion (which I have), and thanked me for my interest in MOC. He seems like a pretty nice guy.

The fact that Mr. Caplinger discovered that the "SUN_AZIMUTH parameter is not being adjusted appropriately" (even if it doesn't ultimately change the direction of the illumination), makes me feel somewhat vindicated.

Here is what Doug had to say on the matter:

"QUOTE(gil nodges @ Aug 22 2006, 06:42 PM)

2) the illumination is not really from the upper left.

It is.Fact.

If your eyes tell you otherwise, then you need to alter your perception of the image. There's stuff that's open to interpretation, and there's stuff that isn't. The angle of illumination falls in the second catagory.

As for haze - this is a polar region, and the polar regions have a lot of clouds around, it wouldn't be unusual to have some thin high cloud over this sort of area.


You see, Doug can talk all he wants about keeping the "woo woo's" out of his forum, but in fact, he is the biggest "woo woo" of them all. When you start believing that just because an "expert" believes something, that it is gospel, then you are a "woo woo".

Question everything, as it is ALL "open to interpretation"


marsman Author Profile Page

Posts: 303

Reply: 32

PostPosted: August 31, 2006 12:23 PM 

You see, Doug can talk all he wants about keeping the "woo woo's" out of his forum, but in fact, he is the biggest "woo woo" of them all. When you start believing that just because an "expert" believes something, that it is gospel, then you are a "woo woo".

This is precisely the reason why I'm amazed that Doug has any 'followers'. But, then again, David Koresh and Jim Jones had 'followers' too..

TaylorNova Author Profile Page

Posts: 1

Reply: 33

PostPosted: August 31, 2006 8:28 PM 


aldo12xu Author Profile Page

Posts: 18

Reply: 34

PostPosted: September 1, 2006 12:55 PM 

I've been a member of both forums almost right from the start of the Mars landings. Both forums have their purpose. Both Mark and Doug have the right to run their forums the way he want. I've posted on 4 or 5 other Mars/Astronomy forums and all the forums their own "personalities", "tone", "atmosphere". It sorta like TV: Eventually you find a favourite channel that offers the kind of content and dialogue you're looking for.

Sometimes this forum has a great discussion happening and sometimes Doug's does. So I switch back and forth.

For example, I can't get enough of Horton's pictures so I'm always dropping by to check out his latest. Horton often picks out very fine details in the images that most people would miss. And, to name a few, I like following the discussions posted by Aldebaran, ArizonaSt, Ben, Paul Anderson, Kye Goodwin, whether or not I always agree with their opinions.

As an example of the value of the other site, here is a thread I started discussing the Halfpipe Formation:


A press release image had several locations labled "Halfpipe Formation" and I wanted to get input as to what the formation could represent. A lot of good theories were thrown around but nothing conclusive. Three days later Tim Parker, the person responsible for the press release image and the one who coined the term Halfpipe Formation posted an explaination. And then everything fell into place and a lot of what we had been seeing associated with the lower portions of dunes made sense.

It's nice to be able to get direct feedback from the principal investigators, whether or not you agree with their opinions.


Ben Author Profile Page

Posts: 2270

Reply: 35

PostPosted: September 1, 2006 12:59 PM 

Come on guys, enough is enough. Don't make me feel embarassed that I am part of this great forum.

Aldebaran Author Profile Page

Posts: 315

Reply: 36

PostPosted: September 1, 2006 5:02 PM 

I've kept out of this discussion so far, but when it comes to using the anonymity available with this forum to perpetrate cowardly personal attacks on people who have posted on this forum, enough is enough. It's time to either remove the post or lock the thread.

Freedom is one thing, but personal attacks should not be tolerated.

Like aldo, I occasionally post at both forums, though not as much as I have in the past. The forums are quite different in objectives and content.

If you are visiting the home of a non smoker, there is a certain expectation that you won't start puffing away. If you are privileged enough to post in an internet forum to which you don't contribute financially, then you have an ethical obligation to abide by the rules of the forum.

Mizar Author Profile Page

Posts: 692

Reply: 37

PostPosted: September 1, 2006 5:48 PM 

gil nodges have a serious case here. Full support gil !

It's a shame that it attracts people regarding reply #34.
This forum and UMSF is a great area of knowledge.
This, and the other forum have a different guideline. That's fine.
Diversity is the key word.

Mark Carey Author Profile Page

Posts: 136

Reply: 38

PostPosted: September 2, 2006 6:24 AM 


While I believe in open and uncensored discusson, I think that personal attacks, insults, etc., detract from the discussion and are not the most effective means of stating a position or point.

I have just removed the reply in question (formerly reply #34).

KPM Author Profile Page

Posts: 836

Reply: 39

PostPosted: September 2, 2006 9:35 AM 


I tried to post a new topic and it did not go through, is there a problem? I wanted to ask all on the Blog to try and stick to Mars and Space in general. There is too much stuff drifting into politics, religion, race etc. I am not a scientist and I learn a lot from some of the people who post here and that to me is a healty pursuit, if I want that sort of stuff I can buy a newspaper. It seems to me scientists have at times closed mindsto other peoples ideas but perhaps that is what makes them tick. Let's stick to the subject and all who come here continue to share ideas no matter how out of this world they maybe. If people don't like Doug don't go there, we have great contributors on this site. Thanks for setting this up Mark.

dx Author Profile Page

Posts: 1661

Reply: 40

PostPosted: September 2, 2006 6:51 PM 

KPM et al>>>

I have never been to 'that' site that seems to be all the heated rage in here.

I may want to go to Mars like the next person, regardless the attitude, but I will distinctly put some human sites in a restrictve mode, simply from what I am hearing. I don't need it.

"Blue.............strange color blue"

Depak Chopra put it this way, and I heed his words with an intelligent bent, "Fear the known not the unknown". And it seems to me that, 'that' site is the known.

I much, much, prefer the unknown...the likes of which this site has to offer. The folks here are the BEST of the creme de la creme. We think!

As KPM said and the vast majority of all of us acknowledge, thank you Mark for setting up this Blog, and also to the mighty FMR presiding as Marks' eyes and ears.

The best of any launch to all. [OHH Yeah, I'm a spaceman - - - just like you].


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