Saturday, 28 May 2016

Hoagland and a response to Bellgab. Including a non related personal message.

How much he attempts to mix pseudoscience, paranormal claims, pareidolia, coincidences and the like with science is disturbing, but it crosses that line for me as I wonder, does he really believe all of this? And if so, I won't chide him for his beliefs but man. He really has some people confused and misled if these ideas aren't valid or supported by significant peer reviewed research in the slightest.
It's nothing personal. I just disagree, and I told him so. He asked me to look something up I was unfamiliar with. I did. I'm still asking him to show me the evidence.

I have been told on good authority that Hoaxy believes his torsion field stuff. The other stuff I am not so sure about.
He is in his element when talking to the scientifically illiterate. But, if he gets a call from an engineer, or indeed anybody who actually knows what they are talking about he immediately resorts to his default defence system. That is; gish gallop and name dropping.

I have wondered for many years now how he can actually make a living out of this lamentable horseshit. After his Elenin nonsense was outed I noticed that his conference appearances were diluted, eventually reaching zero. I cannot say for certain what his financial position is, but, I do know that he had to move house to a small place called Deming. It's a tiny place with trailer park type housing. In fact I believe the house he moved into belonged (belongs) to his sister.

The spiral into the preposterous in my opinion can be traced back to NASA refusing his press accreditation. You can see the whole sorry story on his website. NASA really threw him a stinger, and suggested that he hawk his wares in a public area. Oh my, how the ego was bruised. Henceforth the NASA hatred began, and has never waned. For a time he made decent cash out of conferences. I was told by Richard Dolan that at a conference he appeared at, that, "the majority of people were there to hear Hoagland." How the mighty have fallen since.

His horseshit has reached unparalleled heights in an attempt to remain relevant. Take for example the New Horizons Pluto encounter. Within minutes of the first images arriving on Earth Hoagland and Laney were seeing arcologies. Just as many, including myself predicted he would. He then went on to declare, "I was the only one who got it right." The hubris of the man is quite astonishing.

His experiments with a laptop and a microset timer coupled to a 40 year old watch are simply laughable. As an electronics engineer I could list a veritable plethora of mistakes he is guilty of. But no need. Expat has detailed them eloquently several times on The Emoluments of Mars blog.

I genuinely take no pleasure in seeing a man who is down being kicked. My gloat-o-meter is barely registering. But I do have to concede that he had it coming. Smugness, hubris, and ego will always end up biting you on the arse. When you refer to a genuine scientist like our own Dr Robbins as a "crater counter", and laugh, because Dr Robbins totally wiped the YouTube floor with him. You are simply begging for karma.

On a different note. I am absolutely loving my time here teaching in China. These 17 and 18 year old kids are amazingly smart. Their work ethic is absolutely astonishing. They keep you on your toes too. Last week I was rugby tackled in the corridor by one of them asking for help with her physics homework. Not only did she want to know the equation to work out the gravitational force between two bodies, but demanded that I derive and explain the equation from first principles. To be perfectly honest it took me a couple of minutes to get my act together.

I have engineered all over the planet. From Auckland New Zealand to San Jose USA. I can honestly say that the Chinese are the most humble, honest, and endearing people I have ever met. It is a completely different experience to the years I spent in America. If I was offered the choice of USA at 250k or China at 50k it's a no brainer. Seriously.

Here's a wee story to illustrate. Please note that I am not generalising Americans. I lived there for a long time with an American lassie. I know Americans. I was in love with one. That said.....

My first time in the USA. I am in San Joe in the bay area. I am alone, sitting at the bar in my hotel drinking a beer and having a chin-wag with the bartender. A couple wander in and hear my Scottish accent. (Yanks love a Scottish accent). They come over to me and we begin to chat. Within two minutes the guy is telling me that he has two cars, a boat and a condo in Miami, and that he earns $300,000 dollars per yer. Within two bloody minutes..... What the hell. Did he expect me to prostrate myself at his feet an seek to build a new religion around him? - This was not an isolated incident. For my part, as a Scot, it made me feel really uncomfortable.

My first time in China. I am sitting at a bar and people are looking at me as if I have just beamed up from Mars. Two minutes later I am approached and asked if I can speak Chinese. I reply, "a little." Before I know it I am sitting at a table playing dice, being fed with all sorts of food, and having fun using our cellphones to communicate. Not once were possessions, money or personal accomplishments mentioned. I attempted to pay my bill and was met with giggling rebuke. This from people that I know for a fact earn a fifth of what I do, and I don't earn much at all. These people are Scottish, except with different eyes and skin colour. The most delightful country I have ever had the pleasure to visit.