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Author Topic: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor  (Read 28908 times)

Malcolm McKay

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Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« on: June 21, 2012, 05:09:08 AM »

Actually you will discover if you read my posts on the subject that nowhere have I claimed that the New Britain hypothesis is based on any proven facts.

This confirms my impression that you are doing fact-free believing when you say that the existence of the tag is interesting and that TIGHAR should help to fund research into how it ended up in New Britain.

Since you have no proven facts (such as that the tag existed and that it was marked with C/N 1055), it follows logically that your assertion that this is an interesting coincidence worth investigation is nothing but an act of faith, not an act of objective reasoning based on evidence.

Quote
As for Marty's lack of knowledge about the use of construction numbers by aircraft and other manufacturers' of similarly complex machines as the means to distinguish the resulting assemblies both during manufacture and afterwards. The explanation put simply is it is a means to properly identify these items both during manufacture to make sure hand fitted or tuned items are reunited with the parent equipment, or in later years, when the registration/identification numbers etc. allotted to them after they have left the factory are changed through resale etc.

If I considered you an authority on airframe repair, I'd take your word for it.

I don't consider you an authority.

I don't take your word for it.

I'd like to see some documentation.  How about some pictures of some 1930s repair tags?  Some Lockheed data plates with "C/N" on them?

I'm open to be persuaded by the evidence.  I'm not open to taking these things on your say-so.

See my reply in the Alternate Theories section Marty. I might add that nowhere have I ever asserted that you should accept my say-so, simply that the New Britain hypothesis is currently as valid as the Nikumaroro hypothesis simply because neither has been proven to be correct.
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JNev

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 05:49:17 AM »

Malcolm said -
Quote
...the New Britain hypothesis is currently as valid as the Nikumaroro hypothesis simply because neither has been proven to be correct.

That's a very strange statement. 

The Niku hypothesis includes that NR16020 was reasonably known to be in the vicinity of Howland (by radio signals, etc.), very arguably would have had the range to reach Niku (by the fuel aboard at take-off, hours consumed to reach Howland vicinity, etc.) and other significant factors which I will not try to enumerate here.

East New Britain enjoys none of these supporting points - it cannot be rationally demonstrated that NR16020 was near that place on the morning that it was near Howland, nor could the available range remaining in NR16020 fuel load have gotten the plane down there.  In fact, it is demonstrable, however tempting the 'tag story' may be, that it could not have been near East New Britain that day for those very reasons.  Further, even if such a tag existed and were found, there can be many reasons why it did not relate to NR16020 at all.  Just like the Benedictine bottle, for example, could have many sources, so could such a tag: we merely know of one tantalizing 'possibility', if the report is even accurate.

For instance, I can tag a mount with a given serial number; the mount is a standard part.  The mount may be fitted to any number of like airframes.  The mount may in fact belong to another make and type altogether and simply have a coincident number, however strange.

I can fill a benedictine bottle and go into the wild, die and have it near my poor remains; it is a common item.  The bottle may be brought later - by someone else, perhaps someone who seeing the skeleton, became startled and dropped the bottle...

But we don't rely on the bottle, etc. alone.  We rely on rational possibilities.

So how can East New Britain, not supported by any more than this report of a tag, be considered "as valid as the Nikumaroro hypothesis simply because neither has been proven to be correct"?  That makes no sense at all.
 
Let's see... that Venus has a core of molten cheese is as valid a hypothesis as that of my safe arrival at work today... granted, neither is proven - but if you give those equal weight I'd say the balance seems to have a thumb on one end...

Egad - pray for my safe arrival - I hope that is more likely than Venus being found to have a core of cheese... but neither is proven yet.  What say ye?  I'll report later - hopefully I can beat the Venus thing.

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 05:55:02 AM by J. Nevill »
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john a delsing

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 10:47:29 PM »

   There seems to be a lot of sarcasm by some of our members to a member that does not seem to have enough enthusiasm in our Niku hypnosis. Wordings in his posts are reworded by some, attacks are many times personal, not professional, and some members seem to go to great lengths to make him, or his ideas look bad. This is not the professionalism that we Tighar members have used in the past. We certainly can disagree, but we should be able to do so in an honorable way.
   Although interesting, I do not like the New Britain theory near as well as I do our Niku theory ( with some mods ). But in the past such ideas were allowed without personal attacks.
   I am not as smart as most of the TIGHAR members, and I don’t have the education or the experience  that most of you do, but I have learned much, much more from people who disagreed with me, than I have from those people who have always agreed with me.
   As Rodney said, “ can’t we all just get along ?“.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 06:07:40 AM »

The way I see it is that as the evidence for all theories regarding the AE + FN disappearance is rather thin to say the least then it's wise to not put all your eggs in one basket. Some theories have more going for them than others so, it's wise to look at the whole picture even if it may seem 'Wrong' to some. That's how the facts emerge, by testing the hypothesis.
It's useful to have someone in the team who sees things differently.
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Leon R White

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 06:57:16 AM »

ev·i·dence (v-dns)
 - A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: .
 - To indicate clearly; exemplify or prove.
Proof:
A demonstration of the truth of a mathematical or logical statement, based on axioms and theorems derived from those axioms.
 
I think it has been repeated, if not established, that what ANYONE, including Dr. McKay, thinks about thinking, theorizing, postulating, or the green bay packers, is to a great degree off topic.
 
May I request that this type of post be confined to the other thread? It would be, from a pseudo-academic perspective, more orderly to discuss the merits of discourse and belief, evidence and proof, opinion or deribertizing, to a place where we can conveniently find it.

This post is a request or a suggestion. It does not assert anything that should merit additional discussion here.

Leon White
" You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil needs a lead." - old Canadian Proverb
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 07:40:29 AM »

I realized that we have had a major breakthrough in logic on the Forum.

In a recent post on the Forum, Malcolm provided a method to cut through tedious details about mere matters of fact: "I might add that nowhere have I ever asserted that you should accept my say-so, simply that the New Britain hypothesis is currently as valid as the Nikumaroro hypothesis simply because neither has been proven to be correct."

Here, from a later post, is the Razor in Malcolm's own words: "If you have two equally unproven hypotheses then in that case one is as good as the other."

Technically, this argument is an enthymeme because it does not spell out all of its premises.  When we supply the missing major premise, we find the universal form of Malcolm's Razor:
  • All hypotheses that have not been proven to be correct are equally valid.
  • Neither the New Britain hypothesis nor the Niku hypothesis has been proven to be correct.
  • "The New Britain hypothesis is currently as valid as the Nikumaroro hypothesis."  QED.
Those who wish to defend the major premise might do so this way:
  • All hypotheses that have not been proven have not been proven.
  • The word "valid" means "not proven."
  • If A is equal to C and B is equal to C, then A is equal to B.
  • If A is "not proven" and B is "not proven," then A is just as unproven (equally unproven) as B.
  • All hypotheses that have not been proven are equally valid.
What this suggests is that if TIGHAR wishes to be perfectly logical, it must fund investigation of all hypotheses equally, since all are equally valid.  To favor one hypothesis over all other contenders is not logical; in the absence of perfect proof, it is an act of faith, and as everybody knows, faith has no place in rational inquiry.  Anyone who says otherwise is a messianic religious fanatic.
LTM,

           Marty
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« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 07:02:58 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 07:43:02 AM »

So how can East New Britain, not supported by any more than this report of a tag, be considered "as valid as the Nikumaroro hypothesis simply because neither has been proven to be correct"?  That makes no sense at all.

It's pure logic.  Hence this brand-new topic on Malcolm's Razor.
LTM,

           Marty
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« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 07:57:51 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 07:46:31 AM »

I think it has been repeated, if not established, that what ANYONE, including Dr. McKay, thinks about thinking, theorizing, postulating, or the green bay packers, is to a great degree off topic.

Including your post in this thread defining "evidence" and "proof."

You may set a good example by posting such definitions in one of the threads in Theorizing about Theories.
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 07:53:58 AM »

... I have learned much, much more from people who disagreed with me, than I have from those people who have always agreed with me.

Thanks for affirming the value of disagreeing with Malcolm's theories about how to test hypotheses.  I'm confident that you would not want us to roll over and play dead simply because he makes assertions about what is rational and what is religious.  Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.  Malcolm asks questions about TIGHAR's work; I ask questions about his.  It seems to me that if he cannot meet the same standards that he sets for others, there is good reason to question whether he is using the correct standards for evaluating conflicting claims. 
LTM,

           Marty
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Leon R White

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 08:48:36 AM »

Question,
Does the thread "theorizing about theories" appear as other threads when there are new posts?  I've been using your link in a post to get to it as I don't seem to see it otherwise.  Probably my bad, but just wanted to confirm.

L
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 09:06:33 AM »

Leon, I have had the same problem. However, I have noticed that if I look at the list of major catagories on the Forum I will get the little symbol that shows that there is a new post in that catagory. I can then go there and see the new posts. They have a little "new" next to the title.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 09:41:15 AM »

What does Dr M think about the Green Bay Packers?

Their my adopted American Football Team  ;D
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 11:42:13 AM »

Question,
Does the thread "theorizing about theories" appear as other threads when there are new posts?  I've been using your link in a post to get to it as I don't seem to see it otherwise.  Probably my bad, but just wanted to confirm.

It works OK for me.  But that is a law of computing.  Everything works as it should for the system administrators.   :(
LTM,

           Marty
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 01:08:39 PM »

Jeff
The two scenarios with the most going for them are the Niku and the crashed and sank.
The others are real long shots, if they were in a horse race these horses would have one leg, be blind and the jockeys would weigh 100 stone. I expect some people would still back them though :D

ps, it's Jeff not John. There are an awful lot of Jeffs in this forum ;)
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richie conroy

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Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 05:13:11 PM »

the thing with Malcolm is, he is in on all scenarios

in which, in the event of one being proven right, he is sort of seen in the spotlight

here is a link to one of the scenarios http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?p=1878388#post1878388

on the link he is seen as defending and sticking up for Tighar in a way

yet another of his post's claim's Tighar is stupid because of the stupidity of the Rov Topic in which he questions my ability to match coral to airplane parts because i know nothing about planes

we'll see who is stupid ye


here is link to start of discussion  http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=115646
We are an echo of the past


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« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 05:16:34 PM by richie conroy »
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