TIGHAR

Chatterbox => Theorizing about Theories => Topic started by: Malcolm McKay on June 21, 2012, 05:09:08 AM

Title: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay 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.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: JNev 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 -
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: john a delsing 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 ?“.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden 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.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Leon R White 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
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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 (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,646.msg14798.html#msg14798), 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 (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,784.msg16129.html#msg16129), 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 (http://books.google.com/books?id=EH3l1EW6kKgC&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300&dq=logic+missing+premise&source=bl&ots=V4M6KUDA5E&sig=gUCh8_wkQPE32mq7fCY4WeVr0Dk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iG7kT6LOBIHn0QG-mInWCQ&ved=0CE4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=logic%20missing%20premise&f=false) 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:
Those who wish to defend the major premise might do so this way: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.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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 (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/board,13.0.html).
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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. 
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Leon R White 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
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: C.W. Herndon 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.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Chris Johnson 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
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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.   :(
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden 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 ;)
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: richie conroy 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
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on June 22, 2012, 10:40:46 PM
What does Dr M think about the Green Bay Packers?

Their my adopted American Football Team  ;D

What in heaven's name (that is if there is such a place) is a Green Bay Packer?
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on June 22, 2012, 10:47:58 PM

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


It is you yourself who admitted in that thread that you knew nothing about aircraft. I would have thought that some idea of what an aeroplane part looks like might be a good starting point before I claimed to be able to see bits of them in coral debris. But hell, that's just me.   ;D
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on June 22, 2012, 10:57:47 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 ?“.

Thanks John - it is important with any hypothesis of this nature, which seems to draw some quite emotional reactions, to look at all the data offered as calmly and dispassionately as necessary. It isn't some sporting event nor is it some wonderful example of scientific research that will lead to a Nobel Prize - it is simply the examination of a rather minor historical puzzle. If the Nikumaroro hypothesis is proven to be the answer then I will, like others, congratulate TIGHAR. If it isn't then all one can say is nice try - in the end the success or failure of this, given the real problems faced by billions of people every day just to get enough to eat, is pretty trivial.     
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Adam Marsland on June 23, 2012, 01:01:15 AM
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

You know, Richie, you really are a very interesting guy.  This is a very astute post.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on June 23, 2012, 01:52:21 AM
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

read.php?t=115646

Good grief now there is a leap into the deep end of the silliness pool. I offer a rough overview of what I think (notice the first person singular pronoun "I") to be the four main hypotheses floating around at the moment (there are probably some I missed) and you accuse me of supporting each one so that when one is proved correct I can leap up and claim that I knew it all along. Frankly I'd stick to imagining aircraft parts in every coral lump if I was you - you certainly have problems with normal discourse.     
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Chris Johnson on June 23, 2012, 03:06:49 AM
What does Dr M think about the Green Bay Packers?

Their my adopted American Football Team   ;D

What in heaven's name (that is if there is such a place) is a Green Bay Packer?

Yes there is such a place, see above glow  :)

BTW The game is like Rugby but not as good (IMO)
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: richie conroy on June 23, 2012, 08:28:13 PM

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


It is you yourself who admitted in that thread that you knew nothing about aircraft. I would have thought that some idea of what an aeroplane part looks like might be a good starting point before I claimed to be able to see bits of them in coral debris. But hell, that's just me.   ;D

i know my way around car and bike engines and mechanic's in general not a problem, however i don't know the in's and out's of the internal workings of planes or parts used to build one, but i have enough images of Earhart Electra to be able to see comparisons in objects in Rov video, to photographs online however far fetched they seem

like it or not.

 

 
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on June 23, 2012, 11:13:58 PM

... to see comparisons in objects in Rov video, to photographs online however far fetched they seem

like it or not.

Yep .........   ;)
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Leon R White on June 25, 2012, 08:28:46 PM
Malcolm, your buddies on the forum are rather an unkind group of people.  I'm surprised and a little disappointed you posted there.  But - that is your perogative.  They don't do you any credit.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on June 26, 2012, 10:44:39 PM
They don't do you any credit.

You could also say that the whole thread doesn't do the person who originated it any credit which despite the name on the lead post post was actually one of our moderators. But then who am I to dispute what a moderator may do or not do - it is only we mere mortals who are supposed to behave ethically. And throughout I have behaved with admirable restraint - at least someone has to.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Leon R White on July 01, 2012, 09:38:31 AM
Malcolm,
We clearly disagree on the meaning of 'admirable restraint' unless we're talking about navy personnel. 

A is unkind
A claims C is unkind
A's unkindness is justified.
A is therefore unkind.

Which kind of scientific approach is this again?

I do think you may have proved a point.  And I am in awe of the fact that it may be the first time said thing has happened.  It shows that in any inquiry, it is essential to keep an open mind, remain unbiased, and evaluate all the data objectively. Otherwise, you may miss valuable input.  This is an important lesson to all of us, and one I am grateful for.
 


 
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on July 01, 2012, 11:31:05 AM
I see I will have to get one of these 'theoretical armchairs'
All of the work I do is done from a well worn leather swivel chair and worn out desk surrounded by book cases and computers. An armchair? Oh how the other half live.

Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: C.W. Herndon on July 01, 2012, 11:36:38 AM
Looks like my office.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on July 01, 2012, 06:22:20 PM
Malcolm,
We clearly disagree on the meaning of 'admirable restraint' unless we're talking about navy personnel. 

A is unkind
A claims C is unkind
A's unkindness is justified.
A is therefore unkind.

Which kind of scientific approach is this again?

I do think you may have proved a point.  And I am in awe of the fact that it may be the first time said thing has happened.  It shows that in any inquiry, it is essential to keep an open mind, remain unbiased, and evaluate all the data objectively. Otherwise, you may miss valuable input.  This is an important lesson to all of us, and one I am grateful for.

Leon, I'm one of the very few contributors to this forum who is a real live archaeologist. Believe me you don't do that from an armchair - well certainly not the digs I've been on. So perhaps you might like to reconsider your remarks, or perhaps enlighten us about how you conducted yourself on the digs you've been on and how you evaluated the material found.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: john a delsing on July 01, 2012, 09:12:40 PM
Gary LaPook or Dr.McKay,
    Can either of you explain to me why some on the forum do not believe that occams razor applies to Tighar ?
    Is there some organization (s) that a group can write to to request a waiver ?
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on July 01, 2012, 09:54:14 PM
Gary LaPook or Dr.McKay,
    Can either of you explain to me why some on the forum do not believe that occams razor applies to Tighar ?
    Is there some organization (s) that a group can write to to request a waiver ?

Why? Don't know really - perhaps because it is all too easy not to apply Occam's Razor if one is spinning a good story based on what one would like to believe happened.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: richie conroy on July 07, 2012, 08:14:21 PM
maybe if u look through Tighars archives every question asked as been answered in 1 way or another over last 22 years

unfortunate for people like me an you we just get the blunt replys because

A) if we read through all the documents Tighar has made availible to public we would get an answer without haveing to ask questions..

B) can we prove to next person that somethink is true based on what we say, answer  NO

C) who is the worst person to believe ? based on there available evidence an data ?
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on July 07, 2012, 09:16:24 PM
maybe if u look through Tighars archives every question asked as been answered in 1 way or another over last 22 years

unfortunate for people like me an you we just get the blunt replys because

A) if we read through all the documents Tighar has made availible to public we would get an answer without haveing to ask questions..

B) can we prove to next person that somethink is true based on what we say, answer  NO

C) who is the worst person to believe ? based on there available evidence an data ?

Answered yes, satisfactorily no.

The only evidence for the Nikumaroro hypothesis that counts is that which is incontrovertible, so far that has not been found as none of the meager number of artifacts offered can be shown to have sole Earhart or Noonan provenance. The wreck of Earhart's Electra would be. What happens if they don't find it? 
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: richie conroy on July 08, 2012, 02:03:03 PM
It is meager when u consider there is a plane to be found

what if wreckage is found and is the electra on reef face,  but it is so badly rusted it can't be identified to belong to either the Electra or Norwich city ?

then them meager objects become best evidence of were electra ended it's flying days 
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: Malcolm McKay on July 08, 2012, 06:35:30 PM
It is meager when u consider there is a plane to be found

what if wreckage is found and is the electra on reef face,  but it is so badly rusted it can't be identified to belong to either the Electra or Norwich city ?

then them meager objects become best evidence of were electra ended it's flying days

Richie, aluminium doesn't rust. It corrodes to a white powder. Please if you are going to post on what could be Electra bits in that video learn something about aircraft construction.

If it cannot be identified then it cannot be identified and therefore evidence is lacking.
Title: Re: Armchair archaeology: Malcolm's Razor
Post by: richie conroy on July 08, 2012, 07:13:54 PM
my apologies i should have said rusted or corroded not just rusted my bad  :)