Articles to 2022-10-02

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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.


In his comment Rashid again skirts around the main point. Yes, he was part of the team during the preliminaries and yes undoubtedly some of the ideas in the final publication may well have been his. But still, when that article was drafted and written he was no longer present and no longer a collaborator. Assuming that article in its final form turned out to be fraudulent and a falsification, as has happened before, would he be prepared to take full personal responsibility? If not, he’s not an author but a person to be acknowledged. Incidentally the news section of that very issue reports up to a third of all authorships being purely honorary.


And again in Nessel et al. we have a wonderful article expending lots of expense and effort into demonstrating that tin isotopes tell us absolutely nothing. There definitely is no geologic, i.e. radiogenic signal in tin isotopes. All isotope ratios, of which tin has many, result from fractionation alone as is demonstrated by all of them coming out strictly proportional to the weight differences – see the stright lines free of scatter in figures 3 and 5. While there may be tiny differences in the means of ore sources they are dwarfed by their internal variation (figure 1). And even if there were a useful signal in the ores, variations in smelting and further processing would completely obliterate it. This is most probably true for the Glavanesti outlier. With its low tin content and heavy isotopes it’s far more likely the result of frequent recasting than an anomalous ore source.


Again we find a current crisis and an apparently honest intent used as foil for conducting another large, costly, and well supported experiment into the scientific base of efficient propaganda. What James et al. find is neither new nor unexpected. The most effective way to manipulate people into action is by suppressing their critical faculties and inducing shame and embarrassment. “Imagine your grandmother was to die and you were seen as responsible.” This is exactly the technique employed for the sale of indulgences in Luther’s time and used to induce young boys to confront tanks bare handed. Their second main result is the value of the tried and dependable technique of shaming and blaming non conformists to deflect criticism away from those in power and responsible. This is best achieved by efficient framing. Those holding back from a novel and unfamiliar procedure must not be described as cautious or timid, rather their intention and desire must be represented as wanting to confront the danger unaided. This straw man of recklessness and attempted bravery is then easy to shoot down. The only surprising result is how effective these primitive and obvious techniques still are on the general public. “There is no danger, people will never fall for this obvious nonsense.” is a well documented mistake, all too often made until it was too late.

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