User:RonLar

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Jeremiah 5:21

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Censorship at Conservapedia

A year ago, I started a discussion about censorship at Conservapedia at your talk page over there which unfortunately got sidetracked by the late TK. Today, I wanted to return to it, but - alas - your talk page at Conservapedia seems to be protected (why call it a talk page then :-) ? ) (obviously, it works for me now.... )

To summarize, You wrote:

And please don't think (or say!) that we are engaging in censorship here at Conservapedia, as you guys at Wikipedia do. We do follow Jimbo and Larry's original NPOV policy of "describing all viewpoints fairly". It doesn't require censorship to show that a bad idea is bad. Unless you can show at least one diff, where a senior editor censored something ... merely because it disagreed with some conservative shibboleth ... than you ought to stop saying this. I address this not so much to you, as to those who follow you or travel alongside you.

As an example I quoted wigo3277 of March 2010:

A new level of dishonesty: After selective archiving the thread Counterexamples to an Old Earth - omitting all contributions of PhilG - ASchlafly is left with talking to a ghost, as a dialogue turned into a monologue.

And here - http://tinyurl.com/cp-cap-001 - is an example of the PhilG's contributions which were censored.

PhilG had protested against JacobB's behavior - and was consequently blocked by him. It is a little bit difficult to get diffs for this kind of abuse, as so many pages are constantly deleted and revisions regularly oversighted at Conservapedia. But I think that I showed that a senior editor censored something ... merely because it disagreed with some conservative shibboleth - and therefore am allowed to say that Conservapedia is engaging in censorship.

You seem to embrace such a politic: I informed you about this act of censorship a year ago and you still haven't rectified JacobB's distorted archive.

RonLar 11:22, 26 July 2011 (EDT)

Sorry, if "censorship" has been oversighted into oblivion then there is no easy way to check on it. I remain concerned over censorship issues for two reasons:
  1. I'm against it
  2. I deplore attempts to falsely paint CP leadership as engaging in it
Depending on my mood, the order of my concern fluctuates. But for either case, timely notification is important.
Anyway, if there is some viewpoint that still has not been covered in an article such as Counterexamples to an Old Earth, please let me know. Last time I checked with the project director, I am free to describe all points of view, even those which disagree with Conservative or Christian ideas.
Note, however, that it is not censorship to refrain from describing an idea as true - as long as we say that X believes Y about Z then we are not censoring their POV. --Ed Poor Talk 12:15, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
Have a look at Talk:Counterexamples_to_an_Old_Earth/Archive_1#Receding Moon and Talk:Counterexamples_to_an_Old_Earth/Archive_1#Instability of the Solar System . Can you spot the bits which are not there? Answer: the comments of PhilG. As a sysop here at Conservapedia you should have no problems to look these comments up in the history of the original talk page Talk:Counterexamples_to_an_Old_Earth, which was deleted in March 2010.
Is Conservapedia afraid of showing the arguments for opposing views even on the talk page of an article?
RonLar 13:38, 26 July 2011 (EDT)
I'm really curious whether you will answer to this attempt to rightly paint CP leadership as engaging in censorship - or at least in not bothering about it - or whether you shoot the messenger and find a pretext to ignore my example. Perhaps incivility? Though even an uncivil editor may have a point...
However, you are now informed of an act of censorship and should act according to your concerns. Maybe you could try to revert it? This should be your first action...
RonLar 08:16, 27 July 2011 (EDT)
I'd really appreciate a comment sometimes... RonLar 11:28, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
When answering to the section below, you used the edit comment stalling, but responding. I hope that this holds true for this section, too, and that the stalling phase will sometimes lead to the responding phase....
RonLar 14:14, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Ed says, "timely notification is important."
Ed, I'm going to begin collecting some of these at Conservapedia talk:Sysop complaint documentation. I'd like to avoid dragging the sysop usernames into those discussions for now, but merely cite instances of potential misuse of sysop tools without it degenerating into personal disputes. This could be helpful in getting sysops to understand their responsibilities more, and avoid misunderstandings with other editors and sysops. Thank you. Rob Smith 15:32, 5 August 2011 (EDT)

timely notification

Ed, here is a deletion of an active discussion with another sysop. [1] Rob Smith 18:44, 6 August 2011 (EDT)

So, will it go away if you ignore it?

Probably: I don't think that Rob will be able to pursue this matter. But for the record: I've shown that there is censorship at Conservapedia, you have shown that you don't care much about it (though you say otherwise). RonLar 07:43, 12 August 2011 (EDT)

I never said there wasn't: we routinely censor vandalism, profanity, personal attacks, and obscenity.
What I actually maintain is that I have yet to see a genuine example of political censorship, i.e., removing any reference to an idea or claim merely because it is "liberal". I've asked dozens of times for examples, and to date haven't seen any. But I'll take a look at Sid's material below now, just to be a good sport. --Ed Poor Talk 16:22, 19 August 2011 (EDT)

Resuming

Since RonLar has been blocked for a month, I'll repost his reply to you (with permission), making a few small tweaks since the original was a RW post that was talking of you in third person.

[From RonLar]
  1. Obviously, the diffs are deleted at Conservapedia. That's why I gave you a link to a screenshot http://tinyurl.com/cp-cap-001 for the now deleted http://conservapedia.com/index.php?title=Talk:Counterexamples_to_an_Old_Earth&curid=95133&diff=760665&oldid=760554
  2. As this includes a paragraph on Andy's text, you should have no problem to place it correctly in Archive_1#Instability of the Solar System
And try the following diffs
Even though they are deleted, they should be accessible for you!
[/From RonLar]

Maybe you should consider undoing or at least shortening RonLar's block (which was a full month for this edit) so you can discuss this directly with him? --Sid 3050 14:57, 19 August 2011 (EDT)

These are from March 2010. If there was a problem, it seems that by ignoring it I made it go away (<grin>). Anything more recent than that?
And please remind me what there are examples of. Is it uncivil comments, or antithetical ideas?
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ed Poor (talk)
  • Judging from your comment (These are from March 2010. If there was a problem, it seems that by ignoring it I made it go away (<grin>). Anything more recent than that? And please remind me what there are examples of. Is it uncivil comments, or antithetical ideas? ) you seem not to have look[ed] into the material, but glanced at it.
    • You asked for an example. You were provided with one. You didn't state an expiry date for censorship.
    • no, ignoring never makes a problem go away.
    • according to my calculations, ca. 24% of all revisions are deleted at Conservapedia (compare this with less than 9% at other wikis, including wikipedia). So, diffs are notoriously hard to get.
    • the diffs I provided you with are about antithetical ideas. As far as I can remember, the discussions at the page were all very civil.
  • You had another month to look into this matter. Have you done so?
  • RobSmith gave you an example of a deletion of an active discussion with another sysop. This was done timely - but there is no sign that you did acted on it for six weeks and counting. Even if you dismiss his example, a timely notification should result in a timely reaction!

RonLar 09:17, 15 September 2011 (EDT)

Which one of these is an example of ideological censorship? I'll need screen shots: I only looked at the first diff, and it didn't show anything: you can't diff a deletion.
Anyway, if someone is rolling back discussions, they might have a good reason. I've done it myself, when it's trolling or totally off topic. I do it routinely for personal attacks. That's not what this is about, is it?
I asked for an instance of ideological censorship. If I don't get one by the end of this month, I'm going to stop asking. --Ed Poor Talk 10:54, 15 September 2011 (EDT)

Again, the previous example of ideological censorship, in detail

Where is the right place to propose an alternative viewpoint? Surely not in the article itself, but on its talk-page. This is a simple necessity for all protected articles, but a good idea for most of those articles some sysops feel strongly about. So, when an opposing viewpoint which is presented civilly and in detail gets erased, the author blocked and all the diffs deleted, than this is censorship. Wouldn't you agree, Ed?

PhilG was obviously not happy with the statement The planetary orbits in the Solar System - including Earth's - are unstable and unsustainable over the long periods claimed by Old Earth believers. in the article Counterexamples to an Old Earth. He argued his case on the talk page, and we could read exchanges like the following:

A degradation in predictability is a degradation in stability. There's no meaningful distinction between the two. The only difference is the possibility of an unpredictable fortuity that would knock Earth into a different orbit that would sustain life as the current orbit does. Such an unpredictable fortuity has a probability that is, shall we say, astronomically small.--Andy Schlafly 21:20, 7 March 2010 (EST)
A degradation in predictability is a degradation in stability. I'm afraid thatt you are wrong: you're confusing laymen's - or philosophers' - terms with the exactly defined mathematical and physical definitions. The reason for this may be that the article in Newsweek is a report on an article by Gregory Laughlin in nature, which itself summarizes the work described in a paper by J. Lasker and M. Gastineau.
In Newsweek we read - as quoted by you - But the chances of orbits changing with less-than-catastrophic results are greater, notes Laughlin: "the planetary orbits will indeed become chaotic," with "the time required for chaos to significantly degrade the predictability of a system [on] the order of 5 million years." But in Laughlin's article, he is more precise: "Orbital predictions obtained from numerical integration of the planets' equations of motion demonstrated that the planetary orbits will indeed become chaotic, with typical Lyapunov times - the time required for chaos to significnatly degrade the predictability of a system - of the order of 5 million years. On a first glance, this doesn't contradict your interpretation. But what is a Lyapunov time? Informally, it's the time for somewhat nearby orbits to increase their distance by the factor e. Or as J. Lasker and M. Gastineau put it: Owing to chaotic behavior of the Solar System, the distance between two initially close orbital solutions increases by a factor of then every ten million years .
So each ten million years, the initial margin of error increases by an order of magnitude: If we know the initial position of the Earth up to one meter, in ten million years we know it only up to 10m. That's not a nice thing for a mathematician, but it isn't a catastrophe. In 20 million years, the uncertainty is 100m and in 100 million years it's 10,000,000,km and so on.
Therefore, in 5 million years there won't be any sign of a catastrophe, as all the positions can be calculated up to a couple of meters. But it is hopeless to search for a precise solution for the motion of the Solar System over 5Gyr (Lasker and Gastineau)
And the most precise long-term solutions for the orbital motion of the Solar System are not valid over more than a few tens of million years (again a quote of Lasker and Gastineau)
Again, we are save for a couple of tens of million years - certainly longer than five million years.
Beyond that, only statistical studies make sense. As I said earlier, you vary the parameters of our Solar System within the margin of errors of their measurement, and run the simulation.
The most problematic planet is Mercury. So the scientists varied an offset of the semi-major axis of this planet within a couple of meters for ~2500 times.
And the result? Again G. Laughlin: With 99% certainty, we can relay on the clockwork of the celestial rhythm - but with the remaining 1% we are afforded a vicarious thrill of danger. A danger which manifests itself in 1,763,000,000 years in the earliest...
BTW: Laughlin's article is titled The Solar System's extended shelf life , stressing the fact that the new simulations - which included more details of the Solar System - yield a smaller probability for catastrophes than earlier ones.
PhilG 12:06, 8 March 2010 (EST)
PhilG, you protest far too much. The logic is this: there's no guarantee Earth's rotation or orbit will continue (as it has been) for the foreseeable future.
Part of the reason atheists like to push the billions of years so much is to give atheists a false sense of security and an unjustified feeling of independence. The reality is that Earth's orbit is unstable, and anyone who denies it is living in denial.--Andy Schlafly 23:37, 8 March 2010 (EST)

Now, after JacobB (then sysop) erased any contribution of PhilG to this talkpage, all what is left is:

A degradation in predictability is a degradation in stability. There's no meaningful distinction between the two. The only difference is the possibility of an unpredictable fortuity that would knock Earth into a different orbit that would sustain life as the current orbit does. Such an unpredictable fortuity has a probability that is, shall we say, astronomically small.--Andy Schlafly 21:20, 7 March 2010 (EST)
PhilG, you protest far too much. The logic is this: there's no guarantee Earth's rotation or orbit will continue (as it has been) for the foreseeable future.
Part of the reason atheists like to push the billions of years so much is to give atheists a false sense of security and an unjustified feeling of independence. The reality is that Earth's orbit is unstable, and anyone who denies it is living in denial.--Andy Schlafly 23:37, 8 March 2010 (EST)

Censorship? Indeed, it's the removing of any reference to an idea or claim merely because it didn't fit... Ed, again, you are in the privileged to take a closer look for yourself - you only have to look at the deleted entries to Talk:Counterexamples to an Old Earth, and you will find more examples of this kind of purely ideological censorship. This is a trivial task for a sysop, and not doing so would show an inclination to shut the eyes and to call all is well which I just hope you don't have.

RonLar 15:29, 15 September 2011 (EDT)

Before reading all of the above, let me point out that I was unaware that we were talking about a locked article. That changes the complexion of the "censorship" problem. Stand by. --Ed Poor Talk 15:34, 15 September 2011 (EDT)
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