Dennis Rawlins (DR) publishes DIO, the International Journal of Scientific History, the Americas' leading history of astronomy periodical and the most technically competent of any such journal in the world — whose refereeing and prize boards contain world leaders in several fields (from Johns Hopkins, British Museum, etc). He also does original researches, a substantial minority of which have been science fraud investigations. Science lobbyists loathe such revelations, supposing them to endanger congressional funding, their own status, etc.
DR has produced more primary, scholarly, detailed exposures of historical science hoaxes than anyone. His verdicts have had an establishment-aggravating tendency to become eventual majority opinion.
Such establishment-loathed work and the independent financing of DIO have caused his occasional classification as a maverick; but he is one of the very few “mavericks” who (like most of the DIO rulership) does mathematics far better than the establishment figures he has come to be at odds with. (Which is obviously why so many eminent scholars have joined DIO's boards.) DIO tries to be an encouragement to those who hope for a source that will not only publish quality scholarship but will critique pushy poseurs who foul the field with “research” that's simply lawyering to syc-up to the sacred-cows of those who control funding and university chairs.
It is thus no surprise that on Wikipedia (WP) the DR biography is under
organized attack — just as
in DR Talk (2008/9/10) and in the
pre-vandalized biography (at
the section “Publishing controversy”).
[See elsewhere for a survey much briefer (than the present page) of Wikipedia vandal-harassment of DR, plus links to detailed pages other than the present.]
Under the averted noses of recent Wikipedia administration, anonymous harassers — including a longtime Administraitor — have made repeated attempts (contra Wikipedia's own then-rules) at outing the authorship of parts of the DR biography. On 2008/7/26 a corrupt Wiki Administrator even brazenly headed an edit of the DR bio (in support of a DR-hating vandal): “ The self-apotheosis of Rawlins: yup Now that the record has become usefully extensive, the repulsive record can be cohesively reviewed.
It has by this time been years since on 2008/3/10
(thus DIO-dubbed, for where his
research should be published)
and Wikipedia Administrator “Vsmith”
co-vandalized the Wikipedia DR biography.
(Though not all of the anonymous attacks on DIO have been by one person, we will nonetheless use the name “Stall-Wall” to cover all of them, since all anti-DR vandal-names&numbers aim to stall the public's learning of embarrassing truths about the establishments he serves. (Wall has always exhibited suspicious resemblances to a certain Liar-for-Life: mathematical incompetency, obsession with English usage, family-location, utter lack of ethics, seething hatred of DR, and the frustrating misimpression that truth can be killed by just applying enough dishonesty.) All are out of the same intellectual & ethical toilet-stall.)
[The 2008-2012 period has capped what's right along been an instructive experiment on Wikipedia monitoring.
(Which may be fiscally-needy & undermanned; but the organizations that fear the public reading DIO's findings are never so.)]
Goonion for Censorship:
The Wall-Vsmith 2008/3/10 act was a blatant good-CSICOP-bad-CSICOP routine, and its effect was to permanently transform hitherto-helpful WP editings (by various WPregulars) of the DR WPbio into explicitly WP-ILLEGAL intentional targeting, harassment, hounding — not to mention extortion. Perhaps Wikipedia can explain why virtually all previous helpful — and neutral — watchdogs suddenly and permanently vanished after that date.
Just a few hours earlier than Vsmith's assault on the biography,
determinedly-anonymous vandal Wall
— Dastard of Misguise
— having by then become ugly-smugly confident that
no one outside his circle knew who he was,
lodged the 2nd of two classic-terrorist
threats against Wikipedia editors
(this time against a 16y-old administrator) and against DR's eminent
though his more immediate campaign (repulsively, thoroughly successful
up to now — given Admin Vsmith's astonishingly corrupt
supervision of all) was to discourage Wikipedia's previous proper attempts at
providing normal oversight of the DR WPbio. Wall
“It is not wise to get any where near Dennis” (2008/3/6).
And: “It is not wise to get near Rawlins” (2008/3/10).
Vsmith's instant 2008/3/10 responsive and cooperative attack on the biography appears to establish a provocative precedent for how to get your way on Wikipedia! Just threaten everybody.
Is Vsmith the first WP-Administrator to enter a Wikipedia disagreement pitting constructive, informative, accurate, non-vandal, subject-error-displaying, non-censorial, non-vindictive scholarly editing versus threatening, falsely-smearing, censoring, scientifically-dim vandalism — and then volunteer as co-vandal and shotgun-rider to help do the vandal's prime destructive work for him? And this without ever admitting the errors he himself kept making. On 2008/3/10 Vsmith effected the main purpose of Wall and his inspirers by ripping out (ten slashes) nearly all the biography's citations to articles in DIO and its website (leaving the bio in the tattered shape in which it has existed for getting-on 8 years now), while libellously classifying the journal as unReliable without offering any justification since the nonReliability charge against scholarship in the carefully-wrought journal DIO is indefensible on any grounds but dreamed-up legalisms. (What an embarrassingly popey resemblance to the old Roman church's Index of Prohibited Books. Even more embarrassing is that the Romans have largely moved past such, while certain “rationalists” have evidently not.) Vsmith's rip-out — (ten successive edits!) which took relative eons of his idea of fun (& consultation?) — is conspicuous for its sheer duration (he's normally a rapid-edit tommy-gun): over an hour and a half. And CSICOP-tool Vsmith-VsMyth helpfully included deleting a DIO demonstration of the scholarship, integrity, and furtiveness of London-area DR-hater & fellow versus-myth-crusader John-Wall (of the CSICOP-clone Hall of Ma'at) — who, by an amaaaaaaaazing coincidence resides in the west London area, just like Stall-Wall.
Also deleted by Vsmith (alleging unReliability)
was reference to a DIO book
(DIO 10 )
which was an expansion of DR's report to Ohio State University,
a report sent by OSU to the New York Times,
where it became the acknowledged basis of that paper's page-one story
on 1996/5/9, and was expanded into the version co-published in 2000
by the University of Cambridge and as
DIO 10 .
It is most fortunate for Wikipedia that high school teacher Vsmith knows more than Univ Cambridge and the New York Times Science Dep't.
Can't Establishments Find a Better Way to Fight
DIO Than Clumsy Forgery?
The versus-myth clique's opening 2009 edit to the DR biography is so dishonest that one initially wondered whether even admin-plant Vsmith would finally retch (but, then, why should siamese twins spat?):
On 2009/1/9, versus-myth-crusader & Vsmith-co-cultist “Hipocrite” (Wall's then-new screen name) altered — on Wikipedia-Administrator Vsmith's watch — the biography's accurate sentence “Since founding DIO, Rawlins has used its pages both as an outlet for HIS AND OTHER LEADING ACADEMICS' SCHOLARLY work and as a forum to lampoon his rivals” (capitals added, marking Wall's deliberately deceitful word-deletions) — to read: “Since founding DIO, Rawlins has used its pages both as an outlet for work and as a forum to lampoon his rivals.”
[DR also prominently lampoons his own fallibility, a biographical item up-to-then-linked to the DR WPbio — from which Vsmith's rushed clumsiness (on 2008/3/10) accidentally eliminated both item & link. (This, in the midst of cultists' [most obsessively Vsmith's] demented charges that the bio was a puff-piece).
As for DR's publishing almost exclusively in “his own” journal for years: since DIO's board of referees is more scientifically competent (also eminent) than that of any other journal appropriate to his specialties — the preference to publish in DIO is a natural one, which has indeed proven to produce superior scholarship and so should not be adduced by Wikipedia as an excuse (Vsmith 2008/3/10) to selectively inhibit readers' ready access to these researches.]
Note that after Wall realized that his misguise was seen-through, he in 2008 switched largely to screen-names (instead of anonymous IP#s, which gave away his London-area location); the main new&transparent (temporary) one was “Hipocrite”, which was understandable for one who had formerly tried (contra WP's rules, though of-course Vsmith never complained — instead sharing in the offense) to out editors but was now (with transparent and understandable nervousness — and ugliness) conversely attacking anyone who did so.
[He initially wasn't sure Wikipedia would protect his screen-name-anonymity — thus the passing choice of screen-name “Hipocrite”.]
These blatantly deceitful Hipocrite edits constitute
attempt to ensconce in WP
archonal smear-lie (which was
nationally in 2002 by another JHAD-rewarded goon)
that DIO is a one-person journal.
[The sort of peripheral smear which academic-world miss-men concentrate on, whenever unable to find false scholarship in their targets.]
NB: Hipocrite will not even allow that the journal publishes scholarly work and so strikes the word.
In 2008 July, on the Sagan (2008/7/12, 16, 25) & DR (9/10) WP Talk pages, both Hipocrite and Vsmith have been repeatedly apprised that DIO has published the most eminent world leaders in the various fields of its endeavors. Both WP goons have also been informed (DR Talk 2008/9/10) of the stratospheric quality of various DIO board members and of the internationally prominent libraries that subscribe to the journal. Our cemental crusaders arrogantly paid no mind. And Wikipedia's vaunted team of hawk-eye editors kept snoozing.
The Tactics That Bind:
At this point, those who have followed several ever-unsmart but ever-smarting establishments' rage at DIO will recognize that Wall's tactics (and Wikipedia Admin Vsmith's) are uncannily similar to those of parallel attack-animal missmen of the DIO-loathing Journal for the History of Astronomy, owned by Michael Hoskin (who did John-Wall the favor of cleaning-up [inadequately] and publishing a Wall paper in 2007 May). Just like Stall-Wall & Vsmith, the Hoskin-Gingerich JHADists have pretended to a national audience that DIO publishes almost nothing but DR's work. (A wetdream which its shun-threat tactics keep straining to make real.)
the Vsmith et ilk echo-classification of
DIO as unReliable (2008/3/10 etc), as well as (2008/7/15)
Fringe and Disreputable: is simply the standard lie-slander that has been around
for decades in the history-of-astronomy cult.
See, e.g., the preface to G.Toomer's 1984 Almajest,
which calls the work of Johns Hopkins physicist and DIO-inspirer
R.Newton disreputable; and the repulsive
pre-DIO smears of Newton
(DIO 1.1 
‡1 §C7 [p.8]); also ‡3 § [p.20],
where mathematical amateur
& Ptolemy-salesman Noel Swerdlow (history of astronomy's idea of
a MacArthur “Genius”!) slanders Newton
(actually a genius) as a “crank and a con-man”.
This is the kind of assassination that traditionally gets
advancement as mafia “made-man”
or Muffia maid-boy.
The only difference between the sneaky WP vandals & the sneaky establishment shunners is that the latter prefer that the public doesn't know that their killings ever happen at all.
This brings up another commonality, that which unites shunning &
anonymous internet vandalism: both are attempts to kill by stealth
— and have one's crimes as disownable as possible.
[It is to DR-detractor B.Schaefer's credit that he preferred open attack to shunning, which he condemned.]
NB: No academic shunner ever wants what he's doing to be known to the public — which in itself shows that such conscienceless perps are entirely aware of how vile the tactic is. To normal people.
Yet another common tactic is censorship. The WP vandals again are unsubtle. But we see just the same fear-generating behavior by JHADist Hoskin (DIO 9.1  ‡3 §F [pp39-42] and ScAm. And the passion of WPvandals and Administraitor Vsmith to deviously protect Hoskin and & ScAm are awe-inspiring in their dedication — and in the ease with which one may detect Who is among those archons that are being so laboriously and persistently served.
The Angels of RightThinking —
Do Establishment-Defending Vandals Obligingly Occur by Chance?
(Or Maybe They Were Sent by Jesus?)
In general society, vandals tend to attack established institutions. Which is why it is striking to find a different breed of vandal on Wikipedia. Until one considers their necessity — in a new world of communication, where damming one or two outlets will no longer suffice to kill Unapproved ideas or Uncomfortable facts.
A recent, relevant, selfevident reality (still not generally understood, since the connexion of the rich-powerfully high to the slimeball-low seems at-first so dissonant as to be incredible): in an ever-less-easily-controllable, sometimes downright-uppity internet age — where the most popular encyclopedia (WP) is edited anonymously — sin-hiding establishments' traditional reliably-hermetic coverup-maintenance has perforce now come to DEPEND upon aggressively full-court anonymous vandalism, which must be nasty and punitive because ANY leakage in it permits the Evil Bacillus (of skepticism about establishments' trustworthiness) to slip out and fester in the heresy-endangered national body.
In Voltairese: if establishment-protective anonymous huns did not exist, they would have to be hired — since establishments' priorities are not truth but power, money, lobbying, & survival-of-the-institution.
In the good old days, one could count on the 20th century's most powerful academic archon, Izzy Bowman, the recognized master at killing bad press and threatening other potential heresy-outlets into silence. But, today, hermetic-sterilization suppression-tactics have necessarily required updating (beyond traditional favor-trading with the sluttiest news people). It doesn't require much analytical ability to realize that — given that Wikipedia is today's most popular internet go-to for info — there is no other assurance of the required totality of sealing-off of insolent truths there, than the existence of phalanxes of dedicated anonymous truth-killing vandals.
Lucky they just happen to have materialized…. How can the pop-science establishment be anti-superstition, given a universe that so vacuum-seal-satisfies its censorial needs, without the slightest conniving on its part?
Note an establishment's same “luck” in the North Pole controversy, where we find leading experts Bryce and DR under constant Google-prominent bombardment from another fake-independent just-happened-to-come-by-for-a-mudsling kook, who is easily connectable to the National Geographic Society.
Similarly, CSICOP's Phil Klass pretended to be an outside-independent — even though on CSICOP's board (partly due to DR's own folly, ironically) — as he acted as CSICOP's appointed slimer of DR (a crusade which including even phoning DR's past employers) in revenge for sTARBABY's undeniable revelations of CSICOP's scientific bungling and coverup threats.
Of course, there's nothing accidental about any of this: when DR on 1996/5/9 exposed NGS' Byrd N.Pole fake on the front page of the New York Times, NGS (having learned from its 1989-1991 encounters with DR over NGS' other N.Pole hero [Peary] not to debate him) said it would not investigate its Byrd mess but was considering an approach whose very oxymoronicity blows the cover of the entire disownable-lone-crazed-smearer game-plan which NGS, JHA, HAD, et ilk have been following since learning it was suicide to fight DIO on science or truth: “have it analysed independently”: DIO 10  §§T5&T7 [pp.77&78].
Similarly, we discern the surely, surely-acausally
(or maybe ESP?) of Stall-Wall
and Journal for the History of Astronomy author John-Wall,
as Wall's fake-Christian persona
and his 1st Wikipedia edit-test
at a later-DIO-trashing-fave anonymous IP#
occur just after made-man-wannabe
John-Wall was [a] exposed by DR
letter to Ancient Egypt as just
another DIO-attacking scientific maid-boy,
and [b] was published by the JHA,
which has been admirably generous in rewarding
those who attack DR.
[An amusing side-event: 2008's repeated badgering of the DR WPbio included insertion of a conspicuous flag (into the article, not the Talk) which took the reader to DR Talk, where all sorts of slanders had piled up. Slight problem: the exchanges in Talk included linked citation of DR's dismemberment of John-Wall's Ancient Egypt article. Soon after, Stall-Wall decided that, on balance, it was wise to just eliminate the flag.]
Without thinking, one might flippantly say that such suppression is applied regardless-of-the-truth. Wrong. The suppression's intensity is inversely correlated to the falsity of the heresy, since false heresies are easy to answer. Why else would establishment-slave Sky&Telescope attack DIO (alone among a spectrum of potential target-journals) but that DIO's maddeningly incorruptable, unthreatenable dedication to truth — as well as its even-more-maddening undeniable competency & unanswerable accuracy, plus the eminence of its scientists — makes it a greater threat than minor or kook journals?
The most appalling commonality of
orthodoxy-enforcing WPvandals & the establishments
they protect is: extortion.
Wall's & Vsmith's are blatant.
And in this department, the offending establishments are hardly less so,
in spite of their attempt not to admit their crime in public.
E.g., by indefinitely with-holding publication (of an important paper in the history of ancient mathematics and astronomy: DIO 9.1  ‡ §§A-E [pp.30-38]; & see summary of paper's pioneering contributions at DIO 11.1  ‡1 n.14 [p.8]), the JHA attempted to extort (ibid §F5 [p.40]) DR cooperation in the repulsive hist.astron-community shunning (JHA 21:364-365) of since-vindicated Johns Hopkins physicist Rob't Newton. (DR paper's math approved by both JHA referees; paper advertised in the 1982 March Isis.)
But far more sinister is the shunning against R.Newton and against DIO. What else is the purpose of shunning but to punitively extort cooperation in the censorial institution's programme, which in the present case is most particularly: protecting archons from criticism — of their shunning. The cyclicity of such viciousness is evidently beyond archons' mentality.
Admin Eliminates Virtually All DIO-Citations from
Wikipedia Bio of DIO's Publisher:
Stall-Wall's 2008/3/10 complaint to Vsmith that the biography of DR frequently cited the webpage of “Rawlins” ignored the fact that DIO is an enterprise not a person and is backed by some of the finest scholars on Earth.
During his instantly-cooperative 3/10 vandalism of the bio, Vsmith failed to comprehend or care that many of the DIO website references saved WPspace by referring to discussions that were dense with citations of journals which Wikipedia classifies as Reliable. (Refs to multi-citational places in DIO constituted a neat means for shortening the Wikipedia space consumed by the biography's text, while giving readers access to a great deal more Reliable information than was obvious to [deliberately or sloppily] superficial editors like Vsmith & Wall.) Anybody can verify this by checking out the six citations which corrupt Administrator Vsmith deleted on 2008/7/25 (before applying extortionist damage on the person who had posted the six). Cited in these six notes are such sources as Washington Post, Dartmouth's Polar Notes, U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, New York Times, and a photo of the Peary diary for 1906/6/24 showing that he never saw his faked “Crocker Land”. (A completely original DR discovery, critical to the Peary controversy.) Those sources are unReliable?! The only exception is the 6th citation, to DIO 10 . But this volume was co-published in 2000 January (Polar Record 36:25-50) by the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, after the most rigorous refereeing, appending a special note to its version, stating that the analysis
is considered to be of such significance to the polar community that it has been published here despite an expanded version being published this same month in DIO
By clumsily promoting the lie that DIO is a one-author journal, Stall-Hipocrite not only ties himself and the lie to others who promote it (establishing the cohesive nature of the attacks on DR: and the proneness of some to copy others' errors) but he provides yet further confirmation that he is a scholar of such limited calibre (see early DR Talk) that he sees his life's main hope (for his work not ending up in history's toilet) as his provision of goon-favors for the sort of craven political establishments that have always cursed academe by their suppressions, shunnings, smearings, deviousness, and above all their preference for power operation over competent and valid scholarship when choices must be made.
Seeking the Absolute-Zero of Scumitude:
By threatening DR's associates, some circles have tried to make the lie come true. (An equally self-fulfilling oddity is phase-one Wall decrying anonymity even while threatening — and-or vandalizing the bio of — any editor who gets “near” DR.)
The idea is obviously to threaten and generate eyes-are-lurking-everywhere paranoia in a targetted enemy (an old FBI technique) — to embed the spectre of organized-crime gang vengeance.
(Hmm. Isn't shunning the same thing?) When all else fails, such filth is the inevitable last resort of intellectually powerless self-cornered archonal aggressors.)
Since there's no-limit to cower-operator-pols' obsession to crush defiance (preferably via disownable 3rd parties), there's correspondingly no-limit to how near an establishment will descend towards Absolute-Zero-Ethics lowness. (As if GMC-vs-Nader, burglar-Nixon's Donald Segretti-vs-Muskie, and Obamahemoth-moles in McCain's campaign hadn't already long since established the repugnant reality.)
When an archon's position is threatened, some means will always be resorted-to, — no matter how hypocritical or unprincipled — to try to hold on to power.
The unexpected ironic issue
in the present instance has been that most DIO authors
so principled and so eminent that threats don't deter them.
(Thus, threats have only served to refine the quality of
the DIO tribe.)
Scholars who have published in DIO include:
Robert Newton (DIO 1.1 ), Space Science Supervisor of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, the pioneer in revealing what Nick Wade (now of the New York Times) called in Science the “Ptruth About Ptolemy”;
Aubrey Diller, the most respected 20th century philologist of ancient geographical manuscripts (author of the preface to the 20th century's only re-issue of the 1st complete Ptolemy Geography: Hildesheim 1966), who left his ultimate work to DIO: DIO 5 );
Myles Standish (DIO 7.1 ), whose orbits have been used for a quarter century by N.A.S.A. to locate the planets it aims spacecraft at;
Robert Headland of the University of Cambridge (DIO 4.3 );
Charles Kowal (DIO 15 ) ‡1), dean of all the rare greats among living celestial-body discoverers.
Kowal's discoveries & fame — and his citation even in astronomy textbooks — didn't deter Wall from persistently vandalizing Kowal's Wikipedia biography from 2008/1/8-9 through 2008/1/24 (deleting link to DIO source for prize-information, in order to expunge the crime of “site-pushing” which aggravates Wall whenever the site happens to be DIO) and 2008/7/9 through the libellous claim that Kowal had awarded himself the DIO R.R.Newton Award (alleging that Kowal's presence on the judging board showed so). This 2008 lie (which has never disturbed Wall's bud-wikiAdministrator Vsmith) was there, years later, until removal on 2011/1/2. On the pretext of concern at the evil of more “site-pushing” (Wiki-hounds are ever so fertile with Good Reasons to mask Real Reasons), Again, Wall even deceitfully 2008/1/24 deleted reference to DIO's prize page which had previously informed WP readers that the DIO award to Kowal preceded his appointment to the judging board. (Wall did not repeat the site-deletion the 2nd time, rightly realizing that hypothetical WP supervision wouldn't check the site, anyway.) Wall similarly on 2008/1/9 smeared the highly eminent CalTech astronomer and DIO-board member, Standish, both in the DR WPbio and its Talk page]. The idea is to make good his threats against those associated with DIO — Vsmith&co are obviously on the same team.
To minimize Kowal's immortal achievements, Wall on 2011/7/6 entered the Kowal Wikibio yet again, changing “his startling discovery” to “his discovery”, snidely asking “Who is startled?” — sufficient proof in itself how well informed Wall is regarding astronomy. The Kowal discovery cited was probably the most unexpected history of astronomy find of the 20th century.
In the same vein, Wall in 2011 finally just couldn't any longer tolerate the idea that Rawlins had such status in history of geography that the world's top scholar in that area, Aubrey Diller (Classics, Indiana University) had bequeathed to DR his final ms, which appeared in DIO vol.5. So, on 2011/11/30, Wall removed the word “preeminent” from the description of Diller in the DR Wikibio. Fact: when Hildesheim in 1966 reprinted the then-only complete edition of Ptolemy's Geography, Diller was chosen to write (in Latin) the preface. He was universally in his day deemed (as one may verify by inquiring even of one of DR's critics, Alex Jones of NYU) to be one of the leading scholars — if not indeed the very top — in the field of ancient geography. (He is one of numerous leading scholars whose final paper has appeared in DIO: D.Dicks, A.Diller, C.Kowal, R.Newton, H.Thurston.) Again: why does it matter so much to some, to try to fake DR's unimportance?
Like the Sagan Talk slanders of DIO that transform seething haters' smear-rumors into fact (without overturning any ACTUAL scientific facts reported in DIO's journal), the lie that DIO was essentially a one-author nothing was circulated privately for years before being published nationally in the popular magazine Sky&Telescope (2002 Feb page 40) which echoed the just as fantastic libel that DR had written a long string of abusive letters to Editor Michael Hoskin of the other main history of astronomy journal Journal for the History of Astronomy. S&T has highhandedly spurned requests to produce copies of the alleged abuse. (Or even sample phrases or dates.) Wikipedia readers can verify this for themselves by phoning Sky Publishing at 617-864-7360 and requesting copies of the non-existent documents. For most of its existence the magazine has been close to and has frequently published Owen Gingerich (co-editor of the Journal for the History of Astronomy and co-founder and top gooroo of the AmerAstrSoc's cultish Historical Astronomy Division). The Sky and Telescope editor who published the assault on DIO without verifying anything beforehand was a Gingerich protégé and promotee.
The appraisal of DIO as
by WP-Admin Vsmith and cohorts is backed by
no claim of any scholarly error debuting in the journal.
[DR's only two scholarly errors in a 45y career both first appeared in (mainstream) journals which WP classes as Reliable. Both errors are openly discussed in a link that was attached to the bio before Vsmith's Vandal-Orgy of 2008/3/10 destroyed it (presumably inadvertently). At DR's desire, a Baltimore edit then (2008/9/10) appended to the bio a substantial list of articles opposing DR's positions.
(However, this leaves a non-neutral situation, since DIO's responses to these largely invalid or even crank articles have been banned by Vsmith's one-sided decree that DIO is unReliable. Balance.)]
Astronomy-History Archons' Struggles
with Astronomical Science & All That:
Several Substantial Catalogs of the Scholarly Reliability
of the Astronomical History Field's JHAD Rulership:
In DIO's 24y of existence, exactly zero DIO blunders in its new-research papers have been detected despite the seething rage (lately spilling into Wikipedia) of its most motivated critics and despite their various establishment-rewarded attempts to attack, harm, and isolate the journal. Meanwhile DIO has exposed the journals which math-challenged WP-Admin Vsmith considers Reliable, as having published literally dozens of screwups of math or science, some among them almost unbelievable coming from self-styled experts. See, e.g., our latest compilation: over twoscore botches just in the Journal for the History of Astronomy. See also the two top cover-stories of DIO 16 , each developing solid & contributory scholarship out of determinedly anti-DR JHA-traindreck. [This torrent of Muffery-exposures occurs even though DIO reads but a minority of JHA papers, and these often with positive expectations (which are not always disappointed): e.g., the 2005 Farnese paper, that seemed at first to support DIO's longtime contention that the Ancient Star Catalog was based upon Hipparchos' lost catalog.]
Similarly laughable JHAD-clique goofs (brief summation nearby) pop up again (gooroo Gingerich) and again (genius Swerdlow) and again (Nobelist Hoskin). For earlier compilations of like archonal nonsense, see: DIO 1.3  pp.176-177 (“Black Affidavit”); and the page-long 45-item list at DIO 4.1  ‡4 §A [p.48]; also DIO 6  ‡1 n.1 [p.3]. Similar “cacklefodder” (to quote the 1991 citation) is found throughout the April Fool satire “Backward Boobs” (title based on a DR-slanderer's AAS-superhyped paper that ended up putting Cassiopeia's breasts upon her back) which revealed that the American Astronomical Society's biggest historical astronomy news story ever was for a Gingerich-promoted 2005 May Journal for the History of Astronomy paper which none of six alleged referees (incl. Gingerich) had checked for accuracy. (A mutual colleague of John-Wall & the paper's embarrassed Louisiana Aggie author is cited at p.4 of DR's detailed letter shredding Wall's goofy attack on DR.) The satire is much resented. (DR contends that its blatant childishness is appropriate to the paper's scholarship and that to hold such awful humor against a journal's reliability would be like judging a newspaper by its cartoons.) But no specialists any longer accept the thesis of the paper DR thus attacked. In the more than five years since then, the resenters have not detected a single error in a lengthy satire which is heavy with refined astronomical, sph trig, statistical, and photogrammetric calculations, plus a mass of precise citations to the ancient and modern literature.
Thus, Wikipedia has no cause to delete a link to a satire which sank a national crock and has stood the test of time in its own right. [I.e., DIO published a scrupulously accurate and (see under Krates) creative study, while the JHAD world-promotes a scholarly disaster. Result: AAS hatred of DIO, while its own historical output is continuing to be ruled by an ineducable clique (JHAD) which attempts to control a controversy (Neptune) that DIO has contributed more to than any other periodical.
Who can take institutions seriously when such political-crazyhouse asymmetries (see also on dueling and exposures) persist for decades?]
Hoskin's embarrassment at yet again being exposed at carelessly publishing invalid science led to DIO Editor and supercomputer physicist Dennis Duke (FSU) publishing in the 2006 Feb Journal for the History of Astronomy a sedate refutation of the satirized paper, with the added implicit humiliation that Hoskin at last faced the wisdom of inviting Duke, one of DIO's group of the most mathematically able experts working in the field, onto the board of the Journal for the History of Astronomy, as someone skilled enough at science to head off any further disasters for the journal. (Such plain factual history points up how reliable Vsmith's opinion on reliability is.)
[Sadly, joining the JHA board seems to affect the mind. See DIO 20  ‡‡2&3 [pp.7-38].]
Could such embarrassments have some relation to the determination of rival journals and their goons to inhibit, harass, and slander DIO?
DR's most seething (see
DIO 1.2 ,
academic enemy is mathematically-challenged
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Editor-for-Life M.Hoskin. He responded
to John-Wall's insulting but botched 2007 Winter attack
on DR by instantly granting non-entity Wall his first access to
the precious pages of Hoskin's
Editing the DR WP bio, Wall (screen-name “Hipocrite”
for the nonce) outs himself
by protecting Hoskin,
on 2009/1/5 a statement in the DR WPbio that recorded Hoskin's refereeing
arbitrariness and refusal to communicate with DR for over a 1/4 century,
statements accurately sourced to (WP-Reliable) Isis
and Sky&Telescope. Unable to find factual error,
he resorts to threat:
his excuse for deletion (libel) is as plain in its falsity, as is
the chutzpah of such complaints coming from a protector
of false libeller Hoskin.
Revealingly absent any prospect of success or gain, desperate
and his own fantastic libels' perverse
purveyors have been purple-facedly fake-threatening
to sue DR for libel for the last 30 years: the enraged, bare-fanged snarl
of self-ensnared stoats.
When you can't detect falsity in the output of a critic more technically
competent than yourself (waaaay more competent in math in this case),
you can always fake a libel suit threat.
Though if you cannot establish falsity, what chance would your suit have?
If a forum like Wikipedia ducks in the face of phony libel threats,
their frequency will grow — and open, honest discourse will shrink.
(For this reason: though constantly libelled, DIO NEVER sues
or threatens suits for libel. Or even hints at such threats.)
Again, those who are attacking the DR WPbio are so empty of factual basis that
they are reduced to the tactics of threat, fear, & misinformation
— all said tactics having been initiated
by the equally principled darling of
the American Astronomical Society's Historical Astronomy Division, M.Hoskin.
But, then, what other tactic can keep Wikipedia's readers from
finding out what JHA-rewarded
smearer-goons — John-Wall
and JHA's and Sky&Telescope's
— have been up to?
the particularly outlandish one-author fabrication against
DIO, Wall-Hipocrite again outs himself as of
the establishment circle that owns that falsehood.
(Fact: since 1994, 7 of the last 11 DIO volumes have been mostly by other authors. Two of the last 3 have been entirely by others.)
[Without even going into the merits of its justice, one may recoil from the sheer arrogance of the 2009/1/10 “final warning” which Wall-Hipocrite issued at Phaedrus7 — as if he owns Wikipedia!]
But what must be of greater concern at Wikipedia is Administrator Vsmith's equally inadvertent parallel cult-outing, the history of which is informatively transparent:
There is but ONE citation of an issue of DIO which Wikipedia-Admin Vsmith's scythe left standing during his vandalism of 2008/3/10. That was DIO v.1 #1 when it WAS briefly DR's personal journal all the way back in 1991, so that anyone clicking on it would see that the opening text-page (p.3) discussed being nearly a one-man operation. The same ploy was used in Sky&Telescope (2002 Feb p.40) by the future Owen Gingerich, who appears to be aiming at an advanced degree in establishment-sychophancy, Brad Schaefer of Louisiana Aggie (whose science dep't contains a colleague of John-Wall in the Hall of Ma'at), through citing only that same single 1991 long-past issue #1 while explicitly alleging that DIO was a one-man nothing. The sort of lie-smear that is standard-issue weaponry against anyone who has embarrassed as many semi-numerate institutional moguls as DIO has. (All this effort aimed at defending Ptolemy from professional astronomers' longtime general opinion [which DIO has backed up evidentially since its inception] that he plagiarized Hipparchos' star catalog — a contention which is now so universally unargued among informed and competent scholars that it's not even “controversial” anymore, outside a couple of chauvinist cultists [plus popsci writers like BS] — and indeed never had been for the last 400y, outside a passionate, revealingly intolerant clique of semi-numerate historians whom DIO has — irreverently, but with semi-humility — spoofed as “The Muffia”.) So Vsmith loyally followed the same gameplan of concentrating upon the same selective evidence (DIO 1.1) to mislead Wikipedia readers into believing that what has become the most reliable and ultra-scientist-backed journal in the entire astronomy-history field is just an unreliable one-man show. But when you are looking to turn black into white, the only effective methods are not likely to be ethical.
The ideological connection between the vandals of the DR WPbio is through
their otherwise commendable joint passion to oppose bad science and myths.
Vsmith's archived edits show he devotes much of his spare time to
this CSICOP-inspired crusade, though racking up far more edits per hour than
can be done with due care. (Do edit totals affect
status at Wikipedia?)
John-Wall is similarly occupied through the “Hall of Ma'at”.
[Vsmith's superficially inexplicable hostility toward DIO and Hipocrite-Wall's shmoozing with a bunch of antimyth Wikipedia biggies suggest the likelihood that CSICOP and its satellites and allies are determinedly infiltrating Wikipedia's rulership. Such persons can be most helpful in dealing with fundamentalist dittoheads but should not themselves be dittoing for flawed icons in (atop) their own midst. And, despite lip-service to free discourse, they are ever trying to discourage Reputable publishers from disseminating trash, a mission which — though understandable — nonetheless often puts them in censorial mode.]
DR was a co-founder
and for awhile a board member of “CSICOP”
(re-named “CSI” right after DR in
2006/6/21 posted a counter-slander internet spoofing
of the “Keystone CSICOPs”):
the “Committee for Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal”.
He was ejected in the late 1970s. (See
DR's detailed exposé of the scandal.)
That followed his non-cooperation in CSICOP's eventually unsuccessful attempt to suppress public awareness that it had botched its kickoff scientific investigation — and used discreditable tactics to stifle public realization of the scientific amateurishness of the CSICOP archons who led the Custeresque charge into this disasterism. (I.e., a coverup of a coverup.) CSICOP has spent years attacking fellow atheist DR on the sick and inevitably-smear-generating theory that, if he is devalued, that will make less true the plain facts and obvious realities of “sTARBABY”. [Brit ex-PM Gordon Brown's inner circle had a disownable smear-machine: International Herald Tribune 2009/4/14 p.3. Does anyone think that other establishments differ? Look, e.g., at the tactics of CSICOP and its ongoing smear-machine against perceived enemies. Its VsMythic problem is that (unlike DR) there are matters that it prefers that others not read. This point is easily established: we hereby challenge CSICOP's Skeptical Inquirer to exchange 1 page of space with DIO.]
The fantasies following from this obsession can be seen in a series of demented comments on Sagan Talk. The nutsiest of these is due to Vsmith who there, on the basis of a embarrassing Sagan mis-statement from DIO v.1 #1, proposed (2008/7/23) the theory that DR must be a defender of the myth-psychoanalyst Velikovsky. Mere consultation of the pdf of that same DIO 1.1  would show that DR views Velikovsky as a “bigtop zany” (p.8). Or Vsmith could also have checked the DIO website he's nearly expunged from the DR bio. Or DIO 7.1  pp.30-33, where DIO publishes the #1 anti-Velikovskian's exposure of the Velikovskians' hypocrisy about censorship. That, incidentally, has a sad match in the behavior of Vsmith&co. After centuries of suppression of unbelievers by religious dictators (see fn 17 of the same p.8 which Vsmith missed at DIO 1.1 ) who believed their views couldn't survive without the crutch of thought-control, are organized agnostics (e.g., Paul Kurtz' Freethought gang) now emulating the same unbalanced illness?
Vsmith's weird fantasy about DR's alleged myth-loving led quickly to Vsmith's being informed on Sagan Talk of DR's long history of opposing Velikovskian mythology, plus a large range of certifications to the scholarly status of DIO. Did that cause admission of error? No, Vsmith instead immediately did vengeance (2008/7/25) by attacking the DR biography again. Years later, this cult-driven bully and extortionist remains a trusted Wikipedia Administrator. (Well, what with all the scholarly administrators having long since left in frustration at the tsunami of fanatics, catspaws, and goons that now dominate any controversial issue — Wikipedia must gratefully make do with whatever unpaid editors it can retain. It's what used to be called “The Servant Problem”.)
DIO Associate Editor Keith Pickering had earlier on 2008/5/7 restored to the DR biography a few accurate citations to the DIO website. But just two hours after being embarrassed by his Velikovsky mistake of bigotry and ignorance, Vsmith on 2008/7/26 threw out — for the 2nd time — a securely cited reference (Smithsonian and California Institute of Technology) to DR's reputation for original humor as “puffery” (hmmm: how many scientists do you know who have created and published dozens of original jokes? [one or two of which actually happen to be funny]) — and tore out all the half-dozen undeniably accurate DIO references Pickering had restored. To enforce his rigidly evidence-proof condemnation of DIO to unReliable status (calling it DR's “own” website, when it's actually that of an enterprise backed by a flock of internationally respected specialists), Vsmith then proceeded to threaten to turn the DR WPbiography into a stub (a threat his coterie was to carry out in 2014 in pure vengeance for our exposure of his tactics). He also, in a particularly precious display of Administrative neutrality, simultaneously called DR's work “junk”. Isn't this the sort of transparent threat which is customarily called extortion? Notice that Vsmith is not inviting discussion but is decreeing — which makes sense when this self-styled Rationalist hasn't the slightest Rational basis for his actions.
All of that raises the question of whether the DR WPbio's very existence is being deliberately held hostage to ensure silence on Wikipedia about DR-exposed misbehavior by entities which have inspired the threateners' worshipful allegiance. Is this what the Wikipedia ideal has come to? (And do the vandals circulate so seldom among free, creative, eminent scholars as to not understand that threats will not silence them?) And: does the extent of an internationally known subject's WPbio depend upon the import of his work? — or upon his biographers' truckling to the bruised pride of a self-styled versus-myth martinet high school teacher who is angry-embarrassed by the results of his own sloppiness and bigotry?
Note that Vsmith's anger at mere informational (non-judgemental) citations to DIO have conspicuously not — for over 6 years (since 2008/9/10) — extended to the bio's four citations of papers published in DIO that opposed DR contentions. (Two of these papers were written by DR himself.) These 4 anti-DR papers comprised the MAJORITY of the bio's article-citations to DIO, as things stood at 2011's start.
Having on 2008/7/25 23:21 deleted Pickering's restorations
and 44m later (2008/7/26 00:05) threatened stubness against the DR bio,
Vsmith expended the next 45m pondering (& conferring?),
while looking for some way to do extortionist
upon DIO's Pickering
for reasonably disobeying blockhead-administrator
Authority (substantiating fellow-vandal Stall-Wall's
shun-speak threats against anyone associating with DR)
— and concluded by
deleting (2008/7/26 00:50) from the Plana Cays
Wikipedia article a reference to Pickering's expert
(DIO 4.1 
‡2 [pp.14-32]) and educational analysis
of the Columbus landfall controversy,
which covers all sides of it.
This is extortion.
Extortion by one who, lacking any valid logical counter, just resorted to force.
[Vsmith never reasoned with KP or Phaedrus7 or DR. He just immediately abused his position as WPadministrator by punishing, insulting, sneering, deleting. Fellow WPadmin Graeme Bartlett excuses all by urging cooperation (with Vsmith?!) claiming on Bartlett Talk 2014/8/30 (probably with some justice) that Vsmith has “done much good” (the Ray Rice defense).]
When on 2014/8/29 CRNVR posted on Graeme Bartlett Talk some objections to Vsmith's high-handed don't-bother-me-with-facts dictatorial extortion, the response was simply more extortion.
Soon after the objections, consecutive 2014/9/11-12 edits to the DR WPbio, by Vsmith henchboys NQ & administrator Drmies wiped out the whole scholarly bio and replaced it with a stub roughly 10% of the previous size, based on laughably inferior sources, 50% of them relating to DR's involvement with CSICOP (about 1% of his life!), and successively insisting (2014/9/11&12) on suppressing the fact that DR publishes the journal DIO — the Drmies edit actually re-writing the bio's opening line, “astronomer, historian, publisher” to read “astronomer and historian” — i.e., pretending that the journal DIO doesn't exist. (Which is notably consistent with the tactic of all of DR's fleeing exposees.) All of this censorship & extortion is hair-trigger protected by Vsmith's chosen bottom-of-the-world alterate watchpuppy Stuartyeates of New Zealand, in order to ensure 24hr/day immediate revertability so that no heresy can infect vulnerable minds even for an instant. As 2thedef commented 2014/10/3 on WP Rawlins Talk: not even the other Holy See ever thought of this ploy.
[Further on the extortion history here: one notes that during the flap over Phaedrus7's 2008 July attempts to quote DIO 1.1 in Sagan's WPbio, it was (vainly but threateningly) proposed to eliminate the WPbio of C.Leroy Ellenberger, a knowledgeable critic of Sagan's Velikovsky effusions and a contributor to DIO 7.1  (‡5 §C [pp.30-33]). This may be an efficient way to silence Phaedrus7 (who would not wish to trigger harm to the WPbio of an ally in his views on Velikovsky); but, again, it reeks of Heydrich. (The censors here initially couldn't even recognize that Phaedrus7 has a greater grasp than they of the facts and science at issue. By the time this became undeniable, they had typically switched to a who-cares defense — adorned with threats and slander.]
As for Vsmith's repulsive attack on Pickering: as an equivalent expert (assuming Vsmith knows any — or could even recognize him if he did) will easily discern from the lead paper in DIO 12 , Pickering is adept at the most difficult sorts of mathematical analyses. If Vsmith had 1% of his talent in this area he would be more fortunate than the reality and would have at least some claim to adjudication. Among other forums, Pickering's mathematical astronomy has been published in the world's leading scientific journal (how often has Vsmith been published in serious journals?): see Nature 412:699; 2001/8/16, at which place DIO's people not only discovered the previously unrecognized star (10i Dra) most likely used to orient the Great Pyramid but additionally corrected a key error of spherical astronomy which undid Nature's 2000/11/16 cover story, carelessly preface-promoted there by the #2 editor of Hoskin's angrily jealous Journal for the History of Astronomy. When a journal continually corrects and outdoes the most prominent journals (who have yet to point out ANY serious errors in 24y of DIO's original research), who but an ideologue-fanatic would try to slander it as unReliable?
[And: should not WP consider restoring Pickering's WPbio, given that he is capable of such high-profile work — and for a decade has been an important editor of the most reliable scientific history journal on Earth? His remarkably versatile and sophisticated study of ancient skies' opacity (DIO 12  ‡1 [pp.3-27]) not only ended the Hipparchos-Ptolemy catalog controversy (along with D.Duke's crushing ‡2: pp.28-34 and G.Graßhoff's massive 1986 study) but has important implications supporting the conventional side of the current global-warming controversy. (WP's article on this dispute would profit from a link to the Pickering paper.)]
Notice the consistency, of Vsmith's attack on Pickering, with Stall-Wall's threats against DR associates. How obvious can it be that the actions described here represent a concerted effort to intimidate DR's colleagues, as Wall prescribed? This is seriously dirty business by seriously dirty gangsters.
One sees a similar problem when amateur nonentities (who don't even know of
DIO's international recognition)
attack DIO as too unknown (Sagan Talk)
while omitting the causative context
that DIO is unknown to insulated rabbitariates et ilk
because insecure subeminent scholars are shy of reading or citing
(much less writing for) a journal with threats swirling about it.
[DR's fecundity and the eliteness (in competence and courage) of those who contribute to DIO, account for the small number of persons capable enough and brave enough to write for DIO — as well as the high fraction of DIO output written by DR. (Is his creativity a negative?!) Is not semi-competent critics' obsession with attacking authorship (etc) of DIO output (instead of its scholarship and validity) revealing in both its diversionary desperation and its resemblance to attacks on the DR WPbio?]
NB: DIO or DR have been involved in three frontpage New York Times stories, not to mention several others there on the editorial and science pages — plus numerous national & international television appearances, e.g., CBS Evening News [Dan Rather] 1996/5/9. That is an odd kind of obscurity.
Vsmith also on 2008/7/23 had deleted a DIO citation
from the Sagan biography. Without going into the issue
of whether the main article should quote, cite, or skip it,
one may ask why Vsmith showed such sadistic
glee as he (2008/7/23)
“Gee what fun. I just removed a rather trivial post”. Can being an administrator really make someone that drunk with power? And, if the matter is trivial, why has it led to threats, censorship, smear, etc? Answer: Vsmith et ilk know that it's positively not trivial that a famous astronomer faked and plagiarized expertness — and didn't know where something was in the sky? Isn't the outdoor sky ever so slightly related to what astronomers are about?
[But the truth is that perhaps 1/4 to 1/2 of astronomers don't know how to find famous objects in the outdoor sky without mechanical help. (Though experienced astronomers such as Kowal & DR can identify planets & stars outdoors with ease.) WPers might be interested to learn this — AND that for astrologers, the fraction that can't find constellations is virtually 100%.]
Ted Koppel of ABC's Nightline didn't deem outdoor location trivial. He kept persisting until he finally forced his two celebrity-astronomers into pretending to know what neither actually did. It is a measure of the integrity of The Saganic Force who pack-attacked Phaedrus7 (even to the point of trying to terrorize him into silence by smearing and then Hipocrite-vandalizing the WPbio of his source, DR) that not one of Sagan's defenders admitted what REALLY upset them, namely, the revelation that Sagan had been caught-in-the-act engaging in a kind of plagiarism: pretending to a piece of knowledge which was actually another's. Worse: another's mistake.
(His worshippers were seriously surprised at such behavior by a celeb popular writer?! That's genuinely touching.) And Sagan's pretense foundered on the reef that customarily sinks plagiarists: copying a source's error.
[Sagan's researches may not be so respected by working scientists as his WP defenders think. And the Sagan WPbio's quote from mutually-backscratching pop-writer Asimov is hilarious — and typical of the naïvete of those who have over-elevated a bright guy like Sagan into an iconic cult-saint of over-organized “rationalists”. Still: who would crusade for the deletion of such a preciously revealing dab of popsci-mythology?
Sagan's WPbio implies that a measure of his greatness is his being one of the two most prominent modern saints to have extra-terrestrial plaques. (The unnamed other being Richard Nixon: DIO 2.1  ‡1 §J6 [p.10].)]
Encyclopedic and popular figures & writers' easy ethic on plagiarism (e.g., C.Ptolemy, D.Kearns, S.Ambrose, M.King, Sky&Telescope, etc) should not be banished from WP. (Famous writers' tendency to plagiarize is not a new problem: see Pliny's 77AD Natural History Preface 21-23.) Summing-up: the few negative Sagan items need some inclusion; but his many genuine positive contributions more than balance the embarrassments.]
It is surreal to watch The Saganic Forces react to an accurate, bold, ethical, startlingly informative posting (the Koppel incident) by Phaedrus7 (for which WP should be grateful, not resentful) by aggressively, gang-cohesively trying to smear him and DR as rotten, rotten, rotten — in order to protect Sagan's rep and protect the public from what is ThoughtCrime among “Rationalists”. And these robo-acolytes think they're ANTI-religious? (And a WP-Administrator regards pretense & plagiarism as “trivial”?!)
One expects both experts and everyday editors to have prejudices, and WP trusts that these will balance out in WP articles. But should Wikipedia's administration-police be taking one side against another? Vsmith as editor has never been known for neutrality even in a worthy cause. E.g., 2005/1/7 (before his 2006 accession to Administrator) to an opponent of fundamentalism “I'm with you on this.”
During his 2008 mass deletions of DIO citations,
Vsmith also went to the trouble of killing
the text of one and only one scholarly section of the DR WPbio.
(And typically, to make his edit stick, he hinted at a threat to do more
damage if opposed. He's a pro at threats if nothing else.) This section was
on the discovery of Neptune,
and he went after it with peculiar thoroughness.
He deleted it entirely. Why?
His stated excuse that the section belongs
in another article is belied by his failure to move any of it there
and by his failure to apply the same axe to other sections of the bio.
[Meanwhile, Wall lurked in WP's Discovery of Neptune article, conspicuously making lots of trivial anon edits, to intimidate-signal that any mention there of Scientific American's tamperings would be tampered out.]
Vsmith's actual but unstated purpose is obvious. (His attempt to veil that purpose by total sweep-out only shows his deviousness. See JHA Editor-for-Life Hoskin's parallel ploy: DIO 9.1  ‡3 §F7 [p.41].) As is also his Heydrich-ratio mega-punitive desire to intimidate. Said section mentioned that Scientific American had improperly doctored a DR letter after its own assent on wording, to make it appear (see 2005 April ScAm's letters section) that (some of) its authors' reply refuted a statement that DR had never made. (All this in defense of a contra-DR celestial-mechanics contention that not a single expert in the field accepts.) DIO has posted a photo of the original letter which any reader can compare at his local library to the published version. (How can one get more reliable than an original document?) But WP-Admin Vsmith scrubbed it all anyway to help cover for the magazine — and deceitfully did not reveal this self-evident motive. In 2005 Scientific American had responded to DIO's refusal to stay quiet about such behavior by deleting DIO 9.1  from the online edition (since intermittently deleted) of the bibliography originally published with the article. A trip to the library (including that at Vsmith's workplace) could have confirmed that, too. So the magazine went from tampering with DR's writing to tampering with its own. Now its several threatening goons (see the history of the biography) including Vsmith are tampering with a document (the DR WPbio) reporting the undeniable fact of this double censorship, thereby creating a triple-tamper disgrace. Should WP readers who over-trust what they read in popular journals or who may be planning to write letters to them not know that such incidents are ongoing? Isn't a people's encyclopedia supposed to inform people? If Wikipedia is going to be controlled by the same sort of censors that disgrace pre-WP encyclopedias then what's the point for its existing?
Considering the discussions of neutrality in connection with the DR biography, should Vsmith be acting as a warden on behalf of Scientific American? (Which has enough pluses [some involving DR: 1979 May & 1990 June & 2004 Dec] that it ought to have more self-confidence [than hitherto evident on the Neptune-letter mess] that it can stand criticism.)
Vsmith's protection of Scientific American in this instance raises a question: are Vsmith's loyalties to fave institutions and causes stronger than his loyalties to WP and its ideals of openness and neutrality? — ideals which his actions appear to have repeatedly betrayed.
It is not worth counting all of the Wikipedia rules Vsmith bent, flouted, and even created (e.g., anonymously banning anonymous edits in an anonymous encyclopedia: 2008/3/10). But his deletion of ALL of DR's Neptune researches is so laughably transparent and incongruous that it is worth special examination here.
DR is the central modern figure in the flap over Neptune's discovery, having for most of his life taken the recently triumphant position that Leverrier not Adams deserves credit for capturing the planet.
DR's discovery (DIO 9.1  pp.13-14) of Adams' 1846 June circular orbit ephemeris broke the case open and is recognized at Scientific American 2004 Dec p.98 as the prime mathematical evidence overturning Adams' previously dominant claim.
DIO was the lone journal to out the thief of the Royal Greenwich Observatory Neptune File before the truth was proved when the file was found in his home after his death. DIO organized the Science-New York Times-Jet Propulsion Laboratory-DIO appeal to NOAO that ensured the file's photocopying while luckily still under US control before return to Britain.
The world's most eminent specialist in celestial mechanics, Myles Standish, deputed DR to write the DIO report on the file: DIO 9.1  ‡1 [pp.3-25].
The DIO website is host to the Royal Astronomical Society-funded findings and main documentation from this file, a huge and dedicated work carried out by the only astronomically competent member of the trio that wrote the Scientific American article.
DIO is the 2010 discoverer of the exact extrapolation-ratio (14:11) used by Adams to arrive at his fatefully erroneous final prediction of Neptune's place, 12° off the mark — vs Leverrier's hit within 1°.
Should a DR denigrator with Vsmith's grasp of celestial mechanics determine whether or not a biography makes the slightest mention of a success so central to the subject's career and expertness?
With like neutrality, one of Hipocrite's 2009/1/9
deleted a genuinely neutral party's statement
that DR “has investigated several scientific causes celebres,
and made proposals and recommendations that seemed far-fetched originally,
but have become scientific orthodoxy in the course of time.”
This was his answer to a 2008/9/10 DR Talk challenge to find inaccuracy
in the biography. It is revealing that none of the Baltimore edits that
so infuriate Wall could be found false so that he was reduced to questioning
another party's judgment. Should the fate of that judgment be in the hands
of a neutral party — or instead of a DR enemy-vandal, liar,
and threatener of his defenders?
Unless Hipocrite can disprove the massive supporting evidence in
the biography's main body (and elsewhere),
he has no basis for making that edit.
(Given DR's unpopularity in political quarters,
it is amazing that as many of his findings are accepted as are.)
Questions-in-passing. What political parties in academe are so anxious-frantic to hammer again and again, trying to portray DR in the worst light that his many credits can allow them to get away with? Who has such motives? Consideration of the very weirdness and obstinacy of the VsMyth-Wall crusade — and its close parallel to shunnings and smears by certain journals — makes the sources of the harassment trivially obvious.
It is equally obvious, from the wide citation of alternate views regularly appearing in DIO output, that DR has no fear of his critics' writings being read. From the 2008/9/10 Baltimore edit it is just as clear that the scholarly editors of the biography have the same attitude. At DR's instigation, this edit added to the DR WPbiography a long list of articles attacking DR, though most are lousy scholarship. (DIO's friends have been waiting for over over 6 years to see if any WP personnel might think to ask: if citations to DIO are barred in the WP bio, how can DR's counters to his critics' attacks be made available to WP readers?)
Contrast this openness with the attitude of parties criticised by DIO. They often find their pretensions to correctness and even minimal competence so deflated that they are horrified at the prospect of DIO being read. Again: should the biography's degree of citation of DIO be governed by neutral parties? Or by transparent tools of the frightened academic politicians whom DR satirizes, with an accuracy that continues to drive his repeatedly frustrated detractors to every scheme but refutation? Should Wikipedia readers' access to one of the few genuinely free (and occasinally whistleblowing) forums ever, be impeded as much as Vsmith thinks he can get away with?
A concluding note should be added on self-outer Wall's 2008 charges
(which Vsmith improperly encouraged on 2008/7/26)
regarding sockpuppets and autobio, which
he then switched
sides on (thus his temporary screen-name, Hipocrite):
the purpose of WP's discouraging interested sources from being editors
while not banning them is that they tend to be not neutral.
But the central point is that neutrality not authorship
is the criterion even for the very issue of authorship. Much of
the justification for starting an anonymously edited rebel encyclopedia
was that entries' validity be judged by merit, not authors' reputation.
(Refereeing anonymity at DIO is for any AUTHOR who requests it.
There are no anonymous REFEREES. See publisher's statement in every issue.)
Yet wars and blockings over alleged sockpuppetry rage constantly on Wikipedia.
(That is a strange spectacle, since all interested parties'
edits are subject to critics' instant correction of their errors.
If Wikipedia doesn't want anonymity it can just say so and change
the rules instead of ever more elaborately footnoting them.)
Is this because the overseers too often can't understand
the material and therefore resort to psychoanalysing authors?
(DIO 1.1 
p.90 2003/3/27 Retrospective:
“DIO's mix of humor and science initially misled those
too innumerate to evaluate the content other than stylistically.”)
Is not this why the WP Sagan Talk attacks upon DIO and upon
the DR bio are so concerned about writing style and authorship?
(Have any of the critics shown ANY evidence of
expertese at the science DIO publishes?)
When Vsmith there says DR's commentary on Sagan's TV performance
“sounds like a blog” he acts like just a Sagan admirer. (DR is
too, at least on, e.g., Sagan's analyses of rationalism's Aegean roots.)
But Vsmith is so blinded by his CSICOP-clonies' worship of
atheist-god Sagan that Vsmith reflexively searches
through his standard potpourri of seemingly plausible
excuses for deletion.
(His resort to gauging content & expertise
by writing style sounds the death-knell to his cocky
pretense to expertise:
no-one who can gauge a scholar by his substance or skills
would resort to such superficiality.)
He (with co-DIO-trasher “Eleland”)
is simply diverting from an obvious question: if it is relevant
that DIO is WP-unReliable, then surely the excerpt from
Nightline cannot be trusted.
[Eleland (WP Sagan Talk Archive 4 2008/7/22): “The point is that [DIO] does not have an established reputation for accuracy and fact-checking ….”
It's typical of Wikipedia that such libel gets by as an excuse for censorship (and Wikipedians excel in fertility of excuses to justify such) — without anyone having to point out evidence of the alleged unreliability.
Let's be clear: the bigotted CSIpher “Eleland” is taking advantage of the [then-present] unavailability of long-ago Nightline records to — VERY belatedly — charge DIO in-effect with lying-fantasizing, an utterly baseless slander. This, even though the contended quote was published by DIO back when checking was possible and Sagan was alive when it appeared (1st distributed at AAS-HAD meeting 1991/1/14) if he or anyone else had complaints about accuracy.
More Eleland the next day: “a low-quality reference”.
Does Eleland know how much he reveals not about DIO but about Eleland, with remarks about no-rep for accuracy? They show that he — like Vsmith — has no ability independently to gauge the science at issue in DIO's controveries, which is why he must resort to guessing who's officially (as against actually) “Reliable” — a central flaw in current WP practice. (Probably maintained because checking substance would require more labor and skill than is realistic to expect from unpaid volunteers.) Has either Vsmith or Eleland noticed that competent specialists never need to do this? Question neither has faced: could this point have some relation to why DIO has a board of ace scholars — who gauge reliability by competence and accuracy instead of politics or rage?]
To return to the DIO-quoted Nightline episode: we notice the superficially odd circumstance that, despite repeated attacks on DIO's cred, none of the hounds is actually risking a claim that a SINGLE SYLLABLE is inaccurate. Which tells us that these deceitful slanderer-soldiers-for-their-idea-of-Rationalism secretly suspect in their putative hearts that DIO's quote IS reliable.> The implicit hypocrisy is as hilarious as the rest of the sinuous dance these “Rationalists” are performing, to protect their holy St.Sagan from besmirchment-by-heretic.
So let's just ask them to come out and risk a TEST of
their claim that DIO is unReliable.
Are they or aren't they claiming that the Nightline episode occurred?
Are they or aren't they claiming that the Nightline quote was altered or exaggerated?
Are they or aren't they challenging the accuracy of either the DIO quotation or DR's comments?
[This challenge has been posted for years. (And has been carefully read by the goondum referred-to here.) No takers. Which establishes the honesty of Vsmith's & Eleland's DIO-denigrations. In the absence of original records, this is the best we can do in showing who is reliable and who is not just unreliable but unethical and truth-fearing. As a DIO counter-tactic (necessarily resorted-to in the absence of the Nightline record), our ploy has revealed the phoniness of the 2008 goons' ploy, which was: bury the Sagan embarrassment by faking a claim of DIO-unReliability — even though we know it's reliable. One possible gain: a new record-low in Wikipedia sliminess?]
The Saganic Forces never actually have the straightforwardness to claim the lie that their slander tries to convince their readers of, namely, that the Nightline quote is false, simply fabricated by a Sagan-hater — which is a prime cause of why the try-anything-else intensity of their huffs&puffs gets so funny.
eliminated (rather than answered in the bio)
the Sagan bio's reference to DIO's
from Sagan's revealing and embarrassing 1985/12/5 Nightline
of another scientist's error, just to pretend he knew something he didn't.
Question: if Vsmith is right that the quote is “trivial” and proves nothing against Sagan's integrity, then:
[a] Why simultaneously denigrate DIO as a blog? Why at the same time smear DR (with ironic inverse falsity!) as Velikovskian?
[b] Why is Eleland in such DIO-slandering hysterics?!
Obvious answer: because if the quote is accurate, it does indeed show something so seriously negative about Sagan that it must be suppressed by smear and-or by Admin-decree. I.e., Vsmith's (& Eleland's) very behavior belies his blustering attempt to pretend otherwise.
The contradiction is the real Fun here, which naturally escaped both cultists.
Similar tanglefoot-crosspurpose rear-guard buffoonery also enlivens every contra-dolt revolution in academe.
[E.g., Ptolemy's Venus-contradiction and star catalog theft.]
False-orthodox-defenders spend years kissing up to reactionary power operators by denying the revolutionaries' position. Then, when the truth finally outs, the standard fallback is: it doesn't really matter. Vsmith has transparent-overkill-telescoped both ends of the process by simultaneously contending for falsity (“blog”) and doesn't-matter (“trivial”).
Vsmith's denigration of DIO as sounding-like-a-blog is also setting himself up for questions (obvious to all but blind fanatics) like whether the University of Cambridge exceptionally co-publishes with blogs and whether a blog is the source of the standard edition of the Tycho star catalogue (DIO 3 ), reference to which was also among the casualties of the Vsmith 2008/3/10 massacre. Isn't Wikipedia itself a superblog? And how does that negate its value?
The Velikovsky and Neptune episodes reflect a question this posting is for.
Why for years has a rigid fanatic, as ignorant of
a biographee's person and science as Vsmith patently is, been
(since 2008/3/10) the only WPadministrator to oversee the DR WPbio?
— which had been scrupulously WPadministered previously.
[As for Wall's parallel scholarly level: see his posting near the top of DR Talk, supposing that Kowal & Standish — among the greatest astronomers ever — are supporting DIO and “hero” DR merely out of corrupt palship! Knowledgeable scientists reading such stuff will think that Wikipedia is dominated by persons whose familiarity with science is gotten out of scifi comic books. Will they be right? As a fellow rebel-enterprise, DIO sincerely hopes not.
(Years-later reflection: Wikipedia may've started as a peoples' encyclopedia but by now, on controversies, it is ruled by the parties with the largest edit-armies — which is the way those wealthy or influential enough to afford such armies prefer the situation.)]
There are several possible resolutions for the DR biography such as
sharp & persistent neutral oversight, some degree of protection
(which Vsmith on 2008/7/26 pondered with typical one-sidedness),
compacting by the method cited earlier,
and/or from-scratch neutral overhaul.
Or elimination. The last has the recommendation that something nonexistent
cannot be held hostage.
Item: During 2014, an attempt was made to create a Wikipedia article on
DIO. Goonhood instantly made a private protest
and the article was immediately deleted by an administrator not named Vsmith.
Can someone at Wikipedia explain why dishonest vandals
have such hairtrigger-cooperative access to Wikipedia administrators?
Concluding question: the persistence of VsMyth is weird enough — the resort to extortion in order to insist on his way proves that.
But Wall's behavior is that of one who is either crazy or hired.
No one at DIO thinks he's crazy, though some among his associates think he's usefully so — and are delighted to exploit the infirmity.