Hit and Run Trolling and a Whole Lot More

imageDear Colin:

You attempted to post the following comment, which I decided to block and turn into a posting with some thoughts of my own. You wrote:

I have just this minute posted on this blatant example of hit-and-run trolling in the service of agenda-driven Shroudie pseudoscience.

I’m not sure what your comment meant. Was I being invited to read you blog since you provided a link to it?

Anyway, I must recommend your posting, Why is the Shroud image so superficial? More on the ongoing battle between science and pseudoscience. At lease, I must recommend the first part of it. The cross section diagrams of flax fibers are useful, as are the concise, understandable explanations. This is a good review for some of us and a wonderful introduction for those of us who are not familiar with the structure of a flax fiber.

The posting, however, begins to fall apart somewhere in the following paragraph. Too bad because I agree with much of what you say as I read . . . 

So far my knowledge on that score is restricted largely to a few words in the Fanti et al paper on macroscopic v microscopic properties of the Shroud image fibres, ones that have acquired wide currency in the Shroudie world, and inspired (in my view) far too much premature and misguided excursions into exotic forms of energy input (uv laser beams, corona discharges, neutron bombardment etc). Why wasn’t conventional energy studied first in model scorch systems, to see if alleged ‘super-superficiality’ really was inexplicable in terms of conventional physics (and  botany and pyrolysis chemistry)? Was proper consideration ever given to the physical and chemical structure of the flax fibre that could have accounted for image superficiality?  . . .

It is when you turn to insulting people that it becomes tiresome; the folks in Italy are Mickey Mouse scientists. I could go on. Readers can read it if they want. Again, for everyone, that link is Why is the Shroud image so superficial? More on the ongoing battle between science and pseudoscience. 

Oh, and then, Colin, you provide an inline footnote to an asterisk I missed:

* Enter “Colin Berry’s idea is untenable, and heat cannot produce a superficial coloration” into one’s search engine.  I shall not dignify that execrable instance (one of many) of hit-and-run trolling on Porter’s site by providing a link, and have merely informed the host that it’s been flagged up here as abuse of site.

Colin, my friend, may I recommend you read some netiquette guidelines about providing links for your readers (and as fair and ethical way of providing link-backs and citations). For your readers and mine, the link you won’t provide is Colin Berry’s idea is untenable, and heat cannot produce a superficial coloration. It is a letter from Paolo Di Lazzaro. I recommend it to everyone.

BTW: That posting is more than two years old and still you were trying to comment on it this past week. Why? You wrote and I blocked:

Classic Porter. He invites this clown to present still more so-called science, to which I respond with REAL SCIENCE (the onion epidermis experiment). He then allows same clown to run off, unwilling to be criticized on a truly pathetic (INDEED, RIGGED) experiment.

Porter and his site are an utter disgrace .

Clown?  Why?  That is simply disgusting!

Paolo didn’t run off. Paolo and others who have been insulted by you, don’t participate in this blog anymore. We are, all of us, collectively, the losers. You are the winner in that regard.

In another of your postings, Daniel R. Porter’s shroudstory.com: ‘Troll Central’ by any other name., you write:

I will openly criticize the work of any research investigator, living or dead, whom I consider to have  resorted to pseudoscience in order to push Shroud authenticity or merely Shroud mystique. . . .

But you don’t do just that: criticize the work. You throw about insults as well, using terms like idiot or Mickey Mouse scientist or clown. And you demean the credentials of other scientists or their organizations. You depend on your definition of pseudoscience, which is always a bit vague.

An additional note: In another posting (February 23), you are lamenting your Google Rank and wondering how to improve it.  Links, Colin, links. Inbound links from friends, particularly those with high ranking sites, will put you on top. Outbound links to significant sites and sites that link to you count for something too. Be specific with words and phrases that can be found in the title of the other site or high on the page. Don’t say “Click Here” or the “Other Site” or what is that insulting name you give me. It hurts your Google Ranking.

Oh, and another thing, increasing the length of a page after Google has indexed it is a somewhat amateurish spam trick. Google will penalize you for this even if you do it for the best of intentions, which, granted, you do. I understand, it is a matter of style, for you. It’s not good for your page ranking. Use comments if you must expand a posting. Or write another posting.

Google’s own advice is probably best:

Sites’ positions in our search results are determined based on hundreds of factors designed to provide end-users with helpful, accurate search results. These factors are explained in more detail at How Search Works.

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share. For more information about improving your site’s visibility in the Google search results, we recommend visiting Webmaster Academy which outlines core concepts for maintaining a Google-friendly website.

“that users will want to use and share.”

We believe differently, Colin. So what?, I say! I may think some of your ideas are screwy. You think mine are, too. So what?!

My only agenda is getting at the truth (which may be supernatural, natural or artistic). I don’t do, “hit-and-run trolling in the service of agenda-driven Shroudie pseudoscience.” But if you think so, I’ll listen and post if you say it without insults. I’ll link to you. I won’t call you names.

17 thoughts on “Hit and Run Trolling and a Whole Lot More”

  1. After reading all the relevant links here I have a question: are all scientists this haughty when critiquing each others work? Paolo Di Lazzaro’s critique of Colin’s theory was very patronizing in sections. Of course Colin’s rebuttals come with equally big chips on the shoulder.

    I used to think the image of the snooty academic was cliché, apparently not. Is this all some big pissing match for the PhD crowd?

    Where’s Fred MacMurray and his flubber when you need ’em?

  2. Using a cloth washed in a low-surface-tension solution containing pentose sugars (e.g., a Saponaria solution) and dried in the sun, a non-metallic statue at a temperature above 100C might have worked

    Best hoax hypothesis.

    1. But a hypothesis who still doesn’t pass the test of the bloodstain evidence, especially the fact that the blood was on the cloth before the image and the fact that the blood has not been affected in any way by the image formation, which highly suggest a process that worked at normal temperature…

      1. It was a simple reminder to put Colin Berry back on a rational track, if not realistic.

    2. The question is,…why is it still a hypothesis. I guess we have the technology today to heat a full body statue to a 100C. Why don’t we see a new shroud manufactured in 2014 with the same Macro and Micro properties of the shroud?

      1. Mike M :
        Why don’t we see a new shroud manufactured in 2014 with the same Macro and Micro properties of the shroud?

        Good question. Has anyone tried to reproduce the shroud ?
        Meaning the shroud itself, not the image or bloodstains.

        Is there any consensus how it was made and bleached ?

        Has anyone the skill and the material to reproduce a full size shroud ?

      2. Quote: Why don’t we see a new shroud manufactured in 2014 with the same Macro and Micro properties of the shroud?

        Probably because no one has ever beaten, scourged and crucified someone and then place his corpse in a linen shroud made the old-fashion way (with a thin layer of impurities on-top of it) and let it rest in a cool, humid, dark and quiet place where there’s no wind draft in it for 36 hours and then bake it to simulate ageing!!!

      3. “Good question. Has anyone tried to reproduce the shroud ?
        Meaning the shroud itself, not the image or bloodstains.”
        I guess a 4.4×1.1m linen cloth can be produced today not manually woven but I don’t think the weaving whether manual or automatic makes a difference in the image. What’s your point?

        Is there any consensus how it was made and bleached ?
        Banding clearly indicates that the bleaching was performed on threads and not the whole cloth.

  3. No scientists are haughty when critiquing another’s work. They are generous and forgiving to a fault. They query the evidence humbly, and humbly present alternative evidence if they feel it appropriate, presenting it before the whole scientific community for judgement, so that an impartial consensus is eventually arrived at. They do not accuse each other of fraud or stupidity, but suggest that their opponent is mistaken in his observations, or perhaps that his observations are OK but his conclusions are not justified by them.

    … sigh … if only …

  4. Tongue in cheek irony, no doubt. I take it you are acquainted with Hal Hellman’s “Great Feuds in … ” series, which includes his volumes in Mathematics, Technology, Science and Medicine. I have read the Mathematics volume and found it quite enlightening, although I shan’t say disgusting.

    Isaac Newton was the worst, he quarrelled with everybody, Robert Hooke, the Jesuits, Samuel Pepys, John Locke, John Flamsteed and Gottfried Leibniz. He was particularly manipulative with Flamsteed. His quarrels with Hooke and Flamsteed resulted in his ripping out whole pages from the Principia which had any reference to either. Only Leibniz was an equally capable adversary to Newton’s paranoiac hostility, resulting in Newton’s periodic nervous break-downs.

  5. I would also suggest that Colin Berry write more temperate letters, because, though I can conjure up the imagination to conceive of him as a reasonable person, despite the tone of his “writings”, I seriously doubt that many other people would be able to.

  6. I would also suggest that Colin Berry write more temperate postings, because, though I can conjure up the imagination to conceive of him as a reasonable person, despite the tone of his “writings”, I seriously doubt that many other people would be able to.

  7. Look at:
    http://shroudofturinwithoutallthehype.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/after-2-years-and-over-200-postings-i-think-ive-finally-cracked-it-the-enigma-of-the-shroud-of-turin/

    So, Colin finally “cracked” the enigma of the Shroud.
    He now can explain all of the properties of the Shroud image, i.e superficiality at fiber and thread/fabric level, half-tone etc…

    Most of his claims are based on theoretical hypotheses.
    However, I think that CB’s claims has to be considered seriously.

    What do we need ?

    We need some experiments.

    I can perform some experiments.

    1. I don’t think anyone has explored the scorch theory to the degree Colin now has. Agree with him or not you have to respect the work he’s put into it. He needs to be taken seriously indeed. I will look forward to your experiments and to the comments of others here who review his latest conclusions. And folks, before commenting, please do take the time to read Colin’s work with an open mind. There are insights to be had.

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