This is a documentation of a troll-job by people insistent upon making certain that other people are as ignorant of science as they are. As such, I think it's rather boring. But I'm posting it specifically because this is nothing new on at Ars Technica or the Internet as a whole. Ignorance is the new status quo. Bad science is tolerated as acceptable science. People like myself who seek to help those interested in learning factual information are attacked by the outright stupid, then called 'trolls' for defending fact. IASSOTS. Therefore:
With three science degrees and decades of expertise in imaging, I've reached my wit's end with decaying Ars Technica. Here is the article and forum discussion that has me fed up with Ars Technica:
X-Ray pulsars boil “nuclear pasta” to keep spinning
Now we know why neutron stars just won't slow down.
The author, Chris Lee, mistakenly used the term 'light' to refer to microwave electromagnetic radiation in paragraph 4 (emphasis mine):
Most pulsars emit light in the microwave region, and they spin extremely fast, with periods ranging from a few seconds down to 100 ms.One correct way to make this statement would be: "Most pulsars emit EM radiation in the microwave region...."
It's a simple replacement of a wrong and poorly chosen word, 'light', with correct terminology, such as "EM radiation" which refers to electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, I posted the following in the comment forum:
Terminology Correction:Enough said.
Chris Lee said: "Most pulsars emit light in the microwave region."
The term 'light' makes no sense here. The correct term is 'electromagnetic radiation'. 'Light' refers only to that portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Obviously, microwave radiation is invisible to our eye.
Here is an article about the distinction between 'light' and the rest of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum:
I certainly am human and therefore blunder on a regular basis. I am always grateful to those willing to teach me what I don't understand. I enjoy providing the same, which is the point of my three blogs.
But then this happened: A barrage of vehemently insistent ignorance from both trolls AND the author himself in reply to my cited correction at the Ars Technica forum:
Bengie25 Ars Tribunus Militum
“One word is much smaller and works when exact terms matter. He could have said photons, which most people make synonymous with "light".”
Chuckstar Ars Praefectus et Subscriptor
LOL... just stop. Astronomers often refer to all wavelengths as light.
Maybe they just haven't read enough wikipedia entries? Google around if you don't believe me. I think you'll be surprised who is the one being ignorant and nonsensical.
Wheels Of Confusion Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius
Except nobody's done that yet, dipshit. For future reference, if you don't want to be accused of trolling, don't engage in it. The part I highlighted indicates that you may not know this yet.
So it was pointless and ignorant of you to try and "compete" with the author about the usage of light? I suppose you'll likewise think it's useless to argue with the physicists and astronomers who routinely and professionally use the term "light" to mean EM radiation in general rather than the visible wavelengths. Good to know!
Chuckstar Ars Praefectus et Subscriptor
ha ha ha ha
The only one in this conversation that this describes is YOU.
srhode Wise, Aged Ars Veteran et Subscriptor
The article you point to on Wikipedia refers to Infrared as Infrared light, even though it is not visible to the human eye. Even that article can't seem to agree on what is "light" and what is EM radiation. In fact, I don't see anything in that article that specifically says that the word "light" is only intended to be used in reference to visible light and shouldn't be used for any other wavelength of the EM spectrum.
Chris Lee [initially using the nick laserboy] Associate writer [AUTHOR of the source article being discussed]
I think its time we all get a grip. Wikipedia is not the fount of all knowledge, and strict definitions for loose terms like "light" are stupid.
In my professional life, I have worked with light with wavelengths ranging from 13 nm through to ~1 mm. It is, depending on the occasion (and not the wavelength): radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation, photons, light fields, light, X-Rays, soft X-Rays, infrared radiation, heat, and probably some more that don't spring to mind immediately.
The term is correct, and, in this case, it is even precise.
Peter Bright Microsoft Editor [Ars Staff]
If light is always visible, why does the term "visible light" exist?
I've stated to Ars Technica that I was not going to reply to the troll attack. But I have to point out: Shame on you Chris Lee. I have pointed out correct terminology. You have, instead of correcting your error, vehemently insisted upon wrong terminology. Obviously that is a disservice to everyone reading your article. Please correct your error. That is the simple solution. A troll war is never any solution. It's only pointless contention, as I have already pointed out above.
A: Because I can no longer accept being called a troll myself when all I am doing is attempting to help others at Ars Technica.
Simply by replying to someone who insists that x = y, proving them wrong with provided citations, I have been reported as a "troll" on at least three occasions. Huh?! Cognitive dissonance is the result, never a good time.
I've watched this happen MANY times to other commentators at Ars Technica. Recently, I got so fed up with the vehement misinformation that I gave up bothering with the site for a couple weeks. Then today I read an article with a wrong term, provided a cited correction, and got ATTACKED!
This is Ars Technica in decay.
Oh yes it is! Do some self-evaluation Ars Technica. I'm not pointing out anything new or unique. Heal thyself Ars Technica. I don't pretend to know the depths of your decay or how to solve it. That's your job. I'm only pointing out that you have the problem.
Obviously, if the members of the Ars Technica forum insist upon being ignorant, I'm not going to be bothering to lend them my hand to pull themselves out of their mire of self-imposed stupidity. Trolls deserve the consequences of their ignorance. Enjoy your karma.
What's a shame is that MOST people at Ars Technica forums are NOT trolling assholes. Most people there WANT to learn. But because of the deliberate evil of the few, the majority must suffer.
This is the classic outcome of a sociopath infestation within any human system.
And I have no interest in playing with sociopaths.
BTW: If this reminds you of why my US government is a failure, good on you. Who in their sane mind would want to work with sociopathic politicians?
Check this out, received from Ars Technica via email August 8, 2013 6:07:48 PM EDT:
You have been banned from this board until Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:34 pm.Exactly as I stated:
Please contact the Board Administrator for more information.
Reason given for ban: 3rd OW = 1-week temp ban
A ban has been issued on your username.
Ars Technica In Decay
Under the circumstances, being banned from Ars Technica's forums is a Badge Of Honor.
Ars Technica: It's your reputation on the line. I've just established mine: A crusader for factual science and science terminology, no matter how much intimidation your bad writers and forum trolls can throw at me. I like that. (^_^)
And just to be extra boring and tedious, here is my direct reply to Ars Technica regarding their banning. I might as well make everything public! I like it that way:
Regarding http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?[blahblah banning announcement URL]
Ars Technica Falls On Its Arse: Attack Of The Vehemently Ignorant Trolls And Authors- By Derek Currie, 2013-08-08
My terminology correction stands, as any 11th grade physics student can verify, but Chris Lee cannot.
I suggest you fire Chris Lee from your writing staff for vehemently defending his WRONG information. All he had to do was look it up and correct his error. Instead, all THIS had to happen.
This has is easily the most despicable tirade of nonsense I have ever experienced from a 'professional' website. But colleagues have pointed out to me today that none of this is new at your website. It's apparently been going on for 15 years. I will continue to monitor Ars Technica's forums because the trolls there ARE a detriment to your reader's learning and knowledge. I will also continue to monitor your article authors for authenticity and factual information. I will be encouraging other trained scientists to do the same.
Consider this my small cattle prod to encourage Ars Technica to wake up, teach and write about real science, while behaving with real professionalism. Are you up to it? I cynically doubt it. I now look on you as a gang of deceitful, lazy little children, incapable of comprehending actual science. Prove me wrong.
I look forward to further prodding of Ars Technica into professionalism.