Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almesryoon.com yellow journalism II

(Click here for part I)






Introduction

Today we look at the September 30, 2009 article Contradictions of Ahmed Zewail! (Arabic) by Sami Kamal al-Din. This is the Google English translation. It took me hours of picking through terrible machine translation to put this together. I picked out the best parts and stated them succinctly in readable English. The result, I hope, you will find interesting and amusing.


Description of the article

Sami Kamal al-Din begins by disingenuously stating his great respect and appreciation for Zewail, in preparation for an attack.

The article them immediately commences laughable attempts to discredit Ahmed Zewail in ways that display the ignorance of Sami Kamal al-Din or alternatively al-Din's intentional hoodwinking of a gullible audience. Those are the only two possibilities. I call the attempts laughable, and El Naschie Watch readers will agree, but we are not the target audience. Many Egyptians are fooled.

Al-Din reveals this alleged contradiction: That in a Cultural Salon lecture at the Cairo Opera House, Zewail said time goes "in one direction like an arrow, spear or bullet" whereas a booklet of Zewail's called Time said "In theory, the walk back in time is possible." Probably Zewail's context was statistical mechanics in the former case and classical mechanics in the latter. In any case there's no obvious contradiction, and al-Din is ignorant or dishonest.


Al-Din cites supposed evidence of Zewail plagiarising El Naschie: In a popular lecture about time, Zewail mentioned the H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine, copying El Naschie who had referenced it earlier. This is incredibly stupid. Almost any presentation about time, for a general audience, is going to mention the H.G. Wells book. It's a familiar touchstone used to set an audience at ease before delving into intimidatingly technical material about time. Al-Din is depending on his audience not knowing that, or he is intentionally misleading them.

Al-Din complains about Zewail not giving credit to El Naschie. Of course El Naschie is just a clown who published hundreds of nonsense papers in a vanity journal. There is no more reason for Zewail to credit El Naschie than there is for him to credit Jerry Lewis.



Tidbits from the comments

As always in Google's Arabic to English translations, El Naschie is rendered as Alnchaiy or Alnchaii.

I expect readers will have the same impression I did upon reading through the comments -- that El Naschie has a monstrous army of sockpuppets.

Now let's begin:

Dr. Mohamed Abd El engineer, 10/1/2009 5:11:16 AM, faults al-Din for omitting the accusation that Zewail makes Israeli weapons.

Ibn Rushd, 10/1/2009 6:59:04 AM, slams al-Din as a lefty journalist who is out of his depth trying to find contradictions in the specialized work of a Nobel-winning scientist. I don't know whether the journalist is a lefty, but he's certainly out of his depth.

Taha Musa, 10/1/2009 10:26:48 AM, has a difficult time staying on topic, but he is angry at Roman infidels, Turks, Shiites, and Jews.

Ahmed Abdallah, 10/1/2009 11:34:48 AM, says al-Din doesn't know the first thing about chemistry, physics, scientific writing or scientific research, and his criticism of Zewail is ignorant. Bravo!

Abu Uthman Amr ibn Bahr, 10/1/2009 12:19:49 PM, sneers about Zewail's prestigious prize from the "University of Zionism".

Ahmed Mahmoud, 10/1/2009 12:39:50 PM, says Zewail went to the Zionist entity (Israel) for money, and to help secure military superiority over all Arabs. And he stole quotes of El Naschie, unattributed. He's a traitor to his homeland who published inexact science with the help of the army of Israel.

Maheralsid, 10/1/2009 7:49:17 PM, is shocked that a Nobel-winning scientist like Zewail would quote El Naschie without attribution.

Qasim Maflahi, 10/1/2009 8:58:56 PM, has nothing to say about Zewail or El Naschie, but a great deal to say about space-time, which has to do with God, the Lord of all Knowledge. "God is light the heavens and the earth and material energy of light to the light of God, There is no power but from God" etc. Qasim Maflahi in fact made several similar posts, and if that sort of thing amuses you, you may want to read Google's translation to see the others.

Eman, 10/2/2009 10:11:38 AM, a theoretical physicist, tells al-Din he doesn't know what he's talking about. Good call, Eman.

Mahmoud Ibrahim Mohamed, 10/3/2009 9:01:57 PM, says Zewail lacks scientific integrity for quoting El Naschie without attribution. He also thinks Zewail paid friends to write unkind things about El Naschie.

Anchorage Mohammed, 10/3/2009 9:17:48 PM, is angry at Ms. Eman (two posts up), and retorts with a mention of the black sheep brother Dr. Said Elnaschaie and his wife, Dr. Shadia Al Shishini. He points to http://saidelnashaie.blogspot.com.

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 8:33:05 PM, is shocked that Zewail would risk his own reputation by not crediting El Naschie where credit is due. El Naschie is a deep theoretical physicist like Einstein, he says. He continues with a flurry of four additional posts:

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 8:34:11 PM, says Zewail wants the Egyptian presidency, hates El Naschie, and has an inferiority complex owing to El Naschie's overwhelming genius. Zewail may lose his Nobel for lack of scientific integrity, he says. LOL. Really, I'm not kidding, he says that.

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 8:36:45 PM, says that Zewail is not a thinker or philosopher like El Naschie. He goes on to make an incomprehensible comparison or analogy involving El Naschie, Einstein, Beethoven, and belly dancing. (I'm not sure what this is about, but I infer from one of the other comments that Zewail made some statement about belly dancing in the Egyptian media. Perhaps Zewail is being criticized for that.) Zewail is not a patriot, visited Israel often, worked for Israel's army, etc. Moreover, he wants to get another Nobel, and so "he must he must placate the elements of Zionist control of the Nobel Prize".

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 8:38:19 PM, says Zewail's theft of El Naschie's work, which Zewail published and was paid for, is an unforgiveable crime. (In Ali's humble opinion.) Ali says Zewail must defend himself and prove his innocence before the Egyptian people, in a public debate with El Naschie. We won't be influenced by Zewail's artificial, illogical, arrogant hubris and false superiority that characterize Zewail to this day when he deals with his colleagues and critics, Ali warns.

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 8:39:28 PM, says "God knows it isn't easy writing this." Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali is probably the same sockpuppet as the next poster, Professor Ismael Mahrous.

Professor Ismael Mahrous, 10/4/2009 9:13:10 PM, says El Naschie is reconciling Einstein's general relativity with quantum theory, solving the mystery of time. He refers to El Naschie rather grandly as "Egyptian born, and Egyptian in identity and conscience, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Salah El-Din Alnchaiy." (We here at El Naschie Watch are aware that El Naschie is not a professor , but never mind.)

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 9:15:26 PM, goes on to post two more ass-kissing blurbs. In this one he refers to El Naschie winning some honor in America in 2004. No idea what he's talking about. Refers to a paper of Palmer.

Dr. Asaad Mohammed Ali, 10/4/2009 9:16:15 PM, says that after careful research and scrutiny of the record, he has cautiously concluded that Zewail's research doesn't make him an expert in the fundamental nature of time, but El Naschie's does.

Ashraf Hasan, 10/4/2009 10:06:12 PM, says American University in Cairo must expel Ahmed Zewail from the Board of Trustees because of his lack of scientific integrity.

Yusuf Mohamed, 10/6/2009 11:16:39 PM, says that El Naschie's love of science is "a kind of reaching out to the Creator."

Yusuf Mohamed, 10/6/2009 11:17:25 PM, says Zewail is a friend of Israel and the Americans, sees science as a means of making money, and earning prestige and power. He is filled with ego and thinks he can become president of Egypt. He is ignorant literarily, politically, and philosophically. Yusuf Mohamed makes a point of associating El Naschie with his "teacher" Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine.

Ahmed El Sayed Ahmed, 10/7/2009 9:43:26 PM, refers to a paper of El Naschie titled "Can Nanotechnology Slow the Aging Process by Interfering with the Arrow of Time?" He says Zewail quoted the article and even American films mentioned in the article. Zewail illegally got his Nobel from El Naschie's work. Shameful, he says.

Osama Khalil, 10/7/2009 10:39:23 PM, is enthsiastic about El Naschie's work concerning black holes, white holes, and worm holes.

Ahmed Salah Mohamed, 10/10/2009 12:25:56 AM, enthuses about an El Naschie paper titled From Relativity to Deterministic Chaos in Science and Society. He says Zewail stole material from it, though it is protected under penalty of Egyptian and English copyright law. He says Zewail is undistinguished in intelligence and as a scientist, and works for Israel.

Moataz Mohammed, 10/10/2009 12:34:38 PM, thinks Zewail's Nobel was Israel's gift.

Adham on, 10/12/2009 9:27:34 PM, calls Zewail's Nobel "Israel Nobel Prize" and thinks the Egyptian media are in Zewail's pocket, which in El Naschie Watch's opinion is hilarious.

Dr. Osama Abdel-Hamid, 10/13/2009 12:44:54 PM, blathers on about Dr. Said Elnaschaie.

Seyed Mohammad, 10/13/2009 9:01:24 PM, can speak for himself: "If Dr. Zewail think that the Nobel Prize is a license allowing him robberies scientific without any fear of punishment because the Egyptian street in his pocket is a dreamer dreamer dreamer. Zewail Street has lost since the Egyptian Egyptians knew the truth and how Zewail won the Nobel Prize of his friends in the Weizman Institute in Israel. Egyptian street is now the media moguls of the brush channel dreams to the newspaper, which the sun never sets Marwara in Egypt today and tomorrow and Makhvy was the greatest, we do not ask the scientist questions, but ask him to apologize. He has to apologize first and foremost of the Egyptian street and secondly to Dr. Alnchaiy. To have due notice, the arm of the law in Egypt, and it looked weak, but it up to Washington and Stockholm."

Adel Muhsin, 10/14/2009 5:29:30 PM, says El Naschie was correct in what he wrote about time. Zewail lacks scientific integrity. Zewail is a US citizen and should not be in the Egyptian government.

Fathi Mustafa, 10/14/2009 7:04:47 PM, thanks Prof. [sic] Sami Kamal al-Din a thousand thanks, and writes that he's a brave writer and journalist. Al-Din didn't pay attention to empty rhetoric but went straight for substance. Zewail disrespects his family (his mother wanted him to come back to Egypt I think), betrayed his country, and is an enemy of Islam.

Kassem Ismail, 10/15/2009 9:18:45 PM, says El Naschie knows all about positrons and stuff like that.

Nawal Saeed, 10/15/2009 9:24:15 PM, says if you're waiting for Zewail to change, you're daydreaming.

Nader Ibrahim, 10/15/2009 9:35:25 PM, says if scientific laws and public morals don't disqualify Zewail from the Nobel, it's the work of the devil.

Suad Jaber, 10/15/2009 9:57:43 PM, says Zewail stole El Naschie's ideas with arrogance and insolence.

Jamil Abdel-Hamid, 10/15/2009 10:32:34 PM, says El Naschie Watch is disgusting and I, Jason ("Jesen"), am of unbalanced mind and character. John Baez, Ahmed Zewail, Said Elnaschaie, Shadia Al Shishini and I are part of a Zionist plot.

Jamal Noor, 10/17/2009 11:53:42 PM, thinks the Nobel is a Zionist tool to control the Arab world.

Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, 10/18/2009 12:06:00 AM, writes an entry with the promising title "Background of the problem between the Alnchaiy and Zewail" but sadly, it's incomprehensible.

Amal Ibrahim, 10/18/2009 12:20:21 AM, wonders how much money changed hands for Zewail's Nobel.

Isra Hamid, 10/18/2009 9:49:22 PM, says El Naschie remained Egyptian to the core, an Egyptian Arab Muslim, while living in the West. Unlike Zewail.

Osama Khalil, 10/18/2009 10:06:44 PM, compares Zewail unfavorably with El Naschie, who is purely Egyptian, of "Arab identity and of course Islamic."

Fadel Ibrahim, 10/18/2009 10:21:48 PM, doesn't blame Zewail for his mistakes about time, because he's not an expert on it like El Naschie.

Hossam Abdel Azim, 10/18/2009 10:36:25 PM, faults Zewail for using El Naschie's material without crediting him.

Dr. Farid Mohammed, 10/19/2009 8:11:06 PM, says there are numerous errors in Zewail's booklet Time. Egyptian scholar El Naschie could have set him straight. Zewail couldn't pass the second year exam in theoretical physics in any respected university, including many Arab universities.

Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Karim, 10/19/2009 8:36:36 PM, says Zewail doesn't know about quantum theory. He drops various famous names in physics, and then the names Nottale, Ord and El Naschie, implying they are in the same league.

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Said, 10/19/2009 8:51:41 PM, read Zewail's booklet Time and it was a bad experience both scientifically and linguistically. Zewail stole El Naschie's work. To make things even worse he translated from English in such a manner that "only a specialist like me could guess what is meant by several phrases and paragraphs."

Hana Mohamed, 10/19/2009 9:04:40 PM, thinks Zewail and El Naschie are the most prominent scientists in Egypt, and this controversy belongs not in this forum but in a scientific journal.

Osama Abdel-Azim, 10/19/2009 9:12:38 PM, criticizes Zewail's booklet Time. "I'm very confused. How did the venerable publishing house Dar al-Shorouk owned by a man of religion and dignity publish such garbage? It's the worst scientific book I've ever read. It's filled with scientific, linguistic, and typographical errors. The book is shameful whether El Naschie was first or not."

Hafez Ibrahim, 10/19/2009 9:18:49 PM, calls for a debate between El Naschie and Zewail.

Ishaq Ibrahim, in three posts beginning 10/23/2009 7:17:44 PM, says, more or less, Zewail is all "I have a Nobel prize and you don't, pay 1000 riyals to see me speak, buy my book, bla bla bla."

Ehab Mohamed, 10/26/2009 1:04:03 PM, quotes with approval one Dr. Hammad Abdullah Hammad as saying Zewail's Nobel doesn't give him the right to steal El Naschie's ideas or to think he has the people of Egypt in his pocket.

Burhan Ahmed, 10/26/2009 7:16:14 PM, likes what Ehab Mohamed just said. To paraphrase: "Finally, Dr. Hammad exposed the tricks of Zewail the media veteran. Dr. Hammad exposed the lie and explained Zewail's plagiarism against El Naschie. Zewail now knows that the Egyptians understand the game completely, regardless of the Nobel Prize or Santa Claus. Israel will not be able to appoint the President of the Republic of Egypt through counterfeit scientific prizes. Zewail not only is betraying scientific integrity by stealing research and lectures from Dr. Mohamed El Naschie of Egypt, but he had betrayed his work for years in the Israeli army."

A. Dr. Of Science, Cairo, 10/29/2009 7:08:43 PM writes three posts which I'll summarize in this one final paragraph. He drops many famous physics names, and likens El Naschie to them. Einstein, Newton, Galileo, Faraday, Maxwell. While El Naschie is a theoretician, Zewail is a mere experimentalist hack, not even in the same league.



Summary

The article itself is a hatchet job against Zewail. It's impossible to prove El Naschie paid Sami Kamal al-Din to write it, but I wouldn't be surprised. Certainly if he had paid, it would say exactly what it did. The readers of El naschie Watch are sophisticated, and to you the article's evidence against Zewail is absurd. But you are not the intended audience.

Martin, Shrink and I have had a great deal of experience studying sock puppetry. There are some genuine uncoordinated pro El Naschie comments here, but the signs of organized sock puppetry are strong in most. One thing to notice is that the initial few comments were somewhat balanced for and against the Great Man, and some are just sort of random and eccentric oddments you'd find in any comment thread. And then something happened. The word went out. At that point the messages were overrun by sock puppets mostly with "Dr." in front of their names, making the same repeated talking points about stealing El Naschie's ideas, Said Elnaschaie, Zionists, enemies of Islam, etc. They became more verbose and more carefully written. They began name dropping famous physicists and citing the Great Man's papers.

Well, that's it. Besides being informed and amused, I hope that readers see how big a task it is to take the Great Man down a peg in Egypt. The off-the-shelf arguments his sockpuppets use are funny, but unfortunately compelling to many Egyptians.

Thank you for reading. Got an interesting El Naschie link? Put it in the comments.

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