Friday, July 6, 2012

Interesting parts of Mrs Sharp's judgment

UPDATED with some links to relevant posts on this blog.
Thanks to the readers who contributed comments on particular paragraphs. They have been folded in. The whole judgment is a good read if you are El Naschie junkies, as we are, but if you don't want to read the whole thing, here is the roadmap to the paragraphs you may want to seek out.

Attention to those who are new to the shenanigans of the infamous crackpot and fraudster Mohamed El Naschie. Begin by reading Introduction to Mohamed El Naschie. To access the legal judgment on which this post is based, see El Naschie loses; Nature wins where you can choose among doc, pdf, and html formats.


2. "The Claimant appears in person, assisted by his former wife, Lydia Thorsen-El Naschie." We didn't know this.

3. "The Claimant describes himself in the Particulars of Claim as an eminent and highly respected academic, scientist and scientific publisher in the fields of Structural Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Applied Mechanics and Nuclear and High Energy Physics. These claims are not admitted by the Defendants." HAHAHA

11. "His belief, and that of some of his witnesses, that there is an overarching conspiracy between the Defendants and other newspapers, journals and individuals who are said to have plagiarised his work...(Besides Ahmed Zewail, as noted in the previous link, so are Jerzy Jurkiewicz, Renate Loll and Jan Ambjorn in a separate case.)"

15. Apparently Dark Brotherhood (his admirers, the E-infinity group) members Ji-Huan He and Leila Marek-Crnjac submitted written testimony.

16. In addition to Otto Rössler, who we knew about, Dark Brotherhood members Scott Olsen and Garnet Ord testified! HAHAHA what a freakshow.

17. Brotherhood member Ms Anke Boehm provided hearsay evidence. (It becomes apparent that she avoided testifying in person because she didn't want to be cross-examined, especially about the use of fake names.)

19. El Naschie "has also asserted at various times that documents disclosed by the Defendants are forgeries." HAHAHA

40. "Dr Marek-Crnjac works at the Institute of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Maribor in Slovenia." No. She's a high school teacher actually. Then there's this gem: "Professor He says he is the founding editor of a major journal published by Freund in Israel and he is or has been on the Editorial Board of numerous international Journals for physics and Non Linear Dynamics, though so far as I am aware, these have not been specified." LOLOL

45. "Dr Marek-Crnjac referred for example to the Claimant as “the master”. As can be seen from the Article itself, Professor He compared the Claimant to Einstein and Newton." Valentine.

56. Though the Claimant sought to cast aspersions on Professor Keating's bona fides in his closing submissions, he certainly did not do so when cross-examining him, describing him for example, as "a good man" and a "top man"

83. El Naschie in a 2007 email to Elsevier: "I worked for 15 years to establish C&F (sic) as the leading periodical on the subject with the highest impact factor in all mathematical journals of Elsevier. Only another Journal published outside Elsevier has an impact factor of 4.5. This is the Journal of Prof. Ji-Huan He who I was able to persuade to give us a hand In CS&F." COMEDY GOLD

106. "It is apparent that the Claimant had little if any interest in the norms of scientific publishing or the ethical considerations which underpinned them."

114. "This argument does not assist the Claimant on the facts either. We are not living in the age of Galileo."

120. Turok's list of defects of El Naschie's papers is amusing, including "Strongly expressed conclusions, unsupported by any, or any intelligible process of logical reasoning; in particular, the repeated unexplained reliance on numerical coincidences in support of the assertion that the Claimant’s “E-infinity theory” is correct"

132. Instead, the following style of argument is adopted: a series of numbers is quoted from disparate sources: the mathematical theory of fractal sets, the spectrum of string theory, the dimensions of various symmetry groups, the fundamental coupling constants in particle physics and their running with energy and even experimental data taken on the properties of knots in ropes. There is then a claim there are remarkable numerical coincidences between all these numbers, and that these coincidences point to the correctness of the "E-infinity theory". But after reading all 58 papers, Professor Turok was still none the wiser as to what the Claimant's "E-infinity theory" actually is.

138. "Article 7, two pages long, claims to provide it. Yet it does not." Hehe. Also, Turok blast's El Naschie's name dropping of certain Nobel laureates.

139. Turok on an El Naschie paper: "none of the things mentioned in the abstract were actually discussed in the paper"

141. "Professor Turok searched this article in vain for a derivation of Newton's constant, but found only a series of odd non-sequiturs."

142. In section 2.1 of the article the Claimant writes down a quadratic equation, which is not justified, which is trivial numerology of no significance and which would not be publishable in any serious scientific journal.

143. Turok repeats a crticism of El Naschie by El Naschie Watch reader Zahy, who sometimes laughs at El Naschie's attaching importance to knots tied in ropes.

145. Professor Turok described this paper “as merely a collection of buzzwords.”

146. Some of the articles contain a series of randomly connected buzzwords which mean nothing in the context in which they are used.

157, 158. Losing his mind? El Naschie asks Turok for a Visiting Scholar post at Permeter; and then complained to the Board of Directors of the Perimeter Institute about what he described as Professor Turok’s “highly irregular and flagrant breach of fairness”

181. Anke Boehm worked for El Naschie full-time for 14 years, and part-time for a further 6.

187. Mervat Hamid (or the last name may be Heddini) is called a "friend of the Claimant". But El Naschie has claimed in more than one case on Egyptian TV that they are married! And he has implied Mervat is the mother of his children. Mrs Sharp doesn't know or doesn't care about this. Also: The Claimant claimed under cross-examination that Ms Boehm's computer has been the target of a "cyberous attack". Haha. On "cyberous attacks" and 13000 emails going missing: El Naschie vs. Nature law suit news

200. Mrs Sharp: "I am satisfied that his papers were not the subject of any or any proper peer review at all."

201-205. The stuff about the review process at CSF is funny, for example:

204. The third example concerns a paper written by Esposti et al, of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Bologna. Their paper (“Sequence distance via parsing complexity: heartbeat signals”) was accepted by a regional CSF editor in February 2007. In July 2007 the authors were told by C. Cole by email that new referees had looked at it and required, as a condition of publication, additional references to papers published in CSF by Hao Bai Lin and others “on DNA and related subjects”. (“Publication will be halted until we receive either your revised manuscript electronically to this office – or an official email from you stating that you wish to withdraw from publication”).

205. The authors then explained in their reply that that their paper did not relate to DNA. Nevertheless they asked to be directed to the papers which the referees apparently had in mind. This was the response from C. Cole. “Our referees are now on a holiday break. Only one of the Referees mentioned DNA – the others just refereed (sic) to many related works published in CS&F. I am sure you will find something on Elsevier’s site Science Direct. Just do what you can and resubmit.” Mr Caldecott described what was revealed here, and rightly so in my view, as disgraceful and utterly improper. Having dropped the completely inappropriate requirement for a reference to DNA – any additional references would do, so long as they were to papers published in CSF. The authors then appear to have called CSF’s bluff – adding a single reference to a work by Hao Bai Lin but published in another journal. It seems probable that the paper then only made it into CSF because, fortuitously, the authors sent it direct to Elsevier, because their email sending it to the chaossf address bounced back.

212. "the Claimant’s papers were bordering on meaningless. Any citation of papers of such poor quality was excessive" Haha

230. "Elsevier’s perception... was that the Claimant was high-tempered, emotional, difficult to handle and litigious..." El Naschie implied he would sue DAMTP because they didn't want him claiming affiliation.

237. "Despite a mixture of threats and flattery from the Claimant (often in the same email) and efforts by Mrs Thorsen-El Naschie on the Claimant’s behalf to get him reinstated, Elsevier’s stance on the termination was resolute: the Claimant had to go."

244-246. El Naschie pretends his homepage isn't his. Mrs Sharp does not accept that. Bizarre new sockpuppet claim.

248, 249. El Naschie Watch reader Zahy remarks that this blog was clearly used as a source of information about the Great Man's CVs. We agree. See Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, The many titles of Dr. M.S. El Naschie and The great man's CV is full of baloney.

266-270. Great stuff about El Naschie pretending to be a professor at Cambridge DAMTP. El Naschie's blacklisting from the arXiv

271-279. Great debunking of his Frankfurt University affiliation pretense.

280-285. El Naschie's claim of being an "Honorary Professor" at Jiao Tong Shanghai also is untrue! El Naschie Watch didn't know that.

286-312. On El Naschie's use of fake names for correspondence. Hilarious!

303. Mrs Sharp has doubts about the great man's "integrity and honesty": "I do not accept as the Claimant also asserts in his pleadings that these matters are “totally irrelevant” or are otherwise insignificant. In my view the case made here raises serious questions about the way CSF was run and the Claimant’s integrity and honesty, questions which provide a common thread running through many aspects of this case."

304. Indeed given the Claimant's evidence it too was a fiction: he said: "There is nothing called the Editorial Board in reality. There is nothing called the Editorial Board. I am the journal, my Lady. I said it very clearly. This is all façade. This is all decoration…"

307. "As Mr Caldecott commented somewhat dryly in opening, there were at this point apparently a whole shoal of legal advisers without Christian names on the loose at the Claimant’s home in Cobham." The Great Man's house in Cobham: El Naschie's house in Surrey has been found!

310. Lydia Thorsen-El Naschie is outed as the one who sent emails from fake people, and who wrote "viscous" for "vicious" as we sometimes see.

334. "The Baez blog is now no longer available but secondary evidence is. Relevant extracts from it were later reproduced in a blog hostile to the Claimant called “El Naschie Watch”."

341. Greiner told QS that everything the Claimant publishes in CSF is “stuss”, German slang for “rubbish”.

342. "The Claimant also suggested in cross-examination of QS and in his closing submissions that Professor Greiner had sent an email to Ms Boehm in which he had called QS a dirty person (to put it politely). There is no evidence to support this assertion"

350. Reviews of El Naschie papers: The first said: “This paper seems to the reviewer to contain no mathematics.” The second said: “their bringing into the picture a deterministic system forced by random noise does nothing but introduce an additional perversion”. The third said: “There is plenty of wild speculation and misprints, but no rigorous arguments.”

372. "These peculiar communications, the tone of which is somewhat difficult to convey, are not merely relevant to whether the Claimant was given an opportunity to respond, but to the suspicions and reasonable ones as it seems to me, within Nature at the time, that something 'fishy' was going on to put it colloquially."

383. "...the Claimant’s claim is dismissed... the Defendants are entitled to their costs of the action..."

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29 comments:

  1. This judgement is a work of art, truly something to behold. :) I hope this will encourage Nature and QS to blow the lid off many more scams we've discussed (at least tangentially) on this blog.

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  2. I agree. It's a superb piece of work.

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  3. The judgment exposes the extent of his strategic error: instead of a single article four years ago that would have been long forgotten, now there is instead a detailed and extensively documented public record, far more devastating than the original Nature article. Few charlatans and crackpots have it explicitly stated by a court of law that their alleged intellectual output is devoid of content, and their behavior duplicitous and overbearing.

    I'm not an expert on British libel law, but I suspect it's not possible to file a libel suit against Judge Sharp.

    It will take a while, but his scientific credibility in Egypt will vanish entirely and his political opponents will use this to bury him.

    The legal judgment should be prominently linked on the ElNW front page, and could serve as a replacement for the FAQ.

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  4. It's not a replacement for the Introduction (FAQ as you call it) to Mohamed El Naschie. I think the Introduction is good preparation reading for the judgment. Most people will not find the judgment easy reading because unlike us they are not experts on the Great Man. You can see it even in the various mainstream media articles, whose authors miss hilarious and damning particulars.

    I have been considering tweaking the masthead to the extent of adding and removing some buttons. E.g., Rössler deserves his own button and Jihan Fadel probably doesn't. The judgment is linked from the Introduction now.

    As to this going unnoticed in Egypt, I haven't posted about it but he has a Twitter problem in Arabic on the judgment. That never used to happen.

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  5. Mrs Sharp said in paragraph 200 "I am satisfied that his papers were not the subject of any or any proper peer review at all" but nowhere in the judgment is a quote of El Naschie referring to "the vain and childish practice of peer review", which was reported in November 2011 when the testimony was in progress. It seems relevant. Is there a legal reason for the omission?

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  6. Slipper.Mystery, your comments are so good that we don't hold it against you that you're such a fucking fag.

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  7. Experienced readers, please identify passages in this road map that should be linked to specific posts in El Naschie Watch. I will add links inline. It would be a great help to newcomers.

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  8. >>>>This judgement is a work of art, truly something to behold. :) I hope this will encourage Nature and QS to blow the lid off many more scams we've discussed (at least tangentially) on this blog.<<<<

    Yes, it is time for the report on the crackpot-universtity of Tuebingen for example.

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  9. I particularly like Mrs Justice Sharp's refreshing statements, e.g. "We are not living in the age of Galileo." (already mentioned) or "These peculiar communications, the tone of which is somewhat difficult to convey, are not merely relevant to whether the Claimant was given an opportunity to respond, but to the suspicions and reasonable ones as it seems to me, within Nature at the time, that something 'fishy' was going on to put it colloquially." (#372). Oh, I so like the 'fishy' word. :D I think this paragraph is interesting enough to be included above.

    I'll go through the above passages and try to find missing links to the relevant content of the blog.

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  10. #45 He about his Newton/Einstein friend: Valentine

    #187 "El Naschie and is married to Professor Dr Mervat Heddini daughter of a friend and his father's intimate life and the army and they have two daughters" [as already noted by Jason the latter is a lie]: Stephen Hawking works with El Naschie

    #187 On "cyberous attacks" and 13000 emails went missing: El Naschie vs. Nature law suit news

    #244-246 Not his website claim by a sockpuppet: Bizarre new sockpuppet claim

    #266-270 The DAMTP saga: El Naschie's blacklisting from the arXiv

    #307 The Great Man's house in Cobham: El Naschie's house in Surrey has been found!

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  11. Regarding the Great Man's quote referring to "the vain and childish practice of peer review": I think Mrs Justice Sharp referred to it implicitly in Paragraph 106:

    "He said in evidence that he had not seen the Elsevier guidelines, but admitted he would not have followed them even if he had. Not surprisingly perhaps in those circumstances, his self-publication practices did not begin to comply with those norms of scientific publishing as they plainly should have done."

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  12. Mrs Sharp has doubts about the great man's "integrity and honesty":

    303. I do not accept as the Claimant also asserts in his pleadings that these matters are “totally irrelevant” or are otherwise insignificant. In my view the case made here raises serious questions about the way CSF was run and the Claimant’s integrity and honesty, questions which provide a common thread running through many aspects of this case.

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  13. Adding those additional links now.

    El Naschie's sockpuppet blogs have not reported this so far, nor have any Arabic language media, except for a few tweets.

    Someone has created a stub El Naschie article in the English language Wikipedia.

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  14. We set a record for page views yesterday.

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  15. To avoid confusion it should be noted that the quote:

    "El Naschie and is married to Professor Dr Mervat Heddini daughter of a friend and his father's intimate life and the army and they have two daughters"

    is not in the Paragraph 187 of the judgment but in the mentioned post of this blog.

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  16. > Slipper.Mystery, your comments are so good that we don't hold it against you that you're such a ...

    One of your less relevant misconceptions (though you may be mislead by the Spoonerized namesake).

    The timeline in your "introduction" entirely omits the true unspoken hero in all of this, namely Zoran Škoda.
    As commented here (labelled another "Great comment"), he was the one who started the ball rolling during the year before this blog started [Feb 2009], writing both to the editorial board of CSF in May 2008, and also investigating J-H He (later rediscovered by this blog) in Jun of 2008. He is mentioned 57 times in Sharp's decision, for the above (both mentioned in the Nature article), for being threatened by ElN under various anglo-sounding aliases, for interactions with Iovane (also later rediscovered by this blog), and for various other roles.

    He is also the one who started the discussion of the issue on Baez's blog in Nov 2008, which ultimately resulted in this blog. Škoda had little personal to gain, and was taking an unknown risk, but evidently couldn't understand why no one aware of the scandal had taken action, and as a young idealist couldn't let such a blemish on his chosen profession go without redress. This blog, with similar motivation, certainly expanded on his efforts to collect information and keep it in the public domain, but he doesn't deserve to be written out of the timeline (as a matter of giving credit where credit is due, not that there's any evidence he himself cares at this point, his job well done, and his allegations certified by a British court of law).

    Without him, there would have been no Nature article, no lawsuit, no elnaschiewatch, and El N might still be editor of CSF (though still not Egyptian president, but perhaps more influential in the new government).

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  17. Slipper.Mystery, I agree about Zoran Škoda. What should the timeline entry say, and what should it link to? It should be short and pithy.

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  18. Well, Slipper.Mystery, the one who started the ball rolling was Peter Woit in 2005 when some comments about CSF and its editor appeared on Woit's blog. Škoda definitely deserves to be mentioned in the timeline (why didn't you suggested that before?) but implying that Jason ommited him deliberately is just trolling from your part. There are for sure some things missing (e.g. Woit) from the timeline and Jason is willing to add them - the readers can always make suggestions.

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  19. > Well, Slipper.Mystery, the one who started the ball rolling was Peter Woit in 2005 when some comments about CSF and its editor appeared on Woit's blog.

    No, this is not correct. While there was a comment here from a "Kanex", this did not get any ball rolling. This evidently was Woit's first introduction to this issue, though it was known to others long before. The discussion, like many prior ones on the subject, was not pursued, and died.

    > What should the timeline entry say

    First, there should be an entry

    May, 2008. Zoran Škoda, a mathematical physicist in Zagreb, Croatia, sends letters to members of the CSF editorial board asking whether they agree with El Naschie's self-publishing editorial practices. Škoda is threatened with legal action by CSF legal advisor "P. Green".

    Second, the Nov 9, 2008 entry should add at end of the first sentence:
    ... on the n-Category Cafe blog, in response to a comment from Zoran Škoda.

    Third, the Nov 27, 2008 entry should add to the end of the first sentence,
    ... departure from CSF, based on Zoran Škoda's investigations.

    Disclaimer: I do not know Škoda

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  20. The second and third are done. What should the first link to?

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  21. > What should the first link to?

    That's from the now-famous Nature article back on-line
    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081126/full/456432a.html

    "In May, Škoda sent letters to members of the journal's editorial board asking whether they agreed with El Naschie's editorial practices. In return, he says, he and his institute director received a letter, signed by a P. Green who identified himself or herself as a legal adviser to the editorial board, threatening legal action should Škoda continue sending 'defamatory' letters."


    That methodology anticipates the same employed against various of J-H He's editorial boards by this blog. To his credit, Škoda did not stand down, nor did his institute, and he continued pressing the case until he found the opening a half year later (and Baez of course did stand down). It is important, because ultimately the takedown was catalyzed by a young researcher in a central european country, not by an established person in the western world.

    It remains fascinating that it took so long, precisely because El N's output is so manifestly ludicrous, replete with trivial arithmetic errors and with E-infinity itself never-defined gobbledygook, immediately obvious as crackpottery to any trained scientist. Imagine how long it takes when the case against editors is not so open-shut.

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  22. It doesn't really matter, Slipper.Mystery: the comments on Woit's blog are still available (contrary to Baez's blog which is dead, literally) and any prior comments elsewhere aren't known to me - the ball started rolling on Woit's blog as far as I am concerned.

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  23. 40. That her affiliation at the University of Maribor is a bogus one Marek-Crnjac admits clearly:

    http://www.tswj.com/51814609/

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  24. > the ball started rolling on Woit's blog as far as I am concerned.

    If mere appearance rather than action is the criterion, then one could go back to the events of Sep 2000 mentioned in 344. of Sharp's decision, and discussed here, regarding El N's forged DAMTP affiliation. That labeling also persists. That CSF was a joke, and El N a fraud, was already common knowledge before that, but no ball started rolling.

    And no ball started rolling after "Kanex" posted to Woit's blog in 2005 either. In fact, no one did anything concrete, including Woit, which is why the issue remained dormant for yet another three years (and no reason that it would not have continued until this day) until Škoda began writing to the CSF editors, and pressing the case elsewhere. It remains intriguing that he took action when no one else did.

    It is also made clear in 347. of Sharp's decision that Schiermeier did not realize that Woit's affiliation with the Math dept of Columbia was as computer sysad and lecturer (his Phd is in physics from the early 1980s, the last of his eight published technical articles was in 1989, none since), and otherwise wouldn't even have quoted him. The 2005 comments remain up precisely because they had no impact (unlike the ones on Baez's blog), and stayed under the radar.

    On a different note, none of the expert witnesses at the trial mentioned that "E infinity" has had a well-defined mathematical usage since the early 1970s, but that is unrelated to El N's never-defined usage.

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  25. Slipper.Mystery, the Castro-El Naschie affair on arxiv isn't really about CSF and its editor's practices. If you find any explicit comments prior to those on Woit's blog, let us know.

    Your comment about Woit's affiliation is irrelevant as is your comment about the missing Baez's blog: if Baez had balls (like Jason) his blog would remain up to this day.

    As far as I am concerned JC's comment (following those of Kanex and Woit):

    "Just looking at El Naschie’s listing of papers on SPIRES, it looks like he published around 56 papers over the last 4 years. This would be around 14 papers per year, or a paper every 3 or 4 weeks! When was the last time a bigshot, like an Ed Witten or John Ellis, published this many single-authored papers in one year?

    On the surface it looks like El Naschie is using the journal “Chaos Solitons Fractals” as if it was his own personal “vanity” journal. In the publishing business the publishers with the lowest reputation seem to be the “vanity” publishers, who will publish just about anything for a fee. (These are usually the publishers of last resort for authors who have been turned down by just about every other publisher). Have some journal publishers stooped down to the point of offering “vanity” journals?"

    was as explicit as Škoda's on Baez's blog.

    Your impression that the Great Man would continue to run its vanity journal if Škoda didn't intervene is wrong: Elsevier already in 2006 and 2007 (as can be seen in the judgment) made plans to terminate the Publishing Agreement with the Great Man. Apparently, the ball began rolling long before Škoda's intervention.

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  26. I keep forgetting to note that the judgment made no mention of El Naschie's presidential run. They felt no need to expand the evidence of his lunacy, apparently.

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