Wednesday, September 5, 2012

China blocks blogs including El Naschie Watch!

Click pic for full size.
A reader in Hong Kong writes

Anonymous September 5, 2012 1:43 AM
Why does this website can not be opened in Chinese mainland? I think we should let more Chinese people know the truth of this fake scientist.

And sure enough he's correct.

I see that and are blocked too, so it's not just us. We'll have to watch this situation.
Translate English to Arabic
محمد النشائى El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائى محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى


  1. Wikipedia says has been blocked since May 2009. I didn't know that.

  2. I think it's not a big surprise at all: Also YouTube was blocked in 2009 and Google China (with all of its services) was censored (and now even blocked) ever since.

  3. Wikipedia now has a very critical page about El naschie.
    I don't know if this has been already noticed before by the readers of Elnaschiewatch blog.

    I think the great man must file a suit against wikipedia.
    Let us see what the great man will do.

  4. Haha look at this balance:

    John C. Baez has called El Naschie's work "undisciplined numerology filled with impressive buzzwords", while Peter Weibel of the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe has said that

    "El Naschie is very highly regarded in the community" and is "always spoken of as a possible Nobel prize candidate".

  5. I wonder where they got Baez's quote from. Long-time readers will know what I mean.

  6. Yes, Zahy, in some edits even El Naschie Watch was linked (in the external links) until David Eppstein found it appropriate to delete it by qualifying it as an "attack page".

    The balance is duplicated from Die Zeit's piece but it seems some contributors on Wikipedia doubt Weibel is qualified to assess the Great Man's work in Physics (due to obvious reasons).

    Yes, the Baez's original quote is safely kept... (the readers can finish the sentence). :) But the Wikipedia contributors try everything to avoid the most authoritative source on the Great Man, e.g., by translating Die Zeit's article in German into English. LOL

  7. BTW: the RationalWiki article was recently cleaned up (by a single author) by deleting words such as "crank" and by replacing more offensive sentences with less offensive ones. One contributor reverted a recent clean up by saying "that 'cleanup' looks more like a whitewash" but quickly (in two minutes) changed her mind.

  8. Please, not this again... As I already wrote here several times, there are strict policies on what is and is not an acceptable source for Wikipedia, and blogs (no matter how we like them) do not qualify. End of story.

    (note, BTW, that I'm NOT an editor of the El Naschie article on Wikipedia)

  9. Strict policy or not, it doesn't really matter, PassingByAgain: as I said before, Eppstein disqualified this blog on the premise it's an attack page (not to mention the German Wikipedia still links to ENW blog). And, of course, the struggle not mentioning this blog is evident in the comments on the Talk Page. :D

  10. Eppstein is just one editor, why do you obsess about him? If he had cited ENW directly, some other editor would have applied the house rules and removed the citation. Besides, Eppstein appears to be on the same side as ENW (I mean, the side of the truth ;-) He is just "struggling" to find sources that do not fall foul of Wikipedia rules.

    As to the German Wikipedia, it either has looser rules or sloppier editors, who cares? We are talking about the English one here.

  11. Disclaimer (again): I've never touched the El Naschie article on Wikipedia, but I regularly edit other pages under a different nickname and I know what a disaster it would be if everybody started using their favorite blog as source. Who would then decide if a blog is reliable or not? You?

  12. You're wrong, I'm not obsessed with anyone; I'm merely amused by the reason Eppstein has given to remove the link (and otherwise amused by the comments on the talk page regarding ENW blog).

    Regarding the reliability of blogs: apparently it's not a disaster if Droesser in Die Zeit cites a certain mathematical blog and Guttenplan in The New York Times a certain university ranking blog, but it certainly would be a disaster (by your own standards) if Wikipedia cited the same sources. LOL

  13. You either haven't read or haven't understood what I wrote just one comment above. We are wasting our time here...

  14. Oh, I can say the same for just one comment above... As for the waste of time, well, it's not my problem if you think that there's nothing to say anymore.

  15. I don't understand if you are playing dumb or you really don't get it (or perhaps the problem is that you don't really know how Wikipedia works).

    Journalists can cite whatever blogs they see fit, because they (and their editors) are ultimately responsible for the accuracy and truthfulness of what they write, thus they have to fact-check their sources (e.g., read the El Naschie vs Nature ruling and see what the journalist did to make sure he wouldn't be found guilty of libel).

    Wikipedia, on the other hand, is a cooperative effort by anonymous contributors, in which nobody is essentially responsible for anything, and all that is not set by rules has to be decided case-by-case via (endless) debates. Therefore, either no blogs are allowed, or all blogs are in principle allowed, and every contributor feels free to quote his/her own favorite. Once again: who would then decide if a specific blog is reliable or not? You?

    So, this is how Wikipedia works in a case such as the one we are discussing: 1) blog X makes some assertions, 2) newspaper Y reports on these assertions, 3) Wikipedia quotes newspaper Y, because it is assumed that the Y has fact-checked X and takes responsibility for the assertions. Of course this is just the least-bad solution, because some newspapers' standards are quite low too, but it's better than a free-for-all.

  16. It seems you are playing dumb or you don't get it - let me say it again:

    I'm just amused by the fact (not to mention the reason Eppstein gave to remove the ENW blog link) Baez's quote from his (now defunct but still available on ENW) blog post can't be quoted directly by Wikipedia standards but it can be quoted indirectly (and in fact it is) through Die Zeit's article.

    Your explanation that a not reliable source (such as a blog - by Wikipedia standards) can be cited through a more reliable source (such as a newspaper), because that quote was fact-checked by the latter, makes me laugh also: to quote someone (unless some unknown source) you don't need to fact-check the quote's content; e.g., Droesser quoted Weibel despite a fact-check on his assertions on the Great Man would dismiss them - the responsibility for such assertions lies on Weibel not Droesser.

  17. Laugh as much as you want, but you still don't seem to understand the difference: in the case you mention, the piece of news is "Weibel said XYZ about El Naschie". Presumably, Droesser interviewed Weibel personally, and he can prove that the citation is accurate if it should be challenged. Whether what Weibel said about El Naschie is correct or not does not matter (indeed, the real issue here is whether Weibel's opinion is relevant, but that's another story).

    On the other hand, if Wikipedia quoted ENW the piece of news would not be "Jason of ENW says XYZ about El Naschie", because what Jason says about El Naschie is not interesting to Wikipedia readers. The piece of news would be "El Naschie did XYZ" and it would be based on the authority of ENW. Even if we consider ENW the most authoritative blog on the web, you should be able to understand that the same recipe applied to most other blogs would lead to disaster.

    Anyway, we are clearly wasting time here (again). Read the relevant Wikipedia policies

    and try to understand them by yourself.

  18. Read also this one while you are at it:

  19. BTW, the case of Baez is exactly the same as above. Now the piece of news is "Baez said XYZ about El Naschie", and you would like to quote ENW for that. But why should Wikipedia assume that the transcript in ENW is accurate? For all they know, Jason might have altered it to damage Baez or El Naschie. It's not up to Wikpiedia editors to fact-check that, and for all they know Jason might not even be a real person. When on the other hand the journalist of Die Zeit writes that "Baez said XYZ about El Naschie", he and the newspaper take responsibility for the assertion, regardless of whether it comes directly from Baez blog or from Jason's transcript.

  20. Just to conclude your tutorial on Wikipedia policies: if Baez's blog was still available, quoting it directly in support of the assertion "Baez said XYZ about El Naschie" might not be acceptable either, as it would constitute "Original Research". This is another big no-no in Wikipedia - for a number of very good reasons:

    If Baez's opinion on El Naschie is relevant, some legitimate source will pick it up, then it will become available to Wikipedia. This was indeed the case here, so it appears that the system worked fine...

  21. Now I'm laughing at your attempt to prove that Droesser fact-checked Weibel's claim: he did not; he only collected the quote and the accuracy of citation is far from fact-checking.

    Also I'm laughing at your attempt to show that ENW could not be trusted because Jason may have altered the original content (as far as I know Jason was provided with the cached version of Baez's blog post(s) and comments what could be easily verified) or because his not a real person (well, he's real and he gave details of him in the first posts of this blog). And, of course, you're totally wrong if you think I want ENW to be quoted for Baez or anything else: what I expect is that ENW is linked (e.g., in external links as on the German Wikipedia) as a general resource for the Great Man.

    You can waste your time by linking to English Wikipedia policy but I'm really not interested.

  22. Again, you either haven't really read my comments, or you don't understand plain English. Try again: I did not "attempt to prove that Drossler fact-checked Weibel", I just wrote that Drossler can presumably prove that he cited him accurately. And as to Jason's identity and to his blog's accuracy, I have no doubts about that, and I'm not "attempting to show" anything. What I'm telling you is that it's not up to Wikipedia's editors to verify the accuracy of ANY blog, including ENW.

    Like it or not, the policy about biographies of living persons explicitly forbids linking to other people's blogs, even in the external links:

    What "you expect" from Wikipedia is absolutely irrelevant. Anyway, if you can't even be bothered reading the Wikipedia policies we will never make any progress in a discussion about Wikipedia policies...

  23. Well, your plain English is clear: "So, this is how Wikipedia works in a case such as the one we are discussing: 1) blog X makes some assertions, 2) newspaper Y reports on these assertions, 3) Wikipedia quotes newspaper Y, because it is assumed that the Y has fact-checked X and takes responsibility for the assertions." If you now claim that the assumption of fact-checking is not valid in Droesser's piece, well, try not to contradict yourself.

    Like it or not, the German Wikipedia and RationalWiki quote ENW and they know it's a reliable source.

    And finally: I'm not discussing Wikipedia policies at all; I'm just amused by the struggle of the contributors of the English Wikipedia article on the Great Man. :D

  24. Don't be childish - what about THIS plain English, from the comment after the one you quote:

    "in the case you mention, the piece of news is "Weibel said XYZ about El Naschie". Presumably, Droesser interviewed Weibel personally, and he can prove that the citation is accurate if it should be challenged. Whether what Weibel said about El Naschie is correct or not does not matter (indeed, the real issue here is whether Weibel's opinion is relevant, but that's another story)."

    Read again also the rest of the comment and perhaps you will understand what I'm telling you.

    Anyway, this discussion has run its course. You would like Wikipedia to link ENW in the "External Links", but this is explicitly and strictly forbidden by a Wikipedia policy. The fact that you don't want to read the policy does not make it any less true.

  25. Well, compare that plain English with the one I cited before and make your conclusions, perhaps you'll understand there's a contradiction even a child can notice. :D

    As for the discussion: it's not my problem if you think there's a discussion about any policy. There is NOT; not from my part, at least. My expectation is based on other examples, such as the German Wikipedia. And the truth is that the German version cites ENW and finds it a reliable source.

  26. What contradiction? The first paragraph is about a journalist using a blog as source. The second is about a journalist quoting a person that he has interviewed. If you can't understand the difference by yourself, I don't know how to help you.

    As to the policy, it is clear that - unGerman as either option may sound - the German Wikipedia has looser rules or sloppier editors than the English one. You wrote that you are "just amused by the struggle of the contributors of the English Wikipedia article on the Great Man". If you had bothered to learn something about Wikipedia, you would have understood that the contributors are simply "struggling" to write accurate information about the Great Man in a way that does not violate the house rules.

  27. Maybe you should help yourself by recalling that Droesser also quoted Baez from his blog and the same applies to that quote: he didn't fact-check it, as he merely reproduced it.

    As for the struggle for the English Wikipedia article on the Great Man (as opposed to other articles) let me quote another commenter from this blog:

    "BTW, the en.wikipedia entry is IRRESponsible journalism in my opinion. It tries to play the 'good thing', 'bad thing' game for 3 sections before mentioning the A COURT OF LAW ruled the 'good things' were lies and all 'bad things' were true. I'm sure the reader would have like to learn that in the summary paragraph. The rationalwiki entry is accurate, succinct and clear, in contrast."

    So much about struggling to write accurate information about the Great Man. :D

  28. As you should have understood days ago (see comments of September 10, 2012 11:17 AM, 11:44 AM and 12:04 PM) when reporting that "Weibel said XYZ about El Naschie" and "Baez said ZYX about El Naschie", what the journalist must fact-check is that Weibel and Baez did indeed say XYZ and ZXY, respectively, about El Naschie. As I already mentioned, the real issue here is whether Weibel's and Baez's opinions on El-Naschie are relevant, but that's a different discussion (indeed, as somebody argues in the talk page of the Wikipedia article, Weibel is clearly not qualified to express an opinion on El-Naschie scientific status).

    Anyway this is going in circles, and I'm tired of repeating myself for somebody who can't even be bothered scrolling the page up. Read again the discussion above and the Wikipedia policy pages and take home what you can.

  29. One last attempt, in case you are really not understanding (as opposed to just pretending not to, as I am inclined to think). To make it simple, let's say that Baez wrote that El Naschie's papers are incorrect. Now, there are three ways to report this in Wikipedia:

    1) "El Naschie's papers are incorrect [cite Baez]"

    this is clearly not good, because it uses a blog as source of the assertion about El Naschie's papers.

    2) "Baez wrote that El Naschie's papers are incorrect [cite Baez]"

    this is also not good, however you put it. If the emphasis is on the fact that El Naschie's paper are incorrect, we are back to case 1). If the emphasis is on the fact that Baez expressed that opinion, it is a case of original research (because the Wikipedia contributor is extracting the information on Baez's opinion directly from a primary source, i.e. Baez's blog)

    3) "Baez wrote that El Naschie's papers are incorrect [cite Die Zeit]"

    this is acceptable, because Baez is responsible for his opinion, and the journalist is responsible for reporting that Baez expressed the opinion (as well as for the assumption that Baez's opinion is relevant)

    Do you get it now?

  30. Finally, it looks like the Wikipedia article is going to improve. I see that in the recent days there has been a long talk-page discussion among contributors who actually understand how Wikipedia works:

  31. I should have understood nothing: the acknowledgement of Baez's and Weibel's claims is irrelevant. Baez's claim was available to the public (in his blog post signed by him) and Droesser didn't need to fact-check its provenience. Your argument about relevancy is irrelevant, too: it's about reliability, not relevancy.

    Your last attempt to prove that a claim from a blog reproduced by a journal is worth more than the claim on the blog itself is laughable. Apparently, you don't get it that it's about Baez's assessment for which Baez takes the sole responsibility: endorsement from a journalist is not needed (except for English Wikipedia editors which think, apparently, Baez's assessment on the blog is "Original Research" and thus not reliable, while the same assessment reproduced by a journalist is reliable because the journalist finds it relevant or whatever). LOL

  32. And BTW: I clearly said I'm not interesting in your expose about English Wikipedia's policies, so don't complain to me about repeating yourself. :D

  33. N.B. I corrected some typos and re-posted the last several comments (impersonating Shrink and PassingByAgain). They are in correct chronological order but the time-stamps are no longer accurate.

  34. So, at the end of this 32-comment marathon, your (shrink's) whole point reduces to the fact that you don't agree with the policies of the English Wikipedia. Good for you. This, however, doesn't change the fact that the English Wikipedia's editors must either "struggle" to adhere to those policies, or risk having their work reverted. Instead of laughing at them, why don't you go complain with Jimmy Wales?

    (P.S. thanks Jason for fixing misprints and enabling links in my comment)

  35. On the contrary: I don't care about their policy, but it wasn't me defending that policy and trying to demonstrate how it works well even with claims from blogs (through some bizarre mechanism of endorsement).

  36. This place has been dormant ever since the court ruling. Let's try to resurrect it again:

    The famous crackpot Otto Rossler has finally achieved his long sought immortality! His LHC concerns about mini-black-holes were recently spoofed by "The Simpsons". See the latest episode, "Treehouse of Horror XXIII".

  37. It is very strange that Elnaschie didn't show up in Egyptian media for quite long time. It might be that the great man was caught and sentenced into imprisonment, in that case we hope for him best of time.

  38. Yeah, Jason's on vacation. :)

    I'm sure he'll start posting if something important arises.

    Zahy, you mean imprisoned in Egypt?

  39. Shirk, I'm just joking and guessing. I don't know where he is imprisoned in Egypt or England (If this was true).