Good Math/Bad Math

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Magic 23.5 update: Osborne runs away.

Just thought I'd put up a quick little note here. I found that the author of the "23.5" stuff, after giving up on responding here, has set up a nice little website - sans comments - in which he defends himself from the criticisms here.

Since I went to the trouble of publically presenting his defense on the front page of this blog, and engaging in a civil discussion with him in the comments, I'm more than a little bit ticked at this. He's obviously welcome to handle things as he wants, but I find it rather cowardly of Gary to silently drop out of a public, open discussion here, and then continue it on a private site, where no one who disagrees with him is permitted to respond.

I'm not going to link to it, since he's got rather a lot of advertisements set up (you actually have to sit through an ad on the main link to the site before you're allowed to read any content), and I'd rather not send cash in his direction as a reward for this. If you really care, you can find it either through google, or through the sitemeter referrals link on the bottom of the front page of this blog.

19 Comments:

  • Let's just keep your post's comments going. Not our fault he retreated to the Internet equivalent of a cave... or would that be the underside of a bridge?

    By Blogger Bronze Dog, at 3:15 PM  

  • Actually he retreated to a concession booth. He can't wait to get the book out, apparently, but he seems happy enough to shill for ad clicks in the meantime.

    Gary, I'm sure you come back here to at least read the comments on your shenanigans.

    Just so you know, I'm not going to the site, and I won't be buying the book.

    Hey, you might try finding some impossibly large and ancient pyramids in Bosnia or something. Pick a town that hates itself and needs a morale boost. They will love you.

    By Blogger Don Sheffler, at 12:19 AM  

  • Nah he's quite active this morning insulting and lecturing me.

    By Blogger Rev. BigDumbChimp, at 9:11 AM  

  • There are some very valuable lessons you quickly learn as a police officer, emergency response team member, bouncer, and so on: once you detect irrationality (drunk, crazy, other), argument with that person is the most unproductive solution in your toolbox.

    By Anonymous BMurray, at 1:24 PM  

  • What a load of bull.

    Osborn running away . . . from what?
    From you Mark? Don't make me laugh.
    Certainly not bothered by you or what you got to say, because you are an amateur.

    I "kicked your ass", several times on your blog, pointing out where your knowledge is limited and therefore your incompetence at critique and debunking - and the only thing you can think of to get back at me and undermine me and my work in front of your sattelite correspondents is to say I "ran away to my website".

    I merely placed a page on my website about this - showing the strong points in my thesis, and I also added much more there so that people could see this is a real phenomenon and not one that can be put aside easily.

    I then came back on your blog and confronted your silly arguments head on . . . what? and that's cowardice?

    You are a pseudoskeptic Mark who will think of anything to get back at me, because you lost the argument. You are being irrational and foolish, and I cannot believe how silly and childish people can be - those who listen to you and agree with you.

    Get over it.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 7:20 AM  

  • I think you would do well to read this:

    http://www.geocities.com/wwu777us/Debunking_Skeptical_Arguments.htm

    Its about time this problem was brought to people's attention.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 7:36 AM  

  • I shall quote from that article I just gave you the URL to.

    "5) Attacking the character of witnesses and undermining their credibility when their evidence or testimonies can’t be explained away. As we all know, when politicians can’t win on the issues, they resort to character assassinations. Unfortunately, this is also what skeptics and debunkers tend to do as well. When evidence or testimony from key people can’t be explained away or are irrefutable, skeptics will find ways to discredit them such as character assassinations or grossly exaggerating and distorting trivial mistakes."

    Sounds about right.

    "Osborn runs away" what utter tosh!

    If that's the case, why am I here on your blog - for the third time?

    One finds that as one becomes an adult, one is still amongst children.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 7:47 AM  

  • Mark you write:

    "I'm not going to link to it, [Gary Osborn's website] since he's got rather a lot of advertisements set up (you actually have to sit through an ad on the main link to the site before you're allowed to read any content), and I'd rather not send cash in his direction as a reward for this. If you really care, you can find it either through google, or through the sitemeter referrals link on the bottom of the front page of this blog."

    Mark the website I've created here as a sister-website to my main website here http://garyosborn.moonfruit.com/ is with 'freewebs'. In other words its a free website on the agreement that advertisments can be placed on there by 'freewebs'.
    What's all this about 'cash'?

    That's not what I'm about at all. My god, if the truth be known . . .
    Everything you have come back at me with has either been false, based on misinformation, misunderstanding, half-baked, and . . . well, stupid.

    You are merely spouting a load of garbage, and if people are stupid enough to take what you say seriously then all the best to them.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 9:18 AM  

  • Gary:

    It's interesting that you quote someone discussing how attacking the *character* of people rather than the *content* of their arguments is the sign of a poor debater. I've been sitting through these threads asking questions about the *content* of your argument: the methodology of measurement, the reasons why information would be encoded in this way, the techniques and reasons why the artists could have put information into paintings this way; etc. You've responded to those questions by saying you "kicked my ass", calling me childish, calling me a pseudo-skeptic, calling me an amateur: everything *but* responding to my questions.

    So tell me Gary - why is it that you'll take the time to return to my blog again and again, posting dozens of comments, but you absolutely refuse to answer any of the reasonable questions that have been put to you?

    I'll repeat a few here, just to collect things in one place.


    (1) How do you measure the angles in the paintings? When you say a limb points at a particular angle, how are you determining where to put the line for the limb?

    (2) You've admitted that sometimes the lines aren't precisely 23.5 degrees. If your thesis is that the difference between a 22.5 and 23.5 degree angle is crucial, how do you determine *when* the precision of the angle is important? Is it just a matter of "if it's 23.5, then it's important that it's precise, but if it isn't 23.5, then it doesn't matter?"

    (3) If this was being kept secret because of a fear of the church, how was it passed between dozens of artists over hundreds of years without the church ever finding out about it?

    (4) If dozens of people over hundreds of years were hiding this in plain sight, then why is it that there is *no* written documentation anywhere? No personal notes from any artists, no private diaries? No correspondence containing coded messages?

    If you can answer any of those questions, please do. If you're just going to insult me more without bothering to answer my questions, please don't waste your time.

    By Blogger MarkCC, at 11:33 AM  

  • I rest my case,

    By Anonymous BMurray, at 1:37 PM  

  • B Murray.
    What case?

    Mark,

    Now you are asking your questions again and this time in a different way which appear quite reasonable. Its not that I was avoiding your questions; I thought I had already answered yours and Bronze Dog's amidst the personal attacks that you attribute to me - even though my comments were in response to the "off the subject" things said by you and your weblog friends to both mock and undermine myself and my work.

    Ok let's answer these latest set of questions seeing as you have taken the time to lay them out clearly and sensibly.

    You write:

    (1) How do you measure the angles in the paintings? When you say a limb points at a particular angle, how are you determining where to put the line for the limb?

    You can only mean the painting 'The Dance of Death' which is one of few paintings which feature the limbs you are referring to.

    The answer to your question:

    By either examining the angle using the edge of the limb and also measuring the angle of the limb by running the line through the centre. And these limbs are either exactly 23.5 degrees or fall 'very close' to this angle.

    You write:

    "(2) You've admitted that sometimes the lines aren't precisely 23.5 degrees. If your thesis is that the difference between a 22.5 and 23.5 degree angle is crucial, how do you determine *when* the precision of the angle is important? Is it just a matter of "if it's 23.5, then it's important that it's precise, but if it isn't 23.5, then it doesn't matter?"

    I 'have' already answered this question.

    The limbs are at the angle of 23.5 - not all 'exactly', but visually and overall one can see they are at this angle and were meant to be at this angle. Again, considering all the other paintings that feature linear objects at the angle of 23.5 degrees exactly, this painting is an exception to the rule - in that it is no coincidence that all the linbs of the dead - except one (the left leg of the person sitting down playing the wind instrument, also at the angle of 23.5 degrees) - are at the angle of 23.5 degrees - and were meant to be at that angle - and not 24 degrees or 22.5 - even if the limbs fall close to these angles.
    If one or two happen to be 22.5 degrees then this would be down to the error of the artist. I cannot accept the argument that these limbs are expressing the angle of perspective - said to be present in many paintings - although I have found this to be very rare - almost non-existent.
    Again, in this one case, we could use your earlier argument that the artist was not expressing 100% accuracy here in this 15th century painting. However despite this, after acknowledging the theme of this painting, I would say that it was meant that the 'initiated' looking at this painting, would extract the same information and meaning being conveyed which we find in the other paintings where these references are indeed accurate.

    You write:

    "(3) If this was being kept secret because of a fear of the church, how was it passed between dozens of artists over hundreds of years without the church ever finding out about it?"

    It appears to be a very old tradition, known only to a handful of initiates and passed down from generation to generation. I'm still looking into this. It was also something that appears to have been known only to the initiated before the inception of the Church - as were many other esoteric beliefs, conceptions and ideas.

    You write:

    "(4) If dozens of people over hundreds of years were hiding this in plain sight, then why is it that there is *no* written documentation anywhere? No personal notes from any artists, no private diaries? No correspondence containing coded messages?"

    There are, though rare, and I have written two chapters dedicated to these textual references.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 2:40 PM  

  • And as for Thomas Winwood . . .

    Get real kid.
    None of what you say has any reality to it. Its laughable - the childish words of some wannabe who is merely jumping on the bandwagon of his friends for a little attention.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 3:58 PM  

  • gary:

    Let me paraphrase.

    (1) Measurement: you eyeball it.

    (2) Angles/precision: accuracy matters when you want it to, but not when it doesn't.

    (3) Hiding from the church: Actually, it predates the church that they were keeping it secret from.

    (4) Documentation: buy my book if you want to see the answer.

    By Blogger MarkCC, at 3:59 PM  

  • No Mark, paraphrasing, by twisting words and their meanings; that's not proving me wrong. And let's face it none of you can prove me wrong - no matter what clever craptrap you dredge up.

    There is a human element to this, which is why it can be precise and not precise. I am quite prepared to allow some tolerance to those things that may require it, like the limbs in that painting and I base my asessment of this on good common sense, realistic perception and a balance of mind.

    Anyone with some common sense would see that I am talking sense in my answers to your questions and you are talking nonsense and also being unreasonable and irrational in your continual rebuffs to win an argument because your own integrity is at risk, and you think you are being objective and realistic. Give me a break!

    And again, I'm no "new-age mystic". Still some of you are spouting that nonsense.
    Truth is, I really don't agree with a lot of the new-age literature.
    I always use the 'skeptical approach' myself based on my knowledge which straddles both science and mysticism and covers subjects and experiences that are rarely generally acknowleged in society.
    You cannot really leave anything out of the equation when studying people's beliefs and the numerous belief systems. One must strike a balance - meaning I'm very careful before I state something as being 'true' and 'real'.

    I always suspend belief. And really you have a pre-misconception in regard to my presentation of this research. Its not proven beyond any doubt yet, but the evidence that people deliberately 'encoded' these angles for good reason is compelling, and again you haven't seen all the evidence. And knowing this amuses me no end when I read your pathetic rebuffs.

    Anyway, again I have spent enough time with you on this and I think we must 'agree to disagree' - which is a shame, because I thought I made it all quite clear for you.
    For each of you who refuses to believe it, there is a person who will believe it. Again, me, I suspend all belief until the day I am able to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I do have something that constitutes as 'proof' and again, that will be presented in the book and not on forums like this.
    If you don't buy the book, that's OK with me, but telling me you won't buy the book is childish and its telling me that you choose to remain blinkered and in the belief that I am wrong. Its ok, thats a natural human trait.

    Let's do it again sometime eh?

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 5:14 PM  

  • gary:

    First - drop the newage strawman, OK? I just ran a quick blogsearch on the phrase "new age", and the only references to the phrase seem to be in comments written *by you*.

    You can whine all you want. The fact remains that you can't provide real answers for the questions I keep asking. You insist on just endlessly resorting to insults and strawmen, rather than actually talking about content.

    To me, there are two key, fundamental things that you have consistently refused to address; and unless you can do that in a meaningful way, your thesis totally lacks credibility.

    First: the key piece of evidence that you claim is the presence of very precise angles. Except that you *don't* require them to actually be precise. You don't have a precise criteria for measuring (the "eyeball" measurement system you use allows shifts of several degrees depending on how you draw a line); you don't have any objective method for deciding when precision matters. If precision gives you the result you want, then it's precise; if precision doesn't give the result you want, then it doesn't need to be precise. Sorry, but that doesn't meet any standard for scientific evidence.

    Second, your thesis relies on a closely held secret. Secrets are notoriously difficult to keep. You claim that the secret was kept well enough over a space of hundreds of years that the keepers could place that secret in plain sight, without anyone outside of their circle noticing it. That's an extraordinary claim, and you absolutely refuse to provide any evidence. And after dozens of comments, repeatedly insulting anyone who questions you, and having the question put to you politely numerous times, you still refuse to actually answer the question in any way beyond "buy my book".

    There are very literally tens of thousands of books out there proposing all sorts of theories. I can't buy them all, and even if I could, I can't possibly read them all. To convince me to buy a book, the author needs to demonstrate a minimum level of credibility. You haven't done that. Rather than discuss your evidence, you've insulted people for nothing more than asking you questions. That tells me that you *can't* answer the questions, and you have no credibility at all.

    By Blogger MarkCC, at 5:35 PM  

  • You don't know me, and you have not yet 'figured' out my own position in all of this have you? Even though I have made it clear numerous times.

    Mark writes:

    "First - drop the newage strawman, OK? I just ran a quick blogsearch on the phrase "new age", and the only references to the phrase seem to be in comments written *by you*."

    Er, I think you will find you are wrong again Mark. And now you are calling me a liar.
    You are also now trying to 'turn the tables'.
    See here, and I quote:

    "Rather than discuss your evidence, you've insulted people for nothing more than asking you questions. That tells me that you *can't* answer the questions, and you have no credibility at all."

    Nice tactic and typically the next phase in your assault.
    Truth is, A) I have been insulted all along, and from the very beginning - and again recently by another of your young acolytes - Thomas Winwood on his weblog, who calls me a "new-age crank" - and who writes ". . . Gary, like all other bullshit-peddling mystics . . ."

    All this is laughable and unjustified and juvenile.
    In fact all of this is totally unjustified - considering the amount of work I have done in bringing this phenomenon to light.
    Again, you haven't seen everything and are not familiar with my work in general, so you really are not in a position to judge.

    And B) on the contrary, at the same time I have provided 'real' reasonable answers to all of your questions. And I have proven you wrong several times.
    Why can't you be a gentleman and just accept it?

    In any case, I really don't have to explain myself to you. This is not a jury, and you are certainly not up to the task in proving me wrong, and mainly because you are twisting things to suit yourself.

    We are now at the end of the day and you had already made your mind-up that you are not going to meet me halfway on all this, and really that's Ok with me. No big deal. I'm cool with that.
    But still you haven't proven me wrong. I'm sure the rantings and false accusations will continue . . . as is typical of human nature. Prove me wrong on that.

    Ciao,

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 8:09 PM  

  • gary:

    What people put on their own blogs has nothing to do with me. *Here*, on this blog, as far as I could see, no one other than you has used the phrase "new age"; no one has called you a new ager. It's just a strawman to deflect attention from the fact that you're *still* avoiding answering my questions. You're *still* just resorting to insulting me rather than answering anything. Rather than take the bait of responding to your insults, I'll just repeat the questions.

    (1) What objective standard allows you to determine whether or not the precision of an angle in an image is significant? The only answer thus far is "if it's precisely 23.5, then it matters; if it isn't, it doesn't matter."

    (2) You say the secret was hidden for fear of the Church. How was the secret passed on for hundreds of years, and yet kept secret enough that artists could put it in obvious places in paintings without the church noticing?

    By Blogger MarkCC, at 8:29 PM  

  • Mark,

    I have been answering your questions. And now if I answer your latest, I run the risk of you afterwards accusing me of not answering your questions and so it goes on.

    Your first:

    "(1) What objective standard allows you to determine whether or not the precision of an angle in an image is significant? The only answer thus far is "if it's precisely 23.5, then it matters; if it isn't, it doesn't matter."

    I have already answered this, and I gave what I thought was a clear and 'balanced' answer.
    Again, most of the paintings the linear objects WHICH ARE CONSPICUOUS (stick out) are often 23.5 degrees exactly. This matters. In this one painting The Dance of Death, some of the limbs are 23.5 exactly while others are not so exact but very close - and by eyesight alone one can deduce that the artist meant them all to be 23.5 degrees. So the obvious references to this angle in this painting matters to me. It matters OK?

    You write:

    "(2) You say the secret was hidden for fear of the Church".

    Yes. Throughout the Baroque period especially.


    You write:

    "How was the secret passed on for hundreds of years, and yet kept secret enough that artists could put it in obvious places in paintings without the church noticing?"

    Because most people are blinkered and really don't notice these things and from what I can see, haven't noticed them all this time.
    People don't walk around with Protractors. Its only now with computer software that we are able to find, and quickly, these references, which are now obvious and regular.
    For instance, almost all the vanitas paintings by 17th century artist Edward Collier, contain linear items at the same amgles again and again - i.e., 23.5, 52, 30, 60, 27, 6.5, and 72 - all relating to the obliquity of the axis and the GP of Giza.
    Also in some cases we find that the person who commisioned the religious paintings on behalf of the Church - like the 'Dance of Death' was - like the artist - actually an initiate who had infiltrated the church.

    This is my last and final post Mark.

    G.O.

    By Blogger Gary Osborn, at 7:30 AM  

  • gary:

    To sum up:
    - You refuse to state how you measure the angles beyond "eyeballing".
    - Precision counts when you want it to, and not when it doesn't.
    - You can't explain the contradictions inherent in the idea of the "secret" information.
    - Anyone who disagrees with you is automatically dishonest, immature, ignorant, irrational, foolish, etc; *but* asking you polite questions is making personal ad-hominem attacks.

    By Blogger MarkCC, at 11:49 AM  

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