September 09, 2004

Crow now in mouth, doesn't taste so bad

Can I just put a word in for my own defense? I put forth a general rule about hypothesis testing that the null hypothesis should be maintained unless there is a 95% probablity that the nullification is accurate. In other words, you maintain the status quo unless you are quite positive about the results of your hypothesis testing. In this case, the status quo was that the documents were authenitic. Therefore, it is up to those who wish to disprove this to make more than a compelling case, but to make an overwhelming case. The reason? Remember cold fusion? In that experiment there was some evidence that cold fusion was happening. However, it later turned out to be wrong. Evidence can always be found to maintain a theoritical proposition, what you need to turn a proposition into a theory is overwhelming evidence. And lots of it! Because in science we general assume the greater risk is in saying that we have proven a theory when we have not. Scientists are conservative by nature.

Kuhn, in his famous book, describe the process of scientific revolution as a process by which old paradigms are thrown out and new ones are brought in. I believe we have just witnessed a major paradigm shift. It is the deathknell of the old media, and the ringing in of something completely different. I always looked at my blog as a way of putting out ideas, but that I should have a lot of evidence before putting out anything radically new. The blogosphere was alive today with what seemed like conspiritorial statements, but were really a conversation. The conversation started with a question, leading to more questions, and then we pulled in experts who seemed to concur with many initial suspicions. I still maintain that many of the early bloggers on this jumped the gun in declaring a slam dunk victory, but it seems that most were simply interested in the conversation. Forget the swiftie thing, it took us weeks to get the mainstream press in on the story. This...this took a matter of hours. We are the press now.

You know what, I was there the day the blogosphere changed the news media. That one guy who put in the research--I know that guy. That guy e-mails me saucy videos. The other guy--man, I knew that guy back in the day bro. He links me, man. He's my homie, essay! That's what I feel like. I was there man. I was there.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:09 PM | Comments |