The move downmarket.
From: Rudolf Sykora
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 10:41 AM
To: Ivor Catt
Cc: email@example.com ; Jan Pekař
Subject: Re: rudolf
Dear Mr Catt,
I warned you to not send crap e-mail to me.
One more such email and I will quit any communication with you and you will
not get anything. Limit the correspondence to physical issues.
“Ethics is part of the defence mechanism of an entrenched Establishment. Anything done in defence of an entrenched Science Establishment is by definition ethical. Anything attempted which threatens an entrenched Science Establishment (like pointing to a fundamental error in a published refereed journal, and thus a flaw in classical theory) is by definition unethical.”
So the above by Rudolf is not unethical. In fact, he has to “mix it” and go downmarket.
It is interesting to compare it with the email from Professor Yakovlev, Head of Department in Newcastle University.
From: Alex Yakovlev
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:03 PM
To: 'Ivor Catt'
Subject: RE: em
Thanks. I’ll read your article. Yes, I am going to meet with David Walton in July.
I hope I’ll know better about your theory and will see if I can understand it and promote it here at Newcastle.
However, that is an aside. Rudolf follows the normal pattern, that when a “Defender of the Faith” – the faith being classical electromagnetism – gets to suspect a fatal flaw in it, he is straight into the gutter. This is safe, because there are no ethical restraints on a “Defender of the Faith”. The attacks on Catt have been assembled here . Interestingly, when I told my partner Liba that I would add the Rudolf attack here , she was upset. Along with the rest of society, she thought that if someone (Rudolf) told the leading expert in electromagnetic theory that he was incompetent in electromagnetic theory, he should get away scot free. That is not Liba’s attitude, it is everyone’s attitude. There are no requirements imposed on Sir Michael Pepper, “knighted for services to physics”. Having received that accolade among others, the general view is that he now has no responsibility for physics. The core reason for the end of science, now that it is professional, is that society does not think through what is required of the “great and the good” in science. Further, the man in the street thinks the leaders of science need meet no precepts, but only have to bask in their fame. There are no sanctions if Pepper, “knighted for services to physics”, fails to do what he obviously needs to do. He was instructed to write to me about “The Catt Question”. When a decade later he decided that what he had written was wrong, he did not write to me. Generally, the man in the street does not bother to think through the implications of his behaviour, and probably thinks Pepper was free to either write to me or not write to me. It is this lack of general basic grasp of the obvious rules of behaviour required by such as Pepper which means science is doomed. The problem, these obvious precepts have never been stated.
The removal of any professional or ethical standards from those with entrenched reputations, even as lowly as a PhD, is at the root of the End of Science. It is not possible for science to progress if those who control it are out of control by society. The attitude of the whole of society, not just professional “experts”, who have much more to lose, is the death knell to science.
There is full scale retreat from the epigram;
Uncompromising, indefatigable pursuit of truth, then, is the hallmark that distinguishes science from the charlatan. It constitutes the indispensible ethic of modern science. (Max Born)
Society supports a professional who evades the truth.
Rudolf Sykora is only interesting because no professor or text book writer will make any comment on my elementary questions on their theory, or now on the "Wakefield Experiment" whose results seem to undermine their theory. Sykora is a young blood who got his PdD in this field and has a research post at the university. So he is small fry. However, he gives us an indication of what the professors would write, if they were unwise enough to write anything. Sykora was too young and inexperienced to realise that he should not get involved with Catt, or with problems for classical electromagnetism. He is required to not notice such problems, or his career is in jeopardy.
MacRoberts and MacRoberts , in their very important paper, are not quite right. They think that the man with the new paradigm understands his new theory and also the standard theory, whereas the Professor (or Sykora) only understands the standard theory.
In 1978 I said that the competence of the “Defenders of the Faith” gradually deteriorates. It is not necessary to understand “the faith” if one merely defends it.
By the time fundamental change is needed, we have seen that there are good reasons why the calibre of the 'guardians of the faith', the high priests, will have sunk to an all-time low, becoming worried, inadequate functionaries holding in reverence their predecessors who engineered the era of fast growth and progress.
Today, professor and Sykora have very poor grasp of their theory of electromagnetism. This point is made at the end of the article on The Wakefield Experiment .
It is important to bear in mind what Kuhn says, and the earlier similar statement in the last paragraph of this section by Polanyi . Polanyi says that both sides allege incompetence in the other side, or worse. However, my contribution is to say that “Defenders of the Faith” gradually lose grasp of their faith. If there is no paradigm change, the competence of those defending it gradually deteriorates.
Ivor Catt 2 April 2013