LHC Safety and the Law

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by rpenner, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Otto Rössler has published again.

    His paper which reviews his own revolutionary view of General Relativity was published in the African Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science Research.

    http://www.academicjournals.org/AJMCSR/contents/2012 cont/9 Feb.htm

    I can't say as I find this direction profitable, as the journal editors don't profess to have any experience with GR or fundamental physics. Also, the article is labeled as a review it is hardly a "critical" review. Two of out Rossler's three self-references are unpublished.
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  3. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    The original Editor-in-Chief of the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals sued over a November 27, 2008 article in Nature called "Self-publishing editor set to retire" along with a photo caption that read "Apparent misuse of editorial privileges has sparked calls for a clearer peer-review process across journals." Here is that article:
    Otto Rössler was listed as a "honorary editor" for CSF during this dark period, and this is one of the many reasons I was critical of his decision to try and get his misinterpretations of General Relativity published there.

    As for the lawsuit, on Friday morning a decision was published in Bristol Crown Court:

    Just because something is defamatory doesn't make it untrue -- and you need both to prevail in a defamation case, at least in the jurisdictions I have read about.

    El Naschie, Rössler and others have been drawn together in a clique of back-scratching pseudo-scientists, evading or ignoring serious confrontation by their ideas with reality and the El Naschie-run CSF would give their names and buzzwords the veneer of respectability with the cost of a few self-citations. This was effective at manipulating the journal's citation statistics, but they could not fool the publisher or the courts forever. A pretense of respectability is no substitute for the real thing.

    Nowadays, CSF is trying to put this period of its history behind it. But the social dynamics of crank magnetism ensures that such cliques, be they cults of personality, religious sects, ideological political movements or covens of quacks and charlatans, will rise again. Fortuneately, Science isn't just a journal of good reputation -- it is also a verb. And in this case, truth and reality, nay even Nature herself, prevailed.

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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
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  5. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    One of the questions most university physicists and mathematicians have to cope with is how to with the masses of cranks demanding their attention. Attitudes vary on both sides of the fence, but the professional soon learns that the standard crackpot is not going to reform into a respectable scientist (although they may solicit help in appearing respectable). Some (a small minority in my experience) of professionals may cling to hope that some pseudoscientists can be reformed -- perhaps this is just the optimism of the young and inexperienced. But regardless of initial goodwill, an aggressive, arrogant and ignorant individual soon wears out his welcome.

    This was point was made very clear to me in another very short post by Otto Rössler which I reproduce for you:
    In the UK, of course, I know of no way to to say "X's Y is a Criminal Act" without immediately facing ruin from defamation lawsuits from all parties connected with X. Even in the US, the words are so inflammatory that the burden might soon be on the speech-maker to demonstrate that the claim was not recklessly made. I assume that in the rest of the English-speaking world the legal situation is intermediate between these points. (IANAL)
    In the next line, Rössler claims a "proof of danger" exists, but at no point has a theorem been proven from axioms or evidence introduced that X is doing anything dangerous. The UK defense of "justification" (i.e. making true statements) goes out the window because Rössler misunderstands the process of logical thinking and empiricism.
    In the next line, Rössler seems to be saying CERN is bullying him by ignoring his baseless claims. I do, however, agree that "something is woefully wrong with the planet’s media" because in 2008 and continuing to today, some venues credit Rössler's opinion as that of an expert.
    There have been multiple lawsuits against CERN -- but in all cases the judges couldn't find a connection between the claims and reality and the law.
    Al Jazeera does occasionally interview Rössler which is apropos of nothing.
    The last quotation is neither cited nor discoverable by Google Search -- both Zola and Semmelweis died before GR described black holes. Or maybe Rössler is embracing the Galileo Gambit with Émile Zola (1840–1902) and Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818–1865) poorly substituting for Galileo. Zola was protesting against the racism of the army and courts in refusing to follow were the truth led. Historically, medicine was not originally strongly science-based as this was still very much true in the nineteenth century. Semmelweis's discovery that hand-washing was correlated with reduced infections was a truth that medical knowledge didn't know how to generalize at the time. Both Zola and Semmelweis had a portion of the truth on their side, both Zola and Semmelweis wrote up their findings and the reasoning that lead them to their convictions and both were ultimately vindicated. This does nothing to support the case that Rössler might have truth on his side. "It is not enough to wear the mantle of Galileo: that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right." (attributed to Robert L. Park)

    So I think I might be through with Rössler's blog as I gave up on Luis Sancho before him. This was intended to be my parting shot:
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  7. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    October 16th,
    In Germany, another appellate decision has been rendered against the anti-LHC forces because once again they bring no evidence of danger. The basic principle seems to be vague abstract doubts not based on science are no reason to promote hypotheticals to claims of actual litigable danger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-10-german-woman-atom-smasher-world.html "Objectively, there is no evidence to doubt the correctness of these safety reports nor was any conclusive evidence presented."
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...cs/2012/10/28/revisiting-doomsday-at-the-lhc/ Points out that Walter Wagner, then a Hawaiian resident, also filed suit. And lost. And showed up on The Daily Show -- which I first suggested was the proper venue for his ideas.
    http://www.ovg.nrw.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/35_121016/index.php "Objektive Zweifel an der Richtigkeit der Sicherheitsberichte seien weder schlüssig dargelegt noch ersichtlich." "Concrete questions about the accuracy of the safety reports were neither conclusively demonstrated nor self-evident."

    Full Text of the decision: http://www.justiz.nrw.de/nrwe/ovgs/ovg_nrw/j2012/16_A_591_11beschluss20121016.html (In German legalese...)

    Otto Rössler's blog does really comment on the case other to suggest that we all see Steve Carrell's latest film. No mention of lawyer Olaf Möhring's misinterpretation of the previous court ruling as an order to hold a safety conference with some mix of scientists and crackpots, but the wording clearly indicates that this court sees no such need.
  8. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    So Walter Wagner's US coalition to sue the LHC has not been heard from. Gabriele Schröter and Otto Rössler's lawsuit has fallen down. Are these causes dead? Not necessarily, but by rights they should be.
    Litigation can continue a very long time, as this 2011 Federal lawsuit based in part on 2004-2008 state court filings shows:
    This is referred to "Second Hawaii Decision II" in the Federal case.

    On Monday, a magistrate judge recommended that the (newly appointed!) presiding judge dismiss most of the remaining causes of action in the lawsuit because these cases had already been decided and appealed to finality. The exception was a Hawaiian court case different from the above, where the appellate court decided that the lower court had to address one of Wagner's arguments, rendering the largely-decided case as not-entirely-final. For a variety of factors the magistrate judge also recommended that the Federal lawsuit be stayed until the Hawaiian issue is finalized.

    On Monday, the same magistrate judge denied Wagner's attempt to put a custodian in charge of WBGI's affairs, because the law requires a Nevada state court to exert that authority over a corporation registered in Nevada.

    Now, I am not saying that Wagner's aggressive litigation in this case demonstrates that he cares more about this issue than his abstract worries about the LHC. Who can say what Wagner thinks about the LHC? But it does strongly indicate that if you have concrete evidence of a problem, litigation is an expensive and time-consuming route to make your case. I also think it shows that litigants can be too close to the subject matter to judge the outcome of their cases objectively.
  9. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Other than being meritless and filed primarily by the same party. Indeed, if one attributes causation of the existence of the LHC case primarily to the plaintiffs, it is a useful data point for validating or rejecting that model.
    If there a pattern of behavior, the essence of science is to be able to predict that behavior.
    Scientists and lawyers don't get along much because scientists use logic and philosophy to cooperatively bring human understanding of reality to closer approximations while lawyers embrace logic and philosophy as tools to advance the viewpoints of their clients. While reality and past legal interpretation have a lot of weight, they can be regarded as mere starting points for a legalistic argument that, say, tomatoes are no fruit. A criticism from scientists to a crackpot might be "You are arguing like a lawyer" which would be shorthand for pointing out that the argument is not convincing to one who is not already a partisan or is better grounded in the experimental record and does not advance human knowledge of reality. (Even from a scientist, "You are arguing like a lawyer" is not likely to convince a District Attorney (or Queen's Counsel) to reduce charges -- that's a case where you want a lawyer.)

    Well, today a Federal Judge in Utah, in unusually spicy language, orders that Wagner's case is closed. http://www.archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.utd.81811/gov.uscourts.utd.81811.86.0.pdf

    Tough for Mrs. Wagner, but if it was Wagner's representative that left the courtroom to start the lengthy process of getting her out on bail without getting a continuance for the hearing, Wagner would likely have cause against that representative for breach of duty. As Wagner was representing himself, the judge is saying he has noone to blame but himself.

    This sounds polite enough, but its a reminder that federal courts (like the LHC court in Hawaii) have limits to their jurisdiction and mere "invitation" to exceed their constitutional and statutory authority is not going to get them to see things your way.

    It is not good to have a federal judge say they view your claims of fact as "highly skeptical."

    Rule 12(b) is about motions to dismiss a case before arguing about the facts and laws of the case.
    The court "generously" guesses that Wagner makes bad arguments because he's a poor reader, not because he is necessarily a blight upon humanity. We should all be so generous.

    This is fortunate for the cause of justice, because in Hawaii on April 3rd of this year, Wagner filed for a stay of the reopened First Hawaii case until such time as this case is decided. See document 0000161 of case 3CC041000232 in Hoohiki. I don't see a notice of this action in the Federal Case, nor any notice or minutest text in the Hawaiian court of his WBGI's pending motion to stay the Federal case. This reporter "generously" assumes that Mr. Wagner merely forgot about his own the pending motion to stay the Federal case that Wagner opposed and objected to.

    This is a seriously harsh paragraph. It's my guess that this language will tend to convert any half-assed appeal that doesn't address all these points into a frivolous appeal -- one that is just a waste of time and paper. The "amount in controversy" is the monetary value of the damage to Wagner's reputation, isn't it?
    If you ever wanted to know what keeps lawyers from spiraling into a cesspool of black-is-white and "it depends what the meaning of "is" is" -- this is it -- Rule 11(b) [and c].

    "Closed" in this case doesn't mean "over" in that there may still be additional post-judgement motions.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  10. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    This case was dismissed last month. This month Wagner begins an appeal. (Also there is in Hawaii a retrial of one issue left over from the 2004 original lawsuit, and the entity Wagner keeps on suing declares bankruptcy in Nevada.)
    Plaintiff Walter L. Wagner hereby appeals the Memorandum Decision and Order dated April 22, 2013 in its entirety.
    Please take notice that WBGI filed a bankruptcy petition in the US Bankruptcy Court, District of Nevada, on April 30, 2013, Case No. 13-50833 invoking automatic stay provisions.​
    It will be month before Wagner needs to pay fees, so who knows how long the appeal will take.

    The Chapter 11 (voluntary bankruptcy protection for reorganization) case is moving fast and provides some financial insight into the WGBI entity that Wagner seeks to extract cash from/gain control of/harass its officers. WGBI states that it owes about $38,000 in legal fees, and is owed about $19,000 in accounts receivable, and about $3.5 million in Hawaiian and Nevada judgments against W.L. Wagner and D. Perkins. So on paper, it just looks like a cash flow problem.


    According to Wikipedia,
  11. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member


    OK, was it all about micro black holes?


    I was earlier thinking about making a thread about mico black holes because the concept is bewildering.
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  12. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Plaintiffs Wagner and Sancho, in the 2008-2010 anti-LHC case and appeal, I believe, accepted that the energies at the LHC would not of themselves present a civilization threatening event, so the only remaining class of event was death-by-accreting-object which came in two theoretical flavors: Gravity (Black Holes) and QCD (Strangelets). Neither Wagner nor Sancho presented a model of such an object consistent with our universe and still dangerous to human civilization, so there was no physics case made. (Giddings and Mangano made a devastating physics case that accreting objects, if formed, could not both be dangerous and leave no mark in the heavens at current levels of study.) There likewise was no legal case made that they had standing under Article III of the US Constitution to sue in Federal Court. (The requirement of a concrete injury wasn't even met with a concrete theoretical model.) There likewise was no legal case made that they correctly served an entity who was empowered to control the LHC. (The Swiss government pointed out what a gap between international requirements and Wagner's practice existed.)

    I know of only one "victory" for Wagner's pro-se efforts, when a California prosecutor made an own goal by undercharging (so said a judge). Wagner makes reckless arguments (Process isn't needed, FRCP 5 covers initially serving the summons and complaint on the defendant, Dollarz is the onleez moniez) and reckless claims of facts (telling a judge at Pearl Harbor, who signed up for federal service because of Pearl Harbor, that Wagner's stint as a VA Technician compares favorably to that of the judge's).

    But the only "black holes" in the 2004-2013 Hawaiian-Nevada-Utah-WBGI cases would be Wagner's filing system. Wagner sued for umpteen million dollars because he thought (in part) it was defamatory for people to say they had trouble sorting through his records, some of which were on adhesive notes. But as I read this case both Judges Warner and Shelby believe that matter had already been litigated in Nevada court.

    A lawyer doesn't have to sign on to his client's cause, only represent his client in court. But as a pro-se litigant, Wagner cannot divorce himself of his positions so easily. Does the defamation case mean Wagner now believes it is likely that his 2008 anti-LHC lawsuit was baseless? If society has no future, reputation is worthless and no defamation damages can exist and no money damages can make amends.
  13. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

    400+ posts. This issue leaves my head spinning. How does Wagner's diverting of funds for personal use, etc, relate to LHC safety?
  14. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

    It seems to have been a legal offshoot of the original law suit. Suits of this type often include cross complaints seeking recovery of costs and even damages. From there, investigations seeking assets or financial status of the plaintiff, could easily turn up any unusual accounting or distributions of associated funds.... A lay evaluation, based only on experience in a few small claims cases.
  15. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    OnlyMe, that seems baseless. The commonality is that Wagner initiated the 2008 LHC case and some of the 2004-2013 actions. In both he misconstrues the powers of Federal courts. In both he asserts justice and law are on his side and fails to convince people of this.
  16. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

    I was responding only to RJ's question of how the diversion of funds issue got involved. And I did say it was a lay evaluation.

    I was not saying that is the case, "here" but I do know, that at least in California, cross complaints can be filed and investigations into assets can follow from court rulings or even precede them is some cases... That I know from experience as I mentioned, from small claims actions (in Calif.), which are more restricted than what would appear in a higher court.

    I follow your thread loosely. You are the one following this issue closely. What is the connection between the LHC case(s) and the accounting or diversion of funds issue?
  17. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    Walter L. Wagner. It was hoped that following one case would provide insight for the others.
  18. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

    Insight would require more study and attention, than I can handle. But it does provide some entertainment, as a casual observer.
  19. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

    Ah, O.K. I am slow sometimes, but I do now get the connection!
  20. IncogNegro Banned Banned

    Just do what you do Rpenner... Fear in one can cause worry to another.... but objectivity wins over any emotion.
  21. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    2012-12-12 -- Wagner files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to erase debts http://archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.utb.352645/gov.uscourts.utb.352645.docket.html
    2013-03-14 -- WGBI contests Wagner's Chapter 7 bankruptcy http://archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.utb.355915/gov.uscourts.utb.355915.docket.html
    2013-05-28 -- Wagner injects himself into the WGBI Chapter 11 bankruptcy http://archive.org/download/gov.uscourts.nvb.322796/gov.uscourts.nvb.322796.docket.html

    He now asserts he is an "expert" in detecting fraud due to his training in "medicine" by which he means his 1979-1983 stint as a VA Technician.
    He touts his membership in the Health Physics Society despite that membership claim per se not requiring proficiency in Health or Physics. Nor is there a means to check membership claims as a HPS membership is not a professional requirement.
    Reference: http://hps.org/aboutthesociety/howtojoin.html , http://hps.org/aboutthesociety/categories.html

    Other parts further serve to undermine Wagner's credibility.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  22. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

    At the Register, an article is up called "Copyright troll Prenda Law accused of seeding own torrents" which is one of a number of articles alleging a scheme to possibly entrap and extort money from pornography downloaders and persons hastily identified as such.
    A hurtful comment reads:
    To be fair, it is largely American lawyers who are responsible for unraveling the maze of shell corporations and unhelpful "experts" to place before the various judges just exactly what has been going on. It helps that a Prenda Law member's spouse seemed to enumerate the elements of extortion while "defending" the behavior for the press, but ultimately the lawyer's I have heard from or talked to don't think this is some sort of "grey area" in American legal practice. Prenda Law seems to have had thousands of successful settlements because a) the law is scary, b) lawyers are expensive, c) no one wants their deliberately private behavior brought into public view and seems to have crossed the ethics line with allegations of d) extortionate settlement "offers" that read more like "give us money or we'll do this" rather than "we have a legitimate grievance and feel we must protect ourselves from your evil ways", e) begin both client and lawyer, f) hiding in a maze of shell corporations and opaque trusts, g) inducing copying by authorizing it in a non-transparent way (the topic of this article), and h) recommending sham defense attorneys to a population which is unlikely to have experience with attorneys.

    Allegation e is particularly ugly because lawyers exist so interested parties don't go rounds of fisticuffs in negotiations. Without cooler counsel heads, every cause has the potential to go total war, Hatfields and McCoys. Although its a person's right to speak for themselves in court, lawyers find it painful to face a pro se party in court, even when it means they will likely win.

    It's not demonstrated l that d-h were the original intention -- perhaps they started in the best of intentions to represent a legitimate client once upon a time. However it doesn't matter if d-h were original or "merely" the rounds of a "total war" strategy evolving around maximizing profit without ethical guidance, they point to a complete (alleged) collapse of the standards even American lawyers are held to.

    Under this "total war" hypothesis one would not expect the principles of Prenda Law to be apologizing unless a part of a class-action settlement. (Because of the First Amendment it is extremely problematic for a court to order an apology.) If they have abandoned the ethical guidance of their profession, then why expect them to ever see that they are in the wrong. Justice, not originating from within, must be imposed from without. And this is the way that this story has been trending over the last couple of months.

    See also: "Judge hands copyright troll an epic smack-down"
  23. eram Sciengineer Valued Senior Member

    Nobody knows how a micro BH would actually work, it's in a "fuzzy realm".

    Anyway, this Wagner played too much Half-Life, and filed suit against the CERN, claiming the LHC could potentially result in some earth shattering disaster.

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