Friday, February 09, 2007

Cracked pottery

After posting the paper the other day I received an email about it - "Hmmmm.. maybe I'll get some interesting and useful feedback!" I thought. The person that emailed goes by the name "Doc" although I wont give his full name as it'll probably make me the number one google link for him. Now this guy was just passing on information about a paper he'd written back in 1980 which related to some of our work and telling me about a talk on gravitational waves that he'd been to. The paper is genuine enough and was even published in Ap. J. - I've not really delved into it yet though, but I'll try and read it properly. However the first wierd thing of note was that he'd cc'd this email on to one of the head LSC (our scientific collaboration) people for no apparent reason! Does he know him? Possible, as he is an MIT graduate, but a bit strange none-the-less. The next weird thing was when I looked at his affiliation, first on his paper, and then on some of the other things he's written (obviously my first response to getting the email was to google the guy) - see for here for example. Now the guy's probably great and in all fairness in his email he was just pointing out a potentially useful paper, but sometimes you just get those warning signs of potential crackpot flagged up. I just hope he doesn't read this now, as he was only being helpful and here I go casting aspersions about his nature, and all from one email!


  1. Well, sounds harmless enough. At least he was forwarding you something at least slightly relevent. I should have asked you before - do you regularly get invited to the International Conference for Cybernetics and Information Systems and Technologies? I've been invited the last 3 years despite being a lowly grad student working in a completely unrelated field. It's almost tempting to go along just to see what kind of person turns up! I bet it's full of nutters who are glad to be invited to such a prestigous occasion.

    I've saved the crackpot emails I've received out of the blue, there are some crackers: you know it's going to be good when it starts,

    "Dear Sir,
    I'm only a simple Internet Scientific Divulgator..."

    Then there's good old Eugene Sittapalam trying to pitch something called Project APOLLO to NASA and the NSF (via me for some reason). Erm, hate to tell you Eugene but I think they already used the name APOLLO for something else.

    This is actually worthy of an extensive blog post in its own right.

  2. Yep, like you I get invited to the International Conference for Cybernetics and Information Systems and Technologies every year. It does seem quite intriguing though.