I had another recent similar message (again) from Doug, also (see below).
This started because I asked about one of the MRO images, of interesting slump or debris areas inside two craters, and, as I clearly noted at the time, I asked about it in a geological context. He quickly accused me of promoting artificialty in those images, which I was not, and said so at the time. He is still saying that, refusing to admit he was wrong. To say that as a mistake is one thing, but to still not simply acknowledge that he was in error about it, in the tone used, is what bugged me.
He noted that my image could be pulled by "Hoagland-types" and used on their web sites. Maybe, but when I asked about other much more blatant images, sometimes modified, by other posters on UMSF to show faces, writing, etc.(!), he said these were ok as they were just done as humour. Could they not also be pulled and used out of context though? But because mine was a serious inquiry, somehow he assumed I was inferring something Hoagland-ish, which I was not.
Then I made the mistake of starting a thread on the "alien rain" topic...
His comments were aimed at my personal background, although he knows little about me; I have done, and still do, research in other "controversial" areas, so am just automatically relegated now to the "fringe woo-woo crowd" simply because I am open-minded to other ideas. I also kept all that completely separate from UMSF. Oh, well. For example, as well as my planetary exploration blog (The Meridiani Journal), I also do (serious) crop circle research here in Canada (since the early 90s), but we work with mainstream scientists and labs, approaching subjects like this from a scientific perspective as much as possible:
He also made reference to the "core crowd" of UMSF and "dictatorship by committee"; I do like how UMSF tries to keep to serious discussions, that's why I joined there, I just think Doug's definitions of "fringe" etc. are too broad. It comes across as condescending. Personally, it can be awkward because I am certainly not in the far-out "woo-woo" crowd, but at the same time I think that mainstream science often overlooks or ignores too many "controversial" subjects.
And no, I am not trying to "get away with anything"...?
I wouldn't usually post this, but just for reference, and since he also made reference to this "fringe" forum, here is Doug's e-mail reply (July 15):
I'd ask you to read this
The red rain thread was NEVER welcome at UMSF. It was on borrowed time. It
had just about 'gone to bed' but was brought back to life and at that point,
it was time to cull it. It was bringing in a lot of bad types of new
membership. It's maybe a biology topic. We don't even know if it's an
astro-biology topic. And in either case, it was NEVER a UMSF topic. It was
bad for the forum and I culled it - it's that simple.
You have a history of fringe subject posting - you know it, I know it. And
it's fairly obvious that your time at UMSF is ALWAYS going to be difficult.
You are not the typical member. You're a problem waiting to be happen if I'm
brutally honest. Just google around for the sorts of place you hang about -
Cydonia discussions, crop circles....it's not UMSF compatible subject
matter. You may not be a full out member of the Hoaglanderati, but imho, you
are certainly familiar with the woo-woo crowd if not a card carrying member
Yes - people have stitched silly pictures together...for A LAUGH. Your MRO
images were identical to the crap that Hoagland was putting together at the
same time. It was NEVER going to last at UMSF. When people in the 'core'
crowd ( and yes, there is a core crowd, UMSF is about excluding a lot of
people, not attempting to include them, it's exclusionary, getting rid of
80% of the utter shite that exists in most space discussion forums ) post
something for a laugh - it's quite clearly for a laugh. We all know it.
When you posted that MRO stuff...it was clearly NOT a laugh and directly
linked to the same shit Hoagland was pulling. I refuse to have UMSF watered
down by fringe nonsense like that.
You want the simple rules. It's easy
If my admins and I think it's appropriate...it stays. If we don't it wont.
It's a dictatorship by committee. It can not be written in black and
white...the entire sphere of discussion is too vague to put down specific
guidelines....but you'd have to be genius to figure out what is and isn't
acceptable after two years of visiting. If you still struggle, then the
even more simple rule for you...if you can't figure out if it belong at UMSF
or not - chances are 99% that it doesn't.
I agree - Mark's place get's flack....but not from me you might notice. It's
a place that serves a purpose, and truth be told it's purpose is to serve
people like yourself - who are a bit on the fringe of conventional. Why
double up on the discussion...just go and have it there.
Your age, your profession, how long you have been registered and if you
consider yourself respected or not have NOTHING to do with what you can
post, what you think is right, what you believe you can get away with.
If you can't figure out for yourself what is or isn't acceptable at UMSF,
then perhaps you should just not try to figure it out and go and post
somewhere else where there are essentially no guidelines of any sort. That
would be, far and away, the best solution for all of us.