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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 01:07 
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PeterE wrote:
It may simply be a question of removing comments when archiving, but it would be interesting if Richard could explain why all the debate has been deleted ...

Could http://web.archive.org/web/20041104222609/http://richlyon.net/archives/2002/03/socially_unacceptable_speeding.php be a copy of the page including the debate?

No conspiracy, chaps. During one of several upgrades to the content management system I managed to dump all of the comments and had no back up, which was rather a shame. Glad to have got them back - thank you.

However, web.archive.org is a surprising and rather interesting resource - thank you for bringing it to my attention.
==================================

The remainder of this post has been split to a new topic: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5400


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 07:32 
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richlyon wrote:
Even more serious, however, is the fact that I feel unable now to summarise the impressive array of evasions and defects in the arguments that have been deployed in this thread, for fear of providing an excuse for you to delete either this post or the entire thread. This is the clearest evidence of how utterly skewed and compromised this so called "open review" policy of yours is when it takes place on a site the owner pays for, derives his livelihood from, and controls the "delete" button on! It also shows why the only place for intellectual challenge to take place is on neutral ground, and how meaningless any claims for an absence of the lack of challenge is when made by the owner of the "delete" button!


Pure sophistry.

"impressive array of evasions and defects"

You have claimed to have identified a defect, which turns out not to be a defect of any substance but an unclear choice of wording on a 3 year old page. I'm not impressed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 09:26 
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In Gear wrote:
Is your argument about the peer review thing or the link to the adevert which shows an image of a camera exploding in a flash of light?

In Gear, hi. My point is that until the peer review thing is done, SafeSpeed's case is indistinguishable from wishful thinking. That is not of itself a criticism of SafeSpeed's case, merely an objective statement of the requirements of reasoning.

Meanwhile, there are people acting as if it had already been proven (not least of whom, Paul Smith e.g. "Of course speed camera based road safety policy should be undermined and attacked at every level. It's quite clearly deadly.[ref]")

If |(or, possibly, when) peer review uncovers that the evidence and methods employed do not support the conclusion, this will have proved to be irresponsible behaviour. Meanwhile, by failing to take adequate precautions to limit how others present his currently unverified theories (or, rather represent the already misrepresented), he is also acting irresponsibly.

I can't separate the two points without loosing the relationship between them. Which means if I wait long enough, Paul will no doubt do it for me.

richlyon wrote:
(2) since arguments concerning matters of life and death require unusually high standards of accuracy which SafeSpeed is currently failing to meet (ref [5] and [6]), by failing to take reasonable precautions to limit how the these inaccuracies are used by others (ref [7] and [8]), SafeSpeed is acting irresponsibly.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:00 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
You have claimed to have identified a defect, which turns out not to be a defect of any substance but an unclear choice of wording on a 3 year old page. I'm not impressed.

I've thought better of it and regret the lapse of concentration. You can never concede on any point because of your compromised position. It is a sufficient goal for me to register the arguments against your theories and methods on your site for others to see - your acknowledgement of them is not necessary, and in fact quite helpful. Meanwhile, nothing would suit your purpose more than to bog the debate down in a round of "yes you did/no you didn't" until everyone lost interest, and I won't play that game. My points stand and the strengths and weaknesses of the argument are clear enough.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:20 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
The remainder of this post has been split to a new topic:

Thank you, Paul, for this unexpected opportunity to explore the most serious evasion and defect I believe is inherent in SafeSpeed's argument. I will pick them up in that thread, in which I'm sure a proper evaluation of sophistry can be made.

Meanwhile, some concerns arising from the impossibly compromised position you occupy as Judge, Executioner and Jury in this facade of a scrutiny process:

(1) My challenge is not about "old information", as you have safely chosen to label it whithout my consultation or agreement . It is about current information regarding SafeSpeed's policy on its responsibilities to society for the duration that its theories have not been adequately tested. If you are going to take my question out of the context of a discussion on external verification, I would prefer the thread title "Undermining existing road safety policy before theories are verified".

(2) By posting, for the second time, a question posed by someone who challenges your methods as one of your own, you dilute the impression that you are being challenged. Please have me correctly identified as author of both this new thread, and the thread assessing your capacity to act with impartiality.

(3) If I had intended it to be the start of a new thread I would have worded it differently. As it stands it does not make the points in the way I would have chosen if I was establishing a new conversation, and is weaker for it. Consequently you apear to be continuing your practice of rigging the entire enquiry into your methods to suit you.

You just can't do this sort of thing, Paul. It is naked opportunism and sophistry and - as already appears to be the case - even some of your supporters will start to question your methods.


Last edited by richlyon on Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:47, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:36 
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richlyon wrote:
(2) By posting, for the second time, a question posed by someone who challenges your methods as one of your own, you dilute the impression that you are being challenged. Please have me correctly identified as author of both this new thread, and the thread assessing your capacity to act with impartiality.


Oh come off it, lets be fair here. It was you who suggested that juggling numerous lines of discussion in one thread becomes difficult to manage at times and I'm sure many would agree.
Paul split the thread (with the honourable intention I'm sure) of filtering out one point from another, I'm sure there was no subterfuge intended by identifying himself as the originator, I'm not even sure if the PHPP software can be used to change this to your username.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:45 
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Rigpig wrote:
richlyon wrote:
(2) By posting, for the second time, a question posed by someone who challenges your methods as one of your own, you dilute the impression that you are being challenged. Please have me correctly identified as author of both this new thread, and the thread assessing your capacity to act with impartiality.


Oh come off it, lets be fair here. It was you who suggested that juggling numerous lines of discussion in one thread becomes difficult to manage at times and I'm sure many would agree.
Paul split the thread (with the honourable intention I'm sure) of filtering out one point from another, I'm sure there was no subterfuge intended by identifying himself as the originator, I'm not even sure if the PHPP software can be used to change this to your username.


I concur - and no I don't think it can. However, I think I can change the titles of the threads to qhatever richlyon would like them to say - including appending [originated by richlyon]. I will do the latter immediately.

Rich - please advise what titles you would like for the two threads and I'll do that too.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:53 
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Rigpig wrote:
Oh come off it, lets be fair here. It was you who suggested that juggling numerous lines of discussion in one thread becomes difficult to manage at times and I'm sure many would agree.

I'll accept that. But if you were on my forum, I would ask you first. As I point out in my edited thrid point, that's not how I would have started the thread and I don't think it requires telepathy or even empathy to realise that.

There are two issues here, which the thread on Impartiality may explore. For this verification process to be persuasive, it needs not only to be impartial but also be seen to be impartial. From the perspective of someoone who is trying to challenge these theories, it's like trying to run a three legged lace.

Paul needs to tread much more carefully than he is doing in separating his role as advocate and judge.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:58 
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richlyon wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
Oh come off it, lets be fair here. It was you who suggested that juggling numerous lines of discussion in one thread becomes difficult to manage at times and I'm sure many would agree.

I'll accept that. But if you were on my forum, I would ask you first. As I point out in my edited thrid point, that's not how I would have started the thread and I don't think it requires telepathy or even empathy to realise that.

There are two issues here, which the thread on Impartiality may explore. For this verification process to be persuasive, it needs not only to be impartial but also be seen to be impartial. From the perspective of someoone who is trying to challenge these theories, it's like trying to run a three legged lace.

Paul needs to tread much more carefully than he is doing in separating his role as advocate and judge.


Paul no doubt will confirm on his return to the boards. However, I remain convinced that there was no intention of "point scoring" here, just clarity for the final record. I have seen this practice adopted very widely on other boards. However, in order to try to rectify the anomaly you believe is present, please send me a PM and I can easily reword the opening posts for you. Since they are your posts, you certainly should have edit rights, and as co-moderator I am happy to act as your pen in this instance.

Since (understandably) extracts from the posts as they appeared here have now been referred, it would I suggest be preferable to prefix with an introduction rather than reword, but at the end of the day that is also your choice as originator.

Looking forward to the PM.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:49 
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Actually guys, I need to take a deep breath here and pause.

In this post, Paul asks:

SafeSpeed wrote:
If you want to enter a serious discussion about the issues then please do so. I have offered you a link time and time again. You have shown no interest. What would you like me to conclude from your lack of interest?

Actually, all that Paul can conclude is that it is hard for a guy with a family who is on three days vacation from work to devote as much time to this as Paul can devote full time to his obsession. What Paul will conclude is that his theories are invincible. Fighting several fronts simultaneously would be hard on a level playing ground, and is impossible under these arrangements (no doubt as intended).

So I'm off for a bit to do some research. I'd forgotten, until that webarchive thing came up, just how unprincipled SafeSpeed used to be until it acquired its pragmatic veneer of respectability. But really - inspiring people, under the unconvincing banner of "don't try this at home, dears" beloved of software and DVD pirate sites the world over, to have their traffic points sent to the parents of dead people - and then display the bare-faced memory loss and lack of remorse shown in this thread - is a bit too rich for my blood.

Separating my head from my heart in bringing Paul Smith to account for it is beyond my ability right now. All I'll do by trying under these circumstances is weaken the case for the prosecution and strengthen Paul's grounds for self-delusion.

I will say, though, in parting that when we are queasy about a self-proclaimed reformed serial shoplifter's argument's about his suitability for looking after our shop, we are not acting from ad hominem logic but out of an estimation of the suitability of his character for that particular task. It is impossible to pursue that line of reasoning in this place. It could be that the most appropriate response to this lies outside this site, but that is a question of time, which is finite.

In the words of Captain Titus Oates, I may be some time.

See you. Delete this entry if you wish - it is probably the greatest test so far of the honesty of your professed desire to be held to account and may establish the boundary. Again I emphatically am not equating you morally with the example. I will, however, email it directly to those kind enough to have expressed an interest in continuing the debate, as a matter of courtesy.


Last edited by richlyon on Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:51, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:49 
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richlyon wrote:
prof beard wrote:
you have shifted your arguments from peer-review, to quantitative approaches, to logic in a somewhat "convenient" manner

Hello Proff. Cut me some slack, as they say. There is one of me and about 400 of you. What to you is a shift of arguments is to me an attempt to steer a course through a kaleidoscope of opinions while trying to adhere roughly to the thread topic. My apologies if what I think that constitutes differs from yours, but I can't imagine you expect me to answer all of the points made to me in equal detail.


OK, I'll accept this in the spirit intended

richlyon wrote:
As to my gobbledygook, well shit that's just the way it gets typed, I suppose. Often, when I'm trying to reread something I've typed, I find standing up helps.


Whilst I agree that we all make mistakes when typing on-line, (I know I mis-spell and make also make errors in punctuation). The examples I gave seemed so at odds with your normally clear (despite typos) posts that I was querying their intent. You have clarified the one I quoted from a response to me (see below) but I really would like to know what the second one was intented to mean?



richlyon wrote:
And as for not replying to your last (excellent) post, well I got shutdown, remember? (and I've a hangover from last night's excellent New Year celebration).

prof beard wrote:
You have not however, answered the points I made about the neccessary place of qualitative methods (widely used in respectable academic work)

I genuinely thought I had. There is nothing that I disagree with, and in fact you state it far better than I have when you point out that "What the peer-review process does achieve is ensuring that references cited are valid and pertinent, that methods employed are understood, and that conclusions are justifiable. But - justifiable does not necessarily mean correct - the conclusions of much research are hotly contended - merely that it is reasonable to draw them from the arguments employed (other conclusions may also be reasonably drawn)."

My (complementary) point I thought followed directly from yours, that until you have ensured that the arguments employed support the drawing of any conclusions, the nature of those conclusions and the likelihood of any particular peer review of them being biased, is irrelevant.


What you have said above is fair, but I still contend that your posts have, in tone, devalued qualitiative methods - indeed one post of your's implied they were not suitable in peer-reviewed publications. Also, Paul has responded quite postively to my criticism of the piece in question - you could give him that at least? Also see mynext point below...

richlyon wrote:
However, the issue, surely, is not whether peer review is perfect. It's about whether it is more or less perfect than self-review? My question about the limits of what can be assured by "open review" on an owner-occupied website attempts to explore that issue.


I think I have agreed with you already on one this. What you have NOT refuted (or conceded) is my assertion of the critical place of public (not fora like this) debate in attempting to change policy (and also the point made by others that much government publication seems singularly lacking in peer-review, but is still held up as "expert")

richlyon wrote:
[re. my gobbledegook on roadside corpses. I've just re-read your post. Your omission of a comma between "You mean" and "I hope", an absence of any quotes, and a complete misreading of what you said on my part lead me to think you were being snarky, which prompted (unforgivably) a bit of snarkiness from me. Not my finest hour. What can I say.]


Fair enough - thanks - sorry about the missing comma! (I was trying to make sure I understood your point - and making a small one of my own about how the language you had used lacked the precision you seem to have been expecting from others!)


I'd just like to add that I won't be able to keep up my rate of posts for the rest of the week - I have an academic paper to write (in my own field) - for peer-review of course...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 14:00 
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prof beard wrote:
... What you have NOT refuted (or conceded) is my assertion of the critical place of public (not fora like this) debate in attempting to change policy (and also the point made by others that much government publication seems singularly lacking in peer-review, but is still held up as "expert")...

It could be contended that the first government publication on the subject to be subjected to any form of peer-review is the much-delayed 4th year report and that the results of Dr Mountain's review were so damning that it became necessary to bury them in an obscure appendix at the end of the report - one that's certainly never been read by the "originator" of this discussion, Mr Monbiot ("cameras reduce casualties by 42%"), and very likely not been seen by Mr Lyon either as he appears to accept Monbiot's (and all the other lazy journalists') statements.

Another point that's been made several times is the difficulty of attempting a "blind trial" on speed camera sites, a task made virtually impossible by the secretive nature of the selection process and the consequent non-disclosure of sites selected for "enforcement" but not used. I can only quote one example - and that's anecdotal but backed up by statements published in a newspaper by a partnership "spokesperson"...

There is a Smithfield Street in Shrewsbury, which some several years ago, was apparently selected for a camera owing to the usual cluster of accidents etc. Owing to "technical and engineering problems" with siting a camera, one was never installed; no camera signs were mounted etc etc. However, a few months ago in an interview printed in the "Shropshire Star" newspaper, the spokesperson for the partnership mentioned that they had changed their minds about the proposed camera in Smithfield Street as in the intervening time accidents had reduced by 76%.! I found it difficult to believe that they would not see that they'd just publically acknowledged the dramatic effects of RTTM. But published it was. In passing, it's interesting to note that the "virtual camera" was the most effective one in the county for accident reduction!

Edited to add... I know that one case doesn't constitute any form of proof other than to show that at least one partnership is issuing "performance" figures without understanding what underlies them.

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Last edited by pogo on Mon Jan 02, 2006 15:24, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 14:58 
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richlyon wrote:
. If you are going to take my question out of the context of a discussion on external verification, I would prefer the thread title "Undermining existing road safety policy before theories are verified".


Rich - you could also argue this about the other side. We have forests of them based on data which seemed to show a drop at these sites at the beginning but we are not seeing a drop in real cumulative terms. We have no idea as to how efficient the camera really is because the data behind it is also flawed - and even Pilkington had to admit it. But based on this - we ended up with partnerships who were allowed to use cash from fines to erect more cameras and a police and government has even found and admitted some of these are not placed where they should be :? Yet we base a whole policy around this to the exclusion of other road safety issues. The partnerships have only busied themselves with more cameras and have not put out one safety led initiative - and even where they have done something more constructive (eg Speed Course) - the target audience of 35 mph cut off for a Speed Course is surely targetting the blipper and not the dangerous blatter - and runs to accusations which serve to undermine what is a very impressive and laudable course by all accounts.

In the meantime - I see less police around and more bad and atrociously dangerous driving to defend myself and my passengers against - and my passengers are normally the persons I care most about in this world. All I can say is - good job I take my driving seriously and undertook a number of courses to improve these skills... :wink:

In fact - the police whose time they claim to have freed to solve other crimes? More chance of coming across a real life Panda chewing on a bamboo stick on a Derwentwater steamer than get in touch with a real cop to come and do a bit of sleuthing for us these days.

So what have we got in reality? 6000 cameras - some of which are clustered together on one road in Kodak County and one cop patrolling some 180 square miles on his own. All concerned claim these cameras have cut deaths to zero and up to 70% at these sites - yet the overall death rate has not dropped in real terms - and in the drop from 6000 in the 70s to 3500 current - number of measures have also impacted - drink laws, seatbelt laws, improved vehicle technology, crumple zones which are designed to protect all involved in a collision - and some of the cam sites themselves have also had some road engineering which has also reduced and lessened the hazard - so we have very little criteria or controls to state the case adequately for the other side.

Yet we based a policy on it and cut trafic police down in some areas because of it - and then wonder why deaths caused by drink and unlicenced twazaks are on the increase.


Conversely - of the accidents which occurred everyhere else given the cam sites either regressed to the mean or drivers are avoiding the area and without some kind of controlled survey - assumption - we could say whether or not fear of a police pull would have deterred the bad overtake at the pinch point or the chance "one for the road" second or third "short" on the roads which have become busier for number of reasons and thus more accident prone.

What we do seem to notice is that areas which have more on ground police appear to have less problems than the ones with high investment in cameras and less police presence - and this leaps at you when you look at the government's own figures and plod performance tables. :wink:


So mate - what holds for the goose holds equally for the gander. Neither side can prove effectively and basically we need proper control modesl to measure against and do the job systematically and to a standardised format so that like is measured against like and then compared to the control data to arrive at the truer picture.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 17:48 
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richlyon wrote:
... If |(or, possibly, when) peer review uncovers that the evidence and methods employed do not support the conclusion, this will have proved to be irresponsible behaviour. Meanwhile, by failing to take adequate precautions to limit how others present his currently unverified theories (or, rather represent the already misrepresented), he is also acting irresponsibly.

Yet could not exactly the same criticism be levelled against other "road safety" pressure groups? "Brake" and "Transport2000" for example are strident in their demands for more speed limits, cameras, "traffic calming" schemes and the like - which by your definition are also based upon unverified theories.

At least you're free to voice your dissent on SafeSpeed's forums... Ever tried posting a "contrarian" argument on T2000's bulletin board??

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 17:59 
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pogo wrote:
At least you're free to voice your dissent on SafeSpeed's forums... Ever tried posting a "contrarian" argument on T2000's bulletin board??

It's an art form, but I think you'll find Nathaniel Porter, amongst others, is rather adept at sneaking distinctly un-T2000 ideas under their radar:

http://www.transport2000.org.uk/message ... geList.asp

I think hell will freeze over before Rich Lyon starts questioning the credentials of their research, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 18:16 
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richlyon wrote:
Actually guys, I need to take a deep breath here and pause.

In this post, Paul asks:

SafeSpeed wrote:
If you want to enter a serious discussion about the issues then please do so. I have offered you a link time and time again. You have shown no interest. What would you like me to conclude from your lack of interest?

Actually, all that Paul can conclude is that it is hard for a guy with a family who is on three days vacation from work to devote as much time to this as Paul can devote full time to his obsession. What Paul will conclude is that his theories are invincible. Fighting several fronts simultaneously would be hard on a level playing ground, and is impossible under these arrangements (no doubt as intended).


Ah yes. You have time to explore the internet archive in an attept to dig dirt, but you have no time to examine my work. Your true colours are showing.

richlyon wrote:
So I'm off for a bit to do some research. I'd forgotten, until that webarchive thing came up, just how unprincipled SafeSpeed used to be until it acquired its pragmatic veneer of respectability. But really - inspiring people, under the unconvincing banner of "don't try this at home, dears" beloved of software and DVD pirate sites the world over, to have their traffic points sent to the parents of dead people - and then display the bare-faced memory loss and lack of remorse shown in this thread - is a bit too rich for my blood.


Ah yes. So roughly translated you're saying that you are so prejudiced that you have no interest in examining the evidence. Instead you prefer to slur my character on any specious grounds you can find.

richlyon wrote:
Separating my head from my heart in bringing Paul Smith to account for it is beyond my ability right now. All I'll do by trying under these circumstances is weaken the case for the prosecution and strengthen Paul's grounds for self-delusion.


Ah yes. Self delusion. Very nice.

richlyon wrote:
I will say, though, in parting that when we are queasy about a self-proclaimed reformed serial shoplifter's argument's about his suitability for looking after our shop, we are not acting from ad hominem logic but out of an estimation of the suitability of his character for that particular task. It is impossible to pursue that line of reasoning in this place. It could be that the most appropriate response to this lies outside this site, but that is a question of time, which is finite.


More sophistry. It matters not one whit if I am an axe murderer if I have happened across life saving information.

richlyon wrote:
In the words of Captain Titus Oates, I may be some time.

See you. Delete this entry if you wish - it is probably the greatest test so far of the honesty of your professed desire to be held to account and may establish the boundary. Again I emphatically am not equating you morally with the example. I will, however, email it directly to those kind enough to have expressed an interest in continuing the debate, as a matter of courtesy.


The information on Safe Speed is available to all. The commitment to honesty and accuracy of information remains. Your opportunity to put that commitment to the test remains.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 20:05 
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richlyon wrote:
I will say, though, in parting that when we are queasy about a self-proclaimed reformed serial shoplifter's argument's about his suitability for looking after our shop, we are not acting from ad hominem logic but out of an estimation of the suitability of his character for that particular task.

When I was a student, some many years ago, the president of the Students' Union was a rabid communist... By the name of "Jack Straw". I believe that he holds a rather important job in the government for which you claim you voted. Are we to assume a similar lack of suitability...?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 20:29 
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pogo wrote:
When I was a student, some many years ago, the president of the Students' Union was a rabid communist... By the name of "Jack Straw". I believe that he holds a rather important job in the government for which you claim you voted. Are we to assume a similar lack of suitability...?


Leeds graduate then? So am I!


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richlyon wrote:
In Gear wrote:
Is your argument about the peer review thing or the link to the adevert which shows an image of a camera exploding in a flash of light?


In Gear, hi. My point is that until the peer review thing is done, SafeSpeed's case is indistinguishable from wishful thinking.


You appear to have a habit, or perhaps a skill, in making complete balderdash seem superficially reasonable. Actually it's rather scary.

But let's examine this claim. Rich would have us believe that the only 'examination of evidence' that would have any meaning or value is examination by three peers prior to publication.

By implication:
- examinination by any other individual is dismissed as unworthy to facilitate judgement, irrespective of skills.
- examination by debate, by logic, by internet publication, by newspaper publication are dismissed
- we're all told our judgement is meaningless because we can only trust to an appointed small panel of peers

richlyon wrote:
That is not of itself a criticism of SafeSpeed's case, merely an objective statement of the requirements of reasoning.


Speak for yourself. I expect people to reason for themselves not simply trust claims because they have been published in an obscure journal or anywhere else.

As a professional engineer I soon learned not to trust the judgement of others. I learned that I had to test claims, performance, functionality and so on for myself. In short, anyone who cares to ensure a functional result will take nothing on trust. It doesn't matter who says it. It doesn't matter if I say it. We can all make mistakes.

That's why the Safe Speed web site sets out the evidence for anyone to examine. I don't want anyone who can evaluate the evidence to take it on trust. I want them to evaluate it for themselves.

If they find it wanting facilities exist for them to tell us in these forums where there will be a permanent public record.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 08:40 
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Quote:
You appear to have a habit, or perhaps a skill, in making complete balderdash seem superficially reasonable. Actually it's rather scary.
Blimey. So the Safespeed policy on ad hominem is a movable feast after all! Subtle.
Quote:
I expect people to reason for themselves not simply trust claims because they have been published in an obscure journal or anywhere else.
Would those obscure journals be the sort where publication is dependant on rigorous peer review? Your wariness is uinderstandable.
Scary balderdash? I should coco.


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