For those foolish enough to be thinking of becoming involved, let me describe in general terms how “think-tank” theory-promotion works when it comes into fields of scholarly or scientific research.
- Suppose you make an original observation, discovery, machine, or detailed conclusion from research.
- One of a “tankgroup” sees it. They are persuaded, but alarmed. Your conclusion plainly opposes the “think-tank” policy/theory/storyline.
- You will then informed that your work is ‘not original’ and that someone else from the tank had a ‘idea’ similar to yours… oh ten years ago, as a passing flight of their imagination. No actual work done; no research; no specifics. Just a ‘silly idea’.
- You either meekly let go of your work …OR
- You don’t.
- If you don’t, personal attacks follow, attempting to at least dissuade anyone from reading your work, or if they read it from taking it seriously. One very nice piece of propaganda is to say that you were only trying to “make a name” or “gain attention”. (It’s called transference).
- Next, your work will appear from the pen of one of the tank, co-opted “with a twist” which makes it appear to support the tank’s agenda. This is called “presenting an alternative interpretation of the data”. The aim, quite simply is to make less clear the conclusions of the original and genuine research. Quite often this is pretended a necessity: that you are an inferior sort of being/scientist/scholar, so your work has had to be ‘checked’ (read: handed to another person for re-writing to suit the party line).
- If your work is extremely good, you might receive the compliment of its being quickly issued in print in a journal you do not read, or a language which it is expected that you will not speak. The idea is to prevent your having the right to disseminate your research and conclusions.
- However, if your work is simply too new, and too well documented, or too difficult for the ‘team’ to distort right now – then the rule will be that no member of the team is to refer to it, or to you, until such time as the team-leader works out how it can be co-opted to serve the team.
The model is drawn from the think-tanks who have worked to distort public perceptions of such issues as the connection between smoking and cancer, the nature of acid rain, and the science of global warming.
History shows that so long as you keep people confused, they stay with the status quo, and nobody important loses face.
And the “think-tank” method is now operating on public perceptions of MS Beinecke 408. It is not producing work intended to aid anyone but the ‘team’.
The very fact that a field of formal study can be re-defined as a “theory war” shows just how little grounded in reality, objectivity or scholarship are the perceptions of many ‘Voynicheros’.
I have written again on Stephen Bax’ site, protesting Ponzi’s behaviour in attempting to co-opt and distort my research on f.86v, and to get away with it by pretending that a trivial remark made years ago on a mailing list by Rene Zandbergen is responsible.
I rather think that Jorge Stolfi is ignorant of the way in which his name is now being added to Zandbergen’s.
Of course, it is always possible that Zandbergen’s sense of fair dealing may lead him to repudiate the false attribution, as one would expect a scholar to do. We do count engineers as scholars, don’t we?
I cannot recall ever seeing anything from Zandbergen which suggested that he had done so much as open a book to investigate the imagery on f.86v, let alone studied the history of maritime cartography or the details of geography or medieval itineraries, or anything else which informed my research and informed my conclusions about folio 86v. The process took two or three weeks – and I have a fair background in the relevant subjects. Of course, before me no-one had even thought of it carefully enough to work out its orientation – Velinska’s latest efforts to pretend that point was never covered at all
do credit only to her initial postings about this manuscript on the American “big government” site are simply frivolous
I expect Zandbergen has simply been too busy to read Ponzi’s writing lately, what with managing this and that and encouraging Nick Pelling’s contributions.
Let’s hope he finds a minute soon, shall we?