Wired Article About Peter Lynds

Wired has an article in its current issue about the amateur time-theorist Peter Lynds. Lynds and I had quite an argument going about two years ago. This argument gets mentioned in the Wired article:

For a while, the question of whether instants exist was superseded by the question of whether Lynds exists. His claims were so outlandish, the scandal they provoked so fervent, and his home country (apparently) so exotic that the Internet Museum of Hoaxes briefly decided Lynds wasn't real. He spent months corresponding with the webmaster to clear that up. This part of the Lynds controversy turns out to be the only mystery I could resolve without knowing advanced physics.

The problem is that this is incorrect (plus, it makes me sound like some kind of idiot who thinks no one in New Zealand can be real). I didn't doubt that Peter Lynds was real. What I suspected was that Lynds was creating all kinds of phony aliases to promote his work. This is what we were arguing about.

For instance, I suspected that Lynds was using false names to post flattering comments about himself on message boards. I also became suspicious that a press release written about him (the press release which brought him to the attention of most people) was actually written by Lynds himself. The author of the press release was a woman named Brooke Jones. But when I did some research I discovered that Ms. Jones's work address was the same as Peter's home address. So I think that I had some grounds to be suspicious. Plus, even though I tried to get Ms. Jones on the phone many times, she would never speak to me. I did find out, however, that Peter had a girlfriend named Brooke.

So anyway, that was the real disagreement between Peter and myself. I just thought it was unethical for him to be creating all kinds of phony 'sock puppets' to hype his work. I've already written to the author of the article, Josh McHugh, to complain that he mischaracterized my disagreement with Lynds.


Posted on Thu May 26, 2005


Yeah- posting under different names is lame. Besides, it would take a really sick mind to spend the time to concoct other aliases, and accompanying personalities and/or writing style for each. Admittedly, this Nom de Plum, "alias" ruse has been used by many authors and great wits, Sam Clemens and Ben Franklin for example. But to generate interest through false posts, is really quite similar to many marketing approaches. I think at this point in the internet's evolution, we would like to think that posts by people would be sincere, and not Bullsh*t. We need people like Alex- always questioning, always aware (unless he's writing his book... in that case, Chaos rules, and the inmates are running the asylum). And no, I'm not really Alex, I just kinda suck up to him now and then, so he won't throw me off the sitewhen I curse at Stephen.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  04:52 PM
I must be telling all you people that a Great Lie has been told. I saw Alex at Cannes last week, and he was writing no book. I think Raoul needs to instruct Alex in The Ways of Women, for Alex had but TWO women on his arms, but I, Raoul, The International Man, had no less than six beautiful women riding in my Chariot of Fire on the way to Cannes, and two more begging Raoul to come along after the popping of the corks. Perhaps Alex writes this book ine the hotel room, no? Not in Cannes, you fools... don't you believe it, okay? Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  05:01 PM

Can you honestly think of a better reason for getting thrown off a site then for "cursing at Stephen?" If I ever had to go... I would hope it was for that! But I doubt it would ever come to that as even Stephen seems to realize that he usually deserves it.

Posted by Mark-N-Isa  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  05:39 PM
No, the party's over if the host tosses you out. There not being a virtual alleyway or backyard in which one could continue to visciously hammer Stephen's skull in, you have to surf that fine line of innuendo, double-entendre', and occasional "Stephen's a Twit" Tsunami, that we all know and love. It's kinda like a human wave at a sports events or concert. Noone really starts it, and Noone really stops it until they throw you out and turn off the lights. Sorta
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  05:51 PM
You would think that this guy Lynds could have at least asked his friends to help promote his gig, like if I mentioned, for instance, that my friend Billy Thomson played his brand of Acoustic Guitar on both Monday and Tuesday nights at Leadbetter's Tavern, at Fell's Point, in Baltimore. Maryland, USA, and everyone in the crowd stayed for the whole sets. That's shameless promotion, but not shameless SELF-promotion. Big Difference.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  06:24 PM
Humm.. sounds like he has been taking lessons from the governement. I just watched a show about an undercover news agent who went sleuth into the recent elections here in the UK. Apparently she uncovered that the UK governement followed suit of the US government and fakes all the news articals in their particular political party's favor. There is a name for it but I can't recall.....
Posted by Rob  on  Thu May 26, 2005  at  08:23 PM
Yeah, hairy's right. Posting under a name other than your own is dishonest.
Posted by Paul in Prague  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  03:05 AM
WTF, Paul in Prague, are you trying to be fucking funny or what? That's not the point Mr Houdini was making - read the fucking post, he was taking about how sad it is to debate and communicate with yourself via different fake 'personalities'.
Posted by OutEast  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  03:08 AM
OutEast, you're a one to talk about 'fake personalities'!
Posted by Pau in Prague  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  03:09 AM
Paul in Prague, I'm not sure what you're attempting to alledge but I can certainly assure you that the poster currently patronising this forum under the username 'OutEast' is as real as you or I.
Posted by Arthur Ritty  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  03:11 AM
Yeah, so put that in your fucking pipe and choke on it. Idiot.
Posted by OutEast  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  03:12 AM
Very droll.
Posted by Paul in Prague  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  03:16 AM
I saw Hairy and Raoul kissing in a tree.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  07:37 AM
Why don't you kiss my hairy tree, Chadd
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  08:07 AM
Don't mess with me this morning, Chadd... I only woke up a few minutes ago, and I'm still reeling from my last vivid dream... I was on an airliner, making out with Janeane Garafolo of Air America... I got lay off the hot sauce
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  08:10 AM
Has anyone on this thread actually graduated from high school yet? You certainly don't sound like it. How about showing a bit of intelligence instead of wasting everyone's time with drivel and name-calling?
Posted by Sam  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  10:00 AM
To Rob...the word is propaganda
Posted by LadyBug from Toronto  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  11:26 AM
I am to be agreeing with you, Senor Sam. Some times the posters are so estupid... I, Raoul, The Self-Taught Man of Great Learning, did not graduate this High School, for there is no thing like that in The Land Of My Birth. I did do the correspondence course on the English, and I got the "A", you know? Don't you get me started, Okay, guy? Ha ha ha. Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  11:56 AM
Sam made me smile for the second time today. He was beaten by a post - get it Sam.

See, Hairy beat you by one post and gave me my initial laugh and the double entendre is... oh forget it. All in fun, of course.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  12:46 PM
"My last name is 'Garafolo'. You know, like the animal." She used to have me rolling on the floor (and pretty, subtly hot). So Hairy, I apologize for the interruption.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  12:50 PM
This isn't the first time I've dreamt about Janeane, but it was the first time I've dreamt about foreplay with her on an airplane... Luckily, my dream flight had a changeover, if that's the right term, and I soon boarded a German airliner, without Janeane, who was incensed that we never completed our lovemaking... I don't even wanna begin to analyze any of that... I'm confused enuff already... Yes, LaMa, I'm better now, except for the Janeane dreams... brr
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  01:09 PM
Great, now I'm going to dream about a hairy Piltdown Janeane - thanks M.O.H. and Hairy.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  02:21 PM
I believe it is normal and prudent to write press releases yourself promoting yourself; that's the purpose of a press release. Creating shill personalities for yourself is a bit more awkward.
Posted by Eivind  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  04:25 PM
You guys are unbelievable! I can personally vouch that Peter didn't write all those gushing comments and press releases himself. Are you nuts?

He hired ME to do it! Yeah, that's the ticket. Articulate, gorgeous, humble me!

And everything would have worked out just fine if it hadn't been for you meddlesome kids...!
Posted by Alan Smythee  on  Sat May 28, 2005  at  02:56 PM
Hairy, since you've already changed planes ... would you mind sending Janeane over to my dream tonight?
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  on  Sun May 29, 2005  at  01:32 PM
Sorry, Big Gary...ask Raoul, he's not only more of a Lady's Man than I am, he's also an Amatuer Time Theorist, just like Peter Lynds. See? I can do "On-Topic". Look, Ma, no brain
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sun May 29, 2005  at  04:48 PM
On-topic... (meaning: completely unimportant)

I stated quite some time ago that "time" didn't really exist and was nothing more than a made-up point of reference for man...

My opinion was quickly scoffed at, but where are those "scoffers" now?

And it didn't take multiple degrees, years spent in study, and countless amounts of tuition money to figure it out either! So there!!!

Posted by Mark-N-Isa  on  Tue May 31, 2005  at  08:56 PM
On behalf of most of my country, I apologise for this Lynds fellow and his possible girlfriend and any distress they have caused you, our host here.

Most NZers are inoffensive creatures without two thoughts to rub together 😊
Posted by DFStuckey  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  03:22 AM
Several years ago Discover magazine had an article on "cranks" who send their theories to physicists. They range from the bizzare ("I contend that the holes on the right side of these pants are not explainable by contemporary science") to retired engineers who think they can apply the classical physics of bridge building to unify Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity.
Posted by Matt  on  Sat Jul 09, 2005  at  08:49 AM
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