Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Why Routine Activities (RAT) Crime Opportunity "theory" is not a theory at all

RAT theory is merely a truism dressed-up as causality

Sunday, 27 November 2016

An Experiment On Impact

Google Scholar’s Citation Index H-index score was mentioned with reverence at a recent meeting in a British University. The speaker was explaining how universities ranked the relevant importance of academics and the impact of their work. I was intrigued to hear the presenter refer to this measure as an important determinant.  The reason I was surprised is because he used one of my friends as an example of a top scholar with major impact according to the Google’s h-index.

For reasons that will shortly become obvious, I won’t name the presenter, the university involved or the name of my friend. Suffice it to say my friend is a very well known professor and that his Google Citations H-index score is above 90.  If you are unfamiliar with the h-index that will be completely meaningless. For the benefit of those who don’t know about it Professor Andre Spicer explains:

‘To put it in a slightly more simple way – you give an H-index to someone on the basis of the number of papers (H) that have been cited at least H times. For instance, according to Google Scholar, I have an H-index of 28. This is because I have 28 papers that are cited at least 28 times by other research papers. What this means is that a scientist is rewarded for having a range of papers with good levels of citations rather than one or two outliers with very high citations.’
According to the expert London School of Economics “Impact Blog” HERE, as can be seen by its tables below, on average, UK professors in the social sciences have an h-score of  4.97. Specifically, among UK professors of Sociology the average h-score is  3,67.

My own h-score is 12, and so I’m happy to see I’m way above average as a Reader in Criminology and Sociology  HERE.
So what?
What concerns me about the h-score being used as a determinant of an individual’s success and academic impact is that it is totally vulnerable to manipulation by ambitious manipulative academics who are more concerned with playing the game of climbing the greasy pole of academia than actually making a genuine impact on knowledge anywhere. By way of example, my anonymous friend told me he has been playing this game for over three decades. In effect, he has been citing his own work within his other own work as many times as he can get away with it and with incredible regularity. Moreover he has been doing so in journals that are not even peer reviewed. That means that by far the majority of the citations that make up his hugely impressive h-score of over 90 are from his own citations of himself. That means his impressive impact is only impressive on himself with his own ideas, or the ideas of others he is recycling. Obviously his academic impact has also affected the brains of those who think his impressive h-score score means anything more than that.
To prove how this works let’s conduct an experiment here on The Veracity Institute
As we have seen, my current h-score today (26th November 2016) is 12. But if you look at my citations page you can see that two more citations for my non-peer reviewed primary research paper: ‘ How Prolific Thieves Sell Stolen Goods: Describing, Understanding and Tackling the Local Markets in Mansfield and Nottingham. A Market Reduction Approach Study’  will mean it will then have been cited 13 times. Once that happens my h-score will go up to 13, because I will then have 13 publications, out of all my other publication, that have each been cited a minimum of 13 times.
So to demonstrate with hard data exactly how easy and fast it is to corrupt any useful impact measure the h-index may have I am going to now cite that very minor and non-peer reviewed paper in two non-peer reviewed minor publications. First, I’m going to cite it here. OK here goes:
Sutton, M. (2008) How Prolific Thieves Sell Stolen Goods: Describing, Understanding and Tackling the Local Markets in Mansfield and Nottingham. A Market Reduction Approach Study. Internet Journal of Criminology. http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/Sutton%20-%20How%20Prolific%20Thieves%20Sell%20Stolen%20Goods.pdf
Simultaneously, I am going to dual publish this post on Best Thinking Website and as a comment on the E-Skeptic Magazine. If, by conducting this experiment, I personally drive my own h-score up from 12 to 13  – which I am almost certain I will –  an update will follow within the next few weeks.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Cast of Hamilton practice free speech and demand protection of their inalienable rights

After the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA, on November 8th, 2016, Friday 18th November 2016, the cast of Hamilton - the hit Broadway musical - had a message for Donald Trump's election running mate Mike Pence. 

Trump used Twitter to condemn the cast for their "disrespect".

Consequently journalists fear that Trump will suppress free speech in the USA

My TupPence worth (did you see what I just did there) is that had he won WWII and been alive, Adolf Hitler would have complained that Freddie Starr was disrespecting him in this hilarious comedy routine. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Darwin's Christmas Miracle

Merry Christmas Darwin Worshippers

  • The perfect stocking filler for Darwin miracle fans is:available on Amazon Here   
  • Browse some of the book's highlights Here    
  • Listen to an interview with the author Here    
  • Read an expert peer-reviewed scholarly science journal article on some of the findings Here   

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Alternative Future: A Veracity Counterculture

Thursday, 10 November 2016

How The Big Data IDD Method Cracked the Problem of Discovery of Humpty Dumpty’s Cultural Origin

One particularly entertaining example, but nevertheless an important one because it superbly demonstrates the power and multidisciplinary application of the method to solve long-standing historical problems, is what the IDD Big Data research method (Sutton 2014) revealed about the etymological origin of the naming of the nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty. This was a great etymological mystery dating back to the 19th century.

The online Oxford English Dictionary (OED) (2012) notes an alcoholic beverage named ‘Humtie Dumtie’ is noted in published print dated 1698. However,unevidenced claims abound to explain the alleged literary influence for the original 18th century nursery rhyme character that came to be represented 74 years later in Lewis Carroll’s (1871) Alice Through the Looking Glass. Dutra, (2005. P. 165) and Foster (2008) for example, claim on the basis of no independently verifiable evidence whatsoever, that the name for and natural wall-sitting habitats of this character originate from ‘Humpty Dumpty’ being a Royalist forces cannon that fell off a wall in the English Civil War.

At the time of writing, the OED’s earliest recorded example of the name being applied to a character is 1785. Surpassing that, in November 2013 (see Sutton 2014a) IDD revealed that a classical stage character named Punchanello (AKA Punchinello), is currently the earliest independently verifiable cultural influence for an egg-shaped character being called Humpty Dumpty:

“Beau Humpty-dumpty next appears,
A merry Lump well grown in Years,
With Back and Breast like Punchanello."
                                                       (Anonymous 1701, p. 28)

IDD revealed also the observation by Pepys (1665) of a Parliamentary forces cannon named Punchinello. That finding triangulates the significance of the Punchanello-Humpty-Dumpty discovery by neatly debunking the un-evidenced Royalist cannon myth and providing a most compelling clue to explain its obscure origins (see Sutton 2014a). This discovery shows that the IDD method, even in the hands of the amateur, is a myth-busting research tool, which on occasion performs better than etymology and cultural history experts informing the OED and other renowned sources. Simply having the power to date and Boolean search in one go within tens of millions of documents enables sociological, historical and etymological myths to be bust and entrenched problems solved.


Anonymous (1701) A rod for Tunbridge beaus, bundl'd up at the request of the Tunbridge Ladies. To Jerk Fools into more Wit and Clowns onto more Manners. A Burlesque Poem. London.

Carroll, L. (1871) Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Macmillan.

Dutra, S. (2005) Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics: The Strange Theory of Light in a Box. New Jersey. John Wiley.

Foster, S. (2008) Hey Diddle-Diddle: Our Best-Loved Nursery Rhymes and What They Really Mean. Chichester. Summerdale Publishers.

Oxford English Dictionary Online (2012). http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/89440

Pepys, S. (1665) The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume 2. Random House. New York.

Sutton, M. (2014) Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret. Cary. USA Thinker Media. Thinker Books.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Don't accept mind numbing punterizing platitudes