Friday, January 31, 2014

Words that Should Be Banned: "Impactful"

I'm starting a new and occasional series of posts on this blog about words vying for legitimacy which should, on the contrary, be eliminated from the language as soon as possible. The need for this increases the more the cultural barbarians assert their new found influence.

George Orwell once pointed out that it is not only true that the decadence of our civilization has bad effects on language, but that decadent language has bad effects on culture:
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.
In other words, saving language helps save civilization. So I have selected a word I heard just today, care of Michelle Obama, although it is hardly limited to the liberal lexicon. In fact, I just heard it the other day from a conservative radio talk show host. The word is ...


Just typing it makes my cring. Here's the Urban Dictionary's entry on this "word" (which I place in quotation marks to underscore the tentative nature of its status as an actual word):
"Impactful": A non-existent word coined by corporate advertising, marketing and business drones to make their work sound far more useful, exciting and beneficial to humanity than it really is. This term is most frequently used in "team building" seminars and conferences in which said drones discuss the most effective ways to convince consumer zombies to purchase crap they clearly do not need or even want.
"Team building." Ugh. There's another one that needs to go.

When I hear a person use the term "impactful" my first thought is that he has read a few too many bureaucratic memos written by unimaginative people who, instead of reading competent literature, spend their time reading cheesy success books with titles like How to Maximize your Success Through Positive Habits. Or maybe that the person just doesn't read a all.

"Impactful" is a word created by taking a noun ("impact") and adding a suffix ("ful"), making it an adjective. This can work, but more often it does not. If you just don't have an ear for words (and anyone using a word like this is demonstrating that he doesn't), then ask yourself, "Does the expression that results from taking the word back apart and using it as a full expression sound right?" In other words, does it sound right to say, "full of impact"?

How can something be "full of impact"? By its very nature "impact" can only refer to the effect some one thing has on another. One thing "has an impact" on another. But nothing can be "full of impact" and therefore nothing can be "impactful."

Whenever the urge comes upon you to use this fake word, ask yourself whether there is not another word which expresses your thought better. I submit that there is no case in which another word, such as "effective," "meaningful," "constructive," or "significant" would not express the thought better. Oh, and don't replace it with "affecting," which is another word that needs to be banned.

Now that I have had to use this word several times, I feel like taking a shower. So if you'll excuse me...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Still Not Even Wrong: More on atheists conflicted about the falsifiability criterion for science

In a previous post, "Not Even Wrong," I pointed out that the belief that there is life on other planets is, in terms of Karl Popper's falsifiability criterion, no more scientific than belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Peanut Gallery got all up in arms about it and generally missed the central point of my post.

And then there was P.Z. Myers, who does a great imitation of bull in a china shop, asserting that I am a creationist and that I was somehow defending the falsifiability criterion (which, ironically, I have called into question several times on this blog), talking down Popper's demarcation criterion.

And I now notice Sean Carroll has advocated the abandonment of the falsifiability criterion over at the Edge.

Funny how far down this test to tell the difference between science and non-science has come since the Dover v. Kitzmiller decision, which employed the criterion to determine that Intelligent Design was not science.

Ten dollars says these people still think the reasoning in the Dover decision was legitimate despite the fact that they have now reject the criterion employed in coming to it.

Oh, and don't miss Massimo Pugliucci (an atheist who actually knows what he's talking about on the philosophy of science) responding to Carroll here.
Here is an infographic on how the fifty states compare on various education measurements, mostly having to do with 8th grade. It is put out by Best Education Degrees and like all such measurements has to be taken with a grain of salt, since such measurements employ criteria that may or may not result in anything meaningful. But it is not surprising that my own state, Kentucky is in the bottom 2/5ths of most of these measurements:
Produced By Best Education Degrees HT: The Answer Sheet

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Barack Obama's State of the Union Speech: A summary

President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union Speech tonight that from now on everyone will get whatever they want whenever they want it, especially women, who will get even more, and everything will be better.

I don't know why no one has thought of this before.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Facts of Life: The Wendy Davis debaucle

Wendy Davis, the Texas gubernatorial candidate who rose to fame for filibustering a bill in the Texas legislature that would have prevented abortions of viable unborn babies for eleven hours in tennis shoes has had a bad week. But it was even worse for her now embarrassed admirers.

Turns out her hard luck story about being a single mom raising her kids in a trailer park bore little resemblance to her real life in which she married a guy who took care of her kids for her while she took all expense paid leave from her family to get Harvard Law degree after which she dumped said guy the day after he finished paying off her school loans. As Ann Coulter put it:
The reason Wendy Davis' apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that's not amazing.
Apparently her pro-choice ideology doesn't translate well into campaign propaganda: You can't choose the facts of your past.

Memo to Davis Supporters: Bad things can happen when you champion someone for supporting late-term abortions.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NEWS: Bureau for Better Atheists Sanctions P.Z. Myers

January 22, 2014

The Bureau for Better Atheists (BBA) today sanctioned Internet atheist P.Z. Myers for doing exactly what he was criticizing the BBA's Martin Cothran for in a post on the belief that there is life on other planets. "This is just the kind of atheist we have to deal with on an almost daily basis," said Martin Cothran, spokesman for the group. "Our goal is to improve the low quality of atheists so that we can have an intelligent argument with them. Myers, needless to say, has remained impervious to improvement."

The BBA has had to put Myers on probation before for what it called "sheer boneheadedness," but today's formal censure came after Myers got several things completely wrong in his attack on this post today in which he charges Cothran with getting several things completely wrong.

Cothran's post had simply applied the most common criterion used by atheist scientists to demarcate science from non-science, and pointed out that, under this criterion, the belief that there is life elsewhere in the universe is no more falsifiable than belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a satirical fiction developed by atheists scientists to discredit belief in God.

Cothran pointed out that Myers' post was titled: "It takes a creationist to pack so much wrong in so little space" despite the fact that Cothran is not a creationist. Then, in his opening paragraph Myers says:
Apparently, Martin Cothran believes that there is no life elsewhere in the universe, and that this unimaginably vast emptiness is evidence that a god created us. I don’t understand the logic, but then I don’t understand most of his weird leaps in this post on how life on other planets is like believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
But that was not Cothran's argument. "Nowhere in the post did I say that there was no life on other planets, which is why, in our censure, we recommended that Myers find an English interpreter." Cothran's argument was not that the belief that there was life on other planets was wrong, only that it it didn't meet the falsifiability criterion and that, if that was the case, then under that criterion it had no more claim to be science than believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

"Myers not only got my position on creationism wrong--as well as my position on life on other planets--he also somehow got the idea that I was in favor of Popper's falsifiability criterion when, in fact, the whole reason for making my remarks was that I don't believe the falsifiability critierion is a proper method of demarcation." Cothran said that Myers "disagrees with all the things I didn't say, and, agrees with the things I did say but hasn't figured out I said."

He said the fact that Myers actually agrees with him on this issue has caused him to go back and reassess it just to make sure he right, but only after, he said, "I've had a strong drink."


Monday, January 20, 2014

Not Even Wrong: How the belief that there is life on other planets is like believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster

P.Z. Myers has blogged on this post and, as usual, botched the job. My response is here.
There many scientists who believe that there is life elsewhere in the universe, and they seem to think that this belief is a scientific belief. But if you think about the criterion many scientists employ to determine what is and isn't science, you begin to wonder.

We are told by many New Atheist scientists in particular (who like to mark their territory, but, fortunately in a way slightly different than, say, cats) that a belief can only be scientific if it is falsifiable. This is their demarcation criterion of choice and they use it to ruthlessly guard the borders of science. This is one of the reasons, they say, we must reject Intelligent Design. This idea comes generally from Karl Popper, a philosopher, who said that a theory cannot be considered scientific merely because it admits of possible verification, but only if it admits of possible falsification.

It is this general idea that is behind Richard Dawkin's "Flying Spaghetti Monster." The Flying Spaghetti Monster, says Dawkins, exists just outside the range of the most powerful telescopes and the more powerful the telescopes, the further away the monster gets so that we are never able to actually detect him. There is therefore, no way in which belief in him may be disproven.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is Dawkin's send-up of the belief in a theistic God, belief in Whom has the same status as his imaginary monster: there is no evidence that can possibly count against his existence. God can never be disproven.

Okay, now take the belief that life exists somewhere else in the universe. This is a common belief among atheist scientists. In fact, Dawkin's himself conjectured that life on earth may have come from other planets. But how can that belief possibly be falsified?

There is a possibility that, if true, it can be proven true simply by finding it somewhere in our outside our own solar system. But if it is false, how could we ever know that it was false? If it was false and the universe were infinite, as many scientists believe, then would could never know it to be false even theoretically. And if it was false but the universe was finite, there is no practical way we could ever know it to be false even though it is theoretically possible--although there is some question whether it is even theoretically possible for humans to investigate a universe as massive as we know ours to be.

Even in this latter case of a finite universe theism would be less problematic since a theist could simply say "Well, we will find out after we die." And since everyone will certainly die, at least he has that to go on.

So there you have it. Belief in extra-terrestrial life. The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Theoretically indistinguishable. And taking this into consideration, how is believing in God any more or less scientific that believing there is life on other planets?

Let's see what the Peanut Gallery has to say about this one.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Diane Ravitch savages Common Core

Education historian Diane Ravitch savaged the Common Core Standards at last week's meeting of the Modern Language Association. I don't agree with everything she said, but 90 percent of it is absolutely right. Kentucky even gets an ignominious mention:

The Common Core standards were written in 2009 under the aegis of several D.C.-based organizations: the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve. The development process was led behind closed doors by a small organization called Student Achievement Partners, headed by David Coleman. The writing group of 27 contained few educators, but a significant number of representatives of the testing industry. From the outset, the Common Core standards were marked by the absence of public participation, transparency, or educator participation. In a democracy, transparency is crucial, because transparency and openness builds trust. Those crucial ingredients were lacking.

... Some states—like Kentucky–adopted the Common Core standards sight unseen. Some—like Texas—refused to adopt them sight unseen. Some—like Massachusetts—adopted them even though their own standards were demonstrably better and had been proven over time.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gay rights laws anything but tolerant

Below is the text of an opinion piece that was published in the Danville Advocate-Messenger, my local paper:

A law that violates the First Amendment right to freedom of religious exercise is not “fair” and a law that effectively brands half the community as bigots because of their sincerely-held religious beliefs is not “inclusive.” Yet these things are precisely what a gay rights ordinance currently being discussed by the Danville City Council.

 On Dec. 9, the City Council heard testimony for and against a gay rights ordinance, an ordinance which has not yet been written, but which promises to in some way mirror similar ordinances passed in a few other Kentucky cities which typically purport to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sexual identity” in housing, public accommodations, and employment. Federal and State laws already exist to prohibit discrimination."

 The first question to ask about such an ordinance is whether it is even needed. How many complaints have been made? If there have been complaints, are they increasing or decreasing?

These are important questions since such a law would probably require a new bureaucracy to handle complaints (if there really were any), since state government doesn’t provide assistance in such cases. According to city’s attorney, the ordinance would result in “the largest expansion of municipal government since Planning and Zoning.” If government is going to be expanded to this extent—and taxpayers are going to be forced to foot the bill—there should be a compelling reason to do so.

In fact, gay rights laws do little to diminish discrimination against gays precisely because so many people are already opposed to it. Being gay is not only celebrated in our news media, but rewarded with benefits by government and many businesses.

The second question has to do with how such an ordinance would affect churches and other religion-based institutions--as well as Christian business owners. Typically such laws exempt churches, but not other organizations or individuals.

Would Danville Christian School be required to violate its stated principles in order to comply with the law? What about Sunrise Children’s Homes, which has similar restrictions because of its Christian mission? What about Boy Scout troops in the area which are not allowed to hire gay scoutmasters?

In fact, how would this affect a male who wants to rent or sublet a room in his house or apartment, but only to another male? Wouldn’t a female who was rejected because she was the wrong gender be able to bring a lawsuit for discrimination on the basis of “gender identity”?

In Oregon, a Christian bakery owner lost his business because he declined to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding. In Lexington, Kentucky a t-shirt company refused to print a t-shirt promoting a gay rights event because of the owner’s Christian convictions and was hauled before the city’s Human Rights Commission, which is now investigating his business. In New Mexico a court ordered a Christian photographer to cover a gay wedding at a church despite his religious misgivings. In what other circumstance would a court ever legally require someone to go to church?

One supporter of the measure at last week’s City Council meeting said he thought churches should be exempt because of Constitutional rights, but not other organizations or individuals. He was a minister. Why should this minister’s church be exempt from a law he wants everyone else to follow?

Gay rights laws that exempt churches effectively assume that First Amendment religious freedoms apply only to churches. But the First Amendment does not apply only to churches: It also applies to individuals. No reputable legal scholar holds the position that the First Amendment applies only to institutions.

 People who hold to faith traditions that proscribe certain kinds of sexual practices should not be derided for what they believe—or for acting on those beliefs. And they should certainly not let those who advocate tolerance impose a law on them that is anything but tolerant.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I will be speaking on Common Core at tomorrow morning's meeting of the Fayette County Republican Party

I will be speaking at tomorrow morning's meeting of the Fayette County Republican Party on the Common Core Initiative. It begins at 9:30 at the Inn on Broadway.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Group calls Governor's Common Core comments “warmed over KERA rhetoric”

From yesterday's press release:

January 8, 2014

LEXINGTON, KY—"We've already done KERA. Why are we doing it again?" asked a spokesman for The Family Foundation after last night's comments by Gov. Beshear on the Common Core initiative. Martin Cothran called Kentucky's Common Core initiative a "warmed over version of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 (KERA)," which the group pointed to as a colossal failure.

"It's ironic that the very year we were all supposed to get out our party hats and celebrate the success of the 1990 reforms in Kentucky is the year we are talking about all the problems we have to solve in our schools."

Cothran, spokesman for the group and a professional educator himself, cited KERA's goal of all schools being "proficient" by 2014. "This year was the year our schools were supposed to have been cured of their education ills under the 1990 reforms. Instead, we have to listen to the same failed rhetoric we had to endure 25 years ago."

"Kentucky's version of the Common Core initiative is a rehash of old education ideas that were trotted out in the 1990s and have been completely discredited. Listening to the Governor's comments last night on Kentucky's supposedly 'new' education efforts made it sound like the Governor was reading the KERA playbook of 1990."

Cothran pointed specifically to the segment in the Governor's speech when he pitted basic content knowledge against thinking skills: "Core Content [sic] plays down rote memorization," said Beshear, "and instead gives students the skills that today's workplace demands: creating and critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, creativity, and communication."

"This is almost word for word what people like former State Education Commissioners Thomas Boysen and Bill Cody, State Sen. Ed Ford and other KERA advocates were telling us we were doing in 1990. It didn't work then and it won't work now.”

Cothran pointed to the false dichotomy education reformers are always invoking between memorization and content knowledge on the one hand and thinking skills on the other. "To say we're not going to memorize anymore and teach thinking skills instead is like Coach Calapari saying, 'My team is going to play down the fundamentals and instead give players what today's NBA needs: three point shots, crossover and spin dribbles, behind the back passes, and change of pace fakes'."

"It’s simply ludicrous to say that there is something wrong with memorization and that it detracts from thinking skills and creativity. The Governor's comments are a bad sign for education prospects in this state."


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Gambling measure “dead on arrival” in General Assembly says advocacy group after Beshear speech

Last night's press release:


January 7, 2014

LEXINGTON—The Family Foundation said that Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal in tonight's State of the Commonwealth address to seek another Constitutional amendment to expand gambling was unrealistic and at odds with many of his other proposals. "The General Assembly has told the casino industry 'No' about fifteen times now,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation. “We need to move on to other, more important issues."

"The proposal to expand gambling is effectively dead on arrival in this session. There is a politically volatile situation in the House that is also going to make it very difficult to deal with any controversial issues this session. With Republicans within striking distance of a majority in the House, it would be political suicide for many members to vote on a measure that is going to make a lot of their constituents angry."

Cothran pointed to House Speaker Greg Stumbo's non-committal remarks on expanded gambling after the speech as further evidence of the poor chances the proposal has. "Speaker Stumbo wasn't exactly cheerleading for the proposal. If the Speaker isn't excited about the proposal, it's hard to imagine the measure has much of a chance at all."

If the Governor was really serious about issues like tax reform, Cothran said, he would leave the gambling issue alone this session. "If we get into another fight over gambling, it will suck up all the political oxygen needed to address tax reform or any other major initiative."

The Governor also spent much of his speech on health care issues, which Cothran portrayed as a strange irony: "We're wondering about the health benefits of thousands of Kentuckians sitting at slot machines at casinos with a cigarette in one hand and drink in the other. The governor bemoaned the state's low standing in smoking and cancer. Why would he want to add gambling addiction to the litany of social problems in this state?"


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Cold weather result of global warming, says Time

If you use cold weather to question global warming, then you're a fanatic. But if you use cold weather to support global warming, you're a reasonable person. Welcome to Global Warming Wonderland.

So I come inside from getting firewood, out of the coldest weather I can remember ever experiencing here in Kentucky, take my coat off, sit down at my computer to see about the latest news. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a news story from Time magazine arguing that the extreme sub-zero temperatures are the result of global warming.

Now whenever I say anything on this blog that might even remotely suggest that cold weather occurrence might be disconfirming evidence in relation to global warming (whatever the positive evidence may be), the men on the chessboard get up and tell me where to go.

But when someone makes the opposite argument―that cold weather is confirming evidence for global warming―they don't do anything at all.

This is the curious logic of the global warming crowd: Warm weather is evidence for global warming and cold weather is evidence for global warming. In fact, any weather can be interpreted as evidence for global warming.

And if I ever get confused by this logic, I just remember what the dormouse said.

Curiously, these are the same people who will give you long sermons on how any theory that purports to be scientific must be falsifiable. Falsifiable theories, of course, must allow for falsifying data. Here we have a theory that not only does not admit any datum as falsifiable, but considers any datum to be a verifying case.

How, you ask, could the people who take this position not accept any particular weather event as even potentially falsifying and yet think their theory is scientific?

Go ask Alice, I think she'll know.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Propaganda Can't Save Schools: How will we know if Common Core has "worked" in Kentucky?

2014 was the year we were all supposed to know whether the Kentucky Education Act of 1990 (KERA) had worked. And yet here we are, in 2014, talking about a completely different education reform proposal: Common Core.

KERA is dead: Long live Common Core

All experiments have some procedure for evaluating their success--some means of verifying whether a particular program is successful or not. The advocates of Common Core owe it to the rest of us to explain exactly when and how we will know if their program has worked.

With KERA, which involved the largest tax increase in state history, the justification of which was to improve our schools, we were given an actual date and some actual numbers that would verify its success. We were told that by 2014, all schools would reach "proficiency" on state tests. We were even given exact numbers: "Proficiency" meant scoring 100 to 140 on state tests. If this happened, then it would be judged a success. If it didn't happen, then it would be judged a failure.

State Sen. Ed Ford, KERA advocate and then chairman of the Senate Education Committee famously said, "It will take a generation to know whether KERA has worked." Well, it is now 2014 and not only did KERA not pass its own self-imposed test, but it has been almost completely forgotten.

By its own criteria, KERA was a failure.

But at least there were was an actual date and actual criteria. Where is the date we can use to tell if Common Core has worked? Where are the criteria we can use to judge its success?

Brad Hughes, spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association, says its "too early to tell" if Common Core has worked. He says two years is too short a time period to tell whether it has succeeded. We need, he says, "at least three years worth of data to tell."

Okay. Three years to tell if Common Core has worked. Is that our time frame? Is everyone agreed on this?

But then we still have the other matters necessary to verify success, such as 1) having criteria we can use to determine whether a school has successfully implemented Common Core; 2) a means of telling whether a school's improvement is due to Common Core or some other factor; and, most importantly, 3) Specific criteria whereby we can define what success is.

Where are these specific criteria? Can Hughes tell us? If not Hughes, who?

We need to get beyond the propaganda. The failure of KERA should have taught us that propaganda can't save schools.

HT: Richard Day

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Fly Barf Art: Louisville Museum taken in by practical joke

If you ever end up having to puke in a museum, don't be surprised if the curator wants to put it on display.

The Speed Art Museum in Louisville is abuzz with talk of its new exhibition which includes two artists who are now undoubtedly high-fiving each other over what they convinced a reputable museum to accept as "art."

The intention of the exhibit, reports WFPL, a Louisville public radio station, was designed to examine some "big themes" in American Art and includes the work of five alleged "artists," selected by Lexington-based artist and curator Aaron Skolnik, a man who one would think should probably not quit his day job if the day job he apparently has wasn't the problem in the first place.

Here is Speed's interim chief curator Scott Erbes, explaining some of the "big themes" in the exhibit once it is hatched:
Aaron really wanted to give each work some space to breathe and to really encourage people to stop and look, rather than the habit even I get into, which is going from work to work to work when they’re lined up on a wall.
It is probably a good thing, it turns out, that the exhibits will not be so easily viewable given what the museum is going to disgorge upon the public:
John Knuth is one of the show's five artists. He's based in Los Angeles, and he uses an unusual tool to create his paintings – flies.  A video explaining Knuth's process is on display along with two paintings.  Knuth breeds the flies specifically for his project, feeds them a mixture of sugar water and pigment, and encloses them in a space that includes canvas. Their regurgitated pigmented water on canvas creates the work.
If I was a museum curator, I would probably want to give this man's work a little space too. Lots of it. I'm thinking of some of the larger landfills in the Jefferson County vicinity, for example.

Erbes, apparently unaware of the joke that has been perpetrated on him, waxes eloquent about the display of emetic art. It "sounds curious," he says:
"but he’s interested in the idea of the artists’ control over materials and giving up that control," says Erbes. "It also deals with ideas of our attempts to control other species and the idea that you really can’t do that entirely. He’s also talked about his work being almost metaphors for urban life in the 21st century, just chaos, things moving around, thousands of individuals each doing different things, and that’s playing into the work as well."
Fly barf philosophy, care of the art establishment. Someone might now want to put on an exhibit of some visual representation of the control over materials by museum curators and what happens when that control is given up.

And if fly barf art is not quite to the visitor's taste, he can avail himself of the art of Lexington-based Louis Zoellar Bickett (which he can take in without an airsickness bag ... or, maybe not). Bickett's final exhibit piece is his 1999 sculpture "Family Grave Dirt," a piece which, as it turns out, is already a part of Speed's collection. "Bickett collected dirt from the graves of family members and people of personal significance," reports WFPL, "into canning jars, which he tagged and lined up on a shelf."

The imaginative Erbes will now explain its significance:
We are all the sum of many parts, of many identities that shape each of us. With this work, you see his interest in taking an archivist’s approach to the creation of works of art. 
There are some of us, of course, who will consider the contents of Warhol's Campbell's Soup cans a little bit more appetizing.

I'm wondering: Could the act of hoodwinking a museum by luring it into accepting some completely preposterous piece purporting to be "art" itself be an example of performance art? Would it be accepted by a museum?

As of this printing,  Erbes and the Speed Museum are still unaware that they are victims of a hoax.