Some months ago I asked a question entitled The "Satellite Paradox": Twin paradox in orbiting satellites, and a duplicate version entitled Special Relativity in Free Fall has recently appeared. I really cannot understand why my question is downvoted despite a clear and detailed explanation, whereas the duplicate version is very well-received.

Does this show that there might be some contributors who have mistaken me for a crank or an enemy (due to my challenging questions)?

Does this show that if a question is narrowly voted down by a few people, then it is possible for it to be downvoted by many other contributors thoughtlessly without pondering enough over the content?


3 Answers 3


I was bit surprised to see your question had been so heavily downvoted. It's a perfectly good question and indeed serves as a good way to understand the intricacies surrounding time dilation. The fact it attracted six excellent answers suggests I am not alone in this.

I can't comment on the reasons why people downvoted, but I suspect they had misunderstood your question to be yet another attack on relativity using a version of the twin paradox. The comments suggest this might be the case. If so then that's unfair, but everyone makes mistakes sometimes.

If this is a subject you are interested in I've attempted to write a series of canonical questions explaining exactly what time dilation means and how it explains the twin paradox. The questions are What is time dilation really? and What is the proper way to explain the twin paradox?. I'm happy to discuss these in the chat room if you want.

  1. There is always a random element to voting.

  2. Votes not only refer to the raw content of a question but also its presentation: How easy it is to read (due to formatting) and understand, how well it makes its argument. That two questions ask about the same phenomenon does not mean both of them are equally "good questions" in this sense, and your first consideration when reading another question that is better received than your own should be "What did this question do better?", not "This shows people vote me down because they don't like me".

    In particular, your question opens with "I want to simply eliminate the effect of acceleration, which is the cornerstone in resolving the traditional twin paradox, through the following thought experiment" - regardless of what follows, this really sounds as if you're trying to poke holes into relativity, not as if you're simply wondering about how relativity resolves the situation you're describing. Maybe that impression is accurate, maybe not, that's not the point here, but it is the impression I get upon reading. You might call it unfair that people would vote you down for that impression if the question itself is still legitimate, but we can't do anything about that, people are free to vote as they see fit.

  3. There was extensive discussion in comments to your question - long since moved to chat - where you made remarks like "Please upvote the OP's cleverness", referring to yourself. While votes should be for what's actually written in the question, it should come as no surprise that this is a site where humans interact and so grandstanding tends to attract negative attention more than it does positive.

  • $\begingroup$ Please be advised that I added this remark "Please upvote the OP's cleverness" after receiving many downvotes, then I added the remark to mortify the downvoters rather than to grandstand myself! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 8:04

Does this show that there might be some contributors who have mistaken me for a crank...

Your own profile states that

As a dissident scientist, I could finally publish some articles against Einstein's relativity, showing that the theory is paradoxical, in some ordinary peer-reviewed journals. Some of these articles were rejected over 100 times by many mainstream journals from all over the world.

I think that in some members’ minds this self-identifies you as rejecting one of the foundations of mainstream physics, which is the only kind of physics that this site deals with.

Furthermore, you have written a paper, “Three Fundamental Questions Challenging Einstein's Relativity,” the abstract of which says

This article, after reviewing briefly the current circumstances of publishing dissenting articles that, say, suggest some rebuttals to relativity or quantum mechanics in (non-)mainstream media, calls into question Einstein's relativity theory accusing it of incompleteness and being ill-defined. It is demonstrated that the physical effects of acceleration have dramatically been overlooked by Einstein as he was extending the special theory to the general one so that such a deficiency gives rise to absurdities in both special and general relativity.

I cannot understand why some members are unclear on whether you are attacking relativity, when you make it explicit that this is exactly what you are doing.

You ask questions as if you are simply curious about relativity, but you make clear elsewhere that you consider it paradoxical, incomplete, ill-defined, and absurd. This means that your posts about so-called “paradoxes” have a hidden motive — to try to undermine mainstream physics — of which many (most?) members are completely unaware.

There is room in physics for dissidents — there are even entire journals and professional organizations devoted to dissident physics, as you well know — but Physics StackExchange is the wrong place to advance dissident views.

P.S. I did not downvote either of the questions you mentioned. I looked back at your last 10 questions and found that I had downvoted only one of them.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .