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« Department for Exaggeration, Crookery and Conmen | Main | The BBC's latest green recruit »
Tuesday
Dec022014

Niceness at home and abroad

Shub Niggurath is bemoaning the lack of venues in which there can be conversations across the lines of the climate debate.

Good discussions used to take place, on occasion, at WUWT or BH. There were brief periods when the old Collide-a-scape blog and Bart Verheggen’s site provided such moments. They are hard to come by now. Maybe the consensus and conspiracy poison spread mindlessly and artlessly throughout the blogs by certain people is to blame.

He's right of course. I have struggled long and hard to make BH the venue where that can happen, but it seems that a visit from, say Richard or Tamsin is guaranteed to get some people riled, with the result that moderation becomes a full-time occupation. I can't afford to spend that amount of time on it.

Still, it's interesting to see that from some people's perspective, the limited exchanges here at BH are something to aspire to. As Judy Curry explains in her retrospective post on climategate, the state of the climate debate, and in particular the recent furore over Tim Ball's posting at WUWT and the riposte by Richard and Tamsin.

...the 1100 comments at WUWT were absolutely vitriolic against Betts and Edwards.  On twitter, the vitriolic comments were coming from the warm side, i.e. how stupid they were to post at WUWT...Well, it seems Betts and Edwards are trying to promote civility, something that the UK does pretty well.  Presumably they thought that posting at WUWT would be like posting at BishopHill.  NOT.  Climate change and social media is mostly blood sport over in the US (and Australia and Canada), where the situation remains very polarized and polarizing.

So I guess things could be worse. But please, everyone, do try to keep the temperature down when a comment thread features someone you disagree with. Even if they refuse to admit they are wrong or refuse to engage with your arguments or misquote you. If you start a shouting match, few people will hang around to see how right you are.

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Reader Comments (422)

@stan

"If a "scientist" won't stand up for genuine science and won't condemn dishonesty and won't condemn mistreatment and shoddy practices, they aren't worthy of anyone's time."

I am astonished that people are still trying to promote the fake "climategate" controversy even after all this time and so many inquiries. It is precisely scientists standing up for genuine science that we see in the stolen emails, and in the criticisms of people like Judith Curry.

Dec 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterNoel Darlow

Noel: "Fake"? care to elaborate (actually, I truly hope you don't. I can count on the thumbs of one hand how many people think like you - you're it). And, "stolen"? Get on with you. You're pulling our legs.....hohoho

Dec 2, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Brandon,
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who claims I'm "making stuff up" and "fabricating" things is accusing me of lying, which is what I was suggesting you had done (and which you then said you had done while claiming I was making stuff up again?????). Also, I have acknowledged the error I made more times than I have acknowledged any error I've ever made before in my life. Clearly not to your satisfaction, but I don't think I know how to do that or if it is actually possible.

Look, I'm not planning to discuss this any further. You, of course, can carry on criticising me on Twitter, in comments on other blogs, and on your own blog. It's a free world. Maybe you could try, though, to keep on the right side trolling.

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Noel,

you aren't worthy

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

ATTP:

[to Brandon] It's a free world. Maybe you could try, though, to keep on the right side trolling.
Bwahahaha! You must have an 'O' level in this kind of crap! You're a scream! Please don't give up.

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:14 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Anders:

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who claims I'm "making stuff up" and "fabricating" things is accusing me of lying,

You are wrong. Words have meanings. The fact you don't understand those meanings is not my fault. People make things up all the time without lying. People misread text then give false interpretations. People's memory is faulty which leads to false stories. Heck, people routinely tell stories which aren't true for fun. When boyscouts go camping and tell horror stories to one another, they are not lying.

which is what I was suggesting you had done (and which you then said you had done while claiming I was making stuff up again?????).

Let's suppose recognizing people make things up inherently accuses them of lying. I have clearly and repeatedly said that is not the intended meaning of my remarks. Why would you ignore my explicit statements regarding my intended meaning? It'd be easy to say, "You're using the words incorrectly." You don't say anything like that though. Instead, you simply deny that I could possibly have any meaning other than the one you claim is correct.

Oddly enough, when you say I intend a meaning opposite that I explicitly state I intend, you are portraying me as dishonest. You might as well be saying, "You're lying about calling me a liar." That's ridiculous. I use words in a certain way. I say my usage is correct. You say a different usage is correct. You then insist I am intending the meaning you insist is correct even though I explicitly deny I am.

Also, I have acknowledged the error I made more times than I have acknowledged any error I've ever made before in my life. Clearly not to your satisfaction, but I don't think I know how to do that or if it is actually possible.

You've never even said what the error was. You act like I am somehow unreasonable, but all I've ever called for you to do is say what you got wrong and what is actually right. You've never done so. You've never even tried. Heck, I'm not even sure you know what the error was. Nobody can possibly know because you've repeatedly refused to say what it was.

Look, I'm not planning to discuss this any further. You, of course, can carry on criticising me on Twitter, in comments on other blogs, and on your own blog. It's a free world. Maybe you could try, though, to keep on the right side trolling.

This comment is silly given you decided to ignore the substantive issues I discussed in my comments here, choosing instead to focus solely on our interpersonal issues. I tried to discuss real issues. You're the one who decided against that. You do this sort of thing on a regular basis. It's weird you choose to ignore substantive points then complain about people diverting discussions.

But in a similar vein to your remark, if you want to continue acting as you do, you can. You'll just create the very problems you lament over. You'll wind up sabotaging all dialogues and forums you participate in. You'll become more and more disheartened, all while insisting you don't understand why it's happening. The way you stop this feedback is to try something new - approaching things with an open mind.

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:26 PM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

Brandon,
Clearly we speak a different version of English, another reason we probably shouldn't bother interacting. Some advice : if you aren't intending to accuse someone of lying then try not using terms like "making things up" or "fabricating things" because that is how those terms are interpreted by most who speak English. They imply intent. The last time I was in error, I "made a mistake", I didn't "make up a mistake". Anyway, as I said before (and as I should have stuck with) I'm done with this. I can't actually believe we're still discussing something that happened a year ago.

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:45 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Physics, Your dislike of individuals on the internet can only derive from their persuasion.

"I have no idea why you think otherwise."

By your actions. Joanne Nova tried commenting on your blog and got the scissors in return. Do you seriously believe your blog is a venue where open discussion takes place or is possible?

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered Commentershub

Shub,


Your dislike of individuals on the internet can only derive from their persuasion.

No, it can - and does - derive from how they choose to behave.


Do you seriously believe your blog is a venue where open discussion takes place or is possible?

About science, sure. Is it a place where one can have a serious discussion about the various conspiracies associated with climate science? Not really, because I find that tedious and have little interest in encouraging that or participating in that.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Stan

I rather liked your comment at Dec 2, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

By continually displaying his patronising attitude, by seeming to be knowledgeable but saying nothing of substance, Anders continues to wind people up, and this surely is his purpose.

Well done Anders.

For everyone but Anders, he is not worth your spit, or the ink in your pen, the lead in you pencil or the energy in your fingers on your keyboards.

Do not engage, he will go away.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete Russell

stolen emails
Dec 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM Noel Darlow

Noel - do you have any evidence that a theft was committed? If not then that is fabrication on your part.

Any IT security manager will tell you that the most likely source was via somebody with a legitimate root logon to the UEA systems and therefore legal access to the information. In that case, no law would have been broken.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Anders, you have a serious problem with just assuming your beliefs are true:

Clearly we speak a different version of English, another reason we probably shouldn't bother interacting. Some advice : if you aren't intending to accuse someone of lying then try not using terms like "making things up" or "fabricating things" because that is how those terms are interpreted by most who speak English. They imply intent.

I don't agree with this. It doesn't mesh with my experience. I've had plenty of occasions where someone said something like, "He's made that up. Maybe he believes it, but it's not true!" The same is true for "fabricated." I can think of plenty of times I've heard that used simply to mean something was seemingly pulled out of thin air, whatever the reason.

That said, a difference between you and I is I'm willing to consider I might be wrong. I don't assume my interpretation is true to the extent I refuse to consider other possibilities. Moreover, I'm willing to stop using terminology which bothers people if I'm asked to. The first time I explicitly denied meaning what you claim I mean, you could have easily said, "I don't agree with you about the word's meaning, but rather than worry about that, can you just use a different one?" I'd have agreed without hesitation.

But that would have been constructive. The reality is none of your responses to me were constructive. You spent our entire exchange looking for ways to sabotage it. I'm not going to change terminology just to try to give people fewer excuses to act petulent.

Anyway, as I said before (and as I should have stuck with) I'm done with this. I can't actually believe we're still discussing something that happened a year ago.

It's funny. The topic this all stemmed from was a discussion of criticism of Michael Mann's work. In it, you expressed disbelief at the idea people would still discuss Mann's work. It's the same thing here. What happens is people refuse to discuss things in any sort of constructive way, problems never get resolved, and then those people complain about it.

Any decent PR consultant will tell you if you don't handle a problem, it won't go away. If you want something to stop coming up over and over, don't run away from it. Deal with it.

Or I guess you could just ban people then insult them knowing they can't respond. That's always an option.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

At the 'Conversation' blogs, the moderators are off on weekends, and conversation suddenly flows freely. At the Carbon Brief, John Russell is sometimes asleep at the wheel and people can talk. I haven't seen the Rabett deleting comments, the question there though is whether commenters can comprehend what's written.

On the political front, in the US, the president's party loses massively yet he carries on as though has won, and pushes the climate agenda for which he never sought electoral mandate. Even his approach is the same: sneaky. there is no open debate, there is no open discussion. Instead there is name-calling and the policy measures are smuggled in via NRDC written bureaucratic rules. The contrast between enormous apathy and oblivious activism is remarkable.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:37 PM | Registered Commentershub

Martin A, I don't agree with that. Leaving aside that I disagree with your risk assessment, I suspect releasing those e-mails would have been illegal even for someone with root access. Having an account with access to material does not mean you can automatically do whatever you want with that material.

More importantly though, the police who investigated say there was illegal access. Unless one has reason to believe the authorities are being dishonest or have blundered badly, the most likely answer is there was illegal access.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:45 PM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

When you are dealing with an arrogant, intolerant and totalitarian philosophy/cult whose idea of a "better" world is a lot fewer of us, then it is only rational to fight back.

Remember just who started this scam.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Brandon,
The very search for a definition of "fabricate" came up with " To concoct in order to deceive".


Or I guess you could just ban people then insult them knowing they can't respond. That's always an option.

I do my best to not mention people who have been banned on my blog, for that very reason. It's not perfect, but I certainly do my best to prevent commenters from discussing those who are unable to respond. It's possible I've said something here that you've found insulting but given what you've said about me, I don't really care. You have, however, been able to respond. Anyway, that really is enough now (although I think I may have said that before).

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

ATTP:

You have an immense capacity to misunderstand what people say;

You have immense self regard;

You are immensely boring.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterjolly farmer

Might as well get stuck-in.
No point in arguing with closed minds...
Like the troll who has a handle that implies he knows some physics.

I suspect it wouldn't know a Boson from a hole in the ground, without first looking it up on the source of all its knowledge- Wikipedia.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

10:45 PM | Brandon Shollenberger

Brandon - I'll have to look it up - I can no longer quote where I got that. I remember concluding that misusing data belonging to your employer, to which you had legitimate access, might be a disciplinary matter but was not illegal. As I say, I'll have to look it up.

I was not impressed with what was revealed at the time about the police investigation. Asking people (eg Steve McIntyre) about their views on climate change but not asking a person who could well have had key information "because he probably would not have told us".

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:25 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Brandon - could you say what law you think might apply in the case of somebody who releases their employer's data (and not for gain nor commission of another crime) , to which they have authorised access?

The Computer Misuse Act is all about unauthorised access and I'm not sure what other law might apply.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:41 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Watching this thread unfold as it has is a good illustration of much of what Bish implored against at the outset.
Apparently many posters above are not very self aware. Others claimed outright that they do not do what they obviously do do when ones goes and checks. That is more dubious behavior than merely self unaware, ATTP.
Major reasons that threads here, at CE, at WUWT and elsewhere are so easily hijacked into he said/she said 'Arts of Truth' untruths, rather than mutually digging toward actual truth. Wrote The Arts of Truth as a philosophically groups set of such behaviors with many clear illustrations; even the title was a deliberate illustration.. Climate change served well as the penultimate example of all those 'arts' in practice. This thread shows again why.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

ATTP~ reading through your comments, I suddenly realized: you are a LYING ASSHOLE.

But then, that's been obvious for a Very long time.

Dec 3, 2014 at 12:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

@Martin A

"Noel - do you have any evidence that a theft was committed? If not then that is fabrication on your part.

"Any IT security manager will tell you that the most likely source was via somebody with a legitimate root logon to the UEA systems and therefore legal access to the information."

That's an extremely silly thing to say. "Any IT security manager" would tell you that they would want to examine the evidence before jumping to any conclusions. The Norfolk police did exactly that:

“...as a result of our enquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet. The offenders used methods common in unlawful internet activity to obstruct enquiries.

“There is no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with the University of East Anglia was involved in the crime.”

The idea that the emails were leaked is just one of many lies told about the climategate affair and eagerly repeated on blogs such as this. I'm amazed people still try it on, even now, when all the facts are widely known.

Dec 3, 2014 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterNoel Darlow

@Rud Istvan

Before we can "dig for truth" we have to accept that truth is not a democracy. There are strict boundaries which we have to adhere to in order to have a meaningful discussion best defined as this essential rule: the limits of what one can reasonably claim about matters of science are defined by the set of published papers which have not yet been refuted.

Speculation about unknowns is OK, of course, but only if it is clearly flagged as unproven speculation. Otherwise we have to base our opions on real (published) science.

In anticipation of the inevitable allegations of corruption in the scientific community, consider the (ridiculous) scale of the accusation you are about to make.

Imagine someone wanted to make the claim that all football matches are fixed. It would not be sufficient merely to show that one player threw one game. You would have to show that every player in every team in every league in every country of the world were all in on it - and probably all the referees, managers and match officials too.

Similarly, climate research is carried out by a whole army of people who work in many different disciplines, who are attached to a wide variety of different institutions, and who abide in many different countries. If climate science was corrupt, they would all have to be in on it. That is what you would have to prove and it would take a small mountain of evidence to do it.

I won't be holding my breath.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterNoel Darlow

Anders:

The very search for a definition of "fabricate" came up with " To concoct in order to deceive".

And I've previously posted other definitions which cast it in another light. One of the beauties of using dictionary definitions is one can almost always cherry-pick a definition to claim one meaning is "right." Not only do you have different dictionaries, you often have multiple definitions in each.

I do my best to not mention people who have been banned on my blog, for that very reason. It's not perfect, but I certainly do my best to prevent commenters from discussing those who are unable to respond.

Practically your first action after banning me was to make a petty post which was derisive toward me. Then you've made multiple snide remarks about me there and on Twitter. You pretty much never used my name, but it was clear who you were talking about. And of course, you happily allow your users to make many more, including ones which falsely accuse me of crimes.

If that is doing your best, you really suck.

It's possible I've said something here that you've found insulting but given what you've said about me, I don't really care. You have, however, been able to respond. Anyway, that really is enough now (although I think I may have said that before).

Right. I've been able to respond, and because of that, you've constantly been running away. That's why you've constantly avoided discussing most of what I say, selectively chosing points to respond to just so you can try to belittle me without having any sort of actual discussion.

And of course, you apparently suck at running away so much you can't actually do it. One could almost say you lie about leaving!

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:38 AM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

Martin A, while it depends on the jurisdiction you're in, there is generally data you cannot freely disseminate. For instance, if you knowingly distribute (government classified) confidential documents, you can get in trouble. A hospital worker given access to medical files can get in a lot of trouble if he gives those out (under HIPPA). In the United States, a school employee can get in trouble for violating students privacy (under FERPA) by releasing various types of material, including copies of communication between teacher and student.

I'm not sure if FERPA has a criminal (as opposed to civil) penalty, but I know HIPPA does. They're just examples though. The point is there are some types of material you can get in trouble for releasing. Plus there are some laws which deal with the action of making public light of people's personal lives.

I'm not sure any such laws would apply, but I suspect if the person who released the e-mails had done so openly, people would have tried to find some to prosecute him under. And they might have succeeded.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:39 AM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

I suspect only one of three things will bring about sanity to the debate; a) blackouts, b) a sudden change in satellite-measured temperatures, c) a big cost breakthrough in renewable energy tech (eg batteries, solar panels). Meantime everyone needs to be looking at backup generation.

Dec 3, 2014 at 3:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Perhaps Eli can explain this as the Bunny was the one who moved RB and TE off the dime. What happened is instructive. First, the full in your face attacks on their colleagues required a riposte from Betts and Edwards because if they did not accept the challenge they would be left in the position of Martin Niemoeller. Not a comfortable one.

They did reply and Watts posted their reply, with a sad attempt at middling, well anybunny can read what he wrote, but the more important part is that he did not take the keys away from Ball and Ball having the bit between his teeth and the mob behind him continued on. In other words, even granting Watts the most favorable consideration, he did nothing to constrain Ball's behavior on Watt's blog.

Now some, not Eli to be sure, the Rabett hastens to add, might consider Ball's invocation of Maurice Strong and Agenda 21 as, well, Lewandowsky bait. But let's not go there right now.

So if you interpret Betts and Edwards' position as looking for common ground, it should be clear from the comments here and there that there is little to none and having offered an ear, they got it bitten off. Eli appreciates this not only because he treasures his ears, but back in the 90s, along with folks such as Michael Tobis, he spent a great deal of time looking for no regrets measures that would have at least moderate beneficial effect on climate as well as having beneficial effects, both economic and health related. There were no takers. Thank you for confirming this ancient wisdom.

Dec 3, 2014 at 4:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

John Carter said:

I commented on the Tim Ball post at WUWT, and like most people I was open and polite.
Judith is rather exaggerating I believe in her comments about that article.

I agree. There were plenty of reasonable and polite comments both in support of Betts and Edwards view and against it. To me Betts and Edwards seem to have interpreted Ball's piece as though it said 'Nazis used propaganda, the IPCC uses propaganda therefore the IPCC are Nazis'. I didn't read Ball's piece like that at all.

There were certainly plenty of impolite comments too though they seemed to be from only a handful of names again and again throughout the comments.

Dec 3, 2014 at 5:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Misrepresenting your opponents views is NOT polite ! So Judith Curry is wrong in saying
"Well, it seems Betts and Edwards are trying to promote civility, something that the UK does pretty well."
- As well as Judith Curry being wrong so is Watts in failing to check that Ball was not calling Climate Scientists Nazi's

Subsequent impolite comments at WUWT are of course wrong, but RB & TE had the option of tackling Ball's points, the fact that they chose not to and PLAYED THE VICTIM CARD has harmed their credibility.

Dec 3, 2014 at 7:27 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

2 ways to debate :
1. PROPER COMPLEX REASONING scientific style.
2. LAZY DISMISSAL TRICKS :t like shouting "racist", "you called me a Nazi", "He's funded by big oil", "ignore him, he's denier", generally playing the victim and other MISREPRESENTING YOUR OPPONENTS

- I wouldn't say that it's as simple as saying green/left entirely use the latter, but consistently I see people here on BH using the former the scientific approach as they get into things like mentioning grid watch analysis.
... whilst it is the alarmist side with even scientists like TE & RB choosing the unscientific latter. So over time for me the warmist case credibility has been diminished as they use these techniques.

Science style you test and evaluate your hypotheses.
- Take fracking or even nuclear : on one side of the warmist's case is that millions will die due to CAGW.. so you'd think something like fracking which clearly in the US has brought on a cheap lower CO2 fuel, than coal..so you'd think the warmists would be pushing to get on with testing fracking ..
but no it is simply dismissed as "could be dangerous" .. just like they dismiss GMOs ..Paradoxically with magic renewables doubt is dismissed, there is no "let's look at UK solar PV so far and evaluate if the money has been well spent"

.. as I said years ago one side goes for scientific approach ie the skeptics here on BH & WUWT etc.
.. Whereas the other side : the warmists, disrespects
a scientific style and prefers to more often ppt for dirty PR tricks

Dec 3, 2014 at 7:35 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Brandon,
It's clear that you think I'm a sucky liar, which is - obviously in my view - not my intent. You're, of course, free to believe and I'm, of course, free to not interact with people who do so.

FWIW, I think you're a bright person who is technically and intellectually adept. I often read comments you've written and think "okay, fair point", but you seem to have a habit of accusing people of lying and being dishonest (as you've managed to do to me here and have done regularly to others on your blog). I think that's unfortunate as you're clearly someone who has the intellectual ability to engage in interesting discussions.

I do get the impression that you believe you're being brutally honest and that therefore that justifies your rhetoric. In a technical sense, sure, but in reality there at times - such as when my wife asks if her jeans are too tight - when a careful choice of words might be beneficial. Just as using "denier" tends to destroy any chance of a sensible discussion, so does accusing your opponent of being a liar. If you haven't done so, maybe you should read Sun Tzu's "Art of War" : you don't want to back your opponent so far into a corner that they have no reasonable way of getting out.

Dec 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

I suspect only one of three things will bring about sanity to the debate; a) blackouts, b) a sudden change in satellite-measured temperatures, c) a big cost breakthrough in renewable energy tech (eg batteries, solar panels). Meantime everyone needs to be looking at backup generation.

Dec 3, 2014 at 3:40 AM | Eli Rabett
=======================================================================================

Sanity? Sooner or later, dropping temperatures or/and another LIA might. However, given that now the polar vortex is caused by warming, maybe not. There IS a no sanity clause...

Dec 3, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Physics, the problem lies here: "If you want something to stop coming up over and over, don't run away from it."

Running away from it or not, but what you actually do is not address it on your blog, make the other person repeat the question a few times and then ban them. You've spread this poison to your blogging friends - Rachel and Collin Maessen, who behave likewise as well.

Does the use of "denier", destruction of sensible discussion, and your reading of the principles of the Art of War square with this:

First

I’m going to moderate this thread heavily. My rules are: 1. Be nice. 2. No name-calling....

followed by this:

The word denier is not name-calling and is fine to use on this blog.

Dec 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Registered Commentershub

Shub,


Physics, the problem lies here: "If you want something to stop coming up over and over, don't run away from it."

The problem is that apart from flagellating myself and begging for forgiveness for whatever it is that you (and others) think I've done wrong, I don't really know what to do about this. You and Brandon have whined about my moderation and banning for about a year now. I don't need to respond to other people's accusations or complaints. My blog is not a public service, I've never claimed that it's a public service, and nor have I ever suggested that it is anywhere other than a place where I can write what I want to write and let those I want to comment. Why not get over it, because it starting to appear to be somewhat of an obsession?

Dec 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

ATTP, as noted before, you are not all that good at reading what's actually written. Go back and read what I wrote - there is no reference to bans, in connection to me or Brandon.

I am not responsible for additional meaning you read into my comments.

Banning people in quest of a 'productive environment for discussion' works against committed trolls and almost no one else.

Dec 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Registered Commentershub

Shub,

Go back and read what I wrote - there is no reference to bans, in connection to me or Brandon.

Okay, but you did say this

make the other person repeat the question a few times and then ban them. You've spread this poison to your blogging friends - Rachel and Collin Maessen, who behave likewise as well.

Whatever you really mean, ultimately you're whining about my moderation and banning. I don't care what you think. Tone trolling is remarkably irritating. It's my blog. And, FWIW, both Collin and Rachel pre-date me and advised me about moderation, not the other way around.

Banning people in quest of a 'productive environment for discussion' works against committed trolls and almost no one else.


Absolutely, I completely agree.

Dec 3, 2014 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Look forward to the day when Anthony outs ATTP.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/02/and-climate-internet-trols-are-some-of-the-worst/

Well said Shub @ Dec 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Dec 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack

Jack,


Look forward to the day when Anthony outs ATTP.

Why?

Shub,
I messed up my blockquotes in that last comment, but you probably got the gist. So, here's a challenge for you. What do you think I should do that would be good enough for you (and Brandon maybe) to say "okay, fair enough, he's trying to be reasonable"? My feeling is that there is nothing I can do that would reasonable, since I can't go back in time and change what's already happened, and I'm certainly not interested in begging for forgiveness. Having said that, I'm not suggesting that I've done things that I haven't later regretted, but that's very different to having done things for which I should beg forgiveness. I'm also not interested in the comment threads on my posts becoming a free-for-all. Unlike our host here, I happen to comment below the line a lot, so I see it as more of a discussion with people than as a site for people to simply argue. Given those constraints, what course of action would you suggest?

Dec 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Yes, Physics, I referred to your practice. It creates the problem of not being able to have productive discussions across the lines. You can focus on the personal side of things, call it "whining", "committed troll", and pat yourself in the back for being clever, or you can look at the broader consequences, which is what I am more interested in.

In your opinion, you faced this thing. You came away disheartened and 'appalled' at hostility. I am no one to lecture BH or WUWT commenters, I have a thick skin and a laissez faire attitude towards comments. But you can walk in on occasion and speak or lash out or whatever. That matters.

Dec 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM | Registered Commentershub

Oh, we cross-posted, Physics. I wrote the comment above without seeing your latest comment.

Dec 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Registered Commentershub

Physics, I thought about this. As before, I agree with you, what's done is done and nothing's going to change that. Additionally I believe climate consensus supporters like to vent their anger/frustration whatever, and mixing up every one in a spirit of 'multiculturalism' will only lead to interminable fighting and/or hardliners moving away, in other words, counter-productive again. The only thing I can think of is - don't chase away the stray sceptic who wanders in, with 'moderation rules' because such things can never be consistently applied in a heated domain like climate change. The natural tendency of people to talk amongst like-minded people will win in the long run - it won't be a free-for-all.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM | Registered Commentershub

Anders, you're a joke:

It's clear that you think I'm a sucky liar, which is - obviously in my view - not my intent.

I don't think anything of the sort. I'm not sure what you think you're reading, but it apparently isn't my mind or my words. I get misinterpreting people's thoughts, but doing so while claiming it is "clear" your interpretation is right? It's so silly. Even more silly is how you say:

FWIW, I think you're a bright person who is technically and intellectually adept. I often read comments you've written and think "okay, fair point", but you seem to have a habit of accusing people of lying and being dishonest (as you've managed to do to me here and have done regularly to others on your blog).

Whlie completely ignoring the fact I've repeatedly told you I am not accusing you of dishonesty. One could easily interpret that as you being dishonest. I don't because I think it's too stupid a thing a thing to be dishonest over. I assume there's some other reason.

As for my accusations of dishonesty, I make them because a number of people are unquestionably dishonest. There's no way other way to interpret things like, John Cook continuing to use a fabricated quote on his site despite knowing it is fabricated, despite the fabrication being discussed in his forum and him even correcting the quote elsewhere:

http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2014/11/john-cook-is-a-low-down-dirty-liar/

When people lie, I say they lie. If you'd rather just let them lie and say nothing about it, that's your call. I just have a problem with dishonesty.

I do get the impression that you believe you're being brutally honest and that therefore that justifies your rhetoric. In a technical sense, sure, but in reality there at times - such as when my wife asks if her jeans are too tight - when a careful choice of words might be beneficial. Just as using "denier" tends to destroy any chance of a sensible discussion, so does accusing your opponent of being a liar. If you haven't done so, maybe you should read Sun Tzu's "Art of War" : you don't want to back your opponent so far into a corner that they have no reasonable way of getting out.

You said you think I am bright, so you might want to consider that I know exactly what I am doing. Because I do. What you say is entirely wrong. I want to push my opponents into a corner they can't get out of. I want to make arguments I know my opponents will respond poorly to. I want every person who behaves in dishonest manner or sabotages discussions to go in the corner.

That's the entire reason I encourage you to behave the way you do. At every juncture, I give you the option of fixing problems or going further in the corner. If you choose the former, you're not my opponent. If you choose the latter, you are my opponent and I will do what I can to draw everyone's attention to your poor behavior so they'll think worse of you and grow more distant from you.

And yes, the more you choose the latter, the harder I'll make it be to choose the former. That's how life works. The more you misbehave, the harder it is to get people to accept you in their social circles.

Now please, come back and say something more despite having told everyone you were leaving what, half a dozen times now? You're just giving people more reasons not to listen to anything you say.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

Shub,
Okay, a fair comment.


The only thing I can think of is - don't chase away the stray sceptic who wanders in, with 'moderation rules' because such things can never be consistently applied in a heated domain like climate change.

Well, I don't believe that I do. There have been a number of "stray skeptics" who comment on my blog and still comment on my blog. There are a number who have been banned, but that number is not as big as some might think and does not occur simply because someone happens to be a "skeptic". To be clear, I have no fundamental issue with people being skeptical, either in the truly scientific way (obviously) or in the more common "dubious" way. I don't think that people are obliged to accept the evidence. I do, however, have no desire to commit time to lengthy exchanges with people who continue to make scientific mistakes. Since I do comment below the line a lot and do interact with those who comment, this can lead to people being moderated. I know people here probably don't believe it, but I really am a physicist and I really do understand the fundamentals reasonably well. There's only so many times one can point out that something that someone is saying is fundamentally incorrect, and - yes - sometimes it is possible for someone to simply be wrong.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

There's a thing people do where they paint themselves as the victim, acting as though people's expectations are unreasonable, when criticized. For instance, Anders says:

The problem is that apart from flagellating myself and begging for forgiveness for whatever it is that you (and others) think I've done wrong, I don't really know what to do about this. You and Brandon have whined about my moderation and banning for about a year now.

I've never asked Anders to beg for forgiveness. I'm not sure I've even asked him to apologize. All I've ever done is say he should admit his mistakes in a manner people can understand what they were and what the corrections are. He hasn't. What he did was make some vague, "I was kind of wrong" type statement with no details or information any of his readers could possibly use to figure out what would have been correct.

But it goes beyond this. Anders says:

So, here's a challenge for you. What do you think I should do that would be good enough for you (and Brandon maybe) to say "okay, fair enough, he's trying to be reasonable"?

I didn't ban Anders. I didn't stop trying to have discussions with Anders. Anders banned me. Anders refused to talk to me. Why should I need to do anything? If Anders came to my blog and discussed a post I've written, I'd treat him the exact same way I'd treat any other commenter. If he allowed me to comment on his blog and there was a post I found interesting, I'd discuss it just like I'd discuss any other blog post. There are people I hold in less regard than Anders who I routinely talk to in a civil manner. That's because I don't have to feel any particular way about a person in order to talk to them.

The only problem is Anders refuses to have discussions. That leads people to discuss his refusal to have discussions. That's something people will do when they talk about a discussion they aren't allowed to participate in.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

Brandon,
Ahh, so my attempt to say something that I thought was complimentary hasn't tone down your rhetoric in the slightest.


I don't think anything of the sort.

Okay, fair enough. I'll change my comment to "from what I've read, you appear to think that I'm a sucky, lying, joker". Okay? That may not be what you think, but that's what it appears that you think.


so you might want to consider that I know exactly what I am doing. Because I do. What you say is entirely wrong. I want to push my opponents into a corner they can't get out of. I want to make arguments I know my opponents will respond poorly to. I want every person who behaves in dishonest manner or sabotages discussions to go in the corner.

Fair enough, I did consider adding this to my comment as it is certainly one way to do things. It does, however, reinforce my view that you are someone who I should really be avoiding (and that anyone with any sense would avoid) and will do so from now on. Call me (or imply it, or whatever it is that you do) a sucky, lying, joker for making this comment if you wish, I don't care.

Dec 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

ATTP responded with:

thinkingscientist,
so ATTP am I correct to conclude that you believe that models are evidence?

Oh no, are you trying to play the "models aren't evidence" game?

I am not playing a game. I am asking a very clear, well defined question which requires just a yes or no response that will inform me and others of your view on the matter. I may be able to form an opinion on your position by interpreting your answer above, but I don't want to do that. I want to know your answer, clear and unequivocal. I'll repeat the question for you, and perhaps this time you might answer the question rather than avoid it:

ATTP, do you believe that models are evidence?

Dec 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Anders:

Ahh, so my attempt to say something that I thought was complimentary hasn't tone down your rhetoric in the slightest.

Why would it? My tone is determined by the behavior of the person I'm talking to in regard to the points being discussed. Compliments don't score points. Sure, it's nice to receive them, but there's no reason I should overlook problems because of them.

Okay, fair enough. I'll change my comment to "from what I've read, you appear to think that I'm a sucky, lying, joker". Okay? That may not be what you think, but that's what it appears that you think.

Uh... I guess if you are somehow reading me explicitly saying I don't believe something as indicating I do believe it, the change could maybe make some sort of sense? I don't know how you would interpret my direct statements as meaning the exact opposite of what they say, but if you do, I guess you do.

Though really, for a person who supposedly takes issue because of what words mean, that seems really strange. Sort of like how you changed "joke" to "joker." The two have very different meanings. It seems strange a person who rests his entire position upon semantic arguments would make such careless mistakes.

It does, however, reinforce my view that you are someone who I should really be avoiding (and that anyone with any sense would avoid) and will do so from now on.

Your view is interesting. You apparently think everyone should avoid me for what I do, yet what I do is exactly what is done in societal situations on all scales. It's the most common way for groups to correct behavior within them. In fact, it's easy to show you do it too. Your blog has numerous examples of the very same thing.

The difference is I'm honest and direct about it. People are often secretive and passive-aggressive about it.

Call me (or imply it, or whatever it is that you do) a sucky, lying, joker for making this comment if you wish, I don't care.

There's a joke in here about you caring so little you don't even read the words I write. I'm too sleepy to find it though. Instead, I'll just say this. For a person who doesn't care, you sure put a lot of effort and emotive language into responding. That's strange behavior for someone who doesn't care.

Dec 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

thinkingscientist,


ATTP, do you believe that models are evidence?

I have no issue with the idea that models provide evidence. However, I will clarify in the hope that you won't start jumping up and down and squealing. What I mean is that using models provides more information than if you didn't use models. Additionally, there is virtually no science that does not, in some way, rely on models (although, I assume by models you mean something like GCMs rather than the models one might use to convert a signal in a detector into a temperature measurement). That doesn't mean that I think the models are correct, but they do provide - in the case of GCMs for example - extra information that tells is something of what might happen in the future if we continue to increase our emissions.

I will say that I do find it amusing that some think that my handle (...and Then There's Physics) is somehow condescending and arrogant and yet noone, from what I've seen, has commented on yours :-)

Dec 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

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