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« What am I bid? | Main | Hottest May evah? »
Saturday
Jul252015

Cooked Motl - Josh 337

Apparently John Cook, of Skeptical Science blog, has been impersonating Lubos Motl, see Lubos blog here, also reported on WUWT and the Air Vent, here and here

Why John Cook thought this was a good idea remains a mystery. But then it has been a strange week with Peter Wadhams convinced there is a conspiracy against him. Are the alarmists getting alarmed?

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (79)

" Why John Cook thought this was a good idea remains a mystery."

Ask Lew Lew

" Peter Wadhams convinced there is a conspiracy against him. ."

Because he asked Lew Lew?


We really do live in interesting times!

Jul 25, 2015 at 9:58 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Schizophrenia is something Lew could help with, unless of course Lew is actually Cook, in which case, he needs to gather himselves together, and have a seminar, to share out what they have gained from fraudulent misrepresentation, under UK Law, then there is Australian Law etc.

Would he be able to claim multiple amounts of Legal Aid, and come out with a profit from other peoples efforts?

How many different countries would offer each of him asylum?

How do I know he has not been stealing my identity, or anybody elses? Is Cook actually Elvis Presley? Conspiracy theorists could have a field day, in 3 places at the same time.

I expect Real Climate Scientists are very proud of him, and will honour him as a true Gleikeness of somebody completely different.

Obviously if he can impersonate somebody else having supper, while he drives a car at speed, over a hundred miles away, a brief political career awaits him.

Jul 25, 2015 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

With impersonating people and deliberate misinformation being such a trade mark of climate science, does this explain the matching facial hair of certain climate science experts? Makes it easier to award yourself a Nobel Prize, and receive it at the same time, if you have a stunt double.

Australian University students must be really proud of themselves, so see how easily they can be conned, by someone who treats scientific study like a TV gameshow, and is happy to see a genuine scientist barred from access. Any chance that campuses will be in uproar?

Jul 25, 2015 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

John thinks he is in a street fight (- does that really make him an appropriate psychology researcher of his opponents?):


Cook: (leaked SkS forum)
http://www.hi-izuru.org/forum/Moderation/2012-02-20-Goodbye.html

"Lots to comment on but can I once more try to dispel the myth that I'm trying to play nice, do the honorable thing. I know as much as anyone that we're in a street fight, a bare knuckled brawl for our children's future. The denialosphere play by a different rulebook, for sure. The reason why we need to be objective, consistent and unimpeachable is for strategic reasons (I still think we need to do the right thing but even if you take away the moral reasons, the strategic reasons remain). We must never forget our target audience, the undecided majority, and that in our outreach to this group, how we act is just as important as what we say. We all act for climate out of a deep passion. I've devoted my whole life to this issue because I have a fierce, unrelenting fire in the belly about it. But I try not to let my passions take control when I engage deniers but instead attempt to channel the passion into making the most strategic, effective approach...."

Jul 25, 2015 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Barry Woods, Cook may well be in a streetfight, with his own reflection in a shopwindow. We really ought to let him get on with it.

Any news on his promotion from that duplicitous Australian University? Head of Integrity and Ethics in pslimate skience?

Jul 25, 2015 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Psychiatric help is what he needs.

Jul 25, 2015 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Apparently Sou (yeah I know) thinks it was testing the software used for one of the odd papers Mr Cook has been involved in.

I asked her (via Twitter) why not use "User123" or something like that.

No reply.

Jul 25, 2015 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

"John thinks he is in a street fight"

There are very few people alive today who have experienced and therefore understand what a street fight is.

There used to be a 'controlled' variation in my old local area that involved shins and steel toe capped clogs.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me."

Somehow the nursery rhyme seems apt

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Peter Wadhams convinced there is a conspiracy against him.

Has anybody notified Prof Lewandowski?

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterWFC

How many UWA experiments involve impersonation? Have the various ethical committees approved such an approach, even if humans were the study subjects?

How many aspects of UWA's work and activities are done using peculiar moral standards? Remember Penn State, where odd whitewashing of Mann happened as the enormously more serious child abuse scandal was allowed to fester.

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Apparently John Cook, of Skeptical Science blog, has been impersonating Lubos Motl

Which gives rise to the question, "who else has he impersonated?".

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterWFC

"Which gives rise to the question, "who else has he impersonated?"."

There is no answer, he doesn't know, used to know, but his minder jumped ship and pitched up in Bristol, last seen in a working man's club doing camp impersonations of a Nurse!

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:16 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

@ omnologos:

Thank you for not suggesting that Data molesting leads to Child molesting.

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

It doesn't. It's actually the other way around. My contention is that alternative morals that allow depravity (or corruption), of course allow cavalier attitudes towards data (or data collection): so the presence of the latter rises the distinct possibility of the presence of the former.

There is a lot to understand about the BBC as they casually lied about 28gate and broadcasted eulogies of Jimmy Saville, more or less at the same time. As per some comic book I read long ago, people who specialise in assault robberies seldom care about holding a clean driving licence.

Jul 25, 2015 at 11:46 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Rajendra Pachauri claimed someone was impersonating him

Sepp Blatter made lots of claims on other peoples money

97% of climate scientists claim more money for themselves than cat food

One Cook is enough to derail a gravy train.

Didn't Gavin Schmidt claim to be an imaginary Mystery Man, to take credit for Steve McIntyre's hard work?

There should be an Oscar for climate scientists impersonating people with integrity. The short list would be very long.

Perhaps Mann really did just trace a hockey stick, and should be paying Royalties to the original designer.

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

omnologos 11:46

+1

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:25 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Presumably those that fund Cook, Skeptical Skience and his imaginative research techniques will express their satisfaction with more funding.

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What brand of cat food has Charlie been eating ?

Can I have a can to serve Clive Hamilton ?

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

vvussell declines to defend one of the most respected figures in climate science, and tries to divert attention away from John Cooks deceitful abuse of the scientific methods, that have proved so lucrative for him, and earned him so much respect and jealousy from other climate science failures.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

For God's sake don't get carried away .As always look at the context
- It was in 2011.
- It was NOT on public forums
- It was roleplay for an experiment testing effects of skeptic comments , they didn't want to use real comments .
- it was a flawed experiment cos alarmists made up the skeptical comments.
"It was nothing to do with the moon landing paper"
- Brandon contextualized the John Cook pretending to be skeptics non-public experiment.
- We know these guys have mental issues so be careful ; one of them is going to go suicidal or something when they realise they are in LA LA land cos it will hit them hard.

BTW Geoff Chambers has a new update on Lew

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:33 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The widow of one of the three who died is quoted as saying:

"Fiona Strawbridge, Professor Laxon's partner dismissed these claims as those of "ridiculous conspiracy theorists".

"She called it an "appalling tragedy and it's really not helped by these ludicrous theories"."

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRon

Brandons comment takes a while to load fully so wait

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:53 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The crazy cat lady called sou@hotwhopper has been madly logging comments, and has posted a response from the Cookster.

Apparently it is dark humour, and normal behaviour.

I know everytime I email a friend about doomsday global warming, I sign it John Cook.

Who doesn't?

(warning: click this link to enter the world of the crazy cat lady who collects plastic bags)
http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/07/denier-weirdness-plus-how-stolen.html

Jul 26, 2015 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterhandjive

@stewgreen
In what sort of experiment is it useful to test how people respond to comments by an impersonator? You would first have to pass the equivalent Turing test: Can respondents tell the difference between Cook-as-Motl and Motl?

Jul 26, 2015 at 6:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

Nice to see the ridiculous Wadhams' paranoia in full flow. In reality, even the most misguided Sceptic wouldn't dream of harming someone with such great entertainment value and who (with the likes of Bob Ward and Michael Mann) acts as an effective recruiting sergeant for the Sceptical argument.
More likely to be at risk from alarmists concerned that he is making them a laughing stock. As, indeed, he is.
As for the tired old canard about funding from BigOil, I would be amazed if total global contributions from BigOil, BigGas and BigCoal towards Sceptics would keep the likes of Wadhams in the weird shit he appears to be smoking.

Jul 26, 2015 at 7:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

GolfCharlie commands more respect as a catfood connoisseur than an arbiter of scientific taste because he turns up his nose at primary sources:

Like this one.

https://www.facebook.com/SkepticalScience/posts/10153144129048335

As to the cartoon, regular Ronald Searle, inne?

Jul 26, 2015 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

@stewgreen writes:

For God's sake don't get carried away.

For the record, in the last year or so, the only person I've seen getting "carried away" here (apart from the trolls who insist on infesting threads with their diversions from time to time) is Mr. pot.kettle.stewgreen himself!

Mileage of others may certainly vary, but view from here, so to speak, is that far too many threads are virtually littered with his self-important (often disjointed and annoyingly lacking sufficient white-space for ease of scanning and/or skimming) pronouncements - such as the above quoted excerpt!

But, I'm curious, Stew ... is there some particular reason that you choose to litter the threads on this blog, rather than creating your own, like others who may feel they have a fair bit to say?!

Now that I have that off my chest ...

Many thanks, Josh ... As so often happens, your perceptive and right-on-the-mark 'toon gave me my smile for the day.

Such smiles have been few and far between of late. What with all the papal pronouncements (of both the Catholic kind and the tinkerbell aka Christiana Figueres kind) and the many so-called "science" papers being rushed into production prior to the Paris shindig which begins at the end of November and, of course, the September warm-up exercise.

Not to mention <shameless self-promotion alert> keeping up with all the twists 'n turns on the Pachauri front.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:08 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

From Russell's link:


The stolen private correspondance from 2011 involved Skeptical Science team members developing comment threads (both supporting and rejecting climate science) for use in a psychology experiment. In the private forum (only), I posted a few comments under the pseudonym Lubos_Motl (to signify that the comments were taking a contrarian stance). The username was changed to an anonymous name for the experiment. In other words, it was not used in the experiment and was never used outside of the private Skeptical Science forum.

This is clearly bollocks.

John Cook claims that he:
1) Made up sceptic comments for study - but he is not a sceptic.
2) Asked people who knew it was on a private - nonsceptic site to analyse these comments - but they knew, therefore, the data was faked.
3) He used the random name "Lubos Motl" instead of an anonymous name. And then changed the name later (Honest Guv. He changed it later just that data wasn't found). Why not use an anonymous name in the first place (because it was meant to be seen as it was written perhaps)? How come he randomly picked the name of a real sceptic (Lubos Motl isn't that common a name in Aus, is it? When he can't keep his SS Cosplay private why does he think he wasn't broadcasting his misrepresentations?

And finally.
4) How is it a conspiracy to claim people are faking data when it has been exposed?

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:21 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Take off that mask!

Masks. like the spots and stripes of
tigers or leopards lurking in undergrowth
may be a cover up for sinister intent,
for a Macbeth, say, who smiles and smiles,
yet may, behind that smiling mask, be
a damned villain waiting for nightfall
to carry out an undercover
nefarious (or murderous) event.

Just as likely though, wearing a mask
may be concealment for a shrinking self,
the donning of a protective covering
like the turtle or the whelk, or as in classic
drama, putting on the mask of an Achilles,
now there's a way for an unheroic actor
to become a hero, just for one day.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

@Courtney
Note that Cook was encouraging the others to post fake comments too.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

Richard Tol, Good point.
That is the definition of a "conspiracy".

I do hope Russell comes back and explains why deception advances the truth.
Laughter is good for the soul.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:50 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Peter Wadhams of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge agreed that the Arctic could soon open up. "Within a decade we can expect regular summer trade there," he predicted......In 2001.

http://web.archive.org/web/20100316221600/http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=22250

He probably thinks it deliberately didn't happen, just to spite him.

In 2007, he went crying to Fred Pearce at New Scientist, who did a piece for him, entitled, "Berks at NERC snub Peter Wadhams, again"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthcomment/3305457/Berks-at-NERC-snub-Peter-Wadhams-again.html

In that article Pearce said: "Wadhams is most famous among scientists as the man whose researches aboard a British sub in 1996 revealed that Arctic ice had thinned by 40 per cent since the 1970s.”

As is usual with the media they rarely print contrary evidence and Wadhams had got it wrong:

Ice and Climate News, No. 1, September 2001, Is Arctic Sea Ice Rapidly Thinning?
Greg Holloway and Tessa Sou, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney BC, Canada

“In the case of submarine-inferred rapid loss of Arctic sea ice, combined modelling and data argue that a more physically plausible inference is that the ice was not "lost" but only shifted within the Arctic. The pattern of submarine sampling happened to miss the shift. Observations to date, together with model physics, imply only that the loss of sea ice volume is not inconsistent with the 3% per decade loss of ice area, a modest rate itself not inconsistent with multi-decadal natural variability.”

In 2009, he was backing Pen Hadow in his claim that the Arctic ice was disappearing fast: "The Catlin Arctic Survey data supports the consensus view that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer within about 20 years and that much of that decrease will be happening within 10 years," he said.

"It will not be very long before we start to think of the Arctic as an open sea. We have taken the lid off the northern part of the planet and we cannot put it back on again."

This PR exercise was a prelude to Copenhagen, just as we are currently seeing a ramping up of scare stories in time for Paris.

"The results will be presented to a UN meeting this December in Copenhagen as further evidence that the world must reduce carbon emissions in order to prevent the Arctic melting at an even faster rate."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/6326446/Arctic-will-be-ice-free-in-a-decade-according-to-Pen-Hadow.html

Paranoid? So he should be. Someone who gets things so seriously wrong so many times, must worry constantly about being found out.

Unsurprisingly, Wadhams was yet again an author for the IPCC, with AR5 WG1.

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:23 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Why would Wadham's think there is any danger from "skeptics"? Wadham's is a skeptics dream. No one is doing more damage to the climate alarmists cause than Wadham's with his continual flow of whacky predictions, none of which is even remotely close to accurate.

Keep up the good work Peter, you're doing an excellent job you've got nothing to worry about, well at least not from skeptics anyway. Don't know about your own side though.

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Dear lord. One person here has described what happened accurately. Just one. And what was the response? Hilary Ostrov writes this:

For the record, in the last year or so, the only person I've seen getting "carried away" here (apart from the trolls who insist on infesting threads with their diversions from time to time) is Mr. pot.kettle.stewgreen himself!

Mileage of others may certainly vary, but view from here, so to speak, is that far too many threads are virtually littered with his self-important (often disjointed and annoyingly lacking sufficient white-space for ease of scanning and/or skimming) pronouncements - such as the above quoted excerpt!

But, I'm curious, Stew ... is there some particular reason that you choose to litter the threads on this blog, rather than creating your own, like others who may feel they have a fair bit to say?!

That says nothing about the what happened, but suggests the person was wrong because... I don't even know what.

What is with you people? This place isn't as bad as WUWT, but seriously, what?!

There was no identity theft. There was no impersonation. John Cook didn't try to deceive anyone into thinking he was actually Lubos Motl. Pretending he did ruins the opportunity to talk about what could have been a real story. And I'm just going to leave a link to my latest post now so I don't go off on a rant:

http://www.hi-izuru.org/blog/2015/07/timing/

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:49 AM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

I swear, some people don't even try to think or read before deciding people they dislike are up to good. For instance, M Courtney says:

John Cook claims that he:
1) Made up sceptic comments for study - but he is not a sceptic.
2) Asked people who knew it was on a private - nonsceptic site to analyse these comments - but they knew, therefore, the data was faked.

Now I agree John Cook claims he made up skeptic comments. That's the entire problem. But nowhere did Cook say he asked anyone in the forums to analyze those comments. In fact, he did almost the exact opposite - he asked them to make their own fake comments.

But rather than worry about real problems like that, when get to move on to this:

3) He used the random name "Lubos Motl" instead of an anonymous name. And then changed the name later (Honest Guv. He changed it later just that data wasn't found). Why not use an anonymous name in the first place (because it was meant to be seen as it was written perhaps)? How come he randomly picked the name of a real sceptic (Lubos Motl isn't that common a name in Aus, is it?

Cook and the others were supposed to write comments as though they were skeptics. These were to be faked, written from a position they didn't actually hold. Cook decided to write under the name of a skeptic he didn't like as part of getting "into character," as well as to take an opportunity to mock the guy. That's all.

But no, we're supposed to believe it was some secret, shady ploy to do... what? God only knows. Sort of like how God only knows how this makes any sense:

When he can't keep his SS Cosplay private why does he think he wasn't broadcasting his misrepresentations?

I discovered the images M Courtney refers to in 2013. Cook posted under the name Lubos Motl in 2011. So M Courtney is asking us why Cook thought he wasn't broadcasting the fact he was posting under Lubos Motl's name in 2011 when he'd have embarrassing photos discovered in 2013.

I think a better question is how did this become such a story. Especially in 2015? It wasn't like it was hard to realize Cook posted under Motl's name. I realized that half a year ago. I assumed others had noticed it too. It hardly seemed important. I mean, if it had been reported responsibly, it might have made for an interesting story, but it would never have created the furor we've seen.

Jul 26, 2015 at 10:13 AM | Registered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

Brandon; an honest person either would have have copy/pasted real sceptic comments from any source, or asked sceptics to comment on any given subject. How on earth can you defend this man "making up" sceptic arguments when he himself doesn't understand the arguments being put forward in the first place?

Jul 26, 2015 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

I wish Brandon left his chosen character sometimes. Predictability doesn't inspire further reading.

This story ain't the end of the world. Motl himself thinks that. It's just as if Cook had been caught driving strange for the millionth time. Not deserving to lose licence or go to jail, but all sorts of questions become now legitimate. What's beneath the veneer of preaching bumblingness and zany cosplay graphics? If this is Cook's semipublic persona, who's he in private?

Cook has had by now more brushes with controversy than the British Royal Family. Plus this UWA mind games don't sound very ethical....even the anonymisation has been found dodgy.

https://geoffchambers.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/googling-lew-repulsive-ferret-revisited/

Divisive people with peculiar norms about social interaction and ethics might not be a positive force for whatever camp they choose to support.

Jul 26, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

The climate alarmist are indeed alarmed, alarmed that the globe will cool and expose the national academies of science that were united into a worldwide "Orwellian Ministry of Consensus Science (UN)Truths" when nations were united (UN) on 24 Oct 1945.

The internal composition of the Sun was immediately changed from:
_ a.) Mostly iron (Fe) in 1945 to
_ b.) Mostly hydrogen (H) in 1946,

and George Orwell also started writing "Nineteen Eighty-Four" In 1946.

The pulsar core of the iron Sun offersASSURANCE humanity will survive this 70-year voyage on a ship of fools guided by frightened, incompetent world leaders.

The 2009 Climategate emails and six years of official excuses for deception disguised as 97% consensus science conclusively demonstrate that humanity has been captive passengers on Spaceship Earth for seventy years, guided by world leaders who lost contact with reality in 1945!

Fortunately for humanity, Nobel Laureate Max Planck recognized and pointed out in 1944 that a "conscious and intelligent Mind" directs the force that creates and sustains atoms, lives and planets in the solar system, . . .

the same force that endowed humans with inalienable rights to self-governance in order to insure "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Assurance.pdf

That is my assurance that BIG BROTHER IS GOING DOWN.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterOliver K. Manuel

It's worse than we thought: Barack Obama has been caught impersonating 97% of John Cook.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Raving loonies talk utter bollocks and accuse the world of infamy, INFAMY! A pathology, of paranoia and Wadhams lost the plot many moons ago. Cook, away with the faeries and his inner 'street fightin man' cue "Eye of the Tiger!"..... is just a small time pillock, Gleick is a pathological liar as are Lew Lew and Gore - and here we're not talking about folk with all their oars in the water.


As Omnologos intimates and quite correctly, spinning lies about "climate catastrophe" and fixing the statistics - it's only a small jump to fantasizing about everything else in your life and thus the dividing line between reality and dream scape is blurred until it melds together.

Anyone remember that loony-tune Chris Turney? Who went on expedition to the Antarctica to "prove" that the sea ice was melting and had to be rescued because the thickening ice trapped his tub......YES - whacked out Chris and honestly - you couldn't make it up - one look at his fixed messianic gaze told all you needed to know.

Global warming is a religion and all religions have their crazies and speakers in tongues.

Jul 26, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Brandon Shollenberger, you make one sensible point.
The exposure of Cook's SS fantasies was later than his impersonation of Lubos Motl. So he couldn't have been sure that his fakery was going to be public.
After all, everyone knows that everything on the internet is always kept private. You are correct that Cook could well just be stupid.

But then you make the remarkable claim that he picked a real name to get in character. This is absurd for many reasons:
1) He could have used a real comment by Lubos Motl.
2) He obviously failed to get into the head of Lubos Motl.
3) He would later have to go in and edit his comment to replace the name of Lubos Motl - wasting time.
4) He hasn't published any papers that explain this role-playing methodology. So that experiment you use as an excuse didn't exist.
5) He also role-plays as a SS officer. Think about what you are saying. I'm not going there but you are.

Besides, the whole idea of making up data for a paper (faking sceptic comments) is a fraud anyway. The fact that he no-one denies that Cook and his accomplices committed scientific fraud in 2011 is interesting. It's just waved away as history.
And even more interesting is the complaints over stealing other people's identities is objected to.
Is that not history, perhaps?

Jul 26, 2015 at 2:29 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Business as normal at Skeptical Skience then.

No change in the faking science methodology either.

Jul 26, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Brandon, it is admirable that you are prepared to offer some support for Cook, however I am in broad agreement with M Courtney.

It may have been obvious to you that Cook had impersonated Motl, but not to the 'average' person.

What was Cook's motive for impersonating Motl, what were the intended consequences for Motl, and what did Cook hope to achieve for himself?

Under UK law, there is a difference between doing an impression of somebody as a stage act for comedy entertainment, assuming a random false identity to conceal your own, and impersonating somebody else for personal gain especially if I to the detriment of the 'victim'.

Some names lead to confusion through innocent spelling mistakes, Brandon Shollenberger being a classic case. In the English speaking world, Lubos Motl is a fairly distinct identity or brand, unlikely to be chosen by random chance. If Motl has chosen not to take offence, it is still an attempt to deceive the public, others may judge the motive.

Jul 26, 2015 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@GC Brandon IS NOT supporting Cook, he is just going by the evidence and avoiding jumping to conclusions, cos when people (as alarmists do all time) jump to conclusions it damages their credibility

"It may have been obvious to you that Cook had impersonated Motl, but not to the 'average' person' "
Well we have no evidence that that the average 'average' person' was supposed to ever see those roleplays.
- We do know that the SkS secret forum members were privy but they are not 'NORMAL' people otherwise Cook's crew wouldn't let them in.
- We do know that the lines have been in the public domain 6 months already and no known harm has been done.
- We do know that when Lubos Motl saw the impersonations of himself they were so laughably wrong that they damaged the credibility of the creator not Lubos.
- Yes these quotes are now being propagated on the net but we have no evidence that the 'average' person' will see them without the context that harms Cook and cause .............. and enhances Lubos.
However they could have come out in a different way and been mistaken for Lubos genuine beliefs so actually SkS might be liable under EU law requiring organisations to protect data properly. There was no hack; SkS placed in public, data which could damage an innocent person's reputation, but unfortunately green religion seems to get a 'free pass' from justice .

Jul 26, 2015 at 3:57 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@Hilary I have noted your concerns, again and put them into my full matrix of considerations.
"But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood".
.. that is life ..The sincerest boys don't get the prettiest girls.

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:01 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"how we act is just as important as what we say" (Cook)

Unhinged in both departments, then. QED.

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:06 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

May I point out writing as briefly as I could I wrote this 36 hours ago

Brandon contextualized the John Cook pretending to be skeptics non-public experiment.
Jul 25, 2015 at 3:35 AM | stewgreen

@Harry Passfield had alerted us about 30 hours earlier
"Anyone else picked up on this comment over at WUWT)? It talks about how Cook impersonated Lubos in some SkS comment streams that seem to be in support of Cook's 'experiment' - the psycho-conspiracy one.
Somethings occurred to me straight away
#1 The "too good/bad/strange to be true rule"
What were many of the comments in skeptic discussions FAKES cos they had actually been from John Cook ? That would be MEGA news, alarmism would be dead.
That seemed too extraordinary to be true.
#2 That before condemning someone strongly you do try to understand their motives. So was there a context where it would be reasonable to impersonate some one on a blog ?

Then when I checked WUWT I saw that we weren't talking about NOW but rather 2011 and that the info came from the SkS secret discussion blog we found a few years ago
#3 So it seemed strange that people were getting excited cos it couldn't be a new story
#4 It was apparent that cos Watts had mentioned that UWA was the home of Lew's "Moon Landing" and cos the story is complicated people like Harry had put 1+1=3 to get that the experiment was Lew's "the psycho-conspiracy one" (Moon Landing)
- I saw no evidence to backup the extraordinary claim of #1.
So my immediate feeling was "I DON'T KNOW what's going on, being a good skeptic I'll wait for more info"

I then read all 350 comments for any evidence/context. It became apparent that others weren't holding back but were being pushed by Watts emotional style to jump to conclusions that indeed this was proof that Cook was both impersonating in public as well as experiments. They were getting carried away into writing to universities without stopping to fully check the context.
Then 100 comments down I found Brandon's comment which did give (#2)an explanation of context/motivation. So I alerted people to it.

Watt's is 100 times the man Cook is, but I was going to write that he should put the word "Sorry" at beginning of the update below his article,cos he really should have anticipated many of his readers would have overclaimed, given the writing style he used.

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

OK the actually morality of roleplay in the experiment is something else.
If I have theory that FEMINIST ACTIVISTS should be banned from internet discussions I might well set up an experiment with 2 sets of discussions with/without FAs.
Would I #1 WRITE the feminists comments myself, instead of just getting FAs to ?
Would I #2 Roleplay my lines with the name of well known FAs on them ?
#3 Even if I did anonymise such lines at the time of the experiment would I be right to think if such secret things came out in public, then the FA universe would be happy that I had written lines marked Caroline Criado-Perez and Sandy Toskvig etc. ?
- I suggest to you that it is great to empathise and try to understand how your opponents think but, it would better to label things FeministA1, FeministA2 from the start to avoid the risk things getting quoted out of context, that way if stuff did leak out no harm would be done and i would have covered myself legally. Come to think of it, there are probably laws on keeping experimental data separate from the real persons name.

BTW It is easy to believe Cook did something completely crazy, cos BH has reported before about him not only stepping over the line into stealth editing but stealth editing the words of skeptical commenters on his blog, to change the story. However a claim that he actually impersonates famous skeptics on public forums..would require extraordinary evidence.

Jul 26, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Sorry I already made some notes this morning about Wadhams.
The guy nearly died in a strange sudden car crash. He is entitled to have shock and postulate strange things.
I like to apply empathy to all people we criticise
With Wadhams I think he is he is entirely right to be concerned about the unexpected deaths of 3 people in his industry. He is entitled postulise there could have been a conspiracy. But not to put too much weight on it unless extraordinary evidence exists.
- He is not entitled to think that strange coincidences don't happen
- He is not right to think that skeptics have anything to gain from such sad deaths. A Science field does stops just cos 1 scientist dies ..progress is only slightly delayed.
- Even in the article he says “I can only think of the oil lobby but I don’t think the oil lobby goes around killing people.”

We know Wadhams. can be manipulated by media people into giving crazy quotes so what?
In April there was Breibart story Green Party Not Climate Loony Enough Claim Green Climate Loons
"Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, told the Independent that the party was “grievously at fault in not talking about climate change.”

- He seems to me like a dodery sincere scientist who says the right things for alarmists and greenmedia to pick up on.
However not even with own mad "circle the wagons at every challenge" culture do his own lot take him seriously
"Wadhams does indeed believe in “an imminent and urgent crisis”. I think that is well over the top; I don’t think anything he says there supports it, nor do the links.I’ve worked with Wadhams a little bit, in the past. Wadhams knows about sea ice, indeed as far as I know its his main specialism. But perhaps in a local-processes sense. ... What I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t really trust him to have a great deal of feel for the connection between sea ice and global-scale methane; I’d expect him to care for the Arctic, but quite possibly to over-emphasise local detail."
Who said that ?
William M. Connolley on March 17, 2012 (Activist scientist once banned from wikipedia)

----------------------------------------
BTW the Arctic 2013 ..They knew the previous "accelerating ice loss" trend meme had failed at the time so why are they and progs like BBC Inside Science talking about it now?
Ans the same "circle the wagons" culture.

Here's what Mark WC commented

mark 2012/03/18
The Arctic sea ice seems to booming. Check out the NSIDC for March 17, 2012. There doesn’t seem to be any rational reason to fear ice free summers. I expect new minimum highs.
[That is what it is supposed to do (I mean, recover somewhat from its recent woes) according to my theory. It is still on long-term decline, but I’m betting (literally) that it won’t be as rapid as recently -W] Posted by William M. Connolley on March 17, 2012

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:29 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"a claim that he actually impersonates famous skeptics on public forums..would require extraordinary evidence"

Au contraire it is perfectly normal and to be expected for a stupidity prone buffoon to however inadvertently do something very stupid

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:37 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

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