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« Stochastic Stern | Main | The unbearable dawn chorus »
Wednesday
Feb242016

Going down?

The highlight of the day looks as though it's going to be the sentencing of the Heathrow 13 - the gang from Plane Stupid who thought it would be amusing to shut down Heathrow airport for several hours. Expectations are that a jail sentence beckons.

The usual suspects are protesting outside the Magistrates Court and there will no doubt be lots of spurious claims that these were "peaceful protestors", as if preventing people from going about their daily business were anything other than thuggery.

 

 

 

It's about time these people were dealt with.

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Reader Comments (264)

ATTP at 9.28pm. Well done - a post made in your own time, not in your employer's time.

Still, you want to be careful, if you spend much of your working day on here, and then go home and do the same thing, there's a danger some people might thing you are an obsessive.

Feb 25, 2016 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Perhaps the ultimate absurdity, however, is how people here will never criticize the person behind Climategate, preferring to promote him as a hero, even though he broke into a computer server, deface it and locked its owners out to prevent them from using it. That's criminal. It's far more thuggish than anything these people did, and it didn't at least have the moral integrity of risking one's own well-being to do it.
Brandon
Nothing in the context of that quote suggests to me anything other than the original hack/raid on the UEA computer. Climategate was seven years ago; if you're going to start comparing current protest activity to that then you need to make yourself a little clearer.
I made my views on the behaviour of some of the posters on this thread quite clear yesterday. They are not normally so trenchant in their comments so this is evidently something that has hit a sensitive spot. More so than usual. And since we have both, along with geoffchambers, made our point, how about giving it a rest, eh? Fly-by comments from people who usually only come here to tell us how unpleasant we are don't go down well.
I mean, you don't really want to be compared to ATTP, do you??

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:12 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mark,


Still, you want to be careful, if you spend much of your working day on here, and then go home and do the same thing, there's a danger some people might thing you are an obsessive.

And if you keep making the comments you do, people might think you're an immature fool. I know I do.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

So basically they were let off.

Boo.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

The reaction outside court of the defendants and their supporters - pumping music, wild applause, dancing, claims of 'victory', 'justification', 'the fight goes on' and of feeling untouchable reveals they considered their suspended sentences a worthy exchange for their 15 minutes of fame.

Therefore it's safe to assume the court has failed in its duty to;
A. punish and
B. (more importantly imo) deter future similar actions.

Make no mistake the greens will have this one down as a big win.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

I never said the person behind Climategate hacked anything to get the e-mails he released. I referred to how he broke into the RealClimate server to try to use it to publicize the Climategate e-mails.
He broke into the RealClimate server to try to use it to publicise the Climategate e-mails?
And he left only his scoop, taking nothing else?

Actually I think you'll find that's how we know it was an inside job.

Which is relevant as protection for whistle-blowers is not the same as protection for protesters.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:46 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

ATTP often posts on this site, yet ruthlessly bans any viewpoint on his site that conflicts with his narrow minded outlook.

This can take some comic turns.

My last banned post on his site was a link to the paper below and was 'on topic' which was concerned with how to illustrate the greenhouse effect

http://www.tufts.edu/~rtobin/Wagoner%20AJP%202010.pdf

Note the authors believe in the greenhouse effect !!!

The experiment they referred to, pointed to the dangers of small classroom sized demonstrations of the effect being misleading and also using the wrong physics.

The paper further included a theoretical calculation using the radiative transfer equations to work out the maximum radiative warming effect of such dimensions.

They concluded that it was of the order of a few tenths of a degree celsius and thus was likely to be dwarfed by other physical processes

This paper was addressing american schoolteachers and college lecturers about practical demonstrations of this effect.

The paper is a good example of how normal physics should operate and how propaganda stunts like Bill Nye's 'experimental illustration of the greenhouse effect' will not stand up to critical scrutiny.

Read the paper for yourselves and try to figure out....

What is ATTP scared off ?

A little Physics it seems!

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Some people think "Thug" has a harsher definition in the US ... any comment ?
(cutting thru fences is a thug action in the UK)

In the US, "thug" is a loaded term. BBC

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:50 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

if

these characters were Islamists attempting to slow down the tide of unIslamic pollution being exported to Allah's home turf - would they have received the same sentences?

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:04 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Bryan,
Are you this Bryan?

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Brandon are you seriously equating someone breaking into some poxy little hobby web site with interfering with an entire international airport and our most important and congested motorway stretch? It could have caused serious accidents, not to mention making hundreds of thousands late for their job, appointments and flights.

I assume from your comments that you’re ignorant of the Heathrow area. This isn’t America, where stuff is miles apart. You affect something that major and a large part of the London area is in chaos. It causes gridlock. It delays or cancels flights. Heathrow sends planes up every few minutes. It’s not like they’ve got spare capacity to switch runways when somebody is messing about. The M25 isn’t just a ring road, it connects the two main airports. It’s the route from the north to the Channel Tunnel and some of the ports. Off it are several other major motorways and routes in and out of London. To top it all off, the ensuing stationary traffic would have caused a massive waste of fossil fuel.

You won’t have seen it but there was a two part Horizon programme where they simulated a major air crash that started with something innocuous like a car breaking down on the M25. The ripples spread outward triggering new events.

While some of the comments have been unsuitable, I'm afraid the actions of these people IS a big deal. However, our overstretched 'justice' system bends over backward not to jail people, especially pretty graduates who supposedly have a good cause.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Stewgreen (Feb 25, 2016 at 9:50 AM)

"In the US, "thug" is a loaded term.”

It's a loaded term anywhere, as the BBC article you link to explains very well. The important point is that it is entirely inappropriate as a description for the demonstrators sentenced yesterday.

A comment thread like this can be used to let off steam or to analyse a phenomenon that we all agree it is of vital importance to understand. Calling young climatists “thugs” inhibits understanding as surely as calling climate change “catastrophic”. You're all the first to demand precision when it comes to discussing the science. Try and apply the same criteria to discussion of the social and political phenomena of climatism. That's where the action is, and that's where our ignorance is the greatest.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:23 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

The other issue is terrorism. Even if the police and airport security can tell that these people are just protestig idiots, their actions offer excellent opportunities as a distraction for something more sinister.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Correction - a plane takes off from Heathrow every 45 seconds.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2, it's fascinating how what you describe has so little connection to what actually happened. Heck, the protesters were barely on the runway at a time it was supposed to be operational. The idea this had any serious risks is silly. Nobody got injured or killed, and nobody came remotely close to being injured or killed. This protest was almost purely PR, with the operational status of the airport barely being affected. That's because airport systems are designed to be able to deal with disruptions of this scale at any time.

And seriously, what is with so many people claiming things I say are because I'm from the United States, not the United Kingdom? I hate to break it to you guys, but the differences between the countries haven't had anything to do with anything I've said. I'd say the exact same things regardless of where I lived. It really seems like you guys are clutching at any straws you can find.

Mike Jackson:

Brandon
Nothing in the context of that quote suggests to me anything other than the original hack/raid on the UEA computer. Climategate was seven years ago; if you're going to start comparing current protest activity to that then you need to make yourself a little clearer.

Given what I said couldn't possibly refer to the UEA server as it was neither defaced not reconfigured to lock anyone out, I'd like to think my referring to the person behind Climategate defacing a server and locking people out of it would make it clear I wasn't referring to the UEA server. Apparently not though. I guess I misjudged when I assumed people, especially ones who'd contradict me about Climategate, were familiar with the basic details of Climategate.

I made my views on the behaviour of some of the posters on this thread quite clear yesterday. They are not normally so trenchant in their comments so this is evidently something that has hit a sensitive spot. More so than usual. And since we have both, along with geoffchambers, made our point, how about giving it a rest, eh? Fly-by comments from people who usually only come here to tell us how unpleasant we are don't go down well.

As long as people here keep calling for violence and falsely accusing these protesters of having endangered human lives, I think it is appropriate for other people to comment to say that is wrong. You may not. That's your call. However, remarks like this:

I mean, you don't really want to be compared to ATTP, do you??

Are silly. Pointing out people shouldn't promote violence or falsely accuse others of having endangered human lives shouldn't be a bad thing, and it certainly shouldn't get a person labeled a partisan hack.

Nevermind the central problem is still just that people here, including our host, are making the insane claim these protests were thuggery and not peaceful.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

ATTP

I did not ask you to come out from your chosen status of being anonymous.

But that's not the issue.

Which is, why did you ban the paper below!

http://www.tufts.edu/~rtobin/Wagoner%20AJP%202010.pdf

Squirming and diversionary tactics will not let you off the hook

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

What is ATTP scared off ?

A little Physics it seems!

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Actually Bryan, I think he is most afraid of being ignored. That's why he trudges out from under his own bridge to come trolling at Bishop Hill.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Bryan,
I don't know why you brought up my anonymity, or lack thereof. You still haven't answered my question. Are you the Bryan that Science of Doom refers to in that post?

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

"Police said the design of the structure and 'lock-ons' meant that neither the metalwork nor the protesters could be easily removed. The area was eventually cleared around 10:00am later that day.

In total, the protests forced the cancellation of 25 flights, with the cost of the disruption described as "absolutely astronomical" by Willesden magistrates' court district judge Deborah Wright"

It doesn't say how many were delayed. That was July. In November -

"Motorists are facing traffic delays as the barricaded road is the one of the main routes in and out of the airport, and there have been reports of traffic jams already backing up for several miles, back to the M4."

So no, those times they didn't cause accidents or death (AFAIK) but the next one could if the protestors are convinced that they'll get away with it and keep going. You didn't comment on how that level of mass disruption measures against disrupting Real Climate's web site

Ironically their best argument for not building another runway is that the existing airport causes chaos on the M25.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Thuggery. Miscreancy.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterPiperPaul

and Then There's Physics...... should be....... and Then There's Pseudo Physics

Don't squirm and evade..

Whats wrong with the Physics in

http://www.tufts.edu/~rtobin/Wagoner%20AJP%202010.pdf

Why did you ban a post that directed your readers to the paper?

Feb 25, 2016 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Note that the Newbury bypass protest had the effect of preventing almost all road-building from then on (most of which would not have affected trees) and all local governments have been resolutely anti-car. The protestors may be barmy but they definitely have an effect. It's not the tail wagging the dog nowadays so much as the dog-flea wagging it.

Feb 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

@geoffchambers strange you don't think Dramagreens are thugs, but you can have your opinion
- I have seen them intimate you on forums, and then bully you by removing posts ..To me this bullying is thuggery.
If we and authority don't stand up to them the behaviour gets worse.
So "thugs is an entirely inappropriate as a description for the demonstrators sentenced yesterday"
The whole point is they think their rights & beliefs are above everyone else's, (similarly gangsters elevate themselves to the right to collect protection money.)

'Health and Safety regulations' save lives.
Every-time you break Health and Safety regulations you endanger lives; usually your own and those trying to protect you. The fences around airports are part of this safety procedures.
- Laws were broken on these 3 separate occasions (as I listed above), the first time prosecutions were not sought.

(ATTP maybe has a purpose to cause threads to be diverted to become about him, but it's easy enough to click the Discussion button above and open a special thread for him. So this thread can stay on topic per title)

Feb 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Brandon is still complaining about a post by Alan the Brit (I think) in which he said something like "they should be strung up, preferably using hemp".

Firstly this blog is owned by Andrew Montford and moderated by people who know his views, others should not really try and moderate.
Secondly Alan's post was moderated/removed and even though I did not think that was needed; see above.

If Brandon really is American then the problem is a cultural one because he does not understand some forms of British humour (and there are many forms ^.^).
Alan's post contains a comment which is a mild version of sick humour. The basis of most sick humour is taking something which is totally unacceptable and painting it as acceptable or even essential, the greater the contrast, the funnier the joke. It does of course depend upon the listener knowing that the joker really does accept the unacceptability of (in this case hanging anyone you disagree with) the action.
There was nothing in Alan's post that indicated that he really intended to go out, buy a hemp rope, track down the 13 protesters and literally string them up. Brandon was the one who must have been "smoking" something in order to take it seriously and accusing anyone on this site of talking about murder.

Feb 25, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Brandon
I apologise for the reference to ATTP. I had forgotten about the American sense of humour — or lack of it.
It's not his 'partisan hackery' I was talking about; it's his trollery. You made your point and I made mine. The difference between us is that I "live" here; you drift in, criticise, and drift out again.
In fact the only time that I recall an unquestionably positive contribution was your posting a few weeks ago on the effect of adjustments, for which I am grateful.
So while the comment was fine the worrying at the subject like a dog with a bone was verging on trollery.
And while you may still have all the minutiae of Climategate at your finger tips most of the rest of us have stored the actual files somewhere safe and rejected the machinations that surrounded the affair as no longer relevant.
AND (don't worry; I'm nearly done) I suggest you pay attention to TinyCO2's 10:14 and 11:34 posts. He knows what he is talking about which, with all respect, I don't think you do in this context.

Feb 25, 2016 at 1:18 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Bryan,
I don't need to explain to you why I didn't post that comment. I might do so if you are willing to say whether or not you're the Bryan that SoD refers to in the title of that post. I don't really care either way, though.

Feb 25, 2016 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Thank you, Dung. At last someone who read it as I intended, an expression & a figure of speech with a level of frustration that some proptests are being allowed to continue with little or no challenge. I defy anyone on this thread ( up to & including Mr Shellenberger) to look into their bathroom mirror, put a hand on heart, & state that they have never, ever, used an expression or figure of speech, implying violence, but with no realistic intentions that such an act should be carried out in reality! Mr Shellenberger I suspect was trying to manipulate & control the thread, which he appears to have done to some extent! Those amongst you who can state readily that they have never done such a thing, please present the dimensions of their noses, before & after, asap! Thank you.

Feb 25, 2016 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Mike Jackson, thanks, my experience comes from driving that stretch of the M25 regularly enough to know how hectic it is and how little it takes for the airport to impact it. My local patch of motorway isn't as complcated but when the Thelwall viaduct is out of action, everything funnels into Warrington. It can grind to a halt. How many accidents are caused by people rubber necking at queues on the other side of the road or missing the stationary traffic ahead? Major incidents often stem from small beginnings. Sure, those things will happen anyway but we should never deliberately make them more likely.

I can see why people think that a little protest is nothing to fret about but I've been involved in crisis exercises where a small number of people can completely distract those around them from more serious events. I don't see how stressing people out and risking something more harmful, gets Plane Stupid's point across.

Feb 25, 2016 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

ATTP
Actually, I'd also like to know why you didn't publish Bryan's comment linked to this reference:
http://www.tufts.edu/~rtobin/Wagoner%20AJP%202010.pdf

Feb 25, 2016 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

TinyCO2
I'm afraid those who don't have to drive in the UK have little conception of just how horrendous it can be.
The last time I drove from here to Edinburgh (and it will be the last time, believe me) I reckoned on six hours from here to the Tunnel, which is what it took, and nine hours for roughly the same distance on the UK side.
It took me 12!
I've never used Heathrow but I've been told by people who do that the slightest hiccup is enough to block the airport and cause massive disruption into and out of the city and, I believe, in one instance a couple of years ago almost as far as Oxford!
I'm pretty sure, giving our Plane Stupid idiots a little credit, that they weren't aware of the extent of the possible disruption outwith the immediate vicinity but it's that blinkered attitude that makes them dangerous. They are the Law of Unintended Consequences in human form!

Feb 25, 2016 at 5:03 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

human??? ^.^

Feb 25, 2016 at 5:05 PM | Registered CommenterDung

ATTP

Before you accuse me of being an immature fool, you should take a long hard look in the mirror. I made a couple of non-abusive comments about you and asked a fair question - you respond with abuse, your standard modus operandi. And before you give Bryan a hard time for apparently not answering your questions, why are you the only person entitled to insist on people answering your questions while you feel free to ignore theirs? Just to remind you (I'm sure you've already seen it), I posted this on another thread here a little under 24 hours ago, and await with bated breath your response:

"Mark,
Are you off school today, or do you have Wi-Fi access in the classroom?"

(ATTP on Feb 24, 2016 at 12:53 PM).

Oh Ken, what a witty and brilliant put-down - not. Still, thank you for saying it. It is so you, and displays you in your true colours.

No, I'm not at school; I'm retired. That's why it's permissible for me to be using the internet during the working day for my own private purposes (so long as my activities online are legal - which they are).

Apologies for the delay in responding, by the way. Despite being retired, I have other things to do than spend most of my day playing on the internet. I'm perplexed that the same apparently isn't true of you, even when you're supposed to be at work.

Unless your job description includes something along the lines of "spend half of every working day writing articles and making posts on your own narcissistic website and trolling websites which you dislike" it strikes me that you spend a significant proportion of most days not doing your job.

Do your employers know how you spend your working day? Do they approve? If so, I'd be rather concerned about the state of academia these days. If they don't know, I think you're the one who should be concerned (as well as more than a little ashamed and embarrassed).

Feb 25, 2016 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark,
Sorry, do you think you childish taunts deserve a better response? If so, why? Do you think I deserve them? Even if I do, it doesn't make them not childish taunts. Are you one of the people who can dish them out but can't take it? If so let me know and I'll ignore you, or patronise you, or do whatever might seem suitable. Seriously, your comments about my work are pathetic and childish. I'm afraid I'm someone who has habit of giving as good as I get. If you want to stop your childish taunts, I'll stop responding as I do. This isn't a complicated concept.


And before you give Bryan a hard time for apparently not answering your questions, why are you the only person entitled to insist on people answering your questions while you feel free to ignore theirs?

I'm not, but I don't need to answer his question. I can do as I wish with my blog. If he would like me to answer the question, then he just has to answer mine. I don't really care either way, as it's neither here nor there to me.


Just to remind you (I'm sure you've already seen it), I posted this on another thread here a little under 24 hours ago, and await with bated breath your response:

And I decided to ignore it since it didn't really seem to deserve a response. I only responded here once I noticed you'd repeated your immature taunt on this post too. Seriously, I don't care who you are or what you think. Make a reasonable comment and I'll respond in kind. Behave like an immature fool, and you'll get the response you deserve. Again, I don't really care on way or the other.

Feb 25, 2016 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Mark Hodgson
Take a look here.
This might explain why Professor Rice has so much time on his hands or at least that he can easily lose himself in the crowd!

Feb 25, 2016 at 6:26 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson: Weird....there was a Phil Clark on that list. Can't be, can it?

Feb 25, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Excellent Ken, please keep it up. I can certainly take it.

You're doing a wonderful job of destroying any credibility you have left.

I'm still curious to know why you think it's a childish taunt to ask why you feel able to spend so much of your work time insulting people on a website you claim to despise, when you should instead be earning your salary. Apparently you think that's a question that "didn't really seem to deserve a response" and that it's an "immature taunt". I think that says much more about you than it does about me.

Next insult?

Feb 25, 2016 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark,


I'm still curious to know why you think it's a childish taunt

Oh, were you actually being serious? I assumed it was a "stop commenting here tactic". That's almost worse. I'm curious as to why you seem to think that you're in some kind of position to ask the question, or - potentially - expect an answer? (well, I'm not really curious as I still think it's rather pathetic and childish)


You're doing a wonderful job of destroying any credibility you have left.

Firstly, quite why you think someone who frequents (positively that is) what is essentially a science denial site is somehow in a position to comment on my credibility, is somewhat beyond me. You do have a bit of a point though. Associating with this site (even as a critic) probably doesn't do my credibility any favours, but I suspect it's all rather irrelevant/minimal. Most serious people don't judge others in such a superficial way.

Anyway, this has been as much of a waste of time as I expected. You shouldn't assume that I'm pleased by that though. I still live in hope that someone will one day surprise me and turn out to be more thoughtful than I at first thought.

Feb 25, 2016 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ken

No, I'm not trying to stop you commenting here. You're as free to do that as I am, so long as our host is happy. I just want to know why you think it's OK for you to spend so much of your working day on here (and on your own website, and on all sorts of other websites), instead of working, especially since you've just said that "Associating with this site (even as a critic) probably doesn't do my credibility any favours".

And it really is a fair and relevant question to ask whether your employers know what you get up to during your working day and whether they approve of it, though I note your determination not to answer. By the way, I'm in a position to ask the question, because I'm a taxpayer, and however indirectly, I suspect I pay some of your wages.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark,


I note your determination not to answer.

Yes, because it's really none of your business.


By the way, I'm in a position to ask the question, because I'm a taxpayer, and however indirectly, I suspect I pay some of your wages.

Really? I'm trying to be polite, but it's very hard when you say something quite this silly. Do you really think this entitles you to something? Seriously?

Why don't you just go ahead and complain to those who you think are my employers. You might then discover why I think it's childish. Put up, or shut up, in other words.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Ah Ken,
I'm also concerned about how much blogging you do on company time. I think your University needs to be informed.
I've started to keep a log of all the posts and comments you make over at ATTP. It's amazing how much of the working day you spend blogging about eco-junk.
In about a month's time your Uni is going to be receiving an email detailing how much time you waste on your blog. Don't worry, I'll copy you in to the email. Do I need to copy in the STFC too, as they seemed to have given you quite a lot of funding? If I don't, please tell me why not.

Why am I doing this? Because I hate academic resources, funding, and time being wasted by a zealot like you. All that time spent blogging could have been spent productively on the job you're funded to do. Additionally, taxpayers' cash goes towards funding the STFC, so as a UK taxpayer that makes me a stakeholder with every right to complain.

Feb 25, 2016 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

David,
You do whatever you want. I'm sure whoever you email will love getting something from someone who frequents a science denial site and who is complaining about one of their academics supposedly spending too much time blogging about climate science. I'm sure they'll respond politely. I have little doubt that they'll be shaking their head and maybe laughing when they do so, though. It will also be a wonderful illustration of why someone like myself might choose to be pseudonymous which - unless this has escaped you - I still am.


Don't worry, I'll copy you in to the email.

Who do you plan to copy in?


Because I hate academic resources, funding, and time being wasted by a zealot like you.

And I really enjoy people who pontificate about freedom of speech and liberty, then finding reasons to silence people with whom they disagree. I hate to admit it, but Brandon Shollenberger does rather have a point.


Additionally, taxpayers' cash goes towards funding the STFC, so as a UK taxpayer that makes me a stakeholder with every right to complain.

Absolutely, complain away. In general, however, funding councils fund research which is then judged on the basis of whether it has actually been done or not, not whether or not the person involved did other things for which they weren't specifically funded. Since academics don't work for the research councils, the research councils probably have little interest in their other activities. If you wanted to know whether or not the person you're about to complain about has actually achieved anything with their research funding, you could always email them to ask. If done politely, I'm sure you'd get a response. You might even learn something.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Phil Clarke, whilst chugging on his bottle of vegan champers, seems to see this rather daft and dangerous outing by a bunch of trustafarians as some sort of succes.
It's not really Phil. They've all just got themselves a criminal record. Their parents won't be pleased when their stupid child can't join them on the next holiday to New York.

BTW Phil, I hope that champagne wasn't shipped to the UK by any fossil-fuelled form of transport. Why didn't you buy some UK wine as it's got less further to travel? Much better for keeping you carbon footprint small. Oh yeah, I forgot, fossil fuels are what keeps you able to drink luxuries like champagne. Or did it arrive by pony and trap?

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

Sorry Ken, we all know who you are:
try this piece of info
Anyway, as I say, I'll hand over my info to your Uni. It's up to them what they do with it. Even if they tell me to shove it I know I haven't sat idly by.
Mind you, if the outcome isn't as I would like, I could always break down the Uni's front door and chain myself to the bannister. When I get hauled into court for breaking and entering I can always claim it's for a "cause" can't I? And then when I get a criminal record I can claim victory, can't I Phil?

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

@attp/Ken


And I really enjoy people who pontificate about freedom of speech and liberty, then finding reasons to silence people with whom they disagree.

It's nothing to do with freedom of speech Ken. I'll defend to the death your right to say what you want, no matter how silly. I just don't want you doing it on the taxpayer's dime.
It's called responsibility Ken.
Long may you continue to comment and blog. Just not Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 'til 5 please Ken.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

David,
Poptech? Really? You do whatever you think is right. I might even blog about this. It's quite an interesting dynamic. In a sense I've been pleasantly surprised that something like this hasn't happened sooner. Made me think that, really, most people are more decent than you might at first assume based on how they conduct themselves.


Mind you, if the outcome isn't as I would like

What outcome would you like and how do you really expect the Uni to respond? Staff member writes blog and both comments there and elsewhere. Blog is quite well read and there are a reasonable number of comments per post. Staff member has published a number of related papers (ooh, that's actually part of their job) and has helped to promote a PhD project from a student at that university. The blog happens to be about a rather contentious topic and, finally, someone, who typically associates with a blog that often promotes climate science denial, writes to complain about how much time they're spending on their blog (shutting down the debate?). So, how do you really expect them to respond?

Don't let me stop you, though. It's important that you do what you think is right, however that might later reflect on you. In a sense, that is the theme of this post.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

I think I can detect the smell of Ken bricking it now he's being called to account!

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

David,


Long may you continue to comment and blog. Just not Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 'til 5

When you become my employer and actually pay my salary, you can tell me how to do my job. Until such time, you really can't. You might also want to look up a typical academic job contract/conditions of employment. I've just googled and found mine. It's fairly instructive.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

When you become my employer and actually pay my salary, you can tell me how to do my job.

Ken, let me remind you again: I'm a UK taxpayer, so I do pay some of your salary. So I can tell you how to do your job.
For an obviously intelligent man, you're not very good at logic are you Ken?

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

You might also want to look up a typical academic job contract/conditions of employment. I've just googled and found mine. It's fairly instructive.
well at least I've got you to read your own conditions of employment for the first time Ken.
Gawd, it's like shooting fish in a barrel debating with you Ken. Even Sou from HotWhopper was (slightly) more challenging.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

David,


I'm a UK taxpayer, so I do pay some of your salary. So I can tell you how to do your job.

For an obviously intelligent man, you're not very good at logic are you Ken?


I encourage you to email the university and tell them that, as a taxpayer, you want to specify how one of their employees does their job. Please. Not only do you clearly not understand the status of universities in the UK, you clearly didn't bother looking up a standard academic job contract. Oh well, this has been fun, but it's getting late. Seriously, carry on. At best they'll simply ignore it (especially if you play the "I'm a taxpayer" card), but Universities quite like publicity, so the more of a fuss you kick up, the more they can claim to be standing up for academic freedom and all that. They'll probably love it.

Feb 25, 2016 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

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