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Discussion > What exactly is considered to be Off Topic?


Ah I see your problem now...failed intelligence test..... If I say that your worst behaviour was your comments about nyms then I took it for granted that you would know that the links were to the Nyms thread (wouldnt want to be off topic would I?)

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:02 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Even if I guess the thread, I don't know which page it would be on that thread. The URL gives me both pieces of information, and anyone else interested, saving a lot of time for everyone. That's why I have been insisting you provide links, by which I mean, at minimum, URLs. Now that's clear, let's see how we go.

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake


Your post in this thread:

You haven't provided any links, once again. Why not? The context is always extremely important. If you complain so much and refuse to provide links you cannot be surprised if nobody takes the demand to ban another BH regular very seriously.
Jan 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The only person who can ban you is His Grace, I have no idea what others think and am not trying to influence anyone but you. When I tell you that you should be banned I do so because that is my honest opinion but you are still here so either the Bish does not agree or he is far more patient than I am.
The fact that you can not be arsed to go look up bad news about yourself without being spoonfed the URL does not surprise me.

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:13 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Perhaps, Richard, Dung, me and RKS should play a rubber or two of bridge sometime.

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Big Yin

That would be interesting for sure but I would not be able to bear the pauses in bidding caused by Dumbo producing endless anecdotes about his namesake ;)

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I vote for that game of bridge. I promise not to discuss Drake's Equation or any product of my namesakes. And until we've met in that way I'll consider more constructive things on Bishop Hill than evidence I should be banned. Is that a deal?

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I think that my argument with Richard Drake is like a cancer in the BH blog. Nobody enjoys it, nobody wants it. However for reasons I have given above and on other threads I find his actions unacceptable and must comment.
I appeal to the Bish to ban one of us, if it is me then I will accept it with no complaint and will not attempt to post again under a new pseudonym.

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:26 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, I've never asked for you to be banned. If I was banned, how many people are there, do you believe, who think differently to you and would miss my contributions in some way? We know of two from immediately after your first plea to the host to cut my life short here - from 27th and 28th December - jferguson and steveta. There may even be others who feel the same way. Before I was rendered forever silent, do you think it would be fair to ask other longterm Bishop Hill denizens what they felt about this? Or do your very strong feelings suffice?

Jan 9, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

Jan 9, 2013 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commentersplitpin

My 2 cents.... My vote is for no banning, no discussion of banning, and a lasting cease-fire in relation to BH regulars. I must have a more ecumenical view (and I don't read all of every thread), because I don't really get why there should be such a fuss (no, please don't anyone try to tell me just now). I like and respect the contributions of Richard AND Dung, and of virtually all who have commented on the fracas. How can that be? I suppose I set a higher value on thinking of what I can learn from reflection upon each thread and comment than upon whether I like or agree with any particular comment. Almost the only thing I find objectionable, in general, are content-free insults which are sometimes emitted by drive-by trolls such as Hengist, Russell, and some unmentionables.

For the record, I don't find Richard's views on 'nyms the least bit objectionable, I often agree with him but have my own reasons for preferring a screen name (never with sock puppets) at this time. I agree with those who think the 'nym issue does not need to be discussed more, but I simply don't feel a scintilla of hostility over the fact that Richard has the view he does, or even that he has discussed (or alluded to) the issue many times.

I know this can't be some full resolution of anything, but I propose that all draw a bright line here, PAST vs. FUTURE. Just try to move ahead without touching on 'nyms or past BH frustrations or prior history with particular commenters.

No one is going to be satisfied with who did or did not apologize for this or that. I can't even begin to try to assess it all. I come from a large family and I have one sister who simply cannot discuss politics or religion with our dad -- they simply cannot have any relationship if they allow those topics to intrude, so for the most part they maintain a permanent cease-fire and have closer relationships with all the rest of us and some 'adequate' relationship with each other.

Not saying the BH bunch is a family so much as far far looser intellectual 'community' perhaps -- but I have no interest in seeing any regular banned or in seeing this particular fracas prolonged. Can't people just ignore those they find irritating? I'll even try to do that with Russell for a while, and I certainly don't regard him as a BH 'regular' or as someone coming here in good faith with positive intentions for the site.

Let's re-focus attention and energy upon the science and policy, please.

Jan 9, 2013 at 7:36 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Agree with every word of that, Skiphil, except my enjoyment of some comments may have been less than yours because of horrible names I'd recently been called by the authors! But apart from that (and willing to leave it behind this minute) I 100% agree. We should be able to get on with the real work here without any of this hassle and I'll be very happy to do so. (And I would be open to a small post mortem with Hilary Ostrov about what I, and perhaps others, got wrong on the thread Quantifying Uncertainties in Climate Science in early December. That would be fine to do by email though and wouldn't need to involve anyone else.)

Jan 9, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

PS: One of the passages that most influenced me last year was (shock horror) taken in from Amazon's Search Inside section without purchasing the book. Apologies Dennis Prager but this I think is great:

As I repeatedly make clear, I almost never judge the motives or the character of people with Left-wing views. I do not for many reasons, but the chief among them is that I know personally many people - in my extended family and among friends and acquaintances - who hold those views, and whom I adore. The family is a great institution for many obvious reasons. Here is a less obvious one: It teaches us how to love people with whom we may have major disagreements. It's easy to love friends - we choose them. It's not always as easy to love family members with whom one strongly differs on some of the most important issues of life.

That's from Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. Perhaps someone else could buy it, to make up the lack of royalties to the author? But what you said about your family Skiphil put me very much in mind of this. Thank you.

Jan 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Jan 9, 2013 at 7:36 PM | Skiphil

I agree with those who think the 'nym issue does not need to be discussed more, [...]
I know this can't be some full resolution of anything, but I propose that all draw a bright line here, PAST vs. FUTURE. Just try to move ahead without touching on 'nyms or past BH frustrations or prior history with particular commenters.

Just for the record, RD seems to have sent his nym hobby-horse back to the stable. At least temporarily. Now, however, he seems (at least semi-) permanently glued to the saddle of his high-horse!

That being said, I do understand and appreciate your sentiments, Skiphill. Unfortunately - although I don't expect you to know this, and do not fault you for not knowing - the person who "made the start" on this is the very same one who continues to both perpetuate and escalate his obnoxious posting behaviours, with no indication of any self-awareness and no apology when shown to be wrong.

By way of example, if you review the post to which I had linked yesterday [Jan 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM], and its antecedents, you will see that I had invited RD to apologize for misleading RB and others with his misrepresentation of my observations (to which, in keeping with his custom of obscuring the evidence of that which he knows will prove his assertion wrong, he did not link.)

Instead, he chose not to apologize (after I had shown him to be wrong); but rather to escalate with his inanely and pompously declared [Dec 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM]:

Hilary: your original comment wasn't to me, I mentioned you only in passing and you shouldn't have bothered with me further.

And now I see that - amidst a flurry of diversionary self-exculpatory "revisionism" (as I had predicted earlier, based on his patterns of past posting behaviours) he claims to have "apologized" to me. Just for the record, let's take a look at this so-called "apology" of December 31:

Hilary:[...] I did I think get it wrong on that thread when I said that you had implied that someone was being "terse" or was accusing someone of being terse. I do remember thinking that at the time, when I read what you wrote back. That is an acknowledgement that I was wrong on that point. Sorry.

Interestingly - but (increasingly) not surprisingly - that which he now claims to have apologized for is not that which he had misrepresented by characterizing my actual words as accusing one poster as having been "dismissive" of another.

In this so-called "apology" he obscured that which he had done, by "apologizing" for his own characterization of his very own interpretation of his very own words - not for his misleading misrepresentation* of mine.

[* In fact, RD's misrepresentation was so glaringly misleading that - as I had noted at the time - Richard Betts, self-declared "skimmer" of blogposts par excellence, felt obliged in a subsequent comment to include a "note" addressed specifically to me in order to ensure that I knew he was not being "dismissive". Something of which, contra RD's fact-free assertion, I had never accused him (nor anyone else in this congregation for that matter, to the best of my recollection)]

Again, for the record, here are RD's very own words of Dec. 5 - which I was supposed to ignore, according to Richard's Rules of Order™ on Dec. 7 - and for which he supposedly got around to "apologizing" on Dec. 31, thereby very conveniently shrouding his actual words with the fog of time:

Richard Betts seems to have made Nic Lewis priority so far. I personally think that's a good call. Unlike Hilary Ostrov I didn't interpret one of Richard's terse answers as dismissive of Nic; quite the reverse, I thought it showed a busy man was really trying to help [Richard Drake, Dec 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM]

What a self-serving, intellectually dishonest "pea and thimble" artist, if ever there was one, eh?!

Yet another data-point in the increasingly long list of evidence for the validity of the perception that if RD had his way, BH would be all about him!

I suppose taking it to E-mail might be an option. But if you can't trust a poster to be honest in his public statements, why on earth should he be trusted to be honest during the course of and/or about any private conversations?!

But perhaps, Skiphil, you could persuade RD to keep his obnoxious, intellectually dishonest posting games restricted to this thread alone, from now on - instead of galloping off in all directions, glued to the saddle of his high-horse.

This way, at least the record would be all in one place. And you could just skip this discussion if it makes you uncomfortable:-)

Jan 10, 2013 at 2:21 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov


Jan 10, 2013 at 7:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMoratorium

Moratorium indeed

For the record:
Dumbo and I are forbidden to speak to each other by order of His Holyness, I am currently sitting in a corner and so Dumbo will go unchallenged :(

Jan 10, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterDung

That's not exactly 'not speaking' Dung, naughty. I'm taking the same tack with my nemesis on other threads. At the end of the day, does it change things if we manage to browbeat/convince the other of anything at all? I'm feeling very Darmhic today, let's all get along.

Jan 10, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Corner? Dungce? Sorry could not resist...

Moratorium music... BH the Musical

Jan 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Jiminy Cricket

Garr, I didnt see that one coming ^.^


You and your nemesis are having ahem a discussion about facts, how can you call him a nemesis for that? Peace bro :)
Referring to someone as Dumbo is not speaking to them, however in the spirit of His Holyness's wishes I do intend to avoid speaking badly of him as well (wherever possible and provocation notwithstanding hehe).



Jan 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Registered CommenterDung

I don't normally read this "everyone vs RD" nonsense, it is too boring. And I've seem nothing written by RD that I would consider offensive - I usually suffer much, much worse on any posting day. But Hilly's typically verbose diatribe against RD is remarkable. Although I didn't of course get to the end of it, it made me think that a community founded on the principle that everyone else is a liar, a fraud and a cheat, reaps what it sows.

Jan 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


a community founded on the principle that everyone else is a liar, a fraud and a cheat, reaps what it sows.

Even for you that is a pretty ridiculous attempt to define BH mate, had a bad hair day or what?

Jan 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Name a few prominent climate scientists, AGW supporters or organisations that BH and its acolytes haven't accused of being dishonest or corrupt (excluding Mr Betts, who you are not allowed to scare away).

Jan 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

The trouble is BB, we are a diverse lot, and each little faction hates a different sector. Overall, someone on the gorup has accused everybody at some time or other, but that doesn't mean all collectively hate everybody.

Not everybody hates you, I don't. Because some do, does that mean 'Bishophill' hates you? Or 'skeptics' hate you?

You're doing what the troll used to do... acting as if we speak with a unified voice and that everything one poster says we all agree with.

Jan 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Yin, as always, what you say is very reasonable. You are one of only a few people I have seen putting distancing between themselves and something another poster has said. That is rare. Mostly accusations fly around like fallen leaves on a windy day and they help set the tone of the website. I say 'help' because AM is the main source of this aire of accusation and insinuation. It starts in his HSI and it swirls around every post he makes. It pervades the whole site. It can't be blamed on an unthinking few, it is everywhere. Sorry to point that out if it was not evident to you.

Jan 10, 2013 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

On a scale of 1 - 100 with

1 = "all climate scientists are jolly good fellows and anything they do is ok by me"
100 = "they are all crooks and frauds, and the ones standing by doing nothing are scum" at the 100 end

I'd place myself in the 35-40 range. You're right, the official 'site' (i.e. the Bish) probably sits around the 70 range. And there are a few 100s around. I'm fine with this, it comes with the Lukewarmer territory. I'd be interested what sort of single digit estimate you'd put yourself on.

Jan 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

One in every three! !!!

How many climate scientists do you know personally? As a sceptic you base your opinions on evidence, so what other evidence (not hearsay) are you basing your 1 in 3 on? There must be tens of thousands of scientists in climate related fields around the world, so you are talking of several thousand scum. Do you have the same low estimation of the general population: 1 in 3 are scum? Or is it just that liars and cheats gravitate towards climate science in your view?

I have never met a climate scientist, but I have met a few scientists in other fields and they have all been decent people who are in the lucky position of having deep interest in and commitment to their subject. Are they all angels? Of course not. Can I judge them? Who am I to judge? I have no evidence that they are any different from you or me.

Jan 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket