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Discussion > And thanks for all the fish

I was going to post my epic essay about how to get by on a personal level as a skeptic, but looking over the notes and what I'd written so far, I can see this is not the audience for it. By nature, people here are activists or aspirant activists, and an essay about how to not be an activist and remain happy with your skepticism is probably not very beautiful to thine eyes. Also, it was still just a collection of notes, and I do have a day job.

I've touched on it briefly in other threads that whilst science was far away up the loony end of the spectrum, it didn't take much energy to bind us all together here. Now it's on the retreat, and actually within view up of the upper echelons of skepticism, those bonds are a bit less elastic than before. The divisions which were unimportant before are starting to take their toll a little, and this place is not as enjoyable for me as it was previously.

And as a self-regarding hedonist, I tend to move to the place of least aggravation. As I said, I'm not an activist, I don't enjoy being aggrieved and outraged. It's bad enough being aggrieved and outraged at one thing which is palpably in the wrong, never mind at a ragbag collection of various agendas and various people, most of whom I've come to like and respect over the years. This is not a leisure activity for me.

As a parting shot before I vanish under the waves, please consider the progress that has been made over the past three or four years. Science is grinding exceedingly slowly in our direction. The very fact of that movement is making us redundant to a certain extent. The activists will wail that there's still a long way to go, and they are right in a fashion, and wish them luck.

I'll be lurking from time to time when work permits, keep up the good work, and for those who want to keep talking in email form, I'll always be happy to chew the cud at thebigyinjames 'at' virginmedia 'dot' com.

Mar 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Don't go yet. It's just getting interesting. If all the quirky contributors leave I'll feel isolated and probably give up too.

Mar 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Wot Geoff said.

Mar 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Also wot Geoff said. BigYin don’t leave. There are a dozen or so regulars here whose comments are always interesting (even if I don’t always agree with them) and this is what, for me, makes this site worthwhile. You would most definitely be on that list. I like people who aren’t afraid to say what they really feel. I can understand you're feeling jaded and, coupled with the pressures of “real life”, that can make sensible commenting here difficult. Such is the case with me at the moment. I’d hate to think though, that we’d seen the last of you.

Mar 19, 2013 at 1:42 PM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

PS I'd be interested in reading your epic essay should you ever get round to writing it. Post it up. Sod the rest of them.

Mar 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

It's unlike me to say something different to others here (!) but I say trust the internal fun-ometer. You may end up returning, as that guy did, but don't push it now. We're truly grateful to have known you.

Mar 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Wot Laurie said. Post it.

Mar 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Do what feels right to you.

Thanks for all the solid physics.

Mar 19, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Thanks from me as well TBYJ - you were one of the few people to offer support when I needed it - for that I salute you. I too have a day job and have decided that other things - more enjoyable things like family skiing holidays - must take precedence over the vagaries and hazards of internet interactions. I once felt that I had found an interesting and intellectually stimulating haven here on BH amongst like-minded people - no more unfortunately. To share an awareness of the scandalous nature of CAGW policy is not enough; the broader social context of a blog is also important to me. My profile here has been mostly low-key in comparison to some, but I would hope that some sense of my personality has been conveyed.

I may still make a very occasional impersonal on-topic observation, not inviting or expecting a response from anyone. As also (the second part of the previous sentence) in this present post. Very best wishes to the small band of brothers and one sister - you know who you are. Over and out.

Mar 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

I take it that wasn't a prohibition on replying at the start of the last paragraph, Chris. From touch of the bully in April 2012 to I await R Drake's apology more recently we've certainly had our moments. And if you can dig out a link for the incident you referred to in April, involving your very first post on Bishop Hill, I'd be grateful. Good for others to see the full timeline to assess if the offence taken, from the start, was justified. Thanks.

Mar 20, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

ChrisM

the broader social context of a blog is also important to me.
Me too. What do you think is missing here?

Mar 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

A final word. Drake, I understand that you have been instructed by our host not to engage with me, as you have also been with Dung. Have the decency to respect BH's direction; it is his blog.

Mar 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

No problem, I don't expect to need to do this again. As far as I can ascertain your first post on Bishop Hill, to which you refer four days later, was this one addressed to Richard Betts on 4th April 2012. I cannot for the life of me see how you managed to characterise this reply as having "jumped on your first post" - and of course I had no way of knowing it was your first post. From that moment you seemed to develop an irrational fear and loathing of me. I'm just putting down one additional piece of evidence for that strong statement. I wish you well.

Mar 20, 2013 at 8:40 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Sorry I didn't post at the time Chris M, but you can count me as another supporter (and of Dung too). Would rather that you and TBYJ were not leaving.

Mar 20, 2013 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSJF

I was expecting the trooping of the colour in this thread. Let's be having all of you.

Mar 20, 2013 at 8:51 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Geoff, you are without doubt one of the good guys, it's been a pleasure reading your insights. I work in an environment where people have disparate social backgrounds and political views, no doubt to some extent shaped by those backgrounds. What I have learned from that is to value people for their own intrinsic merits, particularly their honesty, integrity and yes, goodness. AGW policy is one area that cries out for cooperation, even friendships, across political divides to oppose it.

To answer your question Geoff I am non-combative by nature, and do not enjoy confrontation, although I do understand there are people who relish a good barney. The closest I can come to an answer, and this may not be satisfactory, is that in furtherance of a worthy, even vital, cause somewhat of a collective mentality is needed, a putting aside of ego and tolerance of individual quirks or faux pas. (Does that have a plural?) Most people here are good at that, and the pub meets are of course a welcome example of group solidarity.

With that, I really am outta here! Cheers!

Mar 20, 2013 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

"I am non-combative by nature"

Really? Well I never.

Anyway, good luck for the future.

Mar 20, 2013 at 10:19 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I once compared Bishop Hill to a noisy town centre pub and expressed a preference for the quieter ambiance of Maurizio’s trattoria or Tony Newbery’s gentlemen’s club. In fact, all blogs are more like an airport lounge. You spend hours in exotic but genial company, knowing you’ll never see each other again. A pity, but there we are...
(Anyway, now I’ve opened my own dive in the red light district ..)
Richard
My visit to the home country has been delayed by sciatica. But I’ve got your number..

Mar 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Well, tby, I hope I didn't piss you off with all the lukewarmer stuff, and contribute to some of the present ...

Mar 20, 2013 at 11:52 PM | Registered Commentershub

Oh, no ... we are losing two good people whose insights I may not always have agreed with, but I've always valued and appreciated.

This is one of the sad things, I suppose, about "virtual life": only the good fly young, while the insufferable, arrogant bullies (who are always right, even when they're wrong, because ... well because they said so!) seem to linger on forever.

TBYJames, and Chris M, I do hope that at some point you will each reconsider your choice to depart, so I shan't say "au revoir" or "à bientôt" but "shalom" ... which kinda covers everything ;-)

Hilary

Mar 21, 2013 at 9:41 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Why so final anyway TBYJ and Chris. There's more than one reason to comment on a blog. Socialising might be one, but RL is better for that. A better reason is just to inform the blog owner or other commenters of something they appear not to be aware of, of not to have thought of. I hope we will still see occasional contributions of this type from you both.

Mar 21, 2013 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSJF

I agree with SJF and therefore disagree with Hilary. We don't have to lose two people.

Mar 22, 2013 at 1:21 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I've enjoyed interacting with you TBYJ and you many interesting contributions. But there's more to life than blogging.

BTW don't for one minute think we've won, we haven't, some small cracks are appearing in the scientific wall, but the political wall is still as strong as ever. The current climate establishment has embarrassed itself by espousing a quasi religious theory, they won't be advising the politicians of the change of direction for some time. So keep stopping by and adding your views, just don't let it be an obsession.

As the old saying goes, "you can do it until you need glasses".

ChrisM it's a bit pants to disrupt someone's farewell thread with you own farewell and cause a fight as to boot!. It's reminiscent of the wakes I attended in Liverpool as a child.

Mar 22, 2013 at 6:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I've enjoyed interacting with you TBYJ and you many interesting contributions. But there's more to life than blogging.

BTW don't for one minute think we've won, we haven't, some small cracks are appearing in the scientific wall, but the political wall is still as strong as ever. The current climate establishment has embarrassed itself by espousing a quasi religious theory, they won't be advising the politicians of the change of direction for some time. So keep stopping by and adding your views, just don't let it be an obsession.

As the old saying goes, "you can do it until you need glasses".

ChrisM it's a bit pants to disrupt someone's farewell thread with you own farewell and cause a fight as to boot!. It's reminiscent of the wakes I attended in Liverpool as a child.

Mar 22, 2013 at 6:06 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Thanks for the comments, and the emails for those who didn't want to comment. I'm not going going, just going into lurk mode. Nobody who has contributed on this thread has annoyed me, I like and respect all of you (and wish Dung had shown up) - some of the conversations I've had with geronimo and shub have been intellectually stimulating, even if we disagree completely. Even the spat between Chris and Richard Drake was an amusing coda to my recent time here.

Part of it is because I've set down my thoughts about living with skepticism, and a by-product of that means I don't get agitated about it any more, and don't need the fix of blogs so much.

As for coming back, yes probably. I tend to drift off for a while, depends on where my company is working, if I have time and free web access for the constant reading required to keep up here. As I work on client sites a lot, and they have various policies regarding what is allowed reading, I tend to be a little bit wary. Also, it's year end here at Yin Inc., and my accountants are taking up my time, along with the taxman wanting two returns this year instead of just one.

I had hoped Climategate 3 would have been good, but it's been more of a damp squib, also I'm not mentioned in the Lewandowsky appendix, which I take as a badge of dishonour! I've wasted my time here :)

I'll still be skim reading, just not contributing (much if at all) in the next few weeks.

Mar 22, 2013 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames