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Discussion > Snippets from elsewhere

Just a bit of overflow stuff which maybe interesting on the topics of general biases

1. excerpts from the Guardian survey form
31.1: *Why are you unlikely to post comments on the Guardian website in the future?
option 8 * I don't feel my comments would be welcome

section 34 which statement do you agree with
* A news website that is irresponsible in its journalism
35 asks which positive statement you disagree with - all of them
36: *Which of the following attributes would you consider to be:
a) An accurate description of the Guardian website.
* biased
37: b) An inaccurate description of the Guardian website.
* the entire list of positive characteristics

Mar 25, 2015 at 8:30 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Note last weeks BBC Play of The Week
Big Sky Fri, 20 Mar 15
Thriller by Anna Maloney. Ambitious Australian lawyer, Lindsey Regan, wants to get her client out of Guantanamo prison and back to his family in Australia. He claims he was beaten and tortured somewhere abroad until he confessed to a terrorism plot. He also claims he briefly escaped his captors during a refuelling stopover at a Scottish airport.

...are they trying to create a narrative and say David Hicks was an innocent fitted up ?

Mar 25, 2015 at 8:41 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

It might be a positive sign that the Guardian is questioning its readership. I know that it's thinking of dropping the print version of the paper and going over to just internet with free bloggers suplimenting the staff input. Another Huff Po? Perhaps it's trying to decide what it must do to be viable long term? Of course it will ignore any inconvenient answers and stay exactly the same. Although it may be less likely to delete or ban comments because that is a great way to lose visitor numbers.

Mar 25, 2015 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Number of Climate Change HARD CORE believers has doubled over the years

... oh sorry ..I made a mistake .. did I say "believers"? I meant hard core skeptics ..up from 12 to 24%

Mar 27, 2015 at 8:09 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


Methinks you are being far too kind to the Guardian! It's certainly almost beyond my comprehension (considering their long record of past performances) that they might have any genuine interest in the opinions of their audience. Pardon my skepticism, but to my mind this is nothing more than a dog-whistle to their dedicated - and like-minded (again, for want of a better word) - fans and fan-trolls.

Not to mention their relatively more recent inclusion of commentary (once again, for want of a better word) by the likes of former comic-stripper Cook and his sidekick-cohort, Nuccitelli.

Notwithstanding any and/or all of the above, I cannot disagree with your:

Of course it will ignore any inconvenient answers and stay exactly the same.

Bingo! For the record, I was put on "pre-moderation" status some years ago for having the utter temerity to (as far as I have been able to ascertain) request that Damian Carrington correct his mistaken claim to the effect that all 194 nations of the world had "approved" one of the IPCC's reports (when, in fact, the number of country reps who had actually "approved" this report was considerably fewer than 194).

And while I'm here ...

@stewgreen ... following along with johanna's observations of your choice of posting patterns ... is there any reason that you choose to seek attention here, there, and elsewhere on this particular blog rather than posting your discombobulated context-free observations on your very own blog?!

I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that - if you were to ask him nicely - our gracious host would be quite happy to add a link to such a blog in his sidebar. Please do let me know if you would like some assistance in setting up a blog of your very own;-)

Mar 27, 2015 at 9:55 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Hilary, organisations and governments regularly decide that they need fresh ideas and poll their public. Very rarely do they listen to the results. Not because they're not interested but because they don't get what they wanted to hear.

All the successful internet sites publish click bait. Stuff they know will spur their readers to both post and vote. By banning sceptics the Guardian diminishes its readership. It's a fine line between trolls who annoy regular customers and contrarians who stimulate conversation. Sceptic blogs tend to do better than warmist sites because they tolerate more dissenting views.

We also need to be wary of fracturing into too many little blogs because below a certain number of new items, a blog doesn't get enough viewers to keep debate flowing. How often have we followed a link to a great article only to discover it's months old and we're the first to comment? AFAIK the unthreaded and the discussion areas are here so people don't have to create their own blog? I know several who have their own are somewhat disconsolate, quite possibly because we've said much of what we wanted to. Some people prefer to make a few quality posts while others rattle away, making some excellent comments peppered with the mundane. I think sites need both styles for longevity.

Mar 27, 2015 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2, I completely agree. The number of comments a person makes is not relevant in the least, so long as they aren't just repeating themselves. Indeed the more comments by anyone and everyone allows for a more fertile discussion.

To my mind a blog is like a forest. There are a few large trees that shelter all the little ones. These are the main articles that set the agenda.
But the little ones grow faster and more unpredictably - they are the life of the forest.

If we separate out the forest so as the big trees are reasonably spaced on their own blogs, we have an orchard. Each post produces it's maximum output with no growth lost to irrelevant distractions and off-topic subjects.

But the orchard needs constant inputs from outside to survive. It has no life beyond the power of each post.

Forests need weeds and buzzing bees and, yes, deer to uproot the weak.
Orchards look like forests but are artificially controlled and ultimately sterile.
Debate needs life.

Mar 27, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

@M Courtney wrote while I was writing so I will add..
Yes I like your orchard analogy
1. More people should write more, ie more choice of trees with me more deeply buried
2. That means @Hilary can ignore the StewGreen-bush he doesn't like the taste of

@Hilary thankyou for the first time telling me that you find my posts confusing, and I wonder why you do.
When I post I try to be as brief as possible, so that it is noteform; and my first thought is that maybe North Americans are accustomed to a different form of English so may have problems luckly interpreting that style. And indeed the fact that you use a North American word "discombobulated" which I had to go and look up shows this. I recall that you are in Canada.
I don't post to "seek attention here" as you suggest, but rather to SHARE useful info and so support this and Paul's Blog

specifically I have 3 purposes to in commenting
1. to share quick links and information.
2. to share my opinion and info on existing comments
3. Sometimes to share a quick analysis of a situation that has just come up.
That third part is the ones that you might be having problems interpreting and I note this. If I did indeed write them out in proper full form they would be full blog posts and so of course would take up too much space to post here. But I don't have time to write up full blog posts these days. BIts of these comments I make do sometimes get take up by others in forming their posts eg. yesterday about Spiegelhalter ..and similarly when comment on Paul Homewood's .
- I could of course post under 3 different names and appear less conspicuous..but I am minded to remain straight forward and clear.
- You can of course find me all over the internet under my real name which is also at

I do note you comment @Hilary and count it as a vote against in the tally of people who are interested in my opinions.

As @Tiny implies what would great is that other people don't feel intimidated about posting so other people get the news in before I do so that you end up with my "boring to you posts" buried in a bigger pot of others you find more accessible.

Mar 27, 2015 at 11:58 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen