February 16, 2014

Slate's Climate Desk — "a journalistic collaboration on climate change" — wants you to know that "Internet Trolls Really Are Horrible People/Narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic."

By Chris Mooney, who, based on that headline, is himself trolling, so I'll take that as a confession that he's narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic.

Mooney — who wrote a book called "The Republican War on Science," which sounds like trolling — tells us of some new research (from the University of Manitoba) into the psychology of trolls. So how did the researchers determine who counted as a troll so that they could study what these people are really like inside? If you restrict the category to horrible people, it's no surprise that you find that the horrible people are horrible.

But why does this belong at Climate Desk? You can guess without reading this sentence: "Last year Popular Science did away with its comments sections completely, citing research on the deleterious effects of trolling, and YouTube also took measures to rein in trolling."

From the link to Popular Science: "A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again."

I feel like trolling Slate's Climate Desk over this. Oh, but if I do, I guess I'm one of the "horrible people." Thanks for the advance pushback, but I'm not taking it. Who says things like "you're a horrible person"? I'd say a child, but maybe also an excessively emotional adult. Mooney would like to disqualify skeptics as toxic evil-doers. I'm sure he — like Popular Science — is tired of fending off arguments he feels have already been answered conclusively, but expressing that exasperation by demonizing his opponents is none too scientific.

Meanwhile: "1 in 4 Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun."

106 comments:

SGT Ted said...

A "pyscho-babble" tag maybe?

Paul Mac said...

Both options in the poll question they offered about the Earth and the Sun are equally correct. They are two bodies orbiting each other, not one orbiting another that is holding still. Treating the largest body as the frame of reference is a matter of convenience in astrophysics. But it sort of makes sense that those living on the Earth and not dealing with it daily would use their own location as the frame of reference and it isn't any less mathematically valid to do so.

SGT Ted said...

Since Climate Change is unproven, we should be skeptical of sweeping claims.

Especially sweeping claims that we can correct it with higher taxes. That reveals that it is a con game and the goal is money, not science.

Paul Mac said...

Should note I posted that after seeing another article that noted that the question asked was "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?"

This is a false dilemma as both occur. However those who might have felt it worthwhile to respond to that false choice with the more contrarian viewpoint are being treated as ignorant when perhaps they were attempting to expose the ignorance of the question. I'm not saying what percentage of folks that would really be, just that it is an unexamined possibility. The sort of thing that seems to interest Althouse sometime.

BTW, I did watch Althouse's vlog teaser but didn't have any comment on it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Lots of horrible people out there.

The most horrible are those who scream that people who disagree with their politics "hate women," or "hate blacks" or "hate gays" or are "climate deniers."

Such people were the backbone of the KGB, the Gestapo and the Stasi. The horrible people gleefully informed on their neighbors. After all, haters deserve whatever punishment they get.

Can you imagine what the future will be if the ritual denunciations are quickly enforced by the secret police?

You don't think horrible people exist?

Bob Boyd said...

Speaking as horrible troll, I'd be willing to bet most of those who didn't know the earth circles the sun are AGW believers.
If my anatomical horribleness matches my internal horribleness does that make me a cistroll?

mesquito said...

Honest to God, there are some people who believe that if you surgically rearrange an organism's plumbing you have changed its sex.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I was taught by my excellent public school teachers and college professors that to be an educated person means to continually conduct a "war on expertise." They called it critical thinking, and "trust, but verify," and that every human being needs to be humble about the limits of their knowledge and to be open to changing their conclusions if presented with new information or their paradigm becomes suspect. I guess they should have done a better job of telling me to believe everything I'm told, never revise my opinions on anything and never offer conflicting viewpoints or evidence to a public discussion.

chickenlittle said...

The word "solstice" derives from an incorrect metaphor: the sun standing still.

chickenlittle said...

mesquito said...
Honest to God, there are some people who believe that if you surgically rearrange an organism's plumbing you have changed its sex.

Such people tend to believe that sex and gender are a phallacy.

tds said...

Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again.

just wondering what is between evolution and climate change in a science spectrum?

BTW the biggest war on evolution is run by whom exactly? Natural selection placed woman in kitchen, and man behind CEO desk. Who's fighting that?

Paco Wové said...

"...to be an educated person means to continually conduct a "war on expertise." They called it critical thinking, and "trust, but verify," ... every human being needs to be humble about the limits of their knowledge and to be open to changing their conclusions if presented with new information..."

Well put.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

That Sherlock Holmes! Such an idiotic philistine!

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Yes, it is technically true that two bodies orbit each other, circling around a focus point that is determined by their relative masses.

In the case of the Earth and the Sun, that focus point is deep inside the Sun itself, practically at the center. So it is far less incorrect to say that the Earth orbits the Sun than to say that the Sun orbits the Earth.

As a follow-up question, they should ask those who answered that the Sun goes around the Earth: "And how often does it do that?" I'll bet you'll find the overwhelming answer is "1 day".

Browndog said...

1 in 4 Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun

That article by Yahoo, regurgitated by nearly every news outlet, is junk.

This article by NPR is much more helpful, as it links the study



Combing through the long "survey", I cannot find the list of questions posed, and to whom, just nuanced summaries. I did find this in the NPR article:

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that "The universe began with a huge explosion" and only 48 percent said "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals."

Michael K said...

"BTW the biggest war on evolution is run by whom exactly?"

I accidentally found a colony of them on Ricochet, which I joined last fall. The method was to post a comment on a thread attacking Kevin Williamson, the NRO columnist because he had "trashed creationists. The quoted trashing comment was " In their moral zeal, the feminists are rather like the creationists on the Texas board of education, richer in opinion than in knowledge, not always clear on what’s going on but forever mindful of who their friends and enemies are. "

Boy is that true ! I posted a comment that I was neutral on the subject but I would not write a letter of recommendation to medical school for a student who did not believe in evolution.

That set off a 150 comment thread in which I was attacked for various crimes including "My point is that he’s been successful despite Mike K insisting that people like him should be prevented from being doctors.· The "he" is some pediatrician allegedly much more accomplished than I am (which could well true).

Unless I am the only person in the USA who decides who gets into medical school, that is a rather hysterical attack on me.

The thread degenerated further and is still ongoing although I haven't yet looked today to see if I still have horns and a tail.

I have defended creationists as harmless on school boards if they are elected. Now, I am not so sure.

unknown said...

Narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic

I guess if that is your definition of horrible, who are we to judge though?

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Lunny said...

They speak of "science" then define themselves as the sole arbiters of what is "science" and what is proven, in their minds, by said science. Then, when evidence of their shenanigans and fraud are exposed they deny their lies, subvert opposing opinions and questions, and quash the speech and publications of their opponents. Such ignorant and asinine behavior is exactly why some publications, Pop Sci, Nat Geo, etc, have become unreliable and unreadable. It is why some premiere journals have also become so. The antics, for example of the Mssrs Mann, Briffa, Hansen, etc exhibit the very behaviors that Mooney purports to find unacceptable. Well Chris, you reap what you sow. You've lied, repeatedly, you've been caught out, repeatedly, and your response has been to attempt to smear and denigrate those who caught you. You should be grateful, grateful that folks don't tar and feather charlatans any longer. Though you'd have a good bit of company the experience, which you and your ilk richly deserve, wouldn't be any less unpleasant.

EDH said...

The horrible people, the horrible people
It's as anatomic as the size of your steeple
Capitalism has made it this way,
Old-fashioned fascism will take it away


The Beautiful People

And I don't want you and I don't need you
Don't bother to resist, or I'll beat cha
It's not your fault that you're always wrong
The weak ones are there to justify the strong

The beautiful people, the beautiful people
It's all relative to the size of your steeple
You can't see the forest for the trees
You can't smell your own shit on your knees

There's no time to discriminate,
Hate every motherfucker
That's in your way

Hey you, what do you see?
Something beautiful, something free?
Hey you, why you trying to be mean?
You live with apes man, it's hard to be clean

The worms will live in every host
It's hard to pick which one they eat most

The horrible people, the horrible people
It's as anatomic as the size of your steeple
Capitalism has made it this way,
Old-fashioned fascism will take it away

There's no time to discriminate,
Hate every motherfucker
That's in your way

Hate! [x8]

The beautiful people
The beautiful people (aahh)

Howard said...

Geez. He makes it seem like being a horrible, narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, sadistic troll is a bad thing. These are the five key personality traits for the uber successful.

When really gets absolutist people like climate alarmists, vegans, teabaggers, creationists, environmentalists, etc. incensed is being called on their humorless bullshit.

What really is a pisser is that the troll is actually having a bit of fun.

cubanbob said...

Notice how all the solutions offered by the AGW all seem to be heavy in to socialism and further state expansion?

chrisnavin.com said...

I see many channels into AGW as a movement and popular platform. So quite apart from the data and science there's at least:

-A secular humanism which can devolve into anti- humanism in many cases (some people know how many people are enough, humans are like fleas).

-A Romantic lament to recover Man's home in Nature away from the modern world (hence all the bad poetry, and the modernist and pomo poetry recovering Romantic roots).

-A denial of and replacement for biblical dominion over nature.

- A deep suspicion of industrial activity and mistrust of Capitalism.

-A place for old hippies, Commies, socialists to go and belong on the radical side and on the respectacle side, eco science, NPR mainstream middlebrow thinking, pedagogy for our schools, and the recognition by decently educated people of a certain view of the Enlightenment.

You're a troll, bitter-clinger, denier etc. should you ignore such evidence, point out all the terrible
Wastes of money and bad policy and ineffectual institutions and activism.

---------This is quite apart from the data and science, and partly helps explain why it's like a secular religion for so many, and why it will be with us for so long

chickenlittle said...

Unless I am the only person in the USA who decides who gets into medical school, that is a rather hysterical attack on me.

Of course you're not. But you may have been a key factor or gatekeeper in that particular person's future. In my now long past experience, true letters of recommendation were rather personal things, composed within one or two degrees of separation. In other words, a person requesting such a letter has a narrow field of choices.

chickenlittle said...

cubanbob said...
Notice how all the solutions offered by the AGW all seem to be heavy in to socialism and further state expansion?

The solutions all neatly fit under the rubric* of "carbon tax."

__________
*Rubric because...well, red

CWJ said...

Howard,

Congratulations on your success.

azaniamindset said...

According to the report:
"The 2010 ISSP included a question asking about the perceived danger of “modifying the genes of certain crops.”
The survey found that 25% of U.S. respondents said that
modification would be very or extremely dangerous to the
environment."

Which is a bigger issue? Heliocentrism- of which public opinion really isnt going to effect reality. Or ignorance and fear mongering causing millions of people to starve because of ignorance. There is no data to back up "very to extremely dangerous" and yet this isnt the headline.

Sam L. said...

"Who says things like "you're a horrible person"? I'd say a child, but maybe also an excessively emotional adult." That is a description of a leftist.

JPS said...

"A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics."

Activist scientists have waged a winning war on their own credibility. It's so easy to think of times when scientists have put their credentials and their expertise behind shaky positions, that the public is entitled to skepticism when a scientist says, in essence, Trust me, I have spent many years studying this, I have considered your objections and if you knew what I know on this subject you would see that I'm right.

I have found myself arguing online, with people of all political stripes, about basic points of chemistry and physics - points it's my job to know really well. It is true that a good many people out there have something like negative trust in expertise. Mooney can argue that they're more prevalent among Republicans than Democrats, but this tells me more about Mooney than about Republicans.

CWJ said...

"Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again."

What a hysterical statement. Evolution, check. Origins of climate change, check. But other than those two, what else exactly is up for grabs again outside of the disciplines themselves?

So in answer to tds' rhetorical question, I suggest everything = nothing.

ddh said...

"1 in 4 Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun"

The National Science Foundation, a federally funded institution, releases surveys every couple of years that are full of all sorts of alarming measures of scientific ignorance among Americans. For example, this year's survey also reports that 45 percent of Americans say they think astrology has a scientific basis.

Two somewhat rhetorical questions:

(1) How do we know the responses to the survey are valid? Most of the questioning in a survey goes on and on, and at some point, annoyance can turn mischievious, and then the fun really begins.

(2) Is the NSF really bothered by the results? The solution that the NSF wants is more funding for science and science education, which would provide more employment for science graduates. Surveys providing proof of widespread ignorance may be just what the doctor ordered. Could that interest color the questions in the survey, making them more ambiguous?

I'm calling BS on these surveys. Think about it. How likely is it that one-fourth of adults don't know what most first-graders know? Did any of you get through elementary school without seeing--or even building--a model of the solar system?

Michael K said...

"In other words, a person requesting such a letter has a narrow field of choices."

And, therefore, I am interested in that person's qualifications for medicine. In that thread, I pointed out that primary care does not require the sophistication of molecular biology and therefore evolutionary understanding. Most primary care, even if Obamacare is abandoned, is already being delivered by PAs and nurse practitioners who do not require the same level of understanding of basic biology.

As a practical matter, it has never arisen and I am only asked every few years for such a letter. In one case where I think it did help an applicant, the student was the son of a Palestinian internist I knew. They had a party to celebrate his admission and I was invited. It was an interesting group of people. I didn't ask but assume they were Christian Palestinians. The girls at the party were demonstrating their belly dancing lessons.

Deirdre Mundy said...

After reading the NPR article, I think the percentage of Americans who think antibiotics cure viruses is a bigger issue.

If my neighbor has no understanding of astronomy, I'll have to find someone else to discuss astrophysics with-- no big deal, especially in the age of the internet.

If he takes antibiotics indiscriminately, he puts my family's health at risk.

The problem is that you can't pin 'overusing antibiotics' only on certain religions, and some reporters overuse antibiotics, so the more disturbing fact doesn't make the news.

tmitsss said...

Vaccines, GMO, fracking, irradiation. Nuclear power. Let's talk about science

Anglelyne said...

Michael K to tds: "BTW the biggest war on evolution is run by whom exactly?"

I accidentally found a colony of them on Ricochet, which I joined last fall[...]


Creationists are a perennial nuisance, but that's about all they are. Contrary to the hysterical claims of soi-disant defenders of science and rationality and the fond convictions of NPR listeners everywhere, they have little, if any, influence on research, nor are they the cause of mediocre U.S. rankings in international science tests.

"tds" is correct in his implication that "the war on evolution" in recent decades has been run by the same smug lefties who like to sneer at dumb creationists. One may only "believe" in natural selection up to the point where it starts contradicting the tenets of their social ideology.

Jupiter said...

"The problem is that you can't pin 'overusing antibiotics' only on certain religions, and some reporters overuse antibiotics, so the more disturbing fact doesn't make the news."

According to the AMA, over a third of physicians say they have prescribed antibiotics for viral infections, at the insistence of their patients. So, the good doctors are not ignorant, merely venal. Just like all the other self-anointed "experts" that demand you pay them to run your life for you.

Sorun said...

Writers at the "Climate Desk" need to write about something. Internet trolls is as good of a subject as anything else. I hope their next piece is on personalities in Olympic curling.

The Godfather said...

Almost all the comments on this post relate to the issue of ignorance about science, rather than trolling, which is the primary subject of Althouse's post. I agree that the science issue is an interesting one, but I was hoping that I could learn something about trolling from these comments. For example, is there a litmus test for identifying who is a troll, or am I free to consider that anyone who (strongly?) disagrees with me is a troll?

William said...

Maybe the climate scientists know something, but their sales pitch would have been much more effective if they had labeled climate change as Crappy Winters instead of Global Warming.

Original Mike said...

Call me crazy, but I don't believe that 1 in 4 Americans are unaware that the Earth revolves around the sun.

Now, 1 in 4 might not care ...

CWJ said...

OK The Godfather I'll bite.

For me the test is someone disagrees with me enough that I want to debate/discuss the point. If in reply the person acknowledges or at least addresses your point of view, then its someone "who disagrees with me." If in reply the person changes the topic, misleadingly quotes you, goes straight to "idiot," then "troll."

Classic non-trolls, Robert Cook and increasingly Harrogate.

Michael K said...

"So, the good doctors are not ignorant, merely venal. Just like all the other self-anointed "experts" that demand you pay them to run your life for you."

Actually, the modern corporate health care system that is being installed requires a certain level of "satisfaction" surveys. Look at web sites like "Yelp." Patents complain about their doctors all the time and some of those complaints are about matters like refusing to prescribe antibiotics.

Most of the misprescribing is due to wanting less noise in our lives. Explaining why antibiotics won't help viral illness takes longer than the office visit. Somewhere a manager is keeping track of "productivity" for those primary care docs who are trying to pay off student loans and get along with their corporate masters.

A bigger problem is trying to make eye contact with the patient while entering the necessary data in the electronic record.

The days of the family GP are gone unless you choose "Concierge Medicine."

AReasonableMan said...

CWJ said...
For me the test is someone disagrees with me enough that I want to debate/discuss the point. If in reply the person acknowledges or at least addresses your point of view, then its someone "who disagrees with me." If in reply the person changes the topic, misleadingly quotes you, goes straight to "idiot," then "troll."


By this definition most posters here are right-wing trolls.

Michael K said...

ARM says:

"For me the test is someone disagrees with me enough that I want to debate/discuss the point. If in reply the person acknowledges or at least addresses your point of view, then its someone "who disagrees with me." If in reply the person changes the topic, misleadingly quotes you, goes straight to "idiot," then "troll."

By this definition most posters here are right-wing trolls."

Hilarious lack of self awareness.

n.n said...

Mooney is trolling himself. Science is a consensus of evidence, which distinguishes it from politics which is a consensus of votes. Perhaps Mooney is thinking of social climate.

Bruce Hayden said...

My theory right now about AGW is that a couple of decades ago, there was a similar theory being popularized about AGC (cooling, instead of warming). I remember having to listen to former CO Dem. Sen. Tim Wirth(less) pushing that theory in late 1989 and early 1990. According to that theory, we had to quit using hydrocarbons in order to keep the earth from freezing. Unfortunately, for that theory, just as they were starting to get traction for AGC, the Earth started warming up, and did so for a decade, while the AGC theory was gaining adherents.

So, a small group of scientists, many of them apparently specializing in tree rings, and being a bit weak on both physics and statistics, found that some weak correlation with their cherry picked tree rings and temperatures throughout history. They then spent maybe a decade massaging the temperature data to conform to their new theory of AGW (esp., it seems, at the University of East Anglia in the UK - home of the "premier" temperature database used to calibrate the other major temperature databases - this was the center of the ClimateGate scandal). Much of the "science" that has come out since then has been based on their theories, including the grossly overzealous feedback assumptions. A lot of it seems to have been "look, we got some great correlation here", or "look at my hockey stick proving the AGW is entering a catastrophic phase". What they didn't involved were good physicists and statisticians who would have told them that CO2 is a trace gas, that almost all of the variations in the Earth's temperature are a result of solar radiation, the Earth's wobble, volcanoes, oceans, etc., that what they were trying to quantify was the statistical noise, and the statistical uncertainty in that noise swamped whatever they could tease out as caused by CO2.

But, by then, the money was following AGW. The statists were using AGW to further their goals of making us all equal by destroying the economies of the first world, the crony capitalists were busy skimming the cream off of "green investments", and those jumping into the field to do research were conforming their proposals and results to the AGW biases of the statists disbursing the money.

Now, of course, we have had essentially flat temperatures for longer than we had increasing temperatures (and, also remember that we are still, hopefully, coming out of the Little Ice Age). So, the new theory is AGCC, which has the advantage of not being falsifiable. AGC was falsified by warming temperatures despite increasing CO2 levels, and AGW falsified by flat temperatures despite increasing CO2 levels. Same alleged cause (increased CO2 in the atmosphere from using hydrocarbons for energy), and same proposed solution (quit using hydrocarbons for energy). Just changed the alleged problem to conform to the desired solution.

Bruce Hayden said...

The interesting thing about trolls here is that they are the ones who jump in here and push the more progressive theories, including, AGW, AGCC, etc. Which, I guess is to say that trolls are whomever joins a discussion to cause discord and ferment by espousing theories at odds with those predominating in a forum.

Fernandinande said...

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics.

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" -- Richard Feynman

"There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.” ― Michael Crichton

In 1931 a tract appeared entitled "100 Authors against Einstein". His response was "If I were wrong, one would be enough."


chrisnavin.com said...

I think of trolls as those whose intent is not genuine, or whose genuine intent is something other than what they're claiming it is.

They're really not interested in getting at the truth, and often do it a disservice.

Michael K said...

Trolls, in my understanding, are individuals who post outrageous comments in an effort to get responses and to validate their own existence. If you post a comment on the internet and no one responds are you alive ?

I actually saw a post on this somewhere the other day.

MadisonMan said...

I thought this was an interesting AMA on Reddit.

Somewhere in the past two weeks I read an opinion piece comparing naysayers on the current warming of the Earth to playing Whack-a-mole. I'd link to it, but I can't find it now. Maybe it was evanescent.

Jupiter said...

I confess that my sympathy is with the Troll. Trolls prey upon complacence. Of course, I don't generally appreciate the Troll when the complacence is my own.

CWJ said...

Michael K,

That definition fits as well; perhaps better. I was just trying to respond to The Godfather in his own terms.

Regardless, I think its a Venn diagram with a lot of overlap.

P.S.: Thanks for saving me the trouble of acknowledging ARM.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Hilarious lack of self awareness.


A failure to engage and an immediate resort to insult. You largely fulfill my criteria for right-wing troll. The only thing missing so far is a personalized set of facts.

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
The interesting thing about trolls here is that they are the ones who jump in here and push the more progressive theories, including, AGW, AGCC, etc. Which, I guess is to say that trolls are whomever joins a discussion to cause discord and ferment by espousing theories at odds with those predominating in a forum.


So, in your studied opinion, only left wing posters can be trolls?

Deirdre Mundy said...

Trolls are rude. They're unwilling to argue the IDEAS and instead try to turn every argument into a cycle of ad hominem attacks. If someone talks about Dumbocrats or Rethuglicans, he's probably a troll.

Trolls also assume that all their opponents are evil, and can't believe that two people of good will could see the same problem but come up with radically different solutions.

And they accuse everyone else of being like Hitler.

Browndog said...

Personally, I'd like to know what the person that coined the term "troll"...meant.

You know....science.

Owen said...

Godfather (and others): thanks for reviving the question of what is a troll. I concur that the definition includes claims at odds with consensus on a thread, but the critical element, the bit that makes a troll a troll, is the non-falsifiability of the claims. If the claims appear to be factual, there will be no link or a link to BS. If the claims are shown to be false the response will be to change the subject or resort to ad hominem. The troll is not interested in any truth other than the nasty little point of view it carried into the discussion at the beginning, and you cannot change its mind. IMHO.

AReasonableMan said...

Owen said...
I concur that the definition includes claims at odds with consensus on a thread,


So, a whole lot of uninformed morons all agreement beats one informed, mentally competent person? Care to expand on that logic?

Thomas Grantonic said...

Chris Mooney..another English major masquerading as a physicist.

Michael K said...

"The only thing missing so far is a personalized set of facts."

You provided the facts, ARM, but typically, didn't realize it.

Michael K said...

"Trolls are rude. They're unwilling to argue the IDEAS and instead try to turn every argument into a cycle of ad hominem attacks. If someone talks about Dumbocrats or Rethuglicans, he's probably a troll."

I don't agree with your definition. It that were true, whole blogs, like Mother Jones and Washington Monthly, not to mention Huffington Post, are largely populated by trolls. That's why they ban comments that disagree.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

:Michael K said...
You provided the facts, ARM, but typically, didn't realize it.


Still a failure to engage, poor Michael, but we already know you lack the resources to do that, don't we?

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
I don't agree with your definition. It that were true, whole blogs, like Mother Jones and Washington Monthly, not to mention Huffington Post, are largely populated by trolls. That's why they ban comments that disagree.


And, right on cue, we have our personalized set of facts.

Only lefties are trolls, not my precious righties.

Michael K said...

ARM, one weakness of your argument is that conservative a sites, like NRO, don't ban commenters and are over run with leftist trolls.

I don't consider you a troll. You are just a leftist. Your opinions are so predictable that a bot could replace you and we would never know.

Hmmm

kentuckyliz said...

I get called a troll when I point out that consensus is not part of the scientific method.

So yeah, he's a whiny bitch for treating his opposition like a straw man and then trying to enforce consensus through social and media pressure.

Like grade school girls on the playground.

What's the deal with men who are whiny bitches lately??

Drago said...

ARM wants to discuss "facts".

Fascinating.

Perhaps ARM could explain why the CRU for so many years fought the release of the baseline data which they (CRU) then massaged "refined".

Then, after years of delay and having no choice but to comply with the release of the baseline data suddenly decided that, gee whiz, we "lost" all of the original data!

Sorry!

But trust us man! Just trust us!

From East Anglia's CRU own website (which you yourself can visit): "We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data."

LOL

New and improved lefty "science": "no, you cannot see the original data we used to create our global temperature record silly, so no, you cannot check independently verify that our "value added" and "quality controlled" data even begins to approach reasonable approximations".

Remember that the next time a professor asks you to "show your work".

LOL

"Science"


AReasonableMan said...

And I hear your opinions, even before you have them, just by sitting in the car listening to Rush Limbaugh.

Simply expressing left wing opinions, in any setting, does not automatically make you a troll. If NRO is willing to countenance a diversity of opinion good for them. My experience there, like here, is that any attempt to divert from right wing orthodoxy is shouted down.

I find the desperate attempts to enforce Republican orthodoxy on this site particularly bizarre. Althouse has no coherent political or social philosophy that I can discern, so how is it that the right wing trolls feel that this is 'their' site. Their attitude makes this site a much poorer place for discussion, since the trolls have largely seen off most of the more interesting voices.

Michael K said...

"And I hear your opinions, even before you have them, just by sitting in the car listening to Rush Limbaugh. "

Thank you for a bit of news ! I never knew that Rush Limbaugh was pro-choice or neutral on gay marriage. I don't know his opinion on evolution, or didn't until you just informed me.

You know as little about people who share conservative economic policies as you do about economics.

I am always amused by lefties who think Limbaugh's term "ditto heads" was a statement that they agreed with his opinions when, in fact, it was used to avoid having callers tell him how much they liked him when he took their call.

Bruce Hayden said...

So, in your studied opinion, only left wing posters can be trolls?

I think that you may have missed my point - that trollishness is relative to the forum. On a right of center blog, the trolls are typically leftists, and visa versa.

AReasonableMan said...

Sorry, didn't mean to offend. I thought we were trading insults. My bot-pak must need adjustment.

Like all right thinking people I would also be insulted if I had just been compared to Rush Limbaugh.

Drago said...

ARM: "ike all right thinking people I would also be insulted if I had just been compared to Rush Limbaugh."

That's an interesting way to avoid simply saying "I was wrong".

Make it about Limbaugh!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Gee, avoiding responsibility for your own actions......hmmmm..shifting the blame to someone else....let me see if I can guess your political views based on that one alone.

Drago said...

ARM: "I find the desperate attempts to enforce Republican orthodoxy on this site particularly bizarre."

LOL

The horrific bloodletting is not likely to subside for some time yet....

Owen said...

ARM: "So, a whole lot of uninformed morons all agreement beats one informed, mentally competent person? Care to expand on that logic?"

Sure. I note that you selected the less important part of my statement (the making of a claim that is outside of whatever consensus or general range of opinion then extant on a thread) and ignored the critical part: that the troll never exposes itself to logical or factual refutation. When cornered, it always offers bullshit, invective and distraction.

It also tends to be combative and supercilious but that's less important than its steadfast commitment to supplying only disinformation.

Drago said...

Thank goodness we have ARM standing up to those attempting to enforce their "republican orthodoxy" on this site.

Is there no limit to his/her bravery and courage?

What's the next "battle" ahead for you ARM against these forces of darkness?

Ensuring adequate government funding for dropping crucifixes into jars of urine?

Remember, not being funded for such things is "CENSORSHIP"!!eleventy

Bruce Hayden said...

"We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data."

Almost a prima facie admission that they cannot reproduce their temperature database from the raw data. Part of the excuse is that they dumped a lot of paper records at some point. But, also due to horrid programming and lack of documentation. The programs that generate the databases do certain things, and no one today knows why. Apparently, there was an unsuccessful attempt to recreate those programs.

And, keep in mind that their database was the one used to calibrate at least three of the four major temperature databases (including the two utilizing satellite data).

Science is supposed to transparent. This means that all results should be reproducible. And, yet, the most important temperature database is the furthest thing from transparent - even those involved seem to have little, if any, idea where they got some of their results.

Drago said...

Bruce: "Science is supposed to transparent."

So was obama.

Remember that?

Good times, good times.

MadisonMan said...

I get called a troll when I point out that consensus is not part of the scientific method.

That's a pretty narrow definition of both consensus and scientific method. A mutually-found conclusion (let's call it a consensus) is arrived at by various people who do use a scientific method to get to their conclusions.

What do you call that?

Drago said...

Bruce: "This means that all results should be reproducible."

The alarmist models weren't even correct when running backwards with "known" data points.

That's the reason why the baseline data was "lost".

It was BS. Of the highest order. Had been manipulated beyond all recognition due to politics.

Then, when it came time to fess up, they simply pulled a garage and went all "secret routers" and "what, I said what?".

The EA CRU results would never, ever have been reproducible.

Because they were lying thru their teeth for years, conspired with others to ensure their data could not released, conspired with other entities to ensure "questioning" research would not even be allowed to be reviewed by "peer" journals.

"Science"...except not transparent, not reproducible and not subject to falsification.

In other words: religion.

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that you may have missed my point - that trollishness is relative to the forum. On a right of center blog, the trolls are typically leftists, and visa versa.


I got the point, I just disagreed with it. I find discussions here or on any other site incredibly tedious if everyone is in general agreement. It is only when strong dissenting voices are present that unexamined 'facts' and assumptions get exposed. Not only shouldn't you shout down the dissenters, their voices should be welcomed and fostered to the fullest extent possible. It's a pluralistic society and getting more so all the time. Deftness in understanding and being able to respond to a range of opinions is a valuable skill.

Drago said...

ARM: "So, a whole lot of uninformed morons all agreement beats one informed, mentally competent person?"

Tell it to Joe Wilson who called obama a liar for saying that illegals would not have access to obamacare ans was shouted down by all those politically-inspired morons:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/14/Obamacare-Enrolling-Illegals-in-California



Drago said...

ARM: "It is only when strong dissenting voices are present that unexamined 'facts' and assumptions get exposed."

That's a blasphemous statement on most university campus' today, if, if, that dissenting voice is a conservative one.

ARM is like all the other lefties, he really doesn't believe in a single thing he's lecturing us about.

It's just that he's found a forum where, in general probably, the consensus of opinion runs counter to his own.

Every complaint ARM has, if he were consistent and principled, would be magnified a thousand-fold by simply visiting and viewing lefty sites.

Fen's Law on full display.

Michael K said...

"But, also due to horrid programming and lack of documentation. The programs that generate the databases do certain things, and no one today knows why. Apparently, there was an unsuccessful attempt to recreate those programs. "

I wish it was that simple. I think they neglected some basic principles of science in data collection. For example, Urban Heat Islands have been growing in third world countries. A few years ago I read that the guy who was supposed to be monitoring stations in China had not been there in years. He was a grad student in the US.

In Australia, there was a similar problem with the monitors, many of which were at airports.

They just didn't check because the stations were showing warming.

The tree ring data is corrupted by the selection of some trees and not others. All this raw data was too dirty and was discarded because it wasn't of any quality.

St. George said...

Great profile of MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen who has refused to go along with the herd.

"If Lindzen is right about this and global warming is nothing to worry about, why do so many climate scientists, many with résumés just as impressive as his, preach imminent doom? He says it mostly comes down to the money—to the incentive structure of academic research funded by government grants. Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state. And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open.

Lindzen contrasts this with the immediate aftermath of World War II, when American science was at something of a peak. “Science had established its relevance with the A-bomb, with radar, for that matter the proximity fuse,” he notes. Americans and their political leadership were profoundly grateful to the science community; scientists, unlike today, didn’t have to abase themselves by approaching the government hat in hand. Science funding was all but assured.

But with the cuts to basic science funding that occurred around the time of the Vietnam war, taxpayer support for research was no longer a political no-brainer. “It was recognized that gratitude only went so far,” Lindzen says, “and fear was going to be a much greater motivator. And so that’s when people began thinking about .  .  . how to perpetuate fear that would motivate the support of science.”

A need to generate fear, in Lindzen’s telling, is what’s driving the apocalyptic rhetoric heard from many climate scientists and their media allies. “The idea was, to engage the public you needed an event .  .  . not just a Sputnik—a drought, a storm, a sand demon. You know, something you could latch onto. [Climate scientists] carefully arranged a congressional hearing. And they arranged for [James] Hansen [author of Storms of My Grandchildren, and one of the leading global warming “alarmists”] to come and say something vague that would somehow relate a heat wave or a drought to global warming.” (This theme, by the way, is developed to characteristic extremes in the late Michael Crichton’s entertaining 2004 novel State of Fear, in which environmental activists engineer a series of fake “natural” disasters to sow fear over global warming.)

Lindzen also says that the “consensus”—the oft-heard contention that “virtually all” climate scientists believe in catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming—is overblown, primarily for structural reasons. “When you have an issue that is somewhat bogus, the opposition is always scattered and without resources,” he explains. “But the environmental movement is highly organized. There are hundreds of NGOs. To coordinate these hundreds, they quickly organized the Climate Action Network, the central body on climate. There would be, I think, actual meetings to tell them what the party line is for the year, and so on.” Skeptics, on the other hand, are more scattered across disciplines and continents. As such, they have a much harder time getting their message across."

Drago said...

St George: "To coordinate these hundreds, they quickly organized the Climate Action Network, the central body on climate. There would be, I think, actual meetings to tell them what the party line is for the year, and so on.”

Hmmmm, a "central body" created to develop and control the message.

Meetings to disseminate whatever the latest talking points happen to be.

Yep.

Nothing leftist about that.

Not in the least.

The only thing missing in this descriptor is the development of 5 and 10 year plans. These are always needed for motherland to reach glorious peoples goals!

Michael K said...

"And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open. "

Doesn't anyone read "1984" anymore ?

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

He says it mostly comes down to the money—to the incentive structure of academic research funded by government grants. Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state

Grant Proposal: Mating Habits of African Swallow

DENIED


Grant Proposal: Effects of Global Warming on Mating Habits of African Swallow

APPROVED $1.7 million

The Godfather said...

Thanks to all of you who responded to my request for an explanation of what a "troll" is. I've heard the term for a long time, and I understood that it's pejorative, but I hadn't understood what it meant. Now I do.

Kirk Parker said...

ARM,

"My experience [at NRO] is that any attempt to divert from right wing orthodoxy is shouted down. "

Let's be careful here: I have no issue with person X say "X', and persons Y and Z saying "Y" and "Z" in vigorous disagreement. That doesn't qualify as "shouting down" in my book, because X's original claim is still there for one and all to read, and if Y and Z post ad hominems or other bogus stuff in reply... that, too speaks for itself.

But what I see in a lot of lefty sites (primarily on the gun-control issue) is a quite different scenario: dissenting comments get silently deleted.

Kirk Parker said...

ARM,

"It is only when strong dissenting voices are present that unexamined 'facts' and assumptions get exposed'

So close, yet so ghastly far away.

It's only when credible dissenting voices are present, that something useful ensues.

Michael K said...

" But what I see in a lot of lefty sites (primarily on the gun-control issue) is a quite different scenario: dissenting comments get silently deleted."

When I still used to read and comment on Washington Monthly, my comments (for example opposing single payer) would draw a lot of nasty rebuttals about my age or sexual preferences, then, the next morning, my comment would be gone but all the rebuttals would still be there.

I finally gave up.

Shouting Thomas said...

Let me settle this discussion for good.

People you agree with are arguing in good faith on scientific fact, and are "reasonable."

People you disagree with are unscientific, hysterical trolls.

Shouting Thomas said...

And here's ARM's definition of "shouting down."

A lot of people disagree with him.

Shouting Thomas said...

You'll also notice that ARM has pre-defined all his opinions as "reasonable," which makes him a self-confessed troll.

Kirk Parker said...

Michael K.,

"I finally gave up"

Great, now they have their unobstructed echo chamber.

NOT (not, not!) criticizing you, thereby, not at all. Just making a Sun-Tzu-esque observation about those who engage in huge efforts to not understand their enemies.

xbox361 said...

I bet most of the one in four who don't know they are orbiting the sun believe completely in anthropogenic global warming.

cubanbob said...

Science is testable and verifiable. If it isn't then its dogma or speculation. That is where the AGW proponents fail when they argue science. The data isn't clean so others can't examine its validty. Even if for the sake of argument we take the data as good the models used by the proponents don't predict accurately from past to present so there is no reason to believe to future predictions. The only conclusion is that those who flog AGW are no better than creationists or anti-evolutionists.

Nate Whilk said...

"1 in 4 Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun." (article source AFP)

Oh, yeah? 1 in 2 French think the SUN circles the EARTH! Well, at least half of this studio audience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmLwnSXNpFU

Take THAT, L’Agence France-Presse, you cheese-eating snobs!

Jim said...

1. Actually, the data on science knowledge are worse than has been reported. After the question whether the Earth circles around the Sun or the Sun around the Earth, the follow-up GSS question was whether that takes a day, a month or a year.

In 2012 only 54% of the public gets that right, and a MAJORITY of Democrats get that wrong.

2. If disagreeing with the scientific consensus is denialism, then who believes that there is more extreme weather today (a position that the IPCC rejects) or that genetically modified food is dangerous (a position that most scientists reject)?

People who disagree with the scientific consensus maight be wrong or right but they are not akin to holocaust deniers.

Jim said...

1. Actually, the data on science knowledge are worse than has been reported. After the question whether the Earth circles around the Sun or the Sun around the Earth, the follow-up GSS question was whether that takes a day, a month or a year.

In 2012 only 54% of the public correctly answers both qurestions, and a MAJORITY of Democrats gets that wrong.

2. If disagreeing with the scientific consensus is denialism, then who believes that there is more extreme weather today (a position that the IPCC rejects) or that genetically modified food is dangerous (a position that most scientists reject)?

People who disagree with the scientific consensus maight be wrong or right but they are not akin to holocaust deniers.

Trashhauler said...

I hope I am not a horrible person, but I suspect people believe I have said horrible things.

I have enough experience with modeling to doubt the accuracy of climate models - mostly because there are way too many independent variables and I have no idea how they control for each one.

On the other hand, I do believe in evolution. That is, I believe a Supreme Being who created the universe could easily create a mechanism for the gradual and continued development of his creatures. I don't know if that makes me a horrible person, but I suspect it might.

Jose_K said...

Movement is relative to the observer. So, yes is you are on the Earth ,the Sun is revolving around you.
None is "more correct". Only one is, depending on where are you standing

Jose_K said...

Evolution? Ask William James said, unless you are a biologist or a farmer, it really does not matter.
I would add or a politician in charge of the FDA... Lysenko Mitchurin