I Suppose it Was Bound to Happen

A couple days ago Judith Curry said “the skeptical technical blogosphere is rapidly self-correcting.” I told her she was wrong, saying in no unclear terms:

In my experience, skeptics as a whole aren’t self-correcting. They are every bit as guilty of willful blindness as anybody else. They just like to claim otherwise. There are a handful of exceptions, but by far and large, their reaction to any criticism depends entirely upon who and what is being criticized.

After a comment like that, I suppose it was inevitable I would start getting censored by skeptics.


Watts wrote a post in which he said a Polifact article was wrong when it said Steven Goddard had made an erroneous criticism of a particular temperature record. Specifically, the Polifact piece claimed to be examining the issue:

“That’s the hottest year on record in the United States,” Doocy said. “At least until NASA scientists fudged the numbers to make 1998 the hottest year to overstate the extent of global warming. The 1930s were by far the hottest decade in the United States.”

A reader wondered if NASA really did cook the books (we love reader suggestions!), so we are checking Doocy’s claim about fudging the numbers.

It referenced this blog post by Goddard and focused on a gif he had made:

1998changesannotated

The Polifact piece explained why the differences that gif shows exist, and it explains why we shouldn’t consider think there is anything wrong or fraudulent. Anthony Watts addresses that piece by saying:

Besides moving toward a more accurate temperature record, the best thing about all this hoopla over the USHCN data set is the Polifact story where we have all these experts lined up (including me as the token skeptic) that stated without a doubt that Goddard was wrong and rated the claim “pants of fire”.

They’ll all be eating some crow, as will I, but now that I have Gavin for dinner company, I don’t really mind at all.

Which clearly indicates he thinks the piece is wrong. I found this difficult to understand as his reason seemed to make no sense. Watts says Goddard was right because:

Goddard initially claimed 40% of the STATIONS were missing, which I said right away was not possible. It raised my hackles, and prompted my “you need to do better” statement. Then he switched the text in his post from stations to data… this time Steve Goddard was right

If 40% of the data is missing, that’s obviously an issue worth discussing. If Goddard correctly pointed out 40% of the data is missing, he deserves credit for that. That doesn’t have anything to do with his gif though. His gif wasn’t about missing data. Data can be missing without causing changes like those visible in that gif. In other words, the issue of missing data had (as far as I could tell) nothing to do with what the Polifact story said.

I tried pointing this out multiple times, and the responses rang false. For example, Watts said:

Goddard initially said that in comparing the USHCN raw versus the final data set, that 40% of the STATIONS were missing, and that is clearly wrong…

The Polifact story used my quote related to my objections to Goddards initial claim, it also linked back to Zeke’s post about Goddard’s initial claim.

Only, if you look the post by Zeke Hausfaster linked to by the Polifact article, it doesn’t say anything about the claim “40% of the STATIONS were missing.” The entire post is about a bad methodology Steven Goddard has used to create temperature records.

Anthony Watts responded to that post, and the Polifact piece quoted him. Naturally, they took his comment as responding to the topic of that post, not the idea “40% of the STATIONS were missing.” In fact, Watts clearly distinguished the idea of the post from the idea “40% of the STATIONS were missing” by saying:

I took Goddard to task over this as well in a private email, saying he was very wrong and needed to do better. I also pointed out to him that his initial claim was wronger than wrong,

He clearly distinguished between Goddard’s “initial claim” and the topic of the post.

The Polifact piece is not about what Anthony Watts claimed it was about. It wasn’t about anything discussed in Watts’s post. Nothing about Watts’s post supports the idea anyone needs to “eat crow” for that Polifact story. This is a simple, but important matter. You shouldn’t say a bunch of people are wrong if they aren’t. Only, Watts doesn’t think it is important. He told me:

Your points have no value to me, right or wrong

He said a bunch of people were wrong. I said they weren’t. He said there’s “no value” in my point, even if it is right. That is, he claims it doesn’t matter if he falsely accused a bunch of people of being wrong. And it gets worse. He went on to say:

For the purpose of getting you to stop being pedantic and cluttering up this thread with an issue I don’t consider important, I’ll just say I’m wrong. But nothing is going to change in the article above. This will be the last comment on the subject.

He “admitted” to being wrong in his post which said a bunch of people were wrong, but he refused to change the post to acknowledge they weren’t wrong. And with that, he told me I would be censored from then on in. I thought perhaps he didn’t mean what he said. I thought perhaps he meant that would be his last comment, not the last comment. To check, I tried submitting another comment. It got deleted with the note:

[snip – Brandon, I’m sorry but as stated above I’m not discussing this anymore. We’ll simply have to agree to disagree – Anthony]

Showing he meant it when he announced the censorship. He could have just walked away from the exchange. That would have ended the exchange just as effectively. All of my comments were made in direct response to him.  If there was nothing more for me to respond to, I’d stop responding.  The only difference is I would have had the last word.  That means I was censored just so he could get the last word, so he could make the final, petty remark you saw just above.

He denies this. On Twitter, he claims I wasn’t censored. He says:

But this tweet is clearly wrong. He did not tell me “that would be [his] last comment on the issue.” He said it would be the last comment. Had things been as he claims, there would have been no problem. I’d have made one more comment, and when I got no response, I would have stopped commenting on the issue.

Another issue is the comment he deleted did not demand a response. I pointed these two issues out, and he complained about it:

It’s obviously not a bad thing that I responded to point out he mispresented why I had a comment deleted. I pointed this out, saying of course I’d respond to correct false claims. He misunderstood this, saying:

The false claims I referred to were clearly the ones he said on Twitter about why he deleted my comment. I don’t know why he thought I was referencing the exchanges on his blog. Regardless, it’s fascinating to see he misrepresented the wrong topic as well. According to him, everything I said was because I think he shouldn’t cite an article. I never said anything of the sort. I said he misrepresented the Polifact piece. That’s not complaining about him citing it.

Saying a person shouldn’t misrepresent in a piece in no way says they shouldn’t cite it. I pointed out I didn’t say what he claimed, and he responded:

Of course, he didn’t provide a quote or link or anything to support his claim my problem was with him citing the Polifact article. I made a comment to this effect, and soon after silence followed.


The Polifact piece did not say what Watts claims it said. The post by Zeke did not say what Watts claims it said. My comments didn’t say what Watts claims they said. Watts’s comments didn’t say what Watts claims they said. And in all this, I’m the “bad guy” because I refused to “agree to disagree.” As I told Watts:

Anthony, if by “agree to disagree,” you mean I say you’re misrepresenting the Polifact piece and Zeke’s post, and you simply hand-wave me away, sure. I laid out what those pieces were about, with quotes to back it up. If I’m wrong, it should be easy to show.

I don’t know why a simple point of what topics were covered in sources should require us “agree to disagree.” Even people who violently disagree should be able to agree what topics a source covers.

I don’t understand why Anthony refused to offer any quotes to support anything he said. I don’t understand why he ignored the quotes I offered to support what I said. I certainly don’t understand why he feels it is appropriate to censor a critic to ensure he gets the final word in a disagreement. I think that’s all… very strange.

In any event, here is the comment Watts claims I demanded a response in. I challenge anyone to: A) Find anything resembling a demand in it; B) Explain what legitimate purpose is served by deleting it instead of just allowing it and not responding.

6-30-Deleted

Advertisements

31 comments

  1. The problem here is twofold. ( And I speak as a just slightly more than casual observer of these internecine hairsplitting contests )
    Firstly, Watts read Goddard’s initial description wrong because he is obsessed with the stations.
    So the way he read the words seemed to imply an absurdity to him that he thought below his threshold of attention.
    Once made aware of the part of the “problem” that was indeed related to his pet subject (stations), he was interested in that ( Zombie stations).
    However, his interest or support were not granted to the concept that the numbers are being fudged daily, or adjusted ridiculously, and I believe that he is reluctant to go there .

  2. jimash1, you might be right. I don’t understand what happened. All I know is Anthony Watts is behaving in a ridiculous manner. He’s helping cover up Steven Goddard’s stupidity by acting as though this “zombie station” issue has some relevance to the Goddard claims that got media attention. He’s then using his editorial powers to abuse and censor people who disagree with him.

    I’m sure he has some “reason,” and I imagine it involves a lot of fooling himself. I don’t know what that reason may be, and I can’t say I care. He’s behaving in a manner indistinguishable from that of many people he has criticized.

  3. Well I don’t think Goddard is stupid at all. I think he has uncovered and quantified a major tampering and alteration of the record, of an ongoing nature that has corrupted and biased the record so that any further research based on that record is worthless.
    The blink comparator graph that you post shows the blatant alteration of the past and “present” in stark detail.
    Paul Homewood’s analysis, confirms this alteration and goes so far as to confirm the numbers and breakpoints associated with the ongoing alteration, and even that the alteration of past temperature records continues so that one may pick a station and a date and find that the record for that station and date continue to change years later, and always toward a certain outcome, not randomly at all.
    The provable facts that they throw away perfectly good data and substitute “estimates” , and also use estimates from so-called “Zombie stations”
    just highlights the lengths “they” are willing to go to , to preserve the curve.
    It is that part of the issue that attracts Watts, partly because it is about “stations” and partly because it is very obvious and easy to prove.
    Goddard is not stupid, and since I read him I have known of this tampering for years.
    Many of us are pleased that this manipulation of the record os finally getting some attention, however qualified or belated.
    If you think it is stupid, perhaps you should look at the graph in your own post, and then look up the originals at NASA, and then ask yourself, or some “true believer” how it is that the 1930’s became cooler in 2000. And then after you twist your head around with some BS explanation about TOBS, you can ask, “Why do the TOBS adjustments continue to be made to the past,when the have already been done, and why are the TOBS adjustments being applied to the present, and why are these adjustments cooling the past and warming the present” ?
    You don’t see a problem there ?

  4. Watts-“Besides moving toward a more accurate temperature record, the best thing about all this hoopla over the USHCN data set is the Polifact story where we have all these experts lined up (including me as the token skeptic) that stated without a doubt that Goddard was wrong and rated the claim “pants of fire”.

    Watts-They’ll all be eating some crow, as will I, but now that I have Gavin for dinner company, I don’t really mind at all.

    Which clearly indicates he thinks the piece is wrong. I found this difficult to understand as his reason seemed to make no sense. Watts says Goddard was right because:

    Watts-Goddard initially claimed 40% of the STATIONS were missing, which I said right away was not possible. It raised my hackles, and prompted my “you need to do better” statement. Then he switched the text in his post from stations to data… this time Steve Goddard was right”

    40% of the data is estimated ( fabricated) and that includes stations for which the data exists in raw form but was for some unknown reason ( LOL) discarded or ignored and substituted with the estimated/fabricated data, as well as the “Zombie stations” for which there is no data beyond that which was fabricated. This 40% alone which Watts has deigned to note, is capable of introducing a bias, and indeed Goddard has shown
    that the estimated data shows more warming than the raw.
    THEn you of course have to look at the adjustments to the actual raw data that is used after being adjusted. That is where Watts blanches, because like many others he has been convinced that there is some justification for it,. There is not.

    Watts is eating a certain amount of crow, because it is now clear to him that the record is corrupted. All that remans is to agree upon the depth of the corruption.

  5. Regarding your statement:

    “Find anything resembling a demand in it”

    I think the problem may be with the use of the word “should” in your deleted comment. The word “should” is kind of slippery. It can mean something along the lines of:

    a certain course of action is preferred or recommended but not necessarily required

    or it can mean something like:

    must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency)

    Lawyers sweat a lot about the uses of “must” vs “shall” (“shall” being present tense of “should” but only in a technical sense).

    In your case I can see someone interpreting “should” as “must.” It’s not the way I think of the word. I consider “should” to be more along the lines of “would be nice.” But since you asked if anyone could find “anything resembling a demand in it” I think I can say yes, I can.

    This certainly isn’t the linchpin of the discussion but I find it unfortunate when useful exchanges get derailed by petty disagreements.

  6. jimash1, while I disagree with the view you express here:

    Well I don’t think Goddard is stupid at all. I think he has uncovered and quantified a major tampering and alteration of the record, of an ongoing nature that has corrupted and biased the record so that any further research based on that record is worthless.

    But I get the impression it would be pointless to explain to you why when you say:

    the alteration of past temperature records continues so that one may pick a station and a date and find that the record for that station and date continue to change years later, and always toward a certain outcome, not randomly at all.

    When an actual examination of the data proves that false, a point I demonstrated on this very blog just yesterday. Instead, I’ll just answer your question:

    You don’t see a problem there ?

    Yes, I see a problem. The problem is people’s biases get in the way of any actual examination of the facts. Sometimes it’s individual biases, and sometimes it’s institutional ones. I won’t bother pointing out obvious biases from “warmists,” but I will point out Watts Up With That? readers have repeatedly expressed the same belief as you about the nature of the “adjustments” even though it is obviously false if one bothers to look at the data. Watts makes no effort to correct this misconception, choosing instead to tacitly encourage it.

    If people will acknowledge basic facts, like the fact some of the “adjustments” you complain about downplay global warming, discussions are possible. If people won’t, discussions aren’t. It’s your call.

  7. Tony S, the word “should” can be used in an imperative sense (making demands). That doesn’t mean you can interpret a person as making a demand every time they say “should.”

    I used the word “should” three times. In all three cases, I made a general statement about what sort of behavior is appropriate. There was nothing resembling a demand in any of them, much less a demand directed at a single individual.

    TL;DR: The fact I used the word “should” does not mean I made demands.

  8. “If people will acknowledge basic facts, like the fact some of the “adjustments” you complain about downplay global warming, discussions are possible. If people won’t, discussions aren’t. It’s your call.”

    I would be happy to acknowledge such a fact if it were in evidence. It is not. Goddard has done the work and Paul Homewood has confirmed it,
    and anyone can see the numbers and what they are doing and understand that these are not simply adjustments to make the calculations of statistics possible.I cannot account for the fact that you got the graph upside down, but I do now understand that you were unaware of the meaning of the phrase “To eat crow” . You might want to have a look at that so that you understand Anthony’s statement that you misinterpreted

  9. jimash1, it’s remarkable you say you “cannot account for the fact that [I] got the graph upside down.” That post provided links to the data I used. Unless you’re going to accuse Anthony Watts of fabricating one (or both) of the data series I used, there is no basis for disputing my graph. It is trivially easy to verify.

    You’re dismissing easily verifiable work as wrong without making the slightest effort to check its validity. Of course you “cannot account” for something if you are so sure it’s wrong, you won’t even look at or think about the data.

  10. Well Brandon I reread the relevant portion of your post again.
    I’m sorry I misinterpreted your graph.
    But since it is not the graph of adjustments applied over time , which it resembles though upside down, it serves only to remind is that the numbers for 100 years ago change significantly in 18 months, and I am sorry, but it is unacceptable, because these are not simply statistics to be subjected to torturous calculations. They are recordings of a physical condition that need to be accounted for accurately and used as they were taken without assumptions that they need adjustments.

    I am dismissing your work but that isn’t the issue. The issue is that following your work would be a dead end.
    Since I have eyes and can tell negative from positive numbers, Paul Homewood’s work is more understandable, and it completely nullifies any concept that you think you might have found between looking at two meaningless useless iterations of a corrupted and constantly changing record that is supposed to reflect actual conditions, as recorded , but does not.

  11. jimash1, you made a specific claim that is oft-repeated, that changes to the temperature record are made in one direction, toward a preconceived goal. The graph I posted shows that’s not true. All the adjustments of a particular 18 month period combine to create a significant change downplaying global warming.

    That proves adjustments do not take the form you claim they take. Given that supposed form is the basis for your claim these adjustments are intentional and malicious, it proves your case wrong.

    Dismissing what I posted requires simultaneously claiming an argument as proof of your position while dismissing that argument as unimportant. It’s incoherent.

  12. “Dismissing what I posted requires simultaneously claiming an argument as proof of your position while dismissing that argument as unimportant. It’s incoherent.”

    Not at all.
    In any case, Goddard’s claim was and is that the temperatures, past and present are being adjusted, old ones down, new ones up.
    He computed and quantified these adjustments and the time sequence breakpoint of the up/ down adjustment, and presented results.
    Paul Homewood has dug into the record and confirmed this in detail on at least three states so far, and in such a way as for it to be incontrovertible. The actual difference between the recorded temperature and the reported temperature is just what Goddard said it was.
    Anyone can see that clearly.
    Tell me where the error in that is.

  13. jimash1, at this blog, you cannot dismiss what someone says by saying, “Not at all” then insist they change the subject. If you want to resort entirely to hand-waving and diversions, find somewhere else.

    Here, if you want to say someone is wrong, you’re expected to explain how they are wrong. In fact, one of the few moderation rules here is when challenged on a factual claim one makes, one must address the challenge. In this case, you specifically claimed:

    the alteration of past temperature records continues so that one may pick a station and a date and find that the record for that station and date continue to change years later, and always toward a certain outcome, not randomly at all.

    To which I responded by directing you to proof your claim was false. That is the topic at hand. Until we deal with it, I don’t intend to change to a different subject.

  14. Here’s a humorous factoid. Steven Goddard responded to the Polifact article, saying (in part):

    Anthony Watts was discussing a different specific topic related to missing station data, and has since admitted he was wrong. If you actually contact him, you will find that out.

    Goddard says Watts was referring to a different topic than the Polifact article. I say the same thing. That means Goddard and I both agree Watts was wrong to say the topic of his post (missing data) could prove the Polifact story wrong.

  15. Hopefully this will provide some level of understanding of my viewpoint. Maybe not.

    John Neilsen-Gammon complained to me privately that Polifact asked him about missing/fabricated station data, and he provided a quote, and then went on to use that in the context of a the story as you see it. So I can see where Brandon is coming from.

    They also used my quote, from Lucia’s, about the station/data dropout and the “fabrication” claim. And other quotes talked about the same thing:

    Mark C. Serreze, professor of geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder, said no fabrication has taken place.

    “Goddard’s results stem from an erroneous analysis of the data,” Serreze said.

    Anthony Watts, a popular skeptic of most climate change data, posted his objection to Goddard’s claim.

    “I took Goddard to task over this as well in a private email, saying he was very wrong and needed to do better,” Watts wrote.

    From my viewpoint, “eating crow” over the Goddards point about fabrication and his original graph is what my point is about. Will Serreze fall under that? I think he will, he talked about “fabrication” part of Goddard’s original claim. Serreze got the switchover treatment as well.

    Polifact asked Judith Curry about the “fabrication issue” she didn’t want to comment and referred him to Zeke and I and our work on Goddards initial “fabrication claim”.

    I will also note that I asked Dr. Curry to review my Scientific Method at work on USHCN article before posting it, I asked another person close to the issue to also review it. Neither came up with any objection similar to Brandon’s, probably because they saw the mixture of both issues in the Polifact article. The data “fabrications” and “adjustment” issue are intertwined. More adjustments are made due to station/data dropouts since the algorithm detects this. Brandon probably doesn’t have the same viewpoint because he hasn’t been closely examining the issue.

    If I had referenced the political article and it had no mention of the word “Fabrication” in it (per Serreze) or the use of my quote about the fabrication issue, I could see his point about the citation being irrelevant.

    Brandon, in his original comment at WUWT couldn’t understand why I referenced the article, mainly I think because he doesn’t have the history of the discussion and examination of the USHCN I do. He also doesn’t seem to understand that both fabrication and adjustments issues are interrelated. When he did finally understand what I was referring to, and admitted he was confused (a WUWT comment he chose not to highlight here in this piece) he kept pushing on the issue in a way I thought was more trolling than useful. It is also useful to note that I tried to engage Brandon in email, and when he didn’t get what he wanted there, he went right back to the comments at WUWT and kept pushing the issue. It had all the classic cues of XKCD’d “Duty Calls”. I get this stuff all the time, If I stopped to deal with every person who has some objection, I’d never get anything done.

    Brandon is still welcome to comment at WUWT, but I’m was tired of what I consider an irrelevant argument by Brandon. He will of course disagree and go to great lengths again, but I simply have better things to do than worry about Brandon’s opinion on this. Brandon does a great service to finding things and making a contribution, but I see this particular crusade to get the Polifact article removed from my essay as pedantic.

    It was an editorial choice, Brandon gets to make editorial choices too and as we’ve seen from his recent posts, he’s made some bad choice that have readers scratching their heads trying to understand him. Me, I don;’t much care but its useful to point out that Brandon has similar problems to what he says about me. It comes with the territory. Every day I get email telling me what I “should” be doing.

    I think one thing we can agree upon is the Polifact article is a mess. That’s not my fault.

    Today, Polifact made an unannounced addition (not mentioned on the main page) and with the addition it seems even more muddled.

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jun/25/steve-doocy/foxs-doocy-nasa-fudged-data-make-case-global-warmi/#atfhead

    I will give you one point, that is in the Twitter feed argument you started, I should have said “the” instead of “my”. I wrote from memory, I admit to having an imperfect memory.

    Carry on, do whatever you want Brandon, but I’m not wasting any more time on your objection to referencing the Polifact article.

  16. Ah I note I was unclear above on two sentences.

    The last line “…your objection to referencing the Polifact article.” should read “…your objection to referencing the Polifact article in the way I did.”

    And to be clear on this “…but I see this particular crusade to get the Polifact article removed from my essay as pedantic. ” That is my opinion of what the goal was, based on what Brandon was telling me. Brandon didn’t actually say it should be removed AFAIK, but that was my takeaway.

    It probably won;t make any difference to the comment stream that follows, but I’m just trying to convey the issue as I see it as clearly as I can.

    All writing is imperfect, mine is no exception

  17. Anthony Watts, this is ridiculous:

    Brandon does a great service to finding things and making a contribution, but I see this particular crusade to get the Polifact article removed from my essay as pedantic.

    Even with your modification:

    And to be clear on this “…but I see this particular crusade to get the Polifact article removed from my essay as pedantic. ” That is my opinion of what the goal was, based on what Brandon was telling me. Brandon didn’t actually say it should be removed AFAIK, but that was my takeaway.

    There isn’t the slightest thing in any of my comments to justify such an interpretation. This is no different than you baselessly claiming I demanded you respond to me even though I clearly did nothing of the sort, something you’ve chosen to completely ignore even though it was both the trigger for this post, and the most important aspect of it.

    I’ll put this simply. You deleted a comment of mine without cause. You’ve since said untrue things about that comment, and when challenged with evidence, you refused to address the issue. Even if everything I said about your post was wrong, that behavior is inexcusable. It’s censorship, and it’s dishonest.

    Even worse, you’re continuing to make things up about what was said and done in order to paint me in a negative light. One example is tame:

    When he did finally understand what I was referring to, and admitted he was confused (a WUWT comment he chose not to highlight here in this piece)

    You act as though me not highlighting that comment speaks poorly of me, but the reality is I didn’t highlight it because I didn’t want to have to waste my time explaining the sarcasm in it:

    I, perhaps naively, thought that meant this post was about what that story covered. As such, I pointed out this post fails to show Goddard was right, in any way, about what he was quoted as saying in that story. I failed to notice this post was actually saying Goddard was right about an entirely different issue…
    Goddard was right to point out this bug existed. That just has nothing to do with the Polifact story this post portrays him as being right in…
    So yeah, my bad. Sorry I didn’t realize you were giving Goddard credit in reference to one issue because he was right on a completely different issue. I guess I’m just bad at spotting incoherence.

    You have to try really hard to read that comment as me admitting I had failed to “understand what [the post] was referring to.” But that’s tame. The real messed up part is you say:

    It is also useful to note that I tried to engage Brandon in email, and when he didn’t get what he wanted there, he went right back to the comments at WUWT and kept pushing the issue.

    This is BS. You responded to me in the comments on WUWT and e-mailed me at the same point. I responded to you in e-mail and in the comments. You then responded to me in both locations again. We repeated the process. Something like six e-mails were made with six corresponding comments. You’re painting me in a negative light, claiming I “went right back to the comments at WUWT and kept pushing this issue” for doing the exact same thing you did.

    There is no way any fair-minded individual could read our exchanges the way you portray them. Not only that, there is no way any fair-minded individual could read censoring a person the moment you want to stop talking as appropriate. They’d know if you didn’t want to participate in an exchange, all you had to do was stop participating.

    But no. The one time I ever disagreed with you in public, you wound up censoring me without cause then offered ridiculous interpretations of what I said while trying to justify it.

  18. While the topic of the original disagreement doesn’t have much relevance to the issue of whether Anthony Watts behaved appropriately, I do want to address what he said about it. There are several interesting points. First, he says:

    John Neilsen-Gammon complained to me privately that Polifact asked him about missing/fabricated station data, and he provided a quote, and then went on to use that in the context of a the story as you see it. So I can see where Brandon is coming from.

    If John Neilsen-Gammon was unhappy with how his quote was used, the article couldn’t have used it the way he intended. As such, if he intended it to be used on the issue of “missing/fabricated station data,” it must have been used for something else. That would be wrong, and Polifact would deserve criticism for it, but it would support my claim the Polifact article was not about “missing/fabricated station data.”

    Watts goes on to refer to how the Polifact article quoted him, repeating his earlier claim while completely ignoring the fact I’ve discussed his quote multiple times, even in this post:

    Only, if you look the post by Zeke Hausfaster linked to by the Polifact article, it doesn’t say anything about the claim “40% of the STATIONS were missing.” The entire post is about a bad methodology Steven Goddard has used to create temperature records.

    Anthony Watts responded to that post, and the Polifact piece quoted him. Naturally, they took his comment as responding to the topic of that post, not the idea “40% of the STATIONS were missing.”

    But we can assume he did intend his quote the way he says (even if he misrepresents what Zeke’s post said). That seemingly puts him in the same boat as:

    From my viewpoint, “eating crow” over the Goddards point about fabrication and his original graph is what my point is about. Will Serreze fall under that? I think he will, he talked about “fabrication” part of Goddard’s original claim. Serreze got the switchover treatment as well.

    In both these cases, just like John Neilsen-Gammon’s, his argument is Polifact misrepresented what those quotes were about. He claims those quotes were about the “missing/fabricated station data.” If they weren’t used in that way, they were not used to address the topic of Watts’s post.

    Watts is effectively saying every quote which might have referred to the topic of his post was misused to refer to something else. Based upon that, he says:

    If I had referenced the political article and it had no mention of the word “Fabrication” in it (per Serreze) or the use of my quote about the fabrication issue, I could see his point about the citation being irrelevant.

    What!? If Polifact misrepresented three or more different people, that’s a damning criticism. Watts should have made a big deal about it. He didn’t. He didn’t say a word about. If the Polifact article was as misleading as he claims, nobody could possibly know that because he refused to tell his readers. Watts apparently wants us to believe he criticized the Polifact article but chose not to tell anyone the article was grossly deceptive.

    I find that incredible. Polifact, said the article is about one thing. I said the article was about that one thing. Even Steven Goddard said the article was about that one thing:

    Politifact accused Steve Doocy of being a liar, for accurately reporting on a blog post made on my blog (stevengoddard.wordpress.com) which showed how NASA has altered the US temperature record over time.

    Anthony Watts was discussing a different specific topic related to missing station data, and has since admitted he was wrong.

    Goddard, Polifact and I all say the Polifact article was about adjustments to the temperature record, not “missing/fabricated station data.” Watts says that’s false because the Polifact article misrepresented the people it quoted, and he just didn’t bother to tell anyone that when criticizing the article.

    I don’t think Watts’s position about the Polifact article makes sense, but even if it does, why in the world didn’t he make a huge fuss about Polifact’s article being incredibly deceptive? How could he expect his readers to know about the deception when doing so would require knowledge of his personal communication?

  19. Brandon, I recognize the need to clarify misunderstandings and to set the record straight or at least delineate points of disagreement, but when the debates devolve to this level of intricacy it’s time for everybody to chill and move on. Even if you’re more right than the other guy, but especially if it’s so convoluted that observers can’t tell anymore. We’ve all got better things to spend time on. Please take this as a friendly comment. I admire your tenacity and precision, but these arguments just give me a headache.

  20. Gary, I get people in general may not care. I get it may give people headaches to deal with nonsense like this. But the fact is Anthony Watts censored me the very first time I disagreed with him, and afterwards, he told people untrue things about me and what I had said.

    And all this happened because Watts misrepresented a Polifact article in a way that muddied the waters and helped confuse/mislead a bunch of people (hence the next post I wrote which laid out the points of the subject out in a clear manner).

    Put simply, Watts misrepresented the Polifact article, what I posted on his blog, and what we said to each other in private, all in order to justify censoring me. Those aren’t the sorts of thing you can just ignore.

  21. I’ve been censored at WUWT as well for disagreeing. OK, that’s not nice. If I were being super generous, they probably moderated my post because they thought I was trolling. (A post where Tisdale was trying to make hay over less than nothing.) So it turns out WUWT isn’t perfect. I’d be more pissed if the site was called “free thinking emporium”. A former friend had such a site and my posts were suddenly rejected when I started to become skeptical of CAGW. Turns out left-wing greens aren’t as liberal minded as they think they are. I used to identify as a left-wing green, so I’m not sure where that leaves me. Why is CO2 worse than toxins?? I’m continually dumbfounded. But that means I’m no longer “one of them”, so I don’t get no respect any more. It turns out the root of all human problems is the same no matter where you go: human nature.

    Anyways, I’m not sure what the point of a comments section is if you are not allowed to disagree. Are comments only for consensus thinkers? Anthony seemed a little “hot” about this topic, so maybe his comments section wasn’t the best place to have it out, especially since you have a higher profile than most. I really think WUWT could have handled it better, but then again, it’s not a perfect place and it doesn’t pretend to be, and they are rather busy. It was nice to see Anthony came to your site to discuss it further. It shows he gives a shit. I agree with Gary in that I can’t really parse who is technically correct. Also, your own post was a little rude. When you say someone else is “pathetic”, well, them’s fightin’ words. At this point I’m not sure why you would upset your relationship with Anthony over this, but hey, it’s your life. It’s OK to disagree, so usually these issues come down to manners. Maybe you’re fixating a little too much and need some perspective, if you’ll pardon me for saying. Plus it’s annoying when “big names” turn out to be just as human as the rest of us. OTOH, Anthony just might not have time or inclination to comb through every detail with you and parse it out to your satisfaction. Again, this just comes down to being respectful of other peoples time and underlines the importance of being polite and friendly when you disagree, even if the other person is maybe having a bad day. (I suppose it’s hypocritical of me to say that though, judging from my own past arguments.)

    Anyways, sorry if the above was inappropriate or intrusive in any way. I’m naive in that I think most of life’s problems are due to how people treat each other, especially how groups of people treat other groups of people.

    James

  22. Hey JamesNV. I just saw your comment in my spam folder before I emptied it out. I’m not sure why it landed there. Sorry it took me so long to fish it out.

    As for what happened between Anthony Watts and me, it’s really quite simple. You don’t need to try to figure out “who is technically correct.” It’s trivially easy to see Watts misrepresented things multiple times. For example, Watts repeatedly claimed my complaint was that he cited a particular Polifact piece. I pointed out to him that that is false. I complained Watts misrepresented the Polifact piece. I never complained he cited it. The distinction is simple and obvious. Nobody should have trouble making it, yet Watts repeatedly failed to. He interpreted my comments in ways that are completely unjustifiable, and he defended that when he commented here. He even said:

    Carry on, do whatever you want Brandon, but I’m not wasting any more time on your objection to referencing the Polifact article.

    When it’s impossible to read anything I wrote as an “objection to referencing the Polifact article.” So when you say:

    It was nice to see Anthony came to your site to discuss it further. It shows he gives a shit.

    Realize he didn’t come here because he cared about me or what I said. He came here to make a statement for damage control. That’s all. He didn’t try to talk to me when he came here. He didn’t try to resolve our points of disagreement. All he did is state his position and put me down. That’s nothing more than trying to smear me to make people not listen to what I say.

    Similarly, you’ll notice Anthony Watts didn’t address the fact I’ve provided a copy of the comment he deleted, and it clearly doesn’t do what he claimed it did. He kept mum on the fact I showed he grossly misrepresented what I wrote in order to justify deleting it.

    And most troubling, to me at least, is Watts flat-out made things up about our personal communication to smear me even more. I don’t know how he deludes himself into believing what he said about me and our e-mails, but it’d be obvious BS to anyone who looked at those e-mails.

    I disagreed with Anthony Watts in public for the first time. He refused to let me disagree with him, censoring me to prevent it. He then told people untrue things to justify his censorship and paint me in a negative light. That’s exactly what people on the other “side” have done to me. Given he was every bit as bad as them to me, I can only assume he feels comfortable being that way to anyone.

    In other words, I now view Watts Up With That? as being on par with Skeptical Science in regard to moderation.

  23. Hmm, maybe I was moderated into the spam folder at WUWT too. Anyways, I get what you’re saying. Not cool. While I’m not really in a position to judge, it’s probably an honest mistake – in the sense that he probably is twisting things in his own mind and really believes his own point of view. Ego, bias, defensiveness, the need to dominate, group think, etc. at work. It’s a human nature thing. One thing I can assure you: you’ll find it everywhere. If I am wrong please let me know. Just goes to show how much growing up we human beings have yet to do.

    Some ‘cultures’ are better than others though. I actually think this is a major human mental health problem. Or opportunity if you like. But I’m a bit odd sometimes.

  24. JamesNV, I have no doubt you are completely correct. I run into the same sorts of thing on a regular basis. I don’t understand how people can contort themselves so much that they believe completely baseless, and often nonsensical, things. It’s driven me crazy my entire life, and it’s one of the reasons I started this blog. The blog just got sidetracked into climate stuff more than I intended.

    When I was young, I thought I must be crazy because I couldn’t imagine so many people were. Since then, I’ve come to accept the world is crazy, as are the people in it. Sadly, it’s intentional. The sort of craziness of this situation is impossible to miss if you genuinely try to understand what the other person is saying. People miss it because they intentionally avoid critical thought when it doesn’t suit them.

    Everyone does it. The only question is the extent to which they do it. Some people just have mild confirmation biases. Other people are so crazy they can delude themselves into constantly seeing things that aren’t real. Most fall somewhere in between. Then there’s me, an exception who never engages in it! I kid. I’ve never found a case of me engaging in this sort of behavior, and I’ve looked as hard as I can, but I don’t think that proves I’m sane. I could just be fooling myself into thinking I’m sane.

    On the other hand, many psychologists believe self-delusion is a helpful tool. They think it improves the quality of one’s life. If so, being sane is harmful. Maybe that’d mean you’d have to be crazy to want to be sane.

  25. ==> “I’ve never found a case of me engaging in this sort of behavior, and I’ve looked as hard as I can,”

    That’s beautiful, Brandon.

  26. Brandon –

    Only you can waste your time. I can waste my time, but I can’t waste yours, or anyone else’s. I would politely suggest that you reconsider whether it “makes sense” to try to hold someone else responsible for your decisions.

    I don’t think my comment was empty. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion about its substance. But it is only an opinion, Brandon. Think about it.

  27. Joshua, your inane commenting style isn’t particularly welcome here. If you have points you want to make, you’re welcome to make them.

    As for your claim you can’t possibly waste my time, that’s stupid, and you’d have to be stupid to believe it.

  28. Brandon –

    I would politely suggest that you reconsider whether it is worth your time to name-call.

    I don’t particularly care whether you think that my “commenting style” is welcome. I don’t comment here based on what you think is welcome.

    ==> “If you have points you want to make, you’re welcome to make them.”

    Actually, that is exactly what I’m doing – making the points I want to make.

    ==> “As for your claim you can’t possibly waste my time, that’s stupid, and you’d have to be stupid to believe it.”

    Rather typical of you, Brandon, in that once again you confuse fact with opinion. I do find it curious that you stumble so much over such a simple matter. Perhaps you will give some thought as to why that is. Your choice. But I will refer you back to this:

    ==> “I’ve never found a case of me engaging in this sort of behavior, and I’ve looked as hard as I can,”

  29. Joshua, whether inadvertent or not, you’re trolling. I moderate very lightly so I’m not going to prevent you from doing so, but I am going to stop responding. As long as you don’t disrupt things by posting this sort of nonsense too much, you’re welcome to keep making a fool of yourself.

  30. ==> “but I am going to stop responding.”

    A wise decision, Brandon, IMO. It is good to see that you have decided to accept responsibility for your own decisions. Kudos. I consider that progress, of sorts – although I question whether you can sustain that progress. Time will tell. That you could have so recently said the following:

    ==> ““I’ve never found a case of me engaging in this sort of behavior, and I’ve looked as hard as I can,”

    leaves me skeptical. Unless, of course, the comment was tongue-in-cheek. I couldn’t quite tell. But whether you were serious when you wrote that or not doesn’t detract from its beauty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s