Denigrating Nonsense

Some things are just priceless. In response to comments about a person’s comments at Watts Up With That? being deleted, Anthony Watts recently said:

Oh Eli (aka Professor Joshua Halpern at Howard University) is being the stupid overly dramatic feckless bunny that he plays on the Internet.

The Weasel is “stoat”, and if you’ll look at the last post concerning him at WUWT, Connolley has had dozens of comments.

But, like the evil bunnies, I don’t let weasels run wild either. If they have valid points, they get published. If they just want to post denigrating nonsense (like being so petty as to not being capable of using my regular name, but instead using Willard Tony), then they don’t.

I agree with Watts’s general view here. People who just want to post denigrating nonsense, like being so petty as to refuse to use a person’s regular name, should be treated with disdain. Like people who go out of their way to say things like:

Eli (aka Professor Joshua Halpern at Howard University)

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41 comments

  1. Blog moderation is difficult and somewhat arbitrary even for well spelled out policies, from what I’ve observed over the years. Sometimes it looks like an accumulation of irritants rather than a particular comment that pushes a moderator past the point of tolerance. There may be specific trigger words that do it too. OTOH, some commenters just can’t take a plain warning to not step over a clear line so they get what they deserve. Metaphorically, they’re visiting somebody’s home and should mind their manners. The best advice is 2000 years old: treat others the way you want to be treated. It goes for hosts and guests alike.

  2. Gary, moderation is actually pretty easy. One of the simplest ways to help get it right is to not moderate a person you’re participating in a discussion with. If you feel a person is getting out of hand, walk away from the discussion and tell them. Then, if they continue behaving in that way, you may moderate them.

    That simple step that helps in two major ways. First, you’re less likely to act rashly about something you’re not involved in. Second, it removes a great deal of the potential for perceived bias. When you do what Anthony Watts did to me and Nick Stokes, shutting the discussion down without warning or recourse, it looks bad. The fact Watts forced us to allow him to have the last word cannot be perceived in a good way. If he had just walked away at some point prior to censoring us, it wouldn’t look so bad. It wouldn’t look like he was censoring dissent.

    But I do agree about the advice you list. I follow it. I’ll allow people to say things about me far worse than I’d say about them. I certainly don’t insult people while criticizing them for insulting people!

  3. I don’t get this. There is a group of people who hate Watts’ guts. As Freud (the guy you think is an idiot) proposed, when you viscerally dislike someone, it becomes difficult to say out his or her name in conversation. So these people when talking about Anthony Watts constantly refer to him as ‘Willard Tony’. This is their mechanism for displacement. On the internet, not mentioning your opponent’s name serves additional purposes. I used to read comments talking about ‘Willard’ and ‘Tony’ and I did not get it for a long time. Only recently, I stumbled into Wikipedia where I found Watts’ full name was ‘Willard Anthony Watts’.

    It appears Watts’ referring to this. He’s not doing the same to Eli Rabett, is he? Mind you I cannot read the comment at Lucia’s blog because I have been banned/blocked from there.

  4. Shub,

    If you can’t read there, it’s probably because her blog’s automated defenses at some point decided that you’re a bot and your IP is banned. Email her and she’ll fix it, if this is indeed what happened. Lucia at rankexploits dot com.

  5. I’m not sure Mark. Sometimes the work computer won’t let me through and sometimes it does. I just tried a comment there (after being able to read the page) and it went straight through.

  6. 🙂 I don’t really know either. I can say that I’ve tussled with the bot system before and have inadvertently been banned a couple of times now over the last year and a half.

  7. If you can’t read the page, then likely you are being blocked by cloud fire.

    I think lucia blocks people from posting, but not reading.

  8. lucia definitely doesn’t block people from reading her blog. What happens is she has an IP blacklist. Sometimes the IP you’re assigned will change enough that you can bounce on and off that blacklist. That happens to me on a regular basis.

    Another thing which happens is her IP blacklist changes. Some of the changes are periodic, as her references files update to reflect changing sources of bad behavior. Different IP ranges are obviously going to be popular amongst bots and the like at different points as ISPs change and people identify ranges associated with bots.

    Another source of change in her list may be a more likely culprit though. lucia adds IP addresses to her blacklist based upon the bad behavior she sees. These additions are temporary, but they mean any IP address can wind up on her blacklist for a while if someone using it behaves badly.

    All three of those factors can wind up at play when you use a dynamic IP address (which pretty much every non-server machine uses).

  9. Shub Niggurath:

    As Freud (the guy you think is an idiot) proposed, when you viscerally dislike someone, it becomes difficult to say out his or her name in conversation. So these people when talking about Anthony Watts constantly refer to him as ‘Willard Tony’. This is their mechanism for displacement.

    It appears Watts’ referring to this. He’s not doing the same to Eli Rabett, is he?

    Freud was an idiot, and the explanation you provide is not likely. A much more likely explanation is people call Anthony Watts other things because they like to call him names. It’s a way of mocking people. There’s no reason to assume psychologic duress is an explanation instead of the same form of mockery we see all the time on the internet.

    Of course, what Anthony Watts is doing is not the same as what some other people do. That’s why I didn’t say it was. I merely pointed out it is similar in that he “refuse[s] to use a person’s regular name,” the very same, petty, behavior he criticizes in others.

    If I had wanted to get into details, I’d have pointed out what Watts does is worse. I mean, at least “Willard Tony” doesn’t have a stalkeristic element to it.

  10. Brandon,
    My observation from reading many moderator comments is that being an even-handed one is hard when you get annoyed by rambunctious commenters, that’s all. Walking away (a/k/a not feeding the trolls) is a fine response, but it take much self-control and an even temperament.

  11. Shub Niggurath, you stated your interpretation as fact. I stated mine as “more likely.” If you want to complain about people making unconvincing arguments, you should look in the mirror.

    Gary, as long as a moderator keeps their moderator role separate from their personal role, moderating is easy. That’s usually done by having clear rules about what is and is not allowed. Do that, follow your rules, and it’s easy to moderate. The fact you have a Delete button should not make it difficult to know clicking on it simply because you dislike what a person is saying is wrong.

    Anyone who thinks it is difficult to walk away from a disagreement instead of censoring that disagreement has no business being a moderator.

  12. “I mean, at least “Willard Tony” doesn’t have a stalkeristic element to it.”

    Stalking? Oh my.

    Brandon obviously doesn’t know that Professor Halpern has long been identified, well back to 2007

    http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/16518/alarmists-anonymous/chris-horner
    and here
    http://climateaudit.org/2007/10/26/eli-rabett-explains-why-realclimate-scientists-cant-update-the-proxies/
    and here
    http://www.climatedepot.com/2012/06/26/flashback-2009-warmest-eli-rabett-aka-joshua-halpern-of-howard-u-revels-in-thought-of-a-dead-morano-if-marc-morano-were-dead-hed-be-whirling-in-his-grave/
    and here more recently

    He has is own Wiki page and picture with the Halpern name linked in.

    http://www.odlt.org/dcd/ballast/eli_rabbett.html

    If using Joshua Halpern’s name is “stalking” when writing about him, then I think you’ve gone over the top and out the window.

  13. BTW I have actually met Dr. Joshua Halpern (aka Eli Rabett) shook his hand and had a conversation with him at AGU in Dec. 2013. I’m pretty sure Brandon has not (i.e. I think my viewpoint is likely). When you meet somebody and have a conversation with them, and especially when that conversation included discussion of their alter ego, I’m also pretty sure that puts you on a first name basis.

    Since Dr. Halpern came up to the table Mosher and I were sitting at, I’m also pretty sure nobody called the cops to complain I was “stalking” Dr. Halpern at AGU. Of course, Brandon’s viewpoint may have wide error bars on that issue.

  14. Anthony Watts, again I must ask, please stop making things up:

    Brandon obviously doesn’t know that Professor Halpern has long been identified, well back to 2007

    I am perfectly aware of that. Not only is there no basis for claiming it’s obvious I do not, it’s silly and rude to assume the only reason someone might disagree with a view is they are ignorant. Similarly, it is silly to say:

    If using Joshua Halpern’s name is “stalking” when writing about him, then I think you’ve gone over the top and out the window.

    When that is not what you did nor what I said you did. There is a significant difference between saying “Joshua Halpern” and saying:

    Eli (aka Professor Joshua Halpern at Howard University)

    As Howard University is where he works, not his name.

    Moreover, I did not say anyone stalked anyone. I described unnecessarily listing a person’s name and place of occupation has a stalkeristic element to it. It does. It’s bringing up personal information about a person which has no bearing on the subject being discussed.

    As an example of this, I’m a gamer. I play lots of video games. I post on some message boards and talk in some chat rooms. When I do, I do not use the name Brandon Shollenberger. I use a handle which is easy to associate with my real name. That doesn’t mean it is normal for people to go around calling me by my real name on message boards. In fact, people usually get their comments deleted when they do that because it’s creepy. And yes, it is stalkeristic.

    But let’s suppose we don’t view it as stalkeristic in the slightest. Does that in any way make it okay? No. It’s still rude and creepy to randomly bring up irrelevant information about a person you’re having a conversation with.

  15. Well I’ve never seen any indication you have known, but my opinion/viewpoint is “making things up” and it is OK for Halpern to do what he does for the purpose of denigration, but not for me to cite his actual name and affiliation, like I do with most any other scientist on WUWT and other blogs? Wow.

    All this bluster from you about me is over one comment of yours that got snipped a couple of weeks ago due to a misunderstanding between us. I find that fixation sad, and telling.

    Well that’s it then. I’m done – we don’t see the world the same way, and likely never will. Sincere good luck to you sir.

  16. Anthony Watts, there is no way to interpret my comment the way you just did. You say:

    Well I’ve never seen any indication you have known, but my opinion/viewpoint is “making things up”

    You did not merely express an “opinion/viewpoint.” You said something was obviously true. If you say something is obviously true when it is not, you have no room to complain when people say you’re making things up. As for claiming I say :

    it is OK for Halpern to do what he does for the purpose of denigration,

    I have never said it is okay for anyone to behave the way he behaves. In fact, I said the exact opposite. I said he should be treated with disdain for behaving that way. You’ve accused me believing of the exact opposite of what I believe.

    And to go on to say:

    All this bluster from you about me is over one comment of yours that got snipped a couple of weeks ago due to a misunderstanding between us. I find that fixation sad, and telling.

    Which is complete BS. You have no basis for this other than claim other than not liking me criticizing you, yet you state it as fact. If you want to baselessly smear people by making things up about them then run away, feel free to post things like:

    Well that’s it then. I’m done – we don’t see the world the same way, and likely never will. Sincere good luck to you sir.

    We likely never will see things the same way because you apparently don’t care about what people actually say, including yourself.

  17. wow.

    “Eli (aka Professor Joshua Halpern at Howard University)

    As Howard University is where he works, not his name.

    Moreover, I did not say anyone stalked anyone. I described unnecessarily listing a person’s name and place of occupation has a stalkeristic element to it. It does. It’s bringing up personal information about a person which has no bearing on the subject being discussed.”

    just wow.

    1. stating Joshua halpern at howard distinguishes him from the medical doctor having the same name. And yes, howard is where he works.
    like saying “anthony watts at intelliweather.

    2. Stalkerish? hardly. the worst one could say about this is that it potentially invites other people to harass Eli at his place of work

    So, we are sitting at AGU resting our feet and Anthony spots Eli talking to zeke at our poster and i recognize him as well.
    I said something to the effect ” Look, if I talk to that man I will owe him an apology. not sure Im ready to do what I need to do”
    As Eli walked by we stopped him ( or he came up I cant recall ) and I said Eli I owe you an apology. over the years Ive said a
    lot of mean nasty things to you. He would have none of it and said ” Eli is just a schtick. its ok you dont need to apoligize”
    Anthony also said that he too had probably said things he regretted or words to that effect. And again Eli was all smiles. The rabbit is a persona, an act.
    regardless, i told him that i would keep my tongue in check.
    All in all it was one of the nicest meetings Ive had with an internet opponent.

    So, whats that mean. I’m pretty sure that if you are reading anything stalkerish about anthony’s comment…
    it is in your head, not in his words.

    if you want to know what Anthony meant. Ask him. if you think words on page can capture or represent what he meant or intended..
    then you need to be more skeptical of your ability to determine meaning

  18. Steven Mosher, I don’t know why you and Anthony Watts both felt the need to talk about how you met him. I don’t see what that has to do with the topic at hand. I said going out of one’s way to point out a person’s name and place of occupation has a stalkeristic element to it. I think that’s fair as I can see little reason to post that information other than encouraging stalkeristic tendencies.

    That the three of you have all met each other does not provide such a reason. It doesn’t explain why information about a person who posts under a pseudonym was randomly brought up. Providing that information contributed to the discussion no more than if I were to say, “Carrick (John Smith, owner of a great dame named Fido).”

    I get people may disagree about my choice of made up word to describe what was done. I don’t get why people would focus on what made up word I chose rather than addressing the fact Watts randomly brought up information about a person despite it contributing nothing to the discussion.

  19. In other news, I am now a bit tempted to start adding random factoids after every name I say. No longer would you be “Steven Mosher.” You would be, “Steven Mosher, former employee of X” or, “Steven Mosher, male, age Y.”

    It’d be weird and a little creepy, but at least it’d be done in good humor.

  20. Mosher saw fit to take the time to find out my full name, and to take it upon himself to post my full name over at Judith’s.

    Now the fact that he did that has no meaningful impact on my life, but his actions provide information about his take on propriety of posting information about people.

  21. Frankly I’m hoping that once we all get though this sniping about the use of identities we can get on back to plain fallacious argumentation – hur hur

  22. Haven’t you guys read the script? You are all supposed to be part of the vast right wing conspiracy financed by the evil Koch brothers to bring down the forces of goodness and truth. Arguments like this show there isn’t a pre-ordained agenda being co-ordinated by a hidden puppeteer. Although once Lewandowsky thinks about it, no doubt he will “prove” it will be all part of a cunning layered plot to fool people into thinking the non-warmists aren’t being controlled by the evil capitalists.
    For what it is worth, I think we are all guilty of putting remarks in blog posts that on reflection we shouldn’t, but then feel obliged to defend, otherwise it would be seen as weakness by the jackals.

  23. ChrisM, this case is a bad example for the point you hope to make. Anthony Watts has he loudest voice of all skeptic bloggers. As soon as I disagreed with him, he became abusive. When that didn’t shut me up, he censored me. When I discussed what happened, he fabricated claims to justify his actions. When I later made a light-hearted criticism of him on a different topic, unrelated to the previous dispute, he immediately became abusive, misrepresented what I said and dismissed me as simply pursuing a vendetta – the very thing he was doing.

    That sort of behavior is the exact behavior we see from consensus enforcers. The fact I stood up to him and received a tiny bit of support from a couple people, does nothing to indicate things are fine.

    For further demonstration of the problem, Anthony Watts refused to even look at my well-documented case of abuse of the IPCC process in the latest report simply because it criticized Richard Tol. His only response to my case was he didn’t believe Tol would do that. No person who was actually skeptical would dismiss well-documented criticisms, especially from a respected member of his “side,” like that.

  24. ===> “That sort of behavior is the exact behavior we see from consensus enforcers.”

    That’s beautiful, Brandon. This behavior that we see (not uncommonly, I might add), is the behavior of “consensus enforcers.” It is “consensus enforcer” behavior. But is is demonstrated by “skeptics.” So it isn’t really the behavior of “skeptics” even though “skeptics” are behaving that way.

    Really quite beautiful.

  25. And I should also add that the very notion of “consensus enforcers” is beautiful unto itself. Indeed. Just look at all these “skeptics” that are subjected to the “enforcement.”

  26. Joshua, I think the argument is beautiful, though apparently not for the same reason you do. The entire point of my comments on this subject has been the so-called skeptics don’t behave like skeptics. Heck, I’ve specifically said I can’t consider myself a skeptic because the people who have taken the name have bastardized it have no relation to the word’s actual meaning.

    I say skeptics aren’t skeptics because they don’t behave skeptically. You take that as me defending theit behavior. I find that interesting.

  27. It’s human behavior, Brandon. It isn’t “skeptical” behavior or “consensus enforcers” behavior. An expectation that “skeptics” would behave differently than “climate enforcers” is unskeptical – because the tendency towards biased reasoning is rooted in psychological and cognitive characteristics that are endemic to how humans reason.

    ==> “That sort of behavior is the exact behavior we see from consensus enforcers. ”

    What’s interesting is that you would have a sudden awareness of the reality that “skeptics” aren’t immune from biased reasoning, an epiphany that came about because of how you were treated, personally. Why wouldn’t you have come to your realization long ago – before your “censorship” (an overly-dramatic description, btw) or mistreatment? If your realization is only an outgrowth of you, yourself being mistreated, then what does that say?

    But what’s beautiful here is that you can’t see your own biases as embedded in the characterization of “consensus enforcers.” That’s another reason why your statement was beautiful, because even as you see the biased behavior from “skeptics” when you are the target, you turn right around end employ the same kind of biased reasoning to conflate human behavior and “consensus enforcer” behavior. There’s no such thing as a “consensus enforcer.” Your vision of “consensus enforcers” is rooted in the same biased reasoning that you are beginning to realize exists among “skeptics.”

    Anthony Watts’ treatment of you in this situation is fully in character with how he’s been acting for years, obviously and very publicly. There is nothing even remotely unusual about it. Mosher’s defense of Watts is also, entirely, in character. Nothing new there either. Why would completely typical behavior by Anthony suddenly become evidence for you of something that should have been obvious long ago?

  28. Brandon –

    Consider this thread and the comments:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/16/mending-fences/

    Consider Willis’ behavior. Look at the criticisms offered to him about his “apology” and his responses to those criticism. Look at the total lack of “skepticism” on his part. And then consider how often you have seen the same kinds of patterns play out with Willis and his responses to criticism, at WUWT. There is nothing new there. It has taken place in somewhat modified forms many times. Look at the degree of support that he garners from Anthony and other “skeptics” for his entirely unskeptical behavior. There is nothing new there! This is the climate wars. This is one of countless on-line food fights related to countless topics.

    So why would anyone expect anything else in the “skept-o-sphere?” How could anyone who has read similar posts and comment threads throughout the “skept-o-sphere” not have seen the rampant lack of skepticism at WUWT? From Anthony Watts?

    Of course, there is nothing there that doesn’t take place on the other side of the climate wars. And explanation that there would be is similarly unskeptical, IMO.

  29. Joshua, you just got so many basic facts wrong there’s no point trying to address what you say. When you assert multiple figments of your imagination as fact, you make it clear discussion is pointless. Feel free to keep posting, but don’t expect anyone to listen. Anyone who has followed my writings know you are way off, even on indisputable facts.

  30. I had no expectation that you’d listen, Brandon. Your past behavior has made such an expectation unrealistic.

    But one never knows, so it’s always worth a shot. Just like you had a new realization about Anthony’s reasoning (despite that nothing about his reasoning had changed), you might also have some kind of epiphany about your own.

    But nice duck, anyway.

  31. Joshua, since you continue to insist I’ve had some new realization, I’m going to have to challenge you on it. What is your factual basis for that claim?

    And remember, a moderation rule on this site is when challenged on a factual claim they’ve made, users must address the issue.

  32. Well – see there Brandon – my expectation was wrong. You are listening.

    I’m not insisting, Brandon. I made an assumption. And from your question, which implies that there is no factual basis for my assumption that you have come to a new realization about Anthony, it seems that my assumption was wrong. I won’t insist that I was right. Only you can know the factuality of whether you have had a new realization. But here was the thinking behind my assumption:

    I know that you have interacted with Anthony a fair amount. I know that you have posted at his site. Now I’ve never observed that you have been criticizing him for acting like a “consensus enforcer” that whole time – but maybe you have and I missed it. That is certainly quite possible.

    But regardless, I’m kind of surprised that you would post at his site – where he has the “loudest voice” among “skeptical” bloggers – even though you recognized that he acts like a “consensus enforcer,” and “censors” people merely because they state views in disagreement with his. I’m surprised that you allowed yourself to be associated with his website (without foregrounding your criticisms, at least) even though you recognized that he is “abusive” and even though you knew that he “fabricates” claims, even though you believed that he “misrepresents” what people say, pursues “vendettas,” and “refuses to even look” at well-documented evidence. I’m surprised that you would collaborate with him even though you believed that he acts in ways that no person who is actually skeptical would act. I’m surprised that you allowed him to put up your posts even though you felt all along that he is “petty,” “worthy of being treated with disdain,” and posts “denigrating nonsense.”

    It was my impression that you had only started talking about those issues once you were the target, and that the reason that you only started talking about them then was because it was only at that point that you recognized those behaviors for what they were. It was my impression that you wouldn’t have continued to associate with someone who engages in the behaviors you described if you were already of the opinion that he engaged in such behaviors. And thus I assumed that your realizations about his behaviors were new. But it was only an assumption. And only you know the actual facts of the matter.

    You see, I have been puzzled for a long time as to why people would see the behaviors that you describe of Anthony and not talk about the lack of skepticism embedded in those behaviors (in all fairness, I do recall you locking horns with Willis about his behaviors at least once before). So maybe I just wrongly lumped you in with that group, and maybe you have been talking about those behaviors for a long time – and I just missed it. Or maybe you saw those behaviors for what they were, and didn’t talk about it and continued to associate with someone who acts like that w/o talking about it – for some reason that I don’t understand. Because it seems from your challenge to me that I was mistaken in my assumption that your understanding about those behaviors is something new.

  33. Oh, and Brandon. You don’t need to remind me about the moderation rules on your site. I am always happy to talk about the basis of arguments that I make. Because when someone challenges me on an argument, it means that they’re listening – and I like exchanging views with people who are listening.

  34. Joshua, anyone who has followed this blog knows I criticized so-called skeptics for being unskeptical well before any of this. I publicly stated I wouldn’t submit any posts to WUWT some time back because of its poor behavior, and I later trashed the so-called skeptics for their lack of skepticism.

    Heck, the post I wrote highlighting this case of censorship referred back to one of the times I criticized them on this topic, suggesting such a criticism meant it was inevitable I’d wind up in this position.

    It’s true I haven’t spent much time discussing WUWT in general, but that’s because I tend to only discuss specific sites when I’ve interacted with them on the topic. I don’t participate at WUWT much so I don’t say much about it.

    *Anthony Watts has listed a number of things as guest posts even though all I did is inform him of something I’ve written. Alerting people to topics you think they may be interested in is not submitting a guest post, but that never seemed worth pursuing.

  35. For what it’s worth, I think the first thing which made me start criticizing WUWT was realizing the sort of things Christopher Monckton writes. For the longest time, I hadn’t paid any attention to the guy and knew nothing about him. Omce I saw him writing about subjects I’ve covered (giving me a reason to read something he wrote), I was highly critical of WUWT and its crowd foreven toleraring him, much less promoting him.

    Later I found out Richard Tol has abused the IPCC process to dramatically alter sections of the latest report to promiote his own viewpoint and work to the exclusion of all else. I was able to make a well-documented case for it, and nobody cared. Anthony Watts flat out dismissed the issue because of who I was criticizing.

    Those things shaped my opinion of WUWT more than Anthony Watts censoring me. Him censoring me only changed two things. One, it made me realize his moderation practices are biased and used to censor disagreement (though I still don’t know to what extent). Two, it gave me reason to call out WUWT, specifically, for its unskeptical behavior.

    That said, Watts fabricating claim after claim to justify his behavior by smearing me did cause me to realize the problem is worse than I had realized. I had never anticipated he would simply make things up to smear people who stepped out of line.

  36. Well, Brandon – I’ll say this. The behaviors you have described (such as selectively moderating so as to limit diversity of opinions expressed in the comments) were immediately apparent to me the first time I went to WUWT – from Anthony and from many (although certainly not all) of the commenters and posters at his site. I say that not because I think that I’m someone special. In fact, the opposite is true: I think that recognizing those behaviors should be easy for anyone not affected by fairly extraordinary conditions: IMO, anyone for whom those behaviors were not immediately apparent would pretty much have to be heavily biased, most likely based on political/ideological affinity, or affinity within the constellation of the climate change wars. It seems to me that the characteristics that you describe are abundant, and stunningly obvious.

    I should take pains to point out, however, that I’m not making a statement about Anthony personally. I don’t know him. I have no reason to think that he isn’t a perfectly fine fellow. I have a slightly different slant, I think, on his behaviors than you. I don’t think that they are some kind of “window into his soul” (as Mosher might say), but merely a reflection of how people tend to act when they are ideologically identified within a highly polarized context. I suspect that I don’t take all of this as seriously as you. Perhaps you also don’t make a causal link between his nature as a person and the behaviors you’ve described, but I don’t consider his actions as “censorship” or his behaviors as “worthy of disdain,’ etc. and when you use that kind of language it appears to me that you aren’t locating his behaviors within the fuller context of universal human influences.

    These behavioral phenomena are ubiquitous. And indeed, (IMO) we all engage in these behaviors in one form or another, to one degree or another. My own personal bias is that when people think that they’re above the fray, even though they are heavily involved in the fray, (and perhaps think that such behaviors are some kind of telling indicator about someone else personally), and think that they themselves are excluded from engaging in such behaviors and thus are markedly different at a personal level, they are indulging in the same kind of biased reasoning that leads to these behaviors. As I said above, these behaviors occur because of fundamental attributes in the psychology and cognition related to human reasoning. If you’re human, you engage in them. If you think that you don’t, you’re (ironically) actively engaging in them. That is the thinking behind some of my comments to you about the beauty of some of your statements – that seem to indicate that you think that you are excluded from being influenced by these kinds of biases. My opinion is that you sometimes conflate opinion with fact (like when you say to someone that “that makes no sense”) in a way that reflects very similar biases as those my friend Anthony displays, and that the underlying causality is very similar because, indeed, when Anthony moderates out a diverging viewpoint or “fabricates” something, or rationalizes a petty act like digging out and posting Rabbet’s name, etc., he is invariably likewise acting on a rationale that conflates fact with opinion:

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