Interesting Perspective on the Consensus Debate

I’m happy to say not every critic of the infamous Skeptical Science consensus paper is a skeptic/denier/whatever. Plenty of people on all sides recognize it as a bad paper. Some are even willing to say so. One individual who accepts the general “consensus,” José Duarte, has recently posted his views on the subject. He says, “I think the consensus of climate scientists regarding the reality of human-caused warming is both real and correct,” but he also says:

In social science, it’s common to use trained human raters to subjectively rate or score some variable — it can be children’s behavior on a playground, interviews of all kinds, and often written material, like participants’ accounts of a past emotional experience. And we have a number of analytical and statistical tools that go with such rating studies. But we would never use human raters who have an obvious bias with respect to the subject of their ratings, who desire a specific outcome for the study, and who would be able to deliver that outcome via their ratings. That’s completely nuts. It’s so egregious that I don’t think it even occurs to us as something to look out for. It never happens. At least I’ve never heard of it happening. There would be no point in running such a study, since it would be dismissed out of hand and lead to serious questions about your ethics.

And:

I don’t care who you are – even if you’re a staunch liberal, deeply concerned about the environment and the effects of future warming, this isn’t something you should tolerate. If we’re going to have a civilization, if we’re going to have science, some things need to be non-political, some basic rules need to apply to everyone. I hope we can all agree that we can’t seriously estimate the AGW consensus by having political activists rate climate paper abstracts. It doesn’t matter whether the activists come from the Heritage Foundation or the Sierra Club – people with a vested interest in the outcome simply can’t be raters.

In a sane world, this would be one of those “Duh” things nobody should need to say. Our world isn’t sane though so I’m happy to see more people recognize the problem. You can read more from him on this subject here:

http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/ignore-climate-consensus-studies-based-on-random-people-rating-journal-article-abstracts

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61 comments

  1. This is pretty on target too:

    To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t done anything wrong – he hasn’t posted any sort of sensitive information or anything that would violate our core principles of scientific ethics. The identities of the raters were not confidential to begin with, so there was no new disclosure there. He’s exposed the cartoonish bias and corruption of the rating process that underlied this “study”, and in so doing, he’s served the interests of scientific ethics, not violated them.

    IMO everything you released, should have been released by Cook et al., except he hasn’t released data that he either has or hasn’t collected, depending on which tune Cook is whistling at the time.

    People like Eli Rabbet just want us to ignore when researchers are behaving badly. I refuse to believe that is a good policy for climate science either short term or long term.

  2. ===> “I hope we can all agree that we can’t seriously estimate the AGW consensus by having political activists rate climate paper abstracts. ”

    Indeed. I’m glad that you and Carrick are absolutely steadfast in explaining to “skeptics” that they have no business rating abstracts because of the potential for bias.

  3. “I’m happy to say not every critic of the infamous Skeptical Science consensus paper is a skeptic/denier/whatever.”

    So I/we are not good enough for you?

  4. Joshua. I happen to agree on that issue. But I happen to think rating the abstracts is a waste regardless of who does it.

  5. Carrick and Joshua,

    I beg to differ.

    At least as an instrument to demonstrate the folly of rating abstracts, rating abstracts has great utility.

    DGH

  6. DGH –

    In the abstract, I think that the potential utility of evaluating abstracts is certainly limited, but that the determination of whether it is folly depends on the reader. It is what it is. If the authors seek to embue it with more value than it merits, that doesn’t change the inherant value.. If detractors in turn seek to detract it as “folly,” then they lose the opportunity to enlarge their knowledge base by whatever information they might have obtained.

    But certainly in the end the rating of abstracts is subsumed by the obvious, which is as Richard Tol says:

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

    The bickering and drama queening about Cook et al. is also information, although it is certainly also of limited value since it is same ol’ same ol” to the nth degree.

  7. @Joshua

    “subsumed by the obvious” I like that, it’s just the showing of that “obvious” to others that’s the tricky bit 😉

    I’m not “subsumed” by that particular “obvious” myself. Maybe you (and Tol) are, but it seems clearly a subjective opinion, if you want to “subsume” some credible thought leaders (not me of course) with something .maybe something better than a large media presence is required? 😉

    Or maybe you are happy to accept that you can’t “subsume” all of the people all of the time?

    The bickering and drama queening about Cook et al. is also information, although it is certainly also of limited value since it is same ol’ same ol” to the nth degree.

    Of course there is “bickering and drama queening” it’s climate! 😉 But is that drama queening really something that seems the most salient thing about Cook et al to you?

    Maybe I can’t subsume you with the same opinion I have, but I find Cook et al a delightfully fascinating stark example of science as a policy vehicle. And it so simple and easy to pick apart! I think they will be able to put this on the primary school syllabus eventually, something like an introductory case study to the early 21st century climate science inanity and charlatanism.

    And I take some wry delight that the social science chin stoking by the professionals is so dreadfully accepting of this. I still treasure Dan Kahan describing it as “elegant” – I do actually laugh out loud writing that 🙂 But I guess I won’t be “subsuming” you into that mindset just yet 😉

  8. I think Jose has it correct—if you want to understand the structure and dynamics of views of scientists in climate, ask the scientists.

    Cook becomes much more interesting as a tool for understanding the mentality of the activist community than the marginal science value it actually contains about global warming consensus.

    It’s interesting that Joshua can’t bring himself to criticize this complete dog turd of a paper, but has no problems criticizing people who are willing to notice that’s what the paper really is.

    I mean really…. noticing really serious things wrong in the scientific process is suddenly being a “drama queen”. What do you suppose gives with that?

  9. Carrick, I can’t say I’ve given much thought to why Joshua behaves the way he behaves. His contributions tend to range from valueless to mildly harmful, and the problems with what he says are usually obvious enough they don’t merit much thought.

    That said, I think his sort of selective criticism is pretty common from people on all sides. I can think of plenty of examples where criticisms I raised were dismissed with a similar attitude. Some times it was by “skeptics,” other times it was by “warmists,” and many times it was by people in my day to day life.

    The only substantial difference I’ve noticed with Joshua is he openly admits he doesn’t even try to understand things. I can’t think of many people who profess a lack of intelligence as much as he does.

  10. Carrick –

    I dont think that criticizing Cook et al. is drama queening. Not in the least. I thnik that drama queening about Cook et al is drama queening. If it is a flawed paper based on flawed methodology, crtiticize away. I dont care enough about fhe paper itself to want me to take the tome to weigh the evidence either way and so I have no opinion and thus no reason to weigh in. If it is as you declscribe, it would be one of many flawed papers based on flawed methology. Not a big deal in my book – especially because it has nothing directly to do with the evidence related to the risks posed by climate change.

    But what is interesting to me is that so many electrons get wasted in drama queening about the paper when A) the underlying subject matter it deals with is bleeding obvious as Richard describes, and B) the underlying subject matter and the paper itself, both, are not even remotely as important as both sides of partisan drama queens make it out to be.

    Despite that “skeptics” often claim that the existence of a consensus is irrelevant to science, or in fact that attaching significance to a coonsensus is antithetical to “pure science,” many nonetheless obssess in thread after thread about all matter related to the consensus. And despite that (IMO) focusing on the consensus will not move the needle on public opinion on climate change, some, “realists” obsess about proving the consensus because they are convinced it will matter. In the end, IMO, it is all much like children squabbling on a playground, namecalling and fingerpointing, and wailing in deep earnestness about how the matter at hand is of existential importance. It’s all rather amusing, IMO, and just goes to show how deeeply entrenched is the same ol’ same ol’

  11. Tlitb1 –

    I have no interest in “subsuming” credible thought leaders,all of the people, or some of the people.

    Yes, the drama queening about Cook et al. is the only aspect of the paper that I consider “salient” if I understand your use of the term correctly. I consider the subject matter to be bleeding obvious, so the only aspect of interest to me is the surrounding tribalism, personality politics+ drama-queening (on both sides), etc.

    I think they will be able to put this on the primary school syllabus eventually, something like an introductory case study to the early 21st century climate science inanity and charlatanism.

    That is a perfect example of the kind of drama queening I am talking about. Ko one really cares about this paper except for partisans, and yet partisans go on and on about how important it is. My guess is that despite the deep significance attached to the paper by folks like you and Cook, in the years to come it will be an issue designated for the vast universe of climate wars trivia that drama queens were convinced would go down in history as significant. The climate will do what it will do, and no one will give two square about Cook et al except dead enders of one persuasion or the other.

  12. Two square = two square. This kindle makes my writing even more error prone than normal. Of course, not that Brandon cares one way or the other, as he took the time to explain to Carrick. 🙂

  13. Hey Joshua, you often comment when Judith Curry says people were affected by Climategate in certain ways, challenging her ability to know such is true. Given that, would you care to explain how you know this:

    Ko one really cares about this paper except for partisans

    To be true? Did you run a poll, create a survey, or what?

  14. @Joshua

    That is a perfect example of the kind of drama queening I am talking about.

    Well hello darling! I see. So you are literally spending your time asking the critics why they care, and why they bother, at the same time attempting to impress them that this caring and bothering is somehow redundant and emotionally telling, *and* at the same time telling them that you really don’t care yourself?

    Mmm I see.

    Stomps off and dramatically slams door to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s I will survive 🙂

  15. tlitb1,
    I agree with you. Joshua is looking like one of the biggest drama queens in the climate blogosphere right now. If he doesn’t care about this topic he’s free to ignore it. Many people are ignoring it.

    But not Joshua!

    So vast is his indifference, so deep is his revulsion over all the drama that he makes appearances at here, there, there, there and no doubt many other places I could find had I the interest to post his insights on this topic. But it sure looks like he’s been wanting to engage in discussions about this for a long time.

    Presumably, Joshua thinks his own repeated posting is ‘not drama’ while that of others is symptomatic of “drama queen’. I would suggest that other people might diagnose Joshua’s postings a bit differently.

  16. @lucia liljegren (@lucialiljegren)

    Oooh yes I think I see that Joshua seems more engage and prefers deep exciting discussions about how minds tick like at Dan Kahan’s. Far too tricky for me. I do know that the residents of SkS seem awfully keen on this realm of discussion too. Making incredibly complex diagrams about cognitive cause and effect and looking for that just right lever that could be pulled causing cognitive acceptance tumbling down. It must be very exciting thinking that you can do this with elaborate SEM models an all 😉

    So I guess it must be distressing just seeing Cook et al hijacking the public space with a petard just about to be hoist at any time. Especially one so awful that any lumpen laymen who takes the time can point out the plain vanilla flaws, exaggerations and ticking problems.

    So this disdain for “drama queening” claiming meta motives and ignoring overt content, is this a symptom of cognitive dissonance? Sorry, I promised I won’t try…

    I may be drama queening by saying Cook et al could become “primary” school literature but I certainly would argue and consider betting it could make high school syllabus in some future course. It think it is very teachable, but dismissing me for the element of drama queening I inject seems very significant. Must be a key technique in subduing incipient cognitive dissonance … argh! there I go again stop it!

    I prefer just relishing the awful inevitability of Cook et al’s awfulness. Meanwhile ol’ John Cook elbows his way in to be the biggest gold standard 97% study on the planet – I assert this literally not drama queening honest, it may be a strangely small pool but Cook et al has become the de facto bloater in it judging by the very wide coverage you see.

    Has Doran, Oreskes etc matched their coverage? I would say not. So I would say putting Cook et al’s media coverage together with the very public view of fellow social scientists not publicly vomiting in disgust at the sight of it (OTT?*) and I think you then see how they made that 97% meme their very own.

    Yes, I think I can see how this all must be very distressing to someone who really cares about the consensus.

    Just human nature 😉

    *BTW José Duarte response is really what a social scientist who cares about his field should look like. However I guess by going out on a limb on his own like that it can seem shocking to some.

  17. Lucia –

    ==> “Presumably, Joshua thinks his own repeated posting is ‘not drama’ while that of others is symptomatic of “drama queen’. I would suggest that other people might diagnose Joshua’s postings a bit differently.”

    Thanks for that “diagnosis.”

    I hope that you don’t mind my butting-in to a convo between you and tlibt1 – but since you were discussing me with him/her, I would like to clarify a few things.

    I’m not indifferent to the fact that drama queens on both sides make such a big deal about the study. Even though it is same ol’ same ol’ to the nith degree, the Cook et al drama-queening still interesting and perhaps among the best evidence for the identity aggressive and identity defensive behaviors that are associated with cultural cognition. (The reason being that all the bickering and finger-pointing and name-calling is about something where the underlying issue is bleeding obvious. Why would all of that aggression and defense take place associated with an issue that is bleeding obvious if not because of cultural cognition?)

    Allow me to repeat. I’m not indifferent to the amusing drama. I’m indifferent to the underlying topic (and results of) of the paper: Regardless of the results of the paper, or any methodological flaws it might have, it is bleeding obvious that, as Richard says:

    “Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.”

    And I think that the shared concern related to the “consensus” is drama-queening because the importance of the “consensus’ is over-evaluated in the reasoning of some “realists” in that contrary to what they believe, I think that widespread publicity surrounding the consensus is not likely to move the needle on public opinion much. On the other side, I think that the drama-queening about the “consensus” among many “skeptics” just goes to expose the vapidness of their drama-queening about how they don’t care about the “consensus” and how they think that even discussing whether there is a “consensus” is antithetical to “pure science.” Why would they drama-queen so much about Cook et al. if they don’t think that whether there’s a “consensus” is important or if they think that considering whether there is a “consensus” is antithetical to “pure science?” It’s all rather amusing.

    I don’t think that talking about the bickering and finger-pointing and name-calling and drama-queening about Cook et al. in itself amounts to drama-queening. I think that drama-queening about Cook et al. is drama-queening.

    Although I will point out that sometimes there is drama-queening about the drama-queening related to Cook et al. (which isn’t drama-queening about Cook et al. itself). For example, I think that Kahan’s arguments regarding a negative impact that the campaign related to promoting Cook et al. might have on public opinion amount to drama-queening because I think that he largely overestimates that potential impact. Promoting Cook et al. won’t drive people into polarized opinions, IMO – because most people are predisposed to look at such promotion in a way such as to fit with their already existing preconceptions and very few (non-aligned) people, IMO, will have their views changed to any significant extent (in either direction, let along in a direction consistent with Kahan’s speculation).

    But even with all of that, whether I am drama-queening or not has no material impact on when anyone else is drama-queening – so your discussion with tlib1 is immaterial to the point that I made. Consider playing the man not the man not the ball, Lucia.
    I
    Anyway, I hope that helps, Sorry for the long and rambling post. I hope you can follow it.

  18. Joshua,

    Thanks for that “diagnosis.”

    Your welcome.

    But even with all of that, whether I am drama-queening or not has no material impact on when anyone else is drama-queening

    I didn’t say or suggest you being a drama queen means others aren’t also drama-queens. There is no rule that says only one drama queen can exist. Nevertheless, it seems to me you are the biggest drama queen of them all on this issue. I think your rather dramatic response to the diagnosis tends to confirm mine.

  19. tlitb1,

    I may be drama queening by saying Cook et al could become “primary” school literature but I certainly would argue and consider betting it could make high school syllabus in some future course.

    Maybe. But getting the 97% message ‘out there’, to the general public seems to be one of their goals. Joshua’s response (changing the subject to his diagnosis about “drama queens” ) doesn’t change the fact that your observation may very well be correct.

    Of course, Joshua could complain that my pointing out that your observation may be correct is itself somehow symptomatic of “drama queen”. But once again: that’s just a change in subject. In fact: your observation may be correct. Possibly, Joshua doesn’t care if it’s correct. In which case, the best way for him to prove that is to stop frenetically haunting sites whose content (supposedly) doesn’t interesting him. It’s easy enough to do that.

    The fact that he can’t seem to stay way from posts whose content (supposedly) bores him, and he finds himself unable to refrain from posting comments explaining his deep indifference…including the ‘nuance’ detailing which bits he wants to ‘observe’ well… it speaks volumes.

  20. ==> “I…sites whose content (supposedly) doesn’t interesting him…”

    Interesting that you’d hold on to your misconception even when I explained why it is a misconception more than once.

    Well, you’re certainly entitled.

  21. ==> “The fact that he can’t seem to stay way from posts whose content (supposedly) bores him, ”

    BTW, also in contrast to what I said.

  22. Joshua,

    Interesting that you’d hold on to your misconception even when I explained why it is a misconception more than once.

    I read what you wrote. Your explanation does not demonstrate that what I state is a “misconception”.

    Consider playing the man not the man not the ball, Lucia.

    You are the one who introduced the notion that other people are “dramaqueen”. Is that playing the man? Or the ball?

    BTW, also in contrast to what I said.

    I have no idea why you think what you say you do somehow trumps what you actually do do.

  23. ==> “I read what you wrote. Your explanation does not demonstrate that what I state is a “misconception”.”

    Read it again. You conflate topics (the subject that I’m interested in and the subject I’m not interested in) to confirm your bias. I’m happy to discuss actual issues with you but IMO your error is obvious and there’s nothing for us to discuss if you’re going to insist that your misconception is accurate.

    Up to you. No sweat off my back either way. You’re entitled to own your misconceptions if you choose to do so.

  24. Echoing a comment I made on José’s website….

    In other news Cook has argued that the sky is blue because of magic pixie dust. People have said Cook’s argument is wrong though they allow the sky is blue. Joshua wonder’s what the conflict is since we all agree the sky is blue and that the vast consensus of papers that take a position on the subject support the hypothesis of AGW.

    Papers that do not add to the scientific corpus have no place in peer reviewed journals. Papers that have overwhelming ethic problems should not be published, and if the ethic issues were identified after published, the accepted practice is that the paper should be withdrawn by the journal and sanctions should be applied to the authors.

    When there are failures of this magnitude within the peer review process (which there inevitably will be), scientists who are behaving responsibly have an obligation to speak out. When researchers commit ethic breaches involving human participants in research, that is a much more serious breach of trust than being misleading about what data were collected and what data of “scientific value” were released.

    Commenting on these does not make one a “drama queen”. Wringing your hands over why anybody would get exercised over the problems of this paper without making a good-faith effort to understand what those issues are and presuming the motives of the people who did make a good faith effort on this subject—maybe that’s being a “drama queen”. I don’t use the term so I’m staying out of that argument.

  25. Joshua

    Read it again. You conflate topics (the subject that I’m interested in and the subject I’m not interested in)

    Look, I’ll not only read it again. I’ll quote it.

    You claim

    I’m indifferent to the underlying topic (and results of) of the paper: Regardless of the results of the paper, or any methodological flaws it might have, it is bleeding obvious that, as Richard says:

    The underlying topic is the magnitude of the consensus that AGW is true.

    Brandon’s post — right here where you are currently protesting indifference to this ‘underlying topic”– is a comment on the validity of the paper. That is Brandon’s post touches on “did the paper measure the magnitude of AGW”, and as such questions “can we know based on this paper the magnitude of AGW”. He admittedly does this briefly and possibly indecernably to some (like you) by commenting “recognize it as a bad paper”. I take this to mean he means the paper is unable to determine the magnitude of the consensus and so we don’t really know it. (Or at least we don’t know it based on this paper.)

    So Brandon’s post is about the ‘underlying topic’. And here you are, protesting you are uninterested in that topic, but unable to stay way.

    I should note that http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/ignore-climate-consensus-studies-based-on-random-people-rating-journal-article-abstracts is also about the validity of the paper and the effect of methodological errors on its ability to determine the magnitude of the consensus. So that post is also about the “underlying topic”: do we know the magnitude of the consensus? And yet, there you are in comments, bloviating away.

    You can keep claiming your vast indifference to that “underlying” topic. But I will point out that — not withstanding your protestations– you are unable to keep away from blog posts discussing whether or not the paper was able to determine the magnitude of the consensus or even the existence of the magnitude. One element of the proof is that you are here in comments on a post that touches on the “underlying topic” of that paper.

  26. Carrick

    In other news Cook has argued that the sky is blue because of magic pixie dust. People have said Cook’s argument is wrong though they allow the sky is blue. Joshua wonder’s what the conflict is since we all agree the sky is blue and that the vast consensus of papers that take a position on the subject support the hypothesis of AGW.

    I think a better metaphor is Cook has argued that seen from the ground, the sky appears absolutely totally blue 97% of the time and no other colors are blocking the blueness. Others have suggested that his method of measuring is incorrect, and it’s quite possible the sky is overcast– and so seen from the ground, the sky is sometimes closer to white, grey or whatever color one wishes to apply to clouds (or even haze due to other obscurants.) And more over, at sunset it’s red. But we all agree that on some days, the sky is mostly blue.

    Many of us agree that
    (a) during the day when not obscured by clouds the sky is blue.
    (b) that a valid description of the sky’s appearance needs to mention the presence of clouds.
    (c) valid measurements should be done by people who admit the clouds are there.

    And so on. Even though we all agree that on sunny days, the sky is mostly blue, we would still criticize a paper if– using flawed methodology– it claimed that the sky appears to be blue 97% of the time. Of course we could also criticize the methodology of the paper if it happened to get the % of time the sky is blue correct– but in this case, it seems to me Cooks paper did not measure the strength of the consesnsus.

    Measuring the magnitude of the consensus was the underlying topic, the paper failed to properly measure it. Discussing how it failed to do that is discussing the underlying topic of the paper, and it’s hardly “drama queening”.

  27. Lucia, I doubt that the 97% is correct. I can’t see how the true value couldn’t be less than 99%, for peer reviewed papers anyway. I think Cook got 97% because he was shooting for 97%. Heck he even admits his motivation for the paper was to hammer on the fact that a consensus exists rather than to establish 97% as the “gold standard” value for consensus.

  28. Carrick, you say you think John Cook was aiming for 97%. I think that’s true, and I think it’s a point people have paid far less attention to than it deserves. The way their rating system was designed ensured they got a value of ~97%. It goes back to the point I highlighted in a post some time back:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/why-symmetry-is-bad/

    Where I pointed out there were two different “consensus” positions discussed by Cook and associates:

    1) Humans cause some global warming.
    2) Humans cause most global warming.

    John Cook decided to measure both of these positions with a single scale. In doing so, he felt it necessary to make that scale symmetrical. That was stupid. There was no way to map the two-dimensional scale into a single dimension and maintain symmetry. Cook’s attempt to caused the entries on his scale to be non-unique and non-specific. From a technical viewpoint, their entire rating system was unusable from the start. The only legitimate comparison that could be made is Category 1 vs Category 5-7 (which shows more papers “reject” Consensus #2 than “endorse” it).

    The leaked forum shows Cook was aware his scale was messed up. He specifically pointed out the fact it couldn’t measure Position 1 or 2. It also shows he knew nearly all the (non-neutral) papers would be rated as Category 1-3. He discussed having seen this after doing ratings on the data set prior to the project being started. I believe he even discussed knowing most didn’t say one way or the other on Position 2.

    A thinking person who was aware of the same facts as Cook would realize the rating abstracts according to Position 1 would result in a 99+% “consensus.” They’d also realize rating abstracts according to Position 2 would result in a “consensus” significantly lower than 97%. This means, given the knowledge we know Cook had, a person could be expected to realize the only way he could get the results he wanted was to create a rating system which was fundamentally flawed and would produce meaningless results.

    I don’t think John Cook consciously chose to get the results he got. I think what actually happened is he’s stupid and self-deluded, and because he examined at the data before he created his rating system, his overwhelming personal biases caused him to create a rating system which makes no sense but was guaranteed to get the results he wanted.

    I think that is the most important issue even though most people tend to pay little attention to it. People talk about things like rater bias a lot, but the reality is the percentage results wouldn’t have changed much if different people had done the ratings. The rating system itself was designed in a way that made the results it got inevitable.

  29. By the way, Jose Duarte recently informed me the Editor-in-Chief for ERL, Daniel Kammen, is a climate advisor for President Obama.

    This is the guy ultimately responsible for the paper being published. He wrote a blog post praising the paper’s quality. He promoted the tweet from “Obama” without making any effort to correct the misinformation from it. And he almost certainly contributed to the decision to label the paper the “Best ERL Article of 2013.”

    I don’t know how much influence Kammen’s advice has on the executive branch, but I’m still dumbfounded by the idea he gets to give them any.

  30. Lucia –

    = >”Brandon’s post — right here where you are currently protesting indifference to this ‘underlying topic”– is a comment on the validity of the paper.”

    Ah, for the old days..when Lucia made cogent arguments that offered interesting challenges and points for discussion.

    Just because Brandon had a particular focus in his post does not mean that is my point of my interest.

    OK. I’ll repeat it again. In all practical terms, the paper itself is irrelevant to me. I think that there is a clear prevalence of shared opinion in published papers by climate scientists. I don’t care about trying to quantify the precise magnitude of the prevalence (parenthetically, I doubt that you could get 97% of such a diverse group to agree on anything) – because the task is too complicated to do with much precision, IMO. I don’t care because even if you could, the distinction between a precise quantification and the general dominant prevalence is basically meaningless as it focuses on the detail rather than main point. And even further, the fact that there is a dominant prevalence is of limited value anyway, as knowledge of that prevalence will not, IMO, affect public opinion in any significant degree (although I do, personally, think that the fact that there is a dominant prevalence gives me information I can use to help evaluate the probabilities when trying to assess technical arguments about climate change that are beyond my ability to evaluate on technical terms).

    ==> “……but unable to stay way.”

    ??? You have no information to assess what I am “able” or not “able” to do. Perhaps I have no desire to “stay away,” and that if I did, I could very easily do so. I am interested in the amusing food fight that takes place around this and other issues related to the science of climate change. I am amused because so many “skeptics” drama queen about the quantification of the “consensus” even as they claim that the precise quantification of the consensus is meaningless, and that referencing that consensus is a fallacious “appeal to authority” and antithetical to some pure notion of the scientific method.

    Where is the Lucia who makes cogent arguments that offer interesting challenges and points for discussion?

    The rest of your comment just repeats the same weak logic.

  31. Joshua

    Just because Brandon had a particular focus in his post does not mean that is my point of my interest.

    My observation is that you are here and materialize at zillions of posts where the paper is discussed. That you might claim your ‘interest’ is not the paper itself— ok. But one might suggest “the [visitor] doth protest too much”. (Sure… I know… you’ll just suggest we reread your words which will somehow ‘prove’ … whatever.).

    OK. I’ll repeat it again. In all practical terms, the paper itself is irrelevant to me.

    And I will repeat: You can’t seem to keep yourself away from discussion of the paper. You are right that perhaps, like an alcoholic, you could stay away. Perhaps, you merely enjoy indulging. But here you are.

    Now on to this:

    I think that there is a clear prevalence of shared opinion in published papers by climate scientists. I don’t care about trying to quantify the precise magnitude of the prevalence

    Yeah. I get it. You think the underlying topic (i.e. “what is the magnitude of the consensus”) is so unimportant that you decide to share your opinionthat ” there is a clear prevalence of shared opinion in published papers by climate scientists”. That is: to “prove” you think the magnitude is unimpirotant, you wear out your fingertips typing prose that states your view about the magnitude. You tell us you think it is high.

    And of course, we are to conclude that– despite your taking the time to tell us your view about the magnitude, you really, truly, honestly, completely think that knowledge of magnitude itself is unimportant. Uh. Huh.

    Where is the Lucia who makes cogent arguments that offer interesting challenges and points for discussion?

    Perhaps if you hope for people stick to deeper topics, you should avoid introducing your theories about other people being “drama queens”. Otherwise, the conversation is likely to sink to the level you drag it to. Rest assured that — just as you claim you are amused by these “drama queens”, I am laughing hilariously at the degree to which you are being a huge drama queen. If you think my engaging your “drama queen” theory is not ‘cogent’, well… you have yourself to blame. Your brought up that silly topic.

    Or– if your concern is that you are unable to perceive that my points here are cogent, perhaps you should avoid deluding yourself and making claims based on your self delusions. I realize you may continue to believe my observation is not cogent, and that somehow your spending time telling people your own personal estimate of the magnitude of the consensus does not contradict your claim that you really, truly believe the underlying topic of Cook (i.e. determining and reporting the magnitude of the consensus) is unimportant.

    But I would suggest if you remain unconvinced, it merely means you are so deep into self delusion territory that you cannot see the truth: you do care about the magnitude of the consensus on AGW. At a minimum, you care enough to bother to have an opinion about the magnitude and to explain your opinion to others. That’s the underlying topic of Cook: and so, evidence right here in this thread suggests you do care about the underlying topic of Cook.

  32. Heh.

    As I’ve said before, I took zero interest in Cook’s study (or in “skeptic” protests against it) as it seems evident to me that there is a “consensus” of climate scientists on many points.

    Too funny.

  33. Oh, Geez. I forgot to give the attribution for the quote.

    Oh, wait. Now I’m not sure. I can’t quite tell. Maybe someone can help me out? Lucia? Maybe you can help me figure it out? Which is it?

    Joshua
    July 29, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Or?

    Steve McIntyre, posted on Jul 26, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Or?

    Joshua
    July 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Or

    Joshua
    July 24, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Hard to tell, isn’t it? But with your sharp observational skills (you know, the type can enables you to see what I “can’t seem to keep [myself] away from “) you can probably figure it out?

    Too effen funny.

  34. “effen?”

    Sorry. Actually, I wasn’t trying to bypass the language filter per se (I had no idea that you filter out the suggested word) – but just to avoid offending sensibilities – in the sense that in conversation I might use “dang” or “darn.”

    But sure, I won’t use that expression in the future since you have a problem with it. No probs.

  35. Joshua,
    Do you think your recent comments make some point? Are we supposed to guess what it is? Perhaps if you think you are making a point, you could tell us what it is. That way we can engage it. However, looking at the strange ramblings, I will say a little.

    As far as I can tell you quote is from McIntyre who previously (past tense) did not pay attention to the Cook study itself. However, he is now discussing aspects of the study.

    In contrast, you made a quite different claim about the subject of your indifference. You wrote ” I’m indifferent to the underlying topic (and results of) of the paper”.

    So: you and Mc are making entirely different claims about what you are indifferent to. He claimed indifference to the study, you claimed indifference to the topic underlying the study.

    Everyone knows that paying attention to a particular study that happens to be about a topic is not the same as being indifferent to the topic of the study. One can ignore any number of studies on topics one cares passionately about and do so for many reasons. For example: I care if evolution is true. I think it makes quite a bit of difference whether evolution is a correct or incorrect theory. And yet, I am totally, utterly completely indifferent to huge numbers of studies that either ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the theory of evolution including papers on “intelligent design” or those rebutting it. That is: I an not remotely indifferent to the underlying topic but I am indifferent to many, many, many the studies about the topic.

    Possibly, I have engaged whatever “point” you were trying to make. Or not. Perhaps if you reveal what point you thought you were making or give a hint what you thought you were trying to “prove” with your ramble, I could better address whatever issue you thought was worth discussing.

  36. Brandon –

    For future reference (i.e,, if Lucia intends to continue with her lame arguments), is “too freakin’ funny” acceptable?

  37. Joshua,
    We seem to have cross posted. As I suggested: perhaps you could clarify what point you are trying to make. As far as I can tell, you have posted a series of comments that should you and Steve McIntyre made entirely different statement about the subject of your indifference.

    I also might suggest that if you want to call what you wrote “an argument” and if the argument is the one guessing you tried to make, “beyond lame” would be the modifier that rightfully precedes your argument.

  38. Joshua, what yoi wroye was no different than if you said f’ing. That means it was a respelling of a banned word. Respelling a banned word bypasses the moderation filter.

    Freaking only alludes to a banned word. I don’t prohibit allusions.

  39. Joshua contests the following statement by me: “As I’ve said before, I took zero interest in Cook’s study (or in “skeptic” protests against it) as it seems evident to me that there is a “consensus” of climate scientists on many points.”

    Why do you challenge this claim? When the study came out or in the subsequent year, I didn’t do a blogpost at CA nor did I recollect reading or commenting at the threads at Lucia’s or elsewhere on the topic. Nor had I followed Tol’s dispute. I only became interested in it recently, particularly when Brandon obtained the data and the University of Queensland threatened him.

  40. Steve –

    ==> Joshua contests the following statement by me”

    I wasn’t challenging your statement. I took your statement at face value. In fact, my point of quoting you was quite opposite than you interpreted.

    Obviously, you have the most insight into what you do or don’t take interest in. Of course I wouldn’t presume to know better what your interest is than you. I’ll leave that kind of weak logic for Lucia.

    I also wouldn’t assume that because you write comments or posts one one topic that you “can’t seem to keep yourself away” from discussions on a different topic. I’ll leave that kind of weak logic for Lucia as well.

    Now I could accuse you of “lying” because you made a statement that isn’t true (that I contested your statement), or I could say that your statement that I contested your statement “doesn’t make sense,” but that would be typical immature blog behavior. You simply read something carelessly. It happens. I do that sometimes also.

  41. Lucia –

    I am flattered that you seem to be so interested in what I’m interested in, but again you misunderstand.

    I am happy to explain yet again, however.

    I find the drama-queening, finger-pointing, bickering, etc., related to Cook13 and to the precise quantification of the consensus to be interesting only in the sense that it is a beautiful example of the kind of identity aggressive and identity defensive behavior that characterizes the climate wars. What could be a better example of the inanity of such behaviors than when they are engaged in to such a degree even though the issue is so bleeding obvious and ultimately, mostly irrelevant?

    Even though it is all same ol’ same ol’ to the nth degree, it is still interesting to me because the bickering, etc., is about an issue where: (1) basic issue being argued about is “evident” (as Steve said) and, (2) many of the participants claim that the issue being argued about is either irrelevant or antithetical to how science should be practiced or, (3) many of the participants over-evaluate (IMO) the impact of issue to begin with (i.e., believing that publicizing the fact that a consensus exists, or its magnitude, will move the needle w/r/t climate change policy implementation.

  42. Joshua,

    Nice subject change. I’ve never said you aren’t also interested in what you call ‘drama queening’. One can be interested in more than one aspect of the paper and it’s clear you are. But none of that touches on the topic we are arguing about.

    Moving back from your subject change… We are discussing whether you are interested in the underlying topic of the Cook paper.

    You deny being indifferent to the underlying topic: that is you claim to be indifferent to whether or not a consensus exists.

    Hilariously, when you resort to words to “prove” your lack of interest in the question “does consensus exists” , you seem to think you can prove lack of interest in the question by revealing your answer to “does it exist” is “yes”.

    This is a bit like claiming to prove you are disintereted in the topic of “does God exists” because you firmly believe the answer is “yes”. That would be a very silly proof of disinterest in the topic “does God exists”. After all: some theists care very much whether god exists, and spend lots of time trying to prove God’s existence to others writing entire tomes on the subject. ( Some atheists are similarly concerned with the question.) So: believing you know the answer to “X” is not evidence to demonstrate you are indifferent to the question.

    In fact, with respect to your posts, you, like an evangelist, periodically make sure readers know what you believe: you believe consensus exists. For example, here at Brandon’s, you quoted both Tol and Steve McIntyre’s saying they believe it exists . Were you an religious evangelist, one would take your bringing forward evidence that others agree with your answer as providing a sort of evidence that you believe X is true and the answer to the question of whether X is true is important to you.

    Moreover, you aren’t merely posting your “statement of faith” about the “existence of the consensus” here. You post the quote showing Tol shared your believe in the existence of the consensus here, you’ve posted it at other places like: 1, , 2. So, even if, for some reason, you have convinced yourself of the nutty notion that the fact that you believe the consensus does exist is proof that you don’t care whether it exists, no one else needs to believe you don’t care if it exists. You are dropping plenty of evidence you do care that it exists. Since the existence of the consesus is the underlying topic of Cooks paper, that means you do care about the underlying topic.

    Now: if you were to tell us you thought there was no need for anyone to go to as much trouble as Cook did to prove the consensus… well ok. But you yourself go to the trouble of telling people you think it exists and showing that others (e.g. Tol, McIntyre) and so on think it exists. So, possibly you think you go to “just the right amount of trouble” to bring forward evidence that it exists while Cook maybe went to “more trouble that it’s worth”.

    But thinking something like “why did they bother to write the paper?” or other things one might think is absolutely not the same about not caring about the underlying topic of the paper. In fact: you do care whether consensus actually exists– or at least that’s what your behavior suggests.

    ======== ===========
    But now that you did change the subject, I’m curious about a few things.

    Out of curiosity, do you think asking questions like this make any substantive point

    What could be a better example of the inanity of such behaviors than when they are engaged in to such a degree even though the issue is so bleeding obvious and ultimately, mostly irrelevant?

    . Are you asking if there are better examples of “identity aggressive and identity defensive behavior” than people questioning the methodology and process involved in Cooks study? I think the answer is obviously “Yes”. Was that the example you expected?

    Let me elaborate. There are tons of better examples of identty agression and identify defensive behavior. One of them would be the behavior of Cook’s team while conducting the study. Another would be UQueenslands decision to threaten to sue Brandon and so on. Another better example of identity aggression would be your frantic finger pointing and name calling (drama queen) of those who are criticizing the paper. Your constantly quote people who agree with your position that the consensus exists might be seen as “identity defensive behavior”. As the methodology in Cook is really poor, I would suggest criticizing those who criticizing the paper is itself, an excellent example of ” identity aggressive and identity defensive behavior”.

    But there are many other better examples of identity aggressive behavior and I’m sure people could list them for you if they were interested. That said: I doubt many people are fascinated by your question merely because you asked it.

    Now that I’ve answered your questions, what’s your answer to your own question? Are there better examples of “identity aggressive and identity defensive behavior” than questioning the methodology in Cooks paper? If the answer is no, could you explain why and how people criticizing the methodology or other manifest faws in Cook is an example of “identity aggressive… behavior”?

    I also want to comment a bit on your 1-3:

    (1) basic issue being argued about is “evident” (as Steve said) and,

    Who is arguing about this “basic issue”? Not me. Not Brandon. Not Tol. Not Steve. They are arguing about a different issue. You may not like them arguing about the different issue. But they are. And you can’t just change what they are arguing about by merely decreeing that “Joshua” says they are really arguing about something else.

    If you find people arguing about this other basic issue, why don’t you visit those blogs and explain your position to them? To my mind repeatedly whining that people are arguing about this in places where they are not arguing about it constitutes being a drama queen.

    (2) many of the participants claim that the issue being argued about is either irrelevant or antithetical to how science should be practiced or,

    These “many” people aren’t merely claiming to be arguing about this. These people are arguing about the methodology and process used in collecting data in Cook. It is true that science should not be conducted that way. (If you think the contrary, feel free to say so.)

    There is nothing wrong in discussing the methodological errors in Cook. I realize that the Cook side may wish to insist that these errors are tiny or that it’s irrelevant whether the people rating papers were biased, or whether they were tired and so on, but they are wrong. In any case, how data are collected is a proper subject to consider in any scientific study. You’ll see these sorts of arguments in many fields, when people appear to be arguing it, they generally are arguing it.

    The only thing “Interesting” about your bullet “2” is that you seem to want to insist that people who are discussing methodology used in a paper are merely “claiming” to argue about it.

    (3) many of the participants over-evaluate (IMO) the impact of issue to begin with (i.e., believing that publicizing the fact that a consensus exists, or its magnitude, will move the needle w/r/t climate change policy implementation.

    Some participants do seem to think the 97% message will have a big impact. In particular Cook and his co-authors think so. In contrast Kahan thinks otherwise. This is an argument– and the argument is important in Cook and Kahan’s field. I have no idea what the impact of the message is, but it strikes me as a valid argument that those who are interested can have if they wish. (It also seems to me it is an argument you have been involved in.)

    I don’t dispute that you find your claims 1-3 “interesting”. But to summarize as for your (1): mostly I don’t see people arguing that issue, though some may be arguing it somewhere. Presumably that is happening at blogs you frequent. As for (2), it’s normal for people to claim they are arguing about what they are arguing about and (3) I don’t think it’s especially ‘interesting’ some people think advertizing the findings will sway public thought while others think it won’t. People disagreeing is a common enough event, and it seems to me that PR people often don’t know exactly how people will react to various types of PR, advertisements and so on. But if you find this interesting… ok.

    That said: that you find 3 things “interesting” doesn’t mean you are indifferent to all other possible topic on earth. And it’s rather clear that you are interested in the underlying topic of Cook which is the question of whether the consensus exists. (And don’t try to prove you are uninterested by repeating once again that you think it does exist. Yes. We know you think it exists. You’ve told us over and over!)

  43. @Joshua

    Now I could accuse you of “lying” because you made a statement that isn’t true (that I contested your statement)…

    Nah, seriously mate. you can’t accuse Steve McIntyre of lying.You don’t hold that card as a reserve. It’s like you crayoned the Ace of spades on a bit of loo roll and stuffed it up your sleeve and sat back smugly forgetting all the other people at the table could see 😉

  44. I find it fascinating that we are on a blog page discussing the thoughts of a social scientist, José Duarte, who, AFAICS, has no argument with action on climate or even the idea of analysing and finding a consensus, yet has written a scathing critique on Cook et al methodology and Joshua seems to be only annoyed by the “drama queening” of the posters here.

    Joshua went there to José Duarte and asked a question along the lines about how Duarte’s criticism on prior politics and motive may be a slippery slope to curtailing future studies – which seemed a fair enough question IMHO – however Duarte replies in strong coherent terms re-iterating and essentially saying Cook et al is *the* exception. It is really, really is that bad. (read his words)

    This is it.

    Joshua didn’t get back to Duarte yet, but is here talking about drama queens and not talking about say, um, the forum Cook directives, ESLD, or the broader worth of social science (which is my particular thang)

    Meanwhile there are trainspotting blogs discussing “Class 37 locomotive” to distracting exclusion when some posters want to discuss *all* diesel engines in the broader scheme of things! 😉

  45. Good a place as any to mention that I located the University of Queensland document on human participants ethical review..

    Relevant section:

    Research Not Requiring Review

    There are no categories of human research which are exempt from review.

    Data, samples, and materials collected or obtained without UQ ethics approval (and any other relevant approvals) can not be used for research purposes.

    So I think that nails it.

    There was a bit of a useless exchange between Michael and myself on Judith’s thread starting here. I’m mentioning it here because I did break out the relevant code into the important bits… so that might be of some use for some people.

    I’ve learned what I needed to know, and it does not good to argue with fools, so I’m done with that thread.

  46. I happened across this blog for the first time and would like to offer my opinion about the comments: They need to be moderated. The comments by Joshua and Lucia are annoying and distracting. Of course this is not my blog but that IS my opinion.

    PS – Please feel free to discard this comment as it also add nothing to the thread.

  47. Fred Voetsch, in the comments for a more recent post, I’ve said I’m going to ask people to just not respond to Joshua. I don’t care to have my blog get filled with people engaging his trollishness. I just also don’t care to delete comments because I dislike them.

    Oddly enough, I was looking through a couple previous posts of mine and realized I was supposed to put lucia in moderation for violating my site’s rules. I had forgotten about that because she stopped commenting when I informed her she was breaking those rules. I had forgotten about it by the next time she commented. Oops.

  48. lucia, I haven’t ever posted them in a single location, but I have stated most of them at one point or another. Most are pretty much what you’d expect – don’t spam, don’t post obscene material, etc.

    The only rule I can think of which isn’t typical fare is one I’ve taken from Collin Maessen’s blog – if any factual statement you make is questioned or challenged, you must address that question or challenge. I said basically the same thing to you here when I told you you needed to address an issue I raised – that you made things up about what I said (oddly, you did this in a discussion of what counts as fabricating a quote).

    Of course, I’m not going to put you in moderation now for something I forgot about for nearly half a year. Retroactive application of rules just begs for abuse.

  49. Brandon,
    I suspect I never read that response of yours. I think I decided the argument was silly. I could write more, but I don’t think it’s worth it.

  50. That’s your call lucia. By forgetting about the problem for so long, I lost any right to require you address it.

    But the simple reality is if I hadn’t forgotten about that exchange, the next time you commented here, you’d have been required to deal with it or be placed in moderation. You claimed I said things. You were wrong. I pointed out you were wrong, even explaining what I actually did say. Despite that, you continued to say those wrong things.

    Limiting behavior like that is exactly why I have this rule. I regret failing to enforce it.

  51. Brandon,
    Looking back at the twitter stream, I inferred a statement implied a reason. Evidently it did no such thing. Rather, you were just making a bald claim about your position on what was the correct antecedent giving (as far as I could tell then and can tell now) no reason at all. So: I agree you did not state any rule that would indicate why one should accept your position on what the correct antecedent was. I merely inferred that you thought you were applying some rule and guessed at what that might be.

    As for the underlying issue about the what the correct antecedent actually was, whether something was or was not a “quote”, manufactured, misrepresented and so on: I don’t think it’s worth arguing about any more than we already have argued about it. There are certain types of twitter-snits I’ve resolved to stay away from especially when they begin on twitter, which is character limited.

    Obviously, you can moderate people for any reason you like!

  52. lucia, I’m fine with not revisiting the topic. I just wanted to be clear about things since it was a moderation issue. I want people to be able to tell what sort of behavior will get them moderated.

    And while I don’t have the interest to revisit the issue, I want to state something for the record. I don’t agree with what you say now about that exchange. I think your current description isn’t remotely supportable. What you claim to “agree” with me about isn’t something I ever said. In fact, my comments clearly show me saying the opposite.

    But I’m perfectly content to leave these last two comments as the last word on that matter.

  53. Brandon,

    What you claim to “agree” with me about isn’t something I ever said.

    I’m really not sure I have the slightest notion what your specific objection might be.

    Are you referring to this
    “So: I agree you did not state any rule that would indicate why one should accept your position on what the correct antecedent was.” ?

    So….
    Are you suggesting you did describe a rule that would indicate why one should accept your position on what the correct antecedent was? If so, I never read it or did not recognize the statement as being “the rule” that one must apply to identify the absolutely positively correct antecedent in that case. If you believe you stated that rule, perhaps you can point to or quote the line where you stated that specific rule. Then I can at least have some clue what the specific rule you claimed to apply when deciding on the correct antecedent.

    Or is your position (as I said ) that you did not state any rule you did not do, but your objection is that I shouldn’t use the word “agree” that you didn’t state any rule because you never actually said that you gave no rule on how one identifies what the antecedent was, and so if you didn’t actually say you gave no rule, then it’s not quite right for me to “agree” that you gave no rule?

    Or is your major point something else? Because if you want me to know what it is, you’ll have to say it explicitly. Otherwise, I’m just guessing.

    As for
    “In fact, my comments clearly show me saying the opposite.”
    I have no idea what how you think your comments clearly showing you saying “the opposite” of because I don’t know what part of my statement you object to. As I don’t know precisely what you object to in my claim, I can hardly know what the “opposite” of what it might be. I should note that whatever adjective you might apply to this concept that your comments indicate something “opposite” to what I’ve said, I would hardly think it’s clear</I. they do so. At best it's clear to you. But it’s utterly opaque to me (and I suspect anyone else bothering to read this.)

    Well… I think we can begin to see where this sort of conversation is rather pointless. I think it also shows one of the problems with Twitter and also with trying to figure out where in the long list of tweets one is ‘supposed’ to find “the antecedent tweet” that addresses whatever it is the one side of the conversation a person thinks is ‘clear’. In fact: if you get past 2 tweets, the conversation nearly always becomes utterly confusing and unclear. No one has any context for any tweet, and the result is many tweets end up communicating nothing.

    At least that’s my experience.

    In any case, obviously, you can moderate me for (evidently) putting some words in your mouth you did not say. But the fact is: I really don’t know what idea you are trying to communicate other than possibly “Brandon is right” and “Lucia is wrong” about “something”. Perhaps that’s even true. But I have no idea what that “something” is.

  54. lucia, the reason I didn’t provide much detail was you seemed to say you didn’t want to revisit the topic. I figured if nobody saw a point in revisiting the topic, I’d state that I don’t agree with what you said about it and leave it at that. If you’d like me to provide more detail, I can. I just don’t see how I can do that without us going back to the topic.

    That said, I want to point out some of your inability to understand what I meant comes from bad use of logic. You begin by saying:

    I’m really not sure I have the slightest notion what your specific objection might be.

    Are you referring to this
    “So: I agree you did not state any rule that would indicate why one should accept your position on what the correct antecedent was.” ?

    You had used the word agree once. I responded to you, putting the word agree in quotation marks. The only sensible interpretation is I was referring to exactly that.

    You later suggested this possible interpretation:

    Or is your position (as I said ) that you did not state any rule you did not do, but your objection is that I shouldn’t use the word “agree” that you didn’t state any rule because you never actually said that you gave no rule on how one identifies what the antecedent was, and so if you didn’t actually say you gave no rule, then it’s not quite right for me to “agree” that you gave no rule?

    This would be a strange meaning for me to intend, but it’s clearly not my intended meaning. You later say:

    “In fact, my comments clearly show me saying the opposite.”
    I have no idea what how you think your comments clearly showing you saying “the opposite” of because I don’t know what part of my statement you object to.

    I said my comments say the opposite of what you claimed we agree upon. There is no way I could have meant my comments said the opposite of what you now describe. First, it’d be really strange if I said the opposite of a position which was only brought up after the comments were made. Second, it would be completely silly to think I meant, “You should use the word ‘agree.'”

    If you want me to give more detail or be more specific, I can. In the meantime, it’s really not difficult to tell what I meant with that comment.

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