Basic Truths, Part Two

Some time back, I wrote a post about basic truths everyone should be able to agree to. Unsurprisingly, some people refused to agree to them. One such person banned me from his blog (And Then There’s Phsyics) because of an exchange about them. That banning came up at Judith Curry’s blog recently, and more people have decided to join in on the denial.

I normally wouldn’t bother writing a post about this. However, one such individual, Tom Curtis, wrote a lengthy response to some of what I said, and he gets things incredibly wrong. He’s so incredibly wrong, I have to discuss it. Before I do though, I want to highlight Curtis’s description of me and my being banned (referencing a discussion on this post of mine:

After a discussion with Shollenberger on his site, I heartily endorse Anders sentiment of never wanting to discuss anything with Shollenberger again. It is not a moral or a personality flaw to dislike discussing things with people who do not discuss in good faith, show a lack of personal integrity, and behave like complete pricks.

If you agree with his description of me, I suggest you stop reading. You’ll never believe what I say, no matter how right I am.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with this topic, the current discussion revolves around the blogger who banned me (Anders) having said:

What seems indisputable, though, is that the 10 hockey sticks presented in MM05 (one of the papers, you probably know which one) were not selected randomly from their sample of 10000. They were chosen to be most hockey-stick like. People, however, clearly interpret the results of MM05 as implying that random red noise typically produces produces hockey sticks, rather than random red noise sometimes (probably quite rarely) produces hockey sticks.

You can find the paper in question here. While Anders claims it “seems indisputable… the 10 hockey sticks presented… were chosen to be most hockey-stick like,” the reality is that paper doesn’t even show “10 hockey sticks.” The paper only has six graphs. There couldn’t possibly be “10 hockey sticks” shown in it.

This paper is five pages long. It is completely impossible anyone would look at it and think ten cherry-picked graphs were included in it. It might take all of thirty seconds to scroll through the paper and see such graphs aren’t in it.

Anders made a serious claim about this paper, saying it “seems indisputable,” even though anyone who even glanced at the paper would know it was false. When directly challenged on it, he repeatedly refused to acknowledge it was false (then he banned me). Now, Tom Curtis acknowledges that falsity:

Now, it is clear that Anders made a couple of mistakes. To start with, although the pseudo reconstruction that was published in M&M05 “… were not randomly selected from their sample of 10000?, being in fact selected from their sample of the 1% with the highest HSI; and though the 10 pseudo proxies graphed by the code provided with the supplementary information of M&M05 “… were not randomly selected from their sample of 10000?, the later 10 were not shown in the paper.

Pointing out the graphs Anders criticized were made, but not published, by Steve McIntyre. One obviously cannot criticize McIntyre for misleading people by showing them graphs he didn’t show them. This should have been the end of this. It’s not. Curtis apparently decided to defend Anders by saying McIntyre deceived people with these graphs he didn’t display.

I need to make note of something before I get to that though. Curtis refers to the simulations McIntyre ran as creating “pseudo reconstructions.” That is wrong. These are pseudo proxies. Reconstructions are created by combining multiple proxies. Mixing such things up suggests a poor grasp of the issues at hand. It’ll become important later in this post. In the meantime, Curtis says:

It is clear, however, that while these are mistakes, they are trivial mistakes. They do not effect the substance of the issue. A cherry pick of the top 1% of pseudo reconstructions in terms of the HSI is still a cherry pick, and not informing readers either in the paper or notes on the supplementary information that the graphs generated by the program in the SI are a biased selection is a serious breach of normal standards of publication. This is particularly the case as the only tests conducted by M&M05 to show the ability of red noise to generate MBH98 like pseudo reconstructions is by visual comparisons with the cherry picked selection.

He bolded the last sentence of this for emphasis, but I can’t get the HTML tags to work for it right now. Regardless, he apparently believes that sentence deserves the most focus. I agree. He claims the only test performed in the paper to show Michael Mann’s methodology can create hockey sticks out of red noise is “visual comparisons with the cherry picked selection.”

That is an important claim because it is completely false. Of the three figures in the paper, only one made any visual comparison with “cherry picked” results. That was this figure:

8-6-MM05-Figure-1

Which the paper clearly described as not using a randomly selected graph:

The simulations nearly always yielded PC1s with a hockey stick shape, some of which bore a quite remarkable similarity to the actual MBH98 temperature reconstruction – as shown by the example in Figure 1. A sharp inflection was regularly observed at the start of the 1902–1980 ‘‘calibration period’’.

The paper described running 10,000 simulations (pseudo proxies) then said “some of” those looked like the Mann et al final result (temperature reconstruction). Saying only “some of” the simulations looked like that clearly informs the reader the example used was not randomly selected. There is nothing remarkable or problematic about that.

Curtis is clearly wrong as a test cannot use “visual comparisons with the cherry picked selection” of 100 simulation runs if only one simulation was displayed. More importantly though, Curtis simply dismissed other tests performed in the paper. The text I quoted from the paper refers to such tests, and the very next figure in the paper:

8-6-MM05-Figure-2

Shows the “Hockey Stick Index” (HSI) of the 10,000 simulations, proving the Mann et al methodology artificially produces hockey stick shapes out of red noise while the correct (centered) approach does not. This figure, which has two of the six graphs in the paper, is a key result of the paper. Unlike the rest of the figures, it shows the results for the full 10,000 simulations.

You might wonder how Curtis could pretend this figure doesn’t exist. The answer is, he doesn’t. He acknowledges it. In fact, he discusses it. For instance, he says:

That last may seem an odd claim, in that surely a comparison was made using the HSI itself, but in fact M&M05 never publish the HSI of either the MBH98 reconstruction (1.13), the MBH98 580 year PC (0.94), or the MBH 99 reconstruction (1.13). These are 22.7 (MBH98 and 99) and 27.9 (MBH98 PC1) standard deviations less than the mean HSI of the selected 1% of pseudo reconstructions. The are also in the bottom one percentile (MBH98 PC1) or, probably, 2.5%ile (MBH98 & 99) of results for all 10,000 pseudo reconstructions. I say “probably” for the later because M&M05 do not give full statistics. The do state that less than 1% have a HSI less than 1, and that only 27% have a HSI less than 1.5. From the histogram (figure 2), it is possible to determine that about a fifth of that 25% have a HSI less than 1.25.

Curtis begins by comparing the HSI of Mann et al’s temperature reconstruction to the HSI of the pseudo proxies not used in Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s paper. Again, they didn’t use the “cherry picked” selection of 100 pseudo proxies in their paper. Curtis is using results not displayed to condemn the paper for what it displays.

Beyond that, we’re back to the issue of Curtis mixing up proxies with reconstructions. He suggests a comparison should be made between these (unused) pseudo proxies and Mann et al’s temperature reconstruction (and a PC of that reconstruction). Why would we compare proxies to reconstructions? Maybe so Curtis can say:

You can see, therefore, why McIntyre and McKitrick were loath to do more than visual comparisons. Had they done a statistical comparison using their chosen measure of similarity (the HSI), the paper would have (apparently) reported that the MBH98 method applied to red noise generates hockey stick like shapes but that statistical tests show at the 90% (certainly) or 95% (probably) confidence levels, the MBH 98 was not a random outcome from red noise.

He bolded part of this for emphasis. Curtis apparently believes it is very important we compare Mann et al’s temperature reconstruction to results gathered from simulations of pseudo proxies. That’s silly. The paper clearly states it is looking at the effect on individual proxies (specifically, principal components):

The ‘‘hockey stick’’ shaped temperature reconstruction of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) has been widely applied. However it has not been previously noted in print that, prior to their principal components (PCs) analysis on tree ring networks, they carried out an unusual data transformation which strongly affects the resulting PCs. Their method, when tested on persistent red noise, nearly always produces a hockey stick shaped first principal component (PC1) and overstates the first eigenvalue.

The paper is clearly about proxies. That’s why it generates 10,000 pseudo proxies. Curtis simply fails to grasp this basic point, repeatedly criticizing the paper on its failure to “to show the ability of red noise to generate MBH98 like pseudo reconstructions.”


In the end, Tom Curtis denies the undeniable by doing two things: 1) He repeatedly compares results for pseudo proxies to temperature reconstructions instead of comparing results for pseudo proxies to actual proxies. He goes so far as to deny the existence of certain tests because people failed to compare apples to oranges like he did.

2) He repeatedly acts as though people should only care about the 100 cherry picked series which weren’t used in the paper. He focuses almost entirely upon those 100 unused series rather than looking at the 10,000 series the paper actually uses.

It’s a pretty remarkable way to deny what should be a truth we can all agree on. Michael Mann’s methodology is biased to mine for hockey sticks. Nobody can seriously argue otherwise. Anyone who denies it, a decade after it was made obvious, is a denier.

And that include Anders. He responded to Tom Curtis by saying:

Tom,
Thanks, I did wonder if that would come up again. Your summary seems about right.

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56 comments

  1. Brandon –

    Just because you’re no longer responding to my comments doesn’t mean that you can’t still learn from them – even if I make them on a different blog.

    http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-road-to-hell/#comment-28066

    http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-road-to-hell/#comment-28067

    Feel free, if it makes you feel better, to respond under the pretense of discussing me or what I wrote with someone else.

  2. What a megalomaniac. The topic of this post includes discussion of a forum ban and you want to write comments in that location and the target of the ban to respond here? Why don’t you instead work up some courage and stand up for the people whom you want to write to and discuss issues with? Does it cost your AGW that much?

  3. Stand up for people? The poor oppressed people who are “banned” and “censored?”

    Because I think it’s hilarious. The self-important hand-wringing because a blog proprietor doesn’t want a particular person commenting at his or her site is a perfect window into the odd sense of entitlement so often found in the distorted bubble of the blogosphere.

    This is about children playing in a sandbox and thinking that it involves serious issues like being “banned” or “censored.

    Brandon has indicated that he doesn’t care what I write. He has promised he won’t respond to my comments. I’m a troll, an idiot, obviously wrong, I don’t care whether what I write is correct, etc., etc., blah, blah.

    I am quite happy to discuss issues with you or him or anyone else at any site – at least until I get bored or tend to the more important matters that I am not dealing with.

    And I love the “work up some courage.” Because posting comments in the blogosphere has something to do with courage?

    And I love the “megalomaniac.” So I’m obsessed with my own power or importance because I like to tweak Brandon for taking himself so seriously? Because I think that in some way I can actually have power over people by virtue of making blog comments?

    Is that what I think? No, actually. What I really think is that it’s bizarre that anyone would even speculate that someone else would think that they can exercise power over someone else by making blog comments. What does it say about you, my dear Shub, that you can even conceive of such a way of thinking?

    You and Brandon have all the power needed to make whatever decisions you want about what you want to do.

  4. Armando –

    A bit cryptic for simple folk like me.

    I’m not sure what that means or how it applies.

  5. ” Because posting comments in the blogosphere has something to do with courage?”

    No. Posting in support of Brandon’s unbanning for flimsy reasons does. Do it. Then we’ll speak.

    You write a lot of commentary. Do something for a change.

  6. Shub. –

    I’ve stated a number of times at ATTP that I don’t think that banning makes sense as a moderation policy. I think that if you don’t like someone’s comments, just ignore them. That seems to me like the most responsible thing to do, and I think that using banning as a moderation policy always (in my experience) turns out to be subjective and I think is an opportunity lost to demonstrate by example and thus, set the optimal tone for a blog.

    But as far as reasons go (given that I don’t think that there are any that merit banning except perhaps in some really, really extreme case that I haven’t thought of) – I don’t think that relatively speaking the reason for banning Brandon is particularly “flimsy.” My impression is that Brandon is banned because there’s a perception that he doesn’t engage in good faith, and I think that there is good and very obvious supporting evidence for that assessment, generally speaking, from my observations of him in the blogosphere (not necessarily in this case in particular as I haven’t really looked into it). Posting under a 2nd ID (sockpuppetry) does seem like pretty stark evidence of bad faith; I would imagine that he did that after initially being banned, but it is evidence that a continued ban would be be consistent if you accept that engaging in bad faith is a reason to be banned.

    In almost all cases that I’ve seen when people have been banned or moderated, the person who has been banned or moderated is convinced that the reason is some kind of fear of the power of their ideas. It goes with the whole victimization mentality that persists in the blogosphere – a mentality that is a part of the identity aggressive and identity defensive behaviors that predominate.

    I can’t think of a case where that has matched my observations. In my experience, when someone gets banned it’s because the moderator thinks that the banee persists in making obviously wrong arguments while insisting that they are right. In other words, there is no fear of the ideas because the ideas are dismissed as being clearly wrong.

    My guess is that if Brandon had decided (notice that word) to take a clearly good faith approach to expressing his disagreement about whatever issues were being discussed, he would not have been banned. Although I don’t think that banning achieves any productive outcome, I do think that those who are banned could easily have taken the responsibility to make sure it didn’t happen without sacrificing the opportunity to express their opinion.

  7. I always meant to read it, but I’m a cheapskate. It’s hard for me to want to spend money on it since I’ve been following these topics since day one (more or less).

    I wish my library system would carry it. I’ll read pretty much any book if I can get it for free!

  8. “My impression is that Brandon is banned because there’s a perception that he doesn’t engage in good faith”

    That is your impression. Your impression is formed by the opinions of people who banned him and justified their actions. Nice mechanism you seem to have for forming impressions.

    You are not banned by people because they believe it is a sign of weakness to shut out argument. Those are not the kind of people Brandon is interacting with.

    “Good faith” is not an argument. Take your “good faith”, spin it sideways and …

  9. Shub –

    ==> “Your impression is formed by the opinions of people who banned him and justified their actions.”

    My impression is formed by a number of things. One thing that forms my impression is that there are people who participate at ATTP and who disagree on a variety of issues, sometimes quite strongly, but engage in good faith and aren’t banned.

    My impression is formed by watching people show up at ATTP and engage in bad faith and get moderated for doing so. I will say that I think that sometimes I have seen a determination of “bad faith” made by some of the participants (I’m not sure about Anders) where I didn’t think the person in question was acting in bad faith, but I have observed Brandon engage in bad faith on numerous occasions – in fact bad faith characterizes a large % of the blog interactions I’ve seen him engage in (although certainly not all).

    So I don’t know specifically why he was banned, but the information I have supports the conclusion that he was banned for engaging in bad faith. It is further supported by the fact that after being banned, he put on a sock puppet and went back under a different name. An action entirely consistent with engaging in bad faith. And I firmly believe that anyone who wants to participate there to express disagreement with Anders on any issue can do so without being moderated or banned, and without censoring their opinions – if they decide that is what they want to do. It is relatively easy to demonstrate that you’re interested in participating in good faith even if you disagree about something.

    In this very post Brandon displays bad faith by mischaracterizing what Tom said and hiding it beneath a “basically.” Bad faith engagement.

    ==> ““Good faith” is not an argument. ”

    I don’t know what that means. Are you suggesting that I said that bad faith is an argument? I don’t think I’ve said that. I think that sometimes people engage in bad faith in blogospheric arguments and that I have seen Brandon do that on quite a few occasions. I think it is entirely plausible that he was banned for engaging in bad faith. I don’t think that banning people makes sense, but if you’re going to ban someone, banning them for engaging in bad faith does not seem like a relatively “flimsy” reason to me.

    ==> “Take your “good faith”, spin it sideways and …”

    Profound.

  10. Sorry – the use of “basically” to hide a mischaracterization took place at Judy’s, not here.

  11. The most amusing thing about the j-troll, IMHO, is that given current technology, he has the wherewithal to create and expound at will in very his own little sandbox. Without polluting the blogs of others with his recycled, over-warmed, attention-seeking – and topic-diverting – drivel.

    Maybe one day he’ll grow up and figure this out for himself.

  12. Justin has it figured out:

    It’s just some dual Bell Curve of intelligence, both intellectual and emotional.

  13. NikFromNYC, I like that image, but I’d like that image more if the “WRONG ANSWER!!!” wasn’t over the centered results. When I first saw it, I thought it was saying Mann’s way was correct >.<

  14. Yes Hilary, Joshua is here filling up reply boxes with walls of text arguing the owner of the blog he’s writing on not be allowed to the same courtesy.

    The word irony does not do justice.

  15. Shub –

    ==> “Yes Hilary, Joshua is here filling up reply boxes with walls of text arguing the owner of the blog he’s writing on not be allowed to the same courtesy.”

    I’m afraid you are mistaken. That is rather like the kind of argument that Brandon makes – in wrongly describing what someone has said.

    I am not arguing that Brandon not be allowed to do anything. I am merely explaining why I disagree that your determination of why he is banned at ATTP doesn’t hold up.

  16. sorry – explaining why I think that your determination of why he is banned at ATTP doesn’t hold up.

  17. Sorry, I didn’t even look at it long enough to understand the details or even know if this blog was friend or foe. But I did enjoy a quick Photoshop fix. Maybe I was spoofing celebrity Mann.

  18. I get the impression that Anders is a wannabe (and a girl) and commenting on a 5 page paper with 6 graphs without reading it is par for the course, along with banning any dissenting voices.

  19. ‘Banned for engaging in bad faith’

    See. I always knew that much of clisci was all about faith, and not about science.

    Now we have inquisitors applying the ‘faith’ test and banning folks for failing it..

    A long way from the idea of science as a way of finding objective truth that I was taught in the 1970s.

  20. “…explaining why I think that your determination of why he is banned at ATTP doesn’t hold up”

    In a long chain of posts, you mistook what I wrote. The reasons are flimsy. “Bad faith” is the flimsiest possible. The determination is yours.

    My own determination is different: Mr Physics is blog-challenged, going through a learning process, does not know how to handle dissent or criticism (being an academic used to fawning students), and, unfamiliar with climate science issues (he thinks it’s all ‘physics’). Banning people is easy. People like you, and you, do not question censorship so there is no feedback or consequence. He feels encouraged carrying out such actions. He has learned the online climate world is a ghetto and playing one of the sides makes it easy for him to handle criticism, i.e., by banishing it.

  21. Shub –

    Let me repeat:

    (1) I have expressed (to him) disagreement with his policy of moderating (and banning) on more than one occasion.
    (2) There are people who participate there, and who “dissent” and “criticize” his views on a regular basis and who aren’t banned or moderated. Obviously, there is more to the moderation criteria he uses than what you describe.
    (3) Your notion of being “censored” is drama-queening. You have been disinvited to play in his sandbox.
    (4) Don’t take yourself so seriously.

  22. Is this the same Joshua who’s polluting Climate Etc constantly attacking his dominatrix Judith asking for more punishment?

  23. To the J-man:

    (1) I have expressed (to him) disagreement with his policy of moderating (and banning) on more than one occasion.

    And what came of your expression? Nothing?

    (2) Obviously, there is more to the moderation criteria he uses than what you describe.

    You got that right.

    (3) Your notion of being “censored” is drama-queening.

    “Censored”? Is that a word I used?

    (4) Don’t take yourself so seriously.

    I know how to take myself. I take what I write seriously. I don’t have your luxury of writing walls of disposable text.

    Take your own example: your long comments are consistently off-topic, attention-seeking and theory-mongering. On top of it, they are spammy. I saw Judith Curry’s comment on how you managed to constitute close to a tenth of a thousand comments – almost as if you had no regard for fellow posters.. Clearly some ‘bad faith’ there. By your own standards, you deserve to be banned to clean up the discourse.

  24. b4llzofsteel, I have no idea why you think I always seem to be angry. I have rarely posted anything online while angry. I can easily identify thise rare cases if I go back and reread them.

    You’re reading anger where there is none. You should try considering other interpretations.

  25. Shub –

    ==> “Censored”? Is that a word I used?”

    ????

    “Shub Niggurath
    August 7, 2014 at 7:12 am

    People like you, and you, do not question censorship so there is no feedback or consequence.”

    Are you referring to the distinction between “censored” and “censorship?”

  26. Of course. I did not talk about “being censored”. I talk about the practice of censorship. I talk about people who carry this out routinely and their enablers.

  27. Shub –

    Fine. Instead of “Your notion of “being censored is drama-queening,” I’ll change it to your notion of censorship is drama-queenish. Always happy to correct an error.

  28. ” notion of censorship is drama-queenish”

    Does that even make any sense to you?

    Anyway, what you ought to be doing is stand up for your bloggers, instead of “expressing disagreement” and going about with business-as-usual. Put some weight behind your disagreement and see if you words count for anything. As someone who posts across multiple blogs, please don’t encourage creation of ghettos and no-go zones.

    Think about it: I agree with your comment on Brandon (the first one), some parts of it and not fully. But I say it here, and am able to say it here.

    Banning Brandon for ‘sock-puppetry’ was pure ducking – a pair of clueless people managing to work up some outrage to get rid of a problem.
    Half the commenters on Physics’ blog are SKS exclusives who don’t post outside their secret hideout. Mr Hartz was caught sockpuppeting on his blog. My Physics himself, while pretending to “trying to keep the discussion civil”, was actually a member of the SKS inside club, only revealing this a while ago even as he was specifically asked about it and said no.

    AndPhysics inserts himself constantly into little skirmishes involving Judith Curry and Michael Mann *and* hangs out in the SKS back-end with the boys who joke about being Mann’s ‘stooges’? – and this person’s judgement of “good faith” is good for you?

  29. I don’t intend to get involved in the discussion you two are having, but for the record Shub Niggurath, I didn’t get banned for ‘sock-puppetry.’ I was banned well before doing anything which could possibly be labeled as ‘sock-puppetry.’

    Now, despite what Joshua says at Ander’s blog:

    Expect a post now about how you’re either immoral or stupid or an idiot because it “makes no sense” to think that Brandon posting here under more than one screenname is sockpuppeting.

    That is a fairly typical example of Brandon’s playbook. He assume authority over something which is a matter of opinion (ex: what is and isn’t sockpuppetry), confuses his opinion with fact, and then focuses on that conflation rather than look at the larger issue at hand – in this case the fact that he posted at this site under two screennames.

    I’ve never denied having used a sock-puppet, nor have I ever made any effort to divert discussion to anything but “the larger issue at hand – in this case the fact that [I] posted at [that] site under two screennames.” In fact, when I described what I did, I specifically said I don’t know if it counts as using a sock-puppet. I also said I don’t think it’s important whether or not it does as people can see exactly what I did and why, meaning terminology doesn’t matter. In other words, I behaved exactly opposite of what Joshua tells people to expect from me, something he’d know if he had any actual interest in the truth.

    Which again shows why I say he’s a troll and should be ignored. I’d ask you to listen to that request. You two aren’t accomplishing anything other than bringing down the level of discussion. If you must engage with a troll, at least try to be entertaining about it.

  30. Shub –

    ==> “Put some weight behind your disagreement ”

    There isn’t much weight to my concern about it. So people get banned from blogs? So what? What difference does it really make? So instead of making his comments at ATTP – Brandon can make his comments here or at CA or at WUWT or at your blog or at Climate Etc. or at Bishop Hill or at The Blackboard or at…….endless other blogs. That’s one reason why it isn’t censorship.

    And then there’s the other side. Obviously, any blogger has the perfect right to ban whomever he or she wants to. If they find a commenter annoying or obnoxious or “distracting” or “derailing” (as I have been called many times), it’s their right to act in accordance. I don’t lobby for people to be banned. If you’re so upset about the principles of the matter, take it up with HIlary and mosher and Rud and the many folks who do lobby for banning and try to get Judith to ban me from Climate etc. Seems they would be a much better target for your outrage

    I would like to read the convos between Brandon or you and the folks at ATTP because I would like to read more perspectives on the issues being discussed. I can’t understand the issues on my own, so reading different views on “segregated” sites makes it harder for me to weigh the issues through watching a point-counterpoint discussion. But I’m just not going to get upset if someone gets banned, and particularly not if they’re someone who regularly engages in bad faith.

    ==> “Banning Brandon for ‘sock-puppetry’ was pure ducking ”

    The logical assumption is that he put on the sock after he was banned – because he was trying to circumvent the ban, so no, he wasn’t banned for using a sock and that’s not what I said.

    ==> “Half the commenters on Physics’ blog are SKS exclusives ”

    Half?

    ==> “and this person’s judgement of “good faith” is good for you?”

    I see Anders engaging in good with with people he disagrees with a lot. He and Pekka, for example, go at it quite a bit from very different perspectives. Sometimes the discussion ranges into the “bad faith” zone, IMO, and so the question might be asked why Pekka doesn’t get banned, but (1) Pekka never adopts the overt level of bad faith orientation that Brandon adopts regularly and, (2) as I said, I think that there is always a measure of subjectivity (and inconsistency) in moderation policies as I’ve seen them employed on blogs. But again, so what? People have a right to moderate on their own blog exactly the way that they see fit. I think that it’s overly-dramatic to make a big deal out of it. It’s life. Just like if I asked someone to leave my house because I didn’t particularly like the way there were acting. If Judith bans me from Climate Etc. – so what? I’m “moderated” at WUWT – so what? So I make my comments elsewhere.

  31. You didn’t get banned for sock-puppetry which is why I put the word in quotes. You didn’t get banned for ‘sock-puppetry’ either – it was just an excuse to get rid of you. He got rid of Barry Woods – that should tell you something.

    I agree with this portion of Joshua’s comment “assume authority over something which is a matter of opinion”. So what? It’s a rhetorical device, you use it, we all use some or the other. You may argue you don’t – that’s fine too.

    “level of discussion” is like “good faith”. I saw the level of discussion with the ‘cunts’ and the ‘niggers’ in the other thread.

  32. Joshua, I have some nice things to say. Hopefully will write it here shortly. We cross-posted.

    Best

  33. ==> “I’ve never denied having used a sock-puppet, nor have I ever made any effort to divert discussion to anything but “the larger issue at hand – in this case the fact that [I] posted at [that] site under two screennames.” In fact, when I described what I did, I specifically said I don’t know if it counts as using a sock-puppet. I also said I don’t think it’s important whether or not it does as people can see exactly what I did and why, meaning terminology doesn’t matter. In other words, I behaved exactly opposite of what Joshua tells people to expect from me, something he’d know if he had any actual interest in the truth.”

    I’m glad that you don’t think that the terminology matters, I agree with you. And so yes, I was wrong about what kind of post to expect. I should have said that we should expect that you would write a comment that doesn’t’ deal with your willingness to engage in bad faith – as sockpuppetry entails. My bad. I apologize.

    ==> “You two aren’t accomplishing anything other than bringing down the level of discussion. ”

    Not true, Brandon. You see, as you have said I am wasting your time. That’s my goal – to make you waste your time. Because that way I can distract and derail you and other “skeptics” from your important work of exposing the AGW fraudulence.

    And Brandon, I enjoy the post that wasn’t really in response to me – even though you’ve quoted me in it and focused in the post on the veracity of what I’ve said. Sorry for “bringing things down.”

    But I hope that you realize that by not responding to me in the way that you didn’t respond, you are contributing to the “bringing things down.

    And perhaps you’ll also realize that perhaps when you posted at ATTP he felt the same way about your participation at his blog – that it “brings things down” – and that he found an easier way to prevent that from happening as opposed to amusingly responding without responding and futily asking others to not respond and getting ignored.

  34. Joshua, I agree about your characterization of Pekka. Anders, not so much.

    But blogs are not houses so I don’t that’s a good comparison. However, I agree people can ban people for any reason they like, as long as they don’t run afoul of the law or the SkS (bad joke).

    They just shouldn’t lie about the reasons for the ban.

  35. I should mention that Bishop Hill has a post on this story. It even features an appearance of Anders, though the dialog wasn’t very constructive.

  36. Carrick is being generous. Here’s the comment I just left in that thread:

    Dear lord. Anders really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Upthread, he said:

    Also, the MBH shaft only goes back to 1400, so – apart from maybe some blip (non-technical term, I admit) at the beginning, it really seems pretty much the same as the profile in Fig 5.7. Given that the IPCC appears to have defined the MWA as from 950 – 1250, MBH98 doesn’t seem to steamroller it out of existence, it seems to not be considering that period at all. Given that the LIA seems to be partly defined in terms of being lower than the MWA, this is presumably not evident in MBH98 simply because their reconstruction doesn’t go far enough back to make the actual comparison.

    Notice how he switches from “MBH” to “MBH98.” The two are not the same thing. There were two papers, MBH98 and MBH99. They are, collectively, called MBH as MBH99 extended MBH98’s temperature reconstruction by another 400 years. This naming convention has been around for a decade, and the “hockey stick” everyone refers to is the one which goes back to 1000AD. Anyone with the slightest genuine interest in this topic would know this.

    Leaving aside the incredible nature of Anders’s ignorance and what it might indicate about his involvement in this topic, there’s another huge problem. Anders said all that in response to igsy. Not long after, igsy responded by saying:

    Anders

    I appreciate your reasonable tone in response to me, but I must qualify my appreciation by saying it is disappointing you felt the need to play the conspiracy card in your reply to NiV’s excellent post.

    You might note that I referred to MBH; I guess that there’s a kind of unstated convention that when we talk of MBH, we really mean MBH98/99. The 99 paper extended the 98 paper – with basically the same techniques etc – back to the year 1000AD, so it self-evidently does cover the MWP.

    And Anders responded to this, quoting:

    saying it is disappointing you felt the need to play the conspiracy card in your reply to NiV’s excellent post.

    But failing to address his fundamental mistake about the paper. He made a huge mistake that showed he had little idea what he was talking about, read a comment which pointed it out, responded to that comment and simply ignored his colossal screw up.

    The strangest part is while he apparently standing by his rampant ignorance, Anders has the audacity to call other people arrogant. Oh, and he accuses people of acting in bad faith. I mean, that’s how he justifies banning me. Because I clearly do things like, cherry-pick what I respond to in order to avoid admitting I don’t know the most basic facts about the topic I discuss.

    No wait. That’s what he did. I was banned because I pointed it out.

  37. Brandon:

    But failing to address his fundamental mistake about the paper. He made a huge mistake that showed he had little idea what he was talking about, read a comment which pointed it out, responded to that comment and simply ignored his colossal screw up.

    I’m not sure which of us is being more generous in our reading.

    I assumed he knew that MBH meant collectively the two papers and was just playing semantic games.

    You are assuming an initially honest but clueless mistake, then prevarication when it was pointed out to him.

    Is there a third and more generous interpretation where he could be seen as being honest?

  38. Carrick, I don’t know which is more generous. You are basically calling him a liar. I’m calling him lazy, close-minded and a few other things. Both are pretty damning. I think it’s just a question of how one rates intellectual honesty vs. honesty in general.

    Personally though, I think my interpretation is better supported. I don’t think Anders has ever done anything to inspire confidence in his intelligence. He has, however, repeatedly said stupid things which suggest he is either unable, or unwilling, to read even simple sentences. I think it’d take one heck of an act for it to be a matter of outright dishonesty.

    Just look at how things began when he first brought this topic up. He referred to “MM05” without saying anything to indicate which paper it was. When I pointed out there were multiple MM05 papers, he responded by refusing to specify which he was referring to. That sounds exactly like a guy who has no idea what he’s talking about but won’t acknowledge it (perhaps not even to himself).

    Tom Curtis is a more interesting case. I’m sure you remember the ridiculous and stupid things he said when talking about what Cook et al data was available. Now he shows a fundamental lack of knowledge, apparently being unaware of the difference between pseudo proxies and psuedo reconstructions. It’s difficult to explain his behavior in those cases as he’s clearly made an effort to look at the material, yet somehow fails to see incredibly basic points.

    In my view, there’s no kind explanation for any of this. It’s just a matter of what flavor of dishonesty one attributes to them.

    Of course, they’d probably say this sort of commentary indicates I act in bad faith. I notice people say things like that more the more you show their failures.

  39. Carrick –

    ==> “But blogs are not houses so I don’t that’s a good comparison.”

    Sure, no analogies are exact descriptions. If you don’t like the analogy – fine.

    So I won’t use an analogy. Anders puts up the blog and sets the rules and arbitrates those rules. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who decides to post comments on that blog is agreeing not only to the rules, but to the decisions the blog-owner makes about enforcing the rules.

    I think that Anthony’s reasons for putting me in moderation are reflective of an aribtary (in the sense of being based on subjective rationale, not in the sense of being random) application of moderation criteria. But he’s entitled. It’s his blog. He’s the one holding the hammer. If I wanted to continue to post there, I could have continued to do so w/o getting put into moderation – and I wouldn’t have had to censor my disagreement with his arguments. I would have had to take a different tone in my disagreement – one that clearly demonstrated good faith in my purpose for being there. But in fact, I chose not to clearly demonstrate that I was there in good faith. My choice. I might be a clueless troll as Hilary likes to point out, but even I knew that my style of posting at WUWT was going to run the risk of having me “moderated.” And as such, I think it would be silly for me to whine or complain about him putting me in moderation – and further, it would be ridiculously dramatic and reflect a sense of entitlement for me to claim that it was “censorship” or some injustice or some such nonsense. I’m responsible for my actions, not Anthony.

  40. Joshua

    You say Brandon could make his comment at “…or at The Blackboard or at…….endless other blogs. That’s one reason why it isn’t censorship.”

    This is unceasingly amazing. Bright reasonable people making facile statements… perhaps this is evidence of “bad faith”.

    When people discuss issues, it is a conversation. The urge to communicate is inseparable from its target and audience. Why do you write comments here? Maybe you can scribble them in your notebook!

    Why does this have to be explained at all?

    As I write this, it appears you have had a taste of the effects of censorship first-hand, at Roger Pielke’s blog. Readers can examine this episode where Joshua tries to leave a comment at Roger Pielke’s blog and it somehow “never passe[s] moderation”. Didn’t know how to play in his little sandbox did you?

    (http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/why-do-people-give-junior-such-a-hard-time/#comment-28331)

    In ‘technical’ terms in hypothesis testing, when Pielke Jr makes statements as he does in this example, he is equating/conflating the possibility of a type II error to outright non-rejection of the null hypothesis. An egregious error. But, nevertheless, an excellent anti-poison to the “disasters are caused by climate change” nonsense by Holdren and the like. I like these situations where disinformation destroys disinformation!

    It still remains that you ought to be telling him and his audience directly about his mistake. You should be able to do it. You should be able to stack up the profanities in doing so. Not personal attacks, mind you, just profanities. Anything less *is* censorship.

    If you only write in your personal Moleskin notebook that Pielke Jr is mixing up ‘no evidence for an effect’ with ‘there is no effect’, there is censorship.

  41. From NN Taleb’s latest:

    Definitions:
    What is a charlatan in risk and probability?

    Ans:

    […]

    Tries to make his audience confuse “absence of evidence” for “evidence of absence” with small probability events

    There’s something to be said about being censored by charlatans.

  42. Shub –

    ==> “Didn’t know how to play in his little sandbox did you?”

    First – I actually don’t know whether Roger moderated the comment out. I made have made a mistake posting it, or it could have just wound up in the ethernet for some other reason. I should have been more clear.

    Second – As I have always said to Roger – when he has put comments of mine into “moderation” in the past at his blog as the result of what I consider to be an inconsistent application of standards – that it’s his sandbox and he has the hammer and I accept those terms. Those are the terms of me being there. I simply accept that as the accepted terms of interaction.

    ==> “It still remains that you ought to be telling him and his audience directly about his mistake. You should be able to do it. You should be able to stack up the profanities in doing so. Not personal attacks, mind you, just profanities. Anything less *is* censorship. ”

    First, I don’t really consider it as being his “mistake.” I have an opinion. It isn’t fact. He has a different opinion.

    Second, yes I do think that I “should” be able to express my opinion on his blog. I think that he shouldn’t apply standards inconsistently (which I think has happened in the past irrespective of whether he moderated out that comment or it disappeared for some other reason). Life is full of things that don’t go the way I think that they “should” go. But in the end, my being able to make that comment changes nothing in the world. If my comment went through, it would have just been one more criticism that Roger ignores or dismisses out of hand. It would have been just one more comment where, perhaps, “skeptics” would line up to explain why I’m stupid or obviously wrong or just trying to “distract” and “derail” or just trying to advance the statist cause of a one-world government so capitalism could be destroyed.

    Third – I guess you and I just have different standard for “censorship.” I use it for when someone has been rendered unable to express their opinions to some significant degree. Not being able to write a post disagreeing with Roger on his blog just doesn’t stack up for me because in any meaningful sense, my ability to communicate my opinions has not been diminished.

    And as for my comment at Roger’s (if it didn’t pass moderation because he trash-binned it), it was a bit sarcastic and it was overtly critical of him. I could have written my comment to express my opinion in a non-sarcastic way and in a way that was not overtly critical of him. If, in fact, he did moderate my comment, I would think that I could easily have expressed my disagreement with his “bottom line” characterization of that study in a way that it would not likely have been moderated. I took a risk when I wrote the comment – knowingly. It was my decision to do so. I know that Roger applies standards for moderation unevenly. I know that he sometimes doesn’t allow comments because they are critical of him. Although I think that Roger “should” apply moderation standards evenly, I don’t blame him for my decisions about how to write that comment.

  43. So Shub –

    My point is that I do know how to play in his sandbox if I want to make sure that my comments don’t get moderated. And sometimes I choose not to play in that manner. My decision.

  44. I should make another correction. As I recall, my comment wasn’t critical of Roger, but critical of his rhetoric. The difference between those two is sometimes vague and in the end criticizing someone’s rhetoric often seems like criticizing them personally – but I do usually try to be careful and IMO, Roger sometimes moderates out arguments simply because they are critical of his reasoning/arguments/rhetoric.

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