In denial about Climate Audit censorship

Over at Climate Audit, Willis Eschenbach responded to my comment about CA’s censorship of comments with this denial:

Tim, you’re posting here, free to blather on about nothing scientific at all … meanwhile I’m totally censored from asking scientific questions at RealClimate.

Unfortunately for Eschenbach, within a few minutes my comment about CA’s censorship was censored — everything except for four words was deleted and the link to my blog from my name was deleted. I posted a comment to draw their conduct to his attention and that was deleted as well. I wonder if this will be enough to convince Eschenbach?

Comments

  1. #1 Dano
    September 12, 2006

    I wonder if this will be enough to convince Eschenbach?

    Well, I’ve found it difficult to budge him, on a number of issues, so I vote no.

    Best,

    D

  2. #2 Glen Raphael
    September 12, 2006

    Now that you gave a *link* that showed a couple comments without the link to your blog, I have to admit that seems kind of petty. So I just nagged JohnA about it here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=429#comment-45497

    (I don’t know how long that post will stay up, and wouldn’t mind at all if it goes away. Or this one, for that matter.)

    Note that if all you want to do is metacommentary, the right place to do that is in the Road Map, not in the middle of a thread. Yeah, I know, “he started it” and all that. The drift could profitably have been cut off a fair bit *earlier* than it was.

  3. #3 Steve Bloom
    September 12, 2006

    Moi aussi. John A. censors me frequently over there in pretty obvious ways, and there has never been a peep out of one of the regulars about that notwithstanding the incessant whining from most of them about RC.

    Willis definitely has a forest for tree-rings problem. On several occasions that I’ve seen over at RC he’s run off onto some elaborate pseudo-scientific tangent and refuses to be dissuaded by appropriate corrections. Then he whines about censorship when his pointless reiterations aren’t allowed through. When he does the same thing at CA he mostly gets applause, which probably makes him even more resentful of what happens to him at RC.

    What’s going on right now at CA with Judy Curry (in the most recent bender hurricane thread) is absolutely mesmerizing. The regulars hung back for a few days, but now it looks like their patience has run out. Judy just finished noting that the Idso hurricane stuff (which she had never seen before) is pure crap (well, “spin”), and the shrieks are rising to the heavens. She also asked Willis whether there was any point to his attempted critique of Emanuel (2005), and he responded rather testily. bender seemed to be going along on an even keel, but just now for some unfathonable reason referred to Judy as “Judy baby.” Let’s hope she doesn’t have a mouthful of coffee when she sees that. Anyway, I predict this won’t go on much longer.

  4. #4 Steve Bloom
    September 12, 2006

    Hey, Glen, I commented right after you over there to the effect that John A. has admitted to such censorship, not just of Tim but of anyone else linking to material over here (as yesterday with a reference I made to Tim’s DDT material). He promptly deleted my entire comment. Paranoid acting out? You be the judge.

  5. #5 Steve Bloom
    September 12, 2006

    Oh look, now John A. deleted a second post of mine, this one advising him to grow up. Advice declined, apparently.

    Glen, you will get nowhere with John A. on this.

  6. #6 Glen Raphael
    September 12, 2006

    Okay, so JohnA is now officially on record that links to Deltoid *are* blocked. And the official policy is, contra willis, that you are not “free to blather on about nothing scientific at all”, but the good news is that you are still free to blather on technical topics if you so choose. So CA still probably beats RC in that regard. (Note that whether a site censors is not considered a technical topic, and would be unwelcome at *either* location.)

  7. #7 Peter Hearnden
    September 12, 2006

    Glen, how do you know ‘the good news is that you are still free to blather on technical topics if you so choose.’? Left alone John A censors more than you might think…

  8. #8 Carl Christensen
    September 12, 2006

    Those clowns of CA are just in withdrawal because “Big Daddy” Mac is away with his other pseudo-scientists at that “big convention” of skeptics. The fact they claim to be some higher moral or scientific ground because they have slightly less restrictive censoring policies is hilarious. Hell, they couldn’t wait to boot me off and report me to my employer for justly flaming them for a day! ;-)

  9. #9 John A
    September 12, 2006

    ‘n anffodus gwisgwn t falia am beth Tim Lambert anghenion.

  10. #10 Glen Raphael
    September 12, 2006

    My main evidence is that JohnA isn’t a highly competent censor. When stuff gets censored on CA, there tends to be a trail of bread crumbs left behind that hints at what happened. Mostly this is caused by the fact that the default behavior at CA for non-link-containing posts is that they appear immediately but possibly get removed later, usually but not so quickly that other people don’t see them and comment on them. So you can get a sense of how much and what type of censorship is occurring.

    My secondary evidence is that when Tim makes a substantial point of his own on his own blog, CA has been known to link to it and discuss it at length.

    Lastly, I can reasonably assume that if Tim /had/ made a substantive /technical/ post that got zapped, Tim would post about it on his own blog, because Tim really enjoys being aggrieved about stuff like that. I judge from what Tim /doesn’t/ say about these situations as much as from what he does. Just because JohnA is being a dick right now – and he is – doesn’t mean he’s lying about this.

  11. #11 Hank Roberts
    September 12, 2006

    Steve, are you talking about the CA thread in which Dr. Curry posts beginning here (well down into it)
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=790?#comment-43070
    and
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=790?#comment-43084
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=790?#comment-43110
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=790?#comment-43168

    There’s probably more, not sure I’ve found the area you’re referring to.

  12. #12 Tim Lambert
    September 12, 2006

    Glen, I have had posts about the science censored by CA, and I did [post about it](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/spewing_venom.php) on my blog.

    As for CA linking to me, when has that happened? There was a post where Steve [falsely accused me](http://timlambert.org/2005/08/climate-audiot2/) of blocking John A from accessing my blog, but other than that?

  13. #13 Hank Roberts
    September 12, 2006

    Or maybe Dr. Curry’s participation in this thread beginning, I think, with this post:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=813#comment-45072

  14. #14 JB
    September 12, 2006

    Perhaps rather than censor people, Climate Audit should just employ a software filter that rearranges a few of the words to form something more agreeable to them.

    Take this example:

    “Michael Mann was correct: his statistical errors were not critical.”

    rearranged to…

    “Michael Mann was not correct: his statistical errors were critical.”

    Technically, this is not censorhip, which my dictionary defines as “the removal of information that is deemed improper”.

    No words removed. No censorship.

    I wonder if they would be interested in the program I wrote for this…

  15. #15 Carl Christensen
    September 12, 2006

    The funny thing about CA is they actually do occasionally get someone important in the field; but they are driven off by the hordes of right-wing McIntyre butt-kissers for not showing enough deference to Steve & Ross. Just see if you can find the threads when John Hunter was around (and needle-dicked John A was a leader of the lynch mob).

  16. #16 Dano
    September 12, 2006

    Re Judy Curry at CA and:

    [w]hat’s going on right now at CA with Judy Curry (in the most recent bender hurricane thread) is absolutely mesmerizing.

    Indeed. She cleverly invited bender to write a paper with her – nary a peep, now she’s tired of the incessant ignernt questions and who can blame her?

    But back to the original topic, there is a lot of energy over there to verify the received worldview, as is starting to be pointed out here in detail.

    Best,

    D

  17. #17 llewelly
    September 12, 2006

    I think, Tim, you have misunderstood this phrase:

    … free to blather on about nothing scientific at all …

    It means, I suspect, you are free to post so long as your statements are completely unscientific. It does not seem to imply you are allowed to post claims supported by referenced evidence. Try writing nonsense and balderdash, for a change, and I imagine they will stop censoring you.

  18. #18 JB
    September 12, 2006

    “Try writing nonsense and balderdash, for a change,”

    They might take it seriously and start inviting Tim to their conferences.

  19. #19 hank
    September 12, 2006

    It’s great that Dr. Curry can draw useful info out of discussion at CA. Oldtimers from Usenet days know how to ignore trolls; she seems to know how.

    And she’s improving the content over there — for example she did graciously credit the lawyer from Chicago/Volokh for finding the typo in her published work that nobody else had reported.

    I’m at least trying to imagine a world in which what some of the people “skeptical” about this are intellectually honest, or are trying as hard to be as any of us try.

    “All models are wrong. Some models are useful.” — same for worldviews.

  20. #20 Stephen Berg
    September 12, 2006

    Re: ‘n anffodus gwisgwn t falia am beth Tim Lambert anghenion.”

    What did you say, JohnA? “If you can’t find any junk science (à la M&M), Tim Lambert, don’t bother to post over at CA. In other words, if you find peer-reviewed and accurate science which adds to the thousands and thousands of studies which support AGW (and incidentally the ‘Hockey Stick’), post it over at RC.” Is that it?

    I thought so! Good of you to get that out!

  21. #21 Steve Bloom
    September 12, 2006

    The thread I was referring to is http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=803 , although she has commented on others.

    Glen may be interested to know that I’m now blocked from posting at CA. This is happening because of the two “Road Map” posts of mine that John A. deleted. As he well knows, Spam Karma 2 will automatically begin blocking someone in that situation unless the blog moderator resets it. So all John A. has to do is a couple of deletions and the rest of the censoring is automated. I suppose I’ll have to await Steve M.’s return to get reinstated; he eventually does get around to it. Whenever my posts are blocked like this and I blame it on John A.’s censoring, Steve denies it and blames it on SK2, but as noted all John A. has to do is be aware of SK2’s behavior and do nothing about it. After several go-rounds it’s started to get a little old.

  22. #22 Dano
    September 12, 2006

    SB,

    your envirowarmer Bayesian propaganda spouting and obvious love for Judy and her disparaging of the Idso’s spin is ill-suited to proper scientific inquiry, and you know it sir.

    Best,

    D

  23. #23 jre
    September 12, 2006

    I make it to be

    “Heartburn unfortunate we dress tower I care about thing Tim Lambert needs.”

    Kind of poetic, actually, and it did slide easily through the lack-of-content filter.

  24. #24 Glen Raphael
    September 12, 2006

    Tim, try these two – one expressing tentative agreement with the gist of your criticism of Lott (while analogizing to Mann), and the other responding with more detail in response to one of your commentators:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=608
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=297

    There’s some irony in the fact that repeatedly arguing about censorship seems to be what got you marked as spam by Steve (JohnA probably did it for other reasons). Once you were marked as spam, your postings started getting held up for indeterminant lengths of time, which made you /more/ prone to post such complaints, which further lowered the S/N ratio of your posts, thereby making the spam designation more accurate.

    I forget: do we call that dynamic a “feedback”, or is it more of a “forcing”? :-)

  25. #25 Glen Raphael
    September 12, 2006
  26. #26 Lee
    September 12, 2006

    Not only does JohnA continue to engage in that kind of disruptive/censoring behavior aimed at peopel who dont toe the CA line, SteveM obviosuly approves of it, because he keeps allowing JohnA to do it. Then Steve gets to say – well, it wasn’t me, see, I fixed it – and pretend to maintain some kind of morally clean stance.

    I’ve also been censored on several ocasions,and banned outright once, from CA.

  27. #27 John Sully
    September 12, 2006

    Ditto.

  28. #28 Gareth
    September 12, 2006

    ‘n anffodus gwisgwn t falia am beth Tim Lambert anghenion

    Good God, he’s Welsh.

    Is auto translation into Cymraeg a Celtic version of disemvowelling?

    (Mind you, my Welsh is all but non-existant, so what he’s saying is a mystery)

  29. #29 hank
    September 12, 2006

    Welsh? Oh, that’s a relief.
    I thought he was one of the Elder Gods for a momeht there.

  30. #30 Ian Gould
    September 12, 2006

    Quote: “Big Daddy” Mac is away with his other pseudo-scientists at that “big convention” of skeptics.

    I hear it went so well that next year they may need to hire a second phone booth.

  31. #31 Dano
    September 12, 2006

    Say, that raises a question:

    what do you call a group of pseudoscientists?

    There isn’t a name, is there? How about a ‘cluck’ – as in the sound a hen makes?

    Best,

    D

  32. #32 John Cross
    September 12, 2006

    Dano: what an interesting question – how about a “greenback of pseudoscientists”?

    By the way, I used to speak a little Welsh and I think it translates as:

    “Curses, out smarted again. I’ll get you Tim Lambert next time!”

  33. #33 Stan Palmer
    September 12, 2006

    I searrched teh web for some blogs that would provide insight on gobal warming. I found this one.

    Now I have no reason to douibt why workers in this field are held in such low esteem. Peer-review from this group would be llike criticims from the advanced class at nursery school – you can’t be wrong for being right. No wonder that workers in this field are held in such low esteem

  34. #34 Doug Clover
    September 12, 2006

    Dear Stan

    I suggest that if you are sincere in understanding more about the science of climate change you go to http://www.realclimate.org. The tone there is much more measured, but you will find it intellectually challenging.

    Tim’s blog on the other hand is a mix of scientific commentary and ‘spleen venting’ by those that are concerned about the consequences of rapid climate change and who have put the effort in to understand the very complex science.

    You must understand that for many of those that comment here it is difficult to maintain absolute probity at all times. They have had to suffer years of stupid and often mendacious commentary by those wanting discredit the science of climate change and the hardworking, and sincere climate scientists.

    Doug Clover

  35. #35 KGrandia
    September 12, 2006

    Does anyone know who John A is? He has been a pest on our blog site as well. I know he is a regular on the hockey stick obsessed climateaudit. One day I started poking around on him, but went off on something else. Thought I would ask.

  36. #36 Tim Lambert
    September 13, 2006

    John A’s real name is a secret. He doesn’t know anything about the science, [claiming that entropy is a form of energy](http://timlambert.org/2005/07/climate-audiot/) and mainly posts abuse and personal attacks. Nobody would pay any attention to him except that he has posting and moderation privileges at CA. It’s convenient to Steve to have him around since Steve can make himself appear fair-minded by expressing mild disagreement with John A’s heavy-handed censorship. Steve, however, never restrains John A.

    If you want to chase John A away from your blog, just challenge him on his claims about entropy and he’ll suddenly remember how dreadfully busy he is.

  37. #37 Tim Lambert
    September 13, 2006

    Looks like Willis has flip-flopped. He seems to now [support RealClimate’s policy](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=429#comment-45578):

    >If you had an anti-abortion blog, would you feel compelled to allow links to pro-abortion groups to be posted on it? Particularly if the groups abused you on their blog?

    >If you had an anti-gun website, would you think you had to allow links to an NRA blog that went out of its way to be nasty to you?

    >I must be missing something here. Why is providing free advertising on this site to someone who goes out of his way to abuse, demean, and spread untruths about this site suddenly a free speech issue?

  38. #38 Carl Christensen
    September 13, 2006

    hell, if you want to scare John A just ask him for some basic personal information. John Hunter did that in response to John A’s request for “ALL THE DATA — NOW” (i.e. typical CA blowhardedness) — and John A subsequently went crying to Big Daddy Steve who insinuated that the respected scientist John Hunter was stalking John A and trying to get him in trouble with his employer etc.

    So the modus operandi of CA is basically concoct a straw-man to attract a real scientist (e.g. Hunter) to their inane sycophantic blog, flame them ad-infinitum with pseudointellectual gobblegook, and then if the esteemed scientist dare fight back or give the mildest flame to John A & Steve or Ross, claim to be the victim in the exchange! Steve & Ross and their followers are basically egomaniacs who are jealous of real scientists; hence their continual attacks on ANY paper showing anthropogenic global warming.

  39. #39 Michael Seward
    September 13, 2006

    What’s going on right now at CA with Judy Curry is amazing, but I don’t see the childish pseudo-scientific blather that is often characteristic of ClimateAudut. Judith Curry herself says “this is a really interesting blog, relatively free of b.s. and full of real content. i will definitely be checking in on a regular basis” …”since the lawyers have already decided on their verdict. I’m assuming that this is not the case with the climateauditors (who i judge to be bonafide skeptics)”…”thanks to everyone for making this such a though provoking discussion.”

    She put an enormous amount of effort into a rational and credible debate, and by and large was treated with respect, even though some of the comments were predictably shallow, typical of “skeptics” with no skepticism at all when they read CO2Science, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and SEPP and mistake it for the Truth.

  40. #40 Carl Christensen
    September 13, 2006

    translation: Judy Curry is trying to be polite to the neanderthal Republican types.

  41. #41 Anonymous Coward
    September 13, 2006

    Willis:

    Why is providing free advertising on this site to someone who goes out of his way to abuse, demean, and spread untruths about this site suddenly a free speech issue?

    Blog comments have never been a “free speech” issue. I am not required to give you a podium. This is my house and I get to boot you out if I don’t like you. The Post doesn’t have to print your letters-to-the-edtior.

    Blog comments have always been an intellectual honesty issue. They demonstrate a willingness by the blog author to accept both compliments and criticism, and to share both compliments and criticism with your readers.

    The selective deleting of blog comments based on their content is intellectually dishonest. It is not a “free speech” violation.

  42. #42 Stan Palmer
    September 13, 2006

    “Steve & Ross and their followers are basically egomaniacs who are jealous of real scientists; hence their continual attacks on ANY paper showing anthropogenic global warming.”

    Why is it a “bad thing” that papers are subjected to critical examination? I was taught that that is the purpose of publication and a critical part of the scientific method.

    Every paper should be subjected to this type of examination. However it has been my experience in engineering that most papers are not worth reading et alone examining. Most papers are simply rehashes of an existing consensus and as such should not have been published in the first place.

    I recall reviewing a paper from an Ivy League school for publication in a major engineering journal. My review took the form of advice that should have been provided to the student by his advisor. The work was no where near publishable but was the result of research done by real researchers at a major Ivy League lab.

  43. #43 Carl Christensen
    September 13, 2006

    That’s why there is such a thing as peer review, and why, quite frankly, the scientific peer review process is light years ahead of the “us versus them” blogosphere.

  44. #44 Stan Palmer
    September 13, 2006

    Peer review.

    During the recent stem scandals, I read many comments from leading researchers about the low quality of papers published in the field. One remarked specfically that almost anything could be publihed and another remarked about the nature of peer review in such a small community.

    Peer review has its place but it cannot replace the critical review of research by people outside the small community.

    I recall being involved in the publication of some conference paper in an archival journal. The journal editor required that all of the papers be reviewed again. Whn asked why this needed to be done when the papers had already been reviewed for the conference and had been judged as the best papers submitted, he replied with the example of one paper that ahd been voted best paper at a conference but had been shown to have a fundamental mistake by the journal reviewers.

    Peer review of a paper in a samm community is a test of how well that paper fits the views of that communty. It bears only an indirect, at most, of the quality of the research reported and cannot replace critical external examination.

  45. #45 Carl Christensen
    September 13, 2006

    perhaps some outside review is needed, but the blogosphere is a laughably bad replacement.

  46. #46 JB
    September 13, 2006

    Stan Palmer claims: “Peer review of a paper in a samm [small?] community is a test of how well that paper fits the views of that communty. It bears only an indirect, at most, of the quality of the research reported”

    A sweeping statment if ever there was one. Where is the evidence for such a broad generalization?

    STan Palmer also claims:
    “and [peer review] cannot replace critical external examination.”

    This is bassackwards:
    “external examination will never replace critical peer review”.

    The reason is obvious: the people who know most about a subject (“peers”) are in the best position to review a paper on their area of expertise.

    I find it intersting that peer review worked quite well (thank you) until “blog science” came along. Now every Tom Dick and Henrietta seems to think they are qualified to be an “extrenal reviewer” of scientific subjects because they took science in junior high school.

    There is one word that describes this belief: absurd.

  47. #47 hank
    September 13, 2006

    Dr. Curry understands how to speak to the good in a bad crowd. I’ve been impressed by her there — and by her ability to avoid being sucked into unproductive argument.
    She writes in a way that a reader who _can_ respond as a scientist is more likely to do so — admitting uncertainty. Good to see.

  48. #48 hank
    September 13, 2006

    Stan, Doug’s right. Take his answer seriously. What you get in the lobby (or the bar) is not what you get in a science symposium. This is the bar. Or back alley (grin).

    As to what we should call a group of pseudoscientists — I suggest, particularly in the online context, that would be “a blag.” My favorite new word, with an old history.

    OED meaning 2 as a noun: Brit. slang.
    An attempt to obtain or achieve something by persuasive talk or plausible deception; a tall story, a bluff or pretence; a hoax or con.

    OED as a verb:
    1. trans. To obtain or achieve by persuasive talk or plausible deception; to bluff, to dupe or deceive by bluffing; to scrounge, esp. by clever or deceitful talk. Freq. in to blag one’s way into (or out of): to talk one’s way into (or out of).

  49. #49 Stan Palmer
    September 13, 2006

    “STan Palmer also claims: “and [peer review] cannot replace critical external examination.”

    This is bassackwards: “external examination will never replace critical peer review”.

    The reason is obvious: the people who know most about a subject (“peers”) are in the best position to review a paper on their area of expertise.”

    This didn’t turn out to be the case in stem cell research. Small communities exhibit the standard sociological trait of “groupthink.” Everyone knows the right answer because everyone knows it. Papers can “right for the wrong reason” if their findings agree with the accepted view.

    Peer review in small communities is just a measure of what that community believes. If that community is deficient in a specific area of knowledge (say statistics) then only external review can overcome errors induced by that deficiency. Small groups that reject the contributions of experts from outside, will make the expected errors.

  50. #50 Stan Palmer
    September 13, 2006

    Stem cell research

    a) real scientists
    b) lots of grant money
    c) results required to maintain and expand grant money
    d) fradulent papers
    e) peer review does not detect fraud
    f) papers published in world-class journals
    g) scandals and paper retractions

    Peer review is not replication of results. It cannot detect fraud or in a more direct case inadequacies (groupthink, lack of specialized skills …) in the research community. Only external review can do this

  51. #51 Dano
    September 13, 2006

    I like a ‘blag’ of pseudoscientists better than my term. That’s the term to top, IMO.

    Maybe ‘cluck’ can be used for a group of commenters on denialist blogs (trying desperately to make my idea look good here).

    Anyway, one can see an example of the ‘scrounge’ v.t. part of the definition over in the ‘Chron on HS’ thread, lending strength to hank’s suggestion.

    Best,

    D

  52. #52 Dano
    September 13, 2006

    Everyone knows the right answer because everyone knows it. Papers can “right for the wrong reason” if their findings agree with the accepted view.

    Huh.

    You know, I’m pushing for Sadlov to create Galileo: The Journal of CA NewScience, a journal created out of the received wisdom derived from comment telephone game in order to refute the warmers once and for all, just because Everyone knows the right answer because everyone knows it. Papers can “right wrong for the wrong right reason” if their findings conclusions agree with the accepted view wish.

    Anyway, Stan, thank you for recapping the standard denialist arguments here and putting them in one place for us to view.

    Best,

    D

  53. #53 Stan Palmer
    September 13, 2006

    “Huh.

    You know, I’m pushing for Sadlov to create Galileo: The Journal of CA NewScience, a journal created out of the received wisdom derived from comment telephone game in order to refute the warmers once and for all, just because Everyone knows the right answer because everyone knows it. Papers can “right wrong for the wrong right reason” if their findings conclusions agree with the accepted view wish.

    Anyway, Stan, thank you for recapping the standard denialist arguments here and putting them in one place for us to view.”

    One typical manifestation of groupthink is to provide names (denialist, warmer …) for outsiders so that their views do not have to be considered.

  54. #54 hank
    September 13, 2006

    Chuckle. To be evenhanded, Dano, a cluck might be a collection any Chicken Little vendor — e.g. those expecting the complete collapse of freedom if any law affects their fossil fuel use, and those still propagating the “sea level rise of 80 feet by 2100″ typo the Associated Press mistakenly sent out as though it were fact.

    It’s any of us when we get trapped for the moment in the rhetoric of certainty instead of the uncertainty that science offers.

    Stan — you’re in an alley. It’s a bit dark. Some of the others around you in the shadows are a bit tipsy and exhausted, after a long day keeping themselves scientific in those other public fora where all are expected to try to behave well no matter how strong their feelings.

    Hope to see you there, where much of what you say will make more sense in appropriate context. Framing helps.

  55. #55 Dano
    September 13, 2006

    One typical manifestation of groupthink is to provide names (denialist, warmer …) for outsiders so that their views do not have to be considered.

    wrt ‘warmer’, this is a CA cluck term. wrt ‘denialist’, I refer you to Doug’s excellent comment above.

    HTH,

    D

  56. #56 JB
    September 13, 2006

    Interesting that you chose to ignore my first criticism above of your “sweeping statment” that “Peer review of a paper in a samm [small?] community is a test of how well that paper fits the views of that communty. It bears only an indirect, at most, of the quality of the research reported”.

    Fraud within stem cell research does not prove your general claim (rule) about peer review.

    Fraud is hardly the norm in science. In fact, it is an exceptional case and, according to Richard Feynman, “in science, the exception does not prove the rule. ‘The exception tests the rule.’ Or, put another way, ‘The exception proves that the rule is wrong.’ ”

    So, the claim (rule) that “peer review always catches fraud” could be shown to be false, since one can provide an exception (the stem cell case) that disproves the rule.

    But the claim you made above about peer review can not be proved by an exception like the stem cell case.

  57. #57 JB
    September 13, 2006

    hank says:
    “Stan — you’re in an alley. It’s a bit dark. Some of the others around you in the shadows are a bit tipsy and exhausted. Hope to see you there, where much of what you say will make more sense in appropriate context. Framing helps.”

    …and the framing that you have built above should be comdemned.

  58. #58 frankis
    September 13, 2006

    You’re free to choose your own peer group Stan and if you want dibs on a person of the calibre of “JohnA” in yours then I’m betting you’ll get him; the competition won’t be strong. All: why does Steve McIntyre associate himself with JohnA? – it beats me, completely.

    Those of your comments above that are not simply stupid and obnoxious (see below) are sweeping generalisations yet I happen to agree with you on some of them granted of course that they are just that, “generalisations”. Despite this agreement I’m betting that as a proud engineer commenting rudely and dismissively on scientific matters you quite possibly believe you’re smarter than “the scientists”, and you also most likely have not read through let alone understood the body of evidence amassed at the IPCC’s readily accessible web site nor read or commented in the appropriate place on the quality material at RealClimate. If I’m wrong then I look forward to reading a critique from you at some time and in the appropriate place of any scientific case that you believe is better addressed by the likes of a JohnA than it is by a Tim Lambert.

    “Now I have no reason to douibt why workers in this field are held in such low esteem. Peer-review from this group would be llike criticims from the advanced class at nursery school – you can’t be wrong for being right. No wonder that workers in this field are held in such low esteem” – Stan Palmer

  59. #59 hank
    September 13, 2006

    JB, what you attributed to me isn’t what I wrote. Where you elide, use an ellipsis.
    What I tried to say, Doug Clover said better, and earlier — “it is difficult to maintain absolute probity at all times.”

  60. #60 JB
    September 13, 2006

    Hank, I appologize for leaving out the elipsis after your word exhausted.

    But my comment still stands.

  61. #61 Tim Lambert
    September 13, 2006

    Just preserving this gem from Steve McIntyre:

    >My approach is that I can’t be bothered with this kind of controversy and, if Lambert wishes to expose his shortcomings, so be it. It’s probably symptomatic that Lambert picks a fight with John A while I’m away rather than dealing with me. John A, I don’t know why you have such a short fuse on this stuff. Don’t rise to Lambert’s bait. When he writes Mann Screws It Up Again, he’ll have some credibility. Until then, he lacks credibility and I doubt that anyone cares much what he says.

    Apparently in Steve’s mind posting a true statement about CA’s censorship is the same as picking a fight with John A. Don’t expect Steve to ever hold John A responsible for his actions.

  62. #62 Harald Korneliussen
    September 14, 2006

    It’s basically correct, what Stan says about peer review. Peer review is based on the concept that some people are more qualified than others to evaluate certain claims, that may be more or less true in a given field. In small groups it’s more likely to be false. If you want examples, look at lit-crit and modern classical music and modern art (older classical music shows that the assumptions of peer review can produce good results in music, too).
    But Stan, what you don’t get is that an interdisciplinal field like climate science is tightly connected to the rest of the natural science peer review community. Unlike in stem-cell research, there are very few parts of climate science that cannot be evaluated by some sort of “regular” natural scientist or mathemathician or even a computer scientist (the modelling software).

  63. #63 Stephen Berg
    September 14, 2006

    Re: “Peer review is based on the concept that some people are more qualified than others to evaluate certain claims, that may be more or less true in a given field. In small groups it’s more likely to be false.”

    Which is why the IPCC is THE authoritative peer review process in climate science. The ~2500-scientist group is the largest peer review group science has ever seen, meaning any consensus of the IPCC is likely as accurate as any scientific conclusion could be.

    On a side note, the IPCC generally endorses the “Hockey Stick,” which must really wrankle the feathers of the CA crowd.

  64. #64 Ian Gould
    September 14, 2006

    “John A’s real name is a secret. He …and mainly posts abuse and personal attacks. …he has posting and moderation privileges at CA. It’s convenient to Steve to have him around since Steve can make himself appear fair-minded by expressing mild disagreement with John A’s heavy-handed censorship. Steve, however, never restrains John A.”

    Hmmm, I wonder if John A has ever met Mary Rosh?

  65. #65 Harald Korneliussen
    September 14, 2006

    Ian Gould: I wonder if John A has ever met Andrea Harris. It’s typical for those sorts of blogs to have a mean, vindictive bouncer, so they can dodge responsibility for their censorship.

  66. #66 Lee
    September 14, 2006

    Tim, I posted a followup to Steve’s post, in which I asked why he continues to tolerate a co-moderator with, as STeveM puts it himself, a “short fuse”. I suppose that qualifies as picking a fight with JohnA – my post was simply removed outright without comment.

  67. #67 JB
    September 14, 2006

    Harald says: “It’s basically correct, what Stan says about peer review. Peer review is based on the concept that some people are more qualified than others to evaluate certain claims, that may be more or less true in a given field. In small groups it’s more likely to be false. If you want examples, look at lit-crit and modern classical music and modern art ”

    Actually, like Stan, you need to provide proof of such a broad statementyou are making the same mistake that Stan made: presuming that a few examples provide proof for a broad generalization (ie, “In small groups it’s more likely to be false”).

    I do not deny that the phenomenon of “group think” that Stan referred to does sometimes cloud crticial thinking in small (and even large) groups.

    But the occurrence of a phenomenon here and there in certain groups (“lit-crit and modern classical music and modern art” and stem cells) is not the same thing as prevalance, which is what you implied (“more likely to be false”).

  68. #68 KGrandia
    September 14, 2006

    This John A has been around a long time, I am still very curious to find out who he is and what his motivations are. What do people say to US$100 and a much coveted DeSmogBlog t-shirt to the first person that uncovers this guy? It will make great material for Tim’s blog, of which we are very big fans. By the amount of time John A has on his hands, it looks like he might need the money enough to uncover himself (figuratively speaking)!

  69. #69 JB
    September 14, 2006

    My guess is JohnA’s position is a paid position and I somehow doubt there has to be any real “tolerance of John A” on STeveM’s part. The whole setup is undoubtedly by design: the tried and true good-guy/bad-guy routine.

    I suppose there are really two questions: Who is John A? (Who is John Galt?) and Who pays to have John A do what he does?

  70. #70 jre
    September 14, 2006

    With all due respect to KGrandia, it’s been my experience that “uncover[ing]” a Web personality who prefers to remain pseudonymous rarely achieves anything useful, and is often seen as petty and mean-spirited (or worse). I already know as much about JohnA as I wish to.
    Just casting one vote.

  71. #71 KGrandia
    September 14, 2006

    It is always fun to uncover these characters, look at what happened with that YouTube video spoofing Al Gore that turned out to be created by DCI Group, a republican Washington lobby group, who’s client list included no less than ExxonMobil… smoking these guys out is what we do at desmogblog. Oh, and Lambert does a pretty good job too! I did a bunch of sniffing on John A and have a pretty good idea who he is… but, I’m missing a few details, hence the reward (bounty).

  72. #72 KGrandia
    September 14, 2006

    Would be cool, if John A was Steve M, his own little personal third-party voice!

  73. #73 Peter Hearnden
    September 14, 2006

    I’ve wondered about that. SM and JA do, if one is in Canada and the other the UK, seem to keep very odd hours. But, I’m pretty sure they’re not one and the same. JA just has a deep conviction and this (clever?) way of getting under peoples skin…

  74. #74 KGrandia
    September 14, 2006

    Yep, we know he’s in the UK, but who is he? He’s obviously, SM’s attack dog, whoever nails it gets US$100 and more importantly a sweet desmog shirt. Heck, whoever finds it, I will throw in a shirt for Lambert as well, after all it’s his site.

  75. #75 Harald Korneliussen
    September 15, 2006

    JB, I didn’t intend to prove anything in the scientific sense, if you think I’m wrong that small groups are more vulnerable to groupthink/self-congratulation, just tell me why. The examples i gave should illustrate how peer approval systems _sometimes_ go wrong (and I mean peer approval in a very broad sense here, as in any system where the opinions of your colleagues, equals, friends etc. matter much more than what everyone else may think). But don’t get me wrong, I think that the assumption that some people have “better” opinions than others is absolutely necessary in many fields – science, for instance – and potentially useful in others – art, in particular, where both popular and “fine” art have their advantages.

    I just think we could learn a lot from considering peer review’s possible strengths and weaknesses, especially compared to systems where all opinions are counted as equally important.

  76. #76 Hans Erren
    September 15, 2006

    Who is Dano?

    Who is KGrandia?

    Who is JB?

    All paid by greenpeace?

    LOL

  77. #77 Peter Hearnden
    September 15, 2006

    Hans,

    obvious riposte.

    Actually, I’m beggining to wish I’d been dishonest and remained anonymous in these debates. I’m really bored of the pettyness of being address by my surname only by some flakey anonymous mod at a dubious blog.

    Good post over on WH btw.

  78. #78 John Cross
    September 15, 2006

    Hans: While I know that he is despirately trying to keep his identity a secret, I might suggest that you click on KGrandia name and you can find out who he is. Sorry I had to spill the beans Kevin KGrandia.

    Regards,
    John

  79. #79 Hans Erren
    September 15, 2006

    I couldn’t care less. Do you understand irony?

  80. #80 John Cross
    September 15, 2006

    Hans: I thought I did, perhaps you could explain to me what is ironic about posting a person who is clearly identifiable in response to a post about anonymous posters?

    Regards,
    John

  81. #81 KGrandia
    September 15, 2006

    Never tried to keep my identity secret, in fact, as John points out, a monkey could figure out who I am. Also our funding source has always been right out front. And I apologize, but it is nothing nearly as exciting as Greenpeace. So has anyone figured out who John A is?

  82. #82 Steve Bloom
    September 16, 2006

    Likely Hans knows. Hans?

  83. #83 Dano
    September 16, 2006

    Poor Hans.

    How desperate for a decent argument can you get?

    You should work harder on your blockbuster overturning of Arrhenius, young Galileo.

    Best,

    D

  84. #84 TCO
    September 25, 2006

    My comments are not censored. Some threat of it, but no axe fall yet.

    I have spoken out against JohnA’s silliness. I agree that Steve does a disservice by keeping him in power. I don’t think it’s because he wants an attack dog, though. I think he just feels loyalty and doesn’t want to humiliate John.

    RC refuses to allow even temperate posts on certain subjects (try asking if/why the Mannian off-center transform was not documented in the description of methods and if said lack of documentation of algorithm is a good reason for sharing the actual code.) They will allow random, chitchat from Lynn that is completely inane and off-thread topic (just a general anti-skeptic screed), but will stop detailed argument of science details. I think they think that actual science argumentation will interfere with proselytizing (I mean public education). RC really gives me the impression of NPR…very middlebrow…people who think they are smart from listening to something one step higher then LCD.

  85. #85 Dano
    September 26, 2006

    FWIW, TCO, I think you are pointing out the lack of bellying up to the bar, replaced by monkey screeching; this means you are hitting a nerve, esp. when you point out hand-waving by the owner of the bar.

    Best,

    D

  86. #86 TCO
    September 29, 2006

    Don’t you guys get the wrong impression that I’m not still Steve’s man or that I’ve become a warmer, but I need to hide out in enemy territory and cross post something:

    Steve, I will honor your wishes and leave for the night, if you really want it. How about taking another look and reconsidering. I thought my remark was more temperate then the 113 remark (still standing) about me being a secretary (I didn’t even call him anything back, just played along and called myself a secretary). My only point is that if I am pursuing an issue where things don’t add up (or I’m not sure that they do, or I even have a little teensy wondering if they do), that I’m not going to be scared or even bothered if people call me a fool or a “secretary”.

    P.s. This ARIMA/ARFIMA paper is interesting.
    P.s.s. Cross-posted at deltoid.

    (If I don’t see this post go up or I don’t hear you change your mind, will honor your wishes.)

    ——-

    Post 116 in this thread: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=836

    (I still love Steve. He is just making a mistake by censoring me. Sometimes, he wants to keep people on his side like JohnA and bender a bit sheltered. Plus I have misbehaved a lot at other times, so maybe it is karma.)

  87. #87 TCO
    September 30, 2006

    Steve, now you’ve eliminated Bender’s post (after my request to put my post back). Please put them both back. My remark was temperate and (as the injured party) I’m quite robust enough to withstand Bender’s little gibe. I really thought it very minor anyway. We’ve had a lot of useful ARMA, ARFIMA discussion. So it’s not like we are just goofing off. There is also a larger issue of how much I push on points and if I’m being overbearing or if the community is trying to stop me from pushing a (very few) very minor points where you may (possibly, in theory, conceptually, in a blue moon) be vulnerable.

    (cross posted)

  88. #88 TCO
    September 30, 2006

    Well, I’m banned for the night…

  89. #89 J Hamilton
    September 30, 2006

    “Don’t you guys get the wrong impression that I’m not still Steve’s man”

    “I still love Steve”

    Wow the fraudit sounds more and more like a cult. Time for a 12 step program.

  90. #90 TCO
    September 30, 2006

    I’m a social CAer, not an addict. :)

  91. #91 llewelly
    October 1, 2006

    Well, I’m banned for the night…

    *laughs madly*

    Pretty good evidence against the notion that JohnA’s censorship
    choices are part of some clever plan.

    Oh well. Y’all have fun at Climate Alcohol, but please post
    responsibly, and don’t get behind the wheel until you’ve sobered up …

  92. #92 Tim Lambert
    October 1, 2006

    Oh, it’s not part of some clever plan, but TCO is wrong to think that Steve lets JohnA do the things he does out of a sense of loyalty. Steve is smart enough to realize what is going on — he continues to allow it to happen because it is convenient for him.

  93. #93 TCO
    October 1, 2006

    I think it’s wrong, but it is a minor issue. Nowhere near the censorship at RC. FWIW, I remember your censoring per and not all the post deletion was from personal attacks. Much was because he was raping Dano in the science argument. And before you rebut…yes you did!

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