Glenn Reynolds Syndrome

Back in 2004, Glenn Reynolds declared that the election here in Australia was in no small part a referendum on the Iraq war. This was wrong, as anyone who was here at the time could tell you. So, I posted a roundup of comments from news stories, pundits and bloggers, left and right, pro- and anti-war. Everyone agreed that the war was only a minor issue. Reynolds’ sole support for his position, Tim Blair, showed up in comments to deny that he was saying that the war was a major issue.

Since not one person in Australia now supported his position Reynolds concluded that he was right and that I was “unreliable”.

Confirmation Bias isn’t really adequate to describe the way Reynolds thinks. I’m calling it Glenn Reynolds Syndrome.

Comments

  1. #1 Coin
    April 17, 2007

    When I click the “posted a roundup” link, I get a delay followed by a blank white page. I have the same problem with a different link posted the other day on this blog to timlambert.org, something about “ddt ban bingo”. Am I doing something wrong or is it possible your archive links are somehow broken?

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    April 17, 2007

    The server for the archive seems to have stopped responding. I’ve changed the link to point to another archive that is working.

  3. #3 Coin
    April 17, 2007

    I see, thanks.

  4. #4 Blue Texan
    April 17, 2007

    Tim,

    You’re also a serial misrepresenter.

    Sincerely,

    Putz.

  5. #5 Concerned of Berkely
    April 17, 2007

    “Everyone agreed”

    “Since not one person in Australia now supported his position”

    Tim: These statements are clearly preposterous, and unsupportable. Right up there with claims that there is a concensus of climate scientists that agree that AGW is happening and must be dealt with.

    Can you not see that preposterous claims debase the claimed authority of your views?

    My concern is that the issues are serious, but that the approach of IPCC, Al Gore, the Hockey Team, RC et al is actually turning off the moderates who we must appeal to if we are to win the war. What we need is sound science, and moderate, rational claims.

  6. #6 Coin
    April 17, 2007

    “Everyone agreed”

    “Since not one person in Australia now supported his position”

    Tim: These statements are clearly preposterous, and unsupportable.

    Though I can see he might have phrased things more clearly, my reading of what Tim said was that he referred only to Australians who were involved in or cited in the linked discussion; that is, all the Australian sources at hand regardless of affiliation agreed with Tim’s evaluation, and not one person in Australia was located who would agree with Reynolds. That is a pretty powerful statement by itself. Meanwhile I do not think any reasonable reading of Tim’s post here would lead to the conclusion that Tim was claiming to know the exact opinion of every single one of the 20 million inhabitants of Australia…

    My concern is that the issues are serious, but that the approach of IPCC, Al Gore, the Hockey Team, RC et al is actually turning off the moderates who we must appeal to if we are to win the war. What we need is sound science, and moderate, rational claims.

    Have you noticed that this post is about the Iraq war and the 2004 Australian elections?

  7. #7 Thom
    April 17, 2007

    Putz: “You’re also a serial misrepresenter.”

    Yes, Lambert, and you’re also guilty of “Lamberting” people. Whatever the hell that means. I’m just envious that nobody has turned my name into a verb.

  8. #8 Coin
    April 17, 2007

    and you’re also guilty of “Lamberting” people. Whatever the hell that means.

    Well, dictionary.com tells me:

    lam·bert /ˈlæmbərt/
    -noun Optics.
    the centimeter-gram-second unit of luminance or brightness, equivalent to 0.32 candles per square centimeter, and equal to the brightness of a perfectly diffusing surface emitting or reflecting one lumen per square centimeter. Abbreviation: L

    So there you are.

  9. #9 Abe G
    April 17, 2007

    Holy crap, J F Beck is being cited now.

  10. #10 dhogaza
    April 18, 2007

    My concern is that the issues are serious, but that the approach of IPCC, Al Gore, the Hockey Team, RC et al is actually turning off the moderates who we must appeal to if we are to win the war. What we need is sound science

    Uhhh … sound science is exactly what the IPCC, the climatologists at Real Climate, and the “Hockey Team” provide, and is exactly what Al Gore references.

    Since you claim that the climatology community doesn’t do “sound science”, would you care to be specific?

    Before starting in on the “hockey stick”, please bear in mind that the NAS has endorsed the reconstruction, and that the statistical nit-picking done at the request of Inohofe, when applied to the actual data, didn’t change the trend at all.

  11. #11 Chris O'Neill
    April 18, 2007

    Confirmation Bias is a great article. Everyone should read it. I particularly liked the Tolstoy quotes:

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”

    Reminded me of the intellectual cage match between Tim Blair and his cohorts and a six-year-old, except Tim Blair is nothing like the most intelligent man.

    And the other Tolstoy quote:

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their life”.

    What an amazingly accurate description of Steve McIntyre.

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