Do NOT vote for me!!!!

The Internet is a funny place. Funny strange, not funny ha ha. Well, both.

Anyway, it seems that the 2008 Weblog awards have been borked, at least in the science category. To begin with, the list of science blogs includes at least two climate denialist blogs. How did that happen? I have no clue and don’t care. Should science denialist blogs be not included in a best of the web science category? Absolutely. Who am I to judge this? Bite me. Wait, I have another question. No, sorry, no more questions. Just listen…

Now, I know people will argue that these sites are real science sites, and that it is not fair for me to call them non-science sites just because I don’t believe the same things they believe. But this is not really accurate or relevant. They are denialist sites. Denialist sites are distinctly different from science sites and that’s that. This is something you either know. Or you … deny.

One of the sites happens to have a lot of cool stuff on it, DIY information related to green technology. I think that should be a finalist in a DIY category.

Anyway, in addition to the finalists for science category for Best Weblog being borked, it is also the case that the voting is borked. Either a Pharyngula-like horde (but denialists) have swamped the site or some kind of hacking has happened. And you know what? None of that matters. It does not matter if the site was hacked or if the hordes have shown up. Why? Because that is how the internet works.

Want to know how easy it is to hack? No problem. You can vote once a day per computer. I currently have 307 votes. Oops. Now it’s 309 votes. I have not left my keyboard. How the heck did that happen? Hacking this site is easy, if you know what you are doing.

Also note: PZ just noted on his blog this morning that the Weblog Awards site has been hacked by climate denialists. Note that suddenly PZ’s site is running quickly towards first place. GO PZ!!! GO GO GO!!! But never mind, the hackers are smart cookies, and they’ll put PZ in his place in a flash.

But the outcome of this is the following: The Weblog Awards are going to do a good job at rewarding quality sometimes, and other times, they are not. This is an example of the latter.

Now, I would like to work towards a solution for this, and am in fact doing so with a few colleagues. I can’t/won’t discuss any of the details at this time, but this is part of a larger web related project that we are working on that some of you are going to love. We are hoping that we can tell you all about it … even show it to you … within a few weeks from now.

That project will, we hope, have an award thingie linked to it. What we are now thinking about, and your in put would be very welcome, is how to develop a meaningful internet award for various categories of bloggospheric (or other) activities. I can tell you right now that this is NOT going be based on voting via clicking on things. There’s plenty of that already, if anyone wants more of that it is easy to implement, and so on and so forth. We want to think differently than that. So if you have any ideas that have been floating around in your head (or elsewhere) regarding this sort of thing, let me know!

For now, I’d like my name off the Weblog Awards list … and not just because I’m coming in last, but because I think it is borked. But I’m not going to bother asking for that, and I’ll certainly put the “finalist” badge on my site because, I am, after all a blog-whore and that finalist badge looks like a nice pair of fishnet stockings.

That is all.


  1. #1 PZ Myers
    January 13, 2009

    Hacking it is easy, but detecting the hacking is also easy. This happened last year, too, and at the end there was a sudden flurry of votes being disappeared by the administrators, since they can catch these kinds of simple tricks with a little manual inspection. You may think you have voted 309 times, but that could well be reduced to 0 votes in the final accounting.

    Of course, last year there were multiple readjustments of the tallies during the course of the voting, and I haven’t seen that happen yet — and I’m sure there are some people who are gaming the votes for all sides concerned. I suspect that if a right-wing blog wins in this vote run by a right-wing site, they’ll just shrug and let it go…but if there is a sudden surge for Pharyngula, there will be a corresponding sudden surge of concern to catch the cheaters. So I really don’t think I can win.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    I would assume that the best way to adjust the votes is to wait until the end, then run a simple script to sort out the data and fix it. Then hackers can not know during the process if you’ve figured the de-hack out.

    The easiest way to hack is described in this post, above, in code. But you have to decipher the code. But it is also the easiest way to sort out and detect on the other end. There are ways to hack this that can’t be detected, I think. We can talk about that in private.

  3. #3 Badger3k
    January 13, 2009

    These “awards” are meaningless in the first place (if I made a website and gave awards, who would care?) – who has the authority to make them meaningful anyway? This is like American Idol, where the best singer might not win, but the most popular will (not counting those whose vote for somebody was not FOR that person, but AGAINST the other person (all caps for emphasis, not for shouting effect). I’m not surprised that a denialist (assuming that is who did it, not someone bored who picked a site at random, say) would hack the vote, if that is what happened (haven’t gone and looked). It does fit the denialist pattern, where a small group seem to have a disproportionate effect.

  4. #4 mikey
    January 13, 2009


  5. #5 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    Badger: What award anywhere in any context has external authority, ever, of any kind?

    Mikey: I love you to, man! Oh, and I’m sending your IP address to the FBI.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    (FBI = Foobar Blog Institute)

    (btw, this is very funny ecause Mikey comes to us from an actual federal agency. isn’t that interesting. say no more.)

  7. Really, I knew that the Weblog Awards were going to be bogus this year when Texas Darlin’ was included in the Best Individual Blogger category, but Tangled Up in Blue Guy is not.

    The dice were loaded from the start.

    What I look for in the real awards is the ability to find sites that accurately and clearly explain the subjects on which they post, with a bit of personal insight involved. And the awards to which you refer won’t be voted on except by a panel of judges.

  8. #8 mikey
    January 13, 2009

    Yes, it’s amazing where you can find open proxies if you’re diligent.

    Anyone who uses “denialist” to describe those who are not completely drowning in the AGW kool-aid is most politely described as a jackass. And a little hysterical given the newest temperature data.

  9. #9 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 13, 2009

    Mikey is a denialist and a jackass.

  10. #10 bobedebob
    January 13, 2009

    It makes me a bit sad to see valuable thinkcycles wasted on stuff like this.

  11. #11 James Mayeau
    January 14, 2009

    I won’t pretend to knowledge of the authors financial arrangement with scienceblogs, but it is enough to know that his host is a for profit advocate of liberal agendas, clothed with a veneer of sciency dogma, used as a figleaf of respectability.
    The last thing scienceblogs , seed media group LLC, or innovium media properties, are interested in is discovery.
    That’s why they hide their finances behind a mystery, wrapped in a puzzle, tucked away in an enigma’s pocket.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that if Greg Landen were to express second thoughts about the wisdom of spending tax payer funds on expensive windmill power while Wisconsin is experiencing minus 42 degree winters, or if he were to question the ethics of harvesting human embryos, when adult stem cells taken directly from the patient will do everything embryonic cells might do , and without the bug of rejection, that Greg would find himself out on the curb in a quick hurry.

    Keep your toes on that party line, baby.

    And I’ll be sitting back enjoying the weeping and lamentations of your women.

  12. #12 Frasque
    January 14, 2009

    Amusing how the guy who disagrees with you is always the hysterical sheeple towing the party line.

  13. #13 clinteas
    January 14, 2009

    What on earth are people going on about?

  14. #14 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 14, 2009

    Hmm, Frasque, you might want to look up the word “Context.” It’s in your dictionary.

    And, James Mayeau, there’s a conspiracy behind every tree, isn’t there?

    Global average climate measures local temperatures, but instead of rushing to conclusions each time the temperature drops below comfortable, it takes the temperatures over an aggregate. Localities may become very much colder as global warming develops, because it means that there is more energy driving the weather.

  15. #15 James Mayeau
    January 14, 2009

    You ever notice how ScienceBlogs’ label looks like a snake dripping an oil droplet?

    Seems apropriate.

  16. #16 Stephanie Z
    January 14, 2009

    Argument by icon? OMFSM, I’ve never seen that one before. I may have to frame that.

  17. #17 Colonel Molerat
    January 14, 2009

    Holy cow… I’ve just realised:
    It’s supposed to be ‘we-blog’, isn’t it?
    I’ve been reading it as ‘web-log’ for as long as I can remember…

    As for the topic: everybody knows that greenhouse gases don’t cause global warming – vaccines do. Damn scientists! ‘Science’ can prove nothing! Only Hugh Hefner has the power to reveal true knowledge to humankind, through his One True Prophet Jenny McCarthy!

  18. #18 mikey
    January 14, 2009

    Mike Haubrich: precisely. And damn proud of it. And it’s “mikey”, not “Mikey”