“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” -Andy Warhol

Any week that passes by that leaves you knowing more than when you started is a good one here at Starts With A Bang! I hope this past week didn’t disappoint, as many of you became acquainted not only with our latest podcast on parallel Universes, but with some amazing new articles on science and the Universe. Even as the year winds down, there’s plenty more to explore! Here’s what the past week held:

As always, articles go up on a one-week delay over on Medium ad-free, thanks to our Patreon supporters. And I’m almost done with a draft of my next book; so excited for October of next year when it debuts! With all that said, let’s dive right into our comments of the week!

A rough map of all of the satellites humanity has currently in orbit around Earth. Image credit: Michael Najjar.

A rough map of all of the satellites humanity has currently in orbit around Earth. Image credit: Michael Najjar.

From Craig Thomas on what you can find in the sky: “I saw a great satellite on Friday night – it was two satellites following in exactly the same track (on what looked like a polar orbit), and they were as close together as one side of the square bit in the middle of Orion.”

You might be surprised to learn that co-orbiting satellites, where two satellites share the same mean orbit and almost the exact same path, are not only common for artificial satellites, but for natural ones as well! Saturn has two moons, Janus and Epimetheus, that not only share the same orbit, but swap positions every so often, with one overtaking the other and then the reverse happening.

The orbits of Janus and Epimetheus arodn Saturn. Image credit: Wikimedia commons user Jrkenti.

The orbits of Janus and Epimetheus arodn Saturn. Image credit: Wikimedia commons user Jrkenti.

Thankfully, Earth-orbiting satellites are so low in mass that their mutual gravitational influence is negligible, and so what you’re seeing is merely a trick of perspective. Also, most satellites are orbiting incredibly quickly: at a mean speed of a little over 7 km/s. So even two satellites that look close together are going to be separated by large distances… if it takes just 3 seconds for one satellite to reach the point where the one it was chasing previously was, they’re separated by approximately 21 km (13 miles). And if their orbital periods differ by just 1%, that means after 24 hours, they’ll be separated by more like 6000 km (4000 miles). In other words, what you saw was most likely a very temporary configuration, but pretty to look at nonetheless!

A brain science session at the 2014 AAAS meeting. Image credit: Nicky Penttila of the Dana Foundation.

A brain science session at the 2014 AAAS meeting. Image credit: Nicky Penttila of the Dana Foundation.

From Denier on right and wrong: “Right and wrong are often subjective and are absolutely up for debate. For the same reason you want to tell people their opinions don’t matter, it is not fair to expect the public to know exactly where politics stop and where science starts.”

Do you really want to argue against what I said in context? Just as a reminder, that was:

It is everyone’s job — scientists, the press, and ordinary citizens (and non-citizens) — to make the truth matter. Right and wrong shouldn’t always be up for debate. We don’t vote on the sky color, and voting on it doesn’t change it. Perhaps we have a right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths, too.

Yes, you can find instances where right and wrong are subjective and are ethical, moral, or other unprovable issues. But there are demonstrable facts out there where you can either be honest and truthful about what reality says — something that’s right — or you can distort it and lie and mislead and dissemble about it. When you say,

As an expert if you want the truth to ‘win’, publish science in peer reviewed journals and do more science and publish that too.

I retort that, quite clearly, that is not enough. That has been done. That has been tried. That does not seem to play a very large role in whether the truth wins. More must be done, and it should be done and advocated for by all of us. Scientific truths may not necessarily have a one-to-one correspondence with policy, but we should at least all be able to agree on what they are. Until we get there, until we can agree on basic facts, we’re going to have a very hard time moving forward together in this world.

Any object or shape, physical or non-physical, would be distorted as gravitational waves passed through it. Note how no waves are ever emitted from inside the black hole's event horizon. Image credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/C. Henze.

Any object or shape, physical or non-physical, would be distorted as gravitational waves passed through it. Note how no waves are ever emitted from inside the black hole’s event horizon. Image credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/C. Henze.

From Omega Centauri on what else is visible from black hole mergers: “I have a question about other merger observables. If we were so lucky as to be able to observe a merger from close by (say a lightyear), with large telescopes, could we see anything other than gravitational waves? I’m assuming neither has an accretion disk, although that case might be interesting as well.”

You may remember a scandal earlier this year where NASA’s Fermi team claimed a detection of electromagnetic signals from the LIGO merging black holes, where they knew how to do the analysis correctly and chose not to. But there ought to be an electromagnetic signal of some type depending on how much matter is around the black hole(s) and how they’re configured. The question is, what would we see?

An artist's impression of a gamma-ray burst illuminating its host galaxy. Image credit: Gemini Observatory / AURA / Lynette Cook.

An artist’s impression of a gamma-ray burst illuminating its host galaxy. Image credit: Gemini Observatory / AURA / Lynette Cook.

That’s something we’re only beginning to get an understanding of. Remember, until LIGO detected its first merging pair, we didn’t even know that black holes of these masses existed for certain. So electromagnetic properties of mergers are going to be the data that guides the theory/models, not the other way around!

Cookie monster may be famous for eating cookies, but well over 90% of the cookie finds its way splattered out the sides of his mouth, much like the matter that falls onto black holes. Image credit: Revierfoto/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom.

Cookie monster may be famous for eating cookies, but well over 90% of the cookie finds its way splattered out the sides of his mouth, much like the matter that falls onto black holes. Image credit: Revierfoto/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom.

From PJ on black hole eating: “Is the BH eating, or being spoon fed?”

There is definitely no spoon. (Oh, Matrix reference!) No, what I mean by that is when you say “spoon-fed”, you think about a small amount of matter neatly being pulled into a black hole, entering the event horizon and disappearing. “Blip.” That’s it.

The galaxy Centaurus A with its active, central black hole. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al.; Submillimeter: MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al.; Optical: ESO/WFI.

The galaxy Centaurus A with its active, central black hole. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al.; Submillimeter: MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al.; Optical: ESO/WFI.

But the overwhelming majority of the matter “eaten” by the black hole doesn’t go towards its growth, but rather gets accelerated and expelled, and that’s why the activity looks the way it does. But it’s kind of surprising that the turn-off and the dimming can be so fast. It doesn’t extend over the whole galaxy that fast, of course, but the overall flux can drop so quickly and that’s a new discovery. Not spoon fed; more like dumping a gallon into a shot glass.

Image credit: Ned Wright's Cosmology Tutorial, via http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm.

Image credit: Ned Wright’s Cosmology Tutorial, via http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm.

From t marvell: “Why isn’t our universe a black hole? Certainly at the time of the big-bang there was plenty of mass, in a small enough space, to create a black hole.”

If the fabric of space weren’t expanding, it would have done so immediately. In fact, if the fabric of space were initially expanding by one part in 10^25 less than it did at the Big Bang, the Universe would have recollapsed into a black hole already. You have to look at the Universe as a race — between the expansion of space and the gravitational pull of all the mass inside — and the Big Bang is the starting gun. The expansion is winning, but just barely.

Image Credit: SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project (http://www.black-holes.org).

Image Credit: SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project (http://www.black-holes.org).

From Denier on superseding Einstein: “If the echo signal were to be proved, would that mean Einstein’s Field Equation is wrong?”

Although there were some good nuanced comments on wrong in science by both ketchup and Anonymous Coward, there are some additional points that need highlighting. Yes, we know that Einstein’s general relativity is incomplete. For example, imagine the double slit experiment. An electron passes through the double slit, and you don’t make a measurement, so it acts like a wave. You can calculate its wavefunction, its probability distribution and observe where it lands on the screen behind the slit.

Passing photons through a double or single slit results in the following pattern; electrons make this pattern too, even when fired one-at-a-time and summed up. Image credit: Benjamin Crowell.

Passing photons through a double or single slit results in the following pattern; electrons make this pattern too, even when fired one-at-a-time and summed up. Image credit: Benjamin Crowell.

But what happened to the electron’s gravitational field as it passed through that double slit? Einstein’s general relativity doesn’t tell you — can’t tell you — because general relativity is a “classical,” non-quantum theory. The closest we can get to quantum anything in gravity is to do the semiclassical approach, where we use the background GR spacetime as the curved “classical” space to do our quantum calculations for the other three forces.

But this modification is different. This is a particular approach that doesn’t just venture where GR doesn’t; it’s an approach that says quantum gravitational effects get large around a black hole’s event horizon, not just at the central singularity. It’s a non-standard approach, with incredible consequences. If this particular approach to quantum gravity is borne out by further black hole merger data, it means that not only is Einstein wrong, but he was more wrong than the minimum “wrongness” level we expected. And that’s incredibly interesting, if true!

The Celestron Firstscope (L) and fellow Forbes contributor Chad Orzel's (then) seven-year-old daughter (R) using it. Images credit: Celestron, Chad Orzel.

The Celestron Firstscope (L) and fellow Forbes contributor Chad Orzel’s (then) seven-year-old daughter (R) using it. Images credit: Celestron, Chad Orzel.

From PJ on Celestron Firstscope pricing: “Careful on the telescope pricing […] New (3) from $99.00 + $14.99 shipping”

That is a shame that Amazon jacked up the price so fast. It should never be more than $50 (USD), because that’s what it sells for on the Celestron website. In fact, according to Camelcamelcamel, the price just shot up… like, right after I posted it.

Image credit: screenshot from http://camelcamelcamel.com/Celestron-21024-FirstScope-Telescope/product/B001UQ6E4Y.

Image credit: screenshot from http://camelcamelcamel.com/Celestron-21024-FirstScope-Telescope/product/B001UQ6E4Y.

Don’t go to Amazon if that’s what you’re going to get. The beauty of the firstscope is its ease-of-use and setup for young kids, not for its utility or quality for the discerning adult. I enjoy astronomy binoculars tremendously, and Wow gave some excellent advice on that front; if you’re an adult amateur skywatcher with no equipment, start out there instead!

A neutrino event in the Super Kamiokande detector. Image credit: Kamioka Observatory, ICRR, The University of Tokyo.

A neutrino event in the Super Kamiokande detector. Image credit: Kamioka Observatory, ICRR, The University of Tokyo.

And finally, from Omega Centauri on nearby supernovae, “So if a SN did go off in our galaxy, even if behind thick dust, could we miss it? Clearly we wouldn’t see it in visible light, but IR, radio, X-ray, and even neutrinos might be capable of announcing its occurrence. So is there much of a chance we could still miss it?”

I am getting a theme from you, Omega. Something about nearby catastrophes and your fascination with them… hopefully nothing too bad is going on over by you. But that aside, the answer is, “optically, yes; neutrino-wise, no way.”

Image credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, of supernova 1987a, a type II supernova remnant that arose from a dying star that underwent carbon fusion.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, of supernova 1987a, a type II supernova remnant that arose from a dying star that underwent carbon fusion.

The last supernova that went off nearby us — SN 1987a — occurred 168,000 light years away, in a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. And we detected on the order of about a dozen neutrinos from it. Our galaxy is about 75,000 light years away from us at its farthest point, so less than half of that distance, and our detectors currently online are now about a thousand times more sensitive than they were 30 years ago. In fact, last year, IceCube detected neutrinos from outside our own galaxy for the first time!

The galactic gas and dust could render a distant supernova so faint that we wouldn’t see it right away in all wavelengths, but the neutrino signal wouldn’t like. We’d see thousands coming from a single source at once, and then optical follow-ups would ensue immediately. The next supernova will either be detected by the naked eye or by neutrinos first. Regardless, it won’t go unseen for long!

Thanks for a great week, everyone, and see you back here tomorrow for more fantastic stories of the Universe here on Starts With A Bang!

Comments

  1. #1 Steven fischman
    Delray beach, florida
    December 11, 2016

    Black wholes regulate balance of matter versus energy, pressure valve if u will. Polarity must be balanced in order for existence to occur. My thoughts, yours?

  2. #2 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    Your thoughts broken. Mine fine.

  3. #3 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    If you get binoculars, one trick, and this works well on winter nights, is to take a sunlounger out and lay on that to do your stargazing with binoculars.

    You don’t have to hold the entire weight up, making it less of a strain, you can stabilise them against your own head, reducing shake, and when your hands get cold, just tuck your hands in your pockets or under your arms until they warm, getting a good look at the sky with the naked eye to see what else you want to look at.

    Just don’t fall asleep if you can help it.

    Best thing about stargazing is that you don’t need to heat the house; when you come back in out of the cold night, even a cool home is roasty-toasty!

  4. #4 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    December 11, 2016

    Re telescope pricing –
    Must be xmas – price increase of 100%, holiday special take 10% off.
    🙂

  5. #5 Denier
    United States
    December 11, 2016

    @Ethan
    Perhaps we have a right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths, too.
    That is a completely terrifying idea. I’m curious. After you have abolished the First Amendment, who do you propose should prosecute these violations of truth rights? Will it need to be PhD’s armed with guns who storm the Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques to arrest the religious leaders? Do you see PhD’s as more like judges that evaluates the statements of the apostates brought before your honors? How do you see this ‘truth as an inalienable right’ society working?

    I retort that, quite clearly, that is not enough. That has been done. That has been tried. That does not seem to play a very large role in whether the truth wins. More must be done, and it should be done and advocated for by all of us

    Advocating should be done by all of us. Equally. Your voice doesn’t count more than mine. Mine doesn’t count more than yours, and idiotic mouth breathers get their voice too and it counts as much as either of ours. If you are suggesting that we should implement some sort of poll test to disenfranchise some voices, the NAACP and Black Lives Matter folks may want to have a word.

    The role of a scientist ends with doing the science. That is not to say a person cannot also be an advocate, or an actor, an athlete, or anything else. They can, however an athlete who also has a PhD doesn’t get bonus seconds when running a race. The same goes for advocates.

    The point of my argument is this: When Global Warming Deniers spout off ad hominem attacks to discredit the idea of man made climate change, I cringe. Your ideas on this ring of a proactive ad hominem defense, and it is just as cringe worthy. Ideas should be evaluated by their worth not by the faults or credentials of those involved, and everyone gets a say when formulating policy. Of course that means we’ll get some things wrong, but history shows in the long run we get a lot more right than the other way around. Trust in that.

  6. #6 Denier
    December 11, 2016

    All I want for Christmas is an edit button

  7. #7 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    OK, where in the constitution’s first amendment does it protect lying?

    And talk about screaming chicken little! Get DOWN off your hysterics and breathe into a bag, you idiot.

    YOU don’t get to demand that scientists (who are people too, unlike corporations, with first amendment rights). What will you do if a scientist DARES talk about what the science means to people, hmm? Concentration camps? 100 ton walking death machines? Obliterate the planet? Or is that a load of hooey and you’d not murder millions to silence people who you don’t care for?

    “The point of my argument is this: When Global Warming Deniers spout off ad hominem attacks to discredit the idea of man made climate change, I cringe.”

    What? Because you’re getting lambasted for spouting off such ridiculous bollocks? WELL STOP DOING IT.

    ” Your ideas on this ring of a proactive ad hominem defense”

    Only to the insane, denier. Only to the insane.

    ” Ideas should be evaluated by their worth not by the faults or credentials of those involved”

    They ARE. You deniers are slagged off as morons BECAUSE OF THE MORONIC ARGUMENT YOU MADE. Ad hom’s are the other way round.

    But deniers NEVER manage to get the ad hom right. They think as long as they feel offended, it;’s an ad-hom. And they’re NEVER offended by ad homs against those they don’t like, so never complain about them.

    “and everyone gets a say when formulating policy”

    Why? Why should someone who thinks the earth is flat and 6000 years old get to decide policy? Should those who think god is telling them to murder all non-christians should get a say on policy? Because that’s what happens in ISIS territory, and you don’t want to emulate them, do you?

  8. #8 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    December 11, 2016

    Denier :- often used to describe the thickness of hosiery.
    😉

  9. #9 eric
    December 11, 2016

    The role of a scientist ends with doing the science. That is not to say a person cannot also be an advocate, or an actor, an athlete, or anything else. They can, however an athlete who also has a PhD doesn’t get bonus seconds when running a race. The same goes for advocates.

    Do you understand that when it comes to advocacy of some intellectual position, claiming subject matter expertise in a related academic field is analogous to (and no more relevant than) athletic ability is a really, really poor analogy?

    Ideas should be evaluated by their worth not by the faults or credentials of those involved

    Ideally, yes. But in practical reality, humans don’t have the time, resources, or patience to derive every single one of their beliefs and positions from first principles, raw data, and their own analysis. We must, as a practical short cut, often rely on other people’s claims when formulating beliefs. When we do that, we should do it with eyes wide open and knowing the limitations of what we’re doing. We should try, as much as pratically possible, to trusting authority to when its really necessary due to resource constraints, or to low-regret decisions. But with those caveats, we’re still going to do it, and its really impractical to claim we ought never.

    Its very much like the problem of induction. Yeah, in an ideal world, we shouldn’t use it. But we often need to use it because its the only technique that can help us in decision-making given the other constraints on our lives, so we do. And frankly, I have very little angst about trusting mainstream environmental scientists on AGW research over, say, Ken Ham or Alex Jones. Sure i could research the data and papers they comment on, and perform my own independent scientific assessment of what it means. But I really don’t feel any philosophical or ethical obligation to do so. Are you saying I should?

  10. #10 Denier
    United States
    December 12, 2016

    @Wow

    * OK, where in the constitution’s first amendment does it protect lying?

    The first amendment clearly prohibits abridging the freedom of speech. Untruthful speech is protected. We do have defamation laws that protect people, but even in that instance untruthfulness alone isn’t sufficient to prosecute. The perpetrator must be proven to know at the time the statement was made that it was false, the statement must be seen by a reasonable person to not be satirical, and it must have resulted in provable damages. There are high hurdles to clear because we prize the Freedom of Speech. The only way to do what Ethan is advocating is to repeal the First Amendment.

    * What will you do if a scientist DARES talk about what the science means to people, hmm?

    Nothing. I’m a big fan of the Freedom of Speech. That scientist could give the most disgusting speech on Eugenics and conclude it by burning the American flag. I would disagree in the strongest terms possible but would never advocate for that scientist’s criminal prosecution. Even vile speech is protected.

    * Why should someone who thinks the earth is flat and 6000 years old get to decide policy?

    Allowing someone to be heard gives them an outlet for their ideas. The alternative is frustrating that person into possibly seeking an extralegal course to air their grievances. It is the same reason we have a Judicial Branch of our government.

  11. #11 Denier
    December 12, 2016

    @eric

    * Ideally, yes. But in practical reality, humans don’t have the time, resources, or patience to derive every single one of their beliefs and positions from first principles, raw data, and their own analysis.

    Of course they don’t, but people should have the freedom to investigate a particular issue if they want to. When Ethan proposes making it a ‘right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths’, that makes it a crime. Violating rights is a crime. Ethan’s solution to scientific issues becoming politicized is to criminally prosecute anyone making a statement counter to the one the government has designated the truth. Individuals cannot research an issue that has been decided by the state because everything other than the evidence supporting the state’s case is illegal to publish or even say. Proposing that it is a right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths is a seriously Orwellian concept.

    Imagine if Ethan were successful at implementing this and some ultra-religious type gained control of the Department of Truth. The First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion was repealed to bring about this nightmare and it becomes criminally prosecutable to oppose the state’s version of the truth. How comfortable are you with that? I’m not. I think making it a right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths is a dumb idea that hasn’t been thought through.

  12. #12 Sinisa Lazarek
    December 12, 2016

    regarding Amazon and prices.

    Amazon, as well as many other large online stores, use algorithms to adjust prices on the go, if the shop owner so chooses. And you can pick the range of this scaling, or leave it to the algorithm (which had some interesting consequences in the past) to figure it out.

    What it basically does is keep track of the price of the item in different stores, and adjusts the price in your store accordingly. Then it tracks the same of the item.. if the sales are good, it will keep increasing the price until sales stop or slow, then it will start lowering the price. .. etc.. etc.

    You can see this in action most of the times i.e. with online airplane tickets sale. You will search i.e. some agregation portal for a ticket to some place.. and it will tell you that i.e. Virgin airlanes has a ticket to that place for $50, and give you a link to Virgin’s store. Once you land in the store, the price will be i.e. $55. If you buy the ticket, the next person who lands on the site will see a ticket for $60.

  13. #13 eric
    December 12, 2016

    Denier:

    When Ethan proposes making it a ‘right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths’, that makes it a crime. Violating rights is a crime. Ethan’s solution to scientific issues becoming politicized is to criminally prosecute anyone making a statement counter to the one the government has designated the truth.

    Perhaps I missed the posts were he said that. Can you point out where he’s specifically advocating criminal prosecution for people who oppose the government’s stated position?

    I think you’re extrapolating his position to the most extreme version you can think of. Before you go accusing him of wanting to throw scientific objectors in the gulag, perhaps you should ask him what he means by “a right to be free from misinformation,” rather than assuming he means ‘the government locks up anyone they accuse of spreading information.’

    Reading all of his comments on the subject together, it seems to me his tone is about 90% wishing the public would be more educated and less naively accepting consumers of news, and about 10% wishing there was a better way to address libel, slander, con artistry, lying for political benefit, and similar types of expression. Now I’m not sure there really is a better way, because I value free expression pretty highly. But I also don’t assume everyone who expresses a desire to stop faith healers praying on grandma or stop PACs spreading lies about candidates is implying we should lock them all up for daring to say something we don’t like. If I did that, I would likely be demonizing and straw manning my opponents rather than actually, y’know, trying to understand what their position is.

  14. #14 Denier
    United States
    December 12, 2016

    @eric

    * Before you go accusing him of wanting to throw scientific objectors in the gulag, perhaps you should ask him what he means by “a right to be free from misinformation,”

    I don’t know how else to interpret the advocation of implementing a legal protection from misinformation masquerading as truths. Legal protections, which is what rights are, require government involvement. If there isn’t government involvement, it isn’t a right. One requires the other by definition. Violating Ethan’s edict would be violating the law.

    * I think you’re extrapolating his position to the most extreme version you can think of.

    Yes. 100% Guilty. I am taking his position to an extreme logical conclusion to show how bad it is. Stress testing is how I evaluate concepts. It is not entirely different from how scientists approach testing new theories.

    * …it seems to me his tone is about 90% wishing the public would be more educated and less naively accepting consumers of news, and about 10% wishing there was a better way to address libel, slander, con artistry, lying for political benefit, and similar types of expression.

    We already have legal protections on commerce and defamation. To me it doesn’t matter how noble Ethan’s motivations are. The idea he is proposing is terrifyingly awful. It is for good reason the First Amendment is in place. If you want an example of why PhD’s don’t get the exclusive voice on policy, this would be exhibit #1.

  15. #15 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    “I don’t know how else to interpret the advocation of implementing a legal protection from misinformation masquerading as truths.”

    Here, ladies and gentlemen, is why the rightwinnutjob brigade do all the shit that they do and are afraid of the left/negroes/muslims/etc. Because they can’t think of any other way, therefore that’s what everyone else would do.

    Despite evidence that this never happened (e.g. death panels and confiscating all the firearms in the USA), they never learn that just because THEY can’t think of any other way, this doesn’t mean that nobody else can.

  16. #16 dean
    December 12, 2016

    “logical ”

    You use that word (denier) without any clue of what it means.

  17. #17 Inigo de Ona
    December 12, 2016

    Scientific truth? No such thing. Science is an approximation of reality based on observation and experimentation and as such is always subject to change and being updated to encompass new observations and experimental results. Science is a good enough approximation to to base the technology of our civilization with all all of its wondrous achievements on but science is not complete and indeed our science is not valid at all points of the space time continuum. Absolute truth, on the other hand is valid at point of the space time continuum and as such is very elusive and rare. I would love Julia and my children if I were alive in side the event horizon of a black hole or anywhere else in space time. That is a truth. Conditional truths, not so much.

  18. #18 EpiPete
    December 12, 2016

    @Ethan

    “…what you saw was most likely a very temporary configuration…”

    But possibly not, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_formation_flying and
    http://atrain.nasa.gov/constellation_flying.php

  19. #19 eric
    December 12, 2016

    * Before you go accusing him of wanting to throw scientific objectors in the gulag, perhaps you should ask him what he means by “a right to be free from misinformation,”

    [Denier] I don’t know how else to interpret the advocation of implementing a legal protection from misinformation masquerading as truths.

    Really, you can’t? There are congressman who want to fire professors for doing climate research. There’s no legal protection against SLAPP suits in many states. Despite Obama’s promises to support them, whistleblowers still really don’t have a lot of protection and both industry and government remain very hostile to them. That’s where I’d start – protecting fact checkers and data producers from deep pockets industries that don’t want them bringing up uncomfortable truths.

    See? Just because you can’t imagine any response other than a stick doesn’t mean (a) that stick is what Ethan meant, or (b) that there isn’t any response other than a stick. And that is why you should ask rather than leap to claiming that someone is demanding the US government jail people for disagreeing with them.

  20. #20 Denier
    United States
    December 12, 2016

    @eric

    * Really, you can’t?

    Yes, really. A ‘right’ is a prerogative or a duty, a power or a restraint of power, recognized and established by a sovereign state or union of states. To legalistically interpret what a ‘right’ is in any other way than I have laid out requires redefining the word.

    * There’s no legal protection against SLAPP suits in many states. Despite Obama’s promises to support them, whistleblowers still really don’t have a lot of protection and both industry and government remain very hostile to them. That’s where I’d start – protecting fact checkers and data producers from deep pockets industries that don’t want them bringing up uncomfortable truths.

    Speaking as someone who gets sued from time to time, I’m all for legal reform. I do note that every one of your examples involves protection of people from other people, which is a very different animal than Ethan’s proposal to criminalize ideas.

    * Just because you can’t imagine any response other than a stick

    All I am doing is taking Ethan at his word that he would seek to curtail some civil liberties where they apply to communications deemed antithetical to a consensus of published scientific work. He’s become so frustrated with uninformed arguments that he’s willing to strip away what is arguably the most cherished liberty we enjoy so that intellectual elites can shove ‘the truth’ down the throats of the unwashed masses at gunpoint in service of the greater public good.

    He’s now posted the call for a ‘right’ twice. I got it. It is a frightening thought, but I got it.

  21. #21 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    “@eric

    * Really, you can’t?

    Yes, really.”

    That merely indicates how lackluster your intelligence is, denier.

  22. #22 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    “All I am doing is taking Ethan at his word that he would seek to curtail some civil liberties where they apply to communications deemed antithetical to a consensus of published scientific work”

    But those aren’t his words, are they, moron.

  23. #23 eric
    December 12, 2016

    I must agree with Wow. Ethan’s words vs. Denier’s rephrasing of Ethan’s words seem very different to me. And it’s surreal to see you saying you can’t think of any other interpretation of his words when I provided several. Protecting a right to true/good information can be very much about protecting the ability of people to speak the truth, rather than punishing liars. Surely you will agree that that’s a way of doing it, yes?

  24. #24 Denier
    United States
    December 12, 2016

    @eric

    Protecting a right to true/good information can be very much about protecting the ability of people to speak the truth

    Yeah. Sure. Fine. Whatever. Ethan isn’t talking about protecting a right to true/good information. He’s been VERY clear that he believes a scientist making good information available isn’t enough, or in his words:

    I retort that, quite clearly, [publishing] is not enough. That has been done. That has been tried. That does not seem to play a very large role in whether the truth wins. More must be done, and it should be done and advocated for by all of us.

    Ethan is not advocating for access to information. Ethan is not advocating for protection for researchers or whistle blowers, or any of the other bullshit you’ve put out there.

    Ethan has reiterated that he wants a populist movement to remove a certain type of speech. What he wants is tantamount to book burning.

  25. #25 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    December 12, 2016

    Denier, you are drawing inferences from Ethan’s words that are unreasonable.

  26. #26 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    Denier does that sometimes. Politics (especially government science) and climate are ones he doesn’t bother applying his brain to, because he “knows” it’s all a scam and nothing moves him from that, everything is phrased in that worldview.

  27. #27 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    “And it’s surreal to see you saying you can’t think of any other interpretation of his words when I provided several.”

    No, what’s surreal about it is that denier says he doesn’t and agrees he doesn’t, even after you’ve given several, and still insists that his is proof that this is the only interpretation to take.

  28. #28 Denier
    United States
    December 13, 2016

    @Julian Frost

    Denier, you are drawing inferences from Ethan’s words that are unreasonable.

    I believe the word you are looking for is ‘insightful’. Drawing inferences that are insightful.

    Written pieces do not spring from vacuum. They are inspired and influenced by the environment around the author. In this case the controversy around ‘fake news’ has influenced or even inspired the piece in question.

    Ethan pointed out the existence of fake scientific news, highlighted the dangers of fake scientific news, mused at the motivations of those generating fake scientific news, and suggested solutions for dealing with fake scientific news. In a nutshell, it is the fake news argument from the perspective of a scientist. Ethan even included a link to an article in Nature about publishing in a post-truth era.

    The problem isn’t a lack of real news. Real news *IS* the consensus position. The problem is the existence and apparent traction of fake news. Given that, how do you get rid of fake news?

    In post #17 @eric point out a lack of protection for researchers, fact checkers, data producers, and those at risk of being hit with a SLAPP suit. None of that has anything to do with getting rid of fake news.

    In post #7, @Wow shows that he has no clue how the First Amendment works and thereafter just resorts to name calling. Again, nothing to do with getting rid of fake news.

    Although some of SWAB’s readers are showing questionable reading comprehension, @Ethan of course knows what the article is about because he wrote it. @Ethan does make some proposals for getting rid of fake news, even if only in brief and vague terms.

    I’m pointing out the solutions he proposes are unrealistic and lack any thought put into the potential repercussions if they could magically be made to happen.

    Seeing as @Ethan’s musings have gone over everyone’s head, let me boil it down and ask point blank:

    Given the First Amendment protections we enjoy in the US, how do you get rid of fake news on topics such as the safety of vaccines, the relationship between AIDS and HIV, the effectiveness of fluoridated drinking water, global warming, and genetic sexual preference?

    If your proposed solutions involve gutting the First Amendment or hoping unicorns come down on rainbows to use their enlightenment powers so that fake news can be seen for what it really is, then I will probably rip on your take as well.

  29. #29 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    “I believe the word you are looking for is ‘insightful’. Drawing inferences that are insightful.”

    And like much of everything you believe, you’re wrong, but believing so because it makes you feel better. I believe the word you meant was “insane”.

    “In a nutshell, it is the fake news argument from the perspective of a scientist. Ethan even included a link to an article in Nature about publishing in a post-truth era.”

    What is?

    “In post #7, @Wow shows that he has no clue how the First Amendment works”

    What shows that?

    “@eric point out a lack of protection for researchers, fact checkers, data producers, and those at risk of being hit with a SLAPP suit. None of that has anything to do with getting rid of fake news.”

    Only in your world, denier, where the only way you can think of getting rid of fake news is the gulag, DESPITE BEING TOLD SEVERAL.

    What eric points out is how scientists aren’t protected (you know, their first amendment rights), and that has a chilling effect on science (do you know what they have to do with the first amendment?).

    “Seeing as @Ethan’s musings have gone over everyone’s head,”

    The word you mean was “YOUR”, not everyone’s.

    “Given the First Amendment protections we enjoy in the US, how do you get rid of fake news on topics such as the safety of vaccines, the relationship between AIDS and HIV, the effectiveness of fluoridated drinking water, global warming, and genetic sexual preference?”

    Since eric already gave an answer in #17, what makes it worth telling you again?

    Here’s a question. Given the scamming going on with people pretending to be some company which doesn’t exist, how do you combat those crimes without abridging the first amendment? E.g. Why can’t I call myself a practicing lawyer?

    If you can’t think of any, ask why there are laws and they’re 100% constitutional.

    I also ask how, if you know that the media is not only lying, but also completely allowed to lie, do you know that what you’ve heard about the AGW scam is right?

  30. #30 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    “If your proposed solutions involve gutting the First Amendment”

    No need. First amendment doesn’t cover lies and other criminal speech. Kiddie porn hubs don’t commit a crime of statutory rape, they only give information in the form of pics and vids of kids being criminally assaulted.

    First amendment gutted by the laws against that, or not? Are you FOR KP banning or not?

  31. #31 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    Classified documents, laws against spying, trade secret protections, copyrights, trademarks, all gutting the first amendment or not?

    Since emails are speech, restricting where you can store that speech is a limit on that speech, so Hilary’s fine because otherwise the first amendment is gutted?

  32. #32 eric
    December 13, 2016

    believe the word you are looking for is ‘insightful’. Drawing inferences that are insightful.

    The way you’re doing it, we spell the word with a c.

  33. #33 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    Since denier hasn’t yet come back with what “showed I didn’t understand the first amendment”, I’ll have to assume he meant the protection of lying, IOW:

    #10 Untruthful speech is protected

    However,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_statements_of_fact

    In United States constitutional law, false statements of fact are an exception from protection of free speech under the First Amendment. In United States law, a false statement of fact will not be exempt from some civil or criminal penalty, if a law has imposed one. This exception has evolved over time from a series of Supreme Court cases that dealt with issues such as libel, slander, and statutes which barred fraudulent solicitation of charitable donations.

    And on the exceptions link:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

    Contents

    1 Communicative impact restrictions

    1.1 Incitement

    2 False statements of fact
    3 Obscenity
    4 Child pornography
    5 Fighting words and offensive speech
    6 Speech owned by others
    7 Commercial speech
    8 Restrictions based on special capacity of Government

    8.1 Government as Employer
    8.2 Government as Regulator of the Airwaves
    8.3 Government as Educator
    8.4 Government as Subsidizer/Speaker
    8.5 Government as Regulator of the Bar
    8.6 Government as Controller of the Military
    8.7 Government as Prison Warden
    8.8 Government as Regulator of Immigration

    NB:he also didn’t posit whether those restrictions (some given by me earlier, and ignored. Wonder why people don’t give him the proof? He doesn’t listen.) gutted the first amendment.

    So when some scientist or news agency (e.g. Fox) makes a BS claim like “Arctic ice growth proves global warming ended”, and they have a research team on staff, they are making false statements of facts.

    Already actionable.

    Just not, because despite what deniers claim, the power structure REALLY doesn’t like AGW, because it hurts them, their donors and their chance of getting on the “leftist media” bandwagon where they can get attention in the elections, and requires blaming voters, never liked by politicians looking to get elected more than doing what’s right for their electorate, so Fox news gets the RIGHT to tell lies.

    Yes, that’s right, they fought a court case and won so that they could continue to talk knowingly false statements of fact.

  34. #34 Sinisa Lazarek
    December 14, 2016

    I’ve been following your debate and there are some things, Denier, that I don’t understand in your position.

    You say: “…Real news *IS* the consensus position.”

    Now it might be that you are considering some specific case or scenario where this happens, or some specific subset of news reporting. But as a whole, that statement is just false. Let me give a plain example. An earthquake hits some unfortunate city. A football team wins a game. A car crash occurs. All those events are valid news. And there is no consensus needed, we can all agree on that I hope. And not talking about that we, as a species, do need to agree on certain things in order to function.. i.e. what IS an earthquake.

    So obviously there are news that don’t require consensus in order to be true. Now what if you intentionally, as a news reporter or company, lie about some event in order to i.e. gain benefit. If I understand your position, you are saying there should be no penalty for that? Why? There are penalties in most professions for negligence and false claims, why not in news as well? In fact, at least in my country, there are laws against it.

    The second thing I don’t understand, is you seeing all laws and regulations in the lens of criminal and penitentiary system. Why? Really… why? I mean.. criminal prosecution is reserved for exactly that… criminals. A huge part of justice system is plain old boring “regular” stuff, and penalties in most laws that deal with everyday life don’t even come anywhere close to criminal courts or anything close to that. I mean, you don’t go to prison for not wearing a seat belt or if you didn’t pay your electricity for 2 months.

    Now, how all of this ties to different countries and their constitutions, and where is the line between in i.e. US and freedom of speech and factual objective reporting, I don’t know. Am not a supreme court justice.

    But I do know, that you can certainly try to encourage it, without any “Law and order” bull.. cause not all regulations are witch prosecutions as you seem to paint it.

  35. #35 eric
    December 14, 2016

    Wow @33: If you’re going to cite the Wikipedia entry on ‘false statement of fact’ in this debate, you really need to include the second paragraph, not just the first, because its highly relevant. It points out that the law allows false statements of fact when a person is talking about political/public figures and government. Given that Ethan is talking about campaign statements made by candidates about government policies as well as statements made about candidates, he’s basically talking about stuff in that exception. I think it’s really reaching to claim we could already prosecute these sorts of false statements under current US law. I guess with the right judge anything is possible, but in general, I don’t think most judges – including SCOTUS – will see campaign rhetoric as legally punishable, even if its knowingly false. IMO right now, under the way the US court system currently interprets first amendment speech protections, there is no way in hell any judge is going to jail or fine anyone for political lies about climate change or claims about any specific candidate’s background.

  36. #36 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    eric, that’s why I gave the entire link.

    I quoted the first paragraph because the contention was that lying was protected. The para I produced was a black swan to that claim.

    I didn’t see any need to show any more than that the claim was incorrect *as stated*.

  37. #37 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “It points out that the law allows false statements of fact when a person is talking about political/public figures and government.”

    But NOT if there’s actual malice.

    When you complain that I didn’t include it all, take more care to avoid the problem yourself, OK?

  38. #38 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    Oh, and if there’s reckless disregard for the truth, lies about political or public figures are not protected and actionable in court as well.

  39. #39 eric
    December 14, 2016

    Are you still contending that under current law, people could successfully bring slander and ‘reckless disregard’ suits against people lying during political campaigns.

    I’m really, really skeptical. Maybe on paper the rules look that way to a foreigner. But in practice, as someone who lives under the system, I think there would have to be some precedent-upsetting SCOTUS ruling before those sorts of cases have any chance of succeeding. Right now, in the US, the only way you get found guilty of slander or libel against a public figure – especially a politician – is if they find something like a video of you cackling about how you are inventing lies to ruin their reputation muhahahaha. Anything less than concrete, indisputable evidence of actual malice plus knowledge that you’re lying is not going to cut it.

  40. #40 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “Are you still contending that under current law, people could successfully bring slander and ‘reckless disregard’ suits against people lying during political campaigns.”

    Uh, yes? What did you think I said?

    Libel is still actionable when done with reckless disregard or actual malice, even if they’re a public figure, including politicians.

    There’s no cutout for “Unless it’s an election year” or the like.

    Weird, an outsider knows more about your laws than you do. How brainbending is that?

  41. #41 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “W I think there would have to be some precedent-upsetting SCOTUS ruling before those sorts of cases have any chance of succeeding.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._Sullivan

    And the judge in this case has already said that it can go ahead based on reckless disregard:

    https://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/mark-steyns-genius-legal-gambit/

    ‘course either a retraction (removal of malice) or a claim of “in my opinion” (no longer a statement as of fact) would have made it much more difficult to win, and probably hard enough for your skepticism to be correct for it, but since we’re talking the unspecified case, this is still a black swan incident for your claim.

  42. #42 Narad
    December 14, 2016

    I’m really, really skeptical. Maybe on paper the rules look that way to a foreigner. But in practice, as someone who lives under the system, I think there would have to be some precedent-upsetting SCOTUS ruling before those sorts of cases have any chance of succeeding.

    If the question is merely libel, one relevant case is Hutchinson v. Proxmire, 433 U.S. 111 (1979). Of course, Hutchinson was not a public figure. It was ultimately settled.

    Demonstrating “actual malice” – which does not mean what it sounds like it means – is difficult.

  43. #43 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    It could be done if they’d been told and gone on to do it anyway and it had a monetary effect on the public person.

    There’s also a post waiting in moderation because it has two links in it, but Mann v Steyn case has the judge saying that although it hadn’t been proven that there was actual malice, such could be found in discovery,so the case goes ahead, and also said that they demonstrated reckless disregard for the truth in their claims.

  44. #44 Narad
    December 14, 2016

    there is no way in hell any judge is going to jail or fine anyone for political lies about climate change

    This is correct.

  45. #45 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    They would if they upheld the law, though.

    And it does happen on occasions where there is a really powerful interest involved. Even in the USA.

  46. #46 Narad
    December 14, 2016

    They would if they upheld the law, though.

    Penalize lying about AGW? No, you don’t understand U.S. law.

  47. #47 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    Oh, I do.Remember these terms?

    Reckless disregard for the truth.
    Malice
    False statements of fact.

    And, for corporations, failure to obey the charter of incorporation.

  48. #48 Narad
    December 14, 2016

    Oh, I do.Remember these terms?

    Reckless disregard for the truth.
    Malice [sic]
    False statements of fact.

    That’s defamation law. Abstract concepts don’t have standing to bring defamation suits. For that matter, an individual trying to bring suit for intentional infliction of asshurt emotional distress due to, say, Holocaust denial is also screwed.

  49. #49 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “That’s defamation law”

    No, that’s the limitations on free speech (the first amendment).

    Just like copyrights, or trade secrets. Or state secrets. Et al.

    “Abstract concepts don’t have standing to bring defamation suits.”

    Good job AGW requires humans to be here. Or are humans an abstract concept?

    Talking of abstract concepts, corporations and news sites are abstract concepts.

    “For that matter, an individual trying to bring suit for intentional infliction of asshurt emotional distress due to, say, Holocaust denial is also screwed.”

    And the emotional trauma of Big Bird is also not possible. WHO THE HELL TALKED ABOUT HOLOCAUST DENIAL???

  50. #50 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    I think I’ve got the problem, though. It’s that frigging “WE have the first amendment, WE RULZ!!!!” BS of American Exceptionalism.

    If the freedom of speech wasn’t what you think it means, then you wouldn’t be able to sneer at other countries for not having a codified super law against free speech (meanwhile forgetting the EU charter on human rights, along with the several other countries that have codified uncodified exceptions ….).

    Look, get over it. If someone shows your freedom of speech isn’t absolute, it doesn’t make your country a Stalinist Hellhole.

  51. #51 Denier
    United States
    December 14, 2016

    @Sinisa Lazarek #34

    Real news *IS* the consensus position

    My comments in this thread are directed at the scope of the issue at hand. It is the scientific consensus position that human activity is contributing to global warming, that fluoridation of drinking water reduces tooth decay, that HIV is caused by the AIDs virus, etc.

    The second thing I don’t understand, is you seeing all laws and regulations in the lens of criminal and penitentiary system. Why? Really… why?

    That is a good question. In the United States we have two main sets of laws: criminal and civil. Prosecuting violations of civil code is done by aggrieved parties. If I slander you, you sue me in civil court. You have agency. You have standing to seek remedy for the harm done to you.

    Ideas do not have agency. An idea does not have standing to sue. If I say “global warming is a scam” the idea of global warming cannot use the civil courts to seek recompense for damage done by me to its reputation. If there is to be a law protecting an idea, it will have to be prosecuted by the state which makes it criminal.

    An example of this was the Stolen Valor Act of 2005. It said essentially that people cannot falsely claim the valor of receiving decorations of military service. Valor is an idea. Valor can’t sue. Those found guilty of violating that law were criminally convicted. One took it to the Supreme Court and the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 was struck down because it was found to violate the Freedom of Speech even though it was a complete lie.

  52. #52 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “My comments in this thread are directed at the scope of the issue at hand.”

    IOW: “I haven’t a clue what to say here!”.

    “That is a good question”

    IOW: “I will avoid answering this”

    ” In the United States we have two main sets of laws”

    Plus others.

    “Ideas do not have agency”

    So what? You’re trying to pretend that this means it has to be jackboots and Gulags, despite several people telling you other options exist.

    ” If I say “global warming is a scam” the idea of global warming cannot use the civil courts to seek recompense for damage done by me to its reputation.”

    But scientists or the public DO have agency and can seek recompense or removal of your platform to spread lies. Just like when they’re sold fake bonds.

    Governments can do it too. See the laws against profanity. And you do know what the EPA does to people who dump toxic chemicals, right?

    A whole lot of begging going on here.

    “Valor is an idea. Valor can’t sue. Those found guilty of violating that law were criminally convicted.”

    So someone with agency took them to court. Or did the idea file the paperwork?

  53. #53 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “An example of this was the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor_Act_of_2013

    Weeeellll lookie here!

  54. #54 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    On the reason for kicking down the 2005 version, it appears it wasn’t because Valour was an idea:

    Strandlof’s attorney believed the law was too vague and that “protecting the reputation of military decorations is insufficient to survive [strict scrutiny]”, a level of judicial review that requires the government to justify any limitation it places on free speech.[19] The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties group, joined in the case on January 20, 2010. “Such expression remains within the presumptive protection afforded pure speech by the First Amendment,” the Institute’s attorney wrote. “As such, the Stolen Valor Act is an unconstitutional restraint on the freedom of speech.”[19]

  55. #55 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    Further on the situation:

    Beall points out Strandlof wasn’t charged with stealing money meant for the veterans group, adding that laws are already in place for those crimes. “That’s plain-old, regular-vanilla everyday fraud, and we do prosecute that every day,” he said. “Congress does not need a special statute to prevent people from using false claims of valor in order to prevent fraud.”

  56. #56 Denier
    December 14, 2016

    @Wow

    freedom of speech isn’t absolute

    Of course the Freedom of Speech isn’t absolute. It isn’t the only law. There are more constitutional rights guaranteed to individuals and more constitutional powers granted to the government. When a set of constitutional rights and/or constitutional powers conflicts, one has to look at case law to find where the line is.

    All you’re doing with your completely irrelevant off topic examples and quotes of Wikipedia is demonstrating that you don’t understand the American Freedom of Speech protections.

    Regardless of if you’d call it a gutting of the First Amendment or not, I find abhorrent the idea of stripping away one of our most cherished civil liberties just to make it easier to win an argument.

  57. #57 Denier
    December 14, 2016

    @Wow

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor_Act_of_2013

    Yes. The government has the constitutional power to regulate commerce, so the law was rewritten to add the exchanging of money so as to put it in a dependable scope. Once again, you’re just proving that you don’t understand American rights and powers.

  58. #58 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    All you’re doing with your completely irrelevant off topic examples

    Uh, they were about the stolen valour act, retard. If they were irrelevant, then your post was irrelevant. But my quoting was proof you were lying about why it was struck down in the 2005 version, and that you had lied by omission with the 2013 version.

    it is NOT irrelevant (just inconvenient for your fractured fraudulent worldview) to demonstrate your multiple lies.

    Regardless of if you’d call it a gutting of the First Amendment or not,

    YOU called it gutting the first amendment if it were changed so lies could be prosecuted. I called it not. But now you’ve been found to be talking out of your asshat, suddenly it’s “Regardless”? THEN WHY MAKE THE DAMN CLAIM? You just want to scare people into not thinking, because you don’t.

    I find abhorrent

    You find reality abhorrent if it includes having to take actions you don’t want to do. Your feelings are irrelevant. Remember, abhorrence is just an abstract idea. Go ask it to complain to the supreme court.

    just to make it easier to win an argument

    Good grief. It’s not about winning an argument, it’s about stopping liars fucking other people over. It’s quite a big thing for all societies. Hell, the christian faith even has it: thou shalt not bear false witness. And the supposed fine for that is existence in perpetual torment in the 8th circle of hell.

  59. #59 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “Yes. The government has the constitutional power to regulate commerce, so the law was rewritten to add the exchanging of money so as to put it in a dependable scope”

    So your claim regarding valour was a lie and not mentioning it again was a lie of omission.

    So “Yes” you’re saying to “I lied”.

  60. #60 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    For the christians:

    http://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/fraud.html

    KJV Dictionary Definition: fraud
    fraud

    FRAUD, n. L. fraus.

    Deceit; deception; trick; artifice by which the right or interest of another is injured; a stratagem intended to obtain some undue advantage; an attempt to gain or the obtaining of an advantage over another by imposition or immoral means, particularly deception in contracts, or bargain and sale, either by stating falsehoods, or suppressing truth.

    If success a lover’s toil attends, who asks if force or fraud obtained his ends.

    Revelation 21:8 ESV

    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death

    John 8:44 ESV

    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    Revelation 22:15 ESV

    Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    Proverbs 26:24 ESV

    Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;

    Luke 16:10-13 ESV

    “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

  61. #61 Narad
    December 14, 2016

    “That’s defamation law”

    No, that’s the limitations on free speech (the first amendment).

    You really should learn to quit while you’re behind. Go over to popehat.com, read Ken White’s entries, and get a clue.

  62. #62 Narad
    December 14, 2016

    And the emotional trauma of Big Bird is also not possible. WHO THE HELL TALKED ABOUT HOLOCAUST DENIAL???

    Quite the irony coming after your unprovoked screed about “exceptionalism.” I was providing you an example of a case in which there at least existed potential real-world plaintiffs. Who would lose.

  63. #63 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    @60, do you want to try something that came from a person’s frontal cortex, Narad?

    You’re making a category error.

  64. #64 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “Quite the irony coming after your unprovoked screed about “exceptionalism.””

    Again, frontal lobes, Narad.Try to type an argument that appears to come from a human with them.

    “excetionalism” != Hitler’s rhetoric.

  65. #66 eric
    December 15, 2016

    @41:

    One: NYT vs. Sullivan doesn’t support your argument, it undermines it. Because that case made it harder to win a defamation case, not easier. In fact the requirement to prove ‘actual malice’ is really, really high. In that case, SCOTUS ruled 9-0 against the plaintiff. How does that support your notion that plaintiffs have good changes of winning under current law?

    Two: Hutchinson vs. Proxmire isn’t relevant to this discussion (but still doesn’t support you). SCOTUS only ruled on the question of whether Proxmire, a researcher, was a public figure. They ruled he wasn’t. And Hutchinson still didn’t win in court; the two settled before the court could take it up again.

    Three: Mann vs Steyn: I don’t know whether this case has even been decided or not. Can you link me to a decision? Because it’s not much of a support citation for your point if the case hasn’t even been decided yet. As far as I can tell, about the most positive spin you could put on this is that Mann’s suit survived a call to dismiss. Is that what you’re arguing here? That because this case survived a motion to dismiss, that must mean plaintiffs in the US have a reasonable chance of succeeding in defamation cases?

    This is your evidence that public figure plaintiffs have a reasonable chance of winning under current law? What did you do, just drop in a few defamation court cases you got from google without reading them?

    As far I can tell, your three citations basically do bubkis for your argument. When it comes to defamation, the US is one of the toughest places in the world to win a suit. And if you happen to be HRC (or DJT for that matter), and you’re going to try and sue someone for putting out falsehoods against your campaign or against your campaign’s scientific position, your chance of success approaches zero without some sort of ‘actual malice’ smoking gun. Public figures have very little recourse the way the current law is interpreted. Victims of political speech lies have very little recourse, and public figures that are the victims of political speech lies are doubly screwed. And you’re wrong to imply otherwise.

    Note that I don’t particularly disagree with the status quo. I’m fine with it. I don’t particularly think the problem of political lying will be solved by making it easier for wealthy politicians and political campaigns to win defamation suits against their critics. But telling people (such as Ethan) who may want that (i.e. who disagree with me), that their wish is already granted by current law, is to seriously misread current US law. At least, in my opinion.

  66. #67 eric
    December 15, 2016

    If someone shows your freedom of speech isn’t absolute, it doesn’t make your country a Stalinist Hellhole.

    Nice tangent, but really irrelevant to the mistake you’re making here. I’m perfectly willing to agree that some other countries – with less free speech, and stronger laws against defamation – function perfectly well. However, you’re still misinterpreting US speech law as giving a credible chance (of winning a defamation suit) to public & political figure plaintiffs that, in practice, they don’t really have.

  67. #68 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    Three: Mann vs Steyn: I don’t know whether this case has even been decided or not. Can you link me to a decision?

    It hasn’t. What’s going on now is that all the defendants except Steyn have filed an interlocutory appeal in (IIRC) the D.C. Court of Appeals to determine whether the denial of their anti anti-SLAPP motion can be appealed immediately. (My opinion is that it only makes sense to fully resolve an such a motion rather than litigating the entire case and then going back to the anti-SLAPP.)

    In the meantime, Steyn has been sitting around bitching and whining that Mann won’t litigate two cases instead of one.

  68. #69 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “Nice tangent”

    Not really. I was reassuring you that, unlike the catastrophe implied by “gutting the first amendment”, there’s much less to worry about. Your country would not leap into a stalinist purge.

    You know, like frigging denier claimed was Ethan’s desire!

    You DO remember him saying that, right?

  69. #70 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    ^ “anti anti-SLAPP” and “resolve an such a motion.”

  70. #71 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “One: NYT vs. Sullivan doesn’t support your argument”

    No it doesn’t. It explains that such exceptions as actual malice make the claim “Not against public figures” WRONG. If you wanted to make it nuanced and say “It is harder for public figures”, you should have damn well said so.

    But I guess you can’t accept the fact that your first amendment isn’t anything unusual, other than it is specifically codified. And most countries have just as much freedom of speech (indeed more, just look at the reports on media freedom worldwide: the USA isn’t #1).

    The fact that your claims were wrong is what that link shows.

    It doesn’t disprove my point that your claim was wrong.

    IF my claim had been “It’s easy to sue someone for that”, it would disprove that claim, but THAT WASN’T MY CLAIM. I mean, talk about tangent: you’re whipping off into the imaginary plane!

  71. #72 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    ” Hutchinson v. Proxmire,” Was Narad’s post, eric.

    DO keep up, dear.

    “Three: Mann vs Steyn: I don’t know whether this case has even been decided or not”

    It hasn’t, but “Muh free speech!” was tried by Steyn to get it kicked out and failed, and AS I SAID the judge said that though actual malice hadn’t been proven yet, it was possible it would be found in discovery. AND that there was reckless disregard for the truth in the case and liable to win on that. Fraudulent statement of fact is why it continues, and that got the first appeal kicked out.

    This is your evidence that public figure plaintiffs have a reasonable chance of winning

    STRAWMAN. Sorry, eric, if you’re going to fuck up like this, why the hell do you think you have a chance of making me change my mind????

    THAT

    WAS

    NOT

    MY

    CLAIM

    RETARD.

  72. #73 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    Hutchinson vs. Proxmire isn’t relevant to this discussion (but still doesn’t support you). SCOTUS only ruled on the question of whether [Hutchinson], a researcher, was a public figure.

    This isn’t correct. The main point of the Court’s ruling was that the Speech or Debate Clause did not protect Proxmire’s speech outside of legislative chambers, thus stripping him of his defense. The ruling that Hutchinson was not a public figure was just another nail in the coffin for Proxmire. That settlement came for a reason.

    It is somewhat tangential but goes to the point that suing politicians for defamation is hardly impossible.

  73. #74 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “It is somewhat tangential but goes to the point that suing politicians for defamation is hardly impossible.”

    Which is closer to what I’ve been saying, though even that is REALLY just consequential.

    Denier and others, including you, have claimed that it’s not possible to take someone to court because the first amendment protects speech.

    Which became speech to politicians and public figures.

    Now, if I had confused someone else’s post as yours, fair enough, the accusation that you didn’t know the constitution has lots of exceptions and there are no absolutes, just varying amounts of burden of proof, then I was wrong to accuse you otherwise.

    But you seemed to be against the idea that the laws already there can be used to stymie the fraudulent misrepresentation of reality that is the current problem holding up doing what is necessary to avert the worst of AGW’s effects.

    AND that hasn’t caused jackbooted thugs to go running around jailing the retards denying reality and enforcing science’s view on everyone.

    COMPLETELY UNLIKE the chicken little (odd isn’t it they complain so much about alarmists when they are like this themselves, eh?) hysterics that denier was imagining if there wasn’t a right to lie with impunity about reality.

  74. #75 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    Denier and others, including you, have claimed that it’s not possible to take someone to court because the first amendment protects speech.

    My point has been that it’s not possible to prevail in a suit claiming, inter alia, that someone lied about AGW, which trivially is protected speech under the First Amendment.

  75. #76 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    But you seemed to be against the idea that the laws already there can be used to stymie the fraudulent misrepresentation of reality that is the current problem holding up doing what is necessary to avert the worst of AGW’s effects.

    The funny thing here is that you’re functionally equivalent to Steyn. The reason he didn’t join the interlocutory appeal is because he thinks that the courts can “invalidate” the “hockey stick.” Thus, he doesn’t want Mann’s suit dismissed.

    Scientific facts are not decided by the courts.

  76. #77 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    ^ Broken blockquote.

  77. #78 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    It hasn’t, but “Muh free speech!” was tried by Steyn to get it kicked out and failed

    As I’ve just pointed out, no. Steyn did not join the anti-SLAPP. Misstating the facts of cases does you no favors.

  78. #79 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “My point has been that it’s not possible to prevail in a suit claiming, inter alia, that someone lied about AGW, which trivially is protected speech under the First Amendment.”

    My point, then is that this is wrong, and all you’ve got to refute me is a situation where it isn’t AGW that’s the determining factor, but the details of how it was said which is the case for any speech, AGW or not.

    There’s nothing in the protections of speech that claim AGW is protected. Free speech is protected EXCEPT for the conditions that exempt free speech. SEE ABOVE.

    Philip Morris knew that smoking causes cancer, lied about it, got found out and were sued, and the government sued them too.

    Exxon knows AGW is well supported, but suppressed it. Just like PM.

    Mann v Steyn would go away if Steyn had said “In my opinion”, removing the “False statement of fact” exemption of free speech protection. IF Steyn retracted, it would likely settle out of court for losses to Mann and end there because that retraction removes the “reckless disregard for the truth” exemption.

    And, no, none of that (not even the “actual malice” one) is SOLELY defamation. Lying about fucking up the nuclear plant and releasing toxic radioactive waste will get you in court facing charges for lying to the inspectors about it DESPITE NOT BEING DEFAMATION. It would be a false statement of fact (“There is no leak”).

    Fox makes money lying for their beholden interests, to the detriment of the public health. They cannot hide behind the plausible deniability of not knowing like they might have been able to get away with in 1990.

    It COULD be solved by getting retractions, just like with Mann v Steyn. Or putting “in this expert’s opinion” (if they are an expert). And most of the time this is done.

    But governments haven’t wanted to do much about the misrepresentation. And scientists too busy proving the case and dismissive of getting dirty in suing, or insisting on the law being followed.

    This doesn’t make the option of doing it unavailable any more than being too lazy and untrained to climb Everest makes Everest disappear.

  79. #80 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “As I’ve just pointed out, no. Steyn did not join the anti-SLAPP. ”

    And as you quoted, I said “Muh free speech!” was tried by Steyn to get it kicked out and failed.

    Bugger all about joining the anti-SLAPP suit.

  80. #81 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    “As I’ve just pointed out, no. Steyn did not join the anti-SLAPP. ”

    And as you quoted, I said “Muh free speech!” was tried by Steyn to get it kicked out and failed.

    Bugger all about joining the anti-SLAPP suit.

    How, precisely, the f*ck, do you think the case would get kicked out on free-speech grounds otherwise? This, again, is a defamation case. The merits have not been reached. Your two abysmally clueless statements here are mutually contradictory.

  81. #82 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “How, precisely, the f*ck, do you think the case would get kicked out on free-speech grounds otherwise?”

    By Steyn approaching the court with an appeal to summary dismissal.

    Duh.

  82. #83 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    “How, precisely, the f*ck, do you think the case would get kicked out on free-speech grounds otherwise?”

    By Steyn approaching the court with an appeal to summary dismissal.

    Duh.

    You lose. Motions for summary judgment occur after discovery, which hasn’t happened because of the anti-SLAPP. You don’t know what your talking about, and you’re doing a lousy job of trying to bluster your way past this problem.

  83. #84 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    ^ “your you’re”

    I will correct one thing, however – Steyn did join the anti-SLAPP, but not the interlocutory appeal to allow appeal of its dismissal. This was where he parted ways with his codefendants.

  84. #85 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “Motions for summary judgment occur after discovery, which hasn’t happened because of the anti-SLAPP.”

    He’s done this several times, and it’s either two or three. He’s tried the “But Muh freedom of speech” and it failed. The Judge ruled on it. Dismissals. Failed. Twice (maybe three times). Fact.

    Get over it.

  85. #86 Wow
    December 15, 2016

    “This was where he parted ways with his codefendants.”

    And very close after that, his lawyers.

    NOTE: THERE WERE TWO CASES.

    You may be getting your arse over your shoulders because you’re unaware of this fact and making a complete and utter dick of yourself by proclamation because, well, “muh freedoms erv speech be protect!”.

    Frigging idiots.

  86. #87 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    NOTE: THERE WERE TWO CASES.

    There is exactly one action, Mann v. National Review, No. 2012 CA 8263 B in the D.C. Superior Court. Counterclaims – even moronic, pro se ones – are not separately captioned.

    You may be getting your arse over your shoulders because you’re unaware of this fact and making a complete and utter dick of yourself by proclamation because, well, “muh freedoms erv speech be protect!”.

    I rather suspect that you’re seizing upon the defamation case because it offers you an opportunity to throw out a blizzard of sh*t to distract from the massive failure that is your core proposition. It’s just making your screaming ignorance more apparent.

    You want analysis of Mann? Here. Try clicking on the “free speech” tag while you’re at it, as well.

  87. #88 Wow
    December 16, 2016

    “There is exactly one action,”

    And vs Stenyn himself.

    The rag that published it is in the dock too, but that’s a different ticket.

    THIS is why you are completely moronic over this subject: dunning kruger. You know less than you are CERTAIN you know.

  88. #89 Denier
    December 16, 2016

    Well that explains it. It is a different ticket. It must be in ticket court where they don’t use numbers on their cases. I can hardly wait for the grizzled old investigator working with the plucky young kid to rush into ticket court with the evidence proving the First Amendment was a forgery just as Mann is sworn in to testify.

  89. #90 Narad
    December 16, 2016

    The rag that published it is in the dock too, but that’s a different ticket.

    Shouldn’t there be four FOUR “tickets” then? You do at least know who the defendants are, right? Oh, wait:

    THIS is why you are completely moronic over this subject: dunning kruger. You know less than you are CERTAIN you know.

    Do I actually need to spoon-feed you the complaint? It should be in the link I sent you, but I guess it would be too much trouble for you to actually read something cogent on the subject.

  90. #91 Narad
    December 16, 2016

    “Motions for summary judgment occur after discovery, which hasn’t happened because of the anti-SLAPP.”

    He’s done this several times, and it’s either two or three. He’s tried the “But Muh freedom of speech” and it failed. The Judge ruled on it. Dismissals. Failed. Twice (maybe three times). Fact.

    There have been no motions for summary judgment, as there has been no discovery, because the proceedings are stayed during the pendency of the interlocutory appeal. An anti-SLAPP motion is an entirely distinct thing.

    The anti-SLAPP was attempted twice, I presume for procedural reasons, but that’s what the appeal is about. It’s pretty much the only legallly important part of this otherwise routine (and, I think, weak) defamation case. In other words, the trial court’s dismissal is not the end of the story.

  91. #93 Narad
    December 19, 2016

    Tell the judge they don’t exist…

    What part of this did you not understand?

    “There have been no motions for summary judgment, as there has been no discovery, because the proceedings are stayed during the pendency of the interlocutory appeal. An anti-SLAPP motion is an entirely distinct thing.

    Allow me to remind you of what I was replying to:

    By Steyn approaching the court with an appeal to summary dismissal.

    Duh.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about, and it really, really shows. Did you even read what you posted?

  92. #94 Narad
    December 19, 2016

    ^ And Rule 12(b)(6) isn’t going to save you.

  93. #96 Wow
    December 20, 2016

    “with the evidence proving the First Amendment was a forgery ”

    What bollocks are you fictioning now, denier? Nobody says it was a forgery, and it doesn’t have to be a forgery: the courts that make the caselaw have shown in every way that the exceptions to the first amendment protections exist.

    The fact that you can’t imagine any way that the first amendment is not absolute and that any change MUST be a commie purge in the making is ONLY the fault of your diseased mind.

  94. #97 Narad
    December 20, 2016

    Tell the judge they don’t exist.

    Robotically repeating yourself simply demonstrates that you don’t know what the terms of art mean. By the way, what happened to that “different ticket”? Just pretending your trivially demonstrable failures never happened? Color me unsurprised.

  95. #98 Wow
    December 20, 2016

    Nope, not repeating myself. Different link. You know, of motions to dismiss that you claimed couldn’t have happened.

    But I’m fucked if I know why you think this so worth defending and baring your arse to the world for.

    Merkins and their first amendment.Pfeh.