RP Sr is a tosser

I haven't had a tosser for a while, but I think its time for a new one. The evidence is all at Open Mind, that increasingly valuable resource who has done such a good job of shredding so many thoughtless folk. And RP Sr's 7-fold updated post neatly puts him into that category. But what wins RP the coveted award is outing Tamino (whose name isn't exactly a secret anyway) under the guise of "professional courtesy". Well done, Wodger.

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In case people haven't been following along at home:

1. Having a real-seeming name in a venue where pseudonyms are the norm and names can't be verified is paramount. Having actual expertise in a complicated subject is irrelevant and usually just a sign of having a penchant for unnecessary fraud.

2. Using no data and polite words to smear others whose expertise is greater than your own is professional courtesy, as is revealing real names behind intentional semi-anonymity. Honest and angry responses to such, using actual data, is unbecoming.

I really don't get the tone trolls. Anyone expecting science + internet to be polite is truly, hopelessly confused. Unfailing politeness is generally the domain of politicians and salespeople, two groups for whom the truth isn't just incidental; it's accidental.

Note: I have used a real-seeming name so you know I can be trusted!

By Antony Waits (not verified) on 28 Apr 2012 #permalink

Reflecting on the series of posts/updates, I don't think Pielke actually read Vinnikov 1999. He certainly didn't seem to be aware of the large section of the paper discussing natural variation in decadal trends and testing trends in obs against those.

I think he just wanted a foil for the claim "the trend for sea ice decline has decreased (significantly) since 1996." Which is a more conservative, sciency version of the frequently recited WUWUT claim (often by the pseudonymous WUWT intern 'Steven Goddard') that sea ice is recovering.

Great post by Tamino !!!

What the?!

-RP

P.S. No harm done, I am neither a Sr. nor a Jr.

[Ah, sorry. In the world of climate, there is but one RP. Or rather, there are two. But diminished nowadays -W]

However rpenner is clearly not an RP as only lower case.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 27 Apr 2012 #permalink

William,

The use of pseudonyms to attack one's colleagues is a cancer growing on the face of science that quite needs to be cut out. It is the height of cowardice to attack the reputation of others while simultaneously protecting one's own reputation with anonymity. Those who do it certainly should be outed. Anonymous comments are fine; anonymous attacks are gutless and that's all there is to it.

[I think that is bullshit. First, Tamino isn't actually anonymous - see other comments here. Second, peer-review has traditionally been anonymous, and Tamino's comments are not "attack", they are effectively review. You only see them as attack because you don't like what he is saying. Third, I think your premise - the "growing cancer" is utter twaddle. You'll certainly need to back it up with evidence for anyone to believe you. Fourth, I don't see a problem with anonymous blogging, or indeed commenting, as long as the name is repeatable. You call yourself AH, and that may even be your name, but you provide no way of verifying it. You may or may not be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alexh19740110, but again there is no way to tell. You have no objection to T's physical address being published, but you refuse to reveal your own; this is just hypocrisy -W]

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 27 Apr 2012 #permalink

Roger has turned one of his updates into a separate post, wherein he "apologizes". I put that in quotes, because he still won't admit that he's wrong about the core point here. His "apology" basically consists of two things:

(1) Saying he's sorry for not explaining what he meant clearly enough, and

(2) Asking Tamino to do a lot of work that Roger should have done before writing his original post.

[I can cope with the science errors; I wouldn't have made Roger a tosser for that. What I find really offensive is the outing. Its trivia, but its threatening. The thinking is so badly wrong -W]

What I find really offensive is the outing. Its trivia, but its threatening. The thinking is so badly wrong

He's just following in the footsteps of his beloved protogé, Anthony Watts ...

[Indeed -W]

There was an opera about that:

Die Zauberflöte
"... the animals charmed by Tamino's first outing ... look like mangy, rejected extras from Planet of the Apes."

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 28 Apr 2012 #permalink

Following them more closely than I thought, as I hadn't read the actual "outing" post, but now that I have:

Tamino is G* F* of T* Analytics in G*, M* [h/t Anthony Watts]

"outing" is one of Watts's trademark moves to intimidate those he disagrees with.

[This is one if the reasons I just use my real name; it avoids the worry -W]

While I'm not sure of the precise qualifications one needs to become a "tosser", I think this glowing endorsement of Watts might qualify:

RPSr: I have worked with Anthony and he is devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness

While on the surface, one could conclude he's just being, well, "courteous", assuming good faith or something of that variety, he also has accused (wrongly so) RealClimate and SkS contributors of spreading "misinformation". This goes back a few years. His standards are asymmetric to say the least - not unlike the Watts outrage over "anonymous cowards". It only really applies to those he disagrees with (which would not include most of the roughly 50% of his commenters who do not use a full name).

The Arctic ice argument Pielke is making is not really new. This related post seems to meet the "tosser" qualifications, one that RealClimate responded to.

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/real-climates-misinfor…

FWIW, Tamino outed himself ages ago, to anyone who was paying attention. Though it seems he still prefers to keep his blogging somewhat separate from his real life.

"outing Tamino"

Pielke Sr. must be taking advice from Mosher, who also delights in such trifles.

"outing Tamino"

Eh, Tamino's identity is only secret from somewhat dumb people, undoubtedly intentionally. But it only takes one unscrupulous individual with minimal google skills...

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 29 Apr 2012 #permalink

RE: Roger vs Grant

I think that Doger really didn't know who Tamino really was.

Thus the backbiting.

Just like Doger doesn't know much about Arctic sea ice.

Thus the backbiting.

IMHO, it's the same difference, Doger isn't dumb, Doger is just ignorant of the facts. :-)

[No, he isn't dumb. But then neither is, say, Dyson. Or Lovelock. But any of them are capable of massive over-confidence in areas they don't know -W]

By EFS_Junior (not verified) on 29 Apr 2012 #permalink

> Doger isn't dumb, Doger is just ignorant of the facts. :-)

Ah. "Theyâve a temper, some of them ..."

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 29 Apr 2012 #permalink

17 W,

IOW Dunning-Kruger can apply to anyone, regardless of expertise in their own field.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 29 Apr 2012 #permalink

Is it possible your desire for a tosser caused a lowering of the standards? Being the umpteenth person to identify the secret identity of someone, whose secret identity is known by one and all, is not outing. More like a wanker.

[Not at all, in fact I'd completely forgotten my series, and then I came to read RP's post and I thought "ZOMG, what a..." -W]

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 29 Apr 2012 #permalink

> Being the umpteenth person to identify the secret identity of
> someone, whose secret identity is known by one and all, is not
> outing.

I suppose you have a point. As in, Senior not even managing to be a proper Bad Guy, just to look pathetic while trying

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 30 Apr 2012 #permalink

Being the umpteenth person to identify the secret identity of someone, whose secret identity is known by one and all, is not outing. More like a wanker.

But Tamino's identity wasn't "known by one and all" - RPSr was unaware of it, therefore at best you can say "known by all less one".

Given that RPSr was unaware of his identity, he was outing him. If you want to declare an "outing fail" because he was ignorant of the fact that Tamino's identity is fairly common knowledge, that's OK, but he tried his best to do so, and that makes him a jerk.

[My view is that Pielke thought he was outing, he gets the tosser award mostly for that, but partly at least for not realising it was already semi-public. Or did he? He h/t's Watts for the info. But I doubt he read the blog -W]

William, #5:

The suggestion that Pielke did something wrong by revealing Foster's address is absurd.

If you look at the first page of the highly self-publicised Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) paper,

Grant Foster1
1 Tempo Analytics, ... Garland, ... USA

And in the paper one can find the full postal address. Again, in the Washington Post - "...Grant Foster of Tempo Analytics...".

Of course, this is not his home address.

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 May 2012 #permalink

Alex Harvey, don't be an idiot. People who operate under pseudonyms typically are trying to separate two parts of their lives: the part in which they operate under their real name, and the part in which they operate under a pseudonym. The fact that Tamino does some things while calling himself "Tamino" and other things while calling himself by his given name is completely un-notable; the fact that RP Sr. goes out of his way to call him by the un-chosen name is just straightforward assholery. (And this doesn't even get in to the distinction between voluntary and involuntary disclosure of personal information, let alone the distinction between putting some information about yourself in peer-reviewed literature versus putting it on a public website.)

[Obviously the bit about NPA doesn't apply to Eli -W]

[Sorry, I'm going to make an effort to impose the house rule of No Personal Attacks, except by me, obviously -W]

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 01 May 2012 #permalink

Hmm, I had thought that I understood most of your crypticisms at this point, but I can't figure out what Eli has to do with my previous comment....

[I think I approved things out of order. I'm talking about the one I had to delete -W]

> No Personal Attacks, except by me, obviously -W

Yes. So what's keeping you? How explicit do you want suggestions to be?

[Well, I'd rather keep them to a minimum -W]

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 01 May 2012 #permalink

JBL, #25:

I am fully aware that these people are trying to partition their lives into two parts. Yes, you are right. Their real name personas are bound by the ethics of professionalism so that their anonymous personas can say whatever they please without fear of consequence. And as I said, there's nothing inherently wrong about this; it only becomes wrong when the anonymous persona is used to attack professional peers like Pielke who are not similarly protected by anonymity. That is gutless. In this case, Pielke was unable to comment at Tamino's blog without being mobbed by inane, abusive comments that Tamino supported from semi-anonymity. It is clear that the professional response would be to encourage that Pielke, a professor of meteorology, be treated with respect. Pielke is right.

[Again, this is twaddle; for the reasons already explained. Please don't just say exactly the same thing yet again. Maybe if Pielke wasn't such a coward as to not allow comments at all on his "blog" people might have commented there instead? -W]

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 01 May 2012 #permalink

Alex, in my world the ethics of professionalism would not only apply to the supposed invective in someone's comments, but also the appropriateness of one's analysis. In fact, I consider the latter more important than the former.

Apparently, in Pielke's world it is the other way around (but only if he or his minions are the target. He had no problem when Watts accused NOAA of fraud; at least he did not add any angry blogpost lecturing on professional courtesy and ethics).

[A good point, which I wish I'd made myself, and an excellent comment on the "skeptic" methodology and worldview in general. They are unable to see below the surface to the substance -W]

Tamino is not anonymous. He's pseudonymous.

And even if one has been standing below the climate blog parapet with your doors firmly shut for a long while (and so, maybe, make knowing who is who difficult), it really is quite easy from Tamino's frontpage to obtain what is with 99.9% probability his "non-pseudonym". Go on... buy the book! It doesn't take an intellect of the stature that was RPSr's to work that one out, surely.

And anyway, it doesn't matter a jot whether one is anonymous, pseudonymous or birth-certificate-given named in blogging, it's the force of the arguments, the facts and the stats presented that should count. And RPSr was found wanting on that score in this instance. There is not one ad hom comment aimed at RPSr in either of Tamino's "do the math" OPs or in his responses to commenters (so far as I can see).

Perhaps Tamino should send RPSr a copy of one of his books... And I don't mean his "Analyzing Light Curves: A Practical Guide" tome either!

So, Alex Harvey, I gather we are in agreement: RP Sr has acted like an asshole. The difference between us is that you think it's important not to admit that someone you would like to agree with is acting badly, so instead of saying "Why yes, RP Sr acted like an asshole; he wouldn't have done that if he actually were as interested in collegiality as he pretends to be, or if he had a thicker skin about being criticized for getting things wrong," you try to change the subject to commenters at Tamino's blog.