Common People

"For twenty terces I phrase the answer in clear and actionable language; for ten I use the language of cant, which occasionally admits of ambiguity; for five, I speak a parable which you must interpret as you will; and for one terce, I babble in an unknown tongue.”

[Update: there's a better version at (thanks cm). As to the point - I really didn't think I was being subtle. Its a reference to the discussion we ended up in at]

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I get the Jack Vance quote, Dying Earth? But Pulp? I'm missing something (everything) here...

Hey, BBD!,

Yr. "But Pulp? I'm missing something (everything) here..."

Smarten up guy!--this isn't Deltoidland here, you know! What's "Pulp"?--Bucked-tooth, NGO, hot-babe working-girl--get it?! Privileged, white-dork, weenie-cool, clueless-fuck geek-ball--get it?!

Let me spell it out, BBD--Stoat is opportunistically switching sides and wisely joining us red-blooded, regular-guy, freedom lovers, packing the alpha-stud, throb-whopper power-schlongs, and leaving the whole hive-mess to you teenie-tiny, peepee-wiener nerd-pukes to tough it out with the hive's back-stabbing, recently empowered testosterone-haters who have eco-honkies, like you, BBD, targeted as "Piggy", man! Better run like hell, BBD!

And I say this as a pal, BBD!

More tobacco with the next one, Mike.

I would also like to know what the actual f*** links the quote and the video.

[I thought that "I speak a parable which you must interpret as you will" was perfectly clear. What's ambiguous about that? -W]

Okay, so who paid WMC? And how much is 5 terces in USD?

So, like, I'm thinkin' this post is so weird and creepy that it's, like, maybe some sort of psy-ops, Rorschach-for-hive-bozos, good-comrade-attitude-check, booger-brain, mind-control manipulation, possibly from the work-shop of the great Lewandowsky, himself, even, with lots of taxpayer rip-off, research-grant, big-bucks, behind the whole, boondoggle deal, and all.

So, personally, I think it's a matter of hive-solidarity for you Stoats to be good-sports and quit with your pathetically anemic response to date and start providing some high-volume, quality feed-back to this post. You know what I mean, guys?

I mean, like, I'm not even a Stoat and I'm doing my part, you know. You know, like, "W" notes that a "parable" has been spoken and then advises us we "...must interpret it as [we] will". Or at least, he quotes some guy who makes that point.

Well, frankly, I'm not satisfied with my earlier "interpretation" of this post and, upon reflection and in the spirit of wanting to see this post succeed, so as to spare the investigators, involved in the underlying study, the bother of having to make up a bunch of responses on their own and then, maybe, be subjected to the "witch hunt" of some one "denier"-asshole or another, pestering everyone with FOIA's requesting their closely-held, bogus "data", and everything, here's my second bite of the "apple":

I "interpret" this post by likening it to the sort of partially-masticated up-chuck that you'd see "tossed" in the immediate aftermath of the deposit of a "Martin Bashir" model, Stoat-special excreta-"mother", extruded with much heaving-and-hoeing strain (I imagine Martin as an indispensable part of the research-team), amidst a super-abundance of disgusting, but funny noises, and wreathed in copious wafts of noisome, stink-bomb aromas, into the up-chucker's up-turned, "Porta-Potty" pie-hole.

See how it's done Stoats? Time now for you guys to turn to and do your part, too! Right, guys?

This one's easy. It's a satirical comment on the underlying power dynamic of the science/populus interface and the going rate for rhetoric. Err..
This one's easy. It's using the contrapunctal impact of two apparently randomly chosen 'marks' to illustrate the Intentionalist Fallacy as it applies to the Blogosphere. Err...
This one's easy. It's a biting satire on the true attitude of Government to the Electorate, privileging and supporting the elitism that was the background for the punk 'revolution'. Err..
This one's easy. The weasel is doing a dance.

By Fergus Brown (not verified) on 06 Dec 2013 #permalink

Steady on, Mike. It's only Jarvis Cocker and a Jack Vance quote.

And Fergus' last suggestion may well be correct...

Now now, Fergus: "I thought that 'I speak a parable which you must interpret as you will' was perfectly clear. What's ambiguous about that?"

Well, I thought it was even easier. It's a perfect multilayered comment on What's Going On, with a neat little reference to a terrific writer that I had hitherto not explored. From what I can see of Vance, I'm looking forward to making that acquaintance.

And if there was a not-so-hidden meaning on the uselessness of the kind of concentrated argument I've spent too much time on, without paying proper attention to the important things, I got that too.


By Susan Anderson (not verified) on 06 Dec 2013 #permalink

Dan; isn't that what I did? Or are we missing something?

By Fergus Brown (not verified) on 06 Dec 2013 #permalink

*finger-steeple under chin*

Clearly, it's a Sadie Frost-powered attempt to drive blog hits.

Why else would one not link the album version?

(The single leaves out a chunk from 3:26 onwards; also, rude words.)


On the naming of mustelids: comments have closed on the Wotts thread, so I will risk an OT here. You have provided a range of choices of appellation and I can't for the life of me see why people should argue further about what to call you. Pick from the list. As for the "Dr" bit, that's the easy part; managing to spell "Connolley" reliably and consistently is beyond me. So WMC it is.

[WMC is definitely acceptable. Misspelling "Connolley" earns you a sad sigh - I've seen it all before. Using "Mr" gains you contempt. As someone said at Wotts, but even I'd forgotten, I did write all this down:… -W]


Pursuing BBD's OT comment no. 14, above, I discovered that "Wackos from the Dark Side" (I'm thinkin' that includes moi), who comment on your blog, WMC, are limited in their choice of "appellations" (good word, BBD!) with which they might refer to/address you, personally, under the pain of loosing their urgent, little, nut-job, Stygian fulminations to the moderator's instant, "zinger"-cidal wrath.

Fair enough, WMC--your blog, your name, and your rules and, for what it's worth, I could not agree more that you deserve a proper respect, in the form you require it, as blog-master, for doing all the work required to maintain this bounteous blog, from which wacko, dark-side moochers, like myself, can filch a cheeky "free-lunch" now and then.

And in that regard, may I respectfully request, WMC, that the term "Stoat-actual" be added to the list of acceptable forms of address? I don't intend to become a regular commenter on this blog, WMC (assuming you would even permit such an improbable thing, in the first place, of course), but if, perchance, I should comment in the future, I had planned to address you as "Stoat-actual", and recommend that term to be a good-natured, respectful, and colorful "appellation" that would keep worthy company with various forms of your in-the-clear name and title and your initials, " WMC".

Respectfully submitted.

Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that ’s almost in shape of a camel?
Pol. By the mass, and ’t is like a camel, indeed.
Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel.
Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
Ham. Or like a whale?
Pol. Very like a whale.


As someone said at Wotts

Me, predictably.

[I knew I should have checked first -W]

I've only closed the comments on the old site. The new site (andthentheresphysics) has all the posts with comments open (not that I'm suggesting it continues there). I've posted this under my old username just to avoid moderation.

I must apologise though as I have definitely been spelling Connolley incorrectly every time I've used it. I know now though :-)

[Thanks. One apology was enough though - I've deleted the duplicates -W]

By wottsupwiththatblog (not verified) on 08 Dec 2013 #permalink

Thanks for deleting those. The system kept telling me there was an error but stupidly I kept resubmitting the comment rather than checking that it had indeed not made it through :-)

By wottsupwiththatblog (not verified) on 08 Dec 2013 #permalink

It pains me to say it, but the commentary attached to this invaluable post has wandered badly off course in the last six comments. And, in that regard, I must acknowledge my own personal culpability in the matter, which prompts me to try and salvage this post/commentary, even though I did not expect to offer any further contributions to the discussion here.

My effort to repair the rent that has been torn in the intellectual fabric of this post will adopt a strategy wherein I propose to cobble together a "parable-interpretation", "as I will", that seeks to integrate the video/quote of the post; the many on-topic, erudite comments that initially followed the post; and the last six, off-topic comments, currently hanging out there, into a grand-synthesis.

First the lay of the land, so to speak:

-WMC has very emphatic concerns with his name, as it appears in blog comments. "WMC" earns WMC's warm approval, while "misspelling Connolley" earns you WMC's "sad sigh". And any doofus, dim-wit dolt who proffers an unfortunate, "Mr. Connolley" (one assumes a "Mr. Connalley" gives even worse offense) gains you WMC's contempt (wait!--let me check that again...yep! WMC said "contempt" all right!).

-Putting WMC's issues with his name into further context, the reader might be interested to know that in a 20 December 2012 Stoat-post , WMC even made getting his name right a "santiy" test for "Wackos of the Dark Side". Got the picture?

-And then we have wottsupwiththatblog, all a-flutter with worry-wart apologies, delivered in such a frantic surfeit that he earns from WMC the reprimand "One apology was enough..."

O. K. now to the "money-shot"--the "parable-interpretation", "as I will" that heals this post:

-cringing obsequiousness? Check

-control-freak, mono-maniac, obsessional frenzies? Check

-spastic-dork, berzerker weirdness? Check

-wound-up, up-tight, fuming, frothing, blown-gasket, fuss-budget, goof-ball hyper-sensitivity? Check


Mike, I know my attempt at a semi-humorous apology failed dismally. Did your attempt at a humorous comment also fail dismally? I can't quite tell.

By wottsupwiththatblog (not verified) on 09 Dec 2013 #permalink


Yr. No. 21

A request, if you don't mind--I deal best with forthright speech and I lack the knack to reliably unpack your style of passive-agressive, oblique, milquetoast, wishy-washy, booger-flick back-chat. So, wotts, in any future comment you might direct my way, could you please just say, straight-out, what you mean? I'd appreciate that.

My comment a "dismal failure" in the "humorous comment" department? Hmm...I'd have to say that if everyone who read my comment laughed, then I would judge it to have been a great success as a "humorous comment". On the other hand, if nobody laughed, then my last comment might rightly be judged a "dismal failure". But if my comment provoked laughter in some but not in others, then my comment might best be said to have gotten a "mixed-review". Is this really that hard, wotts, that I have to lay all this all out for you?

Unfortunately, my laugh-meter just happens to be on the fritz and in the shop at the moment so I didn't get an instrumented reading on my last comment. But I suspect it's in the "mixed-review" category:

-Those with a healthy sense of self-worth earned through genuine accomplishment and merit, who have a sense of humor about themselves, who don't take themselves too seriously, who enjoy the blessings of self-awareness, who are socially-competent, and who can both take it, as well as, dish it out, are those most susceptible to the mirth-potential of my last comment, I would estimate, and most likely accounted for the largest portion of the raucous guffaws and high-fives my comment received.

-In contrast, those chekists of the eco-orthodoxy always on the witch-hunt prowl for "denier"-infidels, PC-gotcha hive-stooges, pompous-asses, stuffed greenshirts, tenured trough-suckers, brainwashed hive-phonies, make-a-greenwashed-buck opportunists, those who can dish it out but can't take it, lefty sociopaths lookin' for another good thrill-cull on last century's models, and harried enviro-propogandists trying desperately to keep their agit-prop narratives from going "tits-up" probably made up the largest portion of those you noticed, in your section of the audience, with pursed lips, "clutched-pearls", and sour-puss looks, emitting prissy little hisses and boos as they read my comment.

I think the above answers the literal question you posed in your comment to me, wotts. However, wotts, if your comment was really just a little-sneak, weasley (but not stoatish--WMC always speaks his mind and you can learn from his example, wotts), way of saying my comment was not all nicey-nicey and that I'm a bad person, and everything, then let me just say that I adapt to my environment. And, in that regard, I ask you to read the comments directed at Dr. Judith Curry on this Stoat blog, beginning in October 2010 (some of the worst appear to have been removed, I might add). Those comments represent real nastiness--at Stoat, I'm a mere wannabe among the masters of the craft.

P. S. You have very nice blog, wotts--the sort of thing I'd naively hoped, indeed, expected to find when I first ventured into the climate blogosphere, circa Climategate. Keep up the good work--please.

Mike, fair enough, I think. In truth, my comment had an element of snark but was intended also to be considered as possibly serious. Hence your answer seems entirely reasonable. I'll do my best to straight-out in future :-)

By wottsupwiththatblog (not verified) on 10 Dec 2013 #permalink