Face to face

From a pub conversation with Old Man Roscoe: so often, electronic communication snarls you up. Its so easy for small disagreements to blow up; for genuine disagreements to get entrenched; to lose any fellow-feeling for the people, or fleeting electronic blobs, that you're "conversing" with. I see this at work, time and again: an email conversation degenerates into near-warfare, and is only saved when one party or another has the sense not to press "send" but instead wanders off and talks to the other person, at which point sanity prevails.

No wonder all this blog-based "discourse" is doomed.


* Hostilities - ATTP.
* Lousy Wages Are The Universe's Way Of Telling You To Go Do Something Else - Timmy, of course.
* Climate Scientist Andrew Weaver Wins Key Law Suit

More like this

Are you suggesting we should just give everyone our phone numbers?

By ...and Then Th… (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

I find that allowing for humor and accepting valid points often helps. Let them know, I am not in it just to prove them wrong or show how smart I am.

By tony Duncan (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

Please don't ask me to 'break bread' with Watts. But I do believe that most people are relatively normal, in person, even those one would strongly disagree with. Normally, one becomes acclimated, and doesn't 'go there' in normal personal social situations.

Blogs ant other forms of social media remove those normal social barriers. You're communicating, a lot of the time, with total strangers and well they 'go there' and give you pieces of their minds (like I'm doing right now).

I don't know what the future holds with regards to various new forms of social media, but I doubt that anything can replace interpersonal relationships with others (even animals, both pets and wild), even personal contacts with total strangers.

For me, at least, I view social media as an outlet. It is ephemeral and not real. But I do find that humor (and other emotional forms), as mentioned above, does help out greatly.

By Everett F Sargent (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

"No wonder all this blog-based “discourse” is doomed."

Don't worry. We'll adapt.

By Brandon Gates (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

ATTP, I know a fellow from Usenet who for the longest time published his phone number in his sig. And then regaled us with tales of the death threats captured by his answerwing machine. I rang him up a number of times myself.

By Brandon Gates (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

Yes, this.

My wife sometimes asks why we can't dispense with travel and just do everything electronically. I respond that there's a reason why traveling salesman still travel.

Or as my graduate advisor (with whom I believe you are acquainted...) told me many decades ago, at a conference the real work is done in the hallway during the coffee breaks.

By Raymond Arritt (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

I keep imagining an annual Climacon. Speakers, games of Capture the Flag with Team Bella versus Team Edward, panel discussions, the like.

Well, I say annual but I wonder if anyone would survive the first one.

By Thomas Fuller (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

In person discourse succeeds through spontaneity and an appreciation tone, inflection and facial expression. Blog based conversations are something other ( the right word may be shallower ) than discourse. Some smart programmer should come up with a mega - multi screen Skype platform for live interactive blogging.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 06 Feb 2015 #permalink

Also, see

"[258] The contents of the impugned articles were however reproduced numerous times over the Internet. ...

[259] Copies of the downloaded publications contain reader comments, an example of which is Heatwave, referencing Climate Agency Going up in Flames and posted January 25, 2010:

Andrew Weaver was a willing participant in the AGW fraud and his “jumping ship” at this time will not save his sorry ass.

[260] A review of the material demonstrates further reader comments, including many reader comments on the Climate Audit site of the article. In my view, this evidence is sufficient to establish the fact of re-publication. As noted in Crookes at para. 109, “if a plaintiff proves facts from which it is reasonable to infer that the words were brought to the knowledge of some third person, that will establish a prima facie case of publication”. These reader comments, accessed and reviewed by Dr. Weaver, in my view prove the fact of republication of the impugned articles."

[I find the contrast with Mann's case in the US interesting. The burden of proof he has to shoulder there seems excessive; here, perhaps, it seems a little too easy -W]

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 07 Feb 2015 #permalink

Defamation law varies around the world, of course.
However, it was clear years ago that alleged defamation in speech or print might use as defense idea that nobody believed it ... by contrast with Internet defamation, which tends to get repeated in blogs and comments ... useful evidence.,

It is worth knowing that Roger McConchie represented Weaver versus Corcoran, etc and National Post, is handling his case versus TIm Ball, and Mann's versus Tim Ball.
He also wrote Canadian Libel and Slander Actions, a 1000-page tome that is surprisingly readable (I own a copy).
Now that's Canada, not US or UK, but much of the good advice is similar. I'd suummarize:
a) Sue for reputation, money is secondary.
b) It take a while (in this case 4+ years)
c) A good lawyer will advise a client against suing unless they think the client has a very strong case.

It is possible that Mann's lawyers know these things.

It also happens that at the very least, CEI has a *long* public history before this of attacks on climate science, MBH and especially Mann that might well be evidence of malice and rather useful in motivating detailed discovery.
See SSWR pp.26-32, although in 2010 I didn't know about 2001 Essex+McKitrick+Fred Singer connection, nor McKitrick's October 2000 attendance at a Cooler Heads Coalition event. CHC was manged by CEI.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 08 Feb 2015 #permalink

What about hooking up some electrodes to Tim Ball? He's probably starting to sweat a bit more, and he could make a contribution to the world by providing a few watts here and there. Depends how much CO2 he's putting out, I guess.

Doctor Connelley, I don't know where else to put this, and once again I need an expert's refutation.
The original appeared in the Daily Telegraph. Christopher Booker is claiming that Paul Homewood has discovered proof that " published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay were changed", and that they weren't the only ones.

[Eli has given you a good answer; oddly, there have been a plethora of posts on this arcane issue just recently. VV is also worth reading: http://variable-variability.blogspot.co.uk/ -W]

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 Feb 2015 #permalink

Or better yet, look at Kevin Cowtan's youtube video on exactly this topic:

Expect that this will come back every year as yet another 1-2-3 stations are 'discovered' with adjustments.

Thank you all for your references.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 10 Feb 2015 #permalink


What about hooking up some electrodes to Tim Ball?

And crank up the current 8^D?

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 10 Feb 2015 #permalink

well, there's also a puzzled thread over at Azimuth:
-------excerpt follows------

Since the CRUTEM collection appeared to be an important data source for the IPCC, I started by investigating the land air temperature data collection CRUTEM4. In what follows, only the availability of so-called land air temperature measurements will be investigated. (The collections often also contain sea surface temperature (SST) measurements.)

... I was interested in this original data and its quality. ...

I downloaded the station’s data file .... I noticed on a first glance that there are big gaps in the file in some regions of the world. The file is huge, though: it contains monthly measurements starting in January 1701 ending in 2011 and there are altogether 4634 stations. Quickly finding a gap in such a huge file was a sufficiently disconcerting experience that persuaded my husband Tim Hoffmann to help me to investigate this station data in more accessible way ....

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 10 Feb 2015 #permalink

> I'm not sure .... Are they aware ...?

I don't know. How could you find out?

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 11 Feb 2015 #permalink

Skype might work for "ordinary" people, but internet also allows bona fide kooks to interact. They *will* find a reason to hate you.
--- --- --- ---
William Roscoe, re. your mountain-climbing interest, have you seen that Anne-Frid Lyngstad (of ABBA fame) has made a song celebrating the 150th anniversary of the climbing of Matterhorn?
http://www.thelocal.se/20150213/abbas-frida-records-bizarre-mountain-vi… )

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2015 #permalink

Well, if it's applicable to shared human endeavors, this may well be rather bad news:
“Myself and others in the social sciences community tend to think of such massive acts of sabotage as anomalies, but are they?” wondered Cebrian. To settle the question, Cebrian analyzed his (and other) crowdsourcing contests with the help of Victor Naroditskiy, a game theory expert at the University of Southampton. The results shocked him. “The expected outcome is for everyone to attack, regardless of how difficult an attack is,” says Cebrian. “It is actually rational for the crowd to be malicious, especially in a competition environment. And I can’t think of any engineering or game theoretic or economic incentive to stop it.”...

[Although, as the same article points out, wikipedia works -W]

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 13 Feb 2015 #permalink