Conspiracies all the way down: Is your local climate contrarian a kook or a crook?

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A new paper has just been published. This paper is going to cause an uproar in the science denialist community. Mud will be thrown. Tin hats will be donned. Somebody better check the oil pressure.

Conspiracies everywhere

I see conspiracies everywhere. It’s true.

Look at any internet site that talks about health, disease, diet, or anything related. Some of those sites will be legit science based sites. The majority will be sites feeding you woo. The anti-Vaxers, the anti-Milkers, the Homeopaths, man of the “natural food” sites. Now look more closely at those sites to find out what they provide as proof of their main arguments. In there with that proof you will find, each and every time, a reference to somebody conspiring with somebody to keep the truth away from you.

There is an interesting research project by Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook, and others, that has emerged in written form in a few places, that looks at conspiracy ideation in relation to science denial. An earlier version of this research was subjected to significant and somewhat effective attacks (effective as in a monkey is effective at getting attention when it throws poop at you) against this research by conspiracy driven anti science activists involved in some sort of conspiracy! Against the people studying conspiracy!

Now, there is a brand new paper by Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook, Klaus Oberauer, Scott Brophy, Elisabeth A. Lloyd, and Michael Marriott, called
Recurrent Fury: Conspiratorial Discourse in the Blogosphere Triggered by Research on the Role of Conspiracist Ideation in Climate Denial, in the current or upcoming issue of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology. The abstract reads:

A growing body of evidence has implicated conspiracist ideation in the rejection of scientific propositions. Internet blogs in particular have become the staging ground for conspiracy theories that challenge the link between HIV and AIDS, the benefits of vaccinations, or the reality of climate change. A recent study involving visitors to climate blogs found that conspiracist ideation was associated with the rejection of climate science and other scientific propositions such as the link between lung cancer and smoking, and between HIV and AIDS. That article stimulated considerable discursive activity in the climate blogosphere—i.e., the numerous blogs dedicated to climate “skepticism”—that was critical of the study. The blogosphere discourse was ideally suited for analysis because its focus was clearly circumscribed, it had a well-defined onset, and it largely discontinued after several months. We identify and classify the hypotheses that questioned the validity of the paper’s conclusions using well-established criteria for conspiracist ideation. In two behavioral studies involving naive participants we show that those criteria and classifications were reconstructed in a blind test. Our findings extend a growing body of literature that has examined the important, but not always constructive, role of the blogosphere in public and scientific discourse.

The authors note that there are generally two reasons someone would reject established consensus climate science. One is their politics (climate change is truly, an inconvenient truth for them). The other is conspiracist ideation, or “…person’s propensity to explain a significant political or social event as a secret plot by powerful individuals or organizations.” They point out that there is a sensible link between rejecting an area of science and believing in a conspiracy. In essence, a significant conspiracy is required in order for thousands of research scientists working in hundreds of institutions across dozens of countries to all be saying essentially the same thing about a major area of science. Conspiracy is not enough. Massive conspiracy is required. “In the case of climate change, several qualitative analyses have shown that denial is suffused with conspiratorial themes, for example when dissenters are celebrated as “Galileos” who oppose a corrupt scientific “establishment”.” Consider this:

Smith and Leiserowitz (2012) found that among people who reject the findings from climate science, up to 40% of affective imagery invoked conspiracy theories. That is, when asked to provide the first word, thought, or image that came to mind in the climate context, statements such as “the biggest scam in the world to date” would be classified as conspiracist.

The authors describe two previous studies that form the basis for the current project.

The first study, which took its sample from visitors to climate science blogs, is known as LOG13. A pre publication version of the paper along with the data was made available in Summer 2012. The second paper is known as GLO13.

These papers replicated prior research, identifying a link between preferences for laissez-faire free market economics and the rejection of climate science. Conspiracy played a role in a different group.

Conspiracist ideation, measured by endorsement of items such as “A powerful and secretive group known as the New World Order are planning to eventually rule the world” constituted another but lesser contributing factor. Notably, notwithstanding the rather different pools of participants and differences in methodology, the size of the effect of conspiracist ideation on rejection of climate science … was virtually identical across both studies.

LOG12 caused a great deal of discussion on anti-climate change science blogs.

It wasn’t just conversation. There were intensive efforts to stop the publication of LO12. In fact, a real life conspiracy was organized by nefarious conspirational (is that a word?) individuals who tried very hard to keep a paper about conspiratorial ideation from being published in a peer reviewed journal. It got really nasty and if it wasn’t for the rather scary nature of some of the kooks who carried out this activity it would have been really funny. It is also worth noting that the publisher that was attacked by the conspiracy to stop the conspiracy paper from being published had apparently had their cojones removed at birth and totally caved. That was not their only problem. The paper, widely known as “Recursive Fury,” was eventually withdrawn, though made available elsewhere by agreement with the publishers.

To our knowledge this article, called Re- cursive Fury from here on, became the most-read article in psychology ever published by that journal (approximately 65,000 page views and 10,000 downloads at the time of this writing). Recursive Fury also received some media attention, including in the New York Times (Gillis, 2013). After the journal received a barrage of complaints from a small number of individuals, the article was eventually withdrawn (in March 2014) for legal, but not academic or ethical reasons. The publisher deemed the legal risk posed by a non-anonymized thematic analysis too great.

There was fallout. Editors resigned. Other bad stuff happened. Other publishers of scientific journals around the world will not do what the Recursive Fury paper publsihers-withdrawers did because of lessoned learned. That particular kerfuffle changed the world a little.

From Recursive Fury to Recurrent Fury

Anyway where was quite a conversation over Recursive Fury, and the current paper, Recurrent Fury, is a study of that conversation.

This paper consists of three separate but related studies, and is best summarized by Stephan Lewandowsky in a blog post:

In a nutshell the new article applies criteria from the scholarly literature on conspiracist ideation to the public discourse in the blogosphere in response to the publication of LOG12. The first study reports a thematic analysis that establishes the presence of various potentially conspiracist hypotheses in the blogosphere in response to LOG12. The second study shows that when “naïve” judges (i.e., people who are not conversant with any of the issues and are blind to the purpose of the study) are given the blogosphere content material, they reproduce the structure of hypotheses uncovered in our thematic analysis. In a final study, naïve participants were presented with a sample of anonymized blogosphere content and rated it on various attributes that are typical of conspiracist discourse. This final study found that blogosphere content was judged extremely high on all those attributes. For comparison, the study also included material written by junior scholars who were instructed to be as critical as possible of LOG12. This comparison material was rated lower on all conspiracist attributes than the blogosphere content, but it was rated higher on an item that related to “reasonable scholarly critique”—in a nutshell, the blogosphere discourse was identified by blind and naïve participants as being high on conspiracism but low on scholarship.

These results add to a growing body of research on the nature of internet discourse and the role of the blogosphere in climate denial. It also confirms that conspiratorial elements are readily identifiable in blogosphere discourse, which should not be altogether surprising in light of the fact that a U.S. Senator has written a book entitled The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.

See also: Curses! It’s a conspiracy! The Fury is Back Thrice Over at HotWhopper

The new article goes beyond Recursive Fury in two important ways:

(1) All content is anonymized and all quotations have been extensively paraphrased to prevent identification of authors. Similarly, the corpus of text underlying the analysis is no longer publically available. These step was undertaken to guard against intimidation of the journal, even though Frontiers’ own expert panel had confirmed our right to subject non-anonymized public speech to scholarly analysis, and even though the initial article was written and conducted with ethics approval from the University of Western Australia.

(2) In the new paper, the thematic analysis is confirmed by two behavioural studies involving naïve participants who were blind to the identity of all parties involved and unaware of the source of the statements they were processing.

Stephan also has an FAQ on the paper here.


Lewandowsky, S., Cook, J., Oberauer, K., Brophy, S., Lloyd, E. A., & Marriott, M. (2015). Recurrent fury: Conspiratorial discourse in the blogosphere triggered by research on the role of conspiracist ideation in climate denial. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 3 (1). doi: 10.5964/jspp.v3i1.443.

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146 thoughts on “Conspiracies all the way down: Is your local climate contrarian a kook or a crook?

  1. My prediction is that this:
    “(1) All content is anonymized and all quotations have been extensively paraphrased to prevent identification of authors. Similarly, the corpus of text underlying the analysis is no longer publically available. These step was undertaken to guard against intimidation of the journal, even though Frontiers’ own expert panel had confirmed our right to subject non-anonymized public speech to scholarly analysis, and even though the initial article was written and conducted with ethics approval from the University of Western Australia.”

    …will be used by critics to assail the research as lacking transparency, and being afraid to show us the “true context”, and demands for the “original data used”.

  2. What interests me about all this is that it reveals two biases in human cognitive systems. One is that human minds are biased to find cause and effect relationships. The other is that they appear also to be also biased in favour of social and moral causes rather than indifferent physical causes indifferent to human morals. In a sense, then, in a disaster affecting human beings, the idea that this is caused by malevolent conspirators, by witchcraft, or by a pissed-off deity, tends to occur more readily to the human mind, than the idea that the universe is indifferent to the moral preoccupations of our species.

    It is far too easy for people to assume that scientific findings they do not like must result from bad people with despicable agendas.

    Climate scientists wind up with a bulls-eye painted on their foreheads because they are saying industrial reliance on fossil fuels is all leading to a future horror.

    This of course, is only one of many issues where our ideas that cause and effect is due to moral agency sets many frightened folks up for naturalistic fallacy: everything natural is good, everything industrial not so much. And that, unfortunately, can cause people to lump industry with technology, and science with technology, and to contrast it with “nature” and how humans live “in a state of nature”, as if humans never used technology or knew about empirical tests of cause and effect until recently. Which is completely silly, since humans have been using technology for millions of years. What else are fire, tools, clothes, cooked food, predictive models based on experience with poisons, wounds, animal tracks, seasonal change in cosmological positions?

    In the present rarefied atmosphere some things become sacred. Nature cannot be just nature, it must be our mother. People living “in contact” with nature are doing “as nature intended“ (moral agency fallacy) and those in industrial urban settings are living in an artifact bubble and their perversity will destroy them (moral agency fallacy again). We are, for better or worse, not just an intelligent animal, but one whose intelligence is socially and morally conditioned, and thus, unfree. Do we all have too much skin in the game to break free? I don’t know, but I suspect that might depend on whether we see humanity as sharing the same skin, just as all life on this planet shares the same thin atmosphere. As such, our cosmology becomes awe, and our morality is turned to the interests of survival beyond self interest – or rather, perhaps, the realization that the only ethical option is to merge human self-interest with love for the whole planet, which we can only do by conspiring to study ourselves without flinching and blinking.

    The whole saga of Recursive Fury… and Recurrent Fury, is about when the establishment blinked.

  3. Don’t forget all those Fake Heat Death conspirators in India who killed themselves in an effort to make the world think they were actually victims of AGW-induced heat waves…

  4. Hmm, but I DO think there is a conspiracy (though not massive, lots of dupes involved) to blur the truth about climate/global warming science.

  5. The short definition for Greg’s “kooks and crooks” is:
    Anyone who disagrees with him about climate change issues.

    In any case, many demographic variables seem to correlate with views on ostensibly scientific subjects.

    From the articles below, I have have at least two takeaways:
    1) Stop illegal immigration at the southern border, and
    2) Grow up.

    “Seven-in-ten Hispanics say the Earth is warming mostly because of human activity, compared with 44% among non-Hispanic whites.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-07-political-views-strongly-linked-attitudes.html

    “Sixty percent of people under 30 say climate change is real, compared to just 31 percent of people 65 and older.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-07-survey-political-gaps-science-issues.html

    1. “The short definition for Greg’s “kooks and crooks” is: Anyone who disagrees with him about climate change issues.

      No: read the article. The kooks and crooks are those who insist observed reality is a hoax.

  6. Never mind the ice, it’s the world’s oceans’ participation in the conspiracy that has me most worried.

    1. “Never mind the ice, it’s the world’s oceans’ participation in the conspiracy that has me most worried.

      What greatly stews my ire is the fact that even the world’s corrals are in on the whole fake “ocean acidification” scam. I thought they were all more noble and honest than that.

  7. Just got through watching The Merchants of Doubt movie today, and even though I knew all of the components that make up the denier movement, seeing it come together in the full package just creates outrage, despair, and frustration on the behalf of the working scientists who devote their lives and reputations to their craft, but also for the fate of future generations who are being potentially sacrificed to the gods of profit for the fossil fuel interests who cynically have exploited our human propensity for tribalism and motivated reasoning to artificially divide our world to suit their greedy ends.
    It is so totally disgusting!

  8. #3:

    So all the melting is caused by an angry Chione or Marzanna?

    Makes perfect sense, deities will get annoyed at small provocations.

    The question is how we appease her. Perhaps a significant sacrifice, such as stop using fossil fuel would calm her down?

  9. This one’s so much better than the last one. Lew didn’t even call Richard Betts a denier this time.

    Small steps, Ellie. Small steps.

    1. “This one’s so much better than the last one. Lew didn’t even call Richard Betts a denier this time.”

      Do you think “Lew” should have?

    1. “I am sure Tom Fuller can show where Lewandowsky called Richard Betts a denier.”

      Dr. Richard Betts has had some of his opinions posted to denier blogs; but then so has Dr Mann, and others. I would love to see Tom Fuller give an example of Dr. Betts being a denier.

  10. Desertphile: “Corrals?” Did I just now write “corrals?” I need to stop sniffing glue.

    We know you meant “corals”. But the corrals are in on it too; or rather the denizens of the corrals, conspiring to make it seem they’re emitting all that methane.

  11. The short definition for See Noevo’s POV is: Anyone who accepts that science is reliable is wrong. And his prescription for this “problem” is to remove or indoctrinate those that disagree with him, thus creating a nation of true believers.

  12. @Desertphile (#20):

    Perhaps we should start referring to the author of the comment you quoted as “Full.”

    1. “Will the bleached ones start discriminating against the unbleached ones?

      The ones not pale enough get tasered and choke-held more often.

  13. The kooks and crooks are those who insist observed reality is a hoax

    see noevo is the poster child for that group

  14. So vast is the right-wing conspiracy that it has already published a definitive rebuttal to Lewandowsky, Cook, Oberauer, Brophy, Lloyd & Marriott ‘s Next paper .

  15. Russell, that’s just brilliant. And I think you’re onto something there…

    I just did a semiotic analysis of a few pages of lorem ipsum…

    And turned up definitive evidence of conspiratorial climate science hoaxing!

  16. So a study was withdrawn for legal reasons, lest some idiots recognize themselves as idiots. Planetariums have been threatened with lawsuits for saying that star naming has no official status. What will it take to convince people that tort reform is needed to protect academic freedom? Yes, that will have a “chilling effect.” That’s the whole point. Read any of the founding fathers and the whole point of free speech is to have a chilling effect on stupidity. But not if the threat of lawsuits out-chills it.

    The real question is, why are people who enjoy unparalleled prosperity and safety so paranoid? I think it’s precisely BECAUSE they are safe and prosperous, and they have no idea why, or how anything works, and they didn’t do a thing to deserve any of it. Deep down, they’re parasites desperately pretending they’re not parasites.

    And it goes all the way back to Genesis. The Garden of Eden story is a classic conspiracy tale. Adam and Eve are placed in a setting that satisfies every material need, and they did nothing to earn it. Instead of profound gratitude, they let someone convince them their benefactor is holding back on them, and they can become his equal by eating the forbidden fruit.

  17. Yes Russell, but you use so many fancy words and meanings that it’s all Greek to me:

    The primary theme of Buxton’s model of the climate of capitalist subdialectic theory is the bridge between society and sexuality. Thus, the premise of constructivism states that society, surprisingly, has objective value. If the Derridaist reading of Gore’s thesis holds, we have to choose between the subconceptualist textual theory of logocentric radiative variability espoused by Spencer, and a post-encyclical theory in which anthropogenic warming is no longer a signifier of the miraculous.

    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    Aint’ we got fun! I love your material, but am not going to go back to school, just let it serve as a fine example of academicization.

  18. Susan, consider how it dovetails so nicely with the “false academicization” (AKA bovine fecal discharge) produced by our self-styled experts on climate science who so adroitly turn up hoaxes and glaring errors that no one else has elucidated… And report such along with arguments for maintaining the status quo couched in terms intended to be equally baffling to the public. They make just as much (non)sense as Russell. (Only Russell’s is infinitely more fun to read.)

  19. The Global Warming thing only confirms the Apocalypse in revelation.

    St John of Patmos is Al Gore is Jeremiah.

    When Science hit on the eschatological to scare the wits out of the rational it hit a form of paydirt.

  20. Science is attempting to scare the wits into the layman (and his political overlords).

    The political right is trying to scare the wits out of them both. And finds its paydirt in doing so (due to a great deal of experience in this area).

  21. Russell,

    My mother always used to say to me, “Don’t do that or something will snap, and you’ll be stuck that way!”

  22. (hit refresh for a fresh batch)

    Also works with my web browser refresh button when gawking at any of the popular science denier web sites…

    Either source produces serious-sounding would-be erudition, but on closer inspection reveals to be sheer gibberish.

    There is one difference: The Pomo generator is amusing…

  23. Like my mama used to say… “The cardinal rubric apropos facilitating efficacious intercommunication: Eschew obfuscation.”

    1. Nice. I heard a different version 50 years ago in college: “Polysyllabic obfuscation is floccinaucinihilipilificated.”

  24. There’s a big difference between “science denial” and “results denial”.

    I do not deny science, I am highly skeptical that we have enough information to make planetary-wide declarations. Sure, I will agree that based on the information we have, that your conclusion is supported, but skimming the surface of the ocean doesn’t give you concrete evidence about what’s occurring at the bottom of the ocean.

    In addition, I also believe in a conspiracy theory behind the while climate change bruhaha. That is, any moron knows we need to move away from fossil fuels – but climate activists are anti-oil and anti-corporate. The end of capitalism, and the growth of socialism and redistribution of wealth is the true purpose of their incessant “anti-science” chanting.

    1. “… I am highly skeptical that we have enough information to make planetary-wide declarations.”

      “We?”

      Your complaint is an argument from ignorance. You don’t know the fact that scientists know what they are doing, therefore you deny the fact that they do.

  25. Rick, you are making an argument from incredulity. Scientists have indeed been measuring changes in the depth of the ocean.

    I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of “activists” are simply people who are legitimately concerned about the future of our planet and species.

  26. “The end of capitalism, and the growth of socialism and redistribution of wealth is the true purpose of their incessant “anti-science” chanting.”

    Nope, no irrational denialist behavior there. /snark

  27. Rick teaches us that “if you can’t impugn their science, then you’d better impugn their motivation”.

    Anything, ANYTHING to keep from having to change my dear, beloved lifestyle!! Even if ::sniff, sniff:: it ends up killing me while desperately trying to defend it!!

  28. Greg Laden says “This paper is going to cause an uproar in the science denialist community.”

    Claims of uproar appear to be premature.

    “Mud will be thrown.”

    No doubt, but usually on childrens playgrounds.

    “Tin hats will be donned.”

    Particularly at Halloween.

    “Somebody better check the oil pressure.”

    How about I check the oil pressure in my automobile and you check yours? That seems better than waiting for “somebody” to do it with no further instruction what that person ought to do with the result.

    “Conspiracies everywhere I see conspiracies everywhere.”

    As do I. The most frequent conspiracy theory I see is that the Koch brothers are behind all “denial”; quoted because while I have a doubt that very much is being “denied” I recognize it is a code-word or a proxy for not having your belief system.

    But maybe Greg Laden has something new and interesting to contribute to the world so I’ll continue reading…

    “The other is conspiracist ideation, or ‘…person’s propensity to explain a significant political or social event as a secret plot by powerful individuals or organizations.’ ”

    Well there ya go. I wonder how many comments invoke conspiracist ideation? Let’s find a few!

    Here we go: skeptictmac57 July 8, 2015 “Just got through watching The Merchants of Doubt movie today,”

    What merchants? Conspiracy!

    As to the quality of this study as compared to its predecessors, I doubt this leopard can change his spots (figuratively speaking): “In a final study, naïve participants were presented with a sample of anonymized blogosphere content and rated it on various attributes that are typical of conspiracist discourse.”

    I suspect his naive participants were as carefully chosen as were the raters in the Cook 97 percent study, and as random and representative of the public as his first two conspiracy fascination papers (ie, not random and not representative).

    But yes, it is hardly a secret that a great many “deniers” are denying only your intentions of what to do about it; not the “it”.

  29. The fact is that any socially significant movement has leaders who, being the leaders, are fully informed. They will have many lieutenants that are not fully informed and yet advance the agenda. They in turn are surrounded by a cloud of acolytes and believers even less informed but possibly highly motivated.

    It is thus easy to spot conspiracies, actual or imagined, in pretty much all aspects of social life. What is not clear, but implied, is that this is “bad”; you should not look at the man behind the curtain (reference to Wizard of Oz).

  30. Previous discussion of this somewhat tedious topic revolves around the need for “secret” to be a component of “conspiracy”. Inasmuch as the global socialism agenda of the United Nations is not “secret” it may not be correct to label global socialism a conspiracy, but the means and methods of achieving that global dominion are very likely to be secret.

    Surveying blog comments are extremely non-representative! I mean, good heavens, it is the same people writing on nearly every blog I visit. Here’s Greg Laden, but he has his own Blog. Here’s “Wow”, busy over on Barry Bickmore. Lotharsson, a frequenter of ATTP.

    So how many people have actually been sampled and how representative are they? How representative am *I*.

    I have no idea and neither do you.

    1. Inasmuch as the global socialism agenda of the United Nations ….

      What, specifically, have you spotted about the UN that is in any way “socialist?” Thank you in advance.

    2. Desertphile, in response to Michael 2, asks:
      “What, specifically, have you spotted about the UN that is in any way socialist?”

      Besides “all of it” I presume 😉

      Its very existence is socialist — not in a sinister way but in a hive-minded obvious way. I have little doubt its delegates consider themselves doing Great Things. But I am hesitant to be supportive since it is too easy for the pigs to make themselves “more equal”. I presume you are familiar with George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. If not, make yourself familiar with it.

      You can spend many days reading about it by Googling “United Nations Socialism”. Some of it is a bit paranoid like the claim that all undersecretaries responsible for UN military are communists; that’s a thing that is probably easy enough to verify.

      http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/oct/28/tony-abbotts-business-adviser-says-anti-western-un-spreads-socialism

  31. Desertphile says “You don’t know the fact that scientists know what they are doing, therefore you deny the fact that they do.”

    Straw-man argument.

    What he wrote, and you quoted (then ignored), is “I am highly skeptical that we have enough information to make planetary-wide declarations.”

    “WE” in this case I believe he means the “human race”, all people everywhere. You invoke a tiny subset, “scientists” and propose that “scientists” have sufficient information to make planetary-wide declarations and therefore the writer is wrong.

    The problem is how are 7 billion people supposed to validate that “scientists” do in fact know this much?

    1. WE” in this case I believe he means the “human race”, all people everywhere. You invoke a tiny subset, “scientists” and propose that “scientists” have sufficient information to make planetary-wide declarations and therefore the writer is wrong.

      Alas, I do not give a crap about her or his “we.” What matters is what scientists know, and what scientists say; the facts are well-known, well-confirmed, and well-demonstrated regarding human-caused climate change: the statement was “I am highly skeptical that we have enough information to make planetary-wide declarations” and that means she or he is arguing out of ignorance.

      It is equal to stating she or he is “highly skeptical” that “we” have enough information to declare that Earth orbits the sun (and I have met a few people who insist it does not). What “we” believe doesn’t matter.

    2. Desertphile, in response to Michael 2, says:

      “Alas, I do not give a crap about her or his we.”

      On the contrary, this is what concerns you the most and is what triggered your response. When a persons comes roaring out of a starting gate declaring a non-interest in something, you can be sure that is exactly what is most interesting and most vulnerable to discussion.

      “What matters is what scientists know, and what scientists say”

      By itself the word “matters” has no meaning. It must be used with a who or a what; it can matter to you while not mattering to me. In that context it is synonymous with “is important to me”: “What is important to me is what scientists know…”

      “the facts are well-known, well-confirmed, and well-demonstrated regarding human-caused climate change”

      Again, these are not universal properties. You speak of yourself; what you know, what is confirmed to your satisfaction, and what has been demonstrated to a degree that satisfies you. By now you have noticed that what it takes to persuade a socialist is very different than what it takes to persuade a libertarian; depending on whether the message confirms your belief system (four legs good, two legs bad).

      “the statement was ‘I am highly skeptical that we have enough information to make planetary-wide declarations’ and that means she or he is arguing out of ignorance.

      YES! And so are nearly 7 billion other tax payers who you render “not mattering”. But you want their money and you want their heat, light and transportation.

      “It is equal to stating she or he is highly skeptical that we have enough information to declare that Earth orbits the sun”

      Correct! Give that man a Dennison Star. Pick ten people at your community recreation center and ask them to prove the Earth orbits the sun (or why it “matters” to them).

      “What we believe doesn’t matter.”

      Oh, but it does! We are here arguing belief.

      Whether the Earth goes round the sun, or the sun round the Earth, matters perhaps to NASA sending probes. Not so much to anyone else.

      I could attempt a proof, but that proof (the apparent retrograde motion of some planets such as Mars) depends upon knowledge of, and acceptance of, Newtonian mechanics. That itself could require quite a lot of proving.

      The roundness of Earth can be demonstrated, but doing so requires knowledge of, and acceptance of, some other scientific principles such as water seeking its own level. Someone living in Ohio or Fargo could easily believe the Earth is flat, because for them, it is.

  32. See Noevo says “Sixty percent of people under 30 say climate change is real, compared to just 31 percent of people 65 and older.”

    Yep. Older people have lived through more than one cycle of climate change. Older people have taken passage on the Washington State Ferries for half a century and note that the Colman dock appears pretty much the same with regard to sea level as it was 50 years ago. Maybe break out the photo album for an exercise in objectivity. See any change? No? Well then it might be changing but not so’s you would notice, not therefore an emergency.

    Pacific northwest sea level trend at Astoria, Oregon:
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9439040

    Sea level is going down at many Pacific Northwest stations — or maybe the land is rising! I suppose either of these events could be whipped into an emergency of some sort.

    1. Older people have lived through more than one cycle of climate change.

      You know some people who are more than 14,000 years old? Really?

    2. Desertphile, in response to Michael 2, asks:

      “You know some people who are more than 14,000 years old?”

      Yes, but they don’t talk much 😉

    3. “… the Colman dock appears pretty much the same with regard to sea level as it was 50 years ago.”

      Again, no one gives a shit what *APPEARS* to the uninformed. The Northwest Straits Foundation recorded sea level rise at Colman Dock from years 1890-2012 to be two millimeters per year. In your “50 years” that means four inches.

    4. Desertphile says “The Northwest Straits Foundation recorded sea level rise at Colman Dock from years 1890-2012 to be two millimeters per year. In your “50 years” that means four inches.”

      At 4 inches per 50 years, how long will it take to drown Seattle?

      The link you meant to provide:
      http://www.nwstraitsfoundation.org/uploads/pdf/Meeting%20and%20Events/Conference/2013/Shipman-SeaLevel.pdf

      “Uncertainties will remain high: scenarios, not predictions”

      Except of course everyone seems to be using them as predictions.

      “Sea level isn’t the only thing that will be completely different in 2100”

      Duh! By just about every estimate fossil fuel will be exhausted or scarce, two more World Wars will have transpired, nations rising and falling very likely including the United States in the latter and Thomas Malthus will finally have his validation.

    5. Sea level is going down at many Pacific Northwest stations.

      Yes, a few inland tidal gauges show post-glacial isostatic rebound. Did your “old people” notice (“we”), or was it scientists?

    6. Desertphile says “a few inland tidal gauges show post-glacial isostatic rebound.”

      Maybe. It might also be the subduction zone uplifting the Cascades and Olympic mountains. Possibly both. We’ll put a pin in it for later argument.

      “Did your old people notice or was it scientists?”

      I do not understand your question particularly as some scientsts are old and it isn’t clear what exactly you wish to know whether anyone noticed.

      I suspect nearly all boat operators keep an eye on the tide gauges and the Seattle newspapers publish the tide charts daily. It is particularly vital at the Tacoma Narrows to be aware of tides.

  33. By the way, I love the cute picture of turtles. I cannot imagine what it has to do with conspiracy ideation however.

  34. Well now, that was entertaining. I shall now finish my second cup of coffee, then re-enter the real world….

  35. Inasmuch as the global socialism agenda of the United Nations is not “secret”

    I think you meant to end your statement with “is not real”

    Oh, you didn’t? You expect to be taken seriously why?

    1. dean says “You expect to be taken seriously why?”

      Interesting sentence structure. Anyway, I have no expectations in this regard. Those who take me seriously, such as you, will react and respond. Those who don’t take me seriously will ignore me.

      A parallel is an ant hill. Drop a tiny stick on it or nearby and the ants will usually ignore it. But something they consider threatening will provoke a reaction.

      Inasmuch as you have reacted, clearly you consider me interesting, either threat or source of knowledge and wisdom. Given the nature of this blog I suspect you consider me more of a threat to your tranquility and belief in the Goodness of whatever you believe.

    2. Oh, you didn’t? You expect to be taken seriously why?

      Surely somewhere there is a psychotherapist who will take her or him seriously.

      Meanwhile, I am trying to think of what the United Nations “socialism” activities are.

      Working to end military conflicts and invasions = “socialism.”

      Working to end mass starvation = “socialism.”

      Working to decrease infant mortality = “socialism.”

      Working to decrease AIDS/HIV = “socialism.”

      Damn them UN socialists! How dare they?!

    3. Desertphile says “Damn them UN socialists! How dare they?!”

      It’s their job, their charter. Those that don’t dare need not apply.

      I trust that by now y’all agree that the United Nations is, in fact, socialism on a global scale. In fact it is nothing else.

      Compare the UNI charter to the Soviet Constitution of

    4. dean says, in reference to my comment (Inasmuch as the global socialism agenda of the United Nations is not “secret”)

      “I think you meant to end your statement with is not real”

      I’d have to be an idiot to think the U.N. is not socialist.

      http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

      I wonder what you think of the word “socialism”. It is merely doing things as an organized group. Humans are for the most part social animals. Socialism is natural for human beings; but so is dominion over others. Socialism is the easy road to dominion. First you organize humans into herds, then you dominate the herds.

      It is much too difficult to dominate individuals; you have to do it one at a time. Corral them into herds, constrain their languages so they cannot even think of concepts such as liberty, and within three generations they will be a compliant, domesticated herd ready for dominion.

      But independent thinking is natural for some people, especially the explorers, the Scandinavians.

      A global tax, sometimes called a Tobin tax, is proposed as a way to fund the United Nations Millenial Development Goals.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobin_tax#Original_idea_and_alter-globalization_movement

      Because directly mentioning socialism is somewhat rare, what one sees is descriptions of socialism, not the word per se.

      “The third pillar should be social inclusion, the commitment of every society that the benefits of technology, economic progress, and good governance should be accessible to everybody, women as well as men, minority groups as well as the majority. Happiness must not be the preserve of a dominant group. The goal should be happiness for all.

      The fourth pillar should be good governance”
      http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Sachs%20Writing/2012/World%20Happiness%20Report.pdf

      Page 91 “Some Policy Implications” ought to be interesting.

      “The UN General Assembly has invited Member States to pursue the elaboration of additional measures
      that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to
      guiding their public policies.”

      “Good managers inspire their workers by: explaining the purpose and goals of the job; leaving enough autonomy about how to do it; and always providing support, appreciation and feedback.”

      “Government policy can contribute importantly to this by pursuing inclusive policies (including in education) that ensure that all can participate as fully and equally as possible.”

      “why the happiest countries all have very high shares of their populations who feel free.”

      They don’t have to BE free, merely FEEL it.

      “We need to inculcate the values of cooperation. Our happiness and well-being in the community depend on it”

      The words “we” and “our” are reliable indicators of hive-thinking.

      “Universal access to education is widely judged to be a basic human right”

      Yeah, by socialists. Someone has to provide that “basic human right”. Who are you going to compel?

      “As regards social justice, this too is of course vital. It is about the distribution of the benefits of life among the members of the community. “

      That’s socialism. No mention of how those benefits are created in the first place; just pluck them from the tree and hand out equally to everyone!

  36. Whups, not sure what happened. The message posted itself before I was finished. Alas no edit function!

    http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/36cons04.html#chap10

    An important distinction between the United States Constitution and the Soviet Constitution is who is compelled to do what.

    The United States Constitution creates and limits the federal government and says nothing about what you personally GET other than assurance you have a right to pursue happiness (but nobody is forced to provide it).

    The Soviet Constitution, on the other hand, promises you many things in Article 10. But someone must provide those things, and that’s where liberty goes out the window.

    But how successful were the Soviets at keeping these promises? Dismal. Some of it is almost tragically comical:

    “ARTICLE 125. In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law:

    freedom of speech;
    freedom of the press;
    freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
    freedom of street processions and demonstrations.”

    Really? None of these things has ever existed in the Soviet Union, or its predecessor, or even to this very day although things have improved quite a bit I think.

  37. The principle of socialism is “good”. My religion embodies rather a lot of socialism and goes even farther than the usual descriptions.

    The important difference between bad and good socialism is choice or liberty. A good socialism is voluntary — but the benefits available only to subscribers. If you want to go it alone, then don’t expect handouts. If you subscribe, you’ll get the benefits but you’ll have to contribute.

    In Iceland, socialism works because more contributors exist than people sucking on the benefits. In the United States it is the other way round.

    In May, 2015; 65 million Americans are receiving federal benefits.
    http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/

    That’s incredible for a nation that is not “socialist”. It is also incredibly expensive and if I remember right, last year all federal tax revenues did not quite meet the cost of these benefits, hence the persistent deficit budgeting by the US federal government.

    Furthermore, the tsunami of benefit seekers is just now starting to retire. It is a doom vastly more immediate and certain than “climate change”.

  38. Meanwhile, I am trying to think of what the United Nations “socialism” activities are.

    It is probably as simple as the name: “United Nations” – how much more sinister sounding can an organization be?

    1. dean suggests “It is probably as simple as the name: “United Nations” – how much more sinister sounding can an organization be?”

      That is an interesting observation. I cannot imagine Libertarians ever using the word “united” especially in a situation where such unity can only arise through armed force.

    2. It is probably as simple as the name: “United Nations” – how much more sinister sounding can an organization be?

      I grew up in the era where the galactic law enforcement cabal called “The Green Lantern Corps” was popular, and every kid my age wanted to join and get the magic ring. Compared to The Green Lantern Corps, the United Nations is an anarchy group.

  39. “‘United Nations’ – how much more sinister sounding can an organization be?”

    How about “United States”: whut with all them gol durn Yankees atryin’ ta take away our Cornfederashun flag-a-macallit an’ all!

    Turtles…By the way Mike, you can look this stuff up and think it through, instead of just, you know, wallowing:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down
    (Although in the picture it does seem to be turtles going up.)

    1. O.A. says “Turtles…https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down
      (Although in the picture it does seem to be turtles going up.)”

      Wikipedia has it small turtle on top as well. It is an interesting metaphor for “infinite regression”. I don’t see its application to conspiracy theories but I appreciate explaining the metaphor. I suppose G.L. means for it to suggest conspiracies within conspiracies; if you unravel one there’s always another one inside it although in my experience such things tend to form a sparse mesh (six degrees of separation) rather than vertical stack.

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

  40. Desertphile revisited, says: “You know some people who are more than 14,000 years old?”

    I was puzzled by this strange question but answered it affirmatively, speaking of mummies of course.

    I scrolled back to discover what provoked this odd question:

    “Older people have lived through more than one cycle of climate change.”

    I speak of me, but of course I expect others experienced the same climate changes I have. I don’t need to be TOLD that the climate changes; of course it does. in the 1970’s in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest nearly endless rain, day after relentless day.

    Then, although no longer in Alaska, I started getting reports of sunshine in places that almost never see sunshine. It was also quite warm where I now live.

    Then ten years later things are pretty much back to “normal” although that is a rather flexible word whose actual meaning is whatever anyone wants it to mean.

    So I’ve seen at least one cycle which is probably the ENSO at work and play. More than one cycle but in my younger years I paid it no heed.

  41. I grew up in the era where the galactic law enforcement cabal called “The Green Lantern Corps” was popular,

    Avengers ruled.

  42. New post on THE INTERNET POST

    Australia Getting Slammed With Cold And Snow
    by ajfloyd

    In case you were wondering why alarmists aren’t talking about Australia any more. Temperatures are running well below normal, with lots of snow in the mountains. 10-Day Temperature Outlook https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/australia-getting-slammed-with-cold-and-snow/
    Read more of this post ajfloyd | July 16, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Tags: Australia | Categories: climate change, enviroment, global warming | URL: http://wp.me/pj0ir-gt1
    Comment
    See all comments
    Like

  43. M2:

    ” I cannot imagine Libertarians ever using the word “united” especially in a situation where such unity can only arise through armed force.”

    Sounds like you’re calling for the breakup of the United States.

    “Page 91 “Some Policy Implications” ought to be interesting.

    “The UN General Assembly has invited Member States to pursue the elaboration of additional measures
    that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development with a view to
    guiding their public policies.”

    the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being, hmmm, sounds like he doesn’t much care for our Declaration of Independence.

    I’m thinking M2’s definition of “socialism” encompasses any and all government …

    1. dhogaza writes “Sounds like you’re calling for the breakup of the United States.”

      You are a bit late to the party. It has already happened, 1861 or thereabouts, called either the Civil War or War Between the States. It required rather a lot of armed force to put it back together. Armed force continues to this day in the form of police, marshals, the FBI, National Guard and No Such Agency — and that’s just to keep Americans in some degree of order.

      “Page 91 Some Policy Implications ought to be interesting.”

      “hmmm, sounds like he doesn’t much care for our Declaration of Independence. I’m thinking M2’s definition of “socialism” encompasses any and all government …”

      That is more correct than perhaps you intended. You are correct, ALL governments are inherently social; a way of organizing human effort. They vary by how much your personal desires are considered; ranging from very little to none whatsoever according to your funding level of it.

      My reaction is to “government policies” designed to compel and direct your pursuit of happiness.

  44. M2:

    “Because directly mentioning socialism is somewhat rare, what one sees is descriptions of socialism, not the word per se.

    “The third pillar should be social inclusion, the commitment of every society that the benefits of technology, economic progress, and good governance should be accessible to everybody, women as well as men, minority groups as well as the majority. Happiness must not be the preserve of a dominant group. The goal should be happiness for all.”

    Since M2 objects to this “socialist” declaration, one presumes that libertarians seek unhappiness for all …

    1. dhogaza, noticing that things have slowed down at ATTP, now visits this blog to write: “Since M2 objects to this socialist declaration, one presumes that libertarians seek unhappiness for all …”

      Thank you for implicitly accepting that the United Nations is expressly socialist. That is an important start.

      Unfortunately I doubt it is possible to attribute any property or character to “libertarians” beyond a preference for liberty. Some are undoubtedly as you believe, most probably not. I wonder, however, how much happiness you wish upon the people of the world and how you intend to provide it?

  45. “I cannot imagine Libertarians…”

    I cannot imagine libertarians exercising critical thinking. M2’s posts illustrate this inability quite clearly.

    1. dean writes “I cannot imagine libertarians exercising critical thinking.”

      Sounds like a personal problem. It will come to you with effort and practice.

      “M2’s posts illustrate this inability quite clearly.”

      Thank you. Did you have anything to say about Lewandowsky’s theories or has this blog suddenly become about me? Not that I mind; I love the attention!

      I believe libertarians do, and must, exercise critical thinking. It is a requirement of liberty to choose and one cannot choose without thinking. Ergo, all libertarians think.

  46. M2,

    In a nut shell (tortoise shell) it goes to thinking that is rooted in myth and disconnected from reality based cause and effect. If the earth rests on a turtle, then what does the turtle rest on, etc.
    For instance, scientsts investigate conspiracy theorists, then that’s called a conspiracy by conspiracy theorists.

    We’re talking about conspiratorial ideation supported by more conspiratorial ideation and poorly contextualized factoids without any coherent modeling. There’s no ‘there’ there: just ideation without good reasoning skills, which puts you at risk of permanent disadvantage since you can’t even identify what is good analysis.

    For instance, you Gish gallop around, and it doesn’t sound like you even read the article…

    1. Obstreperous Applesauce says “In a nut shell (tortoise shell) it goes to thinking that is rooted in myth and disconnected from reality based cause and effect. If the earth rests on a turtle, then what does the turtle rest on, etc.”

      This is not as difficult a question as it may seem. For instance, “where does a circle start?” can be answered, “anywhere you like” which is both answer and non answer.

      In the case of “turtles all the way down”, it is as pointless as trying to write all of the decimal places of 1/3. A bar over the last “3” indicates “all the way down”.

      “it doesn’t sound like you even read the article…”

      I’m not sure what it would sound like if I did, but you are correct. Lewandowsky interests me only to the extent that he seems obsessed with the obvious, trying to make links out of correlation and “discovering” the obvious otherwise.

      My commentary, especially on a SCIENCE blog, pertains to the first sentence that sets the tone and the topic for the article; you know, the sentences about mud being thrown and uproars in denialist blogosphere when there’s barely been a ripple. Lewandowsky is simply no longer interesting especially when he is merely re-discovering the obvious.

      By obvious I mean his adrenaline-pumped discovery that a political component exists to whether you believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Yes, it does.

  47. Michael 2 often claims to represent libertarianism, but of course he only represents himself. Dave Roberts interviews Jerry Taylor, another soi-disant libertarian, on Vox:

    The idea that libertarian principle is organically opposed to action on climate — I just don’t buy that, even for one second. I think it’s the opposite: the more principled libertarian you are, the more you should support doing something about climate change.

    Taylor makes a “conservative” case for a carbon tax, saying:

    I am not at war with IPCC narratives. If keeping global temperatures within 2° Celsius of where they were at a certain baseline is the desired objective, then you want a carbon tax that will do that.

    Will Michael 2 now assert that Taylor is no true libertarian?

    1. Mal Adapted says “Will Michael 2 now assert that Taylor is no true libertarian?”

      No. As I have explained elsewhere, since “libertarian” cannot be defined, it is thus impossible to declare what is a true libertarian. However, for the word to have any meaning, it must necessarily involve “liberty”.

      Consequently, while the “no true libertarian” fallacy cannot be invoked, it *is* possible to say with a degree of certainty that it excludes the more coercive forms of socialism.

      “the more principled libertarian you are, the more you should support doing something about climate change.”

      Precisely so; and I do quite a lot. However, I have no right nor duty to take YOUR heat, light and transportation for MY principles and benefits.

      Obviously your mileage varies.

      “then you want a carbon tax that will do that.”

      Carbon taxes will do basically nothing to alter carbon dioxide emissions. They work wonderfully well for “wealth redistribution”.

    2. “As I have explained elsewhere, since “libertarian” cannot be defined….”

      Idiot.

    3. Desertphile wrote (in response to Michael 2: ““libertarian cannot be defined….”) “Idiot.”

      I am unsurprised that few attempts are made here to define it.

  48. Wow, very grateful for my scrolling mouse, as everywhere I see Michael 2 is impassioned nonsense.

    As for the carefully selected 97%, try this:

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/about-that-consensus-on-global-warming-9136-agree-one-disagrees/

    About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, one disagrees.

    Isn’t it remarkable that among the legions of scientists working around the world, many with tenured positions, secure reputations and largely nothing to lose, not even a hundred out of ten thousand come forward to deny the phenomenon in the scientific literature? Should it be that hard for them to publish papers if the evidence is really good enough? Even detractors of the peer review system would disagree that the system is that broken; after all, studies challenging consensus are quite common in other disciplines. So are contrarian climate scientists around the world so utterly terrified of their colleagues and world opinion that they would not dare to hazard a contrarian explanation at all, especially if it were based on sound science? The belief stretches your imagination to new lengths.

    Those who think scientists keep silent on global warming presumably because they fear the barbs of the world demonstrate a peculiar kind of paranoia, especially since what they fear largely does not exist.

    Now this is real:
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos

    For nearly three decades, many of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to deceive the public about the realities and risks of climate change.

    Their deceptive tactics are now highlighted in this set of seven “deception dossiers”—collections of internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.

    (borrowed from #45, thanks)

    1. Susan Anderson wrote many things. Thank you. I will comment on a couple of minor issues.

      “As for the carefully selected 97%, try this:… About that consensus on global warming: 9136 agree, one disagrees.”

      I am puzzled by the one. How difficult would it be to discard the one and make the consensus 100 percent? 9135/9136 is not 97 percent. The consensus on AGW is about 34 percent depending a lot on how the question is phrased and what is permitted to be included.

      “Isn’t it remarkable…”

      Another strange language construction. “Is it not remarkable”. Since we are remarking on it, plainly it is remarkable.

      “that among the legions of scientists working around the world, many with tenured positions, secure reputations and largely nothing to lose, not even a hundred out of ten thousand come forward to deny the phenomenon in the scientific literature?”

      That is excessively vague. Can you please be more specific about what exactly is being asserted or denied and by whom?

      The holy priesthood of AGW contains only a quorum of 12 or so, challenged by another quorum of 12 or so, and I suspect everyone here can name both lists from memory with pretty good thoroughness. Each is surrounded by acolytes, evangelicals, dogmas and even miracles in the guise of natural events attributed to the unnatural.

      “Should it be that hard for them to publish papers if the evidence is really good enough?”

      The evidence is “yes”. However, the problem is one of non-symmetry; you do not and cannot study a thing that is not happening; you can only study things that are happening, and guess at their causes. You cannot study “non-climate change”, you can only study changes as otherwise there’s not really much to study.

      “Even detractors of the peer review system would disagree that the system is that broken;”

      Vague. How broken is “that” broken? Have you forgotten how many totally bogus papers have been published? Google “SciGen” or “Sokal Affair”.

      When there’s only a dozen peers and they all know each other, it is trivial to form a “cabal” to decide what gets published. It is easy to publish; it is hard to get past the cabal. that is why the priesthood is called “peer review”; a paper must be blessed or it is anathema.

      “after all, studies challenging consensus are quite common in other disciplines.”

      Perhaps in cases where billions of dollars are not involved neither global socialism.

      “So are contrarian climate scientists around the world so utterly terrified of their colleagues and world opinion that they would not dare to hazard a contrarian explanation at all, especially if it were based on sound science?”

      Too many variables. Some are, some are not, and contrarian as to what exactly? Willie Soon thinks it is the sun.

      The smear campaign crafted by the Piece of Green against Willie Soon and others is an obvious example. Tenure won’t protect you from highly motivated, amoral leftwingers willing to break any law (think Nazca Lines) in what they view as war.

      “The belief stretches your imagination to new lengths.”

      Oh? Believing that humans influence other humans is normal. Proselyting a religion is normal. Punishing disbelievers is normal. Ridicule, shunning, rewards and punishment are normal.

      “For nearly three decades, many of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to deceive the public about the realities and risks of climate change.”

      Conspiracist ideation alert.

  49. “Unfortunately I doubt it is possible to attribute any property or character to “libertarians”

    Universally – just the “I got mine screw everyone else” attitude that is the core of that “philosophy’.

    To you: lack of critical thinking, as you repeatedly demonstrate.

  50. Wow. Usually trolls are more careful about how they construct their deflections. They tend to be at some level aware enough to want to hide their cluelessness. Here we have:

    – Zero understanding of the most fundamental aspects of what makes ‘science’ science.
    – Zero critical thinking skill
    – Near zero self-awareness
    – Near zero understanding of how societies do or don’t work
    – Poor reading comprehension
    – Doesn’t interact effectively with others

    I’m guessing checked out of school at an early age, and fell in with a bad crowd.

  51. I looked this up:

    “…don’t have a problem with language — in fact, tend to score in the average or above-average range on intelligence tests. …Includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills … covers a large spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. Ranges in severity from a handicap that somewhat limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care.

    “… They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. …Some are cognitively impaired to a degree. In contrast to more typical cognitive impairment, which is characterized by relatively even delays in all areas of development, they show uneven skill development. They may have problems in certain areas, especially the ability to communicate and relate to others. But they may have unusually developed skills in other areas, such as drawing, creating music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts. For this reason, they may test higher — perhaps even in the average or above-average range — on nonverbal intelligence tests. …Knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, or educational levels do not affect chances.

    Figured it out yet? Asperger’s Syndrome.

    1. Brainstorms offers a partial description of Asperger’s Syndrome.

      At some risk of responding when he wasn’t speaking about me, I will say that I am thrilled beyond words to not be “normal” and the more I learn about “normal” the happier I am to have avoided it.

      In high school most kids were pursing sex while I built a laser, worked in the darkroom with the school photographer, worked on the stage crew as an electrician, four years of religious instruction and scored first place in the regional mathematics contest. Most of the Boy Scout Law describes me and I wish all of it did. I am respected by those whose respect I consider important.

      I am immune to nearly all insults but one; calling me “Normal”.

      “…don’t have a problem with language — in fact, tend to score in the average or above-average range on intelligence tests”

      WAY above average. I suspect Aspie’s *write* the tests.

      “. …Includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills…”

      True enough. Sigmund Freud has quite a lot to say on the topic although in that realm I am more of a Jungian. Human behavior is animalistic and oriented toward conquest and reproduction. Most of your behavior right here right now is instinctive, set in motion before you were born. You insult because you must and for you to NOT insult me would take as much effort as it would be for me to try to insult you. It is too much work and I do not comprehend its purpose anyway.

      “Ranges in severity from a handicap that somewhat limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care.”

      I find “severity” an interesting word for a gift. I hold and have held positions of trust and responsibility because of this thing you think is a disability. It is because I don’t care what you think of me that I cannot be blackmailed, insulted, ridiculed into changing my way or revealing military or employer secrets.

      “…They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel.”

      True. I really don’t get most of it and I have a doubt you can do it accurately. Because of that I am moved by facts; not claims. It is also because of that impairment that when the Navy needed someone to investigate an offense that included race and gender issues, they asked me. I see right through the cloud of emotions to the facts.

      Life isn’t binary of course; I do have emotions and sometimes I will feel your pain or your joy, but I am not incapacitated by it most of the time.

      “But they may have unusually developed skills in other areas, such as drawing, creating music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts.”

      Yes; all of that.

      The same mental talent for solving math problems and puzzles can also penetrate the logical flaws in arguments right here.

      “For this reason, they may test higher — perhaps even in the average or above-average range”

      Your chance of scoring higher than me is pretty close to zero.

      “Knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries.”

      Indeed. That’s why one of the funniest things is when anyone claims I am racist. Of course I am racist and so are you. It is a continuum in multiple dimensions with slightly more than zero significance.

      For your next trick, see if you can discover my Myers-Briggs Personality Type.

    2. A nearly perfect description of my personality:

      https://theotherside.wordpress.com/my-ramblings-about-autism-aspergers-syndrome/good-qualities-or-aspie-advantages/

      Discovery Criteria for Aspie

      A. A qualitative advantage in social interaction, as manifested by a majority of the following:

      1. peer relationships characterized by absolute loyalty and impeccable dependability (yes, I have never bailed out on a friend or employer)

      2. free of sexist, “age-ist”, or culturalist biases; ability to regard others at “face value” (yes)

      3. speaking one’s mind irrespective of social context or adherence to personal beliefs (yes, goes with above)

      4. ability to pursue personal theory or perspective despite conflicting evidence (yes, I challenge my own beliefs regularly)

      5. seeking an audience or friends capable of: enthusiasm for unique interests and topics;

      6. consideration of details; spending time discussing a topic that may not be of primary interest

      7. listening without continual judgement or assumption

      8. interested primarily in significant contributions to conversation; preferring to avoid ritualistic small talk’ or socially trivial statements and superficial conversation. (small talk? Wazzat?)

      9. seeking sincere, positive, genuine friends with an unassuming sense of humour

      B. Fluent in “Aspergerese”, a social language characterized by at least three of the following:

      1. a determination to seek the truth (yes)

      2. conversation free of hidden meaning or agenda (I write and speak plainly)

      3. advanced vocabulary and interest in words (obviously)

      4. fascination with word-based humour, such as puns (yes)

      5. advanced use of pictorial metaphor

      C. Cognitive skills characterized by at least four of the following:

      1. strong preference for detail over gestalt (I like them both)

      2. original, often unique perspective in problem solving (very helpful in diagnosing computer problems or problems that straddle disciplines)

      3. exceptional memory and/or recall of details often forgotten or disregarded by others, for example: names, dates, schedules, routines (not good with names but very good with network and computer particulars).

      4. avid perseverance in gathering and cataloguing information on a topic of interest (almost to obsession).

      5. persistence of thought

      6. encyclopaedic or CD ROM’ knowledge of one or more topics

      7. knowledge of routines and a focused desire to maintain order and accuracy

      8. clarity of values/decision making unaltered by political or financial factors (I am unconfused and unchanged by recent changes in national morality)

      D. Additional possible features:

      1. acute sensitivity to specific sensory experiences and stimuli, for example: hearing, touch, vision, and/or smell. (true)

      2. strength in individual sports and games, particularly those involving endurance or visual accuracy, including rowing, swimming, bowling, chess (shooting, archery. I’m absolutely lousy at basketball; I love SCUBA diving and hiking)

      3. “social unsung hero” with trusting optimism: frequent victim of social weaknesses of others, while steadfast in the belief of the possibility of genuine friendship (I will be faithful even if you are not)

      4. increased probability over general population of attending university after high school

      5. often take care of others outside the range of typical development (mother, grandmother, inlaws, neigbhors, strangers)

    3. Brainstorms says “Figured it out yet? Asperger’s Syndrome.”

      You can quiz yourself here:

      http://rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php

      It is designed to tease out the difference between NT (intuitive thinker; Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator or MBTI) and Asperger’s since they have many things that seem to be in common. I seem to be both at the same time and that’s the product of a long and enriched life.

  52. Yeah maybe, but it’s easy to misdiagnose. However, I suspect that the simplistic social ideologies of the far right can be attractive to people who struggle with nuance in that area… for a whole lot of reasons, not necessarily just ASD.

    In any case, it doesn’t sound as though he got the support he needed at critical points…

    1. Obstreperous Applesauce says “it doesn’t sound as though he got the support he needed at critical points…”

      The number of things it doesn’t sound like is infinite or nearly so. For instance, it doesn’t sound like a martian invasion; it doesn’t sound like mating season among the killer whales.

      That is one reason for Aspie social difficulty. Y’all never say or write with precision.

      What you clearly mean is that it DOES sound as though he failed to receive support at critical moments. Language and logic are my backyard, figuratively speaking. In a rare social involvement of “Trivial Pursuit” they thought for sure my team would be unable to define “Lexicographer”. Yeah, okay, that person writes dictionaries. I was loved and hated in Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble. You might know more words, but I know what they mean… or meant, to be more precise since the left wing seems very busy changing the meaning of “meaning” and just about everything else.

  53. I usually suspect the ideologies + the fear-mongering that the far right uses ares attractive to people who are easily frightened; ‘fear’ is a powerful motivator and makes the fearful rather vulnerable to manipulation and induction into cults.

    1. Brainstorms suggests “I usually suspect the ideologies + the fear-mongering that the far right uses ares attractive to people who are easily frightened; ‘fear’ is a powerful motivator and makes the fearful rather vulnerable to manipulation and induction into cults.”

      I agree but see the “left” as most vulnerable to fear, uncertainty and doubt. That is why the climate stabilization advocates use the “precautionary principle”.

      Consider Al Gore’s movie — was it aimed at the far right? No. Was it designed to stimulate fear? Yes.

      But you might be observing that the far right and the far left meet on the other side of the circle. Both are totalitarian, both are afraid.

    2. Consider Al Gore’s movie — was it aimed at the far right? No. Was it designed to stimulate fear? Yes.

      You were afraid of the movie? Really? What specifically did you find in the movie that caused you to fear?

    3. Desertphile wrote “You were afraid of the movie? Really? What specifically did you find in the movie that caused you to fear?”

      Metafear. I feared that large numbers of people would subscribe to global socialism as a consequence of it. I am somewhat tribal and not as libertarian as all that. I mean, when did Al Gore suddenly become a climatologist? He’s a political scientist from a wealthy family. If he is involved, so is politics and pretty much exclusively politics.

      As I refuse to pay to see this movie, I have not seen it. While it is probably now available for free on YouTube I doubt that its utility is worth the time invested. I have learned over some decades of online conversation that when someone uses the word “truth” it is nearly certain not to be truth.

    4. “I feared that large numbers of people would subscribe to global socialism as a consequence of it.”

      There are medications that can help you with your irrational fears.

    5. Desertphile suggests “There are medications that can help you with your irrational fears.”

      Yes; C2H5OH comes to mind. A good sleep maybe with 15 mg of diphenhydramine seems to reduce the anxiety level.

      These medications do nothing for the problem of nations throwing away their liberty, falling into bondage and then slowly climbing back to liberty. It is unavoidably cyclic.

  54. M2:

    Thank you for clarifying your position. You are opposed to any government, whatsoever. Even to the one that created the very internet which preserves your right to post in the first place.

    1. Thank you for clarifying your position. You are opposed to any government, whatsoever.

      All sane human beings oppose government; the problem is, government is necessary because the threat of violence by the state is the only way to regulate the behavior of human paracites. In the best of all possible worlds the best government is one that does not govern at all.

      Even to the one that created the very internet which preserves your right to post in the first place.

      Funny how anti-science deniers love the technologies and comfort that science provides to them.

    2. Desertphile “Funny how anti-science deniers love the technologies and comfort that science provides to them.”

      A similar phenomenon exists among people that hate the United States but are citizens of it and enjoy the liberty of burning its flag.

      Not that you do any of that; I am merely using your comment to illuminate a common phenomenon. It probably means something deep and profound but thinking on it can come later.

    3. A similar phenomenon exists among people that hate the United States but are citizens of it and enjoy the liberty of burning its flag.

      Yeah, ugh, talk to your mental health care professional about that fantasy; there’s medication that can help.

    4. Desertphile suggests “there’s medication that can help.”

      Chocolate is cheaper but I recommend dark chocolate. European chocolate tends to be superior but is not easy to find (or keep in a hot climate). When I lived in Iceland, even there a brand of chocolate was sold from a refrigerator because it would melt the instant you put it in your mouth. It was indescribably delicious.

  55. “All sane human beings oppose government” I think only applies if “all human beings are sane”, which I don’t think is the case.

    Since, as you pointed out, government is necessary, then sane human beings implement and support them — and work to keep them serving their titular purpose rather than becoming corrupted to serve an elite that gains control of them.

    I would phrase it “All carnal human beings oppose government”. The parallel is that rebellious children oppose having parents tell them what they can/cannot do. Which, as we know, if given their way, will lead to their downfall. Children need parents to guide them and keep them out of trouble. So, too, does carnal (childish) man need government (parental oversight) to keep them out of trouble (of their own causing).

    “In the best of all possible worlds the best government is one that is not needed” — because its populace is enlightened and willfully put aside their childish carnal desires to choose appropriate, constructive behaviors. We are not there, as a species, or as (any) society. Some individuals are (and perhaps a few very small institutions), but they are too few in number…

    This reveals what libertarianism is really all about: Rebellious, childish desires to be able to wantonly “act out” and follow carnal appetites and impulses without being reined in or made to suffer consequences. I.e., anarchy. Which makes them worse than mainstream right-wingers.

    1. Brainstorms sets up a straw-man which I probably ought to ignore but there’s a slight possibility he, and others, really believes these errors which if I leave unchallenged might permit an assumption to exist that he is correct.

      “All sane human beings oppose government”

      I have no reason to believe this statement is true or even attributable to anyone. The words are unqualified as a nearly infinite variety of governments exist and ‘sane” is itself a subjective term meaning whatever you want it to mean.

      “Since, as you pointed out, government is necessary”

      Here we go with the straw-man, strip the qualifiers and insert your own. What a waste of time. But still entertaining in a tedious sort of way.

      “Government” is necessary only if one wishes to govern (tell others what to do), or be governed (be told by others what to do). Inasmuch as humans are unlikely to spontaneously do the same things (unlike bees or ants), government is necessary IF large numbers of humans are to be told what to do or not to do.

      Obviously “religion” serves a nearly identical purpose which is why the Queen of England is the head of both government and church. Separating these roles is a fairly recent development in human affairs and stems largely from a desire by someone else to be in charge of telling other people what to do.

      “then sane human beings implement and support them”

      Okay, so that is your definition of “sane”. I’ll probably forget your definition since so many others exist.

      I would phrase it “…I.e., anarchy.”

      That is what the left-wing masses have been taught libertarian and anarchy are synonyms, and that anarchy is bad, therefore liberty is bad.

      It is an effective teaching; simple and easy to remember: “Four legs good, two legs bad”. “Support government good; anarchy bad”.

      I am truly amazed at the number of intelligent people that really cannot distinguish between libertarian and anarchy.

      Liberty does not and cannot exist in anarchy.

      Liberty is maximized when your choices are maximized and you have actual freedom to choose among them. Liberty requires that contracts be possible, and contracts are possible when they are enforced, and enforcing contracts is one of the principle roles of government.

      Liberty requires education so that contracts have the same meaning to you as to me.

      Liberty requires a knowledge of history and science, so that I can choose from a wider variety of choices, and avoid choices that turn out poorly in history.

      Liberty requires a knowledge of good and a knowledge of bad or evil, so that one can choose the good and avoid evil; or for a few people, choose evil and avoid good. Liberty must allow for that possibility since I have no power to define for you what is good and evil, nor do you have that power to define such things for me.

    2. This reveals what libertarianism is really all about: Rebellious, childish desires to be able to wantonly “act out” and follow carnal appetites and impulses without being reined in or made to suffer consequences. I.e., anarchy. Which makes them worse than mainstream right-wingers.

      Well golly: I am libertarian, and I fully support the need for abusive and dangerous human behavior to be regulated by government: that is the secondary reason for government to exist. Libertarians are overwhelmingly moderates and “left-wing,” not “right-wing.” In the USA, according to a Pew Research survey on the subject, most people who identified themselves as “libertarian” had a very poor idea what a libertarian is, nor what libertarianism is—- fully half agree that freedom of speech and expression should not be allowed.

      People in the USA who call themselves “libertarians” are more often than not, not libertarians; they also have no idea what a liberal is, nor what “liberal” means. In much of the rest of the word the two ideals are combined: libertarians are liberal in thought, action, and deed.

      I brought up the subject of “the best government is the one that does not govern at all” because some deniers of the evidence for human-caused climate change deny that evidence because they oppose the solution— an irrational behavior, but also a fact that they engage in it. Worse, they tend to believe that the people who accept the evidence do so out of a desire to see the fossil fuel markets regulated: another irrational belief.

      I take it as self-evident that a government that exists only for the sake of governing is an evil government; laws and regulations that exist only to control people, with no overwhelming and legitimate necessity, are evil laws and regulations and must be ignored.

      It is vitally important that all governments in the world regulate greenhouse gas production, immediately, completely, to zero. This is an “is,” not an “ought:” no sane person wants to see it happen just for the sake of it happening: current human standards of living, if they are to stay the same and/or increase, mandate that necessity.

    3. Desertphile writes “I am libertarian, and I fully support the need for abusive and dangerous human behavior to be regulated by government”

      Agreed. I wonder, however, why you believe government can ever be different than the society it represents? So long as only a few members of society are abusive and dangerous, government can be good. But when abusive and dangerous becomes the new normal then so will be government. Fortunately I believe the United States has not arrived at that sorry state.

      “Libertarians are overwhelmingly moderates and left-wing, not right-wing.”

      Another agreement. Libertarians will lean toward whichever party offers the most liberty, or takes the least away. Traditionally, liberals and liberty went together (hence the similarity of name). A balance can exist that is optimum, beyond that balance to increase one person’s liberty you are definitely taking away form someone else.

      “In the USA, according to a Pew Research survey on the subject, most people who identified themselves as libertarian had a very poor idea what a libertarian is, nor what libertarianism is”

      No doubt. I see that right here on this blog as well. Part of the problem is that it cannot be defined; for the very act of defining it takes away from someone else’s liberty to also define it. I wonder what Pew thinks it means?

      “fully half agree that freedom of speech and expression should not be allowed.”

      That is about as far removed from liberty as I can imagine and in fact corresponds more closely to PC hate speech laws.

      “People in the USA who call themselves libertarians are more often than not, not libertarians; they also have no idea what a liberal is, nor what liberal means.”

      Agreed. All of these words are changing frequently. I use the word “liberal” as in generous, tolerant, liberated. It does not imply imposition on others but neither does it prohibit making attempts to seek liberty at someone else’s expense.

      The current political meaning seems to be “I want free stuff” which is fine, who doesn’t? But someone must provide it, and for that someone, not much liberty exists.

      “In much of the rest of the word the two ideals are combined: libertarians are liberal in thought, action, and deed.”

      Exactly so — Norway, Iceland come to mind. The difference, as I have written, is education and homogeneous culture. Intelligent, educated people will tend to choose the same things because it will be seen as wise, correct or optimum.

      “I brought up the subject of the best government is the one that does not govern at all because some deniers of the evidence for human-caused climate change deny that evidence because they oppose the solution”

      I assumed you meant self governing. Well educated, culturally homogenous people ARE the government; with some brokerages or other organizing bodies existing out of simple necessity, co-ops, things like that.

      I am unfamiliar with outright denial of human influence on climate. I doubt that it is very significant and I tend to ignore it same as I ignore the rare moon landing denier. That kind is inconsequential. But the second clause, opposition to solutions, it is hardly a secret that I am opposed to global socialism as usually envisioned while at the same time I am very flexible with regard to claims of anthropogenicity of climate change, anywhere from zero to 100 percent — I do not know and neither do you. It is nearly certain to be more than zero and it is equally certain to be less than 100 percent. That’s a lot of uncertainty and I’m being asked to give up pretty much everything with no assurance that it will work to stabilize climate, but then, I doubt that is the actual goal.

      “an irrational behavior, but also a fact that they engage in it.”

      It is rational when the factors are visible. I believe essentially all people behave rationally given the information held by each such person. A person weak of initiative and opportunity is acting rationally to seek the security of socialism. An entrepreneur is acting rationally to oppose socialism. Irrational is acting opposite to your nature.

      “Worse, they tend to believe that the people who accept the evidence do so out of a desire to see the fossil fuel markets regulated: another irrational belief.”

      I doubt that it is nearly this universal a reason. Accepting the evidence, at least in the United States, is… well, no. How many Americans have the slightest idea the “evidence”? How many Americans even know what is a Vostok ice core? How many have the slightest idea why C14 vs C13 matters? How many have a clue which wavelengths carbon dioxide traps and which wavelengths go right through CO2 or the mean path length of a photon in the capture band?

      So, yes, it is tribal. Bill McKibben believes what he believes because it is his duty to do so. A true libertarian, pardon the oxymoron for the moment, doesn’t HAVE a tribe and lets the evidence speak. But “evidence” is really, really hard to get. Claims are available for free.

      Really y’all ought to just ignore the libertarians. There’s no telling what one is going to do. They aren’t even a “they”.

      “It is vitally important that all governments in the world regulate greenhouse gas production, immediately, completely, to zero.”

      Like I said, tribal. It cannot possibly happen in a Democracy because people are not going to vote themselves into the stone age.

      “no sane person wants to see it happen just for the sake of it happening: current human standards of living, if they are to stay the same and/or increase, mandate that necessity.”

      On the contrary. Current human standards of living will crash everywhere, for everyone except the Amish and headhunters in Borneo, to proceed down the road you consider “sane”.

  56. Desertphile in response to dhogaza in response to M2: (linked here because I no longer have the linking email to dhogaza) “You are opposed to any government, whatsoever. Even to the one that created the very internet which preserves your right to post in the first place.”

    I try to understand leftwingers but I doubt it is possible so long as they believe in things that are not true. I would have to believe things that are not true in order to make the attempt.

    It helps to theorize the most fundamental principle of the HIVE; there is one queen and everyone else is not queen and obeys the queen. But the queen cannot do everything and requires a privileged retinue of intermediaries, and nearly all publicly posting leftwingers consider themselves intermediaries of the queen and thus privileged.

    Just as ants will come streaming out of an ant hill on the slightest disturbance, so too do the leftwingers respond vigoriously to a disturbance in the internet which they suppose is their ant hill.

    But just as an ant hill is only a small part of the biome, so too are left wing blogs a small part of human experience.

    Now then let us examine these ants:

    I do not have a right to post in the first place. It is a temporary privilege created by WordPress company and extended by the operator of this particular blog to those he wishes to allow to be seen; although it appears WordPress does not take kindly to gratuitous censorship of its blogs by its blog operators.

    About that government invention of the “internet”:

    “the internet” wasn’t invented or created. It evolved and is still evolving. It has no tangible existence; it is an abstraction, the word given to a huge collection of highly diverse wires, routers, and sometimes to the content providers or not; and sometimes given to the consumers or not.

    When someone complains to me “The internet is not working” she often means Internet Explorer, or a website, or Netflix, almost anything!

    Can you point to it? No. Can you buy it? No. Can you control it? No. “The internet” DOES NOT EXIST as an entity, it was not created nor invented.

    Various bits of what is known as the internet have been developed by many players. DARPA funded some of the development of the TCP/IP protocol suite. It was not then intended to be “the internet”, it was merely a self-healing, robust transmission protocol intended for military use and one of many such protocols some still existing.

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

    A BETTER example of government gifts to humanity would be GPS; Global Positioning Satellite. It is intended for military use but in relative peacetime the unencrypted signal is available to civilians.

  57. M2, I’ll take you at your word about having Aspergers. I’ve known people with it, and FWIW I suspect that I have family members with it. So I’m not unsympathetic. I’m also glad to see that you emphasize the positive aspects of it.

    But, if you know you have some deficits, then how you work around them matters. Plugging critical gaps with stream of consciousness and/or grandiosity just won’t do the job. IMO, you will be helped if you can keep one simple thing in mind: you don’t always have a good idea of what’s going on.

    You can probably work around that, although given your high energy level, you my find it tedious. A good exercise to start with might be not clogging social spaces (like this comment thread) with Gish gallops.

    1. Obstreperous Applesauce says “M2, I’ll take you at your word about having Aspergers.”

      It was your word; this is your straw argument. I test out fairly centered in MBTI also fairly centered on the Aspie/NT quiz. However, it is an NT trait to be interested in this stuff so I cannot very well pretend not to be NT.

  58. n high school most kids were pursing sex while I built a laser, worked in the darkroom with the school photographer, worked on the stage crew as an electrician, four years of religious instruction and scored first place in the regional mathematics contest. Most of the Boy Scout Law describes me and I wish all of it did. I am respected by those whose respect I consider important.

    It seems to always to be the case that these libertarian clowns claim amazing backgrounds then demolish any reason to believe them due to their incredibly stupid statements about science, society, government, and “oppression”.

    1. dean writes “…then demolish any reason to believe them…”

      You overestimate the importance of your belief to me while simultaneously underestimating the value of belief itself.

    2. It seems to always to be the case that these libertarian clowns claim amazing backgrounds then demolish any reason to believe them due to their incredibly stupid statements about science, society, government, and “oppression.”

      Pew Research shows that self-identified “libertarians” in the USA do not, as a rule, know what a libertarian is; these “libertarians” do not know what libertarianism is.

  59. He’s starting to remind me of that airy little pillock of a troll a.k.a. “Brad Keyes” who used to haunt this site. That type is a dime a dozen…

    1. In the interest of brevity I might have made myself unclear in my most recent comment above. I will restate.

      It is essentially of no consequence to me whether you (Dean) believe me or whether you believe or disbelieve anyone else.

      Your choices reveal processes in your mind. It is your mind and its processes that I find interesting. Most people choose their tribe, and then accept that tribe’s beliefs while declaring a disbelief in contrary ideas. And yet, you cannot erase those ideas; so just as religious people leak away from their tribe, so too does your tribe lose members as people sort themselves into tribes better tuned to their natures.

  60. M2, I never expected my opinion to matter to you. I was simply stating the fact that your “philosophy” has destroyed any reason for people to take anything you say seriously. Your ignorant rants about “tribes” reinforces that fact.

    1. I have only now noticed this comment; apologies for not responding sooner.

      dean writes “I was simply stating the fact that your philosophy has destroyed any reason for people to take anything you say seriously.”

      That would concern me if you spoke for “people”.

      “Your ignorant rants about tribes reinforces that fact.

      The word “tribal” is in vogue to describe this phenomenon.

      http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/03/climate_change_and_groupthink.html

      Quotes:

      “So we band together. Our group’s teachings don’t necessarily have to make sense. By happenstance, accident of birth or parental influence, we adopt our mindset and are welcomed in by like-minded people. Contrary evidence doesn’t register because we’re comfortably, tribally ensconced. This calls for humility: All tribes wear blinders. ”

      Note that Oregonlive is way “left” and therefore your tribe ought to approve of it.

  61. If that is the case desertphile, it is sad that folks like m2, who seem to be the most vociferous, have become the public face fo r the ideology they claim. (That is not a statement of disbelief of your statements.)

    But things are weird eveywhere. Here in Michigan we have members of the Michigan militia, the clowns that spawned the Oklahoma City bomber, “protecting” military recruiting offices. The insanity continues to spread.

    1. If that is the case desertphile, it is sad that folks like m2, who seem to be the most vociferous, have become the public face fo r the ideology they claim. (That is not a statement of disbelief of your statements.)

      But things are weird eveywhere. Here in Michigan we have members of the Michigan militia, the clowns that spawned the Oklahoma City bomber, “protecting” military recruiting offices. The insanity continues to spread.

      The latest survey is here:

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/08/25/in-search-of-libertarians/

      The previous survey (of year 2012) showed a large number of self-identified “libertarians” objected to the First Amendment; they also agreed that civil rights and human rights should be revoked “in times of crisis.” It was…. spooky.

      Some people in Michigan still seem to think they are in The Minute Man militia, just like some people in Arizona. I cannot think of any reason why military recruitment offices need protection—- shit, in the USA south there are churches being burned down every week or so: where are all the angry white male patriots with guns when one needs them?

    2. Desertphile; is conspiracist ideation bad when it happens to be well founded?

      Just today I learned that John Cook has been commenting as Lubos Motl. The real Lubos Motl, a physicist involved in string theory (or denouncing it if I remember right), has this to say:

      http://motls.blogspot.com/2015/07/identity-theft-thief-of-lubosmotl-turns.html

      I think we’ve found the “kook” that Greg Laden was looking for; according to the words of the real Lubos Motl:

      “Thank you very much, … kook Cook!”

    3. Dean writes “it is sad that folks like m2, who seem to be the most vociferous, have become the public face fo r the ideology they claim.”

      Obvious statement of the day 🙂

      IMO, most libertarians do not care about this topic. Nor, for that matter, do I claim to be a “Libertarian” or its spokesperson, for there can be no spokesperson for libertarianism. Maybe for Libertarian Party which cannot very well be libertarian.

      So, whatever exactly I am, I am definitely the face of it. 😉

  62. John Mashey is suffering from a failure of prespective, which is often the first symptom of FRaming Fatigue.

    The underside of the Flat Earth is plainly visible beneath the largest turtle’s feet, vivdly illustrating the reality that has thrown Convexists and other cultural relativists into denial :

    It’s Turtles All The Way Up..

  63. Michael 2:

    IMO, most libertarians do not care about this topic. Nor, for that matter, do I claim to be a “Libertarian” or its spokesperson, for there can be no spokesperson for libertarianism.

    Yet you have an opinion on how “most libertarians” feel about this topic. Jeezus.

    M2:

    Note that Oregonlive is way “left” and therefore your tribe ought to approve of it.

    That would elicit peals of derisive laughter from the Oregonians I spent last weekend with. Too bad you weren’t there in person to tell them what “left” is.

    Some day self-awareness may arise in your smoky sparky circuits, Michael 2, and if you survive the crushing shame you’ll be a better ‘bot for it. But who would care?

    1. Mal Adapted writes “Yet you have an opinion on how most libertarians feel about this topic.”

      Indeed, but it is a definition thing. That is to say, I do not read minds; rather I observe behavior and from that behavior infer the mind. On this blog I see one person semi-libertarian: Me. I see no others. I estimate at least 40 million libertarians (small L) in the United States, possibly much greater depending on how it is defined.

      Consequently, it takes no genius to observe that most libertarians do not care to be here on this blog discussing this topic. I haven’t read minds, I read behavior. You can do that, too!

      “That would elicit peals of derisive laughter from the Oregonians I spent last weekend with.”

      No doubt. Derisive laughter seems to be common on the left.

      “Some day self-awareness may arise in your smoky sparky circuits, Michael 2, and if you survive the crushing shame you’ll be a better ‘bot for it. But who would care?”

      I believe self awareness sneaks up on a person a little at a time. A problem is that it is recursive; self-awareness must necessarily include being aware of being self-aware and that means a person can never be completely self-aware.

      As to crushing shame, that is a thing that works on the E{s,n}FJ types (Myers-Briggs personality type indicator).

      NT’s are relatively immune to shame. In my opinion, most leftists are strong on emotion and thus easily manipulated by ridicule and shame — Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” are aimed at the left to organize them and keep them in the fold. That these rules don’t work on libertarians is irrelevant since they were not written to manipulate libertarians.

  64. “In my opinion, most leftists are strong on emotion and thus easily manipulated by ridicule and shame — Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” ”

    Only the weakest of minds on the right hold that book up as a currently accepted guide for social destruction – it’s no surprise that you do it.

    1. dean writes “Only the weakest of minds on the right hold that book up as a currently accepted guide for social destruction”

      Well then, what writer do you consider superior to Alinsky for social destruction? His focus is admittedly rather narrow: community organizing which does not involve social destruction per se, but does require destruction of “little tribes” so you can make a big one.

      Inasmuch as each climate blog is a “little tribe”, how do you propose to eliminate all-but-one so that the one can be strong like WUWT?

  65. Ugh. While noting that the two are not mutually exclusive, I think it’s past time that we, once and for all, put the question at hand to rest: “Kook or Crook?”

    After listening to, “[… turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles turtles…]” ad nauseam, I think we can definitively identify our particular local conspiracy buff as a Kook. I doubt that we’ll be able to make a determination here as to his Crook status due to lack of evidence based on his overwhelming turtley fixation.

    I propose that we can now stop charging up and probing his smoky, sparky circuits and move on.

    DNFTT

    =======
    “So pile up more turtles! I want ’bout two hundred!”
    “Turtles! More turtles!” he bellowed and brayed.
    And the turtles ‘way down in the pond were afraid.

    ~ Yertle the Turtle.

  66. I would submit that people who are immune to (appropriate) ridicule and shame are more often than not sociopaths or just generally misanthropes.
    If you do or say something worthy of shame, and don’t even recognize it, or are indifferent to it’s harmful effects, then you are a problem for society, not a solution. Sorry.

    1. skeptictmac57, stating the obvious, says “I would submit that people who are immune to (appropriate) ridicule and shame are more often than not sociopaths or just generally misanthropes.”

      In other words, cannot belong to the hive but may well be leading it. The hive requires conformity of thought and action and uses (appropriate) ridicule to maintain it. If you do not {do, think, act} as I wish, you are a {misanthrope, sociopath, outcast, denier, ___} (fill in the blank with epithet of the day).

      I am glad you put “appropriate” in there; who decides what is appropriate? You will think that you do (most likely) but you take cues from your leader.

      “If you do or say something worthy of shame, and don’t even recognize it, or are indifferent to it’s harmful effects, then you are a problem for society, not a solution.”

      Yes, exactly, you say it better than I; with due regard for the nuances of meaning. Substitute “hive” or “tribe” for “society” and you have exactly the situation. Not everyone wishes to be in your hive or tribe or society. I might not want you in mine!

      While these ideas are not unique they can be difficult for some to assimilate if you believe only one hive, tribe or society does exist or can exist. To be sure, socialism will try to assimilate everyone or cast them out, but so it is with ants and bees and quite a few southern or Idaho militias — if you aren’t for us you are against us. Well how about neither! You do your thing and I do mine. Name it any way you like; it is common and the founding principle of the United States.

    1. Mal Adapted writes “Yep, M2’s armor of self-deception is impenetrable. I’m done with him.”

      I’ll start the clock 🙂

      Wow lasted a day.

      [I’m done too -gtl]

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