Monday, September 10, 2012

Celebrity Deathmatch


Those of us on the sidelines are enjoying the Lewandowsky vs. McIntyre death match.  Phil Clarke is playing the chalk
You're in real trouble now, Professor. You've come to the attention of The Auditor. He has asked you Questions. You now have two choices:-

(1) You could assume the questions are posed in good faith, The Auditor is genuinely interested in the knowing the answers, and will make constructive and reasonable use of the information. This would be a category error. It's like those email scams where if you respond the spammers know the address they've hit is real. Next thing you know there will be a second round of followup questions, and so on ad nauseum. Dr Gerald North writes:-

"This guy can just wear you out. He has started it with me but I just don’t bite. But there are some guys, Ben Santer comes to mind, who if they are questioned will take a lot of time to answer. He’s sincere and he just can’t leave these things along. If you get yourself in a back-and-forth with these guys it can be never ending, and basically they shut you down with requests. They want everything, all your computer programs. Then they send you back a comment saying, “I don’t understand this, can you explain it to me.” It’s never ending. And the first thing you know you’re spending all your time dealing with these guys.”

Do you really want that?

(2) You ignore the Questions. This will lead to a post at the Audit weblog using words like 'stonewall', 'petulance', 'refusal'. You won't be directly accused of malpractice or fraud, naturally, however the comments will be a playground where those with a desire to speculate about 'What is Lewandowsky hiding?' will be given free rein. There will then be a short hiatus during which you may think your life is getting back to normal, but then the orchestrated FOI requests for any and all emails relating to the paper will start ...

Do you really want that?

There is no 3rd choice. 
 Let us see how NigelSteve is doing

(-Snip-)
Moderator Response: Future instances of accusations of dishonesty/impropriety (snipped above) will result in a revocation of posting privileges, as all comments are now audited.
So a friend appears
Perhaps this will be more acceptable - please feel free to snip as you feel necessary:

Mr. McIntyre's question comes from his (-snip-) detailed review of the data (-snip-). A read of his review shows it is not an ad-hominem attack, but rather a factually supported observation based on detailed analysis of the survey data. His conclusions and findings are well documented in his review.

This was also first pointed out by Tom Curtis at Skeptical science - certainly not a usual critic - whose review of the data finds the same issue that the data shows a (-snip-) the survey data.

Steve McIntyre notes, as does Curtis, that the data in the paper includes these (-snip-) responses. And that when this (-snip-) data is properly excluded, there is no longer factual support for the paper's conclusions.

Additionally, a number of sites have documented open discussion of this attempt to manipulate the survey results at several pro-AGW sites.

One "skeptic" and one "pro-AGW" reviewer have come to same conclusions based on a detailed examination of the data. These appear to be legitimate, well documented, fair questions.

As the paper's conclusions are being widely disseminated publicly, if in fact there are legitimate issues with the data, asking for these issues to be addressed by the authors seems reasonable and appropriate. 
Moderator Response: The words of Mr. Curtis: "I believe that Lewandowsky has no recourse but to rewrite, withdraw or correct if he agrees with my analysis"
Until addressed in peer-review, this claim by Mr. McIntyre is not proven and remains assertion. Furthermore, guidance provided by "skeptic" sites on how to concertedly manipulate future surveys is utterly reprehensible.
 True, Prof. L. is controlling that playing field, but you know the line about home field advantage.  Now some, not Eli to be sure, might even think that Stephan L. is enjoying this and has a few more rounds in his canon. 

139 comments:

Steve Bloom said...

L. should be proud of his selection as the Official Distraction from the sea ice.

Anonymous said...

Well color me stoopid, that is why they call me "Hey Stoopid".

Well, Stephan L., it seems is having the time of his life, in boiling the climate denialati McIntyre trolls in their own oil of propaganda .

"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." Mark Twain

lol

Former Skeptic said...

L. is taking McI and the others to school.

I'm also enjoying how Roger the Dodger is trying to worm his way out of this one - feigning ignorance when he actually replied to L.'s assistant is about as believable as Megan the undergrad.

But best of all is seeing the pathologically pathetic Tom Fuller trying his best to remain relevant. Tsk tsk tsk.

Sheer awesomeness all round. I'm running out of popcorn.

Anonymous said...

Professor L seems to be gathering data that will enable him to create an specialised version of the Kübler-Ross model just for climate change deniers.

Regards, Millicent

dbostrom said...

At Lewandowsky's blog Tom Fuller appears to have provided the seed crystal for what was first proposed as a joke in SkS comments: the entire "Moon Hoax" paper is a conspiracy to turn skeptics into experimental subjects.

Trained blog science dumpster-divers have retrieved some decomposing chunks of conversation from a purloined database. Blauditor scientistical analassis of this refuse indicates that shadowy forces have been conspiring for years to using living human tissue as IPCC experimental matter.

Or something like that.

Hopefully the solution really is saturated.

Anonymous said...

Notable from Lewandowsky's post (besides the fact that half of the skeptical bloggers apparently lied about being contacted) is this gem:

Mr McIntyre expended time to locate and then publicize the name of the person within my university to whom complaints about my research should be addressed; time that we now know would have been better spent searching his inbox.

modus operandi

-WheelsOC

Holly Stick said...

I've learned a useful new inflammatory term, I think.

"Snip you and the Snip you Snip on, you Snip Snip Snip.

Anonymous said...

Kubler-Ross as it applies to McIntyre

Stage 1: Denial

I didn't get an email.

Stage 2: Anger

He didn't send emails to any of us, he's conspiring against us all.

Stage 3: Bargaining

My mining expertise makes me an expert in psychology and I know how to conduct a survey better than any professor: here's how to do it properly.

Stage 4: Grief

Not got there yet.

Stage 5: Acceptance.

Symptoms will be sudden interest in a different topic and silence on this one.

Regards, Millicent

bill said...

[McI(snip)]Future instances of accusations of dishonesty/impropriety (snipped above) will result in a revocation of posting privileges, as all comments are now audited.

I'm still chuckling at that one. A little revenge is more human than none at all, as Nietzsche said. ;-)

Sou said...

Meanwhile, Lucia wants an apology for being forced to waste time fruitlessly digging around in her inbox (in the hope she was important enough to get a request)!

She wrote a blog article on the scandalous invasion of privacy when the following contents (just the sentences mind you, no names) of emails were revealed: "Thanks. I will take a look" and "Can you tell me a bit more about the study and the research design?"

Daft!

Are they always as self-aggrandising and silly?

John Mashey said...

The whole idea if self-reporting by bloggers clearly cannot be useful , for (whatever reasons proposed on various blogs) and therefore Stephan's results can be ignored. :-)

On the other hand, the highly-scientific Weblog awards to WUWT are very strong data . :-)

Anonymous said...

Former Skeptic.

"I'm running out of popcorn"

Indeed.


Hat-tip Lionel A September 5, 10:46 am at Deltoid.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

rab said...

Well, Eli, hats off to you. When you alerted the bunnies to l'affaire de Lew, I was skeptical that this would be anything more than slightly amusing. It has proceeded through funny to hilarious.

--rab

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

probably the funniest thing is that Lewandowsky repeated the fatal Gore line about "NASA fakes moon landing." The embarassment Gore must have kept inside after only a week later Buzz Auldrin and Neil Armstrong slapped him down.

But of course most here do not care when their same stupid arguments (ex. uhhhhh only creationists believe in global warming) are used against them. Skeptics also say only creationists believe in global warming.

Holly Stick said...

Has anyone noticed that Lewandowsky's blog is posting comments dated tomorrow? I haven't signed up to comment there; now I fear that people who have signed up are being influenced to write the kind of posts he needs for his paper. Either that or he's messing with our minds. Or his computer tech is a CIA mole...

Paul Klemencic said...

Holly Stick: Or there could be a scientific explanation, such as that it is now 1:30 AM on September 12th in southwest Australia, where Dr. Lewandowsky is located.

The explanation doesn't always require a conspiracy theory.

Phil Clarke said...

Ironically for Tony, given his concerns over Professor L's ethics and the use of fake or duplicated identities online, it appears that one of his mods, 'dbstealey' is moonlighting as one of his more vociferous posters - the outspoken 'Smokey'

http://en.gravatar.com/dbstealey

which would explain why 'Smokey' seems to get the last word, more often than not. Do you suppose Mr Watts is aware of this apparent duplicity? I don't see how he can be, given his site policies, which are admirably in favour of open-ness and honesty ...

Internet phantoms who have cryptic handles, no name, and no real email address get no respect here. If you think your opinion or idea is important, elevate your status by being open and honest. People that use their real name get more respect than phantoms with handles.

Also there is a warning that posts from 'sockpuppets' may be deleted. Presumably this now applies to everything 'Smokey' has contributed, which will forthwith be removed from the blog in the name of integrity and preserving Tony's good name.

Of course, there may be a perfectly innocent explanation for this apparent duet-for-one.

I think we should be told.

Anonymous said...

I remember Smokey from my infrequent forays into WUWT. Not only was he constantly hounding people with bad arguments, he also piled on the ad homs and accusations neck deep.
Which surprised me when I learned recently about Watt's inconsisent obsession with finding out people's real names and claiming to delete personal attacks.

-WheelsOC

Phil Clarke said...

A casual Google finds that dbstealey's Wordpress profile has the title 'Smokey'

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/profile/dbstealey

I wonder if, when Anthony informs us, as he is fond of doing, of the number of hits to his blog he includes contributions made anonymously by his staff?

Maybe all the comments are actually by mods ....?!

Anonymous said...

More conversation about Smokey-David Stealey at Tamino's place,
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/arctic-sea-ice-turning-points/

Watts is well aware of the sockpuppetry, of course. But maybe Stealey is not. In the same thread where he repeatedly uses two screen names, dbs and Smokey, the dbs character-moderator sternly warns someone else,
"The Policy page makes clear that multiple screen names are forbidden. Second request: Please explain the name "Rob W". Thank you. ~dbs, mod."

Fredo

John Mashey said...

Dates:
Having sometimes done Internet forensics where datestamps mattered;

1) Stephan is located in SW Australia, i.e., Perth and nearby.
2) The server that provides the date is likely located in that area, since otherwise, WA is pretty empty.
3) but the server doesn't *have* to be there. It doesn't even have to be in Australia. It could be a virtual server living in a cloud somewhere.

If one is concerned with such,try posting something at a known local time and see how it gets displayed whenever the post appears.

Life would be a lot simpler if we all just used UTC, or even better, # seconds since Jan 1, 1970 :-)

Local time can be especially weird in Oz, as NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania do daylight savings time, but Queensland, NT and WA do not. See this..
That means that driving N/S may/may not change the time, and this is relevant, as much of Queensland's population is in SouthEast. WA doesnt' do daylight savings, but Perth is a long way from the other time zones.


Also, South Australia is 1/2 hour off from NSW, Victoria, etc.

From US West Coast (CA), most of the time one can just add 8 hours to get UK time, or 9 hours for W Europe, given that standard/daylight times switch within a week or two.

Since Oz is in S. Hemisphere, the time relative to CA changes every few months, either because USA changes, or parts of Oz change. I used to go to Oz every year, and one had to be very careful with synchronizing conference calls.

John Mashey said...

Dates:
Having sometimes done Internet forensics where datestamps mattered;

1) Stephan is located in SW Australia, i.e., Perth and nearby.
2) The server that provides the date is likely located in that area, since otherwise, WA is pretty empty.
3) but the server doesn't *have* to be there. It doesn't even have to be in Australia. It could be a virtual server living in a cloud somewhere.

If one is concerned with such,try posting something at a known local time and see how it gets displayed whenever the post appears.

Life would be a lot simpler if we all just used UTC, or even better, # seconds since Jan 1, 1970 :-)

Local time can be especially weird in Oz, as NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania do daylight savings time, but Queensland, NT and WA do not. See this..
That means that driving N/S may/may not change the time, and this is relevant, as much of Queensland's population is in SouthEast. WA doesnt' do daylight savings, but Perth is a long way from the other time zones.


Also, South Australia is 1/2 hour off from NSW, Victoria, etc.

From US West Coast (CA), most of the time one can just add 8 hours to get UK time, or 9 hours for W Europe, given that standard/daylight times switch within a week or two.

Since Oz is in S. Hemisphere, the time relative to CA changes every few months, either because USA changes, or parts of Oz change. I used to go to Oz every year, and one had to be very careful with synchronizing conference calls.

EliRabett said...

Does anysanebunny really care?

Holly Stick said...

I hadn't actually realized that he iss in Australia, though when I took a second look at the times of the comments, I figured that out. But come on, he could probably use some more new conspiracy theories so he can write another paper about how such theories are generated.

John, in Canada you can always get a laugh with the story of the fellow who announces "The world is going to end at 9:00 tonight, 9:30 in Newfoundland."

Anonymous said...

Is "Al Gore is fat" the very best you can muster, Stumpytooth?

Fool.

Lotharsson said...

"I used to go to Oz every year, and one had to be very careful with synchronizing conference calls."

For a non-Aussie, John Mashey explains our patchwork quilt of timezones unusually well :-)

I used to have a lot of conference calls with the US (and UK) myself and had to learn to figure out what time it was going to be elsewhere.

Russell said...

If Noah had seen Lumpus Spookytooth comimg, he wouldn't have allowed the Lumpii Spookyteeth to board the Ark.

Magnus Westerstrand said...

The death match on earth seems to go on though... is trade restrictions the way? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhjAJUvThG4&feature=player_embedded

John Mashey said...

HS: I've been to Newfoundland.
indeed it is a long way.

My favorite "timezone" joke was found on a visit to New Zealand in 1999. An NZ computer magazine was discussing the forthcoming Y2K problem, for which they had a unique solution. They wrote something like:

Outsiders joke that when you land in Auckland, you need to turn your watch back ... 20 years.

SO, let's do it for real, see how the rest of the world makes out, and then deal with it in 20 years.

Eli:
'Does anysanebunny really care?'

I'm not sure if that was directed to timestamps, but if so, Eli should remember that I am a longtime computer guy. Time actually matters to computers and Eli might be surprised at how messy it is for computers to cope with weird and changing rules.

(The following is computer-geek turf: for others, what you need to know is that the idea of time in computers is complicated, and as embedded computers are increasingly pervasive, problems can occur that can have effects in the real world.)

For instance, here's an example of a localtime.c routine (and some helpers), used to convert (seconds since January 1, 1970) to a local time, taking into account timezone (which it gets via a mechanism I helped invent).
That's 40 pages of C code...

Think of the number of devices in your home that think they know the time and maybe date ... and are wrong. It would be nice if they all were networked and got the right answer ... and papers have been written about the problems in doing that in distributed networks where one or more computers get their dates set wrongly.

Of course, if your car thinks it knows the time and date, the only way to be sure is have a good electronic map and GPS, since any mobile computer has no fixed TZ.

Bugs have occurred and worse, external changes happen that are hard to track, especially in embedded devices.

In an early UNIX time routine, there was a "nixonflag" to cater to this, which made Daylight Savings run year-round for a few years.
That wasn't too bad (for UNIX) when that happened in 1973,as there were less than 30 computers running it. Somebody fixed the time conversion routines and the rest of us picked up copies ... but at the time, that meant recompiling that code, and relinking it with every program that used it.

Date conversion weirdness can affect even a single computer if it runs scheduling software. One has to be very careful, that if some activity is to be run at a specific time, and should be run to completion exactly once, that it is not scheduled in the hour that is either skipped or happens twice. Some of this interacts weirdly with interval-timed software.

And we haven't even gotten to the fun involved when a computer's time is determined to be incorrect, and has to be adjusted.

Anyway, the point of all this is that it is not just human confusion, but there is increasingly pervasive computing infrastructure that controls things in the real world, and time actually matters.

dhogaza said...

"If Noah had seen Lumpus Spookytooth comimg, he wouldn't have allowed the Lumpii Spookyteeth to board the Ark."

My understanding is that Noah was only interested in pairs, and lumpy is obviously a species with a single member.

bill said...

Yep, very definitely we are dealing with a solitary member here...

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, over at ArsTechnica, , John Timmer's piece on the Lewandowsky survey is attracting the denier hordes. Input from people who understand climate science is needed.

Mal Adapted

Anonymous said...

Sorry, left off the link

Mal

Rattus Norvegicus said...

John Mashey,

I gets even worse when you have to deal with all the weird national calenders and when the Gregorian calender was adopted in said nation (some of which didn't do it until well into the 20th Century!). I remember having to write a C++ class to handle this. I had nightmares for months!

Holly Stick said...

I was thinking more that, for one of those obsessive nitpicking internet arguments, it would be confusing to look for a comment posted the day after you had already responded to it.

But it is an interesting question how to handle this instant communication across time zones. Maybe there needs to be one common computer time; but it would still have to be connected to the local times.

dhogaza said...

"
But it is an interesting question how to handle this instant communication across time zones. Maybe there needs to be one common computer time; but it would still have to be connected to the local times."

Congratulations, you've managed to invent the state of the art!

Not being snarky at all, but this is the basic paradigm, servers get UTC and translate them to local times (the only problem with your statement being that the central source isn't "computer time", but time servers that base themselves on some nationally recognized source, such as an atomic clock).

Mashey's done a good job pointing out that the problem isn't at all that simple, but as a first iteration, you've done very well!

Anonymous said...

Over at Lewendowsky's a denialatus called 'Foxgoose' has decided that because John Cook from Skeptical Science posts as John Cook, John is therefore posting as a sock puppet.

Really.

Truly.

Seriously.

On a thread about crackpot responses to a study about crackpot conspiracy theories. You couldn't poe the script any harder if you tried.

Stephan must be rubbing his hands together in absolute glee at the years of material that he's having thrown at him - and no waivers required.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

bill said...

Since Deltoid lost the permalink function when National Geographic took over Sciencblogs, this 'our time is not your time' thing has been the source of remarkable debates, including 'but I didn't make a post at 1.30 am, ha ha ha' and even challenging the level of parental responsibility of someone whose twins had apparently just returned home in the wee small hours of the morning!

Hint, it's 2.04pm on the 12th where I am.

It's only a pity I couldn't find the Fry and Laurie sketch where Fry confronts a householder claiming - in best 'woo' manner - to come from 'the future', which turns out to be 5 minutes into the future. 'Five minutes!?' says an incredulous Laurie. 'Yes', says Fry '5 of your Earth minutes'...

Anonymous said...

Just rechecked, to be sure : in the thread at Lewandowsky's place, John Cook is mentioned *nowhere*
But, strangely enough, this accusation of "sockpuppetry" emerges just after some people found out that, at WUWT, Smokey is the sockpuppet of dbs.
But I'm a notorious overly paranoid - quite understandable considering the number of my enemies ;] (Pierre Desproges).

(by the way, did dbs/smokey aknowledge the fact, or is it heavily modded at the usual "non-censored" place ?)

bratisla

Sou said...

Stephan has addressed the issue of 'outliers' in a new post, for anyone interested. (I feel vindicated, in case anyone is interested:D)

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that Lewandowsky either has a student or a collaborator skilled in quantitative/discourse analysis, and that his IRB agrees that blog comments are public, and thus do not require a confidentiality/research waiver to warn commentors that their responses may be analyzed. It would be a great pity for such useful data to go to waste. It's also a pity that the 'skeptics' don't participate in science. If one of them did such a survey and presented it, who knows what it might show? But that's the problem, you can't risk seeking actual information if it might challenge your beliefs.

stewart

willard said...

Phil Clarke's comment has been noticed elsewhere:

http://planet3.org/2012/09/11/youre-in-real-trouble-now-professor/

Cleaning up my archives this morning, I stumbled upon this report of an auditing session in Heaven:

http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/922233236

Sou said...

I've had to wait till now to observe that today, many of you are in the here and now of yesterday. (You may disregard the time stamp of this comment - it doesn't ring true here.)

Anonymous said...

Sou.

Indeed, Stephan's commencement into explaining his survey to people is looking exactly as you, and I, and Michael Sweet, and several others warned about over at the pile-on at SkS.

What stands out like the proverbial dog's balls is that the multi-component data, as depicted by Stephan's graph on the faking the NASA faked the moon landing thread, are not gaussian. In fact they look decidely Poisson, and I'm sure that if they were (inadvisedly) separated into discrete factors they'd emerge as distinctly multimodal.

It's no surprise either - Stephan wasn't measuring something as 'straightforward' as IQ, which is largely gaussian, but rather something much more complex.

Various folk should not have thought to attempt to teach Stephan to suck eggs. All-in-all it's looking more and more like a classic example of why one best leaves expert work to experts in the field, and not even to a PhD in a diffferent discipline.

And yes, as several of us have repeatedly noted, Stephan has a wealth of new data with which to study denialism, especially blog denialism. It would take a lot of work, but with enough effort some truly slap-in-the-face-with-a-fish numbers would emerge.

None of which would be likely to paint the denialati in anything resembling a scientific light.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Sou said...

Bernard, I suspect you are correct about the multimodal distribution. IIRC the paper itself identifies some conspiracy theories it tested as being more likely held by those on the left and some more likely held by those on the right of politics (as their starting hypotheses based on other work).

I must confess, however, that I wasn't basing my arguments (ie with Tom Fuller) on any statistical basis. It was solely on the basis that one has to have a definite reason for discarding data. Tom and others seemed to think the fact that it looked odd to him was sufficient reason. In the surveys I've conducted I would never discard data on a whim or just because it looks odd. It would have to meet specified criteria to be discarded - especially where you are dealing with people's opinions.

(Lots of scientific discoveries would never have been made if people had thrown away data just because they thought it looked 'odd'.)

Russell said...

This recalls Carll Sagan's indignant refusal to cooperate in survey designed to quantify where scientists and laymen were respectively getting their information about the 'nuclear winter controvery, distributed to attendees at a seminar at a AAAS annual meeting in 1986

The attempt to differentiate popular perceptions informed by materials prepared by a PR firm from those arising from the peer reviewd literature came to naught because of the poor response rate

Sou said...

By the way - I'm not assuming those extreme data points are not from gamed responses, nor that they are.

Just saying one cannot make assumptions either way without hard evidence - and the responses by themselves are not hard evidence. Discarding the responses could have distorted the results.

Anonymous said...

Sou, as Isaac Asimov said:

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...' "

Marco

Anonymous said...

"Various folk should not have thought to attempt to teach Stephan to suck eggs. All-in-all it's looking more and more like a classic example of why one best leaves expert work to experts in the field, and not even to a PhD in a diffferent discipline."

Dunning-Kruger writ very large and prominent.

Rib Smokin' bunny

John Mashey said...

Well, Web polls surely must be reliable, given the prominence WUWT gives to Weblog awards for being best science blog.

dhogaza said...

Proof that Watts, at least, doesn't believe in conspiracy theories ...

(snicker snicker)

Anonymous said...

I've just thought of even "better" for his future studies.
No one can argue that his study was in a big spotlight. No one can argue that his mail is hard to find - maybe climate depot as usual published it on a whim.
One can safely assume his mailbox is full of "skeptic answers".

With their e-mail addresses. No need to get through any blog site to attain "skeptics" now.

Of course, if a new survey is sent to these adresses, it can be safely assumed that the percentage of answers will be low. But still, given the flurry of mails, it can make a sizeable pool.

This professor is my new hero.

Holly Stick said...

Well, dhogaza, I'm glad you're not being snarky at all, but am indeed admiring my intuitive leap to the solution of computer time troubles. :p

However, according to bill, this solution is not universally implemented, which unfortunate circumstance results in the further enabling of trolls and conspiracy nuts.

Holly Stick said...

Oh yes, it's 7:25 pm on September 12 here, Mountain Daylight Time. We go back to Mountain Standard Time in a month or two.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Yes, Holly, but by then it will be so dark in the morning that it will be next to impossible to get up.

At least here in Montana.

John Mashey said...

People might want to take a look at this book by Lewandowsky and Farrell.

dbostrom said...

Putting John Mashey's suggestion another way, look carefully before you leap.

"Getting schooled" is the term in some parts, with a belt.

bill said...

On a similar note I've been entertained by the 'aha; but did you didn't take this into account, did you?! So there!' stuff where this has been specifically addressed in the paper...

Sou said...

The next chapter has been posted.

It's fun - and refers to models, like the excerpts I read in the book John Mashey referred us to, albeit written for a broader audience.

Anonymous said...

On page 10 of the Leandowsky book linked to by John Mashey above, the the authors summarize what they consider to be important aspects of computational modeling :

1. data never speak for themselves but require a model to be understood and to be explained.

2. Verbal theorizing alone cannot substitute for quantitative analysis.

3. There are always several alternative models that vie for explanation of the data and we must compare those alternatives.

4. Model comparison rests on both quantitative evaluation and intellectual and scholarly judgment.

5. Even seemingly intuitive verbal theories can turn out to be incoherent or ill-specified.

6. only instantiation in a quantitative model ensures that all the assumptions of a theory have been identified and tested.

Seems reasonable enough, but unfortunately, Lewandowsky neglected to mention the most important requirement that applies to all quantitative modeling:

The conclusions of any kind of quantitative study are only as good as the input data (GI/GO as John Mashey would undoubtedly say)

If Lewandowsky's survey is somehow biased (as would appear to be the case), he can do "quantitative analysis" until the cows come home and it won't mean a damn.

Quantitative analysis of garbage yields garbage.

~@:>



Sou said...

Anonymous writes in classic denier-speak: "I don't like the results so the data must be wrong."

Anonymous said...

~@:>

Lewendowsky is "quantifying" the body of responses to his survey. Nothing more, nothing less.

Indeed, if you read the discussion in the draft you'll see that Lewendowsky explicitly notes the nature of his sample, and that their "sample is self-selected and that the results may therefore not
generalize to the population at large". In this context, there is little to suggest that the data deviate in any particular way from what is truly representative of a self-selecting sample of blog commenters.

There's a difference between "garbage" and the study's potential deviation from the greater population. Lewendowsky et al clearly differentiate between the two. As far as the authors describe their study, and its analyses, results, and conclusions, there is no prima facie case for declaring GIGO.

It seems to me that there are many people who haven't actually read the draft and understood what it says, and what it doesn't say. Most of the raucous objections that the denialati repeat amongst themselves are raised in the paper itself, and I suspect that many of the conspiratorial ideators don't realise that Lewendowsky et al actually listed these potential pitfalls in the paper before the denialists took up arms against it.

Finally, anyone wanting to formally extrapolate from the Lewendowsky et al subset to the general, non-blogging population would simply conduct a more comprehensive study. However, given that the current results are hardly novel, one might be surprised if a very different result was detected from the broader community.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...


The data from a study based on a survey and the conclusions drawn from it are only as valid as the sampling method.

That's hardly a controversial claim -- at least in the scientific community.

~@:>

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Anonytroll: "If Lewandowsky's survey is somehow biased (as would appear to be the case*)...)

*citation needed

So, anonytroll, is Lewandowsky conspiring against the "sketpic" community?

dbostrom said...

"Garbage in, garbage out."

Surely it cannot have escaped notice that what Lewandowsky et al.* are seeking to distill from the vast stream of cognition flowing through the intertubes is specifically mental garbage, rubbish thinking?

Looking at garbage is the point of the study, so "Garbage in, garbage out" indeed.

Yet more irony. Thank you!

If nothing else, the Moon hoax paper seems to have established the presence of a strange blind spot in skepticon thinking, a punctum caecum that seems to make it impossible for skepticons to see themselves.

Anonymous said...

"The data from a study based on a survey and the conclusions drawn from it are only as valid as the sampling method."

And as I noted at 13/9/12 8:53 AM, Lewendowsky et al say as much themselves.

I'm not sure that this is actually registering yet with you...

Are you poeing our legs?


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Holly Stick said...

Rattus, who gets up in the morning anyway? We need to hibernate more in the winter.

I think the whole switch to Daylight Time is ridiculous and should just be cancelled. Canada's Daylight Time was extended a few years ago to follow the US. But Saskatchewan has the right idea; they have always refused to use Daylight Time.

Anonymous said...

"If Lewandowsky's survey is somehow biased (as would appear to be the case*)...)

*citation needed


Well, for starters, respondents are self-selected in this case.

But as they say, one person's trash is another's treasure.


~@:>

dbostrom said...

"Respondents are self-selected."

I'm wondering if anybody can provide examples of surveys explicitly inviting participants and whose respondents are not self-selected?

"Hey you, come over here for a second. Ok boys, strap 'em down and start asking questions." Is that how most surveys work? How'd those get by the human subjects review boards?

Or is 98% of social science invalidated by a person flying under the colors of a collection of typographic symbols?

Emerging ignorance, like a strip-tease act.

Sou said...

Perhaps Anonymous is saying the researchers should have collected the names and phone numbers or email addresses of 'blog denizens', then made direct contact with all of them or a random sample. (Anthony Watts could have helped out here, he boasts that he collects names and contact details of 'warmists' - and maybe others, too - who comment on his blog, though he does make mistakes sometimes.)

Or the researchers could have directly contacted some bloggers and asked them to post a link to the survey and invite their readers to participate.

The paper has a reference to a study that tests pre-conceptions of web surveys.

Sou said...

Here's a link to the study that was referenced: Gosling, S. D., Vazire, S., Srivastava, S., & John, O. P. (2004). Should we trust web-based studies? A comparative analysis of six preconceptions about internet questionnaires. American Psychologist, 59 , 93-104

bill said...

Anonymous.

Read the paper. Then you'll be one step ahead of most of the 'skeptic' commentators over on the Lewandowsky threads.

F'rinstance:

Another objection might raise the possibility that our respondents willfully accentuated their replies in order to subvert our presumed intentions. As in most behavioral research, this possibility cannot be ruled out. However, unless a substantial subset of the more than 1,000 respondents conspired to coordinate their responses, any individual accentuation or provocation would only have injected more noise into our data.This seems unlikely because subsets of our items have been used in previous laboratory research, and for those subsets, our data did not di ffer in a meaningful way from published precedent. For example, the online supplemental material shows that responses to the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Gri n, 1985) replicated previous research involving the population at large, and the model in Figure 1 exactly replicated the factor structure reported by Lewandowsky et al. (2012) using a sample of pedestrians in a large city.

Plus, of course, we already knew that the 'skeptic' community is overwhelmingly composed of the 'libertarian' far-Right: I'd have been more concerned if this result wasn't found.

And, of course, everyone on all sides of the debate is fully aware that 'skepticism' is inextricably shot-through with 'crank-magnetism'.

This is not only the elephant in the room of a movement that allows the likes of Lord Monckton to play at figurehead; anyone who's spent time at Watts', the Sticky Bishop's or (particularly) Jo Nova's knows this strain runs through from top to bottom (like the tungsten in the corrupted gold bullion with which The Regulatory Class has contaminated The Market!).

Which is why any 'skeptic' blogs approached would indeed be instantly wary of participating, I'd suggest.

But, of course, at the end of it all, the 'skeptic' reaction has so completely confirmed the hypothesis - hair-trigger, unevidenced accusations of malfeasance; 'the Warmists done it!'; 'gotcha' questions that are already answered in the paper; Watts' ridiculous 'Cook-Lewandowsky Social-Internet Link' - that I'm surprised you're even bothering, frankly. This is the real meat of the matter, but, of course, you can always wave a hand and point out it's all 'self selected'... ;-)

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Ah, self-selection bias. But, anonytroll, would you not expect such a self-selection bias to mitigate against demonstrating the hypothesis? Would you not expect conspiracy theory nuts to be distrustful and refuse to answer the survey (as indeed the "skeptic" blog proprieters did)? Would this not indicate that Lewandowsky's conclusions are in fact conservative?

Anonymous said...

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said on 13/9/12 5:27 PM:

"Ah, self-selection bias. But, anonytroll, would you not expect such a self-selection bias to mitigate against demonstrating the hypothesis? Would you not expect conspiracy theory nuts to be distrustful and refuse to answer the survey (as indeed the "skeptic" blog proprieters did)? Would this not indicate that Lewandowsky's conclusions are in fact conservative?"

Exactly. I was discussing this with a colleague yesterday at work.

This little (but profound) inference seems to have escaped the denialati. Ironically, the refusal of many of them to participate, together with their conspiracies about procedure and their denial of the results, very much suggests that any bias in the study is likely to be a conservative one.

And as I said over on SkS, my own experience with family and friends suggests this too.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Sou said...

Does this remind you of anyone?

(Hint: not a scientific researcher.)

bill said...

Any more than one I'd have thought.

And if the remarkably voluble A. Scott is going to have a go at outing people he could at least get their title right...

Sou said...

You're right, Bill. A Scott is getting very worked up about all this as well. Cognitive models at work.

I'm surprised no-one has remarked on the time it's taking to post online the data from A Scott's 'replicated' survey.

Sou said...

I've just wandered over to CA. McIntyre has definitely 'gone emeritus' - or whatever the equivalent is for a blogger. The Lewandowsky paper has pushed him over the edge. (Or maybe he was always this weird. I've not visited his blog much.)

dbostrom said...

The Lewandowsky paper has pushed him over the edge.

That would be the climate "tipping point" we've all been anticipating.

Ahab sails the Pequod over the edge of his flat Earth, taking his entire crew with him.

Steven Sullivan said...

Can't access Lewandowsky's page on http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/
now. Anyone else having that problem?

Anonymous said...

Yes. It's conspiracy theory time :-J as Skeptical Science is down too.

Cymraeg llygoden

Phil Clarke said...

An apology is due. I speculated that McIntyre's response, should Professor L decline to answer the Auditor's Questions posed on the interwebs, might be in the form of a single 'Lewanowsky stonewalls' type post at Audit Central, after which the Auditor would move on to more worthwhile Auditings.

So far the Auditor has found the time to author eight such posts, each incrementally more shrill than the last. Not content with that, he has been marshalling the flying monkeys ....

If Lewandowky’s claim about 5 skeptic blogs was fabricated, it appears to me that it would be misconduct under university policies. The person responsible for investigating complaints appears to be the Pro VIce Chancellor (Research) ,Robyn Owens, dvcr@uwa.edu.au.
She is in a position to get an answer, given Lewandowsky’s refusal to disclose the information.


We now know that not only was Lewandowsky's claim not fabricated, McIntyre was one of the 5 skeptic blogs contacted; he just failed to find the email. (Or in AuditSpeak 'bizarrely and conveniently failed to locate the email').

During the 'ClimateGate' kerfuffle, McIntyre stated ''Everything that I've done in this, I've done in good faith,'.

Some bunnies might wonder if the public and completely baseless insinuation of misconduct made by Mr McIntyre, which doesn't exactly paint him in a flattering light, is responsible for the appearance of the eight blog posts each one featuring the words 'fake' and 'bogus' in increasing concentration.

Not this bunny, you understand. For the record I think the paper attracting all this scrutiny is something of a sideshow in the grand scheme of things, but the reaction of McIntyre (8 posts), Watts (at least 10 posts, life's too short to count these things) including one alleging erm, a conspiracy) Lucia, JoNova and the rest is a fascinating and entertaining confirmation of Lewanowsky's basic thesis, and an entertaining exposition of what happens when one ignores the simple principle 'when you're in a hole, stop digging'.

More to come. I hope.

bill said...

Phil Clarke - completely agreed.

It's an extraordinary phenomenon - and, I suspect, rather more comforting than focusing on inconvenient Arctic sea-ice, or lack thereof.

As are the lectures the good Prof is receiving to the effect that if you have the temerity to publish something you automatically must open yourself to subsequently engaging with nothing beyond the endless accusations, restatements of the same demands because the questioners don't like the (same) answer and want to cement the inference of their question as a species of 'fact' by simple repetition, and time-wasting demands to be spoon-fed information either already in the paper or otherwise previously disclosed.

Nihilism meets cynicism in the baby/bathwater hope of making any knowledge all-but impossible by melding the Creationist 'God of the gaps' strategy to a kind of belligerent OCD hyper-scrutiny!

Can you imagine if Einstein had been subjected to the internet and blogscience? No doubt the GOP would have got Rog Tallbloke to testify before Congress by now...

Sou said...

I thought the reaction on denier blogs was extreme, but now they are outdoing extreme. McIntyre is urging people to vote in a poll that Watts has set up, asking who did the 2010 survey. The purpose of the exercise is not stated, so here are some hypotheses:

a) to see how many people visit WUWT

b) to use web stats to see how many people go to WUWT after reading the CA article (not sure why that info would be of interest, but I'm trying to include all possibilities)

c) to see how many conspiracy theories will appear in the comments, particularly ones that haven't previously been mentioned

d) to see how many 'skeptics' refer to their extreme right wing ideology in the comments

e) to test whether there is value in web polls (no controls AFAIK, so it is more likely that they assume web polls are valid ?:-<)

f) to prove that science should be left to scientists.

Sou said...

Following on from my previous post, and supporting what Phil and others wrote:

If the results of the WUWT poll were an approximate reflection of readership, 98.4% of WUWT readers reject (climate) science. Even if you factor in all the people who Tony has banned from posting - and lurkers, the ratio might not change much.

Puts paid to any claims of 'diverse' audience. This poll has arguably amply demonstrated that WUWT is another fringe blog for 'nutters', and ignored by the general population :D

Phil Clarke said...

Sou - Remember that you need to control for the fact that an unknown number of visitors to WUWT are actually moderators posting under a pseudonym (I see 'Smokey' has not yet taken the opportunity to declare himself a sceptic in the survey comments. Odd that.).

I think we should be grateful to Mr Watts for providing a venue for all these like-minded people to hook up and discuss the latest talking points, keeps them off the electronic streets.....

Phil Clarke said...

e) to test whether there is value in web polls (no controls AFAIK, so it is more likely that they assume web polls are valid ?:-<)

We already know that. Online polls that find WUWT to be the best 'science' blog (stay with me) are excellent, polls that demonstrate that a huge majority of people think James Hansen should be fired are fine. Online polls that indicate that there is a large overlap between GW sceptics and conspiracy theory believers and free-market extremists are fake and bogus - and Steve McIntyre has several pages of tables, stats and charts that 'prove' it.

dhogaza said...

Sou:

"I've just wandered over to CA. McIntyre has definitely 'gone emeritus' - or whatever the equivalent is for a blogger. The Lewandowsky paper has pushed him over the edge. (Or maybe he was always this weird. I've not visited his blog much.)"

He's always been this weird.

Many here will remember the NASA spidering kerfuffle, where an unsuspecting NASA admin blocked a wget request to download the entire contents of a web server, disregarding the site's robots.txt file. It happened to be McI looking for data.

McI accused the admin of blocking him because his name is McI. The admin had never heard of McI. McI refused to believe that the admin didn't know who he was - how can one work for NASA without knowing who The Auditor is and that He Must Be Served whatever data he wants, even if he wgets an entire site?

Not that I'm implying that McI and friends are susceptible to conspiracy theories or anything like that ... :)

There was also an incident where an airport in the UK intentionally blocked McI because he's McI and the warmists had somehow infiltrated the airport management or something along those lines ...

McI's entire reason for being is based on the assumption of conspiracy among "the team", if that's not weird enough for you, what is? :)

Anonymous said...

I feel that I have to step in and object to folk calling McI "weird".

This is only my humble opinion of course, but I would say that he's not weird - he's effin' bat-shit crazy!!

And in terms of the impact that he's helping to inflict on the future, he's also bloody dangerous.

Just my humble opinion. And should the proprietors of the burrow not think it adds to the décor I'm happy for them to fill this little scraping in.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

EliRabett said...

Never fear, this is not Shaping Tomorrow's World

dhogaza said...

" he's effin' bat-shit crazy!!"

I bow to your roman-numeral'd and esquired professional analysis, BJ. effin' bat-shit crazy it is!

Sou said...

Never fear, this is not Shaping Tomorrow's World

Speaking of bat-shit crazy, someone got fed up. All Tom Fuller's posts have disappeared from the latest thread.

(He's a dill, obnoxious and extremely annoying and inconsistent and does not have the survey expertise he pretends, but I don't think he's bat-shit crazy like McI.)

dhogaza said...

" I don't think he's bat-shit crazy like McI"

He makes up for it with his sheer dishonesty ...

dbostrom said...

Call him Ahab-- anybody forced to read "Moby Dick" in high school will get it. Really, it's flattery of a kind; a living man embodying the archetype illustrated in a timeless work of great literature.

In fact, McAhab's given me a fresh appreciation for Melville's book, is the first example I've seen from real life of what the author was describing.

Sou said...

Looks as if we can once and for all add Curry to the bat-shit crazy list. She is calling on people like paranoid conspiracy theorist extraordinaire 'Jo Nova' in support of her notion that climate scientists are part of a giant conspiracy.

The Lewandowsky paper is drawing all the weirdos out of the closet - like climategate brought out the conspiracy theorists.

Fascinating to see the strength (and duration) of reaction to what was really no more than a minor survey.

Former Skeptic said...

but I don't think he's bat-shit crazy like McI

I don't think McI has blatantly lied about his past as blatantly Fuller did with his military service...

Nor has McI claimed “I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission. Nor do I believe men of honour would select portions of the email that don’t correspond to the entire message.” at Lambert's old digs before co-authoring a book on the CRU hack...

Nor has McI, on CA, ever written a laughable, drama-queenish woe-is-me, goodbye-cruel-world "FINAL POST" on his blog...before starting a new blog a few months later...

Nah, Fuller's clearly more batshit crazy than McI.

Holly Stick said...

Lewandowsky's next project: establishing a hierarchy of batshit craziness

Lars Karlsson said...

Thus spoke Curry, guardian of the Mighty Bullshit Detector:


"The latest ‘explanation’ for lack of belief in the IPCC consensus ‘truth’ is that these non believers are conspiracy theorists. See Stephan Lewandowsky’s editorial Evidence is overrated if you are a conspiracy theorist. Lewandowsky’s ‘evidence’ was a scammed internet survey. Bloggers such as Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, BishopHill, Lucia, JoNova are all over this, and have exposed the scam (note: there are multiple posts on each of these blogs). BS detection in action. While I have used the term ‘auditors’ for deep investigations of problems with climate data, BS detection seems much more apt for this particular issue.

Lew, get a clew. I hope this experience with the skeptical bloggers has revealed what they are really all about, as they have revealed YOUR conspiracy by finding a really big pile."


An all the batshit crazies rejoiced and nobody heard the Great BS Detector go off, for they all had stuffed their ears with batshit.

bill said...

I guess these folks never studied Hamlet: 'Methinks thou dost protest too much', as the popularised version of the quote goes. In fact, at the sites of respectable 'skepticism' (and forthright BS detection) that Curry refers to the atmosphere is genuinely hysterical.

The ever-well-balanced Ms. Nova, for instance, has people bombarding Minister for Tertiary Education Senator Chris Evans' office as we speak, and has a list of all of Lewandowsky's other recent funding that she seems to think is excessive - note: there's not even a reference to AGW on it - after the crack 'nice work if you can get it' and this classic piece of talkback-radio lumpen-populist nastiness: 'somewhere a cancer researcher was denied funding in order for Lewandowsky to do his work.'

This isn't just mildly kooky; this is genuinely ugly.

(IMHO that last over-wrought zero-sum calculation is actually a pretty-good example of the level of 'auditing' one can consistently expect from these folks. With friends like these who needs credibility?)

dbostrom said...

Well, I guess that's the high resolution, low orbit view of Curry. Rumors of intelligent life on that planet are finally put to rest.

Anonymous said...

Lewendowsky's draft paper is Magnaplasm to denialism's splinters.

And if it worked a tenth as well at lifting out tumours as it does in drawing out the conspiratorially-bent secret squirrels into the light of day, it would be the single greatest cancer cure of the modern medical age.

I must say though that the spectacle of the madam lifting her skirts as high as her busy beavers* do is a particularly off-putting one; worse than finding a dead rat in the lett-us patch.

Speaking of madams and the dreaded itch, I'm reminded of the other dame mentioned above... Codling's stage name is defined by the Dictionary of the Free as:

"A white dwarf star that suddenly and temporarily becomes extremely bright as a result of the explosion at its surface of material accreted from an expanding companion star. The material, mostly hydrogen and helium, is attracted by the white dwarf's gravity and accumulates under growing pressure and heat until nuclear fusion is ignited. Unlike a supernova, a nova is not blown apart by the explosion and gradually returns to its original brightness over a period of weeks to years. Because of their sudden appearance where no star had been previously visible, novae were long thought to be new stars."

A lesson to the wise: if one is a white dwarf who collects fulminating lightweights around one to be (con)fused as they are squeezed by the gravity of science, and if one has the hubristic effrontery to name one's-self after such a phenomenon, one should not be surprised if one has also predicted the exact nature of one's fate.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.


[*Apologies to our Castorid cousins - I was just turning a phrase. You know I still love you very much...]

Anonymous said...

Apologies also to our flittermouse cousins.

We all know that you concentrate all of your insipient insanity in your effluvium in order to maintain your lofty status above the rest of us, and thus that it is only your cunningly-crafted guano that burns the nose, tears the eyes, and induces retching in those unwary enough to wander into the darkest caves.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Dhogaza, 5/9/12 9:45 AM.

Oh, those little decorations...

Ignore them, I don't believe in parading around in ribbons.


Loud Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq., of Benchpress.

bill said...

Speaking of STW's moderation policies, I'm disappointed part of an exchange regarding A Scott's - he that 'Mr.'s Rabetts - referring to what Lewandowsky is doing as (suspiciously well-funded) 'PSYOPS' has disappeared, because, frankly, could you find a more convincing confirmation of the Prof's central thesis?

Sou said...

Bill, that was a very good example. It's vying with quite a few others though.

A Scott keeps trying to backtrack, saying PSYOPS doesn't mean what he said it means, and advocacy doesn't mean advocacy.

A Scott still hasn't produced the data from his replicated survey. I wonder if he ever will.

I'm also wondering if the increasingly ridiculous blog articles on various sites are an attempt to lift flagging readership or whether the authors really are as disturbed as their posts suggest. (McI has a few friends who keep trying to bring him back to reality, and some enemies who encourage his neurosis.)

Anonymous said...

Bill, those comments haven't been deleted, they've just been warehoused in a secret location for use as research material in future propaganda 'science' against the Denialati.


Loud Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...

... of Benchpress, dammit.

Anonymous said...

"Moderator Response: Mr. Fuller found compliance with the comments policy too onerous a burden and has recused himself from further discussion. His comments were then excised from discussion as well; references to other comments via numbering may thus be off."

Of course, with Mr. Kloor maybe having found a paying job Mr. Fuller may be on hiatus.


Eli

Sou said...

Mr Fuller has had to resort to joining David Archibald (who has just predicted a major ice age this century, starting next year as per usual) over at the nuttery.

(He's now an expert in surveys, having churned out about a dozen every working week over two years!!)

Anonymous said...

I just went to see what's on the menu at the curry house, and it seems that Lewendowsky Rag 'n' Josh is popular, as is Libel Kharma.

Not only has Judy now well and truly completely destroyed any last vestige of her previous reputation as a scientist, she's set sail deep into "come and kick my arse in court" territory.

I need to go wash.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Sou said...

BTW I think in his article Fuller is denying being 'bat-shit crazy'.

(Taking the lead from LBJH-AEoB, with apologies to the bats.)

Jeffrey Davis said...


The point of denialism is to delay mitigation. It is NOT to advance the science. Ignoring them is the only rational recourse. Scientists with doubts about papers who are interested in actual science will question doubtful papers in the literature. As they have done since the dawn of science journals.

Anonymous said...

McI's descent into madness might be expected if he's still trying to breathe life into a certain 'game-changing albeit wrong' paper. Has there been any news on that recently?

Regards, Millicent

Anonymous said...

Stephan is slowly pushing in the knife:

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskySEM.html

It should be dawning on more than a few people that they've been hanging on to the wrong end of the stick. This goes for boths sides of the fence: it will be interesting to see who has the fortitude to admit that that might have been a little off base.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Uh, now McIntyre's asking for the code...

It seems that he's not quite the statistician he would like to imagine. Frankly, I'd have thought that it's a bit premature to go asking for essays-on-line, and if one really needs to do so, wouldn't you try to get someone else's work rather than ask the Professor who set the question? After all, replication versus duplication, and all that.

I'm sure that the emails will be next. Oh, hang on, hasn't he already tried to FoI the UWA? I don't visit his corner out of principle, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone more adventurous told me McIntyre was cooking up Conspiracygate.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

J Bowers said...

Idiot Tracker has an observation: Despite years of "auditing" science, McIntyre doesn't know what "replicate" means

Sou said...

Tony Watts has just done an interview with PBS Newshour and confirmed the Lewandowsky study. In particular, the finding that extreme free market ideology is a strong predictor of rejection of climate science.

He starts with saying the thing that bothers him the most is that 'they want to apply taxes'.

Then further down he complains about 'regulation' and finishes with 'taxes' and 'regulation'.

(In the middle he throws in a couple of suggestions that could fall under the umbrella of conspiracy, or close to - like scientists and NGOs are only in it for the money!)

Lovely!

Anonymous said...

Tom Curtis was offbase with his opinion of Lewie's stats. Tom is now focussing on ranting about the title.

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=2&t=82&&n=166#1460

Jumping a guppy?

Sou said...

Jumping a guppy?

Something's got him upset. Don't know Curtis - he's a mod at SkS isn't he? He seems to be very sympathetic to deniers, and very antagonistic towards moon hoaxers. Not very even-handed is it.

(If you're going to sympathise with the afflicted you shouldn't pick favourites or discriminate IMO!)

Bernard J. said...

Sou.

Tom is indeed a moderator at SkS, and a very intelligent man. His background appears to be in philosophy, but he's done well to pick up quite a lot of basic (and not-so-basic) climatology - certainly far more than I would ever invest in given my own irons in the fire.

However, is wasn't rocket science to see that he was jumping the gun (or the guppy!) somewhat with respect to the statistical methodology. He seems to have been persuaded by a Gaussian perspective, rather than recognising that the behavioural sciences necessarily deal in distributions additional to the 'normal' one, and which essentially render irrelevant his initial objections. Lewandowsky's subsequent explanations, on top of the paper's explanation of methodology, should hose Tom down as well as the more ideologically-reactionary complainants, hopefully leaving legitimate criticism to psychology professionals who actually comprehend the complexities of knowledge and analytical approach that are particular to their discipline.

Back when it started his objection to the title was almost an afterthought, but he seems to have now made in his figurehead. I'm somewhat puzzled by this, as I've seen quite a few colourful paper titles during my own coursework studies in psychology - especially in educational psychology. Perhaps Tom is unaware of the differing conventions between different discipline for titling a paper... although with his humanities background he should be aware of some of the wonderfully quirky titles that come out of the arts especially!

More prosaic is the fact that the title may not actually be the final published title, but simply a flag to indicate pre-print what the paper's about. In this Tom sees some malfeasance too, essentially claiming that Lewandowsky et al are trying to sex up poor work, but I think that this is a long bow to draw, borne of a perspective formed without the benefit of an professional insider's understanding.

It's worth noting that the journal Psychological Science is no slouch in the domain that it represents. I'll take the opinions of the experts in the discipline before I jump onto the bandwagon of folk not appropriately trained and experienced. I think that it's best to wait and see what the profession thinks about the work, before subscribing to armchair experts on both sides of the fence.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Let's just say that I gave PBS a piece of my mind. This was a disgracefully researched piece. I lived in the Bay Area for more than 20 years and used to listen to KQED radio all the time and especially in the morning when they had a show which featured Spencer Michels.

Needless to say, it would have been pathetically easy to research this story and realized that there was a completely different tale to tell than that which Michels ended up presenting. All it would have taken was a quick Google of "Watts 2012 paper" to see that this man was also in pursuit of his own white whale.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

As far as the title goes: let's just say that there is a grand tradition of papers in cognitive science and sociology with humorous titles. I remember doing a lit review for an intro sociology class in college where I looked at literature about female attractiveness to males. On of the papers I review had the title "The Girls Really Do Get Prettier at Closing Time". I really don't understand the kvetching about the title. I though it was funny, or at least worth a chuckle.

Sou said...

Bernard, the analysis is beyond my expertise, I wouldn't know if it's good or bad - but like you I checked out the journal and it's very high ranking so that's got to be worth something. (As well as the fact that the Professor looks to have achieved quite a bit in his field and knows something of what he's talking about.)

The findings are in line with my experience with bloggers as well, including full-blown conspiracy theorists who post on science blogs.

Overall, I wouldn't have thought the paper warrants the attention it's got. It's a minor work adding to an existing body of knowledge. (That's just a guess - it's obviously important enough to get into that particular journal so it's not that minor.)

With Tom - my guess is that he wants to build bridges with deniers but doesn't care about bridge building with conspiracy theorists, who to him are probably the lowest of the low (just going by his over-the-top reaction).

I have some but not much sympathy with his intent to build bridges with people who think climate science is a hoax (if I've got it right). I've got no sympathy for the tone or stance he's adopted on the title issue.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Holy shit! An impact factor over 4! That is a damn serious journal.

Bernard J. said...

"Holy shit! An impact factor over 4! That is a damn serious journal.

Indeed.

Of course, impact factors need to be taken with a grain of salt, but compare with some of the other journals in the field:

http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Impact_factors_of_psychology_journals

Basically, Psychological Science is coming just under the Nature-type journals in the discipline.

It's a Big Player.

Bernard J. said...

And right on cue, Doug Bostrom's providing some examples of humourous paper titles:

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=3&t=119&&n=166#1483

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Paper titles: I did likewise for papers that are actually in the field.

And then there is this "HOLY SHIT" item I picked up from Mike Mann's Facebook page:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/17/862571/mann-power-court-rules-deniers-have-no-right-to-the-emails-of-uva-climate-scientists/

ATI gets shot down.

Anonymous said...

Authors beware, if you want to get cited a lot in psychology journals that is... :-)

Cymraeg llygoden

bill said...

I mean, what, the frickin' paper should have been called 'Some Instances of Conspiratorial Ideation observed among Climate Change 'Skeptics Blog Readers?'

Tom Curtis is never likely to make it as a sub-editor, or publisher!

Or a master tactician, for that matter... talk about pandering to Denialists' outrage and wounded narcissism... and 'immoral'!?; eeeurk!

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is that LOG12 garnered amazing exposure, in part due to its title.

Narky high dudgeon aside, it's Job Done.

Simple as that.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Cymraeg llygoden.

That paper is rather interesting.

I'm guessing that LOG12 wouldn't count as "pleasant"!


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Anonymous said...

On paper titles...

John Mashey for the win!


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Lotharsson said...

And mk FTW on that "Drilling Into Noise" thread with his straightforward calling out of many splendored forms of bullshit.

Anonymous said...

And just to show that LOG12 really is tame in the world of titles:

http://light-cite.livejournal.com/


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Holly Stick said...

John Mashey's list of titles is great, though I notice he missed one: The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World's Top Climate Expert

This title is especially dumb and self-indulgent.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

And now we know why McIntyre was asking for the code. He made a bozo mistake.

Nathan said...

And now McIntyre makes an even dumber error. He claims they used PCA, so therefore didn't do the method as outlined in their paper. But the paper that shows how to do Factor analysis shows that PCA is but a step...

http://www.let.rug.nl/~nerbonne/teach/rema-stats-meth-seminar/Factor-Analysis-Kootstra-04.PDF

You need to update your post, it's so hilarious!

Anonymous said...

You know how the denialist response to Lewandowsky et al proved the very finding of the paper with which the denialati were disagreeing?

Well, a denialatus called Brad Keyes is performing the same trick with Kahan et al 2012. It's astonishing to witness:

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/news.php?p=7&t=303&&n=167#2203


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

Sou said...

What is The Auditor afraid of? Why is he hiding the data?