The Wonderful World of Wikipedia

UPDATE: The error has now been completely eliminated from the article. Details below.

Guest post by James Padgett

As many readers are aware, the culture surrounding the climate change topic area of Wikipedia has been a microcosm of climate science for nearly a full decade.

This is not a compliment.

When you read the Climategate emails and see discussions of finding people to investigate and discredit your ideological opponents –  that is Wikipedia. When you read about the IPCC’s usage of the WWF and students in composing their Climate Bible (KJV) – that is Wikipedia. When you read about “climate scientists” conspiring to get other scientists fired for challenging the orthodoxy – that is Wikipedia.

In short, Wikipedia does not care about truth, and certainly not doubts, it cares about message.

And that’s what this article is about, how the truth, when made plainly clear, is suppressed in favor of misinformation that is on message.

WikipediaMessageError

Early last month I was browsing the Wikipedia article on the Soon-Baliunas controversy. The “mainstream” view on the topic is that the paper was so horrible that several editors resigned from Climate Research in protest. Those following the Climategate emails know that there was a strong and shady behind-the-scenes effort to both discredit the paper and show journals what happens to their reputations and hairlines when you dare to publish research contradictory to the “settled science.”

Part of this public relations process, of which Wikipedia is an integral component, involves rewriting facts, refocusing views and never ever giving in to rationality or reality.

How was this done in the Soon-Baliunas article? I don’t have the time or inclination to point out all the bias and opinion-herding in the article, but I’ll show you the sentence that initially caught my eye back in early December:

“The Soon and Baliunas paper had been sent to four reviewers during publication, all of whom recommended rejecting it.” (1)

Now isn’t that interesting? Why would they publish the paper if all of the reviewers recommended rejecting it? It certainly would be quite the scandal if that villainous Chris de Freitas pushed to publish it under such conditions.

A little digging shows that Wikipedia used to have the correct sentence – that none of the reviewers recommended rejecting it. In fact, an anonymous user tried to revert the article back to this correct version. The response was typical – change it back and then have one of the administrator gatekeepers, “MastCell,” protect the article from anonymous users. After all, the only people who could ever be correct are the Champions of the Earth.

But that wasn’t the end of it. That wouldn’t be a good demonstration of the obstinacy of the keeper of climate truth.

The few non-anonymous users who cared about the article being accurate pointed this out. Pages and pages of argument resulted, with the typical gatekeepers like Dave Souza and Stephan Schulz relying on a single source to make their claim, while ignoring numerous other sources, not to mention common sense, which contradicted their assertion regarding the reviewers.

What was their source?

An article in the Guardian by Fred Pearce.

What sources contradicted this?

Chris de Freitas himself publically showed this email (also here from Climategate), which would support my view – and he privately made it crystal clear to me that everyone recommended publication.

Of course, de Freitas would be biased….

But Clare Goodess, of the ever-reputable University of East Anglia, an editor who resigned over the incident, ambiguously intoned in a manner subject to much interpretation:

“The publisher eventually asked to see the documentation associated with the review of the paper – which had apparently gone to four reviewers none of whom had recommended rejection. Otto Kinne concluded that the review process had been properly conducted.” (2)

So instead of relying on common sense, original documents, and the statement, at the time, of an involved scientist certainly not supportive of the Soon-Baliunas paper, weight was given to Fred Pearce’s article which was written seven years after the fact.

Naturally, I was curious as to where Mr. Pearce received his information. He was friendly and helpful, despite his busy schedule with the holidays and Durban, and attempted to find the original source for the claim in his article. Unfortunately, he could not find the original source in his records. He does agree that the statement was, in his words, “almost certainly wrong” and theorizes that he may have misread Clare Goodess’ statement on the matter.

So that should settle it right? This article itself could be a “reliable source” to remove the error from Wikipedia. After all, Real Climate is quoted extensively throughout the climate change articles. Perhaps, but not when you have obsessive-compulsive activists who care more about their cause than their integrity.

However, this incident does bring some other questions to mind.

Andrew Montford, author of the Hockey Stick Illusion, was inquiring with Pearce about his source as well and was curious if Michael Mann had been the one to mislead Pearce. This is an interesting theory, and I had been wondering if this was the case myself both due to Mann’s behavior regarding this incident, his well-known inclination towards manipulating journalists, as well as the original wording in Pearce’s article, which was:

“But many on the 10-man editorial board agreed with Mann. They concluded that their colleague de Freitas had ignored the anonymous advice of four reviewers to reject the paper.”

There is no way to know for certain; it certainly isn’t clear. All I know is that Mann and his friends, and this is the short list, when confronted with a paper that challenged their own work, threatened to boycott the journal, tried to get the editor fired, tried to get the authors fired, and was even so juvenile as to file a complaint against the New Zealand Herald for not letting him publish his attacks against de Freitas.

Obviously, he is the quintessential climate scientist of our day – and I hope one day that Wikipedia gives him due credit as such.

Cheers,

James Padgett

=======================

UPDATE: Following a conversation on Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales’ talk page the error has been removed despite initial resistance from those who perpetrated the misinformation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Activism_at_Wikipedia.3F

Also, I’d like to thank Nona, who tried to correct the error earlier as an anonymous user.

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249 thoughts on “The Wonderful World of Wikipedia

  1. I have little faith in an “encyclopedia” that is a “consensus” opinion. Consensus is rarely correct.

  2. Why would anyone expect to find such things as facts on the likes of wikipedia?
    If just anyone can alter it, especially those with a motive as we’ve seen, then its worthless as a source of any information. Ditch it.

  3. How long does it take Wikipedia to clean up this rats nest of misinformation, does it take court action to correct a simple thing where an appalling injustice is being done to Chris de Freitis. The worst is, that those behind the continual perpetration of wrong, know well what they are doing is wrong and should be culpable along with Wikipedia.

  4. As an ex-wikipedia admin, you could have summed this post up in about two lines. If Wikipedia is supposed to maintain a [[WP:NPOV]] policy why is William M. Connolley and a number of others who have clear conflicts of interest allowed to run roughshod over climate articles.

    It took a number of years for community bans to be issued, but to this day they cannot understand the hypocrisy of disallowing [[WP:RS]] edits (because it doesn’t meet their famous concensus of 97% of scientists, which has a base of around 79 scientists), to their breach of impartiality and editing article for which they have a vested interest.

    One only needs to look at the hot bed article;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    to see how many times, they have tried to delete the article as an unpleasant truth to the mantra that there are scientists who oppose the mainstream position.

  5. Wikipedia should be listed by Anthony as an “unreliable source” for anything Climate related.

    The skew in their articles is fairly extreme when examined dispassionately.
    This revelation will be unsurprising to many I suspect.

  6. Nor is it a `compliment’, the Bear assumes …

  7. Initially I was an enthusiastic supporter of Wikipedia which I then saw as being a great repository of information compiled from informed people around the world.

    I was wrong. I am wiser now.

    Its potential strength, that it could draw on many talents has also become its weakness: that certain persons can capture sections and ensure they promote their own view.

    I have personally experienced this in trying to correct serious errors in technical articles which were not of any political import but were in effect ‘owned’ by their initial contributors who resisted any change very strongly.

    It is a pity. What might have been a great force for advancing human understanding has all too often been perverted into a propaganda machine.

    Although it has its uses I do not trust it on anything.

    Kindest Regards

  8. Great article.

    Places Wikipedia exactly.

    I smell dear old WC Stoat – ever the spin doctor. He is probably the hand inside the sock puppet – but he never misses a “trick”.

  9. Well, you see. If you get it wrong when publishing the number of CO2 molecules that fit on the head of a pin, you will be in serious trouble with the climate inquisition. Heretics are bad news – they must not be allowed to get away with the slightest deviation. Matters of doctrine are not to be challenged by the climate pagans.

  10. In the Fred Pearce article he says that the Soon/Balunias paper was published in Climate Research in January 2003. Then he says that Jones, Briffa, Wigley and Trenberth reviewed the paper, and sent their review (rejecting all the findings of the paper) to Climate Research asking for the paper to be disowned. But it had already been published before they did their review and so therefore had presumably been peer reviewed by others (unknown others) before publication.

    So citing the Fred Pearce article as evidence that all 4 reviewers rejected it is obviously wrong as the reviewers mentioned in the article were doing their reviewing AFTER publication and so AFTER peer review had been completed.

    So what you need is to find who the actual peer reviewers were (ie BEFORE publication) and get that information out.

    Or have I missed something?

  11. Good article James. I’m especially pleased to see more articles on this area – its often forgotten just how much of this is a propaganda and censorship conflict. Sceptics may by and large have the truth on their side and whilst that is the most important part of the battle it is only part of the whole story here.

    My PhD research in fact focuses on online censorship and propaganda. I’m particularly concerned with issues over truth (and its naturally perceived malleable and every changing nature online/digitally), issues of identity/authority and communication/gatekeepers.

    I’ve started releasing results of my initial research on my blog, prior to submitting in a more formal format for publication: I’ve established that it is possible to detect clear patterns of “churnalism bias” with regard to certain organisation’s press releases and the media outlets that regurgitate them. For anyone interested, here is my analysis thus far of three organisations that may be of interest:

    The Environment Agency (particularly interesting for how well the BBC is represented…):

    http://i-squared.blogspot.com/2011/11/ammo-churnalism-churning-environment.html

    ‘Frack Off':

    http://i-squared.blogspot.com/2011/11/churnalism-churning-frack-off.html

    DEFRA:

    http://i-squared.blogspot.com/2011/11/churnalism-defra-churn-guardian-is-in.html

    I have a list of other organisations I will be “processing” from this week now the Winterval break is over. I won’t be sharing the names in as public a forum as this (though please DO contact me with suggestions) as I don’t want to give them advance warning: both DEFRA and the Environment Agency attempted to thwart my attempts by restricting my IP address’s access to their site after my Bots began scanning all of their press releases. Needless to say it didn’t stop me, but it adds additional time collecting all of the press releases and I have suspicions the EA tried hiding something from me as soon as they realised what I was doing (see the blog post for further details).

    The data is a potential treasure trove by the way. I have made it publicly available for anyone else who wants to search it for more interesting patterns and replication. My hope is that I may inspire other people to follow the same methodology and crowdsource a massive amount of coverage of PR churnalism so we can at long last have a very accurate pattern of bias mapped and accounted for and demonstrated.

  12. James Padgett writes:
    Obviously, he [Mann] is the quintessential climate scientist of our day – and I hope one day that wikipedia gives him due credit as such.
    ============================================================================
    Given the state of the world’s defamation law(s), that day will probably be post mortem, ….unfortunately….

  13. Can’t argue with your thinking or conclusions. I had come to the conclusion a few years ago that most of the topics that I looked up on Wiki (on which I had some in-depth knowledge) were being edited to suit some other agenda or bias.
    It becomes pointless, logging in and arguing with someone who is not prepared to accept any of the conventions of argument or debate.

  14. All of the points raised here are examples of why I only trust Wikipedia on totally non-controversial subjects, and even then, for nothing more than a starting point of research. It’s good for identifying terms related to a topic, and occasionally has a link to a few good articles in the references section. But as soon as controversy rears it’s ugly head, Wikipedia immediately becomes the most unreliable source of information I’ve ever even known to exist and purport itself to being a knowledge base.

    Does anyone else chuckle at the advertisements for supporting Wikipedia, when they have a picture of a “long time editor” or something else along those lines, who looks like a Birkenstock wearing, card-carrying member of the People’s Democratic Republic of Cambridge?

  15. “This is not a complement.”

    This works if you meant that your article gives the rest of the story that will be 180 degrees from your opening statement. Otherwise ‘compliment’ would work better ;o)

  16. Wonderful stuff.
    I’ve had many common sense edits reverted within seconds on wikipedia.
    I think more articles like this one are called for.
    Perhaps focus on the behaviour of that ‘Weasel’ fellow?

  17. It’s amazing that this continues in broad daylight.
    It’s a shame that we live in what has basically become a “10 second society”, meaning that if it takes more than 10 seconds of work to delve into something, people just won’t take the time to do it.

    JimB

  18. Great job. Shows that Pearce is a gullible tool of Mann. By now anyone must know that Mann is not someone to be trusted with the truth.

  19. Eventually someone will write the book on those scientists who have made their careers by “gaming the system” of science. It is likely to be a messy job, because it will be found that the perversion of true science goes far beyond just climate science, which many now know has failed ludicrously, into fields that are still looked upon as unassailable (“settled” is the word, right?). Most skeptics still don’t even understand that the “greenhouse effect” was fundamentally wrong because the radiative transfer theory underpinning it fails the test of thermodynamics.

  20. Has anyone actually read Soon and Baliunas? I did, well before I was aware of any controversy. It is a review of previously published works (very plural, that ‘works’) Lots and lots of people had found evidence for it being warmer during that time often described as the Medieval Warm Period, and only one or two found that it might have been cooler. A huge range of proxies was considered, and the weight of evidence was strongly in favour of it having been warmer.

    It is very difficult to be controversial in a review paper. Indeed, Soon and Baliunas is the only review that I know of which has been the subject of such extensive controversy. They just reported what others had found, no more, no less. If I had been a reviewer of the paper (which I could well have been) I would have approved it for publication without hesitation. If I had been the editor (which I would never have been), I would have been grateful for the contribution. But because they had found hundreds of publications who disagreed with the view of a few researchers, it has become a cause celebre in its own right, and Wikipedia is being blamed for furthering the cause.

    I agree the Wikipedia story needs to be set right, and set right without further ado. No Manners are needed – the story is just plain wrong. What currently appears there defies all logic

  21. James, good article and some points well made. However, I think we need to be careful that we don’t engage in similar rhetoric at the other end of the debate. Often I read comments from contibutors on this site where there is clearly no eveidence of balanced opinion. For example, I don’t know how many times I have read the claim that “warming as ceased” during the last decade. I find this quite incredible when we we have actually seen 8 out of 10 of the warmist years on record in the last decade. Ok, so this might have nothing to do with human actvity but the fact remains that over tha period in question, taken as a whole 1980 -2011, warming continues apace – human induced or otherwise.

    This does not excuse Wikpedia or any proponent of AGW to suppress other opinions but let not the pot call the kettle black!

  22. “This is not a complement.”
    Should be This is not a compliment.”
    Sorry, it just affronts my eye.
    Otherwise, I agree with everything said here about Wikipedia.
    In the future, the Wikipedia project will become a textbook example of the ideological manipulation and corruption of our times.

  23. There is a few typos on this article- the first two that I noticed were “This is not a complement” should be “This is not a compliment” and “A little digging shows that Wikipedia use to have the correct sentence – that none of the reviewers recommended rejecting it.” should be “A little digging shows Wikipedia used to….”

  24. ‘Obviously, he is the quintessential climate scientist of our day’ – Sorry but that has to be Al Gore or so he thinks.

    And although it’s 4 years old now try :-http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/06/the_cult_of_wikipedia/
    for an idea of the brain trust that is Wiki, now imagine it’s not one member of a cult but a world wide cult of ecofreaks bent on the destruction of the human race, except those wearing hemp underwear.

  25. Totally agree James, I’m very careful as to what information I cite from Wikipedia particularly in relation to Climate Change.

    Lawrence Solomon did an excllent article in the National Post on one such ‘gatekeeper’ – William Connolley, who was revealed in the Climategate mails to be one of the Real Climate team.

    “All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.”

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=62e1c98e-01ed-4c55-bf3d-5078af9cb409

    Connolley was later suspended from Wikipedia for his activities but it was a temporary suspension and I’m not sure how effective it was.

  26. The article in Wikipedia currently reads, ‘…partly because they found out that the four reviewers of the paper had recommended rejecting it,[29] although this view is disputed by an editor of the journal who states that the paper had “apparently gone to four reviewers none of whom had recommended rejection” [22]‘

  27. When Wikipedia was first proposed, the first thing I thought of was “Zero” from Rollerball. I’ve seen nothing over the years to dispel that initial impression.

  28. Ot But cannot find place to post this please move it to an appropriate place or ignore at your own peril (joke) This was posted “by Memory vault”on Jo Anne Nova’s site re R Muller BEST project as I always suspected. Needs to be verified if you think its worth a story etc here.

    memoryvault
    January 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm · Reply
    To Otter at 1.1.3 (and others)

    Dr Richard Muller is not a skeptic. He has never claimed to be a skeptic. He has always been a firm believer in CAGW. He has many peer-reviewed, published papers on the subject. He has been on the CAGW gravy train for years.

    Trouble was, his “research” was largely based on the “cooked” temperature records which constitute Mann’s “hockey schtick graph”. Basically, when the “climategate” emails were leaked, he saw the value of his past work reduced to trash, and he was more than mildly pissed off about it.

    (Personally, I think he was even more pissed off at finding out he wasn’t part of the “inner circle” – the “team”, but that’s just my theory.)

    In a webinar lecture soon after Climategate he ripped into Mann and the team, basically for making him look like an idiot. The actual lecture is nearly an hour long, and is totally supportive of the whole doom and gloom, the sky is falling, global warming scenario. No “skeptic” here.

    But buried in the lecture is a small piece of less than five minutes, where he vents his spleen against Mann and the “team” for making him – and other researchers – look like idiots with their “hide the decline” subterfuge.

    It is on this five minute piece of video, and this alone, that people like JB justify their branding of Muller as a “skeptic”.

    Here is a link to the five minute segment:

    And here is a link to the whole webinar lecture:


    My personal opinion is that, as a result of his outburst, Muller soon realised he faced total ostracisation from the funding gravy train he had enjoyed for years, and the opportunity to head up the BEST analysis was thrown to him as a life-line – “do this, and will be forgiven, and you will be welcomed back into the fold” sort of scenario.

    But that’s just my reading of events surrounding BEST.

  29. So not only should incorrect statements in Wikipedia be corrected (I think everyone can agree on that), but we have to ladle every correction with a half-baked, unsupported insinuation against Mann? Way to go with the intellectual integrity!

  30. Wikipedia claims to have an effective process for resolving the truth on issues like these. But here we have a simple, convincing truth (“NONE_REJECTED_PUBLICATION”) that the Wikipedia process can’t resolve, suggesting that its formal system of review is somehow ‘incomplete’ (Gödel).

  31. With a reputation of this sort of behavior going for years now, I never use wiki for anything beyond a dictionary, and a skeptical eye on that.

  32. I’ve given up on Wikipedia. I used to believe they could be trusted on non-controversial subjects. But their behavior has become so egregious, that I won’t give them the traffic. On any subject.

  33. Wikipedia has a couple of core policies that make sense overall, but which create a structural bias in favor of climate orthodoxy. Wikipedia views itself as a tertiary source — it collects and summarizes secondary sources like books and newspaper articles. Original research from primary documents is strongly discouraged, and deprecated in favor of secondary sources. The philosophy is essentially this: There may be multiple primary sources which may be contradictory. If you allow anonymous Wikipedia contributors (“MastCell”, or logged out IP addresses, or whomever) the job of deciding which ones are important or credible, then other readers have no way to judge the credibility of the article. If, on the other hand, you only rely on secondary sources, then the job of deciding which primary sources are credible is “outsourced” to the book author or newspaper reporter. That person is then cited in the Wikipedia article, so that other readers who want to verify an article can look to the credibility of the reporter or other secondary source.

    Most of the time this is probably a good thing. You probably don’t want articles on autism to be dominated by vaccine conspiracy people, selectively picking and choosing the primary sources that fit their biases. In the case of AGW, the result is that the statements of the editor (a primary source) can be rejected in favor of a newspaper article (a secondary source), even if the newspaper article is wrong.

    Because of these policies, and even without the influence of committed advocates, Wikipedia will always — and by design — reflect the prevailing orthodoxy about any topic, whether it be cold fusion, homeopathy, or AGW. I have said before that if Wikipedia had existed in the 17th century, it would have ignored Galileo and reported the Aristotelian model of the universe.

    If your “truth” about any topic is different from the current orthodoxy, Wikipedia — by design — is not the place to express it. 10 years of written and unwritten policy are against you.

  34. It’s a sad day when so much of what we hear and read must be considered as part of an information battle where the info doesn’t always have a uniform. I suppose it’s been going on since the dawn of man, but still….

  35. How’s this for a coincidence? You show the Wikipedia graphic saying “A network error has occurred”. Well, the advertisement at the bottom of your blog post just said: Document.write(); that’s it — LOL.

  36. Wikipedia’s bias is evident also in the treatment of two controversial phrases. “Climate change denier” has a page dedicated under that name and heading, whereas “Climategate” was changed to “Climatic Research Unit email controversy” and all attempts to change it back to “Climategate” have been suppressed, despite the common usage of “Climategate”.

  37. Moderator:
    I think it should be “compliment” rather than “complemen”, unless some wordplay is being tried.

  38. Redo:
    Moderator:
    I think it should be “compliment” rather than “complement”, unless some wordplay is being tried.

  39. Reading the Climategate e-mails, including ones about the Soon-Baliunas paper, it’s amazing how frightened Mann’s fellow-travelers are of him, and clear how he both exploits and does everything in his power to increase this.

  40. I must add however, that I do have alot of time for WUWT, primarily because I am able to express any opinion regardless of whether or not it chimes with the opinions of others. There are a great number of other sites where this is simply not possible, where if your opinion doesn’t meet with approval, it simply fails to pass moderation.

    It is abundantly clear though that WUWT is a skeptic site re AGW, which is needed. But I do think we should try to maintain balance in our opinions rather than reject out of hand any research which supports AGW. It is the orthodox view and will remain so until there is real evidence either that the world has ceased to warm or that it is cooling – at least on a decadal basis.

    I must confess that I find it hard to believe that any scientist can seriously make the claim that AGW is fact on the basis of a 30 year warming trend. But as it stands, the trend over that 30 years is upward despite 1998 being the warmist on record. Indeed we have had two consecutive decades with 8 of the 10 warmist years on record being posted in each decade. Even the satellite record confirms something similar,while Arctic Sea Ice & land based glaciers continue to recede. Antarctica does paint different picture but we must at the very least treat AGW research with a little respect until both the warming trend and the loss of global ice is clearly reversed.

    The truth is, as we all know, an elusive concept at best. Time will be the ultimate judge but in the meantime skeptical science should avoid indulging in misinformation and censorship, which has become the trademark of orthodox science on AGW.

  41. Give it up Anthony; it’s ancient history. Your time will be spent more valuably as a reviewer for IPCC AR5. We are all looking forward to you uncovering scientific errors in that document, and reporting back here.

  42. William Connolley has been allowed back on board and has immediately reverted to type doing that for which he was previously banned

    Tells you all you need to know really

    AS stated previously. Wiki is a useful tool except for ‘political’ subjects where its almost wholly left biased

  43. James,

    Thanks for the background on this sorry affair. It is a textbook case of contentious academic politicking working in concert with mainstream media to create a crisis out of thin air (man-made catastrophic global warming); a crisis that is clearly not happening if temperature data, sea-level rise etc are any indication. Wikipedia’s participation in tarring Soon and Baliunas is despicable. And now watch MSM as they quietly ignore CAGW and let it die publicly as a topic of concern; hoping all will be forgotten…

  44. Thank you for this excellent article!

    Wikipedia is generally reliable only for completely uncontroversial topics, like this one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_archiving (not a random example; see below)

    For anything controversial, Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable, and for anything with a noticeable left/right ideological identification, Wikipedia is simply a leftist propaganda outlet. Read how Climate Movement activists rewrote over 5000 Wikipedia articles into AGW propaganda, censoring them to prevent any but their own point of view from being represented, to the applause of Wikipedia czar Jimbo Wales.
     

    Changing topics, to Web Archiving I wrote the first version of that last sentence a couple of years ago, and since then two of the five links have gone dead. That was no problem, though, since I had saved both articles at webcitation.org. When I discovered that the original links didn’t work, I simply searched my email archives for the two dead URLs, and found the links to the archived copies.

    I very strongly recommend that everyone here get in the habit of archiving “the good stuff” (and the bad & ugly stuff!) via WebCitation.org or a similar service. Put the webcitation “bookmarklet” on your bookmarks toolbar to make this effortless, and to automatically send notifications to your email address whenever you archive a page (so you can find it years later, when you need it).

    Two somewhat similar sites which add the ability to highlight and link directly to a phrase on the archived page are AwesomeHighlighter.com and CiteBite.com. Both work fine on simple web pages, but with so many web sites doing increasingly bizarre Javascript tricks, they don’t always work right, but sometimes one works when the other does not.

    These sites are great insurance in case the original pages disappear or change, but for the really important stuff, you might want to use two different tools, if you’re a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, since any of these web archiving sites could go away at any time.

    I use webcitation, awesomehighlighter & citebite. Similar sites that I’ve not used include http://rooh.it (or roohit.com) and http://BackupURL.com

    Example:
    http://www.webcitation.org/64aTu3QvI
    …is the Aviso graph illustrating that the first 8 years of data from Envisat shows global mean sea level rising at less than 0.5 mm/year, so when they “correct” it, we’ll still have the old graph for comparison purposes.

    One problem: these sites seem to only support http & https protocols. I’m still looking for a similar site that supports ftp, for archiving (for example) the raw data that corresponds to that Envisat graph:
    ftp://ftp.aviso.oceanobs.com/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_EN_Global_IB_RWT_GIA_Adjust.txt
    Does anyone know of a (preferably free) web archiving site which handles FTP pages?

  45. This is a true skeptic site and all research (appears to me) is treated with respectful skepticism. Meaning, primarily, that the burden of proof lies with the ones promoting the group of related hypotheses comprising CAGW. Wikipedia – not so big on the concept of proof v. acceptance and often missing inconvenient facts where a popular contemporary belief appears to be embraced if not conspicuously promoted.

  46. NovaReason says:
    January 10, 2012 at 2:07 am
    All of the points raised here are examples of why I only trust Wikipedia on totally non-controversial subjects, and even then, for nothing more than a starting point of research.

    Sounds logical NR until you recognize that every subject may be controversial to someone and in the type of environment set up at Wikipedia, probably is.

    Wikipedia may be the largest, most extensive source of incorrect information on the planet.

  47. Ah, what a can of worms you open by putting the words “truth” and “Wikipedia” in the same sentence! Their other article (on ‘Truth’ rather than ‘The Truth’, and marginally more informative in that it is not ‘a humorous essay’) reveals that they appear to take the consensus view: that truth is ‘whatever is agreed upon … by some specified group’, namely, themselves, presumably as instructed by whoever shouts at them loudest.

    Slightly more encouraging is the statement a little further down that page which reveals that about two-thirds of ‘professional philosophers and others’ (in which category my own modest Philosophy degree places me, FWIW) accept, or lean towards, correspondence theories (essentially, that a statement is true if it is an accurate description of some situation) or deflationary theories (to state that ‘xxx’ is true is no different from stating ‘xxx’ – a more linguistic view). Correspondence theories are, for obvious reasons, the first choice of a typical scientist, who is more interested in accurately describing some aspect of the world than in the Gordian knot of linguistic structure; the nuances of the linguistics are generally analysed (at considerable length, in my experience!) by us philosophers and students of language. I think it’s telling that consensus theories don’t carry much weight with philosophers, since all they can achieve is a statement that such-and-such a group of people have agreed on some story … pretty much true of Wikipedia, of course, particularly on any political topic or one on which much money rides.

    It’s an old truism that ‘a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on’ but now, in a world where the lie can be disseminated by a high-powered, instant-access propaganda megaphone like Wikipedia, that lie can be universally believed before truth even realises that there’s someone at the door. Sadly, we humans are all too disposed to believe anything halfway plausible, particularly if it’s being shouted at them from all sides like the AGW fairy story. Francis Bacon had it spot on long ago, when he wrote,

    “What is Truth?” asked jesting Pilate,
    and would not stay for an answer.

  48. Rogelio Escobar says:
    January 10, 2012 at 4:15 am
    ……………………….
    Quite a plausible conclusion.

    As regards Wiki, everyone knows that it is unreliable. May be a useful starting place but for serious research nothing more than that.

  49. Actually, the present government in Washington is the largest source of incorrect information on the planet.

  50. If you want non-controversial technical information, such as the purpose of rifling the barrel of a gun, then Wikipedia can be quite good. On the other hand, as regards controversial subjects such as personal profiles or recent history then Wikipedia can be quite bad.
    Wikipedia is controlled and unfortunately has its own agenda and biases. Nowhere is this more profound than in the field of Global Warming
    William Connolley, who was a major proponent of the ‘consensus’ view, was granted a senior editorial and administrative role at Wikipedia which allowed him to delete over 500 articles and bar more than 2000 Wikipedia contributors whom he didn’t agree with.
    As an experiment, ‘Philosophical Investigations’ attempted to post a sceptical view regarding Climate Change, it was removed in about one minute! See their report here:

    http://www.philosophical-investigations.org/Wikipedia_on_Climate_Change

    The response from Jimmy Wales to this incident was “There exists a long line of people who, when their extreme agenda is not published, accuse the community of bias”. Remember this next time you see him appealing for donations.
    Wikipedia is not neutral, it is dangerous propaganda delivered by anonymous non-entities,. It’s a great shame that it has been corrupted in this way.

    “The sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds”
    William Shakespeare.

  51. NovaReason says:
    January 10, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Does anyone else chuckle at the advertisements for supporting Wikipedia, when they have a picture of a “long time editor” or something else along those lines, who looks like a Birkenstock wearing, card-carrying member of the People’s Democratic Republic of Cambridge?

    Yeah, “Author of 50,000 Wikipedia articles and edits”! or some such. That’s not a contribution, that’s a braindump, from the wrong orifice.

  52. I came up with a calculation, in order to roughly evaluate the accuracy of a given Wikipedia article. I take the number of paragraphs of the article, divided by the number of paragraphs in the “talk” page. Higher numbers means (to me) a more reliable article.

    I just tested my theory with 2 different articles: the one about our planet Earth: scores 2.34. Not bad. Then I tried with the “Soon-Baliunas controversy” – I got a score of 0.17 lol

    I think my calculation works perfectly!

  53. Is it just me or are there an unusual number of grammar and spelling Nazis on this thread?
    Good work James though, I doubt there are any here that use Wiki for any but the most mundane of subjects.

  54. The real problem in this arena is the number of people who do not have jobs they care about, or more concerning are essentially paid to spread an agenda online. This gives them plenty of free time to monitor a message on wikipedia or elsewhere.

    You can’t fight these people with cold reality and an anonymous voice because they have more standing and prestige at Wikipedia, they worked to get that precisely for fights like this.

    In fighting the propaganda machine at Wikipedia on this subject (or any) you have two options. You can discredit Wikipedia (which this article does a fair job of), or you can join the wiki process much as those propaganda artists have done and begin to drown out their nonsense.

    You have to realize you’re not fighting rational people who contribute randomly to wikipedia during lunch hours. You’re fighting people with PR jobs and little else to do during the day other than patrol the web for anything off-message.

    In short, Wikipedia would be fine if you could ban everyone who works in public relations from ever contributing.

  55. Ben Kellett (3:36 and 5:17):

    I see you have picked up the “8 of the last 10 years” talking point. Since you have repeated it twice, it seems someone should explain to you why it has nothing to do with trend and why it makes you appear foolish (probably why no one else responded to you, but I will give it a shot).

    If you have a cyclical process, all of the values around the peak will be high. So values FOLLOWING the peak remain relatively high. The trend (approaching the peak or departing the peak) is not determined by the magnitude of the values. Since 1998 was the peak, it is not surprising that values after the peak remain high.

    And that assumes the 8 of 10 recond values, without addressing that only 1 of 4 major global temperature indexes presents that record. That would be the data set maintained by James Hanson, of “coal trains are death trains” fame. No possible bias there…

  56. That’s not their only activist agenda. I once tried to correct an entry listing famous homosexuals in history. I tried to point out that, while it is true Benvenuto Cellini was convicted of sodomy, it had been with a female partner. He had a long and sordid history of affairs with female partners, and the admissions in his autobiography lead me to believe he was hiding nothing. Given his frank disclosure about his behavior, admitting a homosexual love affair would be innocuous in comparison. The edit was rejected.

  57. The homely little ads asking for donations often reinforce the idea of bias. One showed a young woman – maybe 25-30 yrs old at the outside with the note that she had edited some 5000 articles or so (exact number I can’t remember) – sheesh! The Wiki idea was on the face of it, an inspired idea, but any open repository for information and ideas is, almost by definition going to be commandeered and subverted by activists and ideologues. I was pleased and not surprised they were starving for cash but now note they have almost reached their fundiing goal. Useful idiots are too populous to let a diseased institution die. After climategate 1, I noticed a blitz on the streets by young student types begging for cash for greenpeace, wwf, and the like. Alas, useful idiots are useful precisely because they don’t read things like climategate – they read reports on it by such as the team. Even the internet has been thoroughly polluted by the same crowd. Try to find technical, mineralogical information on asbestos, for example and you have to jack around with wording to try to clear the millions of pieces on lung cancer out of the way. I’m afraid that ultimately as it gets worse, we are going to have to have a second internet, paid for by subscription, to get rid of at least 50% of agenda driven dross. The internet is not free if you are wasting valuable time getting information.

  58. Wiki needs money. I could send them several tons of fresh carbon credits from the Chicago Carbon xchange.

  59. Wikipedia should simply abandon controversy. If you have a page where two or more people disagree on the content, then simply publish two different pages. If you have two different people expressing their view of the subject, then what is “correct” won’t come from a talk page or admin rights, it will come from the sunshine of exposure on who is putting forward the best referenced case available. If you have dueling pages, then collective intelligence will wash away lies. It will do this because it will suddenly become PAINFULLY obvious who has the more biased references/sources.

    They wont do this, because doing so would basically be an admission that significant error exists in their pages.

  60. In my continuing education, I’ve been warned many times that citing Wiki-anything is not accepted. However, I am permitted to cite other credible on-line resources. I don’t know if this view of Wiki extends to all Universities but it is a big tabu with my current university and my previous. It raises the question why would anyone contribute financially to an on-line resource that is so unreliable they can’t use it?

  61. Ben Kellett says:
    January 10, 2012 at 3:36 am
    “… I don’t know how many times I have read the claim that “warming as ceased” during the last decade. I find this quite incredible when we we have actually seen 8 out of 10 of the warmist years on record in the last decade. Ok, so this might have nothing to do with human actvity but the fact remains that over tha period in question, taken as a whole 1980 -2011, warming continues apace – human induced or otherwise.”
    ————————————————-
    Ben, in a world where the temperatures have been increasing for the past 150 years (such as our world), the last 10 years should always be the warmest on record. Even if the increase has stopped, which appears to be the case for the decade 2000-2010, most of the individual years of that decade should naturally be at or near the highest years on record.

    Add to that the fact that the increase over the past 150 years cannot reliably be attributed to humans, that the increase in the past 50 years has been attributed entirely to humans by some (which negates any natural warming), that the accuracy of the temperatures records has been called into question, that tree-ring proxies are likely poor estimators of past climate, that extreme weather is now being attributed to climate change as is ocean acidification, sea level rise, etc – I think you should rethink why the last 8 of 10 years being the warmest is so incredible.

  62. roobarb says:
    January 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Jimmy Wales is always pleading for funds. Perhaps if enough of us refuse, explaining our reasons, some pressure might result?

    Nah. The funding pleas are not because wikipedia needs money (as it already receives millions from leftist front groups), they’re to give it an air of legitimacy. You see, if 95% of your funding comes from organizations with obvious political goals you look a bit tainted, it’s much better to spread it out a bit.

  63. It is very clear that Wikipedia is unreliable, but it is given so much Google-juice because of its millions of links (mostly internal) that it is important that it is refuted.

    Expect the Soon-Baliunas article to be protected as thousands try to correct a statement and Wikipedia goes into full paranoid conspiracy mode.

  64. About 15 years ago I interviewed a young lady for a management position for an environmental clean up function which was to assist the community in alleviating water pollution. Her resume indicated that she had a PHD from an accredited university in “Environmental Sciences”. However, upon questioning it turned out that she had no chemistry, physics, statistical methodology, or anything else one might associate with environmental sciences. Her curriculum consisted of courses in tree planting, horseback riding, and other “environmental appreciation” types of activities.

    I believe our educational institutions have deteriorated even further in the last 15 years so that anyone with the time and money may now have any type of degree bestowed upon them irrespective of their level of intelligence or work product. This would include “peer reviewers” of scientific papers. Follow the money/politics of any situation and you will find the answer.

  65. I am a regular editor of wikipedia myself, usually on non-controversial topics where my edits can persist longer than one hour. As a rule of thumb I check the discussion page of the topic, if it is longer than the article itself I know it’s rowing against the stream. With success however I neutralised the Fred Singer page on the dutch wikipedia.

  66. Climate is not the only subject Wikipedia is pointedly biased about. Wikipedia is quick and easy, but just as dangerous as television for shaping society in a contorted fashion.

  67. Google and Wikipedia are both great starting points when you want to start a search. But to trust any one source of information as factual is the greater problem. Every journal has a bad paper hidden somewhere.

  68. Harry Dale Huffman says: January 10, 2012 at 3:29 am

    You are correct. Most engineers who have looked into ITER Fusion have come to the conclusion that the odds of the SYSTEM working (it generates more tritium than it uses) are extremely small. And yet the billions and tens of billions keep flowing into that project. It is a disgrace. A physics community scam. I suppose that if they can keep from drawing any “official” conclusion for another twenty or fifty years they can keep the money rolling.

  69. There are a few occasions where the great and almighty Wikipedia editor Kim Dabelstein Petersen caves into protests about unsupported info used to support an assertion. As I mentioned partway down in my Nov 2010 Breitbart article “Global Warming Nuisance Lawsuits Are Based on a Fatal Flaw” ( http://biggovernment.com/rcook/2010/11/27/global-warming-nuisance-lawsuits-are-based-on-a-fatal-flaw/ ), an accusation phrase against skeptic scientists was attributed to the Global Climate Coalition from 2007 to 2009 at Wikipedia, based on a Vanity Fair article. But, a person with the user name of “Ling.Nut” finally was persuasive enough to get Petersen to allow the deletion of that reference, despite Petersen’s last words at their Talk page being “i fail to see an argument for this”.

  70. daveburton says:
    January 10, 2012 at 5:47 am

    “Wikipedia is generally reliable only for completely uncontroversial topics”

    Yes!! I agree wholeheartedly.

    Wikipedia is a system to allow anyone to populate a subject with sourced info. When it is a controversial subject, just forget Wikipedia. For example, just about any article on history is always controversial. Politics? forget it. Climate science? forget it.

    I agree with daveburton that when its controversial, the left wingnuts tend to get control.

    But do not lump an incredibly convenient wealth of info with the rubbish. Pick anything not controversial. Go ahead, pick something and look it up on Wikipedia. Its usually a very good informative write-up.

    Just thinking off the top of my head, I just now looked at “four stroke engines”. Take a look at it. Its great.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-stroke_engine

  71. ThePowerofX says:
    January 10, 2012 at 1:57 am

    The author of this piece misunderstands the nature of Wikipedia. A ‘reliable source’ isn’t one in which he or I agrees with; it has a very specific meaning.

    Clearly only a single source is reliable, and is the best source even if inaccurate. What is “best” defined as? Ahhh. That’s the trick!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources

    Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant minority views that have appeared in those sources are covered

    The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made and is the best such source for that context.

    And then,…

    Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion.

    And who decides whether something is poorly sourced? Anyone that has edit access, and they’re implored to remove the material immediately rather than discuss the issue.

    So on the one hand they give lip service to wanting multiple good sources to explore all sides of the issue, but on the other they order people to take down “bad” data immediately. Yeah, that works…

  72. I’m not very well at present but I’m planning an article for Tallbloke on establishing a climate skeptics’ wiki, something I’ve been chipping away at for a long time. Keep watching that space.

  73. Ripper says:
    January 10, 2012 at 2:41 am
    “What exactly was wrong with the S&B paper?

    It was inconvenient to the CAGW fans at a critical time. Here is a link to a pdf.

    http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2003/23/c023p089.pdf

    The last sentence of the abstract is:

    Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.

    Heresy? Read the paper and decide for yourself.

  74. It seems Connolley and others are still very active.
    A n extract from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming “This is all a waste of time. Stop picking at the scab; there are plenty of articles that actually need improving rather than degrading” William M. Connolley (talk) 21:15, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

    “Good idea. Watch me go through and make some big improvements to a number of articles here. Just to show a lead and get great content on an area we all agree is of vital importance. Ensuring climate scepticism isn’t presented as mainstream, making use of academic research, all that stuff”. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:37, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

  75. This is a thread on another forum that takes the stand that energy will be the new global currency taking the form as carbon …The Final Conspiracy – How Everything Fits Together…, http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread795479/pg1 Now we have the wikigod of history to tell us just how and why these things can be …Good post and thanks as well to the great people of WUWT …peace

  76. John Phillips says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:02 am

    “Pick anything not controversial. Go ahead, pick something and look it up on Wikipedia. Its usually a very good informative write-up.”
    “I just now looked at “four stroke engines”. Take a look at it. Its great.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-stroke_engine

    Yes, but think about it. If you google “four stroke engines” you will get lots of hits.

    Why is it of importance to have another place for this info, than the sites that is dedicated to 4 stroke engines anyway?
    Ask yourselves that question, and you realise that the answer is; It is redundant.
    Search engines makes it redundant. IMO.

    So maybe the reason was to have a centralised site, so “they” could have gatekeepers watching “the thruth” ? Remember; Leftists love to be gatekeepers of thruth. They love control.

  77. All the way back more than ten years ago, my daughters were in elementary school and were prohibited from using Wikipedia as a source for their homework. The school already knew back then…..

    Best,

    J.

  78. Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:08 am
    I’m not very well at present but I’m planning an article for Tallbloke on establishing a climate skeptics’ wiki, something I’ve been chipping away at for a long time. Keep watching that space.

    What are your plans to circumvent the issue of gatekeepers, or editors who just overwrite updates they disagree with?

  79. Thomas Thatcher says: January 10, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Wikipedia has a couple of core policies that make sense overall, but which create a structural bias in favor of climate orthodoxy. Wikipedia views itself as a tertiary source — it collects and summarizes secondary sources… Most of the time this is probably a good thing. You probably don’t want articles on autism to be dominated by vaccine conspiracy people…

    I have a lot of respect for Jimmy Wales. I think his idea is brilliant, serves a huge need, and produces delightfully clean pages that are generally easy to use. I understand his encyclopedia vision. I use WP constantly, as a primary source.

    PRAISE RANT OVER.

    People here rightly excoriate Stoat “taking Science by the throat” Connolley. Anyone here tried looking up Tim Ball on WP? Nope, deleted. That way you cannot even see the earlier versions. Deletion. It’s WC’s master stroke.

    But WP’s problem is not just Climate Science. My most hated WP article is List of topics characterized as pseudoscience. It’s Wikipedia’s handling of ALL fringe research.

    Very often, people who are open to one frontier are ignorant or dismissive of other frontiers, often picking up the “consensus” rudeness and disinformation on the way. Sadly I think of Leif, Matt Ridley, and others. Climate Science is not the only non-orthodox science I’ve investigated at depth. I’ve researched the vaccine stuff – because I’m on the spectrum myself, and because we tend to do our own exhaustive research. There is an autism link – the (former) use of mercury compounds in the preservative. Think Mad Hatter Disease. And there’s disinformation cover-ups. Everything we’ve seen here in Climate Science.

  80. I think those who have responded to my posts have misinterpreted my sentiments. Either that or I have failed to communicate properly! I fully agree that in an age where we have seen net warming for the past 150 years, more recent decades are likely to be warmer than those preceding them. However, what we can not escape is the fact that AGW proponents argue that this warming is accelerating and due to human activity. We may well be at the top of the cycle but to date, there is at least as much evidence to suggest another step change up the way is as likely as the cooling resulting from falling from the crest of the warming cycle. Right or wrong, this IS the orthodox view and will remain so until there is irrefutable evidence to the contrary. I am also well aware that the Hansen et al temp record is a bit suspect but we do have the satellite record telling a similar story. All I’m suggesting is that we don’t bury our heads in the sand because to date the observed warming does more or less fit the theory. This may well be a coincedence but until it proves to be so, we should remain open minded to the possibility that the the theory might at least have some credance.

  81. I’ve been fighting their bias on AGW for over seven years. Wiki is brutal on the subject – at one point Connolley not only banned me, he went back and deliberately erased contrary articles and comments from the previous six months. He is gone now and the person that took up his torch (Kim) is also out.

    Wiki’s deliberate bias and out-of-control manipulation of global warming caused me to view ALL Wiki information with a skeptical eye…

  82. Wikipedia has known for decades that William Connolley and other Real Climate Scientists have blatantly manipulated their articles. Their gross negligence in ensuring the accuracy of their climate science articles borders on complicity. As a result, the reputations of Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, and Chris de Freitas’ have been severely damaged and continue to be damaged to this day. They should sue Michael Mann, William Connolley, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales for slander. Please set up a tip jar to pay their legal fees. I’ll gladly donate.

  83. Sad thing is Wikipedia could be THE online place for review. They could setup “theory-evidence-critiques-current standing” type of thing and be a true force for knowledge. Another missed opportunity. Their loss.

  84. John Phillips said:
    I agree with daveburton that when its controversial, the left wingnuts tend to get control.

    Agreed, but why? The wind must be in their favour in some way. The ‘establishment’ used to be properly sceptical of ‘flavour of the month’ urban myth… now they can’t take up such nonsense quickly enough.

    Re weasels and stoats, I never tire of telling this joke:

    What’s the difference between weasels and stoats?
    Weasels is weaselly distinguishable, whereas stoats is stoatally different.

  85. You’re right, TomB. The Wikipedia community is hostile, not only to climate skepticism, but to all things conservative. But there’s nobody they hate more than conservative Christians. So anything related to abortion, or Terri Schiavo, or homosexuality, or the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, or the evolution v. intelligent design debate, or any other topic in which conservative Christian doctrine conflicts with leftist dogma, is ruthlessly policed to ensure strict conformance with the Leftist Party Line. Dissenters are blocked or banned.

    I speak from personal experience, having tried to correct some of the misinformation in the Terri Schiavo and Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed articles.

    BTW, w/r/t the later, for those who haven’t see that documentary, I highly recommend it. Although the topic is I.D. rather than climate, the problems it documents will seem all too familiar to those who have waded into the climate debate. Here’s the whole movie, free on YouTube (though at only 360p):

    This is the same, but you can switch it to 480p resolution, and it has Polish subtitles added:

  86. More Soylent Green! says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

    What are your plans to circumvent the issue of gatekeepers, or editors who just overwrite updates they disagree with?

    I would say the best remedy is sunlight.

    1) No anonymous editors, No Pseudonyms on people with power. Anyone with power to alter or control anonymous corrections needs to essentially be a public figure as far as the internet is concerned. That means your full name, your occupation, your C.V., your financial stake are all on the table.
    2) Make no attempt at presenting a wholly neutral point of view on controversial topics. It is not possible, everyone has a bias. Instead of presenting a single page that is fought over, present all views on a single page, or have two (or more) different pages where sourced disagreement is presented.
    3) Editor/moderator positions must be temporary. Permanent appointments to positions of power over such a storehouse of content simply breeds corruption.
    4) Other websites with user-generated/controlled content already have a check/balance on editor/moderator power. In some cases (my favorite ones) users in good standing (meaning they contribute) are given “points” for good behavior every now and then (random times, not predictable by the user). Those “points” are spent on moderating things up or down (essentially a vote). This is quite powerful when done correctly and is an easy way to have an anonymous check on editor power.

    At least, those are a few ideas off the top of my head. I have no idea what Lucy intends.

  87. More Soylent Green! asks: What are [my] plans to circumvent the issue of gatekeepers, or editors who just overwrite updates they disagree with?

    Big issue. Needs transparent discussion. I’ll go into it in the article.

  88. Everything on Wikipedia ends up being controversial to someone.

    A couple of years back, there was an extended argument on one page about a board game. Reasonably popular, sold a lot of copies, won some awards. Pretty obvious that it should have its own page on Wikipedia, right?

    Not to one guy. He argued that it should be deleted because it wasn’t “notable.” Every time someone came up with another source mentioning the game, he’d just say THAT source wasn’t notable, either.

    Apparently, there are some users on Wikipedia who do nothing but run around and argue for deletion of things they don’t particularly like…

  89. @Lucy Skywalker
    It shimples, all you have to do is emulate William Connoley, and just move the article into user space as he did when he didn’t like the result of the “The Science is Settled” article deletion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:William_M._Connolley/The_science_is_settled

    Amazing what you can find lying around, the last version of the article before it was deleted.
    So please feel free to copy below with formatting into a new article at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lucy_Skywalker/Timothy_Ball

    though you may wish to remove the categories and interwiki links

    ”’Timothy Francis Ball”’ (born c. 1939) is a British-born [[Canada|Canadian]] environmental consultant and former professor of [[geography]] at the [[University of Winnipeg]]{{Cite news| last = Harper| first = Tom| title = Scientists threatened for ‘climate denial’| work = Telegraph.co.uk| accessdate = 2009-12-21| date = 2007-03-11| url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1545134/Scientists-threatened-for-climate-denial.html}}{{Cite news| url=http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/aug2008/gb2008081_625649.htm | title=Beijing’s Olympic Smog: How Bad Will It Be? | last=Gershkovich | first=Tatyana | coauthors=Arnst, Catherine | date=August 1, 2008 | work=[[BusinessWeek]] | publisher=businessweek.com | accessdate=December 27, 2009 }}{{Cite news| url=http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2002/11/13/warm_climate021113.html | title=Greenhouse gases barely impact climate: scientists | date=November 14, 2002 | work=[[CBC News]] | publisher=[[cbc.ca]] | accessdate=December 27, 2009 }}{{Cite news| url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/03/08/cooling.html | title=Expert puts chill on global warming | date=March 8, 2000 | work=[[CBC News]] | publisher=[[cbc.ca]] | accessdate=December 27, 2009 }} Ball disputes that humans have a significant impact on climate change.Ball, Timothy. [http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts]. ”Canada Free Press”. February 5, 2007. He heads the [[Natural Resources Stewardship Project]] and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of [[Friends of Science]], organizations that reject the likelihood of human-caused [[global warming controversy|global warming]].{{Cite web| url=http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/175673 | title=Who’s still cool on global warming? | accessdate=2007-03-31 | date=January 28, 2007 | author=Peter Gorrie | publisher=[[Toronto Star]]}}

    == Global warming activism ==
    == Academics ==
    Ball has a [[Bachelor of Arts|B.A.]] degree from the University of Winnipeg, an [[Master of Arts (postgraduate)|M.A.]] degree from the [[University of Manitoba]] in 1970 in Geography,{{Cite web| title=The significance of grain-size and heavy minerals volume percentage as indicators of environmental character, Grand Beach Manitoba : a case study| first=Timothy | last=Ball | accessdate=2007-12-31|url=http://bison.umanitoba.ca/web2/tramp2.exe/see_record/A0abko4e.001?server=1home&item=2&item_source=1home}} and a [[Doctor of Philosophy|Ph.D.]] degree in geographyhttp://catalogue.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/search~S16?/aBall,+Timothy+Francis./aball+timothy+francis/-3%2C-1%2C0%2CB/frameset&FF=aball+timothy+francis&1%2C1%2C from the [[University of London]], England in 1983, writing a thesis on 18th- and 19th-century climatic change in central Canada.[http://catalogue.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/search/?searchtype=a&searcharg=Ball%2C+Timothy&searchscope=16&SORT=A&Submit.x=48&Submit.y=27 Ph.D. thesis titled "Climatic change in central Canada : a preliminary analysis of weather information from the Hudson's Bay Company Forts at York Factory and Churchill Factory, 1714-1850"] Ball taught geography at the [[University of Winnipeg]] from 1971 to 1996, starting as a Sessional Lecturer and retiring as a Professor.{{Cite web| title=Biography | first=Timothy | last=Ball |accessdate=2009-10-24| url=http://www.cariboord.bc.ca/crddirectors/2007%20agendas/Dec2007/December%2014,%202007/Biography.pdf }}

    In 1984, he founded the Rupert’s Land Research Centre,http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2ffpFoic23YC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=timothy+ball+climate+change+human+settlement&ots=dxSOwhJtsV&sig=epN8NMsgOyizIRWFNce8wN01UDk#v=onepage&q=timothy%20ball&f=false now called the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies, dedicated to research and publication of human history in the Hudson Bay watershed.http://uwwebpro.uwinnipeg.ca/academic/ic/rupert/index.html

    == Public appearances ==
    Ball was featured in ”[[The Great Global Warming Swindle]]”, a documentary film produced by [[Martin Durkin]] that was first aired in March 2007. The film showcased scientists, economists, politicians, writers, and others who disagree with the [[Climate change consensus|scientific consensus on global warming]]. {{Cite news|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/21/climatechange.carbonemissions1|title=Why does Channel 4 seem to be waging a war against the greens?|last=Monbiot|first=George|date=21 July 2008|publisher=[[The Guardian]]|accessdate=21 December 2009}}

    [[Hannity & Colmes]] hosted Ball to discuss ”The Great Global Warming Swindle”. He appeared in ”Fall of the Republic: The Presidency of Barack H. Obama”, a documentary by conspiracy theorist [[Alex Jones (radio host)|Alex Jones]] that claims to expose an agenda of “globalist eugenicists” to establish a world order that would reduce America to tyranny.http://www.archive.org/details/falloftherepublic Other right-wing or extremist venues in which he has appeared are [[The Michael Coren Show]]http://www.fcpp.org/media.php/1370, [[Coast to Coast AM]] with [[George Noory]],http://www.coasttocoastam.com/guest/ball-tim/6869, and The Corbett Report.http://www.corbettreport.com/articles/20091120_cru_hacked.htm

    Ball speaks often to civic clubs, farm groups, and members of the insurance industryhttp://www.thestar.com/printArticle/175673 and is a member of the [[Canada Free Press]] Speaker’s Bureau.http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/speakers-bureau He has made presentations to American senators.http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/cover031207.htm

    == Criticism ==

    == Personal ==
    Ball lived for many years in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After retiring from his position at the University, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia.http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/864 He is married to Marty Ball.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ad-campaign-takes-aim-at-climate-change/article1367291/

    == Awards and Honours ==
    *Honours Gold Medal, 1971, University of Winnipeghttp://geograph.uwinnipeg.ca/awards_dept-medals.htm
    *1976 recipient of the Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching.http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/index/robson-index
    *Geography Teacher Book Prize awarded each year by the University of Manitoba in Ball’s honor; provided by the Manitoba Social Science Teachers’ Associationhttp://www.uwinnipeg.ca/index/cms-filesystem-action?file=pdfs/awards/awards-handbook-08.pdf

    == Publications ==
    * {{Cite book
    | first1=C. Stuart | last1=Houston
    | first2=T. F. | last2=Ball
    | first3=Mary | last3=Houston
    | author2-link=Timothy F. Ball
    | title=Eighteenth-century naturalists of Hudson Bay
    | publisher=[[McGill-Queen's University Press]]
    | year=2003
    | isbn=0773522859
    | pages=333
    | place=[[Montreal]]
    | postscript=
    }}
    * {{Cite book
    | first=Timothy F. | last=Ball
    | author-link=Timothy F. Ball
    | editor1-first=Raymond S. | editor1-last=Bradley
    | editor2-first=Philip D. | editor2-last=Jones
    | editor1-link=Raymond S. Bradley
    | editor2-link=Phil Jones (climatologist)
    | title=Climate Since A.D. 1500
    | publisher=[[Routledge]]
    | year=1995
    | contribution=Historical and instrumental evidence of climate: Western Hudson Bay, Canada, 1714–1850
    | isbn=0415075939
    | postscript=
    }}
    * {{Cite journal
    | first1=Timothy F. | last1=Ball
    | first2=Roger A. | last2=Kingsley
    | author1-link=Timothy F. Ball
    | title=Instrumental temperature records at two sites in Central Canada: 1768 to 1910
    | journal=Climatic Change
    | volume=6 | issue=1 | pages=39–56 | year=1984
    | url=http://www.springerlink.com/content/l51087083622ll24/
    | doi=10.1007/BF00141667
    | postscript=
    }}
    * {{Cite journal
    | first1=Timothy F. | last1=Ball
    | author1-link=Timothy F. Ball
    | title=Climatic change in central Canada: a preliminary analysis of weather information from the Hudson’s Bay Company Forts at York Factory and Churchill Factory, 1714-1850
    | publisher=Ph.D. Thesis | year=1983
    | place=[[Queen Mary, University of London]]
    | url=http://catalogue.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/search/?searchtype=a&searcharg=Ball%2C+Timothy&searchscope=16&SORT=A&Submit.x=48&Submit.y=27
    | postscript=
    }}
    * {{Cite journal
    | first1=Timothy F. | last1=Ball
    | author1-link=Timothy F. Ball
    | title=The migration of geese as an indicator of climate change in the southern Hudson Bay region between 1715 and 1851
    | journal=Climatic Change
    | volume=5 | issue=3 | pages=85–93 | year=1983
    | url=http://www.springerlink.com/content/l1412752642704v3/
    | doi=10.1007/BF00144682
    | postscript=
    }}
    * {{Cite journal
    | first1=A.J.W. | last=Catchpole
    | first2=Timothy F. | last2=Ball
    | author2-link=Timothy F. Ball
    | title=Analysis of historical evidence of climate change in western and northern Canada
    | journal=Syllogeus
    | publisher=National Museum of Canada
    | issue=33 | pages=48–96 | year=1981
    | url=http://cgrg.geog.uvic.ca/abstracts/CatchpoleAnalysisThis1981.html
    | postscript= }}

    == References ==
    {{reflist}}

    == External links ==

    * [http://www.fcpp.org/files/1/Section%202%20-%20Table%20of%20Contents,%20Foreword,%20Author.pdf Biography] Table of Contents, Foreword, The Author from ”Whither the Weather?”
    * [http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/members/17102/Ball/ Archive of recent articles] on [[Canada Free Press]]
    * [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/columnists/steigerwald/s_492572.html February 10, 2007] Interview of Ball in the Pittsburgh Tribune: ”The politics of global warming”
    * [http://straight.com/article-67107/trust-us-were-the-media January 25, 2007] ”Trust us, we’re the media”, Georgia Straight
    * [http://www.charlesmontgomery.ca/mrcool.html August 6, 2006] article from The Globe and Mail “Focus” section: ”Mr. Cool”
    * [http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=aeb40fd9-f370-4057-8335-bc7345bf2e10 June 15, 2006] National Post article for the Financial Post: ”Warmer is Better: Junk Science Week”
    * [http://allpoliticsnow.com/content/view/29/1/ October 3, 2007] AllPoliticsNow news report ”Winnipeg bred global warming denier Tim Ball avoids embarrassment at Peoples Court” w/ links to court documents.
    *[http://www.fcpp.org/images/publications/FifthEstateDeniersCBC-whole%20piece.pdf The Fifth Estate] Ball’s response to “The Denial Machine”
    {{Persondata
    | NAME =Ball, Tim
    | ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
    | SHORT DESCRIPTION =
    | DATE OF BIRTH =
    | PLACE OF BIRTH =
    | DATE OF DEATH =
    | PLACE OF DEATH =
    }}
    {{DEFAULTSORT:Ball, Tim}}
    [[Category:Alumni of Queen Mary, University of London]]
    [[Category:Year of birth missing (living people)]]
    [[Category:Living people]]

    [[es:Timothy F. Ball]]
    [[nl:Tim Ball]]

  90. cirby,

    I see that you did not read the article, which was not about board games. Rather, it concerns censorship.

  91. WIki has always been corrupted, even over non-controversial issues. Of every subject I am expert in, I find untruths in WIki about it. And as commented above, anything can be controversial to someone, somewhere.

    Then there is the issue of intellectual vandalism, like saying Ishi made arrowheads from “bottoms of beer bottles {true} and cans {false}.” Wiki contains thousands of these examples of minute, hard to detect, deliberate lies. When Wiki is correct, it is an accident and the issue will soon be ‘fixed’.

  92. Ben Kellett says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:38 am
    “…what we can not escape is the fact that AGW proponents argue that this warming is accelerating and due to human activity. ”

    Ben,
    Check out the link below which shows satellite temperatures since 1979. Can you point to the acceleration of global temperatures, especially on the 13 month centered smoothed graph (which has leveled out and appears to be dropping), because I don’t see it? Satellites show no “acceleration” in temperature increases (acceleration is non-linear so you have to see an increase in the increase, second derivative). But let’s ignore the data and pretend the graph is accelerating. How do we separate out man-made from natural changes in temperature if we are to attribute higher temperatures to humans?

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

  93. ThePowerofX says:
    January 10, 2012 at 1:57 am

    The author of this piece misunderstands the nature of Wikipedia. A ‘reliable source’ isn’t one in which he or I agrees with; it has a very specific meaning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Identifying_reliable_sources

    In this regard the opening sentence is accurate. Much easier to ignore information that doesn’t suit your worldview and claim you are being suppressed.

    PowerofX, what you seem to have missed is that under the Wikipedia rules you point out, Wikipedia itself is not a “reliable source” …

    w.

  94. IMO,
    A cure for wikipedia would be to allow for different points of view rather than trying to stay “objective”. Controversial topics could be split with just urls to different povs at the main article. Let each side make their best case and let the reader decide. Hiding behind the NPOV rules is just censoring by another name.

  95. I taught math and management (not in the same course, unfortunately) at several colleges as we moved about the country during my career as an engineer. In NO CASE did any of the colleges allow Wikipedia as a source or reference. I told all MY classes that use of a Wikipedia article as a reference would lose them a letter grade since it showed they weren’t thinking, only Googling.

    Not one of the other teachers, instructors or professors (at least, of whom I am aware – don’t want to make an unsupportable generality) at ANY of the four schools allowed Wikipedia, either.

    Of course, math and management both have to function in the real world, with provable consequences, so that may be part of the reason.

  96. Nick Shaw said:
    January 10, 2012 at 7:36 am
    Is it just me or are there an unusual number of grammar and spelling Nazis on this thread?
    ————————————
    It would be just you characterising them as Nazis. I would say, rather, that there are a lot of people here who care about accuracy and details.

  97. anon says: January 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @Lucy Skywalker
    It shimples, all you have to do is emulate William Connoley, and just move the article into user space…

    Well that’s a nice idea. Here’s Tim Ball back at WP. Wonder how long it will last? and how long will my old user page stay undefaced this time?

    But if it becomes target for deletion, I’ll copy the markup text this time. Thanks. Could not find it before. Welcome back Tim Ball.

  98. With wikipedia, as with most things, taking the middle way has always sounded to me as the best way to rely on its information. The only “facts” in wikipedia that can be taken as such are those that are uncontested, dry bits of data. It surprises me that some people seem to rely on it in areas that *are* contested.

  99. Steve Fox, I have pondered why the leftists have a much greater tendency to take things like that over as well. My conclusion is that liberals tend to identify much more strongly with groups and causes than conservatives do. Conservatives tend to focus on individuals rather than groups. Many, many organizations and ideas that start out apolitically become strongly leftist over time for the same reason (EPA, equal rights, etc.). I believe this is because liberals tend to recommend and promote based on ideology rather than competence and experience.

  100. In fairness, when you get away from AGW and a couple of other things, Wiki is a fairly neutral platform. I have done a couple entries on the works of Erasmus and all that mattered was the scholarship. Other areas have been hijacked to the general discredit of Wiki.

  101. Ben Kellett says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:38 am
    “…what we can not escape is the fact that AGW proponents argue that this warming is accelerating and due to human activity. ”

    Ben, they can argue all they want. Shouting does not make them right any more than the mythical *consensus* makes them right.

    We need to continue to insist they show us evidence, not projections, which supports their claims and also insist they openly debate all the evidence.

  102. Mike Robinson says:
    January 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    Steve Fox, I have pondered why the leftists have a much greater tendency to take things like that over as well. My conclusion is that liberals tend to identify much more strongly with groups and causes than conservatives do. Conservatives tend to focus on individuals rather than groups. Many, many organizations and ideas that start out apolitically become strongly leftist over time for the same reason (EPA, equal rights, etc.). I believe this is because liberals tend to recommend and promote based on ideology rather than competence and experience.

    Q: What do the following things have in common: Marxism, Communism, Fascism, Stalinism, Maoism?

    A: All were created by progressives!

  103. JPY says
    So not only should incorrect statements in Wikipedia be corrected…

    As I already reported, it has been corrected. In fact it was corrected on 22 December, before this article was written.

    Wikipedia has many problems, and should never be relied upon completely, but this issue is overblown.

  104. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Wikipedia has known for decades that William Connolley and other Real Climate Scientists have blatantly manipulated their articles. Their gross negligence in ensuring the accuracy of their climate science articles borders on complicity. As a result, the reputations of Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, and Chris de Freitas’ have been severely damaged and continue to be damaged to this day. They should sue Michael Mann, William Connolley, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales for slander. Please set up a tip jar to pay their legal fees. I’ll gladly donate.
    Louis, I think that you have stated the one solution that these “cretins of scientific manipulation and intentional disinformation” will understand and that is to be bought to account for the harm caused in a court of law. The actual remedy in terms of dollars should be substantial enough to deter others from Internationally propagating falsehoods, or to continue publishing material that is defamatory even when others point out the glaring errors. My only concern is that litigation could also be used to stifle dissent, legitimate discussion and other freedoms as an unintended consequence. Be that as it may, it seems the only way to go, in defending truth and freedom and respecting the scientific method and the reputation of scientists.

  105. Wikipedia is best when it stays on topics related to pop culture. TV shows, movies and video games. The more serious or controversial the topic, the less reliable Wikipedia is.

  106. Wikipedia has lots of good article on non-controversial topics like populations, matrix decompositions, etc. It’s unfortunate that on anything controversial it tends to be taken over by partisans of one side or the other.

    However, it must have mechanisms to deal with this on political issues, biographies, etc. I suspect that if several skeptics were to give up their day jobs and make a full time effort of it, they could, with patience, make the articles at least a little more balanced.

    I’m not volunteering, however, since it’s frustrating to write something and then have it revised beyond recognition by someone else. The few times I have edited Wikipedia it has mostly been just to add an “external link” to a webpage I control. Usually this is stays put even if it goes against the grain of the people who have written the page.

  107. @ Ben Kellet

    “I must confess that I find it hard to believe that any scientist can seriously make the claim that AGW is fact on the basis of a 30 year warming trend. ”

    ++++

    A short period of reading at WUWT whill show that no reputable scientist seriously makes any such claims. The claims are made only by climaticus hirundinea a class of annelids invading certain areas of the Media. Fortunately they are in danger of overwhelming the food supply and the population is expected to crash soon. The only problem then remaining will be the stink lingering in the nostrils of true science. That too shall pass.

  108. BullDurham says:
    January 10, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I told all MY classes that use of a Wikipedia article as a reference would lose them a letter grade since it showed they weren’t thinking, only Googling.

    I think that is a very bad position. Personally, I used Wikipedia’s Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to attempt to understand the GISS GCM ModelE code used for AR4. As a result, I found that Hansen, Schmidt, et al, used a climate model with a very specific design problem. The error was not large, but they used the wrong equation and I discovered this by using Wikipedia. (Of course, I eventually used other references [found on the Wikipedia page] to verify that Wikipedia was correct.)

  109. I had a similar experience with Wikipedia, though on a different subject (Hanukkah). The official Wikipedia moderator ruled against inclusion of certain information (the evangelical and Messianic Jewish celebration of Hanukkah). I said the information should be included because the article should reflect what IS (millions of non-Jews celebrate Hanukkah); he rejected it on the basis that the article should only include information about what SHOULD be (in his narrow minded worldview those who are not Jews should not celebrate Hanukkah, therefore any information about how other people view and celebrate it should be excluded). That was quite some years ago, and it taught me that Wikipedia is first and foremost a tool of propaganda, not of information. I had similar experiences in other topics where I consider myself an expert (or at least very well informed). Politically incorrect information (facts and paradigms) are routinely squashed instantly and vigorously.

  110. Steve Fox says:

    John Phillips said: I agree with daveburton that when its controversial, the left wingnuts tend to get control.

    Agreed, but why? The wind must be in their favour in some way.

    Why? Because Jimbo Wales is one of them, and he likes it that way. See how he sings the praises of Wm Connolley.
     

    Lucy Skywalker says:

    I have a lot of respect for Jimmy Wales… [but] People here rightly excoriate Stoat “taking Science by the throat” Connolley.

    Lucy, Connolley is just Wales’ henchman. They are a team. Wm Connolley and his ilk rule Wikipedia, flouting the rules, crushing dissent, and enforcing the Leftist Party Line, for one reason: because Wales wants them to.

    Jimbo Wales is the problem.

  111. I initially contributed to Wikipedia, but after they proved to be politically left-handed to the extreme, I stopped. All of my corrections were summarily deleted, together with my source documentation.
    I no longer carry links to them or accept them as a reference.
    Too sad!

  112. Thanks to everyone for the compliments and criticisms.

    I’m happy to report that after a long conversation on Jimbo Wales’ talk page that this one piece of misinformation is now completely gone:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Activism_at_Wikipedia.3F

    Even after the founder of wikipedia expressed his opinion for removal there was still resistance from those who had inserted the libel, but thankfully they’ve now realized how foolish they were looking.

  113. @Mr I take exception to that. Obviously, the areas in which somebody has an agenda are often devoid of either intellect or fairness. I will put my entries on Erasmus (who lived in the 1500s after all) up against anything. Am I a deep scholar in the field? Probably not as deep as some folks. But then again, most folks do not have several copies of the first edition of some of Erasmus’ books either. I do.

  114. Oh, to be twenty-five years younger. I’d be just old enough to be awakening to the scientific fraud that has been gaining momentum for the past twenty years or so, but young enough to see it’s end in another thirty or so years.

    Seriously, you youngsters: you’ll look back on the first decade of the 21st century and laugh at the stupidity of your elders. Well, that is, you’ll laugh if you have paid employment, and the luxury of leisure time once our respective governments dismantle our economies in favour of Big Green. And also provided the power cuts in midwinter due to inefficient “green” power sources don’t kill you off.

    Oh, how you will laugh …

  115. kim says:
    January 10, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Stoat rote don’t float my boat.
    =========

    Brilliant!
    ———-
    @ Lucy Skywalker,

    Sorry to learn you are unwell. I hope you’ll soon be on the mend.

    ———-

    I’ve been inspired by sheer incredulity at the enormity of the errors to edit a couple of articles. One credulous idiot, on the Wikipedia article on the Turbot Wars, had written that Canadian fishermen were pulling trawl nets 48 km. long! (and so had no claim of environmental superiority over the Spanish and Portugese). A little bit of logic demolished that claim, and I see my edit has withstood the test of time (1 1/2 years). But the article is labelled as controversial and biased towards Canada – even though the principle of extending fisheries conservation measures beyond the 200 mile limits onto adjacent shelf when stocks are endangered has been upheld internationally since Canada took the step of expelling Spanish and Portuguese trawlers in the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks.

    I’ve also noted that articles concerning battles between Islamic forces vs Christians or other forces from the Medieval period are written from the Islamic point of view – but it appears nobody wants to challenge them!

  116. Josualdo says:
    January 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm
    “It is worth looking up the term “wikiality”.”

    Socialists posing as mock conservatives while at the same time saying “This is no satire”; oh yawn. Similar to Muller posing as mock skeptic. It seems to become a common strategy to pose as your enemy but misrepresent him; maybe since “Billionaires For Bush”.

    Maybe we should set up mock climate scientists who behave irresponsible to give CAGW science a bad name…. but then again, that would be so redundant.

  117. James

    Believe this or not: I am the anonymous contributor that tried to revert the “all” back to “none.” I got the idea to do this because a WUWT commenter, in a Climategate 2.0 article, pointed out the discrepancy. I dug through the history of the article and found when the revision had been made (by an equally anonymous user btw), and the citation changed. I then googled the subject extensively to try to find any other source prior to Pearce that said the article had been rejected by reviewers, but found none. Even Skeptical Science’s whitewash of Climategate admits the S&B paper was approved by reviewers:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=315

    I normally do not care about Wikipedia, which is why I do not have an account, but this seemed so unabashedly wrong that I spent half a night figuring out how to edit an article and make a talk page entry. Later, the same night, I saw my edit had been offhandedly reversed, and I was belittled in the talk page by Stephen Schulz for assumed ignorance of the peer review process, so I threw my hands up and tried to forget about the whole thing.

    Thank you so much for bringing this to wider attention.

  118. I also sent this directly to the “contact the blog”.

    One of the journal’s editors, Clare Goodess, recalled that many of them were “somewhat confused and still very concerned about what had happened”. The paper “had apparently gone to four reviewers none of whom had recommended rejection”, and “The review process had apparently been correct, but a fundamentally flawed paper had been published.” She and Hans von Storch knew of three earlier papers edited by de Freitas where concerns had been raised about the review process.[22]

    Dave Souza made the correction.

  119. James, seems to me that Jimbo Wales pulled his head out for a minute, to take a wiff of the smell surrounding him, then firmly reinserted it.

    You want to call that a victory? Go ahead.
    I call it a lawsuit dodge.

  120. BTW, wikipedia seems to think The Guardian is a reliable source. The question is, why? And the next question is: What kind of encyclopedia do you get when you believe everything the Guardian says? The one that Jimbo Wales wants, obviously. Saying a lot about him, that, it’s this school of thought that believes everything Der Spiegel, the NYT and The Guardian say but calls Fox News Faux News.

    So let’s see – Chomsky and the Khmer Rouge….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_chomsky

    Ah yeah. Not mentioned. Maybe here?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky%27s_political_views

    Nope. Thanks, Jimbo. Your encyclopedia doesn’t know ANY inconvenient fact. Lucy Skywalker, you respect this person? That’s laughable.

  121. I found this using Smokey’s method.

    http://gawker.com/5827835/wikipedia-is-slowly-dying

    It seems that Wikipedia’s stable of youths have grown up, and as they grew they learned to resent the insulting exercise of raising their hand to beseech Lord Wales to intervene when they are treated unfairly by a class of surly, self appointed “betters”.

    As the old guard drifts away, new youths, who in Jimmy Wales ideal make believe world would come to fill the ranks, find it more rewarding to spend time with Facebook and Twitter.

    When Wikipedia finally gives up the ghost, what I leave on the the grave won’t pass for flowers.

  122. The continued presence of Connolley simply shines a light (however feeble) on the fact that Wikipedia is a systemically corrupt organization. Sadly most “average viewers” won’t see this.

    Continued access by someone like that corrupts LITERALLY EVERYTHING about the organization. He’s back in, they don’t care. Because they support the agenda, the facts are secondary to the ideological goals. Ironically liars have an automatic advantage over honest people – especially in the “information age” where almost no one actually verifies what they’re told.

    It was a foolish idea anyway – give the most power to the most passionate people, and leave a hole open for “the facts” to be altered at any time. It cannot possibly be trustworthy. You have to check all the information against more reliable sources – why not just start with the more reliable sources?

  123. Word is out in the MSM. From “The Simpsons,” Apocalypse Cow:

    Bart: So Dean Martin would show up at the last minute and do everything in just one take?
    Homer: That’s right.
    Bart: But Wikipedia said he was “passionate about rehearsal”.
    Homer: Don’t you worry about Wikipedia. We’ll change it when we get home. We’ll change a LOT of things.

  124. Derek Sorensen says:
    January 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm………..

    I’m 36 years young, and I am NOT amused. Have been fighting these people my adult life to date and am sick of [snip] jerks trying to shove misinformation and propaganda down my throat.
    Maybe some day I will look back and laugh. but I doubt it. More like sadly shake my head at the waste.

  125. Merovign says:
    January 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    “… You have to check all the information against more reliable sources – why not just start with the more reliable sources?”

    Because it’s a quick reference. As long as I know that the information is not reliable I can backtrack and find a real source.

  126. I find that WP is much like our local daily paper. When I read something in the paper about a subject, especially where I happen to know a few of the pertinent facts; I am always astonished that nearly everything I am reading is wrong.
    “If you don’t read the paper you will be uninformed, if you do read it you will be misinformed”
    said Mark Twain, and were he still alive, he would use those words to describe WP.

  127. I’m proud to say I’m a principled conservative who has been banned from both Wikipedia and from Watt’s Up With That under my real name.

    Sincerely,
    Greg Arious Knot

  128. I chucked 20 South Pacific pesos at Wikipedia a year ago as I found it a great help in my work — mainly as a source of lists of winners of horse races, the history of those races, information on stud animals and so on.

    But when this year’s plea came in I thought, This guy is bragging about rejecting advertising and thereby keeping his staff numbers low. Maybe if he accepted advertising he could give employment, well-paid employment, to five or ten times the current number on his books — something no one could deny was a bad thing. And it’s been my experience that people who do something for money usually make a better fist of it than people driven by ideals . . . present company excepted, of course.

  129. To the ten or a dozen correcters of the “compliment/complement” error, don’t you read your fellow commenters’ posts?

    Ben Kellett constantly used “warmist” when he meant “warmest” and someone else made the common mistake of using “lead” instead of “led”.

  130. Take note:
    This we know: RealClimate ( a Fenton Communications/ Environmental Media Services production) .

    This is less public.
    This link to a pdf of IRS form 900.

    http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Financial_reports#2010.E2.80.932011_fiscal_year

    Go to Page 46.
    Read the list of Highest Paid Contractors. Hmmmm…
    Now go to Page 19. Hmmm…

    Now as an excersize, check other income tax filings for the oranization.

    And you people wonder Why there is a Climate Scientology bias.

  131. I went and edited the page I mentioned above.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chaos_theory&action=history

    Within half an hour Connolley (who I thought had been banned) had come in and changed “climate” back to “weather”. Someone else noted that the reference related to Climate not Weather so a few minutes later Connolley just removed the entire reference!
    It had been incorrect for over a year and that was fine but when someone corrects it he is in like a shot.
    In cockney rhyming slang I think that Connolley could be described as a “merchant banker”.

  132. “The error has now been completely eliminated from the article.”

    Let’s check back in a few weeks and see if the error manages to creep back in.

  133. Jeff says on January 10, 2012 at 4:02 am :

    When Wikipedia was first proposed, the first thing I thought of was “Zero” from Rollerball. I’ve seen nothing over the years to dispel that initial impression.

    prescient, Jeff.

  134. Let’s not hold our breaths waiting for it, but Pearce would do well, now that he has admitted his error more or less privately, to write an article correcting his earlier error.

    If anything, such a retraction of the statement would certainly make for a good article. It might crate a firestorm, but a little added notoriety is good for a journalist, come the next salary push. A retraction is also not going to add or detract from his warmist journalism overall. Admitting to an error is simply getting a fact straight, not a political position.

  135. Thanks for comments re my saying I respect Jimmy Wales. I honour those comments. I think my respect still stands, but it is a qualified respect.

    I think WP works well for stuff that is already so well-digested that it’s basically in encyclopedic mode already. I couldn’t have done what Wales did and WP provides a service that I frequently use – as a starting point.

    But it simply is not geared to work, and cannot be geared to work IMHO, in any “unorthodox” issue. Here I take people’s point that the “leftie activist” element that is responsible for a lot of the problems here, has gone OTT – and that this may reflect an unlikeable side of Jimmy Wales.

    I’m furious with WP’s bias – but I don’t want that fury to unbalance my overall perception. Basically I’ve concluded that WP is systemically unfit for the really interesting stuff, I’ve turned my back on it, and I feel that we owe it to ourselves to create dedicated wikis around each nexus of unorthodox interest. Electric Universe theory is another candidate for a dedicated wiki. IMHO.

  136. I always found comparing Castro and Pinochet quite amusing on Wikipedia. I really think that they should split every article into two pages, pro and con. All things aside, it does record some stuff, but it will never be an Encyclopaedia Galactica.

  137. Looks like William M. Connolley is back to his old trick on Wikipedia.

    on this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

    the original post was:

    Chaotic behavior can be observed in many natural systems, such as climate.[5]
    [5] Climate Chaotic Instability: Statistical Determination and Theoretical Background

    Here is what it was changed to:
    Chaotic behavior can be observed in many natural systems, such as weather.

    The reasons? Here they are:
    11 January 2012‎ William M. Connolley (talk | contribs)‎ (58,184 bytes) (Undid revision 470775056 by DIY Sunrise (talk) weather is a much better example) (undo)
    11 January 2012‎ William M. Connolley (talk | contribs)‎ (57,905 bytes) (I’ve looked. The Sneyers thing isn’t good, so is best removed.) (undo)

    Here is the text to replace “weather” to fix things up if you are so inclined. You make the change here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chaos_theory&action=edit

    here is the text to use to replace “weather”. good luck. see how long it takes before you are undone.

    climate.{{cite journal | author = Sneyers Raymond | year = 1997 | title = Climate Chaotic Instability: Statistical Determination and Theoretical Background | url = | journal = Environmetrics | volume = 8 | issue = 5| pages = 517–532 }}

  138. Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 11, 2012 at 9:47 am
    But it simply is not geared to work, and cannot be geared to work IMHO, in any “unorthodox” issue.

    The problem with WikiPedia is that it allows anyone to DELETE anyone Else’s work. This is the modern equivalent of book burning.

  139. Hi folks. it is great to know that I’m not forgotten. I’ll skip the arguements over GW (err, mostly), because I doubt you care really, but…

    what is missing from all of this is wiki’s standards, which are “The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true.[under discussion]“.

    You may not like that – I don’t – but the arguement is an easy one: if you “know” something to be true, that is very nice, but if you want to write it into wiki you need a reliable source. That principle is unevenly enforced, but becomes important during disputes (see-also WP:TRUTH.

    Misc:

    Cuthbert: “William M. Connolley… allowed to run roughshod over climate articles… One only needs to look at the hot bed article;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    to see how many times, they have tried to delete the article”

    Err no. I’ve consistently argued against it being deleted.

    Ben K: “AGW proponents argue that this warming is accelerating”. Really? Perhaps you’d care to point out where http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming says so, then?

    Lew Skannen: weather is clearly chaotic. Climate probably isn’t; not during the holocene, mostly, and not during the near future (http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2005/06/climate-is-stable-in-absence-of.html). it is arguable; but the point is that it is a poor example in that article.

  140. William M. Connolley says:
    January 12, 2012 at 2:49 am
    Lew Skannen: weather is clearly chaotic. Climate probably isn’t

    Free speech and the free exchange of ideas is how human society advances. Censorship and the silencing of the opposition is the mark of tyranny.

    Cite a reference supporting the counter argument and add that to the article on chaos. That is the correct approach to the truth, so that all lines of inquiry are maintained.

    What was done instead was to delete the reference and substitute an opinion without any reference. This is the equivalent of book burning, which throughout history has been associated with groups that are intolerant of anything that does not match their belief system.

    What we know about chaos is dwarfed by what we don’t know. Removing a reference simply increases the level of ignorance. The real question is this. Is understanding and knowledge being held back for the personal gain of climate insiders?

  141. Here is the citation removed from WP and replaced by “weather”. Change the &lt ad &gt before posting to the “less than” and “greater than” characters.

    climate.&ltref&gt{{cite journal | author = Sneyers Raymond | year = 1997 | title = Climate Chaotic Instability: Statistical Determination and Theoretical Background | url = | journal = Environmetrics | volume = 8 | issue = 5| pages = 517–532 }}&lt/ref&gt

  142. FB: the chaos article isn’t the place for debating whether climate is chaotic or not. It also isn’t the place for providing an exhaustive list of all chaotic processes. It is trying to provide some useful examples of chaos. Weather is clearly a much more useful example. Feel free to join the discussion on the talk page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Chaos_theory#Weather_and_climate).

    This is the equivalent of book burning… – this is called “discrediting yourself by hyperbolic overreaction”.

    If your point is something like “climate is chaotic, *therefore* we can’t predict the future a-la IPCC” then fine; that is a point of view. But the place to argue for it is not s/weather/climate on the chaos page.

    See-also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:OR (and WP:SYN).

  143. William M. Connolley says:
    January 12, 2012 at 2:49 am
    what is missing from all of this is wiki’s standards, which are “The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth

    Clearly the cited reference to “Climate Chaotic Instability” meets this standard as it is verifiable. There was a reference to the journal where it was published. Thus removing the citation was improper, a violation of WP standards.

    Clearly the replacement of this citation with “weather” did not meet the standards as it was provided without reference and could not be verified. Thus the inclusion of weather was improper and violated WP standards.

    Apparently this is not an isolated incident

    Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation/Requests for enforcement/Archive2
    1 William M. Connolley
    1.1 Request concerning William M. Connolley
    1.2 Discussion concerning William M. Connolley
    1.2.1 Statement by William M. Connolley
    1.2.2 Comments by others about the request concerning William M. Connolley
    1.3 Proposal
    1.4 Many prior warnings
    1.5 Result concerning William M. Connolley

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_sanctions/Climate_change_probation/Requests_for_enforcement/Archive2#Many_prior_warnings

  144. WC: what prevents one of the Obsessed from watching a page only to undo every change on the basis that he/she judges ALL sources as “unreliable” as long as they don’t agree with his/her point of view?

    Nothing.

    And the non-obsessed have better to do than embark in lengthy dispute resolutions with people who by definition obsess on the rules of Wikipedia.

    Therefore the “reliable” rule is exactly what makes Wikipedia unreliable on the mildest of controversial topics.

    It’s as if Parliament were permanently occupied by deranged single-issue advocates.

  145. MM: wikipedia isn’t as simple as you think it is (from the outside, no-one understands wikipedia. If you want a fine example of that, the previously-cited http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=62e1c98e-01ed-4c55-bf3d-5078af9cb409 is excellent; see http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/01/a_childs_garden_of_wikipedia_p.php).

    If you want to find out what happens when anon editors keep trying to push text onto a certain page, then by all means keep up the editing of the chaos page and find out. If you want to know what happens if an established editor “reverts” a page too often, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Edit_warring.

    Therefore the “reliable” rule is exactly what makes Wikipedia unreliable – no, your logic has failed you there. Wikipedia isn’t the Wild West you think it is.

  146. I didn’t say it was the wild west…more like a collection of bureaucratic fiefdoms impervious to outside help by the uninitiated.

    The case in topic, with the intervention of Pope Jimbo Wales restoring sanity, is a perfect example.

    It’s still early Dark Ages…

  147. James Padgett,
    You might find this thread at Keith Kloor’s interesting. http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/01/12/corrections-not-necessary-in-botched-atlantic-story/comment-page-1/#comment-95553
    It parallels certain parts of your story. Ari LeVaux couldn’t get changes make a headline associated with a story in the Atlantic so gave up on getting the editors to make corrections in the body of the piece. One wonders if the same thing would or did happen at the Guardian after Fred Pearce recognized that his assertion that all four reviewers had recommended against publishing.

    If this is indeed a new common practice in journalism, it will muddy the citation waters even further at Wikipedia.

    • For those decrying wiki’s quality: and yet, wiki was only reporting what the “quality” media said, and has now been corrected. The “quality” media is still wrong. So where does that leave all those oh-so-smug folk who cry their purity in not using wikipedia as a reference but would happily use the “quality”?

  148. As Wikipedia itself says:

    Critics of the web decry the medium as the cult of the amateur. Wikipedia is worse than that; it is the province of the covert lobby. The most constructive course is to stand on the sidelines and jeer at its pretensions.

  149. Ah stoat, the mathematician who insisted that not a single thing from Anthony could be published on Wikipedia until every single weather station had been surveyed completely ignoring the mathematical use of confidence intervals, how goes it. So who is your sock puppet on Wiki right now or do you simply coordinate with your little trolls like shulz offsite?

    • Wiki doesn’t allow blogs as sources, unless they are of high quality like RC (just tweaking you, try not to explode won’t you). I didn’t write the policy and I don’t agree with it. As for socks I have none and never had. Are you mistaking me for someone who would write a whole article about climate on wiki and not reveal that arbcomm had banned them?

      REPLY: Well then, since WUWT is used as sources in Wiki, I’ll take the same complement you extended to RC – Anthony

  150. squareheaded says: January 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm
    As Wikipedia itself says: Critics of the web… etc

    Out-of-context quote, very much misrepresents WP’s POV. The legit. context is:

    Not everyone hailed WikiScanner as a success for Wikipedia. Oliver Kamm, in a column for The Times, argued instead that:[88]

    The WikiScanner is thus an important development in bringing down a pernicious influence on our intellectual life. Critics of the web… etc

    Still, thanks for the ref. A really useful article because it does show the way self-awareness at WP via things like this article COULD lead to future WP reform.

  151. Ah yes, the mighty Lord Connolley, out to save the planet from a phony crisis, waxes on about smugness and purity.

    High comedy indeed.

  152. Good to see Connolley himself here. And you make the important point that WP deals with verifiability rather than truth. This I accept as an unfortunate necessity; it is why I think WP is generically unfit for cutting-edge science and “fringe” issues, at least in its present incarnation.

    However, there is still a problem. Blogs like this are considered “not reliable sources” – because they disagree with mainline science – but WUWT came into existence precisely because the standards of truth right across the board at the conventional level in Climate Science, both the peer-reviewed papers, the media representations, and the peer-review system itself, are all challenged here, consistently, courteously, and with considerable scientific acumen at its best, as being sub-standard. To simply relegate WUWT to “unreliable” is to ignore a very important signal by shouting that the noise overpowers the signal.

    • > Good to see Connolley himself here.

      Since you make a point of courtesy later let me point out that referring to someone by surname only and omitting their title is impolite. This may help.

      > WP is generically unfit for cutting-edge science

      Wiki pretty well *intends* to be unfit for cutting edge science. It isn’t a newspaper, and it isn’t a blog. Its an encyclopaedia. It definitely doesn’t welcome fringe science. My own view is that even science papers in Real Journals should wait for a respectable period of time – at a bare minimum three months – before being included. But I lost that argument a long time ago.

      > Blogs like this are considered “not reliable sources” – because…

      I fear I’ll have to disagree with your “because”. I doubt there is any point arguing; my opinion of WUWT isn’t a secret and is no more likely to change than yours.

  153. Robert in Calgary says:
    January 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Ah yes, the mighty Lord Connolley, out to save the planet from a phony crisis, waxes on about smugness and purity.
    High comedy indeed.

    Still not as funny as vintage Billy Connolly

  154. > The chief reason we climate skeptics need our own wiki…

    I think you’re wrong. The reason wiki is so successful is because its so successful; it is the top hit for just about everything (I exaggerate; you know what I mean). If you want Joe Public to read *your* wiki… then you’re probably doomed. They won’t even know it exists. This applies to the people you’d call Warmists too, of course.

    The other reason is that wiki benefits very much from having opposing views combine. When they clash it gets messy, of course. But if you create a walled garden of you own you risk ending up as a joke like Conservapedia (that particular article is so ludicrous that I link from it on my wiki page for fun).

  155. Looks like Mr Connolley was effective at making sure the behind the scenes clash of opposing views didn’t get reflected on the front end of the site. Until he was binned for rule bending of course…

  156. From “HISTORY OF CLIMATE GETS ´ERASED´ONLINE, More than 5,000 entries rewritten to hype global warming agenda,” 12/29/2009, at http://www.wnd.com/2009/12/119745/ , short summary:

    “A new report reveals a British scientist and Wikipedia administrator [Mr. William M. Connolley] rewrote climate history, editing more than 5,000 unique articles in the online encyclopedia to cover traces of a medieval warming period – something Climategate scientists saw as a major roadblock in the effort to spread the global warming message.”

    “Recently hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia´s Climate Research Unit expose a plot to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period, a 400-year era that began around A.D. 1000, the Financial Post´s Lawrence Solomon reports.”

    “Solomon revealed that Connolley, one man in the nine-member team [= Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, Eric Steig, William Connolley, Stefan Rahmstorf, Ray Bradley, Amy Clement, Rasmus Benestad, and Caspar Ammann.] who is a U.K. scientist, a software engineer and Green Party activist, took control of Wikipedia´s entries to see that any trace of the true climate history would be erased.”

    “Beginning in Februari 2003, Connolley rewrote Wikipedia entries on global warming, the greenhouse effect, the instrumental temperature record, the urban heat island, on climate models and on global cooling, according to the report. In February, he began editing the Little Ice Age. By August, he began to rewrite history without the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned to the hockey-stick chart.”

    “Through his role as a Wikipedia administrator, Connolley is said to have created or rewritten 5,428 unique Wikipedia entries.”

    “”When Connolley didn´t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it – more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand,” Solomon wrote. “When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred – over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions.”

    “Through his control of the Wikipedia pages, Connolley is said to have “turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.””

    “Facts about the Medieval Warm Period and criticism of global warming doctrine were purportedly scrubbed from Wikipedia´s pages.”

    “”User William M. Connolley strongly pushes his POV [point of view] with systematic removal of any POV which does not match his own,” his accuser charged in a written deposition. “His views on climate science are singular and narrow.””

    Conclusion

    Mr. Connolley et al you have turned Science into Junk Science, with your Global Warming Hoax agenda, and its final objective of a Global Governance.

    SAY NO TO GLOBAL WARMING HOAX
    SAY NO TO JUNK SCIENCE
    SAY NO TO GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

  157. William M. Connolley says:
    January 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm
    Since you make a point of courtesy later let me point out that referring to someone by surname only and omitting their title is impolite.

    Worrying about it is a sign of a fragile ego.

  158. WIMC
    “As for socks I have none and never had. Are you mistaking me for someone who would write a whole article about climate on wiki and not reveal that arbcomm had banned them?”

    I notice that you didn’t address my second question. Are you coordinating with your merry band off-sight in violation of Wikipedia rules as you have been caught doing in the past?

    • Tom: your premises are wrong. If you manage to re-state the question in a form that makes sense, I’ll write some text in reply.

      LS: ta.

      Anon: the exciting report you link to and reproduce is just the LS/JD column come again, and is no better for being re-hashed. It shows exactly the same amusing errors in understanding wiki that I linked to before. I won’t bother rebut it again if you repost it in yet another guise. None of this is secret, it is all easy to check. Perhaps some of the self-proclaimed “skeptics” here would be skeptical enough of their own side’s propaganda to investigate it and comment?

  159. William M. Connolley says: January 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    > Good to see Connolley himself here. [he's quoting me]

    Since you make a point of courtesy later let me point out that referring to someone by surname only and omitting their title is impolite. This may help.

    “omitting their title is impolite” I note your link is not to an “objective” statement but to your own page. I frequently see here, and use myself, surnames without title, and never until now with any malice aforethought intended or taken. But I shall now use WMC if I want brevity.

    WMC, I’ve noted your other comments and am pleased to find they are much as I would expect.

  160. I see William Connolley defending his actions as being within the rules of Wikipedia (we know he has violated them). But the one thing he seems to be avoiding is any committment to real science or the truth. This article was started by pointing out a gross negligence on the part of Wiki and the editors in, at the very least a misrepresentation, and at the most likely a lie. Yet he is smart enough not to defend the lie or lying. Instead, like all good minions, he falls back on “That’s the rules”.

    Real scientist understand that real science is the discovery of new rules and new knowledge. Not the reliance on antiquated rules set down to inhibit knowledge from being spread. The Catholic Church had a similar argument in Galileo’s time, for pretty much the same reason – keep the dogma intact, and the masses in line. It had nothing to do with real science.

  161. Connolley, you talk about “propaganda” as if you aren’t Mr. Propaganda himself. That’s pure psychological projection on your part, chump. Why are you so terrified of free speech and different points of view? The truth is out there; it just isn’t in you. You attack the truth like it was your enemy. I suppose it is.

  162. > I see William Connolley defending his actions

    Are we still talking about the article this blog is about? If so, no I’m not, since I never edited that bit. Check the article history.

    I do defend my actions, but I’m not doing so here, because I know you’re not interested (if you are interested, feel free to pull up any diffs you think reprehensible). I’m just trying to explain to you what the rules are, and (in some instances) why I disagree with them.

  163. William M. Connolley says:
    January 13, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Nice try at misdirection. Perhaps you would like to read my entire comment and not just the first line, and then make your own assumptions about what I am saying? I care not about your defense, any more than I care about Bill Clinton’s definition of the word is. What is evident in your postings here is that you go to great lengths to defend your actions as legal (and as previously indicated, they have not always been so as has been proven), but not as honest, truthful or scientifically sound.

    This is not a court of law – or even a Wikipedia review board. You are simply wasting your time and this space as you do not have to defend yourself to us or anyone else. But you do have to account for both your unethical and unscientific behaviour. However, as clearly stated, we are not the accountants.

    • > you go to great lengths to defend your actions as legal (and as previously indicated, they have not always been so as has been proven), but not as honest, truthful or scientifically sound

      Now I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. For ease of reference, yes I defend my actions as honest, and truthful, and scientifically sound. If you disagree, post actual diffs or quotes from me, not vagueness.

  164. Sorry Bill, The proof is in your comments. I do not intend to pollute this thread with reposting your comments since they are here for everyone to read. That you cannot understand the simple written word does not bode well for the owners of Wikipedia.

    • PJ: No diffs, eh? Not a single edit out of all those thousands of pages that you can find any objection to. Now that *is* revealing: either of my innocence, or your laziness. You don’t believe in the former so I think you’re obliged to confess to the latter.

      Smokey: he constantly changes and deletes the comments of those whose views he personally disagrees with – really? “constantly?”. OK, here are my last 1000 edits. Please point out a few.

  165. Does everyone see Connolley’s hypocrisy on display? He can post his comments here without them being changed or deleted – but he constantly changes and deletes the comments of those whose views he personally disagrees with. He is the reason that Wikipedia is widely perceived as a propaganda blog promoting Connolley’s false “carbon” agenda.

    Connolley’s actions on Wikipedia are unscientific and self-serving, motivated by Connolley’s low self-esteem and personal insecurity. Connoley simply cannot allow different points of view to be posted, because they would show that his anti-science narrative is false. Therefore, he censors the comments of people more knowledgeable and truthful tha he is. That is the antithesis of the scientific method, and Connolley should know better than to come here spouting his nonsense.

  166. Connolley, you cannot hide your bias. You cannot even see that you have destroyed any credibility you may once have had. Your grandchildren will hang their head in shame once all has been revealed. Funny that you think you are “saving the planet” for them.

  167. WMC

    “Tom: your premises are wrong. If you manage to re-state the question in a form that makes sense, I’ll write some text in reply.”

    My question was quite clear Billy. It seems you do not want to answer it. Offsite collaberation amongst editors and even more so banned editors is a violation of wikipedia rules. Its a rule you and your goof troop have in fact been found to have broken in the past and been admonished for it.

    Your quick defense of the remaining members of your goof troop suggests you are are still very much in contact with them and collaborating with them offsite. Once again putting you and the rest of your goof troop in violation of the same rule that you have a history of violating.

    So the question is quite simple. Are you currently collaborating with the remaining members of your goof troop offsite?

    • > Its a rule you… have in fact been found to have broken in the past and been admonished for

      No it isn’t. Diff, please, if you think otherwise.

      > Then why are you banned?

      I’m not. Err, you did follow the “my last 1000 edits” link, above, didn’t you? and you are capable of reading a timestamp, I hope.

  168. WMC

    “Now I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. For ease of reference, yes I defend my actions as honest, and truthful, and scientifically sound. If you disagree, post actual diffs or quotes from me, not vagueness.”

    Then why are you banned?

  169. The guy who takes science by the throat is part of a gang with Stefan Schultz and Brigade Harvester Boris who continued his job while he was blocked.
    Science at the wikipedia has at least three weasels at its throat.

  170. So you’ve been a good boy for the last thousand edits. Big deal. Fortunately you cannot control the discussion here.

  171. Why don’t you allow postings from both sides and let people decide for themselves like Anthony does. If you are correct, this will come through. If you are wrong, that will come through as well. Your past actions tell me you haven’t the courage to do this. You guys have controlled the discussion FAR too long. Climate science has been railroaded down the wrong track. You have wasted everybody’s time and money.

  172. Connolley says:

    “Err, you did follow the ‘my last 1000 edits’ link, above, didn’t you?”

    Lots of those “edits” are blatant censorship of opposing views. Proving once again that there is a glaring difference between an ethical site like WUWT, which does not censor comments with a different point of view, and a heavily censoring propaganda blog like the mendacious Wikipedia.

  173. WMC
    “> Its a rule you… have in fact been found to have broken in the past and been admonished for”

    No it isn’t. Diff, please, if you think otherwise.”

    Billy it is well documented in your Wiki record that you Schulz and other members of the goof troop were found to have used Facebook for offsite coordination and were publicly admonished for it. So the question again is are you once again coordinating off-site with the rest of the goof troop in violation of Wikipedia rules: yes or no?

    • > used Facebook for offsite coordination and were publicly admonished for it.

      No, it isn’t. You’re simply wrong. I hope that is a direct enough answer for you.

      If you’ think you’re right, do please provide a quote not just your own fallible memory. If you simply waffle in reply, I’ll know that you don’t know.

  174. Now that I think about it I believe the better question would be did you ever stop.

    If you continue to give non answers to this question the more and more your non answers look like an admission of guilt.

  175. Wikipedia should be “adjusted” to reflect all the vast uncertainties in the science that those scientists themselves have made abundantly clear in their emails. If wikipedia is concerned with accurate information that is.

  176. William M. Connolley says:
    January 13, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Bill – sorry, I told you, misdirection does not work (I know that is a favorite tool of yours). You have been found guilty of willfully subverting the truth, promoting lies, and of censorship. Yet how do you respond? You claim “it was legal”. Not ethical, not correct, not even a mistake. just “it was legal”.

    Sorry, each time you squirm, you merely prove my point. You are not worth researching because we know your contributions are lies, unethical, and wrong. We do not need to prove every lie. You have already proven a propensity for lying.

    • > willfully subverting the truth… etc etc etc

      Still no diffs, eh? You’re just blowing smoke. Look, I’ll help you (and it might be of interest to other readers). The arbcomm judgement is here. Quote the bit that you think supports your words.

      REPLY: William, upthread you admit most people are baffled by Wikipedia internal processes, and yet you expect them to enter that world and provide internal proof on your terms. The simple fact is you’ve been a bad boy on Wiki, and got tossed out because of it. If you don’t like the image you’ve made for it, work to change it instead of telling other people how wrong they are about it expecting them to provide “diffs” (whatever your definition of those is) when the majority have no idea how to do so.

      Therefore, I find your demands disingenuous. As far as I’m concerned, “diffs” or not, your hijacking of Wikipedia climate content and the fallout/disbarment is public knowledge. I’m not interested in getting into a pointless exchange with you over it, I have better things to do with my time. As you point out, neither of us is likely to change our opinion of the other, so let’s not waste time trying. – Anthony

  177. William M. Connolley says:
    January 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Bill – last post as this is fruitless. I WILL not allow you to misdirect my posts to a strawman you can then defeat. You have yet to address the issue that I raised – and I will not repeat it as it is becoming tiresome. You can continue to claim you are innocent of the crimes YOU DESCRIBE – however you have yet to offer even a scintilla of evidence that the charges against you are wrong.

  178. William -as long as you’ll keep yourself within your Magical Circle of arbcomms and diffs and WPthis and WPthat, you’ll inhabit a strange universe, absolutely incapable of providing information to anybody apart from some creepy followers of yours. I can’t believe you dedicated so much time on Wikipedia for that purpose. Try at least to make an effort to join the real world, say, the one where “widely accepted” is taken by real people as “part of the consensus”.

  179. WMC,

    “No, it isn’t. You’re simply wrong. I hope that is a direct enough answer for you.

    If you’ think you’re right, do please provide a quote not just your own fallible memory. If you simply waffle in reply, I’ll know that you don’t know.”

    Once agian that is another non answer Billy. Are you still coordinating with the rest of the goof troop off-sight yes or no?

    More and more you non answers look to be admissions of your own guilt. You were so quick to deny any use of socks but as to this question you have over and over again refused to give an answer. I think we all understand by now what that means.

  180. One point to remember is that despite Billy’s insistance that the actions of his goof troop on this issue was within the rules it was in fact not and Jimbo said as much in his talk page. While the information was verifiable the fact of the matter is that the said editorial was given undue weight in violation of Wiki’s rules. It was one third party editorial that was given weight over numerous primary sources that said the exact oposite. Billy’s goof troop was in clear violation of Wiki’s rules.

  181. Last night on Leno’s monologue:

    “Congratulations to Wikipedia – 11 years old today. However, we can’t be sure – we read it on Wikipedia!”

    Mainstream USA no longer sees Wikipedia as reliable. Chicken little, the boy that cried wolf, and Connolley.

  182. Wikipedia should simply eliminate the “Read” tab. If you want to learn the truth about a subject, go to the “View History” tab.

    The “View History” tab has the advantage of being “insert only”. As such, it is a great mechanism for collecting information. Modern data warehouse systems use exactly the same approach.

    By looking at the history of what people are trying to hide, you learn much more about the subject under study than by looking at a snapshot in time.

    The weakness of WP is that it acts like a library, but allows authors to destroy books by other authors.

  183. Encouraging to see William M. Connolley stick his head above the parapet to fire a few rounds into the hoi polloi arrayed below; but if misdirection and a surfeit of weasel words are all he has in his arsenal I’m not sure why he bothered.

    • No, I’m not sure why I bothered, either. I was hoping you lot might learn something about wikipedia – might even be interested in how this thing, which you know nothing about, works. But I was wrong.

      You’re good at flinging mud but poor on substance. There are a whole list of unsubstantiated allegations that I’ve challenged you to back up with quotes, and you’ve failed every single time. Here is one, just for your reference:

      > used Facebook for offsite coordination and were publicly admonished for it.

      Got a quote? Or a diff? Do you even know what a diff is? Maybe TGL can help you out.

      REPLY: William, here’s a reason to bother. If you’d care to expound on and to direct readers to the best place to learn about Wikipedia, and how to contribute, I’ll happily offer you a guest post slot to do so. – Anthony

  184. I missed some of the replies, and some of the in-lines. My apologies. Also I fouled up one of my links, which doesn’t help.

    AW> your hijacking of Wikipedia climate content and the fallout/disbarment is public knowledge

    No: if by public knowledge you mean “accurate” knowledge. The judgement is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:ARBCC and you’re welcome to read it. Hijacking climate content does not form part of the judgement; you have, I fear, been believing Lawrence Solomon’s fairy stories. I wrote about it, briefly, here.

    Many of the claims made by your posters are, similarly, wrong. For example, the facebook thing (feel free to search for the word on the arbcomm page). And yet, when challenged on it, there seems to be no requirement for them to produce any evidence. Is that OK by you? They can just fling accusations, with no basis at all?

    > If you’d care to expound on and to direct readers to the best place to learn about Wikipedia

    Thanks for the offer. But I have my own blog; your readers are welcome to visit if they want to know more. My most recent post might be a suitable place for questions.

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