Forensic analysis of the fake Heartland ‘Climate Strategy Memo’ concludes Peter Gleick is the likely forger

Readers may recall that on February 22nd, I offered up some open source stylometry/textometry software called JGAAP (Java Graphical Authorship Attribution Program), with a suggestion that readers make use of it to determine the authorship of the faked Heartland strategy memo disseminated to the media by Peter Gleick.

A link to that article is here:

An online and open exercise in stylometry/textometry: Crowdsourcing the Gleick “Climate Strategy Memo” authorship

The reason I did that was that many had speculated that Dr. Peter Gleick was the author. Gleick, who admitted to obtaining the Heartland board meeting documents under false pretenses, and likely illegally, denies he wrote it. Except for a few holdouts and those who won’t give an opinion, like Andy Revkin, other prominent voices of the online community such as Megan McArdle of The Atlantic think otherwise, and she doesn’t even see it as a professionally written memo:

“…their Top Secret Here’s All the Bad Stuff We’re Gonna Do This Year memo…reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”

In posting about JGAAP software crowdsourcing, I had hoped that the wide professional base of readers could make use of this software and would be able to come to conclusions using it, but there were complications that made the task more difficult than it would normally be. These complications included the fact that there were cut and pasted elements of other stolen Heartland documents in the “Climate Strategy Memo,” making it difficult for the software to delineate the separate writing styles without knowledgeable fine tuning.

These complications became especially evident when writer Shawn Otto at the Huffington Post used the JGAAP software to do his own analysis, coming to the conclusion that Joe Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, had authored the fake memo.  The problem was that Mr. Otto did not perform the due diligence required in his selection of documents and the JGAAP software controls, and this led to an erroneous result.

In the end I realized that only professionals familiar with the science of stylometry/textometry would be able to make a credible determination as to the authorship. So, I asked for help.

On February 23, 2012 I sent the Evaluating Variations in Language Laboratory (the group responsible for the JGAAP software) a request for assistance. Mainly what I was looking for initially was tips on how to best operate their software, but given the high profile nature of this issue, and the unique situation, they referred me to Juola & Associates and its president, Patrick Brennan, who responded with an even better offer. They would use their larger collection of tools and techniques reserved for their forensics consulting work and apply it to the task, pro bono. Normally such professional analysis for courtroom quality work nets them fees comparable to what a metropolitan lawyer might charge, so not only was I extremely grateful, but realized it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

In my email to Brennan on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 5:07 PM I wrote:

For the record, I do not know what the outcome might be, but it is always best to consult experts externally who have no financial interest in the outcome of the case.

Here’s the background on the group:

Juola & Associates (www.juolaassoc.com) is the premier provider of expert analysis and testimony in the field of text and authorship. Our scientists are leading, world-recognized experts in the fields of stylometry, authorship attribution, authorship verification, and author analysis.  Every written document is a snapshot of the person who wrote it; through our analysis, we can determine everything from sociological information to biographical information, even the identity of the author.  We provide sound, tested, and legally-recognized analysis as well as expert testimony by Dr. Patrick Juola, arguably one of the world’s leaders in the field of Forensic Stylometry.

We have worked with groups as wide-ranging as multinational companies, Federal courts, research groups, and individuals seeking political asylum.  We have literally written the book (ISBN 978-1-60198-118-9) on computational methods for authorship analysis and profiling.

The lead analysis was conducted by Patrick Juola, Ph.D., Director of Research, and director of the Evaluating Variations in Language Laboratory at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Juola & Associates, headed by President Patrick Brennan is a separate commercial entity that provides analysis and consultation on stylometry.

Dr. Juola has published his analysis of the “Climate Strategy Memo,” which I present first and in entirety here at WUWT.

First, the short read:

Stylometric Report – Heartland Institute Memo
Patrick Juola, Ph.D.
Summary
As an expert in computational and forensic linguistics, I have reviewed the alleged Heartland memo to determine who the primary author of the report is, and more speci fically whether the primary author was Peter Gleick or Joseph Bast. I conclude, based on a computational analysis, that the author is more likely to be Gleick than Bast.

And the larger excerpt of the document, bolds mine:

Analysis
24 This task is challenging for several reasons, some technical and some linguistic.

25 First, the Heartland memo as published contains a great many quotations taken from other sources. As originally published, the memo contains approximately 717 words, but at least 266 of those words have been identified as belonging to phrases (or paraphrases of phrases) found elsewhere in the stolen documents). [N.b. this identification was done by the Heartland Institute, who admit that these 266 words are “paraphrases [of] text appearing in one of the stolen documuments.”

As paraphrases, they may nor may not reflect the style of the original authors, and they also may or may not reflect the style of the alleged forger. For this reason, we analyzed both the full document as well as the 451-word redacted document with the controversial passages removed.

26 Second, even the full-length document is rather short for an accurate analysis. Most authorship attribution experts recommend larger samples if possible. (E.g., Eder recommends 3500 words per sample, noting that results obtained from fewer than 3000 words “are simply disastrous.”)

27 Thirdly, perhaps as a result of the previous factors, we have observed that Bast and Gleick appear to have extremely similar writing styles.

Results
28 Despite this difficulty, we were able to identify and calibrate an appropriate analysis method. Using this method, we analyzed both the complete Heartland memo and the selections from the Heartland memo that had been identified as not copied from other stolen documents. In both analyses, the JGAAP system identified the author as Peter Gleick.

29 In particular, the JGAAP system identified the author of the complete (unredacted) memo as Peter Gleick, despite the large amount of text that even Bast admits is largely taken from genuine writings of the Heartland Institute. We justify this result by observing, first, that much of the quotation is actual paraphrase, and the amount of undisputed writing is still nearly 2/3 of the full memo.

Conclusions
30 In response to the question of who wrote the disputed Heartland strategy memo, it is difficult to deliver an answer with complete certainty. The writing styles are similar and the sample is extremely small, both of which act to reduce the accuracy of our analysis. Our procedure by assumption excluded every possible author but Bast and Gleick. Nevertheless, the analytic method that correctly and reliably identified twelve of twelve authors in calibration testing also selected Gleick as the author of the disputed document. Having examined these documents and their results, I therefore consider it more likely than not that Gleick is in fact the author/compiler of the document entitled ”Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” and further that the document does not represent a genuine strategy memo from the Heartland Institute.

It seems very likely then, given the result of this analysis, plus the circumstances, proximity, motive, and opportunity, that Dr. Peter Gleick forged the document known as ”Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” The preponderance of the evidence points squarely to Gleick. According to Wikipedia’s entry on the “legal burden of proof”:

Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases. This is also the standard of proof used in Grand Jury indictment proceedings (which, unlike civil proceedings, are procedurally unrebuttable).

Further, it is abundantly clear that this document was not authored by Heartland’s Joe Bast, nor was it included as part of the board package of documents Dr. Gleick (by his own admission) phished under false pretenses from Heartland.

The complete analysis by Dr. Juola is available here: MemoReport (PDF 101k)

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166 thoughts on “Forensic analysis of the fake Heartland ‘Climate Strategy Memo’ concludes Peter Gleick is the likely forger

  1. This is certainly interesting, but I’m having a hard time getting past him acknowledging other experts advise that trying to use samples of less than 3,000 words “are simply disastrous” when this sample is so much smaller in either form (paraphrases included or not).

    That’s a pretty big caveat.

  2. The MSM, NYT included of course, is waiting for this to blow over. In so doing, they are making life a lot easier for a criminal.

  3. So despite the alaemist crowd still desperately attempting to blame Heartland for the memo, it was Gleick the reprobate after all. Anyone who still employs that guy, or has anything to do with him, is condoning dishonesty. Gleick needs to just go away, and let someone honest take over.

  4. It is a serious allegation that he actually forged the document. I wonder whether Heartland would have the nerve to run with that allegation.

    Of course, Gleick could lay such allegations to rest by simply disclosing how he came into possession of the ‘faked’ document. He could open up the paper trail, if there truly is a trail.

  5. `It seems very likely then, given the result of this analysis, plus the circumstances, proximity, motive, and opportunity, that Dr. Peter Gleick forged the document known as ”Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” `

    Well, well, well…

    Nothing about this business suprises me anymore.
    It is dirty, dishonest and disingenuous.

    Science is the loser, Thankyou for nothing Dr Gleick!

  6. The report is impressive and potentially devastating for Gleick. Where a number of WUWT readers tend to be scientifically (or perhaps analytically is better) orientated, they should avoid taking a scientific method-like approach to analyzing the report and its conclusions. Rather, it should be viewed as a member of a jury hearing introduced evidence. In this light, the report certainly lends credence to Gleick as the strategy memo’s author – beyond the level of speculation or conjecture via a quantitative analysis.

    I’m still curious, though, as to how Heartland (and/or the FBI) will address Gleick’s clearly criminal activity from a legal perspective – false moral justifications from Gleick apologists notwithstanding.

  7. Yes, interesting but difficult to take very seriously. Would a genuine language expert use “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” (missing the letter ‘s’) as an example?

  8. Given a 300 word essay by my wife and another by someone else, I would be able to tell which was which about half way through. What Dr. Patrick Juola has going for him here is that the two most likely writers are both known. The analysis (with high probability) says eliminate Bast. Then it says, also with high probability, that the other fellow is the culprit. Also, knowing that the other fellow was a bit unhinged at the time, we have the third strike. Back to the dugout, Gleick.

  9. Well done Anthony. I especially appreciate that you took care to point out the various caveats and limitations in the analysis.

    I only wish that all scientists and journalists displayed such integrity.

  10. Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases.

    It’s worth noting, especially for non-US readers, that this is a much lower bar than the criminal standard “Beyond reasonable doubt”.

    This is what allows things like OJ Simpson to be found not guilty of murder, but also a civil result that he was responsible for his wife’s death. (Well, that and some really poor handling by the prosecution, but let’s not go there.)

    So, from the self-critique, it appears this analysis is inadequate by itself to prove Gleick violated federal wire fraud statutes. However, it could have important implications for any civil proceedings between Heartland and Gleick.

    I suspect both the FBI and Heartland know that already.

  11. Has Peter Gleick actually denied penning that ‘secret strategy memo’?

    If I recall correctly, the wordings were carefully (lawyerly) crafted around the hot topics and questions pertaining to that memo.

    In the same manner as he did claim, after having been ridiculed and pressured for ‘reviewing’ Donna F’s book without touching upon its contents, that he actually had read it. But carefully avoided the real relevant question whether he actually had read it prior to his Amazon ‘review’.

  12. If expert testimony, with caveats, gives odds sufficient to state that the “weight of evidence” identifies the sole plausible candidate to have perpetrated this egregious fraud,
    then as in forensic genealogy –relating to trusts and estates– an impartial jury is fully entitled to convict Peter Gleick of criminal forgery (among other things).

    For over a generation now, pseudo-intellectual poseurs like Gleick have poisoned climate science with impunity. Let’s hope that Joe Bast on Heartland’s behalf pursues this case, prosecuting Gleick as the simpering phony that he is.

  13. This what I got from your link….

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    JComputing was started from a authorship attribution / stylometry research group working out of Duquesne University under the direction of Prof. Patrick Juola.

    Johnny Japan

  14. As the experts themselves caution us, this was a probe at (or beyond?) the limits of detection. A tiny sample and a binary decision: eliminate Bast and Gleick is the only one left. Ideally the software would have been given a “line up” of hundreds or thousands of possible culprits and big samples to compare. But we don’t live in an ideal world. I agree this might not be enough to hang Gleick but it does put him in the hot seat. I doubt he will respond; his best strategy is to go to ground, quietly settle with Heartland (possibly by applying pressure through unseen or indirect channels: the War Against The Donors is his main strategic objective in any case) and then re-emerge in a few months as loud and proud as ever.
    I think Heartland either breaks him, very publicly and convincingly, or he and his team will eventually destroy Heartland. This is for reals. Just my uninformed opinion, of course.

  15. Based on all this, I wonder if P. Gleick would voluntarily submit to a polygraph. I’m guessing…’No’.

  16. Now if Dr. Gleick has to go to court I wonder who Joe Bast will call in as an expert witness?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Gleick should do the cathartic thing and just own up. This is an open secret for goodness sake man. You lied once why wouldn’t you lie again.

  17. Juola & Associates (http://www.juolaassoc.com) is the premier provider of expert analysis and testimony in the field of text and authorship.

    Could we start up a fund drive to hire them to see if Dr. Mann’s latest novel of historical fiction was truly authored by him?

  18. Thanks, to the “Evaluating Variations in Language Laboratory”. I suppose the payback for the Pro Bono could be a good will thing but something they clearly do not need.
    Their donation of time and resources to this matter is very much appreciated, at least, by myself.

    Good idea to go to the experts on this one to get a truly objective opinion. Just think what a game changer this would be if Bast was fingered as the author. In any case the truth is more important than motivation and I am sure all you are after is the truth.

    Thanks Anthony, and thanks Patrick Juola, Ph.D.

  19. Jonas N says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:52 am
    Has Peter Gleick actually denied penning that ‘secret strategy memo’?

    No he hasn’t. He denied writing the alleged anonymous document which he allegedly received through the alleged US Postal Service. One is led to infer that this was the 2012 Strategy Memo but nowhere does Gleick confirm this.

    If Gleick thought the 2012 Strategy Memo was genuine, why did he not explicitly ask Heartland to email him a copy when he was phishing for confirming documents ? The embedded document characteristics would have proved to the world that this was a genuine Heartland document.

    My bet is that not only did Gleick write the fake memo after phishing and finding no dirt, but also that the anonymous document never existed.

  20. I find the analysis interesting but uncompelling for the reason identified previously by myself, and in more detail by my colleague Byronic, in relation to Otto’s and Greg Laden’s analysis – stylometric analysis is very difficult against a hostile author.

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NdnMX5NUBJQC&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=jgaap+obfuscation&source=bl&ots=M5J5HnXZ7-&sig=DloBYZcM5vbdnIt_yeKDGJNdYRc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=sdhUT9jqN4eT8gPd1KjxBQ&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=jgaap%20obfuscation&f=false

    “Brennan and Greenstadt applied three fairly standard stylometric methods to determine authorship of obfuscated or imitative essays. Their results for obsfuscated essays were essentially at chance, suggesting that attempts to disguise or imitate style are likely to be successful against stylometric methods.”

    For the record, I can’t speak for Byronic, but I believe that Gleick is the author for a very simple reason:

    The memo must have been written by

    (a) somebody who had access to Heartland documents prior to February 13th – which narrows it down to somebody at Heartland or Gleick

    (b) can’t understand Heartland’s spreadsheets (there are two maths errors – Koch & the double counting of $88,000) – which makes a Heartland insider unlikely

    (c) believed that Gleick and his Forbes column was not just important, but very important – which rules out everybody except for Gleick & perhaps his mum.

  21. Ric Werme says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:40 am
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Your summary of the burden of proof and why you can therefore see different outcomes in related civil and criminal proceedings is useful.

    However, whilst in the UK we have that distinction, the boundaries are sometimes blurred in that for example in a civil case which involves an allegation of fraud, my understanding is that the criminal burden of proof (or at any rate ‘clear and convincing evidence’) is required in order to substantiate that allegation.

  22. Evaluating Variations in Language Laboratory

    Anthony, did you make that up? Really? EViLL?

    “…their Top Secret Here’s All the Bad Stuff We’re Gonna Do This Year memo…reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”

    lolz. Absolutely fantastic.

  23. Joe should challenge Peter to a lie detector test – or vice versa.

    I don’t leave out the possibility that Joe realized it was Peter who was phishing – or someone else at Heartland realized it – then sent the fake to Peter hoping he’d be stupid enough to take the bait. This makes it possible for Peter and Joe to both be telling the truth.

  24. My, my how what goes around comes around. So the analysis eliminates Bast and the only one left is Gleick. Much like the reasoning of the AGW crowd that says once we’ve eliminated natural causes for warming the only thing left is man made CO2.

  25. I would add to my previous comment:

    1. Brennan and Greenstadt couldn’t determine an author above chance from a choice of 15 possible authors – whereas Dr Juola had to only consider 2 – so his task is easier than the baseline

    2. One key difference from Dr Juola’s analysis from Otto’s, is Dr Juola knows what he is doing rather than blinding running software he doesn’t understand.

    But: I would personally feel more detail is needed, before I would consider this analysis to be compelling.

  26. An error in my first comment on this thread:

    (b) can’t understand Heartland’s spreadsheets (there are two maths errors – Koch & the double counting of $88,000) – which makes a Heartland insider likely

    I meant of course:

    (b) can’t understand Heartland’s spreadsheets (there are two maths errors – Koch & the double counting of $88,000) – which makes a Heartland insider *UN*likely

    REPLY: Fixed, Anthony

  27. Simple old fashioned police logic: 1.Suspect admits to having stolen the documents.
    2. The admittedly forged document contains paraphrases and quotes that could only have come from the stolen documents.
    3.Suspect is the forger.
    The rest is just more evidence.

  28. I don’t understand. Gleick has apparently admitted to engaging in identity theft to obtain documents. Identity theft is a crime under US law. Doesn’t ignoring Gliek tend to case US law into disrepute?

    http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html

    What’s the Department of Justice Doing About Identity Theft and Fraud?

    The Department of Justice prosecutes cases of identity theft and fraud under a variety of federal statutes. In the fall of 1998, for example, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act . This legislation created a new offense of identity theft, which prohibits knowingly transfer[ring] or us[ing], without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law.

    18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7). This offense, in most circumstances, carries a maximum term of 15 years’ imprisonment, a fine, and criminal forfeiture of any personal property used or intended to be used to commit the offense.

    Schemes to commit identity theft or fraud may also involve violations of other statutes such as identification fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1028), credit card fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1029), computer fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030), mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), or financial institution fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344). Each of these federal offenses are felonies that carry substantial penalties ­ in some cases, as high as 30 years’ imprisonment, fines, and criminal forfeiture.

  29. One has to wonder why Gleick hasn’t been arrested already since he admitted phishing data from Heartland. Isn’t that illegal?

  30. I’d just like to add my thanks to Patrick Juola, Ph.D, for his time and effect and let the courts decide the rest.

  31. Has Gleick been charged with any crime(s) yet? If not, why not?

    If the Justice Department ignores this, that by itself is evidence of corruption at even higher levels.

  32. Let’s see. “More likely than not” is, according to the IPCC and AGW folks, the same as “absolutely certain.”

    Seems only fair to use the same standards eh?

  33. One point that seems to have been missed in the comments so far.

    In addition to fingering Gliek as the probably author of the “strategy” document. This test specifically excluded Bass as a possible author.

    Regardless of who actually wrote the document, it’s a forgery.

  34. If I understood the conclussions of the report correctly, they don’t say that it was Gleick, but that it is far more likely that it was Gleick than it being Bast. This certainly excludes Bast, but doesn’t mean Gleik is guilty, because in no way does it exclude or minimize the chance that it was neither of them, which is Gleik’s defense (someone else passed this fake document to him).

    REPLY: See the section about preponderence of the evidence – Anthony

  35. ‘One has to wonder why Gleick hasn’t been arrested already since he admitted phishing data from Heartland. Isn’t that illegal?’ Yes Dave, but sometimes it is better to leave a suspect on the street if you want to catch a bigger fish.

  36. Let’s see. The company’s acronym is EViLL and it is called Juola. The J is probably silent, which means it is pronounced OIL-A. EViLL OIL. Gleick was right after all!!

  37. It seems to me that the report does not deal with the possibility that a third person was the author.

    Perhaps someone can comment on that. Gleick did not state specifically that Bast or anyone at Heartland was the author although, of course, he would love people to think that.

    I think it’s still possible that another person wrote it and that person is known to Gleick. Hell, Gleick may have had his assistant write it if he were purposefully trying to conceal his involvement.

  38. I think what would be really compelling – and a use for crowd source

    Is save the setup used by Dr Juola and make it available to the crowd.

    Members of the crowd can then go around finding other documents – documents which were not in the training or test sets – but which are known to be written by Gleick or Bast, and run Dr Juola’s test against them.

    If we test 100 documents, say 50 written by Gleick, and 50 written by Bast, we can get some idea what percentage it identifies correctly. Of course, such a test would be on a non-hostile author – so easier than analysis the fake – , but if find the methodology is say 99% correct on a non-hostile author, it would be a lot more convincing than if it is say 51% correct on a non-hostile author.

  39. I also like the “more likely than not” Reminds me of the IPCC language that says there is at least a 51% chance (+/- 50%??) of something or other.

  40. Nylo

    Gleick said he got the memo and then he phished from Heartland. This analysis says the memo contains cut and pasted phrases from the phished documents. Hence the memo was created afterwards and not received by Gleick beforehand as he tried to claim.
    So perhaps Gleick left every bit of ethics he had at that AGU posting and hence couldn’t help himself?

  41. Tom in Florida says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:37 am
    “My, my how what goes around comes around. So the analysis eliminates Bast and the only one left is Gleick. Much like the reasoning of the AGW crowd that says once we’ve eliminated natural causes for warming the only thing left is man made CO2.”

    Tom, imagine I send a document to some bloggers that I scanned, and that looks like a bad parody of a DoD document, that says “we plan to bomb country XXX on that and that day”.

    I later “confess” that yes, I scanned it, and I got the original in the mail, and I thought it could be genuine so I sent it to the bloggers without telling them how I got it, letting them also believe it’s genuine – let’s assume for the moment that those bloggers are so gullible they don’t question the document.

    Wouldn’t that make me just a tiny bit suspect.

  42. Ric Werme says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases.

    It’s worth noting, especially for non-US readers, that this is a much lower bar than the criminal standard “Beyond reasonable doubt”……
    _____________________________________
    In other words it is good enough to get a search warrant but not good enough to hang him.

  43. Louis Hooffstetter says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    > Has Gleick been charged with any crime(s) yet? If not, why not?

    Not yet. I think there’s enough evidence to charge him, however:

    1) He’s not a threat to cause bodily harm to anyone.

    2) He’s likely not a threat to cause financial harm in the immediate future.

    3) This may need to go through a grand jury.

    4) Affected parties are in multiple states, the investigation and interviewing witnesses is not just a matter of driving around town.

    There’s no rush. It’s more important to get the charges right and the evidence lined up than it is to arraign him with an incomplete investigation.

    > If the Justice Department ignores this, that by itself is evidence of corruption at even higher levels.

    Or it’s evidence of more pressing matters. Perhaps you can research other federal white collar crime cases and come up with a frequency distribution of time between opening the investigation and arraignment. One thing that may reduce the time in this case is there’s likely no ongoing criminal activity. When there is, the investigation time can be lengthened in order to get well documented evidence, videos, etc.

    Patience.

  44. If possible I think it would be a satisfactory end if Heartland would agree not to press charges against Gleick for the crimes related to impersonation of a Heartland board member if Gleick would confess to authorship of the fake memo and apologize. This saves the taxpayers some money and resolves the who done it question.

  45. It is nice, though probably not conclusive to have this analysis.

    I like Copner’s summary points, but would add one other that hasn’t appeared yet in this thread:

    The forged document requires that Heartland (presumably in the person of Joe Bast) be knowingly mendacious. In other words: They are wrong, they know they are wrong and they revel in it. To attribute this sentiment to Bast is preposterous. Even most warmists probably find that ridiculous. Only a true believer in the inherent and conscious evil of the the skeptic position could have penned this. Forget about style.

  46. Several weeks ago, I did a cursory search through the released documents to try to determine the extent of copying in the production of the fake agenda. The result of the search with some annotation of the text can be found in this pdf document.

    As I mentioned in a comment on the previous WUWT thread on this topic, I doubt that the methodology used in the stylometry process can provide any definitive information as to the strategy document’s authorship.

    The relative shortness of the document and the sparsity of the analysis and the lack of any concrete numerical results in the pdf linked in head post does little change to alter my view of this. It all seems to come down to an evaluation of the idiosyncrasies of the text of the document and to its apparent provenance that it was in the possession of Peter Gleick at some point in time.

    REPLY:
    And yet when properly calibrated with sample input, the software identified Gleick without failure – Anthony

  47. I was concerned with the original idea of a crowd-source analysis of the document for the very reasons outlined … it contained material from one possible source.

    Whilst I detect some possible sympathies toward WUWT both in the pro bono work and in some of the wording. It would seem that they have approached it in as methodical a way possible, given the various caveats regarding length etc.

    I may not be the Heartland’s greatest fan, but they were clearly the victim of a nasty viscous attack by Gleick, which was all the worse given the way Heartland had extended the hand of friendship to him. It is even worse that many people like those “journalists” at the Huff&Puff post have tried to defend the indefensible.

    All I can say is Thank you Juola & Associates (www.juolaassoc.com)

    REPLY: “…but they were clearly the victim of a nasty viscous attack by Gleick”
    Yes indeed, it is a sticky wicket ;-) Anthony

  48. Gail Combs says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Ric Werme says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases.

    It’s worth noting, especially for non-US readers, that this is a much lower bar than the criminal standard “Beyond reasonable doubt”……
    _____________________________________
    In other words it is good enough to get a search warrant but not good enough to hang him.

    My lawyer wife says “Probable cause” is all you need to get search warrant. Oh, I could’ve just checked that Wiki page:

    Probable cause is a relatively low standard of evidence, which is used in the United States to determine whether a search, or an arrest, is warranted. It is also used by grand juries to determine whether to issue an indictment. In the civil context, this standard is often used where plaintiffs are seeking a prejudgement remedy.

    In the criminal context, the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1 (1989), determined that probable cause requires “a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found” in determining whether Drug Enforcement Administration agents had a reason to execute a search. Courts vary when determining what constitutes a “fair probability”: some say 30%, others 40%, others 51%.

  49. Jimbo says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:16 am
    This is an open secret for goodness sake man.

    Quite right. That anybody still denies Gleick is the author, with a straight face no less, is astonishing.

    Dave says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:49 am
    One has to wonder why Gleick hasn’t been arrested already since he admitted phishing data from Heartland. Isn’t that illegal?

    I marvel with every passing day that there appears to be no criminal repercussions to admitted criminal behavior.

  50. HowardG @8:53:

    If you go and carefully read the documents, all of them, I think you will find that the possibility that Heartland will be that forgiving is unlikely. I think Gleick has done real damage to them and their employees. I’m thinking there are a lot of angry people at Heartland who had their private information compromised. Bast has a responsibility to them and, as has been hinted at by some, may even be, as the principal of institute, culpable for damages in some way.

  51. Dave says: March 14, 2012 at 7:49 am

    One has to wonder why Gleick hasn’t been arrested already since he admitted phishing data from Heartland. Isn’t that illegal?

    It is if you or I do it! But climate scientists are special. They are above the law: above the law of man, above the law of science, and given the way Gleick just makes up his own ethics. above the law of god/morality.

    being above everything, all I can say is “the higher you are the harder you fall”.

  52. Of all the above text, the BBC’s Richard Black, and the other mainstream media alarmist advocates are most likely to focus on the following:

    “These complications became especially evident when writer Shawn Otto at the Huffington Post used the JGAAP software to do his own analysis, coming to the conclusion that Joe Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, had authored the fake memo.”

  53. I can’t wait for the Huffington post piece on this.

    It would be a shame for them to “deny” it by ignoring the scientific consensus.

  54. Gleick needs to just go away, and let someone honest take over.

    If they can find an honest environmentalist.

  55. It is impossible to take Gleick’s word as true when he said it was mailed to him by an unknown source. Once someone has been proven to be a liar, you can not believe anything they say, especially when it relates to ‘vindicating’ that person.

  56. Now that’s style. I can’t conceive a more elegant and professional way of refuting the amateurish deflection/smear of the Huffington Post. Entries like this explain the “best science blog” and “lifetime achievement” awards.

    Many thanks to Anthony for the inspiring work. A big thank you to Juola & Associates for their generosity and expertise.

  57. On reflection, I feel so very sad for Gleick and I do hope he has some supportive friends and family

    Until now, he probably had a lot of sympathy from the warmist group – even being called a hero. Unfortunately, that is going to disappear when they find out that it appears he continued to lie further undermining the “cause”.

    It looks like his career is gone.
    It looks like his warmist “friends” will desert him,
    And perhaps worst of all, it will be Gleick himself that is likely to do the most almighty damage and bring down the global warming scam which he feels so passionate about.

    We all make mistakes, we are all human, he may have felt he was doing the right thing, but he’s going to be ostracised. Let’s not be too hard on the man, even if we do not like the action because I fear we may soon be the best friends he has.

  58. “Gleick (…) denies he wrote it.” (the faked Heartland strategy memo)

    Did he deny it? Reallt? When? I remember reading that he said he received it in the mail. But I have never read any denial by Gleick that he wrote it.

    In the words of the song “…send it off, in a letter to yourself…”

  59. In other words it is good enough to get a search warrant but not good enough to hang him.

    It is however, good enough to sue him for every penny he is worth.

  60. Gail Combs says March 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

    In other words it is good enough to get a search warrant but not good enough to hang him.

    Civil case penalties rarely involve ‘hanging’ …

  61. Gleick will not be prosecuted on federal charges so long as Obama is president and/or Holder is AG. The politics in CA seems similar even though he has publicly confessed to identity theft and impersonation a state crime.

  62. “They would use their larger collection of tools and techniques reserved for their forensics consulting work and apply it to the task, pro bono.”

    So you admit to being on the payroll of Big Lingo?!

  63. Ric Werme says: @ March 14, 2012 at 6:40 am
    Preponderance of the evidence, also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases.

    It’s worth noting, especially for non-US readers, that this is a much lower bar than the criminal standard “Beyond reasonable doubt”……
    _____________________________________
    Gail Combs says: @ March 14, 2012 at 8:44 am
    In other words it is good enough to get a search warrant but not good enough to hang him.
    ____________________________________
    Ric Werme says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am
    My lawyer wife says “Probable cause” is all you need to get search warrant.
    ____________________________________

    We are talking a sacred “Climate Science” “Hero” here. The example of Mann and the University of Virginia e-mails shows “Probable Cause” has not allowed State Attorney General Cuccinelli access (search warrant) to e-mails that should have been available through a FOIA.

    The high court in Virgina ruled that the university is not “a person” under the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, and the term “corporation” as used in the statute does not include state agencies such as public universities. (Does that mean the Virginia State Supreme Court just ruled that Mann is not “a person” but a god?)

    That is why I said good enough to get a search warrant. After all we no longer have “The Rule of Law” in the USA but “The Rule of the Privileged Class” (I wish I could put /sarc)

  64. I just want to note that, on the point there is no hurry to charge the fraudster, the more time that passes the more difficult forensic analysis on the computers in use by the perpetrator become. While many people think they have cleaned up after themselves, it takes a bit of expertise to do it properly. Given that we aren’t dealing with an expert in this area, time is the enemy of discovering evidence on the computers.

  65. _Jim says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Gail Combs says March 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

    In other words it is good enough to get a search warrant but not good enough to hang him.

    Civil case penalties rarely involve ‘hanging’ …..
    _____________________________
    The last person hanged in the United States was Billy Bailey, on January 25, 1996… So there is hope yet! /sarc

    (Sad, Jim that was really very weak snark you are loosing your touch)

  66. Stephen Richards says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:21 am
    Gleick needs to just go away, and let someone honest take over.

    If they can find an honest environmentalist.

    “Honest environmentalist,” oxymoron?

  67. IF law enforcement gets involved, and that’s a big if, it is sometimes possible to connect a document with the printer it was printed on. It shouldn’t be too difficult to check the printers at Heartland, as well as those of Bass and Gliek.

    I still think it is possible that someone else wrote the fake memo and mailed it to Gleik, leading him to become curious enough to dig for confirmation. Gleik and Bass have similar writing styles. I wonder how many people also share similar styles with them? For example, what would the analysis software tell us if everyone here was also tested as a possible source of the memo? Would anyone here be an even better match than Gleik. If so, would that be enough to say that you have found the source? Any half-competent lawyer should be able to convince a jury that the evidence is circumstantial.

    Now, IF you could get a warrant and check to see if you could find a printer that matches the one on which the memo was printed, that would be a different story.

  68. Zen,

    That’s been posted and refuted in the Gleick thread. If you look, you can find others that come to a different conclusion. And the article here refers to that same opinion piece, Keep in mind that your amateur Huffpo guy admittedly was just playing around with the software, while Juola does this as a profesion and is accepted in courtrooms as an expert witness. The eco-zealot at Huffpo has a big motive to reach his conclusion. And like all eco-zealots everywhere, he doesn’t have any ethics. Which one are you going to listen to? The ethics-free eco guy, or Dr Juola, who doesn’t have a dog in this fight?

    And Bill Parsons says: “Weak”. To Bill maybe, because Bill is leaving out an essential element: motive. What motive would Heartland have to produce a document with erroneous numbers and misinformation? Why would Heartland promptly state that all the stolen documents were theirs, except the memo [which said essentially the same thing as the other documents, but with a spin that made them look bad]?

    On the other hand we have Gleick, who had a big motive to forge that memo: he was livid at Forbes running an article signed by scientific skeptics, and then refusing to run his own article. He confessed to lashing out at Heartland.

    Gleick was completely unethical. He was dishonest. Where has Heartland been anything but a totally ethical, upstanding, honest think tank, working on a shoestring budget and yet offering to pay for Gleick to come and be a part of the discusion?

    Motive is the preponderance of the evidence as I see it. Gleick had the motive, and he admitted to identity fraud to steal the documents. Does anyone in their right mind really believe this crime was committed by anyone at Heartland?

  69. One further thought on the printer thing:

    Heartland should move to secure the original document before gleik trashes it.

  70. I suspect Gleick will do a Weiner on us and sneak away with a million dollar penshun fund paid by the taxpayer.

    the faux science is unsettling.

  71. Copner says: “(b) can’t understand Heartland’s spreadsheets (there are two maths errors – Koch & the double counting of $88,000) – which makes a Heartland insider likely”

    Dont you mean: “– which makes a Heartland insider unlikely” or do you think that heartland’s own staff do not understand their own spreadsheets?

  72. Copner says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

    But: I would personally feel more detail is needed, before I would consider this analysis to be compelling.

    Like a forensic analysis of Gleick’s computer(s)? Though it is way too late now. But you might be able to implicate nefarious activity from all the google searches on “how to permanently delete” in his browser cache.

  73. Headline:
    Forensic analysis of the fake Heartland ‘Climate Strategy Memo’ concludes Peter Gleick is the likely forger.

    Reality:
    Everybody knows and knew from the start that Peter Gleick is the likely forger.

    Pretence:
    Greens want to hide the decline in their support by pretending they don’t know Peter Gleick is the likely forger.

    Richard

  74. I also suspect it is by Gleick, but he claims to have gotten it from someone else. So the number of candidates is 7 billion minus 1 (Bast) minus 1 (each of us who know it’s not me).

  75. theduke says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:34 am
    I think it’s still possible that another person wrote it and that person is known to Gleick.
    ———————————

    Whom would you suggest is “the other person”. Due to the number of quotes and paraphrases from the other documents, whomever wrote it would have had to have access to said documents. The only people to whom we know had access to those documents are Heartland staff and Gleick. And only one person in that pool of suspects had the motive to do it, and that person isn’t on Heartland’s staff.

  76. DirkH says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:43 am
    Tom in Florida says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:37 am
    “My, my how what goes around comes around. So the analysis eliminates Bast and the only one left is Gleick. Much like the reasoning of the AGW crowd that says once we’ve eliminated natural causes for warming the only thing left is man made CO2.”

    Tom, imagine I send a document to some bloggers that I scanned, and that looks like a bad parody of a DoD document, that says “we plan to bomb country XXX on that and that day”.
    I later “confess” that yes, I scanned it, and I got the original in the mail, and I thought it could be genuine so I sent it to the bloggers without telling them how I got it, letting them also believe it’s genuine – let’s assume for the moment that those bloggers are so gullible they don’t question the document. Wouldn’t that make me just a tiny bit suspect.

    Dirk, I was jabbing at how it must feel to be on the receiving end of “it must be you (Gleick) because we have eliminated others we considered” just as Gleick and his pals deem the science is settled on CO2 for the same reason.

  77. It is obvious to me that Gleick is the forger. If he had received it through the mail, as claimed, would an honest person then think “hmm, this looks damning, but how can I be sure it’s genuine? Oh wait – why don’t I create a fake email address,impersonate a Heartland director and trick the secretary into sending me the document?”

    An honest person would – if he had an axe to grind – just forward it to some sympathetic journalists and let them make of it what they will.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I put it to you that the defendent planned to lift genuine documents by deception in the belief that they contained the smoking gun evidence to incriminate Heartland over funding. Having phished the documents and discovered the smoking gun did not exist, he decided to invent one. Lifting enough material from the genuine documents to lend credibility, he then proceded to build a web of lies. He forwarded this to the sympathetic journalists, and sat back waiting gleefully for the fallout to destroy Heartland.

    But caught up in his own hubris, he didn’t even realise that his amateurish forgery stood out like a beacon, a work so absurd that it prompted one writer to comment that it looked like it had been written in the den of a villain in a Batman comic – by an intern.

  78. Gelick got the fake memo in the mail, I have video evidence, starting about 35 seconds into this clip. :)

  79. Anthony Watts said on March 14, 2012 at 11:24 am:

    Can anyone post a link to this essay in comments over on Shawn Otto’s HuffPo story?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-lawrence-otto/joe-bast-fake-document_b_1297042.html

    I have been denied access.

    Google Cache: link

    Google Cache Text-only (has links): here

    I doubt they can block your access to them, but they could request Google delete the cached versions. If they work on your end and you worry they could be disappeared, just delete this text and leave a generic Thanks, message received, etc.

  80. This is the same way Peter Gleick and his elk forged the Co2/ AGW scam, these people have no morals or honesty as regular readers at WUWT are well aware. The good news is the whole world is waking up to the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, some by education and others by the price of energy/everything.

  81. Re: Previous post:
    Whoops, sorry, misunderstood. You’re not blocked from accessing the article, just leaving comments there period. My apologies.

  82. Where does the huffingtonpost get a poster’s name from? All I get is a box to put a comment in, and no place for a poster’s name or email address.
    I have tried a preview and it still doesn’t show my name, whereever they might get that from.

  83. jaymam says: March 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Where does the huffingtonpost get a poster’s name from?

    When you try and post on the huff&Puff, it then asks you to register using one of various means.

    It’s really dishonest! But that’s about standard for the huff&puff.

  84. From AndiC on March 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm:

    Tried Anthony, but my post vanished instantly

    Might be like at WUWT, posts that auto-drop into the spam bucket don’t show up as any sort of “pending”. The question is if they ever bother to check it. Of course it’s been ten days since the last comment, maybe comments are technically closed by auto-rejecting all submissions.

    ===
    jaymam said on March 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm:

    Where does the huffingtonpost get a poster’s name from? All I get is a box to put a comment in, and no place for a poster’s name or email address.
    I have tried a preview and it still doesn’t show my name, whereever they might get that from.

    If you’re not already logged in when you hit Post, it’ll give you the opportunity to give your log in info or create an account. Soon as you get done with that, then the page will reload with the comment # in the URL, and they can start properly censoring your submission.

  85. “Ted G says:
    March 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm
    This is the same way Peter Gleick and his elk forged the Co2/ AGW scam,”

    That would make an interesting cartoon by Josh. Science from Mooseport perhaps?

  86. The points of “Analysis” 24 – 27 above, are all caveats that cite the difficulties of an accurate analysis.

    Following the weaknesses in the argument with Dr. Juola’s conclusion that identified Gleick as the author does not inspire confidence. Since (in my opinion) the actual analyses could and should be cited here in the thread, I considered the analysis itself “weak”. I was a bit more encouraged after reading some of the methods used, which are outlined in steps 18 – 23 of the PDF.

    On of Dr. Juola’s own essays, “Does Size Matter? Authorship Attribution, Small Samples, Big Problem,” 2010, hints at the problem. From the original 717-work memo, Juola had exactly 451 words (after removing paraphases, or paraphrases of paraphrases of the authentic Heartland documents) of… (what?) apocrypha (?) to establish its author. Obviously, if the choice of authors is Gleick or Bast, I make the assumption that anyone else makes: Bast said he didn’t write it, and Bast has never lied; Gleick, on the other hand, claims not to have written it, and has just perpetrated a complicated fraud that he has confessed to – as part of which he lied copiously and with apparent gusto. Gleick clearly considered fraudulent behavior as just another tool to spread the word about skeptics, and having found nothing of much interst in the legitimate paperwork from Heartland – decided to create his own “word”, a memo that villifies its Moriarty-like author by a tone of bland venality. The memo, he hopes, will damn Heartland by its intention to prevent “true science” from being taught. Yes, I think Geick wrote it.

    Still, to find that Geick is the writer based on the stylistic evidence alone seems a leap. It did help me to go through Dr. Juola’s findings in the PDF. I’d be very interested to know more details about the kind of analysis that he carried out.

    As I understand it, Juola has a computer capable of recognizing the characteristics of an author once it has established a database of that author’s writing foibles and characteristics. He “callibrated” this computer by “feeding it” 12 known works by Gleick, which he had downloaded from the internet. He said at one point he had to “calibrate” the computer to identify stylistic traits and qualities unique to Gleick. The omission of details here is troubling. The computer programming part is likely complicated, but omitting analyises for proprietary reasons (the secret sauce that makes Mr. Juola “the world’s leading…”), seems unreasonable in light of the serious conclusions being sought. My guess is that the computer looks for repetitions of anything which: usage, grammar, syntax, diction, spacing, case (capitals). Repetitions of correct usages would be revealing, but (again, I would imagine) errors would be even more so.

    Once the database was created, Juola asked the computer if it could recognize any individual paper omitted from the “known” body of Gleick’s work – the 12 downloaded papers, a test he calls the “leave-one-out validation”. He did the same thing with several of Bast’s works. Once he had established a winning record at identifying every omitted paper, he introduced the memo. By the end, he claims, the computer could sniff out the author, and that was Gleick.

    I think Dr. Juola really must assume that anybody could have penned the memo, notwithstanding the claims of “the most logical candidate(s). Until more substantial proof incriminates Gleick, it just seems that 717 words is a bit sketchy to attribute authorship.

  87. Steve S says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:12 am
    Based on all this, I wonder if P. Gleick would voluntarily submit to a polygraph. I’m guessing…’No’.

    Steve, I’d say “no” as well, and I’d recommend the same for everyone. The most favourable results I’ve seen were by the National Acadamy of Sciences which, “after examining 57 polygraph studies the NAS (national Academy of Sciences) concluded: ‘In populations of examinees such as those represented in the polygraph research literature, untrained in countermeasures, specific-incident polygraph tests can discriminate lying from truth telling at rates well above chance, though well below perfection.’ Their analysis of the 30 most recent polygraph data sets showed an overall accuracy of 85 percent, and an analysis of seven field studies involving specific incidents showed a median accuracy of 89 percent.” An 11-15% failure rate and the fact that a sufficiently trained or knowledgable person can confuse the machines and the operator make it a poor source of evidence.

    Other scientists and non-scientist curmudgeons like me, consider the polygraph to be pseudoscientific trickery similar to the witchdoctor’s opinion or to torture. Both will “work”…to use the term loosely… by being perhaps useful in investigations and can show “accuracy,” by playing with profusion of questions and subjective definitions and interpretations. Fortunately, your Supreme Court’s United States v. Scheffer (1998) and your 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005 were not impressed either.

  88. Colin in BC says:
    March 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Dave says:
    March 14, 2012 at 7:49 am
    One has to wonder why Gleick hasn’t been arrested already since he admitted phishing data from Heartland. Isn’t that illegal?

    I marvel with every passing day that there appears to be no criminal repercussions to admitted criminal behavior.

    Unless the victim complains, law enforcement won’t get involved. If they’re not getting involved, HI hasn’t complained. Here’s the reason, I think: In one of these threads, someone commented that it would be bad to involve the Feds, because their criminal suit would automatically stall the civil suit for years while the prosecutor dragged his feet and then made a “mistake” that led to the case being dismissed and Gleick looking vindicated. Also, the higher threshold of proof in criminal trials means that Gleick could be found “not guilty” and wind up looking exonerated.

  89. “Nevertheless, the analytic method that correctly and reliably identified twelve of twelve authors in calibration testing also selected Gleick as the author of the disputed document. ”

    If I’m reading this right does this mean that they tested Gleick against 12 random authors also.

  90. Anthony Watts says:
    March 14, 2012 at 11:24 am
    Can anyone post a link to this essay in comments over on Shawn Otto’s HuffPo story?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-lawrence-otto/joe-bast-fake-document_b_1297042.html

    I have been denied access.

    BWA-HAHHAHAH ! That’s priceless. May we, er, politely inquire perchance as to the reasons for this, hmmm, unfortunate “misunderstanding”? Or perhaps you’d rather not talk about it.

    Anyway, Anthony, a colleague with a proxy ISP account just tried and got blown away within a minute. They are after the content and must have mods with their eyes on the screens and fingers on the nuke button. Weird; it’s an essay, not bawdy limericks about their moms.

  91. Tom says:
    March 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    “Nevertheless, the analytic method that correctly and reliably identified twelve of twelve authors in calibration testing also selected Gleick as the author of the disputed document. ”

    If I’m reading this right does this mean that they tested Gleick against 12 random authors also.

    I think “the 12″ refer to 12 samples of Gleick’s own work, which Juola downloaded from the web. He did the same with several samples of Bast’s writing. These establish a basic stylistic “fingerprint” for each man. Someone with computer savvy might be better able to explain what he did with this info (from the PDF):

    16 The simplest method of analysis would be to use the the harvested set of undisputed Gleick and undisputed Bast documents as \training documents,” allow the computer to \learn” their respective style, and then determine which style more closely matched that of the disputed memo.

    17 Unfortunately and as discussed below, analysis of this document proved particularly prob-
    lematic in several ways. Initial analyses uniformly returned unclear or ambigous results. We therefore found it necessary to perform additional (calibration) testing to nd analytic methods that are/more likely to deliver accurate results under the conditions speci c to this problem.

    18 For this calibration, we used a testing technique called \leave-one-out validation.” In
    essence, this method treated each known document in sequence as a temporarily unknown docu-
    ment and attempted to infer the author of that document based on the remaining training set. For
    example, we would test \Are We Doomed?” against the remaining ve Bast-authored documents as
    as well as the six Gleick-authored documents (obtained from Watts), looking for methods that would accurately identify \Are We Doomed?’ as Bast-authored. We repeated this for the other eleven documents, looking for methods that would correctly attribute all documents. When analyzing Gleick documents, the test documents were chosen from the Watts-delivered documents while the training documents were the ones we had harvested, thus doubly avoiding any training-on-test problems.

  92. In a world of infinite possibility it will always be “possible” that Gleick did not author the forgery, but in the end and in the larger context it doesn’t seem to be all that relevant to know whether he did or not, Given what he has already stipulated too and the fact that only the most extreme loons are still willing to challenge the notion that the “alleged forgery” is an actual forgery, the nefarious nature of his actions in this incident has been fairly well established. The negative judgement he has coming would be worse if it could actually be proved that he wrote the forgery but the difference would be only incremental.
    As to those questioning why Gleick has yet to be charged for his actions, you might begin your inquiries by asking why it is that AG Holder still remains in office. His tenure has been notable for a growing litany of transgressions against the rule of law, equity, and the Constitution, any one of which would have been sufficient to send any Republican occupant of his office down the memory hole.

  93. I’m surprised that the company would even take this on, as it exposes them to litigation risk. Sure, it’s a publicity gambit, but it might backfire. Even though they included the quote about the accuracy anything less than 3000 words is simply disastrous. A not-properly qualified result is a libel. The problem is, of course, advocates will trumpet the results and conveniently forget to *always* include the disastrous disclaimer. As the author of this post did, using words like “very likely”, “preponderance”. “Disastrous” means no better than random.

    Such a result is only perhaps useful in the initial phases of a police investigation, to help the investigators prioritize their resources. It’s a lead, a tip; not a fact.

  94. Dave Wendt says: March 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    In a world of infinite possibility it will always be “possible” that Gleick did not author the forger

    Wouldn’t Trenberth say: “the null hypothesis must be reversed … it is now up to Gleick to prove his innocence”.

    Or perhaps we should apply the precautionary principle says … whilst we cannot be certain beyond all doubt that Gleick did it, the consequences of the whole of climate science being so corrupt is so utterly damaging, that we must act as if it were proven beyond all doubt that they are a complete bunch of charlatans.

    Or as Patterson said: “Suppose you see a bird walking around in a farm yard. This bird has no label that says ‘duck’. But the bird certainly looks like a duck. Also, he goes to the pond and you notice that he swims like a duck. Then he opens his beak and quacks like a duck. Well, by this time you have probably reached the conclusion that the bird is a duck, whether he’s wearing a label or not.”

  95. John A. Fleming: Once Gleick admitted to fraud and mumbled nonsense about getting the document in the mail, something an eight year-old wouln’t believe, he opened the door for speculations, guesses and accusations. He’s little credibility or reputition now to ligitate for, anyway. Otherwise, I agree twith you that such techniques, like polygraphs, handwriting analysis and psychometric wonders are all, at best, leads and tips which may be marginally better than tossing a coin. In a civil court, though, they may tip he scales.

  96. Ric Werme says: “There’s no rush. It’s more important to get the charges right and the evidence lined up than it is to arraign him with an incomplete investigation…Patience.”

    If he acted alone, then there’s probably no urgency. If, however, he acted in concert with someone else, well, what happens when that someone connects the dots…?

  97. Anyone attempting to muddy the waters in the manner of Otto and, by association, the Huffington Post, is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Attempting to malign the HI using inverted logic flies in the face of Gleick’s own admission of doing really naughty stuff.

  98. that’s pretty cool – another star for mr Watts.
    i hope it’s all going to add up to at least one prosecution in 30 years after a few hundred billions have been looted. just one. once there’s a first one, the rest will be easy.
    call me when he’s called to testify at trial.

  99. > The headline says “internal documents”. The story says UN documents.

    No inconsistency there: What is internal to Greenpeace, is internal to the UN, and vice-versa :-)

    (my 5.14pm comment is redundant – and wordpress is giving me a hard time logging in to post)

  100. I wish to second the opinion that Anthony Watts runs one of the fairest sites on the net.

    As far as I know censorship is limited to behaviour that would lead to expulsion from any civilised gathering and abusive, insulting behaviour is certainly justifiable reason for dismissal of comments.

    Kudos to you.

  101. “….those who won’t give an opinion, like Andy Revkin…”

    What?!? But Andy Revkin was so quick to ‘authenticate’ the documents why wouldn’t he want to clear the tarnished reputation of his good friend Gleik now by authenticating the identity of the forger?
    So what if Andy’s authentification of the documents was wrong. His employer, The NY Times, didn’t seem to be bothered by that lie, why should anyone else care….there are no rules in the free-for-all, unethical world of climate alarmism. So c’mon Andy, give it your best shot. Authenticate the forger and help out your good friend Gleik.

  102. ‘Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus is a legal maxim which means false in one thing, false in everything. A Roman legal principle indicating that a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any matter. The underlying motive for attorneys to impeach opposing witnesses in court: the principle discredits the rest of their testimony if it is without corroboration.’

    http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/falsus-in-uno-falsus-in-omnibus/

  103. > Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. An admitted liar.

    I’d have trouble believing the story about the anonymous mail, and it just happening to quote (and only quote) a smalll selection of documents that were later published – even if we knew nothing else about Gleick

    BUT

    Gleick has already confessed to forgery, fraud, and lying.

    He’s confessed to fraudulently obtaining documents from Heartland by forging the identity (which we know to include the name & signature block) on a series of emails, and a series of lies – both a course of conduct over several days, rather than a single incident.

    He’s confessed to sending the email to the “15” bloggers – ostensibly his allies, which includes yet more lies:

    1. It lies about the sender being a Heartland insider

    2. It lies by omission – not mentioning that the strategy memo and form 990 were obtained separately from the other documents.

    3. It lies by commission in that it says all the documents, including strategy memo, were from Heartland, but even according to Gleick’s “confession” he doesn’t know where the strategy memo came from.

    In short, Gleick is a self-confessed liar, a self-confessed fraudster, and a provable forger. The only question is whether he lied about and forged the strategy memo AS WELL AS the other lies, frauds, and forgeries that he has committed.

  104. RichieP, good one to remember, the falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. Pardon the excursus into pedantry, but as this is a Roman Law principle, is it possible that it may not be directly applicable in Common Law, where presumption of innocence and credibility predominate?

  105. Peter, I think it’s that the credibility of the witness has been impeached, and I think that principle still applies. Innocence and credibility don’t necessarily intermix.

  106. I had to post this on my face book because Huffington allow posts that conflict with their views…

    “I’m enjoying the censorship exercised by the thought police at the Huffington Post…come read their defense of the indefensible as they make excuse after excuse for why Peter Gleick was forced to lie and forge a fake memo to prove his point…”

    And this was the post (in response to someone asking why people were upset at Gleick and not Heartland) they wouldn’t allow:
    “I’m more disappointed at the censorship on the site…obviously the goal is to shape opinion rather than provided a forum for pen discussion…
    But to your point, you wonder why people are outraged that Peter Gleick obtained documents under false pretense, then, not finding the smoking gun he expected, crafted a hybrid memo stating all those deeply help beliefs he had expected to find, and then passed the whole package off as original data from Heartland…Yea, why would anyone be upset with that?
    Seems Gleick believes that the only way truth will win in the debate is to lie…”

  107. Of all the blather above, eg Smokey, I find Copner’s 7:31 comments most cogent and compelling. Personally, I don’t know, but my point, as I think Anthony has induced from comments I’ve made elsewhere, is that this is somewhat of a fool’s errand. It also seems that some experts feel the same: the sample is too small to distinguish from noise, which as someone who understands a very little bit about statistical analysis I would tend to agree with. For example, I made a similar argument when the WHO came out with their nonsense last year claiming that cell phones “might” cause brain cancer. Statistically, the blip they observed was indistinguishable from chance. I got lots of similar blather from lefties for criticizing them. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shawn-lawrence-otto/cell-phone-use-cancer-link_b_914005.html
    While antiscience types on the left think they are using science when they grind their axes over hidden health dangers of cell phones and vaccines, you guys on the right blind yourselves in a similar way, sure you are being scientific when you dismiss anything that doesn’t conform to your preexisting conclusion. Juola, to preserve his credibility, admits that what he’s about to say is, like the WHO paper, indistinguishable from chance, and yet you people lap it up, you are so anxious to sate your confirmation bias. Now, it is possible Peter Gleick wrote that. We cannot say, using science, with certainty at this point. But we can say that some JGAAP tests show Bast is the most likely author, and some show Gleick. Some might argue that it was irresponsible of Anthony to suggest readers adopt the JGAAP approach on his blog for the same reason, and it highlights the flaws in this new “study” he has published purporting to reveal Gleick as the author. In my view this study has limited credibility because A) JGAAP showed different answers using different, reproducible tests (and mine were, arguably, simpler and more recommended under he circumstances, and also correctly identified a known author as a control); B) unlike my “study” the Juola report does not actually supply any data or methodology and so is less scientifically reliable; C) the study was commissioned by an interested party (big surprise he got the results he had hoped for) and D) as noted by other experts, the sample both studies considered was small to the point of being indistinguishable from noise, ie chance. From Maciej Eder: “It becomes quite obvious that samples shorter than 5000 words provide a poor “guessing”, because they can be immensely affected by random noise. Below the size of 3000 words, the obtained results are simply disastrous.”
    See http://dh2010.cch.kcl.ac.uk/academic-programme/abstracts/papers/html/ab-744.html
    Anyone experienced in statistical analysis like Anthony Watts claims to be should surely recognize the merits of that observation, and should, to maintain any credibility, apply equal standards of reason, whether goose or gander. And Juola should be at least as suspect as I am by any real skeptics worth their salt for coming to to a public conclusion that is not supportable, according to the literature he himself cites, beyond chance. If we were talking about climate change you guys would be all over that, ripping it to shreds, and yet now you are lapping it up like happy puppies. And yet somehow I’m not surprised. ;)

    REPLY: Oh, please. You were fine with it all when you thought you had snagged Joe Bast, and to use your words “your readers lapped it up”. But now that somebody who actually understands the science of stylometry has correctly configured JGAAP and run the calibration and produced results that don’t support you it’s now “oh wait, the method is flawed”. Right, sure, anything to defend Gleick and keep yourself from looking foolish for running the program in an evening and not knowing enough about the science to say your results weren’t understandable. Instead you simply took the numbers you threw out on that blog post (without understanding what they mean) and created a smear piece with a conclusion unsupported by your work. Typical HuffPo drive by.

    Then tonight, you throw out some distraction drivel about cell phones and vaccines, then created a straw man lie to say “Juola, to preserve his credibility, admits that what he’s about to say is, like the WHO paper, indistinguishable from chance…” I’m sorry Otto, that’s bull. He never said that, you did. How pathetic.

    Similarly, Mr. Otto, you planted another lie of suggestion, that of the study was “commissiened” by me. Uh no, apparently you can’t read. I asked for help on how to run the program and explained the situation, THEY made the offer to help, pro bono. I didn’t ask for it. Something can’t be “commissioned” when it happened that way. I resent your implications, sir.

    I’m even less impressed with this comment than your original blog article. Readers should note that Otto is not an unbiased observer here, he’s written a book about “anti-science” that is endorsed by Bill McKibben, who’s about as far from science and as close to a political hack as anyone could ever be, and curiously also by Bill Nye the Science guy, who couldn’t be bothered to actually check the science in Al Gores “Climate 101″ video before it was distributed worldwide with his own name attached to it. Have a look at the results of that Nye fiasco here: Replicating Al Gore’s Climate 101 video experiment shows that his “high school physics” could never work as advertised

    From his comment, it is clear that Otto is just another drive by Joe Romm clone that when presented with real science, trashes it and labels anyone who disagrees with him as “anti-science”.

    And at Otto’s HuffPo site, I can’t comment, and others in the thread above can’t get their comments retained, they disappear. So much for any pretense of fairness or discussion of science there.

    Mr. Otto, be as upset as you wish. – Anthony Watts

  108. To summarize: The memo was paraphrased by Peter Gleick, because the memo was paraphrased, except for what wasn’t paraphrased. Therefore, Peter Gleick paraphrased it. Maybe, but more than certainly.

    Sorry, but this isn’t all that convincing.

    REPLY: You are correct, your argument isn’t convincing at all, it sounds like paraphrased nonsense- Anthony

  109. shawnotto,

    So you presume that you are privy to the straight skinny, and for your personal opinion that court appointed experts are all wrong. Got it: you’re deluded. Thanx for the heads-up.

  110. It amazes me that people who complain loudly about the speck in the eye of their opposition remain unaware of the old growth forest log stuck in…[self-snip]. Or they know it is there and choose to fluant it anyway due to their false sense of superiority.

    To be direct, the sad part is this. The damage he has caused to himself (and I pity him because of that) and the profession he says he loves will ripple through climate science for many decades. Worse, he is completely blind to that fact and instead, completely believes he has done his profession a huge favor by attempting to rid the world of what he believes is a very badly flawed organization.

    Unfortunately, the world has plenty of people serving in positions of leadership who have that same log stuck up…

  111. Like a resume; I’m concerned when I find typos on a professional website, http://www.juolaassoc.com/about-us/ “… and act is socially unacceptable ways on the Internet.”

    REPLY: That may have been a web designer typo- don’t assume the people that do analysis made that error – Anthony

  112. @John Endicott March 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Whom would you suggest is “the other person”. Due to the number of quotes and paraphrases from the other documents, whomever wrote it would have had to have access to said documents. The only people to whom we know had access to those documents are Heartland staff and Gleick. And only one person in that pool of suspects had the motive to do it, and that person isn’t on Heartland’s staff.

    My guess is that Gleick may have had a helping hand from Mashey. Such mashups as this “memo” turned out to be are very much up Mashey’s alley. It is conceivable that whoever wrote the “memo” had initially written a much longer piece, and that Gleick “edited” whatever he had received, adding some flourishes of his own.

    Gleick’s “confession” does not specifically say that he received the memo via snail-mail, just “in the mail”. Nor does it specify the date that he had allegedly received it, just “early 2012″. As we know from his “review” of The Delinquent Teenager … – and subsequent discussion thereof – honesty, accuracy and clarity are not Gleick’s forté.

    Except for the list of Board Members, Gleick had fraudulently acquired all purloined Heartland documents during the period Feb. 2 – Feb. 6. So he had between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 to either “verify” or create the “contents” of the memo before bundling it up with the docs for the E-mail he sent on Feb. 14, doing yet another great pretender act.

    Even if Gleick received no assistance from anyone else – and the memo was, in fact, “composed” by some unknown other person – then the known errors strongly suggest that his attention to detail during the process of this alleged “verification” exercise is somewhat lacking. In which case one might well ask, what does this say about Gleick’s “science”, and his reputation as an “expert”?!

    And let’s not forget that undated “An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute” from the Gang of 7 that surfaced on Feb. 17. Gleick’s name was highly conspicuous by its absence in this blatant attempt to spin equivalence to Climategate.

    For all his “genius” attributes, Gleick does not strike me as being an original or creative thinker. Even his organization’s mission statement was lifted from the “official definition” of sustainable development. And for all we know, his determination to get hold of Heartland’s list of funders might even be a copy-cat act: Bob Ward has been after the same information from GWPF for quiet some time, has he not?!

    Bottom line, as far as I can see, is that whichever way one looks at this, there are multiple lines of evidence that Gleick is indisputably the author of his own misfortune.

  113. Anthony, I notice a few heart felt replies. In the context that Gleick was personally attacking you in a nasty vindictive way, they are warranted. But for someone reading the blog without knowing that context ….

  114. Surely it is time for the police, FBI, etc ti call in Gleick and ask hime under oath if he is the author. If ‘Yes’ then criminal charges must follow then a civil case for damages.
    If ‘No’ then the investigation must continue and if the evidence stacks up that he lied under oath then add one more charge
    We will never get the truth until the Climate Deceivers & Climate Cultists start going to prison. This is still cheaper than paying them further alchemy grants.

  115. @Shawn Otto:

    My colleague Byronic has just posted the following comment in response to your latest 2 posts on your blog (in which you now claim the main purpose of your articles was to expose the weakness of stylometric analysis rather than accuse Jo Bast).. Let’s see if you allow them through, rather than disappear them, and whether you rise to the challenge.

    The quoted lines in Byronic’s post are quotes from your earlier post at shawnotto.com

    Byronic:
    Mar 15, 2012 at 04:47 AM

    > A) JGAAP showed different answers;

    I believe it possible, maybe even likely, that JGAAP could show different answers, and not reliably identify an author, but even a cursory examination of your post shows you are not using the software correctly.

    > B) the study was commissioned by an interested party (big surprise he got the results he had hoped for)

    You’re stretching “commissioned” to mean something that it doesn’t in common parlance.

    > and C) as noted by other experts, the sample the study considered was small to the point of being garbage.

    Agreed, I am doubtful that software examination of the text can be used to identify the author.

    It’s funny how you say now that your point was to prove that stylometric analysis was flawed as an approach – because at the time your wrote 2 articles, you never mentioned that as your goal – you merely cautioned that your analysis might be unreliable.

    Instead you wrote 2 articles accusing Jo Bast of being the author, based on your experiment. Your experiment was then republished at HuffPo & Greg Laden, again making the same accusation – Greg Laden retrospectively and deceptively edited his article to imply it was partly a joke – but is still sticking with the line that because you completed your experiment first, it must be reliable, and proves Bast is the author.

    You never issued a correction, or even made a comment, correcting the misinterpretation of your experiments at Laden’s or Huffington Post.

    You also told an untruth in your article, claiming the memo “simply recapitulates the information contained in much more incriminating detail in [other documents]“.

    Even a cursory examination shows that is untrue.

    First there is a significantly different use of language, for example “anti-climate”, stopping teachers from teaching science, and so on, which only appears in the disputed memo.

    Secondly there are funding details in the disputed memo which do not matchthe other documents – such as Koch funding being for climate work, Koch having already paid $200K, and apparent double counting of $88K.

    Thirdly there are miscellaneous items, many libelous if untrue, which appear only in the disputed memo, such as a secret strategy being distributed to only a subset of the board.

    Fourthly, and in my opinion my significantly (in terms of determining the author), the entire section about Gleick, Forbes, (as well the bit about Revkin, Curry, etc.), only appears in the disputed memo.

    Science is in large part about honesty. Maybe you should think about that.

    I would be charitable enough to say your summation of the memo might be an honest mistake.

    I would also be charitable enough to say that maybe your failure to communicate that the purpose of your experiment was to point out the weakness of stylometric analysis (rather than accuse Bast of being the author), was also an oversight.

    But if you are honest, then you need to go back and correct your mistakes.

    That means making a prominent correction in both your articles here, and your articles at Huffington Post, and doing the best to get a correction at Laden’s too – posting a comment if not able to do anything else.

    So, I challenge you to be a credible science writer, and correct these points.

    • Well, copner had my respect until he went off the rails. Re: the Byronic post:

      @Byronic:
      “I believe it possible, maybe even likely, that JGAAP could show different answers, and not reliably identify an author, but even a cursory examination of your post shows you are not using the software correctly.”

      To be credible scientifically, you have to explain this claim convincingly. Otherwise it’s just fluff.

      “You’re stretching “commissioned” to mean something that it doesn’t in common parlance.”

      If you want to have credibility, please don’t quibble over points where the facts contradict you. Just because you don’t understand the definition of a word does not make the word wrong.

      From the free online dictionary:
      com·mis·sion (k-mshn)
      n.
      1.
      a. The act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty.
      b. The authority so granted.
      c. The matter or task so authorized: Investigation of fraud was their commission.
      d. A document conferring such authorization.

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/commission

      “It’s funny how you say now that your point was to prove that stylometric analysis was flawed as an approach – because at the time your wrote 2 articles, you never mentioned that as your goal – you merely cautioned that your analysis might be unreliable.”

      I simply performed an honest analysis and made my methodology available to all readers – something Juola has not, incidentally. Then when Joe Bast complained that the memo included pasted language that should be removed, I removed it and reperformed the analysis per his suggestion, and wrote it up. See my conversation in the comment thread about this as well, here shawnotto.rebeccaotto.com/neorenaissance/blog20120229.html I was not attempting to “prove” anything. “Proof” is not a scientific term; it’s something you do in math.

      “Instead you wrote 2 articles accusing Jo Bast of being the author, based on your experiment.”

      Wrong. I did not accuse anyone. You seem to have a somewhat loose grasp of the English language and of scientific methodology.

      “You never issued a correction, or even made a comment, correcting the misinterpretation of your experiments at Laden’s or Huffington Post.”

      It is what it is. There is no correction to be issued. Others can confirm the outcome of the experiment by reproducing it reliably, and, using the methodology I indicated the software reliably identifies Joe Bast as the most likely author. And I have been far more transparent that Juola. His analysis is no more credible than mine, and arguably less credible since it is less transparent.

      “You also told an untruth in your article, claiming the memo “simply recapitulates the information contained in much more incriminating detail in [other documents]“.”

      That’s the fact, and has been observed many times by other writers and scientists around the world. The only people so up in arms over the memo are you Heartland lovers, and you are acting like that’s the basis of all the outrage in the press, which is patently false. It appears to me to simply be an attempt to deflect attention from the substantive issue of the nefarious plan to teach school children propaganda. Nobody else cares about the language choices of the memo – that’s just rhetoric. What the mainstream press cares about is the substance of the plan and who’s funding the Heartland.

  116. Quoting hro001:
    “Except for the list of Board Members, Gleick had fraudulently acquired all purloined Heartland documents during the period Feb. 2 – Feb. 6. So he had between Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 to either “verify” or create the “contents” of the memo before bundling it up with the docs for the E-mail he sent on Feb. 14, doing yet another great pretender act.”

    This is not correct. While it is true that board members are listed on The Heartland Institutes website, the document Gleick requested and received contained the board members private addresses, email and phone numbers (not on the website).

    The only reason to specifically and individually request this (the last doc requested after receiving all of the other ones) was to harass and harm the board because he included this information when he released the documents to the bloggers and media. This is probably the most serious breach as it had nothing to do with the strategy claims in the forged document.

    It had everything to do with providing personal access to board members in an attempt to harass/harm them and/or give others the information and opportunity to do so. Gleick cannot spin his way out of this one.

  117. shawnotto says:

    March 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    …blah, blah, blah…

    REPLY(From Anthony Watts): Oh, please. You were fine with it all when you thought you had snagged Joe Bast, and to use your words “your readers lapped it up”. But now that somebody who actually understands the science of stylometry has correctly configured JGAAP and run the calibration and produced results that don’t support you it’s now “oh wait, the method is flawed”. Right, sure, anything to defend Gleick and keep yourself from looking foolish

    Uh, the “keep (himself) from looking foolish” part isn’t working.

    Perhaps someone should run his above post through JGAAP to determine if he really wrote it.

    :)

    (Bold mine, for emphasis and clarity.)

  118. shawnotto,

    Next time a judge approves an expert witness, he’ll probably appoint you… not.

    But thanx for your non-expert opinion, and Vanna has some lovely parting gifts for you on your way out.

    “What the mainstream press cares about is the substance of the plan and who’s funding the Heartland.”

    But we know who is funding Gleick, it’s the same George Soros who funds all the anti-science chumps. Anyone who still believes that Gleick didn’t forge that memo is as deluded as a Scientologist.

  119. @Smokey to me it’s not a matter of belief. I don’t approach questions of fact from a faith-based perspective. The jury is still out and this analysis has contributed very little, IMHO.

  120. Byronic:
    Mar 15, 2012 at 07:49 AM

    You don’t have to love Heartland to see that the disputed memo does not “simply recapitulate” points in the other documents. There are a number of points in the disputed memo, which are unique to that memo and appear no where else.

    It is not merely a question of language, but of factual claims that appear in the dispute memo. It is the only place that says Koch funds Heartland’s climate activities. It is the only place where it says Heartland wants to stop teachers teaching science. It is the only place where it says that Heartland wants to exclude other voices. All these were important in the press coverage. But regardless of what the press focused on – your coverage is dishonest when you claim the memo “simply recapitulates” the other documents. It does not in either language or content (“substance of the plan”).

    As to your experiment, you are missing any kind of calibration, and not using the software correctly. A proper experiment would train the software on known samples, then see if it can correctly identify authorship on a second set of known samples (to test whether you are using the right metrics, and calibrate a known error rate for predictions based on those metrics), and then try to identify authorship on the unknown memo.

    You appear to have just thrown a small set of documents at the software, producing a jumbled list of those documents, with Gleick & Bast samples intermixed in the list, and said some selected numbers look similar, so… you avoided doing any kind of calibration whatsoever.

    Juola may not have published all his data, but at least he used the software correctly.

  121. Yes, Anthony, it’s an accurate paraphrase:

    What I wrote, “The memo was paraphrased by Peter Gleick, because the memo was paraphrased, except for what wasn’t paraphrased. Therefore, Peter Gleick paraphrased it. Maybe, but more than certainly.”

    What the analysis says, “We justify this result by observing, first, that much of the quotation is actual paraphrase, and the amount of undisputed writing is still nearly 2/3 of the full memo.”

    Could you provide an alternate paraphrasing that is different than mine?

    REPLY: Why bother? Snark is snark. Your comment wasn’t intended to be anything else. – Anthony

  122. @ Byronic
    “A proper experiment would train the software on known samples,”

    I wonder if you understand the software. It is not AI, subject to training. Maybe this is another case of your using a word differently than the dictionary?

    “…then see if it can correctly identify authorship on a second set of known samples (to test whether you are using the right metrics, and calibrate a known error rate for predictions based on those metrics), and then try to identify authorship on the unknown memo.”

    Now you are getting closer to a substantive scientific criticism. But this is what I did in the first pass. The software correctly identified the memo itself with a distance score of 0.00. You may have a methodological disagreement with this choice but you haven’t clarified what it is or why the choice is flawed.

    “you avoided doing any kind of calibration whatsoever.”

    From the above I don’t think you can support that statement. The software identifying the memo itself with a perfect match of 0.00 is a pretty clear calibration verification of both the software and the methodology.

  123. My question for Shawn Otto would be: If he really thinks the strategy doc contains the same stuff as the other documents, why is the strategy doc the only one which Heartland disavows?

    Even before you look at the content of strategy doc, and even before you consider the question of whether it is genuine or faked, it wouldn’t make sense to disavow just those 2 pages, unless there really was something different about them.

  124. shawnotto says:
    March 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm
    ———————————-

    O, you poor baby! If anyone’s blathering here, it’s you, the censorious, mendations and self-promoting apartchik of no remarkable talents other than rabbing a good seat on the bandwagon. I accuse you of being a liar because your “pro-science” website, http://www.shawnotto.com, is based on the latest lying propaganda meme, namely that CAGW skepticism is “anti-science,” and a liar and a coward because you resorted to slandering Joe Bast and Anthony Watt with nothing but cowardly hints and inuendos and when called out, you attempted to repair the damage with more of the same. Shame on you.

    Carrick (March 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm), that makes sense, especially when it concerns the same case. Assuming that Gleick is the author of the forgery is reasonable, not only given the amateurish job, but his history of animosity. Very different from Shawn Otto’s hint that Steven Mosher is engaging in slander. Mosher is on safe ground, given Gleick’s admission to fraud. It’s Shawn Otto who may be in deep doo-doo for his attempt to smear and accuse Heartland’s Joe Bast, the clear victim of theft, fraud and forgery. One can hope that Heartland includes him in their civil suits.

  125. I really have to laugh at Shawn Otto’s view of himself. It’s almost Mannian in his self certainty.

    The difference here between what Otto did and what I did is striking, and tells the story.

    After trying the software myself and among trusted friends, we all came to realize that to use it required specific knowledge of stylometry/textometry that neither I nor my friends possessed. So, rather than assume we could become experts in this field overnight, I put the problem out to crowdsourcing, hoping that people more familiar with this topic could do a better job rather than run the program and publish results which would be suspect because I’m not an expert in stylometry.

    Otto, apparently viewing himself as “qualified” as a science writer of “Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America” which is basically a Chris Mooney book clone, decides that in a few hours, never having run the program before, he can produce a result and publish it. This is evidenced by his statement: “I decided to try it out. ”

    He does, here, and he himself loads his tryout with caveats such as:

    “At this point this is all conjecture. There is simply not enough data.”

    to describe the efforts up to that point, planting the idea that after his analysis, there would be.

    And

    “The program and my methodology may be subject to flaws. I may have typographical errors in my documents that could influence the results. I may not have chosen the best methods of analysis. The documents I selected may not be a large enough representative sample of the respective writings of the various authors. I may not have chosen a broad enough selection of authors. The program may contain logical or mathematical errors. I would encourage others to attempt to replicate, critique, and perform other analyses.”

    Then he posts a series of output numbers from the program, with no calibration procedure, and claims those numbers show that Joe Bast is the author.

    He cites his methodology as “proof” that his method is reasonably correct. And now says that because people can reproduce his jigsaw puzzle, it will give the picture of the true villain. Well, that’s sort of like a paint by numbers exercise, anyone can follow the instructions, but the picture chosen to start with will always be the same.

    Meanwhile here at WUWT, we realize that the problem is larger than our expertise, so I ask the authors of the program for help. In my early email exchanges, I showed them some results from WUWT readers and also Otto’s result. Rather than simply provide the help I asked for they took it to the next level when they realized that people were not running calibration procedures first.

    So the difference is:

    Otto – self appointed instant expert, muddles through and publishes conclusion within 24 hours of “trying out” software.
    Watts – realizes anything he publishes would be flawed due to unfamiliarity with the science of stylometry, asks for crowdsource help, sees that isn’t enough, asks for the help of experts, waits over two weeks for the their methodology to produce results before publishing on it.

    Now that a true expert has followed Otto’s suggestion of…

    “I would encourage others to attempt to replicate, critique, and perform other analyses.”

    …he’s trying to paint himself as somehow more qualified to run an analysis, and that the authors of the program somehow didn’t perform due diligence. It’s hilarious.

    When Gleick gets his day in court, I really do hope that the defense calls Shawn Otto as an “expert witness” to discuss his findings. Mosher and I will be sitting in the public gallery and will likely be laughing so hard during cross examination that the judge will have us ejected.

  126. @Anthony I have noticed that when you get backed into a corner you don’t argue facts; you get derisive and make ad hominem attacks. This hurts your credibility and your public image. As to your claims above, they seem to me to be an exercise in revisionist history. Please reread your own post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/22/an-online-and-open-excercise-in-stylometrytextometry-crowdsourcing-the-gleick-climate-strategy-memo-authorship/

    “So, let’s use science to show the world what they the common sense geniuses at DeSmog haven’t been able to do themselves. Of course I could do this analysis myself, and post my results, but the usual suspects would just say the usual things like “denier, anti-science, not qualified, not a linguist, not verified,” etc. Basically as PR hacks, they’ll say anything they could dream up and throw it at us to see if it sticks. But if we have multiple people take on the task, well then, their arguments won’t have much weight (not that they do now). Besides, it will be fun and we’ll all learn something.”

    You then go on to provide a methodology, and invited people “on both sides” to follow it. You didn’t say don’t do this if you’re not an expert in stylometry; quite the contrary — you encouraged “multiple people take on the task.” Unlike other readers, I identified the many possible sources of error inherent in the approach. I simply took you up on your suggestion, and by arguing against me for doing that you are casting doubt on the responsibility of making the suggestion in the first place.

    REPLY: Asking for help rather than being self assured enough to publish on something you knew nothing about like you did is being backed into a corner? Curious.

    And, the last sentence..”we’ll all learn something.” did in fact occur. We learned that none of us, including you, is an expert on the program and the science of stylometry. So, rather than publish a flawed rushed result like you did, I asked the true experts for help. Now, you don’t like their result so you resort to tearing it and me down. Shameless ego there Mr. Otto. See Roman M’s comment.

    Oh and speaking of “derisive” ad homs, why in your essay did you say: “Anthony Watts, one of the climate deniers…” Seems pretty clear to me that you don’t follow the advice you gave to me. Look in my essay above. Do you see any derogatory labels for you? – Anthony

  127. shawnotto:

    It is what it is. There is no correction to be issued. Others can confirm the outcome of the experiment by reproducing it reliably, and, using the methodology I indicated the software reliably identifies Joe Bast as the most likely author.

    Hogwash! I am not exactly a beginner at statistical analyses and I could not even come close to determining exactly what you had done. Given the metric you had chosen, the values in your output were several orders of magnitude away from what might be expected and the ordering was not the same as what I was getting.

    When I questioned your analysis, you made no effort to elucidate on your efforts in the process, quite probably because you have little or no understanding of the program and the methodology involved.

    Do you understand the numbers calculated by the program? Do you understand the dependance on the specific documents chosen for the analysis? I sincerely doubt it. However, this does not deter you from making definitive statements such as “the software reliably identifies Joe Bast as the most likely author”.

    I guess that defense of The Cause can justify anything, stealing documents, forging new ones with inflammatory statements, or as in your case, just making things up for your own propaganda purposes.

  128. @ copner @7:28AM I don’t disagree with you; there obviously is something different about them.

  129. shawnotto:

    “you avoided doing any kind of calibration whatsoever.”

    From the above I don’t think you can support that statement. The software identifying the memo itself with a perfect match of 0.00 is a pretty clear calibration verification of both the software and the methodology.

    !!! This tantamount to writing a program to calculate the square root of a number and then “calibrating” the program by running it twice with the same number. Then, when the same result occurs both times, the process is delared as a “pretty clear calibration verification of both the software and the methodology”.

    What this would actually show is that the program reproduces the same value when given the same input. It in no way indicates that the software does what it is intended to do nor does it tell you that the value generated is correct.

    “True” calibration would be showing that the particular methodology chosen is at least capable of distinguishing between the writing of Mr. Bast and Mr. Gleick using samples of their writing and known target samples at the same time determining a measure of that ability.

  130. another klimate kamikaze crashes and burns.
    i do love to hear shawnotto howling – can practically visualize him standing there naked and burning.
    moar, please! fry them – they need to be crispy to prevent contagion.

  131. shawnotto says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:05 am
    “…You then go on to provide a methodology, and invited people “on both sides” to follow it. You didn’t say don’t do this if you’re not an expert in stylometry; quite the contrary — you encouraged “multiple people take on the task.” Unlike other readers, I identified the many possible sources of error inherent in the approach. I simply took you up on your suggestion, and by arguing against me for doing that you are casting doubt on the responsibility of making the suggestion in the first place.”

    Thought so. What a sorry character. It’s all Anthony’s fault now that Otto ran a gentleman’s experiment with his cup of cacao and then, the careful and jigh-principled ueber-scientist that he is, ran with it as a juicy piece of slander and all the way to the usual suspects, like Huff Po. Otto’s lawyered up now, would be my guess, so now he speaks with two heads.

  132. @RomanM you are coming close to making some substantive criticisms of my approach. I respect that. You disagree with the methodology. Fine. But it doesn’t change the fact that using that methodology the JGAAP software produces the same result over and over. A valid criticism will show why that should be disregarded on the merits, not by slamming me personally as Anthony has done. The experiment I conducted is reproducible, so has nothing to do with me. Neither am I making any conclusions about whether that result is true or whether it is the best methodology. In fact I caution that it may not be. I don’t think anyone can comment on whether it is true or false at this point, and from what I have read I am not convinced that any stock can be placed in Joula’s contradictory conclusions either, for reasons I indicate in comments above, predominantly because as he himself points out in HIS caveats, other experts believe a sample this size is far too small to distinguish from noise. That being the case, issuing this crowd sourcing suggestion in the first place was, in my view, probably not wise, and issuing this story now is little more than rhetoric. Looking at noise, Joula has nevertheless devined an opinion. On what basis, then? Hard to say, because he doesn’t supply his data or methodology, but does caution that the results are probably unreliable, and then goes on to cast an opinion anyway. I think it’s valid to criticize that as unscientific, and if this were a conversation about a report issued by a climate scientist on global warming, you’d be probably making the same argument.

    REPLY:…other experts believe a sample this size is far too small to distinguish from noise.” That would be true, as in your case study without any calibration. But like any filter, when properly tuned (via Juola’s calibration methodology) the filter can then extract a signal from the noise.

    You did no tuning, no calibration, and thus your results are in fact indistinguishable from noise. The difference between your approach and Juola’s is clearly obvious. Juola is enough of a professional (with the risks that entails) to know if he couldn’t produce a credible result. His caveat was essentially, “yes the sample size is small, but this method improves the filter enough for me to make a credible probability judgment”. I doubt that a leading expert in this field would risk his professional reputation on a pro bono freebie for some blogger if he didn’t think his method was sound.

    The experiment I conducted is reproducible” So what? Reproducibility of an erroneous result does not equate to divining the truth. Lots of published erroneous science is reproducible.

    I predict that you will be unable to write a post about this new result on HuffPo and link to it, even though you stated “I would encourage others to attempt to replicate, critique, and perform other analyses.” because you can’t risk having your credibility as a science writer impugned.

    – Anthony

  133. shawnotto says:
    March 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

    “The experiment I conducted is reproducible, so has nothing to do with me.”

    And, “I am not convinced that any stock can be placed in Joula’s contradictory conclusions either, for reasons I indicate in comments above, predominantly because as he himself points out in HIS caveats, other experts believe a sample this size is far too small to distinguish from noise.”
    ————————————

    Elevator summary: My cluelessness and ineptitude will yield the same results for anyone as clueless and inept as I. I have nothing to do with that. An expert can’t make proper conclusions because of this and that, but I can, because my clueless and inept experiment is reproducible.

  134. shawnotto

    But it doesn’t change the fact that using that methodology the JGAAP software produces the same result over and over.

    Huh? My comments are substantive whether you can recognize them as such or not. Your “calibration” was in no way a genuine calibration of the program’s specific abilities with regard to identification of authorship of documents, but merely a gratuitous demonstration that the software can repeat a calculation twice and get the same numeric result each time. That you actually did that as part of your analysis struck me as misguided when I first read the post on your home page.

    The JGAAP software itself appears to be well written and contains a very extensive list of analysis alternatives. Producing such software requires an excellent knowledge of forensic stylometric methodology. Given that Prof. Juola originated the project to create the software and directed it to its conclusion, I would suggest that he is probably more proficient in its use than you are. Although I also have reservations about the capability of the methodology in this case and the relative lack of specifics, based on ability and knowledge of the software user alone, my naive guess would be that his conclusions would be more believable than your own.

    The fact remains that you used a scientific procedure with which you were completely unfamiliar and, based on questionable output which you also did not fully understand, you made a categorical statement on a website viewed by the public. Given the poor quality of the analysis, I would agree with Anthony that an admission that the statement was unjustified would indeed be in order. However, I am well aware that this will probably not happen because AGW advocates cannot be seen as admitting to or correcting previous inaccuracies.

  135. > @ copner @7:28AM I don’t disagree with you; there obviously is something different about them.

    In which case, why do you not issue a retraction or correction for the following misleading statements that appear in your articles?

    “the document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” (PDF) simply recapitulates the information contained in much more incriminating detail in Heartland’s undisputed Fundraising Plan (PDF).”

    “Heartland says it’s a fake, although as I showed several days ago, it is, if anything, a milder version of the information contained in much greater detail the apparently authentic Fundraising Plan (PDF).”

    “Thus while Heartland has expressly denied the authenticity of the Strategy document, it does nevertheless seem to be essentially in line with the strategy as actually put forth in their undisputed budget and fundraising documents.”

  136. David L says:
    March 14, 2012 at 6:26 am

    By pro bono do you actually mean it’s being funded by Big Oil?
    /sarc

    I don’t know why this statement hit me with such force (considering I’ve been making “pro bono” comments here for years), but I shall quit looking for my check in the mail from Big Oil from henceforth.

    On Gleick–he’s like Mann. Never owning up, always obfuscating, always the negative of anything good you can say about a man. Wow–how does he put up with himself? Only a distorted value system could be the answer. Repentance is good not only for the soul and for what’s left of his career.

  137. shawnotto says:

    “@Smokey to me it’s not a matter of belief. I don’t approach questions of fact from a faith-based perspective.”

    With the alarmist crowd it’s always one of two motives: religious belief in CO2=CAGW, or advancing the narrative for personal gain. So maybe it’s not faith-based in your case.

    How do I know it’s always one of those two motivations? Because the scientific method is always ignored by the alarmist contingent. As is transparency. Without transparency and the scientific method, it’s true belief, or it’s self-serving propaganda. Because there is no empirical, testable evidence supporting the “carbon” scare. It is an evidence-free conjecture, which is still alive and kicking only because of the $billions thrown at it every year.

    And regarding Gleick’s self-confessed dishonesty, once a liar, always a liar. That’s what makes your feeble attempts to defend him so impotent. So go ahead. Keep digging.

  138. On a somewhat related note, as it deals quite cogently with the mindset of Gleick and his like, I highly recommend this piece.

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2012/03/consensus-wants-you.html

    “The Consensus Wants You

    While terms like “The Marketplace of Ideas” are still tossed about occasionally like confetti out of a tenth story window, they mean about as much as the soiled mass of tape that everyone has stepped on by the time the parade is over. The age of ideas, when issues might actually be debated, instead of answered immediately with talking points derived from an inflexible ideology whose only two poles are outrage and guilt, ended some time ago.

    Today we live in the age of consensus. The cultural elites no longer debate opposing points of view, they dismiss them as racist or ignorant, ridiculing not only the argument, but the arguer and the very premise that there can even be an argument.

    The “marketplace of ideas” is replaced with “I’m offended that we’re even having this discussion” or “Only ignorant people believe that.” These alternating poses of victimhood and superiority make it illegal or pointless to even discuss the subject and leave every issue settled by consensus. Scientific debates end before they have begun. Political debates exist only to allow candidates to affirm the consensus or castigate them for standing outside the consensus. Personal exchanges of views either reflect the consensus or become perilous and illegal….


    Dissent is not allowed within the consensus. If the consensus cannot reach directly into your head, it will do its best to force you to violate your principles to the extent that it can, knowing that people rationalize the compromises that they are forced to make and that such rationalizations lead them away from their principles. If it cannot alter your thoughts, then it will do its best to prevent you from expressing them.

    The consensus wants you. All of you. If it cannot have you, it will have your children or your grand-children. It is through talking and done debating. It has climbed up to the steeple, past the gargoyles and shouts down at the world. It is not interested in ideas, only in submission to its will. It will sneer at you, laugh at you and do its best to compel you to obey its doctrines. Because it knows that if it cannot, then the consensus will dry up and blow away on the wind.”

    As I said I highly recommend reading the whole thing

  139. Shawn Otto’s claim isn’t that he did this correctly. It is that he did exactly what Anthony suggested, and that it is hypocritical of Anthony to criticize him for that. And that he showed his work, which is something you guys are selectively adamant about.

    Juola’s claim is very weak. He simply says that he calibrated his tools on a training set to distinguish reliably between Gleick and Bast on it. They were also ‘very close” which probably means that there was a very small segment of the tuning space that was 100% reliable on the 12-sample training set.

    Which in turn would imply a fairly high likelihood that there is no perfect tuning for a larger set of sample documents, meaning in turn, a finite probability of failure.

    Interestingly, Joula does NOT show methods or results. Presumably, he did not cherry pick the training documents, which would mean that, all else equal, that the author is more likely to be Gleick than Bast. Or specifically, a sample from the space spanned by the chosen Gleick documents as opposed to the chosen Bast ones. But we don’t know how much more so.

    As is intuitively obvious given the peculiar content of the disputed memo, neither author will give a good match. Not only is the wording notably peculiar, but the context (whatever it is) is very different from the context from which the training documents. That is, we should have a dozen examples of Gleick committing fraud and a dozen samples of Bast exposing his cynicism, even if we presume that the author could not possibly be a third party.

    While I continue to propose that the document was retranslated from an obscure language, a more serious theory is that this document is an authentic draft written by an assistant to Bast on his instruction.

    In short, this result is of very low quality. I feel confident that if the result had come out the other way, we would not have heard about it here. I would also propose that if we had heard about it elsewhere, say through Shawn, that it would be cavalierly dismissed here, as much stronger arguments are that do not suit the prejudices of the audience. In this case you would be right to do so.

    For you to claim that the matter is settled on this feeble basis is quite remarkable, given how often settled matters are called into question in these parts. Your indifference to the details of Joula’s work is also telling.

    Still, I do appreciate your attention to this matter, as anytime we can get people thinking about who Heartland is and why Gleick might be so angry at them as to take this course, is of great benefit.

    REPLY: Sometimes Mr. Tobis, I think that maybe you have been under the influence of something when you write, such as when you wrote your famous f-word fusillade. Or maybe its just your innate bias, or fear that we are all going to roast when you said: “…because the f***ing survival of the f***ing planet is at f***ing stake.” I don’t know, but I do know that your reasoning makes no sense at all to me.

    But to the point, Otto wrote this:

    Shawn Lawrence Otto:
    Mar 14, 2012 at 07:09 PM

    This was, of course, the point. It was, indeed, “irresponsible” of Anthony Watts to suggest readers adopt this approach on his blog,

    So, it is “irresponsible” for me to ask people to have a look at the software and the science of stylometery, but by your reasoning it was responsible for Otto to do so and come to a conclusion, but not responsible for the authors of the program to do so. By your reasoning (as I follow it) Otto’s claim is “high quality” but one the world’s leading expert on the issue and author of the software is “low quality”.

    Riiiiight. Stick to f-word fusillades my friend, it is your true calling.

    Here’s the comment from statistician RomanM that Shawn Otto has so far avoided addressing:

    RomanM:
    Feb 24, 2012 at 08:35 AM

    I tried to post this at the Huffington site, but was rejected because the comment was too long.

    Are you sure this was done correctly?

    I downloaded your files and attempted to duplicate your work. Initially, I got error messages when using the .docx files provided. However, after saving them in the earlier Word .doc format (and also as ordinary text files), the program ran smoothly. All instructions as given were followed and the results were:

    Heartland Strategy Memo.doc D:\Otto Files\Heartland Strategy Memo.doc
    Canonicizers: none
    Analyzed by Nearest Neighbor Driver with metric Canberra Distance using Character 2Grams as events
    1. Strategy Memo 0.0
    2. Peter Gleick 351.42130776228015
    3. Joe Bast 352.58168488057447
    4. Joe Bast 429.3252413560006
    5. Peter Gleick 506.8088869961059
    6. Heartland Staff 568.8816858635792

    Analyzed by Nearest Neighbor Driver with metric Canberra Distance using Word 2Grams as events
    1. Strategy Memo 0.0
    2. Joe Bast 991.0149182362647
    3. Peter Gleick 1002.0033572750334
    4. Peter Gleick 1183.5345626116602
    5. Joe Bast 1304.0765401409653
    6. Heartland Staff 3260.0970573163086

    Analyzed by Nearest Neighbor Driver with metric Canberra Distance using Word stems as events
    1. Strategy Memo 0.0
    2. Peter Gleick 475.2953391024075
    3. Joe Bast 494.5595682060029
    4. Joe Bast 612.1427626952322
    5. Peter Gleick 618.9538041331741
    6. Heartland Staff 1295.3724837604568

    You will note that the ordering of the documents is different and that two of the analyses now choose Peter Gleick, rather than Joe Bast. You will also note that the magnitude of the statistics for each document is substantially greater than in the results of your post.

    I have further questions about your method choices in the JGAAP program, as well as the particular texts you selected for the analysis, but that is another matter.

    RomanM

    I figure if Mr. Otto can’t be bothered to answer questions on his own blog about methodology, then he really isn’t doing science, but instead advocacy.

    – Anthony Watts

  140. mtobis (@mtobis) says:
    March 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm
    Still, I do appreciate your attention to this matter, as anytime we can get people thinking about who Heartland is and why Gleick might be so angry at them as to take this course, is of great benefit.

    Heartland is a small, modestly funded, above-board conservative think tank that covers your friggin’ climate conniptions almost as a flicking sideline. The flipping problem is that it’s been wiping the effing floor with the freaking Big Oil and Big Green super-funded fudge-packing Warmie foundations and their foofing PR shlocks. That made Pete Gleick, a spoiled and bitter old puck, oooh-so-ficking-mad, mad enough to turn him into a mother-truckin’ little thief and a liar. There, simple explanations are the best and I didn’t have to say “f*ck” even once.

  141. “Peter Gleick is the likely forger” if the suspect list is narrowed to two possible subjects. Given that restriction, how many of US would be likely forger if it were between one of us and one other person?

    Positions are stronger when they are not overstated. And they are less subject to criticism.

  142. Um, no, Anthony. I find your blog post unconvincing, and I find the forensic analyst’s argument circular, an issue of logic. There are far better ways to be snarky rather than summarizing what was written. So I will ask again, how would you paraphrase, “We justify this result by observing, first, that much of the quotation is actual paraphrase, and the amount of undisputed writing is still nearly 2/3 of the full memo.” How does that not just say that part of the memo is paraphrased and part of it is not? Is it not the author’s justification, because he says, “We justify this result”?

    REPLY: Well I find your comment circular as well. I think you misunderstand, what is being said. Basically all he’s saying is that when it came to analysis, he excluded text from other know documents so that it removed that bias.

    It is no more different than taking out pieces of another unrelated jigsaw puzzle that your kids mixed together in one box when you are trying to complete the puzzle. – Anthony

  143. IanR,

    You’re grasping at straws. Gleick is self-admittedly dishonest. Why would you believe him? Are you really that credulous?

  144. I’m sorry, where did I say I believe Gleick? If the forensic analysis “for” Gleick’s dishonesty is built on poor logic, then why use is it? How does that make it any better than what alarmists do?

  145. IanR: I don’t understand what part of the report constitutes “circular logic” in this situation. Perhaps you could elaborate on this.

    The primary non-legal meaning of the word justify is to explain or provide evidence for something. The analyst raised some possible difficulties for producing a proper examination of the documents. In particular, one objection was the relatively short length of the target document. This was further exacerbated by the fact that parts of that document consisted of direct quotes from stolen Heartland material, paraphrased text from the same source and text which was written by the unknown author.

    Analysis was done on both the complete document and on the document with the quoted material removed. In both cases, the result was reported to be the same selecting Gleick as the more likely of the two to be the author. The report indicates that the fact that the entire document (including the quoted text) was also attributed to Gleick is reasonable (i.e. justified) because the combined amount of paraphrased text and original written text was still sufficiently large for the methodology to properly do so.

    Now, one can reasonably argue the technical details in the entire process and the lack of provision of finer detail in the results, but I fail to see where any “circular logic” is evident in these statements.

  146. Did this analysis have a “none of the above” option?

    12 samples tested, using 12 known sources. How about a 13th, not known source? How would the program have handled this?

    A fundamental question. Even in a line-up there are those impossible to be the perp.

    Right now, to me, this analysis is worth what was paid for it.

  147. Well done Anthony.

    But I have to ask if the analysis comparing Bast vs Gleick is not compromised by a false counterfactual? Is there any real suggestion that Bast really is behind the forged memo? Isn’t the correct test Gleick versus random member of public or perhaps random scientist?

    Since Gleick and Bast have similar writing styles, this alternative will probably point more firmly at Gleick, but I tentatively think that would also be the truer test.

Comments are closed.