Inside The Skeptical Science Secret Tree House Bunker*

*with apologies to Josh

Normally I don’t go with a Godwins Law parody but…

  1. The Skeptical Science Kidz made it a front page issue
  2. It’s darn funny!

h/t to “Foxgoose” who made the parody.

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103 thoughts on “Inside The Skeptical Science Secret Tree House Bunker*

  1. But the online Guardian is read by a lot more…

    Let us hope that SkS are dumped by the Guardian.

    Like it or not, the Guardian is taken more seriously than the Daily Mai – even if (especially as) the Daily Mail has better totty photos.

  2. Christoph,

    Did SkS have something to say? I didn’t see anything on their site today about it. Where?

    Thanks,

  3. Just incredibly brilliant. Big Hat tip.
    Facebook peeps (especially you young whippersnappers who call me Mama Day)–please watch this. I can’t say enough good things about the creatives who composed it. #climatechange

  4. Another brilliant take on ‘that’ scene. I don’t Twatter or You-Tube or whatever, but even I have seen about a dozen takes – each with subtitles. [The Hitler flies Ryanair one is a side-splitter, too!].

    this is one of the best – IHMO. [See I can do it a bit]

    Auto.

  5. Addendum: I thought my original comment would automatically show on my timeline. It didn’t so I’ll just link it directly. But the comment was obviously directed to my FB friends. Thought I shd. clarify.

  6. Like it or not, the Guardian is taken more seriously than the Daily Mai

    By whom? I don’t know of anyone who thinks of The Guardian as anything but a “progressive” propaganda spin sheet. It’s like the print version of MSNBC.

  7. Foxgoose,

    You know, I do not think it is a given that Cook and his denizens at his Skeptical[-less] Science site will consider your video parody. They, based on the weird images originally in their in their site’s subdirectory ‘user_uploaded’, bizarrely may proudly consider your video as their general biography.

    I hope to get John Cook’s autograph on a DVD of your video. {a whole lot of chuckling going on }

    John

  8. Epic line right here

    “I had an idea for a website that was completely devoid of scepticism or science but brilliantly named “skeptical science.”

  9. @crosspatch
    ah but the Grauniad is seen as a ‘serious paper’ by those who do read it (because they agree with its eco- and social spin), whereas they look down on the Mail as gossip and fluff.

  10. Where is this “funny” tree house bunker located?

    Penn State University, Pennhurst Annex ?

    (ie., in some mann’s office …)

  11. I have no problem whatsoever with the SkS kidz getting a slap upside the head. About bloody time! The whole alarmist crowd is out to undermine science and civilization, and not by accident. Nor for free. There’s some serious money over there.

    They get no sympathy from me and never will. Not one of them.

    This little video gave me a good laugh. Thanks for posting it, Anthony. :)

  12. Christoph Dollis says:
    August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I’m in the unwanted position of being sympathetic to much of what Skeptical Science had to say about that article as are several of your commenters.
    ###

    How would you know, troll? Your comment is number two so you are making claims based on ONE data point, which you had to invert. On top of that I have never seen your handle in the many years I have been visiting here. You’re just blowing smoke.

  13. Oh, just realized that the address I mentioned above, is suitable for counting the tree rings …

    What could go wrong …?

  14. Christoph Dollis says:
    August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I’m in the unwanted position of being sympathetic to much of what Skeptical Science had to say about that article as are several of your commenters.

    – – – – – – –

    Christoph Dollis,

    If it is a consolation to you, you can be cheered up by the observation that . . . they also serve well the WUWT skeptical dialogs who chronicle minority views on a comment thread.

    I’ve been in that position a few times and it was a good experience.

    : )

    John

  15. it was funny, I laughed, so thanks foxgoose

    but it was easy.
    I dont think that finally nailing these liars is going to be easy. so laugh and move on

  16. I love the “Hitler rants” videos. This one didn’t disappoint.

    “A waste disposal operative with a clapped out scooter and a sexual Dr. Who fixation”

    HAHAHAHA!

  17. Roy UK says:
    August 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Speaking of Google, can Smiley John Cook as Reichsfuehrer be posted on Google Images?

  18. The guardian is taken seriously by far fewer people than the Sun or the Daily Mail or the Telegraph. It sells 200k copies and a large chunk of them are to the paedophile protecting BBC and the public sector unions.

    It is Not taken seriously by anyone else.

  19. Hey – I have had a novel idea.
    Let’s just settle this endless and tedious battle with a contest – who can make the best Hitler video! Originality gets points and points mean prizes! This could end the blog-wars at a stroke and leave us all with much more time to be doing more interesting things. Fishing or gardening, for instance. The leading question must be, though, who would be the judges? A panel, representing all corners fairly (Slayers included) would be quite necessary… and the films would need to be new ones and a mutually-agreed deadline for submissions would be necessary too – there could even be a mini-film festival, bringing much-needed business to a location mutually agreed. Whaddya say, guys?

  20. It is hard for me to marry the awful emotion on the faces of the actors (who did it well I might add), and the funny subscripts. I am a student of all things WW2, and each time I read about it I feel the raw emotions of the times though I wasn’t even born yet. Which is probably why I love Charlie Chaplin’s take on Hitler. It allows me to appreciate someone making fun of this twisted man and his beliefs.

    What I am saying is that I guess I am uncomfortable in calling or portraying another human being Hitler-like. Even in jest and even if they have done it to themselves. It kind of surprised me that I feel this way.

  21. Thomson Reuters is at it peddling the Tom Karl report and quoted by CBC:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/08/07/technology-state-of-the-climate-report-2012.html

    However, other changes detailed in the report paint a more complex picture:
    • Sea levels reached a record high, after a sharp decrease in 2011 possibly linked to the Pacific Ocean phenomenon La Nina, which can have a cooling effect;
    • Arctic sea ice shrank to its smallest summer minimum since satellite records began 34 years ago, while Antarctic sea ice reached a record high;
    • More than 97 percent of the ice sheet covering Greenland melted at least a bit in the summer of 2012, four times greater than the 1981-2010 average;
    • Average sea surface temperatures rose, but not much, making 2012 among the 11th warmest years on record;
    • Ocean heat was near record high levels in the upper half-mile (.8 km) of the water, and temperatures also increased in the deep ocean.

    Imagine that “Sea levels reached a record high, after a sharp decrease in 2011 possibly linked to the Pacific Ocean phenomenon La Nina, which can have a cooling effect”… over ONE YEAR???? And “More than 97 percent of the ice sheet covering Greenland melted at least a bit in the summer of 2012, four times greater than the 1981-2010 average” most stupid claim given that it occured 150 years ago too… etc…

  22. When the presumed (and implied from their comic collection?) SkS progenitor recited the line below was when all composure was lost and outright laughter ensued:

    We’ll look like a bunch of immature adolescent fantasists with a world domination complex

    .

  23. Anthony; I would recommend you let the links to Downfall subtitle videos disappear. At least here in Germany Constantin Film was pretty mercyless with regard to copyright violations. In America you have the DMCA; be careful, it’s not worth it.

    REPLY: Thanks for the concern, but there is no risk in it for me, since I did not produce it. A person in England did. Plus there is broad “fair use” interpretation for parody, under which this clearly qualifies. – Anthony

  24. Cook’s Skeptical[-less] Science site, with its weird phantasy images, adds a whole new dimension to meaning of this quote,

    “There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.”

    From: Edgar Allan Poe

    John

  25. foxgoose has a career in comedy script writing waiting if he ever needs it. side splittingly funny.

  26. Pamela Grey, you have a major point.
    Even in parody, there is nothing funny about a social movement that caused a world war and exterminated several million innocents.
    As important as the debate about CAGW is, it should never stoop to this level. If SkS does even in parody, we should pity, assume error, but NEVER forget. But not in this way here. It detracts rather than strengthens what were supposed to be scientific and political arguments.

  27. Pamela Gray on August 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm said,

    [. . .]

    What I am saying is that I guess I am uncomfortable in calling or portraying another human being Hitler-like. Even in jest and even if they have done it to themselves. It kind of surprised me that I feel this way.

    – – – – – – – –

    Pamela Gray,

    Emotion can be surprising.

    I have an emotion somewhat like an embarrassing pity for people who act as inanely as shown in this exposé of Cook’s Skeptical[-less] Science site.

    Also, imagine how the ‘settled / consensus’ scientists may feel who may have previously praised Cook’s Skeptical[-less] Science site. Those scientists may now have emotions that are not so charitable toward that site’s management.

    If this whole weird phantasy image situation at Cook’s Skeptical[-less] Science site turns out to be some kind of Lewandowsky-like conspiracy baloney experiment gone bad, then I have no pity at all.

    John

  28. Plus there is broad “fair use” interpretation for parody, under which this clearly qualifies.

    Actually this is satire.

    Producers or creators of parodies of a copyrighted work have been sued for infringement by the targets of their ridicule, even though such use may be protected as fair use. These fair use cases distinguish between parodies (using a work in order to poke fun at or comment on the work itself) and satires (using a work to poke fun at or comment on something else). Courts have been more willing to grant fair use protections to parodies than to satires, but the ultimate outcome in either circumstance will turn on the application of the four fair use factors.

    I’m not complaining about the production of the satire, just pointing out the distinction.

  29. One can only wonder what Cook’s employers at the pretend University of Queensland think of his latest efforts as “Climate Communication Fellow”. As one whose taxes fund these sheltered workshops I am less than amused. I did get a great laugh out of the Hitlerian rant, so I guess it’s not all money down the sewer of Oz academia.

  30. Anthony, DirkH do has a point! It is simular to all the court cases, where torrent site owners has been convicted for linking to copyrighted material (for illigal distrbution). In this case, just a different angle …

  31. SS was basically set up has a ‘fan site ‘ by Cook for ‘the Team’, no scepticism was ever really intended when it came to ‘the cause ‘ but a rather Orwellian ‘good or double good’ approach to how it should be viewed .
    Its main job is to act as a ‘smear centre ‘ against any AGW sceptics who are seen as a threat, and that should be taken as a complement.

  32. The Guardian is a left middle class liberal rag that’s subsidised by local governments, schools and libraries. Even is circulation figures are falsified as the BBC and aforementioned organisations buy tens of thousands just as the old Soviet Union used to buy half the print run of the Morning Star.

  33. Every now and then I run into a person so freaked out by the “unprecedented” population of our beautiful planet that they, quite sincerely and in all honesty, say this world would be better off with five or six billion dead. I can only shake my head, and say that they, in all their sincerity and honesty, make Hit–r look like chump change. They always seem surprised, and then offended by the line I always follow with, when dealing with people freaked out by the idea of “too many humans,” “The more the merrier.”

    The odd thing about such people is that often they live, or at least grew up, in mansions with plenty of elbow room. Even when they step down from Mom’s mansion to a hovel, they usually live alone. They know next to nothing about living in close quarters with others, and how people lacking elbow room can still laugh and overcome and progress. Their entire concept of “over-population” is a dream divorced from reality.

    Or perhaps a nightmare. You see, a population is a fact, a reality. However as soon as you put the word “over” in front of “population,” you are stepping out into quicksand, because you must say which persons are the “over,” and which persons are not. Is that so different from Hit–r?

    Cook and his crowd don’t strike me as particularly spiritual or wise, and I consider them but useful idiots for an idea I find repulsive: The idea that six or seven or eight or nine out every ten people you see is a person who is “over,” and the world would be a better place without them.

    People need to awake to the fact this concept is vile. Comparisons with Hit–r are allowed.

  34. Caleb says August 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Cook and his crowd don’t strike me as particularly spiritual or wise, and I consider them but useful idiots for an idea I find repulsive: The idea that six or seven or eight or nine out every ten people you see is a person who is “over,” and the world would be a better place without them.

    One could cast them as Eugenics advocates, I suppose; not a camp I would like to be in … -cough- -cough- I didn’t mean it to sound the way that it did, but that is the way that it came out and onto the keyboard …

    .

  35. Very good!

    “TinyCO2 says:

    August 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm”

    Main actors are David Mitchell and Robert Web. Possibly the best comedians the UK has on offer. Unfortunately, Mitchell (The “Chubbier” one of the two), although quite smart and informed, is a rabid believer in CAGW.

  36. That is Gold. Well done “Foxgoose” – magic.
    The funnier thing is the ‘parody’ or play on words, actually translates 100% true!
    LOL

  37. Christoph Dollis says:
    August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm
    I’m in the unwanted position of being sympathetic to much of what Skeptical Science had to say about that article as are several of your commenters.

    Totally agree Chris, it demeaned the good and really useful service this site can provide. Having said that, I just laughed and laughed at the video, not good for a man with a weak bladder!

  38. DesertYote says:
    August 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Classy – completely fail to take someone’s concern about a previous posting seriously, and go on the attack like a rabid dog. Have you considered writing for Sks at all?

  39. Don’t think the Guardian will dump Skeptical Science. Its basically turned its environment pages over to it. Its not really a UK paper any more – its become the London office of the left wing of the Democratic Party.

  40. Hilarious!
    A couple of extra lines could have been…
    and we’ve parachuted Stephan behind enemy lines, into Bristol university no less!
    Those of you who have never read the Guardian can leave the room now!

    Plus, if there was any concern over fair use of the Hitler clip for satire, why would YouTube host literally thousands of them. Those of you conflating linking to this clip with the activities of sites like pirate bay really need to get a grip on reality.

  41. I laughed until I cried – this is the funniest video on CAGW I have ever watched – by the end tears were streaming down my eyes. Usually these comedies go over the top, but this one is just well acted and holds back, letting the viewer make up their own mind about what is funny and what is not.

    It is true that the Guardian is taken seriously and more respected than the Mail, but the Mail has more influence and gets its message out more strongly.

  42. This blog is continuing to ignore the fact that the tweet by Skeptical Science was on point. That post by Willis was creepy and misogynistic, especially the parts about her being too good looking to have ever been contradicted. It was way creepy.

    I wish that this blog could accept editorial responsibility and apologize for the ugly tone of that post rather than simply trying to up the ante of confrontation with Skeptical Science. Just pointing out that Skeptical Science is equally/more ‘creepy’ doesn’t absolve WUWT from having posted a weird and ugly post of its own.

  43. Charlie Z on August 8, 2013 at 6:13 am

    – – – – – – – –

    Charlie Z,

    I appears to me that Cook has been reluctantly forced to address WUWT’s articles. The level of his argumentation is pretty low if it is limited to using the word creepy in a tweet.

    I had the embarrassment (for him) of hearing Cook speak in public about climate science communication. The message and his delivery style was approximately the same level of argumentation and style as his tweet a la creepiness.

    John

  44. But Charlie Z is right.
    The post by Willis was creepy.
    The facts were sound but the tone was unfit for a professional discourse or a public letter.
    It would do no harm to acknowledge fallibility.

  45. John Whitman,

    My point was that REGARDLESS of Cook’s behavior or the hidden oddities of Skeptical Science’s website and forums, the post by Willis was not appropriate and should be independently addressed by WUWT.

    As M Courtney says, there is no harm in publicly acknowledging that the post was inappropriate. In fact, I think it adds credibility to admit failures and correct them – much more credibility than the current method of addressing the issue which amounts to nothing more than some blog roll version of “I know you are but what am I?”.

    Regards

  46. This blog is continuing to ignore the fact that the tweet by Skeptical Science was on point.

    Quite.

    That post by Willis was creepy and misogynistic,

    I wouldn’t necessarily go that far, but I’m with you up until condescending, unprofessional, and subject to incredibly-predictable misinterpretation, and that’s being charitable.

    especially the parts about her being too good looking to have ever been contradicted. It was way creepy.

    It was certainly implausible to the point of being bizarre.

    I wish that this blog could accept editorial responsibility and apologize for the ugly tone of that post rather than simply trying to up the ante of confrontation with Skeptical Science.

    Hear, hear. That’s essentially why I placed my first comment on this thread, although you better put it into words.

    Just pointing out that Skeptical Science is equally/more ‘creepy’ doesn’t absolve WUWT from having posted a weird and ugly post of its own.

    This.

  47. Charlie Z on August 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

    – – – – – – – –

    Charlie Z,

    Thanks for extending the dialog.

    My comment to you at John Whitman on August 8, 2013 at 7:19 am was not about what you stated in your reply to me; it wasn’t about your point on comparative creepiness discussions {which, by-the-way, I find your point on that misleading}.

    My comment to you was that Cook makes no arguments in his ‘creepy’ name calling tweet / taunt.

    I was implying that he was an intellectual coward for neither taking on Willis directly in the comment section of Willis’ post nor separately explaining why he made an accusation of creepiness. He is a drive by name caller without substantiation in this case. N’est ce pas?

    John

  48. My comment to you was that Cook makes no arguments in his ‘creepy’ name calling tweet / taunt.

    It’s a tweet subject to a 140-character limit. I wasn’t expecting a developed argument. Point being that’s irrelevant. It was an impression, an opinion. Cook probably considered it so obvious that not much more needed to be said.

    His opinion is similar to what many WUWT commenters were coming to on their own. I don’t think any of us are basing our discomfort with Willis’s open letter on John Cook’s tweet.

  49. Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 10:15 am

    My comment to you was that Cook makes no arguments in his ‘creepy’ name calling tweet / taunt.

    It’s a tweet subject to a 140-character limit. I wasn’t expecting a developed argument. Point being that’s irrelevant. It was an impression, an opinion. Cook probably considered it so obvious that not much more needed to be said.

    His opinion is similar to what many WUWT commenters were coming to on their own. I don’t think any of us are basing our discomfort with Willis’s open letter on John Cook’s tweet.

    – – – – – – – –

    Christoph Dollis,

    Thanks for entering my dialog with Charlie Z.

    So it seems that you are making a case that Cook (of the Skeptical[-less] Science site) does not need to make any argument or substantiation about his basis for an accusation of creepiness.

    Because you and / or others independently of Cook have? Are you really maintaining that?

    From your comment I get the impression of Cook as a authoritative figure above the need for argumentation / substantiation to support his tweeted taunt. Did you mean to give that impression that it is appropriate for him to merely accuse then to leave it to other intellects to make his case for him?

    John

  50. Christoph et al are correct: Willis’ post was creepy. It put my teeth on edge.
    A (female) friend of mine read Willis’ letter and said his comments were, “pathetic”. Harsh words, I know, but I feel they’re warranted.
    SkS would never admit they were wrong about anything because they’re zealots, so WUWT needs to show the zealots how true gentleman behave and apologise for Willis’ mistake.

  51. Christoph Dollis,

    Thanks for entering my dialog with Charlie Z.

    So it seems that you are making a case that Cook (of the Skeptical[-less] Science site) does not need to make any argument or substantiation about his basis for an accusation of creepiness.

    I think in general “creepy” is overdone, which is one of the reasons I haven’t used that word. I agree with this video a friend sent me, although now we’re getting a little far afield since that is more in the context of dating.

    But there’s the rub. You mention appearance in the context of dating or perhaps to a friend or heck, maybe to a co-worker you’re on good terms with (although you’re taking a risk here). Not to someone you’re severely criticising in public.

    From your comment I get the impression of Cook as a [sic] authoritative figure ….

    Nah, I think he’s a buffoon. Doesn’t change the fact that Willis’s open letter was ill-advised as he implemented it. He should have taken initial criticisms on board and improved the letter itself, and not only the several typos. Failing that, Anthony should have distanced himself from it, rather than attacked Skeptical Science for criticising it.

    Because you and / or others independently of Cook have? Are you really maintaining that?

    But while I think the accusation “creep” is way overused, and usually just means a guy a woman doesn’t happen to find attractive flirting with her, it is nonetheless a verbal description of some emotion or other. I don’t know how much of a reasoned argument you expect to prove, as in Euclid, that it meets the standard. I am definitely maintaining that the vast, vast majority of female WUWT commenters who have spoken up about it so far didn’t like it, and that I and several of the men essentially groaned, spotting through pattern recognition that this wasn’t cool in today’s day and age.

    I’ve tried to remove it from a male/female thing and pointed out that it wouldn’t work to criticise a guy about his scientific biases, and then comment that he has big biceps. Now could I show you exactly how that is wrong? No, but I would say it’s very much out of place.

    Did you mean to give that impression that it is appropriate for him to merely accuse then to leave it to other intellects to make his case for him?

    I think it’s appropriate to use Twitter to give your opinion on things, yes. You can attack John Cook for not expounding if you like. No skin off my nose.

    However, there are all sorts of things one can attack Skeptical Science on; its off-the-cuff opinion about a letter that many of WUWT’s own commenters found distinctly odd, sneering, condescending, and in some cases sexist, was not one of those things, in my opinion.

    More than the alleged sexism angle, what irked me was starting it so sweet as pie nice then shifting to biting attacks. Made the first part seem condescending and uncharitable to what was ostensibly an open letter welcoming an editor to her post. Adding the bit about striking good looks hardly improved that impression.

    P.S. Am I obligated to go into a litany of reasons why I gave my impression of Cook as a “buffoon”? Perhaps on some level I should; I just don’t have time or inclination to. People can discount my opinion because I haven’t backed it up at length. People can do likewise about John Cook’s tweet. See how that works?

    P.P.S. Speaking of time and inclination, I have a lot to do today so I don’t know if or when I’ll be back. Depends how things go. So take that into account when decided at what length to reply, since I don’t have time for a long conversation now.

  52. crosspatch says:
    August 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    “Like it or not, the Guardian is taken more seriously than the Daily Mai

    By whom? I don’t know of anyone who thinks of The Guardian as anything but a “progressive” propaganda spin sheet. It’s like the print version of MSNBC.”

    Crosspatch,

    I guess you are younger than I had imagined. The Guardian cut its teeth on old, hardline communism that could not bring itself to criticize Stalin. It has been the British darling of America’s hard left since at least the Sixties.

  53. Anyway, if I came across as overly sarcastic with, “See how that works?” I apologise. You’ve been nothing but a gentleman, John. I mean it by way of illustration.

    I don’t believe every tweet has to be 100% backed up; I think it’s OK to offer flat-out opinions. (I.e., I watched Silver Linings Playbook the other day. It sucked!) Readers themselves can tell the difference between an impression and an argument. That’s my point.

  54. John Whitman,

    I don’t really disagree nor agree with you regarding Cook’s method of pointing out the post and his opinion on it. It’s a tweet, so he just stated his opinion and linked to it, which is about what fits in a tweet. Given that Willis’ post was so self evidently creepy, I don’t really see why more explanation was necessary, but if you think Cook should have chose a different medium or confronted Willis directly, or… whatever… then more power to you. I am not supporting Cook nor disagreeing with you.

    Willis’ post stands independently and should be corrected by this website.

    Thanks,
    Charlie

  55. Well then can you quote what I wrote, Anthony, and point out how I was in error? I can’t correct a misunderstanding I’m not aware of.

    REPLY: No, the quote is gone. I don’t save snips. Basically you are reading it wrong, thinking that I’m talking about Cook’s tweet when I’m not. Read carefully sir before jumping to erroneous conclusions. – Anthony

  56. OK, so Anthony was saying that Cook is projecting … about creepiness … because much creepiness goes on at SkS? That’s as near as I can figure.

    If that’s true, well … it doesn’t change the fact that Willis’s open letter didn’t go over that well here either.

    REPLY: Some people saw nothing wrong with it, and some people are doing voluminous hand wringing over the PC correctness aspect of it. Point is, there are people who agree with/disagree with every single opinion piece ever written here. If Willis wants to change it/clarify it, he’s certainly welcome to. I would have worded it differently and probably would have suggested some edits had I seen it before publication. That said, I think the hand-wringing about it is excessive. It was written in the language of his age and experience. Some people might not like it, but he was being honest with his praise as well as his scorn. Many people younger than Willis most certainly have a different view.

    I’ve let him know of the concerns, and I’ll leave it to him to respond. -Anthony

  57. Disappointing that I would be placed into pre-moderation for making a good-faith comment that you acknowledge is, at most, a misunderstanding.

    A comment that boils down to saying Cook may not be projecting so much as recognising an actual problematic post on this site, even though I’ll agree with you and acknowledge he ignores larger problems on his own site.

  58. And even as I said that, it was not pre-moderated. Thanks, Anthony. Perhaps it just got modrated because I mentioned “Skeptical Science”, and that triggered a filter.

    REPLY: Yes, some key words get extra attention, “Anthony” and “Moderator” for example get flagged for attention to those people as they are addressed to them. – Anthony

  59. Some people saw nothing wrong with it, and some people are doing voluminous hand wringing over the PC correctness aspect of it.

    Ironically, I’m not especially PC. My main criticism of it was that it seemed falsely sweet and unnecessarily condescending and sneering. Basically, overly-hasty and -emotional.

    Point is, there are people who agree with/disagree with every single opinion piece ever written here. If Willis wants to change it/clarify it, he’s certainly welcome to. I would have worded it differently and probably would have suggested some edits had I seen it before publication. That said, I think the hand-wringing about it is excessive. It was written in the language of his age and experience. Some people might not like it, but he was being honest with his praise as well as his scorn. Many people younger than Willis most certainly have a different view.

    Fair enough.

    I do think you were too quick to attack Skeptical Science and would have been better served by writing what you just wrote a little earlier. However that, for the record, while that’s my opinion on this I want you to know that in general I’m a huge fan of WattsUpWithThat and further, feel that you’ve done humanity and science an enormous service by offering this forum for discussion as well as your personal insights.

    REPLY:
    Thanks, making mistakes and making a fool of yourself is all part of learning. I’ve done both, as have some of our guest authors. I’m happy to concede there was a mistake in the wording of Willis essay, because he didn’t correctly predict how it might be interpreted or misinterpreted. The difference between SkS and WUWT is that we at WUWT allow the criticism and consider it, where SkS just disappears things like entire folders and then goes silent about it. – Anthony

  60. Thanks, making mistakes and making a fool of yourself is all part of learning. I’ve done both, as have some of our guest authors.

    Oh, you’re not alone in that regard!

  61. Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    And

    Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    And

    Charlie Z on August 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    – – – – – – –

    Christoph Dollis & Charlie Z,

    On and on we go . . . thanks.

    So let’s discount 100% Cook’s ‘creepy’ sniper tweet as is. OK?

    You both are critical of Willis’ approach to the subject of feminine-ism and masculine-ism interactivity in the climate science related dialog that Willis started by his open letter post and subsequent comments.

    Apologize you advocate over and over and . . . Did you make your detailed case specifically and directly to Willis at the open letter post? If so did you get a response? And if so why aren’t you satisfied with his reasoning? And if you never addressed him in detail specifically and directly then why not?

    In the open letter dialog, instead of seeing a certain vibrant sense of ‘joie de vivre’ in pursuing what the French refer to so eloquently in their expression ‘vive la différence’, we see an argument for damping spirited feminine-ism and masculine-ism focused interaction in intellectual discussion. I am disappointed.

    John

  62. Copycatting can be soooo school grade funny! In case Enquiring Minds Want to Know, that’s why I still watch the 3 stooges!

  63. You both are critical of Willis’ approach to the subject of feminine-ism and masculine-ism interactivity in the climate science related dialog that Willis started by his open letter post and subsequent comments.

    Somewhat. That was a secondary point I made. Mostly I commented that the letter was hasty and overemotional. I.e., unprofessional — and that adding the part about her appearance highlighted that and was out of place in a letter criticising someone in the realm of science.

    Apologize you advocate over and over and

    You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, John. I didn’t once say apologise (although that is an option he could consider). I am sure that I said and implied he should correct the letter. I.e., remove the over-emotion and, yes, remove or clarify the part about her appearance that, coupled with everything else, has rubbed people the wrong way.

    Failing that, I said I thought that Anthony should have distanced himself from it, and he just did somewhat.

    Did you make your detailed case specifically and directly to Willis at the open letter post? If so did you get a response?

    I brought up my thoughts there. Anthony wrote two additional posts and I brought up them here too.

    And if so why aren’t you satisfied with his reasoning? And if you never addressed him in detail specifically and directly then why not?

    Satisfied with his reasoning?

    No, not at all really. Consider the typos in initial open letter, including an unfinished sentence. I think my impression that it was hasty, over-emotional, and ill-thought-out was spot on, actually. Nothing I’ve seen since then has disavowed me of that notion. But no, I’ve never said or thought that Willis hates women or anything like that.

    In the open letter dialog, instead of seeing a certain vibrant sense of ‘joie de vivre’ in pursuing what the French refer to so eloquently in their expression ‘vive la différence’,

    I’m pretty sure I and others have expressed difference.

    we see an argument for damping spirited feminine-ism and masculine-ism focused interaction in intellectual discussion.

    We would be talking about the other issues Willis raised in the letter had he not inserted these unneeded distractions by the tone of and selection of extraneous material for his letter. I’ve said above, and somehow you’ve ignored, my main issue with it: It isn’t so much the feminism angle. [I am most certainly not a feminist (proof) (more proof).] I disliked the tone of a letter that starts off coming across like a really sincere welcome to your post, then segues into a particularly condescending attack.

    Just the same as complimenting someone’s appearance might work, but not so much while you’re criticising their professional behaviour.

    Anyway, I don’t have anything else to add to this right now. I am writing this comment to correct your inadvertent mischaracterisation of my position.

    I’m satisfied that people have expressed their opinions on this, including Anthony and Willis, as well as Willis’s defenders and critics in this matter. I’ll add more if something occurs to me or someone says something I feel warrants a response, but I have said what I meant to say.

    I’m glad I did. It perhaps contributed to one of the two results I had hoped it would.

    P.S. I will reiterate though something I’ve said before. I find the idea that men writ large won’t tell a pretty, smart woman she’s wrong in science preposterous. At a night club or out at a church picnic, OK. In the field of science, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

  64. Oh. For Willis’s thesis to be correct, you’d have to show me the mainstream climate alarmists who won’t criticise Joanne Nova. (Next, you can show me the Democratic politicians who won’t tell Sarah Palin that she’s wrong about this, that, or the other; and while you’re at it, show me the Republicans who are reluctant to criticise Debbie Wasserman Schultz).

    And yes, I did just imply that Jo looks good (although I didn’t do so while attacking her lol).

  65. To flip the genders, if someone wrote a diatribe about Barack Obama and then added that he’s a good-looking man, well ….

    Anyway, enough of this dead horse! Have a good night, all.

  66. Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    – – – – – – – – –

    Christoph Dollis,

    Thanks for the discussion extension.

    Observation 1 – it looks like you did not accomplish an engagement with Willis in detail specifically and directly about your issues with his approach on feminine and masculine interaction. Its OK, just like to see if you tried to achieve resolution. You did not, you instead advocated apology.

    Observation 2 – you stated Anthony somewhat distanced himself from Willis’ post due to having issues with Willis’ approach to feminine and masculine interaction. I does not look that way in Anthony’s statement. It looks like Anthony is being justifiable circumspect and objectively balanced which includes his personal view that Willis made a mistake in presentation / statement that allowed misunderstanding to escalate. My view of what Anthony said, not intending to speak for him.

    Observation 3 – my mistake that I said you made repetitive aplogy requests. The combination of Charlie Z and you contained multiple apology requests. Sorry.

    Observation 4 – totally open dialog did occur with much frank disagreement and with a fortunate disregard of there being forms of expression that have preference (PC). We can thank Willis for his abilities to produce such an outcome. He does it consistently over many posts. He offered in a dynamic way alternatives to the prevailing feminist / masculine stereotypes set by typical consensus popular literature. His challenge was vigorously opposed and supported. Ideas that are popular always need some serious challenge. Good for everyone to be so highly stimulated; in that Willis was correct to do so. I congratulate him. Also, in substance I think he pretty much has nailed it.

    John

  67. You did not, you instead advocated apology.

    This is not true. Further, I pointed out this is not true in my last comment. Also:

    It looks like you did not accomplish an engagement with Willis in detail specifically and directly about your issues with his approach on feminine and masculine interaction

    This is also not true. I pointed out how and why I considered bringing up her looks while criticising her was inappropriate and ill-advised. I even used analogies (on the other thread as well, not just this one) and flipped the gender roles around (on the other thread as well, not just this one).

    you stated Anthony somewhat distanced himself from Willis’ post

    He did.

    due to having issues with Willis’ approach to feminine and masculine interaction

    I did not say that.

    my mistake that I said you made repetitive aplogy requests. The combination of Charlie Z and you contained multiple apology requests. Sorry.

    Then why did you say, again, in this very comment, “you instead advocated apology”?

    With due respect, you need to get your facts in order.

  68. Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

    This blog is continuing to ignore the fact that the tweet by Skeptical Science was on point.

    Quite.

    That post by Willis was creepy and misogynistic,

    I wouldn’t necessarily go that far, but I’m with you up until condescending, unprofessional, and subject to incredibly-predictable misinterpretation, and that’s being charitable.

    especially the parts about her being too good looking to have ever been contradicted. It was way creepy.

    It was certainly implausible to the point of being bizarre.

    Charlie Z said: I wish that this blog could accept editorial responsibility and apologize for the ugly tone of that post rather than simply trying to up the ante of confrontation with Skeptical Science.

    Christoph Dollis said: Hear, hear. That’s essentially why I placed my first comment on this thread, although you better put it into words.

    Just pointing out that Skeptical Science is equally/more ‘creepy’ doesn’t absolve WUWT from having posted a weird and ugly post of its own.

    This.

    – – – – – – –

    Christoph Dollis,

    Your above comment demonstrates you did advocate apology. So your claim that I was incorrect to say you you advocated it is . . . incorrect.

    John

  69. “I wish that this blog could accept editorial responsibility and apologize for the ugly tone of that post rather than simply trying to up the ante of confrontation with Skeptical Science.”
    —Charlie Z

    A couple points.

    I was talking about the blog accepting editorial responsibility, not insisting that Willis do so. As for Willis’s part, I just wished he’d significantly improved the letter, but did not expect him to.

    Since I accept that Willis is sincere on some level, although his stated plan of intentionally drawing focus to his own behaviour as a jerk seems to me highly flawed and not beneficial to WUWT.

    Be that as it may, I didn’t really expect Willis to apologise considering how he’s standing by his guns. Therefore I wasn’t asking him to. I was hoping Anthony would accept editorial responsibility on a “let cooler heads prevail” basis (his head, not Willis’s). That’s mainly what my “Hear, hear,” was in reference to.

    Do I think it would be ideal if Anthony apologised for the tone? Sure. But it isn’t, to my mind, that important. That he’s acknowledged he would have recommended changes to the letter had he seen it in advance and that he would have worded it differently is at least some distance between him and the letter.

    I think that’s an improvement. Being tied to a letter whose short-term aim, as stated by the author, is to attract attention to himself as a jerk in pursuit of an alleged larger plan doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  70. Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    [. . .]

    Whitman said: you stated Anthony somewhat distanced himself from Willis’ post

    Christoph Dollis said: He did.

    Whitman said: due to having issues with Willis’ approach to feminine and masculine interaction

    Christoph Dollis said: I did not say that.

    [. . .]

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Christoph Dollis,

    Please quote Anthony’s words that are the basis of you claiming

    Christoph Dollis on August 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Failing that, I said I thought that Anthony should have distanced himself from it, and he just did somewhat.

    Also, don’t you think Anthony was referring to Willis’ characterization of feminine and masculine aspects? I do.

    NOTE: I have several more counterpoints to your last comment to me which I must do tomorrow . . . cocktail hour calls.

    John

  71. This is a sideshow, John.

    If, for the sake of argument, you discount every comment I made and if you discount even the initial reaction to the open letter itself and you discount the open letter, you’re left with Willis’s claims that, without first consulting the blog proprietor, he:

    “I wanted my post to be cited and quoted all over the blogosphere, and I wanted the focus to be on what a jerk I was, and not on the scientific claims I was making and the scientific questions [...] I wanted you and everyone else to be discussing Science magazine, and whether and why it’s wrong to say that men lie to good looking women. I wanted to bring the velvet censorship we call political correctness out into the open.[...]”
    [...]
    “She’s put a lovely picture of her face up above the fold in the text about climate change … and I’m sexist for even mentioning the good looking face that she has made damn certain is the focal point of climate science discussion?

    These are all odd lines of argument for a science blog, in particular the one about purposely attracting negative publicity; don’t you think, at a minimum, Willis should have given a heads up before embarking down that path if that was truly his plan from the beginning?

    You’ve said:

    I like your technique of expression and your courage to take on some PC stereotypes in modern America (and perhaps elsewhere).

    You have created real education here in critical analysis. Probably some of your antagonists on this thread learned analysis from you over the years.

    I like the substance of your letter and comments.

    That’s you’re privilege, but if that’s your judgement, it’s unlikely we’ll agree on much.

    You also said:

    Hilary Ostrov,

    I cannot find a simple main thrust in your comment, only what appears to be projection of a tone of much anger about statements of Anthony and Willis.

    I’ve been a fan of your comments for years so am now somewhat concerned.

    … in reply to Hilary’s excellent and very calm comment.

    You have no basis for that. What she wrote was very reasonable and on-point. I am certain she is not motivated by anger. I believe she is motivated by a desire not to see the blog allow to stand a public-facing publicity error that could damage the credibility of a forum she holds dear.

    I believe she thinks that having a prolific co-blogger say that he intentionally wanted people to see him as a jerk and talk about peripheral issues rather than the science could call into question the subtextual motives behind future articles here and may serve as a needless point of attack. So, she has tried to clarify exactly what Willis meant to accomplish as she feels he gave more than one account. (“So, will the real reason for this post please stand up?!”)

    You feel she is evidencing “much anger”. I find this baseless. That said, you’re entitled to your opinion. Along those lines, if you feel Willis’s letter and comments were just dandy, then that’s your opinion and that’s OK. My opinion is that even if the letter could be defended, the comments are significantly more problematic.

    So we disagree. That’s life.

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