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

Tonight, a prescient prediction made on WUWT shortly after Gleick posted his confession has come true in the form of DeSmog blog making yet another outrageous and unsupported claim in an effort to save their reputation and that of Dr. Peter Gleick as you can read here: Evaluation shows “Faked” Heartland Climate Strategy Memo is Authentic

In a desperate attempt at self vindication, the paid propagandists at DeSmog blog have become their own “verification bureau” for a document they have no way to properly verify. The source (Heartland) says it isn’t verified (and a fake) but that’s not good enough for the Smoggers and is a threat to them, so they spin it and hope the weak minded regugitators retweet it and blog it unquestioned. They didn’t even bother to get an independent opinion. It seems to be just climate news porn for the weak minded Suzuki followers upon which their blog is founded. As one WUWT commenter (Copner) put it – “triple face palm”.

Laughably, the Penn State sabbaticalized Dr. Mike Mann accepted it uncritically.

Twitter / @DeSmogBlog: Evaluation shows “Faked” H …

Evaluation shows “Faked” Heartland Climate Strategy Memo is Authentic bit.ly/y0Z7cL  – Retweeted by Michael E. Mann

Tonight in comments, Russ R. brought attention to his comment with prediction from two days ago:

I just read Desmog’s most recent argument claiming that the confidential strategy document is “authentic”. I can’t resist reposting this prediction from 2 days ago:

Russ R. says:

February 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Predictions:

1. Desmog and other alarmist outfits will rush to support Gleick, accepting his story uncritically, and offering up plausible defenses, contorting the evidence and timeline to explain how things could have transpired. They will also continue to act as if the strategy document were authentic. They will portray him simultaneously as a hero (David standing up to Goliath), and a victim (an innocent whistleblower being harassed by evil deniers and their lawyers).

2. It will become apparent that Gleick was in contact with Desmog prior to sending them the document cache. They knew he was the source, and they probably knew that he falsified the strategy document. They also likely received the documents ahead of the other 14 recipients, which is the only way they could have had a blog post up with all the documents AND a summary hyping up their talking points within hours of receiving them.

3. This will take months, or possibly years to fully resolve.

Russ R. is spot on, except maybe for number 3, and that’s where you WUWT readers and crowdsourcing come in. Welcome to the science of stylometry / textometry.

Since DeSmog blog (which is run by a Public Relations firm backed by the  David Suzuki foundation) has no scruples about calling WUWT, Heartland, and skeptics in general “anti-science”, let’s use science to show how they are wrong. Of course the hilarious thing about that is that these guys are just a bunch of PR hacks, and there isn’t a scientist among them. As Megan McArdle points out, you don’t have to be a scientist to figure out the “Climate Strategy” document is a fake, common sense will do just fine. She writes in her third story on the issue: The Most Surprising Heartland Fact: Not the Leaks, but the Leaker

… a few more questions about Gleick’s story:  How did his correspondent manage to send him a memo which was so neatly corroborated by the documents he managed to phish from Heartland?
How did he know that the board package he phished would contain the documents he wanted?  Did he just get lucky?

If Gleick obtained the other documents for the purposes of corroborating the memo, why didn’t he notice that there were substantial errors, such as saying the Kochs had donated $200,000 in 2011, when in fact that was Heartland’s target for their donation for 2012?  This seems like a very strange error for a senior Heartland staffer to make.  Didn’t it strike Gleick as suspicious?  Didn’t any of the other math errors?

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.

Full disclosure: I don’t know how this experiment will turn out. I haven’t run it completely myself. I’ve only familiarized myself enough with the software and science of stylometry / textometry to write about it. I’ll leave the actual experiment to the readers of WUWT (and we know there are people on both sides of the aisle that read WUWT every day).

Thankfully, the open-source software community provides us with a cross-platform open source tool to do this. It is called JGAAP (Java Graphical Authorship Attribution Program). It was developed for the express purpose of examining unsigned manuscripts to determine a likely author attribution. Think of it like fingerprinting via word, phrase, and punctuation usage.

From the website main page and FAQs:

JGAAP is a Java-based, modular, program for textual analysis, text categorization, and authorship attribution i.e. stylometry / textometry. JGAAP is intended to tackle two different problems, firstly to allow people unfamiliar with machine learning and quantitative analysis the ability to use cutting edge techniques on their text based stylometry / textometry problems, and secondly to act as a framework for testing and comparing the effectiveness of different analytic techniques’ performance on text analysis quickly and easily.

What is JGAAP?

JGAAP is a software package designed to allow research and development into best practices in stylometric authorship attribution.

Okay, what is “stylometric authorship attribution”?

It’s a buzzword to describe the process of analyzing a document’s writing style with an eye to determining who wrote it. As an easy and accessible example, we’d expect Professor Albus Dumbledore to use bigger words and longer sentences than Ronald Weasley. As it happens (this is where the R&D comes in), word and sentence lengths tend not to be very accurate or reliable ways of doing this kind of analysis. So we’re looking for what other types of analysis we can do that would be more accurate and more reliable.

Why would I care?

Well, maybe you’re a scholar and you found an unsigned manuscript in a dusty library that you think might be a previously unknown Shakespeare sonnet. Or maybe you’re an investigative reporter and Deep Throat sent you a document by email that you need to validate. Or maybe you’re a defense attorney and you need to prove that your client didn’t write the threatening ransom note.

Sounds like the perfect tool for the job. And, best of all, it is FREE.

So here’s the experiment and how you can participate.

1. Download, and install the JGAAP software. Pretty easy, works on Mac/PC/Linux

If your computer does not already have Java installed, download the appropriate version of the Java Runtime Environment from Sun Microsystems. JGAAP should work with any version of Java at least as recent as version 6. If you are using a Mac, you may need to use the Software Update command built into your computer instead.

You can download the JGAAP software here. The jar will be named jgaap-5.2.0.jar, once it has finished downloading simply double click on it to launch JGAAP. I recommend copying it to a folder and launching it from there.

2. Read the tutorial here. Pay attention to the workflow process and steps required to “train” the software. Full documentation is here. Demos are here

3. Run some simple tests using some known documents to get familiar with the software. For example, you might run tests using some posts from WUWT (saved as text files) from different authors, and then put in one that you know who authored as a test, and see if it can be identified. Or run some tests from authors of newspaper articles from your local newspaper.

4. Download the Heartland files from Desmog Blog’s original post here. Do it fast, because this experiment is the one thing that may actually cause them to take them offline. Save them in a folder all together. Use the “properties” section of the PDF viewer to determine authorship. I suggest appending the author names (like J.Bast) to the end of the filename to help you keep things straight during analysis.

5. Run tests on the files with known authors based on what you learned in step 3.

6. Run tests of known Heartland authors (and maybe even throw in some non-heartland authors) against the “fake” document 2012 Climate Strategy.pdf 

You might also visit this thread on Lucia’s and get some of the documents Mosher used to compare visually to tag Gleick as the likely leaker/faker. Perhaps Mosher can provide a list of files he used. If he does, I’ll add them. Other Gleick authored documents can be found around the Internet and at the Pacific Institute. I won’t dictate any particular strategy, I’ll leave it up to our readers to devise their own tests for exclusion/inclusion.

7. Report your finding here in comments. Make screencaps of the results and use tinypic.com or photobucket (or any image drop web service) to leave the images in comments as URLs. Document your procedure so that others can test/replicate it.

8. I’ll then make a new post (probably this weekend) reporting the results of the experiment from readers.

As a final note, I welcome comments now in the early stages for any suggestions that may make the experiment better. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies investigating this have far better tools I’m told, but this experiment might provide some interesting results in advance of their findings.

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cthulhu

You have a wicked, and extremely funny, sense of humor. At this moment, I’m a bit pinched for time or I’d go through the exercise myself……but I can see the joke well enough without going through the exercise. I’m sure that I’ll only laugh the louder when results start coming in. Bravo!

This is hilarious.

DirkH

Mike Mann:
“Evaluation shows “Faked” Heartland Climate Strategy Memo is Authentic ”
Mike, Mike, stop, it’s a trap… Oh. Poor Mike. There ya go.

DeSmog is DeSperate

Rudebaeger

I have a different idea all together.
The Heartland Institute can go into their email server & retrieve all of the documents sent to Dr. Gleick’s phony email address.
This action can cast more doubt on any warmists claims

Okander

Rude: No dice, Glieck implies he got the memo separately, from an anonymous source, by snail mail. Very convenient, no?

Jace F

If the climate strategy document is real why did they feel the need to redact the header and footer of the document? you can still see the little bits of what was there peeking above the area that has been removed.

Jace F

Rudebaeger, I bet the strategy doc isn’t one of the ones sent, why would they scan the document, none of the others are scanned images.

Do not use documents that have been edited by anyone other than Gleick. The mistakes he makes would be removed.
use: letter to peilke, use his blog comments.
DO NOT use articles that have been or might have been edited by others.
The fake memo also contains a plagarized sentence. You have to remove that.

Jace F

Actually the bits that are left above the redaction on the first page could be enough of a fingerprint to match up a header to. Maybe.

I have a new theory about the fake document.
I suspect that it was sent to him by a colleague or, more likely, an opponent for the specific purpose of yanking his chain.
They hoped to get a laugh as Dr Gleick’s anger and hatred blinded him to the document’s obvious faults. However even the provocateur(s) could not have anticipated Dr Gleick’s actions.

Shevva

Got my second treatment to stop me going blind today so I may have a few hours spare this afternoon as I sit in a darkend room.
Then again it being the NHS my appointment was 3 hours late last time so that spare time I talked about probably will be a pocket full of dreams.

Steve C

“… and hope the weak minded regugitators retweet it and blog it unquestioned.”
– more a certainty than a hope 😐

TerryS

I like The Registers description of DeSmog blog.

A publication run by a Canadian PR firm which lists various green businesses and organisations among its clients, also funded in part by convicted online-gambling payments kingpin and hippie biz tycoon John Lefebvre.

cui bono

Someone has probably pointed this out, but a good starting comparison would be Gleick throwing mud at everybody else (including Anthony) last month in Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/01/05/the-2011-climate-b-s-of-the-year-awards/
What goes around, comes around….

Panzersage

I am very much looking forward to the court case where Gleick presents the “original” memo as evidence.
Today thanks to a nifty government program called Echelon most printers(at least those from HP, Xerox, Dell, Canon, Epson, Lexmark, amongst others now imbed microscopic code on everything they print. A Forensic Science team will be able to look at the Gleick’s memo and will be able to tell the printer it came from without much difficulty.
My money is it coming from Gleick’s very own Epson Printer, the same one he used to scan the document.

Scottish Sceptic

Reading what DeSmegHead write is like hearing some Islamic extremist saying the woman “deserved to be raped … it was her fault because she dressed provocatively.”
Well perhaps the Heartland should have worn a Burkha and not provoked the taliban eco-nuts to attack it????
This is their warped mentality. There is a real victim here. The Heartland institute were not breaking the law or acting with any impropriety, because they refused to tow-the-eco-nut-line they deserved what they got.

Alex the skeptic

Mike Mann: “Evaluation shows “Faked” Heartland Climate Strategy Memo is Authentic ”
____________________________
Agreed; it’s an authentic fake.

Morph

How about an excellent source of unedited text composed by the crusading whistleblowing hero himself – his Amazon “Reviews” ?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2XYU6ZBJOG200/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

AndyG55

ummm… Mr Mann, your trench is already well over 6ft deep !! !!

Morph

The document in the link is now called Strategy Document (3).pdf – like someone has made some copies – or perhaps some changes ?

Given the nature of Gleick’s usual “unburnished” literary style, I suspect that almost all of his efforts which have made it into print have been subjected to a rigorous editing process to polish his rather crude prose.
I am not convinced of the validity of this experiment, although I remain amused by the hilarity!
I would also remind everyone, before they make any definitive statements that may come back to haunt them, that despite all the speculation there is still no definitive proof of the authorship of the fake. Or, dare I say it, absolute proof that it is a fake.
Let us be careful not to lose the high ground.

Kasuha

This software can’t ever give you a reliable proof of who the author is. It can only select the most likely author out of group of potential authors you train it on, but you can never guarantee that you’ve put the real author to the analysis unless you know for sure who it is.
If the analysis turns out that certain particular person outside Heartland is way more likely to be the author than anybody from Heartland, then it’s weak proof the memo is indeed fake. It in no way proves that that certain particular person is the faker.

Jimbo

I may be way off the mark here but isn’t DeSmogBlog funded by a convicted money launderer by the name of John Lefebvre?

“Two former directors and founding shareholders of NETeller Plc, a British online money transfer company, have been charged in the United States with laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds.
Canadians Stephen Lawrence, 46, and John Lefebvre, 55, were arrested on Monday — Lawrence in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Lefebvre in Malibu, California — U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said.”
http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/01/16/us-crime-neteller-idUSN1622302920070116

http://www.taxabletalk.com/tag/neteller/
http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/04/truth-about-desmogblog.html
http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2008/02/01/blog-funder-guilty-money-laundering

P. Solar

At the beginning of the “authentication” post, DeSmegHead writes:
“It also uses phrases, language and, in many cases, whole sentences that were taken directly from Heartland’s own material. Only someone who had previous access to all of that material could have prepared the Climate Strategy in its current form.”
Yep, that’s the way it looks. So until Glieck comes up with some documentary proof (rather than the word of a self-confessed liar) that he received a paper copy of the document by regular mail, that statement fits perfectly with the creation date of the fake and the date that he conned H.I. into sending him the other docs.
At least we are all agreed so far.

Sorry but I haven’t got time to actaully do this myself..
But here is some Gleick correspondence (published just 2-3 weeks ago, with permission) even Forbes gets a mention.
http://www.realclimategate.org/2012/02/clarifications-and-how-better-to-communicate-science/
—————————————————
Barry,
Again, I am not going to spend more time on this, but I will try to be clear.
My comments about your communications with me were not meant to suggest that you were either abusive or threatening to me in the nature of the kinds of emails/comments Hayhoe (or I or others in the climate community regularly receive). You have not been so far as I know, and I will try to make that clear in a tweet, when I get a chance. And perhaps “incredibly annoying” or “incredibly frustrating” or “incredibly discourteous,” or “incredibly uncivil” or some other synonym would have been a better choice. Do you really want me to pick one?
I stand by my other comments in the email I sent to you, about how I personally perceived your participation in exchanges in the fall when I ran out of patience with any chance of rational discussion with WUWT, Bishop Hill, or the regular tweeters and bloggers of that group. It became clear it was an unproductive time sink with a group whose minds were closed to fact, and whose primary tool was ad hominem attack. The systematic and coordinated and dishonest attack on me after my negative review of LaFramboise’s book was only one example that made it clear that rational debate was not possible and dissenting views not tolerated. The fact that WUWT blocked me from adding comments more than a year ago to his routinely biased and often dissembling blog further convinced me that there was little interest in discussion among that group. Perhaps you’re having more luck, or have more patience.
Peter Gleick
——————-
Tamsin,
I am not going to deal with this anymore. It has taken far too much
of my constrained time and bandwidth already.
I am glad Woods’ exchanges with you seem to have been decent. We’re
probably all far more polite one-on-one than in public online
screamfests. I’m sorry he didn’t like my comment. But I’ve reviewed
his tweets, blog posts, status, web URL, and comments and
contributions in places like Bishop Hill and WUWT (where, by the way,
I’ve been blocked for more than a year from posting comments,
presumably because my comments are “incredibly offensive” — yet I’m
regularly and personally attacked on these kinds of sites). His
adoption of the language, often coded, of the
denier/skeptic/contrarian community, his amplification of memes
around “climategate,” “AGwarmists,” “hide the decline,” “the hockey
stick,” the straw man of “catastrophic” climate change, etc. may have
changed since I blocked his Twitter feed to me last year, but I
simply don’t find his input to the debate helpful or informative, and
I’m certainly entitled to both my opinions and to decide what part of
the climate controversy comes to me through different media. By the
way, I also block people I LIKE, when I can no longer tolerate or
filter their massive overuse of Twitter.
I do what I can to communicate rationally with open-minded
participants in this debate, but the polarization makes it hard to
find them. If this is something you’re committed to diving into, I
wish you the best of luck. I hope you’ll continue to publish in the
scientific literature as your top priority — in the long-run, your
reputation as a scientist (and your influence in the associated
policy debates) will benefit from it.
Barry, if you want to pursue this further, feel free, but honestly,
you should consider cutting your tweet rate by a factor of 10 until
your ratio of tweets to followers improves, you might consider what
you really believe and how you express it, and we should probably
ALL count to 10 after writing anything and before hitting send.
(and Tamsin, your note about how Barry regrets the domain name, but
“has kept it because it’s known” might be a warning to you, apropos
“All Models Are Wrong…” But I’ve already made my opinion known on that.)
Peter Gleick
————————————————
little bit more email inthe url
I am still in total shock that Peter did this, I really hope he was NOT involved in the fake document for his own sake. But it must be gotten to the bottom of. Because Desmogblog have ‘authenticated’ it. And Greenpeace are using the ‘fake’ document for political purposes.
this is very serious.

TerryS

Re: Morph
You are correct. The document has changed.
The Modified time has changed from Mon Feb 13 12:41:52 2012 to Tue Feb 14 12:36:20 2012.
The format of the original was PDF-1.4 and this has now changed to PDF-1.5.
The Document instance UUID has changed from 692440ef-d85e-4cec-afef-742d339ece7b to e5477a6f-aa33-4521-b161-1ae07ed0a258
The original document UUID has not changed so this indicates that it is the same scan as before.
What it looks like to me is that somebody has the original scan and has converted it to pdf again.

Hi,
Just found something interesting – the Fake they point to in the article you link to is different to the original.
The original had a modification and creation time as 2012-02-13T12:41:52-08:00. the ‘new’ fake (with ‘(3)’ on the end) has a modification time as 2012-02-14T12:36:20-08:00 (same original creation time) and is slightly shorter… Is this PDF meant to be the ‘original’ as leaked – if so, why the change? Also the time zone offset is -8 which is West coast..
Maybe nothing – just seem interesting why the change in the pdf at all.

TerryS

More info about the changed document.
I’ve now extracted the internal page images from both the original and the modified document and they are the same bit for bit. This shows that it is not a new scan of the original document since it would be nearly impossible to achieve the bit for bit match with a new scan.

Jimbo

Evaluation shows “Faked” Heartland Climate Strategy Memo is Authentic bit.ly/y0Z7cL – Retweeted by Michael E. Mann

If this gets to court we may find out whether the “Evaluation” is correct.
Fake but real.
Cold but warm.
This is what I call living in denial; desperate, desperate stuff indeed.

Jimbo

Does Glieck still have the regular mail envelope which contained the faked but ‘real’ document.?

Ken Harvey

I suspect that the forged document was produced shortly before it was scanned – after the receipt of the stolen emailed documents. In fact, because where it fits it fits too well, it would have been very difficult to forge without the emailed documents to hand. If, contrary to my suspicion, the original forged document was in fact mailed at some stage it would almost certainly have been folded. I wonder if one of our forensically minded IT expert readers could have a close look at the scan and tell us whether there is any indication that the original document from which it was copied was folded prior to the scan?

‘forbes’ gets a mention in the link..

Curious Passer-by

Does Gleick’s version of the story allow TIME for anyone else to have written the “strategy memo”? I haven’t followed the details but his version seems to go like:
1. Mysterious Insider obtains strategy memo, puts it in the mail.
2. Gleick receives, decides to investigate, tricks Heartland into sending board documents.
3. Heartland emails documents, Gleick spends a week or two reading them.
4. Only then does Gleick scan the original memo, and spreading the combined package.
If that original memo shares literal text with the real documents, how did that happen? Let’s say it’s not coincidence. So… maybe the memo was the source for the board documents. Clearly it wasn’t written to be, or the “dissuade teachers from teaching science” slur wouldn’t have been there. And why did the shared text stay unchanged throughout the editing process when everything else changed so much? Why are some parts of such a sloppily-edited memo suddenly of boardroom quality? And shouldn’t the memo have other usable details that weren’t incriminating but would have been removed in editing anyway? It seems unlikely.
So assuming all that, the memo was written based on the board documents. HOW OLD are those board documents? Was there really time for an insider to read them and distill them into that memo, and for the mail system to deliver them to Gleick by the time he says he got it? Clearly Gleick would have had time to write the memo after he got the finished board documents, but does the timeline of his version of the story fit?

Morph

Ignore my previous post – file names are here
http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-insider-exposes-institute-s-budget-and-strategy
(1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf 89.87 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget (2).pdf 124.62 KB
2 Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf 7.4 KB
2010_IRS_Form_990 (2).pdf 2.7 MB
2012 Climate Strategy (3).pdf 96.56 KB
Binder1 (2).pdf 55.36 KB
Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf 6.84 KB
Its interesting that a few of them have the copy|paste numbers (2) and (3) added to their names including the document declared a fake by HI. Seems inconsistent.
Hmmm – Makes me think that maybe DSBlog did some editing of their own perhaps ? Pure conjecture of course.

Jakehig

Why did’nt he keep the packaging with the postmark and date stamp? Hardly conclusive evidence, obviously, but it would have been at least circumstantial support for his version of events.
Secondly, in the time between the alleged receipt and “going fishing”, he would surely have talked to a few confidantes who would be able to corroborate his story. Like so much else, it defies credibility and reason that he would keep such news entirely to himself and then act as he did.

Bloke down the pub

As a matter of interest, does there exist a programme that can take a text and re-write it in the style of a different author? I Know it’s just my twisted mind at work, but if that programme doesn’t yet exist I’m sure it will soon.

Rick Bradford

Good practice would suggest that you give the software an equal number of stories from a wide variety of authors in as similar domains and formats as possible. Make it as hard as possible for the software.
I mean, if you put in 19 Gleick rants and one poem by Kahlil Gibran, then offer the fake memo as a test, the answer is obvious but unenlightening.
And if you’re collecting material from web posts, be sure to snip quoted material from other sources.

TedK

Any fraudulent material sent through United States Postal Service is cause for concern with the Postal Inspectors. Team them up with the FBI (identity, electronic fraud) and send them in.
Any letters by Gleick in the climategate emails (http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php) should be unedited Gleick word ramblings.
For example: http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0838.txt&search=gleick+

P. Solar

Important thing to note before speculating recent manipulation of the files.
file name like “2010_IRS_Form_990 (2).pdf ” are often created by software like Firefox when a second download is done that would overwrite an existing file.
On linux based systems that files can be checked for being identical by the ‘diff’ command.
If diff outputs nothing , they are identical, otherwise is will show differences if possible else just state that they differ.
It would be well within the style of SmogBlog to be trying prevent such analysis as is being done here by “tidying up” the docs.
If there are differences I’m sure enough people here have untainted copies.

Rogelio

Getting the impression that this was a desmoblog + Glieck project

Gras Albert

Anthony,have you & your readers seen this, The Truth About DeSmogBlog
I’m shocked I tells ya, shocked!… Not
PS It takes one to know one, neh!

Gras Albert
johanna

Barry Woods quoted Gleick as follows:
“I personally perceived your participation in exchanges in the fall when I ran out of patience with any chance of rational discussion with WUWT, Bishop Hill, or the regular tweeters and bloggers of that group. It became clear it was an unproductive time sink with a group whose minds were closed to fact, and whose primary tool was ad hominem attack. The systematic and coordinated and dishonest attack on me after my negative review of LaFramboise’s book was only one example that made it clear that rational debate was not possible and dissenting views not tolerated. The fact that WUWT blocked me from adding comments more than a year ago to his routinely biased and often dissembling blog further convinced me that there was little interest in discussion among that group.”
————————————————————————-
The primary tool of WUWT and Bishop Hill is ad hominem attack? The contributors’ minds are ‘closed to fact’? Gleick must have been reading slightly distorted mirror sites that are not available to the rest of us. Bizarre.
He then goes on to claim that he was ‘blocked’ from WUWT, which Anthony and his mods assure us is not true. Apart from their respective reputations for veracity, it is difficult to imagine why Gleick would be blocked, given the rules which state that it is how you behave, not who you are, that govern access. Connolly is freebasing all over another thread as I type – why does Gleick imagine that he was singled out for exclusion?
The recurring themes of grandiosity and paranoia illustrated by Barry’s post help us to comprehend how Gleick saw no inconsistency between his public role as the ethics guru and the private person who would do ‘whatever it takes.’ He is just like the family values politicians and evangelical preachers who are eventually exposed as hypocrites. In one of John Le Carre’s spy novels, there is a telling comment on criteria used for recruitment – along the lines that the last thing they wanted was someone who spewed hatred for Communism. They said: if he hates it that much, he’s half in love with it already (my paraphrase).

P. Solar

Barry’s post is a good sample of his style in email, perhaps blog posts may be a bit difference. In any case I can see the profuse use of commas, while generally correct, has the, rather common, fault of putting a comma before and, and but which, being prepositions, should not be preceded by a comma, and his propensity for rather long, drawn out sentences, that would better be made into a paragraph, like this one. 😉
OMG , spot the style, I’ve just given myself away as being the source of the sting operation to trick Gleick into impersonating an H.I. officer to get confidential documents. LOL

Interesting idea; it will be fun to see what happens. So far, we have 42 content free comments (43 now) but no-one shows any inclination to actually do the work.

Who elected Connolley to decide what is “content free”? This isn’t Wikipedia, where Connolley can make decisions. He is only another commenter here. And as we can see, he is usually wrong.

Russ R.

Great idea Anthony.
So far, though the sheer volume of it is remarkable, most of the actual, specific evidence for Gleick authorship of the fake document has been of the subjective variety. (Tone, grammatical idiosyncrasies, out of place mentions of things that matter to Gleick and few others: himself, Forbes, Taylor, etc.) It’s enough that I’m confident he’s the author, but there’s nothing yet that “proves” it.
It would be a win to gather additional “hard” evidence in a more rigorous, methodical fashion… more scientifically. So, on that note, all I’d ask “the crowd” is to please treat this like any other piece of scientific research… be disciplined, objective, consider all the evidence, don’t jump to conclusions, and if you findings happen to point away from Gleick, consider it an obligation to report those findings as well.
Gleick first caved and gave a partial confession when the evidence pointing to him began to accumulate. There’s a good chance that he or his accomplices throw in the towel when the evidence becomes overwhelming and they realize they can’t possibly win.

GogogoStopSTOP

@Okander says:
February 23, 2012 at 12:29 am
Rude: No dice, Glieck implies he got the memo separately, from an anonymous source, by snail mail. Very convenient, no?
If Gliech says he has a hard copy, it can be claimed during the discovery phase of the lawsuit, trial, defense, offense, etc, etc… “I got a hard copy, trust me!” “OK, show us the hard copy.” Glieck: “Trust me, my dog ate it!” QED, case closed.

Bill

As Mosher pointed out, if the text copied from the other Heartland documents is not removed, the software will say that Heartland wrote it. If you do take out those lines, the folks at DeSmog can criticize the results as you using an edited document. It still might be interesting though.