Note to Scientific American's Bora Zivkovic: "If you want to practice censorship, at least learn to spell the name of this blog correctly"

I found this humorous. h/t to Andrew Revkin.

Over at Scientific American, Bora Zivkovic writes about Why the NYTimes “Green Blog” Is Now Essential

Andrew Revkin of the NYT  found the story worth noting, and included it in his story The Changing Newsroom Environment, about the closure of the NYT’s Environmental Desk:

Bora Zivkovic, the blog editor at Scientific American (and much more), posted a must-read analysis of the shift at The Times, noting the importance of sustaining the paper’s Green Blog. One administrative issue, of course, is who would manage that blog without a desk? In my reply to his post, I said that all roads lead to the Science desk. In a comment, Dan Fagin of New York University predicted that the paper, due to “organizational culture and especially economics,” was unlikely to adopt Zivkovic’s prescription. I hope you’ll explore the conversation and join in, there or here.

(There is one odd element there, a posted comment that was removed and replaced with this note:

“This comment removed by blog owner, due to inclusion of a link to ideologically-motivated anti-science site What’s Up With That.”

If I censored every comment on Dot Earth that had an ideological framing, or was in some way anti-scientific — think GMO debates, nuclear power, etc. — there wouldn’t be a lot left. I know that leads to frustration and some noise, but I err on the side of free speech. On a related front, I’ll be writing up a piece this week on research finding that incivility in comments amplifies polarization.) [1:55 p.m. I asked Bora about the comment policy. His reply is in a comment below.]

Here’s a screen cap of that comment:

Revkin_bora

Even funnier, Bora has now removed the comment at his blog noting the comment has been removed! I saw it earlier, noting 5 comments including that one, and I refreshed to see if other commenters had weighed in only to discover it vanished.

Maybe his “harshness” is why he has only 4 comments. Let’s help him out folks.

And Bora, it is “Watts Up With That“, just so you know when you delete in the future 😉

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Letsgoviking

Heh….love it, Mr. Watts!!

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead back in Kurdistan but actually in Switzerland

If there is anything that characterizes the Klimate Kool Aid Krowd, it’s bullheadedness, boorishness, snottyness, imperiousness, and a whole host of other snide stuff. And they pretend to have room for science??

Gary

Typical of Greenies – presume to be liberal and open-minded but underneath just domineering and harsh. This hypocrisy must always be called out until there is some self-reflection.

I guess that is the way Zivkovic and by implication SA in general does business. Another example way what had been for so many years is becoming AIP (absolutely irrelevant patter)

Lewis P Buckingham

So all those pictures of Lake Eyre in the Scientific American as a salt flat when it was a beautiful inland sea full of wildlife was not an accident.It was just a bit of soft disinformation ‘this is what global warming has done to Central Australia”.
Such a pity since so many articles are well balanced.

The magazine needs to change its name to Unscientific American. BTW, one can always use an URL shortener like tinyurl.com to post a link. That way Bora will at least have to check links manually to see if it is “anti-science”.
–Ahrvid

Steven Hales

Anthony, aren’t you the one who occasionally posts science quizes about the state of our scientific knowledge? You sir are so far from being anti-scientific as Bora is to being civil that one wonders how scientific Bora really is. Christopher Loehle and Leif Svalgaard are testaments to your blog being about science. I especially like Leif’s commentaries. The fact that you parody in a genteel manner some dodgy research is where some bloggers get the idea that your blog is anti-scientific.
Another blog that is delightful is Climate Audit. Stephen McIntyre skewers in a witty manner before his target realizes he is for dinner. The wit and wisdom of these two blogs often makes my day. Keep it up!!

john robertson

Does Bora ever reflect on the loss of traditional and well-heeled Scientific America readers?
As he repeats the behaviour that tanked the magazines circulation?

CodeTech

Originally I thought the SA blog entry was about as exciting as watching plumbers discussing the need for a certain shape of elbow pipe… surely interesting to them, completely irrelevant to the rest of the world. However, I realized (especially after reading the 4 comments that are there) that it’s more like reading the internal memos at an ad agency, tasked with selling a product nobody needs or wants. Its not about the actuality, it’s about the perception.

john robertson

Anthony, you are far too generous, that blog will get more traffic today than for the rest of the month, mind you its worth the visit, Bora reveals much about his disconnect from reality in such a short article, I especially liked his method of reading a print newspaper, I suspect the same applies to his understanding of the scientific method.
A whole 5 comments, the delete button must be smoking.

Ed MacAulay

Suspected it was just a ploy to prevent his readers from actually finding WUWT. So tried a google on What’s Up With That. Top return refers back to this exact article! Same on Bing

Severian

Another stunning example of why I no longer read Scientific American let alone subscribe to it. They jumped the shark, or nuked the fridge, a long time ago, and it’s beyond sad to see what the mag has become. I expect headline articles by Lysenko any day now.

klem

I was so shocked at the amount of climate alarmism in Scientific American I had to allow my subscription to lapse. It broke my heart, but I just couldn’t tolerate the continual climate alarmism issue after issue after issue.

eqibno

Harsh = biased?

jones007

I say what what Watts what?

John Silver

The magazine needs to change its name to Unscientific Unamerican.

He has six comments now.
BTW, FYI http://youtu.be/RztCk5JOdCg

klem says:
January 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm
I was so shocked at the amount of climate alarmism in Scientific American I had to allow my subscription to lapse. It broke my heart, but I just couldn’t tolerate the continual climate alarmism issue after issue after issue.
I went a step futher, I told them to take the subscription and shove it up their arse. It seemed that after two years with no problems, they decided to change the spelling of my name. I asked them to correct it, they refused. So I told them to stick it. It was good timing on their part. Shortly after that they went off on their anti-human agenda and further justified my disdain for their rag.

Berényi Péter

Bora Zivkovic does not tolerate references to Al Gore. Good.
Does Albert Arnold Gore tolerate references to Bora? No, he does not.
Consensus rulez.

Jaye Bass

Bora…hmmm about the only good thing named Bora was a 70’s super car built by Maserati.

jorge c.

i think you all forgot to say: Bravo Mr. Andrew Revkin!

Doug Huffman

The greening of SA illuminated my intellectual coming of age. I devoured SA, cover to cover, perhaps like my less precocious peers did True or Argosy. I was not consciously aware of its dishonesty until perhaps the Belle Glade HTLV mosquito story that, true or not, I found seminal. The dishonesty was driven home as the article was disappeared.
Visiting SA to see the article might be again available, I received this timely warning, “Secure Connection Failed An error occurred during a connection to scientificamerican.com. Peer’s Certificate has been revoked. (Error code: sec_error_revoked_certificate)”

knr

This guys really take Orwell’s 1984 has a instruction book rather than a warning .
‘you’re wrong , your post never existed, any evidenced you may think you have that it did is itself, after ‘correction’, non-existent .

TimM

He has a new comment up:

Note on comment moderation on this blog:
This is my own, personal blog.
My comment moderation rules are capricious. Deal with it.
There is no Free Speech clause giving you the right to post on my blog. If unhappy, start your own blog.
If you use the word “censorship” give me a few minutes I’ll need to laugh about it.
I want the discussion to be constructive, and to stay on topic. This post is about NYTimes environmental reporting, nothing else.
Any comment that mentions Al Gore will be deleted.
Any comment linking to Watts and other purveyors of rightwing opposition to climate science will be deleted.
Any comment I think is trolling, or derailing the conversation, or off-topic, or inhibiting potential constructive comments by others by being vile in tone, will be deleted.
My blog, my rules. Tough luck.

I suspect a more useful tactic would be a civil note to the Editor at Scientific American.

mpainter

Note the political overtones in Zivkovic’s blog rules:
“Any comment linking to Watts and other purveyors of rightwing opposition to climate science will be deleted.”
This is interesting in view of some past comments concerning the politicization of climate science in the US.

AnonyMoose

I used to read Scientific American for the science, but they gave that up a long time ago. I read Watts Up With That, where science still exists.

Tom in Florida

Letsgoviking says:
January 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm
“Heh….love it, Mr. Watts!!”
Didn’t you mean Mr “What’s”
sar/

AnonyMoose

It appears that science is not needed at Scientific American in order to run a blog. Maybe we should all request a blog there, because they judge us qualified.

Mike McMillan

Noted science blogger Anthony What’s.
Yup.

u.k.(us)

eqibno says:
January 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm
Harsh = biased?
=============
Not sure how you made that jump.
The post doesn’t even hint at it.

Doug Huffman

“This guys really take Orwell’s 1984 has a instruction book rather than a warning. (knr says:
January 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm)”
AmaXon’s adventure with ‘1984’ “In 2009, Amazon staff panicked when they came to believe that they’d allowed copies of George Orwell’s classic 1984 to be sold through the Kindle store without properly clearing copyright permissions. They reacted by eliminating copies of 1984 not only from the Kindle Store, but from the Kindles of individual purchasers.” Read Zittrain’s ‘Nookd’ story, “The Nook version of War and Peace had changed every instance of “kindle” or “kindled” into “Nook” and “Nookd,” not just on Philip’s copy, but on ours too.(http://futureoftheinternet.org/blog)”

mpainter

Concerning Revkin-
Apparantly Zivkovic is rehearsing for the role of Commissar of Information. It does not seem that Revkin could unaware of the huge fissure dividing him from Zivkovic concerning issues such as freedom of expression. Will he ignore it?

mpainter

TimM says: January 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm
http://www.scientificamerican.com/mediakit/assets/pdf/audience_ABC.pdf
20% drop in circulation from 2009 to 2010.
==================================
Remarkable, very much so- a huge loss. Could the drop have been related to Climategate?

I sent a note, (useless attempt I’m sure) to the Sci Am editors;
Dear SciAm:
What I would like to know is how I can have my own blog hosted by Scientific American?
Please note the personal ownersip and usage statement below of a Scientific American blog host.

1. “Bora Zivkovic 4:37 pm 01/13/2013
Thank you all for thoughtful comments (I know, there are more on social media, but that is how the system works these days).
Having the Green Blog (and environmental reporters) under the Science Desk editorial control would be a decent solution, I agree.
Note on comment moderation on this blog:
This is my own, personal blog.
My comment moderation rules are capricious. Deal with it.
There is no Free Speech clause giving you the right to post on my blog. If unhappy, start your own blog.
If you use the word “censorship” give me a few minutes I’ll need to laugh about it.
I want the discussion to be constructive, and to stay on topic. This post is about NYTimes environmental reporting, nothing else.
Any comment that mentions Al Gore will be deleted.
Any comment linking to Watts and other purveyors of rightwing opposition to climate science will be deleted.
Any comment I think is trolling, or derailing the conversation, or off-topic, or inhibiting potential constructive comments by others by being vile in tone, will be deleted.
My blog, my rules. Tough luck.”
I am glad to see Scientific American allowing the obnoxious to mask their anti-science stance and virulent agenda behind the Scientific American banner. If you are curious, in spite of even his stated ‘rules’, Bora is deleting posts that he finds ‘inconvenient’ to his complete lack of American conscience or desire to see proper science methods or process. Bora then obfuscates post deletion as not measuring up to his petty rules.
One sided science is religion, not science.
One sided discussions are absolute tyranny.

He’s just carrying over the standard “climate science” tactics:
1. Only make postings in venues in which you control the moderation
2. When confronted with facts (or truthful comments), hide the data.
As far as the “misspelling” of WUWT, there are blogs from other “climate scientists” that continually mangle the name. No worries, though – the others don’t post their Blog Stats either – 136,336,423 views. Scientific American only wishes they could garner that many views from a single blog.
And, as Russell Cavanagh said, he’s up to six comments now (actually, eight). Of course, he had to add two of his own to comments to make it to eight. Real easy way to pump up the numbers, eh?
Ready for the laugh?
“…Any comment that mentions Al Gore will be deleted…”
Oops, he just mentioned Al Gore – and he’s allowing this comment to stand.
“…Any comment linking to Watts and other purveyors of rightwing opposition to climate science will be deleted…”
Yet the post itself allows a link to DotEarth, and even allows it’s purveyor to make a comment. I guess Andy Revkin isn’t too far to the right to matter.
“…Any comment I think is trolling, or derailing the conversation, or off-topic, or inhibiting potential constructive comments by others by being vile in tone, will be deleted…”
THIS remark will come back to bite him, that’s for sure.

john robertson

So Bora admits it, he is Scientific America, it’s his personal blog, that why its using SA letterhead.
What you bet that little rant vanishes real soon?
What did Humpty Dumpty say to Alice?

banjo

Crikey! What an arrogant,obnoxious self important little t*t.

So Scientific American tacitly implies that science is whatever Bora Zivkovic thinks it is? That’s amusing.

Doug Huffman

“What did Humpty Dumpty say to Alice?(john robertson says: January 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm)”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

Theo Goodwin

Two quotations from Zivkovic’s blog post:
“It is much easier to turn an expert into a journalist than a journalist into an expert (though that is certainly not impossible), and there have been many calls lately (here is just the latest one) for journalism schools to insist on science, and even more importantly on math and statistics classes as requirements for their students.”
Journalism students are not going to buy that. Journalism is not that kind of major at the undergraduate level or at the graduate level.
“I will now make an assumption that all NYTimes environmental reporters actually have sufficient expertise to report on the environment.”
Preposterous! Existing, famous science reporters and bloggers at the New York Times have not acquired the sophistication to understand the scientific shoddiness of “the hockey stick” or the moral errors involved in “hiding the decline.” The reporters in question have the expertise to report breaking news about climate science but not one of them has shown that they can criticize the science that they report on – or, for whatever reason, they simply refuse to engage in such criticism. Here is a challenge for Zivkovic: produce one example of a New York Times article by a science reporter for the Times that finds scientific error in the work of a scientist who supports the CAGW thesis.

crackpot

This is a copy of a comment on Mark Lynas lecture on GMO. It is off topic, but revealing:
http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/
/begin citation
Nat says:
7 January 2013 at 5:06 am
Nolan, and all other Lynas supporters- you are morons and shills and should be shot on contact. If you want to kill yourselves slowly, quickly, or however you wish, go for it, but you have NO RIGHT to do it to unknowing masses with your poisonous, genetically mutated monocultures that have NEVER been proven safe anywhere and have only every been tested by the chemical companies who make money selling seeds and pesticides. It is outrageous that you have stolen our land and poluted our food and fed our babies chemicals. May you eat what you reap and Lynas, never heard of you before, but now that you’re on Monsanto’s payroll, probably will hear you paraded as necessary, you circus elephant. Troll!
/end citation
I have several problems with this reaction, but my first and outmost source of anger is the remark that whoever is dissenting with this person should be shot on contact. Maybe it would be good to inform VP Biden that the left is more likely to commit mass shootings.
Crackpot

k scott denison

Seems irony is very lost on Zivkovic. Nothing like stating:
“There is no Free Speech clause giving you the right to post on my blog. If unhappy, start your own blog.”
On a blog under the heading “Scientific American”.
Zivkovic’s sentiments are neither scientific nor American.
Perhaps we should send comments to the leadership of “Scientific American” to ensure they know that this personal blog is using their copyrighted logo, etc.?

PaddikJ

chronobiologist, biology teacher

Another biologist. Surprise, surprise.

So that’s their problem. The don’t know a Watt from a ‘what’? That explains a lot…

Allen

Who’s Bora?

You kinda get a view into his mind simply by looking at the “tagline” he uses for his blog (Rhythms of Life in Meatspace and Cyberland).
“…Meatspace – The physical world, where the meat lives — as opposed to cyberspace. Hackers are actually more willing to use this term than ‘cyberspace’, because it’s not speculative – we already have a running meatspace implementation (the universe)…”
So his use of the term simply means he gives mankind the level of “meat” – no more, no less.

Rhoda R

Allen says:
January 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm
Who’s Bora?
An acolyte.

LamontT

Since you bring up Scientific American I think I want to rant a bit about their radio Unscience Minutes. The first couple I heard were very good but then they went off and did a series of pathetic ones that just make me want to grit my teeth, or scream or something.
I’ll not even comment on their global warming one, but the one that makes me grit my teeth and want to scream is the study their pushing about why alarm sounds get our attention. The whole tone of the piece is as if its a wonder that those sounds grab attention and then goes into a study about how the sounds trigger the amygdala. All without mentioning that alarm sounds are selected to be attention grabbing. Its as if the sounds just happened by chance to be picked as alarm sounds.
I really think it is just bad lazy writing on the part of the person putting the quick piece together combined with a lack of much understanding of science in general. Probably along the assumptions that you don’t actually need to know about something to write about it. And most of their minutes grate on my nerves along the same lines because of the bad science that is presented. Who knows if the science presented to the writer was that bad in the first place. Though I’ll say that at least half a dozen of them that I’ve heard have bad modern psuedo science at their core.

Latimer Alder

How many other magazines appoint ‘blog editors’ whose job is to run their moderation in self-confessedly capricious ways?
Especially those who claim to be ‘scientific’?
In the UK we call this ‘shooting oneself in the foot’