Call a whaaaambulance!
WUWT readers may recall that this blog and other popular skeptic blogs are in the running for the 2013 Bloggies in the Science category, as detailed here. Also, for the first time, the website “Skeptical Science” (operated by John Cook of Australia) was in the running, which is a measure of how much penetration they’ve made despite their very low traffic rankings.
I’ve been alerted to a hilarious change in the 2013 Bloggies contest status of SkS by a reader.
Leo Hickman has a blog posting in the Guardian today about the ‘climate sceptics’ (whatever that is) ‘capturing’ the science and technology category. It reads like sour grapes.
There is this tidbit at the end of the article-
“Reflecting such concern, I have learned that Skeptical Science, who have never lobbied to be nominated and are the only non-climate sceptic blog on the Science shortlist, has now asked to be withdrawn from the shortlist due to its concerns about the legitimacy of the voting process.”
LOL! Confirmed, see the center – “withdrawn by request” in this screencap today:
I suppose Mr. Cook also doesn’t support the democratic election process, where candidates put up signs, billboards, make radio and TV news appearances, make speeches, run newspaper and magazine advertisements, etc. all in the “vote for me” effort. It works for our USA political system, it works similarly in Australia, where Mr. Cook lives.
How odd that Mr. Cook thinks there’s a legitimacy issue here, when it simply models the Democratic political system of voting. The way the Bloggies system is setup, there’s one vote per email, and the user has to be real and answer the email for the vote to be legitimately recorded. Here are the rules:
- Any pages with dated entries that existed at some point during the year 2012 are eligible.
- Only one nomination ballot and one finalist ballot may be submitted per person.
- E-mail addresses are required to vote. You must use your own address and confirm the verification e-mail.
- If you verify a second ballot, your first one will be replaced.
- In the nomination phase:
- URLs are required.
- Your ballot must contain at least three unique nominees.
- Weblogs may be nominated for multiple categories.
- Nominees must suit the category they are placed in.
- Weblogs may win a category over multiple years a maximum of three times.
If Mr. Cook can point out anywhere WUWT or any of the other contestants have violated the rules, now is the time to do so.
The Bloggies has over a decade of experience in dealing with vote stuffing, and they have a good system to prevent it. Even the bots Mr. Cook has designed (that make fake comments in response to other commenters) would likely not be able to make a dent in vote totals, Apparently, even the American Geophysical Union thinks Cooks’s bots making fake comments are an OK thing.
Climate-change deniers have nowhere to hide thanks to an ingenious piece of software that detects inaccurate statements on global warming that appear on the internet and delivers an automated response on Twitter citing peer- reviewed scientific evidence.
The so-called „Twitter-bot‟ is the brainchild of Australian webmaster John Cook and software developer Nigel Leck, and is part of an armoury of tools Cook has developed to rebut common myths and inaccuracies about climate change.
Source: AGU: http://blogs.agu.org/wildwildscience/2011/09/08/john-cook-at-skeptical-science-wins-eureka-prize/
Hickman in his article points out that
The system prevents scripts and voting multiple times. The e-mail verification is the first step, and any ballots that look like they might have been automated or collaborated are flagged for me to review manually. Most climate sceptic blog fans do follow the rules.
The Bloggies proprietor, Nikolai Nolan said in the Hickman interview:
I’m considering various resolutions. But it seems that science blogs would rather complain about the results than try to submit nominations themselves, so I’m not very motivated. No point in eliminating sceptic blogs from the category when there’s not much down the list to replace it with. I also need to keep in mind that fixing the Best Science or Technology category might cause climate sceptic blogs to migrate to another category.
Or, maybe, Mr. Cook thinks there is a conspiracy to win. After all, he and his psych sidekick Dr. Stephan Levandowsky are big on conspiracy theory studies as a tool to smear skeptics, quite certain that climate skeptics are mentally aberrant, even though they never gave the readers of this blog a chance to vote in their horridly self serving and skewed survey. Given that, I think a case could easily be made for psychological projection in Cook’s thinking. That flawed sampling of actual skeptic websites could be why Lewandowsky’s paper was recently pulled from publication by the scientific journal.
But I think that Mr. Cook realized that given his low numbers compared to WUWT and the other highly trafficked blogs, he just didn’t have a fighting chance, much like some candidates in a political election just don’t get penetration with the electorate. So, instead, he did the one thing he could do; he took his ball and went home, while complaining about “legitimacy” of the process without even trying himself.
I think his intent was to poison the results with his claims of “legitimacy”, even though it is just like any political election, and like any political election, there are checks in place to prevent vote stuffing. I predict that whoever wins the category, Cook and Lewandowsy will try to turn the award into some sort of political tool under the guise of science, just as they did with their bizarre “Moon Landing” paper that sampled Climate alarmist blogs, but not climate skeptic blogs, and the most visible skeptic blog, WUWT, was purposely excluded, because, in my opinion, they didn’t want that large sample, as it wouldn’t have given them answer they wanted.
But, this behavior is pretty much par for the course given the juvenile antics we’ve seen from the cartoonist turned conspiracy theory publisher and the whole crew at SkS, who have some pretty disturbing things to say.
Here is Glenn Tamblyn (Skeptical Science author/moderator) secretly conversing with his SkS pals on their off limits forum (which either got hacked or was left open by their own incompetence) and saying “we need a conspiracy to save humanity”. The Viet Cong comparison is a nice touch too. There’s talk of convening a “war council” too.
And this isn’t about science or personal careers and reputations any more. This is a fight for survival. Our civilisations survival. .. We need our own anonymous (or not so anonymous) donors, our own think tanks…. Our Monckton’s … Our assassins.
Anyone got Bill Gates’ private number, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson? Our ‘side’ has got to get professional, ASAP. We don’t need to blog. We need to network. Every single blog, organisation, movement is like a platoon in an army. ..This has a lot of similarities to the Vietnam War….And the skeptics are the Viet Cong… Not fighting like ‘Gentlemen’ at all. And the mainstream guys like Gleick don’t know how to deal with this. Queensberry Rules rather than biting and gouging.
..So, either Mother Nature deigns to give the world a terrifying wake up call. Or people like us have to build the greatest guerilla force in human history. Now. Because time is up…Someone needs to convene a council of war of the major environmental movements, blogs, institutes etc. In a smoke filled room (OK, an incense filled room) we need a conspiracy to save humanity.
[As quoted by Geoff Chambers in this Bishop Hill thread. http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/3/26/opengate-josh-158.html?currentPage=2#comments ]
Yes, I think we are dealing with Psychological projection on the part of Mr. Cook and SkS here, either that, or pure tribalism, where Mr. Cook couldn’t even stand to be in the same contest with climate skeptics.