2011-09-10 01:47:06You Ask, We (try to) Answer
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
24.213.18.68

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Open_Thread_One_September_2011.html


"You Ask, We (try to) Answer"

Posted on 16 September 2011 by Daniel Bailey

Not your average open thread.  In fact, not an open thread at all. Doodads In theory, a place for things not on topic on any of the other 4,000+ threads here at Skeptical Science.  In practice, results sometimes vary from theory.  Accordingly, some ground rules.

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Furthermore, posting of debunked & rebunked internet memes shall constitute PRATT.  Comments fitting that description will be automatically deleted without recourse.

Down To Business

With that being said, let's kick off this with a couple of questions that set the tone for what this thread is about: 

  • What topics do you want us to cover at SkS?
  • What aspect of the science do you find hardest to understand?

Give us your best stuff & we'll try & put up a post on that as soon as we can.  Those nominating will get the very valuable Hat-tip nod (bragging rights with da peerage).  Post related doodads, thingamabobs and gimcrackery now...

2011-09-10 04:15:41
jg
John Garrett
garrjohn@gmail...
98.112.44.162

--comment mostly deleted --

I totally missed the point by treating this as the open thread rather than the discussion of thread. I removed most of my original comment to keep this thread streamlined, but kept this part which was important for me to share:

"I'd like to think this group for helping me with a presentation I gave two weeks ago (Earth, Orbit and Climate that I vetted here last December). Many of you gave me corrections and suggestions....And last, this site has been helping me stay current on the latest science and anti-science, so I went into the presentation very confident."

2011-09-10 05:56:44
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.103.240

Where?

2011-09-10 06:00:17
jg
John Garrett
garrjohn@gmail...
98.112.44.162

"Where" -- A very important detail. My old version is online here: http://www.brightstarstemeculavalley.org/animations/EarthOrbitClimate.html

The new one will replace the existing one. Thanks for asking.

2011-09-10 06:02:22
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Erm, I think Daniel was asking for input on whether it's a good idea for us to create open threads on the main site :-)

I think it's probably a good idea.

2011-09-10 06:05:47
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.103.240

No, I actually meant "Where?" with respect to "at an big astronomy event".

You know, one of the 5 W's for reporting.

2011-09-10 06:15:02
jg
John Garrett
garrjohn@gmail...
98.112.44.162

Ok. Oops, on my part if the topic was meant to ask if SKS should do open threads -- except for the part where I thanked everybody. I stand by that.

Neal: it was the Julian Starfest: http://www.julianstarfest.com/

A month before the event, I saw that I was clearly the amateur among some professional speakers. To make matters worse, the event organizers asked me for a bio. Then Steve Brown made me 2nd author on his post here and instantly I had a bio -- my association with SKS. You guys saved me.

2011-09-10 08:00:45
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
143.238.122.75

An Open thread might be a very good idea. It gives people a space to ask questions, lets those who want to go off on a tangent go there and argue with each other to their hearts content.

 

I'd suggest that the  current open thread have its own location on the home page so it is always visible.

2011-09-10 11:35:16
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

I think a themed Open Thread would be a good idea. We could open it by asking a question, examples:

  • What topics do you want us to cover at SkS?
  • What SkS rebuttals do think need clarification or revision?
  • What are you doing to mitigate climate change?
  • What's your favourite climate paper?
  • What aspect of the science do you find hardest to understand?
  • Have you ever learned anything from reading or participating at skeptic blogs?
  • What's your favourite climate cartoon or joke?
  • What books do you recommend on climate?

This might help focus discussions a little and provide a fresh topic each week/month or so. Moderation to stay on topic would have to be relaxed.

We might even learn something from the readers....

2011-09-10 15:43:36Themed open threads...
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.134.54

...are a good idea. Joe Romm does them as well (at least I think he is re-starting them again now that the comment-system has been re-designed at ClimateProgress). If the open threads have a theme, the comments will not be a all over the place and will - hopefully - be more focused.

2011-09-10 19:32:22
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.120.94

I like the idea of soliciting input, as proposed by Andy. Although I think that it will be important to moderate, to prevent the channels of communication being clogged up by weeds.

2011-09-10 21:26:55
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.243.43

I'm not against the idea totally, but it should only be an occasional thing. Most open threads on climate blogs are just a waste of time, and are just an excuse for "skeptics' to trundle out their zombies. 

2011-09-11 00:48:50
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
99.156.217.190

Good thoughts, all.  I'll rehash this later & update it (hopefully tonight).

Imagine the possibilities of a remote campground in the wilds of the UP (wild in and of itself) having wi-fi...

2011-09-11 10:29:16Daniel Bailey
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Have fun with the "No see ums." 

2011-09-11 12:15:58
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
99.156.238.15

Revisions made; updated post is shown at the top.

Badger:  After this many decades, the NoSeeUms have learned to their bitter sorrow that I taste bad & generally avoid me now.

2011-09-11 12:26:04
scaddenp

p.scadden@gns.cri...
203.118.182.208

My thoughts would be no. The only purpose would to provide a suggestion box for topics not covered. Otherwise it is a magnetic for discussions that would belong elsewhere (especially not on this site).

 

What would be better would be an easy way for moderators to move comments to a more appropriate place, If someone started something actually interesting that isnt covered by an existing topic, then could moderators create a blank placeholder article to move the discussion too while the "team" scrambled to add the scientific response to the question.

2011-09-11 13:35:37
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.162.57

scaddenp, I don't think we should have a limbo for interesting skeptical comments.  If they are genuinely interesting, they deserve their time in the sun, and if we take a week to properly respond, so be it.  (Not that there would be a huge demand for such a limbo anyway.)

 

On the topic, I also disagree with the idea of an open thread, for much the same reasons as scaddenp.  However, I can see some purpose in an open question thread, ie, a thread in which readers can ask any genuine question they like, but with response in the thread being restricted to linking to either the appropriate article, or responding in an on topic thread, with a link.  I can also see a purpose in a "climastrology  thread" as suggested by Sphaerica.  There should be nothing to restrict ongoing discussion on that thread.  Having said that, I hate the name "climastrology" and do not think it should be used.

2011-09-11 13:45:51Daniel Bailey
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

You've got too much piss and vinegar for the NoSeeUms, eh?

2011-09-12 05:19:19
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Daniel,

I assume that you are going to ask just one or maybe two questions.

I was listening to a radio program this morning about a book on 9/11 truthers. The author said that when he did his research, if he asked truthers why they believe what they do then they gave hin an hour-long diatribe,which sounded to me a little like a Gish Gallop. He said that the better question was: When did you make up your mind about the "truth" about 9/11 and what event or observation changed your mind? A similar question on climate change might be a useful topic here, for "skeptics" and "alarmists" alike. (Prediction: the "skeptics" will mostly say Climategate or Hockey Stick, the "alarmists", when they first saw the Keeling curve.

2011-09-12 05:35:33
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Andy, I was just throwing it out there.  I always find it easier to whittle things down to size then to beef them up (which often entails a total re-write).  Since this was a re-write, I wanted to have something for others to pare away at.

If I had to pick my top 2 out of your list it would be:

  • What topics do you want us to cover at SkS?
  • What aspect of the science do you find hardest to understand?
2011-09-12 07:32:22
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
138.130.130.23

I think a general thread is a good idea - it seems to work well at RealClimate for example. Would definitely limit it to one a month however all else user initiated discussions could dominate the site. And I would focus it on 'You Ask, We (try) to Answer'. Obviously other things would intrude to some extent but I feel we do need to let the skeptics have a voice. If they can initiate a topic that we respond to that in itself can be another form of rebuttal

2011-09-13 08:21:51
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Revised & bumped.

2011-09-13 09:07:00
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.4

"presumptive" has 2 p's

2011-09-13 09:53:44Fixed
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

I cede my school class spelling championship crown (undefeated) to Msgr nealjking...

2011-09-13 11:04:49
Agnostic

mikepope_9@hotmail...
118.208.187.37

Deltoid has Open Threads.  Sometimes they produce items of interest.  My concern is: would an Open Thread lower the high standards of SkS?  Would it attract non-science based comment?  I remain agnostic.  But try it and see.

Daniel, how come you posted this on 14 September when to-day is 13 September?

2011-09-13 11:11:42Heh
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

The thread is not yet published; we can in the interim put any day upon a post we wish

Posted on 54 September 2525, in the reign of Jahaxar the Great XXIV

2011-09-13 11:41:53
Tom Curtis

t.r.curtis@gmail...
112.213.163.165

I share Agnostic's ambivalance, although I am unable to match his pun.

 

My particular concern is that SkS has been receiving a lot of publicity lately and is likely to become a greater  target for denier activity than it has been in the past.  Instituting a thread in which denier trolls can control the topic of conversation by flooding the site seems ill advised.

2011-09-13 12:25:45
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

I think we all share the concerns about being flooded by OT comments; hence the narrow focus.

 

Is it the proposed name of the thread that is the issue?  Perhaps a different one, such as Glenn's suggestion

"You Ask, We (try to) Answer"

2011-09-13 20:08:04
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.101.74

Probably a reasonable way to prevent a mess would be to make ALL comments go into moderation immediately. Then the moderator selects comments that go to posting. Not exactly an open thread; but I don't think we want THIS to be an open thread.

2011-09-25 04:30:20Sayonara
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Time to let this one die, as Romm has already Co-opted the idea:

What Questions Would You Like Climate Progress to Ask?

I re-instigated the weekend question a month ago and response has been great.

You have given great answers to “What Topics Would You Like Climate Progress to Cover?” and “If You Could Ask a Climate Scientist One Question….” and “Is President Obama a Lost Cause Environmentally — and What Should Progressives Do?“  And Stephen Lacey and I are definitely incorporating your ideas into our planned future posts.

They say knowing what questions to ask is as important as knowing how to find the answers.  So I’d like you to suggest weekend questions you would like Climate Progress to ask you, the readers, in the coming months.

Some classics include  “What should Ian do with his life?” and, of course, “Where would be the best place to live in 2035? 2060?