2011-09-19 10:03:11Chasing Pielke's Goodyear Blimp
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

Okay, I've created a blog post responding to Pielke directly:

Chasing Pielke's Goodyear Blimp

For context, I've tried to achieve a few things. First, establish the core message that S/C misinform. Second, weave a narrative around this core message that Pielke cherry picks - that he turns a blind eye to S/C's misinformation while trying to distract others (and I daresay himself) with off-topic discussion. I haven't gotten too technical - concentrating on telling a story with vivid imagery (the blimp) rather than get lots in the technical details.

I still think we should chase after his blimp and answer his questions but not let him get away with trying to distract everyone - expose what he's doing. This is quite a different strategy to what others are suggesting so feedback welcome. Am ready to publish this any time today but will wait for feedback first.

2011-09-19 10:11:30Blimps for all
muoncounter
Dan Friedman
dfriedman3@comcast...
76.30.158.238

This is good.  I would expand the blimp metaphor to include the pseudo-science deniers in general; don't make it 'Pielke's blimp,' make it the 'denial blimp.'  Graphic possibilities abound.

2011-09-19 10:13:14
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.56.122

- What kind of response are you trying to get from Pielke? That should be part of the calculation as well.

- How is this posting supposed to relate to the 3 + 6 questions that we are nearly through drafting?

- I believe the last sentence, "But it will remain useful to those who are more offended by the crock itself than by the use of the word "crock".", should be rewritten. What are you referring to as "the crock itself" and which meaning for the word did you intend? I personally find the term terribly offensive and crude (associated most directly and above all else with "crock of shit"), and if anyone applied that to me or to my work, I would go straight through the roof. I saw 2 or 3 friendly commentators on the marathon session who advised taking that off, as lowering the level of the site.

2011-09-19 10:34:51Pielke response
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

I have no expectation of getting a constructive response from Pielke. My thesis is that Pielke is psychologically unable to acknowledge the misinformation of S/C. So this is in essence not a direct engagement with Pielke but instead targeted towards everyone watching the exchange between Pielke and SkS, so they can put Pielke's posts into context. So I haven't really thought of how Pielke might respond - perhaps we should consider possible responses and tweak the post accordingly. But I've never been the type of chess player that thinks that many moves ahead so I'm happy to go with it as it is.

How this posts relates to the Pielke questions is I establish in the closing paragraph "yes, we will chase Pielke's blimp". So we will do a series of posts answering Pielke's questions and this lets people know we will do it - but I still don't want Pielke to get away with his blimp diversion.

I did think about doing a blimp graphic but maybe this is not the time to do cutesy graphics or Cherry Pielke-ing graphics. Let's just play this one straight.

The concluding sentence is probably a little emotive. I've removed it all together - the second last sentence is also a good concluder.

On a strategic level, I really am undecided over whether to keep "Christy Crocks" or not. The fact that it enrages deniers is a good reason to me to keep it :-) On the other hand, SkS should maintain an even tone and this does tread close to the line. I did think about issuing a challenge - if Christy retracts his crocks, we'll remove Christy Crocks. But that's a bit of a stunt, really. I think in the end, the approach of "we're happy to change it so long as the replacement communicates that Christy misleads the public about climate change" is a strong message.

Muon, the blimp metaphor (and attitude bolstering) does apply to deniers in general but I think for now the focus should be narrowly on Pielke and this particular exchange rather than getting too broad and diluting the message.

2011-09-19 10:49:36
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

John...  Your post is, dare I say, PERFECT.  It's exactly what the conversation needs.  Though I expect the Goodyear Blimp metaphor will go right over Pielke's head (so to speak).

2011-09-19 10:52:13
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Neal...  I think the answers to the questions are going to be fine.  We are indulging Pielke.  We have an opportunity to make this a one-two punch.  

2011-09-19 11:10:38
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Forgot my little thumbs up thingy.

2011-09-19 11:13:03
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Second paragraph.  You should probably say, "Dr Roger Pielke Sr..."

2011-09-19 11:16:12Added the Dr to Pielke's name
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

I'm not putting a Dr in every reference to Pielke, that's just cumbersome and the post then has that air of enforced cordiality like when an old married couple argue in front of the children. But I've added it for the first mention of his name.

2011-09-19 11:20:10
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I think that's the grammatically correct approach, John.  After the first instance you can shorten the name for brevity.

2011-09-19 11:22:21Recommendations
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Re the final paragraph, state that SkS intends to "tether" Pielke's blimp rather than "chase after" it.

Either stick with "Skeptical Science" throughout or use it once Skeptical Science (SkS) and SkS thereafter.

2011-09-19 11:26:48
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

I like this response, mostly.

The one thing I would play down is the psycho-stuff with the Prasad reference. It may well be correct and it's certainly interesting. It's probably also useful to consider when framing arguments. But I think that you risk coming off as patronizing as you try to explain his point of view as some kind of mental pathology. I think that this could backfire and provide another Goodyear Blimp: "John Cook thinks climate deniers and should be locked up in a psych ward, just like the dissidents in the USSR". Surely it's sufficient to show that he is wrong and evasive without trying to explain why.

Nitpicks:

"twinge" is the pain itself, not the reaction to it. Maybe "flinch" or "wince" is what you are looking for.

 "to dive into them" maybe "delve" instead

You say "Skeptical Science have" rather than "has". I know that Brits tend to use a plural to describe an entity (ie "the Conservative Party are daft" rather than the American (which I prefer) "the GOP is nuts". Not sure what the common usage in Strine is.

"move the discussion to more comfortable waters" I'm not sure this is a good metaphor; waters aren't usually described as "comfortable".

"Roger Pielke Sr has observed our resource on misinformers and taken offense. It's not our scientific arguments that bother him. He doesn't even twinge at the sight of Christy deliveringdemonstrably false statements under oath to Congress..." There's something illogical about how these sentences follow each other but I can't quite put my finger on it.

2011-09-19 11:32:21
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Oops, forgot

2011-09-19 11:35:30Not the psych stuff
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
143.238.90.50

I agree with Andy, drop the psych stuff. It is certainly the sort of subject that is worthy of 1 or more posts covering the research more generally, perhaps even including reference to Mike Hulme's discussion. But not in a post linked to any one individual. In the end that is bad psychology.

2011-09-19 11:41:28Thanks Andy, made some tweaks
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

I see what you're saying about the danger of citing psychological literature but, and recognising that this is the emotional attachment of a writer speaking, the Prasad bit is my fave bit as it explains what Pielke is doing. My main point is to have people understand what Pielke does in his posts and I think this helps flesh it out. I try to portray it not as something crazy people do but a common reaction - perhaps I could reduce the "patronising psychologist" effect by adding more cues that this is a common, everyday response.

On the other hand, the blimp metaphor is pretty clear and established my narrative so the psyche lesson is not necessary - I will drop it with sadness and reluctance if others concur with Andy.

UPDATE: have removed the psych stuff - it's probably a sign of how expendable it was that it could so easily be jettisoned. Am a bit grumpy about losing my fave part of the post though.

2011-09-19 11:42:07
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.56.122

JC:

- I think the tone is overly confrontational. You seem to presume that he will not receive or answer the post in anything like a fair spirit. This of course could be a self-fulfilling prophecy; you will have to decide how that will be perceived by readers.

- I think we have to consider how this will be timed wrt the further clarification of the 3 questions he evaded and the 6 questions he asked. How do you want to bridge it? Have you looked at the material yet? I think this has to be considered as a package.

- What matters is not how the deniers receive the "Christy's Crocks", but how our readers receive it. As I mentioned earlier, 2 or 3 of our FRIENDLY readers thought it lowered the level of SkS. I think it's disgusting, myself.

2011-09-19 11:49:50
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
143.238.90.50

I here what you are saying John and as a general point reporting on the psychology of this is important and a series I think we need. But linking the discussion to ANY individual is BAD! Even in medical research they refer to people as Patient X. I think doing this in THIS post would be wrong and a tactical blunder. Perhaps the very next post you do should be on Prasad etc. Its proximity to the Pielke posts will be obvious enough to the astute reader. But even in those posts this should be put in the general - why some of us can't accept climate change. But never go anywhere near individualising it!

2011-09-19 11:49:59
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.245.243

Thumbs up for the current version.

2011-09-19 11:54:21Keep th Blimp!
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Go with your gut instinct on this one. You are the Grand Poopah! 

2011-09-19 11:54:22Tone of post
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

Yes, I have assumed Pielke won't respond in fair spirit. I'm not really interested in one of those "answer my question", "you didn't answer my question, here it is again", "for a third time..." types of exchanges and that's what it would be with Pielke. It really doesn't achieve anything. So I'm not talking to Pielke, I'm talking to the audience of onlookers explaining to them what Pielke is doing. Two parties talking past each other is not particularly illuminating or constructive so instead I've tried to turn it into a teachable moment (not for Pielke, he's not teachable but for everyone else).

I figure there's no point in rehashing the 3 questions - that conversation is done and dusted - he doesn't want to talk about it and i'm not interested in pressing him about it. So we'll move onto Pielke's 6 questions. My bridge is "we're going to look at Pielke's questions" but do you want something more specific?

To me, the word "crocks" is a relatively benign term but obviously for others it's a lot more loaded. I'm happy to change it so long as the requirements outlined in my post are met. Changing it wouldn't be a backdown but a step sidewards.

Glenn, re the psychology, yes, I can see you're right about individualising psychology but that doesn't mean I'm happy about losing that part of the text :-)

As for mentioning Prasad in future posts, the reason I'm up to my chin in psychology at the moment is because I'm working on a "Debunking Handbook" that outlines the psychology of misinformation and offers practical tips in the most effective ways of debunking myths. It will hopefully be a handbook for SkS (and hopefully also for other communicators). Was thinking of releasing it also as a series of SkS blog posts, perhaps.

2011-09-19 11:55:17
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.56.122

JC:

All else aside, I recommend sleeping on it for a night. One more night won't be that much of a delay, but may give you a different perspective.

 

Herodotus, On the Customs of the Persians. 430 BC.

"It is also their general practice to deliberate upon affairs of weight when they are drunk; and then on the morrow, when they are sober, the decision to which they came the night before is put before them by the master of the house in which it was made; and if it is then approved of, they act on it; if not, they set it aside. Sometimes, however, they are sober at their first deliberation, but in this case they always reconsider the matter under the influence of wine."

2011-09-19 11:55:28
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

I agree with Glenn.  Be very careful with that.  It won't be taken the way you think it will, I believe.  Sorry.

2011-09-19 11:57:47PS
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Change the title to "Tethering the Pielke Blimp"  

2011-09-19 12:01:44
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.245.243

Missing thumby.

2011-09-19 12:17:28Watts and Psychobabble
muoncounter
Dan Friedman
dfriedman3@comcast...
76.30.158.238

Pielke posted an email from Watts; the big W would like to see 'slip ups' removed as well. Don't you just hate to disappoint?  Meanwhile, the denizens of 'shub's' blog are calling us SS and making Himmler jokes -- and Watts pops up and asks them to stop - not because its wrong, but because its pointless.

 

Avoid the psychoanalysis whenever possible.  We criticized Dr. curry for doing it. 

 

2011-09-19 12:24:20
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

I'm in favor of dropping the "crock", but not the "slip up". Not unless we do a whole big change on all names.

2011-09-19 12:37:24
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.245.243

I'm actually in favor in keeping it, "slip ups" too.      

2011-09-19 12:41:40
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I'm for keeping both as well.

2011-09-19 12:43:03
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I would like to see us use the possessive form in the titles though.  "Christy's Crocks" rather than "Christy Crocks."

2011-09-19 12:46:04Crock/Slip-up
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

Personally, I think "Spencer Slip-Ups" is a kind interpretation on what Roy Spencer does.

Crocks is right on the money for me. But if an alternative that still communicates the same idea without the "crock of s**t" baggage is suggested, am happy to change it. Alliteration is not compulsory.

Yes, the psychoanalysis is GONE from the post.

Muon, what's the link to the Himmler cracks?

2011-09-19 12:51:49
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

Dana had suggested Mythsteries ; I have trouble pronouncing that, so I proposed Myth-series.

2011-09-19 13:20:07
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.106.125

My suggestion was Christy's Mythsteries because it rhymes, and because it's a mystery why he propagates so many myths.  I think Myth-series is pretty darn close to Monckton's Myths.  If we go that route I'd prefer Christy's Myth Series.

I like the post.  I cleaned it up a bit, adding some commas and such (at one point you called Christy "Christ"!).  I think it's good to go as-is.

2011-09-19 13:34:57Grammar schtuff
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

>>>After, some back and forth, Pielke finally managed... [no first comma]

>>>Bill and Ted distract their approaching adversaries by pointing off in the distance and exclaiming, "Look, it's the Goodyear blimp!"

>>>to respond to specific examples, such as Christy's misleading testimony to Congress: [comma where placed above by me...]

>>>Confronted with the misinformation of his colleagues, Pielke turns a blind eye and instead laser focuses on the Goodyear Blimp of UAH satellite data. [Is this correct from a chronological perspective?  He brought up UAH before we pressed on the issue of misinformation.]

2011-09-19 13:41:50Christy's Mythsteries
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

I like it. I like Mythsteries better than Myth Series - it's very catchy. Neal, how does that rank on the offense meter?

Not saying we change Christy Crocks yet - but nice to have a catchy alternative.

Funny how there hasn't been a peep of outrage over Monckton Myths? It seems even the deniers agree with that one :-)

2011-09-19 13:46:48
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

John, the Himmler quote's from here.  I put up a pretty decent fight, if I do say so myself, and muoncounter gave a comment as well.

2011-09-19 13:52:13More grammar...
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

>>>Personally, I find the crocks themselves significantly more offensive than the use of the word "crocks."

>>>But as to the question of whether Skeptical Science... [don't start with a conjunction, try "However,"]

>>>...change the titles "Christy's Crocks" and "Spencer's Slip-Ups," [<--- punctuation within quotes, virtually always as a rule of thumb]

>>>So a title like "Spencer's Promotion... [same thing above about starting with conjunctions]

I like the zing at the end BTW :-)

2011-09-19 13:53:04
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.194.26.160

This really ought to be changed so that we don't have to submit new comments to give thumbs up, we're all so forgetful ;-)

Oh, one more thing: think we broke a record for turnaround time?  LOL

2011-09-19 14:51:03Okay, enough hand wringing, I've published this
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
130.102.158.12

This post is now live. The next stage is responding to Pielke's questions.

Re the Cherry Pielke-ing series, I'd suggest we not do that series at the same time as the blimp chasing. Perhaps blimp first, cherries second?

2011-09-19 15:00:01
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Yeah, I'd give it a few weeks for all this hubbub to die down before launching Cherry Pielke-ing.  (You just know he's going to gag on that one.)