I was going to write a quick post about how I think a comment on a post by the blogger Anders makes for a disturbing implication, as well as how it is disgraceful Richard Tol continues to defend dishonest behavior he's engaged in on that thread. Then I saw a different comment and scrapped that plan.
One of the long-standing points of this blog is I've on many occasions offered for anyone who disagrees with me to write a post explaining what they think I got wrong which I would put up as a guest post without any editorial interference (save for things like profanity). Nobody's ever taking me up on this offer, but it still stands. People could write basically anything they wanted to disagree with/criticize me, and I'd host it so people could see an alternative view of things.
Today I figured I'd just copy a comment critical of me for this purpose. It wasn't submitted as a post, but I think it'd make for an interesting counterview to host on this site. Also, copying it here will take less time than writing new content myself, and I am swamped right now.
Mark Bofill –
Consider the following, completely hypothetical, scenario.
Imagine running across a person, ‘ll call her Brenda Shultz, who is quite intelligent in certain domains and who enjoys applying her reasoning in those domains to figure out challenges and exercise her intellect. Imagine that she is a little quirky, perhaps maybe even somewhere on “the spectrum,” and part of that quirkiness manifests as an intense attachment to the “correctness” of her reasoning. She is extremely confident in her reasoning skills (not entirely without merit) and this leads her to frame points of disagreement as situations where the other person “doesn’t make sense” or is a “liar” or is “insane” or who makes “insane arguments.” The quirkiness, because she is rigid in her own perspective formation (she tends towards a binary view of inherently complex issues) , seems to create something of a confusion for her as to what is a matter of perspective/opinion and what is objective understanding. When people present differing perspectives on issues to her, she tends to focus on and isolate pedantic and picayune points of disagreement instead of clarifying her understanding of the more important elements in what other people meant (in a way it makes sense because she’s so confident or her reasoning skills and it doesn’t seem possible to her that someone could mean something other than what she interpreted). She tends to be prescriptivist in terms of what words mean (they can only mean what she interprets them to mean) and so, trying to clarify a misunderstanding on her part is impossible, and if anyone interprets her words to mean something other than what she intended, it isn’t because of the inherent ambiguities in communicating, but because her interlocutor is (or must be) “insane’ or “lying.”
She tends to have a particular political ideological orientation, and while she isn’t uniformly enslaved by that orientation, because she has that particular ideological orientation others might see her as a propagandist when she relentlessly argues that her perspective on a politicized issue is the only valid perspective, and spends a great deal of time presenting that perspective in various fora while calling people who have different perspectives liars, insane, etc.
Now in some ways, Brenda reminds me of many people engaged in the climate wars…but perhaps some more than others.