Sick... and Disgusting

As my last post mentioned, I've been sick for a while. The details aren't important, but it's kept me largely offline for a while. I'm on the mend though, and hopefully I'll be fine in a week or two. Some people won't be though. There is a type of sickness that just can't be cured. That's what I want to highlight today. Anthony Watts, proprietor of "The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change" Watts Up With That, recently wrote:

I missed a couple adjacent road names, fixed now and images updated. Thanks. However, anybody can figure out these addresses with less than 5 minutes of searching on Google and other services. That’s how I did it. No secret haxor skilz needed.

This is a reference to me. Or rather, a couple posts I wrote that were published at his site in which I discussed claims by members of the Skeptical Science website that I had hacked into their server when I found pictures they had created where they Photoshopped themselves into Nazi imagery. These claims were ridiculous as I had just browsed a public directory on a website, and as such, I facetiously wrote about how I used "mad haxor skillz" as a "l33t hacker paid by evil organizations and shadowy conglomerates."

The reference itself is inconsequential as I'm not tied to the topic Watts was discussing, but it caught my eye when I tried to catch up with my Twitter feed from while I was mostly offline. When I looked at the story, I found out Watts was definitely right to say he didn't need any mad haxor skillz like I have for his story. He just needed to be sicker and more disgusting than I could ever attempt to be.

I'm not going to write all my thoughts about this topic because, to be blunt, Watts is a liar who seems willing to support and defend disgusting and even criminal behavior if it suits his purpose. If you want to see a bit of my thoughts on the topic, you can read this post. What you'll see is as harsh as my criticisms in that post may be, they don't go far enough. You see, a recent post by Watts begins:

From the “arch denier Watts leads the way” department (see my photos below) I thought it would be interesting to see how many climate scientists actually have solar power on their home, so I did an aerial survey to find out. The results don’t speak well for them. Don’t worry, I did not disclose anyone’s address – Anthony

I'll leave aside that Watts publicizes people's phone numbers, e-mail addresses and the real names of people who wish to remain anonymous. He can damn himself with faint praise by saying he "did not disclose anyone's address" if he wants. He can pretend people who advocate for combating global warming are hypocrites if they fail to install solar panels on their roofs, irregardless of whether or not solar power would be a good option in those locations. Whatever. As stupid and pathetic as that might be, I think it's enough to just point out he posts things like:

Kevin E. Trenberth's House, Boulder, CO

No wait, that's not it. I mean, it's weird he'd post that. Why would he? Sharing the hometowns of people when those locations have nothing to do with anything being discussed is just... I don't know. I don't want to say it's just weird, because it's not. It's distasteful. It's even a little creepy. Still, what I meant to share, with my apologies to Keving Trenberth, is this picture Watts posted:

6_17_kevin-trenberth-no-solar1

Yeah, that's right. Anthony Watts is posting pictures of people's homes. How creepy can you get? I don't care if it took "mad haxor skillz," breaking into office files or a simple Google search to find people's home addresses. It's creepy as all get out to find pictures of their homes and post them for everyone to look at. It's worse than creepy when you encourage hostility toward the people living in those homes.

Given the sort of vile, hateful and even threatening comments get posted on Watts's site by various people, directing his readers to look at people's personal residences isn't just creepy, disgusting and a few dozen other words. It's potentially dangerous. I don't think there's danger in the sense people will use these pictures to find and harm anyone, but it is a step along the road to stalking. No fair-minded person should do something like this.

Now, before anyone defends this by saying Watts were merely interested in examining the supposed hypocrisy of global warming advocates, I want to share a picture he posted of Thomas Karl's house. This is what Watts says about it:

How about Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Center in Asheville, NC? He has a six figure annual salary according to budget reports I’ve seen, so surely he can afford home solar power to be put on his home near Asheville. Nope, it doesn’t seem so:

This is clearly inflammatory, but perhaps that could be justified if Karl were the hypocrite Watts portrays him as. We could look at where he lives to see how much installing solar panels and equipment to support them would cost and siting issues to see how appropriate using solar power at his house might be. Only, Watts didn't do that. He clearly didn't even attempt to. Just look at the picture (with apologies to Thomas Karl for further sharing them):

6-17-tom-karl-house-no-solar

The picture asks, "No solar panels?" Well duh! Just look at the picture. A third of the house is covered in shade. There are so many trees so close to the house, solar power would likely be a terrible option. Anyone with the slightest interest in an objective or even rational examination of this issue would never cite this as an example of hypocrisy.

Anthony Watts certainly isn't saying, "How dare Thomas Karl advocate for action to combat global warming while not installing solar panels on the roof of his house that is routinely covered in sahde by the trees located close to it?!" That'd be insane.

The reality is it doesn't matter if solar power would be a good option for the people whose homes Watts found and publicized photographs for. Watts just wanted red meat to throw out to his audience to demonize people whose views he doesn't like. He knows fully well it would make those people uncomfortable. That's the point. It's the same reason he constantly strives to ruin the anonymity of anyone he dislikes, insisting on referring to them by their full names even if they try to keep their names a secret.

Anthony Watts is simply engaging in harassment. He'll likely deny it, and I'm sure people will say this is too trivial a matter to qualify as harassment. They know it's true though. If people on the other "side" behaved as Watts does, he'd complain. His supporters would whine about how unfair and evil it is. It's pure partisanship.

It's also irrelevant. When it comes right down to it, all that really matters is if you post pictures of other people's homes while demonizing them and inciting hatred for them, you're disgusting. If you do so without understanding why it is creepy, you're sick in the head.

And yes, I get there might be some extreme cases where posting pictures of people's personal homes is appropriate. In those cases it should be done hesitantly, cautiously and with discussion of why it is necessary. Anything short of that can be nothing but an attempt at harassment.

28 comments

  1. Brandon,

    In the interests of full disclosure, you left out that Anthony Watts also showed images of his own house and identified his town.

    I agree that tree shading is a completely adequate reason for no solar panels. There are other legitimate reasons as well.

  2. Gary, I also left out that Anthony Watts was deceitful about his own use of renewable technologies, posted pictures including street names (then took them down) and mis-identified people's homes. I don't see how "full disclosure" would involve taking note of any of these things, but if people want to discuss them, they can. As far as I'm concerned though, none of it is relevant to anything I said in this post. A person choosing to post a picture of his or her own home doesn't justify publicizing pictures of other people's homes any more than a person choosing to post pictures of him or herself naked would justify publishing pictures of other people naked.

    I agree that tree shading is a completely adequate reason for no solar panels. There are other legitimate reasons as well.

    A fact any genuine examination of this issue would have involved acknowledging. A person could have no solar power installed in their home and still have their house be carbon neutral. According to the approach used by Anthony Watts, they would be deserving of ridicule. So too would a person who didn't have access to the same subsidies Watts had, thus making the cost of installing solar power prohibitive for them.

    This was purely a smear piece. That Watts chose to publish a picture of his own house doesn't change that.

  3. Well, using Google it took me three minutes to figure out Trenberth's home adress. So it is not really top secret information nor does it require mad computer skills. Just a tiny bit of logical thinking. I remain amazed about how much "personal" information is lying around on The Internet.

  4. The unfortunate side effect of hosting an echo chamber.

    I don't think Anthony Watts is an intentionally dishonest person but I do believe he has become infected with the same noble cause corruption bug affecting so many of his contemporaries.

    On a side note, should I have added a comma after person? I could have replaced but with except, so I don't know if that counts.

    On a another side note, should I have included a comma after but and except?

    This is very confusing.

  5. Jenne, it is unremarkable that it may be easy to find this information. I referred to the ease of obtaining it in this post. It doesn't excuse posting these pictures. It may be easy for me to find a person's phone number and home address in a phone book, but that doesn't mean it is right for me to include them in a post demonizing the person. There is a great deal of information readily available on the internet, but we usually don't draw attention to personal information without good reason.

    MichaelS:

    I don't think Anthony Watts is an intentionally dishonest person but I do believe he has become infected with the same noble cause corruption bug affecting so many of his contemporaries.

    On a side note, should I have added a comma after person? I could have replaced but with except, so I don't know if that counts.

    The simple answer is you should have used a comma there if the word "but" serves as a conjunction joining two independent clauses (basically, two complete sentences). If the second clause were a dependent clause (basically not a complete sentence), then you wouldn't need a comma. That's also true for any other conjunction. The words "and," "or" and "but" are the most common conjunctions, but "except" can be used as a conjunction as well. The rules are no different for it.

    That said, if you are combining a short independent clause with a conjunction like this, you can get away with not using a comma. There's no real grammatical reason; it's just a matter of style.

    Szilard:

    Brandon has valid criticisms of Watts but loses points for "irregardless".

    Hey now, with the growing trend of "literally" being used as its own antonym receiving the blessing of social circles everywhere, I have to use the old classics. "Irregardless" and "inflammable" are coming back dude.

  6. I want to take a moment to point out this sentence:

    Hey now, with the growing trend of "literally" being used as its own antonym receiving the blessing of social circles everywhere, I have to use the old classics.

    Is grammatically correct. I had to reread it to make sure, but it is.

  7. So too would a person who didn't have access to the same subsidies Watts had, thus making the cost of installing solar power prohibitive for them.
    Watts says he didn't take any subsidies for installing solar panels on his house.

  8. Gary, I know. The problem is you cannot trust what he says. While he claims to have not taken any government money, promoting it as a point of pride which got him compliments and approval from his audience, the reality is he did take government money. He says things like:

    No, there was a PG&E rebate program, which put about $1200 (based on my system size) back in my pocket, but as I said earlier, I got no government money related to this. There will be some small tax advantages for me

    But the PG&E rebate he got was part of the California Solar Initiative, a program which has run out of funding as the money provided by the California government to pay for rebates like that Watts got has run out. The program only received... oh, say two billion dollars from the government? The money passed through PG&E's hands as that's how the government subsidy was handed out (for management purposes, mostly), but the fact PG&E touched the money doesn't change the fact the money came from the government.

    Why Anthony Watts says he didn't take government money when he did is something of a mystery. Perhaps he somehow failed to notice or understand the reason he was getting any rebate at all. That'd be weird, but maybe. Perhaps he even didn't notice when multiple people pointed out the rebate he got was actually from the government. I don't know. What I do know is it was easy for me to find this information and to even check what rebates were offered by PG&E during that time period.

    Either Watts knows he received a government subsidy and just tells people otherwise, or he proudly pronounces he didn't receive a government subsidy because it wasn't made abundantly obvious to him the money he was receiving was in fact from the government, and he didn't put any effort into verifying his claim even after multiple people pointed out it was false (including at least one person whose comments were deleted from his site). Maybe I'm an outlier, but I could never be so willfully blind about where I got over a thousand dollars from I'd go around telling everyone something about it that was so easy to figure out is false.

  9. "Inflammable" is a respectable word, older than "flammable", with the "in-" having an intensive rather than a negative meaning, stemming from Latin "inflammare" = "to ignite".

    "Irregardless" is a bastard red-haired step-child of a word, concocted by the kind of people who write "bonafied" for "bona fide".

  10. Szilard:

    "Inflammable" is a respectable word, older than "flammable", with the "in-" having an intensive rather than a negative meaning, stemming from Latin "inflammare" = "to ignite".

    "Irregardless" is a bastard red-haired step-child of a word, concocted by the kind of people who write "bonafied" for "bona fide".

    There was once a time "flammable" was as unpopular as "irregardless." Actually, there was a time it was less popular. Now, it is far more popular. Neither word is "right." "Flammable" is arguably better because it is clearer, but there are few objective standards we can apply to language. One could just as easily make a case for "inflammable" being the "better" word.

    Ultimately, what matters for most conversation is how useful a word is. I find "irregardless" to be a useful word, so I use it. I use "regardless" far more often, but sometimes the connotation given by combining "irrespective" and "regardless" into a single word better expresses my intended meaning than "regardless" ever could.

    Of course, none of this means a person is wrong to dislike my use of the word "irregardless" or the word itself. People are free to have their own tastes. All that matters to me is understanding what meaning is conveyed by one's choice of words. In the end, words are just a form of expression. People are free to express whatever they want in whatever form they want. Others will react based on how they feel about those expressions.

  11. MichaelS:

    I come here for the grammar lessons. I shit you not!

    I've considered writing posts with them far more often than I have thus far. I usually refrain because I suspect people generally don't want to read about grammar. Maybe I've underestimated the level of interest a bit. I doubt I've underestimated it by much though.

    It could be a fun subject to discuss though. Language is a labyrinth, a hall of mirrors that we can easily get lost in. And if anyone knows where that statement comes from, they will have my undying respect.

  12. Nope, though it is certainly possible the source of the statement took reference to work by others such as Borges. Borges liked to use the imagery of labyrinths, and I know Ludwig Wittgenstein said:

    Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about.

    But what I said was actually a direct quote from someone more recent. I don't think the internet will help anyone find it. As far as I know, it's not posted anywhere as a quote or in any searchable text. That's part of what'd make me respect anyone who knew it. Knowledge that is not readily available is the most interesting to me.

  13. Dunno.

    However, thinking about The Library of Babel has led me to this excellent site https://libraryofbabel.info/

    You can use it to eg find every page of every LoB book containing the sentence "language is a labyrinth, a hall of mirrors that we can easily get lost in." One of those will be the book or script or whatever you're thinking of.

  14. Kevin Trenberth's home address can be found via whitepages.com

    I'm not sure it's such a big deal showing a satellite photo of the top of Trenberth's house, using an address that Trenberth himself has made publicly accessible. This information derives from allowing Trenberth allowing his name to be listed in land-line phone books.

    Creepy would be driving by and taking photos of the house from street view. You know, like Google Earth does.

    I think the rest of Watt's post is ****ing stupid, so I won't comment on that.

  15. Szilard, that's an interesting site. Thanks for linking to it. If you want to know where I got that quote from though, I'd be happy to tell you. Actually, I'll just tell you now. It's a quote from the pilot episode of the television show Witchblade. There's a character in the show named Kenneth Irons, played by the actor Anthony Cistaro, who has a fantastic way of speaking. It's a not insignificant part of what kept me drawn to to the show.

    Side note, that show is a large part of what made me learn about classic poetry. I had thought it a boring subject when I was younger (I blame poor schooling), but the show helped show me how that poetry can be not only beautiful, but relevant. The show makes for a fascinating study in the English language. The linguistic differences between the characters in the showv alone is noteworthy.

    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know a single line by poets like Yates if I hadn't seen that show growing up. How many people can cite quotes from poets in casual conversation? In my experience, very few.

  16. Carrick:

    Kevin Trenberth's home address can be found via whitepages.com

    Phone companies generally list a person in their directories automatically if they sign up, and they'll often charge a fee if you wish to keep your number unlisted. It's not a matter where people explicitly opt into having their home addressed displayed for everyone to see. It's a situation where they have to go out of their way to opt out, potentially pay a fee and even then their address is still fairly easy to obtain (unlisted numbers are in no way secret).

    I'm not sure it's such a big deal showing a satellite photo of the top of Trenberth's house, using an address that Trenberth himself has made publicly accessible. This information derives from allowing Trenberth allowing his name to be listed in land-line phone books.

    I think it's a stretch to claim Trenberth made his address publicly accessible simply because he failed to go out of his way (and potentially pay money) to make it unlisted (which would mean little anyway). Regardless, that's not what this is about. How accessible this information is is pretty much irrelevant. There is simply no reason here to instruct people to look at a person's home address.

    Suppose I run a site that constantly demonizes people. I give my audience a constant stream of messages like: "This person is evil," "This person is committing fraud," "This person is stealing money from you," "This person is evil," "This person is a liar," "This person is harming your country," "This person is evil." I then post a picture of his house that is available online. Or perhaps I post a picture of their family which they shared online.

    Does the fact the picture being shared is publicly accessible make it okay? Of course not. The issue isn't how accessible the information is. The issue is what are you trying to get your audience to think about. I know people will say things like this are overblown (look at how people have responded to Sou's post on this matter), but the reality is posts like these are how you create a culture which encourages things like stalking and violence.

    This is particularly important as WUWT has had numerous comments from users expressing the desire to either do harm or have harm done to climate scientists and other global warming advocates. I don't think this post would cause any harm in and of itself, but I think this post is the sort of post you'd expect to see on a site intended to cause harm.

  17. Carrick:

    Kevin Trenberth's home address can be found via whitepages.com

    Phone companies generally list a person in their directories automatically if they sign up, and they'll often charge a fee if you wish to keep your number unlisted. It's not a matter where people explicitly opt into having their home addressed displayed for everyone to see. It's a situation where they have to go out of their way to opt out, potentially pay a fee and even then their address is still fairly easy to obtain (unlisted numbers are in no way secret).

    I'm not sure it's such a big deal showing a satellite photo of the top of Trenberth's house, using an address that Trenberth himself has made publicly accessible. This information derives from allowing Trenberth allowing his name to be listed in land-line phone books.

    I think it's a stretch to claim Trenberth made his address publicly accessible simply because he failed to go out of his way (and potentially pay money) to make it unlisted (which would mean little anyway). Regardless, that's not what this is about. How accessible this information is is pretty much irrelevant. There is simply no reason here to instruct people to look at a person's home address.

    Suppose I run a site that constantly demonizes people. I give my audience a constant stream of messages like: "This person is evil," "This person is committing fraud," "This person is stealing money from you," "This person is evil," "This person is a liar," "This person is harming your country," "This person is evil." I then post a picture of his house that is available online. Or perhaps I post a picture of their family which they shared online.

    Does the fact the picture being shared is publicly accessible make it okay? Of course not. The issue isn't how accessible the information is. The issue is what are you trying to get your audience to think about. I know people will say things like this are overblown (look at how people have responded to Sou's post on this matter), but the reality is posts like these are how you create a culture which encourages things like stalking and violence.

    This is particularly important as WUWT has had numerous comments from users expressing the desire to either do harm or have harm done to climate scientists and other global warming advocates. I don't think this post would cause any harm in and of itself, but I think this post is the sort of post you'd expect to see on a site intended to cause harm.

  18. It doesn't cost anything to have your address removed from whitepages.com

    https://support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/articles/203263794-Remove-my-listing-from-Whitepages-

    My point though remains---if the information is publicly available and takes literally 10 seconds to find, "creepy" is hardly the word I would use to describe the behavior.

    And no, I don't see any problem showing an image generated from Google Earth or maps.google.com. especially not a satellite image that has little specific information of use for nutters... And it's not like the the image provides us with information that couldn't readily be obtained by other means.

    If you want to worry about him encouraging wackos...point a finger to Anthony's inflammatory posts. Personally, I'm more concerned with people throwing gas on the fire than with posts like this.

  19. Carrick:

    It doesn't cost anything to have your address removed from whitepages.com

    https://support.whitepages.com/hc/en-us/articles/203263794-Remove-my-listing-from-Whitepages-

    And what of the dozen or more other sites that serve the same purpose, some of which don't allow you to opt out? How about the two dozen or so sites which offer paid services to collate information like this, which not only don't allow you to opt out but don't disclose what information is in their databases? Or how about the physical phone books, in which phone companies automatically list people?

    Once your phone company lists your address in their directory, it is basically impossible to have that information removed. That you can opt out of being listed on one site is utterly meaningless.

    My point though remains---if the information is publicly available and takes literally 10 seconds to find, "creepy" is hardly the word I would use to describe the behavior.

    The issue I raised in this post, and in my comments, has explicitly avoided the issue of information availability in favor of the issue of focus of attention. You can keep discussing the issue of information availability while ignoring the issue of the direction of attention, but it will hardly be surprising you don't agree with a viewpoint if you choose not to examine or address the basis for that viewpoint.

    You don't have to find what Anthony Watts did creepy, but you should be able to understand why a person would. The reality is I could post pictures of the homes of 50% of people involved in the global warming blogosphere, and I could post pictures of family members of at least 20% of them. I could create profile pages with readily accessible information on each of them. It wouldn't require using any information that was private or difficult to obtain. It'd still be super creepy. I'd expect everyone to think poorly of me if I did it.

    I don't have a problem with people sharing relevant information whether it is easy or difficult to obtain. When you start sharing non-relevant information about other people of a personal nature, then I have a problem. It's the same reason I think it is creepy to insist on calling the blogger Anders "Ken Rice" and the blogger Sou "Miriam O'Brien." If their real name isn't relevant to the discussion at hand, calling attention to it is being creepy.

  20. At least in my perception, whitepages.com is the "go-to" place for an online directory (yes you could dig around and potentially find other sources). If I go there and find the address missing, that would be a big clue. There wouldn't, in my mind, be any justification for continuing to dig for the address, unless you were a creditor or something of that sort, or if you were a journalist and something about their home address was in the public interest to share.

    To bring up a related situation, were somebody to place a copy of their thesis on the web (in an unpublished url), and marks it as confidential, I would not find it appropriate to read their thesis let alone further disseminate its contents. But I'm an academic, and I am bound by different rules than journalists.

    Things change of course when the people disseminating the information (whether it be a satellite picture or a link to a person's thesis) are themselves a journalists. Bloggers are a type of journalist. As such, they shouldn't be judged the same as private individuals, or the same as academics.

    If the dissemination of the information is in the public interest, in my opinion journalists, including bloggers, have a duty to share that information, even if the person the information relates to originally intended it to be kept private. That goes with the actual names of the bloggers versus their public monikers, with information they intended to keep private, and even photos of their homes, if the photos relate to public debates. So photos could include photos you take yourself, as long as they are taken from public views.

    My only problem with Anthony Watt's dissemination of these photos is his judgment over the importance of what people did with their houses. If you put solar panels on your house, you'd reduce the global mean temperature increase by how much in 100 year (maybe 0.0001K)? If you fly on a jet a single time, (maybe 0.000001K)? I'd be interested in seeing actual impact numbers. I suspect they are ludicrously small. You must as a journalist balance the importance of the information with the rights of the individual for privacy.

    But with Watt acting as a journalist, I don't find it disturbing to see him post images of people's homes, viewed from on top, from satellite pictures. As a journalist, he has the same rights to post images of the front of the house, or any other "public view" images. He can even dig up private information (for less than $100 you can hire a private detective and get virtually much anything that's been shared with any creditor in the last 20 years) and if it were sufficiently in the public interest, he would have a responsibility to publish it. (A picture of somebody illegally disposing waste products that could get into the water supply would be an obvious example of that.)

    Things that would rarely be appropriate would include names or photos of family members and so forth. Basically any information of a personal nature that in no way could be construed as serving the public interest (in the sense that a journalist is serving the public interest by disseminating it).

    The real complaint about Watts shouldn't be that he's a creeper, but that he isn't alway intellectually honest in his criticisms. But that's for another thread.

  21. Carrick:

    At least in my perception, whitepages.com is the "go-to" place for an online directory (yes you could dig around and potentially find other sources). If I go there and find the address missing, that would be a big clue. There wouldn't, in my mind, be any justification for continuing to dig for the address, unless you were a creditor or something of that sort, or if you were a journalist and something about their home address was in the public interest to share.

    I'm not sure where you get that impression, though given many of the alternatives are run by the same company, it's probably not worth delving into. I do find it an interesting topic though, especially if we look at "premium" services Whitepages Inc and similar companies offer, where you cannot possibly get your information removed (short of a court order).

    To bring up a related situation, were somebody to place a copy of their thesis on the web (in an unpublished url), and marks it as confidential, I would not find it appropriate to read their thesis let alone further disseminate its contents. But I'm an academic, and I am bound by different rules than journalists.

    You may feel some special obligations as an academic, but any average citizen would be free of any moral or civil burdens in that situation so long as they take reasonable steps to prevent personal information from being disclosed and the information is of genuine interest.

    If the dissemination of the information is in the public interest, in my opinion journalists, including bloggers, have a duty to share that information, even if the person the information relates to originally intended it to be kept private. That goes with the actual names of the bloggers versus their public monikers, with information they intended to keep private, and even photos of their homes, if the photos relate to public debates. So photos could include photos you take yourself, as long as they are taken from public views.

    Which is why I stressed the pictures Anthony Watts shared were not of any relevance to any discussion being had, as his post clearly made no effort to actually examine them in anything beyond petty smears. Had Watts examined the houses for potential siting issues that'd affect solar viability, energy prices and consumption rates, alternative ways of using renewable electricity and things like that, then there could be some legitimate reason for posting the pictures. He didn't though. His post clearly made no effort to examine any issues relevant to whether or not the people whose houses he showed should have installed solar panels.

    But with Watt acting as a journalist, I don't find it disturbing to see him post images of people's homes, viewed from on top, from satellite pictures. As a journalist, he has the same rights to post images of the front of the house, or any other "public view" images. He can even dig up private information (for less than $100 you can hire a private detective and get virtually much anything that's been shared with any creditor in the last 20 years) and if it were sufficiently in the public interest...

    You seem to be failing to understand the entire point I've been making is what Watts shared was not in the public interest. What I've said all along is sharing non-relevant personal information is creepy. Saying a person sharing relevant personal information would not be creepy does nothing to address that.

    The real complaint about Watts shouldn't be that he's a creeper, but that he isn't alway intellectually honest in his criticisms. But that's for another thread.

    Except he is a creeper, and he has a habit of shearing personal information that is not relevant to any public interest. In fact, he studiously focuses on drawing attention to personal information that is of no relevance to the topic at hand simply as a bullying tactic, as seen by him doing things like insisting on always calling pseudonymous people by their real names.

    So for a final time, the pictures Anthony Watts shared were not of any relevance to any discussion being had or being created. That is what makes them creepy. You can choose to discuss that point or not, but I'm not going to dwell on the myriad other issues you might care to bring up any further.

  22. Demonizing the priest is a good way of showing the flock the error of their ways.

    Trashing people seems to be in vogue.

    Sick, disgusting, liar, stupid, pathetic, weird, creepy, distasteful, irrelevant, inciting hatred, and ruin, quite a list.

    The list you throw at Watts. It is clear you have a problem and love to share it with the world. In your mind, I am sure you see a
    chasm of difference between yourself and Watts.

    Back in the day of flame wars you must have been in a class by yourself, but in the era of blogging perhaps you
    should look at your stats to see how it works for you now.

    Hmm....

    https://widget.similarweb.com/traffic/hi-izuru.org

    going downhill.

    While Watts is growing.

  23. Timothy Sorenson, trashing people for legitimate and meaningful failings is appropriate. Demonizing people because they may not place solar panels on their house (even if they place them on other buildings they own) is stupid.

    As for your citation of popularity, I hope you don't expect anyone to take you seriously. I have made no effort to make this site popular, and I have intentionally taken steps to alienate people Anthony Watts won't alienate even though he knows they're raging lunatics. That a person who has standards and speaks up against wrongdoing has a site which isn't as a popular as the site of a person who actively encourages hatred and derision is hardly surprising.

    There is a reason people like Donald Trump are popular. If you want to cite that reason in a comparison between Watts and myself, all I can say is I am glad for the difference. I will be happy not to become popular by embracing and promoting lies, paranoid conspiracy theories and petty smear campaigns.

  24. Also, I can't resist the temptation to point out you seem not to put much thought into what you write when you say:

    Sick, disgusting, liar, stupid, pathetic, weird, creepy, distasteful, irrelevant, inciting hatred, and ruin, quite a list.

    The list you throw at Watts.

    I'm pretty sure most people could see l did not throw that list at him. Particularly not the "irrelevant" bit. That I used a word in a post discussing him doesn't mean I threw the word at him. But then, I don't think reading comprehension really matters to some people.

  25. "Language is a labyrinth, a hall of mirrors that we can easily get lost in"

    Not in Borges. The other author who would use the same imagery would be John Barth. But the sentence is not exactly his style.
    In Sci fi it sounds like something Samuel De launey would write ( more wooden than barth) If it is not Barth from lost in the fun house
    then it is someone who was influenced by Barth.

    too funny.. at one point in grade school I had memorized all of Poe.. and you can never teach yeats without memorizing him..

    without googling... "Passion has often worn our wandering hearts" name that yeats poem.

    I am content to live it all again, and yet again..

    what is the most fecund ditch?

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