Another Grammatical Interlude

I am not a great writer. I like to think I'm okay though. You can judge for yourself with a new eBook I wrote:

Yes, that was a moment of shameless self-promotion. Don't worry. It'll be the last one for this post. For the rest of this post I'll be discussing an issue of grammar because of a humorous example I came across earlier today. If you don't care about grammar, I suggest skipping this post.
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Testing Plugins

One feature I've been wanting to enable on this site for a while now is the ability for people to edit their comments for a short period of time after submitting them. I think this is useful so people can fix mistakes/add additional thoughts. I hadn't been able to find a plugin for this I like because the ones I tried had ugly icons or other problems like that.

I found one that might be alright though. This post is so people (including myself) can try it out and see what it's like. Feel free to post here and tell me what you think.

Building Bridges

I have long believed people, no matter how great their disagreements, should be able to understand one another. One of my favorite fictional relationships is the one between Professor Xavier and Magneto of the X-Men franchise, where the two men (quite literally) violently disagreed with one another yet held each other in great esteem.

In high school, one day a teacher stopped me in the halls and was going to lecture me because he thought he had heard me curse. A classmate of mine was nearby and he immediately stopped and said, "I don't like Brandon at all, but he never curses." That moment has always stuck with me because this classmate didn't like me, yet he was willing to speak up in my defense because he understood me.

The reason I bring this up is I published a new (short) eBook just a day or so ago. The point of it is to show how "Skeptics" in the global warming movement don't exhibit actual skepticism. Amongst other things, I thought this eBook might help some people find common ground with one another. Today, I'd like to discuss a reason that might now work.
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A New eBook for the New Year

As I mentioned yesterday, this site has reached another year in its short life. I think that's a fitting time to announce my new eBook which has just been published: The Climate Wars: A Disgrace to Skepticism.

I want to point out right from the start a lot of people I know won't like this book. Some might dislike it because they dislike my writing. That's fair. I can't say I'm amazing when it comes to prose. What I can say is the larger reason people will dislike it is the point of the eBook:

This book does not attempt to list everything anyone in the Skeptic movement has gotten or done wrong. There are an untold number of errors and misdeeds one could rant about in an attempt to score rhetorical points. That is not the point. The point is the polarization of the global warming debate means none of these problems matter.
There are many people in the global warming debate who do honest and good work. They do not matter. As long as people remain silent and allow bad work and unethical behavior to dominate the public representation of their side of a debate, all anyone will have is the same sort of partisan bickering they could find in any political argument.
That goes for all sides. Whatever the topic, whatever your beliefs. If you want to be taken seriously or accomplish some task, quit thinking about how “they” are the problem. Focus on what is right and what is wrong.
And remember, sometimes you and the things you like might be the ones that are wrong.

It's a simple point. If you say it about Warmists, Skeptics will quickly agree, talking at length about how "noble cause corruption" is, well, corrupting climate science. The question is, will any Skeptics acknowledge the same thing is true for them?

Experience makes me think they won't. Maybe I'll be surprised. And even if not, maybe some people who aren't as polarized when it comes to global warming will find this eBook worth their time.

And as always, if you don't want to spend the $0.99 on this eBook, you're welcome to download a free PDF copy available here.

Another Year

Yesterday I received an e-mail from DreamHost, the company which hosts my website. It began:

Hello, Brandon.
This is a friendly reminder that your DreamHost account... will be rebilled $119.40 in the next five to seven days.
DreamHost billing details:
$119.40 for a 1 year renewal of "Izuru Hosting".
If you need more time to pay, don't worry! There's a 60-day grace period on all bills.

I hadn't realized another year had passed. I don't know how to feel about that. While having a site I can host this blog is nice, I could have kept it on WordPress servers. The main reason for this site is so I could host things like:

1) The Skeptical Science forum which was broken into then publicly disseminated. Plenty of people had copies of these files, but I wanted to host them in a way which would let people share links to specific material.

2) The Consensus Project data files. The (in)famous Skeptical Science paper claiming to find a 97% consensus has received a great deal of attention. The authors have hidden data used for the paper. I discovered some undisclosed data on a publicly accessible web page and saved a copy (they claimed this was hacking). I thought this data was useful, particularly as it includes rater remarks explaining why they claimed individual papers endorsed the consensus. (These remarks have received less attention than they deserve and can be found via this index).

I use the site for other things as well, and I'm glad I have it. I think $120 a year is a bargain to be able to make material like this accessible. I hope I can keep this material (and perhaps more material in the future) available for many years to come. I dread the day I cannot afford or cannot run this site any longer.

I'm not going to worry about that right now though. For now, I'd like to celebrate another year in this site's existence. As part of that celebration, I am happy to say I have a new eBook coming out this week. I'm just waiting on Amazon to approve it for sale.

Woot.

Camping

I want to state something that's been on my mind for some time. Living in a mobile home is not camping. Taking a mobile home out to camp grounds where you are slightly closer to nature is not camping. Hot dogs cooked over an open fire are amazing. That is all.

Next post will be online tomorrow when I get home. In the meantime, Happy Mother's Day!

What Should a Person Do?

For today's post, I'd like to ask people a question. I've been thinking about this question for the last few days, and I can't come up with a good answer. The question is this. Suppose a group of people published a scientific paper in which they said:

Powell’s main criticism of C13 is that 66.4% of the abstracts examined were rated as “no
position” and excluded from the consensus calculation. To count as an endorsement, C13
required that the abstract text refer to modern global warming or climate change and state, either
implicitly or explicitly, that humans are the main cause. It is true that many authors of those “no
position” abstracts may hold views that endorse AGW, but if the texts of their abstracts did not
provide evidence for this, no guess was made about their opinions. The “no position” abstracts
were therefore not used to calculate the consensus percentage.

Even though they knew beyond any doubt papers (or rather, their abstracts) were routinely rated as endorsing the "consensus" without expressing any opinion on what contribution humans might have had on global warming. Given this supposition, what should an onlooker do?
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Question

As I am trying to wrap up a new eBook (I swear, I've rewritten the same three paragraphs twenty times now), a question occurred to me. Should I contact the people who I discuss in the eBook to provide them an opportunity to raise any concerns/dispute any claims prior to publication?

I'm not sure. The people being included in the book have all been chosen, at least in part, due to their repeated demonstration of an unwillingness or inability to have disagreements in a reasonable manner. Would there be any foreseeable benefit to giving them the opportunity to respond preemptively?

I'm skeptical there would be, but that raises a second question. Would there be any downside to doing it? I'm not sure I can think of any.

Don't Share This Without Permission

Hey guys. As you guys may be aware, I am working on a new eBook which is slated to be finished by the end of the month. I'm happy to say I am on schedule with it. Unfortunately, it is taking up quite a bit of time so I haven't been as active in posting as I would like. To show I haven't forgotten about this place, I thought I'd share something silly and amusing.

Unfortunately, I lost the letter I got about changes at the DMV. I was going to take a picture of the letter as an Easter joke because the letter instructed me on how I needed to provide proof if any of my information hs changed, such as my name, address, social security number or... date of birth. The joke was going to be, "If you are reborn, does that change your date of birth?"

I can't find that letter though so I found a different image for your amusement.
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