2011-05-30 07:21:13The Worst “Cook” book Interview Ever?
John Cook


I've gotten out of the habit of visiting WUWT or Jo Nova (didn't need much encouragement) so missed this critique by Bob Jones of my and Haydn's Science Show interview:



The article's critiques are a bit lame but I suppose I should read the comments just to be aware of potential criticisms and questions that might come my way. Those comment threads are so virulent and hate-filled though, it is a tough slog when there is so much constructive material I could be reading.

2011-05-30 07:31:59
Rob Painting

Masochist are we?

2011-05-30 07:37:40
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

I refuse to read Jo Nova, Thingsbreak, WUWT, Climate Audit, (Bad) Curry, or even Pielke's blog.

Nothing positive ever comes out of it, other than to see the depths of stoopid and the venom some carry inside themselves.

Plenty O' Stoopid comes to SkS to fulfill my RDSI (Recommended Daily Stoopid Intake).

2011-05-30 07:44:00
Rob Painting

We could do a series on Judith: Bad Curry - it gives you the shits.

2011-05-30 09:01:14
Dana Nuccitelli
Whatever, I stopped reading when the WUWT post seriously tried to defend the Oregon Petition.
2011-05-30 10:11:37
Julian Brimelow

Rob you are too funny.  Tallblok sure is a nig fan of Curry.  Not surprising, b/c he has sum err, interesting hypotheses.

John, don't bother with WUWT et al.  But yes, persuse the comments to see if anything legitimate comes up.  Unlikely though, prpboably just invexctive, vitriol and hyperbole.  So the microwatts and dimwits are paying attaention to you.  Good. 

Daniel, I kinda like ThingsBreak-- he has done some excellent stuff.  Did you mean someone else perhaps?


2011-05-30 11:46:21
Rob Honeycutt


Note that Poptech reared his ugly mug in the comments on WUWT saying, "Please provide the objective criteria for determining who is a climate scientist."

That guys full of great material for articles!  He's the best!  ;-)

2011-05-30 21:57:22
Paul D



Furthermore, applied scientists such as engineers are arguably amongst the best at applying rational thought to scientific data, partly because they cannot in their careers be cavalier with any assumptions

Erm, as an ex-applied scientist, I can't agree with that. This is a university cultural rivalry thing.
Also of course most engineers work in a commerial environment and many of those have a vested interest in selling products that are dependent on fossil fuel use.

I was fortunate, in that the worst I did was work on weighing systems and public transport fare collection systems (ticket machines), so in retrospect, I feel I was aiding society whilst minimising carbon emissions in the work I did.

BTW many engineers take that route because they aren't good at the theory!
My maths wasn't brilliant and I tended to be interested in the practical application of the theory.

2011-05-30 23:19:41About Poptech...
John Hartz
John Hartz

I recently encountered Poptech in a comment thread and observed:

1. Given the rapid rate of his posts, he may be in a manic state when he posts.

2. As a computer programmer, his reasoning is completely binary. In other words, he lives in a rigid world where everything is either black or white, and he is the sole arbiter of what is black and what is white.

3. He has a superiority complex that won't quit.

2011-05-31 00:10:38
Paul D


As a computer programmer, his reasoning is completely binary. In other words, he lives in a rigid world where everything is either black or white, and he is the sole arbiter of what is black and what is white.

That is just bollocks badger.
I'm of the same ilk as are many, including John.
In fact my years tracing bugs in complex software made me into a bit of a detective, thinking laterally.

2011-05-31 00:31:32Paul D
John Hartz
John Hartz

I did not make a global statement about computer programers.  

Are you saying that Poptech doesn't live in a black and white world? 

2011-05-31 00:51:57
Paul D


You did make a 'global' statement about programmers. The first sentence is quite clear.

2011-05-31 01:55:50Paul D
John Hartz
John Hartz

That was not my intent. I apologize for not wording the sentence better.

2011-05-31 02:05:08
Tom Curtis


Paul D, burst out laughing with that WUWT quote about engineers.  I kinda like engineers as my father is one, but the vast majority of young earth creationists with enough technical training to actually write articles are either engineers or medical doctors.  The notion that engineers are uniquely well qualified to vet science, and apparently better qualified than actual scientists according to the quote is so laughable as to be farce.

2011-05-31 03:09:45
Paul D


Ok Badger. I apologize for not being more generous in my interpretation :-)

2011-05-31 03:43:32Speaking of engineers...
John Hartz
John Hartz

Nearly 50 years ago, I obtained a Bachelor of Civil Engineering , but only spend 30 months doing professional engineering work before moving on to bigger and better things as a transportation planner/administrator.

Civil engineering is all about making assumptions and applying safety factors to compensate for uncertainties.

2011-05-31 05:16:26


One issue I have with engineers is that they are trained to solve specific problems.

They are not trained to question whether these problems actually apply to the full reality that is confronting them.

As a teaching assistant in physics, I have seen engineering students calculate an answer to 14 decimal places, when the assumptions that underlay the calculation were MAYBE good to within a factor of 2.

2011-05-31 05:47:54Neal King
John Hartz
John Hartz

We're on the verge of creating stereotypes here. Some engineers are cpable of thinking outside the box, and others are not. I suspect that the same holds true for scientists.

PS -- The word "engineer" is derived from the word, "enginuity."