AFTIC Status Report

A gentle reader recently asked for a "status of the blog" report. As the two week delay between ask and answer can attest to, things are rather slow moving around here at the moment and I am mainly just my own lurker.  I do have some new content that I will offer very shortly and a post or two in the slow cooker.

I guess in general I have been feeling like I have over the years said what I needed to say and was now only repeating myself.  This is despite quite a few interesting developments over the past year ranging from juicy insider-blog gossip to political theatre to remarkable developments in climatology, both research and events.

I also realized that I was no longer being the example I intended in terms of How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic(tm). The key things I believe one must do/remember are:

  • Don't get personal
  • Remain infinitely patient
  • Always write for the lurkers, not the current antagonist

I have slipped on all of those points.

I have also been wrestling with determining the best comment policy for this blog (there is no one size fits all such policy).  I have always taken a very hands-off approach and though I have been questioning that, I have not convinced myself there is clearly a better one.

Anyway, that is just some personal stream of consciousness stuff triggered by the above mentioned "what's up?" comment. I'm happy to hear updates from formerly regular posters/lurkers here as well...what blogs to you spend time on? Are there topics you'd like to see covered?  Maybe there is a guest post someone has to offer -being on Science Blogs seems to guarantee at least a few hundred hits/day when content goes up.  Feel free to post some thoughts below.

As I said I really will have a post in the next few days and hope I have remained in a few RSS feeds.

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The policy you should apply is also the most arbitrary and least defensible: you decide.

An old homily goes "Rules are for the obedience of idiots and the guidance of wise men".

Assign rules so others know what you mean, but apply them as you feel are required. If rules could be applied rigorously and equally then we would not require a judicial system, we'd just code up the rules and let a computer sort it out.

BUT, and here I really REALLY do mean this: DO NOT, ***EVER***, pretend that you're not censoring.

It's hypocrisy.

Worse, by not recognising it as censoring, you blind yourself from your own confirmation bias. It turns your ideology into fact by the circular reasoning of what you did wasn't censorship, therefore your decisions were not censorious, therefore they were open minded, therefore you cannot be being closed-minded.

If you recognise that you ARE censoring, that your actions ARE censorious, but knowing WHY YOU ARE DOING THIS ANYWAY keeps you alert to whether you are obeying your own moral decisions. Whether you are right in your decision to remove a comment.

Lastly, though you get to decide what you find acceptable on your blog, remeber that your feelings are only your feelings, not fiat laws to be obeyed and whose breech is evidence of immoral antagonism.

The actions of others are either acceptable to you, worth including as demonstration of the paucity of the argument, illustrative of some other point or viewpoint, or deleted.

But not a thing you can claim is wrong. Just not what you want. Not what you yourself would do.

And one last point.

A difference between what has become the rightwingnutjob and other people is the perception of morality and how they fit.

Morality can be seen as an ideal of yourself THAT YOU STRIVE TO BECOME.

Or it can be seen as WHAT YOU ARE.

In the former, you may fail to meet up. But your INTENT is to meet that goal, and improvement the aim, even if you fail. Criticism or contrary evidence is accepted as *possible* indication of a failure to meet your ideal.

In the latter, anything that doesn't mean that model must be false, since you ARE that model. Criticism or contrary evidence CANNOT be true, because you ARE that moral model, and therefore they MUST be lies and MUST be done to break you and make you immoral. contrary evidence is ret-conned into fake, falsity, lies, conspiracy, envy. Anything that means the claims DO NOT EXIST and you DO NOT have to change. Because you believe you already ARE that perfect model.

And even when they themselves admit failure, the fault is someone else. That girl for wearing that dress. That man for talking to you, that political organisation for being so much worse, you were JUSTIFIED in your immoral act.

Really not sure how much you are speaking directly to me and how much you are using an editorial "you"... I know you were upset at me some time ago for removing some of your comments.

Whatever that balance is (personal "you" or editorial "you"), I will just say that "a very hands-off approach" does not equal no moderation whatsoever, so absent more detail, the existence of some censorship in the past is not evidence of hypocrisy. "When in doubt, don't delete" probably describes my approach and I tend to be prone to doubt. I can only strive to do my best.

Here, mostly you as in coby. The "generic you" in so far as they aren't a demand or request for you specifically, only a view.

The hypocrisy is in insisting "this isn't censorship!" and then pointing to the US free speech doctrine that defines censorship as what government is not allowed to do, while censoring.

I've seen it happen many times.

I think the blog owner "believes" that it is an insistence that I MUST be allowed to have my say, rather than an assertion that it REALLY IS censoring, no different from that "bad" censorship that infringes free speech.

But even THAT free speech has limits. In the USA, "fighting talk", or the oft-quoted homily "shouting fire in a crowded theatre".

By acknowledgement of it being censorship NO DIFFERENT from that done by, for example, North Korea, you know that you have to pick YOUR balance between restricting the freedom of speech and your purpose for having the blog.

It also means not going "It isn't censorship", even when it IS a whiny little toerag that is demanding you print their stuff. Just go "Yes, it IS censorship, and I feel it is justified in this case".

The response is no different than you'd get from Kim Jong Un. But it is a perfectly valid reason. You'd have gotten the same response from Mother Theresa or Ghandi too.

Want an example: Freddy posting as kai and you saying "Stop that. Any attempts to do it again and I'll delete your comment". Infringing on his freedom of speech. You think it justified, and I can think of a reason myself. Might not be yours, though.

But I would under the same reasoning delete the rubbish he posted after the post where he claims that his "unintentional" sockpuppetting was due to the browser cache was queried by me and his response was "You're too dumb to know how that can happen, dumbass!".

Any reason for killing the sockpuppetting I can conceive of also justifies deleting the rubbish "response" on how his browser cache made him type in the third person and use a different name in the comment he made as freddy defending his post as kai.

I don't recall citing any "Free speech" doctrines in relation to justifying moderation policy. I am also aware of the actual intent of the right to free speech (ie freedom from governmental interference) and agree with you that it has nothing to do with commenting on a blog.

I also agree that deleting a comment is strictly speaking a form of censorship, regardless of the reason

"I don’t recall citing any “Free speech” doctrines in relation to justifying moderation policy."


me: I’ve seen it happen many times.

OK, so lets find out. What IS your motivation for a hands-off moderation policy?

And why did you feel bad about not meeting the goals you ascribe ATL?

Now, yes, I'm drawing conclusions based on circumstantial evidence, not just reading "I want to see free speech on this blog". The conclusion would be a lot *easier* if you were to do that, mind...

"I also agree that deleting a comment is strictly speaking a form of censorship, regardless of the reason"

I've seen several blog owners, including ones here in scienceblogs who refuse to acknowledge this. Vehemently. Violently, even. With nothing more than "THAT IS ONLY IF THE GOVERNMENT DOES IT" and I'm not really paraphrasing much there.

"I also agree that deleting a comment is strictly speaking a form of censorship, regardless of the reason"

Then you needn't worry about becoming tyrranical in deciding on arbitrary reasons for moderation. It will be because you're tyrranical to whatever extent is shown in your moderation, rather than due to lack of self awareness. IOW you as YOU know yourself rather than as you refuse to see.

And the only real reason to point out hypocrisy is so that someone will (one hopes) see themselves in a different light and reassess whether their self image is one they aspire to or one they believe to be.

It's a little Zen, but to be self aware is a better thing than to be blind to your foibles. The former allows for improvement (if needed), the latter forbids it (when needed).

"ie freedom from governmental interference"

No, this isn't why. Because if this were true, there would be no libel laws, no fraud statutes, no truth-in-advertising, no block on copyrights, no trade secrets, NDAs or disclosure contracts. There'd be no law against drugs, porn, prostitution, murder, kiddie porn and so on.

If you're not allowed to visit a site because the government said no, how is that different from not being allowed to visit the same site because the ISP said no?

Freedom of speech is the freedom to say anything, that your voice may be heard and your ideas discussed and assessed by others, and modified in the discourse therefrom.

And it is limited, whether by government, industry, employer or blog owner or individual on the street, for the same reasons the freedom to swing your fist ends at someone else's nose.

Government is dangerous because society cedes power to them and that power can be used to restrict free speech without recourse.

Your employer is dangerous because society cedes power to them over your life at the risk of losing your job and starving to death on the streets in the cold, restricting free speech without recourse.

A large corporation is dangerous because they appropriate government power and can do the same thing with it with government power. What libertarians miss is that without government, they would merely pay muscle directly, with no net benefit.

A blog owner can restrict it, but the danger minimal, unless the discussion is censored to remove any hint of censoring occurring. See WtfUWT where the regulars, including the drones visiting, willingly delete any knowledge of Tony censoring, despite having a sharp eye for anything that might possibly in a poor light and being blind drunk or insane, as being censorship elsewhere.

The individual may threaten you and restrict your free speech and only a greater power (government, for example) can ensure you get a fair shake without risking life and limb.

The number of people affected by each actor's antics also factor in. The government can affect every citizen (and some will try at least to affect the entire world). Corporations have more competition in a single country, but all have pan-continental powers so affect more people over a wider area. The company can only affect employers and potential employers (and smaller organisations), and so on down the scale.

There's nothing special about government interference that turns something into bad censorship. Heck the Chinese WANT their government to censor, they do not as a society want to see what their government censors. Just like we don't want to see kiddie porn or snuff movies at prime time and WANT our government to censor that stuff.

What you censor defines who you are works for governments and for individuals. It doesn't make a difference as to whether it IS "bad" censorship as to who does it, but why it was censored.

Government doing it just affects all citizens. A difference of quantity, not quality.

wow, your "comments" on blog free speech policies and other incompetent stuff reflect your outsider status and vile thinking. If you try to be honest and do not try to lie you must admit that the only thing that drives you is your insane hope of a victory of communism over capitalism., the dissolution of money and that everybody on earth is as poor as you, mentally and economically.

Kai: "Hey, other dude, good call on that!"
Me: "Freddski, get tired of typing out the longer name?"
Fredski: "Hey, kai was talkng to someone else, shut up!!!"
Coby: "Freddy, you were kai"
Fredski: "Oh, yeah, my browser cache something something dark side"
Me: "How did the cache make you type kai rather than your name in the comment box?"
Fredski: "U so dum!!!!!"

Face it, freddie fuckup, you done fucked up. Habitual and unabashed liar? You proved it right there.

wow, i concede that for a stupid like you it might like you understood, but you are nevertheless wrong, because you don't understand circumstance and browser technology, asswipe.

give you a hint, nasty brat: just before i wrote the kai comment to solarmanke at illconsidered i was at stoat, to express my repeated disgust with naked science layman bill conoli, who always thinks on his ridiculous blog that everybody is talking to him when he writes like "[ i don't think i am really the shitmonster you told me so, -W]" and similar shit, and i wrote this under my nick kai, as conoli knows me so. So the browser rembered in the cache and cookies that i was kai at conoli, before i wrote to solarmanke at illconsidered and submitted without even looking what the set commenter's name was. Got it know, arselick? Certainly not, as you are way toooo stupid to grasp what you were told, retarded simpleton.

Yes, freddy/kia, we got that part. You didn't realize you were posting as kai and it was an accident. Now explain how you accidentally referred to kai in the third person while posting again as freddy. And please do so without assuming we are as dumb as you are behaving.

And which Stoat article did you do this posting as kai? I've looked between 8th and 12th August and so far turned up nothing at all.

Well, nothing that indicates that you posted there on the 11th, and no other date you did post where I could find did you make a "mistake" of "not clearing the cache".


I wrote 3 comments on stoat. conoli burrowed two and deleted one without any comment (all 3 of them as kai). So he "Name" and "Email" text box entries had prefilled values with kai and email of kai. When I changed then to illconsidered "kai" was preset (normally is "freddy" as I always entered freddy here since kai was banned after many provocations from childish wow) and I did a comment without looking at the "Name" (assuming according to my habitude at illconsidered it was kai) and submitted. After submission I looked at the the latest comments list and was honestly surprised that it was "kai" who was named as commenter. I immediately recognized why (that I had reedited the "Name" and "Email" fields) and was astonished that the name "Kai" was not banned (".... moderation...."). Why i referenced kai in the third person I cannot really remember, but I think I thought it a funny game and was curious whether coby would detect it and react in some way, given the fact that coby had appeared to have lost the interest in his blogs and would read the rare comments here only occasionally or even not at all).

Now you can blame with full rights of undecent puppet socketry and you are right. I apology for this.

Nevertheless wow is somebody I consider a dangerous communist and class blather without much scientific background, just a fanatic eco-socialist and internet addict.

What thread, freddy. All the ones I found occurred nowhere near your posts here as freddy in time. But maybe they were on another thread so I missed them. So what thread?

"Why i referenced kai in the third person I cannot really remember, but I think I thought it a funny game "

Is that the best excuse you can come up with?


As a former commenter I have to say that this comment thread exemplifies the reason I no longer visit other than once a quarter or so. This blog appears now to be the Freddy & wow show. Two badly informed blowhards shouting past each other in tedious repetition. It is not at all edifying and reflects badly on both 'denier' and 'alarmist' camps and even worse on this formerly interesting and informative blog.

See you in the summer...

Hi everyone,
I too am a former commenter and keen reader of this blog.
This is the first time I've visited for a long time and must agree with you Chris S.

I'd like to ask though, about what you guys think of the current status of the AGW hypothesis.
Is the discrepancy between model "evidence" and actual measured evidence over the last 18 years something that makes you guys question the hypothesis?

Do you still think there is going to be catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming at any time in the future?

As always, I look forward to reasoned, friendly, genuine replies.

By Michael of Brisbane (not verified) on 20 Jan 2016 #permalink

Hi Michael,

It is not immediately clear what discrepancy you are referring to, though you most likely mean the temperature trend. I'll answer on that assumption.

There is no discrepancy outside of typical confidence intervals. The only way the climate obfuscaters manufactured one was by cherry picking short time intervals, intervals too short to truly inform our understanding of the general trend.

And on top of that, given the recent and very marked global temperature records of 2014 and 2015 even that kind of deceptive analysis fails to provide a "pause" in the warming trend.

"I’d like to ask though, about what you guys think of the current status of the AGW hypothesis."

It's proven.


"Is the discrepancy between model “evidence” and actual measured evidence over the last 18 years something that makes you guys question the hypothesis?"

Nope. Because it doesn't preclude the models being spot on Learn what "confidence limits" mean.

"Do you still think there is going to be catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming at any time in the future?"

If we continue as you wish ignoring or flat out denying the truth of what is going on out there, then yes. In just the same way as driving fast toward a cliff will lead to a catastrophe in the future *if I refuse to change my path*.

"As always, I look forward to reasoned, friendly, genuine replies."

I would like to see some genuine intelligence in the denier group.