I also do absurd, Geoff

This post was essentially for Monsieur Chambres, our Comrade on the Continent, which is why his name is in the title.

To whom it may amuse,

It may amuse you to peruse the abuse I enjoyed under this post at the world’s most-read climate-change blog.

Starting from here, furrow your brow as nemeses from HotScot to Jeff Alberts post multiple comments disputing, in all seriousness, PRIMERO my familiarity with Anglophone culture and idiom and SEGUNDO my membership in the club broadly identified as climate skeptics, a.k.a. Our Side of the “debate.”

Why prima facie teammates like Hotty, Alberts and the hapless davidmhoffer should develop such a large hadron for me, is a question no particle accelerator on Earth can answer. I can only hypothesize that it all goes back to a surreal exchange that attended an earlier post called ‘100s of Millions of People Will Die.’

Halfway through the thread below that story, I opted to reprise my parody of population-bomber argumentation (we need to kill a lot of people today, or a lot of people will start dying).

The gag had bombed (no pun intended or achieved) last time I told it, and the time before that, so I was hoping against hope—or against the definition of sanity, if you like—that someone would finally get it if I phrased it transparently enough:

In my experience, people [like the one I’m replying to] minimalize the overpopulation problem because they don’t have kids. Without a genetic investment in the future of the world, who cares, as long as my DINK (double-income-no-kids) lifestyle isn’t impinged on by tax-happy bolshies, right?

Wrong. Wait till your youngest daughter becomes a mother for the fourth time. I defy you to hold your miracle-triplet grandkids in your arms and explain to THEM why you can’t be bothered doing anything about the overcrowded world you’re bequeathing them.

The science is clear, and it’s piling up every day, with peer-reviewed authors in every imaginable field all reaching the same conclusion regardless of what their papers are actually about: that unless we take draconian steps to cut our numbers on this planet, immediately, people are going to die (High Confidence, Moderate/Low Evidence).

But my eyes were still sore from winking at the reader when I had to rub them in incredulity at the incredible credulity of the uncritical literalists whose philosophy seemed to be: if a comment doesn’t end in the mythical /sarc tag (not endorsed anywhere in the W3C’s specifications for HTML usage, by the way), then you can hardly expect us to avoid making fools of ourselves by taking it at face value and replying in deadly anger. Caveat scriptor! Why should we have to engage our faculties every single time we have to defend the thread from hostile sentences and paragraphs?

Now, I, of all people, am keenly aware that it takes non-zero cognitive work to detect sarcasm by textual clues alone—hey, I’m half-American by nationality. So I feel the pain in your brain. But still. I mean, dude. Come on. Really.

Both posts offer an embarrassment of riches to anyone interested in the embarrassing poverty of pop language use.

By the time Atropos has bestowed her coup de grace, “HotScot” has persuaded himself (at least) that I’m a born and bred German from Klimanürnberg, and that a Kant-like life of parochial seclusion has left me clueless about the peculiar humor of English speakers. It’s only to be expected—he graciously explains—that my exertions in such an alien tongue should invariably go “tit’s up.”

(Thank’s for the tip’s, my Thermocaledonian friend. I know you have a busy greengrocer’s to run, so its good of you to take the time.)

Before all is said and done, I’ve also advocated the application of German engineering and Swiss design to the problem of too many people on the planet who aren’t Teutonic, and recommended Teutophobes be “legally compelled” to read “my pro-tolerance blog.”

As davidmhoffer grasps, I’m totally earnest about all this:

So the [Brad Keyes] persona and the blog and all it represents is real. There’s someone that believes and promotes this filth.

(And that someone is me, is what davidm is getting at, I think.)

What Herr Hoffer has pulled off, by seeing through my absurdisms to the sincerity underlying every single statement, is remarkable enough.

But what’s even more impressive is the laser-like focus it must have taken to ignore the hints, dropped by  a handful of denizens, that I was somehow engaged in “Mickeynehmung” or “Entpissung.” No, the Hoff isn’t about to let MCourtney throw him off the scent by calling me a “very naughty boy :-)” and urging me, for compassion’s sake, to forget the strict letter of W3C specifications. Nor will he be deterred by the word of a genuine German called Hermann, who chides,

Jeepers some of you are thick. (“Boah seid ihr blöd.”)

Sure we are, “Hermann.” Thick like a fox!

This is all well and good, but in science there are no silver medals. Ultimately it’s Jeff Alberts who builds on the ingenuousness hypothesis by finding that I’m being completely disingenuous, thus decrypting my agenda once and for all:

Brad is actually not a skeptic. All of his comments are jabs at skeptics.

Another denizen cracks the same mystery independently and contemporaneously, but makes the costly mistake of posting under ‘Non Nomen,’ which apparently isn’t her legal name. So Mr Alberts’ full share of the Nobel prizemoney isn’t threatened by the Nameless one’s epiphany…

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.
That Mr. Keyes seems to be the Volkssturm, the last recourse, in the fight against skepticism.

…spot-on though it is.

I’m no virgin to what happens When Hadr-ons Collide, so I’m no longer surprised when my first instinct to ramp up the hint-dropping (or “lay it on with a trowel” as we say Down Here) succeeds only in entrenching the literalists in their literalism, deepening the Americans/people-who-read-English polarization.*

But it still gets a chuckle out of me. And if you can’t laugh at your own [practical] jokes, what’s the point?

That’s the saying, right?


All absurd things must come to an end, if only because farce is rather tiring for the actors.

Having survived another volley of blanks from HotScot, I’ve just shot a wad of olive branches in his direction. Let’s see how he responds to this:

Listen, HotScot, we both know that if you could read as well as you write you’d have avoided the unenviable position of having to insist, with a straight face, that I’m an unfunny warmist [!] who doesn’t speak English.

(No part of that is true—a reality most people here grasped years ago, literally, when I first started commenting.)

Whatever face you think you’re saving by sticking to your delusory guns, forget about it. I release you from your obligation.

We all misunderstand things. So you failed to spot the cornucopious comical clues in some long-forgotten comment by yours truly… big deal.

So your reading-comprehension fail caused you to go off half-cocked, again and again, with increasingly laughable results… so what?

Have the grace to laugh at yourself and move on, and you’ll find the rest of us are only too happy to move on too.

Or prolong the needless fatuity.

Your choice.

PS some of your comments at WUWT are so insightful and well-informed, it’s hard to believe they’re by the same person “whose idea of funny seems to involve channeling an unfunny bore and boring me with diatribes against foreigners who think they’re funny,” or however I put it a couple of days ago. So I’d much rather we be allies than sparring partners.

Well, Hotty, the wad is in your court.

* I suppose this naradox is predicted, after all, by the insight that someone who’s publicly invested in a particular interpretation will avoid admitting ze or ze was wrong at any cost, even if it means zis interpretation gets more and more baroquely wrong as the evidence comes in.





  1. But if performed successfully, by an experienced team, without any major complications, it’s everyone *else* who suffers.


  2. BRAD
    I clicked on cliscep with the intention of spending two or three hours getting to grips with the keen discussion you have been having with Andy West at
    but instead spent an hour reading this article and your comments on one of the WUWT posts you link to, and skim-reading the people you were interacting with. It was funny, and enlightening, since I learned something about Oreskes, including a link I’ll pass on here which looks interesting,

    Click to access oreskescritique.pdf

    which I’d not seen because I’d never really appreciated the importance of the lady – something you clarified in your comments.

    Half-buried in your comments squashing some pretty unworthy adversaries are some points you’ve been making in discussion with Andy, I think, about the nature of the (I was going to say “problem,” but is that the right word for something that’s been stuck to your shoe for the past ten years and has poisoned your relationships and threatens to poison the whole world if you don’t wipe it off?) mess we’re in. Like Andy, you’ve thought hard about how we get out of the mess. Steyn v. Mann might do it. So might a wind turbine falling on the head of an elderly lady, fortuitously filmed by a family member. So might a cold winter. It won’t be our efforts that do it, that’s for sure, unless we come up with a cunning plan. If I think of one, I’ll let you all know.

    I’ve been promising myself that I’ll spend less time blogging uselessly to likeminded people and more time at the Digital Comic Museum in the company of Mysta of the Moon (“Creature of Beauty, yet all Knowledge, all Science were hers. But would all her Powers be enough to overcome the Curse of the Shrivelling Death?”)

    Good question. And one to which I hope to find the answer.

    PS On the WUWT thread, in reply to an excellent joke by Michael Kelly probably only comprehensible to a few thousand people in the entire universe, Nic Stokes replied “+e^{iπ}.”

    I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was silly of me. A minute on Wikipaedia exploring Euler’s Identity made me want to hug Nic Stokes, someone I’ve neither met nor understood. You got something wrong there in your reply to Nic, I think.

    But will it matter? That thread, and a dozen comments by you, Don, Nic and some others is enough to demolish climate warmism. Look on this picture and on this (SkepticalScience, for example.) But who will ever find it, among a million similar threads, when the history is written?


  4. HANS
    Oh dear. I was going by Wiki’s statement that “Euler’s identity is often cited as an example of deep mathematical beauty” and I therefore interpreted it as a statement of approval. Wiki goes further and quotes Stanford University mathematics professor Keith Devlin:

    “like a Shakespearean sonnet that captures the very essence of love, or a painting that brings out the beauty of the human form that is far more than just skin deep, Euler’s equation reaches down into the very depths of existence.”

    If it’s just a silly nothing like “LOL” which mathematicians exchange between themselves, then my entire argument fails.

    I think I’ll go back to the Comic Book Archive and Mysta of the Moon, not to mention Princess Pantha, Jungle Queen, or the Black Angel – the Furtive Silent Killer (Her name spells Horror to swaggering Nazis) vs. that Nazi Cobra of the Skies the Baroness Blood, whose Guns Spit Bullets of Hate. At least you know where you are with them. Or should that be “zem”?)


  5. Geoff and Hans,

    correct: Nick was downvoting Michael’s comment, as I knew when I replied to Nick.

    I’d forgotten the identity was named after Euler, but I was keenly aware of what happens when you raise e to that particular imaginary exponent.

    My only blunder, as far as I can tell, was to have set that (admittedly fairly good) joke up for Nick in the first place.

    (Something had put the number e in my mind that day, so, when foraging around for an arbitrary quantity of props to give Michael I thought I’d raise e to some power that *didn’t* result in a demerit.)

    Had I “got something wrong in [my] reply to Nic[k]” it would certainly matter, Geoff: shame on you for trying to console me with my nett record of rightness! 🙂

    But I didn’t. I chided him for deducting a point from Michael’s (far better, IMHO) joke:

    “Deducting a point for the crime of making an objectively-funny pun, SRSLY?”


  6. BRAD
    Yes, you’re right. Mike’s joke was a proper joke, carefujlly elaborated for the pleasure of a half dozen of the potential hundreds of readers of the thread. Nic’s was a meme or something of that ilk. I was wrong about Nic, and therefore about you, and about Euler, (who will probably be along in a minute to comment).

    This is where we’re at. It’s called displacement activity, when lab rats receive disturbingly conflicting messages from their Betters/experimenters, and, unable to make a rational decision, sit around scratching their bottoms until they die. I’m not siting around. Mysta awaits me.


  7. Geoff

    8-rotated-by-half-pi-radians thanks for your merciless campaign of kindness.

    A couple of clarifications but! (To use the rear but, Down Under-style.)

    1. i have no desire to extirpate “warmism” (if that means AGWism), since for all I know it’s veridical—notwithstanding cornucopious cultural clues suggesting that it isn’t, as I must thank Andy and Alan for reminding me

    2. our enemies, if you ask me, are:

    i. the Consensus Science identified by Michael Crichton, who mercifully died before he could witness the full hideousness of its crowning from Oreskes’ cunt face, and which Richard Feynman would have chunderingly execrated (in no uncertain or unfunny or uninteresting terms) had he been cursed to be born into our times

    ii. climate catastrophism, a stillborn hypothesis without the scintilla of evidence necessary for viability, which should have been mourned for a couple of seconds and then forgotten thirty years ago—not embalmed and canonised in a grisly, necrolatrous conspiracy of denial for the impoverishment of the gullible and near-sighted

    iii. the good Germans who could easily put a stop to the above (the rampages of Oreskes’ teratomatous brainchild and the Weekend at Bernie’s farce that is CAGWism respectively) if only they were good human beings

    iv. the little Eichmanns who not only connive in the coma of reason, like their regular-sized compatriots, but profit from it

    If I’ve left anyone out I’m really sorry—there are just so many people to condemn—you know who you are!—this is all so unexpected…


  8. “for all I know it’s veridical”

    As you are citing ‘AGW’ specifically, then for all I know too. As stated multiple times ‘…whether ACO2 is good, bad, or indifferent, the narrative of catastrophic climate change is wrong, because it is cultural.’ While this is suggestive also of bias regarding the science of AGW, i.e. in regard for instance to the purported (non-catastrophic) strength of the effect, it actually tells us nothing directly about that science so we cannot know from social data.


  9. I meself have never been of the camp that says you can’t laugh at your own
    (practical) jokes – if not you, who else? Test but verify, right?


  10. Andy,

    thanks for reminding me. I misattributed the “cultural clues against AGW” idea to you. It may have been a projection of my own suspicions.


  11. Beth,

    test, don’t verify. 🙂

    (I used to be able to say that in Russian. Unlike the value of e to the power of i times pi, however, some knowledges decay rapidly upon graduation.)


  12. Seems to me your comment that started all this is approximately correct; everyone presumably will die. Just not today for most people.

    I’ve used variations of the same idea; to avoid dying in the future, die now! Trivially true, an absurd argument whose utility is to examine AGW mitigation schemes with immediate disastrous effects to avoid future disastrous effects.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brad. Have just relaxed my smiling muscles after reading your faux german efforts over at WUWT. You must have enjoyed yourself immensely. It was almost cruel and inhuman treatment to puff up those good people in righteous indignation, all for the want of a sarc. Even a discussion of Goodwins “Law”, very very impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Andy,

    you might be glad to know that John’s excellent deconstruction of CBT apologetics has forced me to question the “uniqueness” of CAGW fairy-science. Doctors are not, of course, scientists, but by the same token their exposure to EBM ought to be enough, I would have thought anyway, to avoid enthralment to such an inefficacious (or unsupported) treatment modality. So John’s essay came as a direct—and convincing—affront to my confidence in that aspect of medical culture/training.

    For what it’s worth I think I can say, without flattering myself, that if I were a GP treating John I’d give his views on CBT a fascinated and unprejudiced hearing. (Would I be so receptive to his critique if I were a psychiatrist with years of investment in the learning and applying of CBT techniques?) Perhaps that’s because I’ve been witness to such conversations before, and typically learned more from the patient than from the physician.

    A medical education does not *always* brainwash its victims, or at least, not to a surgical standard of sterility. But it’s disturbing when phenomena like e-cigarette resistance remind us just how far the profession is from an ideal of free-thinking rationality.


  15. Alan,

    thanks, I hope I made my ideologies clear to the 1.000s of readers of Anthony’s site. Typic of the Americans to misread my sententions though; I should have awaited that. Survive and learn!


  16. Brad:

    I can’t really say ‘welcome to reality’ as it’s not a particularly welcome conclusion to have reached. Some of the high profile cases are in medical science rather than just doctoring, and if we go back far enough we can probably cover every science discipline that isn’t simply too small or too hidden to make it to the dubious honour. On the upside it should be helpful regarding climate change domain, because one can see all the past behaviours and tactics and attempts to oppose dogma etc. rather than working as though one is in a vacuum on nothing ever encountered before.

    Liked by 1 person

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