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Lew’s Philosophy (1)

When Jaime asked recently Australia Bushfires – Is Blaming Greens a Conspiracy Theory?”she was addressing in particular Professor Betts of the Meteorological Office, who recently tweeted:

I understand that this [the buildup of dried brushwood caused by newer policies preventing the traditional management of the bush, mentioned in a previous tweet by Roger Tallbloke] is not actually an issue. Australian states actually take active steps to reduce the bushfire hazard. However it remains a popular conspiracy theory.

This statement, coming from no less a persothan Betts of the Met, is triply disappointing, given that:

1) Prof Betts represents the reasonable face of climate authority. He once claimed on a Bishop Hill thread that he never let himself be quoted in articles of the hystero-catastrophic kind, and apologised when I pointed out that he’done just that in a Guardian article by Damien “Hot Flushes” Carrington. Betts is a gentleman and a scholar.

2) The “theory” that Betts wants to refute cannot by any stretch be considered a conspiracy theory, since it involves no accusations of secret plotting or nefarious intent, just the suggestion that some well-intentioned political decisions have had unfortunate consequences, and should be changed. Betts is lazily using the term “conspiracy theory” to mean: “hypothesis I can’t be bothered to disprove, so I’ll just chuck in a vague ad hominem and move on.”

3) Betts is not alone. In the past few years it has become common for any sceptical challenge to an official announcement (be it the claim that climate change will kill billions, or that Joe Biden’s son deserved every penny of the $1 million he received from a corrupt Ukrainian company when his father was in charge of US policy towards Ukraine) to be labelled a “conspiracy theory.” And it is surely no coincidence that, for the past few years, a shadowy network of academics in Bristol, Cambridge, Miami and elsewhere, financed by government departments, the European Onion, and a number of millionaire-sponsored foundations, has been conducting “research” and writing “reports” on conspiracy theorising, in order to counter the efforts of certain sceptical citizens to “..undermine people’s trust in government services and institutions.”

How do I know? Thanks to a whistleblower, one Stephan Lewandowsky, who reveals all in an article published a year ago on the blog of the London School of Economics US Centre. titled: A new tool can help us determine which conspiracy theories are false and which might be true.”

Lew is hardly a new tool, rather a middle-aged tool, but his theories are always worth a shufti. This article, according to the LSE, is: “based on the new book, Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them,” edited by Joseph E. Uscinski,”and argues that “conspiratorial thinking .. can often be a near-self destructive form of skepticism. We can use this skepticism, along with conspiracists’ tendency towards pattern-seeking and self-sealing reasoning, to flush out which are false, and which might be true after all.”

Indeed we can – if we define a conspiracy theorist as someone who accuses the authorities of conspiring to hide the truth – someone like Galileo for example. Or Giordano Bruno.“Pattern-seeking”? “Near-self destructive”?I’ll say. Flush them out. Then silence them, or burn them.

Lew begins with a“philosophical challenge,”claiming that it is important to differentiate conspiracy theories from actual conspiracies:

…given that the mere exposure to conspiracy theories can undermine people’s trust in government services and institutions. Conspiracy theories are not harmless fun…”

So, safeguarding people’s trust in institutions is a“philosophical challenge”? Says who? Well, Plato for one, and Lenin for another. Socrates, Russell and Popper – not so much. But none of the five mentioned above would have considered undermining people’s trust in government harmless fun,” despite their profound differences. Lenin, Socrates and Bertrand Russell all went to prison for the crime of scepticism, Plato was sold into slavery, and Karl Popper was exiled to New Zealand for his “mistrustfulness,” or worse. (Worse than mistrust, I mean, not worse thaNew Zealand.)

An examination of Lew’s cunning plan for distinguishing a true conspiracy from a false conspiracy theory aimed at undermining people’s trust in government will have to wait for another time. Lew, and the LSE blog editors, claim that his theory is base on his contribution to the Uscinski tome (“..a chapter on my experiences with people who believe in conspiracy theories.)

Now this chapter is not theoretical at all, nor is it about his “experiences with people who believe in conspiracy theories,” since Lewandowsky has consistently refused to engage with such people, except through the peer reviewed press, which means practically never. Lew’s chapter in the Uscinski tome is simply an account of the events surrounding the retraction of an article, from the point of view of the victim. It’s enough to bring tears to the eyes of a grown man, provided he is one of the estimated seven people on the planet who have followed this story in all its convolutions up to its happy dénouement. Since I am almost certainly the only one of the seven to have read Lewandowsky’s chapter, I can confidently assert that it is a somewhat flimsy basis for a new theory of how to distinguish the true from the false on such profound political questions as why, in the early sixties, a small army of lone gunmen decided to murder the four most prominent left wing politicians in the USA, or whether a few paragraphs cribbed from a PhD thesis were sufficient grounds for killing a few hundred thousand Iraqis. Again.

Though I haven’t the time or patience to examine Lew’s paper now, here’s a taster for a future upcoming article on Lew’s theory. Lew says:

People who believe in conspiracy theories typically exhibit an almost nihilistic degree of skepticism, to the point of distrusting more and more knowledge-producing institutions. It is not unusual for climate deniers to distrust the official temperature record based on a long catalogue of presumed improprieties by bureaus of meteorology around the world.

Which links to the article: Recurrent Fury: Conspiratorial Discourse in the Blogosphere Triggered by Research on the Role of Conspiracist Ideation in Climate Denial” which is simply the retracted “Recursive Fury” article, with the original “evidence” (quotes from sceptic bloggers abridged, mangled, and misattributed) replaced by stuff which Lewandowsky made up. We know he made it up because he says so in the paper.

Think about that. A professor is humiliated when an article he boasts about in a dozen blog articles is retracted because of its utter pathetic uselessness. (The professor disputes this interpretation, maintaining – falsely – that it was because of threats of legal actions for defamation.) The article then forms the basis for articles proudly published by the Oxford University Press and the London School of Economics.

Lew continues:

A further consequence of immutable suspicion is that a person may abandon specific hypotheses when they become unsustainable, but those corrections will not compromise the overall abstraction that “something must be wrong” and that the official account is based on deception. At that higher level of abstraction, neither the validity of any particular hypothesis nor the coherence of the theory matter. What matters is that there must be a conspiracy. In consequence, conspiracy theories are often incoherent. It is not uncommon for climate deniers to be equally convinced that global temperature cannot be measured accurately and that there has been global cooling for the last 10 years.

Linking to this article: The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracies”which goes considerably further than his original survey, which identified a conspiratorial link between climate scepticism and belief that the moon landing was a hoax based on four out of 1300 fake responses to a fake survey, since it accuses an undefined heterogenous group of sceptics of logical incoherence because a geologist in Australia said something different from a meteorologist in California.

Finally, and perhaps most crucially, conspiracists’ thought processes are inherently self-sealing, such that contrary evidence is re-interpreted as evidence for the theory. This reflects the assumption that the stronger the evidence against a conspiracy (e.g., climate scientists being exonerated of wrong-doing), the more the conspirators must want to hide the truth (i.e., investigations were rigged by George Soros to exonerate the scientists)

Hang on. The last time I saw the name of George Soros quoted in a blog article was in an accusation that quoting the name of George Soros was prima facie evidence of anti-semitism.

Lewandowsky gives no source for the accusation that the rigged investigations into Climategate (and rigged they were:we have the word of a chief scientific advisor to the government for it:Congratulations on playing a blinder”) were the work of the Jew Soros. Perhaps he’s just being funny. You know, accusing the people he’s investigating scientifically of being kike-hating anti-Semites – because among all the criticisms levelled at the lazy lying shits who inquired into Climategate – criticisms that proved beyond doubt that they were indeed lazy, liars, and shits – notably absent was the accusation that they were kikes.

Kike? Did I say kike? So I did, quoting Lew, who has said it three times to my knowledge. Once in an article in Nature, at least once in blog comments, and once at the head of the chapter which is (according to the LSE blog) the source of a new theory for establishing the truth behind some of the great political enigmas of of our time. Lewandowsky heads his chapter in the Uscinski book with an anonymous email (I assume it was anonymous. Lew doesn’t say) which accused him of being a Nazi kike, and mentioned the same email in an article about climate scepticism in Nature, the well-known toe rag for high IQ science types.

Lew recently on Twitter accused the Conservative party of being racist, or in the hands of racists, or whatever. I’m no fan of the Tories, but the party boss Mr Cleverly and the Government’s no. 2 Mr Javid don’t look like racists to me.

Lew’s groundbreaking papers on climate scepticism have established a weakish connection between climate scepticism and conspiracy theorising, but a stronger relation with conservatism. And conservatism is racist, according to Professor Lewandowsky. Therefore when Oxford University Press and the London School of Economics and Nature all go with articles on climate scepticism which open with the “Nazi kike” motif, you know they’re on to something. Would the OUP and the LSE lie about something as important as the link between belief in a lower value for equilibrium climate sensitivity, as suggested in Lewis & Curry 2014, and belief that professor Lewandowsky is a Nazi kike?

CODA:

Just read this article in the Graun: “Farmed pheasants are little more than free-range livestock”

Out of breath and panting heavily, I breasted the summit of the Lion’s Haunch, paused, then turned, slowly. A stiff pull up a frozen path through low gorse had brought me to the lesser peak of Arthur’s Seat, the extinct volcano that looms above Edinburgh…My descent had barely begun when I shocked a pheasant out of its bed of thorns. It exploded grouse-like from gorse, tail feathers quivering, and my first startled thought was: this is a wild bird. Three mornings later I was back in one of the pheasant pamperlands of southern Britain, where the bird is little more than free-range livestock

Cuk-cuk calls from out towards the wooded ridge and tyre tracks through sodden grass led me to a sloping field on a big shooting estate… They were not the only timorous beasties. I had not spotted it out in the open, in the middle of the field, but it had seen me. When I had drawn too close, the pheasant bolted in a volley of indignant clucks. I saw the same quivering tail feathers I had seen in Scotland. The same bird, living a very different life.

As the climate crisis escalates the Guardian will not stay quiet. This is our pledge: we will continue to give global heating, wildlife extinction and pollution the urgent attention and prominence they demand. The Guardian recognises the climate emergency as the defining issue of our times. You’ve read 123 articles in the last four months…

Be-Jaysus-the-Jewish-kike. The Guardian has been counting the number of articles I read.“Cuk-cuk”calls from out towards the renovated bodge of concrete behind Kings Cross:“We’re watching you.You’re the same kind of bird as our core readers (ABC1 social class, graduate, left-leaning and elderly) but living a very different life. HOW DARE YOU.”

I am not a pheasant plucker. Nor are any members of my family, to my knowledge.But I intend to keep on being as plucking unpheasant as I please for a little while yet.

Great couple of articles by Jaime by the way.

29 thoughts on “Lew’s Philosophy (1)

  1. Thank God that after reconfirmation this is the parody post, and not the Wong-Parodi post.
    It is actually difficult to tell the difference.
    Great work, as always. Cheerio, put a shrimp on the barbie.

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  2. How come the sceptics are all funny!!

    Because without humour we would all cry (or commit suicide).
    Either that or climate activists worry too much.

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  3. The Guardian also counts the number of its articles that I read, and keeps begging for money from me. It seems to think I read them with some sense of approval, rather than the reality, which is that I do so with a growing sense of disbelief.

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  4. ASECRETCOUNTRY,

    I’m surprised that Lew and his fellow psycho-social analysers of socially problematic climate change sceptics have not yet addressed this burning question. It is an almost universal, fundamental, defining feature of climate sceptics that they have a well developed sense of humour. Furthermore, you also don’t need to fabricate dodgy online surveys to prove this is true; it is an empirical, observable fact which leaps out at you every time you read a sceptic blog or engage with sceptics online. Conversely, it is also an empirical fact that among the vast majority of believers in ‘dangerous’ or ‘catastrophic’ AGW, a sense of humour is functionally extinct. One can conjecture that either this particular organ was surgically removed shortly after birth or that long term exposure to the doctrine of man-made climate change causes it to atrophy at an alarming rate.

    I don’t suppose Lew’s reluctance to investigate this rift between Deniers and Believers has anything to do with this: A good sense of humor is a sign of psychological health?

    But research on humor has recently come to light, with humor now viewed as a character strength. Positive psychology, a field that examines what people do well, notes that humor can be used to make others feel good, to gain intimacy, or to help buffer stress.

    Appreciation of humor correlates with other strengths, too, such as wisdom and love of learning. And humor activities or exercises result in increased feelings of emotional well-being and optimism.

    Nah, surely not.

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  5. WordPress still seems to think that I cannot be trusted with a ‘like’ button, and so I will have to resort to expressing my appreciation the old-fashioned way.

    Not only is this article an excellent example of Geoff’s work, but Jaime’s last two offerings are classic examples of the sort of journalistic rigour that is woefully absent from the mainstream, pro-activism canon. As for the importance of humour, I couldn’t agree more with Jaime’s last comment. And, on that topic, I would just like to forewarn readers that I will shortly be inflicting upon them the concluding sections of The Groper Contract. This will be a rather long posting, but I think that may be preferable to suffering the prolonged spiral of death in interest incurred by further drip-feeding instalments.

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  6. It is not unusual for climate deniers to distrust the official temperature record

    ‘Climate denier’ – meaning what? Anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with a ‘climate believer’? And which official temp record is in fashion this week/month/year, after numerous so-called adjustments? Give us a break from such claptrap.

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  7. I suppose Catherine McKenna, the Canadian Federal Minister of Environment, ordering the destruction of all federal temperature records before 1950, because they are innacurate, is not a conspiracy? If this post is a prime example of todays worldwide intelligentsia, then perhaps the human race is in need of a ‘do over again’ !

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  8. @asecretcountry – “How come the sceptics are all funny!!”

    I think climate sceptics are mostly more light hearted about the state of the planet.

    I see problems in the world that should be addressed, but think blaming it all on CO2 (global heating) puts some people in a box/bind where funny is not an option.

    ps- think most of the 97% work to a script & never will say “hey what a wonderful world”

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  9. Is there a lot of anti-Semitism in this post? That is the accusation apparently from Lew, Rice and some other social psychologist climate change fanatic. Back it up or retract the smear-like accusation, as Richard suggests:

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  10. There is some good news. Not so long ago cliscep was ignored – in a study upon “denier” sites, cliscep wasn’t even considered. Now we come in for buffeting and accusations of antisemitism are manufactured. You are getting quite dangerous.

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  11. Alan – it is never good to be falsely accused of anti-semitic accusations and conspiracy theories by academic psychologists with the media at their beck and call, as Jo Nova and David Evans discovered…

    That smear on them ‘worked’… Lew also introduced that smear in one of his own blog posts – Moon Hoax paper time.. when a co -author of his Recursive Paper – Michael Marriott (watchingthedeniers) was demanding on Lewandowsky’s blog, Geoff I and others, respond to it, and demanding answers to questions.. including that we demand to his anti-semitic allegatation of sceptics..
    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskySouljah.html (starting comment 33)
    based on his ridculous blog post here.
    https://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/the-protocols-of-the-elder-climate-scientists-and-banksters-is-the-media-is-twigging-to-just-how-extreme-some-sceptics-are/
    https://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/climate-sceptic-conspiracies/profile-dr-david-evans/

    Lewandowsky even did a video, quoting Marriots blog attacks on them

    Whilst unbeknown to us sceptics responding to Lewandowsky’s blog posts, he was researching and collating our responses for a Lewandowsky paper – Recursive Fury (the paper who’s original ethics approval – for another paper, was a low risk approval, interviewing ransom members of the public in the street, and showing them a graph and identifying trends.. yet some how that low risk approval was amended (and approved without full review) by Lewandowsky and UWA to do this. Lewandowsky told his ethics officer that he had two people already working on this (itself against ethics, as he had no approval) and they would be observing only no participation of any sort..

    Yet Lew was writing the blog post about sceptics, attacking them by name, mocking them and was interacting with them by email and his co-author was demanding answers.. that and the group of people he was having a blog battle with, including Jo Nova, Anthony Watts, Steve Mcintyre. he was an absolute public opponent of. Jo Nova handed out copies of her sceptics handbook in one of his lectures.. he organised a counter lecture the day before , to a Watts/Nova lecture at his university and organised John Cook to handout a counter pamphlet to Jo’s handbook at the Watts/Nova lecture..

    Lewandowsky had already publicly stated at a Monash lecture that jo Nova was a conspiracy theorist at a lecture, irrational, outside of mainstream society and believed 911 was a “building accident”.. this ‘quote’ had no source identified.. but we find the only time “building accident’ had been written, was by MIchael Marriott, misrepresenting a jo Nova article. so the quote was a fake quote by his co-author a blogger, who hates and was at war with (his words) climate deniers..(watchingthedeniers)
    https://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/jo-nova-claims-she-is-no-conspiracy-theorist-by-stating-911-was-a-building-accident/
    Jo mocking Lewandowksy publicly trying to link mad conspiracies like 911, etc to climate sceptics
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/05/name-calling-fairy-dust-conspiracy-theorist/

    yet we have a psychologists researching his direct opponents… whilst smearing them as conspiracy theories and anti-semites publicly.

    All the above Frontiers in Psychology were made aware of, and the paper was eventually retracted.

    Yet, back in the real world the impact of those false allegations had consequences for those publicly accused, do not take them lightly, demand evidence (look how far I took things with Gleick when I was publicly accused of something by him, to clear my name

    https://unsettledclimate.org/2012/02/02/clarifications-and-how-better-to-communicate-science/

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  12. Barry. As is now common in my responses here (and elsewhere) some is with tongue in cheek. Much of what Lew and acolytes write about climate sceptics is totally abysmal. Yet there is a small glimmer – by the diligent work of you guys (and galls) Cliscep is gaining more and more respect. This I thought worth recognizing. I do not deny or object to anything you wrote except the implication that I might support Lew™.

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  13. Barry Woods refers above (16 Jan 20 8.27am) to comments on Lew’s blogs at http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org

    These comments are no longer available. This blog originally belonged to the University of Western Australia and commenting was free. It now belongs to Lew, apparently, and all comments have disappeared. Following a conversation with commenter Trustyetverify I reconstituted the original comments to one of Lew’s key nine (?) posts in September 2012 in a new comment. I’ve since tried to do the same for other posts using the Wayback machine, without success. Wayback announces having recorded the articles at the time, but can’t or won’t reproduce them. Is there any way round this?

    Lewandowsky’s posts in September 2012 and their comments are key evidence in any accusation against Lewandowsky of academic misconduct. At the same time that he was insulting his critics in nine (?) posts in a fortnight he was collecting blog comments with a view to accusing us of all sorts of psychological failings. Yet none of his evidence came from the comments at his own blog, where Barry, Paul and myself were particularly active.

    If Trustyetverify or anyone else could show me how to recuperate the comments , that would be extremely useful.

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  14. thought I’d put the wayback machine link in..
    https://web.archive.org/web/20121129183725/http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskySouljah.html

    comment 33 – Michael Marriott (watchingthedeniers) introducing anti-semitic conspiracy theories with David Evans (Jo Novas husband and sceptic) then demanding answers of sceptics, interacting with us directly and goading us for responses.. Prof lewandowsky modification of a low risk ethics approval said (for Recursive Fury paper) . observation only, no interaction of any sort….

    later on Marriott interacting with me directly, demanding stuff.

    Watching the Deniers at 18:16 PM on 10 September, 2012
    Hi Barry, interesting questions. I can’t answer them, but I think the paper’s author has already.

    Can you please address the question I have posted above about the claims of Evans/Monckton?

    The question is this: is there a connection between conspiracy making and the sceptic movement.

    I have provided evidence of conspiracy claims which, if sceptics are indeed sceptics, need to be addressed.
    ——————–

    Barry Woods at 18:43 PM on 10 September, 2012
    I know nothing about Monckton or Evans, beyond thinking Monckton is just a failed UK poltician, of a party UKIP which is a bit of a joke in the UK.

    (-Snip-)

    Unless someone can point me to a specific response to what happened to the JunkScience data?

    ‘movement’ sounds like you believe in a conspiracy yourself. My observation is that the majority of high profile sceptic bloggers are fiercly independent individuals, not a ‘movement’ ! 😉
    Moderator Response: Repetitive questioning snipped.

    note even my responses were being modded/snipped (trying to provoke angry responses from sceptics?)
    by we know Lewandowsky and Skeptical science contributors, our opponents. Yet Lewandowsky/Marriott/Cook were allowed to research the responses to his earlier paper on blogs, in blog battles they were active in, by Lewandowsky creating a dozen blog posts in his research period, prodding his opponents, all unbeknownst to them..

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  15. The latest on Twitter:

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  16. The moral bankruptcy is the thing I’m most trying to hit here. I don’t make any promises about the consequences – and I haven’t to Geoff! But not to state the truth, in the medium in which the highly defamatory lie was delivered, was unacceptable to me. One interesting side-effect is that Stephan Lewandowsky has blocked me. This was how he chose to join in two days ago:

    Note how this cleverly wasn’t a direct affirmation of Sander van der Linden’s damaging claim about Geoff in this post. He’s the senior man and it shows in the smearing stakes.

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  17. I didn’t intend to get into this debate, though I appreciate Richard’s efforts in defending our good name in the above twitter thread. I couldn’t care less what anyone calls me, but the danger is that this could get dragged up later in a way to harm others. Imagine if in years’ time a real debate began, and an article by Richard or Jaime or Paul got important coverage. It’s certain someone (probably Monbiot) would use it against him or her arguing: “He/she writes for an anti-semitic site.”

    For this reason I regret overdoing the emphasis on Lew’s anonymous “Nazi kike” email. He’s mentioned it several times, always with the aim of insinuating that his critics are anti-semitic. I too have mentioned it several times, always with the aim of stating as clearly as possible what a despicable character Lew is, who will stop at nothing in order to defame critics and draw attention away from their arguments.

    In the above Twitter thread, Lewandowsky brings up Soros as an example of a “dog-whistling anti-Semitic trope” when it was he who introduced the name of this predatory financier quite gratuitously into the debate. Who is dog-whistling here?

    He then links to an article from Grist, originally published in Mother Jones, which states:

    The link between hate groups and climate denial is complex and anecdotal at best, with little research examining the overlap between the two. But there is enough anecdotal experience to prompt prominent figures who study and advance science and policy to see a connection.

    The only “prominent figure” they quote is

    Stephan Lewandowsky, a University of Bristol cognitive scientist who studies science denial,

    and who

    .. notes how the virulently anti-government message that has long dominated climate denial discourse shares common themes with people who believe in conspiracy theories writ large. “Science as well as respect for others’ religions or ethnicity are considered establishment norms, just like truth-telling, and hence the people who support (and are incited by) Donald Trump are likely to reject all of those norms,” Lewandowsky tells Mother Jones, “which again would link science denial, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy theories as a cluster or [sic] related phenomena.”

    The link is anecdotal, and it consists of Lewandowsky quoting an article from Mother Jones which quotes Lewandowsky linking climate sceptics to anti-Semitism.

    He really is a nasty piece of work.

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  18. Stephan chose a blogger (and librarian, not a phd psychology student) to research us…..

    Mike Marriott

    “I was exhausted by the fight against the deniers. I did my time, and I needed some much needed R&R.

    The debate between scientists, environmentalists and the deniers is not a debate over facts: it’s a culture war and bloody one at that. Sometimes there are causalities. I think I was one of them.”

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  19. Geoff:

    I didn’t intend to get into this debate, though I appreciate Richard’s efforts in defending our good name in the above twitter thread. I couldn’t care less what anyone calls me, but the danger is that this could get dragged up later in a way to harm others. Imagine if in years’ time a real debate began, and an article by Richard or Jaime or Paul got important coverage. It’s certain someone (probably Monbiot) would use it against him or her arguing: “He/she writes for an anti-semitic site.”

    Exactly.

    It was helpful that Paul emailed a few of us – you, Jaime, Ian and me to be precise, selecting I assume those, apart from your good self, who are known to at least read Twitter regularly – about this from Joe Uscinski:

    A bit of fun and perhaps even appreciation there. But within a few minutes of the email I looked for myself and saw the disgraceful comment from van der Linden (I only spotted Rice’s later). The rest, as they say, was unwelcome duty, for exactly the reasons you give.

    For this reason I regret overdoing the emphasis on Lew’s anonymous “Nazi kike” email. He’s mentioned it several times, always with the aim of insinuating that his critics are anti-semitic. I too have mentioned it several times, always with the aim of stating as clearly as possible what a despicable character Lew is, who will stop at nothing in order to defame critics and draw attention away from their arguments.

    In other words, it wasn’t anti-semitic, not one little bit. By not retracting their claim, or giving any evidence to substantiate it, because they know there isn’t any, van der Linden and Rice have established that their commentary, as well as being libellous and defamatory, was malicious. We can point back to this silence about something so serious if Monbiot wants to take down Jaime (or any other such combo) using this slur in the future.

    Note also the lack of any demand to you or to Cliscep to take down any of your words. It’s completely specious. Dr Lewandowsky has trained them well. Your exposure of his own self-referential smearology is hilarious indeed. (Such delving was outside scope for me while the anti-semitism claim was on the table. I believe that it isn’t now.)

    The only thing I’d add is that I’m sure we’ll all give Ken Rice a warm welcome back to Cliscep when he next appears to put us right on some area of consensus enforcement. I’m sure none of us would dream of asking him to first retract his baseless accusation of anti-semitism against one of our founders, and most appreciated writers, before lecturing us on anything else.

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  20. RICHARD 19Jan 2020 1.35am
    This comment isn’t going to be very interesting to anyone outside our little circle, but it’s important to get things straight in case anyone tries to interpret things for their own ends.

    First I agree entirely about the seriousness of the accusation of anti-semitism, and I was therefore extremely grateful for your efforts to put the record straight. The casual way the Cambridge professor van der Linden said “lot of anti-semitism in this article…” and Rice filled him in: “..a site that has been publicly attacking Stephan – and others – for years..” typifies the treatment of their adversaries by spokesmen for the consensus: Never engage with the argument. Look for the attitude, the identity that negates the need to engage. If only some of us were Jews, Freemasons, or Communists (oh, some of us are!) that would have been the ideal argument years back. Now they have to make do with anti-Semite. It would be funny if it weren’t coming from university professors. Rice in one of his tweets recognises that the retracted Lewandowsky paper was a “disaster,” (and that therefore my attacks are justified.) But they can never apologise, never explain – just like Trump. And that comparison will hurt them more than any more reasoned analysis.

    I tend to lay off the critics I consider more civilised, less out with the fairies, like Betts, Rice, and Corner, so I don’t follow ATT Physics. Maybe someone should. If we laid into them as I’ve laid into Lew, at least they’d read us. Jaime has the right aggressive nature, but she has other fish to fry. (And don’t she fry them well!)

    RICHARD 19 Jan 2020 10.25am
    I can’t follow this Twitter thread except I can see that you put in some useful excerpts from my comments in reply to Bitwonk who seemed to be supportive. I clicked on the heart under Bitwonk and it turned red, despite the fact that I don’t think I’m on Twitter. Or am I? This all seems very silly. Perhaps I should challenge Professor van der Linden to a duel.

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  21. Geoff, rather than reply on everything (I may return to other parts), thanks for drawing attention to Bit Wonk. This was a heartwarming moment for me only discovered through this otherwise burdensome anti-accusation-of-anti-semitism phase.

    And that was only a ‘discovery’ because we haven’t been monitoring our Cliscep twitter account. Well, I haven’t and, from the state of the unread Notifications, nobody else has. (I’ll do it from now on.)

    We in the last paragraph is Paul, Ian and me. I’m not expecting you to; your lack of password just rubs in the point! But I think it’s well worth comparing @bitwonk and @gmchambers. Bit Wonk only had 10 followers when he made his excellent comment and you now have 7 – because you are the first person, or twitter entity, to be followed by @cliscep itself. It’s just another way of saluting your contribution. Either that or I got confused between my own account and the Cliscep one. But it just feels right.

    So lastly, on this mystery:

    I clicked on the heart under Bitwonk and it turned red, despite the fact that I don’t think I’m on Twitter. Or am I?

    Yes, you *are* on Twitter. The heart turning red meant you managed to like Bit Wonk’s tweet, as confirmed by what I can see on the Cliscep account right now:

    Sadly, though, the lack of any number beside the heart under the tweet here means you also managed to undo your like:

    But this is surely enough to confirm that you are a fully-fledged member of twitter. You too could have tweeted, like the almost-as-unknown @bitwonk, and encouraged me!

    Like

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