Talk:Denialgate

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon denialism.svg

This Denialism related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could do with improvement.

This article is of MID importance to the wiki.

See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Copperbrain.png


Contents

[edit] Merge

I like the article, but the title is erm... unintuitive. A google search for this term came up with nothing, so I can't imagine anyone actually looking for this title here. I think we should merge this info into Heartland Institute. Cow...Hammertime! 21:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

If someone wants to change the title or put up redirects with other titles, that's completely cool with me.
I oppose a merge, though. I plan to flesh this out a lot more with some of the actual contents of the documents, which would probably make it unwieldy and atopical for the Heartland page.--ADtalkModerator 22:45, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I would think if it's about the contents of the document, it is more appropriate for the Heartland Institute page. That is, agree with CowHammer. steriletalk 05:10, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Contents

I went through the stuff and found a few interesting things, but I'm not any kind of expert. If anyone else sees anything worth noting, please add it.--ADtalkModerator 00:04, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] "edit war"

Since the general view in the "non-wiki" world is that Heartland had nothing to do with the text in question, we should keep that as our default, and edit if and only if there is a valid reason to believe otherwise. --Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 03:54, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Edits

Two things seem to be in issue:

  • EVDebs, you think that there is no reason to think the memo isn't real. But there are reasons, and I gave them in the note. You aren't replying to them - you're just reverting.
  • You think Gleick's actions were ok. But note he didn't just take a fake name, he actively impersonated a member of the Heartland Board, and almost certainly produced a fake document to try to pass off as a genuine leak.--ADtalkModerator 03:55, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
First off, yes, I think his actions were justifiable. Same as Bradley Manning, Daniel Ellsberg, and any number of others; he did it from the outside instead of the inside. Second, consider this. Third, find a better source than Megan Fucking McArdle! EVDebs (talk) 04:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The better source is my fucking reasoning, which is in a different reference. Looking at your link, I'm not sure what here you're offering as argument. The memo clearly contains information only from the other documents, aside from a weird preoccupation with Forbes, which happens to be one of Gleick's main venues. Read it, you'll see.
I disagree that his actions were okay. Leaking is sometimes defensible, but fabricating evidence is not.--ADtalkModerator 04:07, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Please stop editing in your POV in the article until we've discussed this, EVDebs.--ADtalkModerator 04:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Let's find a compromise. Would you agree that the memo is probably forged, but possibly genuine? If we can work from those adjectives I am sure we can find a version that works for both of us.--ADtalkModerator 04:10, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
If you all can't get this together, I can stick a pause on it, till you decided here what to do?Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 04:13, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
First off, McArdle is not a reliable source for anything; she is not a science writer and doesn't have a good record when it comes to, well, anything really; she has a right-wing agenda that she doesn't make any effort to hide, which is not a good thing for someone trying to defend known scam artists like Heartland. Second, implying that Gleick was responsible for the memo is not reasonable, since we don't know where it came from, and forged may not even be the word for it. ("Collage" seems about as likely given the contents of the other docs.) Third, if the other evidence was not fabricated (which, by all indications, it was not), that does mitigate the original matter, especially since Gleick's actions were meant to double-check what the original memo said. EVDebs (talk) 04:16, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The one document is extremely fishy, but I say we wait until it's a, confirmed that it's a fake, and b, it was fabricated by Gleick (or someone else). Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:17, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't see how it can be confirmed as a fake. Heartland already said it was, even if they're being scummy and trying to conflate its fakeness into disqualifying all the documents. How else can it be confirmed? We should just use our reasoning, which is sufficient in this case.--ADtalkModerator 04:23, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The story is still developing and new facts can come to light. I'm leaning heavily toward "fake," but I'm just noting that things could easily change in the next few days. If Heartland actually decides to pursue legal action, we might have a whole lot more info. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
McArdle's reasoning remains good in this, if you read it, regardless of your personal feelings about her reliability.
It seems likely Gleick was responsible, but it may be an unknown third party. That's just hard to believe, because the third party must have had access to the other documents - and if they had those, why not just send them to the media themselves? It makes no sense.
Further, the memo is almost certainly fabricated, whether it was Gleick or not. The memo makes several mistakes not likely to have been made by the Heartland Institute, such as quoting their funding from the Charles G. Koch Foundation as being $200,000 when it was actually $25,000, as well as elementary errors of grammar. It lacks any hallmarks of a genuine memo or evidence of provenance, and contains ridiculous inflammatory plans on "dissuading teachers from teaching science."
The other evidence was almost certainly not fabricated, which is why there is a section on its contents. But, frankly, it seems most likely that Gleick is just lying to produce that mitigation that is mollifying allies, c.f. above.
On balance, I think that the evidence and reasoning mean that it would strain credulity to think the Gleick's story is true or that the memo is real.--ADtalkModerator 04:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
More to the point, it presents a serious undue weight issue. Considering that the documents from the (what should I call it? a sting?) were in fact what Gleick was looking for, we wind up with a situation where possibly invalid evidence leads to real evidence. Right answer, wrong path. Overfocusing on the validity of the memo doesn't do much except avoid discussion of the issue that Gleick was investigating in the first place. EVDebs (talk) 04:23, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
If he didn't manipulate that one memo you could have considered him a legitimate whistleblower. Since he didn't, we have this mess now. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:42, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
We still don't know who manipulated it, if it was manipulated. Again, we shouldn't be assuming Gleick was being dishonest about the memo until we have some proof or admission. EVDebs (talk) 04:45, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Also, McArdle's reasoning aside, I still don't think she's a reliable source; her understanding of science is legendarily terrible. With her track record, it's not wise to take anything she says at face value without at least trying to verify it, especially in a case like this where people seem to be conflating the initial memo's dubious status with the known provenance of the later documents. It's sloppy work, which is why I tried to replace her with the Connolley reference -- I'm surprised she claims not to be a GW denialist, but either way, the best thing you can pin on her is a stopped clock, IF she's right and IF it really matters. EVDebs (talk) 04:59, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
We're not assuming, we're thinking. The memo is designed to make Heartland look bad, and it's almost certainly a fake based on the reasons above. I assume you're now willing to cede that point - that it was faked by someone, Gleick or not? I think that just reading it makes that obvious.
Now, that point established, we have to face the fact that it was faked by someone who already had the other documents in his possession. Things like the K-12 section make that very obvious, with the specific references to the other documents. But if someone had those documents, then why lure Gleick into investigative work by fabricating the memo and thus contaminating the possible results with this scandal? They would have just sent the documents on to some journalists, as Gleick did once he "confirmed" the memo. It just makes not a lick of sense to think that someone had those documents, wrote a fake memo based on them, and then sent only that memo to Gleick. It's not an assumption when you listen to a story and realize it's almost certainly another lie.
If you want to delete the McArdle reference because you personally hate here, that's fine. But since it was her well-reasoned incredulity that informed me, I thought it was a good source. You should think about the fact that your complaint has nothing to do with her arguments, only with who she is.--ADtalkModerator 05:07, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Anyone else notice the ad hominem arguments around here? They seem rather thick lately. McArdle is quite credible, backing up her conclusions with evidence, being very specific and clear. However, AD, if Gleick was the author of that memo, he's even dumber than he already appears. At this point, he merely looks naive. I agree that your argument is cogent, but it is not conclusive. It's an argument from ignorance, i.e., "I can't think of a reason.... therefore the alternative is true." Maybe. I'm leaning your way. --Abd (talk) 05:28, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
He clearly made a very stupid mistake. At the absolute, highly unlikely best, he was very stupid. More likely, he was extremely stupid and scummy.--ADtalkModerator 08:45, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say I hate McArdle per se; I think she is a) unqualified and b) not at all objective, and therefore her reasoning is no better than any other non-expert in the field. (Lacking any further evidence, and given Gleick's work as both a scientist and an ethicist, it doesn't seem to pass Occam's Razor either.) Now, as for what Gleick "should" have done, that's not usually a productive way of looking at things because people don't always act the way we expect them to do. Gleick is actually a fairly reasonable person for a would-be whistleblower to go to, since Gleick is an expert in the field as well as being a frequent writer on issues surrounding global warming, making him close enough to a journalist for our purposes. In fact, rather than running with the memo, he investigated the background of it to make sure he was getting it right; whether that was unethical or not, those documents that he sought for verification are out there and more or less support the memo, whether it was faked or not. (And considering who Gleick is, I seriously doubt a bunch of professional liars like Heartland would knowingly talk to him. There was probably no other way to get at the primary sources.) EVDebs (talk) 05:22, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Occam's razor suggests that the explanation with the least number of new assumptions/variables is most likely to be the correct one. An utterly irrational third party who stole these documents , badly faked a memo and sent it to Gleick, so that Gleick could independently also scam them, is a ridiculous complication. Much more simple and more likely is this: Gleick lied to mitigate the damage to his own reputation after doing something stupid. It leads to the opposite conclusion that you reach.
Think about what you're saying. It's not a matter of speculating on what "should" have happened. It just doesn't make any sense. It doesn't matter how respected Gleick is: why would this mysterious whistleblower clumsily fake a memo when he has the actual documents, but not include the latter when he sends them? Why involve Gleick at all? - Gleick's status can't be relevant, since Gleick himself leaked them anonymously. It's just not a scenario that seems remotely plausible, and so we shouldn't credit it in the absence of any evidence.
Imagine if a Heartland official had impersonated a member of Greenpeace's board in order to scam a copy of their budget and fundraising reports, and had released them anonymously and included a clumsily-faked memo sourced from those reports and talking about how they can kill children to save the planet. And when found out and called out on the memo, this official says that it was sent to him anonymously- that it wasn't just an obvious smear attempt. You wouldn't believe it for a moment, because it would be clearly a clumsy lie. And we would say so here, because we're skeptical of flimsy and unsupported stories. And rightly so.
As to the morality issue, I don't think it's very virtuous of him, and he's not a whistleblower. Civil disobedience requires accepting responsibility, not trying to leak anonymously and only identifying yourself once you've been caught. If Gleick is, somehow, telling the truth, then he is still wildly irresponsible and deserves scorn.--ADtalkModerator 08:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
My two cents: Stick to what are the actual facts and what is reported, and don't generate our own speculation What we know: There was a leak, and bloggers and the media speculate that the climate strategy document is fake, and Heartland says it is. Gleick says he received it from an anonymous source, and was trying to confirm it. Even if we aren't an encyclopedia, I don't think adding our speculation to this type of content helps. That is, saying for sure it's faked and especially that Gleick faked it are inappropriate. steriletalk 06:19, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't think I am speculating. I think this is explicitly a Skeptical Point of View, since critical thinking points firmly in the direction of Gleick probably being at fault, though not certainly, as the article says/said. I have repeatedly pointed out that Gleick's story makes zero logical sense if you think about it.--ADtalkModerator 04:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
A skeptical person would come up with multiple possibilities, weigh the possibilities, and then draw a conclusion, and if there is any uncertainly in the conclusion, hedge even some more. They would not base their conclusion on one source. And yes, it is speculation; we don't have enough information to confirm it, especially if you are contradicting Glecik's story. I'm also not comfortable dragging someone further through the mud without more confirmation. I'm glad you used logic, but you are not necessarily being skeptical. steriletalk 17:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC) In addition, c.f., [1][2][3] steriletalk 04:16, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I've stepped away from this because I think my disgust with Gleick is prejudicing me, but I should note that none of these links really differs in the facts effectively. The first one is a moral argument defending Gleick as a whistleblower and attacking his critics, but not arguing fact. The second one is wild speculation that parses a single paragraph way too closely, and seems a little silly - very specious focus on language that is scarcely ambiguous. The third one just proves even further what I've been saying: the memo-writer must have had the documents in hand because they're clearly a source, but the memo does make some gross mistakes, like getting the Koch donation amount very wrong.--ADtalkModerator 04:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
All I'm saying that there are other interpretations of even the memo. I also see the ThinkProgress article as more about the ethics of jumping to conclusions with a wide readership, hence Romm's criticism of Revkin writing: "His [Gleick's] admitted acts of deception in acquiring the cache of authentic Heartland documents surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary, which Heartland’s leadership insists is fake." By writing that statement he is creating the suspicion, which is what I don't think RW should be in the business of doing. Mind you, the piece is more of a jounralistic squabble, but I don't really doesn't really see a defense of Gleick at all, especially in Romm's writing, "But Gleick is right that he committed a serious lapse of my professional judgment and ethics. He is right to regret his actions and make a personal apology." There are a lot of wrongs here, on Gleick's part, on Heartland's part, on at least some bloggers parts, and in a lot of journalists part. steriletalk 06:49, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Oh, I absolutely agree that there are a lot of other interpretations. As shown even here, some people are willing to give Gleick every benefit of the doubt, whereas others were shocked by his actions, and many more people come down somewhere in the middle, disliking this mess but finding it hard to feel sorry for the villainous Heartland. My perspective is just that Gleick's story is flimsy because it makes no sense under even the most generous interpretation, which is why my preferred version of the article refers to him as the probable author of the memo, although not the certain one.--ADtalkModerator 07:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

If you're reduced to "The better source is my fucking reasoning" as an argument, perhaps you could write up your preferred version in essay space. You could even call it "Essay:Gleickleak" - David Gerard (talk) 07:46, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
That was in reference to the lengthy reference note written in the article, explaining and providing logical support for the article's assertions. I was at a loss as to how else to reference what wasn't a source, but was instead basic reasoning. But I have already stepped back from this, so I'll just wait. I don't know what will develop, but perhaps Gleick will confess to forging the memo. That seems unlikely - he only appears to have confessed to the scam because he had already been identified.--ADtalkModerator 08:08, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
McArdle really nails it, referring to evidence that it was Gleick who wrote the memo, evidence that had resulted in accusations against Gleick even before he'd admitted being the leaker. AD, you are right. The critical thinking default here is that Gleick did it. That doesn't make other interpretations impossible. After all, maybe homeopathy works by some mechanism we just don't understand and nobody has thought of it.... --Abd (talk) 19:39, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
In the other direction, Otto. There is, however, an obvious explanation for the Otto results, not mentioned by Otto, and Otto does not address the arguments for Gleick authorship. --Abd (talk) 20:21, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
And DeSmogBlog gives an analysis which is clearly designed to fit a desired conclusion. It's self-contradictory. Funny how that works, eh? People with a belief in this or that interpretation of reality somehow manage to find "proof" for it. Very human. Moving outside this limitation is not necessarily easy.
DeSmogBlog has pointed out something, though, that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere, that the "strategy memo" suggests that it not be distributed to the whole board, but only to "a subset." The implications of that are fascinating, and DeSmogBlog doesn't really explore them, there are major implications both for the "valid" and the "fake" theories. Need I spell them out? --Abd (talk) 20:40, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] The apparent origin of the memo

I was completely ignorant of this flap, being out-of-the-loop on the Climate fracas since I stopped editing Wikipedia long ago. Big war there over it... If you really want to know, that was at the root of my being banned from Wikipedia. And I'm not a global warming skeptic, I was working for neutrality and accurate presentation of the science and the controversy.

Gleick acknowledged receiving a communication in the mail, and he fraudulently represented himself as a board member to get information that confirmed what he'd received in the mail. Since the board materials that he obtained confirmed the facts in the communication, he then passed on all the information, but what nobody seems to have noticed, in the reports I just read, is that he also passed on the original communication itself. It had come in the mail, so he scanned it, before sending everything out. It all fits. It was not confirmed as to origin, but what was shown by Gleick's own research is that the "strategy memo" was from someone who knew inside information. That's all. He took that as confirming the strategy memo itself, which is damaging to Heartland, not in the facts presented, but in the way that they are presented.

The strategy memo was not included in the board package, or he'd not have needed to scan the original he'd gotten in the mail.

Gleick, in releasing all of this together, mixing the mailed memo with official Heartland documents, allowed it to appear that the memo had been part of the board package, to go to the board. He states in his acknowledgement that he did not alter any document, including the original document, and that's quite believable, there is no reason to think that he did. Rather, he did exactly what he admitted: made a huge mistake, passing on a probably forged document.

While it's possible that the strategy memo originated within Heartland, analysis of the document has shown that it was unlikely that it was written by an AGW skeptic. It was written, most likely, by someone who wanted to discredit Heartland, which would be quite likely to be the person who sent the memo to Gleick. That person had obtained, perhaps illegally, the information on which the strategy memo was obtained.

If I had a paranoid mind, I'd think that a global warming skeptic did all this to damage Gleick, to take him out. More likely, though, some "alarmist" thought that this would force the release of the "real information," which, in a way, it did. Except the real information was mostly boring, and that's why the fake memo was needed, to spice it up. So maybe the memo was made up by some wanna-be save-the-earth activist with more time than brains, and certainly more time than ethics, who'd managed to come by the information, and figured out something clever to do with it....

I hope Gleick has the original document! If he's destroyed it, he might end up taking the full heat. Of course, he's got plenty of hot water to deal with even if the forger is found. Obtaining documents on fraudulent representation of identity? My, my! At his age? I thought only teenage hackers did that, aside from developmentally delayed adolescents of all ages. Or real spies, which Gleick is not. If the "leaker" had been a professional, we'd never know who did it.

Gleick's naivete in all this has got to be astonishing and disappointing to all his supporters. He was forced to acknowledge it, my guess, because he'd not taken precautions in sending the fraudulent request to Heartland, or in the address he used to receive the board package. It could be traced to him, and someone informed him that this was so, even if it hadn't yet actually happened. --Abd (talk) 05:11, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Detectives and investigative journalists do this sort of thing. That's why I'm not too clear on what exactly the ethical breach was. EVDebs (talk) 05:23, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they do, and so do spies. It can be illegal, and they take those risks. We don't expect scientists to do this. I'm not sure about "ethical breach" myself, either. What was his obligation, under what ethics? Probably false witness.
That's a separate issue from what he might do time on. It's tragic, as others have noted.
As to certain arguments being given above, obviously, since Gleick has shit-for-brains, this proves that AGW is only accepted by idiots. We are sure to see that argument come up on the skeptical blogs. --Abd (talk) 05:40, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't fit, and it doesn't make sense. The memo was forged with information from the documents. If the forger had the documents, which he must have in order to write the memo, then why did he not send the documents to reporters himself? Why just send the memo to Gleick and not the other documents? It just isn't credible - and not in a "golly I can't believe it" kind of way, but in a "that's an obvious fabrication" way.--ADtalkModerator 07:18, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that speculation about the actual origin should be in the article, beyond this crucial point: is the strategy memo a fake? The original objections to it being real were circumstantial. I.e., the date of scan, as well as other circumstances, made it clear that this was not included in the package distributed to the Heartland board. Rather, it was, Gleick claims, anonymously provided to him. To include it in the package that he, in turn, distributed anonymously, he scanned it, according to his account. According to a theory that he wrote it, he still scanned it instead of making it look like what was the the board package. Maybe. Not quite what I'd think of doing, though.
Thus the date of the scan, with what we now know, doesn't tell us if the document is real or fake, it merely makes it clear that it wasn't in the board distribution package. Gleick's anonymous "benefactor" could have faked it, or it's real, but not an "approved document" that was actually distributed. That's a minor possibility, but, if so, how can we think it represents Heartland policy and actual strategy? Something some loony-tune wrote as a suggestion for something to give to the board?
But there is stronger evidence that it's fake. I've been involved with straw puppet "information" in the past, posts purporting to come from someone in a fringe group, but using language that nobody actually in that group would use, and I could tell, I was certain, because I'd spent many years reading and refuting their pseudoscientific claims. The email was actually very dangerous, for it was pretending to show beliefs of these people that, in some places, could get them killed. It's one of the few times as a usenet moderator that I called someone a liar. And that stuck. The "strategy memo" is rife with usages that wouldn't come from a global warming denialist.
[paragraph about "third parties" moved to #"Third party opinion"]
At this point the preponderance of the evidence is that the memo is fake. The sites defending Gleick don't present evidence to counter what has been asserted as showing forgery, they just claim that there isn't proof it's fake. Just as homeopaths will claim that there isn't proof it's phony. And AGW denialists will claim that there isn't proof for AGW. And believers everywhere will claim that there isn't proof that their beliefs are wrong. Often there isn't airtight proof, in fact, but ... something about our brains falling out belongs here. Critical thinking is about thinking process, not about conclusions. As soon as we fix on conclusions, we've lost our capacity for critical thinking. Gleick knows if he faked the document, he might have fallen for the ends-justify-the-means idea. But if he's now telling the truth, he failed to be critical of something that supported what he already believed. We all need to watch out for that one. --Abd (talk) 19:25, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Title is terrible

Is the whole incident about Gleick? No, it isn't. This neologism occurs one place on the entire Internet, and that's here. "Denialgate" is the term generally being used. Is there any substantive reason at all not to move it to that name? - David Gerard (talk) 09:16, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

No. I just thought it was clever and might catch on. And I have a personal antipathy to the automatic gating of any controversy. Go ahead and move it. :(--ADtalkModerator 09:29, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Moved. I saw the word "Watergate" a while ago and thought "what? I don't recall any recent scandals about water ... oh yeah" - David Gerard (talk) 10:45, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
David, you'd be absolutely right if this were an ordinary encyclopedia. It isn't. We can have our own names for things, and we can create a redirect from a popular name. I'm not exercised to change it back, but "Gleickleak" did have a certain alliteration and appeal, and is much more specific. "Denialgate" could apply to a zillion cases where someone denies something. Watergate, of course, referred to a specific place, so it literally was the "Watergate scandal." "Climategate" at least refers to a collection of climate scientists and their antics. "Denialgate" dilutes focus to practically nothing. Gleickleak is memorable.
This page is about Gleick, once his identity as the leaker became known.
You know, in spite of long experience with the AGW/anti-AGW controversy, it didn't occur to me that "Denial" in "Denialgate" referred to global warming denial. That's a scandal? I thought it was simply a fringe position. What did the clearly legit documents reveal? That a libertarian think tank has supported some scientists with "denialist" views? This is news? A scandal? Only to those who have firmly planted themselves on the other side!
Damn! Convinced myself. I'll move it back. Leaving redirect in case some benighted soul searches for "Denialgate" instead of a more sensible search term. --Abd (talk) 19:42, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I looked, and it seems that "Denialgate" is only being used in the blogosphere by anti-denialist bloggers, apparently attempting to create an impression of a huge scandal. The core of that scandal isn't the legitimate documents, and thus proven behavior of Heartland, but the way in which the legit information is presented in the strategy memo. Suppose an organization decides to fund a scientist who will, say, investigate high-fat diets and their effect on heart disease. Okay. But an internal memo is leaked which says "We should do this so that people won't learn the truth, which will hurt our sponsors, such as Archer Daniels Midland." Suddenly the research funding (real) looks really sinister. That's only slight exaggerated from what is in the alleged "strategy memo."
If I was on the board of Heartland, and a sincere supporter of their goals, and I got a memo like the "strategy memo" from someone in the organization, I'd move to terminate them immediately. With supporters like that, who needs enemies? Of course, if I was a willing and conscious tool of Big Industry, to hell with my grandchildren, I might not. But I still wouldn't write a memo like that! --Abd (talk) 19:57, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  • What an effing mess! A sysop who is obviously clueless about how to preserve history when moving etc., deleted the page where it was moved and recreated it here, so history was missing. I've undone that deletion, then moved the page back here. Both article and talk page had suffered hiding of history. It should be back now, but it's possible I missed something, what with having to block the admin who was repeatedly deleting Gleickleak while I was trying to fix this. I figured it might slow him down enough to allow me to get the job done.
  • And I've learned that some people do seem to think they own the place. Fascinating. All in the education of this n00b, I suppose. Personally, I consider edits or actions repeating what I did before to be edit warring or wheel-warring, and I do suggest that the culture to avoid that be developed, if it isn't already here. Otherwise we end up with Stupid Revert Wars that waste time. Nice diversion, though. --Abd (talk) 20:34, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

[edit] "Third party opinion"

Some edits to the article are showing a pattern just like we see from fringe groups: taking the existence of dissent as establishing "controversy" which is then to be presented "neutrally." However, the commentators who are claiming that the memo might be real are all also strongly defending Gleick, and are clearly believers in Heartland as an awful beast. Referring to them as "third parties" is literally true: they aren't Gleick and they aren't Heartland. However, "third parties" implies neutral parties, and these dissenters to what is being found in major sources are blatantly not neutral, and aren't even pretending to be.

The language had been inserted by David Gerard, who is obviously trying to whitewash the coverage.[4]

I tried to fix it, including some of what I thought might be acceptable RationalWiki snark, i.e., sarcastic editorializing, standard on RationalWiki. David Gerard is highly accustomed to Wikipedia, where this would very much not be acceptable. He reverted, implying that the changes were not supported by the sources. However, they can be supported, and better match what's in the sources than the text that David created. David used the "peacocking" argument earlier in the day.[5] A lot of RationalWiki content would fall if David's apparent principles were uniformly asserted.

Notice that there is an avoidance of any attempt to judge the balance of sources. What I'd asserted is an obvious characteristic dividing them. I haven't seen any exceptions. This would be, on Wikipedia, synthesis, and is not allowed there. It's normal on RationalWiki.

I reverted David, but left out the snark, just getting rid of the highly deceptive "third party" usage and toning down my previous language.[6] This was then blind reverted by P-Foster.[7]

(A "blind revert" is a revert that does not attempt to seek compromise, and especially refers to reverts that make no explanation or are accompanied by no discussion. No claim is made that this is always wrong, sometimes it's efficient. But it tends to postpone consensus and can heat things up. Revert warring tends to degenerate into blind reverts, but it also can start that way. My way! No, my way! No, my way! Your way? No way!)

It's bloody obvious what's going on here, and it reflects what's going on in the rest of the world. People take sides and want the article to express their opinion. But it's also quite clear to me what a rational skeptical opinion would be on this "third party" nonsense. I've done my thing here, taking a stand. I suggest the language that was removed by P-Foster, but maybe take out the quotation marks, I forget if I actually was quoting one of the sources.

Now I'm going to go and wash my hands. --Abd (talk) 22:28, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Wow, you post a lot of text.--ADtalkModerator 22:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
You ain't seen nothing. Takes way too much time, in fact. And I've been doing this since before 1980, on the W.E.L.L. It will stop soon enough. --Abd (talk) 23:18, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not that what you wrote isn't pertinent, but I notice that I am loathe to actually engage you on anything you bring up, because I fear I simply won't have the time or energy to manage the resulting discussion. But on the other hand, it's not fair to penalize you for being wordy, even in this extreme, by ignoring you. I wonder if it would be an imposition to ask you to be a little more concise in talk page discussions? It doesn't matter on chat pages like the Saloon or WIGOCP, but here it's a little intimidating. Would that be possible?--ADtalkModerator 23:40, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It's fair to ask. I doubt that the results would be fully satisfactory, just like that, but there is a way. I'm tempted to respond here, but I will respond on your Talk page, AD. Thanks for engaging. --Abd (talk) 00:11, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Community
Tools
support