Monday, October 27, 2008

Alex Lockwood: paper tiger

I'm hiding this post for the moment, in light of John B's comment. I wouldn't normally be so coy, but my internet connection is behaving very strangely at present: I am able to access some sites, but a great many others seem to be either inaccessible to me (Timmy's site) or intermittant (Blogger: it's taken me seven tries to get in to do this edit).

I'll return to this when my internet's better and I've re-read the paper.

UPDATE: yes, I am using Be and I know that they are doing some upgrade work. However, it does mean that I am unable to tell reliably, which of the sites that I host are up or down. Anyway...

Regarding Lockwood's paper: he very much does not, as John B states below, reject the idea of blog censorship. The only caveat that he puts forward is that, if censorship is seen to exist then it may denigrate the mainstream media.

He does obviously believe in anthropogenic, catastrophic climate change: he is wrong, but never mind. He does use terms such as "denialist" a number of times, and also slyly attempt to paint the Englishman as some kind of lunatic little Englander—the citation of that blog comes immediately after Lockwood states that "the UK sceptic sites are fewer, but are well read and bound up with concepts of nationalism." The Englishman's site was, of course, named as a piece of wordplay, i.e. "An Englishman's homepage is his castle..."

No, what I have decided to do it to go through the paper much more carefully and provide rebuttals in a fisking style. This will take me rather longer to do (and is quite impossible with such intermittent service), but it is worth it, I think.

However, as a preliminary, what makes this paper so absolutely worthless is that Alex Lockwood assumes that the science is settled; the entire paper is predicated upon this assumption. For, if the science is not settled, then the side that blogs take is not important and, therefore, neither is the question of whether they should be gagged.

Unfortunately, Lockwood is a lecturer in journalism; it is entirely fair that he discuss how blogs are disseminating the debate, but he should not be quite so obviously taking sides in said debate—especially since he is possessed of no scientific credentials nor, it seems, any real understanding of either the articles being presented or the characters behind them (Steve McIntyre is not merely a "sceptic blogger"). Quite simply, Alex Lockwood is not in a position to make that kind of judgement.*

The whole point of science is, in fact, to question everything and never to assume that anything is utterly correct—citing Galileo is the Godwin's Law of science discussion but is, nonetheless, entirely relevant.

As the world, as not predicted by the climate models, continues to get cooler (as far as we can measure these things), people like Lockwood are going to look steadily more silly and hysterical as the evidence against anthropogenic climate change piles up even more.

A demain...

* Many will argue that nor am I; however, I am willing to bet that both my scientific training and my reading of original papers are rather more extensive than Alex Lockwood's.

Oh dear, oh dear...

Some time ago, on the fourth of August, your humble Devil first bumped this disgusting piece by some young totalitarian fuckwit named Alex Lockwood.
I’m preparing a paper for an upcoming conference on this, so please comment if you can! Thanks. Many people have urged for there to be some legal or moral consequence for denying climate change. This urge generally comes from a number of places. Foremost is the belief that the science of anthropogenic climate change is proven beyond reasonable doubt and that climate change is an ethical issue.

I’m an advocate for something stronger. Call it regulation, law, or influence. Whatever name we give it, it should not be seen as regulation vs. freedom, but as a balancing of different freedoms.

Young Alex was severely beaten with a cluebat by a number of knowledgeable bloggers and appeared to repent of his massive, totalitarian stupidity.

Unfortunately, despite being gently and not-so-gently informed that his support for legal gagging orders for those with whom he disagreed and being sent links to posts that cast considerable doubt on the anthropogenic climate change catastrophe itself, it seems that Alex—despite describing himself as someone who is an absolute supporter of free speech—has decided that personal aggrandisement should come well before any notions of freedom.

Yes, Alex Lockwood has, it appears, removed his site and given a paper [PDF].
Seeding doubt: how sceptics use new media to delay action on climate change

Alex Lockwood, University of Sunderland

Paper delivered to the Association for Journalism Education (AJE) annual conference, “New Media, New Democracy?” Sheffield University, 12th September 2008

Alex's first task, he says, is to "provide a (very) brief summary of the scientific consensus" and fuck me, but it really is very brief indeed.
On 3rd August this year, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri told the Chicago Tribune: “The science about climate change is very clear. There really is no room for doubt at this point.”

So, to introduce his summary, Lockwood has chosen the IPCC Chairman, whose nice little sinecure absolutely depends on anthropogenic climate change being beyond question. Excellent!
Since publication of the 4th IPCC report in 2007, the mainstream media has, in general, accepted this position.As Andreadis and Smith (2007) note, UK journalists are no longer required to balance each warning voice.

And as the world continues to get colder, those MSM journalists are going to look more and more stupid.

Furthermore, just what, precisely, do the vast majority of MSM journalists know about scientific process? How many of them do anything more than simply rehash a press release? Precious fucking few, frankly.

Let us take, for instance, a round selection of the BBC's science reporters, shall we? You might remember, for instance, the BBC's Environmental Analyst, Roger Harrabin.
Incidentally to my research on the previous posting, I came upon the surprising fact that Roger Harrabin is a graduate in English.

I don't know about you, but I find it pretty gobsmacking that someone who is paid to interpret complex scientific papers and reports on our behalf doesn't actually have a flaming clue what any of it means. In fact take that back, he presumably doesn't read any of the papers at all because he is incapable of understanding them. He regurgitates press releases for a living.

He's semi-educated.

It does rather explain the quality of some of his reporting though.

And what about the rest of the BBC's environment team?
  • Margaret Gilmore was an environment correspondent until 2005. She studied English.

  • Tom Fielden, science and environment correspondent - not sure what subject he studied, but it wasn't scientific.

  • Richard Bilton, previously environment reporter - studied Communication.

  • Matt McGrath and Julian Pettifer - I can find no record of them ever having been to university, although presumably they must have been.

So here's the challenge: can anyone find a BBC environment reporter with a scientific background?

That's a very good question. Actually, how many journalists in the whole of the MSM have a science background: I am willing to bet that it is pretty fucking few.
Writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, Cristine Russell concurred, suggesting that for US journalists “the era of ‘equal time’ for sceptics... is largely over.”

Well she, at least, does seem to have some sort of scientific qualifications, although she seems to have spent most of her life as a journalist. But she is simply another Lockwood—the kind of totalitarian creep who would stifle those views with which she does not agree.

As Longrider so eloquently puts it...
Yes, they said something similar to Galileo. Science is not “settled”. Science is always open to challenge, new discoveries, new theories; there is always room for doubt. Attributed to Einstein, but whoever said it, it remains valid; “a scientific consensus can be undone by a single fact”. Something Lockwood might like to bear in mind before blathering on about there being no doubt – I’m pleased that he is so certain, however, it does tend to confirm his arrant idiocy and arrogance. Only a religionist claims that such things are settled. There is always room for debate and Lockwood is one of the nasty little totalitarians seeking to stifle dissenting voices. He is an enemy of the people – along with the politicans who likewise pursue an anti-freedom agenda. That so many are now sceptical is not – although I suspect that the Englishman is flattered – due to a few bloggers; it is because people can see when they are being consistently lied to. Eventually even the dimmest start to get it.

But let us get back to the delightful Lockwood.
It is my contention that new media is providing the spatial and temporal freedoms that, when combined with the ability to publish free from peer-review and from journalistic codes, provides the ‘room for doubt’ for which Pachauri says there is no longer any time. Do we have time for ill-informed scepticism and disinformation?

Of course, if the answer is "no", then you can stop reading Lockwood's paper now, for it is full not only of totalitarian bullshit but of more than its fair share of "ill-informed scepticism and disinformation".

I feel rather weary of this; we tried to help the young man out and he has decided that appeasing a bunch of stupid, new media gurus is rather more important than telling the truth or defending basic freedoms. Instead, I shall hand you back to Longrider.
As for journalistic codes, frankly, when journalists like Alex Lockwood stop peddling lies and disinformation, I’ll give the matter some thought. But don’t count on it. Freedom of speech doesn’t comply with codes, watchdogs or censorship.
… I would argue that climate disinformation online is a form of cultural and political malware every bit as threatening to our new media freedoms, used not to foster a forum for open politics but to create, in Nancy Fraser’s term, a “multiplicity of fragmented publics” that harms not only our democracy, but our planet.

Then you are every bit the ill-informed jerk I took you for the first time I read your totalitarian nonsense. Freedom of speech is sacrosanct in a representative democracy – even if it is speech that you don’t like or find inconvenient. Of course, this is the same plea this mindless moron was making before; fuck freedom of speech that I don’t like and regulate blogging – censor inconvenient views and stifle dissenting voices. That harms democracy, not climate scepticism.

Alex; read my words very carefully – I will never register with a watchdog, I will never abide by any government approved code of conduct and I will, absolutely, continue to promote a sceptical viewpoint – and you can stick that where the sun doesn’t shine, you nasty little specimen. The first time I read your work, I came to the conclusion that you are a pompus wanker. Reading the latest steaming pile of horseshit that has slithered from your keyboard, I realise that I was right.

As for the Englishman; congratulations on getting under this little wart’s skin. Keep up the good work.

I will add my congratulations: and I would also add congratulations to Steve McIntyre...
Perhaps the best known example of political impact has been the work of sceptical blogger Steve McIntyre, whose criticisms of the hockey stick graph used in the IPCC reports led to a US Congressional Committee to examine its validity.

Steve McIntyre is a little more than a "sceptical blogger", Alex: in fact, his scientific qualifications are considerably better than yours.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Toronto. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford.

McIntyre has worked in hard-rock mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada. He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003.

Prior to 2003 he was an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies.

Furthermore, the hockey-stick evaluation was undertaken with Ross McKitrick (who is not important enough to feature in master Lockwood's thesis—I'm sure that he's gutted) whose qualifications also rather dwarf Alex Lockwood's.

It goes without saying that Alex Lockwood favours calling these gentlemen "climate denialists", bringing in the language of Holocaust denial to the debate. Which is appropriate, really, since this little shit would make an excellent Hitler.

You can't pick and choose free speech, Alex: you either have free speech or you don't: you don't want it, and so you are an enemy. And it seems that you will not be told.

For, a little while ago, young Alex posted this whining post to his blog, which included this pathetic little point.
One lazy, ill-thought through comment in a previous post had quite large repercussions across the blogosphere (e.g. here), particularly for my reputation as an academic and for my students;

Ah, diddums. It was, apparently, "one, lazy, ill-thought through comment" that has gone on to form a basis for your paper: I am so glad that we could help you advance your career advocating that the opinion of those with whom you disagree be silenced. What a brilliant, shining example of journalism you are, Alex.

I simply cannot be bothered anymore: Alex Lockwood is an evil little turd and I wish him ill in his future life. I feel sorry for the poor wee bastards that he teaches though, and hope that they see through this pathetic, opportunistic, illiberal charlatan.


Anonymous said...

University of Sunderland.....

That says it all.

Sam Tarran said...

Thanks to you and everyone else tearing him a new asshole. He seems like an authoritarian, egotistical, intellectually-challenged little turd.

Anonymous said...

That is one of the most depressing things I've ever read.

God help us. With people like him about and there are plenty of them I think we are truly fucked.

John B said...

Not sure where you're at here: Lockwood's paper specifically rejects the concept of censorship/regulation of blog content, concluding that freedom of speech outweighs any concerns about spreading misleading content (and that the best way to counter AGW deniers is to clearly and concisely state the evidence for AGW).

Also Sam, in the UK we call them 'arseholes'. HTH.

Chris Palmer said...

I am having the same problem with the internet. Many sites do not appear to be working. Are you using Bethere broadband? I have a feeling this may be a service provider problem.

Anyway, I will be interested to read your thoughts on this once they reappear.

Chris Palmer said...

I should point out that a temporary solution to the internet not seeming to be working is to use this website:

All web pages seem to load perfectly with it.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I had no idea that people with his views were allowed to work in academia. It is shocking that he feels he can say what he says with the expectation of approval; that is the raising of climate change denial to the level of holocaust denial.

A little trawl through his anoraky little blog spewed forth this gem:

"The question is: how much time to do we have to encourage media freedoms that freely amplify uncertainties that may be helping hold back political action on such an unprecedented issue?"

This is a part-time lecturer with a Master's degree in Creative and Critical Writing, at the University of Sussex and a background in wafty meedja projects, but who is borderline obsessive/compulsive about global warming. He is currently aspiring way above his pay grade, both academically and politically.

What baffles me is that someone who clearly advocates curtailment of freedom of speech is allowed to teach at all. Had he been arguing for white supremacy (just another issue that requires what the BBC might call "ethical sensitivity")he would be out on his ear. Apparently, the powers that been at Sunderland are politically in line with his loony left ideas. No surprise there, then.

humphrey said...

He's clearly insane and needs to be ignored.

word veri. plockles

This new bloke has a sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

I have to point out that "fisking" is a terrible style and, more importantly, boring; it is quite easy to write a counterpoint piece without the endless quote-fisk structure that causes eyes to glaze over or worse leave.

Don't "fisk" ... respond!

Jones said...

Oh FFS, Lockwood's a "Lecturer in Journalism", which considering the standard of modern mainstream journalism, is nothing to brag about.

The Happy Rampager said...

@ John B -

Not sure where you get 'specifically rejects censorship' when Lockwood explicitly calls for 'I’m an advocate for something stronger. Call it regulation, law, or influence.'...'we need a body with teeth to be able to say, “actually Brendan, you can’t publish that unless you can prove it.'

I'm wondering whether that would apply to the likes of The Devil's Kitchen 'fisking' anything the AGW proponents came up with. I'm not wondering about AGW supporters not being happy unless it did.

And I'm not surprised at you white-knighting for someone who thinks we need 'a body with teeth' to enforce, ahem, guidelines on AGW thinking. It's just like when on another thread, someone said that a violent thug who attacked people unprovoked should go to prison for life, and your instinctive response was 'authoritarian tyrant'. Because to you, if we can't punch people for no reason, it's not a free country.

Martin said...


As oyu once noted, I predicted the censorship of the Internet in 2005. I had thought that the reason would be to prevent inter0cultural antagonism; didn't think that climate change would be the hook.

Lockwood seems to be just another grey little apparatchik; he's probably a Liberal Democrat. I have recently started a new job; two of my colleaguses hold Honours degress. One cannot spell the word 'Lloyds', the other the word 'fortune'. Our universities have become Augean Stables of corruption, and need cleansed. The University of Sunderland's journalism department would be a good place to start.

whoops said...

so presumably, as AGW cannot be proved (because it doesn't exist), by his own rules articles promoting that THEORY would also be censored?

Anonymous said...

"Oh FFS, Lockwood's a "Lecturer in Journalism"

Ah – an expert in geophysical fluid dynamics, with a sound grounding in non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Just the man to evaluate AGW.

John B said...

@ HappyRampager - no, when a commenter said someone who was *accused* of being a murderer should go to prison for life, I suggested they were an authoritarian tyrant for prejudging the outcome of the trial based solely on tabloid reporting. I agreed that if the case made by the prosecution was proved, I'd be happy if they were never released.

Lockwood raises the concept of legislation, but then quotes and agrees with Jim Harper that "giving power over the Internet to... politicians is a bad idea", and agrees with Reporters Without Borders that the law in Belarus concerning blog regulation is "repressive" and "censorship".

His argument overall can be summarised as "1) irresponsible online loonies tell lies about global warming; 2) this gives the public a false impression of the science; 3) while some people like the concept of laws against lying they're likely to do more harm than good; so 4) the best we can do is clearly spread the right information and counter the loonies as much as possible".

I completely understand people disagreeing with 1 and 2 (and Lockwood's lack of science credentials don't help his case), but pretending his point 3 is the opposite of what he says, so that you can brand him as a Nazistalinistgulagofascist rather than just someone who doesn't get the science, is grossly dishonest.

(I note, incidentally, that Steve McIntyre's scientific credentials are more or less equivalent to mine, and only slightly better than Lockwood's. PPE + maths + shilling for mining companies != climate export)

Anonymous said...

The "fact" that this idiot uses the phrase "Scientific fact" shows he does not understand science and should be ignored.

Umbongo said...

"I note, incidentally, that Steve McIntyre's scientific credentials . . . ."

Frankly who cares what McIntyre's scientific credentials are when you (1) look at the crap the climate "scientists" produce as the basis for their whole AGW construct and (2) realise that McIntyre has a distinguished record of outing Hansen's scientific shortcomings.

Since when did we subcontract the ability to detect a con trick to "scientists" just because the con trick happens to involve "science"? I don't have to be an IT expert to know that the HMRC is lying when it claims its systems are "robust" or a statistician to sense that a cover-up is being constructed when a 22% deficit in serious crime is revealed and then spun as an unimportant statistical blip by the state broadcaster.

John B said...

"Since when did we subcontract the ability to detect a con trick to "scientists" just because the con trick happens to involve "science"? a fair argument, but rather undermines the criticism made of Lockwood's lack of scientific qualifications.

johnny nunsuch said...

Nice to see my taxes going to a thoroughly deserving cause - NOT
We actually pay this mealy mouthed muppet FFS

John B said...

(oh, and the 22% deficit was in "serious violent crime", not "serious crime". This matters because the major categories used in crime reporting are "overall crime" and "violent crime" - and the reclassification didn't affect either of those numbers. Personally, I don't really give a monkey's whether a drunk trying to hit someone with a broken bottle and missing - which is precisely the kind of crime that was misfiled - is classed as 'most serious violent' or 'other violent'.)

Sam Tarran said...

Also Sam, in the UK we call them 'arseholes'. HTH.

Just thought it sounded a bit pompous. A case of writing phonetically.

The Happy Rampager said...

@ John B - no, the first time you attempted to CYA, you suggested that the other commentator had explicitly stated there shouldn't even be a trial. Which was a lie. In fact the other commentator said nothing about dispensing with a trial. They also said nothing about the outcome of the trial.

All they said was someone who did that sort of thing belonged in prison. For life. That does not suggest, 'don't bother with a trial', It doesn't suggest, 'just find him guilty', It doesn't bespeak 'authoritarianism',

When it was pointed out to you that the other fellow said NOTHING about not having a trial you ran away, which is what you do when you're wrong and you know it.

And that's your idea of 'authoritarian tyranny', which tells us exactly what sort of person you are.

The Happy Rampager said...

Also -

"giving power over the Internet to... politicians is a bad idea"... "repressive"..."censorship" does not = "'a body with teeth' isn't such a great idea after all".

Do let me know when he retracts his calls of 'a body with teeth', won't you?

John B said...

THR - no, you're wrong. Can't find the relevant thread (this should bring it up, but doesn't; I've spent half an hour searching under various other terms), but the original commenter said '[Smith - have forgotten the defendant's actual name] should be locked up and never released'. He didn't say 'people who do the kind of thing [Smith] is accused of should be locked up and never released], and he didn't say 'if [Smith] is convicted he should be locked up and never released'. If he had, I would have agreed with him. As it is, he was assuming that because [Smith] was accused of the crime in question, he was guilty of it - which is certainly authoritarian behaviour.

(I've never 'run away' from a blog comments section. I do, however, 'have a life' and sometimes 'am too busy to dick about on blogs for a few days'...]

On Lockwood, I reckon taking his comment "stopping debate where the debate is rational and fair would be the wrong thing to do; stopping it where it gets irrational is also the wrong thing to do; stopping it when it incites violence against individuals or groups, yes, I probably think it’s the right thing to do" seems like a better way of discerning his views than voodoo psychology based on posts he's retracted, no?

John B said...

Brown, not [Smith]. And it turns out he is guilty, and indeed I'd hope he's never released (20 year tariff is a start; if he's as petty-rage-crazed as he seems then hopefully he'll have trouble convincing a parole board; I'd still have preferred a longer minimum tho').

But it's nice that he got to have a trial first, where people weighed up his defence against the prosecution's evidence, rather than just assuming that the facts as reported were true and made him evil - isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"But Zittrain warns this (the internet - ed) is under threat from spam, viruses and malware, ... (snip - ed)

I would argue that climate disinformation online is a form of cultural and political
malware every bit as threatening to our new media freedoms, used not to foster a forum for
open politics but to create, in Nancy Fraser’s term, a “multiplicity of fragmented publics” that
harms not only our democracy, but our planet (Fraser, 1993)."
This guy is no friend of freedom.

dirty dingus said...

I discussed Lockwood's paper in the context of how it shows the MSM failing at their (self appointed) task of presenting the information we need over at my blog just now.

The Happy Rampager said...

and he didn't say 'if [Smith] is convicted he should be locked up and never released'.

No, because it wasn't necessary to do so. Most people have an understanding that trials are part-and-parcel of the process of locking up thugs with hair-trigger tempers. It's not necessary to preface such comments with 'if he is convicted' to avoid wankers making claims* that they want to lock people up without trial, if you think it is then you're being unreasonable.

*Claims that you only started making AFTER you realized, 'holy fuck, I just called someone condemning a thug an 'authoritarian tyrant' for it. I'd better bullshit about how they obviously must have meant without trial so that no-one stops to think about what I just said', after all, your original comment was little more than 'authoritarian tyrant', no indication that it was the supposed 'without trial' (which the commentator didn't say) that vexed you. Because it wasn't.

Making it about the supposed deficiencies of the other guy; a tried-and-true leftie tactic.

John B said...

No, you despicable little cuntrag.

It was fucking necessary, because Brown hadn't been convicted. If Brown hasn't been convicted, and you say "Brown should be jailed forever" when he hasn't even been tried yet, then you *are* an authoritarian fuckwit, and if you don't understand why that's the case then everything this blog stands for has entirely eluded you [*].

I clarified my comment, which was made for that reason, because people like you (IIRC just you, but I'm not willing to make the strong claim because I can't find the source) deliberately misread my claim as implying that horrible murderers should be let free. Which I don't believe - I think the criminal justice system is too harsh on petty criminals and too lenient on the tiny minority of violent lunatics who should never be released.

[*] I don't stand for everything this blog stands for, but if 'not condemning people before they've been fucking tried' isn't one of the things this blog stands for then DK isn't the man I think he is [**]

[**] One of the pragmatic reasons I'm reluctant to support the Libertarian Party is that the country's biggest LP blog, despite being written by a good man with whom I disagree on many things but who's honest and reasonable, is infested by loons who think that 'being a charver accused of stuff by the cops' is good reason in and of itself to say 'yeah, hang the fucker, bring it on'.

The Happy Rampager said...

The only reason why it would be 'necessary' to preface our comments with 'after trial' or 'upon conviction' is to avoid trolls accusing them of itching to lynch people. We don't expect to have to do that. Are you suggesting that we should? Like, every time we condemn a thug for his actions, we have to say, 'of course, there must be a trial' for fear of John B troll-fury descending upon us?

Again, the vast majority of people, and I would say all of the contributors here, DON'T need to be told how the justice process works...but you say this other commentator does, do you? What do you base that on, that he expressed dislike for a violent madman? That's it? He didn't say anything like, 'just take him straight to prison, not court', If he had, your protestations would make sense and wouldn't look like a bizarre attempt to distract people from your betraying your own biases.

Seriously, if your thought process really does go 'this madman belongs in prison' = 'he said without trial!' = 'tyrant bastard!!!', then you're both (a) insane and/or stupid, and (b), seriously, SERIOUSLY biased towards criminals.

Which we knew already.

From the first time you said 'authoritarian tyrant'.

You don't attack this cunt for what he did ('indeed I'd hope he's never released' - a comparitively sedate response) half as strongly as you attacked one particular person who said he needed life in prison for punching people in the head for no reason. That shows a bias towards criminals.

Especially since you had no good reason to respond to the original comment with the words 'authoritarian tyrant', yuo were just expressing your opinion. Thanks for your opinion, John.

While you're making appeals to DK, why don't you ask him if he agrees with you that 'scumbag needs life in prison' = 'send scumbag down without trial'?

John B said...

You don't attack this cunt for what he did ('indeed I'd hope he's never released' - a comparitively sedate response) half as strongly as you attacked one particular person who said he needed life in prison for punching people in the head for no reason. That shows a bias towards criminals.

No it doesn't, it shows a bias towards arguing with idiots who're actually there rather than making platitudinous points about things everyone agrees with.

I think that [whoever it was on the thread] is an authoritarian tit, and I think you are too if you can't understand why it's bad to say '[the defendant] should be banged up forever' before a trial (yes, perhaps there's a silent 'after conviction' in those words, but there's still a very clear presumption of guilt in your words).

I don't, however, think that [whoever it was on that thread] should be banged up for the rest of their natural, whereas I do think that should be the case for people who go around casually murdering those as annoy them.

Dunno about you, but I'd rather be called bad words than locked up forever, and I'd assume that someone who wanted to lock me up forever was more strongly opposed to me than someone who wanted to call me bad words...

James Higham said...

L'Ombre did a nice thing on this one too.

Damo Mackerel said...

Notice how we've gone from the green house effect (debunked) to global warming (not happening) to climate change?

The Happy Rampager said...

@ john B -

'I think that [whoever it was on the thread] is an authoritarian tit',

Yes, and as I've said before, that's based on nothing more than their disgust over someone thumping someone they'd never met for no reason.

'and I think you are too if you can't understand why it's bad to say '[the defendant] should be banged up forever' before a trial'

No. One. Said. That. Your pathetic attempts to claim that someone did, or must have done because they didn't say 'only after a trial', are dishonest in the extreme.

(yes, perhaps there's a silent 'after conviction' in those words,

A more intellectually honest response (i.e. one you're incapable of) would have been, 'Oops, I have no grounds whatsoever of making wild accusations of being a tyrant, I do apologize',

but there's still a very clear presumption of guilt in your words).

Actually, we're not discussing my words fool, we're discussing someone else's.

While we're about it, why don't you tell us whether 'this madman belongs in prison' = 'he said without trial!' = 'tyrant bastard!!!' actually makes sense to you. Whether 'pacify me by taking care to say 'only after a trial' at all times or else I'll call you a cunty cuntbag!' actually makes sens to you.

john b said...

Aaaaagh, you still don't fucking get it, do you?

The point of a trial is to establish *whether or not the gentleman being tried is a madman who thumps people to death for no reason*. So if [person X] says, before the trial, that the gentleman in question is a madman who thumps people to death for no reason and should therefore be locked up forever, then [person X] is an authoritarian fuckwit, because only an authoritarian fuckwit would hold those views before it has actually been determined whether the gentleman in question actually is a madman who thumps people to death for no reason.

The authoritarian fuckwit in question doesn't need to explicitly state 'without a trial'. If you [*] assume before the gentleman in question has been tried that he is a madman who thumps people to death for no reason, then you're *definitionally* showing that you don't believe a trial is required to establish his guilt. Otherwise, you wouldn't believe that he was a madman who thumped people to death for no reason - instead, you'd wait until after the result of the trial before you formed any strong beliefs about his lunacy and thumping-to-death proclivities.

[*] meaning 'one', but not using the term 'one' because it's archaic; not 'you' meaning 'the fucking idiot with no clue about logic or language on whom I'm wasting my time. I wish logical argument were taught in schools, and only people who passed A-levels in it were allowed to make a nuisance of themselves on blogs...

The Happy Rampager said...

The authoritarian fuckwit in question doesn't need to explicitly state 'without a trial'. If you [*] assume before the gentleman in question has been tried that he is a madman who thumps people to death for no reason, then you're *definitionally* showing that you don't believe a trial is required to establish his guilt.

Actually yes, unless [person X] explicitly states 'without a trial' you have nothing to back up your supposition that '[person X] mustn't belive trials are needed to prove guilt',

'if [person X] says, before the trial' does not count as 'evidence' in support of your wacky 'theory'. Which, for the nth time, you only cooked up to cover the fact that it's people's disgust for nasty thugs that offends you.

Thanks however, you have confirmed that you think people should always say 'a trial must be held' to keep you from trolling them, and that 'scumbag needs life in prison' = 'send scumbag down without trial' makes more sense to you than it does to the rest of us, who have real intelligence.

snivelling coward said...

Mr Devil, I know this is your blog and I am free to depart amid execrations and never darken your fiery doors again, but can't you get john b out of here before he bores the collective asses/arses off your wretched but devoted disciples?

John B said...

Oh FFS. I'll stop now, but I can't believe the simple concept of "you need a trial to determine whether or not someone is a murdering scumbag, therefore you can't say someone is a murdering scumbag until after they've been tried" is beyond people with 'real intelligence'...

The Happy Rampager said...

Yeah. I suppose you think the JFK assassination - captured on film and everything - wasn't out-and-out murder until after a court had declared it so.

John B said...

Err, no. Naseri was beaten to death, that much is obvious. What wasn't obvious was whether or not Brown murdered him. The parallels to JFK's assassination are pretty obvious and don't work in your favour.

DocBud said...

John B,

Steve McIntyre questions the statistical methods used by Mann et Al, which he is qualified to do.

"Shilling fo a mining companies"

You are a real tosser (I should point out I shill for mining companies, it provides a very lucrative living, although I prefer to think I provide the service they pay for).

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