The rage! The pure rage!
How often lately, I’ve been accused of being an alarmist because I’ve taken to just deleting some of the crap that comes through. It’s nothing short of a no win situation – either I entertain nonsense (as much as the other believes it to be otherwise) or I’m yet another agent of some secret agenda out to warp science – oh, the horror!
Being a fan of free speech as much as I’m of information, I obviously hate such a label… As 2010 demonstrates though, I could waste my entire life debating with such people who really don’t care what I have to say, but a determined to convert me to their ideology. I don’t want to waste my life away talking about the One World Government, the secret truth to AGW alarmism and the imminent financial despair to follow weaning us of this fossil fuel addict as much as I have no interest been convinced by the reality of UFO’s and anal probes, the wisdom of Scientology, young Earth creation, the terror of vaccination, the truth about the moon landings, Big Foot… basically whatever weird conspiracy cooked up by some half-wit.
Adelady hit me on to Greenfyre’s Dunce Corner. At first, it looked like a good idea, but a lot of work… That was before I found Andrew (aka Poptech). This bloke won’t quit, but moans when I won’t post his latest line of “it’s a smear campaign!! The truth is out there!”
Indeed this character’s main way to attract attention largely revolves around predominantly around baiting language rather than genuine discussion; if I don’t publish, I’m hiding the truth; if I move his crap here, I’m being childish; if I find his list unscientific, I’m scared; if I try to defend my argument, I’m a dirty liar out to smear; if I get annoyed with the stupidity of circular conversation, I’m clearly intellectually dishonest and fail on basic scientific education (coming from someone with absolutely no science training, this is of course rich). Such baits are an obvious insult to anyone’s sense of self, but clearly the circular nature exposes the only conclusion that would suit such an individual; either retract my counter arguments or admit his conclusions of my character are correct (as you’ll see below, neither are correct, but there is no room outside this conundrum). Norbert Wiener said it best (h/t Stephen);
The scientist is… disposed to regard his opponent as an honorable enemy. This attitude is necessary for his effectiveness as a scientist, but tends to make him the dupe of unprincipled people in war and politics.
Someone like Andrew is of course far superior at the foggy realms of political debate than myself. All I can do is refer to the science literature and base my opinions on that. I am obviously the dupe of such arguments because treat the other with respect and take the evidence seriously. Of course not everyone will agree, but from a scientific point of view, being egged on such characters is a pointless exchange without resolve. You cannot scientific argue with high school bullying and certainly cannot treat a person who acts in such a way as an “honourable enemy”.
What to do?
Welcome to ‘Under the Alfoil hat!
From here on in, Andrew’s comments will be moved under the alfoil hat (unless his comment refers to a grammatical error on one of my posts). Here, I’ll leave it up to other readers to argue with him if they feel the need, I however, will happily step off from this merry-go-round, as I will with any other who happens to find themselves dumped in the Sin Bin. That way, I’m not ‘hiding the truth’, but no longer stuck down the rabbit hole of the Mad Hater.
People who are banned – who will not even find themselves even here – include the following, with my reasons included:
Note – I do not necessarily think the following adhere to a bunch of crazy notions, I just find conversations with them just as circular, just as pointless and just as certain about something that seems just as unlikely as the alfoil hat patrol.