They are still going

Up to 162 comments now.

The last thirty or so are becoming quite instructive.  It’s a curious sleight-of-mind we’re being offered:  The Science is Settled when evidence to the contrary is suggested or referred to, or when a conclusion is disputed.  But point out that the data and conclusions have both changed greatly over time – from Global Cooling to Global Warming to Climate Change – and then, suddenly, Science is a Process and of course testing hypotheses and revising results is the order of the day.  The High Holy Model works, unless it doesn’t, and then it’s clear that something even worse must be happening.  And above all, THIS is the key thing, and can’t you agree that THIS is in fact happening?  But it might not be happening, or might not be the key, or might actually be unavoidably happening… may not have a blessed thing to do with us either way… and these are questions that are not to be considered.  Such doubts are just obscurantist dodges.

This in a nutshell is what I was talking about last post… the endless circle of madness that seeks to include others in its constricting ring.  The denial of my conclusion that Zachriel made in the comments sounds hollow indeed when he immediately proves the point back at Morgan’s.  It’s not a scientific point at all.

Leftist “debate” increasingly consists of:

A. Propose something.
B. Define evidence as only that which supports A.
C. Exclude anything that casts doubt on or refutes A.
D. Wonder why people can’t reach the Conclusion, A.

In vain does one point out that proposing a conclusion is a huge logical fallacy.  Sentence first, trial afterwards! It saves so much time.

Thus also the assertion that climate-change skeptics are all on blogs and not in respectable peer-reviewed journals.  The reputable journals are following the above process and as a result don’t accept the skeptics’ submissions.  It’s as if I submitted a list of Ten Greatest Films Ever Made that didn’t have, say, Casablanca on it… and somehow everyone bought into this.  Soon there isn’t a film critic alive who’ll put Casablanca in their own Top Tens.

Oh, but people love it?  It’s always being remastered and selling a quadtillion copies?  And it’s contributed dozens of common idioms to everyday English?  Too bad!  Not on any of the lists!  Well, it’s on blog lists.  Pffft.  They’re not reputable, are they?  They can’t get a real Ten Greatest Films list published with critical approval, not with a film like that on there.

That’s what is going on here – and quite openly too.  If you’re skeptical or in the least questioning about Global Somethening, then you’re “not a real scientist” and you can’t get your skepticism published, no matter how rigorously you’ve tested your models, or checked your data, or scrutinized your calculations.  You never get a peer review to begin with.  It becomes impossible to apply actual science (attempting to duplicate results with the same data or conditions) to the issue: the “real scientists” are neither testing these new models or calculations, nor submitting their own original and raw data to others for cross-checking.

And pointing this out?  That, too, requires a “scientist,” and if you’re not one, how can you question a Real Scientist on this?

Elsewhere, Morgan quoted someone as saying, “Modern Liberalism amounts to a lifelong struggle to make high school come out right.”*  Indeed.  All of us are trying to find ourselves back then.  It’s seems that it’s in vogue to bow to that search as the whole point of life.  Seems to me, however, that actually finding oneself is the point.  The journey is important, but only if it’s actually a journey – which presupposes a destination.  We don’t have to know when we begin exactly where we’ll end up, and a lot of us are still trying to get there, but we have to have a heading.  Mentally and spiritually, if all we’re doing is treading in circles, then we’ve gone right back to the definition of madness at the top of the post.

*There’s some speculation that it might have actually been my line.  I admit to hoping so, as I like the line, but I have no memory of coining it.

But even the restless to and fro is motion… and it’s always possible to jostle people out of the deep rut and back on course.  The trouble is when you just stop.  Then you’re well-nigh doomed, and that’s something that I’m seeing in alarming quantity.  It’s become not only acceptable but even admirable to simply freeze in that attitude of rebellion and angst and superiority that marks adolescence, and never get farther.  People enjoy too much the feeling that they already know everything and are unwilling to risk it.  Hence the hostility towards others who dispute with them.  Hence also the overwhelming need to control those responses, to rule things out of bounds – until such time as they want to cross those boundaries themselves, of course.  Those lines weren’t drawn by mutual agreement or principle.  Those things are, much like “science” above, merely tools.  The supreme claim is nothing more or less than the impulse of the person staking out the position – not even the position itself is important, which is why you see so many “core beliefs” abandoned so blithely when they constrain what that all-precious Self wishes to do.

Higher principles and other people are just that, OTHER, and to the adolescent mind that’s a bug, not a feature.  And for too long now, the adults have celebrated this and dumbed themselves down to match, agreeing not to notice that we’re raising a generation of Potemkin people with no substance to prop up their egos.  It’s in the culture, it’s in the education (self-esteem über alles), it’s in the entertainment, it’s even in the religion (as Severian notes in this comment) – and it goes without saying that it’s deep deep deep in the politics.  Government is largely the world’s most expensive day-care center: chock full of bleating, screeching, spoiled brats whose defintion of sharing is to be given all they want, the instant they want.  If it isn’t enough, because what they’ve been given has broken or run out, they will demand more.  This quote is, in fact, Morgan’s: “Angry people demanding things don’t stop being angry or demanding once their demands are met.”

Since I’ve written this, they’re up to 170, by the way.  Will the circle be unbroken, by and by?

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11 thoughts on “They are still going

  1. Zachriel April 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    nightfly: If you’re skeptical or in the least questioning about Global Somethening, then you’re “not a real scientist” and you can’t get your skepticism published, no matter how rigorously you’ve tested your models, or checked your data, or scrutinized your calculations.

    Skepticism is the proper vantage in science. Skepticism is where people make their reputations. But merely naysaying without providing evidence is of no scientific usefulness. The problem with climate skeptics, is that they simply don’t have the evidence they need to convince their peers. Frankly, so-called skeptical research, what little there is, rarely touches the fundamental questions of climate change. Meanwhile, scientists working in very diverse situations, in different countries, in different cultures, on different problems, are reaching the same conclusions.

    “Climate change is real… It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.” — National Academies of Science of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States.

    More important, that is what the data shows. Here’s the new HadCRUT4:

  2. Severian April 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    And for too long now, the adults have celebrated this and dumbed themselves down to match, agreeing not to notice that we’re raising a generation of Potemkin people with no substance to prop up their egos.

    • Severian April 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      I meant to say, “this is nicely phrased.” Sorry about that.

  3. nightfly April 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the compliment, Sev.

    Z – as I said in my prior comments, my point is not scientific. If you must classify it, it’s psychological: thinking of others as problems to be solved or units to be sorted, rather than people to be convinced, who might have good reasons to disagree with you; being so fixed on one thing that the only possible conversation is along its narrow circular track, slowly crushing everything else within. As I recall, you disowned that description of your approach thus:

    “Humans exhibit huge variations in attitudes and behaviors. Many people being highly imaginative and creative, some will rise to the benefit of their neighbors, while others will destroy their own environment because they consider those who point out the problem to be “jerks or creeps”. “

    How is this disavowal any different from my description? Who talks like this about people – “huge variations in attitudes and behaviors” – as if quoting from a textbook? The answer is, those who study them rather than get to know them. And your classifications are telling: either people who think like you and prove it by acting as you require, or those who cannot be made to see and ruin everything. And then you immediately turned right back to the science, even posting the same link and the same “quote” from several National Academies thereof.

    To me, though, the clincher is that I’ve read well-nigh 100 of your missives, and I still can’t tell which one of you is writing at any time. If you hadn’t self-identified as a collective, I would never have known there was more than one of you.

    I’ma go ahead and consider my point proved.

    There are “jerks and creeps” who will gladly trample any number of other people, inflict constant suffering with a smile in their hearts, in the name of saving the planet. They are conveniently enough those who decide exactly what the planet needs saving from, and when. Most importantly from their point of view: it will always need saving. Therefore, we are never to be free of them in any way, and it’s for our own good, so lie back and think of Gaia.

    Even if you prove to be utterly correct about Global Somethening, I wouldn’t trust the solution to you or anyone thinking like you. I’d rather trust those “highly imaginative and creative people” who can actually do good for themselves and others without the need to dominate other people’s behavior and command their decisions.

    • Severian April 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Rousseau, on his deathbed, said: “I think I know Man; as for men, I know them not.”

      He was wrong — he didn’t know Man either– but that quote encapsulates leftism in a nutshell. If you know Man, there’s no need to know any particular individual men…. in fact, individuals just get in the way, since lots of them are stubborn and slow and recalcitrant and attached to “false consciousness” and “reactionary” and “kulaks” and all the other stuff that ends up very quickly becoming Politburo code for “people who need to be lined up against a wall and shot.”

      That’s actually a pretty good rule of thumb: If you ever find yourself advocating a total disruption of someone else’s life for their own good — if, in other words, some iteration of “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” — passes your lips, you subscribe to an evil, inherently totalitarian philosophy.

      Or, if you want it said much prettier: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” -CS Lewis.

      Warmism easily passes this test.

  4. Zachriel April 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    nightfly: Z – as I said in my prior comments, my point is not scientific.

    That’s fine. Our only concern is the science. Your extended personal attacks and observations are of no note, and are typically blocked by our filters anyway. Good luck with that.

    • nightfly April 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Your concern is not the science at all – only what you can force others to do with it. Science just happens to be the tool of the moment, and more useful than most because it gives the gloss of objectivity to the enterprise.

      Now, you may think this is of no note, but bloggers tend to have more readers than commenters. They may be interested.

      • Zachriel April 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm

        We wish you all the best.

  5. Severian April 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Ahhh, I see — it’s only the science; we wouldn’t want personal attacks!

    This from the fellow(s) who refers to human beings as “little apes” and has just spent 100+ posts belittling several people’s comprehension of “science” with nothing but “read the graph, read the graph, read the graph.”

    Intriguing. Guess you touched a nerve, eh, Nightfly?

    • nightfly April 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Well, my point was worth rebutting, until I pointed out that even the rebuttal confirmed my observation – and then the observation was “a personal attack … of no note.” It follows the pattern of the rest of the conversations, regardless of topic: science is skeptical, unless it’s skeptical of what they believe; an objection that cannot be answered is irrelevant “hand waving.”

      Good luck to them, too… and especially to whomever of them breaks from the orthodoxy. The plans reserved for nonbelievers are much less appealing when you have to face them yourself.

      • Severian April 26, 2012 at 6:39 am

        The sad thing is, though, I don’t think anything happens to those who break orthodoxy on climate stuff. The Zachriel strike me as a bunch of college kids — they sure do have that trademark snottily-superior-yet-totally-thin-skinned-while-underinformed hemptivist attitude — and so they probably don’t remember a time when “global warming” used to be “global cooling.” You know, exact same “science,” exact same solutions, the world can’t wait, blah blah blah. Look at Paul “Population Bomb” Ehrlich — he’s made gonzo dollars off BOTH propositions, while in the real world, nobody with his record should ever be allowed to be within 500 feet of the word “science.”

        Those who break ranks too early, yeah, they get stomped, but if you time your turn to coincide with the rest of the leftist hive mind, you can skip from screaming “global cooling!” to “global warming!” without a hitch.

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