Poptech: More Shenanigans at SniptopicalScience

Posted: September 12, 2012 by tallbloke in Blog, flames, media, Philosophy, Politics

The inaptly named man made global warming true believer site ‘skepticalscience’ has been busy with the censors scissors again. I fell foul of their foul policy last year, so I have sympathy with Andrew, who runs the popular technology website and goes under the handle ‘poptech’. Andrew has been doing a sterling job keeping tabs on all the papers in the scientific literature which run counter to the MMGW meme. Something the SKS cheif book cooker John Cook doesn’t like. Here’s Andrew’s account of how a thread trying to deny the existence of these 1000+ scientific papers got out of John Cooks control, and resulted in ‘poptech’ having every comment he’d ever placed at SKS deleted. George Orwell would refer to him as an unperson. Shame on you John Cook.

Skeptical Science: The Censorship of Poptech

The impact of that ban on PopTech was to silence him.” – Sphaerica (Bob Lacatena) [Skeptical Science]

In March of 2012, the same computer illiterates at Skeptical Science who do not know how to use Google Scholar had their forums hackedand the contents posted online. In these I am mentioned in at least 65 discussions, with 17 forum threads started that specifically mention my name and one forum category devoted entirely to discussing thePopular Technology.net list of papers. These discussion involve almost entirely with how to “deal” with the list. One of the ways they attempted to “deal” with the list was by having a former bike messenger and man-purse maker Rob Honeycutt write a Google Scholar illiterate post. In it Rob failed to use quotes when searching for phrases, is unable to count past 1000 and failed to remove erroneous results such as, “Planet Mutonia and the Young Pop Star Wannabes” – believing it to be a peer-reviewed paper about global warming. After being unable to refute how Google Scholar actually works they resorted to an extensive censorship of my comments and eventually a site wide purge of all of them.

The forum thread on Rob’s post shows it initially started off with high hopes,

“Poptech and the other minions of denialdom will hate this …so naturally I like it.” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 13, 2011

This quickly descended into panic,

“Exit strategy for the Meet the Denominator thread: Do we have one? […] Poptech is indefatigable …Against such an adversary traditional methodologies are doomed to impasse. This makes the thread the Skeptical Science version of Afghanistan (substitute with many other protracted losing campaigns). I say we let Rob write up a closing synopsis …but giving Skeptical Science the last word. And lock the thread & throw away the key.” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], February 18, 2011

Poptech will not go away. I’ve deleted a number of his …comments, but I feel no obligation to explain to him why they disappear.” – muoncounter (Dan Friedman) [Skeptical Science], February 19, 2011

Friedman was successful in deleting many of the comments I made to Rob’s post as I had literally replied (or attempted to reply) to every single comment in that discussion. Even at this point a fraction of my comments remained but enough were removed to give the false impression that I could not respond to some of their arguments.

The outright deletion of the rest of my hundreds of comments came a few months later after I attempted to defend John Christy in another post. This site wide deletion of my comments was known and discussed in their forums but no action was taken to restore them,

“The 1,000+ Denominator Thread now stands at 524” – Daniel Bailey [Skeptical Science], September 19, 2011

“[O]ne of the moderators flagged Poptech as a spammer and that deleted EVERY comment he ever posted off all the comments threads.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011

He kept repeatedly posting comments, one after the other, that had to be deleted. I wasn’t prepared to stay up all night deleting comments from that loser.” – Rob Painting [Skeptical Science], October 11, 2011

When others noticed my comments were deleted and started to complain this was met with nonsensical arguments upholding the censorship,

“Let Poptech complain or anyone else who wants to whine about it. He got deleted not because of what he was saying but …how he was presenting and defending an utterly undefensible position.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], January 11, 2012

After I published my article exposing The Truth about Skeptical Science, Cook enacted a new “Poptech policy”,

[W]e should have a blanket ban of any mention of Poptech in any SkS blog posts – not give him any oxygen.” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], March 21, 2012

The fact remains that Cook and his zealots cannot debate anyone, which is why they have to muzzle all dissent on their site. This way they can pretend to win arguments, when in reality they have all beenrefuted.

Note: if John Cook or anyone at Skeptical Science wishes to deny any of these comments I can always post the forum screen shots but I do not think they wish to have their email and IP addresses revealed.

Biker Chic (The New York Times, January 14, 2007)
Refuting 104 Talking Points from Skeptical Science (PDF) (28pgs) (Lubos Motl, Ph.D. Theoretical Physics, March 29, 2010)
Google Scholar Illiteracy at Skeptical Science (Popular Technology.net, February 14, 2011)
From the Skeptical Science “leak”: Interesting stuff about generating and marketing “The Consensus Project” (Tom Nelson, March 23, 2012)
Secret Skeptical Science (Shub Niggurath Climate, March 23, 2012)
Skeptical Science hacked, private user details publicly posted online(Skeptical Science, March 25, 2011)
The Truth about Skeptical Science (Popular Technology.net, March 18, 2012)
1100+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm (Popular Technology.net, July 23, 2012)

  1. mkelly says:

    And I thought I had it rough by getting kicked off Little Green Footballs for telling Charles Johnson he did not understand lapse rate (which at the time he didn’t) and arguing with someone called Ludwig Von Quixote. I guess I didn’t have it so bad after all.

  2. Michael Hart says:

    The best they can probably hope for now is that the less knowledgeable imagine them to actually be people who are skeptical about anthropogenic global warming, and not supporting the belief as they do.

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    Obviously, what everyone seems to have overlooked is that SkepticalScience is intended to be comical. Afterall, John Cook was a self-employed cartoonist when he opened the website.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Bob, he’s certainly made a joke out of himself recently.

  5. I used to post on SKS and exchange “Off Line” emails with John Cook who struck me as someone you could have a reasonable debate with, in spite of his weird appearance.

    Even though I was in the minority at SKS, the discussions were stimulating until John Cook enlisted “Daniel Bailey”, “muoncounter”, “Dana1981” and others to do the “Moderating”. Suddenly comments were butchered or deleted entirely. Any pretense of a rational “Debate” vanished as did Poptech, Berenyi Peter, this camel and many others.

    Since us “Skeptics” have shunned SKS, the site has degenerated into another “Joe Romm” style echo chamber. It is no coincidence that SKS’s ratings have declined to the level of “Insignificant”.

  6. Michael Hart says:

    That sounds like about the same time as I started reading SkS, I recall your name well, and Peter Berenyi [and admired your fortitude]. My comments [under a pseudonym] were very quickly edited down to zero soon after I started expressing the wrong kind of thoughts.

    I contacted Cook to make sure I was removed from the email-list/registered users because I guessed he or someone else might actually be taking adverts and making a profit from the site. I would be damned if I was going to voluntarily remain on such a list.

    I received a prompt and polite reply from him.

    Recently I have found that when I go searching for climate-related data in google image searches I seem to get an extraordinarily large number of them linked at the SkS site. Apart from by not trusting SkS to present any published data that doesn’t support their “cause”, I wonder if the site is in complete copyright compliance with all that materiel?