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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yes, Mr Spooner, Deniers are Deniers

MobyT | 11:14 PM 4 Comments - leave a comment
The Age has printed an opinion piece by John Spooner, a cartoonist, in which he writes about his rejection of climate science.  It was copied and pasted in HotCopper's science and medicine S&M forum.

Spooner has that peculiar form of denial in which he indicates very clearly that he doesn't understand the least bit about what it is that he is denying.  He asks:
What exactly is the relationship between CO2 and temperature?
This one's easy.  CO2 is the 'thermostat' controlling the earth's temperature.  Turn it up and the heat goes up, turn it down and it gets very cold.
Why did the warming trend stop as it did between 1945 and 1975, when CO2 emissions took off? 
Spooner fails again.  The global surface temperature trend is up and has been trending up for decades.  This past ten years have been the warmest on record.  In fact, NOAA reports that it's almost three decades since any month has been cooler than the long term average:
November 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with global temperature higher than the long-term average. The last month with a below average temperature was February 1985, nearly 28 years ago.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More on: Parody or the 'Real Thing'?

MobyT | 10:25 PM Feel free to comment!
What good is the HotCopper discussion board if you can't use it to vent?  Provided one is of the right political persuasion (pun intended), it's almost as good as having your very own blog!

Venting does have its limits though.  The main complaint of HotCopper's operator "Yoda" is that Australia's laws stifle 'free speech' (while he and his moderators delete comments they don't agree with when the mood takes them!).  He says he's "getting ready to move to the USA" where, he presumably and mistakenly thinks, you can say whatever you like about anyone whenever you like.

Source (subs req'd):

Now you can understand why many HotCopper regulars believe they have free rein when it comes to voicing their discontent with "tall poppies".  And you can take it as given that high up the average HotCopper-ite's list of pet hates is Ben Bernanke.  When they aren't blaming the One World Government, the UN, President Obama or PM Gillard, they blame Bernanke for all the real and imagined ills of the financial world.

Just the same, when some of the regulars mistake this satirical piece on Ben Bernanke (from the famed "The Onion") for the 'real thing' it's got to be right up there with the best of them.

Source (subs req'd):

No-one could accuse the average HotCopper-ite of being astute :(

Denier Memes: The 'communist-socialist-cultist' conspiracy ...

MobyT | 4:15 PM 5 Comments - leave a comment
Among people who reject climate science there is a dominant sub-group who are also conspiracy theorists.  You can easily pick them because they pepper their articles with words like 'scam', 'cult' and 'fraud'.  And among the conspiracy theorists there is a sub-group specialising in 'communist plot' conspiracies.

The origin of the 'reds under the bed' denier meme as it's applied to climate science is unclear. The meme is not restricted to climate science but can be adapted for any topic, such as open source software and even education and art, in fact anything at all to which one objects.  It can also be substituted for or by a "new world order" / "one world government" plot or a "fascist" plot.

Parody or the 'real thing'?

It can be hard for the casual reader to know whether someone is writing a parody or the real thing (see Poe's Law).  Take our Ben for example.  Ben often posts on climate science threads although I don't recall him ever discussing science.  In a few paragraphs on the HotCopper science and medicine S&M forum he mixes well-worn paranoid conspiracy theories (AGW cult) with 'reds under the bed' buzz phrases from the McCarthy era.  If he is writing parody he's kept it up for years without blinking.

Here is a handy list of key words (including frequency) for anyone who wants to emulate him:

socialist/socialism (9), communist/communism (7), cult/cultist (6), USSR (4), AGW scam and cult (3), destruction (2), corrupt (2), children (2), Lysenkoism, soviet, leftist, political, puppet, Gillard, Obama, religious, infiltration, invasion, hoaxers, dictators, hitler*, stalin, lenin, mao, brainwashing, indoctrination, greenie, cesspit, corrupt and complicit UN
In this screenshot I've highlighted some of the 'important' words and phrases.  As you can see, the words can be used interchangeably and work equally well in any or no context :)

Source: S&M forum 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Liars in the MSM are called to account

MobyT | 2:10 AM Feel free to comment!
It's good to see more and more people speaking out against lies, odious rants, rampant misogyny and disinformation on the internet, particularly when it comes from 'personalities' and mainstream media. 

Climate Progress has a report by Graham Readfearn about the Australian Press Council findings in relation to lies written by Andrew Bolt and offensive articles penned by James Delingpole (speaking of odious).

More and more people are starting to take action against disinformation of the type The Australian revels in.  Tim Lambert from Deltoid continues to act as a watchdog, reporting its frequent untruths about climate science.  In his latest piece, he writes about a particularly disgusting and false headline in The Australian.

I wonder if it's because as global warming gets worse, science deniers are decreasing in numbers and it's left to the more extreme ratbags to write stuff.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A window on HotWhoppers' view of science

MobyT | 6:24 PM Feel free to comment!
One way of avoiding the reality of global warming is to read sentimental rhymes instead of climate science.

Climate science (a)verse

Pete222 on HotCopper gets his 'information' about climate science from 80 year old rhymes when he's not gazing out his window.  Here on the Science and Medicine forum, Pete quotes a young homesick Dorothea Mackellar to 'prove' all the physics, chemistry, biology, meteorology, climatology and related science of the past couple of centuries is fundamentally wrong.

Source: S&M forum

A window on climate

And to support his contention, Pete222 offers irrefutable proof of windows:

Source: S&M forum

Best Science Post - Gold Star Award

Canberra is so cool...
Birdman29 got a HotCopper Gold Star (the thumbs up award for the post most readers agree with) for saying the weather in Canberra has been mild the last couple of days.  As you can see it truly is a ground-breaking science post worthy of the highest accolades and deserves an elephant stamp.

Source: S&M forum

(So what's a bit of exaggeration between friends?)

Despite the fact that this December hasn't been the hottest December on record in Canberra, so far it's 1.4 degrees Celsius above the long term average maximum.  (If you doubt that HotCopperites think the world revolves around Canberra - just  visit the HotCopper politics forum :D)

HotCopper's message to climate scientists

The message is that climate scientists should quit their field measurements, mathematics, physics, laboratories, computers, satellites, sensors and all the scientific knowledge accumulated over the centuries to date. 

All they need to do is look out Pete's window or sit in the shade in Birdman's backyard and read sentimental rhymes from long ago.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

HotCopper Whopper - Meaningless, dumb ...

MobyT | 10:42 PM Feel free to comment!
HotCopper science deniers are all over the place when it comes to climate discussions.  Honestly you have to wonder if they are as much in denial with their share trading.

Take HC44.  He responded to the UK Met office indicating 2013 is likely to be one of the warmest ten years on record with this comment:

Source: S&M forum

Meaningless, dumb - errr I guess so.

Yes, the 100th warmest would be one of the 100 warmest, but there's buckley's that 2013 will be the 100th warmest. Even so, if someone had said 'one of the warmest' most people wouldn't have expected them to mean the coldest in 100 years.

Let's look at a chart from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature analysis showing the annual land-surface average temperature.  I've added a line that measures 100 years so you can compare recent temperatures at the right of the chart with those of 100 years or so ago.

The 100th warmest year on record was ... wait for it, about 100 years ago.  It's all because of global warming.  Barring a freak event like a super-volcano, it could well be several thousand years before earth experiences another year that cold. (Click to enlarge.)

Land surface temperature isn't global surface temperature, granted, because it doesn't count the oceans.  So let's look at global surface temperatures as reported by NASA.  The 100th warmest temperature on record was - you guessed it, almost 100 years ago. (Click to enlarge.)

One of the warmest ten years on record

Now let's go back to the UK Met Office.  Did it actually say that 2013 would be 'one of the warmest'?  In fact, the Met Office was much more precise.  Its long term global forecast is that 2013 will not just be 'one of the warmest' it will be one of the ten warmest years in the past 162 years and warmer than this year:
Taking into account the range of uncertainty in the forecast and observations, it is very likely that 2013 will be one of the warmest ten years in the record which goes back to 1850, and it is likely to be warmer than 2012.
I suggest to HotCopper-ites if you are going to try to be 'clever', do it with a bit more finesse and try to give the impression you know something about the topic.  Otherwise your comment comes across as "meaningless, dumb..."!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Have a wonderful holiday ...

MobyT | 1:18 PM 2 Comments - leave a comment

Happy holidays

HotCopper Whopper for Monday

MobyT | 1:20 AM Feel free to comment!

Tilting at (15th Century) Windmills?

This little gem came to my attention and made me laugh.  Did you know we've been using windmills to generate electricity since the fifteenth century and they've been destroying our health? (Click to enlarge.)


Ben isn't too sure whether inhaling thick carcinogenic smoke is harmful or not, but it's a dead cert that a 15th century windmill is health-destroying!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Why call attention to sexism?

MobyT | 12:52 PM Feel free to comment!
A lot of people (though more men than women) think women should just 'suck it up' when it comes to sexism. Not so.

Now some people have it wrong, I'm told (generically speaking).  Disagreement on topical issues (like climate science) isn't sexist or based on sexism or misogyny - at least not in my experience.  If you want to know what sexism looks like, click here.

Janet Stemwedel on her Scientopia blog sums up nicely some excellent reasons for calling out sexist behaviour  Her main points are paraphrased here:

  1. To shine a spotlight on sexist behaviour so that more people will notice it and stop assuming people who point it out are making a mountain out of a molehill.
  2. To encourage others to take a stand.
  3. So when people behave in a sexist way they are made to feel deeply uncomfortable and maybe ashamed (along with those who sit by and encourage it, condone it or allow it to happen). 
  4. So that people who call out sexism, instead of being deprived of free speech have their free speech just as vigorously defended as people 'spouting sexist nonsense'.
  5. So people who happen to be women can concentrate on their interests rather than being distracted by ugly sexism.
And a couple more thoughts of my own:

I don't care if people are sexist at heart - just don't behave like a sexist dolt especially not to my face.

I love our pluralist society even though that means accepting the fact sexism still exists.  Doesn't mean I should stay silent and cop disgustingly sexist behaviour.

I hope my thoughts will go some way to encouraging colleagues when a man behaves in a sexist manner towards women, to quietly tell him to stop, not close ranks and call women who draw it to their attention "unacceptably outspoken".

Friday, December 21, 2012

HotCopper Denier Classic - Aliens and Ozone

MobyT | 11:35 PM 6 Comments - leave a comment

A classic from last year on the HotCopper S&M forum.

A contribution to the S&M forum from Moondoong, the self-described 'busted-ass mining engineer'.  He thinks everything on this list is equally unlikely and not at all 'alarming'.

He equates AIDS (one of the world's biggest killers) and the hole in the ozone layer (a disaster in the making but thankfully being addressed) with an alien invasion and an asteroid striking earth.  Alar did pose a risk, albeit nothing like smoking tobacco.  Y2K was a real problem but not one that mining engineers would necessarily understand.  I don't know what was in his mind when he added magnetic pole shift or solar flares. They happen all the time.  (Does anyone know what Planet X refers to?)

          Source: S&M forum

About twice as many science and medicine visitors agreed with moondoong (going by the "thumbs up" he was awarded) as thought he was talking through his 'busted ass'.

Yep, that's HotCopper :(

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Horseshit from the USA

MobyT | 11:29 PM Feel free to comment!
Sea level change is due to horse-diving, according to prominent global warming scientists deniers Willie Soon and Nils-Axel Morner.

From the Washington Times:

While examining tide gauge records from Atlantic City's Steel Pier, Mr. Galvin discovered a remarkable effect apparently caused by spectators who came to watch horse-diving between 1929 and 1978. From old photographs, it was estimated that there must have been about 4,000 spectators who would come to watch. Given that this crowd probably weighed about 150 tons, the pier was subject to significant loading and unloading cycles. The initial 1912-1928 data showed the sea level rising at a rate of 0.12 inches per year. The rate tripled around 1929 when the horses began diving. When the shows were suspended from 1945 to 1953, sea level fell at a rate of 0.06 inches per year. When the diving resumed, the sea level rose again at a rate of 0.16 inches per year. Such clear documentation of the direct influence of local weight loading and unloading activities on tide gauge reading should add a cautionary note to connecting tide gauge data series to man-made greenhouse gas global warming phenomena.

I seriously doubt anyone would take the article seriously, not even a reader of the Washington Times.  But deniers are often complete cranks so who knows.

People Power

Just in case there is someone stupid enough, Tamino took Soon and Morner to task and pointed out that those 4,000 people standing on the pier watching the diving horses not only changed the sea level in Atlantic City, they changed the sea level right up and down the east coast of North America! 

Just goes to show what people power can do!

HotCopper Deniers of the Week

MobyT | 10:26 PM 9 Comments - leave a comment

More silliness from denier share traders on HotCopper

Here is the latest world-shattering news straight from the keyboard of berretta - a resident science rejecter at the HotCopper share discussion forum (subs req'd):

Berretta doesn't just deny science he denies economics as well.  He seems to have decided that burning coal is not one of the main source of the additional atmospheric CO2 from human sources (usually edging out oil / petroleum products).

Younglogga, a newcomer to HotCopper, posted a decent response - he knows his stuff pretty well:

Silly old Berretta was having none of it.  In Berretta's mind he himself is the smartest man on HotCopper. Scientists know nada, according to him.

LesPaul is typical of the trolls, coming up with one of the tiredest, least original denier taunts on the internet: "Stop breathing if you accept science and let we scientific illiterati get on with destroying the planet in peace", he says.

While Mike68, who has often said that Cat 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasi was a good thing, and that global warming will also be good because jungles will grow, posted in the same vein as LesPaul:

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything CO2 is 42 (+1)%

In fact it wasn't very hard to find the latest information.  (Ain't google wonderful.)

Last year coal was the biggest source of CO2 emissions. Here is what the Global Carbon Project says in its latest Global Carbon Budget report:
CO2 emissions from fossil fuels burning and cement production increased by 3% in 2011, with a total of 9.5±0.5 PgC emitted to the atmosphere (34.7 billion tonnes of CO2). These emissions were the highest in human history and 54% higher than in 1990 (the Kyoto Protocol reference year). In 2011, coal burning was responsible for 43% of the total emissions, oil 34%, gas 18%, and cement 5%.
(The above doesn't include equivalent emissions from deforestation, agriculture and other land use activities, which last year accounted for around 10% of the total. )


As for Berretta

So far, Berretta hasn't given his answer.  When he poses a silly question it is often his habit to not provide any answer of his own.  I guess he thinks if he says coal burning is not currently the biggest contributor then maybe someone will believe him.

As for HotCopper

Yes, this really is the standard that HotCopper aspires to.  The mods and management allow deniers to harass anyone who is actually interested in science and if that doesn't get rid of them, the mods add to the bullying.  Ultimately if you still insist on posting real science, management and mods form a lynch mob and ban you forever.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Belated tribute to Ravi Shankar

MobyT | 12:03 AM Feel free to comment!
I only heard Ravi Shankar play live once, at the Royal Albert Hall back in the early 1970s. He was introduced by George Harrison and the concert was wonderful.  This may have been the very same concert - I'll check the program dates at some stage:

The tribute from the Royal Albert Hall:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Whew, that feels better ...

MobyT | 11:13 PM Feel free to comment!
© Stik,

Someone calling me a cow? Huh!

Cartoon on Sexism - from Gabby

MobyT | 7:08 PM Feel free to comment!
I've posted Gabby's cartoon on sexism (thanks, Gabby), which probably marks the end of my articles letting off steam about the treatment dished out to me by management and moderators of the HotCopper share trading forum (which prompted me to start the blog). (Click here or on the image to see the full cartoon.)
Sexism cartoon by Gabby

Future articles will continue to focus on internet sexism along with climate science denial, the dark side of the conservative brain and other random topics.  Sometimes in a humourous vein and sometimes more seriously.

Free speech protection for real Aussie share traders (men only, naturally)

MobyT | 5:21 PM Feel free to comment!
We've put up some suggested Terms of Use to better explain who is welcome and how to behave on some (not most) forums set up for share traders and investors.  These are particularly geared for that large Aussie board built as a 'men's playground'

Bleeding heart liberals and feminazis be warned!  These terms of use are designed to protect the rights of full-blooded dinky di Aussie men to 'free speech'.  Anyone who disagrees with their point of view may be tolerated to a point, but does NOT have a right to 'free speech'.

Click here to read.  Comments most welcome (except if you're a bleeding heart liberal or a feminazi or anyone other than a white Australian male of sufficiently conservative inclination). /sarc

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crikey - it's the sun (not really)

Sou | 9:28 PM Feel free to comment!

Too much time in the sun, poor things...

The deniers on HotCopper have worked themselves in a tizzy over someone posting an early draft of the IPCC report online.  They are under an illusion that the denialist blogger (who got the draft by registering himself as an 'expert reviewer', which anyone can do - even Monckton registered himself as such) has found the one sentence in that mammoth document that in his mind shows 'it's the sun' or 'it's cosmic rays' that's causing global warming.  (He ignores the surrounding sentences in true denier fashion.)

Suddenly deniers are touting the IPCC as the reliable source of information on climate science!

(Mind you, yesterday HotCopperites were saying the earth isn't warming, and some have been arguing that an ice age cometh!)


However one of the lead authors of the chapter in question, Professor Steve Sherwood (who wrote the paper on heat stress), said the claims were 'ridiculous'.  From the ABC report:
Professor Steve Sherwood, the director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, was the lead author of the chapter in question. He says the idea that the chapter he authored confirms a greater role for solar and other cosmic rays in global warming is "ridiculous"....
..."Even the sentence doesn't say what they say and certainly if you look at the context, we're really saying the opposite."

Truly ridiculous

Not a single one of the HotCopper deniers has shown that they understand what the denialist blogger was talking about. Here's a link to the thread (subs req'd).  They've just made the usual cut and paste posts from denier blogs, or made comments like this one from one of the resident paranoid conspiracy junkies:

UN Agenda 21 plan for enslavement of us all? What has Ben been smoking?

And another for good measure, from poor little laddie Hanrahan who has a 'thing' for the shape of the global surface temperature record.  (Can some please tell him that making up stuff won't win him admiration from any quarter?)

Finally, an angry comment from Mr Misogynist himself, thalweg:

(HotCopper's share discussion board is really classy - Not!)

Denialist reading score - Fail!

For the back story, see John Byatt's post here, a report on ABC PM here, an article in the Guardian and an article from Graham Readfearn.  Graham's closing para says it all:
What this leak also shows is the tendency by some to dishonestly engage in an open process and to cherry-pick “facts” about climate change to suit their own arguments, while failing to consider the full body of evidence. Or in this case, failing to bother to read the very next paragraph.

Is gang mentality more common among conservative men?

Sou | 3:44 PM Feel free to comment!
Thinking about what makes men form lynch mobs to attack who they see as an 'outsider' - such as an intelligent women, particularly if they think she doesn't share their world view.  Is the gang mentality more common among conservative men?

In trying to understand what motivates some men to gang up on women I came across this article: How coherence defines conservatism.

The article comments on the low tolerance of conservatives for ambiguity and cognitive dissonance, which is a well known and much researched attribute.  It goes on to discuss the search for 'coherence', which is the opposite of cognitive dissonance.

My thinking is that this may result in the suppression of rational thought when dealing with an uncomfortable situation, and a reliance on emotion to govern behaviour in such circumstances.   Emotional responses can cause people to lash out in an unpredictable way, with sometimes very adverse consequences.

That could in part explain why some men won't acknowledge when one of their rank is behaving like a sexist pig.  Instead of chastising the perpetrator who they see as one of their own, the conservative men gang up and say 'He's not being a sexist pig, you are - because you said that what he said was sexist.'

The Lynch Mob

Such a response is automatic in them and none of the gang members stop to think it through rationally.  It's driven by their emotion and they take comfort in the fact that every member of their gang is with them against the evil outsider (the woman). It's enough for these gang members that they've resolved the feeling of discomfort by attacking the victim not the perpetrator.  They regain their sense of 'coherence'.  Because they view the perpetrator as being one of their own, in their mind if they chastised him they would have had to own his behaviour and their minds could not tolerate that.  It would overload on cognitive dissonance.

That's no excuse of course.  The human brain, including the conservative brain, has the ability to reason.  It's the behaviour of a lynch mob for which there is no excuse. Lynch mobs and gangs operate like a single organism instead of operating like a group of individuals.  An individual needs to separate from the mob to think independently and start to behave in a more rational manner.  (In business jargon it's referred to as 'group think' and there are techniques to try to avoid it.)

Inertia vs effort, morality vs group coherence

The other aspect is that it takes effort to check to see if one of their own gang was in fact misbehaving.  Or to see if the 'outsider' is a trouble maker or if she is simply an individual who happened to observe something nasty and report it.  To not investigate is laziness - and morally repugnant.  However the gang encourages laziness and for some people, gang coherence is a stronger force than moral imperative or justice. There is a risk that if any gang member were to take the effort to look at the situation rationally (in my case it's clear that not one person bothered to look at the situation at all, let alone rationally), the other members would gang up on him and ostracise him.  So laziness is the 'safest' route - for individual 'coherence' as well as for group 'coherence'.

The dark side of the conservative brain

I figure my search for understanding the dark side of the conservative brain will lead in many different directions - from moral writings to cognitive science to ethics and philosophy and back to psychology more generally.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Misogyny is Ugly, Sexism is Unacceptable - Prime Minister Gillard's speech

Sou | 7:37 PM Feel free to comment!
Given the recent news that the Slipper vs Ashby case been thrown out, I thought again about the speech that Ms Gillard made in October this year (2012).

PM Gillard made a wonderful speech about misogyny, prompted by the Federal opposition challenging the government to remove the speaker (Peter Slipper) or be considered misogynistic. (Some highly offensive text messages from Peter Slipper had recently been made public.)

The PM referred to several instances where the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, showed his true, sexist colours.  If you can't wait to watch the video, here are some of items:

  • Tony Abbott said: "If it's true, Stavros, that men have more  power generally speaking than women, is that a bad thing?"
  • As a follow up comment to "I want my daughter to have the same opportunity as my son." Tony Abbott retorted: "Yes I completely agree. But what if men are by physiology or temperament more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?"
  • In response to a comment "I think it is very hard to deny that there is an under-representation of women". Tony Abbott responds: "But now, there's an assumption that this is a bad thing."
  • Tony Abbott in his past role as Minister for Health in March 2004: "Abortion is the easy way out."
  • Tony Abbott, during his campaign to oppose the introduction of carbon pricing, painting his image of women's roles in modern Australia: "When the housewives of Australia need to do what the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing.
  • Tony Abbott catcalling at PM Gillard, across the table in Parliament, referring to the Prime Minister's relationship with her partner: "If the Prime Minister wants to politically speaking make an honest woman of herself!"
  • Tony Abbott speaking next to a sign by his supporters with the words"Ditch the Witch" and one that described the Prime Minister as "A man's bitch". 

Sexism from HotCopper Moderator in response to the speech

The speech drew some discussion on the HotCopper share discussion board.  They provide further evidence of the sexism of moderators on HotCopper.  Look at the response by the moderator Poyndexter to this comment:

The original poster says Abbott doesn't 'hate' women because he married one and had three daughters.  Given his sexist stance as reported by the Prime Minister in the video, what would it take to persuade ikhutch that Abbott was at best sexist and has a tendency to misogyny?  Perhaps he would have to keep his wife locked up barefoot in the kitchen and kill off his daughters?  Knowing women, marrying women and employing women is not evidence that a man is not sexist.  His words show his attitude towards women, just as Poyndexter's words do and the actions of HotCopper management and moderators do.

And Poyndexter has found someone who agrees with him that the Prime Minister "trumped up and orchestrated" her comments about Tony Abbott.  Click here to go to the thread (subs req'd).

Too often some men will say we women over-react when we object to being demeaned, sexually harassed, abused or otherwise treated as second class humans or worse.  It's similar to climate science denial.  Men gang up to comfort each other that women should cop sexism without complaint.  Thank goodness there are many strong women and men in the world who see injustice for what it is and have the spine and will to change things.

We are entitled to a better standard than this

Julia Gillards closing words were: We are entitled to a better standard than this.

HotCopper doesn't think so - HotCopper bans women for objecting to revolting sexist comments.  I can't see standards improving under the current HotCopper management, with its sexist view of the world, racist inclinations and its tendency to silence anyone whose point of view is not at the extreme end of right wing ideology.  However maybe one of these days there will be a change of guard at HotCopper.  You never know, ownership might change, it's changed hands a few times before.  With all the baby boomers retiring more women are keen to manage their retirement savings.  A new breed of operator could sweep out all the muck and transform the 'Men's Playground', rejuvenating it into a more tolerant, vibrant place where women and men could engage with each other without women having to pretend they are men and put up with all the sexist crap dished out by management, moderators and some subscribers.

Good advice for people of all ages - coping with bullies

Sou | 4:03 PM Feel free to comment!
I spotted a link to this article on the Feministing blog.  It's from HuffPost and lists:

10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know Before She Turns 10

(Loving the symmetry of the headline).

In the context of the early articles on this blog, which aim at getting out of my system the horrible treatment from Greg D'Arcy and the moderators at HotCopper share discussion board (as well as providing a warning for the unwary), item number 8 is worth remembering:
8. It is almost never about you. What I mean is that when people act in a way that hurts or makes you feel insecure, it is almost certainly about something happening inside of them, and not about you. I struggle with this one mightily, and I have tried very, very hard never once to tell you you are being "too sensitive" or to "get over it" when you feel hurt. Believe me, I know how feelings can slice your heart, even if your head knows otherwise. But maybe, just maybe, it will help to remember that almost always other people are struggling with their own demons, even if they bump into you by accident.
The HotCopper experience didn't make me feel insecure.  And I didn't think I was hurt so much as deeply aggrieved and angered.  However that's not quite true - I was hurt.  Particularly as many posters regarded me as having immense patience despite the bullying, stalking and harassment deniers incessantly bombarded.  Even two 'deniers' have indicated they 'missed me' and my science posts, and I believe they were genuine.

The bit about agressors 'struggling with their own demons' is worth bearing in mind.  HotCopper mods must feel very threatened by me and know they cannot justify their actions, because they quickly delete any post that mentions me by name and have reportedly threatened posters who've done so.  That's in contrast to other people they have suspended where they even allowed discussion of the suspension itself when it came to posters such as Voltaire, CranswickBigGambler and IronMike among others (subs req'd).

There has been quite a bit of research recently on the mental contortions extreme right wing ideologues have to go through to try to rationalise their opinions and actions.  I'll write more about them here when I get some time.  As a taster, here is an article by Profs Stephan Lewandowsky and Klaus Oberauer about 'mental models'.  A copy of their paper can be found here.

If anyone knows of any research into whether there is a correlation between sexism and right wing fundamentalism, conspiracy ideation and/or rejection of science, particularly climate science, I'd really like to know about it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sexism and oafishness

Sou | 6:12 PM Feel free to comment!
As you'll find in various dark and dingy spots across the internet, some HotCopper posters are unashamedly sexist.

Does anyone remember the days when you'd come across an uneducated oaf who said of any successful woman that she slept her way to the top or assumed she was lesbian?

You know what? People like that still exist and huddle together on sites like HotCopper, emboldened as they gang up and find the site supports or at worst tolerates their bigotry. Heaven only knows what their social network is like in real life.  Most of them are getting a bit long in the tooth and they don't seem to get out much.  Some of them have even had a decent education but may fall short when it comes to self-esteem.

There is no need to mince words here.  For example, it's not uncommon for some men to come across as deeply insecure when it comes to equal opportunity:

There are quite a few more where that came from (subs req'd).

On HotCopper, forum moderators don't respect women.  They are much more likely to delete a post about women who experience sexism (subs req'd) as they did in this case (click here for the original article by Tracey Spicer),

than delete a post that puts women down (subs req'd), despite the fact that the post below contains more offensive language than the post above that was deleted.

It's sexist to point out sexism? Huh?

The people who run HotCopper often come across as being sexist to the core as I experienced.  In my case, when I posted a comment objecting to nasty sexism, forum management even had the cheek to tell me I was the one being sexist and banned me from posting!  Their emails to me indicated they would score about 9/10 on the oafish scale.  Rude and crude. Surprisingly so for what portrays itself as a business.  (You'd think ASIC would have required a minimum standard of decorum.)

Paranoid conspiracy theory of the week

Sou | 3:44 PM Feel free to comment!
Moderators on HotCopper are a weird mob mostly far to the right of mainstream Australia.  Unsurprisingly their views are largely aligned with the right wing politics and world views of forum management.  At least one moderator is a paranoid conspiracy theorist who often posts links to paranoid conspiracy theories having their roots in anti-semitism, like this one posted by a moderator today:
Source: General forum

Even the conservative Andrew Bolt, who is much admired by the target market of HotCopper, shies away from shameful nonsense like that.

If anyone wonders why HotCopper is dominated by minority extreme right wing bigotry, this goes part way to explaining it.

The rot starts at the top.

(Subscribers can view the thread here.  Note that a poster objected to the post and had his or her objection firmly deleted. Free speech, much touted by management and moderators, doesn't apply on HotCopper unless it coincides with the politics of management.)

Denier posts of the week - Games Deniers Play

Sou | 3:25 PM 1 Comment so far

Don't ask me to give up the 'good life'

I'll start the ball rolling with a couple of posts from rambunctious climate denier who goes by the handle 'Hanrahan'.  (If you are a subscriber, here is the thread.)

Step One: Politely asking for information - but make sure there's a sting in the tail so your fellow deniers recognise that you are just pretending (aka a shameless troll):

Step Two: Build a straw man and play to deniers' fear and greed

(Of course, the longer he and his fellow deniers insist on polluting the atmosphere, the less of a good life he and future generations will have.)

Steps 3 to 10 or more: You reject science, in fact you refuse to read anything that has the slightest whiff of legitimacy - so you can't post about science.  You can't throw sticks and stones on the internet, so names will have to do

A typical thread dominated by a number of silly old men who reject science because they find it too much of a threat, particularly to their world view.

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