Now, I should probably just ignore this, but sometimes I do just have enough, so here goes nothing. Paul Matthews, who is a Mathematician at the University of Nottingham has spent the last year or so claiming that I’m a dishonest hypocrite. He even has a whole post on his site about it, mostly illustrating that he doesn’t understand the word “hypocrite”. That I didn’t always maintain my civility, doesn’t make me a hypocrite, just someone who was stupid enough to suggest that I might try. I had banned him from this site, blocked him on Twitter, and had decided just to ignore him. However, when he tweeted someone yesterday claiming that my post illustrated my dishonesty and hypocrisy, I unblocked him and had a bit of a go. It didn’t achieve much, but it felt good for a while.
An explanation for his accusation seems to be here in which he says
DPY, I disagree – any reasonable person who is undecided on the issue, looking at the articles by David Siegel, Sou et al, Tim Hunter and the latest blog from ATTP and comparing their tone would fairly quickly be able to see who is being honest here and who isn’t. So I think such exchanges are quite useful and could change peoples’ minds.
ATTP falsely accuses our title as being disingenuous, falsely accuses David Siegel of bad ‘tone’, and then exhibits his usual hypocrisy by saying “one should ideally talk to many more people” – the guy who bans dissenters from his blog and blocks them on twitter. Similarly at the end “Feel free to disagree through the comments” – many of those who would disagree have been banned.
I had assumed that anyone who would accuse another of dishonesty and hypocrisy would be extremely careful of what they said, and so I was somewhat surprised, as this appears to be a largely incorrect interpretation of what I said. So, I posted a comment yesterday, which has yet to appear. Of course, if they choose not to post my comment, that’s fine. It’s their site and they can run it as they choose. However, there’s nothing stopping me from posting it here. So, here it is (I’ve corrected a blockquote error).
Since Paul Matthews is choosing to call me dishonest and a hyocrite (rather ironic given how important tone is supposedly meant to be), I thought I would check a few things. Surely someone who would make such a claim, would be very careful in what they said themselves.
ATTP falsely accuses our title as being disingenuous
What did I actually say? I said
on a site I suspect many regard as having a title that is slightly disingenuous
which might be a little insulting, but is certainly not an accusation that your title is disingenuous. If you expected people to embrace your new site, you’re clearly naive.
Paul also claims I
falsely accuses David Siegel of bad ‘tone’
Well, I do think the tone wasn’t great. It’s not an accusation, it was simply an opinion. Paul doesn’t have to agree, but that certainly doesn’t make it false (that is obvious isn’t it?).
Paul also says
exhibits his usual hypocrisy by saying “one should ideally talk to many more people” – the guy who bans dissenters from his blog and blocks them on twitter.
I don’t simply ban dissenters from my blog (which should be obvious from the comment stream) but even though I do ban and block some people, that doesn’t mean that I don’t talk to many more people. I talk to plenty of people. That I don’t talk to all people, does not make that not true. Again, this is obvious right?
Now, since Paul is clearly such a saintly and decent person (because who else would feel comfortable accusing another of dishonesty and hypocrisy), I’m sure he will retract his claims (well, or back them up I guess) and correct his very obvious errors – okay, I’m not actually being serious here. I fully expect this to simply degenerate. Feel free to prove me wrong.
I don’t expect to achieve much by this. I’m simply pointing out that someone who seems comfortable making accusations of dishonesty and hypocrisy seems to be, at least partly, basing that on things that are not true. Maybe Paul has real trouble with basic reading comprehension, in which case he could just say so. Maybe he’ll even correct some of it, in which case I’ll go back to happily ignoring him. However, if he’s going to publicly accuse me of dishonesty and hypocrisy, then I’m going to reserve the right to defend myself. I may even choose to do so in a less than civil way. If Paul doesn’t like that, he can stop.
This is also one reason I have little time for the whole “don’t use denier” theme. From what I’ve seen, most who complain about its use are both quite comfortable associating with science denial and quite comfortable with all sort of labels and insults being thrown around by themselves, or by those with whom they agree. If they don’t like labels and insulting terminology, they can simply stop using them. This isn’t even complicated. I’ve even tried reasonably hard to not use the term “denier” but I’m starting to relent as it seems an entirely pointless strategy.
Now Paul Matthews is banned from commenting here, and I don’t intend to change that. Given that, I don’t intend this to degenerate into a Paul Matthews bashing thread. Whatever someone may have said about me, I’m not willing to not allow them to defend themselves. The comment of mine that I posted here, is also in moderation on his new Climate “Scepticism” site. If he really wants to defend himself, he can do so there. This is really just for the record. Comments are open, but will be moderated.