Science communication

I’ve been away at a meeting for a couple of days and have been too busy to write any posts, or even think about what to write. Like Eli, however, I’m also still somewhat mystified by the consensus messaging wars. I had contemplated writing a post about how one thing that people who agree about a complex topic seem to argue about, is how to communicate the information and what is appropriate and what is not.

However, I came across this (H/T Andy Skuce) which pretty much says it all, so I’ll simply stop here and probably have an early night.

Credit : SMBC Comics.

Credit : SMBC Comics.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Climate change, ClimateBall, Comedy, Satire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Science communication

  1. That curve is not the right way to say this.

  2. Victor,
    I don’t think you’re trying hard enough to be disagreeable 😉

  3. Willard says:

    You’re desperate.

  4. No, just frustrated.

  5. Willard says:

    Your word choice seems to indicate that you think something, BrandonG. I call me using parsomatics “something else.”

    Pray tell more about what you think otters think about what you think otters think, or vice versa.

  6. Eli Rabett says:

    otter think = scienceblogs.com/stoat Solved that for yah

  7. You seem to be trying to make a point, Willard. It would be more effective if you would just say what you mean so that otters are able to understand what it is you’re trying to say.

  8. Willard says:

    Does everything has to have a point?

    Maybe you’re not as smart as some would have thunk. Some may correlate this with some kind of perversion. If you have further problems understanding any of this, feel free to ask. As long as it’s not a rhetorical question?

  9. Nobody ever said anything about everything having to have a point, Willard. I was just making an observation. I can’t tell if you’re asking me an honest question or not. If you are asking me an honest question, please tell me why it is you’re asking. Otherwise, don’t ask rhetorical questions because they make it difficult for otters to understand the point you’re trying to make.

  10. Szilard says:

    Aristotle must be rolling in his grave. Perhaps that helped these guys find it … http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/26/aristotle-burial-place-stagira-macedonia-greece

  11. Szilard,

    Is this Greek hilltop the 2,400-year-old burial place of Aristotle?

    No.

    I just can’t understand people when they say silly things like ….

    Greek archaeologist ‘almost certain’ he has discovered the long-sought tomb of world’s greatest philosopher

    I just think it’s worth pointing out that if nobody cares about where Aristotle is buried, it makes no sense how anyone can be certain about where he’s buried. I could say a lot more about how dumb this article is, but I won’t. I deserve some credit for not being petty and making a bigger deal out this bizarre article than I think is needed.

    I’d frankly like it if we’d move this conversation away from the strange behaviors of archaeologists and on to some random topics.

    To start, I’m really good at finger painting with my own snot. I really didn’t think it would go all that well, but in the first two months I did it, I sold more than a thousand copies of my own boogers. The funny thing is, none of my buyers can tell the difference between my mucus and real paint. What do you guys think, should I branch out into other mediums, or stick with picking my nose?

  12. Hernán says:

    Disagreement over communication issues (the meaning of words, dissimilar viewpoints over same phenomenon) is as old as humanity, as are the conflicts that have arisen due to it. Very cool “diagram”!

  13. Yes, great chart.

    Just to divert over to policy world: essentially all nations signed off on the IPCC reports and signed up to the Paris Agreement, so there very much is a declared political consensus on climate change (it’s happening / it’s us / let’s act). But ‘action’ of course is in no way equating to cutting emissions fast enough to stay within a ‘well below 2ºC’ carbon budget.

    Even in the doubtful event that nations follow through on their national pledges on future emissions, they add up to more like a carbon budget for 3ºC warming or more. And the pledges are framed in many different ways that make it difficult to work out the carbon budget for each nation.

    In this unreal ‘real world’ of policy, despite high level of agreement – where the nations do indeed “disagree on the appropriate way to say” how they will act – simultaneously, their collective efforts add up to a carbon budget indicating that policy-makers and climate science “disagree on the fundamental nature of reality”.

    Much time is wasted on climate denial in public forums but a far more sophisticated and exquisitely nuanced level of denial is at work inside governments and in international policy (driven by business as usual vested interests supported by a general societal denial of the need to act now and fast). Even as evidence becomes irrefutable and time ticks on toward ever more warming this national and global level of denial is proving super-evolutionary in its ability to avoid action.

    If consensus messaging can even affect a few more people toward moving to challenge that denial, sooner rather than later, then, even if it makes some scientists uncomfortable, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

  14. I have to disagree with the OP, mostly agree with VV, not really care what Willard and brandon are going on about.

    The first clue that we should disregard this failed attempt at describing ‘agreement’ – which is never even defined – is that there are no error bars or units. I’d also want to know what is meant by ‘online’ — does this include chat, twitter, forums, instant messaging, etc? Is it limited to the old USENET days? Over what period and what topics is this meant to describe?

    I haven’t read the full paper (magazine, blog, whatever) from whence this originated, but I’d wait until XKCD weighs in before I’d make any judgement.

  15. Paul,

    If consensus messaging can even affect a few more people toward moving to challenge that denial, sooner rather than later, then, even if it makes some scientists uncomfortable, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

    I agree. Also, what most studies say is something along the lines of an understanding of the level of consensus is an important part of getting people to accept the need for climate policy. It doesn’t say what that policy should be. Now, as far as I can tell, it’s pretty obvious that we will be introducing various things that we could call climate policy, whether it be emission reductions, higher sea walls, or funding for flood defenses. It’s hard to see why presenting information that will help people to understand the need for this is a bad thing.

    O’Neill,

    I’d wait until XKCD weighs in before I’d make any judgement.

    Always wise.

  16. An article just published in the Guardian might provide a useful tool for climate science communication. [ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/may/27/meteorologists-are-seeing-global-warmings-effect-on-the-weather ]

    There is a well-qualified meteorologist going one step further than any other to date, AFAIK. I’ve always contended that the point when the impacts start—unequivocally—making themselves felt in developed countries, will be the point when the world starts doing something meaningful about the climate problem. Could this be that unequivocal point?

    I’d be very interested in knowing what the Met Office thinks of that viewpoint, as so far it seems that when the question of attribution crops up they always tend to play the ‘uncertainty’ card.

  17. Canman says:

    Is using a graph from a comic strip any better than Judith Curry using this graphic:

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/04/17/the-paradox-of-the-climate-change-consensus/

    At least hers appears to come from someone making a serious detailed discussion.

  18. Canman,
    This was meant to be somewhat satirical. Still annoyed about me deleting one of your comments?

  19. This is particularly funny

    At least hers appears to come from someone making a serious detailed discussion.

  20. Willard says:

    BrandonG,

    So apparently O’Neill is unhappy with us.

    Not only did I not say anything about having a point, I explicitly contradicted this. You seem to have a poor recollection of what people say, perhaps encouraged by a poor understanding in the first place. I’m not sure. If you think it says what you thought you remembered I had said, then you’re terrible at reading. Because it doesn’t.

    What I am sure of is it is hilarious for you to say:

    To start, I’m really good at finger painting with my own snot.

    It appears you are genuinely terrible at painting. That, or you are doing things like selectively picking snot to pretend to paint is silly when not intentionally picking snot would show real art. I kind of suspect the latter given you have now fully dived into your childish approach to painting and must know fully well you were completely full of it. To be blunt, because I’m afraid so far I’ve not been enough, I think your behavior here is nothing more than you being too much of a baby to do something else than finger painting.

    This is not an effective way to advocate for painting or to have anything resembling an art discussion. You can go on about how your behavior is your glorious method of picking up snot is, but the reality is you’re just an ignorant hack who knows depressingly little about painting and gets flustered and upset when that gets demonstrated.

    I have no idea how you’ve convinced yourself this is finger painting. What I do know is your memory and/or understanding of what people, including yourself, portray is terrible.

  21. If you want to be sure never to lose in Climateball, an effective strategy is to write incomprehensible gibberish.

    Paul Price: “even if it makes some scientists uncomfortable, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.

    It is the job of a scientist to feel uncomfortable.

    oneillsinwisconsin says: “I have to disagree with the OP, mostly agree with VV

    Well, I vigorously disagree with you.

  22. Willard says:

    A more effective ClimateBall ™ strategy is to pretend never to play ClimateBall ™.

    Pretending not to play ClimateBall ™ feels comfortable.

    If scientists are paid to feel uncomfortable, they ought to play ClimateBall ™.

  23. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Would you rather be a comfortable scientist, or a player of ClimateBall ™?

    – – That’s a dumb question.

    That’s a dumb answer.

    – – Well, I disagree with your premise.

    You’re still evading the question.

    – – OK – Let’s try this again from the top. We were talking about… what?

    cf:
    http://www.mdcbowen.org/cobb/archives/comic/20051113-891-PomoDisagreement.html

  24. anoilman says:

    As Canman previously stated about Judith Curry’s work; “They’re meant as qualitative propositions, not rigorous derivations.”
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/we-can-never-know-anything/#comment-76980

    So… that would be at odds with him saying, “At least hers appears to come from someone making a serious detailed discussion.”

    Some day someone may even do something with it I guess. In the mean time I should catch up on some video games since apparently I don’t know anything. Oh and computers don’t work.. and and and…

  25. This is particularly funny

    At least hers appears to come from someone making a serious detailed discussion.

    What are you trying to say, Anders? (honest question) I’m sure you don’t mean to suggest that Dr. Curry doesn’t take details seriously:

    One of the biggest challenges I have is sorting through requests for a guest post (that are submitted via email). The decision is easy if the person has previously submitted a guest post and is a known quantity. The decision is also easy if the post is very poorly written. But in between are some posts that are well written and potentially interesting – I can easily filter out obvious crackpottery, but don’t have the time to carefully evaluate them. I am thinking of selecting groups of these for occasional posts, with a brief abstract and a link to the full article. This would allow some of these articles that pass a moderate filter to receive some exposure and discussion, without any endorsement by me. Your suggestions on this?

    If you really wanted to raise the level of discussion here, you would stop censoring otters and be more open to them challenging your beliefs.

  26. Brandon,
    I was referring to the people who wrote the original article. It’s possible that they were aiming to have a serious, detailed discussion, but it was so silly that that was hard to believe. It’s also pretty hard to believe that Judith was also being serious.

    If you really wanted to raise the level of discussion here, you would stop censoring otters and be more open to them challenging your beliefs.

    Are you being serious?

  27. Willard says:

    There’s nothing more serious than “but moderation,” AT.

    Today’s the time to hold out an olive branch to Denizens (go team!):

    Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? It is true that when with folded arms we weigh the pros and cons we are no less a credit to our species. The tiger bounds to the help of his congeners without the least reflection, or else he slinks away into the depths of the thickets. But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear.

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/05/27/state-of-the-blog-discussion-thread-3/#comment-786401

    Let’s talk about science communication a bit more.

  28. Are you being serious?

    Only if you don’t think satire is possible when farce is the source material, Edgar Anders. 🙂

  29. Sorry, I forgot the theme of the post 🙂

  30. Not for the first time, I note that you’re a terrible troll. Now make me break character again and I’ll take you to the effin cleaners. 😀

  31. Willard says:

    Speaking of RC moderation, can anybody access Lucia’s?

    Seems I can’t.

  32. I seem to be able to access Lucia’s.

  33. Speaking of RC moderation, can anybody access Lucia’s?

    Since it seems you’re asking an honest question, Willard, it might appear that you’ve been b&. Not to beat an expired equine to death, your question makes no sense. It might have been more effective if you could have asked *should* otters access Lucia’s. It’s clearly obvious you could have answered your own question if you had my mad hax0r sk177z and knew the first thing about anonymous proxy servers instead of wasting everyone’s time. It’s sad that you don’t. I’m just not going to talk about it anymore.

  34. Windchaser says:

    So… that would be at odds with him saying, “At least hers appears to come from someone making a serious detailed discussion.”

    ClimateBall 101: try to move the ball when the other team isn’t looking.

  35. As Canman previously stated about Judith Curry’s work; “They’re meant as qualitative propositions, not rigorous derivations.”

    One as slippery as yourself should know Oily One, both the qualitative and quantitative are permitted in science. In fact, whenever it comes up for no particular reason, I tell everyone that I have lots of friends in the farcical fuels business. You’re the first of my many friends I think of … after all, being slick is cheap, clean, convenient — and most of all — cost-effective. Besides, it pleases me to think of all the starving children in Africa that could have fresh drinking water if Greens weren’t trying to take away their coal! I’m not even going to apologize.

  36. Windchaser,

    You’re doing it wrong. The Real ClimateBall™ Rule 101 is that there is no ball, and always was.

  37. Whereby Betteridge’s law of headlines is falsified:

  38. So apparently O’Neill is unhappy with us.

    No you blithering illiterate, his name is One Ills In Wisconsin. Has something to do with what all those dairy cows do to the groundwater. Speaking of …

    That, or you are doing things like selectively picking snot to pretend to paint is silly when not intentionally picking snot would show real art.

    That’s rich, coming from someone who openly admits to being “always thankful for that kind of crap”, Willard. Temet nosce:

    I suspect the progressive left will never support even something as sensible as finger painting with crap if it doesn’t include a crap transfer provision….. you know, make despicable rich people pay more for crap, but protect virtuous starving artists from the increased costs of crap.

    We need look no further than the corn-to-crap boondoggle to see just how badly intervention in the crap marketplace can turn out… and how trying to fix even a grotesque mistake like corn-to-crap becomes politically impossible once the rent seekers and their lobbyists get into the consumer’s crap book.

    One might imagine the ‘progressive left’ would learn from a horrible outcome like corn-to-crap (and many more!), and be more cautious about political intervention in free market crappiness. But my experience is that they are mainly unable to learn from crap outcomes…. it’s always claimed things will turn out crappier the next time. They want ‘crap’, at any cost, 24/7.

    Brown is not the new Green, Willard. Snot in its pure state is completely transparent, odourless, non-toxic and all the most reputable artists (though they be few) are using it. Best of all, snot is plentiful and cheap.

    Crap isn’t cheap or plentiful. I put a lot of time and effort to make my own crap, keep your greasy Welfare State fingers out of mine. And for shite’s sake, learn how to use a paintbrush already.

  39. brandongates writes: “No you blithering illiterate, his name is One Ills In Wisconsin. Has something to do with what all those dairy cows do to the groundwater.”

    I’m well aware my great-great-great-grandmother’s name was “Mi nigh e quo y” but that doesn’t give you any right to make fun of her or her people. I can’t speak for the Native American community at-large, or even the small minority of us online, but for myself, I am getting pretty tired of these incessant attacks on the Ojibwa people. Your repeated belittling of anything you don’t understand is laughable. Make fun of my ancestors all you want — at least they didn’t blow snot on birchbark and claim it was art.

    It’s difficult enough in this country growing up poor and Indian. Most of my relatives were either drunk or dressed in bird feathers — we don’t need people like you trashing our most fundamental beliefs.

    I’m beginning to suspect that your blatant prejudice stems from a bad experience at one of our casinos. If this is the case, please try to settle your dispute amicably with the management. We cannot refund the money you lost at the slot machines, but there is no need to make this a personal vendetta against an entire people.

  40. > We cannot refund the money you lost at the slot machines […]

    There’s even better:

    If you’re an app, how do you keep people hooked? Turn yourself into a slot machine.

    The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. Why do we do this? Are we making 150 conscious choices?

    One major reason why is the #1 psychological ingredient in slot machines: intermittent variable rewards.

    If you want to maximize addictiveness, all tech designers need to do is link a user’s action (like pulling a lever) with a variable reward. You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward (a match, a prize!) or nothing. Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable.

    View story at Medium.com

    In other news, the Auditor is intermittently penalizing ad homs:

  41. Dear One Swills In Wisconsin,

    Your not fooling anyone with this reverse racism politically correct mumbo jumbo your selling. Everyone who has half a brain (i.e., all European Americans who aren’t libruhl’s) know’s that Millawallllkeeeyaa is really the sound of your people imitating honest hard-working folk like mine who’s only crime was to have a little more than they’re two allotted case’s of Pabst Blue Ribbon after church on Sunday. That’s just because your jealous that you’re people can’t even drink half a can of a real beer without passing out, and don’t know any proper gospel music from dogs howling.

    Now because I’m smart, I figured out that you’re slot machines are dishonest, and I quit playing them. Once I got my truck back from the bank and hocked the wifes Cubit Zitcoin, or whatever they call real gold-plated diamond rings these days, I hit the blackjack table’s. Most of the dealer’s are pretty dumb and can’t count two well anyways, but one of ’em name of Judy Run’s with Nine Finger’s is real lucky for me. I’ve never figured it out myself, but she really gets her count off an’ she busted herself out on 20 more than a few times.

    Anyway, I got nothing against your people, son. They’ve been good for my family business — dumber than a bag of Tommyhawk’s I always say. I reckon by next year I’ll be able to start teaching my sicks kids (seventh on the way) about why sucking on the Government Teat isn’t the Real American Way. Only real thing pisses me off is that I gotta pay tax’s on my winnings while the casino’s don’t have to pay a single red cent, if you know what I mean. Some thanks for all that choice land we gave you out of the goodness of our hearts aways back.

    Oh hey, damn … look, I gotta go, seems like the idiot’s down at FEMA set up this here double-wide in front of another tornado again. Best wish me luck, Tonto, I’m on a hot streak and someone’s gotta foot the bill for you’re kids foodstamps I guess.

  42. In other news, the Auditor is intermittently penalizing ad homs

    He must run on wind power. Who knew? (not an honest question)

  43. Ah, ok, I see what’s going on here:

  44. What you see, dear BrandonG, is science communication at work.

  45. It’s clearly obvious that these so-called “scientists” don’t know nuffin’.

  46. BTW Willard, That article about mind hijacking is misleading … it took me a full 18 minute’s to read it instead of only 12, and didn’t have no good advice on how to shut up the wife when shes nagging on me to get a job. I didn’t even win any money either, which made me look real bad ‘coz I told her I had got a job I could do on my cellphone. Must be all those Indian programmer’s taking over the Internet I keep hearing about … can’t even do honest slot’s online. Sheesh.

  47. Marco says:

    “published convict Yale and PSU pedophile Lasaga in 2013 book edited by Broecker ”

    The Auditor did not even notice that the book was actually from 1985. It wasn’t put online until 2013 by Springer. You’d think the fact that Stephen Schneider’s listing as an author of one of the chapters would be a hint to look a little closer at the 2013 publication date, but due diligence isn’t the best quality of the Auditor.

  48. Steven Mosher says:

    “One major reason why is the #1 psychological ingredient in slot machines: intermittent variable rewards.”

    Yes it leads to addiction.

    his is why golf is so addicting even for horrible players.

  49. Willard says:

    It’s worse in context, Marco.

    A few tweets later, the Auditor jumped in the “but Tesla” bandwagon:

    The shady nature of Devonshire Research got excused with “but Enron’s critics were no angels,” atlhough I can’t find his “angel” tweet right now.

    The Auditor also dismissed the fact that the TD Bank settled two Ponzi scheme lawsuits in 2015 by repeating that the bank was “reputable.”

    Above all, how the Auditor kept segregating the issues by dislocating the exchange was a thing of beauty.

  50. anoilman says:

    Steven Mosher: I got a hole in one the first time I played. After that, there’s no point. I can only make my score worse.

  51. Pingback: Science communication | …and Then There's Physics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s