The Bingo Core

A few months ago I posted a Bingo Card. Thanks to feedback, more Climateball exchanges, with contrarians, and some vacation days, a clearer image has emerged. Here is the current version (1.1):

Climateball Bingo, v. 1.1

The up-to-date version will be found on the Climateball Bingo page. The image has been generated using a mindmapping tool. The one I use is called SimpleMind. Don’t you forget about that great band!

The central square features an acronym that stands for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. The C must not be interpreted as geological catastrophism, but as catastrophization. Which begs the question: how do contrarians know that potential catastrophes are a product of mere catastrophizing? Taking a stand on that question moves them away from skepticism.

The eight squares around the center (in blue) represent the core of the contrarian Bingo. The four corners (Science, the Press, Politics, and Evidence) orient most of the other squares into quadrants. The four squares between them (Advocacy, Costs, Bias, and Truth) tie the corners together like the Dude’s rug his room.

Finding the middle circle (in mustard yellow or light green) was the reason why I started the exercise in the first place: to reduce my 49-square Bingo to 25 squares. It represents what I’m tempted to call the limits of justified disingenuousness. Beyond it the silliness is harder to hide.

The outer circle (in yellow) contains mostly illustrative squares. For instance, “But Galileo” is subsumed under “But My Guru.” I suppose we could let go of them all, but I feel they have historical value. Besides, how fun can a Climateball exchange really be without any appeal to (say) the MWP, Da Paws, or hurricanes? Some of these squares also give you easy wins {1}: take them!

The core of the Bingo could apply to most policy-based arguments I’ve seen online, especially those around COVID. (By serendipity, many Climateball contrarians are also Covidball contrarians.) The middle circle might be generalized even more. Hard to tell what works best. So far it’s been useful to me.

All in all, I like the look of this version. It certainly could be clarified: “But Accelerate” and “But Damascus” rely on knowing Bible stories and weird online communities. There are many other connections between the squares than the ones presented. Classifiers made by hand integrate trade-offs. Lastly, bear in mind that the exercise should not be taken too seriously : I seek an artistic memory palace more than ultimate categories.

As always, comments and suggestions are most welcome.

{1}: Provided winning at Climateball is possible.

About Willard
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37 Responses to The Bingo Core

  1. Willard says:

    > By serendipity, many Climateball contrarians are also Covidball contrarians.

    For instance:

    This is an excellent and very detailed analysis. Age and population adjusted mortality in Sweden for 2020 was up only a little bit and was comparable to 2013. It’s too detailed for Josh to follow but others will find it interesting.

    The website linked by our favorite troglodyte is quite amazing:

    A number of international organizations dominated by the US are likewise aspects of the American Empire. Chief among them are NATO, the IMF, and the World Bank.

    Moreover, the US is often able to co-opt otherwise benign international organizations and make them into appendages of the Empire. For example the IAEA, the OPCW, OECD, even WADA, and sometimes even the UN.

    I think this would count as “But PSYOP.”

  2. I was with you until you said Simple Minds was a great band. Sorry, but your credibility crashed.

  3. Willard says:

    I guess I’ll keep my opinion on Duran Duran and Wham! to myself.

  4. “I was with you until you said Simple Minds was a great band. Sorry, but your credibility crashed.”

    On The Turning Away …

    From A Momentary Lapse of Reason

  5. Andrew,

    I was with you until you said Simple Minds was a great band. Sorry, but your credibility crashed.

    It was one of the first bands that I saw live in post-apartheid South Africa. Admittedly, we had been rather starved (justifiably) of live music from international artists.

  6. Willard says:

    Judy goes “But Consensus”:

    She cites a paper by Henry Bauer in which we can read:

    ‘‘Everyone knows’’ that promiscuous burning of fossil fuels is warming up global climates. Everyone does not know that competent experts dispute this and that official predictions are based on tentative data fed into computer models whose validity could be known only many decades hence (Crichton, 2003).

    That’d be “But Modulz.” Note 34 reads, as example for “experts”:

    See, for instance, the Science & Environmental Project (,whose president is S. Fred Singer, a distinguished environmental scientist.

    Henry’s disinterested posturing can only fool readers who know nothing about Climateball.

  7. “However, the pronouncements in these op-eds effectively shut down inquiry.”

    China? China! The UN WHO sent a bunch of people over there who did not have full access. AFAIK they did not completely rule out a laboratory origin.

    Heck, if it happened in the US or the EU, I would still expect all forms of obfuscation.

    But hey, a strawperson post that ends up talking about the IPCC and guilt by bizarre association.

    A conspiracy theory that talks about other conspiracy theories.

  8. Willard says:

    David’s concerns are understandable:

    3. Why is it important to understand SARS-CoV-2’s origins?

    Relman: Some argue that we would be best served by focusing on countering the dire impacts of the pandemic and not diverting resources to ascertaining its origins. I agree that addressing the pandemic’s calamitous effects deserves high priority. But it’s possible and important for us to pursue both. Greater clarity about the origins will help guide efforts to prevent a next pandemic. Such prevention efforts would look very different depending on which of these scenarios proves to be the most likely.

    Evidence favoring a natural spillover should prompt a wide variety of measures to minimize human contact with high-risk animal hosts. Evidence favoring a laboratory spillover should prompt intensified review and oversight of high-risk laboratory work and should strengthen efforts to improve laboratory safety. Both kinds of risk-mitigation efforts will be resource intensive, so it’s worth knowing which scenario is most likely.

    However, David might not seem to realize how contrarians and Freedom Fighters could exploit his efforts.

    My own intuition would be that to invest in both risk-mitigation efforts might be just better. Less downsides. More upsides.

  9. verytallguy says:

    “Serendipity” is one word for it.

    In my naivety I thought that a large part of climate “scepticism” was driven by the very long time lag and very noisy short term data.

    Turns out that a time lag of just a few days and huge signal to noise elicits an identical response from the usual suspects.

    Did Curry really cite Crichton? Now you’ve made me check…

  10. Willard says:

    Judy cites Henry whom cites Michael and Fred, Very Tall.

    Your point about how contrarians process data might fit with my latest addition to the Bingo. A sock puppet at Roy’s said today that Richard Feynman discovered that NASA was so corrupt they were willing to kill astronauts to keep the funding coming in. That made me revisit the Wiki page on the affair:

    Feynman suspected that the 1 in 10^5 figure was wildly fantastical, and made a rough estimate that the true likelihood of shuttle disaster was closer to 1 in 100. He then decided to poll the engineers themselves, asking them to write down an anonymous estimate of the odds of shuttle explosion. Feynman found that the bulk of the engineers’ estimates fell between 1 in 50 and 1 in 200 (at the time of retirement, the Shuttle suffered two catastrophic failures across 135 flights, for a failure rate of 1 in 67.5). Not only did this confirm that NASA management had clearly failed to communicate with their own engineers, but the disparity engaged Feynman’s emotions. When describing these wildly differing estimates, Feynman briefly lapses from his damaging but dispassionate detailing of NASA’s flaws to recognize the moral failing that resulted from a scientific failing: he was upset NASA presented its fantastical figures as fact to convince a member of the public, schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, to join the crew. Feynman was not uncomfortable with the concept of a 1⁄100 risk factor, but felt strongly that the recruitment of laypeople required an honest portrayal of the true risk involved.

    My own reading of this affair is that managers tend to underestimate risks. Risks cost money, and they are tough to communicate objectively. Private (and anonymous) channels still matter. Etc.

    There are many ways to spin a story. A story without a story isn’t impossible (think Seinfeld), but it’s still a story.

  11. Magma says:

    At first I was pleased that I understood all the boxes in Climateball Bingo 1.1 without even reading Willard’s explanations.

    Then I was depressed.

  12. Bob Loblaw says:

    “managers tend to underestimate risks”

    Where I work, a certain number of managers consider each job to be a stepping stone to the next, and probably are quite aware of the risks – but generally figure that when the risks become an event (i.e. $#!^ happens) it will be after they have moved on, when someone else is in the chair. You don’t worry as much about risks if you think it will happen to someone else, not you.

    Skate fast over thin ice.

  13. Willard says:

    I have yet to see any manager consider that

    Not even Keith Richard’s manager.

  14. Willard says:

    “But Semantics” was on full force this morning:

    When [Chief] speaks of what “contrarians” have espoused, he is deliberately discrediting and disparaging them. These are people whom I would designate by the honorable title “dissenters.”

    Warren Buffett might wish to have a word with that contrarian. There’s even a Wiki entry now:

    In science, the term “contrarian” is often applied to those who challenge or reject the scientific consensus on some particular issue, as well as to scientists who pursue research strategies which are rejected by most researchers in the field. Contrarians are particularly prominent in cases where scientific evidence bears on political, social or cultural controversies, such as disputes over policy responses to climate change, or creationism versus relatively gradual evolution over a span of millions of years.

    “Dissenter” does not fit the same bill, and “critic” is too self-serving. Everybody’s a critic. Science Cop and auditing are for other things.

    Climateball is a word placement discipline.

  15. Russell says:

    The cagwocentric bingogram is a masterpiece of posteuclidian polytopy- it corresponds exactly to a stellate polyhedron of 48 faces and cuboctahedral symmetry

    The ClimateBingo card can be readily transformed into an elegant three dimensional object using this free software :

  16. Willard says:

    Nice, Russell. I’ll see what I can do.


    Perhaps I should note that the Climateball Bingo only helps identify, organize, and respond to talking points. These talking points are mostly squirrels. Like a contrarian at Roy’s is fond to do, repeat “But Emails” as soon as you hear the word “Phil,” even if it’s because of an unrelated paper in a discussion about the virtues of medians over means.

    That said, the Bingo is powerless against other forms of pragmatic abuse such as this one:

    Interesting article. It does appear that expert opinion is starting to abandon the fake consensus on this. Perhaps Willard will pay due diligence and read it. The Lancet piece is after all out of date by now with over a year of research since then.

    The basic form of it is “unless you accede to my demands D, you’re a P.” And you can be sure that once you accede to D, you can E, F, and all the alphabet.

    That’s in fact the trick that brought me to Climateball. It has been overused at the Auditor’s for many years. Jean recognized it the first time she went:

    Key to any successful debate is managing the basic responsibilities: who is obligated to defend what. If responsibilities aren’t limited, a debate e.g. over some immediate political issue can easily devolve back into a debate on how we know anything at all–philosophically interesting, perhaps, but far from the original topic. And if the responsibilities aren’t clearly defined, participants can find the debate slipping from one issue to another in what may be an unproductive fashion.

    The extended abstract of an as-yet unpublished conference paper by myself and a colleague had been brought into the conversation at [the Auditor’s] by [the Auditor]. I entered the discussion understanding that I’m responsible for defending what my colleague and I said in that paper, and for clearly indicating areas where we remained uncertain/where the draft is under development, and for changing what we said if it turns out to be indefensible.

    Other participants in the debate appeared to think that we had much, much broader responsibilities, however.

    This kind of trick can take many forms. There are many ways to protect oneself against it. Hence why I also need to build a Climateball Manual. I will write it when each Bingo page will be around 90%. I already have my outline.

  17. verytallguy says:

    Very well written post linked there Willard.

  18. Russell says:

    Here , ready to install at its center of asymmetry, is the 49th component of the Willard Solid,
    the Cagwohedron

  19. Willard says:

    From Covidball to Climateball in one single step:

    Question for Willard: Do you think that nuclear power plant accident danger outweighs CO2 emissions danger?

    I now am pulled in to opine on nukes because I dared to mention risks.

    By chance I already wrote my response four years ago.

  20. Willard says:

    Coup de théâtre!

    Junior has jumped in the “but debate me” bandwaggon!

    Who would have thunk?

  21. Junior? Junior! Curry? Curry! Ignore? Ignore!

    The doubled edge sword of the internets, is it doing more good than bad? I think it does more good than bad, but that the ratio of good-to-bad is getting smaller wrt time. :/

    Evidence? Small Hands!

  22. The issue (IMO) with Roger’s approach is that he seems to think that because he is a researcher who is interested in scientific integrity issues he is then allowed to probe in ways that imply that there might be some scientific integrity issues. However, just because you’re interested in scientific integrity issues doesn’t mean you have some special right to ask leading questions. You can, of course, do so, but I don’t think you can expect people to answer. Science might not be social, but some aspects of it clearly are.

  23. Steven Mosher says:

    simple minds. moshpit was in LA during the wonder years.
    hang out with SKA bands, punk and new wave.
    needless to say my warddrobe and hair went through daily changes.

    introducing the coolest dude moshpit ever kew.


  24. Steven Mosher says:

    anarcho punk

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    two tone, or black and white. think english beat, LA style.
    how many members of this band lived in the graguate student dorm at UCLA.
    dorm parties were lit

  26. Steven Mosher says:

    from untouchables to repo man and plate of shrimp

  27. Steven Mosher says:

    theres a lattice of coincidences that lays on top of everything

  28. Willard says:

    Nice to see you back, Mosh.

    Bill made me think of you:

    Absolutely loved The Bingo Core!!! The not so subtle characterizations were funny and clever. You had me LOL.

    But dude, a block diagram? That’s soooo beneath you. Let me suggest a medium where we can have full blown Willardness humor. If you can’t draw, get a good caricaturist/cartoonist. The scene: a mosh pit with a band playing above. Imagine the characters? More than a few could be posed with a raised finger, a book/research paper in the other in mid-pontification. And about to be hit with a round house kick. Several characters shown pummeling people while they’re down. A few scrambling to get out of the pit, only to be pulled back. A few succeeding escape are nonetheless drawn to stay and expound on the chaos itself, ducking objects thrown their way.

    I did not have the courage to tell Bill that my first version was a simple B&W online-generated bingo card. So I told him about Flame Warriors:

  29. Willard says:

    > Evidence? Small Hands!

    *Six millions Jews enter the chat.*

    More srsly, it’s an old conundrum. We’re all in this together. You may not have to play Climateball with contrarians, but sooner or later somebody has to do it.

    And it so happens that contrarians help me with my Bingo. The better their responses, the better my Bingo. It also improves my Manual, as I’m trying to parry their pragmatic abuses in a way to produce constructive exchanges, at least from an artistic standpoint.

    Ideally, contrarians would need to work. If you want a metaphor:

    Blackwater from all connected homes comes together in a fermentation installation in the energy building. During fermentation biogas is released which is partly used for heating homes and tap water. Around 12 percent of the total gas demand in the district is produced this way.

    This comes from this interesting episode of 99 PI: `

    Contrarian energy won’t disappear if we ignore it. Let’s tap into it!

  30. Willard says:

    Let’s show three concrete examples as to why sometimes I love Climateball.

    First is this comment by TYSON (who’s a swell guy) in which he quotes Michael McCracken:

    Dr. Happer’s proposed upper limit is far too high, as explained aboveperhaps Dr. Happer should try living at that CO2 level for a while, and take an elderly person with him. On the rate of rise that he cites, the rate has already moved to above 2 ppm/year and will increase further if increasing amounts of fossil fuels are used to meet the energy needs of the world’s poor. For the time period to get to 1000 ppm to be 300 years, as Dr. Happer suggests, not only would emissions have to be no higher than they were in the year 2000, but the carbon uptake rates for the oceans and biosphere would also have to be unaffected by the increase in CO2 and climate change, and there are a number of reasons that this is unlikely to be the case. A more likely time to get to 1000 ppm is 150 years if emissions continue to increase as is projected without emissions controls.

    I would not have found this all by myself. Second is this formal dialogue:

    [VLAD] Perhaps you don’t know, but I’m a big guy in the SCIENCE ™ world.
    [ESTR] Oh, really?
    [VLAD] Very big.
    [ESTR] Wow.
    [VLAD] Like, this big.

    *Spreads his arms as far as he can.*

    [ESTR] Impressive.
    [VLAD] But in fact, that’s not the true value of how big I am.
    [ESTR] No?
    [VLAD] No. I can’t tell you how big of a SCIENCE ™ guy I am.
    [ESTR] Why?
    [VLAD] You wouldn’t understand it anyway.
    [ESTR] Damn. That’s big.
    [VLAD] Why bother?
    [ESTR] Words of wisdom, Vladimir. Words of wisdom.

    I would not be able to write this kind of dialogue without meeting contrarians.

    My opponent is turning into a quite ordinary SCIENCE ™ guy, but he told me that he happens to be the nephew of John-Linsey Hood:

    which I find rather cool. JLH amps are still made.

    Whatever the silly arguments, there are amazing people in Climateball.

  31. Russell says:

    Black hat? Black coat? White shoes?

    Why must Mosh’s albedo sensibility end at his feet?

  32. afeman says:

    Watching the Climateball-Covidball axis form in real time was a truly a wonder. A old classmate of mine, generally sensible, posted a WSJ oped on the lab leak coauthored by our old friend Richard Muller, and I noted his backstory. My classmate invoked “no evidence either way”, and I observed that the consensus of unlikely was established early based on physical evidence and hadn’t changed. His reply was that scientists had been wrong before, Galileo, and he preferred to keep and open mind. And it hit me: that always means that, contrary to keeping an open mind, he is utterly committed to never taking “unlikely” for an answer.

  33. Willard says:

    > that always means that, contrary to keeping an open mind, he is utterly committed to never taking “unlikely” for an answer.

    Bingo. No pun intended. More srsly, of course pun intended.

    I’m writing a post on How to Reason by Analogy using the Climateball-Covidball axis. Stay tuned.

  34. Joshua says:

    afeman –

    > Watching the Climateball-Covidball axis form in real time was a truly a wonder.


    Nice comment.

  35. Joshua says:

    But speed limits
    But no proof masks work
    But sheep
    But authoritarianism
    Bit there have always been pandemics


    And of course, but modulz

  36. Pingback: How to Reason by Analogy | …and Then There's Physics

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