It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Same Stuff, New Order

I've written an article for correlationsblog.com that recapitulates many of the themes from around here in a new order, based on a remarkable hallway conversation with "Hank" who has discovered this blog. Like Tex-Mex food, new arrangements of the same old ingredients can sometimes be interesting.

Also today I've been corresponding with someone who argues that describing the denial movement itself (as opposed to responding to their obfuscations) is our best defense against their tactics. It's a very interesting suggestion that seems to have some merit.

7 comments:

cieldumort said...

I suspect that - as far as getting through to the average person trying to make some sense of it all from outside the realm of science, describing the typical denier and its organization rather than volleying back and forth "debates" has a lot better chance to get through to more people, as just "debating" merely makes it look like things are certainly far from settled... which also has that effect of spinning beliefs out of lies by means of repetition, whether or not the repeated claim is false, or real.

Dano said...

I've been corresponding with someone who argues that describing the denial movement itself (as opposed to responding to their obfuscations) is our best defense against their tactics.

Weird...I checked 'sent mail' and I don't see where I've been sending you stuff....

;o)

This is the raison d' etre of the Dano character, started on Tech Central Station probably 7-8 years ago.

Best,

D

Dano said...

Good blog entry at the other place.

I think your point is excellent and you brought us on an interesting journey to get us there (why I read you).

Prof. Hall's point is one that is restated in different ways by political scientists and us here in the trenches; we anticipate these bifurcated, ideological stances in our work - IOW, it's a fact of life. During numerous discussions with profs at UW (Seattle, sorry), this 'silo mentality' came up as well, across many disciplines. All disciplines see this phenomenon.

'Divide and conquer' is the road we're going down. There's still time to turn around, but the trouble is the road is narrow and bordered by ditches on either side. Do we look for a gate and wait to turn, or do a series of harder Y turns now?

"The good Earth - we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy."

(I'm sure she'll survive, but not without substantive changes)

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

"Also today I've been corresponding with someone who argues that describing the denial movement itself (as opposed to responding to their obfuscations) is our best defense against their tactics."

Hmmm. Good luck with that.

"Seeking the truth" doesn't sound very sinister. I'm sure you'll have to jazz it up a bit.

Michael Tobis said...

I don't understand that last comment; I think it betrays a certain skewed form of logic. Methinks he/she protesteth too much.

By any definition I can imagine anyone "seeking the truth" is not a "denier".

If anything the deniers seem interested in postponing the emergence of certain relevant truths as long as possible, ignoring the vast trends in one direction and seizing on every stray wiggle going any other way.

Anonymous said...

"If anything the deniers seem interested in postponing the emergence of certain relevant truths as long as possible"

What truths would these be? And who is trying to get them out?

Michael Tobis said...

I reply to the latest anonymooose here.