"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unbelievably Random Thread

Lucia at her confusingly named blog (URL: http://rankexploits.com/musings/, Title bar "The Blackboard", colloquially "Lucia's") has an amazingly unbelievably random thread that is kicked off by some loose connection between me inadvertently raining on Keith's Climate Central parade and Anna hassling Judith for her client list. Yes we're all on a first name basis here. But I owe Lucia a random link back, so here it is.

The posting begins by questioning the very idea of the existence of a closed email list among climate change naywsayers. There must be none! (How one would go about proving such a thing escapes me, but the first step would probably have to be getting invited onto yahoo group "climatesceptics" and making sure they are not a bunch of incognoscenti blithering at each other about climate.) But it wanders happily all over Alternative Reality, reaching its apex when Stephen Mosher asserts that there is no humor on side of Real Reality.

Leaving aside what Kate has already collected here, and the obvious Friends of Gin and Tonic, Denial Depot, Throbgoblins, Neverending Audit, and Climate Scum, oh and Eli, aside from that we have no sense of humor, right? In the unlikely event that anyone has any counterexamples, please post them here. I'll collate and we can send them off to Mosher.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think it comes down to a close laugh-off between the uproariously hilarious

DeSoggy Bog


Really Silly Stupid Climate

Rolling on the floor laughing and soiling my ass off!!!! Especially DeSoggy Bog! It's SOOOO funny!!! Yet subtle and witty at the same time!

Paul Daniel Ash said...

I know it sounds curmudgeonly, but in-group humor just isn't all that funny. Even reading xkcd which is my own in-group humor (before it got lame, I mean), I wouldn't laugh out loud... the reaction is more sort of an intellectual one, a frisson of recognition if you will.

Like I told Lucia, de gustibus non est disputandum, but I don't think there are any Woody Allens or Robin Williamses on either side of the climate debate.

It's in no way a critique. I hear the nuclear safety experts have crappy comedy blogs too.

Michael Tobis said...

PDA, xkcd 880 was a real rofl for me, actually. It's wearing a bit thin for the wife already, though.

All, individual articles from non climate geeks (parse as you wish) and cartoons would be good too.

I will admit I've not seen a seriously funny climate-good-guy video, and although obnoxious as hell the Minnesotans for Global Warming stuff was good for a chuckle. Anyone still giving Michael Mann shit, though, really ought to hope these is no hell.

Paul Daniel Ash said...

See, my reaction was more like watching someone sink a nice basket. It was no 149, but a good effort. De gustibus, again. About the only thing I can think of that's more subjective and personal than what makes you laugh is what makes you horny.

I'm not saying this to dissuade you from your funny-hunt, mind you... it's just that I'm having a reaction to the earnest debate over at Lucia's and Mosh's statement that warmists are "not allowed" to be funny.

Probably the most trustworthy indication of a true sense of humor is the ability to laugh at oneself. I think we all take ourselves a little too seriously at times, especially during these interweb contretempseses.

adelady said...

Paul, they don't have to be laugh out loud. But Dr Inferno does that for me.

We do need a chance to let off steam - and all of those listed do that. I suppose that's where your 'in-group' humour comment is coming from. Humour doesn't have to be universal all the time, just look at people who know all about a sport laughing at some clanger or other. Most of us have no idea why such a thing is funny.

Humorous moments for people committed to science are often pretty grim omg reactions to yet another idiocy emanating from predictable sources. It's a relief when someone sets out to be amusing - and succeeds.

Arthur said...

Some of Peter Sinclair's videos are pretty funny (in my view). And that BBC video about Monckton that recently came out, "Meet The Skeptics", had some really hilarious moments. Monckton singing "The Elements" leading in to a stock musical rendition of "The Major-General's Song" (which is the same tune) was perfect - the lyrics at that point:

"I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General. "

capture Monckton's pomposity perfectly. But of course this is all very much a matter of taste :)

Lars Karlsson said...

I suspect that Really Silly Stupd Climate is a parody of DeSoggy Bog, which is supposed to be a parody of DeSmogBlog.

Anna Haynes said...

Ah, Lucia. She devoted a blogpost to me last fall, that elicited some odd, dark commentary; but later when I wanted to post a "for more information go here" comment on that thread, she wasn't willing to re-open it to allow me. And wasn't willing to take down the caricature of me, either, when I asked. ("Josh" had done it from a photo, but I asked to see the photo, he couldn't seem to provide it.)

I avoid that neck of the blogosphere; IMO its denizens don't act in good faith.

Anna Haynes said...

(I feel lucky that in real life, few people go out of their way to try to pick fights.)

Anna Haynes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael Tobis said...

Anna, that is pretty off topic for this blog at best. Muckraking (or, perhaps, mudslinging) is not my thing. Please take it elsewhere.

Anna Haynes said...

ok; but (changing the topic) a terminology quibble - IMO asking someone twice, over a week apart, when the first time they'd indicated time constraints were the problem, doesn't constitute "hassling".

(but I do confess to cluelessness from not having read JC's comment all the way through, before asking the 2nd time. For that, my bad, & apologies.)

Steve Bloom said...

"Owing" Lucia anything seems peculiar. Coming on the heels of the posts kittycatizing RP Jr. and Kloor, it starts to seem like you're just spinning your intellectual wheels, Michael. I'm down with the goal of improving communication skills, but oddly you seem most interested in communicating with those whose positions aren't going to change no matter what you say to them. What have you learned from all of this engagement with the Insufficient Light side?

Michael Tobis said...

Oh, come on, Steve, that's silly. Lucia is giving me a hard time over nothing and producing a horrendous and revealing botch of a discussion in the process. Providing a link to that mess hardly constitutes sucking up.

Give me some credit.

Steve Bloom said...

It's not the credibility or lack thereof involved in her giving you a hard time, Michael, it's you paying attention to her when she does it. What's the point? So that informed readers will visit her blog and relearn the lesson that her blog isn't worth visiting?

You want to be a journalist? This stuff is gossip column material.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem as she's interested in going forward or finding anything new, it's just rhetorical positioning, sort of like a game.

Michael Tobis said...

Yes, indeed. That is why I am looking for a gossip columnist, to cover this nonsense.

Henceforth, you can tell when I don't take matters seriously when I bold everybody's name. This is pure entertainment. Note too that it is an attempt at a comedy thread.

Not a very good one so far... Best laid plans and all that...

seamus said...

Böögg Bang drives global climate change

(h/t Chris Colose on the RC open thread)

steven said...

I didn't assert that you have no sense of humor. The point I was trying to make, I guess one of your readers got, is that you're not allowed to be funny. In particular, certain types of humor are strictly off limits. The NOAA employees for example who got a hand slap for engaging in a little cartoonery.
The point isnt that nobody who believes in AGW can't be funny about somethings, in some ways and in some places. The point is rather something like this, that certain people on the AGW side are prevented from directly fighting back with humor. Sure their proxies can. But they directly can't. That leads to a certain perception of them as being humorless.

The other thing is the role humor plays in carrying the message. yes, we have cartoons and some poor attempts at written humor, but the AGW message can't be carried by humor. Since a good portion of the skeptical message is personal attack on people, that message can and is carried by humor.

Sorry if I wasnt clearer. Let me get very specific. mann, gavin, jones, trenberth, santer, ARE NOT ALLOWED to be funny, whereas those who attack them are allowed to be funny.

is that clearer?

As way of background the discussion started when somebody asked me a while back why Mann didnt fight back against the Minnesota Skeptics satirical videos with satire of his own. My first reaction was well, he's not funny. But I don't know him. He very well may be funny, But in some sense he is trapped in role that doesnt allow him to be funny.

make sense?

Michael Tobis said...

Actually, yes, you have a point. It is one of the ways the playing field is tilted against the establishment in informal communication.

In fact one of the people you cite once said something very funny to me about one of his opponents. I asked for permission to quote him, but didn't get it.

Michael Tobis said...

Ray Pierrehumbert sends along a reminder of Sheep Albedo Feedback from RC. Thanks, Ray!