James M. Taylor (from Heartland Institute bio page)
Abstract: James M. Taylor of the Heartland Institute has published a Forbes blog in which he distorts the results of a new Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society study. Instead of accurately reporting the study’s results, Taylor chose to distort the study using logic errors, dishonest and misattributed quotes, and even lying about the study’s methodology. Taylor’s blog represents yet another example in a long history of twisting surveys and studies in a failed attempt to manufacture doubt the scientific consensus about global warming.
On November 20, 2013, James M. Taylor of the Heartland Institute published a blog at Forbes where he discussed a new study in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society titled “Meteorologists’ views about global warming: A survey of American Meteorological Society professional members” by Neil Stenhouse and nine other co-authors (hereafter Stenhouse et al 2013). Stenhouse et al 2013 found, among other things, that 93% of the most knowledgeable climate experts think that climate disruption has occurred over the last 150 years and that human activity is part of the cause.
Rather than focusing on the main points of study, Taylor instead focused on a secondary conclusion (that only 52% of all respondents think that the last 150 years of climate disruption are “mostly” caused by human activity), failed to provide any of the study’s context for that conclusion, and in the process distorted the study’s results in an attempt to manufacture doubt about the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding industrial climate disruption1. Continue reading →
The Chilcot Inquiry into the lessons to be drawn from Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War (or invasion, to be more accurate), gripped the nation for a while there. It actually appeared as if there was a good faith effort to determine how Britain ended up going to war with a country that had not attacked it, based on, well, what, exactly? Daily testimony to a group of apparent wise men (and one woman) drew strong attention, even television ratings, especially when that old poseur TonyBlair gave his excruciating and self-justifying testimony. So for a while there it looked as if there might actually be some answers to some issues that had long remained obscure—especially the behavior of Blair and some of his ministers prior to the invasion, particularly whether the military had been advised in sufficient time to actually prepare for one (apparently not.) This was a hot topic. Continue reading →
This is where I do my best
thinking: seven feet
off the ground
on the roof of a dented
dodge; one story
up from doorsteps on silver-
coated tar; leaning out
windows with wind blowing
the smell of growth
and something else I don't have a name for. Continue reading →
I was never a William Burroughs fan, but I nonetheless find myself thinking about his 1986 “Thanksgiving Prayer,” surely one of the most caustic (and insightful) takes on our great American holiday. I’m in this sort of mood for a reason. Or two, or three.
First off, you may have noticed all the static around the news that more and more businesses will be open today, getting a jump on tomorrow’s appalling orgy of consumerism, Black Friday. That term originated in the early 1960s, apparently, with bus drivers and the police, who used it to describe the mayhem surrounding the biggest shopping day of the year. Continue reading →
Marketing and Search aren’t different things anymore, if they ever were.
Google recently implemented their new “Hummingbird” organic search algorithm, perhaps the company’s most significant overhaul in more than a decade. Thomas Claburn at Information Week explains that Hummingbird is an expansion of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which was
“introduced last year as a way to help its search engine understand the relationships between concepts rather than simply matching keywords in documents. The Knowledge Graph structures data, so that a search for, say, Marie Curie, returns facts about her contributions to science, her life, her family and other related information, not all of which are necessarily contained in the same document.” Continue reading →
The bulb in my living room lamp just blew. Please understand that the bulb was working just fine *before* Obamacare. Thanks, Barry. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
True story: One time I paid this guy $1,000 I owed him and a week later he dropped dead. A “loving God” would not have done that to me. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
Michael Bastasch’s shallow and oversimplified reading of federal spending for climate disruption vs. border security misleads his audience.
An article in the Daily Caller on October 28 incorrectly claimed that the federal government was spending twice as much to address industrial climate disruption as it was spending on border security. In the process, the author of the article, Michael Bastasch, misrepresented both the 2014 Department of Homeland Security budget and the federal climate change expenditures for 2013. Continue reading →
Yes, PowerPoint sucks. Here’s why, plus some suggestions about how to fix the problem.
Imagine a widely used and expensive prescription drug that promised to make us beautiful but didn’t. Instead the drug had frequent, serious side effects: It induced stupidity, turned everyone into bores, wasted time, and degraded the quality and credibility of communication. These side effects would rightly lead to a worldwide product recall. – Edward Tufte Continue reading →
Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby (image courtest Wikimedia)
I’m in the midst of reading a detailed architectural history of my hometown, Eden, NC, a gift from my lovely and talented mate. While interesting (to me, anyway, since I’m from there), it is a tad on the dry side (though well done as such tomes go) and a slow read as a result. I’ll review that after Thanksgiving. To divert us in the meantime, I’ll do a little of what I’ve complained about academics doing(and which I did plenty of at earlier points in my career) and write a nice little popular culture analysis.
Periodically we find ourselves needing to remind everyone about our comment policy, which is quite a bit different from what you find on other sites. This isn’t a problem for a vast majority of those who visit us, but every once in awhile…
So, here’s the link to the policy, which not only lays out how we do it but also, in a good bit of detail, explains why. In general, I’d note the big difference in how we do it. Other places work off the assumption that all comments are accepted unless they cross a line and need to be removed. We don’t assume that any comment should be accepted automatically, and we don’t post anything without reading it and actively approving it. Continue reading →
I’m not going to call you Jack, since we don’t know each other very well. But, in a way, I guess I know you better than I want to. You’ve hovered over my life for the past 50 years, and, you know, I’m tired of it. I want you to go away. You’ve taken up too much of my time, and my generation’s time, and you’ve been a bad influence. It’s time to move on.
I know this is hard on you. You’ve been loyal, I’ll say that. That aura you projected that so many people responded to in your lifetime has become transcendent. But that’s not a good thing. It’s been a garden path. Yes, you were transformative, I’ll give you that. You looked presidential as hell, even though you often didn’t act it. You inspired a generation, so I’m told. Many people went into public service of one form or another, inspired by you, I’m told. That Peace Corps thing was great, I admit. It’s still around, doing good work. Continue reading →
Jack Kerouac’s GPS: No matter where you ask it to go, you end up in William S. Burroughs’ basement, shooting heroin. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
A progressive utopia, World War 3 or something in between?
Sensitivity to initial conditions means that each point in such a system is arbitrarily closely approximated by other points with significantly different future trajectories. Thus, an arbitrarily small perturbation of the current trajectory may lead to significantly different future behaviour. – Wikipedia
Today marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination – which I’m guessing you already knew. Just about everyone with Internet access is weighing in with a take, and I’m not sure I’ve seen any that get to the ultimate cultural importance of the event like the two pieces we have here, penned by Drs. Denny and Booth. Please, make a few minutes to read those posts and perhaps share them with your friends. Continue reading →
Yes, I know precisely where I was when someone murdered John Fitzgerald Kennedy. No, I do not want to hear where the hell you were. Nor do I want to read or watch any “retrospectives” on his assassination. Nor do I want to read or watch orations on what might have been had the shot or shots missed. I’m only concerned with what the hell actually happened in and to America since Kennedy died.
A half century has passed since my infatuation with Camelot. Fifty years have passed since the naïveté of my youth promised me wars will end, peace will reign, and society will be equitable. Even after the brutality of Daley’s thugs disrupted the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, Camelot sang as my siren. Even after gunfire from the National Guard killed four students at Kent State, I still believed in what the precisely cultivated mass mediations of JFK presented to me while he lived. Even after Nixon and his protect-me politics of Watergate, I had faith in process, politics, and people — even some politicians. Continue reading →
John F. Kennedy in the Dallas motorcade moments before his assassination (image courtesy Wikimedia)
I’ll start by quoting myself – a typically Boomer act of self-absorbed self-reference. First, from an email discussion among S&R writers about whether or not we should write about the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination:
JFK is the story of the Boomers – so many advantages, so much potential, so little realized. That we ended as we did may be a psychological reaction to seeing a guy seemingly about to do big things get his brains blown out. And never, ever getting an explanation that didn’t have logic holes, political meddling, and scary implications about the lie we want most fervently to believe about life – that we can know anything for sure. Continue reading →