The radically fragmented and decentralized age of information

by Judith Curry

Why real nobodies are more powerful than repressed somebodies.

The U.S. first tweeting President has upended our perceptions on the appropriate method for a President communicate. Millions of people are perplexed and horrified by President Trump’s tweets. Stepping back, Trump is the first President who has grasped the power and possibilities of the internet.  I suspect that the end result of this will be a ‘rewiring of the power circuits’ in the Age of the Internet.

The internet is having a comparable impact on academia, scholars and the definition and behavior of individuals aspiring to be influential in academia, in the policy world and in the world of public intellectuals.

This post was triggered by a superb essay written by Justin Murphy, entitled The affective politics of keeping it real.  Justin Murphy seems like a pretty interesting character:

Why is there not more rebellion against status quo institutions? How have economic and political processes pacified our capacity for radical collective action? As a political scientist, I am interested in the roles played by information, communication, and ideology in the pacification of political resistance and conflict.

Extensive excerpts from his essay:

It once made sense for professional intellectuals to bite their tongue in exchange for the influence they could gain by conforming to the dominant language. For a while, this was arguably rational and defensible—perhaps even a game-theoretic necessity for anyone sincerely interested in cultivating a genuinely public and political intellectual project. While it’s obvious the internet has changed the game, old stereotypes die hard and continue to constrain human potential well after their objective basis has disappeared. In particular, the contemporary stereotype of the public intellectual as a self-possessed professional who regularly appears in “the media” to speak on public affairs in the royal language, is a contingent product of the postwar rise of mass broadcasting (one-to-many) media. In much of the postwar period, the classic “mass media”—newspapers, radio, television—had extremely large, mass audiences and where characterized by high costs of entry. This technical and economic environment offered huge rewards for speaking the dominant language within the paramaters of respectable opinion. It was probably with cable television that a centrifugal tendency began the processes of fragmentation, polarization, and decentralization that would eventually bring us to where we are today.

Today, there is no longer any mass audience to speak to through dominant channels, overwhelming majorities do not trust mass media, and even the cognitively fragmented semi-mass audiences that remain will only listen to what they already think. Not to mention the masses probably have less power today than anytime in the twentieth century, so why bother even trying to speak to the masses? As a young academic, if I play by the rules for the next 10 years so that I might be respected by influential academics or gain access to regularly speaking on BBC or something like that, I would have sacrificed all of my creative energy for quite nearly nothing. As far as I can tell, today, the idea of biding your time as a young and respectable intellectual, to one day earn a platform of political significance, appears finally and fully obsolete. In one sense, this is already obvious to the millions who long ago stopped following mainstream media and long ago lost all respect for academic credentials; but in another sense, an overwhelming number of human beings continue to think, speak, and behave as if we are still operating in this old world, as if there is some reason to not say everything one feels like saying, as if there is some social or political or economic reward that will come toward the end of a respectable career of professional self-restraint. [T]he really striking and politically significant puzzle [is] that an extraordinary degree of human power remains voluntarily repressed for rewards and punishments that no longer exist.

Just as the self-restrained professional intellectual is shaped by the rewards of a media environment long dead, so too are they shaped by punishments which are little more than paranoid fears. Many academics and professionals believe that for the sake of their careers they must exercise the utmost discretion in what they put online, and they confidently tell young people to exercise the same discretion for the sake of their own futures. But the reality is almost the exact opposite. In my now slightly above-average history of recklessly posting to the internet, before and after getting a competitive professional job, the worst that has ever happened is that nobody cares (and that’s most of the time). But the best that has happened, here and there, is that a lot of people care and appreciate it and new friends are made and all kinds of new paths appear, individually and collectively.

The self-restraining, strategic professional intellectual is not only operating on incorrect beliefs but beliefs which are almost exactly inverse to the truth: today, playing by rules of respectability is perhaps the straightest path to unemployment and impotent resentment, while simply cultivating the capacity to say or do something real (by definition prohibited by respectability), is a necessary (and sometimes even sufficient) condition for being genuinely valued by anyone, anywhere. [T]he conventional wisdom still drastically overestimates the punishments and underestimates the rewards of doing so.

I believe there exist objective, micro-political mechanisms whereby being real generates real power; that many people under-estimate or mistrust the objective reality of this mechanism; that many people live under compliant resentment because of incorrect beliefs about how the macro-social institutional environment will respond to their idiosyncratic deviations.

I dream of what would happen if thousands of highly capable intellects currently toiling under institutional respectability suddenly realized they have no reason to self-censor and everything to gain from simply disarming their objectively miscalibrated expression calculators.

JC reflections

While I found this essay insightful and rather exhilarating, sober reflection on the state of academic climate discourse concludes that there remains substantial punishments for even the most modest divergence from the IPCC consensus.  Public dialogue that does not sound the alarm and support particular emissions reductions policies gets ‘punished’ by the climate police.  Even Jim Hansen has been called a denier by he-who-must-not-be-named owing to his support of nuclear energy.

However, if it weren’t for the internet and particularly the blogosphere, dissenting perspectives (from climate scientists and other individuals with a technical background) would have no audience.  As such, the few of us climate scientists who disagree with alarm narrative and have ventured into the public debate actually have an outsized influence on the public debate relative to our numbers.   Myself, Pielke Jr, Pat Michaels and others with perspectives that diverge from the alarm narrative have paid a heavy academic price.  We have all found alternative paths and landed on our feet, but I’m sure that their are individuals that have paid a heavier price.

Trump’s tweeting and his administration more generally are acting to ‘rewire the power circuits’ in the political sphere.  Owing to the intense politicization of the climate debate and climate science itself, perhaps we can look forward in the near term to a similar rewiring of  the academic climate community and the public debate on climate change to include a much broader range of perspectives.

I love this phrase from Murphy’s essay:

I have been able to cultivate and maintain an energetic, autonomous, creative intellectual life that feels to me on the right track intellectually and politically.

This perfectly articulates how I feel, but I had to resign my academic position to reach this point.  Right now, the politically correct world of academia seems stifling to efforts to ‘cultivate an energetic, autonomous, creative intellectual life.’  Sure, there are ‘enforcers’ of political correctness (notably he-who-must-not-be-named), but a lot of this problem relates to paranoia from within the academy. Efforts such as are on the right track.

I also like the ‘being real’ theme.  Cultivating your own unique voice (actually having something to say that others are interested in listening to) requires reflection, synthesis and assessment of diverse threads of research, and understanding the broader contexts of research in the socio-economic realm.  The rewards to everyone of academics cultivating their own unique voice would be huge, in terms of raising the level of scientific and public discourse.


121 responses to “The radically fragmented and decentralized age of information

  1. Pingback: The radically fragmented and decentralized age of information – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Like everyone nowadays, their spelling and grammar is hopeless.

  3. First tweeting President? Obama was on Twitter through Organizing for America in 2007, and with his own account since 2015. George W. Bush has been tweeting since 2010. (To be sure, there is something distinctive about Trump’s use of Twitter.)

    • Obama’s tweets were written by him to the same extent that his books were written by him–not at all.

      Obama is a public relations front for his handlers.

      Trump is the first authentic presidential tweeter.

  4. russellseitz

    “having something to say that others are interested in listening to) requires reflection, synthesis and assessment of diverse threads of research, ”

    Have fun converting, Heartland, Watts , API, Heritage and the GWPF to that point of view– monotony is the most common denominator of climate bores on both sides of K-Street.

    • russellseitz | June 20, 2017 at 4:31 pm |

      “having something to say that others are interested in listening to) requires reflection, synthesis and assessment of diverse threads of research, ”

      Have fun converting, Heartland, Watts , API, Heritage and the GWPF to that point of view

      Thanks, Russell. The success, the awards, and the huge following of Anthony Watts’ site are clear and compelling evidence that he has “something to say that others are interested in listening to”.



      • russellseitz

        I thought that honor belonged to The National Enquirer.

        Which come to think of it, has a comparable scientific track record, and rather fewer censors.

      • Steven Mosher

        Round 1 goes to russel.
        Good killshot.

      • Mosher,

        Obviously shooting is not among your many skills. Otherwise you would know the difference between a kill shot and a random pot shot.

        Besides, is the national Inquirer still around? Watts certainly is.

      • russellseitz

        Steve gives me too much credit. Who could miss the side of a barn as broad as : Willis provides –

        “The success, the awards, and the huge following ” :

      • Don Monfort

        Watts says WUWT came in at #41 out of the top 100. True or false?

      • russellseitz

        Is Don Montfort saying Watts came out at the top of the bottom 60 ?

        Are the following rue or false ? Don :

        At Number 1, winner National Geographic beat Watts
        by 42 million votes and 13 million Tweets

        His hemesis, ScienceBlogs
        also proved eight times more popular:

        WUWT’s actual web rank at the time was not 41, or 410, or 4,100:
        It was 34,796 — so exclusive is Watts glitteringly arbitrary Top 100 prize that it has gone to blogs seventeen million places behind him –
        Earth Learning Idea got exactly the same gong at webrank 17,981,151!

      • Don Monfort

        Yes rustle, he came out at the top of the bottom 60. Which is # 41 out of the top 100. Where did the allegedly real climate scientists rank? And looky who is POTUS and dissed that Paris BS. Anthony wins, you lose.

      • russellseitz

        Don evidently has trouble with large numbers as well as othography:
        Yes rustle, he came out at the top of the bottom 60. Which is # 41 out of the top 100. Where did the allegedly real climate scientists rank?

        Whose top 100? The Darwin Awrds Committeee?, The Heartland folks who decide who’s the Evangelical Climate Scientist Of The Year ? ( First $4,000 will make you the next one, Don – see their website)

        The metric of record, is webrank ,

        When WUWT’ s was 34,796 , those real,not alleged, climatologists at ScienceBlogs stood at 34,336, some 460 places ahead of your hero, who remains firmly at the bottom of the top 34,796

        Which is as it should be – who the hell reads climate blogs anyway?

        Please remember to light the end of the fuse facing away from your fireworks.

  5. We are witnessing a return to the past – the rise of the independent scholar, aided by the internet. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries independent scholars were isolated by space; now they are on information islands. Inter-island diffusion of information is almost as slow now as international diffusion of information was then. The one major difference is that then there was an allegiance to “natural philosophy” that overrode the geographic isolation; now, I’m afraid, too many pay allegiance only to their tribes, and only lip service to science.

  6. Plus many. CAGW is the first great science/public policy debate to have been half fought in the internet age against a ‘politically correct’ background. UNFCCC and IPCC (and to a lesser extent, characters like Mann) still don’t get it. Mann said in the most recent Congressional hearing that he never called you a denier, when his own written congressional testimony did. You called him on it, and that 30 seconds now lives forever on youtube to his eternal shame. It sure looks like the equivalent of Washington’s ragtag army, half in guerrila warfare mode outside the pal review system, are now clearly winning against the warmunist ‘Redcoats’. You and your blog have been a outsized factor. It also gives some of us non-academics a way to reach many others with our modest contributions. Thank you.

    • As someone with much to be modest about I enjoyed all parts of this, especially the reminder of the Mann denier denial moment. Thanks Rud.

  7. JC: applaud your reflections, beautifully put..

  8. I think the internet allowed people access for the first time to such a level of information that suddenly everything came under a level of scrutiny never anticipated by the ruling class.
    This ruling class, all the way back to the time of the pragmatists like John Dewey, have relied on ‘soft propaganda’ (speaking about America) and interspersed ‘hard propaganda’, but only when strictly necessary.
    All of that is starting to unravel. When a million kids can get the hand on certain videos and start stepping frame by frame, applying the basic laws of physics and suddenly realizing that many of the founding myths of America are complete lies, everything changes.
    For the ruling elite the internet has been an unmitigated disaster. This is why we start to hear about locking down the internet as a breeding ground of radicalism, hate, etc….
    It would not be surprising to see things like licensing for individual websites with severe censorship within the next few years.
    Of course all of this ‘internet philosophizing’ is not a substitute for the academia that was once not only free, but paid enough money so one could have a career, family and life.

  9. “I have been able to cultivate and maintain an energetic, autonomous, creative intellectual life that feels to me on the right track intellectually and politically.”

    Stepping away from academia, either by choosing some different career path or through retirement provides one with: time; time to reflect. That reflection begins a new process. At its initiation, this added time sometimes feels as exhilarating as you state or a weight off one’s shoulder. Given this additional time, one can feel a growing sense of, its time to commence, commence something new or even to make things right.

    Reflecting upon the past and some of its painful moments provides opportunity for multiple thoughts, thoughts to be mulled over, rehashed without a sense of urgency, without a need to have a obligatory end product; an opportunity to have a “considered opinion”.

    I am reminded of the German philosopher Schopenhauer:

    “Pain makes man think, thought makes man wise, and wisdom makes life more endurable.”

    Having the time to think I believe is the key.

    • RiHo, it seemed to me many years ago that most people (at least in reasonably comfortably-off societies) settle for an acceptable level of discomfort. To go beyond that, to make the effort to develop one’s own understanding and wisdom, requires a more severe trigger and/or a great inquisitiveness and desire to understand the world for oneself rather than accept the picture given by your society.

  10. Love it as always, Dr. Curry.

    It is certainly very obvious, to many anyway, that the highly mistrusted media has simply been bypassed by Trump, and also by those who want news without the lamestream spin.

    Can somebody help with the identity of he-who-must-not-be-named?
    Perhaps even a hint?

    I’m not in the inner circle enough to automatically know this.

    • It’s the guy who fears ManBearPig.

    • Oops, I meant to say “freaking”. Probably in moderation. Sorry, a few glasses of wine and I get testy.

    • Hmmm…. still no help.
      Someone from State Penn? :-)
      Last name rhymes with Bore?

    • W, PM gave you the likely answer. ManBearPig is longhand for MBP, the three authors last name initials (Mann first) of the infamous original hockey stick paper. So the answer is almost certainly he who belongs in the State Penn rather than a professor at Penn State. And who called Judith a dn1er in recent written congressional testimony, then whined that he had never done so in the verbal accompanying testimony. Youtube has it indelibly recorded, as I noted in a comment above. Google Search ‘mann curry congress denier’ videos. Several clips are posted of varying lengths of that portion of the livestreamed congressional hearing. All delightful.

  11. Judith Curry – a woman for all seasons., and a personal hero of mine. Keep up the good work.

  12. It maybe too late but we should ban all anonymous people from the internet. We would improve overall security and the level of discourse. We didn’t have this kind of vitriol back in 94′ when I first got on the internet.

    This should bother all you smug Americans and Brits:
    “June 20, 2017
    The US’ status as the world’s leading nation in scientific and medical research is under threat, according to a new study.
    University of Michigan researchers reviewed every issue of six top-tier international journals and four mid-tier journals from 2000 to 2015.

    While the researchers concluded that the US is still the world leader in research and development spending, and ranks first in the world for scientific discoveries, China’s increased investment in science over the past twenty years ranks fourth in the world for total number of new discoveries – providing serious competition.

    The new findings, published in JCI Insight by a team of University of Michigan researchers, come at a critical time for the debate over the future of U.S. federal research funding.

    Proposed budget cuts in the US, and the belief that Chinese R&D spending will surpass the US total by 2022 could mean that China eventually becomes the leading nation for scientific and medical research.”

    Everyone should remember that science doesn’t belong to just english speaking people.

    • As long as there is retaliation for public statements there will be a need for anonymity on the Internet.

      In the US, this goes back to before the revolution when various pamphlets were published anonymously. This background is the reason for the 1st amendment. It’s explicitly to allow for people to make statements that the powers-that-be dislike and disagree with.

      As others have said, you don’t need a right to free speech to protect speech people like and agree with, you need it to protect speech that people dislike and don’t agree with.

      David Lang

      • Hi David,
        The only reason we have anonymity is because of a flaw in the original roll out of TCP/IP. If the ICANN group hadn’t screwed up the original IP allocation groups and decided for a quick fix with the Dynamic IP kluge there would be no such thing as an anonymous user. Ever ask yourself why almost nobody use IPv6?? Because the ISPs and network vendors like Cisco/Apple/IBM/Microsoft didn’t want to spend the $$ to roll out IPv6 back in the late 90s. Everybody knew a 32bit address was going to max out but didn’t want to wait till the hardware was ready for 128bit. You know what else needs to be fixed? We need to dump the whole cookie scheme and implement a transparent stateless network architecture so the internet-of-things can be fully exploited.

        Very interesting history about this and many other hidden flaws in the architecture of the net.

        This has more to do about security than our delusional belief in Free Speech rights. All it will take is the mother of all hacks to encrypt the DoD or the Federal Reserve and you can kiss anonymity good bye.

        “Science is a thought process, technology will change reality.”

      • DHCP is not what makes the Internet anonyomous, it’s the software on top of it.

        The original Internet didn’t envison each person having many computers, it envisioned many people using each computer, so even IP addresses were never considered a unique identifier. Much software never tracks the source IP address of a connection in any case. It has always been the case that the connecting machine (and the software running on it) could claim to be anybody it wants to be. This has been weakened a bit for the e-mail protocols in the name of fighting spam, but not for other software.

        This is considered a feature, not a bug.

        David Lang

      • Another anonymous attack today. No arrests since the big hack a few weeks ago so the score is,
        anonymous hackers:2
        international security network:0.
        Today’s victims include Rosneft, the Russian energy giant; Merck, a pharmaceutical company; and Maersk, a global shipping company.
        One day soon we will all be affected by the government’s response to these vulnerabilities.

      • > the score is,
        > anonymous hackers:2
        > international security network:0

        No, the score for the International Security Network is in the millions. You have no idea how many attacks there are every day that are defeated. I work in Computer Security so defending against attacks is my job.

        The problem is that there is no visible result from security efforts succeeding, things just keep working.

        In any case, the recent attacks are not anonymous because of any flaws in network topology (especially any topology due to NAT) but rather due to the fact that all software has vulnerabilities, and once you have attacked and taken control of one system, you can use it to attack others. Getting back to the original source system would require that all of the other systems that have been attacked have logs (and that those logs haven’t been tampered with)

      • Sounds like a sysop didn’t think this through…
        “German email host closes account of hacker behind ransomware outbreak, but because victims can’t reach hacker, they can’t decrypt files even if they pay.”

        Just saw that Fed-Ex lost part of their system and the damage may be material.

    • Jack,

      Where do you think China sends its best students?

    • With the rise of Chinese science, I am curious to know what if anything is their general drift on CAGW. Being a one-party dictatorship, there isn’t the same need to dupe the public with fake science and certainty in order to facilitate political expansionism.

  13. I am actually encouraged that the science does proceed regardless of the noise created by its dismissers. If people have better ideas they can find a journal to publish them. Look at Monckton’s example. It was crap, but it was published nonetheless. No excuse that it can’t be done, not in the reputable journals, but in some place that people can read it. Put it out there so it can be responded to. What doesn’t help is accusing scientists of groupthink when all the evidence points in their favor. I post here a favorite of mine.
    If it looks like 2.3 C per doubling from 60 years of observations, not models, and science can explain why it is like this using basic physics, skeptics have to explain why it can’t be taken as likely true and why they accuse scientists of groupthink when they are just following the clearest observational evidence you could have.

    • No I just don’t think it’s true.

      ‘Interdecadal 20th century temperature deviations, such as the accelerated observed 1910–1940 warming that has been attributed to an unverifiable increase in solar irradiance (4, 7, 19, 20), appear to instead be due to natural variability. The same is true for the observed mid-40s to mid-70s cooling, previously attributed to enhanced sulfate aerosol activity (4, 6, 7, 12). Finally, a fraction of the post-1970s warming also appears to be attributable to natural variability.’

      • You are pointing to natural variations with an amplitude of 0.1 C against a background warming of a degree. You need to do better than that. And you wonder why no one listens to you.

      • No I wonder why you bother Jimmy boy.

        The critical observation is warming of 0.09 degrees C/decade in the 20th century – much of which is quite natural.

      • My citation is peer reviewed – yours is done on the back of an envelope.

      • Your citation tries to help you with Figure 2B isolating the natural variation part with an amplitude of 0.1 C, yet you continue to ignore it. Perhaps you ignore it because it is a modeling study, but why then do you continue to quote it? Very puzzling.

      • The retrospective modelling approach is a different animal to forward projections. No one is suggesting that can’t be broadly tuned to observed temperatures. But Fig 2b shows the lack of model ability to capture internal variability and not the quantum of variability.

        Fig 3 is the money shot.

        The ‘cleaned’ signal is the dashed line representing the mean of models. It approximates to a monotonic increase in temperature over the 20th century. The text says that most early warming was natural. The mid century cooling was sufficient to offset greenhouse gas warming just when emissions were taking off. The late century warming was in part internal. And that’s all widely recognised outside of the climate blogosphere.

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

        So of the 0.7 degrees warming in the 20th century – much of it was natural and the residual would seem not all that interesting if indeed this was an alternating pattern of warming and cooling on a rising curve, It isn’t. Reversion to the mean suggests that we are more to lose the natural component of 20th century warming this century.

        A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed. op. cit.

        So if I repeat this it is in response to the obsessive repetition of your back of the envelope simple sensitivity number. No I don’t believe that – nor your narrative about plus or minus 0.1 degree C.

      • The subtract out the smooth curve because that’s the part that is not natural variation, and it looks like it dominates.

      • No – that’s just the models tuned to observed temperatures.

      • … models that miss most natural variability.

    • Climate sensitivity is going down over time. By 2025 or so it will be zero, and going negative shortly afterwards.

    • Jim D:
      Jim D:
      Your “favorite” graph is a perfect example of “correlation is not causation”.

      You had posted this graph earlier, and it prompted me to attempt to understand the cause of the anomalous temporary increases in average global temperatures around the CO2 curve.

      It turns out that ALL of the temporary temperature increases are due to reductions in the amount of global sulfur dioxide aerosol emissions.

      Your graph only goes back to 1950, but between 1850 and about 1970, there is 100% correlation between a business recession and a temporary increase in average global temperatures (fewer emissions during a recession as industrial activity slows down).

      After about 1970, there are also temperature increases due to reductions in SO2 aerosol emissions due to Clean Air efforts.

      You need to reconsider your “clearest observational evidence” in light of the above findings.

      Google “Climate Change Deciphered” for a publication of the above that can be viewed and commented upon.

      • I didn’t say it proved causation. It is evidence. You can go back further to 1750 as Lovejoy did, and get the same effective sensitivity. This is also what is expected from the greenhouse effect, so no one is surprised except for a gaggle of skeptics.

      • Jim D.

        Just another graph where correlation is not causation.

        It conveniently only goes back to 1880. HADCRUT4 data goes back to 1850, which shows a HUGE peak during the “Long recession” of Oct. 1873 to March of 1879. Easily explainable by the reduction in SO2 aerosol emissions, but impossible to explain by greenhouse gasses.

        And it is not due to natural variability, since ALL El Ninos 1850-present also correlate with the dates of business recessions or Clean Air reductions in SO2 aerosol emissions (that is, they are all man made)

        (I have a pre print explaining this “The Cause and Timings of El Nino Events”, 1850-present ).

        At this point, you are the skeptic, since I have the facts!

    • Jim D, as always your initial premise is false. You and your fellow travelers have consistently sought to promote falsehoods, fakery and propaganda as science.

      No doubt you will not introduce another false premise and wriggle and squirm in an attempt to escape your initial falsehood.

      YOU and your fellow travelers are without any redeeming qualities.


    • It would help if you actually KNEW the physics of CO2 rather than perpetuating the babbling mantra at the high school level. The most important absorption bands were saturated at 280ppm. Some remain unsaturated. They are weak.

      • A high school student these days knows more than you appear to. CO2 has an effect when you add more, and they know that much at least. Beyond high school, anyone who knows how to run a radiative transfer model could rapidly prove you wrong wth basic physics.

      • Got your radiative transfer model right here…
        dI = -Ikr dz + Bkrdz; called the Schwarzschild equation. That first term is called the sink function. It properly uses the term k for absorptivity. That second term is called the source function. Notice it uses the same k for emissivity, as if we were dealing with a perfect blackbody with an emissivity of 1. The emissivity of CO2 has been measured extensively and the highest measurement is .2.
        Fix this, and run the model again.

      • That’s not a full radiative transfer model. This is a radiative transfer model.

      • Very good.

        This is Modtran 400ppm CO2 only looking both up and down from 70 km. The intensity of the absorption bands can be gauged by the depth of the “bite” or deviation from the Planck curve for the altitude (and temperature) the satellite sees the background radiation. In the case of the tropics shown the satellite sees deviation from the surface temperature of 290K.

      • Yes, it is much more flexible than that, and good to play with. You can also use other soundings and look from other levels including the ground.

      • You can’t do this with the online version, but the data is there if you don’t mind wading through the mass.

        This was done by Science of Doom using Modtran output. It can be seen that there is zero transmission to the tropopause over a considerable range even at 280ppm.

      • The widening effect of the CO2 band is the critical part that continues through very high CO2 values. That effect does not saturate.

      • The broadening effect also expands the range of saturated bands. The broadening effect does not change the electron populations of the transitions or their intensity.

      • It’s not only the growing width of the saturated part that matters, but the growing wings of the band too. If you subtract the values at 280 ppm from those at 560 ppm, the wings are where the difference is, not the center.

      • Whatever “wings” there may be, there is no escaping that their absorption (and emission x .2) is an order to several orders of magnitude weaker than the fundamental bend.

        I have shown you a graphic of the orders of CO2 transitions. Below is a schedule.

        You can see that all the strongest transitions are “in the middle”, and whatever is left of them at 280 ppm is saturated at 400.

      • Most change of about 3.7 W/m2 per doubling is from the broadening which is just as fast for the first and successive doublings. To get the tropospheric forcing use MODTRAN at 20 km looking down for the US Atmosphere (which is more similar to a global average), and check how much the upward IR flux changes for each doubling. Note that this change is only 1-2% so it may be hard to see in the plot, but it is significant for climate.

      • Looking up and down from 1 meter and 1ppm is instructive:

        Same approach at 70km:

        You can broaden a saturated band all you like, but you will not further reduce the radiation to space.

        Modtran is strangely “quantized” with large steps of zero change. For example, before a recent change where they added a Freon scale, you could set to CO2 only, and from an altitude of one meter vary the ppm from 100 to 3000ppm with no change in the “difference” of upward flux from the “background” of 100ppm. That difference was .04 W/m2 at the time.

        Similarly, at ten meters you could vary it from 100 to 600ppm with a constant difference of .002 W/m2.

      • You will see that doubling CO2 does both broaden the band and reduce radiation to space if you do what I suggested. If you can’t confirm this, let me know what numbers you get.

      • I am not clear what you suggested. Broadening is mostly a result of molecular density, thus everything broadens approaching the surface. The 120ppm increment of CO2 is trivial in overall atmospheric density. There is also “self” broadening, which CO2 is exceptionally good at, probably because so much of its potential absorptivity is concentrated in the fundamental bend.

        Modtran doesn’t help with individual line broadening; as say 667.4 expanding to 667-667.8 due to increasing density, increasing isotopologues, etc.

        As seen from 70 km, the CO2 shark bite doesn’t really broaden from 280 to 560ppm. It might even shrink. It does broaden from 1 to 280ppm. I get -3.3 W/m2 to space all in and -4.4 CO2 only for 280 v 560ppm. Tropics.

        It’s not that simple. Modtran has limitations. If you look up and down from the same altitude, you get downward fluxes on the order of 70 W/m2 less than the upward fluxes. This is impossible.

        There is also the conundrum that Science of Doom has shown that there is zero transmission to the tropopause in the fundamental bend and its attendant rotations, yet we see these very bands merrily radiating at the altitude of the tropopause from above.

        We are at the raw edge understanding here, but a new energy source is clearly involved. My current hypothesis is that Nitrogen, kinetically activated by ozone absorption, is lighting up CO2 at the tropopause like this:

      • The broadening is not pressure broadening because that is unaffected by CO2 amounts. It is the weaker rotational lines that flank the main vibrational line that cause the broadening. These get weaker as you go further from the fundamental rotation change to its multiples because they are less probable, but adding CO2 gradually amplifies them effectively widening the bite. Going from 400 ppm to 800 ppm, looking down and using the US atmosphere it is 3-4 W/m2. There is no sign of weakening with doubling.

      • I’m still back in the days when doubling was 280/560. I have not investigated 800ppm in Modtran. I will.

        Nobody has measured 800ppm spectral properties in the real atmosphere. I have a lot more confidence in the 300 to 400 range that has been extensively measured.

        Below is 280/560 with no apparent broadening of the bite.

      • It is hard to see with the thickness of the lines, so just flash between them by changing the CO2 amount, and keep an eye on the bite width. It is fairly clear that it must account for most the 3-4 W/m2 per doubling.

      • More about rotational-vibrational transitions here. I think it is well explained. I used to know QM better.

    • catweazle666

      “If it looks like 2.3 C per doubling from 60 years of observations”

      Which of course it doesn’t, not even close.

  14. It’s not about rebellion at all. It’s that news is a business.

    The product of news organizations is not news. It’s you. They sell your eyeballs to advertisers.

    Unfortunately there’s no market for hard news. Think city council meetings.

    There’s plenty of market for one-offs, like Jessica in the Well, Princess Di’s death, JFK Jr’s death, and so forth, but that won’t pay the daily bills.

    There’s one audience that will come every day, news or no news, that’s big enough to pay the bills, and that’s soap opera people. They’ll come so long as there is soap opera.

    So every news story is rewritten as soap opera. Politicians free-ride on that, particularly democrats, but it’s the business model that drives everything, not the politicians.

    If the news business tries to do better, it will go out of business, so it isn’t going to change no matter what. It’s soap opera or nothing.

    So the tastes and entertainment choices of soap opera people edit every public debate.

    There’s a lot of disgust at this in the rest of the population, and the internet is the place of rebellion. The non-soap people outnumber the soap people, but aren’t potential news watchers, so won’t affect the news business.

    The best they can do is to decouple the news business from public debate.

    Trump has done that, and many bloggers have done that, chiefly through ridicule, but in Trump’s case it’s by throwing sand in the MSM gearbox, and he’s loved for it.

    The death of PC means that it’s possible to talk about problems that it was not possible to talk about before, and perhaps solve them at last.

    Whether Trump is liberal or conservative is much less important than that ke kills off the influence of soap opera entertainment choices on public debate.

    • I meant to add that the technical aspects of climate science are outside of the soap opera interest, so academics are really in a different situation, beyond alarmism as soap opera funding.

      My own contribution would be things like you can’t solve the Navier Stokes equations and you can’t eliminate long cycles in any data you have, a criticism of the peer review process being nonexistent. Not that it’s soap opera.

    • A bit sweeping. I find The Australian newspaper to be of value, often it is the one media voice here arguing for what I regard as sane policy and good values. But, of course, it doesn’t target the soapie market, it ensures it’s value for those coccerned for the well-being of the community.

    • Shrewd observations.

      • it’s a little bit more than ‘the viewers are the product’, there is (or was) the generation of brand loyalty as well.

    • On target.

      Once news departments became just another business unit, real, informative, relatively unbiased news became RIP.

  15. “Trump’s tweeting and his administration more generally are acting to ‘rewire the power circuits’ in the political sphere.”

    Absolutely true, and they hate him for it.
    I think it essential that he continue lest their bloodless (mostly, hopefully) coup succeed.

    • Rebel,

      They better hope it stays bloodless, seeing as they are the same folks who deride at least half of their fellow citizens for clinging to their guns and their religion.

      The self described anti-fascist’s believe they are “protected” by the system of law and order they have grown up in. Therefore they feel free to upset that order in the belief nothing seriously bad can happen to them. They haven’t a clue what would happen if the men and women in blue decided to take a break.

  16. Justin Murphy asks, “Why is there not more rebellion against status quo institutions? How have economic and political processes pacified our capacity for radical collective action?”
    I think the answer is simple. The intellectuals are no longer radicals. The majority of them is now the status quo. The establishment. They don’t rebel against the status quo because they are the status quo.
    Most baby boomers lean left. They left behind the ruins of the 1960s, and have spent the last four decades taking the reins of one social/political endeavor after another, from education to government to the media and even a great deal of big business.
    The election and reelection of Obama were the high points of their attempt to remold our nation and world. The masses of intellectuals don’t rebel against that: they embrace it with all their heart and soul.
    Of course now, with Trump’s election, the pendulum has swung back against them. The cries of fury we’ve heard since then from intellectual quarters are just the start. i.e. I think Murphy only need wait a short while to see this move into much higher gear.

  17. Not knowing much about academia and being a retired lawyer, I have a difficult time with Mr. Murphy’s essay, which to me represents a gross exaggeration of the decline of “respectable thought” and of the ascendancy of disruptive talk and behavior. He sees Trump’s capture of social media and reliance on a cynical populism as a permanent thing.

    The media is another question. The mainstream media has unfortunately taken the bait, and has become so blatantly anti-Trump and pro-Democrat that they are alienating even their traditional audiences. If Trump and Trumpism turns into something other than a temporary excursion from common sense, we will have the mainstream media, to a large degree, to thank for that.

    I guess my point is that the notion of Trumpism and blatantly disruptive, nontraditional thought being a permanent phenomenon is a way premature judgment. This behavior has many followers and supporters, but whether it’s more than a temporary detour into rank goofiness remains to be seen.

    If Trump’s form of Republicanism succeeds in the midterm elections, then I’ll be worried that there’s something to Mr. Murphy’s essay. Otherwise, I’ll look at as complaining by an academic who’s experiencing a career reversal.

    And I don’t minimize the career obstacles experienced by Dr. Curry and others in the climate area. But isn’t this problem a recurring one in academia, where groupthink can take over a discipline for a number of years? Climate Science is perhaps unique in that it has become is totally politicized, and very publicly so. But I don’t look at climate science as being what Mr. Murphy is talking about.

    • russellseitz

      The problem you address is epistemological– bad as the politicization of science is, its worst perpetrators are those who don’t know what they are trying to politicize.

    • scraft1:
      Thank you. You have nicely captured my thoughts on Justin Murphy’s essay. I greatly respect Judy’s insights and downright courage in the face of a hostile and largely closed-minded academic establishment, but I think she is projecting her own real experiences of being marginalized onto Murphy’s feelings of powerlessness. They are different phenomena. I think I know the substance of what Judy has been trying to say. I do not have a clue as to why anybody needs to listen to Justin Murphy – I do not mean that as meanly as it might sound.

      As for Trump, I keep saying he is more showman than politician. He is PT Barnum reincarnated and the media have largely made him and his tweeting more potent than his substance warrants. The media seem to have a herd mentality that has little ability to self-correct. He instinctively knows it and uses it – albeit in a clumsy and crude fashion. They cannot help themselves. In Steve McIntyre’s metaphor, they never follow the “pea”.

      One final thought. I am pretty cynical about most self-appointed public intellectuals. Most are too precious by a long-shot. Three that I do go out of my way to watch – albeit alas on old video now for two of them – are Andrew Breitbart, Christopher Hitchens and Charles Krauthammer. They share traits of intellectual honesty, verbal fluency and wit. They also hue pretty close to verifiable facts and take positions that encourage and force debate.

      • russellseitz

        “They share traits of intellectual honesty, verbal fluency and wit. They also hue pretty close to verifiable facts and take positions that encourage and force debate.”

        How many years has it been since you looked at ?

        Its idea of ‘intelletual honesty is banning comments critical of its in-house climate cranks, and has reached depths of fluency and wit recalling The American Mercury‘s death spiral after Mencken’s demise.

    • What makes Trump “disruptive” is that he takes positions that the establishment says you must not take. Illegal immigration is a case in point- the “respectable” position is that it is somehow bigotry to be bothered by it and, in any case, there isn’t anything you can do about it. Trump called BS on that, the attempts to shut him down on the topic by calling him racist in every media outlet failed miserably, and the conversation will never be the same again as a result. It was, in fact, disrupted.

      • Trump’s “disruptive” treatment of illegal immigration is, in my opinion, far outside of the mainstream of American thought on the issue. And so far, it’s been an abject failure from a constitutional standpoint. Has he mandated anything that has flown with the courts? “(T)he conversation will never be the same again as a result”? Not sure what you mean. His views have been utterly rejected except by his own narrow constituency.

        Same goes with health care. What has he accomplished other than unite his (and the Republican) opposition? His campaign promise was a potent rallying cry that totally ignored the political realities of the issue. Now the issue is hopelessly stuck and nobody’s happy.

        Yes, Trump is disruptive but in a feckless and politically destructive way. Next year’s elections may prove me wrong but if so I’ll be very surprised.

      • Trump’s immigration EOs have been upheld by Judges, it’s just that any Judge can impose a nationwide stay, so opponents only have to find one to support them (and the 9th circuit is routinely overruled, so it’s hard to argue that they are a good bellweather)

        Trump’s views on Immigration our far outside of the California/New York mainstream, but I don’t think it’s outside the rest of the country’s mainstream.

        But this is supposed to be a Cimate Blog, not a general politics blog.

      • Trump’s position is not only well within the mainstream in America, it was a mainstream position in the Democratic Party until the last decade.
        Agree we’re getting off-topic, but if you’re interested here is a good take on that in the left-wing The Atlantic Magazine

        Whatever your take on immigration, my point is that traditional lefty sites like The Atlantic wouldn’t be running something like this if Hillary won. Trump disrupted the conversation. He did it by challenging the consensus conversation, calling it BS, and taking a radical position. All attempts to shut him down by team consensus – claiming “bigotry” blah blah – failed. The conversation is changed.

      • I keep waiting for people to call politicians and media whenever they state Trump is anti – immigrant. That is a blatantly false statement. Anyone who is unable to differentiate between someone who is in the country illegally and someone who is not isn’t worthy of being a part of the discussion. Trump is far closer to the ideal of American welcoming people to be a part of our society and take advantage of the opportunity to pursue their dreams than the jackals who constantly try to paint a false picture of him.

  18. Geoff Sherrington

    Justin Murphy seems to be, from this brief reading –
    A lonely child who craves the public limelight but does not realise that the limelight shines on those who contribute recognised value to society. He seems not to understand that the public life target involves more than others clamouring to tell him that he is important; that he can be quite content and of value by choosing to avoid the public stage; to work quietly and efficiently to sustain whatever is of value to him.
    He seems to invoke communications developments to excuse his self-described lack of recognition to date. When one is achieving, one does not normally crave recognition. Nor does one tend to self-analyse progress.
    (Finally, please learn to spell and parse correctly. Use plural for “intellectuals to bite their tongue”; drop an “h” from “and where characterized”; “paramaters” is wrong: “will only listen to what” should be “will listen only to what”; for some examples.)

  19. Many climate change somebodies decided to replace the scientific method with an oath to support the global warming hypothesis no matter what nature tells us to the contrary. All science is subjective now.

  20. “The internet has allowed all these people to find one another unfortunately.”

    Phil Jones, 2009.

  21. Had Obama been the one tweeting the drooling MSM would have praised his social media savvy. How can we rid ourselves of the REAL fake news venues?

  22. We are the nobodies wanna be somebodies when we’re dead they’ll know just who we are ‘– Marilyn Manson

  23. This article is key.

    Recently on Quora someone asked if some physicist was at the edge of revolutioning seriously physics like did Einstein.
    I immediately thought of Michael McCulloch and his theory of Quantized Inertian (MiHsC), which in y opinion continue the trend of physics to remove the invisible and the unveriafiable from physics.
    His theory is moreover not tunable at all and explaining quite well many cosmology anomalies like dwarf galaxy rotation, but also change in expansion speed (inflation), and t.
    No doubt his theory need improvement and much work, beyond his own capacities.
    I see his work and his approach, and his foes are much connect, with this article and with climate pseudo science.
    Michael have a blog, and publish his reflections in a open way, not unlike the medieval and renaissance scientists. He also have much problem to publish.

    the link with climate pseudo science is when he fight the lord of dark matter.
    Even if his theory is 100% wrong, he is very correct when bashing Dark Matter as an infinitely tunable fudge factor.
    This is reminding me the climate models with the collections of fudge parameters able to interpolate, not even correctly, any past observation, and to be adjusted for any future observation.
    The link also is the huge funding, the expensive machinery, the huge population of various scientist fed because of that impossible to refute chameleon theory.

    you are right, Internet is where the real breakthrough scientists are forced to talk, but the money which allows for real evidence to be produced (unlike the 19th century when lone scientists in a single lab could prove their point, like did Joule, Galvani, Volta, Curie) is still controlled by the zombies.

  24. I understand the motivation of those who deviate from the IPCC consensus. I have difficulty in understanding the main driver of those who enforce the alarmist creed and seek to punish those who deviate.

    I refer to the main driver because I can identify a myriad of reasons such as recognition, power and influence. No doubt some believe in the most alarmist projections and feel that they bear the responsibility of saving the planet.

    But there are other considerations such as the scientific method, burden of proof, validation of models and the benefit of scientific challenge and debate.

    There are human values and emotions too which are evoked by the verbs enforce and punish used in my first paragraph and in the reflections of our host.

    My point is this; the enforcers seem, by my analysis, to be motivated to the extent that they seem to care little about inconvenient scientific evidence or the lack of it, or the failure of their models or the scientific challenges or the morality of destroying the careers and livelihood of those who disagree. They must be powerfully motivated.

    Is it to do with saving the planet or concealing that the planet probably does not require saving? Perhaps the motivation is political and nothing to do with science.

    I have worked in science all my life, but in industry, where success and failure are more readily measured so forgive me if my question is naïve. What motivates the enforcers?

    • aporiac1960

      Peter Sinclair: “I have difficulty in understanding the main driver of those who enforce the alarmist creed and seek to punish those who deviate.”

      The main driver is regard for science, which when it reaches “incontrovertible” status must be enforced in order to assert the pre-eminence of science over mere prejudice.

      I suspect that the greatest difficulty of understanding is not yours, but of those who cannot see that science is a human practice that is as prone to eliding into prejudice as any other human activity. All of human history demonstrates there is no such thing as immunity from stupidity. This understanding is a far better fortification against folly than ‘science’ could ever provide. And so scientists descend into zealotry with the same convictions as the previous generations of zealots when considering themselves in relation to the world. The stupidity of every age is advanced as the ‘silver bullet’ that liberates man from himself. And when it doesn’t go according to plan, what do scientist do? They follow their progenitors and smear the entrances of their caves with their own excrement to ward off the malign spirits, or wave their crucifixes, or rattle their wooden effigies, or carve totems twice as tall as themselves so the Gods will reckon them on equal terms. Just the normal human drama playing out :-)

  25. I’m assuming that FUNDING is too simple, but perhaps I am wrong.

  26. Peter,
    IMHO, not solely funding motivated but range varies widely. Some such as politicians see CAGW as a avenue to gain controls over vast swaths of the economy and thus the deplorables. these are cynical power positions. Increase centralized state controls and power.

    Many others have a confirmation bias to support previously staked out positions and cannot back down without credibility issues.

    The naive ones seem to think that allowing diverse positions, risks convincing the masses of the rightiousness of saving the planet from imminent danger.

    The enforcers seem to have a tolerence for hypocrisy that is breathtaking.
    i.e. Flying a private jet to a conference to reduce carbon emissions and energy use?


  27. aporiac1960

    In more clear-sighted times we were more easily able get to the crux of the problems that afflicted us. Our current predicament is no different to that which has always appertained, but we are lacking the tools to contend with it (having carelessly thrown them away).

    And so I defer to a 19th century American physician: –

    “You can never be too cautious in your prognosis, in the view of the great uncertainty of the course of any disease not long watched, and the many unexpected turns it may take.”

    And even more to the point: –

    “Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.”

    – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (29 August 1809 – 8 October 1894)

  28. I’m not sure whether this is the repressed somebody or the real nobody.

    “Why is there not more rebellion against status quo institutions? How have economic and political processes pacified our capacity for radical collective action? As a political scientist, I am interested in the roles played by information, communication, and ideology in the pacification of political resistance and conflict. Before joining the faculty of Politics and IR at the University of Southampton in the UK, I did my PhD at Temple University in the US. There I was active in Occupy Wall Street, some civil disobedience and shutting down of things, some longer-term campaigns against the big U.S. banks, and sundry other works and deeds, including a radical warehouse project where I lived for nearly three years.”

    This particular urban doofus hipster speaks in a way forged in Marxist ideological workshops the western world over. It is a pretentious patter rife with tribal assumptions and almost devoid of meaningful content. It is far from an authentic voice informed by passion, compassion and understanding. Rather it is an artificial construct of identity politics.

    He whines that the academic world requires a repression of his essential self – and the internet sets him free. The urban doofus personality construct is based on a need to be morally and intellectually superior – which suggests a deeply rooted personal insecurity. It manifests in a collective of empty, cafe society rhetoric and beards. The essence of the mythological impulse is that we are each heroes of our own story – but it is hard to imagine a less inspiring tale.

    The dynamic of the climate war is different.

    “Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally
    potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.”

    There is of course an overlap between urban doofus culture and and climate alarmism. They construct a narrative with an assumption of a scientific underpinning – but there is a disjuncture between what science can say and the narrative. The urban doofus hipster vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals.

    The other side harbours the delusion that they are battling – on the internet – a dark labyrinth of corrupted science with crowd sourced versions of their own science.

    It is all more like counting coup – with peer reviewed articles as the token. Each side gathers in internet enclaves to share refutations and strategise – and then emerge to count coup on a field of honour. Refutations are invariability based on superficial reasoning on physical processes, nit picking syntax or examining the entrails of data for signs and portents.

    The middle ground is much more fertile.

  29. 4TimesAYear

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  30. “Why real nobodies are more powerful than repressed somebodies.”

    The way information flows these days allows those with more simplistic ways of looking at climate change/global warming to ask the questions that would not be brought forward otherwise. One does not need to be a scientist to see what’s wrong with catastrophic anthropogenic climate change or put forth valid arguments against it. The information age allows those ideas to get out there, and just maybe reach those on the other side who may not understand the math or the science. When alarmists are using fear for motivation, sometimes a common sense approach works better than a long equation. There’s no one fighting this issue that isn’t needed.

  31. Joseph Satish

    Interesting that you bring out the power of the internet in (American) politics today. But that seems to be the case elsewhere too. Good post!

  32. The author (bearded, glasses and turtleneck-wearing hipster) writes:
    “I dream of what would happen if thousands of highly capable intellects currently toiling under institutional respectability suddenly realized they have no reason to self-censor and everything to gain from simply disarming their objectively miscalibrated expression calculators.”

    Meanwhile at Yale University a Dean follows this advise and it’s akin to soaking yourself in gasoline and sparking a match….

    Young Justin is no dummy and realizes he needs to market himself from the masses of similarly over-credentialed academics. His approach (as outlined in his essay) is brilliant. He in essence says: I am not going to play the conventional game of keeping my head down and working the usual route to tenure/professorship. I am going to throw caution to the wind and have a visible public presence. I am going to say what needs to be said [hire and promote me]. Of course it helps that young Justin has impeccable left-wing creds – three years of Occupy Wall Street on his CV for christsake! I’ll start to take him seriously when he advocates for positions that are unpopular and really put his career at risk.

    And don’t forget these two judges awaiting appointment. What stands in their way? Their blog posts…

  33. A former editor of The Guardian on what’s happening to the news business.

    (A Gresham lecture; there are pdf’s of the talk and the audio will turn up in a couple of weeks.)

  34. Judith ==> Bravo! (and a good read)

  35. Steven Butt

    I love ❤️ it!!! I am filled up above eye level with the deceit and phony people. Judith you are a breath of fresh air.


    Steven Butt

    Galatians 6:1-10 Sent from my iPhone.


  36. There’s a fairly simple explanation for the demise of genuinely authoritative voices in the public arena. It rests in the narcissistic adulation of self-expression and the puerile presumption that fame, rather than competence, is what ultimately matters. The vulgar has become confused with the genuine.

    Alas, starting with the late 60s, academia did much to foster such unproductive attitudes by surrendering campus control to various student demands and by watering down rigorous curricula in favor of fashionable studies. The mass media embraced and glorified these changes, in order to increase its market share. Presently, the internet and other electronic means of mass communication merely provide a vehicle for the decay of foundational values of civilization to be spread even more quickly and wider. Everybody can now have their moment of fame. And even presidents can now take on the aura of being just like everyone else.

    Murphy’s self-indulgent essay, laced with juvenile dreams of heroic, revolutionary changes, simply provides intellectual cover for having missed the mark.

  37. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.