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Sock puppet alert

March 6th, 2011

I recently banned commenter “Charlie” for the suggestion that Queenslanders deserved to suffer from the floods because we didn’t build enough dams. Immediately, a new commenter “Henry Maltby” sprang to Charlie’s defence claiming, among other things to be a recent arrival in Queensland, considering study at UQ. The behavior patterns were suspicious enough for me to do an IP check that revealed, unsurprisingly, that Charlie and Maltby were the same person, with an address in Adelaide (I have my suspicions, as to who it is, but nothing definite). For any site-owners who don’t like abusive sockpuppeteers, the IP address to look for is 124.171.111.189.

Any sockpuppeteer is, by definition, a liar and fraud. But Charlie/Maltby also told numerous specific lies, and explicitly pretended to be two different people (rather than merely reappearing under a new name). And, as well as being a liar and fraud, s/he/it’s obviously a fool – too dumb even to spoof a fake IP address.

Update While Charlie/Maltby has been trolling here, Tim Curtin has been emailing me in an apparently civil fashion, and he sent me another email shortly after this was posted, admitting to it. It was, in any case, a very simple matter to check that he is using the same IP address as the sock puppets.

While this behavior is extreme, it’s impossible to be honest, of normal intelligence and an active delusionist. Anyone who pays even a little attention can see that people like Monckton and Plimer are frauds, who persist in the same claims despite having their errors pointed out. But anyone on the delusionist side who pointed this out (to the best of my knowledge, no-one has) would be expelled from the tribe. So, tacit acquiescence in fraud is the minimum requirement for participation.

A couple of qualifications are in order. First, people are complicated. Some who go along with intellectual dishonesty on topics central to their tribal identity may be more scrupulous in other respects. And the delusionist dominance of the right wing of politics and the media is such that many rank-and-file rightwingers accept delusionist views out of pure ignorance, having little exposure to anything us.

Finally, is there any value in exposing the fraudulence of someone writing under a pseudonym? Unless their real name is discovered and published, it can have no effect on their day-to-day life. But, from the viewpoint of readers and commenters here (assuming they don’t live in Adelaide themselves), knowing Charlie’s real name would make no difference. We’ve read the comments, noted that they are typical of the kind of thing written by delusionists in general, and now we know their author is a liar. So, farewell Charlie and thanks for your amusement value.

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  1. Ernestine Gross
    March 9th, 2011 at 08:21 | #1

    Oedipus belongs to mythology. JQ is talking about observables.

  2. March 9th, 2011 at 15:46 | #2

    The point was that the value of myth to maintaining the social order was well understood by the Greeks in Sophocles time. It is nothing new.

    Thus, we value IQ, which average the intellectual abilities to add to existing myths or create new ones. But we don’t value the question-authority-quotient. Economic elites are those who true believers in the zombie economic ideas. If you don’t believe, or profess to, often by finding new arcane justifications for it, you don’t rise in the club. Meanwhile “Question Authority” is a bumper sticker found in working class neighborhoods, not a ticket to the top.

  3. Ernestine Gross
    March 9th, 2011 at 16:23 | #3

    I am too young to know what the Greeks understood in Sophocles’ time, but I believe you.

    Hope you enjoy the following contemporary example of questioning authority:
    http://www.aguanomics.com/2011/03/flaws-of-peer-review.html#more

    Source: Link provided by SJ on another thread.

  4. Alice
    March 9th, 2011 at 21:49 | #4

    @Donald Oats
    Donald this sounds like a famous line wich I cant remember – let see
    “to err once is human, to forgive is divine…” (no thats not it)…how about
    “To err once is human, to err twice is accident”

    No – its still not the one Im thinking of and I just cant remember it…

    No – losing Alicia to talk to was worse than both…and no, she wasnt a puppet at all.

  5. Jim Birch
    March 10th, 2011 at 08:01 | #5

    @Alice
    From Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People

    Lady Bracknell, on discovering Jack Worthing was adopted after being discovered as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station : “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

  6. Alice
    March 10th, 2011 at 09:44 | #6

    Thankyou Jim…thats exactly the one I was wanting!

  7. Philomena
    March 10th, 2011 at 18:19 | #7

    Alice, I think Alicia and I were banned here at about the same time. Like her, I think, I mainly came here to read you. I’ll have to look in more frequently. I’ve been elsewhere.

  8. paul walter
    March 11th, 2011 at 10:05 | #8

    The magnificent Philomena!
    and Alannah, too…
    Ernestine, “Iam too young to know what the Greeks understood in Sophocles time”.
    Why not use your experiences from the Dark Ages for reference, instead?
    Yes, Champers for Jim Birch…

  9. Alice
    March 11th, 2011 at 17:48 | #9

    @Philomena
    OMG – Philo is back!! I miss you too Philo – I had forgotten..
    yes Paul is so right Philo – pure magnificence… why do us lefty women get banned more often is what Id like to know??…my god the place gets fully of drop ins from right out of outer space….

    Cant say more. Might get into trouble…

  10. Philomena
    March 11th, 2011 at 19:13 | #10

    Alice, check this.

    J.C. of Catallaxy’s first comment today on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

    ["Jesus this Japanese Tsunami/Earthquake is looking mindbogglingly bad. [Infidel Tiger]

    “It’s a stimulus in the long run, tiger.” J.C.

    What a hideous monster.

  11. paul walter
    March 11th, 2011 at 19:27 | #11

    Philomena, may I wish bid you a nice day.
    Catallaxy seems to have been crisp, of late. Are things in sinc?
    There is a fair bit of economic rationalist admonishioning going down cross down at the moment very Ayn Rand ffs.

  12. Alice
    March 12th, 2011 at 08:16 | #12

    @Philomena
    Philo totally agree re the “this is a stimulus in the long wrong, tiger” comment about the Earthquake – ugly – are we also going to get the pro nukers saying the nuclear emergency now happening in Japan is minor/ risk free/ doesnt matter and nuclear energy is still all perfectly safe? No its not. Earthquakes effects coinciding with nuclear facilities on what appear to be coastal areas in Japan – the real risk is people in denial.

  13. March 12th, 2011 at 13:35 | #13

    @Alice
    Right now over at Larvatus Prodeo RobertMerkel and Terje are busy reassuring everybody that it is all very minor even if the nuclear power stations have lost the emergency power needed to run their emergency shut down systems etc etc statistically very few people will die etc etc no worse than what comes out of coal fired power stations etc etc nothing to see here move along etc etc.

  14. Jill Rush
    March 12th, 2011 at 17:20 | #14

    ALice #12
    I wondered what might come out of the results of the disaster in Japan. The nuclear industry in Japan however has suffered a serious setback and those other nuclear facilities on the Pacific Rim of Fire will no doubt be checking their fail safe systems too. What ever proponents of nuclear power might say this is a significant setback.

  15. Donald Oats
    March 12th, 2011 at 20:26 | #15

    Indeed @Jill Rush
    .
    These are, of course, now eventuated risks – the expected results of building nuclear plants (which are typically claimed to be able to withstand a plane crash into them, thats how reinforced they are) in earthquake prone regions. Unfortunately, Japan being where it is, cops a lot of extremely signficant earthquakes.

    Fox News is talking all about it, but instead of their take being how the population is not only exposed to the trauma of earthquake (and tsunami) and then potential nuclear pollution, their take is that it is good because it gets rid of the “old” reactors which now lets the next gen IV being built to replace them.

    A hats off to the person who first spots the flaw in Murdoch Fox News’s logic :-P

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  16. Donald Oats
    March 12th, 2011 at 20:31 | #16

    @Donald Oats
    Sorry all, this is in the wrong thread. But still true.

  17. Freelander
    March 12th, 2011 at 20:37 | #17

    @Donald Oats

    I was listening to the radio and an expert explained that those reactors’ construction design was fine. They did have all the necessary fail-safes. He went on further to explain that, apparently, fail-safes sometimes fail and when they do the result is not safe. Evidently, not a design flaw, but, once more, a reality flaw.

  18. Alice
    March 12th, 2011 at 21:27 | #18

    @Ian Milliss
    That wouldnt surprise me at all Ian that Terje is over at Larvatus prodeo reassuring everyone that everything is fine with nuclear power and the situation in Japan will just be a minor little hiccup – then why the hell have eleven nuclear power stations been built on the Japanese coastlin??

    Buts whats even worse is that Fran is also still busy pushing her pro brave new climate ideas for nuclear and complaining about the “left position” for nuclear in Catallyxy whilst she simulatenously gets in here complaining about “the right”.

    All over the place and a pastiche of adopted mantras and doesnt have a real idea of her own.

    There is just no evidence capable of satisfying these people is there?

  19. Jill Rush
    March 12th, 2011 at 22:27 | #19

    Fran ,
    How could yo upossibly believe that Ernestine and Alice are one and the same. The style of writing is so different that it stretches imagination to breaking point.

    Sock puppets are not only on blogs. I have received several emails recently on a variety of topics. There was one about climate change claiming that it was all lies which then went on to list the series of lies that have been spread around like fly attractant. There was another which went on to list all of the taxes we are subjected to but managed to miss the GST while putting in death duties. They are being circulated by the elderly person’s network and whoever starts them is doing a good job of stoking outrage by getting them sent on with the usual – “if you care you will forward this email to everyone you know”. This kind of trolling is quite insidious as it relies on a high level of ignorance.

  20. March 12th, 2011 at 22:30 | #20

    The only joy in this will be watching them wriggle as they try and explain their way out of the apparently imminent meltdown. No doubt a further reality flaw as freelander said. And all on a day when my wife’s son married a Japanese girl and they were leaving for a honeymoon in Japan.

  21. Donald Oats
    March 12th, 2011 at 22:41 | #21

    @Freelander
    Hilarious in a gallows-humour way…for a fail-safe to fail occasionally and to be considered as acceptable is just precious…parallel alternate reality, once again.

    To answer your question @Alice, ie “why the hell have eleven nuclear power stations been built on the Japanese coastlin??[sic]“: they need readily accessible water supplies, and one thing a nuclear power plant can do is run its own desalination plant for input water. It is much more expensive to mount the nuclear power plants well away from the water supply, I guess. All those messy pipes going uphill. Anthropogenic Global Warming (ie AGW) is also far from accepted in Japan, although to be fair they didn’t know much about it when many of these nuclear plants were built.

    Anyway, any further discussion/debate on that I’ll respond to over in Weekend Reflections (sleep not withstanding).

  22. Alice
    March 13th, 2011 at 07:40 | #22

    @Jill Rush
    Corporate interests also use the blogosphere to peddle their commercial interests. Imagine you are on the board of a large nuclear company like Bechtel. You know you have a hard time convincimg people to agree to nuclear use….its dangerous stuff alright.
    So you cant run large newspaper ads or there would be an outcry, and you cant sell it like a shiny new car in prime time TV spots or there may be a backlash against your commercial objectives (people dont like seeing pro nuclear ads at dinner time)… how would you solve the problem of marketing and advertising..?

    1. subterfuge 2. subterfuge 3. subterfuge

    You hire people to spread the message in every blog anywhere where the word nuclear comes up….so what you cant acheive with mass advertising you aim to change views inch by inch, country by country…

    but you cant just let your people out there without statistics and numbers, so you give them pages and pages of statistics and numbers and you provide them with pointers eg when the matter of costs comes up in the blog discussion counter the arguments by reference to the statistics on pages 1 to 13 etc but above all never agree with anti nuclear arguments come hell or high water. In other words

    4. blind them with our “science”

    Does it happen?. Im damn sure it does. Are these people who peddle commercial interests sock puppets? Im not sure. Perhaps a new name is needed.

    Corps’ puppets?

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