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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. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2011 at 14:29 | #1

    Sock puppets are stock in trade for them. Their side of the culture war demands it.

  2. March 6th, 2011 at 15:03 | #2

    I would guess that it was T*m C*rt*n, who I caught sock puppeting as charliec with IP 124.171.111.195 a few months ago.

  3. Ernestine Gross
    March 6th, 2011 at 16:35 | #3

    Fran Barlow, here is your chance to redeem yourself. You falsely accused me publicly on this web-site of being a sock puppet. I had to write to our host asking him to publish his information. You never apologised.

  4. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2011 at 17:56 | #4

    @Ernestine Gross

    Perhaps “you and Alice” are simply a little more careful than “charlie” about anonymisers and proxies. Then again perhaps PrQ is right and I should simply take his word for it.

    If he says you have different IDs then I’m disinclined to challenge his view, but I don’t feel sufficiently confident to apologise.

    Accordingly, “you and Alice” go into my unresolved category. This side of clear information on the matter I don’t declare you to share an author but I’m not declaring the reverse either.

  5. Ken Miles
    March 6th, 2011 at 18:14 | #5

    While this behavior is extreme, it’s impossible to be honest, of normal intelligence and an active delusionist.

    Strongly agree.

    I don’t see how it would be possible to be a global warming “skeptic” and not be either dishonest, ignorant or delusional.

  6. March 6th, 2011 at 19:03 | #6

    Hi John, Prior to your post here I made a similar post at my own blog:

    http://www.harryrclarke.com/2011/03/06/climate-change-scepticism/

    Its not a great post but Tim Lambert’s YouTubes refuting Monckton that I hyperlink there are to me absolutely astonishing. It is incredible to me that this man has any following at all and that groups such as IPA sponsor his talks.

    It seems to me that people like Plimer and Monckton are cranks rather than sceptics. I think you are right too about their followers. They are probably often just gullible or credulous. Monckton, for example, sounds so assured and confident that casual observers would not believe he is repeating claims that have been shown to be untrue.

    It seems to me we have a major public policy issue. People vote at elections on global environmental issues and are being fed lies both directly and by word of mouth. For example I know RSL clubs in Victoria are being targeted by denialists and I notice even some of my golf buddies repeat well known delusionist mantras and half truths – ‘climate has always changed’ for example.

    How to deal with this? Well certainly I was delighted with your AFR piece that (among other things) explicitly engaged with Andrew Bolt who is an influential spreader of climate fiction. I have checked at Bolt’s blog over the last few days and so far he has not responded to your direct refutation of his factual claims. This is only smart if you are on ‘thin ice’ and know it. If you were more confident of your facts you would respond.

  7. rog
    March 6th, 2011 at 19:34 | #7

    It is difficult for your average person to grasp the technical details and when emotions are aroused rational thought is put aside. The situation is compounded when those in authority makes mistakes.

  8. Ernestine Gross
    March 6th, 2011 at 20:48 | #8

    @Fran Barlow

    I don’t care how much you fantasise about other people and how many ‘unresolved category’ files you have as long as you keep your fantasies in your mind rather than publishing them. As it stands, in your third paragraph you continue to raise doubt, even though our host stated at the time that false assertions of the type you made are not on and if anybody has doubt he or she should write to him. I tell you again that your “Ernestine and Alice” joint identity story is a figment of your imagination. It is not even a hypothesis because you failed to test it.

    To create a false identity of someone else is as much a lie as what it is to assume a false identity.

  9. Ernestine Gross
    March 6th, 2011 at 20:49 | #9

    I found the posts by Charlie/Henry Maltby. Very nasty.

  10. Kitchenslut
    March 6th, 2011 at 21:13 | #10

    Not the sort of post I expected to find here. Tacky and beneath you even if I can mostly agree on climate change. Was it your deliberate intention to become a left wing Andrew Bolt or did that outcome just overtake you?

  11. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2011 at 21:22 | #11

    @Kitchenslut

    PrQW cannot be a “leftwing Andrew Bolt” because Andrew Bolt and truth are not on speaking terms and so far PrQ has uttered no lies.

    What annoys you is the tackiness of exposing the trolling sockpuppets invented by delusional fellow travellers of Australia’s least honest and least professional mass media identity.

  12. wilful
    March 6th, 2011 at 21:32 | #12

    Kitchenslut, you should demand a refund.

  13. jakerman
    March 6th, 2011 at 21:53 | #13

    Sock-beater, Its interesting that you pay so much attention to people here and at Deltoid who keep seeing you for the grubby little person you are? Do you come to try and change our opinion or do just want to keep reconfirming it?

  14. SJ
    March 6th, 2011 at 22:03 | #14

    Fran,

    At the risk of being accused of being another sockpuppet, I’ll say this: After many years of interaction with Ernestine and Alice, I’m convinced that Ernestine is who she says she is, and is most definitely not the same person as Alice.

    Kindest regards
    SJ

  15. March 6th, 2011 at 22:11 | #15

    I’ll second that. @SJ

  16. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2011 at 22:16 | #16

    @SJ

    SJ … I have no further interest in this matter and would not have commented but for “Ernestine’s” challenge. You’re entitled to your opinion and I to my doubts. Let us leave it at that.

  17. SJ
    March 6th, 2011 at 22:27 | #17

    That puts you into the “denialist” camp, I’m afraid, Fran.

  18. SJ
    March 6th, 2011 at 22:30 | #18

    Or maybe the agnatoligist camp. Whatever. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

  19. Fran Barlow
    March 6th, 2011 at 22:36 | #19

    @SJ

    Don’t be silly. There’s no compelling evidence on who is authoring Ernestine or Alice. If I see some, I will declare then but not before. Taking sides in this matter when you simply can’t know and when no good purpose can be served by it does you no credit at all.

  20. Chris O’Neill
    March 6th, 2011 at 23:57 | #20

    @Kitchenslut

    Tacky and beneath you

    Strange person this Kitchenslut. Couldn’t work out if s/he was a Plimer fanboi from this comment complaining about a demonstrably flawed ideological assault on Plimer that didn’t appear to have much demonstration of any great substance:

    P.S. Payne was born in 1900 so your “sjust hort of a century” defence as “only just” is looking a bit sick already from someone you have acclaimed as all but unassaillable in their already demonstrably flawed ideological assault on Plimer?

    Anyway, s/he didn’t seem to be too concerned that Plimer had made a demonstrably flawed assault on Payne, someone s/he (rightly) had tremendous respect for. Assaults on Plimer were far more comment-worthy, apparently.

  21. Alice
    March 7th, 2011 at 05:43 | #21

    @Fran Barlow
    Still you persist with the following comment

    “Perhaps “you and Alice” are simply a little more careful than “charlie” about anonymisers and proxies. Then again perhaps PrQ is right and I should simply take his word for it. ”

    Prof Q was right and you were wrong Fran and still no apology forthcoming from you. I was the other half of your accusation (persistently and repeatedly re Ernestine and I being sock puppets for one person).

    Id call that just plain bad mannered.

  22. BilB
    March 7th, 2011 at 05:58 | #22

    This is the problem…

    “tacit acquiescence in fraud is the minimum requirement for participation……..Some who go along with intellectual dishonesty on topics central to their tribal identity may be more scrupulous in other respects”

    Unfortunately, business and politics in the modern form at the high end are built on missrepresentation. Take for instance the car dealer (business example). If you take your car to a dealer for a valuation he will say “there is a flood of these at the moment and they are hard to sell so I’ll give you ‘x’ dollars”. Having handed over your car for ‘x’ dollars the next day the same car will be on sale for ‘x’ dollars times five. If you ask the dealer about the car he will then say ” this a very rare model, hard to get, but for you I’ll take off 10%”. Where does marketing hype and blatant lying begin.

    Abbott has reduced the integrity of our government to that of a cheap used car sales yard.

    Murdoch has reduced the integrity of journalism to that of a carnival side show, and used porngraphy to mask the transition, IMHO.

    On the Carbon Price “battle” I haven’t heard a single commentator, but worse the government (which indicates that they do not fully understand the policy yet), recognise that the carbon price is a 2 way mechanism. ie if one sequests carbon extracted from the atmosphere then they can claim a credit, equal to the carbon release charge, for that process. Who would do this? Forrestry people who gassified their folliage waste in order to obtain power for their milling operation, but then sequestered the bio char back into soil. For the biochar component they can claim a carbon credit. For cane millers who power their processes by burning bagasse there is no carbon price for the surplus electricity that they supply to the grid and they will receive a higher return for their energy.

    There are huge positives in the carbon price.

    Disclosure: BilB prefers an electricity levy to a carbon price for the electricity industry with the levy proceeds applied totally to funding the rapid replacment of coal fired power stations with renewable (solar) energy systems. However, the carbon price is an essential element for the challenge of tackling the “other 50% of CO2 emissions”, and is therfore an essential element of our future “transition to zero emissions”.

    PS. I haven’t heard anyone yet register that the ethanol component of petrol is exempt from any carbon price, and when E30 is available this will have a significant influence on the price of that fuel (more than the touted 6 cents per litre), both form the offset carbon price and the lower price of ethanol against the escalating price of oil. This is how a carbon price works.

  23. BilB
    March 7th, 2011 at 06:07 | #23

    Other Carbon Price advantages and incentives.

    Lismore Base Hospital has an air conditioning system which incorporates a solar powered absorption chiller. This reduces their electricity bill exposure and gives the hospital additional energy security in emergency and disaster conditions. As electricity price increases which it will do for reasons ather than a carbon price as our system moves steadily into private hands, Lismore Base Hospital is energy cost future proofed.

    The above comment is a thread “sockpuppet”

  24. Ikonoclast
    March 7th, 2011 at 07:09 | #24

    Ernestine and Alice, always seemed very different commentators to me. My assessment, for what it is worth, is that they are different. Their styles of expression, methods of argument and areas of knowledege and interest are quite different. From the viewpoint of each, the creation of the other as a sock puppet would make no real sense. They tend to argue in different areas; Ernestine in theoretical economics and Alice on social democratic issues. No complementary commentary benefits would seem to arise from such sock-puppeting.

    My subjective judgement is that Ernestine and Alice evince different idiolects and even different modes of ideation.

    “In linguistics, an idiolect is a variety of a language unique to an individual. It is manifested by patterns of vocabulary or idiom selection (the individual’s lexicon), grammar, or pronunciations that are unique to the individual. Every individual’s language production is in some sense unique.” – Wikipedia.

    “Authorship measures that analysts use include word length average, average number of syllables per word, article frequency, type-token ratio, punctuation (both in terms of overall density and syntactic boundaries) and the measurements of hapax legomena (unique words in a text). Statistical approaches include factor analysis, Bayesian statistics, Poisson distribution, multivariate analysis, and discriminant function analysis of function words.” – Wikipedia.

  25. BilB
    March 7th, 2011 at 07:31 | #25

    That would, also, be my opinion completely, ikonoclast.

  26. jquiggin
    March 7th, 2011 at 07:33 | #26

    Fran, I regard accusations of sock puppetry against established commenters* as a violation of the comment rules . Please stop. If you have a serious basis for such a concern, please email me privately.

    In the present context, I have access to much better information than you, and I can state with confidence (but without violating any confidences) that Ernestine and Alice are two different people.

    * I make an exception in the case of recently arrived trolls, for whom sock puppet status is the null hypothesis. Established commenters can feel free to speculate on their identity.

  27. Ikonoclast
    March 7th, 2011 at 08:09 | #27

    I wonder about the term “null hypothesis”. I know it is customary useage. However, wouldn’t “default hypothesis” be the more logical term?

  28. Freelander
    March 7th, 2011 at 08:49 | #28

    @Ikonoclast

    The null hypothesis is simply that the hypothesis of interest is not true. With some hypotheses there is a clear alternative which must be true if the hypothesis of interest is not true but that need not be the case. If it is not the case, then there is no well defined alternative hypothesis if the hypothesis of interest is not true. Consequently ‘null’ in that case is better than ‘default’.

    An example is to say that someone not believing in a god, doesn’t really say what if anything they believe in. Or to say something is not red doesn’t say what if any colour it is. Hence, ‘not red’ can be called a ‘null’ hypothesis but not really a ‘default’ hypothesis.

  29. Fran Barlow
    March 7th, 2011 at 08:52 | #29

    @jquiggin

    I have stopped Professor, and, based on your request, I will simply ignore further commentary on this matter. Those soliciting comment from me by implication can please themselves but my silence should not be interpreted as expressing any view at variance from what I’ve already stated.

    You say you are confident, based on better information than I have, that Ernestine and Alice are two identities? This side of reaching into matters that are really none of my business and, given the nature and scope of the matter, unworthy of the project, I have no basis for challenging your conclusion. Let it rest there.

  30. jquiggin
    March 7th, 2011 at 10:21 | #30

    @Ikonoclast
    “Default” was the word I was reaching for, but couldn’t retrieve from memory.

  31. kymbos
    March 7th, 2011 at 10:47 | #31

    I’m Brian, and so is my wife!

  32. Ikonoclast
    March 7th, 2011 at 11:09 | #32

    @jquiggin

    Well, I think I’ve learnt something. Correct me if I am still wrong on any point. The simplest technical definition I’ve found for “null hypothesis” is;

    “The statistical hypothesis that one variable has no association with another variable or set of variables.”

    It seems that “default hypothesis” has no special technical definition and its meaning is exactly what we would expect speaking colloquially and non-technically. Perhaps we would use Occum’s razor to set a default hypothesis.

  33. Ikonoclast
    March 7th, 2011 at 11:25 | #33

    I must admit to a change in my thinking about sock puppets and a blog host’s rights. Originally I was rather blase about it all (though I was never a sock puppet myself). I thought sock puppets were a bit of a non-issue and that JQ was somewhat excessive in this and other aspects of “policing” his blog.

    However, learning about problems like “astroturfing”, seeing the anti-intellectualism and dishonesty of much denialism and witnessing the flare-ups caused by trolling, I have changed my mind.

    Also, I’ve seen how my insistence on some of my own idee fixes (limits to growth, global collapse) has arguably shaded into trolling. Oops, must watch that.

  34. Donald Oats
    March 7th, 2011 at 12:02 | #34

    Whenever I hear of the term “sockpuppet”, I rather strangely think of Lamb Chop. For some reason I find this disquieting.

  35. Alan
    March 7th, 2011 at 12:12 | #35

    I think a little sympathy for Mr. Curtin is in order. Adelaide is beside the sea and carbon dioxide , being a heavier molecule than the other major constituents of the atmosphere, tends to accumulate at low altitudes. I don’t understand this myself, but I read it one of Mr. Curtin’s blog posts. If the carbon dioxide accumulates, it must displace oxygen and Mr. Curtin seems to be short of oxygen.

  36. jquiggin
    March 7th, 2011 at 12:48 | #36

    Actually, Tim Curtin is (or was) based in Canberra, so the IP location must have been off. The air is a little thinner there.

  37. frankis
    March 7th, 2011 at 14:07 | #37

    John, internetz legend Tim Curtin is such a fanboy of your and Tim Lambert’s blogging that it would be no stretch at all for him to troll you from Adelaide. He had a sockpuppet trolling Deltoid from the Netherlands and London only last year, as I recall.

  38. Alice
    March 7th, 2011 at 15:56 | #38

    @Ikonoclast
    You are quite right – as I said once before – the thought of myself being able to even create both the personas of myself and Ernestine (like Barry Humphries could conjur up both Dame Edna and Les patterson) sees me totally ill fitted to my current employment and a rather grand missed opportunity in theatrical life. If it only were possible…

  39. Uncle Milton
    March 8th, 2011 at 07:31 | #39

    The Maltby character was obviously fictional, claiming to be a prospective UQ student, who was now going to go elsewhere because of John’s policy opinions. But this is the Internet, where some people think that there are no rules and anything goes. As I recall, in the early days of this blog, someone created two identities and argued with himself.

  40. paul walter
    March 8th, 2011 at 07:54 | #40

    Alice doesn’t need to create sock puppets.
    Why, only a little while ago, on a day when this site was dead, she engaged in several quite intricate discussions with herself.
    Uncle Milton “But this is the internet, where some people think there are no rules and anything goes.”
    As bloggers have learnt bad habits off MSM, so posters have had to adjust accordingly, also acquiring deceitfulness, its called survival.
    Not that I would include the good professor as being possessed of these sins of omission, apart from his refusal to allow Alice to post more often, especially when she’s bought her soap box.
    Love that Alice ta bits!! (btw, my lady, did you get to watch that 4 Corners last night, on the Darling Murray. No wonder nothing ever gets done in this country to provide the right basis for the future).

  41. Alice
    March 8th, 2011 at 09:11 | #41

    @paul walter
    LOL Paul – happens more often than you think! (but really dont you think it a little of an interpretive challenge that a person could possibly think Ernestine and I the same person?) There are quite a few here who are in agreement re the rather obvious differences. I have never known, for example, Ernestine to have a lengthy discourse with herself here…which leads me to suspect that Ernestine is indeed much more careful than I by nature, but especially at dinner time!.

  42. paul walter
    March 8th, 2011 at 09:22 | #42

    Alice, from a distance there are striking similarities.
    Both of you are bright, a bit lefty and to me, sharp as tacks. Ernestine is a little more “classical”; you are extrovert.
    I always wondered why Ernestine stopped using her sock puppet “Alicia “, tho…

  43. gerard
  44. paul walter
    March 8th, 2011 at 09:39 | #44

    You put that there, just coincidentally, didn’t you Gerard?
    Talk about “identity” politics.

  45. Ken Fabos
    March 8th, 2011 at 10:56 | #45

    I think I disagree with Pr Q’s “While this behavior is extreme, it’s impossible to be honest, of normal intelligence and an active delusionist” remark.

    Whilst I think a lot of the leading figures know better and are dishonest the wider ‘movement’, including a lot of activists, looks to be made up more of gullible and not very well informed followers who don’t feel uninformed. On the contrary they feel they are better informed than average but crucially they have no urge to go outside their preferred sources. The ones that tell them stuff that’s contrary to what they believe they know have become, almost by definition, untrustworthy. I don’t know that they are necessarily less intelligent. Understanding climate and climate change is complex and I for one am aware of my limitations when it comes to vetting the quality of scientific arguments and methods. And I don’t think they are less honest but they seem to have issues with what sources to trust and which to distrust. Amongst the dishonest delusionists there’s been a lot of effort made to skew that trust/distrust equation their direction and having leaders of industry, commerce, politics and religion (and science) endorsing their position gives added credibility. Also the old orthodoxy, until recently, unexamined, has been that climate and weather are beyond human capacity to influence and, with those endorsements the active delusionists find it relatively easy to reinforce beliefs already held. Maybe that good-old-days orthodoxy is part of the reason the ‘conservative’ side of politics has so easily fallen into their position of denial.

  46. paul walter
    March 8th, 2011 at 11:26 | #46

    Ken Fabos’ post makes sense. Watching 4Corners this week, you really got the sense of Barnaby Joyce and agribusiness milking the MD reforms for all they are worth, in terms of fear loathing yield. Which is not to say the punters aren’t complicit in their own hoodwinking, but yep, Ken’s comment is not without sense.
    Its not a lot different to the sillinesses over carbon schemes.
    Astro turfing style stuff, out of the same template (ps for an example checkout Marohasy’s latest- I cant beleive an academic could be so disengenuous.

  47. Alice
    March 8th, 2011 at 11:41 | #47

    @paul walter
    Alicia….my good friend and not anyone’s puppet…she fled after one too many encounters with those libertarian loving dreamweaving logic twisting types that drop in from time to time…it was just too much for her caring soul and… I wish she would come back – she should have just given them the old one two with a wet sock.

  48. Donald Oats
    March 8th, 2011 at 12:39 | #48

    @Alice
    To lose one identity may be regarded as a misfortune… :-P

  49. Jim Birch
    March 8th, 2011 at 13:38 | #49

    @Donald Oats
    Simplistic? Don’t you have to look at the difference between production and consumption. :)

  50. March 8th, 2011 at 15:41 | #50

    Seconding Ken Fabos, unfortunately, one can be ignorant in many possible ways and yet still be of normal or even exceedingly high intelligence, unless you define intelligence as precluding the possibility of such ignorance, which isn’t usually done as they are usually understood as separate concepts. In fact, it often seems that the greatest delusions are found among the most intelligent.

    We really ought to pay more attention to whatever-it-is that leads some to more ignorance than others, unless is is pure luck (which probably explains most of it). But since our socieities have often been based on delusions which benefit the wealthy and powerful, it seems that never happens. Didn’t Oedipus’ downfall come as the result of obsession with finding the truth?

  51. Ernestine Gross
    March 9th, 2011 at 08:21 | #51

    Oedipus belongs to mythology. JQ is talking about observables.

  52. March 9th, 2011 at 15:46 | #52

    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.

  53. Ernestine Gross
    March 9th, 2011 at 16:23 | #53

    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.

  54. Alice
    March 9th, 2011 at 21:49 | #54

    @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.

  55. Jim Birch
    March 10th, 2011 at 08:01 | #55

    @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.”

  56. Alice
    March 10th, 2011 at 09:44 | #56

    Thankyou Jim…thats exactly the one I was wanting!

  57. Philomena
    March 10th, 2011 at 18:19 | #57

    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.

  58. paul walter
    March 11th, 2011 at 10:05 | #58

    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…

  59. Alice
    March 11th, 2011 at 17:48 | #59

    @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…

  60. Philomena
    March 11th, 2011 at 19:13 | #60

    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.

  61. paul walter
    March 11th, 2011 at 19:27 | #61

    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.

  62. Alice
    March 12th, 2011 at 08:16 | #62

    @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.

  63. March 12th, 2011 at 13:35 | #63

    @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.

  64. Jill Rush
    March 12th, 2011 at 17:20 | #64

    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.

  65. Donald Oats
    March 12th, 2011 at 20:26 | #65

    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.

  66. Donald Oats
    March 12th, 2011 at 20:31 | #66

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

  67. Freelander
    March 12th, 2011 at 20:37 | #67

    @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.

  68. Alice
    March 12th, 2011 at 21:27 | #68

    @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?

  69. Jill Rush
    March 12th, 2011 at 22:27 | #69

    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.

  70. March 12th, 2011 at 22:30 | #70

    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.

  71. Donald Oats
    March 12th, 2011 at 22:41 | #71

    @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).

  72. Alice
    March 13th, 2011 at 07:40 | #72

    @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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