Sunday, March 13, 2016


Eminent  Canadian  maple syrup sommelier,  philosopher, connoisseur of  Hudson's Bay blankets,  and  Slaying The Sky Dragon  co-author Tim Ball PhD  diagnoses our northern neighbor's scientific malaise:
"Fear is aided and abetted by exaggeration, distortion, and falsehoods. Sadly, these exploitations litter history as people sought to control others and push a political or religious agenda.

There appears to be a difference today as Farhad Manjoo identified in his book “True Enough: Learning to live in a Post-Fact Society”:

Facts no longer matter. We simply decide how we want to see the world and then go out and find experts and evidence to back our beliefs.
If that doesn’t work, you manufacture the material and hire spin doctors to spread the lies and misinformation more effectively. The truth doesn’t need spin doctors."
Er, didn't Tim write a stirring defense of spin doctors three months ago?

Yes, but  that  was  before  fans of  spin doctoring  at  Watts' heavily censored blog began demanding payment to comment, and a $5 fine for each comment the censors delete:

 Gloateus Maximus 
March 11, 2016 at 10:59 am
How about requiring a subscription to comment or verify more about commenters than that they have valid emails? Maybe require use of real names, unless applicants can plausibly show professional harm from not toeing the Party line.
March 11, 2016 at 11:04 am
I agree with Gloateus. There ought to be some way to verify. Like with a nominal yearly fee or some such. That way the payment method is the proxy for the account verification. :) 
March 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm
Howza bout trying what the newspapers are doing? Set up a subscription to WUWT and only let subscribers comment. If anyone abuses the privilege, cancel their subscription w/o refund.
Even a small subscription rate would still give you control.
March 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm
Excuse me if this was suggested above: a three-level system:
1. Registered commenters sign up via a small annual credit card payment, plus maybe a $5 entrance fee. Pen names are OK. A $5 charge for deleted comments. Comments are posted immediately.
2. As above, but on a “whitelist” of old-timers so their comments are flagged as such internally, so moderators can just skim them after posting.
3. Unregistered. Their comments are held for moderation. This delay would eventually encourage them to register if they comment often. Borderline trollish comments would be allowed, but in a lighter or smaller typeface, or at least in an
unusual typeface.
This would bring in a little money for WUWT, cut moderators’ workload a bit, and cut down on dopey commenting a bit. (I don’t think it has a downside.) Then we can decide on the next step.

Hat tip to Sou for collating  the above.