Posted by: GoRight | April 8, 2010

Enforcing the bias (systemically)

Well, I take note of this discussion.  Here you will see the bald attempts by the hard line “warmers” to further increase their existing stranglehold over the climate change articles.  We have reached a point where the “warmer friendly” admins such as User:2over0 have managed to thin out the ranks of the skeptics sufficiently via topic bans and blocks that there is, in essence, practically no one left to speak out against these obvious power grabs.

User:ATren attempts to point this out here but he has been reduced to being one voice against many, and even though he is not a skeptic I expect him to be targeted soon for speaking out like this against the entrenched faction.

Note that the moderate admins like User:Lar and User:LessHeard vanU are still seeking a fair hearing of proposed bans but they are being painted as being biased against the warmers who are now used to having things their way.  It is a form of confirmation bias, actually, where the warmers feel justified in their perception of the events because other people are saying things that simply confirm their personal world views.

A fine example of this can be seen in William Connolley’s edit here.  The answer to his question, of course, is that the disparity of treatment of the skeptics vs. the warmers by User:2over0 is obvious to an neutral observer, and Connolley is so blinded by his own world view that he can’t see it.  He simply lacks the intellectual honestly and the introspective abilities to be able to remove himself from the situation and assess it objectively.  This appears to be a common trait amongst the prominent warmers, actually, so it isn’t just Connolley.  Boris seems to be likewise afflicted with this malady, amongst others both on- and off-wiki.

At any rate, what we observe in this thread is an attempt to edge the neutral admins out of the process by warmers of all stripes (admins and regulars).  They are angling to allow even more abuse by the “warmer friendly” admins by emphasizing that such admins are fully empowered by the climate change probation to act unilaterally against the skeptics.

As this discussion shows, the moderate admins are just that, moderates.  So they by definition try to act evenhandedly.  So in a system which is being enforced by a couple of moderate admins and a greater number of “warmer friendly” admins, it is no surprise that the skeptics get the wrong end of the “banning stick”.  This is part of how the climate change pages have become so skewed.

The solution, of course, is for more skeptics to become actively involved in fighting this abuse over time.

UPDATE:

Ironically, William Connolley points us to an article by George Monbiot, Walled In, which makes pretty much the same observation about the (lack of) ability of climate change scientists to recognize their own short-comings.

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Responses

  1. I have noticed this pattern for some time. Wikipedia’s goal is to report. Unfortunately, editors on both sides of Global Warming seem to think that there is some advantage to “winning” the argument rather than simply providing enough information so that readers can at least understand all sides of the arguments. Specifically, WEIGHT is misused to limit the amount of information related to minority points of view. Instead, a good reference should make sure that each minority POV is fully explained. As long as there is not enough information, then readers will not be able to understand the issues. Instead, the anti-science true believers do everything possible to make sure that only one POV is presented. The recent climategate article is a good (actually bad) example. I think it is time for skeptics to ignore Wikipedia and just let it become another propaganda rag.

    BTW, I don’t like the phrase “warmer friendly” – these people are pushing an anti-science platform supported by the “consensus”. I say “anti-science” because the consensus does not want to share their data and does not want to challenge others to prove them wrong. “Science” requires both.

  2. Yes well, I half-expect Connolley and his band of pseudo-intellectual thugs to bring Lar to Arbcom. It really is a shame since he has done some damn fine admin work in the past.

    Atren has mentioned several times that he has been compiling evidence for an Arbcom case against 2over0 and if he does it then that may motivate me enough to highlight some of his behavior.

    To the point of your post, this sort of thing has been going on for years – WMC and his friends have been getting people banned for a very long time. I would say they are “good” at it, but it really doesn’t take a lot of skill to win in such a rigged game.

    In fact, with regards to Connolley, his brand of idiocy is that of the educated fool – a rather common strain which is dangerous primarily because other fools esteem it rather than recognize kinship.

  3. “The solution, of course, is for more skeptics to become actively involved in fighting this abuse over time.”

    Or to simply not trust wikipedia to be unbiased. There are other sources of information, and if anyone quotes wikipedia as their single source for a fact you know straight away not to trust what they’re saying.

    Sorry wikipedia, you’re not a trusted source of info (at least by me).


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