Signing off

Charles Platt

I've decided to wind up my guest blogging a couple days early, but I want to thank Mark Frauenfelder for offering me the unique and wonderful opportunity to post here. Thanks Mark.

If any BB readers wish to contact me I am easily findable through

--Charles Platt


  1. It’s a shame you’re leaving, Charles. While I didn’t agree with all of your posts, I think your challenging BB theology sparked interesting conversation.

  2. I hope you’re not quitting because of the warming controversy. It’s great to open debate sometimes. And to challenge the views we’ve already come to.

  3. I should have included the word “texture” in my last post.

    BoingBoing, while certainly a directory of wonderful things, is also a touch monotonous. Your perspectives added texture that was a boon to this blog.

  4. i hope you weren’t forced out early, officially or out of frustration. you exposed a pretty, um, interesting facet of the boingboing community’s personality. thanks for stirring up some trouble.

  5. challenging BB theology

    wait, BB has a theology now? Religious beliefs that operate independent of whether they are correct or not? Like Intelligent Design? Flat Earthers?


  6. The villagers were sharpening the pitchforks and lighting the torches. Dogma is as ugly on the left as the right.

    Best of luck Mr. Platt. A good conversation is a terrible thing to waste, and while I found some faults in your conclusions, I gained a deeper understanding of my own.

  7. Most of what I have to say can be summed up as ‘hear, hear.’ Even though climatology is the one science that bores me to tears, I appreciated the post on Wal-Mart.


  8. I too lament if “This conversation is over” is the tone of his signing off. Several of Charles Platt’s posts I really enjoyed, and I appreciated him wanting to tackle a hot-button issue like global warming, rather than avoid it due to the risk of “Brawndo will make you win at things you’re not even supposed to win at, like yelling.”

    You’ve done a man’s job, sir! I guess you’re through, huh?

  9. Your posts sparked some good arguments. We all need to go dogma hunting from time to time. BANG! I hope you come back from time to time to add a little spice to the Culture.

  10. I greatly enjoyed you posts, particularly the ones about here in AZ. I leaned some things about my home state that I didn’t know. Also your other topics were very interesting and made me look at topics I thought I knew in a different way. Thanks for a very entertaining time!

  11. While I may not have had the highest opinion of your posts, I truly wish you were not signing off early. As a guest blogger, you added something new, something like raisins in my oatmeal. I may not love raisins, but they provide an interesting change- texture, as TheChickenandtheRice pointed out.

    Good day to you, Mister Platt.

  12. Beneath his intelligence analytical mind, and his cynical, contrarian, facade, Charles Platt is at heart an impractical Utopian idealist suffering from optimistic delusions of eternal expansion and upward mobility.

    An unsustainable malady in any species, it seems peculiarly endemic amongst Americans.

    With just a hair more gravitas, Mr Platt could almost be a satire of himself in a Graham Greene novel.

  13. I was totally going to say that.

    When did empiricism and the scientific method become left-wing, incidentally?

  14. Charles had a great career as a sci-fi writer but lets face it, his global warming posts were ridiculous, im all for debate but I would compare the global warming “debate” to the creationist “debate”.

    To make ppl feel good some ppl might say creationists deserve to be heard but at the end of the day their ideas are poor and their motivations are silly, the global warming debate exists in the fine details, the consensus seems to be that we are effecting the earths climate on a massive scale, thats the consensus, of course there is a minority that want to believe otherwise, almost exclusively located in the U.S. (some in Britain as well).

    From what I have seen it appears to me that the supposed debate has changed over the years.

    It started with a minority of voices claiming that global warming wasent even happening, as the years have gone by those voices have had to shift their message, now those same people, paid for by corporate interests, say that while global warming is happening that its not man made, give it a few more years and then they will say “ok, its man made but we cant stop it and if we try itll ruin us financially” …

    Add to the fact that most americans arent well educated but very vocal about their ignorance and you have a great breeding ground for stupidity.

    We dont need this global warming denial garbage, granted we should be reviewing all the information but when the deniers are constantly exposed to be superficial thinkers or complete liars I lose faith in liberals.

    Lets not pretend that being open minded means accepting nonsense and stupidity as if it has equal merit to facts and reality.

    Have fun at make magazine Charles and read up on global warming, for your families sake.

  15. I really enjoyed your posts about Arizona. I grew up in Tempe and it brought back a lot for me. Thank you.

  16. Thanks for your contributions–I found them very interesting. The amusing sound of collective butt-tightening was icing on the cake.

  17. It’s been interesting to watch how we all conducted ourselves.

    What would an outsider who never read BB before conclude about our community? I think we did better than most.

  18. Ah, Mr Platt,

    I did enjoy your posts. It’s not often that the feathers here get that ruffled. And we could use it, in gentle way.

    It’s not so much that I agreed with everything, but like others, by disagreeing I found out a little more about myself.

  19. I’m sorry he was treated so awfully here.

    “We dont need this global warming denial garbage”

    Sorry we also don’t need blind loyalism.

  20. Hopefully the next guest blogger will have something to say about the validity of gravity. Or maybe we can talk about how the earth is really flat.

  21. #22

    Erm. When did realism = blind loyalty?


    While I vehemently disagreed with some of Mr. Platt’s postings, its surely been fun seeing the sparks fly. There’s something to be said for shaking things up a little.

  22. Charles was not asked to stop guest blogging by anyone at Boing Boing. It was his decision. He remains my good friend and professional colleague.

  23. I personally found it a shame. I can never recall a time when after someone posted a few articles multiple site owners then spammed BoingBoing with over half a dozen counter arguments, with Cory’s coming less than a half hour and more spewing out within another 6 hours or so. If you were an American who went to bed at 11PM that night and woke up at 9AM the next day, you would have found his articles buried at the bottom of the heap.

    I think that the most unhealthy part of the affair is that, even if you believe that anyone who is anti-climate change should be dragged into the same camp as the people who believe sky gods hid dinosaur bones under the ground to trick wily humans into thinking that the earth is more than a few thousand years old, that wasn’t even his argument.

    His arguments were all built around the idea that:
    1) The earth has seen worse in the near history.
    2) We suck at climate prediction. Our models are hack jobs at best.
    3) There is a massive self interested lobby building around climate change that is getting absolutely no critical examination.

    …and more.

    None of it was even flat out heresy. You can debate point 1 by defining worse and qualifying our abilities to look back into history. Point 2 is true, you can only argue as quality. We can easily see what happened in the past in the near term, but predicting into the future is a bit of a crap shoot of what if scenarios. Finally, point 3 is absolutely valid.

    The guy didn’t log on and declare climate change false, he challenged a number of our premises and responses to it. The fact that the torches were brought out so early is shameful.

    Instead of addressing his arguments, some of which were completely worthy of debate even if you believe that anyone who doesn’t believe in anthropomorphic climate change worthy of talking to, he was drowned out as a heretic. It is no wonder he was driven off early.

  24. I call b.s. on the sympathy people are pouring out here. He didn’t say he was asked to leave, but has decided to leave. If he’s leaving because he can’t stand the heat of dissent then maybe he needs to rethink his positions or publish less polemic material. If someone, guest blogger or not, takes a position and strongly states it over three large blog postings, they should expect a strong response, and if they are not prepared for it, that person needs to seriously rethink the strength of their argument.

  25. Chicken, I think Mark was responding to NaterXP at 6, saying s/he hoped Mr. Platt wasn’t “forced out early,” and meant to stem speculation that the Boingers asked him to leave.

  26. Charles does mention a very valid point about the nuclear industry rebranding itself as “green”.

    I remember i first read about the Clintons laying the ground work for what would later become the Patriot Act in a white supremacist rag, and for that one article all the fact checking, and predictions were dead accurate.
    I first read Hakim Bey in magazine published by nambla. I’d never hire him as baby sitter but i am glad i read his essays.

    Sometimes extremely important details are brought to light by sources whose agendas are utterly reprehensible.

    The strict divisions between categories of right and left, conservative and liberal are never as static as they are portrayed to be.

    Listen to everyone and find allies where you may.

    (but still, i have to say the wal*mart thing was one of the silliest attacks on a straw man i have ever seen.)

  27. folks, there is a time and a place.

    Respect the Rule of Hospitality! You start eating every infidel and foreigner that passes through your lands and pretty soon you’re so inbred you’re calling your spouse: “sister-uncle-cousin”.

    Extend every courtesy, offer your best food. You may travel yourself one day.

  28. #24 posted by Talia: , February 6, 2009 11:02 AM

    Erm. When did realism = blind loyalty?

    The subjective wrapping discredits the objective center and does poor service to whatever truth may be found there.

    You learn a lot about someone by observing how they address those with whom they disagree.

  29. The annoying thing about Charles wasn’t that he had bizarrely outdated views on climate change, it was the fact that he never just posted one thing and moved on, he kept posting over and over and over about the same topic. IR photography filled the entire boing boing front page for two days. It’s annoying and obnoxious.

    I mean, I love IR photography. I’ve even removed the IR filter from one of my cameras to take IR pics. But a single link to a flickr photoset would have done just as well, and let people who weren’t interested to just move on to the next thing.

    I mean, man, he had me going back to Slashdot. Slashdot for crissakes.

  30. I almost left boingboing after seeing the venom thrown at Charles here. I have, time and time again, been reminded that when one is clearly right, the need to raise one’s voice is nil. In comment after comment, the loudest shouting (and cruel insults) were from those tho claimed no emotional connection and stated that they held only fact based beliefs.

    I’m going to miss your posts, Charles. I guess we’ll see what happens in another 20 years eh? Best to you.

  31. Goodbye for now, Mr. Platt!

    I wouldn’t like seeing a dozen top-level posts in a row on the same topic every day, but it was interesting to watch you and Cory create a giant linkball of so-called “global warming” controversies. If anyone ever asks me for an overview of the subject from both sides, I’ll just point them at the archive and let them read for a few hours (days?).

    Speaking as another person who occasionally ruffles a few feathers around here, I enjoyed your tenure.

  32. The entire experiment ended largely as I suspected it would. The ‘tolerance’ crew hard at work, proving they don’t actually know what the word means.

  33. @Rindan –

    Charles also posted dubious information and linked back to people whos qualifications were ripped to shreds by simple googling.

    Im sure hes very well meaning and was trying to be thoughtful but the points you brought up were exactly what allowed an otherwise intelligent person to be sucked into a side of the debate that really doesnt warrant equal attention.

    Charles mistake isent that he posted the information, its that he didnt look below the surface, the information doesnt deserve to be taken seriously.

    Mr. Platt is a sci-fi writer, wheres the big story for someone with an imagination?, that the pollution we cause harms us and the planet or that theres some conspiracy and all the worlds scientists are in on it?

    Hes wrong in his assertions and its nice to see so many people that know the real story, its not hard to find out really.

  34. I echo the comment from #28.
    Graphs and pie-charts are wonderful visual tools but they are only as good as the data provided. Mr. Platt seems as perplexed as Ben Stein after his “Expelled” fiasco. Hint: You’re an ideologue like Stein, Egnor, Cruise, Garth and the rest of the Science-is-Nazism/ID/Xenu/Anti-Immunisation/”Global Warming is a myth” conspiracists and you used Boing Boing to push your agenda.
    Leaving early is the best judgment you’ve shown.

  35. Well, IF he left huffy, I’m kind of amused. Did he see himself as The One, the Savior, that was going to sweep in and finally show the light to liberal-contaminated readers of Boing Boing where all others have failed?

    If we could embed pictures, I’d imbed the one of the fat kid in military dress saying, “Don’t worry mam, I’m from the Internet!!”

    Maybe he left though because, well, he had things to do.

  36. Thank you, Mr. Platt. You flushed out good arguments and bad arguers. I leave you with a lovely quote from a possibly unwelcome source.

    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” W F Buckley

  37. @ #37 Takuan

    if you wish combat,Jones, don’t cower

    I don’t wish combat. I took note of how Platt was treated, which I saw coming from a mile away. I refrained from objecting to the gleeful savagery because we all know how that ends – those who object intelligently have their posts removed or disemvoweled, whilst those who subsitute personal insults for argument continue hurling invective for days after the defender has been ejected.

    So I do not choose combat. Hardly cowering, simply recognizing that in this land, only those who kiss the ring of power may hurl abuse.

    Come to my land sometime, I am more than willing to engage, and I fight fair.

  38. I have to say, the unbacked assertions were hella annoying.

    I don’t think it was my cognitive dissonance acting up? It was just unpleasant. “Fair and balanced” does not mean, “there is another side of the argument, ergo we need to give it equal amount of attention”.

    Lack of critical assessment almost.

  39. To summarily say “he’s wrong” is a prime example of the very behavior being criticized. The fact that some, even if just a few, scientists with no ties to big industry have expressed doubts about anthropomorphic climate change make it presumptuous and insulting to dismiss it as not being worthy of discussion. We’re not talking anti-Darwin crackpots, or Flat Earthers here. There -are- scientists in good standing who question significant global warming caused by humans and there -is- room for dissension.

    What riles people isn’t the healthy discussion of the issue. It’s snide attitudes and sweeping dismissals.

  40. BoingBoing is filled with mindless group thinking sheep?!? Who attack people and ideals different then their own?!? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!
    I’ll miss Charles. Thanks for some refreshing posts.

  41. Mr. Platt, thanks for your posts on anthropogenic global warming. Hopefully it caused some people to investigate the science and realize that things aren’t quite so settled yet.

    It sure caused me to think about the community here at Boing Boing; pretty disappointing.


  42. I appreciate the friendly comments, and the couple of unfriendly ones too.

    Of course I was not asked to leave! I certainly never meant to create that impression.

    I meant what I said (as I usually do). I am grateful to Mark for the invitation. He has been a great supporter of my writing in various media, and I consider him a wonderful friend.

    Now I would like to propose a thought experiment.

    Imagine a site run by hardcore cat lovers. They invite a guest blogger, expecting the usual cute kitty photos, and instead he links to the Bonsai Kitten hoax site, showing pictures of kittens that appear to have been grown inside glass jars.

    Is the guest blogger being polite? I consider politeness a significant virtue. Is he “playing by the rules”?

    To be fair, I did ask in advance, very carefully, if there were any rules for guest bloggers, and I also offered all my posts for preapproval.

    I was dismayed by the anger response from two of the people involved, which made me wonder what else I might say that would trigger a similar reaction. Since I couldn’t predict it, and I didn’t want to provoke it, and I didn’t want to start censoring myself, it was easiest to stop.

  43. @ #44 daneyul

    There -are- scientists in good standing who question significant global warming caused by humans and there -is- room for dissension.

    Even if there was not even one shred of possibility that anthropomorphic global warming could be untrue, your point would still stand. The ‘debate’, as we have been told, is now over. Those who dissent are not merely wrong, they’re evil.

    I instinctively distrust anyone who actively seeks to suppress (by insulting, belittling, shouting down, or actually criminalizing) any point of view which with they do not agree. Disagreement is good and healthy. Attempting to stifle opposing viewpoints makes me think the person doing it has significant fears about the correctness of their beliefs.

  44. TELLER –

    “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” W F Buckley

    Very nice. If Cory didn’t live in a dogmatic bubble, he might benefit from such wisdom.

  45. What are people complaining about?

    The fact that Charles ideas were poor and backed by nothing of real substance? or is it the fact that other ppl called it?

    Interesting …

  46. Platt “linked back to people whos qualifications were ripped to shreds by simple googling.”

    This is the only kind of criticism that I find annoying, because it smears without specifics. *Which* people were mentioned, whose qualifications were ripped to shreds simply by googling?

  47. Mr. Platt’s short stay at BB definitely left a sour taste in my mouth, not for him, but for BB and the tone of response his posts evoked. I have been reading here for a long, long time, and I am saddened by my new view of BB. Topics of conversation completely aside, the choice of reaction was, in my view, fairly ridiculous. No matter the topic (even if it were creationism as some stated it might as well have been) the response was ugly and I really wish those who chose to respond the way that they did would have put the shoe on the other foot. You should be embarrassed, but you’re likely too busy patting yourselves on the back.

    For the record, I don’t agree with everything that Mr. Platt posted.

  48. “I was dismayed by the anger response from two of the people involved,”

    Gee, wonder who they might be??

  49. Charles,
    I enjoyed your writing in Wired for many years and all of your fine posts as guest. Thanks for shaking things up a bit.

  50. I enjoyed the hell out of everything you wrote here, and will always wonder where those last two days of posts would have led me.

  51. Bye, Charles. Sorry you decided to leave before we got to see five posts in a row from you on the many valid and compelling criticisms that unfairly marginalized Intelligent Design advocates have developed concerning the orthodox Darwinian evolutionary establishment. I was looking forward to seeing you link approvingly to books and articles by Jeffrey Wells, Bill Dembski, and Michael Behe. Ah well.

  52. Wigwam – as a long-time poster here, and one not entirely in accord, I suspect, with all your views, I would say that I agree with you about the over-enthusiastic dsmvllng which can, at times, be very dshrtnng.

  53. @Charles Platt:

    I enjoyed your posts, even the ones I disagreed with vehemently. I think the long knives coming out was a bit overdone. My background is such that being exposed to contrary notions only helps make my argument stronger, or sometimes leads to a whole new way of thinking. Shouting people down, calling them stupid and dangerous and generally acting a fool speaks ill of ones character, and one’s argument.

    I regularly tune in to right-wing radio, just to understand the thought processes at work. If anything, it made my experience of the 2008 election much more well-rounded, as my friends who only stuck with NPR seemed baffled by just why people loved Sarah Palin or were terrified of Obama.

    I’m going to give at least one of those books on climate change you recommended a read. It might not change my assessment of the materials, but I’m very interested in why people think this way, especially in the face of the whole host of evidence.

    Best to you and yours.

  54. I appreciate a good, well-argued challenge to any of my own views or to any paradigm view within science any day. I’m sorry that you’re leaving before posting anything like that. Maybe next time?

    You obviously wanted to make very controversial political points but didn’t honestly state that intention, gave some really cheap and fallacious reasoning and did not bother to engage enough with the many counterarguments that followed in the comments section.

    To wrap up with a more positive focus: I enjoyed the Arizona posts! Thanks!

  55. –What are people complaining about?
    –The fact that Charles ideas were poor and backed by nothing of real substance? or is it the fact that other ppl called it?

    Neither. It’s the smug attitudes, like yours, coupled with often unsubstantiated claims, like yours.

  56. @ #50 ArghMonkey

    What are people complaining about?

    Isn’t it clear? It seems to me that quite a few people, on both sides of the argument, are lamenting how Platt was treated while here.

    That seems to me like a perfectly valid complaint.

    The fact that Charles ideas were poor and backed by nothing of real substance? or is it the fact that other ppl called it?

    Interesting …

    Why would it be surprising to find that a person who comes expecting debate and open intelligent exchange of ideas finds instead find himself the target of hurled overripe tomatoes would choose not to stay?

    I think your comments are illustrative of the problem. There is precious little debate in disagreement hereabouts. There is a great deal of heckling, innuendo, insult, and eventually, feigned shock that the person thus treated didn’t care for it.

    If Boing Boing is nothing more than a heckle factory, then fine – but shall we then drop all pretense at higher purposes? It would seem a tad more honest.

  57. @Chrissystar 46: I’m a climate scientist, and the scientific evidence is pretty overwhelming. the question may not be settled among the general populace, but I’ve never met a climate scientist who thinks the question wasn’t settled around 1980. All the research we’re doing now is figuring out the rate the warming will happen and the details of the geographical patterns.

  58. Oops – dang, I meant Jonathan Wells, not Jeffrey Wells. I was thinking anti-evolutionist loon while reading Jeff Wells’ Hollywood Elsewhere blog & got my snark lines crossed.

  59. Come on folks, it’s Friday, you can do better than this. I have two hours till punchout time and this ruckus needs to get a lot more entertaining.

    Here, I’ll start : I heard Charles Platt actually DOES raise kittens in jars….he had a whole post on it but it was DISEMVOWELED AND *THEN* DIS-UMMM-EMCONSINATED!!

    I swear, I never understand why conservatives get so upset over the global warming thing. You [ie, conservatives] do realize that global warming is a conspiracy we liberals invented to keep you distracted while we get abortion on the dollar menu at McDonalds, right?

    God, I’m so bored. Come on Takuan, stir these people up.

  60. Hee! I get such a kick out of people screaming “censorship”, who are allowed to scream “censorship!”
    For about ten seconds, then I remember they are essentially the soul brothers of Drugs Windbag and company.

    Dear Charles: tell me now please if you would, just between you and me; how much of your posting selections were designed to prod buttock with malignant intent aforethought, to make people think, and how much was just kicking the beehive?
    You are obviously a man of integrity (who may or may not be factually right but will punch the nose of any who call you bought or liar).

  61. Mark @61: Sorry… I oughtn’t to be rude to your guest, of course. His line and style of inquiry just struck me as quite similar in many ways to those of various ID peoples. An overly harsh and admittedly quite ugly assessment, perhaps.

  62. “You obviously wanted to make very controversial political points but didn’t honestly state that intention,”

    On the contrary, if you check back, I stated twice that I wanted to venture into areas where there might be some dissent, and I stated that my intention was simply to include material which is not so often seen.

  63. Keep patting yourselves on the back for being geniuses because you manage to believe in evolution. Can there be any more clear ad hominem than connecting CC skeptics and ID types? Talk about closed minds.

  64. Part of the reason its hard to be “open minded” about disbelief in global warming is that its extremely, extremely dangerous for the future of the planet if the disbelievers eventually outnumber the rest. Therefore, those who acknowledge the reality of global warming do their best to discourage the naysayers, they see it as a duty in their efforts to save the world.

    So don’t go saying “oh those hypocritical libbies!” etc etc. The issue is more complicated than that.

    I take some issue with the suggestion that people should be open minded to ALL point of views.
    I will never, ever be open minded to the point of view of the Westboro Baptist Church and it’s assorted villainous scumbags, for example…

    1. Moderator Note:

      Please read the thread before commenting, particularly the comments from Mark and Charles. As moderators, we generally intervene less in the threads of guest bloggers because we don’t know their preferences for how they want to engage critics. Charles posted on some controversial topics, remained active in his threads and is quite capable of taking care of himself. If a post receives a lot of criticism (and it has happened to Boingers and guest bloggers alike), everybody learns from the experience.

      If you have comments regarding the subject of any of Charles’, or anybody else’s posts, please make them in those threads, not here. If you have comments about moderation, take them to the Moderation Policy thread. As always, endless repetition or invective without reasoning is not welcome in civil discourse.

  65. also, what Yakta said, loved the Arizona posts!
    So jealous of that tract of land. I had the pleasure of driving through AZ for the first time last spring, and the beauty of the place blew me away.

  66. At the risk of attracting a few rotten tomatoes, evolution and global worming are NOT on the same footing. Evolution has 150 years of research behind it. As far as I know, a robust, widely accepted climate model does not exist. “Robust” would mean one that gives answers that match the real world to a fair degree of precision over a long period of time. That’s what robust models do. There’s just too many dang variables that we don’t understand.

    There’s nothing unreasonable about the idea that we’re contributing to climate. The only thing I “deny” is that we’re absolutely certain about all the cause and effect.

    Canada was covered by a thick layer of ice 10,000 years ago. No one blames us for melting that.

    OK, let the rotten fruit fly. Clearly, I’m a tool of Big Oil and the Bush/Cheney machine.

  67. Its interesting how much vitriol there is in this simple goodbye thread.

    From both “sides” as it were, both the “Platt’s viewpoints are EEEEEEEVILL” crowd and the “BB commenters are acting like a raging, rabid pack of ingrates” crowd.

    It’s interesting to watch.

  68. @ #65 Takuan

    Hee! I get such a kick out of people screaming “censorship”, who are allowed to scream “censorship!”

    Until they are not – ah, but you would not see those, would you? The posts that go to the bit-bucket, when a response to a question is actually called for, but never appears online?

    Let’s just say your amusement is directed at an event which, contrary to your opinion, occurs with some frequency here.

  69. #73:

    So. Any theory that doesn’t have 150 years of research behind it is less valid? Interesting hypothesis. :P

  70. I am not going to join the bandwagon of people saying they are sorry to see Charles go. Charles seemed to put little effort into his posts and spoke without much thought.

    One doesn’t need to even look at the global warming posts. One just for example needs to read his post about identifying a specific insect: . In this post Charles demonstrated basic failures to either know highschool level biology or to look it up (hint Wikipedia is your friend. So is your local 9th grader). Combined with material in the global warming posts one sees a general pattern. This problem has nothing to do with ideology although certainly some of the more negative comments were ideologically motivated.

    As a general rule, if one is going to make comments that go against the prevailing grain in a community you need to make sure that your comments are well-referenced and well-thought out. It is likely that one can get away often with posting poorly researched comments when one is in a sympathetic community, but much less when they are unsympathetic. One cannot then blame one’s failings on the community being closed minded (it may be closed minded but the reactions aren’t evidence of that). If Charles does return, I hope he will make sure to carefully research what he examines before posting.

  71. Well, why would it fly? You didn’t wheel out any second-hand pseudoscience from politicians, refuse to answer questions, or jump in the waambulance when people weren’t stunned by your perspicacity.

  72. I enjoyed Charles’ posts and am quite sorry he’s decided to bail early.

    Some I found quite enlightening – for instance, his post about conflicts of interest among proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming. While I still am convinced it’s happening, it will make me look more carefully at some of the claims, and particularly the proposed remedies.

    And as far as loony theories, no, Charles is clearly not a flat-earther or a creationist wearing an ID mask or a baby-eating maniac. But you’d think he was, given the vituperation he got from some folks.

    There is a valid place in science for serious, polite discussion of unusual ideas that challenge mainstream opinion. When I was working on a Ph.D. in chemistry in the early 80s, there were a couple of chemists who were getting the same kinds of viciousness about their “loony” ideas about “solvated electrons” and “amorphous semiconductors.” Despite convincing evidence, they couldn’t get published in the major journals, and the house organ of the American Chemical Society (C&E News) had letters attacking any mention of these guys, wondering why anybody was giving print space to the wacko theories of these nutjobs.

    Well, the nutjobs were right. Now, solvated electrons and amorphous semiconductors are mainstream concepts in chemistry.

    So I appreciate Charles challenging my opinion of WalMart as utterly oppressive to its workers. Heck, he’s worked there, and I never have, so what do I know? (I still think they need to be unionized, though.)

  73. @frdryk:62

    Wht’s bn sttld? Glbl wrmng? r glbl wrmng chfly ttrbtbl t hmns?

    Th frmr, ys, s prtty mch gvn. Mst clmt scntsts bgn ccptng glbl wrmng snc th rly ’80’s.

    Hwvr, snc n 1980 thr ws prcs lttl n th wy f pr rvwd stds tht shwd th wrmng s nthrpgnc n cs, ny f yr prs wh cnsdrd tht spct f t sttld wld hv bn smply spcltng. Y’v nvr mt clmt scntst wh ddn’t blv th nthrpgnc-cs ss ws “sttld” n 1980???

    pv hv n ths dscssns s th lck f dstnctn btwn th tw cncpts–mst ppl ndrstnd tht th glbl clmt pttrn s twrd wrmng–th dbt s bt wht s csng t. nd tht’s nt “sttld” vn nw…mch lss n 1980.

  74. I was dismayed by the anger response from two of the people involved, which made me wonder what else I might say that would trigger a similar reaction. Since I couldn’t predict it, and I didn’t want to provoke it, and I didn’t want to start censoring myself, it was easiest to stop.

    First of all, thanks to Charles for following up in this thread.

    That said, what makes me disappointed in this situation is that the hostilities of a few stifled what was interesting (or at least innocuous) to everyone else.

    I find this to be something of a tragedy on the World Wide Web where people can choose to ignore the things they don’t like (including being flamed), but I can’t do the inverse and read the things Charles will now never post.

    I very much appreciated Stimulus Details, Life at Wal-Mart, and Cryonics 1 & 2, and Strange Realm of the Infra-Red 1, 2, & 3.

    @24 Talia

    Erm. When did realism = blind loyalty?

    Science is a model (i.e. interpretation) of reality, not reality itself. What makes science so powerful, though, is its tentative nature. c.f. philosophy of science

  75. @71 Gd pnt bt th smlrty btwn glbl wrmng nd Pscl’s Wgr. f w’r nt csng t, t’s nt sch bg dl s lng s th plnt rmns sffcntly hsptbl t hmns. Bt f w r, th cnsqncs my b svr: r w kllng rslvs ff?

  76. I don’t care where Platt was on the issue of global warming. I’m glad he’s not posting anymore because I really got annoyed at having multiple posts about the same fracking subject spaced minutes apart clogging up my feeder reader in the morning.

    Don’t care if you think global warming is a myth. Do care if you spam posts. (And yes, the response posts were equally annoying. Global warming is not a wonderful thing, nor does it need a directory.)

  77. Tl, (#73)

    Th pnt md by 78 sn’t nrsnbl. n gnrl, f hypthss hs std fr lng tm t s mr lkly t b crrct. n ths cs, vltn s n vrrchng thry wth brd xplntry pwr tht fts nt gnrl frmwrk f mny dffrnt rs f scnc. n tht rgrd, t s mch brdr ntn thn nthrgnc wrmng. f nthrgnc wrmng s nt ccrrng t mns tht thr r srs prblms wth n brnch f scnc. f vltn trns t t b fls t mns thr r mssv prblms wth hw w’v bn dng mny dffrnt brnchs f scnc. Cmprng Chrls’s glbl wrmng psts t nt-vltn psts s t bst nfr.

  78. @dnyl 84: th frst pblshd scntfc rtcl n glbl wrmng ws dn by rrhns n 1896: “n th nflnc f Crbnc cd n th r pn
    th Tmprtr f th Grnd” n Th Lndn, dnbrgh, nd Dbln Phlsphcl Mgzn nd Jrnl f Scnc, prl 1896, vl 41, pp. 237-275. Th ncrs f C2 n th tmsphr hd bn wll dcmntd by 1976 (C.D. Klng, R.B. Bcstw, .. Bnbrdg, C.. kdhl, P.R. Gnthr, nd L.S. Wtrmn, tmsphrc crbn dxd vrtns t Mn L bsrvtry, Hw, Tlls, vl. 28, 538-551, 1976). t’s prtty sy t clclt hw mch C2 w brn yr, nd t vrfy tht th C2 grwth rt s cnsstnt wth th mnt f C2 w brn. Scnc nvr prts n crtnts; t prts n lklyhds, nd by 1980 s ws clr tht w wr lkly drvng glbl wrmng–t lst t clmt scntsts.

    Nw, wht w d bt ths s smthng w cn ll dscss nd rg bt. Bt frm scntfc prspctv, t’s prtty clr tht nthrpgnc wrmng s hppnng.

  79. @87 chnmstGd pnt bt th smlrty btwn glbl wrmng nd Pscl’s Wgr. f w’r nt csng t, t’s nt sch bg dl s lng s th plnt rmns sffcntly hsptbl t hmns. Bt f w r, th cnsqncs my b svr: r w kllng rslvs ff?< hrf="http://n.wkpd.rg/wk/pprtnty_cst" rl="nfllw">pprtnty cst s btch. Wht cld w hv dn wth ll f th rsrcs w nstd “wstd” n glbl wrmng f smhw w’r wrng bt t?

    Mr ppl wll hv strvd, gn hmlss, dd f dss, hd rdcd ccss t dctn nd < hrf="" rl="nfllw">tls fr thght, nd s n.

  80. (hint Wikipedia is your friend. So is your local 9th grader)

    Demanding more rigorous facts from someone and then suggesting wikipedia? Really?

    This is not helping.

    The “how dare you!” approach to someone taking a differing, and when it comes to climate change I believe incorrect, tacit leads to orthodoxy. This benefits no one.

    Some of the more elegant arguments for atheism come from people who intimately understand theology and dogma.

  81. @Skygzr:

    t’s th D-lk nhrnt dstrst f scntfc cnsnss tht css ppl t mk th cnnctn btwn D fllwrs & glbl wrmng skptcs.

    Nm rsks hs rgd n mltpl pprs tht thr s cnsnss n clmt chng. Ths s n f hr shrtr rtcls:


    Now, if you want to argue against believing in scientific consensus (*if* it is argued reasonably) then that’s a more general argument that is best done in different arena… one unburdened with the emotional baggage of the climate change debate, etc.

    I’m sure many people on here love to read about Loren Coleman’s cryptozoology work, even if it goes against the prevailing disbelief in most of the things he researches.

  82. Side note to Wiggy: I hang here a bit when I’m not busy blowing up tube amps, and especially when I am.
    See you @ Grumpy’s on 2/21?
    P.S. re Takuan: When the claws are waving, keep an eye on the tail. Caught me with that trick once.

  83. # 92: nd f w d nthng bt mdtng hmn ffcts pn glbl wrmng, nd n th nd t ds mk th plnt nhsptbl t hmn cvlztn (nd thrfr, t th dctn, thght, tc. tht g lng wth sd cvlztn), thn wht? sn’t tht n vn hghr prc?

  84. I read his post on Wal*Mart. I laughed and laughed at his ability to draw conclusions from a single anecdotal event, one that came with significant observer bias to boot.

    I read his link to the gentleman who made his way up from food stamps in just a jiffy. I laughed and laughed at his ability to draw conclusions from a single anecdotal event, one that came with significant observer bias to boot.

    I saw he was posting on climate change, and remembered the two points above and moved on.

  85. #69 Charles Platt:
    I was referring to your sneaky union busting post. Citing the intro section @ :
    “My aim is not to provoke dissent; I simply feel that some stories are not being told.”

    But your aim OBVIOUSLY was to provoke dissent through a cheap-shot-o-rama post. Reread the comments there again, please. Mean intent shines through in every part of that post.

    Ok, I’m angering up here so I’d better stop and comment no further. I’ll keep reading the comments though so I will read and aim to consider any reply you post with an open mind.

  86. Mgfarelly, my point in commenting about Wikipedia was simply in regard as to how easily he could have checked his conceptions about insect biology. Obviously, it isn’t a good idea to rely on Wikipedia but if one thinks X and Wikipedia says ~Z (or in this case if one thinks that insects generally have a pair of wings and Wikipedia says they have 2) then it might be a sign that one should go look in more detail. Since the Wikipedia article on insect wings has helpful external links to websites on insects made by major universities it wouldn’t take that much effort to verify that Wikipedia in this case knows what it is talking about. Charles didn’t even bother with this minimal level of fact-checking.

  87. So long and thanks for all the crummy posts. It was nice to be reminded that hidebound fossils like you still exist to spread your crappy ideas to the next generation. In particular, the amount of (white, male) privilege and ignorance displayed in the post about working at Walmart was overwhelming.

    1. Funnily enough, there were about twenty posts about climate change in the last couple of days. They are all still open for business.

  88. #99:

    Eh? I just reread the walmart post, and I dont see the meanness you speak of. It was fairly derisive of Barbara Ehrenreich, but I would hardly call it a cheap-shot-o-rama by any stretch of the definition.

  89. Some people just don’t like their thoughts to be challenged, I guess. Mr. Platt, I enjoyed your thought provoking posts which echoed my own insecurities about accepting climate change as canon, and other such posts.

    I wish you all the best!

  90. Where the hell did I put those goggles. Always find goggles before walking into a shit storm. What the hell is going on here? How the hell can people be getting themselves disemvoweled in a thread that should be full of gracious thank yous?

    Thanks for the wonderful posts. Please come again.
    Take Care

    Please feel free to cut and paste.

  91. First there was last year’s Xeni/Violet Blue unpublishing controversy, now there’s a flame war over the permissibility of questioning global warming. I feel like BoingBoing has become a giant high school clique.

  92. I didn’t comment much when Mr. Platt was at the guest chair. I appreciate how he’s stuck a pointy stick into the collective Boing Boing beehive – and that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned whether I agree with him or not. Truly, this community is not the same after him. I enjoyed both the Arizona posts – somehow an ideal place in my mind, and the IR photography. I’m an unabashed leftist and do not agree with much of what he said about Wallmart and his views on global climate change are precarious at best, but I’m glad he was here! He made us all think. This is why I read Boing Boing!

  93. #109

    Its the nature of the internet. there’s nothing particularly special about BB commenters; its just a whole buncha people like any other forum.. various temperments, various opinions, and in many cases a driving need to always be right, all the time. ;)

  94. #92 and my own #98:

    I’ve re-envoweled my own post and moved it to this thread: (thanks, Echonomist).

    I would appreciate it if the mods would demonstrate some evenhandedness and disemvowel ALL the GW-related posts on this *this* thread if they’re going to disemvowel some of them. At least the appearance of treating newer people no differently than the veterans would be nice. (IOW, since you zapped me at #98, would it be too much trouble to zap #92, since that is what I was responding to and it also addresses that same topic which you do not wish discussed here?)

      1. ArghMonkey,

        I’ve unpublished your lengthy comment for the reasons stated in several places in this thread. If you want the text so that you can post it in an appropriate thread on climate change, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. If you promise not to use all that bold.

  95. Jesus, isn’t it obvious, people?!

    He was forced out after scoffing at the mod’s fetishism over over-complicating simple technology. An LED binary watch?? Wake up people!

  96. I feel like BoingBoing has become a giant high school clique.

    In the immortal words of my high school chemistry teacher, on the occasion of my disgust at my peers:

    “Dear girl, look around you. Do you see the people you spend time with? Do you marvel at their monkey-like behavior, and recoil at the betrayal, the spite, the hatred?” “Yes, sir. Will it always be like this?” “I remind you that you attend advanced classes in an advanced school.” “Yes, sir.” “The real world is worse.”

    “So I am forever trapped in high school?”

    “No. You are forever trapped on the set of Jerry Springer.”

    (Moderately paraphrased.)

  97. I just wanted to add that Charles Platt totally succeeds in the Andy Warhol category:

    Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.

    As for my post @92, I didn’t see the warning until the bold repeat @94 but the warning was a totally valid point. Rehashing that passionate debate in every post by Charles is unproductive. If it was disemvoweled I wouldn’t be surprised; actually I wish I could just move it to


    Side note to Wiggy: I hang here a bit when I’m not busy blowing up tube amps, and especially when I am.

    Good fun when you can find it, eh?

    See you @ Grumpy’s on 2/21?

    I regret to say ‘no’, and I hope he does not take it as a slight, because I don’t mean it that way, but he’s a smoker and I used to be one. If his house fills up with smoke like it has before, I’ll suffer. Not his problem, mine. Please send my sincere regards.

    P.S. re Takuan: When the claws are waving, keep an eye on the tail. Caught me with that trick once.

    I appreciate the warning. My website was just crasshed by someone from IP who had a referrer value of here. I get it, I get it. I will be a meek little kitten from here on in.

  99. I don’t mind the controversy. Just wish his posts had been more substantive/less hit and run and that he’d answered the hard questions.

  100. It seemed pretty straightforward to me; Charles has a strong emotional attachment to some ideas not well supported by the available evidence, an attachment which causes him to internally de-emphasize information which tends to disagree with his position, and emphasize information which agrees with his position. So he comes here and encounters a bunch of people with a strong emotional attachment to an idea that happens to be well supported by the available evidence, and the whole emphasis/de-emphasis process has raised it from “this is almost certainly scientific fact” to “this is unassailable gospel” in their minds. So they do what all of us glorified primates do when confronted by the Other; they became angry, they fought against it.

    It’s how we’re wired. Look at any conflict about anything anywhere, and you’ll see the same patterns being repeated over and over and over. It’s tribalism. Or pre-tribalism, really. There’s no reason for reasonable people to get all worked up over a discussion of the merits of the scientific interpretation of a bunch of data that most of them don’t understand anyway, but there aren’t any reasonable people; all of us view reality through the filter of our emotionally-supported preconceptions.

    Boing Boing is a place full of smart, literate, reasonableish people, so the level of discourse was higher than it might have been elsewhere, but what drove the whole controversy is the same thing that’s always driven everything everywhere since the beginning of history.

    Anywyay, I’ll miss Charles; I didn’t agree with the global warming posts, but I did like his stuff on Arizona. I wish him luck, and also propose that future guest bloggers be required to provide free pie to smooth over any controversy in advance.

  101. For the record, we didn’t suggest that Platt stop posting. And I had absolutely no problem with him posting a dissenting or unpopular view on anything. That said, I do agree with the folks above who didn’t really care for his multiple posts one after another on the same topic.

  102. Mr. Platt,

    I think the issue some readers had with your postings on climate change were in part motivated by your approach – posting four rather polemic blog posts in a row on the same subject, and with problematic sourcing. A suggestion when it comes to prose style: whenever someone refers to “credentialed scientists,” it is immediately obvious to those of us who are scientists or work closely with scientists that the author knows very little about how science works; the phrase is a marker of anti-intellectual argumentum ad verecundiam, and suggests that science is about what authoritative scientists have to say, rather than what the scientific literature has established. Five years ago, the same people you wrote about were claiming that global warming (not just anthropogenic global warming, but global warming tout court) was a myth; now they are trying to save the phenomena by saying “yes, the Earth is warming, but not because of carbon.” Claims like that Mars is warming “in lockstep” are also signs of someone who doesn’t understand the real nature of the evidence (last I checked, we don’t have ice cores, dendrochronology, or historical records for the temperatures on Mars, but only a very coarse record from geological traces, and coarse versus fine is never “in lockstep”).

    Likewise, when someone uses argumentum ad hominem, it’s hard to accept their arguments at face value. For an example, the author you quoted who argues that we should not accept the theory of anthropogenic global warming because Al Gore has a conflict of interest – well, that may or may not be true, but it’s also true that a lot of the people you were citing were funded by big oil; that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong, it just means we have to pay close attention to the methodologies of data collection and analysis (and it’s also important to remember that Al Gore did not write the scientific papers that we really need to evaluate to determine if anthropogenic global warming is occurring, he is merely a popularizer).

    Basically, you spread a monologue critique of climate change theory over four postings, one filled with arguments made in less than complete good faith (whether because you don’t understand how science works, or you are more interested in scoring political points than in discussing a genuine scientific controversy which can be argued from the merits – but not by citing a bunch of trade books partially funded by political action committees – whether the books you were citing, or Mr. Gore’s book), and then complained when Cory Doctorow responded at the same length in the same number of postings in opposition that he was “shouting you down.”

    You started it, too bad you couldn’t handle the finish.

  103. WOW. Nothing like a good old fashioned lynching, eh?

    The politics of BB are no prettier than those of a highschool clique of girls or the US Senate.

    Such is the human condition. Fragile and insecure are among the colors we paint with. Thankfully not the only ones!
    Rock On!

  104. I am sorry to see you go early, Charles. Like many have said already, I may not have agreed with everything you said but your posts were thought provoking and intelligent, something I think BoingBoing used to be known for.

    In some ways I can honestly say I am a little bit sad you came in the first place, not because of anything you posted or said but because of the puerile and guileful attitudes you brought out here. I have been a big fan of BoingBoing for many years now and I can honestly say that I am sad and disappointed that I am now questioning future visits back. I guess to some extent I would rather have read on in ignorance, but what has been uncovered cannot simply be re-sheathed.

  105. Toadthetoad:

    Would you be less likely to question future visits if you knew that pie would be provided, at no charge to you?

  106. @Charles Platt

    I addressed your question from this thread but posted it in heresy 2.

    If ur wondering why its there ask Antinous …

  107. @127 Boingboing isn’t too bad as long as you ignore the comments and the posts you don’t like.

  108. “just between you and me; how much of your posting selections were designed to prod buttock with malignant intent aforethought, to make people think, and how much was just kicking the beehive?”

    I prefaced my posts with the reason for them: I feel some topics receive insufficient serious exposure. This is why I wrote about climate change, also why I wrote in favor of Wal-Mart, also why I wrote a column some time ago about a Texas prisoner. When given an opportunity to communicate with a lot of people, I think it makes sense to choose some themes which seem neglected.

    The difference seems to be that some people get much angrier about skepticism to climate change.

  109. My only real issue with Charles was his playing “Skeptic” to the supposed “Orthodoxy” of climate science, ignoring the difference between what supports peer-reviewed science (experiment, verification, reproducibility) and what support other Orthodox traditions (the word of someone more powerful than you, period).

    It’s a distinction with a huge difference. It’s the basis for the “modern” world.

    And, thank you Charles. It *was* interesting.

  110. Dear “Boing Boing has become so _________”ers (including, but not limited to, Cholling)–

    A valuable model I’ve observed at unconferences is based on what they call the “two feet” rule; it’s essentially that if you’re sitting in on a session/talk/presentation/whatever and you don’t care for it, walk out and go somewhere you want to be. I can see how sometimes people would be embarrassed to just stand up in the middle of another’s impassioned spiel and leave, but on the Internet no one will miss you.

    Boing Boing maintains no pretense of aloofness, and Charles was no exception. I respect that the mods and guests can take their admiration with their obloquy and keep coming back, and that sometimes they are honestly moved to respond.

    Charles, I won’t bother to point out here where you and I agree or disagree, but over the past several days you’ve forced me to consider why I believe the things I do. I don’t tend to get out much, and I avoid discussing issues like labor and climate change online for what I think are obvious reasons, but I found your posts entirely in line with the site’s content in the sense that you cared about what you were posting and were compelled to share it with other people.

    An argument is rarely going to be impeccable, so it doesn’t really bother me when I find someone’s reasoning or knowledge inconsistent with my own or somehow lacking, nor do I find these sufficient to believe my argument stands intact.

    Finally, I find it in poor taste to lambaste somebody for failing to report what I do in the way I would do so, and whether said lambasting is par for that particular course doesn’t vindicate it.

  111. @125: “I do agree with the folks above who didn’t really care for his multiple posts one after another on the same topic.

    Much like the infinite TED2009 posts now clogging BB?


    Permit me to repeat myself.

    This is not a thread on global warming.

    Was that a global warning?

  113. Regarding four posts in a row on the same topic:

    I had no idea that this was a taboo. I had already done four posts in a row on the Motorola Museum, four posts in a row on Arizona, four posts in a row on aspects of Japan, and four posts in a row on infra-red photography. No one complained. On the contrary, the comments were favorable.

    I figured it would be interesting to explore a topic from several different directions each day. I was told that the absolute maximum for guest bloggers would be ten posts in a day, but no one told me to diversify.

    It’s true that the climate change posts were not separated by other people’s posts. I uploaded them in relatively quick succession because I knew I wouldn’t have time to post the next day.

    1. Regarding four posts in a row on the same topic

      It was a bit problematic because it created four simultaneous conversations on more-or-less the same topic. And that encouraged people to make more-or-less the same comment in four simultaneous threads. I think that ended up exacerbating tensions. We never had it happen before, so we didn’t know that there might be a problem.

  114. “rules? in a knife fight?”

    *sigh*,I miss the good old days when we would have gang bangs instead of lynchings.


  115. For those who read only the bottom of the thread: I will reiterate what Mark said, what David said, and what I previously said. No one asked me to stop guest-blogging here.

  116. @132, Dear Charles: thank you for your reply,and when I ascend to the Papacy I have decided to burn you last.

    It’ud be nice if you reassured those of us here that still have manners that you haven’t taken offense to heart from the more enthusiastic critics of what you presented.

  117. boingboing is no place for a fair debate. The comments section is not designed as a forum. It is a blog. It is about the expressions of its owners.

    To their credit, the “management” uses disemvowelling, invented by a boingboing moderator. However posts are also deleted.

    I believe there is an attempt to be fair. But, from what little I have seen, I fear that what I have not seen tells a story.

    If a commenter toes the line, she can be boorish, shrill, redundant, inarticulate, insulting, gratuitous, etc. in her effort to be heard. But if he is contradictory, he is best advised to keep his composition fresh and clear of any likeness to said.

    boingboing has a responsibility to the readership to keep the signal-to-noise ratio at least marginally tolerable. Readers don’t, or shouldn’t, have all afternoon.

    But what gets cut along with everything readers shouldn’t have to sort? Everything one might listen through at a city council meeting because it’s preferable to the the argument about the speaker’s civil rights that would ensue were she to be told the point has been made already?

    Where is the line between censorship and lowering the garbage level enough to stay readable? No one is impartial no matter how hard they try. Everyone knows some of the list of histories geniuses by those who first heard their ideas.

    The question itself may be why freedom of speech, the real and unqualified lack of any reprisal or any reason to fear reprisal to one’s speech, does not exist on the Internet.

    Does a blog even count? There can’t be more than one definition of free speech or the original version, the version that teaches what freedom of speech really is, will be lost in confusion.

    Absolute precedents don’t seem to survive human volition. But measures intended to be fair should be transparent.

    boingboing should institute a comment purgatory, a 72 hour board indexed chronologically where all removed posts exists before expiring into deleted posts. A reader could then be assured on the theory that some in the throng are reading the death row board occasionally.

  118. Just saw this from moderator:

    “As moderators, we generally intervene less in the threads of guest bloggers because we don’t know their preferences for how they want to engage critics”

    This is very interesting, since it may imply that each of the primary BB bloggers may have different guidelines for moderation. If so, that seems quite legitimate to me, since it is their site; but, it had not occurred to me in the past.

    Personally (without meaning offense to the moderator, who is trying to do a fair job) I would always prefer no moderating. I used to hang out on Usenet, in the alt groups, back in the day, you know?

    Of course these days one does have to worry about defamation. But I doubt that much moderation is related to that.

  119. I’ve been somewhat disappointed with the insults, as well.

    They are, however, understandable. Mr. Platt did not respond to most of the specific questions of the BoingBoing community. When you post something wildly controversial, you should be prepared, at least, to offer further explanation about your views, or the reason you are posting it.

    Posting a flurry on controversial topics is bad form because you will get attention to controversial topic regardless, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to follow the resulting hubbub. Japan and Arizona don’t require following a long, controversial comment thread.

    It’s been interesting, Mr. Platt! Consider the beehive poked. Your poke will probably prompt a lot more attention to evidence of global warming, and its potential consequences, on this blog.

  120. Re: #141 Sorry, looks like I missed something during the preview.

    erratum: No moderator is impartial no matter how hard s/he tries. We all know some part of the list of history’s geniuses thought to be idiots and dunces by those who first heard their ideas.

  121. Toadthetoad:

    Based upon this no-doubt authoritative sample, it is clear that the readership of Boing Boing clamors for pie. The masses have spoken! Open the piegates that we may gorge ourselves, one and all!

    For the record, we didn’t suggest that Platt stop posting. And I had absolutely no problem with him posting a dissenting or unpopular view on anything. That said, I do agree with the folks above who didn’t really care for his multiple posts one after another on the same topic.

    Uh oh! David’s throwing the gauntlet at Mark for the TED splurge! And Cory for Little Brother binges!

    Fight! Fight! Fight!

  123. Charles @137, I don’t think that four posts in a row on the same topic is “taboo.” And nobody told you not to do it because there’s no “rule” against it. I was just expressing that it didn’t usually work for me personally because I prefer odd juxtapositions and random jumps between subjects when I read BB. Just the preference of a reader (who also happens to be a writer), not a requirement.

  124. Charles Platt, thanks for shaking things a bit.
    People, lets not make a drama out of it. When you write something controvertial, people will answer. No one should be surprised.
    People should not write just to amuse everyone, at least not on BoingBoing: the must wonderful thing is when someone manages to make you think. Disagreement often does this. Lets have more disagreement!

  125. I, for one, would have enjoyed seeing Mr. Platt defend his controversial posts from time to time instead of disappearing when questions were posed he obviously didn’t want to answer.

    Looks like this isn’t going to happen. Oh well. Not really surprised.

  126. Thanks Charles. I really enjoyed your contributions; it gave boingboing more dimension. I have marked your link at makezine for further reading.

  127. BTW, I also found it surprising to see him buried in reply posts by Cory. It seemed like a desperate attempt to push him off the page; interesting to see what makes the unshakable nervous.

  128. Charles,

    Unless the “anger response from two of the people involved” was in the form of nasty personal attacks behind the scenes, I’m still not sure what why you stopped blogging.

    The imminent threat of human-caused climate change, whether or not it truly exists, isn’t something that’s merely the concern of the majority of BB readers, it’s a widely held concern of the vast majority of modern civilization (there are a few dissenters, but they are widely seen as being on the fringe, as I’m sure you know).

    This doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily true (majorities are often wrong, and science has been proven wrong on previous occasions), but that you should have expected the exact reception that you got. In fact, I’m guessing that you went into this relishing the idea of posting iconoclastic material and stoking a heated reaction (I’ll give those Wal-Mart-hating liberals something to think about!).

    So what happened? Did you really underestimate the extent to which most people here generally despise Wal-Mart or fear the effects of climate change? I find that hard to believe. I admire your independence of thought (even if I disagree with your many of your conclusions), and your willingness to say what is unpopular, but if you’re going to be advancing ideas that are contrary to the rest of modern civilization — well, dude, you’re going to need some much thicker skin.

  129. C208B@162 – What makes the unshakable nervous? Ignorance and gullibility posing as reasoned doubt and thoughtful skepticism; the habitual and proud mistaking of the plural of anecdote for data; and having a popular online platform used to throw a little bit more needless confusion into the minds of a largely scientifically illiterate populace concerning a subject that’s literally a matter of global life and death. It would irk me tremendously if I were a founder of one of the most popular blogs on teh interwebs & I woke up one morning to find a guest had published a bunch of dangerous drivel under my masthead. But hey, maybe that’s just me…

  130. Huh. Been busy this week, so missed much of Platt’s posting (and resulting conversations). This thread caught my interest, and I’ve just spent entirely too much time going back and reading through the various threads (mostly the global warming and Wal-Mart topics). The overwhelming takeaway? You picked up a third-rate (and that’s being generous) guest blogger. Not only are his ideas unsupported and reactionary, but his naked refusal to engage the resulting criticisms in any meaningful way (seriously, did he answer a single pointed question in the Wal-Mart thread?) was pathetic.

    Next time Mark suggests a guest blogger, guys, look a little closer.

  131. JasonL@163 – Agreed. Announcing he’s leaving two days early just makes the dude look petulant and childish. In a very Cartman-ish, “Screw you guys, I’m going home” kinda way. If he actually thought any of his positions had real merit, why would he run away so very, very, very quickly, all castigated-like? Odd.

  132. On the exit of our most gracious guest blogger, Mr. Charles Platt, his prior postings, the reception accorded thereof, and the nature of discourse within the realm of BoingBoing.

    Was it inappropriate for Mr. Platt to be invited to contribute to BoingBoing?

    Of course not, his postings are well within the scope of topics frequently discussed here. More-so, it would entirely defeat the purpose of inviting guest bloggers if their opinions conformed too closely with the beliefs and interests of the Council of Five Boingers. After all, we already know what *they* think.

    Did he exploit the opportunity by posting controversial comments through motives disingenuous or nefarious?

    I think not. While I strongly disagree with his viewpoints on some topics, I feel he was sincere in his beliefs and wished only to bring them to public discourse.

    Was the response to such postings beyond all good taste and reflect an insular society of bestial, degraded intellects?

    Perish the thought! I am sure Mr. Platt knew he was presenting topics that would draw a fierce response and stepped into the fray with robust intent. That being said, one must acknowledge that he did “throw down the gauntlet and draw his sword” and in the realm of BoingBoing such challenges will not go unanswered. There are many here who are quick to draw steel and will not desist nor sheath the blade till it is marked with blood and honor served. In the progress of such battles, there were coarse words, mighty oaths, and on some occasions a contravention of good taste by some participants. When that occured, I felt our noble “seconds” (the moderators) did yeomen’s service in keeping the discourse within bounds. We must also recognize the “high stakes” nature of the topics Mr. Platt chose; that being the welfare of our working gentlefolk and the destiny of our global climate. When such topics are brought to discussion, they will bring out the hot-blooded duelist in even the meekest participant.

    Fare-thee-well, Mr. Platt. Be of good cheer and may your opponents today be your allies tomorrow.

  133. “I, for one, would have enjoyed seeing Mr. Platt defend his controversial posts from time to time instead of disappearing when questions were posed he obviously didn’t want to answer.”

    Actually I would have been happy to answer, and did make 10 responses, also fielding a few personal emails from one of the BB quinquevirate, until I went to sleep around 2:30 AM local time. The next day I was offline for 8 hours (amazing concept but, true) and by the time I returned and saw what had happened, I was so far behind the curve, I just gave up.

  134. “Not only are his ideas unsupported and reactionary,”

    That’s the first time this adjective has ever been applied to me. I thought “reactionary” meant reacting against change. My greatest desire throughout my life has been to see faster change. Hence my enthusiasm for the mundane revolution that Wal-Mart has brought to retailing, and my belief that instead of retreating into deprivation as the answer to climate change, we should consider modifying the climate to suit our tastes, if indeed this turns out to be necessary.

  135. Bumblewang, #164 and MB, #165: We have a tie. Please confer and decide how you will be splitting the Internet.

  136. Re: Charles Platt@169 – you just gave up?

    Okay, well… thanks for admitting that, at least.

    And! – not that you should listen to the ramblings of some stray internet loon such as myself, but! – if you were to start up your own climate change blog, you could take all the time and space you wanted to elaborate on your various notions. And I gotta admit that I’d read it. As long as you had fully open comments…

  137. Re: Charles@171 – I reiterate my contention that you’d do well to start your own climate change blog & that I would read it. As probably would many others. I mean cripes, man… look at the number of comments you generate. Unprecedented levels. If you put a blog together, continued your various curious lines of inquiry, kept at it, replied in depth to commenters in new posts… that’d be a pretty interesting place to visit. I’m sure the BB crew wouldn’t mind if you were to announce the opening of such a blog here as well, which would generate a whole lotta immediate traffic.

    Anyway, just a thought.

  138. Re: Charles@171 – “That’s the first time this adjective has ever been applied to me. I thought “reactionary” meant reacting against change.”

    There’s a first time for everything… and it seems an appropriate label in this instance, as you were quite literally reacting against change – the idea/reality of human-created climate change.

    Yay semantics!

  139. @175/Bumblewang – I did the same thing. Damn, I shoulda kept it.

    @171/Charles Platt – I think reactionary fits quite well. That is surprises you surprises me. I’ve quite enjoyed some of your other stuff (even posts here – your post on the kid in jail was compelling). But this week? I’d be embarrassed.

  140. ‘Tolerance’ is not agreeing that any idea is valid. Many ideas are preposterous (Inside every human is a tiny duckling that pilots the body with a system of levers and pulleys). If someone came here arguing that, it would be tolerant of us not to insult them, call them names, or laugh at them.

    But tolerance would not require us to give them discussion time – to call together a council to discuss the matter, to have debates and counterarguments. We don’t have to write a 20 page paper disproving Duckling Theory.

    If Platt came and stirred the pot with compelling arguments, laid open the flaws in my own reasoning, and so forth, I’d respect him for it. But instead he came with half truths, incomplete thoughts, and an unwillingness to respond to inquiry, whether it was reasonable or not. I wouldn’t respect a ‘liberal’ pundit that did the same.

    Why exactly should I be saying ‘Good show!’ again?

  141. Real shame. I’ve never before seen at Boing Boing a series of posts by a guest blogger and then a series of harsh posts/replies by the staff. The “climate change” thing is getting the same rythm as the nuclear-opossing thread dictated by greenpeace in the 80’s, and I’m sure is going to be overturned in the very same way sometime in the future… it’s simply non-scientific (as the anti-nuclear-energy was in the past, by non-scientific people, as it’s currently now for this “climate change” thing). We must know the difference between “environmentalists” and real science people like climatologists (who, by the way, cannot get grants if they oppose this “climate change” thingie). But then again… not many people understands science, but they surely understands well-funded organizations driven with good marketing… shame…

    1. cniebla,

      Opponents of nuclear energy don’t argue against the existence of nuclear fission, but against public policies. Here’s a better example. Climate change denialists are comparable to those who argue that radiation isn’t harmful to living tissue. There are still some of them kicking around. Climate change denialists will be having conventions in another hundred years. As will those who claim that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. As will Creationists. And Flat Earthers. Look at you pretending to be on the side of science by making a bogus analogy.

      Odd how so many commenters will call out the economics of greenhouse gas reduction while ignoring the fact that it’s in the financial interests of virtually all of the world’s industries to sweep Anthropogenic Climate Change under the rug. When the detective says follow the money, he means follow the 99¢, not the 1¢.

  142. I’m not surprised Charles gave up. I gave up. I give up quite often on Boingboing and just click ‘mark all as read’ in My RSS reader.

    Not because the posts aren’t interesting, but because of time. Don’t look at your feeds for 8 hours (say like when you’re sleeping, or working) and see how they build up and how behind the curve you get. Just reading and commenting on Boingboing could be a full time job.* Being comment #175 will probably get me no readers or replies. Ah well.

    I scanned through the Climate change posts and realised there was nothing useful I could add. I also came away none the wiser. I’m undecided on Climate change, just as I’m undecided on an afterlife and if Britain should join the Euro. Basically because I don’t have enough information and no one has provided me with enough information/convincing argument to come down off the fence on one side or the other.

    I did enjoy watching the cat thrown amongst the Pigeons** though. (Blood sports is another subject I don’t really have an opinion on) One day, when I get the time and inclination, I might come back and give the posts and comments a proper read. At least I know where there’s a good meaty discussion on the subject.

    Thanks for posting Charles & Thanks to the Boingers for inviting you. It’s going to make drinking from the Boingboing Fire Hydrant even harder as I’ll be looking out for Mr Platts RSS feeds.

    *There’s a thought. How about reducing the number of posts and giving readers a chance to think?

    **I know you stated it wasn’t your intention Charles, but that was the result. So it goes.

  143. Charles said:

    “and my belief that instead of retreating into deprivation as the answer to climate change, we should consider modifying the climate to suit our tastes, if indeed this turns out to be necessary.”

  144. aelfscine, one question. Where did you get (from this) that Charles isn’t a liberal? Going by his statement above, that he wants change and to accelerate change, that is not a traditional conservative value.

  145. Hey Antinous – regarding your post at 183… uhh… don’t you need to disemvowel yourself now?

  146. For those of you disappointed in BB “clogging up” with multiple posts on the same topic, tired of one-sided arguments, arbitrary and capricious moderators with a clear agenda, and the length of time it takes you to get through posts, please send me your bank account numbers and PINs and I’ll make sure to refund you 100% of the free you paid to read someone else’s blog.

    Free speech and censorship are great. But this is a blog. Someone else’s blog. If you comment like an insulting asshole on someone else’s blog and they disemvowel or delete your post, that’s not censorship or a violation of free speech. It’s you being an insulting asshole.

    Not agreeing with Platt is fine. Challenging Platt’s assertions with constructive, supported arguments is fine. Calling names and being a jerk is not fine (see Bumblewang @ #166). This comment thread has really changed my view of several regular BB posters and is making me immediately dislike a couple of the brand new ones.

  147. Good bye Mr. Platt. As many above have said, I appreciated the challenge to many of my own opinions and I enjoyed the conversation — at least, until it degenerated. it might not be a fair trade but for some reason, someone wielding a phone book fulla honest to garsh scientific data while simultaneously hurling invective doesn’t earn any love from me.

    I’m still a newbie to BoingBoing but I’m disappointed to have to admit that the honeymoon is over. It appears BB is not the home of digital utopia I’d hoped for.

  148. So long, Charles. Enjoy living out your golden years through the succulence of your Wal-Mart pension and retiree health care provisions. Enjoy your sunset view of a tide that will never rise.

  149. any ferret friend can identify that second video as a variant of the “Weasel War Dance”.

    Thanks for that TNH.

  150. Chaotic, I read your post and agree. When the group-think/mindset of any culture gets questioned by an outsider the first most predictable response by the insiders is defensive. That’s just the way our tribal hardwired brains seem to work for the most part.

  151. I’m finding this whole controversy very interesting from a somewhat more meta point of view. First of all, there’s the whole issue of perceived voice: when I read a blog regularly, I “hear” posts from the regulars in certain voices that develop over time according to their choice of words and interaction with other people. For instance, when I read Teresa posting over on Making Light, I imagine a very friendly, almost maternal voice, sometimes with a lot of snark, rarely getting frustrated, but bitter and passionate when she does. Cory here on BoingBoing I’ve always heard as a sort of friendly, happy, if somewhat hyperactive… well I don’t want to say “kid” or “young adult” (for one he’s older than me and I also wouldn’t want to make this sound insulting in any way)… let’s just say there’s a strong element of youth in the voice I hear for him, but it’s always friendly, invariably fascinated by something or obsessing over something.

    When Cory posted his quick succession of rebuttals, there was a very odd breach of character in the voice I read those posts in. All of a sudden this didn’t quite sound like the Cory I’d heard before; this didn’t quite seem to make sense. Either I’d really read him wrong before, or somehow Charles’s series of posts in some way set off a side of him he’s not shown before. Basically it was a feeling of “woah, hold on a minute, what’s going on here?”

    This means that maybe what I’m doing–trying to glean personality from pure content–is a fundamentally flawed idea. Maybe I just have to upgrade my mental voice-model of Cory: probably add something like “has certain very passionately held beliefs and can become uncharacteristically angry when they are challenged in a way he perceives as unfair or baseless.”

    Secondly, Antinous mentioned something that frustrated me as well: with four posts on the same topic in such short time, the discussion became thinned out to the point where what few comments were posted were mostly repeated in some form in one of the other three threads and no real conversation about the subject at hand seemed to get off the ground. Of course, Cory posting four rebuttals in very short order did exactly the same to the other side of the discussion. Everyone here is probably sick of the topic right now, but I’d really like to have a “Anthropogenic Climate Change: The Ultimate Showdown” thread that would focus the discussion pro and contra. I think the issue is too interesting (and important, I guess!) to just let a chance to discuss it intelligently evaporate like this. For instance, I found #127 by anonymous in this thread very interesting as it seemed to suggest some more fundamental problems with the sources Charles quoted. I have neither the time nor the understanding to go through his sources and figure out for myself which of them are clearly Sponsored By Texaco (which surely is a naive way of looking at it; I think it’s been established that in some ways the big energy corps do benefit from tougher emission laws), but I am sure there are plenty of very smart people here who could do a sort of source analysis for us, who could point at and explain problems in the approaches of the things Charles quoted, etc.

    I believe (and belief is the most I can have at this stage of confusion ;P) that the discussion over anthropogenic climate change is nowhere near as clear-cut as other things that have been thrown around as insulting comparisons: we’re not talking evolution vs ID, flat-earth vs reality-based. Evolution has spawned models that made perfectly observable and correct predictions, has been recreated and studied in the lab, etc. The advantage here is that the model translates to so many scales, including very small ones where results can be observed in reasonable time. Also, evolution explains something that has no other reasonable explanation. Species have developed and continue to do so and as long as you stay within a scientific mindset there is no other explanation for what’s going on. Everything’s much more muddied in climate models. There’s no way to recreate a good enough model of the whole earth in a lab to test theories; the complexity involved here is staggering. Our data also seems to be much worse here; the time scale is so large and the further we go back the shakier our data becomes. Clearly we can’t arrive at any conclusions with just the recorded temperature data we have; we have to do all kinds of indirect measuring to figure out what the temperatures and the CO2 levels looked like millions of years ago, and while there might be reliable ways of doing that (I genuinely don’t know), the complexity of these observations is such that they will always be open for further discussion (as in: can we really trust this group of scientists that says they saw this and this in the sediment/ice cores/whatever and that this must mean the earth was at this and that temperature xy years ago).

    What I’m saying in my clumsy and convoluted way: this is a very interesting topic and deserves much more level-headed discussion and less knee-jerk reactions. I accept as very possible and even likely that there is a sufficient consensus in the scientific community; even if it’s not at the level of “yeah, evolution is real”, it might be clear enough that we can say it’s beyond reasonable doubt. But if that is so then it should be very easy to point out the problems with the books Charles mentioned. It should be as simple as “study A disagrees with book B” and “author C omits facts D, E, and F, and furthermore has been exposed as a corrupt lapdog of special interests in incidents G and H.” I guess this is what Cory was trying to do with his posts, but failing to mention exactly what source he refuted with which of his sources made the whole thing a lot more work to follow. I would go back and forth between the two series of posts and say “oh, okay, so this refutes THAT point”, but somehow I would still end up with much of the stuff Charles posted standing without comment. I’d really like to have on single thread that points out what is reasonable dissension and what is simply BS in some form. Can we have that instead of “BoingBoing is such a highschool clique omg”, please?

  152. (And rereading my post again, it may seem like I’m on the side of the deniers. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m actually very convinced that climate change IS man-made, and I also want to believe that there is absolute consensus in the scientific world about this issue, but let’s use Diax’s Rake here (too soon? ;P) and not believe something because we want to. There have been brilliant posts in the comment sections of all of Charles’s posts rebutting a lot of things. Some of them painfully. One of his sources doesn’t seem to believe Evolution is real, another source seems to be a Christian far-right think-tank, etc. If we could just collect those rebuttals in one place and allow Charles to react to them? If he still wants to play that game, that is)

  153. I appreciated your writings Mr. Platt. Some people simply can’t handle hearing a different viewpoint, so don’t take any of the criticism personally.

  154. MB said:

    but his naked refusal to engage the resulting criticisms in any meaningful way (seriously, did he answer a single pointed question in the Wal-Mart thread?) was pathetic.

    I disagree, I contend that the original poster of a BB blog entry shouldn’t feel the need to reply to comments made in response to their post. Quite the contrary – the original poster should, in my opinion, assemble the facts and present their case as strongly as possible, then let the chips fall where they may. Engaging detractors only lifts the detractor up in stature.

    Now, on rare occasions, a commenter can raise points that were missed/over-looked or even not available when the poster submitted the story – for example, a legitimate news story could later be proven false – the original poster should respond and update the posting. Or, if a commenter truely raises a point not covered in the orignal posting, perhaps the poster should respond, but in my casual observations here many times detractors are in fact “calling out” the poster for a fight, and are not really interested in a reasoned debate. Why take the bait? Better to rise above and let your ideas and argument rise or fall on it’s own.

    Anyway, that’s how I view it.

  155. I’m a little surprised at the number of commenters saying that Cory Doctorow’s follow-up posts were angry in tone.  I felt that they were surprisingly dispassionate.  He, along with the rest of the core BB writers, has worked hard to establish this blog and build its audience — Platt used that audience to air poorly reasoned, politically motivated claptrap to which most of the BB staff are opposed.  To me, it was as if Cory had let someone borrow his car to go to the store, and that person then used it for the getaway in a robbery.  A sizable audience is a powerful thing, and in my opinion a responsibility.  Allowing Platt’s ideas to go unchallenged would be an abdication of that responsibility.

    If Platt wants to support the ideologically driven opposition to science (or labor organisations, for that matter), he should do it on his own dime and with his own audience.  If those were part of the Boing Boing mission and ideology (and there is an ideology here, beyond just the links to neat stuff — check out any post on intellectual property or civil liberties if you don’t believe me), I wouldn’t be a regular reader of the site.

  156. Mr. Platt’s time here provoked a lot of interesting discussion even if (or maybe because) I didn’t agree with many of his opinions.

    Agree with the moderator that his habit of making multiple posts in quick succession on the same topic was a little off-putting, but I suppose blogging is a new enough form of mass media that we’re still hammering out some of the basic etiquette. Maybe we need a way to add new blog posts to an existing conversation so we don’t end up with multiple threads on the same topic.

    I only wish that it had been possible for Charles Platt to respond to more follow-up questions (at least the ones that were asked respectfully) but considering how many responses he generated I suppose he may be forgiven for that. Maybe next time we are lucky enough to get such a “controversial” guest blogger they can write fewer posts and spend more time engaging in the conversation.

    Best wishes, Charles.

  157. To me, Charles Platt seems like a simple-minded person (no offense). That’s okay with BB readers because they are open-minded, and always welcome a breath of fresh air. But when it comes to serious issues like climate change, one can’t tolerate simple-mindedness. I think no harm was done, like a commenter stated above, disagreement is great and makes you think!

  158. To me, Charles Platt seems like a simple-minded person..

    Then you have probably missed the forest for the trees. Or better, you have missed the contoversial for the controversy.

  159. “Then you have probably missed the forest for the trees. Or better, you have missed the contoversial for the controversy.”

    Probably. Or maybe I’m just the one who’s simple-minded… :>

    Nonetheless I agree with the anonymous poster at #100. Some of his suggestions just seem so…how could I say this…naive?

  160. I am a climate scientist and avid BB reader who until now hadn’t really dug into the comments. I think we missed an opportunity to have a real discussion about climate change. There are some really interesting things that are waiting to be discussed in an adult tone. Sadly this discussion dissolved quickly into the same old arguments and vitriol from BOTH sides.

    Charles Platt didn’t come to this discussion with a tone that was looking for constructive debate. He gave us the same laundry list of flimsy talking points that are based on bad science or misrepresentations of legitimate science.

    On the other side, people jumped at his bait and in doing so validated his belief that if this many people scream at you then you mist be on to something.

    What I appreciate about BB is the different approach to the world that is offered here. If I wanted to hear a “debate” with people simply yelling at each other, I could turn on Fox News.

    I finally want to commend Cory for his level headed and well referenced responses.

  161. DAVY:

    They (BB) handed Charles the mic and asked to have at it – you seem to feel he and his posts didn’t belong here… The BoingBoing Overlords felt differently.

  162. A global economic collapse would certainly do wonders to ease the environmental strain caused by industrial pollutants. If the global economy fails there will come a day, not long after, when nobody cares that much about the environment anymore. The most important thing on the minds of hundreds of millions of people will be, “How am I going to eat today?”

    They called Nouriel Rubini crazy. There are people going hungry in nice neighborhoods here in the States. Deny that or defend it, those people will still be fighting poverty and joblessness. Running interference for the industrial giants when it comes to climate change isn’t the worst thing our government did. The Presidents and Congress borrowed until our nation was worthless, all the while rubber stamping the outsourcing of jobs to foreign nations.

    Happy trails, Mr. Platt. Your opinion won’t feed a hungry soul, nor clothe a poor child. But neither does it make their plight worse.

  163. *sigh*

    By all means, let’s extend the hand of kindness to po’ Mr.Platt – who was only expressing his wonky, half-baked opinions on global warming and Wal-Mart. Heaven forfend that the readership call someone out on heavily slanted & outright sloppy journalism. Instead, we should show respect, even honor such amateurish balderdash. After all, showing open-mindedness & mutual co-existence towards those we disagree with is a sign of maturity.

    You know – the way Mr.Platt did when he created the Enemies of Ellison.

  164. When is somebody wrong, well, wrong?

    So if somebody comes here and trolls us, I am supposed to be grateful about the experience? Take the abuse and enjoy it ? Thanks but no thanks.

    Why people with evidence in hand about something can’t raise their voice?

    All this thread with namby pamby “thank you for trolling us” is frankly ridiculous.

    I have tolerance for people that use blind faith as their only tool to explain reality: their are beyond contempt and can be safely tolerated. But if somebody comes and throws all that pseudo science at me, darn hell I will put my point forward forcefully and angrily, peppering the facts with the necessary outburst of outrage as necessary.

    This nonsense about being cool while defending your arguments is the biggest piece of nonsense I have ever heard,

    As for this guy stopping posting here, thank goodness for that, it just grates me all this faux joviality like if an old eccentric uncle was leaving us after the last Xmas party….

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