J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 06:44:16 pm
If people have some rights even while they are on someone else's property, then we need a way to preserve those rights in the rare case that a landowner abuses them. This is no different from preserving people's rights in general in the rare case when some other person abuses them, whether that other person is on their property or the abuser and abused are both on some third party's property.

It's a creative solution to say the landowner is always right because he always gets to make all the rules on his own property, but I don't like it. Give people a trump and a few of them will abuse it.

Fortunately, no one has made the claim that the landowner is always right. So, defeating that strawman proposition doesn't do us any good.

I haven't seen you set any limit on landowner authority.

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People always have rights. That was never the question. The question is what are those rights and when may they be traded away for some advantage?

Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

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The main question in this thread has to do with limited liability. Can you partially accept a store's limited liability in order to receive a benefit? I say, yes. In fact we do it all the time.

It gets done. Maybe those rights should be determined by a free market? You trade with merchants for things like air, water, food, power, communication, and rights. In a competitive market with two or more merchants, you get whatever rights etc that you can, from whichever merchant will give you the best deal. A free market in justice!

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Suppose two reasonable people...

Stating a conclusion about people and their motives is special pleading. Give me a scenario where, on the basis of their actions, I can infer whether or not they are "reasonable people."

You brought it up.

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The big mistake everyone seems to be making is assuming that because a person can make silly or onerous rules for their own property, they will make such rules and be antisocial. That doesn't happen now; why would it happen in a freer society?

I used the word "reasonable" instead of "not antisocial". You pointed out that we can trust landowners with special rights because they won't be antisocial. I say this is pretty much the same as saying that we can trust gun owners with special rights because they won't be antisocial. Or cops.

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Give a scenario from real life, not any of your left-handed, albino pygmies with dandruff. Then we can talk. Something as simple and common as my property line example, please.

I'm not at all clear what you want from me. I say that in general we don't want to give "special" people special rights on the assumption they won't be antisocial. You say to give certain kinds of people special rights and you have not set any limits on those rights except that they end at the property line. It looks to me like it's you that might clarify your view.

A whole lot of US counties got their boundaries from travel issues. A county seat was one day's travel from anywhere in the county, and the county line naturally tended to follow waterways that were sometimes impassable. Those were the natural boundaries.

But now it makes far more sense not to split watersheds between counties. We are far more mobile, and we need to manage watersheds. The reasons have changed.

It might make sense on Ceres to assign land ownership the way we do on earth, where you get the rights to your two acres down to the center of the earth unless somebody else gets the mineral rights etc. Or maybe you should get rights to "cubic", you get the empty contents of whatever section of tunnel you own. Maybe the technology will leave it making more sense that people on the same air supply have some special bond and some common obligation. If anything goes wrong with their air while it's on your property, of course they have the right to come in and fix it quickly.

There are lots of ways the rights might go, and property lines might not be the most important thing at all.

It's your idea, and I'm pointing out things you have left unclear or things I don't like about it. You're welcome to explain it farther.

J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 07:09:14 pm

Can I presume that you've got no experience of (nor an accurate appreciation of what's involved in) peer review?

Presume what you want, but you would be wrong.

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Understanding that no matter what the AGW fraudsters did to "distort the peer-review system" (what the hell is this "more than usual" bit? any purposeful distortion of peer review is a violation of ethical standards), or how they did it (colluding with each other to arrange for themselves what is commonly called "pal review"), the fact that they did do it is enough to make every damned thing they published absolutely invalid as material to which other scientists can make reference in future.

No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.

So, which work do you decide to distrust? The work done by the particular people that you believe were caught distorting peer review? The work they touched? Or the work of everybody who got results you don't like....

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The whole idea behind the expression "peer reviewed literature" is the assurance that what's published in the proceedings of such conferences and the various referee'd periodicals has been vetted for consistency and validity.  You can use it as support for assertions of fact.  It's the good stuff.

In medicine, there's a lot of respect for periodicals like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine because the publishers of those journals have established reputations for close scrutiny of the stuff they choose to publish.

Yes, an appeal to authority based on anonymous reviewers. It has been widely abused, but it might easily do more good than harm. Once I did work that built on the work someone else had been doing some years before. In some contexts it's considered "poaching" to publish that way, but I didn't think that applied to my case. The expert I was building on was naturally one of the reviewers, and he delayed publication until after his own work, essentially the same as mine, was published and mine was not. This is not particularly uncommon, though it's cheesy.

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By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Well, see, if I found out about 3 people doing that, I'd think they lacked credibility. If I found out about 20 people doing it then those 20 would lack credibility. If I found out about 20 physicists doing it, I wouldn't decide that physicists lack credibility.

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He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 07:41:51 pm
I haven't seen you set any limit on landowner authority.

Correct. I will say, however, that with regard to liability issue (which is what this thread is about), I don't see any reason a proprietor could not disavow all liability, as long as there is a clear and unambiguous statement of such, made known to visitors who are capable of understanding it, for negligence that occurs totally within the boundaries of the property. At least that is what comes to mind off the top of my head. More conditions might need to apply, depending on the circumstances. Those things can be determined by usage and adjudications.

Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

Totally false. Show me the contract by which serfs enslaved themselves. It does not exist. Serfs were enslaved by the self-proclaimed rulers against their will. A clearer violation of the ZAP would be hard to find. Even the laws of the times usually recognized that this relationship was in no way voluntary. In some places (England?) if a serf could escape to the city and stay free for a year and a day, he was declared a free man under law.

It gets done. Maybe those rights should be determined by a free market? You trade with merchants for things like air, water, food, power, communication, and rights. In a competitive market with two or more merchants, you get whatever rights etc that you can, from whichever merchant will give you the best deal. A free market in justice!

What you are discussing are not "rights." Rights are innate. Your examples are more correctly called, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc. Merchants do not give you rights. You already have those. What a merchant can give you are said, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc.

Words have meaning. In general,* you have no right to enter another's property. If an owner lets you in, it is he who is giving up his right--at least temporarily and conditionally--to keep you out. Permission is is revocable.  In so doing, though, he has the right to set rules and exclude people who do not follow them.

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You pointed out that we can trust landowners with special rights...

Stop right there. I said nothing about "special rights." Everyone has the same rights. Nobody gets more rights or special rights. Words have meaning. Unless I had a stroke, I am certain I never said "special rights." Why? Because there is no such thing. When I said what I said, you chose to substitute your words for mine and proceeded to discuss your words as though they were mine. Bad poster! No attaboy!

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A whole lot of US counties got their boundaries from travel issues...

I'm sorry, you have exceed your focus limit. Please deposit another post to continue.

* To simplify things, what I am giving is black letter law. As noted before, there are alway special cases for which the common law has to expand beyond the basic black letter law. These are not exceptions, they are clarifications of the principles behind the black letter law.

SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 07:53:22 pm
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He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

I thought his name was Tucci. It is in his handle. If that is not his name, you are right, he should say what he wants to be called. Thanks for saying so. I believe you see I am trying to reduce the animus. Until he gives an alternative, I see nothing wrong with Tucci, the handle he picked for himself. Mutual respect is what I am offering and all that I ask.

J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:03:34 pm
I haven't seen you set any limit on landowner authority.

Correct. I will say, however, that with regard to liability issue (which is what this thread is about), I don't see any reason a proprietor could not disavow all liability, as long as there is a clear and unambiguous statement of such, made known to visitors who are capable of understanding it, for negligence that occurs totally within the boundaries of the property. At least that is what comes to mind off the top of my head. More conditions might need to apply, depending on the circumstances. Those things can be determined by usage and adjudications.

Yes. I think more conditions need to apply.

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Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

Totally false. Show me the contract by which serfs enslaved themselves. It does not exist. Serfs were enslaved by the self-proclaimed rulers against their will. A clearer violation of the ZAP would be hard to find. Even the laws of the times usually recognized that this relationship was in no way voluntary. In some places (England?) if a serf could escape to the city and stay free for a year and a day, he was declared a free man under law.

There was a late ruling about "year and a day". My understanding is that this was not until the feudal system was already cracking, with cities that needed people.

I agree there was no written contract, but of course mostly serfs could not read. There were customs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom#Becoming_a_serf
The ceremony this link describes looks rather like a verbal contract to me. Serfs had specific rights and specifid duties.

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It gets done. Maybe those rights should be determined by a free market? You trade with merchants for things like air, water, food, power, communication, and rights. In a competitive market with two or more merchants, you get whatever rights etc that you can, from whichever merchant will give you the best deal. A free market in justice!

What you are discussing are not "rights." Rights are innate.

Words have meaning. What operational meaning should we assign to innate rights? They are not in force unless agreed or enforced. What is the difference between an innate right that is not enforced, versus a privilege which is in practice granted? Operationally, it seems to me that the difference is that you actually do have the privilege and you do not in practice have the right.

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Your examples are more correctly called, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc. Merchants do not give you rights. You already have those. What a merchant can give you are said, licenses, permissions, easements, privileges, etc.

Words have meaning. In general,* you have no right to enter another's property. If an owner lets you in, it is he who is giving up his right--at least temporarily and conditionally--to keep you out. Permission is is revocable.  In so doing, though, he has the right to set rules and exclude people who do not follow them.

So, do you give up your rights when you are invited onto someone else's property? Or is it only that if they don't like what you do they have the right to tell you to go away?

J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:08:07 pm
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He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

I thought his name was Tucci. It is in his handle. If that is not his name, you are right, he should say what he wants to be called. Thanks for saying so. I believe you see I am trying to reduce the animus. Until he gives an alternative, I see nothing wrong with Tucci, the handle he picked for himself. Mutual respect is what I am offering and all that I ask.

You made a typo and he took offense.

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Henceforth, I will simply refer to Tucci as "Tucc"i and drop my personal assessments, sarcasm, etc.

quadibloc on May 14, 2011, 08:09:03 pm
Stop right there. I said nothing about "special rights." Everyone has the same rights. Nobody gets more rights or special rights. Words have meaning. Unless I had a stroke, I am certain I never said "special rights." Why? Because there is no such thing. When I said what I said, you chose to substitute your words for mine and proceeded to discuss your words as though they were mine. Bad poster! No attaboy!
Now, now. His mistake was perfectly understandable.

While everyone would have the same rights, in the sense of the law being the same for everyone, obviously if some people were homeowners, and other people were renters, in a polity where a man's owned home is his castle, in practice the landowners do enjoy a different situation. (In the light of the magnitude of his (alleged?) misdeeds, I can't quite bring myself to loudly cheer the fact that apparently Osama bin Laden didn't beat any of his wives in the privacy of Abbottabad...)

He used a natural phrase to describe this difference in practical situation - even if it was one that did imply something very contrary to what you would be willing to advocate. People are so confused by the strange conventional situation we live in that his error was likely innocent rather than malicious.

J Thomas on May 14, 2011, 08:15:31 pm
It might make sense on Ceres to assign land ownership the way we do on earth, where you get the rights to your two acres down to the center of the earth unless somebody else gets the mineral rights etc. Or maybe you should get rights to "cubic", you get the empty contents of whatever section of tunnel you own. Maybe the technology will leave it making more sense that people on the same air supply have some special bond and some common obligation. If anything goes wrong with their air while it's on your property, of course they have the right to come in and fix it quickly.

There are lots of ways the rights might go, and property lines might not be the most important thing at all.

Still, it might turn out practical to divide things up with property lines, and give each landowner absolute authority over everything that happens on his own land. That might work. And maybe that's what people will want to do.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 08:22:24 pm by J Thomas »

quadibloc on May 14, 2011, 08:24:33 pm
You made a typo and he took offense.
Oh, come on now. We all know that when he was typing "Tucci" on his computer, instead of pronouncing it Tucchi in his head, he was pronouncing it Tusshi...  :)

Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 08:33:14 pm
By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Now, it certainly is true that a lot of papers get published based on highly speculative computer models that keep saying different things about what the climate will be like in five or ten years. If these papers were all claiming that the climate in five or ten years really would be exactly like they predicted, plus or minus 5%, then indeed one could say that anyone who supports the AGW view is getting a free pass on peer review - because those papers are contradicting one another that obviously most of them would have to be nonsense.

But that is not happening. While those papers about climate models are getting published, because they contain useful information for other people working on climate models, they do not make exaggerated claims about their likely accuracy.

I hadn't brought up the matter of computer simulations - models - but when we keep in mind that those are also deceitfully cooked by the "climatologist" fraudsters.... 

Well, do you really want to go there?  At best, even honest computer models can only be extrapolations of the assumptions built into them. What assumptions were the AGW pimps building into their computer simulations?

The AGW cabal strove for years (even going so far as to criminally violate the freedom of information act [FOIA] provisions in their polities which required them to turn over the computer code of those climate modeling programs which had been created on the taxpayer's dime, and were therefore public property) to prevent analysts from examining the "machinery under the hood," the methodology by which the fraudsters tortured their data to produce the alarming outputs with which they pushed the great catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) hysteria.

Remember, that FOIA2009.zip archive contained far more than the AGW fraudsters' e-mail communications. The greatest portions of the file were made up of the modeling computer code they'd criminally violated U.K. freedom of information laws to withhold from scrutiny as well as the raw data they'd also refused to disclose.

In real science, particularly when it's being funded by government grants, when somebody asks for such data - especially now in the computer age - the proper response is "Sure; here y'go. You got a thumb drive, or do you want me to burn it on a CD?"

An honest scientist has no fear about disclosing the data upon which he's based his conclusions.  A fraudster, however.... 

The ethical scientific investigator expects to be obliged to defend his work, and is willing to admit that if he's made a mistake or missed something, and somebody else can derive better conclusions from the observations he's gotten, he'd like to see it, too.

The "climatologists" of the AGW high priesthood are not ethical scientific investigators, but charlatans who have been really, really good at presenting the seeming of scientific validity. 

To keep from getting pantsed, they've had to shout down, shut up, and handwave away the real scientists, and in some thirty years of concerted fraudulence (aided by the political prostitutes whom they serve) they'd been able to do such a honking great job of it that it took the Climategate data draw from the servers at the University of East Anglia in November 2009 to bust things open wide enough that only blithering fools continue to fall for their crap.

One of the most wonderfully corrupt and stinking aspects of this whole "climate change" hoo-rah over the past couple of decades has been the fraudsters' reeking crap about how "The science is settled!"

Remember that phrase "peer-reviewed literature"? The allegation of the political prostitutes and their "climatologist" pimps has been that if the results of "denier" research (i.e., anything which tends in any way to disprove the AGW hypothesis) cannot get published in those scientific periodicals which the warmist cabal controls by way of corrupted peer review and editorial stonewalling, nobody is supposed to consider it as valid.

The science is settled, and the fact that anti-AGW papers don't get published should be no more surprising than the fact that Creation Science papers don't get published - for the same reason.

There speaks somebody who really doesn't understand what the scientific method actually is instead of what the "climatologist" pimps have been suckering you into. 

There is a misunderstanding of what scientific method is when one says "The science is settled!"  The best that scientific method can do is to offer testable possible explanations of why certain observed phenomena have occurred. 

Such explanations are never, ever "settled." The best that can be said is that they haven't yet been disproved.  One effective disproof of any aspect of such an hypothesis, and the explanation is voided. 

The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is based upon the extraordinary notion that the amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by way of purposeful fuels combustion (of petrochemicals, principally) is responsible for global (Terran planetary) climatic temperature increases over the past century and a half or so, that this climatic warming is pernicious for various reasons, and that the abatement of such CO2 output will either reverse or mitigate this global warming.

The mechanism by which atmospheric CO2 is supposed to accomplish this global warming is by way of the greenhouse gas effect of carbon dioxide, which causes the tropospheric trapping of heat energy radiated by the sun to the Earth's atmosphere. 

Were this mechanism to be operating as the driver (as any significant driver) of the very slight rebound which the planet has been experiencing since the conclusion of what honest climatologists have long called the "Little Ice Age" (LIA), then as the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has steadily increased since the beginning of the Industrial Age, there would have to be an increase in heat trapping proportional thereunto. 

If there's no such increase in global temperatures as nasty-bad-awful carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere continue (and accelerate), then the AGW hypothesis fails. 

So has there been such an increase in the past half-century? 

Nope. Remember that wonderful phrase "hide the decline" in the CRU e-mails?  What the AGW fraudsters were discussing was an indicated temperature decline in one of the proxy climate temperature indicators upon which they'd relied for allegedly valid measurements of global temperatures in the past.  "Mike's Nature trick" was to erase the declining proxy indicator data and substitute instead the readings of thermometers from selected stations, many of which were "sited next to a lamp" (i.e., located in places where local heat sources - air conditioners, sunbaked parking lots, jet aircraft exhaust - imposed grievous instrumental errors such that they could not be honestly included in any data set purported to measure actual climate conditions).

Prior to the peddling of the AGW fraud, the scientific consensus had solidly fixed upon insolation - the influence of the sun, which is (as we SF fen surely know) a variable star - as the primary driver of the temperature in the global climate.  The Earth's relationship with the sun, both in terms of planetary orbital mechanics and the solar fusion cycle, has been the key determinant in historical climate change, and previous eras in which the planet's atmospheric CO2 concentrations had been far higher than could ever be caused by human beings burning any fuel of any kind had in many cases been times of extreme cold, not warming.

The evidence also showed - and continues to show - that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the past have tended to follow increases in temperature, commonly by something between six and eight centuries of lag.  Such CO2 increases are reasonably supposed to be the consequence of planetary warming, not in any way a cause.  With enough warming, the oceanic water masses lost their ability to keep dissolved gasses in solution, and that included CO2.

You ever kept an aquarium, quadibloc?

Heck, there's plenty of information on all this available online.  I recommend Anthony Watts' Web site (http://wattsupwiththat.com/) as an aggregating source. 

The AGW hypothesis fails.  It's never succeeded, really.  It simply doesn't explain past climatic history, doesn't explain present climatic conditions, and there's absolutely no expectation that it has anything whatsoever to do with what's going to happen on Terra in the decades and centuries to come.

And the "climatogist" fraudsters cannot rebut them. In the marketplace of ideas, the AGW hypothesis is indefensible.

If the AGW hypothesis is so indefensible, why is it that nearly everyone competent to judge it accepts it?

Have you any understanding of the expression "secondary gain"?

How about four billion dollars per year in government grants for "research" that supports the political prostitutes in their global warming scaremongering?

For the AGW fraudster, the "catastrophe" of man-made climate change "showed me the way to promotion and pay."

My answer is simple. Apparently, the AGW science is good.

Nope.  As I've mentioned - and as there's plentiful information available all over the place to support this conclusion - the AGW "science" started out as a spectacular error on the part of Hansen (who concluded that because there's a CO2 greenhouse gas effect on Venus that an anthropogenic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide on Earth would have to cause horrible-awful-nasty warming that hasn't yet gotten global temperatures up to the levels humanity enjoyed during the Medieval Warm climate optimum) and snowballed into the present humongous boondoggle and outright fraud that's got you so thoroughly suckered right now.

The fear-mongering around nuclear power, on the other hand, is totally bogus - the political correctness conspiracy has, somehow, failed to get competent scientists to endorse it, which is one of the reasons why I don't think they've managed to bully the scientific community into lying about AGW either -

So, build enough nuclear power plants to produce enough electricity... to meet peak-load electrical power demands, to convert home heating from fossil fuels to electrical heating... to produce synthetic fuels, without competing with food production, that allow existing motor vehicles to be used in a carbon-neutral fashion. Do this sustainably through reprocessing and the Thorium breeder.

And enjoy a stronger and richer energy-independent America, with the funding sources for terrorism cut off, and watch as the Greens that wanted a weaker America, unable to maintain a strong military on wind, solar, and geothermal power, and a poorer America where people go back to using slide rules because at least they don't use electricity (perhaps they gossip with local friends or walk to the library instead of using the Internet)... writhe in agony as the hated atom powers the nation.

I dislike ecologist kooks too, but I keep honest scientists out of it.

Well, block out the AGW pimps, then.  "Honest" is precisely what they're not, and have never been.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 09:44:54 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

SandySandfort on May 14, 2011, 08:53:50 pm
I agree there was no written contract, but of course mostly serfs could not read. There were customs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom#Becoming_a_serf
The ceremony this link describes looks rather like a verbal contract to me. Serfs had specific rights and specifid duties.

Yeah, that was the theory. The reality was that the serfs took whatever oaths took under duress. Serfdom was slavery.

Words have meaning. What operational meaning should we assign to innate rights? They are not in force unless agreed or enforced.

Really? Better look up the meaning of "innate." I'm sorry, but the following paragraph you wrote is word salad to me. Please take another shot at it.

So, do you give up your rights when you are invited onto someone else's property? Or is it only that if they don't like what you do they have the right to tell you to go away?

Do you think you give up your rights (which ones?) when you come to my "no smoking" house? You still have every right you had before. You have, however, agreed to do, or not do, something, as have I. This is a transaction to which rights have little or no relevance. It's about an exchange of benefits. Don't try to contort it into something it isn't. Anyway, what does this have to do with limited liability?

sam on May 14, 2011, 09:21:49 pm
People always have rights. That was never the question. The question is what are those rights and when may they be traded away for some advantage?

Yes, they can be traded away. That was the basis of feudalism. Serfs signed away rights for the advantages they got as serfs.

Under feudalism, in theory the serf could not leave the land, but in English feudalism, neither could the fief holder increase the rent.

Of course, in practice they could leave the land, and in practice the fief holder could increase the rent, so serfs were not in practice much different other tenants.

So either way, whether bound to the land or not bound to the land, serfs had far more rights and freedom than modern taxpayers.   Serfs generally could have armor piercing weapons, but modern taxpayers cannot have cop killer bullets.

sam on May 14, 2011, 09:30:22 pm
No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.

So, which work do you decide to distrust? The work done by the particular people that you believe were caught distorting peer review? The work they touched? Or the work of everybody who got results you don't like....

The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.

Truth can be obtained by observing nature, or by consensus.  Notoriously, consensus truth is apt to drift far, far from observable reality, hence early advocates of the scientific method denigrated consensus.

Peer review, as revealed in the climategate files, is the construction of reality on the basis of consensus, rather than observation.

We should trust papers on the basis that their conclusions follow from observations that are specified sufficiently clearly that other people could make the same observations to see if they are truthful.  Anthropogenic global warming papers generally do not do this.  They present pretty graphs, without the raw data on which these graphs were based, or the method of calculation whereby the displayed data was deduced from the raw data.

Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 09:40:42 pm
Can I presume that you've got no experience of (nor an accurate appreciation of what's involved in) peer review?

Presume what you want, but you would be wrong.

No, I think the presumption holds. See following.

Understanding that no matter what the AGW fraudsters did to "distort the peer-review system" (what the hell is this "more than usual" bit? any purposeful distortion of peer review is a violation of ethical standards), or how they did it (colluding with each other to arrange for themselves what is commonly called "pal review"), the fact that they did do it is enough to make every damned thing they published absolutely invalid as material to which other scientists can make reference in future.

No, that's what people say when they are looking for a way to deny results. If the peer review process failed, then the actual papers become no worse than papers that did not go through peer review.

Thus proving that you really don't seem to have a good handle on what peer review is, how it operates, or even what the significance of the expression "peer-reviewed literature" has been in the context of the AGW hypothesis and its impact upon political economics. 

As I've mentioned here, the argument of the AGW pimps and the political prostitutes for whom they've been pandering for all these decades has been that only what appears in the referee'd literature - the peer-reviewed journals and scientific conference proceedings - can be taken as "settled science," and anyone dissenting should be disregarded and even criminally punished.

The point is that the papers of the AGW fraudsters had, by virtue of their corruption of peer review, become no better than if they had never undergone peer review at all.

In order to gain the seeming of sound science, the authors of those papers had evaded the error-checking mechanism that is supposed to ensure the reliability of published material.  Accordingly, nothing in those papers can be accorded even the illusion of "settled science," and the perpetrators of these breaches of professional ethics are revealed as untrustworthy.

Recall my allusion to Jayson Blair?

So, which work do you decide to distrust? The work done by the particular people that you believe were caught distorting peer review? The work they touched? Or the work of everybody who got results you don't like....

All other things being equal, you repose no trust in anyone who has deliberately evaded or corrupted peer review.  Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

But the question of trust is actually irrelevant.  Even when you get somebody with a completely bulletproof reputation, whose past performance provides a record of sterling conduct, the rule in science is always "Trust, but verify."

Always. Personal experience with clinical research investigators has confirmed my earliest impressions to the effect that even the top people in any field of scientific endeavor expect the obligation to defend their methods, their observational data, their analyses, and their conclusions to anybody who might pose a question. They're confident that they're right, else they wouldn't have published what they'd found and how they'd gotten to it.

Who the hell minds proving that they're right?

On the other hand, when you're wrong - or you're lying, as the "climatologist" pimps have been doing for the past couple of decades - you resent the hell out of it, and you do whatever you can to keep from getting caught.

The whole idea behind the expression "peer reviewed literature" is the assurance that what's published in the proceedings of such conferences and the various referee'd periodicals has been vetted for consistency and validity.  You can use it as support for assertions of fact.  It's the good stuff.

In medicine, there's a lot of respect for periodicals like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine because the publishers of those journals have established reputations for close scrutiny of the stuff they choose to publish.

Yes, an appeal to authority based on anonymous reviewers. It has been widely abused, but it might easily do more good than harm. Once I did work that built on the work someone else had been doing some years before. In some contexts it's considered "poaching" to publish that way, but I didn't think that applied to my case. The expert I was building on was naturally one of the reviewers, and he delayed publication until after his own work, essentially the same as mine, was published and mine was not. This is not particularly uncommon, though it's cheesy.

Well, peer review people aren't actually "anonymous." The editorial staff of the journal or the conference sure as hell know who they are. In honest peer review (as opposed to the "climatologist" pimp simulacrum), the reviewing officers are acutely conscious of their own professional reputations, and how their performance in the dispassionate blinded review of colleagues' work will reflect upon them. 

So you knew who that reviewer was? How the heck did that happen?

By evading and corrupting the mechanism of peer review, these "climatologists" have committed such glaring breaches of professional ethics, have so thoroughly violated the scientific method, that they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Well, see, if I found out about 3 people doing that, I'd think they lacked credibility. If I found out about 20 people doing it then those 20 would lack credibility. If I found out about 20 physicists doing it, I wouldn't decide that physicists lack credibility.

In the matter of the AGW fraud, it's been the "climatology" cabal participants in the pimp orthodoxy rammed down people's throats as "settled science" by the IPCC and its sputniki, emphatically including the CRU correspondents who were so spectacularly exposed by the Climategate information dump.

He [Counselor Weasel] offered to stop namecalling. You look bad when you reject that offer.

Actually, he didn't.  He offered the use of a contemptuous diminutive ("Tucc'") instead of the "Dr. Monkey" he'd started with. 

Thus my use of the cognomen "Counselor Scuttling Weasel" when referring to him.

You might try telling him what name you want him to use for you, and take it from there.

I don't much care.  "Tucci78" is the handle I've developed because in one online forum the ekename "Tucci" was previously taken (it's a very common Italian family name).  I just stuck a number after it.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 10:11:13 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)

Tucci78 on May 14, 2011, 10:06:56 pm
The climategate files give us good reason to doubt any paper that has undergone peer review, and all papers that undergo peer review.

Well, I dunno about that.  Kind of a "baby with the bathwater" thing. While nothing is infallible, what peer review provides is actually expanded editorial input for a submission in manuscript.  

If it's conducted honestly - as opposed to the way the AGW cabal has long been perverting the process - reviewing officers serve a pretty valuable function in quality assurance and quality improvement. My experience with blinded peer review has invariably left me wishing that I could learn the identities of the guys to whose comments I was responding.  Lots of times, they made undeniable improvements in the work we were hammering into publication.

If nothing else, they provided hellaciously worthwhile feedback from representative samples of the people to whom we wanted to speak in those papers.  Because it was a "blinded" process, on neither side was there any worry about personal offense, which you can't get if you just hand a draft to a colleague and ask him pretty please to vet it for you.  

Truth can be obtained by observing nature, or by consensus.  Notoriously, consensus truth is apt to drift far, far from observable reality, hence early advocates of the scientific method denigrated consensus.

Peer review, as revealed in the climategate files, is the construction of reality on the basis of consensus, rather than observation.

Sounds like you're channeling Michael Crichton:

"I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

"In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."


We should trust papers on the basis that their conclusions follow from observations that are specified sufficiently clearly that other people could make the same observations to see if they are truthful.  Anthropogenic global warming papers generally do not do this. They present pretty graphs, without the raw data on which these graphs were based, or the method of calculation whereby the displayed data was deduced from the raw data.

To that I'd add the provision that the authors of those papers must be willing - hell, eager - to make of their methodologies and observational information a completely "open book," to withhold nothing so that their studies can be replicated, their analyses scrutinized, their conclusions assessed by anyone who cares enough to do so.

This is one aspect of the scientific method in which the AGW pimps have conspicuously demonstrated egregious dishonesty.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 10:08:41 pm by Tucci78 »
"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead trouble-maker."
-- Keith Laumer, Retief's War (1966)