Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trollus Maximus, HoytC, Secret Life of Trolls #1 examined

In May 2013 put together an interesting series of short videos looking at the phenomena of internet trolls who disrupt serious dialogue thus taking everyone's Eyes Off The Prize.  I came across it in preparation for Steele's videos, wanting to take my review up a notch.

The Climate Desk video's contained revealing footage and seems like an effort begging for some further attention including a bit of serious commentary.  I'll give it a try, outlining the talk and sharing Hoyt's quotes along with my commentary.  

No quotations = my description // {...} = my commentary // Courier font = Hoyt's words.

Based on's
VIDEO: The Secret Life of Trolls

Posted by James West and Tim McDonnell on Monday, May 20, 2013  

Climate Desk’s three-part series explores who gets to define the truth about climate change in the digital age.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Climate Desk  |  Published on May 19, 2013 
Internet researchers at George Mason University recently found that when it comes to online commenting, throwing bombs gets more attention than being nice, and makes readers double down on their preexisting beliefs.  
What's more, trolls create a false sense that a topic is more controversial than it really is. Witness the overwhelming consensus on climate change amongst scientists—97 percent agreement that global warming is real, and caused by humans. But that doesn't settle the question for Twitter addict and Climate Desk perennial thorn-in-the-side Hoyt Connell.  
We first encountered Hoyt, or as we know him, @hoytc55, several months ago on our Twitter page, taking us to task for our climate coverage. And the screed hasn't stopped since: In April alone, Hoyt mentioned us on Twitter some 126 times, almost as much as our top nine other followers combined.  
So we did the only thing we knew how to do: track him down, meet him face to face... and ask a few questions of our own. Watch Episode One of our three-part series Meet the Trolls: Trollus Maximus.

Climate Desk


1:30  -  West/McDonnell are surprised when meeting the guy, he seems normal.  Nice big house, happy family pics, all the right stuff.
2:00  -  Hoyt is a media junkie
2:10  -  Hoyt Considers 
"FOX News the most centrist of any news organization."
2:40  -  One of Hoyt's favorite lines: 
"I think your facts may be fiction.  Have you checked all the research."

2:50  -  Hoyt believes the Sun is driving climate, not CO2.

Or that we are injecting well over two gigatonne per month above and beyond our planet's natural CO2 flux?

What about our atmosphere's concentration of that greenhouse gas being ~280 ppm pre-industrial to ~400 ppm today?

What about the sun actually putting out slightly LESS energy* these days and that Earth should be cooling?      *[56]

Why not acknowledge that CO2 has reached levels that never existed during human's tenure on this planet?

Why not appreciate that we should expect these changes to begin slowly, then pick up momentum?

Hoyt, ever considered the global heat distribution engine that is our climate? Here's what I'm talking about.  Ever think about it?

National Geographic 2014 Earth From Space

It's a heck of a tour. I wonder at how the Hoyts of the world justify ignoring that reality, after all we do depend on it's health. }

3:00  -  West/McDonnell: Hoyt is a prostrate cancer survivor - those scientists were OK for him.

3:10  - West/McDonnell: Asking about the double standard Hoyt has applied for himself.  
One group of scientists he believes, the other group of scientists he dismisses, 
how does he justify that?

3:25  -  Hoyt:  "When we're looking at global warming it's a theory that's been usurped by politics"

{Give us a break, it's theory based on hard science:

Attitudes like that are irritating because they're made by people who refuse to become familiar with the full scope of the science.  People who won't sit down and rationally review the information at hand.  People who reject learning.

They are the ones who have politicized this dialogue with childish soundbites that result in dead-ends because of their absolutist rejection of the science and Earth observations.  To say nothing of the dirty tricks and constant misrepresentation.

Then they justify their willful ignorance with contrived paranoid fantasies of some grand climate science conspiracy.

I believe the sad fact is their rejection is based in their fear of the truth; and the reassessment and consequences such an admission would demand.  

The Need to Believe in ever increasing consumption and profits is too strong.  Their entire reality falls apart without it. }

3:29  West/McDonnell:  Is it the politics that is preventing you from I guess embracing climate change more wholeheartedly more like other types as science. 

3:40  -  Hoyt: "The politics I find offensive to be frank.
I'll pick on Waxman (US Representative) has that guy really done his homework?

{Here's another great weapon in the denialist arsenal, slander and ridicule without basis or explanation.  True, this was a short video and much was edited out - so please anyone care to explain where Waxman hasn't done his homework? Or does it even matter?}

3:47  -  West/McDonnell: "Is that just cause he's a Democrat?" 

3:50  -  Hoyt:  " well,,, ahh,,, yes."

4:00  -  Hoyt: "If I'm wrong, we have more plants, a lot of happy plants. hahaha."

{Yes sir, that we will have achieved with another decade or two of Republican Drill Baby Drill mentality.  We're heading towards the Pliocene now and could blast this planet right back to the Jurassic the rate we're going.

And our children will get to watch their coastal cities, and ports, and oil refineries, etc. get battered by increasingly high water and storms.  But Hoyt doesn't believe any of that's happening because he's convinced the world's oceanographers must also be in on the climatologist's conspiracy, and so on and so forth.

I can understand hiding from those ugly realities heading our way.  What I can't comprehend is the contempt and disregard today's Republican/Libertarian types display for Earth and our biosphere.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The words Hoyt uses sound like a selfish toddler, oblivious to how dependent his little carefree self is on the nurturing environment that coddles him.  And though "grown-up" he's still unwilling to sit down and rationally review the evidence.  Instead tossing up irrelevant tangents and contrived scandals with absolutist faith in his politics. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What struck the interviewer as most interesting was that Hoyt wasn't some freak, some outlier, he's just another good 'ol boy Republican/Libertarian type.  They are great people, some of them are my best friends and working buddies, really.

This is what you young folks are dealing with.  The heart of American.  Good people, decent people, but people nurtured on the fantasy that they know God Almighty's mind and that consumerist society is all there is to life.

The epitome of their goals seems endlessly grabbing for ever greater profits and the ability to consume every greater quantities of raw materials, crazy though it may be. 

Is it any wonder most refuse to acknowledge that we are consuming the Earth right out from under us?  Is it any wonder most refuse to consider all our comforts are threatened by our own gluttony?  It's easier to out shout and laugh at the bearers of evidence - something Hoyt fancies a "dialogue."

Here's what you young ones are left with.
Because this political tribe knows only power - anyone who doesn't agree with their agenda is rejected and made an enemy.
So sad, so self destructive.}

4:00 Hoyt is offended by the comment, that he loves the 'echo chamber'.
Hoyt:  "You know obviously that's a pretty obnoxious thing to say."
"You know, it's just having a dialogue"

{Thing is, it's an apt description for Hoyt's cheap one liners.  He uses empty soundbites and calls that a dialogue - he writes off looking at the science with a sprinkling of magic words: 'Scientists are it for money. It's all a scam.' 

HoytC, If "echo chamber" offends, I'd say some soul searching is in order.}

West/McDonnell considered him a product and purveyor of America's antagonistic political culture.

4:26  -  Hoyt "If you're going up and going {in your face smacking gesture}, compared to: 'hey... {mellow fade out}" {followed by snoring sound}
"You know, you really want to look at that." 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
{He's got a point there.  
You nice college kids need to figure out a better way to get through those thick skulls.  He/They don't care, like me, he/they are old, we've had our fun ride, why should he/they care about yours?}

West/McDonnell :  Hoyt believes the truth is in the telling.

4:40 "if you allow somebody to make a comment and there is not a response, than they're controlling the definition of a statement.  Then it can become a truth."

{Get that?  See what you are dealing with?

For the Republican/Libertarian crowd truth is a game to win.
That's why they dialogue by staged debate rules.
Learning about the planet and biosphere that surrounds us is the last thing on their minds.

Who's going to convince them otherwise?}
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This form of speech requires an attuned receiver.
The listeners suspend judgment long enough to absorb what is actually being said 
before returning to evaluation mode and judgment calls.

The benefit is that it allows us to better understand why we should disagree -
or... it might open up unexpected knowledge and potentials.

In dialogue once a speaker finishes, he, she reverts back to listening
and thinking.
It's an expression of
respect and acknowledging our mutual humanity...
a good thing to do.

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