Friday, August 11, 2017

Diary 8/11/2017 - Center for Inquiry Forum, Cracking the Contrarians' Code.

Due to obligations and commitments crowding my reading and writing time down to the bottom of my get-it-done list it has remained scattered and lately mostly confined to commenting over at the Center for Inquiry forum.  Recently conversations have gotten a bit livelier and occasionally even constructive since a few more people are getting involved.   

Check it out sometime.  Faith based vs Fact based.  Climate skeptical challenges add some spice, civility and feigned civility, facts and fiction, devious rhetoric and touche's, sometimes genuine learning, insults and ruffled feathers, usually for effect, occasionally heart felt, sturm und drang and all that fun stuff.

Still, at the end of the day we’re left with the same challenge that started long ago with the first strategic attacks on the scientific understanding of tobacco smoke dangers - though at the time no one realized it, too many still don’t.  ( For those details see: It's all been documented, though contrarians prefer to dismiss the book as meaningless ad hominem attacks {on their right to lie I presume}, all the while ignoring all evidence presented.)

The challenge is: How to engage in a constructive intellectual dialogue with characters who are dedicated to disparaging and dismissing serious science with what ever words and tactics are required at the moment, merely because it’s what their jobs depend on?

Good faith learning holds no interest.  Sowing doubt and confusion is the goal and it’s such an easy thing to achieve if one possesses no scruples and limitless chutzpah.

Resentment towards and dismissal of evidence is a given. 
As soon as that is pointed out, the dialogue gets dragged into personal distractions, another given.  They expect to be allowed to misrepresent and slander scientists with wanton abandon - but better not label them frauds or expect to get creatively demonized.

Since climate science "Skeptics" can’t defend their positions and have nothing to teach in a constructive manner, they are reduced to escaping from the intended topic with disparaging spitballs, haughty superiority and feigned hurt feelings because one won’t buy into their nonsensical unsupported claims and they certainly don't intend to listen and absorb any new information and evolve their personal awareness.  

Unfortunately they are pros at these rhetorical devices, so though they are incapable of defending with substance - they constantly win the public argument game.  Too few serious rational folks are willing to put up with the grief of confronting their venomous onslaughts.  

Our only hope is in more people understanding the oligarch's game and the modus operandi of their minions.  Stop ignoring the trolls, use real facts to expose them, reduce them to running away - you'd be amazed at how easy it is - once you crack the code of their malicious farce.  

If you want to learn more about it, I have a sloppy draft (yet to be completed project) of this lay-person's lesson plan that may be of use. 
In a nutshell Jim Steele proposes that landscapes and natural cycles are more powerful drivers of global warming driven climate change than the atmosphere that lies between Earth and frigid outer space.

Then to be willing to stand up to them every time they comment, who knows what could change within a society facing ever increasing pain and challenges, if more informed citizens actually got involved and made their reasoned voices heard.

One for the road

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