Thursday, June 10, 2010

Advanced Agnotology?!

As an antidote to the previous post, let us turn to the sure-fire cure that is Michael Bérubé. Here he is, reacting to some group calling itself the National Association of Scholars, who in addition to their tireless work combating the ravages of Librul Bias!!!1! on college campuses, has joined in with the global warming denialist crowd in seeking to harass atmospheric scientists by tying them up in red tape and nuisance "investigations:"

I have four responses to this. First and foremost, public accountability in matters of science is crucial. Somewhere in that pile of grant applications, letters, and emails, surely, is “smoking gun” proof of Michael Mann’s wrongdoing; indeed, I suspect that Attorney General Cuccinelli is looking for, and will find, the legendary “bwah hah hah” diary entry in which Mann writes, “Today! Today is the day that I will perform the ‘trick’ that hides the decline! And then the entire planet will kneel before Zod as I institute ‘cap and trade’ socialism around the world.” There is also a rumor that the files contain a valuable photograph of Mann and colleague Phil Jones rubbing their hands together in glee, as well as a LOLcat captioned, “IM IN UR NATUR / HIDIN TEH DECLINE.” Finally, and most importantly, if the files turn out to weigh the same as a duck, they must be made of wood, and I’m sure you can all draw the obvious conclusion from that. So yes, the public needs to know.

Also, his remark about bow-tied twerp Tucker Carlson KC Johnson (cf.), a little later on in the post, is a masterpiece of subtlety.

For a more extensive look at agnotology, be sure to follow Michael's links (repeated here, here, and here) to John Quiggin's three posts, which start with the Oregon Petition and then move on to take a more general look at this phenomenon. (Agnotology is the new epistemic closure!) Well worth the time of anyone who wonders how the far right manages to sustain its pride in its willful ignorance.


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