Stick to baseball, 5/6/17.

Smart Baseball is out! Buy it here or at any local bookstore. It’s available in the US and Canada, in print, ebook, and audiobook forms. I have inquired about distribution elsewhere in the world but I can only report that we’re looking into it and nothing is imminent.

My one piece for Insiders this week covered the very limited market for Eric Hosmer this upcoming winter, given his lack of production and how few teams have openings at first or DH. I held a Klawchat, a bit shorter than normal, on Thursday.

I did an interview with the folks behind the Pocket bookmarketing app, and appeared on the public radio program AirTalk, both to talk about Smart Baseball. I also spoke with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap on his radio show The Sporting Life.

* Anti-vaxxers have targeted Somali immigrants in Minnesota and caused a measles outbreak there. While I understand that we try not to criminalize speech here, how is this – claiming vaccines cause autism, a bad hypothesis fully debunked by science – any different than shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, causing needless panic and great public harm? (And yes, the Holmes quote is itself problematic, and he started walking it back almost immediately.) And why do we permit Wakefield to operate in the U.S.? We could easily deny him entry; he’s a greater threat to the broader population than suspected Islamic militants.

* George Will dropped two strong columns this past week for the Washington Post. The one you might have seen says the President has “a dangerous disability” and calls him unfit for office. The one you might have missed argues for repealing the mortgage interest tax deduction, which costs the US government about $100 billion annually in foregone revenues. This is an unpopular and controversial proposal; passing it would cause a one-time hit to housing prices and put many people underwater on their loans. But the exemption amounts to a regressive tax, and at the very least we should limit such deductions to primary residences (not second or third houses).

* Will’s column about the President came a few days after the vulgar talking yam was inconsistent and even incoherent after a long day of interviews. Remember when he questioned whether Hillary Clinton would have the stamina to be President? That was fun.

* Dion Walters of the Miami Heat wrote a hilarious and poignant piece for the Players Tribune at the end of April, which I missed because it went up the day Smart Baseball was released.

* NPR wrote about northerners flying the Confederate flag while openly denying that it is a racist symbol that stood for and will always stand for slavery. If one of my neighbors put one up outside his house and refused to remove it, I’d take it down by force. It’s no better than flying a flag with a swastika.

* While driving around southern California this week, I spent a lot of time listening to the indispensable NPR One app, which brought me some great stories and several episodes of a new podcast, The Grift, which I highly recommend. Two stories I liked enough to share: how the autocratic state government in Texas is destroying local government powers, and on the development of the Cosmic Crisp apple in Washington, which might be the next big hit apple with consumers.

* An epidemiologist explains why science is never perfect – that studies nearly always have some sort of flaws or biases, but that those don’t invalidate the results or make the studies worthless (a common claim of deniers like anti-vaxxers).

* How’s this for a bad headline. Something called the “Washington Free Beacon” wrote that a Democratic Congressional candidate in Montana said climate change deniers should kill themselves. What he actually said: “If any those of you that feel like this is not a problem, I challenge you to go into your car in your garage, start your car, and see what happens there.” This is obviously a ham-handed and scientifically weak attempt to point out the effects of burning fossil fuels on our atmosphere. But hey, gotta get dem clicks.

* ThinkProgress’ Lindsay Gibbs weighs in on the myth that ESPN is “liberal” simply because we argue against domestic violence or discrimination.

* Speaking of which, those liberal firebrands at Consumer Reports write that the Affordable Care Act led to a decline in personal bankruptcies.

* Someone in Russia is blinding Putin’s opponents with chemical attacks. It can’t happen here, though, right?

* You’ve probably seen the outrage among scientists that the New York Times hired a climate-change denier, Bret Stephens, in the name of “balance.” Did you also catch their publication of a bogus story on “alternative” medicine? Remember: There is no “alternative” medicine. If it works, it’s medicine. Otherwise, it’s bullshit.

* The passage of the AHCA, with many Congresspersons voting for it against the wishes of their constituents, has led to some direct financial results already:

* The Washington Post explains why that organic milk you bought might not be organic. The USDA’s organic labeling program has been a total failure, one of many examples where that agency has raised costs and wasted taxpayer money with no benefit to consumers. FWIW, I do buy organic milk because I want to support antibiotic-free husbandry, and “organic” is a fair proxy for that, but I don’t think the claimed health benefits of milk from grass-fed cows are proven.

* The James Beard Restaurant/Chef Awards are out! The winners include former Top Chef contestant Sarah Grueneberg, who won Best Chef: Great Lakes; her restaurant, Monteverde, provided one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten when I visited last July.

* This piece exhorting us to stop using public wifi networks makes sense, but is not terribly practical. Mobile data remains expensive and can’t match wifi speeds. The solution would seem to lie in making such networks more secure for most uses – although logging into your bank or credit card accounts on those networks will always be a bad idea.

* A new bill in Hawai’i’s legislature is essentially a sweetheart giveaway of state land rights to private tenants.

* Author/writer/Twitter wit Kelly Oxford discusses coming to terms with her panic disorder in an excerpt from her new book, When You Find Out the World Is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments.

* The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf argues that smugness isn’t a liberal characteristic, but a universal one. People at either extreme can veer into condescension of those with opposing views. Of course, the targets of condescension may have earned such disdain if they’re spouting conspiracy theories or outright falsehoods; treating cranks with respect isn’t going to accomplish anything either.

* If you live in Florida and believe convicted felons who have completed their jail terms should regain their rights to vote – as they would in 40 other states – there is a petition you can sign and group you can join to try to help make that a reality.

Comments

  1. I’m not a CPA (though hopefully within the next couple of years), but I am a staff accountant so I find the mortgage interest deduction talk interesting. There are plenty of ways for mortgage interest to be deducted on returns, whether it’s through personal deductions or claiming it’s for a property you rent (even sparingly) or other reasons. The Trump tax “plan” having the idea of eliminating all itemized, personal deductions except for mortgage interest and charitable contributions was fairly transparent. There’s only one group of people that will still be able to itemize deductions with only those two items.

  2. “Remember: There is no “alternative” medicine. If it works, it’s medicine. Otherwise, it’s bullshit.”

    True; however, the placebo effect is real, which means a patient might believe something has “worked,” even though it hasn’t. Medicine isn’t as precise as we’d like, and if someone believes an “alternative” treatment has been effective, fine by me. I’d rather not pay for their alternative treatment, nor would I like it to be mandated coverage in my health insurance policy.

    Also, Stephens’ piece surely didn’t convey a “denier” perspective. He’s perhaps more skeptical than he should be, but he doesn’t deny the science.

    And, calling even the worst of them “deniers” is cheap. Obviously, the intent is to paint with the same brush as the batshit crazy and/or (usually both) malicious a-hole Holocaust deniers, who deny the historic fact that more than five millions Jews were killed during the 1930’s and 40’s.

    Being skeptical of or even denying consensus predictive climate science does not equate to denying historic fact.

    • I’m not equating them. Denialism can refer to either historical facts or scientific truths; Google just gave me this definition of denialist: “a person who does not acknowledge the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence; a denier.”

      The placebo effect is real, but call any results from it by that name.

  3. FYI – Law’s book is just a rehash of info you can find on sites such as Baseball Prospectus. I waited months looking forward to it. Disappointed.

    • “Law” is right here, John. And no, it’s not “just a rehash” of anything on BP or other sites. I’m sorry you were disappointed, but please stop characterizing it inaccurately (which, I have a feeling, you may also have done on amazon).

    • I would bet $100 John Hamilton didn’t read the book, and is just using this forum to take a cheap shot.

    • I’d like to hear from John if he actually finished the book. There’s plenty in section III (especially) that I’ve never seen anywhere else, including quite a bit of original reporting.

    • FYI – John’s post is just a rehash of poorly-hidden ammosexual mouth breathing you can find on sites such as Stormfront. Disappointed.

  4. Correction: Dion Walters -> Dion Waiters

  5. That’s good you clarify that you’re not equating them, but it seems to me that most who identify another as a climate change denier are doing so in an attempt to smear–placing those folks and Holocaust deniers in the same camp. Given the huge difference between the two groups, it seems to me another word for the climate skeptics would be more appropriate. Google and dictionary differences are meaningful, though less so than common understandings. At least in this context.

    And, either way, according to his piece in the NYT, Stephens doesn’t fit in the camp of those who dispute climate science consensus. He says that human influence on the warming of the earth since 1800 is “indisputable.” Calling him a climate-change denier is mistaken.

    • I think climate sceptic is much too kind. It makes disbelieving in climate change science sound like a rational approach when the reality is that climate change is a gigantic problem that will have disastrous effects. If a person doesn’t believe in climate change, they are in denial. The oil companies and corporations that lobby against taking action against climate change, are in (probably disingenuous) denial. The United States government considering abandoning the Paris Agreement, is in denial.

      I understand what you’re saying about Holocaust deniers, but I don’t agree that it is inappropriate use of the word denier. I also don’t think we should be trying to come up with a nicer name for people who refuse to believe that climate change is a problem.

  6. The wonderful thing about the power grab by the state government of Texas was that the latest grab was passed on the same day as the State announced it was formally joining the call for a constitutional convention… seeking a constitutional amendment to limit the power of the federal government…

    With no sense of hypocrisy at all – seeking to limit federal power in case one of those nasty Democrats ever gets back in power, and taking away power from local government because at the large city level, Texas is turning increasingly liberal…

    It really must rankle Abbot to be forced to live in a city that is diametrically opposed to so much of his agenda…

  7. Robert Sanchez

    Sorry, but if GW was so true & settled, why do they fudge,the numbers? Seems that believers want to silence people who aren’t totally convinced yet…facism.

    • Nobody “fudges” the numbers on climate change. You appear to be spending too much time on Breitbart.

    • Next time you make an accusation of fascism, you might want to spell the word properly.

  8. Robert Sanchez

    Oh no, I spelled a word wrong. Is that the best you got? As far as “climate change” is concerned, you true believers should go to climatedepot.com & get the other side of the story.

    • Ah yes, a website from the wonderful folks over at CFACT that looks like it was put together by a relatively heavy user of methamphetamine after being challenged to fit as many words as possible onto a single page. Well-played my liege!

      For those of you who had never heard of this fine collection of know-nothing clowns…

      The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1985 that advocates for free-market solutions to environmental issues, but has increasingly turned to climate denial. For example, CFACT co-founder Craig Rucker stated that mankind faces a threat “not from man-made global warming, but from man-made hysteria.” At the 29 April 2017 Climate March, leaflets distributed by CFACT claimed the scientific consensus that mankind is now driving global changes in the planet’s climate are “bogus”, that reports of record-setting temperatures are “the hottest lie” being told, and “CO2 is not the ‘control knob’ of the climate”.

    • Robert: You are free to spell, or to misspell, as you see fit. However, you should know that if you can’t spell simple words correctly, it calls into question everything you write because, quite frankly, it makes you look dumb. Or, at very least, careless and lazy.

      I am sure you have persuaded yourself that spelling doesn’t matter, and that poor spelling doesn’t mean anything, but that’s just not true. Kind of like you’ve persuaded yourself that global warming isn’t happening–just because you believe it, doesn’t make it true.

    • Incidentally, as long as we’re sharing websites, here’s one for you:

      https://climate.nasa.gov/

      Of course, now we’re left to judge who is more reliable when it comes to science. NASA, who has put people on the moon, or some guys who managed to scrape together 50 bucks for a domain name and a copy of Dreamweaver.

    • The guy who runs climatedepot.com seems like a winner.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Morano

  9. You would actually steal or destroy someone’s personal property? That seems rather sanctimonious to say and (if true) terrible to endorse. There must be better ways to express disapproval with someone’s choices and messages than, you know, breaking the law, right? How much force would you be willing to use?

  10. Robert Sanchez

    NASA = Government. As PP&M said – Don’t put your faith in love my boy, my father said to me….applies to government as well.

    • I’d rather quote Simon and Garfunkle. Let’s continue to continue to pretend that following the advice of people who aren’t scientists and have no background in climatology makes for smart decisions. Marc Morano has no background in science, but he evidently knows more than the scientists at NASA.

    • Rick Sanchez > Robert Sanchez

  11. Robert Sanchez

    He may not know more, but he’s more honest. If you’re over the age of 10, you probably have noticed that government entities are often prone to fib.

    • Are you so unsophisticated that you can’t draw a distinction between an apolitical agency like NASA or the NPS, and a branch of the government that has a compelling interest in spin/distortion/lies, like say Congress?

      And if you’re over the age of 10, you probably noticed that not everything on the Internet is true. Lots of idiots have put together extensive websites that are just extensive collections of crap. Like, say, these guys:

      http://www.jewwatch.com/

      Or the food babe. Or the idiots who believe that the Sandy Hook shooting was a false flag operation. Or the anti-vaxxers.

  12. Robert Sanchez

    How naive can you be? Apolitical, my butt. Most everything is political. Do you have a job? If so, perhaps you noticed this thing called “office politics”.

    • So we should believe someone who isn’t a scientist (and someone who also worked in politics before) and whose website is being funded by an industry that has the most to gain by the denial of climate change? Just because CFACT has the word “fact” in it does not mean anything it says is actually factual.

    • Let me put it this way, Robert Sanchez: If you ask people to read my comments and yours, and guess which one of us has a job, I’m not going to be the one who comes out the loser in that little competition.

      In any case, since you are so very clever, why don’t you educate me? NASA has been in existence since 1958. Please list three lies or distortions they have perpetrated upon the American people in that time.

    • Moon landing, duh….

    • You beat me to it.

      Also, they claim there’s no life on Mars, but I read on my Internet that there are canals there.

    • I’m guessing Moon landings has been taken off the betting board because of too much action against it.

      I’ll throw out chemtrails as one of the three.

  13. They also never told us that all the chimps that they sent into space came back super intelligent!

  14. CB, the data from 1998 on as reported by NOAA was essentially showing a pause in global warming. Then NOAA decided to revise their data to show a dramatic increase in temperatures. You, as a scientist, don’t feel any obligation at all to question that? Throwing out the buoy data seems suspect to me, at best.

    • First of all, while I am an academic, I am not a scientist, and never claimed to be.

      Second, NOAA did not arbitrarily revise their data. They incorporated additional, more substantial data that became available, and thus called into question the original conclusions. I may not be a scientist, but I know enough to know that is how science works.

  15. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/noaa-analysis-journal-science-no-slowdown-in-global-warming-in-recent-years.html

    I am not referring to the data manipulation rumor you speak of at all. NOAA in 2015 revised their past data reports. The new data more than doubled the previously reported rate of global warming. They blamed the previous bad data on the data they were getting from buoys and software that was out of date and faulty. Throwing out 15 years of data points and still calling your data comprehensive and reliable seems suspect to me, at best

    • I’m pretty sure you’re referring to the same thing by another name. Regardless, they didn’t “throw out 15 years of data points;” they appear to have cleaned some data, for example, which is quite typical for any large dataset. MLB analysts told me they’re doing this constantly with Statcast data.

  16. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/study-global-warming-hiatus-attributed-redistribution

    In 2013 they were reporting a global warming hiatus due to redistribution of excess heat through the oceans. I could sorta buy that and that would be something that would prove itself over time. But to completely revise the data makes their scientific methods suspect to me

    • So, why are you obsessing over one data set? Even if your concerns are valid (and I don’t think they are), do they cancel out all the OTHER data on global warming?

      I guess my real question here is: What is your point?

  17. I am not saying there is no global warming but when the only agency capable of getting this data has changed the data this much, it makes me very skeptical

  18. 15 years of data were revised. The magnitude of the amount of data they had to revise to change the numbers that much over 15 years is pretty significant.

    Where is all the other data? NOAA is the only one that ever gets cited

    • The other data was faked Josh…

      ….Just like the moon landing…

    • I dunno, how about the IPCC?

      http://www.ipcc-data.org/

      And you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say that you acknowledge global warming, but then in the next breath say you’re skeptical. Which is it? And again, what is your point? You seem like one of those that is hiding an anti-climate change (or anti-vaxx, or anti-Semitic, or anti-whatever) agenda under the cloak of “hey, I’m reasonable, I’m just asking a few questions.”

      Last thing: Keith is, first and foremost, a baseball writer. Our understanding of baseball–and ALL the stats that go with it–is very different today than 15 years ago. Does that mean that all the WAR, and DIPS, and ERA+ are fake? Or is it that we have new data, along with better ways of interpreting the data we already had?

    • A Salty Scientist

      I’m a biologist, not a climate scientist, but I think there needs to be a point of clarification here. The raw data have not been changed. What has changed is how the data is being normalized and analyzed. This is a very important distinction. Anyone can re-analyze the raw data and perhaps come to different conclusions (i.e. there was or was not a warming hiatus). This is normal in all fields of science, where much (often heated) discourse is centered around the *best* way to analyze data. This is an important feature of the scientific method, and how a field moves forward instead of becoming entrenched in stagnant thought.

  19. I don’t care about winning arguments or being right. I just want to figure out the truth. I guess it’s all about personal attacks here so I will go somewhere else. Have a nice day

    • Why don’t you tell me where you were personally attacked?

    • I don’t see anywhere where Josh was personally attacked. Josh, you made several big claims you couldn’t support, and you were challenged. You’ve also been given the truth, but you’ve decided – as, I presume, a layperson – that you have greater knowledge or understanding than the global scientific community. So I’ll echo CB and others in asking what exactly your true purpose is here.

  20. He didn’t challenge anything. He decided I was racist (anti semitic) and anti vaxx for some out of the blue reason. It’s the same old play book. If you can’t make your point, call them racist or anti science.

    My point is that the for whatever reason the NOAA revised their stance on climate change by changing/re-interpreting the data points. Their explanation doesn’t make much sense. It calls into question the reliability of the data set as a whole and whether they are comparing apples to apples when comparing different years of data. So I want to see more data before I call this a matter of settled science as you and others have suggested. It sure looks like the earth was warming before 1998 though.

    • Josh, if your claim you were personally attacked is based on CB’s statement, “You seem like one of those that is hiding an anti-climate change (or anti-vaxx, or anti-Semitic, or anti-whatever) agenda under the cloak of “hey, I’m reasonable, I’m just asking a few questions”, then you have misunderstood the use of language. CB was very clearly comparing your argument style as a climate denier to the argument style of anti-vaxxers, anti-semites, and others. He was not attributing those beliefs to you, but that rhetorical style. You take the same approach as do those others of couching your unfounded beliefs in the pretense of “just asking questions”, without honestly engaging with the facts.

    • “You sound like…” –not a personal attack
      “You seem like…” –a personal attack

  21. Sam, I’m not sure where that comes from. “You sound like an idiot” strikes me as a personal attack, as does “you seem like an idiot” (note, since we seem to need to be very clear with our use of language here, I’m not saying you sound like or seem like an idiot – that was merely an example of a phrase that contradicts your statement). This is all in context. CB’s statement was clearly not calling Josh a racist – it was comparing his method of argument to the method used by people in other situations. But in another context, a similar construction as CB used might be making a different point.

    • The first example characterizes an action taken, and thus is not personal. The second example characterizes an intrinsic attribute, and thus is personal.

    • That’s semantics that ignore context. If I say you sound like an idiot (again, I’m not actually saying that), you will (or at least should) be offended. That is a personal attack. The specific words we use are not necessarily the same as the meaning the reader understands, so to make broad statements that saying “sound like” is not personal while saying “seem like” is personal is simply too broad as to always be true.

  22. If I understand you correctly, “idiot” would be personal, but “hiding an anti-Semitic agenda” would not be.

    • Sigh. Again, that’s not what was said. Had CB accused josh of “hiding an anti-Semitic agenda,” that would indeed be personal. He did not. He simply noted that josh has been using similar tactics to those who do.

  23. Thanks to everyone who stepped in to explain my remarks while I was recovering from a long night of grading.

    Josh: I find myself skeptical that you were really offended, and that you really thought I was calling you an anti-Semite and an anti-vaxxer. Among other things, that would also mean I was accusing you of being an anti-whatever, which makes no sense. This seems very much like another rhetorical trick that is common among the, “Hey, I’m just asking questions” crowd. To wit, you asserted that there “seems” to be no data other than the NOAA data. I promptly provided you with another (larger) data set. At that point, you created an “I’m being personally attacked” straw man, since your main argument had been (by all evidences) refuted. In any event, let me be clear that I suspect you only of being a disingenuous climate-change denier; I do not suspect you of being a racist, an anti-Semite, or anything else. Which now leads us back to a pair of questions: What about the IPCC data, that affirms the NOAA data? And, more importantly, what exactly are you trying to communicate here.

    Sam: I also find myself skeptical about your semantic games. Do you really stand behind the distinction you tried to draw? If so, then is it ok for me to say that I suspect that you molested three children this morning? Extreme example, yes, but merely a description of an action taken. I did not say that you ARE a child molester, after all. So, not a personal attack, right?

    • FWIW, i understand sam’s point but don’t quite agree. I saw Josh’s evasions as CB did – as a standard denialist tactic.

    • I see Keith’s lieutenants are growing impatient with having to prove their intellectual superiority over and over again. It drives them to say such lovely things….

    • I understand Sam’s point, too. It’s classic conflict resolution/marital therapy stuff–there’s a difference between criticizing what someone does (ok), and criticizing who someone is (not ok). However, as others have pointed out, that difference is not cleanly delineated by the usage of “seems” vs. “sounds.”

      And Sam, I am not “Keith’s lieutenant,” nor am I interested in proving my intellectual superiority to anyone. YOU waded into the discussion with a criticism of my remarks, and I responded. If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

      But really, of course, you’re dissembling here. You made a silly declaration that does not stand up to scrutiny, and when you were called on it, you dug your heels in, and then started engaging a bunch of misdirection. How about you (a) acknowledge your error, and/or (b) clarify your assertion? You know, instead of attacking me?

    • I want to be clear that my statement to CB is meant to be taken personally. I like Keith and agree with much of his politics, but his forays into belligerent rhetoric in support of his positions embolden people like CB to throw around terms like anti-Semitic and child molestation immediately upon being disagreed with. And if someone pushes back, well they can just leave. Your tactics reveal you. Have the courage of your convictions and admit the pleasure you get from slinging around these horrible analogies.

    • Boy, Sam, it would be hard for your read on me to be more wrong.

      First of all, if you STILL can’t grasp that I did not call Josh an anti-Semite, I suggest you read all of the posts explaining what my point was. Similarly, I did not call you a child molester, and I even noted that my example was extreme, in order to make my point.

      Second, if you think I somehow need Keith’s permission or encouragement to say whatever I choose to say, you clearly don’t know me. To the extent that Keith has any impact on what I say, it’s actually to rein things in. Out of respect for the fact that it’s his blog, I try not to make needless trouble.

      Third, if you really think I take some sort of perverse pleasure in hurling the nastiest insults I can, then you are an asshole. Note that I did not say you are ACTING like an asshole, I said that you ARE an asshole. And, incidentally, my statement is also meant to be taken personally.

    • I can only conclude that you take pleasure in it — you can’t think it advances any discussion. Asshole is fine, I’ve been called that before.

    • If that is your “only” available conclusion, then you’ve really revealed how limited your thinking is. And yeah, no kidding you’ve been called an asshole before.

  24. What I find most amazing about Keith and everyone who comments here is that very, very rarely does anyone ever admit that he is wrong (in the face of incontrovertible evidence), concede a weakness in his argument (or point out a strength in another’s), or acknowledge that there can be differences of opinion. When those things happen so infrequently, it leads to a feeling that the comment section is, fair or not, indeed one of close-mindedness, smugness, and intellectual superiority.

    • That, of course, is a description of internet commenting in general, not only of Keith’s commenters.

      That said, I presume you’re referring to something in this comment thread, so I’m genuinely interested in what incontrovertible evidence you feel has been brought here that the smug commenters have refused to acknowledge. I for one take great pains to be fair in my comments, to interpret my opponent’s comment from the best, rather than worst, perspective, and to viciously self-evaluate. If I make a mistake, I will go out of my way to own up to it. So have I missed or ignored some evidence that you can point out?

    • Michael:

      What an absolute bullshit comment from someone who doesn’t even have the courage to post a valid email address. You’ve presented zero evidence to support your claim, which just broke my irony detector.

    • Wow. Really disappointed in that response, Keith. I look up to you and that was inappropriate.

      How could I possibly provide meaningful evidence to back up my point, without going through thousands of posts? It’s what I think. My irony detector works too.

      And what difference would giving a real email address make? The comments section couldn’t be more set up for anonymity if you tried.

      You basically made my point with a really rude response. Long live the smugness.

    • “I look up to you and that was inappropriate.”

      You accused me of refusing to admit I’m wrong even in the face of incontrovertible evidence. That’s both false and very insulting. What on earth did you expect?

    • Well, I may not have structured my sentence properly, but I didn’t mean that everyone is guilty of all of those. (You, for example, definitely would yield in the face of overwhelming evidence). I also tried to frame it as an act. How often do you or anybody admit one of those things? Maybe you’re always right (you probably are), but it seems to me that they rarely get said. Sorry to upset you. That wasn’t my intention.

    • Thank you. Then I retract the earlier statement.

      Admitting I’m wrong isn’t pleasant, but I think it’s an obligation both of my job and of being a parent. My daughter hates to admit she’s wrong, like most kids. How will she ever learn to do it if she watches me refuse to admit when I’m wrong? So I tell her in very clear terms when I make a mistake even if it doesn’t affect her directly (like, I made a mistake while driving, I said something that upset someone else and they’re mad at me). And then it’s a little less uncomfortable when I have to own up to mistakes publicly, which I do pretty often – like how in SB I wrote that MLB raised the mounds in 1968, which is just wrong, and something I’ve had wrong in my head for literally 35 years. (Worse, I think I said it twice in the book and nobody caught either one, so both mistakes are in the text. I’m really embarrassed by that mistake because it never occurred to me to check it at all.)

    • Regarding 1968 and “The Year of the Pitcher”, I always thought the mound was raised for one year until you pointed out it out recently. I don’t remember reading about all these fantastic pitching feats from 1967 or before, like we had in 1968. So I guess I always assumed that it was raised for a year and lowered after that because of Gibson, McLain, Tiant, etc.

  25. That was not a shot at you, or anyone in particular. Just a general observation.

    I would like to think that the comment section here, given the content and the material discussed on the site, could have higher standards than a run-of-the-mill Internet forum.

  26. CB, it’s a common tactic on Internet forums to try to discredit someone by equating them to the worst possible people you can think of which here is anti-vaxx and anti-semite (anti- science and racist). If you say that is not what you were doing then I am more than willing to take you at your word. I only mentioned you to start because I figured you might know more about this stuff than the average person because of your place in academia. I completely forgot about salty scientist.

    As far as the climate change stuff goes, you and Keith just dropped a bunch of new info on me between the ipcc and snopes article. The snopes article links to all kinds of stuff. This new information is what I was hoping to get so that I could be better informed. I am still trying to process the stuff. On thing I don’t like is how NOAA transitioned from using ship data where the thermometer/thermocouples are out in open water to using ship data with thermometer/ thermocouples near the ship engine. They may have increased the data collection reliability but introduced a “heat island” effect into the data. If you lower your P factor but artificially increase your mean I am not sure how much good you really did yourself?

    Also, they all agree buoy data is more accurate than ship data but buoy gives you lower temperatures than ship data. Yet they correct to the less reliable ship data in there calculations. The snopes article mentions this as irrelevant because all you care about is the change in temperature. The reasoning of being able to compare apples to apples because in 1990 it was 80% ship data/20% buoy data and now its 80% buoy data/20% ship data makes some sense. However the data becomes artificially inflated when you correct to the ship data with a bigger delta and that problem may be compounded by the possible heat island effect due to transitioning from ship data in buckets to ship data near ship engines.

    I am still in trying to read and process the rest of the new info. I appreciate the help

  27. But of course, I misspelled their, so that completely invalidates anything I just said

    • Geez, between this and your misunderstanding of CB’s initial post (they really, truly, never called you a racist or an anti-semite), you seem to have a bit of a persecution complex. I know there are pedants (here and throughout the internet) who pick on a typo and pretend that invalidates someone’s thoughts, but you’re allowed to ignore those people. They are not engaging with the discussion, so they deserve to be disregarded. People who are having discussions on the merits will not bother with stupidity about typos.

      And on the other hand, your post above, which acknowledges new information and indicates an intent to learn more, is admirable.

      And finally, while I completely defend CB’s first comment (the anti-semite stuff was just a comment on your apparent argument style), I do not make the same defense of their “is it ok for me to say that I suspect that you molested three children this morning” comment. Even if they state that they don’t mean to call Sam a child molester, that was clearly using incendiary language in an already overheated discussion. There was no reason to do that other than to poke Sam in the eye and say “see, I can say nasty stuff and as long as I say I don’t mean it, you can’t stop me”. It strikes me as childish and unnecessary, and it’s a fundamentally different construction than the original comment about your argument style. I’ve got no time for that approach to commenting.

  28. The misspell statement was meant tongue in cheek. Sorry that didn’t come through so well.

    You never learn anything if you surround yourself with people who just echo everything you think. I think keith’s links are good and interesting, even if I don’t always agree everything he says or posts. I appreciate what he does and learn a lot from it.

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