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Say I wrote a fake paper...

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Do you think I could convince some skeptic site to pick it up? 

 

Something like that physicist who wrote a BS paper and submitted it to a social science journal. If I made up some bogus theory, but made it appear as though it had some legitimate scientific basis to it, do you think I could get some prominent skeptic site to publish it, or at least do a little report on it? 

post #2 of 35

Probably.  Just get DailyTech to write about it and then the rest of the denial blogosphere would pick it up.

post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

You think I should just submit the paper directly to daily tech? Or try to publish it somewhere else first and then tip them off to it? 

 

I'm really thinking about doing this.

post #4 of 35

Well I suspect that even an undiscerning denier blogger would do a background check on you, so to begin with you'd have to claim to be someone credible.  I suppose you could claim to be a doctoral student at U of F, and in researching your dissertation you made a discovery disproving AGW or something.

post #5 of 35

I would not claim to be from U of F, you said you wanted credibility didn't you. Just kidding, Florida State class of 92. Go Noles

post #6 of 35

Can I be a ghost co-author.  The project sounds like fun.  I would pick an unknown academic institution in Eastern Europe as an affiliation.  It would be quite credible from the deniers perspective because impoverished scientists in that part of the world have been known to write papers supporting a political imperative for a few roubles.  Can we add a website asking for donations like Idso & Co. too? 

post #7 of 35

All joking aside about being a gator, I think this is a bad idea. Knowing human nature, this won't benefit belief in GW. It usually causes either a tit for tat, or ammunition to point out that the other side is devious and therefor unbelievable. Playing on the up and up, usually is the best policy, esp if you are trying to convince people about something.

post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by kantoquad View Post

All joking aside about being a gator, I think this is a bad idea. Knowing human nature, this won't benefit belief in GW. It usually causes either a tit for tat, or ammunition to point out that the other side is devious and therefor unbelievable. Playing on the up and up, usually is the best policy, esp if you are trying to convince people about something.

 

Well that's true, but it's not like I'm James Hansen. I'm just some no name undergraduate student trying to make a point--hardly representative of AGW science. Sokal's hoax didn't hurt the credibility of physicists did it? It did however do quite a bit towards hurting the legitimacy of the social sciences.

 

I mean it's already known that skeptics don't use peer reviewed science to support their claims. And it's already suspected that most of the things they claim are total BS. I just want to sort of verify that suspicion.

 

Oh, and Go Noles!

post #9 of 35

OK, I admit it, I laughed at the Go Noles link. Half of my friends went to UF and some of them turned out OK.

 

post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kantoquad View Post

OK, I admit it, I laughed at the Go Noles link. Half of my friends went to UF and some of them turned out OK.

 

 

Hah yeah, they're both good schools. I'm actually considering grad school at FSU. I guess I'm just a bit biased because I was also raised in Gainesville.

post #11 of 35

Idiots are easy to find most everywhere. In our working lives we just have to work around them and still succeed. Sometimes one finds his immediate superior fits into that group - which can be a bit tough to tolerate!

 

The president of a company I worked at for 20 years pretty well fit that catagory. He had the position because the Japanese parent company wanted someone who was not smart enough to argue with them. At that point in his life he was not going to find a better job so he loved it. Needless to say, when the opportunity came along I voted with my feet. I got lucky and did far better than he ever did. 

 

As hard as it may be to ignore fools generally it is the best policy and spend ones time on working to convince those who need and want the assistance.

 

I agree with Brian that it not such a good idea to play their game. I remember my mother telling me 'monkey see - monkey do' when I got caught for something and tried to use my buddies as an excuse.

 

 

post #12 of 35

I have a better argument to convince people to conserve. I know it works, because it worked on me. You see, I am skeptical to a degree naturally. My first thought is, prove it. Although I generally believe in GW, I am open to any new data or research (always skeptical), but that is not the important part. My argument to myself was, "what if".

 

Just, what if they are right.If they are, I should try to conserve. My next thought was, if I conserve it saves me money. It's good for the country, the world, my wallet, and the outdoors that I love.

 

So, I looked around and did a cost benefit analysis on energy conservation. If it has a payback in a few years, it's a done deal. These include CFLs, LEDs, whole house fans, cool-n-save, planting shade trees, dimmers and occupancy switches. With just these changes, in the winter I have decreased my usage of electricity by more than 25%, that is with my kids getting bigger and using more. (Now, they have their own computer, among other things). I expect to even save more in the energy intensive summer. I will do things with longer payback as either the money becomes available or the cost comes down.

 

 

So, you don't have to convince someone you are right, just that you might be right. Then show them the benefits. That will get a lot of people in the middle. The rest will just frustrate you any way and be wasted effort.

 

You are right about both UF and FSU being good schools. I don't tell many people this, but I went to UF, one semester for a special program. I was amazed that people there were fairly normal :).

post #13 of 35

In general it is not a good idea to start a hoax paper.  Sokol, the physicist who "hoaxed" the journal actually came off looking like a bit of an ass at the end, since the journal produced a verified paper trail showing that the editors thought his article was frivolous or at least bad scholarship, but they were willing to publish it.  Sokol claimed to the editors it was serious.  So the editors smelled the hoax, but weren't sure since they didn't really understand the physics.  It was only because Sokol assured them it wasn't a hoax that it got published.  For him to admit afterwards that he lied and it was a joke kinda takes some of the edge off the humor. 

 

The point being is that somewhere along the line, someone will likely call you on it and you will have to lie and claim you are serious.  This is a very damaging thing to have on record when you finally do admit it is a joke.  While you might be a no-name undergraduate at this point, so were Feynman and Pauling at one point, and something like that on your "c.v." can be instant death. 

 

The other reason it is a bad idea is that the "serious" skeptic stuff that appears on blogs and so forth is a better and more cleverly constructed egregious set of misrepresentations and untruths than you could possibly do, simply because at some level the skeptics actually believe what they are writing.  You would be unable to suspend your understanding for long enough to pull off the hoax.  I mean, would you really want to go on record as disbelieving some fundamental law of physics, which is what being a skeptic amounts to at this point?  (For example, Tamino would lose a lot of credibility if he did this, because everyone would cite his "incorrect" assertions out of context as an example of how he doesn't really know what he is talking about.)  So let the skeptics be skeptics and instead get your yeehaws poking holes in the arguments. 

 

I put this sort of idea in the category as an amusing gedanken experiment (ripping off Dirac shamelessly), where it is much funnier in concept than it would be in execution. 

 

post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 

Well you raise some good points gcnp. If I were an actual researcher, or even a graduate student, I'd say it wasn't worth the risk. But I doubt whatever waste water treatment plant I end up working for would care about something like this--provided they'll even know about it in the first place.

 

Besides, it's quite hard to find the actual identity of someone who sends you something online, and if I were to claim to be a researcher from some obscure Chinese or Russian university--a university which does not have an english version of their website--I doubt they'd be able to verify whether or not I am really who I say I am, don't you think? Even if they did get my real name I don't think it would be a huge deal. Thousands of Americans share my first and last name.

post #15 of 35

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

Well you raise some good points gcnp. If I were an actual researcher, or even a graduate student, I'd say it wasn't worth the risk. But I doubt whatever waste water treatment plant I end up working for would care about something like this--provided they'll even know about it in the first place.

 

Besides, it's quite hard to find the actual identity of someone who sends you something online, and if I were to claim to be a researcher from some obscure Chinese or Russian university--a university which does not have an english version of their website--I doubt they'd be able to verify whether or not I am really who I say I am, don't you think? Even if they did get my real name I don't think it would be a huge deal. Thousands of Americans share my first and last name.


But the point would be to use your credentials to make the article more plausible.  So all the skeptic blogosphere would say "Dawei, who is an environmental scientist at UF says that anthropogenic CO2 can't be warming the planet because trouser gnomes are the real source of the CO2, and gnomic CO2 isn't radiatively active."  So while every part of that statement is absurd, skeptics will lick it up and ask for a second serving because an environmental scientist (you!) told them something they want to hear.  So if you don't make use of your true credentials, it loses a lot of the impact.  

post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcnp58 View Post

 


But the point would be to use your credentials to make the article more plausible.  So all the skeptic blogosphere would say "Dawei, who is an environmental scientist at UF says that anthropogenic CO2 can't be warming the planet because trouser gnomes are the real source of the CO2, and gnomic CO2 isn't radiatively active."  So while every part of that statement is absurd, skeptics will lick it up and ask for a second serving because an environmental scientist (you!) told them something they want to hear.  So if you don't make use of your true credentials, it loses a lot of the impact.  


Hah but I don't have any respectable credentials myself. That's why I would be Dr. Li of Nanyang Institute of Technology, or some similar school. I am a professor of physics working primarily on dark-state polaritons, but who has recently conducted some independent research that goes against some of the key assumptions of the IPCC.

 

 

I'll just add that I want to be published with a pseudonym to avoid losing my funding, add in a few rips at Al Gore, and I'll fit the formula for a skeptic article perfectly.

post #17 of 35

Hi Dawei,

 

You seem like a nice guy - why lower yourself to the platform those fools are working on?

 

They are nothing and do no real harm - the ones convinced by them are not bright enough to understand science anyway. There will always be a pool of fools to follow their words excitedly.

 

 

post #18 of 35

I know I said it before, But I think it is a very bad idea. The averge person neither understands, nor wants to understand GW. Muddying the water, only makes them either wash their hands of the whole thing or gives those that don't want to change a big excuse not to. So other than giving you some joy at someones  gullibility or ignorance, I believe it to be counterproductive.

post #19 of 35

The country and world for that matter is governed by a rather small elite (for lack of a better word). The average person has little to do with it -  Therefore trying to convince the average person has little meaning.

 

You have to figure out how to 'move higher up the food chain' and work on those folks who will actually be able to do something.

 

Politics in general is a 'lowest common denominator' thing for both parties. Not much to do with capability or willingness to do is involved.

 

The fools you are refering to probably could not even convince their own grandmother so who cares what they think. Not to say that some of these fools will not become congressmen or senators - congress is full of them unfortunately. 

 

 

post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 

You guys make sense but I think you're making it seem a bit bigger than it would really be. I mean for the vast majority of people who hear about it, which would probably only be very few, it wouldn't change how they feel. Some skeptics would get mad, some proponents might have a little chuckle, and that'd be it.

 

It could however help those dying few who are still on the fence to see which side is really founded in scientific fact, and which side uses arguments that ignore scientific scrutiny. If skeptics are willing to publish something that gets proven to be bull plop, then it is not a huge stretch to think that maybe everything else they publish could be bull plop as well.

 

As of now, the average person doesn't have the scientific education (or patience) to really understand why some of the more convoluted skeptic arguments are baseless in fact, even if an expert were to try to explain it to them. Something like this could be a much more obvious and easy to understand demonstration of that.

 

I realize nothing will change the way skeptics think: they'll go to their grave believing whatever they want to believe. So on that note, what is there to lose? 

post #21 of 35

 

I realize nothing will change the way skeptics think: they'll go to their grave believing whatever they want to believe. So on that note, what is there to lose?

 

 

Not always true. I have seen people change, when none thought they would. I learn something from almost everyone I meet, even if I completely disagree with them. So communication is almost always a good thing. In the few cases I find that failing completely, disengagement for a time has always worked best for me.

 

What I am talking about is the average person deciding if they need to conserve or not. I am in the medical Field, so often people tell me they did not follow advice because it's either confusing or because they heard a study that either gave them the excuse they needed or they found it multiple contradicting sources that made them frustrated and they gave up trying to understand. each Little bit of misinformation middy's the water.

post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kantoquad View Post

 What I am talking about is the average person deciding if they need to conserve or not. I am in the medical Field, so often people tell me they did not follow advice because it's either confusing or because they heard a study that either gave them the excuse they needed or they found it multiple contradicting sources that made them frustrated and they gave up trying to understand. each Little bit of misinformation middy's the water.


That's why it's so important for people to be able to see which information is misinformation and which is valid.

post #23 of 35

I don't think that will help them see.  In fact, I think it will cause the opposite. I have given my opinion, but it's up to you.

post #24 of 35

It sounds like an intriguing idea, dawei, and the whole thread is very illuminating. But why bother to try obscure skeptic's sites, while there are plenty of reputable and peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Geophysics Research. If you are unsophisticated enough, there should be no problem with your publication, in a well-accredited place. Look for example:

 

“Concept of planetary thermal balance and global warming”

by Alexander P. Nickolaenko
Department of Remote Sensing, Usikov Institute for Radio‐Physics and Electronics, National Academy of Science of the Ukraine, Kharkov, Ukraine

 

“The concept of Earth's thermal balance is used to suggest that solar energy absorbed by a planet is equal to the heat radiated from that planet. Such an approach substantially simplifies estimating the anthropogenic warming of the planet. We compare the solar irradiance with the current heat production caused by burning different kinds of fuel. We show that anthropogenic heating is able to cause global warming of 1°C in a century.”

Received 16 September 2008; accepted 21 January 2009; published 10 April 2009.

Citation: Nickolaenko, A. P. (2009), Concept of planetary thermal balance and global warming, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A04310, doi:10.1029/2008JA013753.

 

See, it is so easy to publish, eh, garbage. You just need to hint the Editor for most qualified peers, say Dana1981, and somebody else, from this very thread.

Good thinking, dawei. Thanks.

 

post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hi AlTekhasski,

 

You're definitely right that publishing in Geophysical Research Letters would be more effective than a site like ClimateAudit. But even though they do post garbage from no-named scientists from the Ukraine, they do at least seem to restrict their publications to real scientists (which I am not). I mean there is some reason for the fact that they have the credibility that they do, even if it is limited to climate skeptics.

 

Plus I have no idea how to write and formally submit something to an actual journal, I'm sure they would smell the hoax immediately. That's why I would focus on a blogger type site where I can write a more traditional article/report.


I'm sure some people on this site would be able to pull off a hoax in GRL, but they have--well, actual credentials that I don't see why they would want to risk.


Anyway I'm almost done with my article, I suppose there is no harm in trying to submit it to the big boys first. If they reject it I can just keep going down the totem pole until I find someone who is willing to take a little chance. 

post #26 of 35

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

Hi AlTekhasski,

 

You're definitely right that publishing in Geophysical Research Letters would be more effective than a site like ClimateAudit. But even though they do post garbage from no-named scientists from the Ukraine, they do at least seem to restrict their publications to real scientists (which I am not). I mean there is some reason for the fact that they have the credibility that they do, even if it is limited to climate skeptics.

 

Plus I have no idea how to write and formally submit something to an actual journal, I'm sure they would smell the hoax immediately. That's why I would focus on a blogger type site where I can write a more traditional article/report.


I'm sure some people on this site would be able to pull off a hoax in GRL, but they have--well, actual credentials that I don't see why they would want to risk.


Anyway I'm almost done with my article, I suppose there is no harm in trying to submit it to the big boys first. If they reject it I can just keep going down the totem pole until I find someone who is willing to take a little chance.

 

The AGU website has style guides for authors.  But a couple of points.  First, the article noted above appeared in JGR-Space Physics.  That particular section of JGR is rather notorious for publishing papers related to terrestrial climate that are somewhat suspect in terms of accuracy (e.g., Shaviv's work on GCRs appears in JGR-SP).  If that were a rigorously honest paper, the author would have submitted it to a more appropriate journal, probably GRL or maybe JGR-Atmospheres.  But I doubt it would have passed peer-review in those journals. 

 

Secondly, you are likely wasting your time trying to get something past the editors at GRL.  They are notoriously persnickety and it only takes one mildly enthusiastic review in a set of three to get a paper rejected.  Any hoax paper submitted there would have a near certain fate of being rejected without review. 

 

Your best bet would be to go with a lesser-known journal, but even then to get your paper to appear in print you are going to have to pay page charges (which can make the cost of publishing around $1000).  This is not something you want to do lightly, especially given the damage it could potentially do to your reputation.  Trying to get something published is serious, and the technical literature frown severely on people intentionally abusing the system.  In fact, when you submit something you sign a document stating that as far as you know the material is truthful and accurate. 

 

Please don't mess around with the journals.  Worst case your paper gets published and then gets used by skeptics to demonstrate that misinformation and bad science is routinely accepted and published.  This would be precisely what you are trying to avoid. 

post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yeah I wasn't really expecting to get accepted by a journal anyway. A prominent right wing blog though, could be. Especially if the author doesn't demand proof of my identity, then there's no risk.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gcnp58 View Post

 

Please don't mess around with the journals.  Worst case your paper gets published and then gets used by skeptics to demonstrate that misinformation and bad science is routinely accepted and published.  This would be precisely what you are trying to avoid. 


Nah, that's exactly what I'm trying to show. That skeptics publish bad science. Only people with rather advanced scientific knowledge can see that now; something like this makes it much more clear. If they publish something false, then that is proof that skeptics do not demand scientific scrutiny. It shows that they'll publish anything, no matter how outrageous, as long as it goes against AGW.

post #28 of 35

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

Yeah I wasn't really expecting to get accepted by a journal anyway. A prominent right wing blog though, could be. Especially if the author doesn't demand proof of my identity, then there's no risk.


Nah, that's exactly what I'm trying to show. That skeptics publish bad science. Only people with rather advanced scientific knowledge can see that now; something like this makes it much more clear. If they publish something false, then that is proof that skeptics do not demand scientific scrutiny. It shows that they'll publish anything, no matter how outrageous, as long as it goes against AGW.


Now taking in a blog would be amusing, but then you are back to the fact that most of the stuff they publish is already a parody of real research, so it is very difficult to intentionally outdo them in terms of egregiously bad science.  Because all of what they publish already looks like a cleverly constructed hoax, you would be hard-pressed to come up with something that would be obviously an intentional hoax. 

 

In other words, it is very hard to bullshit a true bullshit artist.  They see it coming from a mile away. 

post #29 of 35
A whole thread about spreading misinformation to prove those who spread misinformation wrong?

WOW!!!
post #30 of 35
 More of a discussion on why some of us think it is a bad deal vs those who think it might be OK.

Might as well talk about it - people do it for real.
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