JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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The Skeptics Handbook II

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The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



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Uni NSW Journalism lecturer gives advice on how to cleanse your news sources

Christopher Kremmer, Senior Lecturer in Literary & Narrative Journalism, School of the Arts & Media, UNSW, wants to help you shield yourself from worldviews that you don’t like, so he provides a detailed “how to” list of ways to make sure you filter out, specifically, news.com.

This man lectures in journalism. Instead of teaching journalism students on how to logically outplay and counter arguments and spot the flaws, he’s teaching them to cleanse their feeds lest they be exposed to inconvenient worldviews.

The team that has no evidence and no answers has to find a way to compensate for their intellectual vacuum.

Taking control of who gets to send us news

… before I had even typed in my search terms, it was apparent that my options had been narrowed. The news list that the aggregator threw up was dominated by websites whose idea of what constitutes news is very different to my own.

It takes a lot of effort to build an information silo:

One by one, I began blocking offending mastheads, then refreshing the browser to check the progress of my censorship. It takes a while because news websites use multiple addresses to maximise reader access. [...]

Modern Astrology in NY Times: Justin Gillis says Eclipses show all Scientists are always right about everything

Verily. Eclipses do weird things to people.

Justin Gillis, writer for The New York Times used the recent eclipse to sell something I’d call Sciencemagic. Essentially, if some Scientists™ can calculate orbital mechanics to a fine art, it follows, ipso nonfacto, that all people who use the same job title are also always right.

“Should You Trust Climate Science? Maybe the Eclipse Is a Clue”

Thanks to the work of scientists, people will know exactly what time to expect the eclipse. In less entertaining but more important ways, we respond to scientific predictions all the time, even though we have no independent capacity to verify the calculations. We tend to trust scientists.

If Scientists™ say that solar panels will stop malaria, then buy some! Save lives in Ghana. (What are you waiting for?)

The implications stretch far. Clearly, we can chuck out the whole research thing (labs, who needs em?) Why test predictions, if Scientists™ are 100% accurate? We’ve been wasting money. We don’t need more large hadron colliders, we just need to survey more particle physicists.

This idea that job titles have a kind of truth-telling power is not much different to astrology where truth [...]

Kelloggs sells Social Justice Cereal, calls half the population names and posts $53m loss

The new marketing move by Kelloggs to insult half its customers doesn’t seem to be working out too well. Last year Kelloggs jumped into politics by loudly cancelling advertising on Breitbart saying the new media outlet didn’t fit their values. It was an attempt to punish the big winner in the new media for reporting politically incorrect news. Breitbart responded with the DumpKelloggs petition, and 436,000 people pledged never to buy Kelloggs again.

The company has now reported a $53 million dollar loss in the fourth quarter. It’s shutting down 39 distribution centres, potentially sacking 1,100 workers. Kelloggs share prices are back to where they were a year ago, but Kraft-Heinz is up 31%, and Post is up by 37%. Hey, but it could be a coincidence.

To get some idea of the depth of the goodwill crater left by the Kelloggs political bomb, check out Chiefio’s Bye Bye Kelloggs flaming rant last December. He won’t give a trigger warning, but tells people who need one to “get out now”. I’ve picked a tamer paragraph:

 Dear Kellogg’s:

We, the Average Joe and Average Jane have put up with this Protest Shit to the absolute limit, and [...]

NY Times makes out climate change believers are forced to speak in hidden codes

More Fake News from the NY Times

Here’s a creative effort to sell the story that the people with billion dollar industries, all the academic positions and a sympathetic media entourage are going underground, forced to disguise their belief about “climate change”.

This is a death-throes type article, clutching for ways to pretend Global Worriers are still relevant, and to feed a fantasy that they might be the underdog.

In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’

So while climate change is part of daily conversation, it gets disguised as something else.

“People are all talking about it, without talking about it,” said Miriam Horn, the author of a recent book on conservative Americans and the environment, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman.” “It’s become such a charged topic that there’s a navigation people do.”

What really happened is that climate change is overused agitprop and people are tired of being beaten over the head with it. The first most compelling example the NY Times can find is a farmer called Doug Palen who talks about “carbon sequestration” in his soil (and what crop farmer wouldn’t?) Palen is painted as a “believer”:

Looks like “Fake English” when a fake word wins “Word of the Year” by Macquarie Dictionary

When a word that isn’t a word wins Word of the Year prize, we know Macquarie has lost it.

Bowing to the God of Political Correctness, Macquarie Dictionary has just named “Fake News” as Word of the Year.

In real English, “Fake news” is two words, otherwise known as a phrase. Separately both words have real and easy-to-understand meanings. Together they have become the the latest meaningless slur as the mainstream media realize they are losing power and influence to the real news on blogs and in the alt-media. The old-media is  trying to stop the bleed by labeling the new media as “fake”. Instead of namecalling, the old-media could win easily if it just reported the real news.

When a word that isn’t a word wins Word of the Year prize, we know Macquarie has lost it. If any Macquarie products are on your back-to-school booklists, buy something else. Who wants to teach our kids fake English?

This is the latest attempt by wordsmiths to destroy the language honest people use. We need accurate words to slice and dice arguments of parasites, freeloaders, and self-serving fools. “News” used to mean the whole story and all the facts that [...]

Antarctic scientists may find climate Holy Grail, ice with magic 7 digit age

ABC news tells us intrepid researchers are in a race for the sacred key. The news is a sexed up advert for climate funding done in the theme of Raiders of the Lost Ice:

“It’s the “holy grail of climate science”, a piece of ice so old that it might be able to reveal the climate of the past and help predict the future of Earth’s atmosphere.

And Australia’s Antarctic scientists are now part of an international race to find the ancient time capsule.

So, what is it?

Somewhere deep below the surface of Antarctica, ice has laid untouched for a million years or more — it’s believed to be the world’s oldest ice“

I don’t know why scientists think the million year mark is so holy, they’ve pretty much ignored the message in the first 800,000 years. They hunted and drilled but the telex from prehistory kept saying temperature controls CO2, not the other way around.

Either CO2 followed the temp, or CO2 stayed high, but temp did its own thing. (See the spot from circa 130,000BC, for about 15,000 years? CO2 was at “record highs” unseen for 120,000 years, but that didn’t stop [...]

In brave PR move Kelloggs cancels Breitbart advertising and calls millions of its own customers “bigots”

It’s a novel marketing ploy to reach all the people who buy their breakfast cereals according to where they don’t advertise. It’s bound to appeal to at least three or four people, but at the risk of offending half the population.

I suspect that not too many kids plague mom and dad to buy Fruit Loops because it doesn’t support the evil Breitbart news outlet. (That’s the same one whose leading editor was so disconnected from the cereal-buying-masses that he backed the winning candidate for leader of the free world, and got a job as his right hand man. A media group on “the fringe”, eh?)

Politics is the new religion. What else explains this this latest marketing disaster, which will appeal to all the people who buy Wheeties because it’s a Democrat cereal. Investors are running. Kelloggs stocks dropped another 1.4% today.

It started when Kelloggs announced it wouldn’t advertise on Breitbart because of “values”:

Kellogg on Tuesday said it would pull its ads from Breitbart News after consumers notified the manufacturer that its products were appearing on the [...]

Pagan-Climate-101: The CO2 God causes quakes, tsunami’s and volcanoes

All the sensible people have left the room.What’s left, double or nothing?

In the religion that is “climate change” all correlations point to the CO2 God.  Bill McGuire is professor emeritus in geophysical and climate hazards at UCL and he hath written a book of immanent quakes, shakes and eruptions. Turn off your heater for it feeds the volcano.

Let us read from Climate-Psalm-101:

Global warming may not only be causing more destructive hurricanes, it could also be shaking the ground beneath our feet

Be very afraid little bunny:

… it does not stretch the imagination to appreciate that a warmer atmosphere promotes greater melting of the polar ice caps, thereby raising sea levels and increasing the risk of coastal flooding. But, more extraordinarily, the thin layer of gases that hosts the weather and fosters global warming really does interact with the solid Earth – the so-called geosphere — in such a way as to make climate change an even bigger threat.

Thus and verily will the continental plates dance to the tune of the magical CO2.

Pagan civilization found the Dog Star caused flooding in the Nile. So [...]

Trump has broken the mainstream media — a president so powerful he tells them off to their faces

A week ago, the grip of the old-school media elite was busted, but few seemed to have noticed this remarkable shift.

The top dogs in the media came to him expecting to discuss their access to him, instead he blasted them as deceitful, dishonest liars who should be ashamed.

Over the last forty years the mainstream media have degenerated into naked, unashamed political advocacy, yet conservative leaders still felt they had to pander for fear that they would get an even worse treatment if they called it for what it was. Not Donald Trump. Has there ever been a more powerful US president? They called him every name under the sun, and he took the insults and used them to win.

What other US president didn’t need to pander or even be polite to media royalty? Only a billionaire who got elected despite the old media could afford to blow them away. For the first time in US history, the top gatekeepers of the national discussion were named and shamed…  The Kings and Queens of the media finally overplayed their hand to the point where the people elected someone so powerful, so rich, and so independent that he has no [...]

Award winning Peter Boyer attacks Myron Ebell — but who has an open mind, and who is in denial?

Peter Boyer seems to think Myron Ebell owes him an apology, but it’s the other way around. And Boyer ought say sorry to his readers.

“Science Communication” is a pretty dismal, immature profession. It’s so bad that an award-winning science communicator can talk about  “blunt denial” even while denying basic tenets of logic and appearing to have done almost no research on the global warming debate. If he was ever taught the basics of reasoning, like “correlation is not causation” or “all models are wrong but some are useful,” he’s long forgotten them. What’s an Order of Australia worth these days? Apparently not much.

If he had the open mind he talks about, he might have bothered to read the skeptical sites before he wrote an article. We’d have provided all the evidence an open mind could need to know that Myron Ebell is right on the money. So here Peter, with all due respect, is the red pill — the stuff the UNSW profs of climate crisis won’t tell you even if you dared to ask them.

Talking Point: Keeping an open mind in climate of blunt denial

Peter Boyer

Asked in 2012 what he [...]