Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Frontiers - The Amway Analogy


Amway is an American institution, one of the first and most profitable of the multi-level marketing schemes, where what is really being sold is participation in the scheme not so much the products and the focus is on motivation, but not only motivation to sell, motivation to recruit new sales people, and the payoff is a cut of what the new sales people sell as they order through you.  It is not illegal, but MLM exploits the newbies at the bottom who have to buy their stock and are not always able to sell it as explained at the Skeptic's Dictionary
An Amway customer is not just buying a detergent, but is recruited into being a minister of a faith with a complicated bookkeeping scheme. Why not just go to your local store and buy soap, you ask? Because the agent is someone you know, or who knows someone you know, who's invited you over for coffee to tell you about a great opportunity. Odds are good that you'll either buy something out of politeness or a genuine need for soap or vitamins, etc. Perhaps you will become an agent yourself. Either way, the agent (distributor) who sold you the soap or vitamins makes money. If you become an agent (distributor) then part of every sale you make goes to your recruiter. The new recruit is drawn into the system not primarily by the attractiveness of selling Amway products door to door, but by the opportunity to sell Amway itself to others who, hopefully, will do the same. The products seem secondary to the process of recruitment. Yet, the distributors will learn to talk about little else than the product and its "quality." What justifies MLM schemes is the high quality of their products. What entices the recruit, however, is likely to be the attractiveness of making money from others' sales, not the products themselves.
 Today at Resource Crisis Ugo Bardi pops the cork on Frontiers, describing their business model
Once an editor, I discovered the peculiar structure of the Frontiers system. It is a giant pyramidal scheme where each journal has sub-journals (called "specialties" in Frontiers' jargon). The pyramid extends to the people involved with the scientific editing: it starts with "chief editors" who supervise "chief specialty editors", who supervise "associate editors", who supervise "reviewers". Since each steps involves a growth of a factor 10-20 in the number of people, you can see that each journal of the Frontiers series may involve a few thousand scientists. The whole system may count, probably, tens of thousands of scientists. 
This is the classic multi-level marketing scheme but with a devious twist, because the "chief editors"  (maybe, where the money stops is not clear) the "chief specialty editors"  the "associate editors" and the "reviewers" are working for the titles and glory and the contribution that they are making to Frontiers, not the money that the Frontiers journals charge for open publication, which means for all the services, whatever they are, of publication.   Ugo continues
But my impression is that the pyramidal structure of Frontiers was not created just for speed; it had a a marketing objective. Surely, involving so many scientists in the process creates an atmosphere of participation which encourages them to submit their papers to the journal and this is where the publisher makes money, of course. I cannot prove that the structure of Frontiers was conceived in these terms from the beginning, but, apparently, they are not alien to use aggressive promoting tactics for their business
The beauty of this scheme is shown by what Stephan Lewandowsky wrote when the second retraction statement was issued by Frontiers towards the beginning of the current unpleasantness,
Although there has been considerable media attention, the authors have made few public comments since the paper was retracted. I have continued to serve as a co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of Frontiers, I accepted a reviewing assignment for that journal, and I currently have another paper in press with Frontiers. After the retraction, I was approached by several Frontiers editors and authors who were dismayed at the journal’s decision. In all instances I pointed out that I continued to serve as author, reviewer, and co-editor for Frontiers.
Stephan was (Eli trusts the blinders are off now) a motivated Frontiers editor.  But wait, there is more, Frontiers generates papers and publishing charges by motivating the lower depths of the chain to publish with Frontiers and the upper levels to push their friends to.  One of the ways Frontiers does this is by selling itself as the scientists' journal, their thing, but Frontiers also raises money through the Frontiers Research Foundation which raises substantial funds to "supplement" the publishing charges.

Sweet.

UPDATE:  In the comments John Mashey points to Frontiers' fee schedule which has, toward the bottom, this very Amway statement "Frontiers awards annual honoraria to field and specialty chief editors at threshold levels of success of their journals."

Sweeter still

This explains the over the top way that Frontiers has been handling the Recursive Fury Affair.  If the better parts of the editor network decide that they don't want to donate time and papers to Frontiers, Frontiers is dead, just another fly by night open access publisher begging for papers (paid of course).

UPDATE:  Title changed based on MT's wordsmithing

84 comments:

MikeH said...

Some more here from Roger Jones, another potential Frontiers associate editor.

http://2risk.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/frontiers-retraction-controversy/

John Mashey said...

One more piece in the puzzle, from Frontiers fees:

"Frontiers awards annual honoraria to field and specialty chief editors at threshold levels of success of their journals."

That might interact with Jeff Beall's I get complaints about Frontiers that Ugo mentioned.

Henry runs the nonprofit Frontiers Research Foundation. Frontiers itself shows this history.

I'm not sure, but it seems Frontiers (CEO Kamila Markram) is part of the Nature Publishing Group, but the nonprofit Foundation is separate (?)

Michael Tobis said...

Nice. But it's Ugo; like Hugo with a nothing instead of the "H".

Hank Roberts said...

http://www.frontiersin.org/about/history

Chuckle. Do an image search on that two-hands-holding-the-beanstalk; it's widely used.

Lots of uses by marriage counseling and church websites (zoom in -- someone photoshopped the wedding ring off that guy's finger, in the copy Frontiers uses)

chek said...

Exactly. As in the Italian.

Ugo with a oooh,
not Hugo with an H
'Cos Hugo with an 'H' goes 'Huh?'
It's 'U' instead of 'H',
'oooh' instead of 'huh'
It's simple as can be or simple enough, see Ugo.

(adapted from Ebb & Kander)

Hank Roberts said...

ah: "Istockphoto" has it
here

willard said...

Eli might also like with an H:

http://youtu.be/hR-kP-olcpM

metzomagic said...

That piece by Roger Jones that MikeH linked to above is the best synopsis I've read on this issue. He nails it.

Russell Seitz said...

Welcome to the Humberto Echo chamber orchestra !

shub said...

I would have believed you if you wrote this stuff when the paper was published, not after it was retracted.

A climate paper retracted. :-o Does it hurt?

metzomagic said...

shub says:

I would have believed you if you wrote this stuff when the paper was published, not after it was retracted.

And there, straight from the horse's mouth, is the whole problem with fake skeptics: you will only believe stuff that conforms to your worldview. How Frontiers as an organisation is structured is a matter of fact, not something that is subject to rejection if someone on the other 'side' reports it.

A climate paper retracted. :-o Does it hurt?

And here we have a category error. Recursive Fury was a psychology paper published in a psychology journal last time I checked. But you *so* want this to be about climate science, when it is actually a study in science denial/group think.

chek said...

That must be about the third or fourth time this week the same category error has been made.
Who feeds these chumps?
And why are they to a man (they're always men) too dumb to review what they're fed and sent out with?
If I were sent into battle, I'd want to be damn sure my gun and ammo worked properly. But not these chumps.

Russell Seitz said...

It takes a village to feed a goat with a thousand young.

EliRabett said...

Who knew? And who cared? Not Eli to be sure and no one else to judge by the reaction.

The funny thing is that if you were paying attention to Frontiers as an organization, not a website with a couple of papers you read, and Eli was not, pretty much no one except Nature Publishing Group was, they were bragging about how many layers and participants they had.

With the second retraction it became clear to Eli that Frontiers viewed the affair as an existential threat (he wrote a couple of comments to that effect), but it was not really clear why. It took Ugo's post to explain to Eli what the structure was and then, only then, was it obvious that Frontiers was a multilevel marketing scheme.

So yeah, the retraction moved Frontiers into the Bunny's pay attention processes.

You want to defend them Shub? Be Eli's guest. You want to dump on them, same.

shub said...

"So yeah, the retraction moved Frontiers into the Bunny's pay attention processes."

There you go.

But, on an unrelated note, I don't see a single expression of "I defend Lew and Cook's right to publish but what they did inside the paper was wrong" ... anywhere. Why?

Do you, Michael Tobis, chek et al et al seriously believe it is A-one OK for bloggers to be psycho-analysing each other?

How would you feel if Yasmin Said and Ed Wegman wrote a paper on conspiratorial ideation in you, Deepclimate and a bunch of others and published it in Psychological Science?

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

First, Lewandosky et al. is not a climate paper. It is a psychology paper. The reasons why people reject accepted science are of interest to psychologists, whether the science rejected is climate science, evolution or the efficacy of vaccination against disease. There was nothing wrong with their methodology, and the conclusions stand, independent of the cowardice of the journal.

Third, Said and Wegman are free to publish whatever twaddle they want...if they can find a journal that will accept anything they write without independent assurances that it wasn't plagiarism.

guthrie said...

Scientist changes mind on exposure to more and better evidence SHOCK!!! News at 10 has learnt that a scientist has changed his opinion of something after finding out more about it. IN order to understand this groundbreaking new method, we've sent reporter ...


shub said...

dilbert
You don't vaccinate against 'disease'.

Check one for cataloging of science-ignorant stupidity at Eli Rabett Blog. You'll forgive me if I miss some underscores when anonymising your name.

EliRabett said...

Wegman, Wegman and Said....hmm, . . . write a paper on conspiracys. . .they did or at least they tried.

EliRabett said...

You vaccinate against the occurance of a disease. How Lucia and Steve of you Shub.

shub said...

Wrong again. Another data-point.

I want to see how many comments we can go before the 'science supporters' (aka stoolies of Eugenia) can provide a definition of vaccination they like so much.

Defamation, journal-bashing, legal threats - how things flip. When the paper was retracted but the blame laid on the 'deniers', we never any of these.

willard said...

> I would have believed you if you wrote this stuff when the paper was published, not after it was retracted.

Why would you need to believe anything, shub. Thought you were a true skeptic. But speaking of disbelief:

> Doctored quotes? Guess where my first reaction was to look.

http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/the-michael-mann-scientists-rigor-and-honesty-quote/

Should bunnies believe you?

shub said...

willard
I know you've been pointing out this question you have. But when I look at the comment, I don't get it.

Why would we not look at what Eli Rabett has to say about journals? He has library experience, if I remember correctly. Frontiers are not the only MLM scheme in the publishing world. They made up for it with their judgement of this paper.

willard said...

> I don't get it.

Thank you for expressing your misunderstanding, shub.

What you may not get is that the argument

[*] Would you have done A, I would believe you.

where A would prove you or anyone a lack of bias, it may undermine just about any auditing endeavour. Consider:

- Would you have audited every Frontiers papers, I would believe you.

- Would you have audited Wegman's correspondence with the Auditor, I would believe you.

- Would you have audited the satellite date, I would believe you.

- Would you have disclosed the fact that you hade the Yamal data all along, I would believe you.

Et cetera.

I don't want to claim that this kind of counterfactual is invalid, but that it may not be the best way to play the auditing game.

***

Also note that whe you say, "I would believe you", you don't exactly state what it is that you would believe. This indetermination is interesting. It is this indetermination that makes your complaint work.

Finally, note that your argument may presume that the publication of Lew's papers is more important than creating a better publication system. I'm not sure about that assumption. In fact, I'm quite sure it's false.

***

Hope this helps. If you wish for more clarification, feel free to ask.


Thank you for your concerns,

w

willard said...

shub,

Forgot to add:

Check one for using the word "believe" when you take the skeptic's role.

In the end, editors always win the nitpicking game.

willard said...

Furthermore, shub, and for full disclosure, we're heading toward an analysis of this kind of speech act:

> Would you have done A, I would love you.

Suppose A could not be done anymore. Then it conveys a metaphysical proposition. And in fact "I would love you" should be written "I would have loved you".

Suppose A could be done. Then it could be a way to conditionalize one's love to the fact that A obtains, i.e. "unless you do A, I won't love you".

Does it hurt when I say things like that, shub? I hope not, for I love you, however you may argue.

shub said...

"Suppose A could not be done anymore."

That's the conundrum. It can, however, be solved.

The problem is like the story of the fox and the grapes. Don't say the journal is bad after you (or your friends) couldn't publish in it. In the present case, unfortunately, the authors couldn't have gotten any more closer.

willard said...

> The problem is like the story of the fox and the grapes.

That's an interesting story, shub. But I thought that it was more like the story when Brad sockpuppeted and you said nothing.

And thus you now confirm what you knew all along: you can't believe Eli.

I'm sure it hurts Eli when you say that.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Shub, is it your contention that polio or smallpox are not diseases? Do you subscribe to the biblical plague theory instead?

Kevin O'Neill said...

RE vaccines and disease. I don't think shub is playing a semantic game - I think he's just really, really confused. Though gambling on the precise form of stupidity being employed is always an iffy proposition.
The Center for Disease Control has a list of Vaccine Preventable diseases

Anthrax
Cervical Cancer
Diphtheria
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
H1N1 Flu
(Swine Flu)
Influenza (Seasonal Flu)
Japanese Encephalitis (JE)
Lyme Disease
Measles
Meningococcal
Monkeypox
Mumps
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Pneumococcal
Poliomyelitis (Polio)
Rabies
Rotavirus
Rubella (German Measles)
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Smallpox
Tetanus (Lockjaw)
Tuberculosis
Typhoid Fever
Varicella (Chickenpox)
Yellow Fever

willard said...

> I don't think shub is playing a semantic game - I think he's just really, really confused.

The first hypothesis is simpler, less intrusive, and overall more fruitful than the second.

Besides, shub studies that stuff:

am a Shub Niggurath. More like a Shrub Niggurath. I am an MD trained in a discipline which deals with death and uncertainty day in and day out. Which, I see, gets the climate guys’ p’s in a t somehow!

http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/reader-background/#comment-26218

The definition game is as old as Socrates, or at least Plato. Popper had no patience for such games. He simply was against definitions in science, and against big words in general:

http://www.amazon.ca/In-Search-Better-World-Lectures/dp/0415135486

Mal Adapted said...

Shub: "Do you, Michael Tobis, chek et al et al seriously believe it is A-one OK for bloggers to be psycho-analysing each other?

How would you feel if Yasmin Said and Ed Wegman wrote a paper on conspiratorial ideation in you, Deepclimate and a bunch of others and published it in Psychological Science?"

So it is all about the hurt feelings of the poor, delicate conspiracists! Thank you for confirming that for us, Shub.

BBD said...

Willard says:

The first hypothesis is simpler, less intrusive, and overall more fruitful than the second.

Which is fair.

However, it is still possible that Shub is confused:

Evolution is a dead duck. Anyone who feels passionately about ‘teaching evolution’ or ‘helping spread its message’ etc, is an idiot. The theory of evolution is an artifact of of our prior pattern of thinking – apparently one where humankind had no clue whatsoever of ‘evolution’. Therefore whoever spends enormous amounts of time and effort propping up a lesser form of stupidity , i.e., evolution, because he/she thinks it is better than a greater form of stupidity, i.e., belief in a Christian God, is clearly not worth the bother.

The ‘evolution debate’ is about as interesting as watching different kinds of stupid people fight with each other.

At least the ‘creationists’ and ‘intelligent design’ ers ask interesting questions. Their sense of curiosity seems preserved.

chek said...

Shub confused?
Seems like he'd like the science of genetics to join climate science in the airlock.

willard said...

> However, it is still possible that Shub is confused: [...]

I can't dispute that, BBD, as I do not have the means to do so.

But what I can say, though, is that I already had an exchange with Shub about seems to me some background notions on evolution. I have in mind the concept of function, of which Shub said:

Trying to talk about things like ‘functional importance’ of ‘biodiversity’ is like trying to talk about the ‘functional importance’ of the kidney in the human body. We’ll only get mired in teleology.

http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/biodiversity-extinction-climate-change/

This is just an excerpt. You'll have to read the whole exchange to see that Shub may look confusing, but is not that confused. There are still philosophical debates in the nature of teleofunctions and proper functions, and there are arguments against the underpinnings of evolution.

That does not mean this dispenses us with the observation that our descent from mammals is just a theory. It is as much of a fact that snow is white. Which is not to say much, because we could even debate what it means to be white, although I'd rather question what it means to be Barry White:

http://youtu.be/NpPQBL7PNhs

Shub may have a tendency to entertain contrarian standpoints. Shub may also express some suboptimal relish when imagining Eli feeling hurt. Shub may even confuse concepts from time to time. Shub still does not sound confused to me.

John Mashey said...

I thank the ~400 dismissive commenters found in the SalbyStorm for providing a cornucopia of data on Pseudoskeptical reasoning ... and the conspiracy ideation was fun, as well.

For example, from Bishop Hill: "I'll stick my neck out for Salby. He knows what he's talking about.
The University's response contains no information.
Jul 10, 2013 at 10:35 PM | Registered Commenter shub"

guthrie said...

It is often an interesting question, although rarely a fruitful one, whether someone who expresses anti-evolutionary sentiments, like Shub, genuinely thinks that way or is merely being contrarian.

Given the broken logic shown about (Teaching evolution is not the same as spreading its message, and I know of nobody who has talked about 'spreading its message', as if evolution has a message in the first place), and as for human descent from mammals, just because you can quibble over words doesn't mean that the actual occurence isn't a fact, or indeed that creationists and ID-creationists are utterly wrong.

ANd as for curiosity, evolutionary biologists have more in their toenails than a group of Creationists, since the latters only purpose is to prove the existence and works of God, whereas the evolutionary biologists is to explore the what, how, why of the world of living creatures.

chek said...

Willard said: "Which is not to say much, because we could even debate what it means to be white, although I'd rather question what it means to be Barry White"

So chek wondered if Willard and other bunnies might appreciate this TED talk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdHK_r9RXTc

shub said...

"So it is all about the hurt feelings of the poor, delicate conspiracists!"

Mal adapted, that >is< what it's all about. Example would be Michael Mann. He is an all-powerful being. Yet, when he is criticized unfairly (as per him), what other option does he have but go to court? (Let's just say he's not doing it strategically, in order to shut down public participation). And look at what you did: you were brave enough to call people 'conspiracists' on an open forum whereas Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriott scurried off to do it behind the walls of an academic publication.

As a matter of fact, Mann had the option to remain classy and get back at his critics as there was no barrier - their criticism of him and his situation was in public as could have been his. Lewandowsky and his co-authors are arguing for the right to take material from their critics offered in public, in criticism of their own work, to draw conclusions in the research sphere, not about criticism but psychology.

There are several unspoken rules we all (or at least most of us) follow when in these forums.

guthrie, you and I are saying the exact same thing but the creationists parents will be utterly put off by you.

Kevin, I would have to add you my list sorry. Cervical cancer?

Lyme disease does not have a US vaccine. Lyme is a sad story (involving lawyers), see here: http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/history-lyme-disease-vaccine


dilbert ray,
You haven't read the Lew Fury paper, have you? Explain to me how the paper has anything to do with 'efficacy of vaccination'. People like Eugenie Scott et al were highly successful building careers out of crusades fighting regular people and hicks about the Bible and evolution. They are an embarrassment to science.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Ah, I see. Shub is like those pre-meds I so enjoyed failing in the physics for pre-meds classes I taught. Unfortunately, one of my physics colleagues evidently didn't manage to impart the very important lesson to Shub that he is an imbecile. To bad. Patients would be safer had he done so.

Mal Adapted said...

Shub's comment on evolution is hard to parse unambiguously, but he may have a point here: "Anyone who feels passionately about 'teaching evolution’ or ‘helping spread its message’ etc, is an idiot."

I've been fascinated by the idea of evolution since age eight, pursuing it as far a doctoral program in Evolutionary Biology before I decided I didn't want to work that hard for a living. Along the way, one philosophical implication of Darwin's Dangerous Idea became inescapable: "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference." (Dawkins)

Convinced as I am of its essential truth, I have to admit that's not an uplifting message. It's probably the principal psychological motivation for rejecting the ToE, and a wise teacher will allow students to infer it on their own.

dhogaza said...

Shub:

"Kevin, I would have to add you my list sorry. Cervical cancer? "

Yes, cervical cancer is on the CDC list, and for good reason.

This is one of those "who to believe, the experts or some random idiot on the internet" moments …

willard said...

> There are several unspoken rules we all (or at least most of us) follow when in these forums.

Yes, and we mostly make our rules as we go along, while modifying them depending on the playing fields:

http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/climateballtm

***

Here's how Radford Neale responds to Nic Lewis' pet topic (i.e. OBJECTIFY ALL CLIMATE STATS!):

> Thanks for the clearly written exposition of how a standard “subjective” Bayesian analysis can sometimes differ dramatically from an analysis based on an “objective” Bayesian prior (specifically, Jeffreys’ prior). As I’ll explain below, it illuminates very well the way in which your philosophical standpoint is not one I agree with.

http://climateaudit.org/2014/04/17/radiocarbon-calibration-and-bayesian-inference/#comment-547444

Neal holds no punches. But notice how he can backup all of them. He mixes restraint and frankness. This appeals to me, as it helps him to show that Lewis' approach looks unjustified to him.

Nic will save his face. He will certainly follow up his pet topic anyway. There's little we can do with humans with pet topics.

Just try to stop me from talking about Climateball (tm).

BBD said...

Sorry, OT, but fans of Nic Lewis may also be interested in James Annan's recent post.

Mal Adapted said...

Shub:

"'So it is all about the hurt feelings of the poor, delicate conspiracists!'

"Mal adapted, that is what it's all about. Example would be Michael Mann. He is an all-powerful being. Yet, when he is criticized unfairly (as per him), what other option does he have but go to court? (Let's just say he's not doing it strategically, in order to shut down public participation). And look at what you did: you were brave enough to call people 'conspiracists' on an open forum whereas Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriott scurried off to do it behind the walls of an academic publication."

Hmm, that's a little hard to parse too. Michael Mann "is an all-powerful being"? I mean, I admire the guy, but he's hardly a deity.

As for "when he is criticized unfairly (as per him), what other option does he have but go to court?", Mann filed suit when The National Review and The Competitive Enterprise Institute published actionable "false and defamatory statements accusing him of academic fraud" after he'd been cleared by every credible authority. He didn't just threaten legal action, he took it, as I would do if I were him. Regardless of his personal motivation, the entire scientific enterprise benefits "strategically" if professional deniers like CEI face actual legal consequences when their tactics go that far beyond "public participation".

And it doesn't take bravery (moi?) to say that the deniers quoted in RF are conspiracists, because the word means no more or less than "one who believes or promotes a conspiracy theory". It's simply a concise description of the individuals who made the quoted statements on public venues. It's not a psychiatric diagnosis, and it's not a legally actionable statement anywhere, which presumably is why the authors of RF were brave enough to make the paper available for free to anyone who can work a web browser, and why there have been no actual lawsuits filed against them.

Shub, it's not illegal to believe that AGW is some kind of hoax carried out by the entire global community of scientists over hundreds of years, but people who believe that should at least recognize how irrational they sound to the rest of us. By the same token, when AGW-conspiracists publicly announce themselves, they should accept that it's not illegal to wonder who they are and why they think that.

Mal Adapted said...

More Shub-parsing:

"People like Eugenie Scott et al were highly successful building careers out of crusades fighting regular people and hicks about the Bible and evolution. They are an embarrassment to science."

I'm sorry, "regular people"? Would you mind explaining who they are? I support the efforts of Eugenie Scott and others to keep religiously-motivated obscurantism out of the public schools; are you saying I'm not a regular person? I think my feelings are hurt!

Shub, evolution is science. Your inability to accept that is embarrassing to you, in the eyes of all who understand how easy it is to fool yourself.

shub said...

Mal-
The authors of Fury are not brave but slightly clueless. They posted a pdf because their lawyer gave them an assurance that, if they were sued he would be happy to bill the resulting charges to insurance. Still waiting on them to host the supplementary data pdf that has Judith Curry and Richard Betts listed as 'AGW-conspiracists'.

Hosting a pdf on a webserver is like writing a blog post.

This, in the end, is a blog tussle which the authors of this 'paper' tried to convert into a paper.

It is as though a handful of commenters and Anthony Watts decided to write a series of fake posts at WUWT as a trap for Sou, who then falls for it and write a series of "ho, how ridiculous, ha, how stupid" posts on her blog, which Watts then copies into an Excel sheet as 'data' and submits a paper to an academic journal in psychology.

None of the authors concerned have the guts to write a single, decent post on their own blogs or interact with in the comments, quoting whom they stuffed as 'data' in their paper. They would fare pretty poorly. The only point of exception was Marriott-Hubble who constantly picks on Jo Nova. I'm not sure that counts.


"AGW is some kind of hoax carried out by the entire global community of scientists over hundreds of years..."

You haven't read the paper as well, have you?

Just as with the evolution 'debate', you are fighting your own demons. Or, you like characterizing your opponents this way, so it becomes easy to knock then down.

Discussing evolution would be interesting but it would be off-topic. Plus, I don't want to go in that direction considering I'm not getting any answers for my questions. It wouldn't be a long shot to imagine, for instance, Russell Seitz to be a crazy man, looking at his blog and Watts obsession. But writing such things in an academic paper would confirm your craziness as opposed to his imagined diagnosis. Too difficult to admit?

guthrie said...

Nice attempt at running away, Shub. Come back when you've got some guts and some answers.

Mal Adapted said...

Shub, you seem to think the authors of Recursive Fury have an obligation to be respectful of conspiracists, to engage them in debate and to convince them that their conspiracy theories are false. Why?

Beyond that, you seem to think that scientific issues must be resolved politely, and that rhetoric is an appropriate tactic for scientific debate. In reality, professional scientists are seldom patient with arguments that aren't well-thought-out or well-supported by evidence. All that matters is logically correct interpretation of empirically verifiable facts. It's more important to keep incorrect ideas and spurious facts out of the body of accumulated scientific knowledge than to keep anyone's feelings from being hurt. It's what peer review is for, and it's not for sissies.

Your ignorance of scientific practice and your willingness to fool yourself about reality are your problems, not ours. You've long since lost whatever argument you came here to make because your facts and logic don't hold up, and no one has any obligation to engage you any further. I, for one, am done with you.

shub said...

Maladapted
You haven't read the paper. Nor do you understand the issues. I wonder why you bothered entering this comment thread.

willard said...

> You haven't read the paper.

I did, Shub.

Pray tell bunnies where "psycho-analysing" is mentioned.

Another check.

metzomagic said...

Pray tell bunnies where "psycho-analysing" is mentioned.

But Willard, if Lewandowsky wasn't "psycho-analysing" the denialists, then you take away the primary reason for their faux outrage. The Auditor and his rabid terrier mode lackeys like Shub here simply won't stand for that.

EliRabett said...

Shub: "I am an MD trained in a discipline "

In Lucia speak, this reeks of Shub having been struck off. Eli demands a copy of Shub's registration.

willard said...

> their faux outrage.

I have no reason to disbelieve Shub's sincerity, Metzo, whether it's justified or not.

Actually, I told Lew (pers. comm) that I did not particularly appreciate how he was messing with my niche.

This was before the publication of his Recursive Fury paper Since he borrowed my "Fury" suggestion, I now appreciate a bit more. But even then, there are real concerns to be addressed, and we should not wait for contrarians to address them.

metzomagic said...

I have no reason to disbelieve Shub's sincerity, Metzo, whether it's justified or not.

True. They choose to believe that what Lewandowsky got ethics approval for from his university's board is not what Lewandowsky actually did. And I suppose we will never be able to dissuade them from that belief no matter how many ways we try to put it.

willard said...

> I suppose we will never be able to dissuade them from that belief no matter how many ways we try to put it.

That belief should not be any bunny's concern.

All that matters is our own INTEGRITY (tm).

This also applies to Shub, who ignored a bit too much what has been said in this thread already.

Mal Adapted said...

Willard:

"> You haven't read the paper.

I did, Shub.

Pray tell bunnies where 'psycho-analysing' is mentioned."

I read the paper too, of course. The claim that RF "psycho-analysed" or "diagnosed" deniers is persistently re-bunked on multiple blog threads, but none of the re-bunkers is able to point to the language in RF that supports it. Shub can't either (it's not there, after all), and that calls his sincerity into question. I think what he and the other recursively furious deniers are really mad about is simply that Lewandowsky et al. don't take their belief in the AGW conspiracy seriously. That's disrespectful to them!

shub said...

Mal-
You read the paper? When? After I said you hadn't read it?

The problem is you have no exposure to issues like this, seeing as the closest you would come to living things in your line of work are fossils. Nor are you willing to place yourself in the situation you see the 'deniers' placed, in the 'paper'.

One of the common ethical standards rests on the philosophical foundation of not subjecting research subjects to steps you would not submit yourself or your own family members to.

The restrictions on human subject research are stricter in the European Union.

But here's the real catch. We scarcely need to delve into ethical issues:

Ethical considerations enter an equation where both parties fulfill other far more important criteria for a work of research to be considered valid. Lewandowsky and friends fail these tests prima facie.

Observational, non-interventional analysis of de-identified aggregated comment/blog text, performed by researchers who have no prior connection to their subjects, carry minimal risk.

Where have you heard of people who know each other and are hostile to each other perform psychologic resaerch on each other as valid research?

It is a position of fundamental conflict. No psychologic analyses coming from such circumstances are valid.

Secondly, which observational study allows researchers to interact with research subjects without consent or debriefing, taunt them and control their reactions? Which study allows researchers to use such material as data?

In other words, Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriott are:
1) equals to the subjects they purport to analyse.
2) hostile to the subjects they analyse
3) in direct contact with the subjects they analyse.
4)*themselves the prime reason for the disturbance they deign to analyse*
5)control the forum and the material they analyse.

To top it off, Lewandowsky et al told everyone and their uncle at Skepticalscience about their comment collection project.

You have to show your understanding of these questions. Researcher conflict invalidates research in psychology. Ask Lewandowsky and Cook if they would agree if Alene Composta wrote a psychological profile of them both in Frontiers.

willard said...

> [Lewandowsky, Cook and Marriott are] themselves the prime reason for the disturbance they deign to analyse

Lew & al made the Shub and the contrarians do it.

By chance we scarcely need to delve into ethical issues.

***

> You have to show your understanding of these questions.

Mal is thereby burdened with Shub's proof.

***

> Ask Lewandowsky and Cook if they would agree if Alene Composta wrote a psychological profile of them both in Frontiers.

Bunnies might notice how "psycho-analysing" silently becomes writing a "psychological profile."

metzomagic said...

Bunnies might also notice how "analysing public comments on various blogs to show the tendency for climate change contrarians, *as a group*, to be more prone to conspiracy ideation than people who accept the science" has (not so silently!) morphed into "psycho-analysing *individuals* according to DSM-IV or V classified psychological disorders without obtaining prior consent from those individuals".

Because without that cognitive juggling act, they can't justify to themselves the big stink they have been making over LOG12 and Recursive Fury for the past 18 months.

Mal Adapted said...

Wow! "The problem is you have no exposure to issues like this, seeing as the closest you would come to living things in your line of work are fossils. Nor are you willing to place yourself in the situation you see the 'deniers' placed, in the 'paper'."

Shub's constructed an entire straw man from the brief glimpse of my life he got earlier in the thread. And he's made it even clearer that he thinks the purpose of Science is to make him feel good.

How much more rope does he need to hang himself?

guthrie said...

Hmm, so Shub lacks the gust to honestly face both climate science and evolutionary biology, and insists on running away from the reality of the recursive fury paper?
COlour me surprised, as the americans say.

shub said...

willard, you say: "Lew & al made the Shub and the contrarians do it."

Yes, literally. Lew et al made them do it.

Lew first did not provide information about the blogs who were requested to host his survey. He then wrote a post as though he released their names and apparently back-dated it. He said he surveyed Skepticalscience when he can show no proof that he did. He can show no proof the Fury paper was subjected to a university ethics panel review.

He interpreted people and their comments asking about these aspects of his work as 'conspiratorial'.

I can understand the stupid people who don't belong in the climate debate fall for Lewandowsky's innocent tales. Not someone who's participating discussion threads in climate blogs on this specific issue.

W.r.t to 'psychologic-analysis' thing. It's funny. The name of the Freud-pioneered system is psychoanalysis. You might want to think this is what I am implying as a un-allowed thing to be carried out on people without consent. Unfortunately, I do not have the need to artificially strengthen my case doing so. It does not have to be a formalized quasi-medical practice perpetrated on research subjects for your actions as a researcher to fall afoul of ethical norms. Any psychologic analysis/profiling/ of humans as research subjects is unethical without consent or debriefing when you identify them by name in your paper.

Again, these issues do not enter our consideration because of researcher conflict, which renders Lewandowsky's actions problematic. He's lucky he's not registered anywhere to be doing anything useful (as opposed to academic).

Mal-
"Shub's constructed an entire straw man from the brief glimpse of my life he got earlier in the thread. "

Ha Ha Ha Ha!! :) :) LOL!

That does bother you doesn't it? You don't see the irony yet? ;)

EliRabett said...

Shub, when you grow up you will learn that if you consistently hector people, answering your demands does not become their first priority just because you think it should be

willard said...

> Yes, literally. Lew et al made them do it.

No, Shub, nobody makes contrarians do what they do. They are free agents. Most of them are freedom fighters anyway.

Please don't conflate epistemology (i.e. bias) with ethics (i.e. right). The "You Made Me Do It" game is an important move in transactional analysis.

***

Besides, what did Lew do that made contrarians do what they did, Shub? And what did the contrarians do in response?

Be specific. Show me you read Lew instead of gerrymandering your case with gracious arm waves.

***

> He's lucky he's not registered anywhere [...]

Show bunnies your registration, Shub.

EFS_Junior said...

I've Got a Secret

http://www.zora.uzh.ch/77086/
http://www.zora.uzh.ch/77086/1/Lewandowsky_2013_Recursive_Fury.pdf

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?pdf=1&FileId=2918&articleId=40138&Version=1&ContentTypeId=58&FileName=Provisional%20PDF.pdf

So, it would appear that, the provisional copy of RF has been on the Frontiers website for 447 consecutive days and counting ...

Kevin O'Neill said...

shub - psychoanalysis is not part of Recursive Fury. Therefor any criticism of the paper based on the ethics of performing psychoanalysis without consent is wholly without merit. Likewise, trying to use "psychological analysis/profiling" is similarly moot. Psychological analysis is just another name for psychoanalysis. Psychological profiling is used almost exclusively in criminology (i.e., it's not applicable either). The fact you can't even identify what's actually taking place in the paper is telling.

If you had read the paper, you would have seen the term 'descriptive discourse analysis' -- try that on and hit the reset button.

I'm still amused that you believe Lyme disease and cervical cancer (and everything else on the CDC list) aren't actually diseases. I've always referred half-jokingly to most of my doctors as 'family vets' - as in veterinarians with the subtext they shouldn't be allowed to treat people. But I wouldn't let someone with your beliefs treat my dog. I do not mean this in a rhetorical or hyperbolic manner; simply a factual statement. I like my dog and would not let her be treated by someone with such a complete disregard for the science of medicine.

EFS_Junior said...

Oh,

Also, the provisional RF Data Sheet is also still available at Frontiers;

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?sup=1&articleId=40138&FileId=2676&FileName=Data Sheet 1.PDF&contentType=Data Sheet&contentTypeId=6&version=1

447 consecutive days and counting ...

willard said...

Bunnies might appreciate the timestamp of Shub's first comment here: 18/4/14 12:16 PM.

Notice this other comment, vintage April 16th, 2014 at 8:12 am:

> There is more to come. Please wait.

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/fury-authors-interactions-with-participants-john-cook/#comment-128757

There are other comments at:

April 17th, 2014 at 7:26 am
April 17th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

An interesting post:

http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/shub-niggurath-climate-a-request-to-readers/

A begging MD.

willard said...

An interesting question was asked November 9, 2013 at 10:00:

> Steve – have you asked Woods to participate in the discussion here?

http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/3758/#comment-9142

No answer to date at Shub's.

willard said...

Vintage 2014-04-02:

> It would be interesting to see if the scab-picking stops here.

http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/frontiers-and-lewandowsky-the-scab-picking-begins-anew/

Does scab-picking hurt?

metzomagic said...

EFS_Junior, locating the original data sheet (i.e. the long lost supplementary materials) was a great find! Many thanks. Now I can finally try to replicate the results of RF... or not. You'd need the necessary qualifications in cognitive psychology to do that, wouldn't you? Aw shucks.

But hey, I'm sure the DK-challenged ACC deniers will be able to do it. They always know better than the scientists /snark

EliRabett said...

NONONO the rules of Climateball require that Dr. Shub be handed the Lew's personal copy of the supplementary materials together with a certificate of authenticity signed by the vice chancellor and Lord Monckton. Otherwise how could Shub be sure it was real.

willard said...

Scratching my own itch, I found evidence that Brandon tried to pull Michael Wood's leg. It did not work much. Here's Brandon's conclusion, vintage Nov 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM:

People defending work will often take anything they can portray as error as proof your criticisms are wrong. It doesn’t matter if you make an error or not. It doesn’t matter if the (supposed) error affects your argument or not. Unless you write without including anything that could possibly be taken as mistaken, they can misunderstand and misrepresent your arguments.

http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/13/another-absurd-lewandowsky-correlation/#comment-449400

Incidentally, the Auditor approved this conclusion.

Bunnies overheard the emphasized bit on Climate Audit

willard said...

Interestingly, Brandon's first comment in the above thread links to this other, vintage Nov 7, 2013 at 5:49 PM:

> I feel weird. I had contacted Michael Wood about two weeks ago [...]

http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/07/more-false-claims-from-lewandowsky/#comment-446862

So Barry's question has been answered two days before he asked it, at least the part about contacting Michael Wood.

willard said...

In the comment thread of the blog post entitled More False Claims from Lewandowsky (ergo all that Lew says is false), the discussion meanders a bit about JFK's assassination and some WMO report:

> Brandon, if you have time, try looking at the 150,000 deaths due to climate change, cited in the latest Lewandowsky tirade. It goes to Patz 2005 and then to a 2002 World Health Organization report. The numbers in the appendix seem to appear out of thin air. It would be worthwhile asking the authors how they got them.

http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/07/more-false-claims-from-lewandowsky/#comment-446884

Bunnies should wonder if Brandon got the memo. In any case, it seems that Jonathan Jones' darling got there first:

> I’ve also tried several times to look into this figure.

http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/07/more-false-claims-from-lewandowsky/#comment-446974

***

The Auditor took some numbers and made a table, accompanied by probable promise:

> I’ll probably start a separate post on this.

http://climateaudit.org/2013/11/07/more-false-claims-from-lewandowsky/#comment-447020

Did the promise materialize?

Probably.

willard said...

Meanwhile, november 2013 was calm at Lucia's. Vintage 7 November, 2013 (12:43):

> With that title, I bet you think I’m going to comment on Mann or Lewandowsky. After all, everyone else has (judy, ben, briggs, warren and so on.) But wrong-o!

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/what-constitutes-a-war-on-science/

Here's the network of everyone else:

http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/06/a-subterranean-war-on-science/

http://www.climate-resistance.org/2013/11/what-is-science.html

http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=9800

http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/11/03/the-subterranean-war-on-science-a-comment/

Bunnies may appreciate that Lucia's editorial is classified under Politics.

willard said...

Let's hope Shub does not feel hurt for having been excluded by Lucia from "everyone else".

Shub is not alone, though. Our beloved Bishop has also been excluded. Again, vintage Nov 8, 2013

> It's lucrative, this academic misconduct business.

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/11/8/lewcrative.html

EliRabett said...

Bunnies know, that this is wandering far from the original post, the duplicity of Frontiers and how noble Lagomorphia will rescue those innocent naive scientific types from their blind devotion to CVism.

Just sayin'

Eli

shub said...

Kevin - "psychoanalysis is not part of Recursive Fury. Therefor any criticism of the paper based on the ethics of performing psychoanalysis without consent is wholly without merit. "

Absolutely. I agree with you 100%.

Lots of people don't have much respect for medical doctors. Maybe it is the empiricism. Not having a lot of respect for doctors is a healthy sign.

Secondively*, if you wanted a doctor for yourself or a vet for your dog, it would be better if they were someone who respected your privacy, i.e., someone who will fight for your corner. Not someone who would hear your complaints and then pass it around at the grocer's.

willard,
Clearly, you have some bones to pick. Why don't you post comments in the relevant threads? Not now obviously but at the time when the issue is current and the questions occur to you.

Your "The "You Made Me Do It" game is an important move in transactional analysis" bit was good. But in the case of Lewandowsky, we are dealing with matters at a much more mundane level. When two people have a conversation, each speaks roughly after the other, in connection with what's said by the other. Each makes the other 'do it'.

If you want something from someone, they control the conversation. Women know this and use this to great effect. In the end however, such games get old. The vehemence or persistence in your asking for it has little relevance to what's being asked for.

Lewandowsky's logic goes like this: "These 'deniers' assumed I would not have gotten ethics clearance. Look at them, how they openly and loudly wonder that I, a professor at an academic institution, would not have such a basic thing as ethics clearance, when there is no reason for them to believe so. This pervasive suspicion makes them conspiratorial."

But, it turns out, he actually did not subject his studies to a formal ethics board review.

The same goes for his other conspiratorialisms. In each instance, it turned out the authors were only covering their deficiencies by calling their questioners 'conspiratorial'.

Have fun.

willard said...

> When two people have a conversation [...]

Love your metaphor, Shub.

Please remind me what you consider to be a conversation in the actual story you're peddling in Eli's comment about the Amway structure of a scientific publication.

chek said...

It's unbelievable shubby.
All those billions going begging
and they can't see fit to steer a piddling some of it to your pissy little (free wordpress) denial repeater blog.
It's almost as if they have as little respect for hanger-on leeches as the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Dilbert. So you loved failing people in exams.
What a wonderful person you are.
Eli, thanks for your comment at Lucia's, interesting perspective.
Amway is a little different to Frontiers, none of my or your family and friends were or are Frontiers editors.
Shub, you are on a winner, you are getting gold class invective here . Obviously no one here respects fellow human beings except Eli who did try to tone things down.
One can only imagine their wives and kiddies reading their words and treating their classmates the same way.
Class is priceless guys. Angech

EFS_Junior said...

Well if you want your own final Official copy of RF, the best place is the Frontiers website;

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/DownloadFile.ashx?pdf=1&FileId=3516&articleId=40138&Version=1&ContentTypeId=21&FileName=fpsyg-04-00073.pdf

Between "cherry picking" the expert report and "moving the goal posts" on their human rights research (you know by posting both provisional and final copies which included named individuals, Doh!), perhaps Frontiers is just too busy, after all they also renamed the journal subcategory where RF was originally published.

406 consecutive days at Frontiers and counting ...

Also see;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600613/pdf/fpsyg-04-00073.pdf
http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3600613/pdf/fpsyg-04-00073.pdf
http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC3600613/pdf/fpsyg-04-00073.pdf

:-)