Rafe’s Roundup 20 Sept

LATE FINAL EXTRA: Check out the NIPCC, the Non-Government alternative Climate Change authority.

Posts of the week. Cut, cut, cut! Grow, grow, grow! Left shrinks from the challenge of the culture wars.

Comment of the week. Profile of the eternally adolescent Chaser Boys.

Foreign aid. Peter Bauer’s warning, government to government aid does more harm than good.

Good news from the land of windmills. Calling a halt on the welfare state.

Blast from the past. Barry Jones maintains the faith.

It is already clear that the process of global warming, to which human activity plays an important (but not the only) role, may well be irreversible. 2013 is on track to be the hottest year since systematic global records have been kept.

In 2007, Kevin Rudd referred to climate change as the “greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. Morgan polls indicated that in 2008, 35% of Australians nominated the environment as a major issue: by 2013 this has fallen to 8%.

Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity on the issue (this “toxic” tax), dismissing the science as “crap”, strongly supported by the Murdoch papers and NSW shock jocks, went essentially unquestioned, and became a default position.

UPDATE: Scrambling to mute and mould the message in the forthcoming IPCC report.

Around the town: The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Quadrant on line, at the IPA, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies.

The Sydney Line. Wit and wisdom from Keith Windschuttle on history and culture.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. This weeks edition appears in the afternoon.

IPA HEY! on line, statements of the week.

Education. Kevin Donelly On Line Opinion. The Ed West Centre to promote private education.

Pictorial. Raising the Costa Concordia.

Sport and recreation. 2013 racing report. Todd River Cup.

For nerds. Politics scrambles your thought processes!

The study, by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their “numeracy,” that is, their mathematical reasoning ability. Participants were then asked to solve a fairly difficult problem that involved interpreting the results of a (fake) scientific study. But here was the trick: While the fake study data that they were supposed to assess remained the same, sometimes the study was described as measuring the effectiveness of a “new cream for treating skin rashes.” But in other cases, the study was described as involving the effectiveness of “a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns in public.”

The result? Survey respondents performed wildly differently on what was in essence the same basic problem, simply depending upon whether they had been told that it involved guns or whether they had been told that it involved a new skin cream. What’s more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more – not less — susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.

Paul Redding, philosopher, defends his project from Liberal waste-watchers.

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25 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 20 Sept

  1. Leo G says:

    “In Defence Of The Chaser’s False Depiction Of My Dad Having Sex With Dog” – Liam Kenny

    The depiction wasn’t the offence. The offence was broadcasting the depiction. The worst offender wasn’t even the Chaser Team broadcast. That was the rebroadcast on Paul Barry’s Media Watch, cynically and calculatingly rubbing salt in the wound. Barry even conceded that the viewing public had every right to be offended, while he again offended them.
    That’s ‘our’ malicious ABC for you.
    Media Watch, watch thyself.

  2. PeterW. says:

    The study on the influence of politics on numeracy and reasoning skills will come as no surprise – particularly to anyone who has been observing the gun-control debate these last 30-odd years as I have.

    A classic example was our own John Howard. When faced with high-quality studies showing conclusively that his gun-control laws had had little or no effect upon violent crime in Australia, he took refuge in the claim that despite the lack of effect on crime, people were “safer”. (My emphasis). What this normally rational man forgot or ignored, was that every way in which you may be made less safe with afirearm, is illegal. ……… We have – in the crime statistics – an excellent measure of public safety, yet it is dismissed when the results contradict a pre-existing bias.

    How well we can apply this confirmation bias to Democrats andRepublicans in the US , I’m not quite sure. However there has been a considerable amount of study into firearms crime and firearms use in the US, and we would need to control for the degree to which study participants were familiar with the results.

    Peter

  3. one old bruce says:

    I’m in favour of people studying German philosophy, but I don’t think taxpayers ought to be burdened with $400k pa plus for it, when the Goethe Institute and the German government are already very generous in the field. The money should be paid, if at all, to Germans to study Australia, as a ‘categorical’ return favour…

  4. one old bruce says:

    And of course our Rafe can tell us about all the travails of specialising in a particular German philosopher (!) in Australia *without* generous government backing!

  5. manalive says:

    Virtue and vexation: the policy vacuum in the 2013 election …

    Apparently, according to Barry O Jones (the loveable), Abbott had no policies.
    Restoring the integrity of the national borders, getting rid of the absurdity of a country with an enormous natural advantage in cheap energy sources and the biggest coal exporter shooting itself in the foot with the highest CO2 tax in the world are not policies … now this is a policy.

  6. jupes says:

    Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity on the issue (this “toxic” tax), dismissing the science as “crap”, strongly supported by the Murdoch papers and NSW shock jocks, went essentially unquestioned, and became a default position.

    Except of course by the tax payer funded Climate Change Minister, Climate Change department, Climate Change Authority, CSIRO, ABC and Climate Commission. Other than that completely unquestioned.

  7. Leo G says:

    … now this is a policy…

    A curious thing about Barry’s flowchart is that Infrastructure is shown as a dead end.

  8. Rabz says:

    Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity on the issue (this “toxic” tax), dismissing the science as “crap”, strongly supported by the Murdoch papers and NSW shock jocks, went essentially unquestioned, and became a default position.

    This statement speaks volumes about how stupid the left are in general, not just that waffling beardo Jones.

    If the science was so convincing and the evidence so conclusive there wouldn’t have been any reason to viciously smear people and make ever more hysterical, ridiculous predictions about the consequences of something that simply wasn’t happening in the first place.

    It’s now been nearly two and half decades of this absurd, anti scientific, fact and evidence free hysteria, fabricated solely to drive a marxist agenda of oppression of the populace, for their own good (of course).

    The waste, the lies, the vile denunciations of non-believers, the hysterical puffed up idiocy of self important clowns like Flannery and Gore, the trashing of science as an objective, methodical, evidence based quest for knowledge – how can damage of this magnitude be undone?

    The answer is of course, that it can’t. But both the ‘science’ and its hucksters can and should be held to account.

    Given this unceasing, whining din, it’s time there was a comprehensive, objective examination of CAGW, the so called science and the evidence. Abbott should initiate this, he has nothing to lose and people will be more fully informed of the extent of the scam and the damage it has caused.

    Then certain imbeciles need to be rightfully punished.

    Enough – I’m sick to bloody death of this utter crap.

  9. cohenite says:

    The waste, the lies, the vile denunciations of non-believers, the hysterical puffed up idiocy of self important clowns like Flannery and Gore, the trashing of science as an objective, methodical, evidence based quest for knowledge – how can damage of this magnitude be undone?

    Yep. And not a shred of evidence to support the whole edifice of vanity, stupidity and bullshit.

  10. TimT says:

    Windschuttle:

    It [Sydney philosophy] has a low opinion of:

    anything beginning with ‘post’, especially postmodernism, poststructuralism and postcolonialism;

    Crikey. If Windschuttle is behind me in the queue at the post office, I’m out of there.

  11. Bons says:

    Flannery – “I shall continue to inform the Australian people….”
    Translation – The ABC has offered me unlimited gigs.

  12. egg_ says:

    So if Einstein Jones is to believed, sea levels must be rising – watch out for your new seaside home, Jools…

  13. egg_ says:

    The waste, the lies, the vile denunciations of non-believers, the hysterical puffed up idiocy of self important clowns like Flannery and Gore, the trashing of science as an objective, methodical, evidence based quest for knowledge – how can damage of this magnitude be undone?

    Where was the chorus of Scientists drowning out these shonks?
    Even Ag Scientists had to link CAGW BS to research papers.
    Blame the Research industry as a whole for being so ‘nadless.

  14. H B Bear says:

    The Spaghetti & Meatballs Man rides again.

  15. brc says:

    Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity on the issue (this “toxic” tax), dismissing the science as “crap”, strongly supported by the Murdoch papers and NSW shock jocks, went essentially unquestioned, and became a default position.

    Conflating cause and effect is the unmistakeable spectral signature of the unreasoning leftie.

    Abbott gained popularity because he declared the emperor to be naked, not because he mugged the emperor and stole his clothes.

    Essentially the argument is that Tony Abbot managed to convince an entire continent of people with a couple of short statements. If that is the case, he should dump politics a d make his fortune as a marketer.

  16. tomix says:

    Check out the NIPCC, the Non-Government alternative Climate Change authority

    Or, the “nipsy”, for short.

  17. manalive says:

    Leaked United Nations report reveals the world’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years …

    Sure one can bandy about the temperature trends using different series and starting points.
    Not unreasonably many do not trust the two series collected in collaboration and curated by dedicated climate activists and prefer the satellite series which start in 1979.
    They show that almost all the net warming over those 34 years occurred in less than a third of that time allegedly in response to a continuous monotonic rise in CO2 concentration.

  18. kae says:

    Just heard a brief news item (I don’t bother with the news, to left for my liking), and it seems that some Greenpeace protesters have been arrested while trying to board a Russian oil rig….

  19. kae says:

    Here ya go, sorry about the source.

  20. Dianne says:

    Todd River Cup.

    You may have seen that one recently Rafe (may I call you Rafe?), but the news of the week from the Alice, is the activist on the front page of the local rag, decrying the use of the river by “foreigners”(yes, foreigners mind you), playing volleyball…

    The Alice ain’t what it used to be….& the usual suspects can take a bow.

  21. perturbed says:

    That was the rebroadcast on Paul Barry’s Media Watch, cynically and calculatingly rubbing salt in the wound. Barry even conceded that the viewing public had every right to be offended, while he again offended them.

    Then again, at least we got to see what offended people, as opposed to the whole “These cartoons offended Islam, but we can’t show them to you to judge for yourselves in case we offend Islam again” business.

  22. perturbed says:

    Flannery – “I shall continue to inform the Australian people….”

    Next time I’m in Sydney I expect to see him in rags, muttering to himself and occasionally screeching incoherently as he walks up and down George Street wearing a sandwich board marked “The End of the World is Nigh”. Because that’s about the level he’s descended to now.

  23. Rafe says:

    Thanks Dianne, you may call me Rafe 🙂

  24. Jim Rose says:

    See ‘The Stock Market Speaks: How Dr. Alchian Learned to Build the Bomb’ by Joseph Michael Newhard, August 27, 2013 at http://www.terry.uga.edu/events/details/2444 for a replication study of Alchian’s event study of capital market reactions to nuclear detonations in 1954 updated with declassified information and modern finance theory

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