Slightly edited chat transcript. Several interesting points came up.
willard: hello Dr. Tobiswillard’s new status message – home 2:03 PMme: heywillard: …how are you doing?me: A bit freaked outwillard: you deserve it, you know thatme: deserve to be freaked out?willard: yesyou should not have made two posts into oneme: agreebutI did break the icewillard: lolthat reminds me of my friendwho is still a virginme: got the serious people to say out loud what they have all been thinkingwillard: that’s not the way to break the icea better way is to ask questionsJudith commits the same mistakeshe’s not questioning the IPCCshe simply asserts that they goofedwhence all she criticizes is her own reading of what they sayme: well, the question is really what is making her tick; perhaps I shouldn’t have raised it (I knew many would disapprove)to some extent I disapprove myselfwillard: i understand what you’re trying to do, mtyou would sacrifice yourself to save usJC’s not worth your Christian sacrificeme: I don’t actually relish being crucifiedbut she’s a big enough target to be worth taking a little damagewillard: i doubt itshe’s a juniorshe can blame her inexperienceme: she is notwillard: you know what i meanme: she is the chairman of the atmospheric sciences department at a major universitywillard: yesme: if she were not, nobody would pay her the slightest attentionwillard: i agreebut that’s not the way to take down a big bossyou have to show respectbow before the blowyou tried to beat a hand you don’t knowif she can formalize what she means, you’re deadme: well 1) James agrees with me that she can’tand James is the real expertwillard: i knowme: 2) if she does I capitulate, and she adds something to the arsenal of thoughtso at least there is a helpful resultwillard: your reputation will take hit pointsme: the chance that she has not made any error at all is zero, I thinkwillard: i understandstill, these are minor glitcheslookshe’s commiting the hermeneutics fallacyme: too catholic for meyou must explainwillard: she’s overinterpretingshe basically is criticizing one figurewhere they don’t spell out what they really mean, formallyso, yes, she’s right at least for saying that it’s not formalizedand perhaps a bit inconsistentbutif formalizing is a problemthen she needs to offer out to do thathence the flagbut the flagis underspecifiedwhat’s the logic behind it?me: worseit is inconsistently specifiedwillard: Nullius in Verba says it’s Bayesianme: I haven’t read NiV’s position yetwillard: you still can understand what she means, can’t you?me: Not in a consistent waywillard: if you can, say some: As James says“While it might be possible to reverse-engineer some semblance of sense into some of her statements regarding it, they are mutually incoherent”that statement by James is a very good summary of what I am sayingwillard: i knowme: It is not communication to use the same device to mean different things at different timeswillard: facing incoherence, one has a choiceasking questionspointing out the logical mishapsstaying respectfulif you do this like a gentlemanme: I will be ignoredwillard: she can’t respond by saying you’re a thugshe can’t ignore logical arguments for longme: I can’t be a thug. She’s a department chairman. She has vastly superior powers to my own.willard: you are rough on herme: Yes. Rude.willard: you are judging herher personme: Yes. I am afraid you are right.I am sure she is a pleasant person.I hate to do this.But her behavior is so irresponsible that somebody needs to say it.And since I have less to lose than most, it might as well be me.willard: i understand, mtyou should call herit’s important that it gets personalnow that it isonly live voice will make you feel what’s she’s up about…you want to know what she’s looking for, aren’t you?me: An interesting suggestionwillard: ask herme: I do not know that she would take the callwillard: yes, she wouldshe’s a tough oneshe can manage confrontationshe won’t be able to resist youpractice your texin accent and she’ll understand that you mean wellno, let’s not dreamat the very least, settle your different in a noble wayshare your mutual concernsyou can tell her things that won’t get publishedTom will be furious if you can survive thisyou can’t say that i don’t have any argument thereme: I am not sure what objective I have in this proposed conversationwillard: 1. you mean well2. you wish to understand her pov3. you think that she lacks a sense of responsibilityyou can’t say 1-2-3 over the internetzme: you just didwillard: chatting is not bloggingme: all I need is your permission to post the transcriptwillard: you have itme: cool.me: I don’t know whether she thinks she is seriouseither a) she really thinks she is making a contribution to statistical reasoning or b) she is being cynicalwillard: cross out bme: I think a is vastly more likelybut others think otherwisewillard: she really is discovering quantified reasoningscientists are jejeune, sometimesme: under a we have a1) she is making some kind of sense but nobody with any basis in statistics can make any sense of it or a2) she is making no sense and thinks she iswillard: like athletes who have a big right armbut no legswhat i mean is the breadthof humanitiescharityshe just discovered Peirce!me: yes, she is amazingly naive sometimeswillard: that’s how i portray scientistsme: but what is her strength?willard: she’s naivebrings idealismforthrightnesspuritynobility of heartme: ah, yesI see what you are sayingwillard: revolutionaryme: she is a Shakespearean characterwillard: you have not reread Hamlet, haven’t you?me: not recentlywillard: i told yaall is thereall is in Moby Dick tooanywayyes, she seems to believe that the IPCC is bullying away minoritarian standpointsme: whatever truth there may be to thatand there may be someher arguments make no sensewillard: lolyou can’t criticize a nonsensical argument, michaelme: what does that mean?willard: you can only say it makes no sense
I had to sign out at that point.