The Ergosphere
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beyond disgusted

Part IV of Dittmar's essay has been up at The Oil Drum for the last few days.  I've been reading it as fast as I can stomach it.

To say that I'm disgusted by that tripe is a gross understatement.  I am bitter, locked in disputes with the editors over the rebuttal to Chapter I which has been finished for a month but has still not been rhetorically neutered to their specifications.  My co-authors are as frustrated as I am.

I am now certain that I will not be allowed to put my opinion of Dittmar's work in the key post itself, so I will put it here:  it is blatant propaganda.  It is full of lies.  It has just enough truth to fly under the radar (and BS detectors) of the general public without being caught out, and too few will see the rebuttals and corrections in the comments to offset the damage it is doing.

The editors don't want to do anything about this.  The editorship of TOD has either been played, or is behind the propaganda.  They say they have no expertise in these matters and value my input, but what value can they possibly be placing on advice when they ignore it?  I had hoped to get the remaining chapters vetted for accuracy before publication as a way of raising the quality of TOD, but my input has been disregarded.  The editors do not want to get into peer review.  I have been in favor of pre-publication peer review as a way of raising the quality of posts at TOD and turning it into more of a scientific journal; the actions of the editors seem to be heading more toward the Sokal hoax which made "Social Text" a laughingstock.  The difference is that Dittmar wants his nonsense to be taken seriously.

I will finish the rebuttal to Chapter I.  After that, I don't know.  Lots of feelings have been hurt here, and it is very hard to see where to go.

I hope they allow you to post at least some of your criticisms, EP. They need an occasional dose of rationality to counter-balance the neo-Luddite/Malthusian ideological bias over there.
I actually am working as a research analyst for the Diogenes Institute on identifying base load options. For obvious reasons the fluoride option for MSRs is of some interest but equally obvious, there is no way of forming an appropriate opinion since there appears to be no one in the "anti" camp willing to do a careful debunking of the technology.

For that reason I'm asking those who have the back ground to provide the strongest argument against LFTR as a near-term prototype option for baseload electricity generation.

Any recommendations?
I don't know of any, but you might want to search the comments of the Dittmar pieces to find people who are more rational than Dittmar.  I cannot recall seeing anyone like that, but my focus might be just a bit off.
I'm thinking of writing a post on Blogs You Should Not Read (some are not technically blogs). In order:

1. The Archdruid Report
2. Energy Bulletin
3. The Oil Drum

I'm not sure where to put Kunstler into the list. If you are only reading him for a good rant he may not be as dangerous as any, but the subtext might actually put him up at 2.5

Basically these sites hurt your brain, not so much by any item of data, but my creating a framework that supports the "Luddite/Malthusian ideological bias" of which Yogi speaks. Value networks matter.
There are reasons I'm still at TOD, and one is that I can be a counterweight.  You can see Brian Wang's post, which would probably not be there without my influence.

I'll get over my writer's block and finish the group post sooner or later.
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