People ask me amazing questions. They’re generally both ignorant and redundant, as I indicated previously.
Sometimes the questions are neither ignorant nor redundant. They’re mean-spirited, thereby consistent with this entire culture. I don’t know if the questioner is mirroring the culture or the culture is merely a sum of the jerks asking the questions. Perhaps it’s a self-reinforcing feedback loop of meanness as a method to gather prestige by belittling others.
Perhaps the people asking the questions don’t even know they’re rude. Perhaps I’m asking too much from individuals trapped within a culture now far-removed from civility. Consider the exceptionally personal, incredibly inappropriate questions asked by Daniel in this space:
So, how are you currently financially supporting yourself; where’s your money coming from? What flow of money is allowing you to tour the world giving presentations on NTE?
Since you don’t seem to be holding down a day job, I’ll assume you’re still living off the savings/pension from your tenure in academia, yes?
How much did your earlier imperial savings factor into you thinking it wise to “walk away from empire” in the first place, compared to having come to regret that decision, given that nest egg probably isn’t what it once was?
Apparently manners are irrelevant. Consider me a old-fashioned, but to ask these exceptionally personal questions is rude. As expected from somebody who would ask these questions, no thanks was offered when I responded. My too-polite, too-revealing response is here:
Daniel, I can’t imagine a dozen people within IC would answer your extremely personal questions. They are none of your business. But my life is an open book, and I suspect I’m infinitely more honest than the typical person within IC, so I’ll answer, against my better judgment.
All of my speaking tours are financed through donations. Click the link above to pitch in.
I spent my “retirement” funds on this homestead. Between the >$500K spent here and the >$700K income forgone, perhaps you can understand why I view the move as an error. Perhaps not, though. An extra $1.2 million and a healthy stream of income would allow me many more opportunities to get the word out.
Your final question is redundant, so I’ll ignore it. My wife pays for groceries with her paltry income. And we share property with people far more typical of IC than us. Ergo, mistakes have been made.
Daniel is not stupid. And I doubt he’s a troll. Too, I doubt he considers himself impolite. By asking this series of questions, consistent with his previous and subsequent behavior, he illustrates behavior that would’ve shocked my parents. Still would, in fact.
And I don’t think my parents are the issue here. Neither do I believe my response is particularly pungent. Since sending my response to Daniel, funds spent on the homestead have increased, along with forgone income. As expected, Daniel has offered no comment, no thanks, and no donation.
On the topic of trolls, they’re abundant and easy to spot. They don’t ask questions. Rather, they proclaim knowledge, rooted in belief and unshackled by evidence.
For example, the typical troll trots out a three-year-old blog post to challenge the evidence I present. The foolish cowards continue to show up on Alex Smith’s blog, and they include the likes of Tony Weddle (aka sofistek). He’s hardly the only acolyte of science
educator denier Scott Johnson wallowing in ignorance and fear, but he’s exemplary in his outspoken denial. These people remind me of a statement from Carl Sagan:
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over, you almost never get it back.
The attacks are unceasing, as they’ve been for longer than a decade. They invariably focus on me, not my work. Shooting the messenger never goes out of style.
I take this opportunity to clear up a common misconception. I readily admit I erred upon leaving active service at the university. I loved classroom teaching, as well as mentoring. I was very good at both endeavors, which explains why the university desperately tried to censor me and then encouraged my departure. All that aside, I have come to grips with my early exit from academic life. Initially disappointed by the cowardice of others with respect to following my lead, reflection has allowed me to accept aspects of human behavior about which I was formerly ignorant. And I am free in ways I could not have predicted before I moved away from Tucson.
As with many factors in the life of a rationalist, my personal history is part of what defines me. At this point, it simply is. There are many facets to reality.
Thanks to Marc Haneburght for creating, recording, and making available a webinar on 8 March 2016. Embedding is disabled, and the presentation portion of the webinar can be viewed here. Q&A may be available later.
Thanks to Roblyn Crawford for initiating a fund-raising campaign in support of speaking tours. It’s here. Please share widely. Roblyn also is seeking volunteers to support a May speaking tour in California. Specifically, Roblyn says we need a place for Guy to eat and sleep in Sacramento on 2 May 2016. And we need places for Guy to eat and sleep and venues in Marin (30 April), Grass Valley (3 May), Santa Rosa (6 May), Santa Cruz (12 May), and Santa Barbara (13 May). We are also seeking venues and hosts in the Los Angeles area 17, 18, and 19 May 2016. If you are able to help, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 29 April 2016 at 7:00 p.m., “Responding to Abrupt Climate Change,” Astronomical Society of Las Cruces, Doña Ana Community College, 3400 South Espina Street, Room 141
Early May 2016: Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Rosa, Middletown, Chico, Grass Valley, Redding, and Santa Cruz, California. Follow on Facebook.
1 May 2016, 12:00 noon, Utopia Now! conference, Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street, Oakland, California
6 May 2016, 12:00 noon, Middletown Art Center, 21456 Highway 175, at the junction of Highway 29, Middletown, California, “The Valley Fire Connection to Abrupt Climate Change”
13-24 May 2016: Ojai, Los Angeles, and Fountain Valley, California. Follow on Facebook.
13 May 2016, 7:00 p.m., Bookends Books, 110 South Pueblo Avenue, Ojai, California
14 May 2016, 1:00 p.m., Bookends Books, 110 South Pueblo Avenue, Ojai, California
15 May 2016, 4:00 p.m., The Grange, 381 Cruzero Street, Ojai, California
9-13 September 2016: The Real Truth About Health Conference, Caribe Royale Hotel, Orlando, Florida, additional details forthcoming
14-27 September 2016: New Jersey New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island. Follow on Facebook.
October 2016: USA Pacific Northwest
November 2016: Australia and New Zealand
Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To listen live, tune in every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here. We’re on Stitcher, too.
As always, the schedule of topics for forthcoming episodes of the radio show is posted beneath the tab at the top of the page titled, “Radio Archive and Recent Video.” Please help us out, especially with episodes that focus on criticism of climate scientists and activists by sending your contributions to Mike at email@example.com. The next of these shows is scheduled for 5 April 2016 and will focus on the non-profit industrial complex. We will be joined by independent journalist Cory Morningstar.
McPherson’s latest book is available in audio, and can be purchased here. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time is intended for ages 11 and up.