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Comments interfere with preaching a "scientific doctrine" (presumably a religion of sorts), according to PopSci

First they came for the BoingBoing comments, then they came for the Popular Science comments, then they came for... wait, that pretty much sums up the current state of affairs.  After BoingBoing opted to scrap its in-article comments for a forum in a few months back in June, PopSci just announced its decision to follow in suit with an article entitled "Why We're Shutting Off Our Comments".  This remarkable act of reader censorship is backed by a number of questionable assertions -- most notably the notion that reader comments undermine the preaching of a "scientific doctrine" and that "comments are bad for science."  

(The New York Times has also scaled back comments, disabling them entirely in some pieces.)

I. Censorship, the Tired Retreat of the Thin Skinned

These decisions may smack some as subjective or even malicious.  After all comments are arguably the digital age response to print's "letter to the editor" -- and they often contain criticisms of the article ranging from grammatical erorrs to factual oversights.  Some may view the decision to ban comments as a form of censorship, a means for writers to escape any sort of visible accountability among their audience.

And while moderation of extreme trolling is at times necessary, comments provide an essential outlet for user opinion.

PopSci views comments as "bad for science". [Image Source: MNN]

But PopSci argues that the evil of comments outweighs their merits.  It says that it has been ovewhelmed by "trolls and spambots" and its editor Suzanne LaBarre writes:

Comments can be bad for science. That's why, here at, we're shutting them off.

And since the blog is about science they at least attempt to back their conclusion with a scientific study -- a journal paper published by Dominique Brossard a Life Sciences Communication professor at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.  Published in the February 2013 edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Computer-Mediated Communications, Professor Brossard's study involved perceptions of a fictious nanotechnology article, which people were asked to react to.  

People reacted neutrally when comments were disabled, but even when comments were generally positive their reactions did not noticeably improved.  However, when the reader feedback took on a "less civil" tone with people questioning the merits of nanotechnology, user perception of the publication itself (not just the topic discussed) took a decidedly negative turn.

II. PopSci Complains That Comments Interfere With Its Ability to "Indoctrinate" Readers

PopSci piece also in a roundabout way suggests it had to revoke its users' commenting rights due to their criticisms of studies on global warming.  It writes:

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to "debate" on television.

And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

She cites an editorial in The New York Times voicing similar complaints.

South Park
PopSci is preaching a "scientific doctrine" according to its top editor.
[Image Source: South Park Studios]

But it is Ms. LaBarre's use of the phrase "scientific doctrine" which should is most interesting, and perhaps telling.  The root word of indoctrination -- brainwashing with a rigid set set of beliefs -- is "doctrine".  Indeed the Wikipedia entry for "doctrine" states:
Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. The Greek analogue is the etymology of catechism.[1]
Often doctrine specifically connotes a corpus of religious dogma as it is promulgated by a church, but not necessarily: doctrine is also used to refer to a principle of law...

And Google Inc.'s (GOOG) built in dictionary describes doctrine as:

a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.

Science has little to do with beliefs.  Science is the process of observation, of collecting hard, repeatable evidence.  Belief is unnecessary to a scientist who does their job right, as they are simply studying reality.

The phrase seems decidedly odd as coming from a science publication: after all isn't open, informed debate the root of all science?  Since when has indoctrination -- peddling of a set of rigid, unquestioning beliefs, most often associated with religion -- become part of the scientific process?

Perhaps lack of critical feedback, user bickering, and spam may indeed improve the perception of PopSci.  But it's hard to imagine Socrates or Plato, were they alive today, shutting the door to public commentary.  After all, as journalists we all have to remember we aren't actually doing science -- at least not at our news jobs -- we're simply trying to represent it in a clear and concise form that the public can understand and enjoy.

Socrates chose death before submitting to censorship and surrendering his right to free thought and free expression.

While PopSci writes "we have many delightful, thought-provoking commenters," it's hard to escape the impression that its editors think themselves greater science minds than their readership.  Perhaps that's why they're so eager to "indoctrinate" readers (quite literally what Ms. LaBarre says is the site's goals) with their superior wisdom (i.e. interpretations) of science.

But here at DailyTech we take a different view.  We reject censorship and believe in free expression.

We welcome all opinions from the novice to the professional.  We welcome respectful criticism of our authors, our articles, and the material therein, in a public place for all to see.  We don't believe doctrines and indoctrination have a place in open scientific discussion.

At the same time we acknowledge that comments -- criticism, trolling, and more -- are a painful burden at times.  But it is a burden we choose to bear because we must.  Perhaps it will hurt our readers' impressions of our site.  But journalism and science are founded upon open discourse and a receptiveness to feedback.  Once you lose that, you risk rapid loss of your accountability and credibility.

Sources: PopSci, BoingBoing, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communications, The New York Times

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How low they've falled
By Dorkyman on 9/24/2013 9:39:41 PM , Rating: 5
For many decades PopSci was a highly-respected publication. I can personally trace my interest in science and engineering (and my subsequent career) to a single issue, dated February 1961. I was just a young kid but for some reason I read that issue so many times that the covers fell off.

How sad then that in recent years they've become a joke. This most recent action just seals the deal. Too bad they weren't based in China during the Cultural Revolution--they would have fit right in. (The Cultural Revolution was a time in the 1960s when upwards of 30+ MILLION Chinese were killed by their government for not slavishly following the party ideology.)

RE: How low they've falled
By Dorkyman on 9/24/2013 9:40:07 PM , Rating: 2

RE: How low they've falled
By Alexvrb on 9/25/2013 12:20:43 AM , Rating: 2
How dare you question Doctrine! Science damn you!

RE: How low they've falled
By maugrimtr on 9/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: How low they've falled
By Reclaimer77 on 9/25/2013 9:39:44 AM , Rating: 5
Except we now know those scientists created the model to specifically show the results they wanted shown, not what the unmolested data would have. Not very scientific at all. They repeatedly denied requests to show the data used to create the models, claiming it was "too complex" and people just "wouldn't understand". Until finally a scandal broke and exposed their agenda and unethical practices.

This isn't to criticize those who perform real science in opposing the idea of humans causing global warming and it should be welcomed with open arms.

Agree, unfortunately it's been anything but welcomed with open arms in most of the 'scientific community'. Because it challenges their belief system, and upsets the status quo.

These scientists have been threatened, had the peer-review process used as weapons against them, and have been horribly slandered by media outlets.

To me that's not what science should be all about. It's time for an open and honest debate about climate change. We're almost there, but it has a scary religious-like momentum to it that persists in the face of all contrary evidence.

RE: How low they've falled
By Jaybus on 9/25/2013 11:38:36 AM , Rating: 3
You are both missing the point. It is not that there are two opposing scientific views. Multiple scientific views, while arguments may become heated, are very good for science. It helps prevent dogma from stagnating the growth of understanding of the universe. For example, the famous Bohr-Einstein debates regarding quantum mechanics and particularly the uncertainty principle. Einstein could never come up with a deterministic model that Bohr could not refute, yet Bohr's model ignores gravity and does not explain why gold is yellow (which requires the application of General Relativity and so requires involving gravity). These debates were extremely good for physics and initiated the development of the standard model.

The difference is that there was no political agenda surrounding the Bohr-Einstein debates. There is a huge political issue surrounding climate change, which is to say there is money involved. Lots of it. If there is a political agenda to tax CO2 emissions, then there is a clear motive for bias in choosing which scientific teams get the grant money. This leads to dogma, if not outright nonsense and cheating. At best it makes their conclusions dubious.

RE: How low they've falled
By maugrimtr on 9/27/2013 6:20:41 AM , Rating: 2
And the above two points illustrate why I was voted down, which merely proves that politics are more than capable of interfering with a rational argument in science.

Put this another way. 95% of scientists say Humans cause global warming. 5% disagree. Some tiny number likely believe global warming itself is ridiculous. That 5% are in control of global policies on climate change, not because of the science, but because it allows politicians to pander to their voters and dump the problem on our children's shoulders.

I'm the first to admit in any conversation that we base a lot of conclusions on mere models. They are hacked together equations, assumptions, and spotty data. I honestly loathe them with a vengeance. However, they remain our best understanding of the climate and its likely direction for the future. There is nothing better - other than waiting 100 years to find out who's right. So ALL climate change policy is effectively a wager on who is right. At the moment, politics is betting that the 5% of scientists are and that the other 95% are wrong.

Putting all emotions and politics aside, I don't like those odds at all.

RE: How low they've falled
By prophet001 on 9/27/2013 11:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
It blows me away that you believe that the community of scientists that make up the meteorological studies for the world are to be believed beyond reasonable doubt. That somehow their "theories" are now "facts."

This very same community, the one which would throw our economies and our governments into turmoil, cannot even tell you if it will rain tomorrow. However, you blindly believe that they can accurately tell you the future of our climate over the next 20, 40, 100 years? Why?

My word, they can't even tell you where a hurricane's going to be in the next 10 days. Their cone of error can represent 50% or more of the total path of the storm.

You speak of certainty and "reality" and of knowing these things. Yet you fail to acknowledge that they cannot even accurately predict weather over the course of a few days. I don't understand it. I do not understand why you would think that what you have chosen to believe amounts to "reality" and that the rest of us are fools to "deny" it.

RE: How low they've falled
By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 11:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
Again, more misunderstanding and lies from you and those like you. First, as much as we can call something a fact, theories ARE facts.

Second, you said the meteorological community " cannot even tell you if it will rain tomorrow". If you mean they cannot always forecast rain with 100% certainty, that's true. SO WHAT? Do you have a BETTER community you trust for forecasting weather? If not, should you not trust them over anybody else?

Third, you're flat our wrong to accuse people of "blindly" trusting meteorologists and climatologist. We do not do so blindly, we clearly see their track record compared to people like yours. We clearly see the reliable science used behind their forecasts (including the fact they mention probabilities in their ultimate goal of accurately expressing the limits of what knowledge is available).

So, we trust them more than we trust any other people discussing the topic. Why not? I challenge you to find one group of non-meteorologists that does better forecasting than meteorologists! I challenge you to find a group that has done better forecasting climate than climatologists. Go on, march out your superior group for review! Please, right now! Surely, you have more qualified experts than these communities. If you don't, you're a useless windbag.

Maybe all this has been above your head, so I'll try one more time with an example. Your idiocy is akin to saying, "Mariano Rivera has lost ballgames when his team had a two-run lead. So, can't be trusted to save a ball game for the Yankees and they should not have him pitch." That would be ludicrous and illogical. You don't replace the best thing you have with a lesser alternative. You don't replace Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning with a little league pitcher. Likewise, you don't replace climatologist forecasts with Tea Party forecasts just because the climatologists are imperfect. The Tea Party losers will do a worse job of climate forecasting. Count on it.

Most importantly, that you fail to see such logic is a reasonable cause to strip you of any right to expect people to listen to your opinion. You had your chance. You've proven yourself to waste time and bandwidth with the utmost of foolish and ill-advised statements. Given how counter-productive and time-wasting such comments are, you should be ignored from now on. Much more so than any climatologists you so unfairly take umbrage with.

RE: How low they've falled
By palmira_friend on 9/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: How low they've falled
By prophet001 on 9/27/2013 11:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely 100% agree. Thank you for your clear concise explanation of the double standards that exist.

RE: How low they've falled
By Motoman on 9/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: How low they've falled
By Ammohunt on 9/25/2013 10:36:04 AM , Rating: 3
If i had 100k gullible sheeple like you i could conquer the world. ;-)

RE: How low they've falled
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2013 11:08:03 AM , Rating: 3
Do you have kids? Would you trust their health to a vaccine rushed to market? I don't but I won't when I do. A friend of mine got his son most vaccinations but skipped the new chicken pox vaccine and the HPV vaccine. Why? Because of what I said before. They were rushed to market and there were some known issues with them. And in the case of chicken pox, why? It doesn't kill you. Just let the kid get it and fight it the natural way. Sure it can be bad later in life if you don't get it young. But that's a lot of things in life.

And plenty of "scientists" believe in the things they're trying to prove to the point that they don't care what the evidence says or how they get there. Look at carbon dating. While I don't throw out the entire notion, the issue of what the level of carbon in the atmosphere at the time of thing being dated was completely thrown out. It was just assumed that the level has always been the same. If the Earth actually was that old, the idea of the amount of carbon being exactly the same in the atmosphere throughout history is absurd. If nothing else we know that the Earth's magnetic field varies over time. Today it is 10% weaker than when measurements were first taken around 170 years ago. That alone changes how much Carbon-14 is generated. So the assumption that the same amount has been generated and then absorbed by living things(directly or indirectly) is utterly absurd.

There is plenty of skepticism to be had about many "facts" today. And one is not stupid or ignorant to do so.

RE: How low they've falled
By ipay on 9/25/2013 11:28:16 AM , Rating: 1
Oh yea... rushed to market... The first Chicken Pox vaccine was developed in the mid seventies and available in the US in '95. Such as rush. Damn.

RE: How low they've falled
By ResStellarum on 9/27/2013 8:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
Do you think they use the same vaccines for decades? Of course they don't. Big pharma is constantly reiterating vaccines. One reason is that the viruses/bacteria themselves aren't static.

Most of the vaccines, including things like tamiflu are rushed to market without the usual testing. That's why the cure can sometimes be worse than the vaccine.

There's another issue as well. The more live attenuated viruses there are out there, the bigger the chance of mutations into more virulent kinds. So someone given a vaccine can be killed by it and end up spreading a new strain.

I also don't trust the content of them either. I've heard tales of governments putting all kings of things in them, from sterilisation to HIV. Conspiracy? Maybe, but I'm not taking any chances. I know what private corporations and governments are like, and I wouldn't trust them with my health.

RE: How low they've falled
By ResStellarum on 9/27/2013 8:42:35 AM , Rating: 2

RE: How low they've falled
By JasonMick on 9/25/2013 11:54:20 AM , Rating: 3
While I may not agree with the decisions of these websites to turn off their comments sections, the fact of the matter is that they do often become breeding grounds for the ignorant reality-deniers. Like right here, on DT. Just look at them all...including Jason Mick.
So you've put up a strawman -- unnamed hypothetical readers -- who you then knock down.

Logical fallacy.

And you then attack my credibility, while providing no details to support your claims.

Logical fallacy.
Our society is consumed by vast numbers of ignorant, and willfully ignorant people, who haven't got the slightest problem ignoring reality when it doesn't line up with their baseless beliefs - which includes all religions, anti-vaccination nuts, moon hoax conspiracy theorists, flat earthers, and of course climate change deniers.
And yet until Dr. Wakefield's studies linking autism to vaccines were invalidated, the "anti-vaccination nuts" had a scientific backing for their claims and YOU and I were skeptics !


Research misconduct is rampant in today's high pressure, high risk, high reward academic atmosphere.

Any scientist will tell you a level of skepticism and open mindedness is extremely valuable and warranted.

Fundamental physical chemistry -- that carbon emissions create manmade warming -- or that evolution -- particular of simple organisms -- frequently and observably occurs is provable beyond a doubt. I have never debated such facts, and I think few of my readers would either.

Most skepticism/debate among informed readers centers on whether it's wise to resort to extreme measures -- banning or rationing meat, spending hundreds of billions if not trillions in funding, or limiting travel -- to fight a "doomsday" scenario of runaway warming , which has not been definitively proven. And remains highly controversial/speculative, even in the scientific community.

I respect your opinions, Moto, but your post has little substance.

RE: How low they've falled
By DominionSeraph on 9/26/2013 9:52:39 AM , Rating: 2
RE: How low they've falled
By Paj on 9/26/2013 3:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
The world is warming - on this, the figures are crystal clear. The weather is changing. Droughts are increasing, and food prices are rising and water tables are falling. So you advocate a 'business as usual' approach?

RE: How low they've falled
By Schrag4 on 9/26/2013 5:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
None of what you say matters unless you buy into the notion that the earth is only warming because of something we as humans are doing AND that we can somehow stop it. What if we stop burning fossil fuels altogether and the earth keeps warming, droughts continue, and water tables keep falling? Was it worth it?

And surely you recognize that the earth was warming and cooling for billions of years before we came along, so don't try and tell me that if we stop burning fossil fuels then temps will flatline.

RE: How low they've falled
By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 11:29:22 AM , Rating: 2
The threats with climate change are simply are much greater than almost any other threat imaginable. That's why the issue is huge. Famines kill. They bring down civilizations. Lack of proper access to water can bring about war. Climate change can make famine and water shortages happen. So, comparing climate change to a wider range of other issues involving uncertainty is simply boneheaded. We should look to analogies involving similar costs and similar potential levels of suffering.

RE: How low they've falled
By ppardee on 9/25/2013 12:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm being a bit too philosophical, but science is not reality. Science gets stuff wrong ALL the time. In fact, the vast majority of the history of science, it's been wrong (meaning not reality).

Science is a belief system. Most scientists don't test the basic principles upon which their science is founded. They're taught that it's true and accept it at that. Sometimes people DO question the basics and we have revolutions. But the general public just believes the flawed theories taught to them by teachers and the media (like PopSci).

Our society is consumed by vast numbers of ignorant... who haven't got the slightest problem ignoring reality when it doesn't line up with their baseless beliefs

Right. So when we don't see any statistically significant global warming for more than a decade, do we A) Continue to post articles ridiculing people who doubt it, or B) question the base of our belief system.

Clearly, we can't admit that the theory that we've used to control the people could possibly be wrong. It is doctrine at this point. It doesn't matter to the people pushing it if its real or not.

RE: How low they've falled
By michael67 on 9/28/2013 10:42:07 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm being a bit too philosophical, but science is not reality. Science gets stuff wrong ALL the time. In fact, the vast majority of the history of science, it's been wrong

You are correct, science gets it wrong from time to time, but you are also fundamentally wrong in your idea how science works.

The theory of evolution is believed to be correct by 99.9% of scientist, and is believed that it will never change, some of the details can change, but not the fundamental theory it self.

The theory of relativity is also believed to be correct by 99.9% of scientist, buy is believed that it could change, and hat some of the fundamental details can change, but again not the fundamental theory it self.

The theory of global warming on the other is believed to be best explanation of what is happening with the worlds weather, by 90% of scientist, and is believed that it will change, some of the fundamental details can change, and even parts the fundamental theory it self.

Sometimes a theory is to believed to be 99.9% correct, other times like with string theory its believed to be the best explanation of something no one know for sure.

The problem is, is that most non-science people, and apparent a specially modern media (Fox News anyone) don't understand the difference between.

I would say to all like you read "Big Bang" from Simon Singh, he is a wonderful writer, that can breakdown complex scientific theories and explanations in to layman's words.

And reading that book will do three things.

1 Explain how science came generally to believe in the "Big bang theory"
2 Explain how science came generally develops theories, and the difference between them, on how correct they are to bee believed to bee.
3 Enjoy a well written and sometimes even funny book on science.

"Big Bang" should imho be mandatory reading for all high school students, together whit watching Adam Curtis documentaries .

Would at least not make people any stupider then they all ready are made by the likes of Fox news.

RE: How low they've falled
By DougF on 9/25/2013 1:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
...and you've just proven why PopSci had to take down the comments section.

RE: How low they've falled
By drycrust3 on 9/25/2013 7:08:14 PM , Rating: 3
Any and all people who think they're more qualified than the assembly of the world's *actual* climate researchers to decide whether or not climate change is real, and/or exacerbated by human activity, are wrong.

Excuse me for intruding, but even people who don't hold a science degree, like me, can easily be well qualified to spot an obvious error in the scientific process. In the case of "global warming", we have the University of East Anglia who took it upon themselves to corrupt over 100 years of carefully compiled world wide daily temperature readings so it matched their then favourite global warming theories, and then, when this became public, they were proud of doing this.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you that the one thing you shouldn't do is corrupt your raw data, and especially you don't corrupt it so it fits your favourite theories. Theories change ... and then what?
In addition, the university got caught loading the peer review system so their own reports, presumably based upon their corrupted data, got printed, while the work of others who didn't follow the university's line (and possibly used the uncorrupted data) was rejected.
Notice how this happened with the approval of the exact people you claim are the only ones who are "more qualified" than the rest of us to make opinions on the scientific process.
Now we are in the situation where data that was corrupted to tell us there is global warming is being now used to tell us there is global warming. Notice a problem? You're discovering your own treasure.

RE: How low they've falled
By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 11:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
Oh - my - God. Do you realize that the East Anglia issue is not relevant to the conclusions of science? It's a canard to distract you from the main issue. You could also find errors in papers discussing gravity experiments, does that mean gravity is not real? You could find errors (and plenty of misconduct) in medicinal research, but does that mean it's OK to smoke cigarettes or eat arsenic? Try being balanced and honest with yourself. The totality of the evidence is what you should look at. That is even part of the scientific process. This "doctrine" simply is a belief that the best way of living is to evaluate evidence, weigh each piece on its merits, and consider ALL the evidence. You should not just look at the East Anglia complaint you have. Look at the truly incredible number of independently researched and authored (and reviewed) papers. And even there with East Anglia, look at ALL the evidence in the issue behind your complaint, and you'll find the overall conclusions about global warming still stand.

How many research papers have you read from a diverse source of universities and scientific institutions? How many abstracts even? Extreme claims about untrustworthy and sloppy science require extreme evidence. Until you have thoroughly done your homework, don't accuse people of fraud or unreliable science. It's easy to claim you're being prudent even as you're being imprudent by making claims about research of which you know nothing. Try actually being prudent. Try reading a large, representative sample of current research articles and understand their content. If you can't, then talk to the experts in the field whose claims you doubt. If you're unwilling to listen to them when you lack an understanding of their science, then you have no business of accusing their work of being untrustworthy. Period.

RE: How low they've falled
By michael67 on 9/27/2013 11:13:44 AM , Rating: 2
People are vastly too stupid to understand what you're saying.

Of course they are!!!

How can they not be, if kids learn at school that Creationism is a real science.

And when the news is delivered by companies like News Corp, that has run down every serious news outlet it got its hands on, from a serous news source to infotainment fluff papers and channels, and news that purposely twist the truth(1).

Owned by the worst modern day robber baron(2) that has no problem running competitors in to the ground by stealing there intellectual property(3), and cry at politicians that there is stolen by consumers, and want if possible the dead senescent for those pesky consumers that dear to steal from him!
(3) g

That man has done more damage to modern society then Hitlers Germany did in the 40s, at least most of the Nazis did it out a believe that they ware doing it for the Fatherland and improving the world (even do it was a very twisted view of one), Murdoch dose it because he is sociopath that gets of on controlling people, and getting even more money that he dose not need anymore.

ps. Crappy links due to incompetence of the DT website designer, that don't allow us to use normal links. (failing anti spam protocol!)

RE: How low they've falled
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 1:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
That man has done more damage to modern society then Hitlers Germany did in the 40s

That statement invalidates everything else you might say because it proves you are an idiot.

RE: How low they've falled
By michael67 on 9/28/2013 12:57:37 AM , Rating: 1
because it proves you are an idiot.

Maybe, but maybe on the other hand, not everything is black and white!

First of all let me say that "antisemitism" and "The Final Solution" are things i am against from the core of my being, and i am opposed against that part of what the Nazi's did.

But the reason Hitler came to power, is because after WW I, that started because England did not wane share power in the world whit Germany, Germany that was faster in the technical revolution at that time then England, and wanted a bigger share of the world trade, and because of imperialism of both the leaders, after Germany lost WW I, the "Treaty of Versailles" devastated German economics.

And gave rise to bottom feeders like Hitler, that feed on the underbelly feelings of the people, but the economics of Germany's National Socialism ware solid, and Germany rose from the ashes,, from being a bankrupted country, to a world dominating power, that challenged the hole world, in just 10 years.
(And i don't believe any other country in history ever shown such and quick growth)

But Germany also developed and build infrastructure in Europe, that still to day is being used, And Germany did not only developed weapons, but did also lot of civilian development.

Murdoch's media Empire dose mainly destruction of the informed mind!

Rupert Murdoch owns hundreds of major media outlets including ultra conservative Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, and he's using his media power to help his oil buddies stop governments acting to curb their profits. In the US alone, most of the climate stories from Murdoch's select papers mislead readers about global warming and many other subjects.

Start watching Fox, and a real and dependable news outlet like BBC, and compare how both bring the news, and i am not saying the BBC never gets it wrong, but at least they are neutral when they bring the news.

If i would be offered to go back in time, but i could go only once, and had to pick between killing a young Hitler and Murdoch, it would be a hard pick, but i would pick Murdoch.

Why?, because imho Murdoch is responsible for many of the problems we have to day, because Murdoch's Newcorp failed to do its job, covering the real news, and not generate infotainment!

Newscorp is imho reasonable for most of the polarization in the world now a days, and the public cynicism about politics, because if they really did and knew there job, politicians wouldn't get a way whit most the shit they do now a days!

And things like allowing banks to use money from there core business, to speculate on stock market, one of Clinton's biggest fails, was there ever even a discussion in the news about lifting the law that prohibited banks to use money from there banking business, to speculate?

Not saying its all Newscorps fault, but they are really the worse of them, and just like Apple started the patent war, Newscorp started to make infotainment more profitable then real news.

And how can people make a well informed opinion, if they don't have reliable information sources!

Ware the Nazis believed what they ware doing was to progress the human race, Mordoch dose all what is in his power to regress the masses, and make them stupid polarized entertainment and infotainment junkies!

So whats worse?, i am not sure, but imho Murdoch done more harm then Hitler ever did, only Murdoch dose it from the dark, ware with Hitler you can point your finger at the concentration camps, that dose not mean the damage Murdoch has done is not real, it means its much harder to fight his evil then Hitlers.

And compared to Murdoch, Joseph Goebbels was just a nice amateur.

RE: How low they've falled
By michael67 on 9/28/2013 1:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
That statement invalidates everything else you might say because it proves you are an idiot.

Ooo, and you just made my point, people cant think for them self's any more, and everything is polarized to black and white.

Just because you don't agree with a part of my opinion, the rest of my opinion is also invalid

People use to say things like, "I agree with you on most what you say, but that part is just wrong/bullocks".

But now a days if you a Republican you have to be against everything Democrats say, and visa versa, if you believe in God, evolution is just bs, and should not be at schools, if you a R you have to be homophobic, and if your a D you have to be pro-gay, if you R you watch Fox news, if your a D you watch NBC, if your a R you have to think "Global Warming" is a long con, if your a D you support it.

Come on stop polarizing, make up your own mind, and pick up idea's from others, friend or foe!

To quote a man i really don't like, Steve Jobs "Good artists copy great artists steal"!

The same could be said of good politicians, "Good politicians copy great politicians steal" and it dose not mater if the idea is from friend or foe!
(But in my opinion, if yyou can steal idea's from your enemy's, you doing a good job)

RE: How low they've falled
By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 11:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
The Nazi comparison might invalidate his right to the respectful assumption of reasonable judgment, but it does not invalidate any factual arguments or logic he has already used or may use (outside of any argument appealling to authority). So, don't throw away an argument you've already spent time reading just because the person makes a ridiculous claim at the end. You might not be interested in reading his further arguments, but if he made good points, they should still stand regardless of over-dramatic Nazi comparisons.

RE: How low they've falled
By michael67 on 10/2/2013 1:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
they should still stand regardless of over-dramatic Nazi comparisons.

I dont think i am over-dramatic, yes what the Nazis did was horrific, but he world got stronger from it, like a broken bone that is stronger after it heals.

But Murdoch is just like a cancer, he is rotting us to the bone, and the worse thing is, most people er not even noticing it!

How can politicians be hold accountable for what they doing, if the press is not doing its job, everyone is disillusion about government an politicians, why?

Because there is no press that was holding them accountable.

Every one knew the NSA was doing more then they should, all the signs and rummers ware there, and what did the press (mostly owned by Murdoch), they ware sitting on there hands.

So people can call me over-dramatic, but i think Murdoch is the worst thing that happened to the world in the last 100 years, but no one is noticing it, because the system that should warn us is in the hands of that same sociopath!!!

RE: How low they've falled
By Ammohunt on 9/25/2013 10:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
Science is not a religion where people can interpret a complete lack of evidence to justify countless contrary beliefs or, as happens all too often, by ignoring the available evidence and fanatically insisting it doesn't exist.

But by peer review i.e. committee of like minded individuals, can interpret evidence and come up with conclusions that further their vested interests or political agenda based solely on face value that they are the experts on any given topic. I am not against science at all but i know humans and human nature. The hard true is that any human being that posses power will use it to their advantage eventually. In short there are far too many certainties coming out of scientists mouths about extremely complex subjects and not enough i don't knows. They suffer from base academic elitism and have a huge credibility problem. The same thing is happening in the medical field but at least they have enough sense (probably because doctors are liable) to say i don't know.

RE: How low they've falled
By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 11:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
Until someone comes with a better process than the scientific process, what good is it to whine about it's dependence on imperfect humans?

RE: How low they've falled
By Ramtech on 9/25/2013 1:45:08 AM , Rating: 1
Equating murder of 30 million of people to disabling comments on privately owned website is just stupid. Sorry but posting comments is privilege not right.

Frankly i think you should make posts like this about your government they are spying on you. Obama can drone you anytime and their censorship is far more widespread

P.S If i remember correctly during Maos times intellectuals were on of Maos list of targets so Popsci could have been one of his victims

RE: How low they've falled
By PaFromFL on 9/25/2013 8:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
I enjoyed Popular Science for almost half a century, but not so much during the last the ten years. The magazine now seems to be written by and designed for those afflicted with attention deficit syndrome. I'm not renewing again, censorship or not. They should rename the magazine "Popular Science Doctrine for Dummies".

RE: How low they've falled
By arazok on 9/25/2013 9:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
Me too. I started in my early teens reading PopSci , then moved up to Scientific American before the internet came along. SA is still good to pick up once and a while.

PopSci is a hollow shell of it’s former self, and most of the crap they print is just attention grabbing headlines followed by shallow content. Very sad.

RE: How low they've falled
By DukeN on 9/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: How low they've falled
By Dorkyman on 9/25/2013 11:00:09 AM , Rating: 3
Humbly suggest you re-read what I wrote.

Never said "the same as."

And BTW if you wish to start throwing educational credentials around, I'd be delighted to play that game. But you start.

RE: How low they've falled
By Just Tom on 9/26/2013 12:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
What you said was "Too bad they weren't based in China during the Cultural Revolution--they would have fit right in."

While I understand this your statement is hyperbole you do suggest that A) banning comments on articles on a private blog is somehow similar to the murder of 30,000,000 people and B) the editors of PopSci would have been ok with murdering those people.

RE: How low they've falled
By overlandpark4me on 9/25/2013 10:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
Just more gag order from the left wingnuts who are invested in fauz science. Funny, I don't hear their bile during this years hurricane "season", or coming out to explain why Antarctic ice is at an all time high. Oh, that's right, the lack of hurricanes and extra ice is because of global warming too, lololol

Normally I detest censorship in ANY form, but....
By topkill on 9/24/2013 8:58:03 PM , Rating: 5
If you ever read the negative, racist and hate filled postings on Yahoo and other forums, I can understand why they don't want their "science" forum to be a soapbox for people to say the sky is green and the grass is blue and then scream stupidity at everyone else for days on end.

However, I think the censorship here is a bad direction. I would rather see them institute some mechanism to make a person sign up with a valid ID and PROVE who they are and take responsibility for the postings they make.
The real problem with the anonymity of the internet is that any moron with a phone can say stupid shit that overwhelms the opinions of anyone with something to say.

Perhaps they could have a "peer reviewed" comment section for people willing to talk as themselves the way they would in a person to person social situation and another forum for the morons who just like to try and morally kill each other over stupid shit that they are not qualified to comment on???

Just a quick idea I was thinking about.

By augiem on 9/24/2013 11:48:42 PM , Rating: 1
The comment voting here is nothing more than peer censorship. Get rid of it DT.

By EricMartello on 9/25/2013 12:12:24 AM , Rating: 2
I agree; but DT has never deleted a comment as long as I've posted here and that's good thing. They also don't write articles that are dripping with bias - they do a decent job of maintaining objectivity; which is more than I can say for most media outlets out there.

A lot of my comments get voted down simply because people disagree - yet are unable to form an argument and would rather just vote down out of spite. I myself do not vote comments down even if I disagree; I reply to them and refute them.

I think a better method for the voting system on this site should be higher placement in the thread based on more positive votes; with no negative votes possible. So everyone starts at 0 and can be voted up but not down.

Spam, posting ad links or whatever, should have an option to be reported as such, but the message would not become hidden until a threshold is reached, so that the "vote you down because i don't like what you say" people can't abuse it.

By stm1185 on 9/25/2013 2:49:59 AM , Rating: 1
DT not biased? It was just yesterday I was reading their incredibly biased joke piece about how Steam OS is a Gamer's alternative to Windows, WHILE REQUIRING A WINDOWS PC TO PLAY MOST GAMES...

So yeah pretty obvious bias right there.

RE: Normally I detest censorship in ANY form, but....
By rpsgc on 9/25/2013 5:53:23 AM , Rating: 3
It was a gamer's alternative to Windows 8 .


Seriously go back to school and learn how to read and interpret.

By stm1185 on 9/25/2013 2:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
That is f$%*ing retarded and you know it. Buying a new PC, Steam 0S is not an alternative to Windows 8 if it requires you to KEEP YOUR OLD WINDOWS 7 PC TO PLAY THE GAMES YOU WANT...

HOW IS THAT NOT OBVIOUS... dam Steam fanboys.

By stm1185 on 9/25/2013 2:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
If we want to be that stupid we might as say Android is the gamer's alternative to Windows 8 because you can stream games from your Windows 7 PC to an Android Shield handheld!

By EricMartello on 9/26/2013 1:49:36 AM , Rating: 2
For the article to be subjective and biased it would need to omit and/or falsely represent the opposing viewpoint(s). He actually concluded the article by explaining that SteamOS would not be a good choice for a "general use" OS, meaning that if you want to do anything besides gaming you would probably want something other than SteamOS.

SteamOS is initially acting as a "thin client" or "remote desktop" that allows the game to run on the Windows PC natively, and stream to the SteamOS "box" which would be connected to a TV. Nothing is being emulated; it's just being streamed.

The goal behind SteamOS is to leverage the popularity of the Steam sales platform to attract developers would would then produce games that execute natively on SteamOS, eliminating the need for a Windows PC altogether if all you want to do is play games.

My takeaway was that it's attempting to bridge the gap between PC and console gaming. I did not detect any bias or subjectivity in his BLOG post.

Even if he did interject his opinions, a blog post would qualify as op-ed so it wouldn't be expected to maintain the same objectivity level as a news article, i.e. he could tell us how he personally feels about it and that would be fine.

I think SteamOS is a good idea. I always thought there should be a lightweight gaming-dedicated OS that is built from the ground-up to run games.

Windows 7 and 8 both have very well-refined 2D, 3D and audio performance that greatly surpasses what any current Linux distro can muster...but if the people at Valve can innovate, their efforts could make Linux a real contender as a desktop OS that is on par with Windows.

RE: Normally I detest censorship in ANY form, but....
By Paj on 9/25/2013 8:23:07 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, DT is probably the most editorialised, biased news blog I've ever seen in my life.

In fact, that's the main reason I come here... to see what makes the far right, anti-science flat-earthers tick, and for the lively debate. It certainly isnt for the quality of the journalism - I'll stick with arstechnica for that.

By Schrag4 on 9/25/2013 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 5
In fact, that's the main reason I come here... to see what makes the far right, anti-science flat-earthers tick

That's funny, far-right DT readers come here to see what makes the far-left global-warming zealots who would hide data to skew their results tick.

RE: Normally I detest censorship in ANY form, but....
By KFZ on 9/26/2013 1:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, this "peer review" idea is brilliant. If only they would develop a way for there to be some sort of "administration" where intelligent people have the power to read, verify and make judgment of the value of a comment. Technically they could "moderate", if you will, the discussion.

And because of how busy comment sections get, you could even theoretically add a way to notify this supposed administration when you see someone breaking the laws of that domain, to expedite the process of cleaning up the discussion.

Why has no one else thought of this stuff?

By topkill on 9/26/2013 4:04:38 PM , Rating: 1
Well, since you're being an asshole, then let's chat. So what did you do to sign up for this site to comment? How did you associate your real name and identity with your comments here so that your friends and family would see what you were saying.

You just prove my point....any asswipe can say anything they want because it's the internet and it's all anonymous anyway so go on, be an assclown.

Simple fact
By Ammohunt on 9/25/2013 10:18:18 AM , Rating: 1
Time to wake up this is the information age! All the knowledge previously locked up in dusty books and obscure journals by elitists has been made available to everyone. So anyone that has any interest in a given topic can study all the data and come to a different conclusion then the so called authorities.

The fact is anyone with any cognitive reasoning ability can make up their own mind on any scientific topic. They don't need yet another authority to tell them how and what to think. The religious leaders of science are having their Martin Luther event they are afraid of loosing their grip on popular opinion.

RE: Simple fact
By Mint on 9/25/2013 11:09:38 AM , Rating: 3
The fact is anyone with any cognitive reasoning ability can make up their own mind on any scientific topic.
Of course they can make up their own mind, but what good is that if they come to an untruthful conclusion half the time?

The biggest problem with conveying science isn't in understanding the language of a scientific paper. It's understanding it in context of the body of established science NOT in the paper.

That's why it's so easy for anti-scientific drivel to persuade people away from the truth and towards their own teachings. No publication can possible anticipate all these arguments, nor would they be able to fit all the necessary background inside the publication anyway.

So no. A modicum of cognitive reasoning isn't enough.

RE: Simple fact
By Ammohunt on 9/25/2013 3:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares if it doesn't affect other people? Truth is determined on an individual bases.

RE: Simple fact
By Ammohunt on 9/25/2013 6:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
So no. A modicum of cognitive reasoning isn't enough.

So you needed a scientific authority in context of the body of establish thermal science to tell you that if you stick you hand in a flame you get burned? You defer to an authority because its safe and so much easier to nod your head then to come up with an original thought or belief you are not alone in this.

RE: Simple fact
By Paj on 9/26/2013 6:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
The fact is, anyone can read a scientific paper, however they're in no position to challenge it in scientific terms without proper training and methodology.

Someone reading a paper on climate change is perfectly able to refute it based on anecdotal evidence that it was a bit colder last winter. However, such a refutation would not be valid scientifically. A scientific paper requires that any refutation be based in science or data, and that such methods are repeatable and verifiable through peer-review.

Let's be clear - the scientific findings on anthropogenic climate change are well established by scientists - people actually doing the science, using the scientific method. This is consistent across all levels - individuals, universities, research academies and NGOs.

And that's the problem here. AGW pundits aren't presenting scientific evidence of their own - they're presenting anecdotes, misinformation, strawmen, cherrypicking data, astroturfing and PR campaigns. And thanks to the growing anti-science lobby and lack of critical thinking ability, the public are accepting this viewpoint as part of a valid scientific process, which it most clearly is not.

History repeats itself. The same thing happened with big tobacco, intelligent design, CFCs and the anti-vaccine movement. This is no different.

RE: Simple fact
By Ammohunt on 9/26/2013 10:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah i would agree with you if their wasn't an oblivious anti-capitalist anti-consumer agenda intertwined with the environmentalist movement of which AGW is a product of. To say their is a consensus of scientists is so much propaganda akin to AGW being in its entirety bad for us and the planet. In the past was a consensus on earth being flat neanderthals being dumb cave men.

Data (and even basic science) has been ignored that doesn't support the environmentalist causes has been purposefully ignored or manipulated in order to stifle debate to further this political agenda. The AGW "scientists" are no better than the Catholic church both severely lack credibility. The environmentalists motivations are not to save humanity but enslave it or better yet detroy it. Reasoned people disagree with that approach.

RE: Simple fact
By Paj on 9/26/2013 3:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
First of all,a clarification - I used AGW to mean 'anti global warming' rather than 'anthropogenic global warming', which completely changes the meaning - so apologies for that.

However, I completely disagree with you. There is no anti-capitalist agenda. On the contrary - failing to adapt to a warming world would have severe economic consequences. Already we are seeing rising food prices and legal conflict over water resources on a global scale. Left unchecked, these factors could contribute to serious regional or even global instabilities.

The Arab Spring started in Tunisia, where a fruit seller set himself on fire. The revolutions spread, because the price of food was so high that people could not afford to live, and thus gave them something to latch on to. If this trend continues, food prices could skyrocket, leaving millions more unable to feed themselves. If this comes to pass then it will have severe economic and political ramifications globally.

It's not just confined to the third world - reservoir levels across first world economies are at record lows. Many parts of the US and Australia are experiencing severe water shortages, which causes people to sell their farms and properties and move elsewhere, leading to unemployment and eventually ghost towns. Again, the economic ramifications could be immense if it gets any worse than it already is.

So it's pretty short sighted to say that being skeptical of global warming is somehow a pro-economic stance. Quite the opposite.

RE: Simple fact
By Ammohunt on 9/26/2013 5:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
You discount the effects of the recent population boom which has lead to over fishing and poor land management. Food shortages in Africa can be attributed to changes in farming practices. In Zimbabwe alone Mugabe turned a net exported of food to a net importer of food via his land grab policies. In the western united states where i live 90% of the water is used for irrigation of non food water hungry crops like corn for ethanol. Most of this land could be converted back to dry land farming in one season. Its an artificial water crisis that cannot be directly linked to AGW. If the earth was warming outside of a natural variation it doesn't mean that its all bad. All the talk has been warm earth = bad we do not understand the earths climate good enough to make that determination. Warmer climate could open up more northerly expanses for food production while at the same time increasing atmospheric water vapor leading to wetter climates and or more reflect heat. Environmentalists are almost always socialist and put responsible human interest second to "the environment" there needs to be balance and a often radical agenda by the environmentalist only serves to polarize otherwise rational people.

Science is a Liar Sometimes...
By stm1185 on 9/25/2013 3:01:32 AM , Rating: 4
"Science... is a liar sometimes. Aristotle thought to be the smartest man on the planet. He believed the Earth was the center of the universe. And everybody believed him because he was so smart until another smartest guy came around. Galileo. And he disproved that theory... making Aristotle and everyone else on Earth look like... a b%$^&.

Of course Galileo then thought comets were an optical illusion and there's no way that the moon can cause the oceans tides. Everybody believed that because he was so smart. He was also wrong. Making him and everyone else on Earth a B%&$% again!"

And then, best of all. Sir Isaac Newton gets born and blows everyone's nips off with his big brains. Of course he also thought he could turn metal into gold and he died eating mercury. Making him yet another stupid b%&$^!

Are you seeing a pattern?

100 Geek points if you know where I got that from. Scientific work should be criticized, should be picked apart, should be raged at, and should be torn down if it's proven wrong. It should be shielded against the public! Shame on PoPSci!

RE: Science is a Liar Sometimes...
By cochy on 9/25/2013 10:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
Wasn't it Copernicus who proved the Earth was not at the center of the Universe (at least as far as Western thinkers go)?


RE: Science is a Liar Sometimes...
By Solandri on 9/25/2013 4:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Copernicus came up with the heliocentric theory. Galileo provided the first empirical evidence contradicting the geocentric theory when he saw 4 moons circling Jupiter.

It wasn't "proven" until Kepler came up with a simple set of laws which could explain the motion of the planets if they were heliocentric (much simpler than the geocentric models), and Newton came up with the idea of gravity which could then be used to derive Kepler's laws.

Anyway, point is that science isn't some monolithic entity which has a singular viewpoint. Real science is the shotgun approach - throw a bunch of theories out there, see which ones hold up against observed data. So on the one hand you don't want to shut down discussion of alternative theories. On the other hand those pushing a theory that doesn't fit the observed data have to learn to give it up at some point.

RE: Science is a Liar Sometimes...
By Mint on 9/25/2013 10:55:44 AM , Rating: 4
And you know how those beliefs were overturned?


Not a bunch of anonymous yahoos with no credibility trying to win an argument by being the loudest voice and getting cheered on by the masses.

Do you not see the irony in your post citing Galileo? Do you not know how much his work was impeded by populist opinion?

How dumb do you have to be to think PopSci's actions are in any way opposed to the notion that scientific work should be criticized, picked apart, etc? Shame on you for this shallow analogy.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/25/2013 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 1
I think his post is a satire.

Really misrepresented post...
By Connoisseur on 9/24/2013 9:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
after all isn't open, informed debate the root of all science?
Yes, open, informed debate IS the root of science. But "You're an idiot" or "you're a nazi" or "I made $5k in one week" and other forms of trolling don't really strike me as informed debate. I don't see the issue here. They're a publication. Letters to the editor have always been filtered for comments that rationally debate a topic. I'd like to hear about the last time you saw a personal attack/spam/unrelated comments printed in a reputable publication. I see the comments section as a failed internet-era experiment. Regardless of the article topic or website you can always count on comments downtrending according to the 3RN theorem. "Retarded, Religious, Racist or Nazi".

Informed debate is great. Too bad the average reader is incapable of it.

RE: Really misrepresented post...
By CaedenV on 9/24/2013 11:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
I like the way that WP central does things where if you post a stupid comment then the author (or another staff member) puts an end to it, often rather harshly. There is still plenty of stupid things said, but it keeps the worst of it down.

RE: Really misrepresented post...
By Reflex on 9/25/13, Rating: 0
By Connoisseur on 9/25/2013 10:47:52 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with the state of PopSci. It's become a very commercialized "gadget" magazine. Popular Mechanics used to be more scientific/engineering aligned but even that has turned into a glorified car mag.

RE: Really misrepresented post...
By Mint on 9/25/2013 12:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not very impressed with Scientific American, either.

I read one of their articles on how to economically make electricity generation entirely renewable, and it barely even paid lip service to the issue of energy storage.

That is so far and away the limiting factor in renewable energy adoption that it blows my mind that SciAm would just forget about it.

That the biggest problem from any information source: disingenuity through omission.

RE: Really misrepresented post...
By Reflex on 9/25/2013 2:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
They have had dozens of articles on energy capture and storage, this simply was not one of them. Its not like the magazine has an agenda to not cover it, its that the article in question was not about that topic.

Mick with the epic troll once again
By DukeN on 9/25/2013 9:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
Great job Mick of looking at a word (doctrine) and churning out a completely different message.

The gist of the story was primarily that they had studies showing even a single troll would change the perception of a published article drastically.

Of course Mick saw the word doctrine, came a couple of times and declared PopSci was out to "indoctrinate" everyone.

Please go back to your cave in South Carolina Mick, and stick to Fox News. Your Ted Cruz fathead awaits your love...

By Bostlabs on 9/25/2013 1:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
One of the meanings of doctrine is teaching. IF you are teaching a belief isn't that a form of indoctrination? Is so, Jason could be correct in this usage.

noun \'däk-tr?n\

: a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true

: a statement of government policy especially in international relations
Full Definition of DOCTRINE
archaic : teaching, instruction
a : something that is taught
b : a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma
c : a principle of law established through past decisions
d : a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations
e : a military principle or set of strategies

By Reclaimer77 on 9/25/2013 6:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
Please go back to your cave in South Carolina Mick, and stick to Fox News. Your Ted Cruz fathead awaits your love...

LMAO, you should actually know whom it is you're insulting beforehand. That's so far from his belief system and who he is, you might as well be talking about another person.

By Monkey's Uncle on 9/27/2013 11:11:43 AM , Rating: 2
So, what has this comment got to do with Popsci's turning off commenting?

You don't like Mick's editorial? Fine - email him directly or discuss it with his editor. I for one am not interesdted in hearing your gripes about his (or anyone else's) writing style.


By half_duplex on 9/25/2013 9:52:03 AM , Rating: 3
What really bothers sites like PopSci is that the comments usually disprove or discredit the article. They want their message to be the only message.

By Monkey's Uncle on 9/27/2013 10:59:34 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunate, but partially true.

I expect the comments to be there for far more than simply criticizing the article and its author. Readers can gain a lot more understanding of the article if they are allowed to discuss it between themselves and with it author. Authors get a good indication whether or not their article was properly understood and if necessary clarify their assertions.

It also gives popsci as a whole a good indication into what kinds of articles get the most attention (lots of lively discussion) and which ones really were not worth the cost of publishing (the ones with little/no comments).

By futrtrubl on 9/25/2013 11:19:28 AM , Rating: 2
the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine

They are referring to THE scientific doctrine ie the scientific method itself. Bad choice of words perhaps but not what you are thinking.
Also if you are going to put words in quotes then at least put the correct word in quotes, never was "indoctrinate" said by them here.

By ppardee on 9/25/2013 1:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I'd be inclined to agree with you, but having read PopSci almost every day for the last 2 years, it's clear their goal is to indoctrinate people.

The people they are calling 'trolls' are people who call out their bias. They are very liberally biased and don't really care about covering it up. When you have authors literally saying "Republicans Block Proposal For National Science Laureate, Fearing Science", it's hard to take them as anything other than a propaganda machine.

PopSci is doing its readership a disservice
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/27/2013 10:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
I have sent this same comment to Suzanne LaBarre (author of report on this controversial decision):

Ms Labarre and anyone else on PopSci’s staff who may care,

I as a frequent visitor and one whose news blogs send traffic to your site am dismayed at popsci’s decision to stop allowing comments on its articles.

I understand your magazine’s wish to report the frontiers of science without seeing negativity from your reading public. I also understand your magazine’s wish to not requiring policing your commenting system. Running a few technology blogs myself, I understand the amount of work that requires. However I also understand that this is the nature of a technical blog. I know the information I post will not always be understood and that my members may need to discuss them to better understand what is represented. They will also discuss/argue the merits of what is presented, and in my view that is a very good thing.

Disallowing comments, even positive ones, is a huge disservice to your readers.

Not only does commenting allow your readers to assimilate the merits of the information by talking/arguing it through, it also allows them to decide among themselves if an article was really relevant and worth reading. There are also benefits to you as well. Without commenting, how do you know if an article you publish was worth reading? Mouse clicks? Page views? That does not tell you what your reader thought about the article or that they even understood it. That only showed they glanced at it. What kind of reader feedback do you get if there are no comments? This is all very valuable information to any news site/blog. It tells you where you which subjects you really should be focusing on and helps you weed out the irrelevant.

In short. Without commenting not only we, your readers lose, but you do too.

Please think about it and possibly reconsider your decisions.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, please feel free to discuss this with me :)

I doubt they will read or even comment back to me on it. I understand their desire to reduce spambots and trolls, though even the latter will provoke folks into thinking through the topics at hand. PopSci is a good resource examining the what's what of the general scientific community, but it loses a most of its value if they will not allow discussion of the articles they present on their own site.

Too bad since I am cancelling my PopSci subscription though I may still repost their articles on my own blogs and allow discussion.

By Dragon's Eye on 9/28/2013 1:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
You folks at DailyTech have my absolute permission to remit my singular post that direction as well!

Though my opinions may be "un-trained" in the accreditation-system of the establishment, "commonsense" is what science is supposed to be about, isn't it??? Well! I do believe I was well-trained in "using my brains for other than a -hat-rack-" by my upbringing!

By Dragon's Eye on 9/28/2013 1:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
I would first off like to say,

Very good article on a very increasingly-thorny issue of mine!

I have been an avid student of the sciences for as far a back as I can remember. My best "marks" in school were typically in science, as far back as the second grade. My eight-grade teacher was very influential in my life, especially when he wanted me to learn the "Twelve Steps of the Scientific Process" before proceeding with any experiments with any chemicals in his classroom. I wrote about fifteen such planned experiments in the provided format of the Scientific Process.

I was very disheartened to see that these days, the schools - if they teach any solid science curricula, use an abbreviated form of the "scientific process" (only SEVEN steps)! I was shocked that I could not readily find a copy of the old "Twelve-Step" format I was taught. The newer format leaves too much room for "estimation", and very little for actual observation and close examination of the results. The newer format seems to be more in support of the idea that one creates his/her "theory" and can easily sway the testing and the results in order to support the original "pet theory". (At least, that is what I see.)

The "peer-review" process, today, is also very politically and dogmatically-oriented. The true purpose of a peer review process is supposed to ensure that any such experimentation and evaluation as documented, were done properly according a set of acceptable criteria to ensure accuracy, efficacy, and that the results are presented as clearly as possible to demonstrate that the data supported the supposed conclusions accurately. - The "peer review" process, today, is very broken and absolutely alien to the commonsense that is at the heart of science.

Also, debate, discussion, and reanalysis of the testing, evaluation, results, and the "debugging" of the whole procedure is a necessary requirement in order for science and the scientific process to remain as credible and reliable in its standards of scientific conduct and academic accuracy. Open debate is also very necessary for the furtherance of science and how science is to evolve.

"Scientific Doctrine" allows very little, if any, such open debate where it is critically-needed. Open debate is vital in that science and the various fields of study are constantly evolving, that is to say: "This is how all of us troubleshoot the process, and find where the process may be weak and fix those weaknesses to help improve the process for the betterment of the scientific and the rest of the community." - If you squelch open debate on scientific matters, ever, you hobble and constrain science to operate purely on a "subjective" level. Subjective-level science can NOT evolve to meet the growing needs of exploration, query, experimentation, testing, evaluation, and defining the repeatable and known results to the community.

"Scientific Doctrine" is as much a lethal poison to science and all of its progress, as Arsenic is to the living body. This "doctrinal-thinking" will be the death of countless years' of scientific thinking, research, data-collection, and the stability and reliability of the scientific process! Critical-Thinking does NOT mean "Closed-to-Thinking", even if it challenges our currently-held perception and "beliefs".

- Your friendly amateur "scientist".

By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 11:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
I strongly disagree with the comment, "'Scientific Doctrine' is as much a lethal poison to science and all of its progress, as Arsenic is to the living body." Maybe your version of scientific doctrine is bad. The version used by respectable scientists is simply the belief (a.k.a., "doctrine") that the scientific method is the best way to learn about and describe reality. That's all. Nowhere does "doctrine" have to be about certain theories being difficult to challenge. The only "doctrine" that is here is the belief in a method. So, please don't ignorantly shoot down a doctrine when you fail to realize where the doctrine ends and human frailties begin.

By DocScience on 9/25/2013 1:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
The standard approach for those who are unwilling or unable to support their own arguments is to shut the other people up.

Popular Science became NEITHER, long ago. Very sad.

By ResStellarum on 9/25/2013 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
Great article Jason. It really encapsulates what's wrong at the core of some of these so called consensus seekers.

Science has never been about consensus, it's about questioning the status quo. Littered throughout history are people who were ridiculed, called heretics, or even killed for questioning the consensus.

The dogmatic and proselytistic attitude of many sites on the topic of science is disturbing to say the least. I remember posting to slashdot at a time when the AGW alarmists were at the height of their power, and moderators labeled a comment of mine as a troll just for questioning the veracity of some of their so called climate models. Safe to say the attitudes there have changed a great deal since then. But it just shows how easily people can get swept up into this hive mind mentality where even people, whom I thought intelligent, blindly follow the doctrine of the consensus. Scary indeed.

By ghost03 on 9/26/2013 12:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
While magazines like PopSci can contribute to public interest and funding, this unfortunate happening isn't directly influencing actual work/research in science any more than shows like mythbusters.

Publications in the scientific record (i.e., journals and conferences) are FAR more stringent in their requirements and rigor than general media. I'm not really bothered by this censorship, other than that PopSci is basically being whiny children.

JIDF please leave
By DominionSeraph on 9/26/2013 9:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
Dogmatic Doctrine
By OldSchool57 on 9/26/2013 11:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
This is emblematic of what is wrong in the science media for the last decade. Science deals with more than just "facts". Science uses reason and logic to draw conclusions from facts. When science is presented as some monolithic, dogmatic doctrine which is beyond question it becomes a farcical misrepresentation of true science. Comment sections are often filled with dogmatic believers and dogmatic deniers calling each other names. The goal should be to shed this dogmatic image, and acknowledge the difference between facts and conclusions. It drives me crazy when people try to say there is only one conclusion that can be drawn from a given set of facts.

By Bruzote on 9/30/2013 12:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think a lot of readers here realize that some industrial and political groups actually hire people to put up comments against concerns about anthropogenically-caused global warming. There are actually software packages developed to help you manage an army of phony personalities online, allowing you to conduct a coordinated assault on publications that you want to see disbelieved. The NSA and FBI use these as a well. But, so do private and political groups. When a website sees that its commentary has been distorted by countless false identities spinning propaganda, it's arguably morally compelled to stop hosting such comments. If the site keeps such commentary, it is promoting a prevalence of propaganda over open discussion.

By rennock on 10/2/2013 2:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with Popular Science's decision, absent of their response to the matter ("Scientific Doctrine"? Weak.) Here's why:

1) POPULAR SCIENCE is not a Scientific or Academic Journal. They are in the work of showing people interested in science or laypersons what is occuring in Science right now as a Commercial Magazine. You are all making Popular Science to be worth and capable of much more than any other magazine owes to their circulation. Public Discourse in a magazine is a little farfetched, and the reason why is...

2) The purpose of discussion, peer review, and discourse in Science is to facilitate open and informed commentary on the issue at hand. The problem with the Internet is the second part: informed doesn't generally apply to the public at large. Media pundits, advocacy journalism (the change of practice from media seeking a neutral standpoint and reporting facts, to media choosing a side and reporting opinion), and pseudoscience (the great grey beast that Carl Sagan all warned us about: corporations and private interests using science to further their own efforts rather than advance a field) have mutilated public discourse to the point that virtually everyone, including myself, is NOT QUALIFIED to discuss scientific topics with specialists and researchers on the same level. Implications and political favor gets in the way of the truth, period.

Look at these comments in this story. Do I really have to say anything else?

Could something else have been done? Sure. If open and informed discourse is desired, a special tier of replies that are elevated over the general public can be done with scientists, academics, and specialists (using real name only: want to troll with privileges? Good luck with everyone knowing your name... go on, defame yourself.) This way, Popular Science cultivates a membership of experts, the irate public replies can be read separate of experts and authorities, or simply ignored if need be, and there's still informed discussion SEPARATE OF open discussion as a compromise to both or neither.

But neither works, and probably makes their lives much easier.

Congratulations, Jason
By kyuuketsuki on 9/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Congratulations, Jason
By Flunk on 9/25/2013 9:17:54 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent points, and I'd like to add that I think the following quote is particularly funny. Seeing as the claims made in it could just as easily apply to articles written by the author.

After all comments are arguably the digital age response to print's "letter to the editor" -- and they often contain criticisms of the article ranging from grammatical errors to factual oversights

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By coburn_c on 9/25/2013 9:31:03 AM , Rating: 3
I think that was the point, it was a rather self aware article.

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By coburn_c on 9/25/2013 9:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
The definition is a 'a set of beliefs', I don't think that's quite.. well whatever.

I think he rightfully criticized them for silencing the public and his assessment was apt.

I have no idea why there's a South Park image in there tho.

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By Schrag4 on 9/25/2013 10:14:14 AM , Rating: 3
...1) Since when is anyone obligated to run a comments section on their articles? Just because you seem to enjoy riling up Dailytech viewers and then engaging them in the comments section doesn't mean it's everyone's cup of tea....

Am I the only one that finds this extremely ironic? You're not only riled up, but you're using the comments to express yourself. So it's good for DT but it's not good for PopSci?

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By xprojected on 9/25/2013 11:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
Jason knows that controversial op-eds, presented as articles, generate the most comments. And comments provide entertainment and generate more page hits, which generates more ad revenue for Dailytech. That's all it's about in the end, money. And maybe an inflated ego.

I've learned to distrust most of Jason Mick's posts, which is sad as most of the Anandtech and Dailytech staff is informative and non-sensational. He seems better suited for writing spy/espionage novels.

PopSci can do what they want on their site. Science may be about peer review, but anonymous commenters are not "peers". They are, usually, ignorant schmoes. Good scentific debate requires that both sides have some level of reputation and experience.

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By Dorkyman on 9/25/2013 7:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I think my CV would demonstrate that I have a pretty decent science and engineering background, and I tend to agree with Jason most of the time.

Maybe it's a different Jason Mick you're writing about.

Boy, ain't it great that DT allows comments so these matters can be discussed.

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/27/2013 2:07:22 PM , Rating: 1
Let's see you do better. Write an article regarding this and see if you can get DT to publish it.

Whether you like his writing style or not, Jason is getting paid to write this.

Can you say the same? Do you get paid for your articles? Where have you published?

RE: Congratulations, Jason
By rennock on 10/2/2013 2:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
The same can be said for you.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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