En ode til blogsne

Diverse — Drokles on February 8, 2010 at 8:28 am

Forleden dag hørte jeg i P1 Morgen spådommen om de nye medier som Twitters aflivning af blogsne. De unge vil ikke3 have lange artikler, men korte sætning og meningsudvekslinger. Umioddelbart mente jeg det var noget vrøvl, som jeg også mente det var noget vrøvl da man talte om at blogsne ville erstatte de traditionelle medier, deres egen fødekilde! De forskellige medier kan noget forskelligt og komplimenterer hinanden. Matt Ridley skriver en hyldest til bloguniverset (der intet andet er end elektroniske platforme for hvem som helst at oprette) og deres rolle i Climategate i Spectator

The Climate Consensus may hold the establishment — the universities, the media, big business, government — but it is losing the jungles of the web. After all, getting research grants, doing pieces to cameras and advising boards takes time. The very ostracism the sceptics suffered has left them free to do their digging untroubled by grant applications and invitations to Stockholm. The main blog used by the Consensus, realclimate.org, exemplifies this problem, because it was set up by a PR company and is run by an employee of Nasa, who ties himself in knots trying to show that he does the blog in his spare time. It is also characterised by a tone of weary condescension and censoring of dissent that you do not find on most sceptic sites.

Contrast it with wattsupwiththat.com, a site founded in November 2006 by a former Californian television weather forecaster named Anthony Watts. Dedicated at first to getting people to photograph weather stations to discover how poorly sited many of them are, the site has metamorphosed from a gathering place for lonely nutters to a three-million-hits-per-month online newspaper on climate full of fascinating articles by physicists, geologists, economists and statisticians.

Or take a book published last month called The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford, a rattling good detective story and a detailed and brilliant piece of science writing. Montford has never worked in the media. He is an accountant and science publisher who works from his home in Milnathort in Kinrossshire. He runs a blog called ‘Bishop Hill’.

Montford came to the subject in 2005 when he read a blog post by another amateur non-journalist named Tim Worstall, a scandium dealer who lives in Portugal (I am not making this up), who was in turn passing on news of another blogger’s work: Stephen McIntyre, a retired mining consultant and keen squash player in Toronto. Because he keeps catching errors in their work, McIntyre is the sceptic the climate scientists most love to hate, even though he is scrupulously polite and insists that the followers on his website, climateaudit.org, are too. ‘A certain person’, the Climategate scientists called him in their emails, or ‘Mr Mc “I’m not entirely there in the head”’, or ‘the self-appointed Joe McCarthy of climate science’.

Notice that all of these sceptic bloggers are self-employed businessmen. Their strengths are networks and feedback: mistakes get quickly corrected; new leads are opened up; expertise is shared; links are made. Prejudice and ignorance abound too, but the good blogs get rewarded with scoops and guest essays so they tap into rich seams of knowledge. When Montford first ran his now classic post called ‘Caspar and the Jesus paper’, about the shenanigans the IPCC had to resort to in order to get a flawed paper rebutting McIntyre into the peer-reviewed literature in time to use it in their report, word of mouth caused interest in his website to explode.

Og professor Philip Stott i Clamour Of The Times (hvorigennem jeg jeg så Spectatorartiklen) konkluderer

…Matt Ridley’s article could well become a classic in pin-pointing the moment when the democratic internet wrested elements of legitimacy from both the mainstream media and from science itself.

This is truly the Day of the Blogger. It is precisely why I have blogged: “to ensure that the mainstream media cannot exclude critical voices which deserve to be heard.”

It now appears that bloggers are becoming a Fifth Estate, a new, and vital, balance in the realm of politics, correcting and curbing the failures and excesses of the Fourth Estate, the press, which is too frequently subservient to the forces of the State, and of their wealthy, and often ruthless, proprietors.

This is why it is absolutely necessary that the internet remains free and open to all. This is why some newspapers need to apologise, such as The Times for its shameful editorial on “village idiots”. Above all, this is why Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband should be ashamed of, and apologise for, their recent attacks on the critics of climate-change science.

Ja blogsne kan andet end blot, som Monokultur, at sprede had på internettet.

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