I take El Reg with a pinch of salt at times, but the only thing the Daily Mail is good for is catching the salt from my chips! (YMMV etc)
Welcome, Mr Dacre. Wikipedia editors have voted to put The Daily Mail in the sin bin – alongside The Register. After a small but decisive vote involving around 80 contributors, the Mail is now classified as a "potentially unreliable source" on its advice page. This doesn't mean its a "policy" or a "guideline", but editors are …
" The Daily Mail (along with The Express) still posts fraudulent articles doubting anthropogenic global warming, even though it's been in zero scientific doubt for well over a decade now."
You disagreeing with something does not, nor ever will, make it fraudulent - nor will it make the opposite irrefutably true.
"You disagreeing with something does not, nor ever will, make it fraudulent - nor will it make the opposite irrefutably true."
It's factually untrue. We know the planet is warming over a period of decades and we know we are at least significantly to blame. That isn't an opinion. That's a scientifically verified fact with overwhelming observable evidence to support it.
"a scientifically verified fact"
There's no such thing. Anywhere. The scientific method allows us to demonstrate that theories are incorrect, and to *support* theories that have not yet been proven incorrect:
1. Observe phenomenon
2. Create theory to explain the phenomenon.
3. Use the theory to make predictions of what we could observe related to that phenomenon.
4. Conduct experiments.
5. Analyse the results.
If the results match the predictions, the experimental result *supports* the theory. If not, then EITHER the theory is wrong OR the predictions were incorrectly calculated OR the experiment was incorrectly carried out OR the experiment was incorrectly designed. At no time can we actually use science to *PROVE* a theory, nor a fact.
A "scientific consensus" that a theory is "correct" emerges as we do more experiments and the results support the theory, but at no time is the theory *proven*.
So: there is an empirically-demonstrated trend of warming (measured in terms of average global temperatures or something), and a theory that we are to blame. The theory is supported by *models*, not *experiments*, and the support is, therefore, not strictly "scientific". Conducting experiments on global climate averages is ... difficult. Devising a model and playing with it is not a suitable substitute for actual empirical experiments. The model is a tool for making predictions based on the theory, not a form of experiment.
CAVEAT: I fully expect to get a jolly bundle of downvotes for this, but bear in mind that I'm not saying we aren't to blame for that warming trend. I'm saying that it isn't *proven*, and it isn't a *fact*.
"We also know it's been warming since before the end of the last ice age and that we are definitely not to blame for almost all of that. Just saying."
Sure. At roughly 170th of the average speed of the more recent changes!
That the climate changes naturally isn't in doubt either. However when the climate has historically changed rapidly it has generally lead to mass extinctions. Personally I would rather humanity not eliminate itself from the gene pool....
"Sounds like you're referring to Wikipedia..."
There's a reason I call Wikipedia "The Unreliable Source"...
("The encyclopedia anyone can edit" might possibly be part of that reason, but the missing part of that is the real reason... "The encyclopedia anyone can edit, and frequently does.")
At best this is the kettle calling the pot black. Nobody will accept a wikipedia citation as credible in any of the STEM fields or in college. So El Reg, if the trash pile that is Wikipedia says they consider you 'not credible', don't take it personally. This is a little like that perenially single aunt of yours giving you relationship advice... it's best just to nod your head and then excuse yourself before you start laughing.
>At best this is the kettle calling the pot black. Nobody will accept a wikipedia citation as credible in any of the STEM fields or in college.
There is no reason to do so - Wikipedia pages cite the [often peer-reviewed] sources it has used. With Wikipedia you can look at its sources of an article and drill back through its history, including discussions between contributors. (Of course I don't mean to understate the danger that many readers won't do so)
It's not perfect, but it's no Daily Mail.
Indeed it isn't the Daily Mail, otherwise known as the Forger's Gazette, and the Daily "Hate" Mail. That said wikipedia citations/references are mostly dead links, or uncheckable, should you manage to do so they rarely support the factoid that they are attached to, and there is no guarantee that the reference is the most credible one either. For that you need subject expertise which wikipedia lacks in spades.
Not really "pot and kettle" IMHO.
If you assume Wikipedia is mainly edited in good faith, then its articles are only as good as its references. So if it makes sure all articles are cited with decent references - by, in appropriate cases, blanket banning references from publications known to be problematic - it makes itself a better source of information.
So I see this as the "pot" making itself less black by not going near the "kettle".
It may never be "less black" enough to be cited in STEM papers, but it is a valiant aim.
A small but significant number of Wikipedia references I have checked are to random blog posts that themselves are either just a copy & past of the Wikipedia article, or reference it. It's fairly clear that whoever inserted the references just googled & used a couple random results without actually reading them.
Oh, the irony of being called unreliable by Wikipedia.
As much as the goal of Wikipedia is to be applauded, it's execution is fairly terrible. I did once try to correct an article that was incorrect and had my edit removed with the comment that although the entry was wrong, it quoted a more reliable source with the wrong information than the 4 I provided with the correct information. At which point my brief career as a Wikipedia contributor ended.
Has it? The Daily Mail is often notoriously PC, especially with regards to ce sorting comments.
All this is showing is the political bias of this particular clique within Wikipedia. I note they are not interested in listing the notoriously biased BBC as unreliable. That said, both are far more reliable than Wikipedia itself.
> I expect that the Mail feels the same way about Wikipedia. Does anyone really trust either of them?
I'd trust the Mail more. Imagine what it would look like if their readers could edit articles after publication. Now imagine the amount of beer you'd need to consume to unsee that. I know how much the average Briton drinks, and I know you'd still be bone dry by friday...
When were either of them reliable?
One's a font of knowledge from unreliable sources and the other is a comedy tabloid of unreliable "immigrants stole my wife's mop and now I'm impotent with no shoes" stories.
Does anyone take them as truly reliable? I always cross check Wikipedia and if I do come across a mail story by accident I read it for humour value.
"Does anyone take them as truly reliable? "
If some of the shite re-posted by some of my wife's "friends" on Facebok are anything to go by, yes, not only do a lot of people believe the crap, they block you on Facebook when you demonstrate that they are wrong.
I hasten to add that no, I really don't have a Facebook account but my wife take great delight in telling me what's going on. I do my best to grunt or make other similar soothing noises while does that/
A decade ago, Stanford’s Ioannidis published a paper warning the scientific community that “Most Published Research Findings Are False.” (In 2012, he coauthored a paper showing that pretty much everything in your fridge has been found to both cause and prevent cancer—except bacon, which apparently only causes cancer.)
So, not just radiation. Everything but baaaaaaa.
Wikipedia cheerfully admits that it is unreliable and refuses to cite its own pages. Would that the Daily Mail or El Reg were so forthcoming.
There is a story that when a researcher compared Wikipedia with the Encyclopedia Britannica, they found fewer howlers, page for page, in Wikipedia. Now, where can I get that story reliably verified....
It might be a coincidence, but the Daily Mail published an article by a climate science whistleblower from NOAA last week, claiming that he had been asked to make climate change predictions more dire before the Paris climate change conference last year.
El Reg is also sometimes on the sceptical side on climate change.
Perhaps this infuriates the Wiki-pedians?
"the Daily Mail published an article by a climate science whistleblower from NOAA last week"
A good example of the fiction in question. See for instance https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/feb/05/mail-on-sunday-launches-the-first-salvo-in-the-latest-war-against-climate-scientists
Indeed, under Lewis Page, El Reg was part of the AGW denial echo chamber that includes WUWT, the Mail, Telegraph and GWPF. As they have not duplicated Rose's "research" here, it seems that El Reg has sensibly decided that the consequent loss in credibility is no longer worth it.
"Indeed, under Lewis Page, El Reg was part of the AGW denial echo chamber"
You must have missed all those posts by the other Register journalists telling me that AGW was an imminent catastrophe. Seems like this place is a broad church, or used to be:
What you really object to is any criticism of the climate science priesthood, so you can advance your political agenda of drastic carbon reduction. Or any evidence such as the pause that contradicts the narrative of imminent catastrophe. So your real goal is not to improve the public's knowledge, but stamp out dissent.
(Anon. to avoid being doxxed by climate fanatics)
"What you really object to is any criticism of the climate science priesthood, so you can advance your political agenda of drastic carbon reduction. Or any evidence such as the pause that contradicts the narrative of imminent catastrophe. So your real goal is not to improve the public's knowledge, but stamp out dissent."
Good use of the usual climate change denier buzzwords there - priesthood ffs. So you're saying that the climate isn't even changing, let alone that the massive amounts of pollution pumped out since the industrial revolution has nothing to do with it? The "pause" you mention has been widely debunked by everyone except those working directly for the oil and gas companies. - heres a link for you in casde you want to learn something
The planet has been warmer every year, for years. Stop bleating out catchphrases and insults.
Yes, the Mail published that. Turns out it was axe-grinding bullshit (http://www.snopes.com/2017/02/08/noaa-scientists-climate-change-data/). The Mail has a long history of publishing climate change denial, including giving Delingpole a platform.
Thank you for providing a great example of why the Mail is not trustworthy.
Sir Humphrey: The only way to understand the Press is to remember that they pander to their readers' prejudices.
Hacker: Don't tell me about the press, I know exactly who reads the papers: The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.
Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?
Bernard: Sun readers don't care who runs the country, as long as she's got big tits.
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"But Wikipedia itself is actually unreliable and biased on most of the historical or political articles." --AC
Anyone expecting to find a single reliable source for contentious issues such as history or politics, especially the nearer they are in time, is incredibly naive. One of the best lessons from W is "do not rely on a single source"
Remember Alexander Pope's words (Essay on Criticism, I think)
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.
Lies in print, or to give them their new buzzword "Fake News" are nothing new. I heard a quote many years ago about how if you see it in print, it's probably not true. No I can't remember the source and don't care to try and find it. Almost everything you see in print (paper, screen, etc.) is either somebodies opinion or else some somebodies opinion of somebody else's opinion.
I have a somewhat morbid habit of comparing the numbers of deaths/injuries from disasters (natural and deliberate) reported in various media. Some understate the numbers whilst others overstate right up until an official body releases exact numbers at which point they would all use that number. Those that had to sell advertising almost invariably overstated whilst those who didn't usually understated. Try it yourself next time and you will see what I mean.
Good points, Big_Boomer. But beware of official statistics too. Yes, obviously they can be slanted by governments with an axe to grind, but even numbers prepared as honestly as possible can be and often are subject to serious error. The classic example usually cited when teaching the benefits and dangers of official statistics is that of Durkheim. Back in the 1890s, Durkheim pioneered the study of suicide. A great deal of careful work with official suicide statistics allowed him, to demonstrate that sociological institutions - notably the church - had a big effect on suicide rates. Catholic societies and families, Durkheim discovered, had significantly lower sucide rates than Protestant ones. He regarded this as a consequence of Catholic teachings about sin. (It was a more subtle and powerful argument than that, but you get the drift.)
Decades later, other socioligists looked more carefully at his work, and soon discovered that, while Durkheim was indeed onto something real, by far the greater part of what he was observing from his careful work with official statistics was not actual differences in suicide rate, it was differences in the way that deaths were reported, recorded, and classified. Depending on their religious background and the norms of their community, families, police, doctors, coroners, and other officials were more or less likely to find ways to define ambiguous deaths as "suicide" or "non-suicide". Most of the effect he discovered, in other words, was differences in the way official statistics were collected and recorded.
(I'm tempted to wonder if Wikipedia has an article about this. But if it did, I naturally wouldn't trust it.)
The 'Fake News' thing amuses me, I've never read, heard or seen a news report on a subject I have a vague knowledge of that hasn't been at best inaccurate and at worst riddled with errors. It seems unlikely that my areas of 'expertise' are particularly special in this regard so to some extent all news is fake to some extent.
Also Wikipedia apparently still regard Russia Today as a reliable news source...
I wouldn't regard The Register as a reliable source either. Unless, of course, it is reporting on the 112th Wikipedia fundraising scam. Or any of several other Wikipedia scandals. Or .... well, quite a lot of things really. But although much improved, El Reg still has a lot of sin-bin time to go before it lives down the anti-science disgrace known as .... Hmmm ... can I mention names? Maybe safer not to. At least not on this Page. As I said, much improved these days, but it will be years yet before I'll trust the science articles.
Oh, and there are those insanely tendentious technical opinion things written by some PR flack or other to spruik his company and its products. You know then ones, they pop up every now and then and stick out like dogs' balls. Which, now that I think about it, says something rather positive about the bulk of El Reg's technical content, which can be and often is very worthwhile indeed. If ever in doubt, the comments pretty much always set one straight.
"those insanely tendentious technical opinion things written by some PR flack or other to spruik his company and its products"
I can heartily recommend Greasemonkey and a suitable filter/hide script. Since I use one I basically forgot those things even exist until you reminded me. Sure, the front page looks startlingly peppered with white blank spots but soon enough you don't even notice that anymore.
DrChrissy's comment has made me realize, belatedly, that the entire Wikipedia stance here is a fallacy, specifically an Appeal to Popular Opinion.
Don't know where that leaves me, since I take anything on that "utility" with a pinch of salt - assuming I have the time to make sense of what it is trying to tell me.
(For a real doozy example of how not to explain something, open the page on Mechanical Stress).
In a way this seems harsh. For the most part I don't really think the Daily Mail is any more likely to be inaccurate than most other news source (unless you count typos). But there is a certain class of very poor quality stories I see there fairly frequently. It's the ones based solely on some company's marketing release for their latest gadget or the word of someone selling a book on "human trafficking" etc., and reported as if it were proven fact. I'm sure they're not the only media outlet who falls for this kind of thing, but I think most would write these articles just a little more impartially, at least throwing in an occasional "according to" or "allegedly".
I don't know if this is the kind of content Wikipedia was worried about, but I can see why it might be important to make it harder for interested parties to get their claims into Wikipedia via that route.
To be fair, DrChrissy's impression of how the mail is treated when proposed as a source is probably coloured by his involvement in articles on medical quackery, where the Mail has a very specific reputation. For the most part, the Mail is rejected when anyone asks, often reverted if added, but equally often just left unchallenged, because where else are people going to source celebrity gossip?
The new rule will act as a poke in the ribs to the shruggies. That's its main function.
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