TOM THE DANCING BUG: Nate, in "Skeptic Shock"


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I feel like there’s a metaphor here, but I’m not quite grasping it.


Yeah, sometimes Tom the Dancing Bug can be very subtle.


I love the study funded by the local funeral home. Good show sir.


It’s funny because it’s true it’s a cutting metaphor one wishes it would happen to everyone on Fox “News.”


I am SO TEMPTED to print it out and hang it on my cubicle, because we have a climate-change denier in our office (and we work for NASA… I know!). I was overhearing him talking on the phone about “remember when climatologists used to say we were heading into a global ice age?” He believes that global warming is some kind of make-work program for climatologists.
But I won’t because it would be hostile. sigh


Sadly that sort of medial denial is endemic in the alt med crowd, and utilizes the same sort of arguments and conspiracy level thinking. You can laugh but people can and do die as a result of this sort of thinking.


Perhaps a direct reference to Nate Silver hiring the well known climate denier Roger Pielke Jr to write on climate issues when they launched the FiveThirtyEight website. Nate defended the choice on the basis that it was a valid viewpoint, but go so much flak he quickly replaced Pielke on the climate beat.
Probably also a bigger message about the stupidity of relying exclusively on polling data to produce punditry, rather than, say, learning the science.


Wait a minute. Was there ever a scientific consensus that leeches cured leprosy?

If there wasn’t and the “scientist” is just making up stuff that makes sharpens the point.


You might want to include this:

The fact is that around 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting a warming rather than a cooling planet.


I don’t think you should read anything into the name “Nate”, Bolling has done a bunch of comics with this character before (predating the Nate Silver/Roger Pielke thing), although he used to be “Nate the neoconservative” and later “Nate the neocon pundit”, I guess Bolling changed it here because neoconservatives aren’t especially known for climate denial.


Thanks for that! Very interesting (but I still won’t hang it up here… harmonious workplace and all that; besides, there’s the backlash effect)


Oh Christ, that. The deniers love that. It’s not even true - there was one climate researcher in particular that the media loved who was looking at the effects of particulates and aerosols on temperature. That is, factors that have a cooling effect. The media jumped all over the “coming ice age” story, other climate scientists pointed out he neglected to factor in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, he factored those in and corrected his work to show the overall warming trend, and the media lost interest in the story.
It makes me crazy every time someone brings up that chestnut.


And you’d be a hostile work environmentalist.


Bad things happen when good people do nothing.

The writing has been on the wall for at least a generation. Those angling to preserve the status quo have shown no compunction about making waves…

ETA: maybe we should all print out a copy and leave it on the train or something.


There was a pretty broad consensus that bleeding, including with leaches, cured or treated a whole host of things. Going straight back to Galen. But it’s of course a pre-scientific idea that died out pretty rapidly with the advent of modern medicine. Part of that whole humors theory of disease thing. Weirdly we’ve now found leaches are pretty damn good at restoring/maintaining/draining blood flow for certain kinds of injuries. Like reattaching severed limbs. Even weirder there are actually still quacks out there that advocate bleeding of various sorts las a cure all. Google cupping.

Edit: got bored and hit wiki.


Ruben Bolling nailed it again.


Of course, the great Dr Hoffman of Stuttgart proved it beyond all doubt.


I would like to email this to a couple of people I know, but they would just stick their fingers in their metaphorical ears and yell, “I can’t hear you! La la la!” Nice guys in many other respects, but talking to them about certain topics is like talking to a wall. Worse than talking to a wall, actually… walls are not as dense as these two.


And then the magicians turn to real doctors when they themselves get sick.