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They’re working for the clampdown

This is just disgraceful: powerful academics using their influence to suppress (“clamp down on”) dissent. They call us terrorists, they lie about us in their journals, and they plot to clamp down on us. I can’t say at this point that I’m surprised to see this latest, but it saddens and angers me nonetheless to see people who could be research leaders but who instead are saying:

We’re working for the clampdown
We will teach our twisted speech
To the unbelievers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To the unbelievers

What are we gonna do now?

24 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think mr. Pettigrew missed an opportunity here.

    He should have left out “the” in the sentence “These attacks on the science (…)”.

    Now it’s all about these specific “Stanford Prison Experiment” findings, but to really “clamp down” any (future) criticm you can go much bigger and make it about “science” in general.

    I mean, who could be against “science”, except the most st#pid and #vil people!

    That would probably get you a lot more support, also from the media perhaps, and/or people who don’t really think about things too deeply but can still support you and your cause nonetheless.

    It could be a great tactic: just (mis-)represent things by using “good” and “positive” words to describe things and actions that nobody can really oppose.

    Maybe, it doesn’t even matter if you’re doing the exact opposite of what the words actually mean or imply, because a lot of people may stop thinking after hearing the “positive” words and terms.

    • Martha (Smith) says:

      And what does he mean by “unreferred sources”? (Perhaps it’s just a typo or autocorrect and he meant “unrefereed”?)

    • Bob says:

      The use of ‘The’ is deliberate and widespread. ‘The’ science is unassailable, we have the ‘facts’, the ‘evidence’ is in, anyone who disagrees is a ‘denier’. Same old same old.

      “It could be a great tactic: just (mis-)represent things by using “good” and “positive” words to describe things and actions that nobody can really oppose.”
      LOL. ‘Could be’ a great tactic? This tactic dominates public debate on any contentious issue.

      • Anonymous says:

        “LOL. ‘Could be’ a great tactic? This tactic dominates public debate on any contentious issue.”

        (i was being sarcastic by using “could be”)

        It’s a fun game in current day science, and concerning all the recent discussions and proposed “improvements”, to (try and) spot this possible tactic :)

  2. This is a public service announcement (with guitar) says:

    Young believers.

    • Andrew says:

      This:

      Good thing I wasn’t quoting from Louie Louie!

      • Bill Spight says:

        Thank you for your link to the winds have changed post. It’s wonderful! :) Confession: I once belonged to the APS, and even earlier in life to the ISBA. That I no longer belong to either is no reflection on them.

        Even earlier in my life I was in high school when Louie Louie (pronounced Louie, Loueye) came out. Nobody could understand the lyrics, but the grinding sounds and rhythm convinced us all that they were dirty. Back in the 1990s, when the web was young, I ran across the published lyrics, as the song now belongs to Sony. The lyrics had nothing to do with what we had heard. Instead they were about sailing around the Caribbean. I don’t even think Louie, Louie appeared, except in the title. At the same time I ran across a funny story. It seems that a chaperone at a high school dance in Florida had heard the song, and she also was convinced that the lyrics were dirty. She reported her suspicion to the FBI, who slowed the music down and used whatever techniques they had back then to try to make the lyrics intelligible. They spent something like 400 man hours trying to determine whether the lyrics were dirty or not, only to fail in their attempt. ;)

        • Anonymous says:

          “It seems that a chaperone at a high school dance in Florida had heard the song, and she also was convinced that the lyrics were dirty. She reported her suspicion to the FBI, who slowed the music down and used whatever techniques they had back then to try to make the lyrics intelligible. They spent something like 400 man hours trying to determine whether the lyrics were dirty or not, only to fail in their attempt. ;)”

          I heard about this before.

          It may actually be the case that the song DOES contain a “dirty” word (i.c. “f#ck”) at 0.54 seconds as a result of the drummer dropping his drum sticks:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJmtHxbNjt4

          • Bill Spight says:

            Thanks for the link. :)
            Except for being nearly unintelligible, that recording did not have the qualities that made us think the song was dirty. As I recall it, the tempo was a slower, more like a bump and grind, the bass guitar was louder and had a growling quality, and the beat was more pronounced.

            • Anonymous says:

              According to the wikipedia page of “Louie Louie”, the FBI investigation concerned the version by “The Kingsmen” if i understood things correctly:

              “Another factor in the success of the record may have been the rumor that the lyrics were intentionally slurred by the Kingsmen—to cover up the alleged fact that the lyrics were laced with profanity, graphically depicting sex between the sailor and his lady. Crumpled pieces of paper professing to be “the real lyrics” to “Louie Louie” circulated among teens. The song was banned on many radio stations and in many places in the United States, including Indiana, where it was personally prohibited by Governor Matthew Welsh.[29][30][31][32]

              These actions were taken despite the small matter that practically no one could distinguish the actual lyrics. Denials of chicanery by Kingsmen and Ely did not stop the controversy. The FBI started a 31-month investigation into the matter and concluded they were “unable to interpret any of the wording in the record.”[3] Ironically, however, drummer Lynn Easton later admitted that he yelled “Fuck” after fumbling a drumstick at 0:54 on the record.[20][33][34]”

              Perhaps you are thinking/talking about a different version from a different group/artist. Here are 3 other versions of the song, including the original version by Richard Berry. I am curious if one of them might be the version you are thinking/talking about:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWi5MC8ldkY

              Regardless, i have been enjoying some music from the 50’s and 60’s again on youtube as a result of all the comments above, and me searching for the “Louie Louie” song there. And i have been quickly browsing through the wikipedia pages on “Louie Louie” and “Richard Berry”. That has all been fun: so much awesomeness, and interesting backstories, and interesting information!

  3. Roy says:

    I am not certain which is more scary – this obvious effort at censorship to suppress any questioning (in my field they use much more subtle methods) or that Andrew knows the lyrics to British Punk Rock songs.

  4. Steve says:

    Leaving aside the craziness of Pettigrew’s comment, it should have always been clear that the “results” of the Stanford Prison experiments were less clear than the picture that is generally painted. I mean even if one of the participants did not report that he was acting, shouldn’t we have expected that some participants were. Even if there wasn’t a tape of a researcher encouraging a guard to be tough, shouldn’t we have always believed that subjects were likely trying to please researchers. That doesn’t mean the study is worthless, but why is it so hard for social scientists to say, “given the limitations of working with human subjects and the complexity of the matter we are studying, we just cannot conduct experiments that will provide results that replicate, but we can still provide some insight into human behavior.” The problem isn’t that the experiments have too many degrees of researcher freedom, that may be impossible to eliminate. The problem is the pho-certainty.

  5. Anon says:

    Your reference to “they” (“They call us terrorists, they lie …”) took on new meaning when I looked up to see just who this Thomas Pettigrew was: “* The FABBS Foundation would like to thank Dr. Susan Fiske for nominating Dr. Pettigrew for this honor and for leading the effort to spread the word about his nomination.” (From the fabbs.org website; still time to donate too …)

    • Andrew says:

      Anon:

      That’s hilarious. It’s the “Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences.” But I really think they need another level of hierarchy. Perhaps the League of Federations of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences. And then, the Council of Leagues of Federations of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences. Just think of the awesome universe-wide honors this council could bestow!

      • Anonymous says:

        “But I really think they need another level of hierarchy”

        I believe “hierarchy” is now being called “crowdsourcing” or “collaboration”, at least by some folks if i understood things correctly.

  6. yyw says:

    Does the guy sincerely believe science is under attack or is he a cynic? I in general assume incompetency and discount conspiracy. Not sure it matters at the end when it comes to the damage to science.

  7. Zad says:

    They dislike blogs and preprints, so let’s get more people to post serious blog posts and host papers on preprint servers

    • Anonymous says:

      “They dislike blogs and preprints, so let’s get more people to post serious blog posts and host papers on preprint servers”

      These things can, again, be manipulated just like “official” papers in “official” journals.

      I have had (critical) comments on certain blogs not being displayed way too much for my liking to not ponder the possibility that the comments were being censored.

      I also fear (certain) pre-print servers will find a (roundabout) way to only allow, and/or emphasize, the people and topics they want to on there.

      Perhaps someone can invent something for comments on blogs that make it hard or impossible to manipulate which comments get published and which not. I think this can be very useful concerning having proper debates, and emphasizing facts, logic, reasoning, etc. over the source or who said it.

      • Zad says:

        I agree… I’ve always been critical of the fact that DataColada never allowed comments on their blog. There’s little reason to prevent visitors from commenting. If the concern is harassment/trolling, you can always set up a comment policy and enforce it. Regarding manipulating existing content, a tool I love to use is the Wayback Machine. Every time I put out a new blog post, I always make it take a snapshot of the post and if there’s extensive discussion occurring, I’ll also make it take a snapshot. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done.

        • Anonymous says:

          Quote from above: “I’ve always been critical of the fact that DataColada never allowed comments on their blog”

          I agree. That has been mentioned on this blog before. As i said then, i think this blog here is, and has been, a shining example of true open science, true collaboration, and true inclusivity. I can not thank professor Gelman, and all the folks commenting here, enough for this all.

          Quote from above: “Regarding manipulating existing content, a tool I love to use is the Wayback Machine”

          I think that is possibly useful for when the comment (or entire blogpost) has been posted at one point, but has later been deleted. That is one form of manipulation for which “Wayback Machine” can work, but i was thinking about the situation in which my comments are not depicted. If i understood things correctly, “Wayback Machine” can’t “help” with that kind of manipulation (?)

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