Tuesday, October 23, 2007

getting hurt, watching foreign flicks

Last night I sprained my ankle big time. It totally blows. I was playing a little bit of ultimate frisbee, went up for the disk and just landed wrong. I herd a snap and it hurt like hell. I thought it was broken for sure but that sound was just the sound of ligaments snapping. I'm on crutches now. My insurance company bought some crutches for me for like $48.00, which strikes me as a little pricey. I bet Walmart has the same ones foe a few bucks. I also broke my dining room table by leaning on it too hard as I was trying to walk without my crutches. So I made it a short work day today. I think I deserve it. I meant to do some work from my couch while I elevated, iced and applied compression, but the drugs situation made that difficult. I watched two foreign flicks instead. They both made me feel helpless because I can't walk, but they were both totally awesome too.

The first one was called The Flying Scotsman. It's an English biopic about Graeme Obree, a Scottish cyclist that broke the Hour record in 1993, and again in 1994. Most people, and most Americans in particular, aren't familiar with the Hour record in cycling. When we think of cycling, we think of stage races like the Tour de France. The Hour is exactly what it sounds like. Whichever cyclist can ride the farthest distance in one hour owns the record. Cyclists that attempt the Hour do it in a velodrome, and usually by themselves. One of the main reasons why Lance Armstrong isn't the greatest cyclist of all time is that he never did anything but the Tour. He never even tried the Hour. Eddy Merckx, on the other hand, held the Hour record for 12 years on top of his 5 Tours de France.

The Flying Scotsman focuses on Obree's life from just before his first attempt at the Hour in 1993 to just after his second Pursuit title in 1995. Obree was a very good cyclist, but he was great at the Hour. Part of the reason was that he designed his own bike an riding style, and part of it was that he was tough as nails. Prior to his first attempt, he built his bike out of spare parts, he even took the main bearing out of his washing machine. He narrowed the bottom bracket to make the foot position more natural and streamlined the bike to reduce resistance. He also rode in a "crouch position" in which his chest touched his hands.

He made his first attempt on a professionally designed bike that incorporated all of the new ideas that he put into his original prototype. He didn't break the record. Then he tried again on the actual prototype with the washing machine bearing. This second attempt took place less than 24 hours after his first attempt. He broke the record.

Obree ran into a lot of opposition from the UCI, cycling's governing body. After his first Hour record, they banned his riding position (for "safety" reasons) by making it illegal for a rider's chest to touch his hands. In response, Obree started riding like this:

Ultimately, this position was banned (for "safety" reasons) too, after Obree had retired. Anyway, Obree's story is pretty fascinating and The Flying Scotsman tells it pretty accurately. Obree himself even stands in for some of the cycling scenes.

The other foreign flick I watched was called District B13 and it was fucking awesome. District B13 stars this dude named David Belle that invented this shit called parkour. You know that first scene in Casino Royale when Daniel Craig is chasing that dude that runs and jumps all over buildings and construction equipment? That's parkour. It's basically like martial arts geared towards the "flight" reaction instead of the "fight" reaction. Here's a video of David Belle doing some parkour:

District B13 takes place in a near future France in which ghettos have been walled off and left to their own, with no police or schools or anything like that. The "plot" revolves around Bell's character, a resident of one of these ghetto's that teams up with a cop, also proficient in parkour, to take down the gang of dorky wigger (is that word un-PC? I really don't know. If it is, and it offended anyone, I apologize) thugs that run District B13. Awesomeness ensues.

Okay, that's all I got. I'm going to go ice, elevate etc.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Does anyone know how to get vomit out of suede?

Last week my buddy J threw a late Oktoberfest party. Lots of friends came from out of town, lots of German beer was consumed and former roomie B's fiance C threw up all over my jacket at a bar. The next morning I made breakfast for 16 people. Luckily I was still drunk [ergo not yet hung over] when I started cooking so I was able to pull it off. I started feeling sick around 4 or 5 pm and was asleep by 7:30. I'm still dead-tired from all of this and I have heartburn. What a drag it is getting old. Besides the hangover, I also feel old because my friend Local Celebrity Dan brought his new baby over to the breakfast. My friends have babies = I'm old. Local Celebrity Dan's baby is pretty frickin cute, but it sure looks like a lot of work. I think I'll hold off on making babies for a while. I've also been swamped at work, which is part of the reason I haven't posted in a while. [The other part of the reason is that I'm totally boring and have nothing to post about]. So today's post is going to just be a couple links about some former Packers.

The JS is reporting that Milwaukee's new arena football team named its new head coach: Gilbert Brown. This strikes me as a move to put buts in the seats, not to win games. Maybe that's not fair to Gilbert. Maybe he's a genius, but I don't think so. A friend of mine once got Gilbert's autograph at a Hardy's. This friend has a hyphen in his first name. It's French. When Gilbert asked him to spell his name, Gilbert looked dumb-founded when my friend said "hyphen" and then he proceeded to make a comma instead of a hyphen. It's probably the awesomest autograph I've ever seen.

In other Green Bay news, Packer legend Max McGee passed away on Saturday. The 75-year old fell off his roof as he was cleaning out the gutter and I can't think of a worse way for a guy like McGee to go out. Max McGee wasn't your typical straight-laced Lombardi era Packer. He was a party animal. His most well known tale involves his Super Bowl I performance, and more interestingly, the night before. John Wiebusch at AOL Sports has a fantastic article about the night and the big game.

The morning sun was peeking its nose over the palm trees on Sunset Boulevard and the still-lit neon lights of the Whiskey-a-Go-Go were almost surreal in the early morning glow of Jan. 15, 1967.

Max McGee, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and man about town in every town he passed through, was saying good night and/or good morning - it all depended on your point of view - to three full-figured stewardesses, two in the fashion rage of the day - hot pants - and one in a mini-skirt.

"Ladies," McGee went on, "it’s been a festival, as always. You are all too beautiful for words. I only hope that I more than made up for the disappointment of Paul Hornung not being here."

"Oh, Max, you were just WON-derful," said the one in pink leather hot pants.
They hugged him and he squeezed back as three cabs arrived - one to take one of the stews to her day job in the friendly skies, another to take the other two home. McGee slipped $20 bills into the cabbies' hands.

The third cab would take Max McGee back to his day job, momentarily operating out of the Hilton Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard, near downtown Los Angeles and a 10-minute ride from the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the pro football team for whom he played, the Green Bay Packers, would meet the Kansas City Chiefs that afternoon for bragging rights in pro football.

Forty-five minutes later, Max McGee was running a screen pattern through the lobby of the Hilton, using potted plants and pillars as his cover to avoid the one man he did not want to see - head coach Vince Lombardi...

Read the whole thing.

Tax Rally

Which of these two gentleman do you think is making the more profound argument?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nobody knocks off an old man in my neighborhood and gets away with it.

Last Saturday, as I was recovering from last Friday, I watched this flick called Disturbia. Disturbia is somewhat of a remake of the classic thriller, The Burbs. In this incarnation, Tom Hanks's everyman character Ray Patterson is replaced by an angst-ridden teen named Kale, played by Transformers star Shia LaBeouf, while Hanks's Burbs detective associates, the bumbling Art (Rick Ducommun), and the paramilitary nut Rumsfeld (Bruce Dern) are replaced by Asian stereotype Ronnie (Aaron Yoo) and really really really hot chick Ashley (Sarah Roener).

In Disturbia, Kale is sentenced to a summer of house arrest and passes time by spying on his neighbors. He becomes convinced that one of his neighbors is a mass murderer and attempts to investigate with the help of Ronnie and Ashley. Like The Burbs, Disturbia attempts to make you question whether or not the neighbor is really a killer, or is the protagonist just crazy. There's nothing particularly new or brilliant about Disturbia, but it was a solid popcorn flick. LaBeouf is actually a pretty good actor and I bet we will see him in bigger and better roles in the future (well, obviously not bigger and better than Transformers). And Sarah Roemer is really really hot and she has cute freckles. It's worth seeing just for that. If you like hot chicks with cute freckles. Like I do.

Also, I heard it's similar to some other movie called Rear Window too, which I can only assume is another remake of The Burbs.

But What About the Herfindahl Index?

The big news of the day 'round these parts is that American brewing giants Miller and Coors will be joining forces to combat the evil empire, Anheuser Busch. When I was a kid I remember asking my dad a lot of questions about business. And about the beer he drank (Miller). I was a weird kid. Anyway, I remember him telling me that Anheuser Busch had about a 50% market share in America while Miller had about a 20% market share and Coors had about a 10% market share (these numbers ave been substantially rounded). So even if Miller and Coors combined, Busch would still be the dominant player when it comes to watery American beer. This was an actual dinner conversation that took place during my youth:

Me: But Dad, wouldn't they be more competitive with Busch if they did combine?

Dad: Actually Danny, according to the government, they wouldn't be allowed to combine because the government would figure out the Herfindahl Index and find the merger to be anti-competitive. Currently, the Herfindahl Index would look like this [writing: (.5 * .5) + (.2 * .2) + (.1 * .1) = .29] But if Miller and Coors merged, the Herfindahl index would look like this [writing: (.5 * .5) + (.3 * .3) = .34] When the concentration is already over .1, any merger that would raise it more than .025, is presumed to be anti-competitive.

Me: Oh, so because there are already three major companies, it has a high concentration as it is. And since the market share would be concentrated into fewer companies, it's not allowed?

Mom: How did my family end up like this?

So now I'm confused. The illustration I've always used to remember how the Herfindahl Index works is happening, and there doesn't seem to be a problem with it. I better go call my dad...

In other beer news, an "editorial" in the paper last week "argued" that Milwaukee Should Have a First-class Beer Museum. I whole-heartedly agree. Duh. Apparently, there's not one, but two competing groups attempting to get the ball rolling on a beer museum in Milwaukee.

Two groups in the city are working to create a museum. The Museum of Beer & Brewing, headed by Jim Haertel, hopes to open a museum in one of the buildings he owns at the old Pabst Brewing works. The other group, the Milwaukee Beer Museum, has a storefront on S. 5th St. Both groups have memorabilia and a dream. But it will take a major backer to create such a museum.

Each of these groups have a museum of sorts already, but they are both trying to get the funds to make their beer museums "world-class." I salute them both and wish them luck in completing that task. From the Milwaukee Beer Museum's mission statement:

The Milwaukee Beer Museum is a collecting museum and educational organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history and positive cultural impact of beer and the brewing arts.

The positive cultural impact of beer. Awesome. I'm on board. Where can I make a donation? Also, why don't these two companies combine and make one world class beer museum together. If Miller and Coors can do it, why can't The Museum of Beer and Brewing and the Milwaukee Beer Museum? I'd even calculate the Herfindahl Index for them.

Monday, October 8, 2007

This Majik Moment

I'm totally worthless today. Yesterday I made a pilgrimage to Lambeau Field to watch the Packers get beaten by an obviously inferior Chicago Bears team. Losing games like this really blows. A loss is one thing. A loss to a rival is a little worse. But a loss to a rival that you completely outplay is just painful. I went to college close to the Wisconsin/Minnesota border so the Packer/Viking rivalry began to take precedence over the Packer/Bear rivalry. Now that I'm back in south-eastern Wisconsin, I'm starting to remember how much I hate the Bears. Although the game pretty much sucked I did have a pretty fun time, all things considered.

I rolled into The Bay Area around 1:00 and met up with my buddy J. J is a Detroit native and a Lions fan. Seriously, he likes the Lions. But since he moved to Green Bay, he's become somewhat of a Packer fan and has attended several Packer games. We watched football and drank beer for a while at his place. God refused to help John Kitna and the Lions win. Interestingly, Kitna did not attribute his loss to God in the same way he attributes his victories to God. But whatever. I'm sure God had his reasons for screwing the Lions. After the Lions game, J and I left for Lambeau Field. We met up with one of my honorary uncles for a few beers, and you'll never guess who was tailgating right next to us...

Don Fucking Majkowski. The Majik Man himself. Majik Man left before I could get a picture with him, but one member of our group happened to be wearing the classic "After further review... the Bears Still Suck" t-shirt [referencing Don's famous overturned forward pass play]and Don signed it. Nice.

After a few more beers, we headed into the stadium to watch the depressing game. The Pack actually looked good in the first half and if not for two key fumbles by a rookie reciever, we would have run away with it. That's all I'm going to say about that.

After the game, we decided to get some food at Hooters to wait for the crowd to die down. As we were waiting for our sandwiches, our cute waitress Megan pointed out that Al Harris had just walked in. Al was sporting a three-piece suit with pinstripes and was escorted by three rather unattractive women. Megan told us that a lot of the Packers would probably be stopping by. She added that Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were in town for the game and her manager was told that they'd be stopping by as well. This set off my bologna detector. Seeing Al Harris was one thing, but what the hell would Justin Timberlake be doing in Green Bay... at Hooters? I don't know if they ever showed up at Hooters, but I did learn this morning that JT and Jessica Biel were indeed at the game. But that's fine. Seeing Majik Man was enough for me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Book, a Movie, and a TV Show

Baseball season is over so it's time to entertain myself in other ways. So here's brief list of stuff I've been reading, watching, and.. uh... watching. Maybe I'll try to do something like this periodically.

Book: More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics, by Stephen Landsburg. This is one of those pop-economics books that have been popping up since the success of Dubner and Levitt's Freakonomics. Like Freakonomics and Landsburg's earlier book, The Armchair Economist, it's a collection of essays that discuss the underlying economics of everyday situations. In particular, it explains why "conventional wisdom" in many situations is wrong. The title chapter argues that the spread of STDs would decrease if people that have no sex, or very little sex would have more sex. The argument goes like this: Say that if you're a woman (You can switch the genders around in this example if you want to. You can even just switch one if you're into that.) on the prowl and there are 4 dudes in the bar that you're willing to bed. Two of them are very promiscuous and the other two only venture out once a year. Assuming that the two man-whores are more likely to have herpes, your odds of finding a safe mate are around 50%. Now assume that you could magically make every dude that only bones once a year into a dude that bones twice a year. Then, on any given night, there would be twice as many of these relatively safe dudes out on the prowl, including our hypothetical evening. Your odds of safe sex mating would go up to 66%. And there's like a multiplier affect because then when you go bed some other dude, you'll have less chance of spreading herpes yourself. Get it? Increased activity by sexual conservatives, according to Landsburg, would slow down the spread of STDs.

But Landsburg's point in this chapter, and most of his other chapters, is that the benefits of doing something like this are mostly for others, not for the sexual conservative choosing to get it on more often. He'd obviously receive the benefit of getting laid more often, but he'd only be sharing the benefit of a safer pool of partners with a jillion other people. It's this problem that he really analyzes. If the only good that is caused by a particular one of my actions is a benefit to everyone else rather than a benefit to me, what motivates me to act that way? Here's where I started to get a little uneasy with some of Landsberg's ideas. He pretty much wants to subsidize everything. That's not something you hear a lot of economists saying, but he things the government should pay sexual conservatives to have sex (and pay them with condoms), pay jurors to find verdicts, and fine them for bad verdicts, and it should buy every patent and put it into the public domain. This stuff all sounded crazy to me at first, but Landsburg has a way of almost convincing you that these are great ideas. Whether or not you buy into anything he says, it's an interesting read and a great way to see how an interesting mind works.

Movie: Children of Men was a pretty heavy movie. It was really well made if you're into artistic shit like cinematography and "style." It's got some Citizen Cain style newsreel stuff in it, and a single shot action battle sequence that is really really cool. All this stuff was secondary to the story about a post-apocalyptic future in which nobody can have babies and everyone has lost hope and gone bonkers. Great Britain is the only functioning government left and it's being torn apart by a flood of refugees and terrorist groups. Clive Owen ends up finding a pregnant chick and trying to escort her... somewhere. It doesn't really matter where because this is one of those road movies where the journey is more important than the destination. It was a solid movie, but I have a hard time with movies where the journey is more important than the destination. I'd rather the story teller finishes their story than leave it up to me to interpret. But it's well worth watching regardless.

TV Show: Season two of Dexter started Monday. Before I talk about Dexter, I need to say that Showtime is the best network on TV and those bastards at Time Warner totally sold me on it by giving it to me free for 6 months. I know HBO generally defines what constitutes great television drama, or "dramady" in some cases, but with the [non-]death of the Sopranos, Deadwood, and that show with all those ugly chicks in New York City, Showtime has a stronger overall lineup right now. Showtime's lineup now includes one outstanding show in Weeds, and at least four very very good shows in Bullsh!t, Dexter, Brotherhood and Californication. Bullsh!t was great in it's first two seasons but has declined somewhat due to the fact that they're running out of bullshit. That's good for society I suppose, but bad for TV. But I digress.

The hero and title character of Dexter is a serial killer. That premise alone is just so interesting. In Silence of the Lambs and it progeny, they made us a little sympathetic to Hannibal by having him find respect for Jodie Foster and kill that weaselly vice principal dude from Bostin Public. But we still all knew Hannibal was a bad guy. Dexter is actually a pretty good guy, despite the fact that he's murdered tens or hundreds of people. The premise is that Dexter was raised by his stepfather, a cop named Harry. Harry realized pretty early that Dexter was crazy and would probably end up a killer. So Harry trained him to control his urges using what Dexter refers to as "the code of Harry." He still kills, but he only kills bad guys. He finds out who the bad guys are through his work as a forensics cop specializing in blood spatter analysis. This skill also helps him make his own crime scenes perfectly clean. At first I found this premise a little too far fetched, but as I watched the show, I got into it. It helps that Michael C. Hall (the dude from Six Feet Under) plays the part so well.

This season begins with Dexter unable to kill, but he doesn't see this as a good thing. Which is kind of weird. Meanwhile, and more intriguing, some divers find the place where Dexter dumps all the bodies of his victims. That's about all we got in that story line, but I'm interested to see how the public reacts when they start identifying Dexter's victims, who are all really really bad guys.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance

I try to avoid talking about politics on this here rag. As I stated in my first post, I get kind of ornery when I talk about politics. Some people say that I "push buttons" when I debate politics. I don't try to push buttons. I just think that my mind works a little differently than most people's minds do. This post is not about politics. It's about cognitive dissonance. If reading this post makes you want to argue with me about global warming, you are missing the point, which would be fitting for a post about cognitive dissonance.

I'm a big fan of Scott Adams, the guy that writes the Dilbert comic strip. He also wrote several awesome books, including a "thought experiment" called God's Debris. [I highly recommend God's Debris. One friend of mine described it as philosophy porn. He meant this to be an insult. But I think it's a fitting description, which is one reason it's awesome.] Scott Adams wrote a great post on his blog a few days ago about cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is basically the misconstruing of information that conflicts with what you already believe in order to ignore that information and reinforce your beliefs. Adams suggests that people that study economics are immune to cognitive dissonance. He states:

I studied economics in college. One thing I’ve noticed is that other people who have studied economics tend to think a similar way. Some of the similarity is probably because it takes a certain kind of person to be interested in economics in the first place. But I’m convinced that the study of economics changes brains in a way I can identify after about five minutes of conversation. In particular, I think the study of economics makes you relatively immune to cognitive dissonance.

The primary skill of an economist is identifying all of the explanations for various phenomena. Cognitive dissonance is, at its core, the inability to recognize and accept other explanations. I’m oversimplifying, but you get the point. The more your brain is trained for economics, the less it is susceptible to cognitive dissonance, or so it seems.

The joke about economists is that they are always using the phrase “On the other hand.” Economists are trained to recognize all sides of an argument. That seems like an easy and obvious skill, but in my experience, the general population lacks that skill. Once people take a side, they interpret any argument on the other side as absurd. In other words, they are relatively susceptible to cognitive dissonance.

My degrees are not in economics [but I did set the curve in the handful of economics classes I took, because I'm totally fuckin awesome] but that's the way my mind works too. This is why it's a bad idea for me to talk about politics. I almost never speak from the point of view of either of the popular parties, so I end up pissing off people that do see things from the point of view of either of the popular political parties in the U.S. For example, people that are in favor of regulating cigarette smoking often note that an individual's smoking habit doesn't just affect that individual because health care costs are often shouldered, at least in part, by society. I will respond that health care costs of smokers are not always higher, in fact many studies show that they are lower, than health care costs of non-smokers. [Because smokers rarely get old. They die before Alzheimer's sets in or before nursing homes are needed, but after they have done their primary earning and tax-paying. In other words, dieing is cheap, living is expensive.] When I say stuff like this, people almost always assume that because I think that the costs of health care for smokers that are shouldered by society might not be a good reason to regulate smoking, that I must think that there are no good reasons to regulate smoking. Or that the people dieing is good because it saves money. Sometimes people even assume I smoke when I say stuff like that. Or worse, that I'm a member of some political party. But really, I try to look at each argument on all sides of every debate. Sometimes there are strong arguments coming from all angles, even if most people won't listen to them. Just because I agree with one point, doesn't mean that I agree with the whole Seurat. And just because I hold a particular view on a topic doesn't mean all of the counter-points to my view are wrong.

Adams points to a particularly compelling example of cognitive dissonance on Bill Maher's HBO show. The show featured Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish statistician that wrote a few books about global warming. Here is a clip of the show:

Adams breaks down Lomborg's argument like this:

The economist made the following points clearly and succinctly:

1. Global warming is real, and people are a major cause.

2. When considering the problems that global warming will cause, we shouldn't ignore the benefits of global warming, such as fewer deaths from cold.

3. The oceans rose a foot in the last hundred years, and the world adapted, so the additional rise from global warming might not be as big a problem as people assume.

4. Developing economical fossil fuel alternatives is the only rational solution to global warming because countries such as China and India will use the cheapest fuel, period. If only the developed countries who can afford alternatives change their ways, it’s not enough to make a dent in the problem.

The Danish economist’s argument doesn't fall into the established views about global warming. He wasn't denying it is happening, or denying humans are a major cause. But he also wasn’t saying we should drive hybrid cars, since he thinks it won’t be enough to help. He thinks we need to make solar (or other alternatives) more economical. That’s the magic bullet. His views don’t map to either popular camp on this issue, and it created a fascinating cognitive dissonance in Bill Maher (a fan of hybrid cars) and his panelists.

Maher (who I think is really great most of the time) even says, "...20 years later, this guy is going to say, 'You know what? Yeah, there is global warming." But Lomborg did say "yeah, there is global warming" just minutes before! It's astounding really. But the cognitive dissonance doesn't end there. Adams's post was clearly about cognitive dissonance. It clearly was not about his position on global warming. Fittingly, a dude named Richard Bell, a writer for a weblog called The Daily Kos, commented on Adam's post in one of the most remarkable displays of cognitive dissonance I've ever seen.

I love Dilbert. But after reading Dilbert creator Scott Adams' recent blog entry on Bjorn Lomborg (author of Cool It: A Skeptical Environmentalist Looks at Global Warming), I can see that Adams doesn't necessarily share Dilbert's wonderful skepticism when it comes to evaluating a salesman like Lomborg.

Adams saw Lomborg on Bill Maher's show, where Lomborg was appearing via satellite. [...] As per usual, Lomborg ran through his grossly misleading arguments about polar bears, and the like, all the while insisting that he brought "a sense of proportion" to the debate over climate change.

Writing on the Dilbert blog, Adams finds Lomborg entirely reasonable, swallowing the Mythical Middle argument hook, line, and sinker:

"The Danish economist's argument doesn't fall into the established views about global warming. He wasn't denying it is happening, or denying humans are a major cause. But he also wasn't saying we should drive hybrid cars, since he thinks it won't be enough to help."

Notice how easily Adams slips into equating climate change deniers with people who promote driving hybrid cars, as if both groups were equally extreme, while Lomborg's analysis places him above this ignorant clash of armies in the night.

Since Dilbert the comic character usually keeps his wits about him, I can only conclude that, in one of those obscure signs of the true glory of human creativity, it's possible for a comic character to sometimes be smarter than his own creator.

Adams clearly did NOT equate climate change deniers with people who promote driving hybrid cars. He was just saying that Lomborg's position is different than that of climate change deniers and different than hybrid car promoters. That does not make them equal positions. Adams was only saying that Maher et. al. were wrong to characterize Lomborg as a climate change denier because he isn't a climate change denier. The very first thing he said in the interview is that climate is changing and that we are causing it.

This Daily Koss writer totally missed the point. All Adams said was that he gets Lomborg's argument, not that he agrees with it. Bell's cognitive dissonance prevented him from seeing that Adams wasn't talking about global warming. He was talking about people like Bell. A commenter pointed this out and Bell tried to "clarify" by showing even more cognitive dissonance. Seriously, this guy is so so so wrong it's ridiculous. He states:

Here's the problem with Adams' description of the interview: Adams adopts a position which unintentionally leaves the reader with a false understanding of the nature of the scientific debate about global warming. The reason I use the term "false" is because Adams (and Lomborg) presents the debate as if there were two more or less equal sides, when there are not:

Here's the quote from Adams' thoughts on the Lomborg interview on the Maher show, with the "equal side" phrase in bold:

"The Danish economist’s argument doesn't fall into the established views about global warming. He wasn't denying it is happening, or denying humans are a major cause. But he also wasn’t saying we should drive hybrid cars, since he thinks it won’t be enough to help. He thinks we need to make solar (or other alternatives) more economical. That’s the magic bullet. His views don’t map to either popular camp on this issue, and it created a fascinating cognitive dissonance in Bill Maher (a fan of hybrid cars) and his panelists."

There is only one popular camp, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (
IPCC). Yes, there are climate scientists who disagree with the conclusions of the IPCC....

Bell states that there is only one popular camp. But given the fact that this is a debate, there must be at least two popular camps, regardless of whether one of them is objectively right on some aspect of the debate. And there are many views that don't fall into either popular camp, like Lomborg's. All Adams was saying is that Lomborg is not on the "global warming is a hoax" camp. Early on in the interview, Lomborg stated that he got his data from the IPCC, that he agrees with the data, and that global warming is real and that we're causing it. He's not relying on scientific data from scientists that disagree with the IPCC.

Bell clearly detests Lomborg and isn't willing to entertain any positive critique of him, even if that critique is simply that Adams gets his argument. Bell's attempt to "clarify" should be used as an example of cognitive dissonance in schools. This is something we all need to be aware of because studies show that cognitive dissonance will cause more deaths in the next 50 years than global warming.