File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

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Climatologist Admits Distorting Data to Get Published Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Wednesday, September 13 2023
[T]he enforced orthodoxy of climate alarmism distorts public information, in turn leading to defective public policy decisions and harmful real-world outcomes.

In their campaign to upend our economy and lifestyles, climate alarmists assure us that their agenda is simply “settled science.”  

Their collective behavior, however, suggests otherwise.  

If settled science supported their agenda, alarmists wouldn’t behave with such insecurity and fight so desperately to prevent contrary facts or evidence from reaching the open marketplace of ideas.  

After all, some people insist that Earth is flat.  Others insist that Elvis remains alive.  Others believe the moon landings to be a studio hoax.  Conspiracy theories surrounding John F. Kennedy’s assassination have even experienced an unfortunate recent reemergence.  

None of those ideas, however, are subjected to an organized campaign to exclude them from popular discourse.  

In contrast, recall recent instances in which true facts and meritorious opinions were subjected to censorship efforts by conformist media and even government.  Remember when Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation” and consequently banned by mainstream and social media?  Or when Covid lab leak theories and opposition to school closures were silenced?  

In each case, those who attempted to express unorthodox opinions were ultimately vindicated by the facts.  

In the past week, we received a first-hand exposé of similar efforts in the climate change debate.  

Johns Hopkins University professor Patrick J. Brown, Ph.D., has revealed that he deliberately “left out the full truth to get my climate change paper published” in the scientific journal Nature:  

The paper I just published – “Climate Warming Increases Extreme Daily Wildfire Growth Risk in California” – focuses exclusively on how climate change has affected extreme wildfire behavior.  I knew not to try to quantify key aspects other than climate change in my research because it would dilute the story that prestigious journals like Nature and its rival, Science, want to tell.  

This matters because it is critically important for scientists to be published in high-profile journals; in many ways, they are the gatekeepers for career success in academia.  …  To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change.  However understandable this instinct may be, it distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public, and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.  

Accordingly, the enforced orthodoxy of climate alarmism distorts public information, in turn leading to defective public policy decisions and harmful real-world outcomes.  Brown proceeds to explain how we reached this unacceptable state of conformity and censorship through an oversupply of graduate students and their competition for dollars and approval:  

Why is this happening?  It starts with the fact that a researcher’s career depends on his or her work being cited widely and perceived as important.  This triggers the self-reinforcing feedback loops of name recognition, funding, quality applications from aspiring PhD students and postdocs, and of course, accolades.  

But as the number of researchers has skyrocketed in recent years – there are close to six times more PhDs earned in the U.S. each year than there were in the early 1960s – it has become more difficult than ever to stand out from the crowd.  So while there has always been a tremendous premium placed on publishing in journals like Nature and Science, it’s also become extraordinarily more competitive.  …  Savvy researchers tailor their studies to maximize the likelihood that their work is accepted.  I know because I am one of them.  

Brown proceeds to relate how he began the research for the paper at issue in 2020 when he was a new assistant professor desperate to maximize his prospects for a successful career.  Although he had attempted on multiple occasions to deviate from what he labels “the formula,” distinguished journals rejected his drafts summarily.  Instead of contributing the most useful and important knowledge to the field of study, he learned to comply with the confirmation bias of editors and reviewers at magazines he approached.  

Today, however, he works in the private sector and therefore feels less pressure to conform his research to prominent editors.  

As for the climate change debate itself, the passage of time and alarmists’ own publications are beginning to undermine their doomsday scenarios.  

For example, this year’s United Nations climate report acknowledges that temperatures today are just “1.1° Celsius higher in 2011-2020 than 1850-1900.”  In other words, one degree higher since the Industrial Revolution began, yet we somehow survived.  

Nevertheless, the U.N. and charlatan politicians like Joe Biden label it an “existential threat” that temperatures may increase a similar 1.5° to 2.0° by the end of this century.  It didn’t end humanity over the past 100 years, but apparently it will over the next 100 years.    

Accordingly, even their own numbers are beginning to expose their hyperbole and don’t justify efforts to enrich themselves as they remake our economy, undermine our energy sector and jeopardize millions of jobs.   

Fortunately, cracks are beginning to emerge thanks to people like Dr. Brown.  Hopefully his example inspires others to state publicly that the climate alarmist emperors have no clothes.

Notable Quote   
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
Liberty Poll   

Given dramatically escalating premiums for homeowner and vehicle insurance, do you believe that your state insurance officials are conscientiously regulating those inescapable costs?