Dishonesty by the “Encyclopedia of American Loons”

I recently discovered that in random Google searches on my name, some obscure blog called the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” comes up with a posting about me full of half-truths and distortions and irrational ad hominems about public positions I’ve taken in years past.

There was a period 5-10 years ago where I was getting pretty incoherent in my blogging, while in the depths of a bad marriage and trying to soothe it with alcohol, and therefore occasionally ranting hyperbolically more than I should have. I was also regularly getting gang-slammed and trolled by people on the internet, mostly on other blogs, saying nasty things about me that probably (no, definitely) exacerbated my temper. Nevertheless almost none of those assertions in the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” are really true–and if the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” were linking the original articles I wrote, quoting me directly instead of what other people were saying about me, or what other people were quote-mining me on, or what other people were imputing to be my positions instead of just asking me what they were, it would be at least a lot more honest. I know I’ve said things in the past that embarrassed me, especially when speaking or writing in haste, but anyone who asked me to clarify my positions would know where I really stand.

In any case, yes 1) it’s true that I respect Peter Duesberg, Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, and believe he has been sorely mistreated by the scientific establishment, and that many (not all) so-called “AIDS Denialists” deserve more respect than they get, 2) I did at one time argue that running to court to throw silly Creationist literature and idiotic Creationist stickers out of the schools was more destructive than allowing their nonsense to be discussed in science classes–because banning it by force just feeds the Creationist paranoia that scientists are censoring them and leads to more parents pulling their kids out of the public schools and/or telling their children that their science teachers are lying to them (and that this essay by Michael Baltar is spot on, and 3) yes, I do indeed believe that in many (not all) areas of the sciences, the peer review process (which I know a great deal about actually) has been terribly corrupted by money. This, apparently, makes me a “loon” and a “crackpot” and a “conspiracy theorist.”

The fact that on #1 I talked to multiple fully credentialed scientists and mainstream journalists who supported Duesberg in whole or in part is not of course mentioned, the fact that on #2 I made it repeatedly clear that I think Creationism is stupid and that “Intelligent Design” is not a science, and the fact that on #3 my criticism about money polluting the peer review process merely echoes what a lot of other working scientists will tell you isn’t mentioned either. Neither do they mention my regular writing about how toxic conspiracy theories are, and my repeat explanation that “corruption” is not a “conspiracy,” it’s corruption.

But it’s clear that the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” isn’t really interested in being truthful. It’s interested in well-poisoning. I guess if you’re going to take public iconoclastic positions on the internet, you should get used to it. So in a way, I’m honored to be so important to them. I just wanted to mention, for the record, this “encyclopedia” entry is dishonest, and it would make me question anything written by or about anyone else on it. But hey, at least I’m honored to be noticeable and prominent enough in their eyes to merit an article.

*Update* You know, upon reflection, I’m a little surprised that the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” editors did not also note my frequent assertion that the overwhelming evidence from the peer reviewed scientific literature is that eating fewer calories and exercising more is not an effective cure for obesity — maybe because they know that’s not really refutable — or that I think Bjorn Lomborg has the most sensible attitude about Global Warming and that Watt’s Up With That and that Climate Audit are both important sites if you’re actually interested in rational skepticism about the subject of Global Warming. I imagine on the latter, they also almost certainly consider all of the above “crackpots” and “conspiracy theorists” too.

  • Astrokid.NJ

    I saw this entry a while ago.. the retarded fool that blogs at TheAntifeminist.com and his cronies are wielding this as a weapon in their AVFM hate.
    I didnt look deep into it.. coz I just didnt have enough evidence to make up my mind. What exactly you wrote was not available to me (i.e the 1st or 2nd posts on your blog that I tried to find werent available). But I did see your tiff with Right Wing blogger Michelle Malkin (and others who I cant recollect now). Didnt bother me one bit.

    Anyways.. The encycopedia conveniently leaves out Left Wingers, doesnt it? What? There are no Left wing loons in the US? LOL
    Of course you are aware of this.. If you dont share the same level of outrage as the Lefties towards some issue.. such as global warming, Islam, or creationism/Intelligent Design.. or even support the airing of disagreeable ideas in the interest of free speech.. some of them will deem you an enemy.

    One of the links leads to scienceblogs’ Mark Hoofnagle.. I bumped into that feminist fool a few years ago. He’s a MRA-hating feminist. Do I need to say more? There are numerous buffoons like that .. and they are all ‘scientist’ bloggers.

  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    AstroKid: Well, given that you’re Indian, at least you’re probably safe from being attacked as an “American Loon.” :-P

    Why am I unsurprised that the site is run by Social Justice Warriors? It probably doesn’t matter much to them that my politics are left-of-center on some issues and right-of-center on others. Social Justice Warriors demand complete ideological conformity, even when their ideology is incoherent and they give selective provisional approval to noncomformists who conform just enough to be useful to them.

    It’s the modern secular religion, isn’t it?

  • Tony

    The “Encyclopedia of American Loons”. a friend mentioned that it was run and originated by two gay college fellows………. no doubt the biggest “loons” of them all.

    • Tony Jiang

      no that would be you…., i dunno how much of Dean’s report on their blog is accurate but people like you are just afriad of getting their wingnuttery exposed. And if this blog is so obsure Dean why are you giving it more attention?

      • Tony

        No doubt in my mind that you are one of the two morons who founded and created that Encyclopedia. Talk about wing-nuts, Mr. Jiang, you have it one up on anyone in America. And BTW Jiang,………..”afriad” is spelled afraid. Why not take a course in English for Beginners. Beats shooting off your mouth in Mandarin.

        • Tony Jiang

          why not take a course in manners for beginners and no i didnt create that encyclopedia, you are just paranoid and racist

      • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

        Generally when I see people writing things about me that aren’t true I make note of it. I mean, jeez, attack me for positions I don’t agree with all you want, but attribute to me positions I do not and never have held? Meh. Whatever.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ Dean Esmay

      Why would their being gay be relevant?

      Anyway, who cares? They’re clearly not honest people. Their entry on me is preposterous on multiple levels, so I have to assume nothing they write on anything else is reliable either.

      • Tony

        Correct.

  • Tony

    Founder Professor Fredrik Haraldsen: Prime candidate for his
    own Encyclopedia of American Loons

    When Fredrik Haraldsen co-authored the Encyclopedia of American
    Loons, his most important omission was in not entering himself its #1
    now-American (he’s an immigrant) entry.

    Of course since becoming a professor of philosophy, and a
    very poor one at that (see student review of his dismal talents below),
    Haraldsen assumes that he is an expert in all fields, including medicine,
    religion, regional politics, etc. – a dangerous if not delusional
    preoccupation, especially when mixed with his splintered philosophical
    concepts. (He defended his dissertation on the semantics of proper names in May
    2013 and his current research focuses on, among other things theories of
    two-dimensional semantics).

    On 4/4/13, a student reviewing how well he did his job as
    Professor of Miami U’s Philosophy 10 course offered that Haraldsen’s course was
    of poor quality with a “helpfulness” and “clarity rating” of 1 out of a maximum
    of 5 ? the perfect ingredients for a lunatic major originator and contributor
    to the Encyclopedia of American Loons. The student said:

    “The class is an interesting subject but he makes it
    painfully boring. The lectures he gives are repetitive and dragged out with his
    accent. Online notes are most helpful, but you have to read the text book and
    teach yourself. He is an extremely opinionated grader and vague on assignments.
    Don’t recommend to take this class.”

    “Extremely opinionated” and “vague” are the take-home
    regarding Haraldsen’s talents. And a sample of this imported lunatics tortured
    mind can be found just below:

    Russellian Two-Dimensionalism (V-J)
    By Fredrik Haraldsen (University of Miami)

    “I argue that treating names as bound variables lets us
    capture the “two dimensional”behavior of certain names in a semantic framework consistent with a Russellian
    treatment of names. While I doubt that all proper names behave like bound
    variables, there are reasons to think that certain proper names, such as
    so-called descriptive names—and perhaps empty names—exhibit this behavior, and
    I point out that recognizing a certain diversity in our theory of proper names
    does not require that one give up what is, essentially, a unified theory; names
    are still structurally simple expressions that require individuals and nothing
    else as semantic values.”

    A blurb about Professor Fredrik Haraldsen can also be viewed
    on http://www.as.miami.edu/phi/people/faculty/
    at the very bottom of a page, where all of the faculty have included a picture
    of themselves….except, of course, Fredrik. Perhaps a quick visit to look at the
    one on his Facebook page tells you why.

    No doubt Peter D’Adamo has here summed things up best:

    “In an idiots-on-stilts blog known as The Encyclopedia of
    American Loons, Haraldsen appears to be working through the alphabet,
    documenting what he believes to be the best in American loonery. Perhaps it’s
    because Mr. Haraldsen appears to have no scientific credentials whatsoever, but
    rather seems to be pursuing post-graduate studies in philosophy; a noble
    profession, for sure, but (last I checked) one devoid of graduate level
    biochemistry.”

    And so, a parting word of philosophy to the obviously
    unhappy and quite loonie philosophy professor Fredrik Haraldsen: “What goes
    around comes around” or “as you sow, so shall you reap”. Get it Fred? Good.