That's why I give people the benefit of the doubt. I have learned from others, and I have changed my mind. I have been wrong, and I'm glad to admit that.
At the same time I've stood up for science. I've endured endless hassle and anger, hideous allegations and propagation of rumor and hate.
Thacker is glad to use public records and distribute my social security number. I had to get it changed after he decided to make it public.
I can take it. I know the truth, and anyone with half a brain can see what is reality, really is.
But there comes a time that you have to take the microphone out of the hands of the chronically delinquent. In my case, Paul Thacker, Michael Balter, and some folks I met on Kauai have decided to make a daily spectacle of smear.
It is heartwarming in a sense. As a marginally-relevant scientist and okay science communicator, I guess I appreciate that some folks dedicate so much time to online defamation. Defamation = "the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel."
And that is exactly what they are about. They don't discuss science-- they just tell you why I am a turd that can't be trusted.
I'm at the point that our universities and other media are at, we can't continue to allow a forum for hateful speech, and we can't endorse rhetoric that is meant to hurt others, and not part of civil discourse.
It is unfortunately, time to de-platform them.
It is a decision I make with a heavy heart. I'd love to enjoy a fruitful conversation with Thacker, Balter, Taleb, Nestle and others. However, that is not in their equation. These are merchants of doubt, dealers of confusion. They don't have that gear. I defeat their agenda.
I do invite them to the table of kind discussion, and promise to entertain their assertions. However, I will not tolerate their abuse. Done.
We have a lot of work to do. We need to be stronger and faster, more agile and smarter. There is no room for this in arguing the tired trolls with defunct messages.
We go forward with light and love, and a promise to always leave a door open to alternative ideas. But when those ideas are endless hate and misinformation it is time to take away their microphone.