I’m not having a go at anybody in particular here, but making a point.
I tweeted what I thought was an amusing comment from someone I don’t always find myself in thorough agreement with, Roads Minister Tim Pallas:
A couple of people re-tweeted it, with this one adding a comment.
RT… @danielbowen Tim Pallas: “I will never, ever, wear lycra in public” http://j.mp/9Z9zlB #vicvotes WTF is wrong with Lycra?! FO Tim
You know, I think before you blast someone’s comment (apart from the fact that it was clearly meant to be taken in jest), you might want to read the context by following the link provided. Here’s the full paragraph:
While some people look good in lycra, It is perhaps appropriate here that I reiterate my pledge to the Victorian people that I will never, ever, wear lycra in public.
So in fact Pallas didn’t say anything was wrong with lycra. He just made a funny, self-deprecating comment that he shouldn’t wear it.
Foolishly I decided to point this out to the Tweeter:
Maybe you should read the full quote?
…and got this response back:
I did and the issue isn’t even worth answering. It just gives credence to the doped on the other side.
Does that actually make any sense? I’m seeing words there, but I can’t comprehend the meaning.
I didn’t bother taking it any further.
But my point is that while I love using Twitter, the brevity of messages shouldn’t be an excuse for wilfully ignoring context, nor blasting away with both barrels when you make an assumption as a result of that lack of context, particularly when the link to all the information is merely a click away.
- 20/4/2010: This makes no sense
- 18/2/2010: Healthy debate needs truth
- 26/10/2009: Making your argument count
My view, as I’ve expressed before, is that healthy debate is important, but it relies on the participants sticking to the facts, and not just making things up.
Otherwise you get stuff like this, which concerns a Bacchus Marsh resident who apparently misinterpreted what he read and contacted Leader (newspapers) with concerns about seniors ticket pricing doubling from $3.30 one way to $7.
I suspect Myki spokesdroid Jean Ker Walsh was probably correct when she said some seniors may be confusing a one-off cost with ongoing senior fare prices.
That is, to buy a re-usable Myki card will, once all the free offers are gone, cost $7 for a concession.
Many people also seem to be assuming (incorrectly) that tourists and others will be forced to shell out for a card. They won’t — short term (non-reusable) tickets will be available: Short term tickets (for occasional users such as tourists) will replace the single-use 2-hour and Daily tickets available now.
I know it’s easy for people to assume the worst, but these sorts of false “the whole thing is totally crap” arguments don’t really help the debate, and help obscure the truth: that Myki is incredibly expensive, late, and badly implemented.
So it goes too for climate change.
Lord Christopher Monckton has been doing a speaking tour of Australia in the past few weeks, and doing a fair bit of media along the way. He’s an extremely eloquent, apparently very knowledgeable and intelligent climate change sceptic.
But, as MediaWatch found, he makes stuff up. He comes out with unsubstantiated claims which (as MediaWatch showed) many in the media let him get away with unchallenged.
I think the United Nations Climate Panel is now a busted flush. For instance, Rajendra Pachauri, its chairman, Sir John Houghton, its former chairman, and a number of other people associated with it, are now under formal criminal investigation in the United Kingdom for filing false accounts of a charity known as TERI Europe of which they are all trustees.
MediaWatch asked Sir John Houghton, who said “I am not and have never been a Trustee of Teri Europe.”
They also spoke to the UK Charity Commission which said it’s evaluating Monckton’s claims, but is not running a criminal investigation. And they asked TERI Europe, who said that “Neither TERI Europe nor its trustees have received any complaint from the Charity Commission about its activities, let alone any allegation of criminal conduct.”
Another of Monckton’s claims: The Barrier Reef Authority has established that sea temperatures in the region of the reef have not changed at all over the last 30 years.
MediaWatch checked this too. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says it doesn’t measure sea temperatures itself, and doesn’t know where his figures come from.
It really does appear that he’s just making stuff up — and not for the first time, either.
I suspect to anybody with an open mind, it all just casts doubt on the rest of his arguments, and it doesn’t help us have a serious, healthy debate at all.