Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cedric Katesby Lives ! ! !

For about the last two years, I have been blessed/cursed with a commenter who calls himself Cedric Katesby.  He lives somewhere in South Korea. 
Go here for a sample of Cedric in action.  Cedric believes that we are causing the earth to get warmer.  I don't.  I think earth's temperature is on a natural cycle.  I believe that there was a Medieval Warm Period.  I believe that it was once warm enough to grow potatoes in Greenland.  I believe that Al Gore's "Hockey Stick" is more like a little pruning hook. 
Cedric believes otherwise.  We have argued with each other for about two years.

Then East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit's emails were hacked, revealing efforts to "hide the decline" of warming.  Much nastiness was uncovered about the peer-review process. 
Then the Copenhagen Climate Change conference was a dud. 
I stopped hearing from Cedric.  Dr. Ralph, among others, wondered where Cedric went off to, and my theory was that he might have lost his funding.  I didn't think I'd ever hear from Cedric again.   
A few weeks ago, I got an email.  Cedric wanted to send me some books.  I gave him my work address, and didn't think much more about it. 

The other day, I got two large boxes of books in the mail from Barnes & Noble, compliments of Mr. Katesby in South Korea.  Most of them are about Climate Change, some are about skepticism in general (Cedric still can't believe that I'm not a religious fundamentalist) and some are about other issues where we've disagreed.  A few of them he just thought I would like !
It's the most extreme example of true dedication to a cause that I've ever seen.  I'm guesstimating that Cedric spent more than $200 on these books. 


Included are:
1) Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History
2) Climate Change: Picturing The Science
3) Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health
4) Alternative Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide
5) Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions And Misuses Reavealed
6) Creationisms Trojan Horse: The Wedge Of Intelligent Design
7) Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms The Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.
8) The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America
9) The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
10) The Faith Healers
11) Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
12) Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assasination of JFK
13) The Discovery Of Global Warming

A couple of things about these.  "The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan is one of my favorites, and I read it for the third time last year.  I've already been loaned to a friend.  "Case Closed" by Posner is one of the few best-selling books on the Kennedy assasination to more or less agrees with the Warren Commission Report.  (Mrs. Sepulchre is a Kennedy assasination expert, and she takes issue with many of Mr. Posner's findings.)  "The Faith Healers", by James Randi, is a Prometheus Press classic that I read soon after it was released (late 1980's?) but I look forward to revisiting it. 

It's going to take me years to read all of this stuff.  I'll probably start with the NASA title, then go to "The Discovery Of Global Warming" since those are the two most intimidating volumes. 
Cedric, if you ever find yourself in Fort Worth, TX, I owe you one.  The food and drinks are on me. 

Next topic.....Think of the person you would most like to convert to your point of view on your favorite hot-button issue.  For instance, my passion right now is freedom and liberty. 

If I were to mail 13 books to "convert" someone to Libertarianism, I would probably select:

1) Free To Choose, by Milton Friedman
2) Modern Times, by Paul Johnson
3) Mao's Last Revolution, by Roderick MacFarquhar
4) Libertarianism: A Primer, by David Boaz
5) Radicals For Capitalism: by Brian Doherty
6) Eat The Rich, Parliament Of Whores, and Holidays In Hell, by P.J. O'Rourke
7) Hamilton's Curse, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
8) What It Means To Be A Libertarian, by Charles Murray
9) Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell
10) Economics In One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt
11) I, Pencil, by Leonard Read
12) The Revolution, by Ron Paul
13) The Price Of Everything, by Russ Roberts

Any other suggestions? 

Cedric, thanks again for the books.  We really have missed you ! 

Photographs of the books came from the Mac/Photoshop/Photography Princess. 

14 comments:

Parenting said...

Blogwalking from Indonesia, looking for new information. How do You do?

Stephen M. Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen M. Smith said...

If not the complete works of Frederic Bastiat, then at least throw in "That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen"" and "The Law."

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Probably an interesting insight into the current religious greenie and warmista movements is Eric Hoffer's True Believer and also Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Anointed.

Cedric Katesby said...

Allen, thank you for the kind words.
It was very big of you to accept my gift.

I believe that there was a Medieval Warm Period.

Well, yes.
I do too.
So do the scientists.
However, the evidence says that the MWP was regional, not global.
Scientists first thought that it was global but...they continued to gather more evidence and later revised their assessment.
Supporting link to
NOAA
and
The National Academy of Sciences
and
Realclimate.

"The Demon-Haunted World" by Carl Sagan is one of my favorites, and I read it for the third time last year... "The Faith Healers", by James Randi, is a Prometheus Press classic that I read soon after it was released (late 1980's?) but I look forward to revisiting it.

I can't tell you how happy I am that you are familiar with Sagan and Randi's work.
Those two books are required reading for any genuine skeptic or critical thinker.
I hope you'll see the common themes that link their work and understanding of the scientific method to all the other scientific subjects covered in the boxes.
Speaking of Carl Sagan...

I'll probably start with the NASA title, then go to "The Discovery Of Global Warming" since those are the two most intimidating volumes.

I have two modest suggestions:

1) Please read the books devoted to global warming LAST.

I'm making a wild bet that you might be more objective and fair-minded with the non-global warming science books. If you can read for yourself the science that backs up those other subjects then maybe (just maybe) you'll be willing to judge the global warming books by the same objective scientific criteria.

Secondly, please give the books a fair amount of time.

People read at a different speeds but I was disheartened to read that you "skimmed" Hanson's book during your lunch break.

The book is 320 pages long. If we assume that you have an hour for lunch and you spent all that time "skimming" then you blitzed through it at about a page every ten seconds! I'm not confident that it's possible to do any serious analysis of a book in that time. Hunting for a quote or a particular passage?
Ok, I can see that.
In-depth understanding?
(Well, um....)

Cedric, if you ever find yourself in Fort Worth, TX, I owe you one. The food and drinks are on me.

Tempt me not!
Hmm.
Texas.
Hmm.
Well, visiting the U.S has indeed been on my list of "things to do" for a long time.
Hmm.
I guess I'll have to speak to my boss about some leave.
;)

Anonymous said...

Anything by Ayn Rand. . . .

B Woodman

Dr Ralph said...

I can't believe you haven't mentioned anything by your main man-crush, Dr. Don Boudreaux. Fickle, aren't you?

Oh, and put me down for dinner with Cedric.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

All,
The books you have listed are all worthy, and all are on my shelves (including one VERY expensive Broudreaux tome on globalization). But the idea is conversion, not indoctrination, and that's why those worthy typists didn't make my list.

Believe me, I'll keep everyone posted if Cedric can make it over here.

I might do a post along the lines of "Cedric from South Korea is coming to Fort Worth. Help plan the agenda".

My only prayer is that he can make it in January, and it snows a lot.

Cedric Katesby said...

Oh, and put me down for dinner with Cedric.

This could get expensive for you, Allen.
I'll understand if you want to reconsider.

:)

Cedric Katesby said...

My only prayer is that he can make it in January, and it snows a lot.

Then I'd hope that we had a laptop with a WiFi connection at hand so that I could show you this...

Or, to keep things a little more light-hearted, I might recommend this...
;)

Oxbridge Prat said...

"Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free society" is the book which "converted" me. But I had read lots of P J O'Rourke beforehand.

Kendra said...

How delightful to discover this site (linked from Bishop Hill's blog - apparently your friend Cedric is a newcomer there). And now, unfortunately, more books I want to read - unfortunate, because I can't afford them all and have not much in the way of English libraries either (expat in Switzerland).

Now, got behind over there so I need to catch up and find out what Cedric's up to. But I'll be back here, as I enjoyed this article very much.

TDK said...

Road To Serfdom - Hayek

The subject of state planning has, I would have thought, particular relevance to mitigation.

Kendra said...

Hi Cedric, I found you over at the Bishop's in the Josh 14 thread. I asked an OT question of you there, in case you don't revisit, an answer would be appreciated.

Or shall I repeat it here (also OT - except it does relate to Cedric Lives).

The thread was very lively, thanks Cedric.