Yelling at the Internet

Some people use the term “webbed” to mean “put something on the web” as if providing a link doesn’t convey that information. Stop that!

Nobody says they “papered” a report they just wrote before handing it to their boss. Nobody says they “CDed” a music recording or they “skinned” their tattoo.

Besides being awkward, media-“ed” just doesn’t convey any interesting information. If you made your creation available in some weird format ((I don’t know; microwave transmissions to Mars or something)), then great, I want to hear about it as I might prefer that medium. Otherwise, not.

No really guys, sometimes we really need you to Fisk it out

(This is the first installment in my “Screaming at the Internet” series of posts.)

If someone makes a point using scientific-y claims and you think they’re wrong, don’t go on and on, in platitudes, about how silly you think the point is without countering those claims of fact. Don’t claim exhaustion with “repeating the debunking exercise”. Don’t give us “ecological interpretations”. Refute the damn facts or garner your own facts in a counter-claim.

Some of us may think facts matter and we may not be as well informed as you about them. So clue us in.

Don’t assume your factless argument isn’t making factual claims, either. It is. Because even without stating specific counter-facts, you are making a scientific claim. Your silence is suggestive and sympathetic readers may impute from it very strong facts. If you don’t refute the fact about the difference in size between men and women’s brains, for example, we may come away from your general denouncement with the impression that there isn’t such a difference ((This is a problem given there is, if fact, such a difference, even controlling for body size.)).

If your point is to just state your opinion or to provide ideological cheerleading, then you’re being just as bad as those you criticize. You, like they, are just providing an air of science to an otherwise unsupported claim.

Update: fixed a typo