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...that she might be a sufficient reason for young Candide

and he for her


June 11th, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth @ 10:03 am

As the credits rolled, I thought to myself "well my resolve is unchanged, but I don't feel as moved as I did when he spoke in person". Then I turned to leave, and I saw a third of the audience sitting dumbstruck. Looks of fear, concern, worry, uncertain purpose. No. It's just that I've already seen this. I knew what was coming. It was as moving, only less shockingly so. See? They feel it, too.

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From:bortyspice
Date:June 11th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
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I find myself in a different position about this movie than you might expect. I would actually really like to see it, just to see what it presents. I will probably have to wait until it's out on DVD because I don't know where it's playing near me and I wouldn't want to go out to Berkeley by myself to see it because that would be weird. I'm definitely interested in seeing it, though. I like to know about all sides of an issue.
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From:zunger
Date:June 12th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
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I dunno... I'm not sure if I got the same thing that you did, or if the movie really was less impactful than the talk. I suspect it may have been a bit of both.
From:gleemie
Date:June 12th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
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This movie triggered a week of argument between my boyfriend and I, as my bleeding heart wanted to take up the movie's battlecry in total trust of Al Gore. He was more reserved about wanting to find supporting evidence and trying to figure out how variations in climate models affect the prognosis. Hard feelings have passed over, but the debate simmers slowly...

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From:hawk
Date:June 12th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
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Yes, I had a very similar frustration days after seeing the original presentation. Part of the problem there was that at that point only one half of the debate had seen the argument presented that way, but I think it would have been an issue irrespective of that point. Ultimately my opinion is reserved, but the key point is that my drive to learn more about climate change is real and persistent. Determining a path to correcting the problem, or even determining the problem's nature, are non-trivial tasks, but prior to hearing Gore's argument, there wasn't a lot of force behind my curiosity on the subject. Now I feel obligated to be really goddamn certain there's not a problem before I resume inertia (and my current opinion is very much that there is a problem.
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From:zunger
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
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[Unknown LJ tag]. Started a journal club to go through the literature and find out the details after Gore came by to give his talk. :)
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From:zunger
Date:June 12th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
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That unknown tag was supposed to be a link to the "climatepapers" community. Damned obscure LJ code.
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From:hawk
Date:June 13th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
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A further plug for Yonatan's comment: He does a great job of making a paper I found totally illegible make some sense in a two part exposition. I wish scientists would learn to write in a way that isn't totally opaque... I feel strongly that scientific rigour and parseable message don't have to be mutually exclusive goals, but there is a real "knowledge silo" issue in academic publications. I think everyone would be better served if more writing included more introduction and more conclusion. I can always skip it if I know what you're talking about. Why should I have to read nine other papers to have any idea what the fuck you're saying in this one? WHY!??! I hated it in grad school and I continue to hate it now.
From:gleemie
Date:June 13th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC)
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Yup. I actually think in a lot of cases, clear writing will lead to greater scientific rigor because it makes the flaws in the argument more obvious. This is coming from reading a lot of philosophy of science stuff where the book is written so opaquely that:
1) fewer people can parse the stuff and therefore find the problems
2) some people who make it through intimidated and a midas effect happens
3) everyone interprets the work a little bit differently and people spend hours just getting on the same page about what the damn thing was saying

I'm sure these problems are a bit different in science, but it seems like only obfuscators and lazy people win in the current stylistic regime. I mean, as someone who has written just a few papers, I think the intro and conclusion are the easiest parts if you clearly know what you want to say.
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From:hawk
Date:June 12th, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
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I think you get a lot from being in a like-minded audience with the freedom to meaningfully interact (I mean as a crowd, not individually) with the speaker that can't come across in a theater. It's too third-person an experience for the full weight of what we got in Charlie's, is my current take on the issue...
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From:virginwolf
Date:June 12th, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC)

truthiness

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Finally went to see it yesterday. I thought that is was amazing, but I can see why it would have been better in person. The human interest segments where they cut away from Gore's slide show were the weakest parts of the film--with the possible exception of hearing him talk about his sister who died of lung cancer. Unfortunately, lots of people probably want to hear about Gore the person, not just about global warming.

I can also see why people want to scrutinize the science behind what he was saying--and that seems like a good thing, so long as minor controversies aren't allowed to obscure the larger consensus.
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From:hawk
Date:June 13th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)

Re: truthiness

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Yeah, I wish I could share that initial experience with more people. I fear he might stop giving the lecture now that there's a movie, but I hope he doesn't.
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From:hawk
Date:June 18th, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)

Re: CO2 = Life

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W...Wow.
From:nbrown2
Date:April 25th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)

Al Gore's Impact

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I've been amazed at how the public conversation about global warming has changed since Al Gore's movie came out.

I'm really excited about the shift that is happening!

Nathan Brown
Free newsletter shows you how to prevent global warming from getting worse.

...that she might be a sufficient reason for young Candide

and he for her