Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Close to best practise is also what I gathered from the blogosphere.

But I'm not trying to make the case for the Lancet's report. I'd be trying to make the cranks make a case against it, because, frankly, I see no need to spend time finding thoughtful arguments against an unsupported assertion. If you go down that road, the cranks can engage in a Gish Gallop, making shit up as they go along, and you'll be left trying to refute every little detail - ceding control of the direction of the conversation.

The cranks made a claim about the state and nature of the peer-reviewed literature, and I say that if we engage them over it, we refuse to treat them as mature adults until they have backed it up. They have no claim on our time and effort as long as they're making shit up as they go along.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 02:51:40 AM EST
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There's a historical anecdote about a conversation between Kurchatov (father of Russian atomic program) and Lavrenti Beria (last chief of Stalin's secret police, who was personally responsible for the bomb project). When Beria tried to teach Kurchatov how do deal with some program, he got an answer: "We didn't read each other's scientific papers, but, I am afraid, for different reasons".
by Sargon on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 at 10:15:46 AM EST
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