ID advocates are prone to brag about their self-professed expertise, which all too often relies on some respectable knowledge of engineering or other fields irrelevant to biology. DaveScot, the raving mad anti-scientist at Uncommon Descent, is a perfect example…but even in their own domains of knowledge they too often prove to be incompetent. Case in point: their blog has somehow become delisted from Google, and now DaveScot is flailing about, trying to find someone to blame. His answer? Wesley Elsberry did it. It’s all because other sites mirror their content, which he thinks Google finds offensive.
Now it may be that Google thought UD was maintaining a link farm to boost their rank, but it’s not illegal, and if that’s the case, a letter with the explanation ought to eventually correct it—it’s obvious that UD is a stupid site, but it’s not a spam site.
Wesley’s mirroring is perfectly reasonable and neither illegal nor unethical. There are a few sites (for instance, this one; need I mention a certain troll who has a pzmyers hate site, and not only parrots my words, but distorts them?) out there that take Pharyngula’s RSS feed and put it on their own website. It’s not a problem, especially not if they acknowledge the source with a link (and note that every post on Wesley’s mirror points right back to UD: it’s a source of traffic and attention for them!) This is going on everywhere, so it’s ridiculously ignorant and naive to complain about a common property of the web.
Here’s the most amusing part of DaveScot’s complaint, though:
Several websites not under our control have mirrored our content without our permission. We are a blog with strictly enforced moderation rules for commenters. These other websites are mirroring our content so that they may comment on it without moderation.
Get that? You are commenting on their publicly posted articles in places outside their control. Better not mention that idiot, DaveScot, or that bumbling, pretentious incompetent, William Dembski, around the water cooler, or DaveScot will come around with a bladder on a stick and whack you on the head.
They simply do not understand the net. Much as they don’t understand biology.
(Uh-oh. I’m commenting on their words on my site, outside their control! Send in the lawyers! What I write on the web is also a much milder version of the commentary going on inside my head. Where’s the thought police when you need ’em?)
If DaveScot is serious about objecting to people discussing the matters brought up at UD, there are a couple of steps he should take: remove the RSS feed altogether, and put the content behind a password-protected wall, and restrict access. They either have a publicly accessible site which allows outsiders to discuss it, or they don’t—they don’t get to hang out buck naked for the world to see and then ask Google and other web entities to police readers so that they don’t mention the pimple pattern on their scrawny, mottled butt.