I’m enjoying how this is playing out, but it sh-ts me that some of the media outlets are comparing this hoax to the frauds committed by Norma Khouri and Helen Darville/Demidenko/Dale. Do journalists not recognise the vast difference between a hoax and a fraud? It’s one thing to design a stunt as a piece of cultural criticism, but quite another to make false claims for personal gain.

Both Khouri and Demidenko received money for their fraudulent acts, and neither intended, to my knowledge, to be outed. Neither designed their fraudulent claims as a culture-jamming exercise, and both duped the public instead of powerful public figures or paradigms.

Windschuttle’s response raises some interesting ethical points, and I can’t pretend to be pure here. There are huge ethical questions surrounding a hoax; many unresolved to me. But Windschuttle should’ve laughed the whole thing off. His response should’ve been headed: “Don’t know much about science, but I know what I like!”

But instead, he hung himself with petulance, and fixated on the more trivial aspects of the hoax. His attempts at damage control are becoming increasingly disingenuous — they actually bolster the very points raised in the hoax. And his take on my anonymity is laughable. James McAuley didn’t want to be outed either. The author of the hoax isn’t the story here. It’s telling that Windschuttle’s focus is on shooting the messenger instead of exploring the issues raised.

As for media reports that some of the “science” is plausible — well! Doesn’t anyone remember H G Wells? Isn’t that the point I made in Diary of a Hoax? Why has this stuff, and the utopian claims made for it, become not just plausible but normalised and unproblematic? Why isn’t it being scrutinised by fourth estate principles? How has it happened that journalists routinely fail to distinguish between so-called “scientific” techniques (like GM or nanotechnology) and the industrial products and claims they produce? All these things are just lumped together indiscriminately as ‘science’.