State of Union and Depression; Windows 10? Climate yet again.

View from Chaos Manor, Wednesday, January 21, 2015


There are two important matters today. One is the State of the Union, and the other Windows 10. The State of the Union had no surprises, and either warrants short shrift, which many have given it, or a longer thoughtful analysis, and there are plenty of them as well.

The Microsoft streaming of the show is still slow – to me anyway – and will have to wait.


Riding The Red Horse has a number of stories and essays, and is worth your buying. My non fiction contribution is an essay on simulation I did for Avalon Hill in the 70’s –and it is still pretty good. They found and asked my permission, and I am told I’ve already earned a good dinner out of it… Next I think comes a revival of There Will Be War.



Windows 10 looks better every time they talk about it, but we’ll have to see the implementation.

Best Windows 10 News


You may have already heard, but Microsoft is borrowing from the Apple playbook and offering a free upgrade to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users for the first year.

Best wishes for your continued speedy recovery,

Doug Ely



More on both of those later. Do not forget that although the official unemployment rate is low – well, 5% — there are 100 million former workers who are now not working and have given up trying. This is defining unemployment down, but they still do not have jobs and may never do so. That would be Depression most places. How long can we afford this?


Our Federal Government at Work

Roland Dobbins wrote, and you posted in Mail>

Eric Holder does something right, for once.

Mr. Dobbins is usually quicker on the uptake than that. Stop and think about what that order actually does. It stops state and local troops from gaining funds and property under Federal asset-forfeiture rules *unless the Feds are involved in the case*. I foresee a massive uptick in the number of cases the Feds are called in on, and a consequent increase in the amount of information provided to the Federal government about crimes previously handled at state and local levels.

Meredith Dixon

We will have to see, but centralization is one of the Democrat goals.  They used to be for States’ Rihts



All you zombies

If I may wave a small Australian flag the movie Predestination was made by two science fiction fans in a warehouse in Melbourne on a tiny budget.

They followed the story dead accurately and though they did add some extra plot they said in an interview that they had to as the original story was not enough to make a full film. Their extras are generally sympathetic and in line with the mind twisting nature of the story.i

It’s certainly not ruined, and i recommend it to you. If any one reading this does not know the story, i !d suggest reading it first as, though it is completely fair, it was a serious puzzle for my wife, who is not a fan.

try it, you’ll like it

***** David

Good.  I could live with Puppet Masters – sort of  — but Starship Troopers was too much.  Glad to see this was made by someone who likes Robert


Climate Science and Statistics

"But it is absurd to say we know the average temperature of the Earth in 1900. Ocean temperatures then were taken with a bucket and a mercury thermometer and were no more than 1 degree of accuracy if that."

Dr Pournelle, you have studied statistics; how can you come up with a statement like that?

Of course all those plus minus one degree measurements from 1900 would not have been off by the same calibration error. So your argument is not correct, one of the great ideas of statistics is that you can average out errors in individual measurements.

Still love your blog (the original!)


Well, a significant bias in the measurements can be counted out (all mercury thermometers were calibrated by 100Celcius and 0Celcius – or that is what would have been proper procedure in those days)

Moreover, the inaccuracies in the measurements should be distributed according to the Gaussian curve. (That’s basic statistics, if you disagree you have to give a good reason why)

Regarding enough measurements, I do not have the exact information but my belief is that it should be sufficient. I’ll investigate tomorrow after finishing my charitably work in cerebral hemodynamics.

Thanks Jerry for all your SF writing (have read all your books) but especially your BYTE chaos manor columns which were my greatest inspiration during the 80ties.

Your Rune

(BTW you’re absolutely right about the Greenland warming in the early middle age, I’ve flown up the valleys on the west coast of that island and seen old Norse foundations coming up where the glacier was retreating.)


Your correspondent confuses the precision of a single measurement (a fact) with the precision of the estimate of a mean (a parameter). It is not legitimate to calculate the mean of a set of data that is not in statistical control. For example, measurements taken off one production line really should not be averaged with the measurements off another production line; and even measurements taken at different times might not be usefully averaged. For example: here:

it would be illegitimate to calculate a grand average of the paste weights to characterize the process. There was in fact no "process," no "statistical distribution" whose mean value might be estimated by the grand average.

In addition to the precision of the measurement and the standard error of the mean measurement, we must also consider that you could have an estimate of ±0.001 around the wrong value. STAT 101 professors in non-mathematical courses have a lot to answer for.


Which begins to explain what we are discussing.  Our estimates of world temperature in 1880 cannot be to 0.1 degree accuracy.  Individual ones, yes, but not of their averages, and certainly not of their weighted averages (the weights making up for missing data).  I am no statistics expert and don’t make my living at statistical inference.  Mike does. There are many reasons to question averages accurate to 0.1 degree and taken 100 years ago.

I do not think we have enough measurements from enough places to know the Earth’s temperature to any 0.1 degree  in 1880.  I do not believe we have enough to know to that accuracy NOW.

Of course the Earth is warming.  In 1776 Col. Hamilton dragged cannon across the frozen Hudson to Harlem Heights. Inn 1835 t5here were market stalls on the Thames ice in md winter. It is never that cold now –or seldom cold enough to freeze to walking thickness on either river. Of course it warmer now.  But HOW Much warmer and why? We do not know, and pretending we do is not science, and makes me fear politics.



Check out this post:

Roy Spencer, PhD.- 2014 as the Mildest Year: Why You are Being Misled on Global Temperatures

Most of the scientists of my close acquaintance must be in that other 3%. Which means that there is a surprisingly LARGE "3%" — which means that the 97% concurrence is being fudged some kinda way.

Also, let’s see:

Admittedly it wasn’t 2014, but 2013 when the Atacama Desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world, was hit with a record snowfall, the deepest in at least three decades.


An Antarctic research team and their ship — AND the rescue icebreaker ship — were trapped in extensive Antarctic ice — during the Antarctic SUMMER — in 2014. (Jan 2014) The Middle East is experiencing TWO exceptionally snowy winters in a row. (Dec 2013 – Jan 2014, Jan 2015) Eastern Australia had the highest snowfall totals in at least a decade. (Jun/Jul 2014) Blizzards hit the UK in Dec 2014.

And let’s not forget the polar vortex in North America (Canada to Mexico!) AND Great Britain AND Siberia AND Northeast Asia in 2014. (Dec 2013 – Apr 2014)

So…yeah. I REALLY believe we had the warmest year on record in 2014. </sarc>

(Yes, I can provide numerous URLs to news articles on all of those if desired. Or you can simply Google.)

Stephanie Osborn

Interstellar Woman of Mystery <>



Stephanie Osborn

Interstellar Woman of Mystery <>


That link I just sent? Quote:

"…Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much…"

Read more:


Stephanie Osborn







Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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