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August 16, 2010
Subject: AGW: The Alternate View
Jeffery Kooistra shares his views on AGW and its proponents in The Alternate View in Analog Magazine: http://www.analogsf.com/201009/altview.shtml Worth a read. Kooistra says nothing you have not said, but he says it with detail.
You frequently remark "Either you believe in rational debate or you don't." I doubt rational debate will sway proponents of AGW for two reasons: religion and rice bowls.
Your debate with the AGW Believer
I don't care how flawed the AGW position is shown to be, I don't believe that anyone who has hitched his horse to the AGW wagon is going to say, "Geez, you were right, and I was wrong" and see his research grants rescinded and his papers refused. In stronger language, even a fool knows better than to crap in his own rice bowl.
But thanks for educating me. When I first stumbled on Chaos Manor, I, too, believed. But, yea, verily, mine eyes have been opened, and I have seen the light.
Live long and prosper h lynn keith
Either you believe in rational debate or you don't. Clearly it isn't applicable to all readerships. On the other hand, the Federalist Papers were letters to the editors of newspapers...
There is now evidence that P!=NP: See <http://www.scribd.com/doc/35539144/pnp12pt>, <http://www.scottaaronson.com/papers/pnp.pdf> , <http://www.scottaaronson.com/papers/npcomplete.pdf>, <http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/update-on-deolalikars-proof-that-p≠np/> and <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P_versus_NP_problem>. Note that time travel implies P=NP. (See <http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec19.html>.) Faster than light travel in the unrestricted sense <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light> implies time travel--the existence of closed time-like curves <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_travel> and <http://discovermagazine.com/2010/mar/02-the-real-rules-for-time-travelers>. (I seem to remember you can avoid the time travel paradoxes and still get P=NP, but I haven't been able to chase down the references.)
Possibly the point will be that a machine restricted to symbolic computational operations (Turing-equivalent) cannot produce FTL. I have speculated in the past that the problem AI has in replicating intelligence involves in some way its restriction to computers performing symbolic computation. If the universe is discrete at some level, all computation is symbolic and FTL is forbidden 8( ; but if it isn't, analog computation is essentially different from symbolic computation, and the possibility of FTL remains open. So if FTL actually works, it will involve something beyond Turing machine computability.
Suppose that life has figured out how to use analog computation to have dialogs with the future and the past and so choose an optimal trajectory through space-time. (In other words, free will is a basic capability of living organisms, and all eukaryotic cells have rudimentary minds.) Research into this phenomenon might produce time travel without contradictions, but only when a mind controls and guides the process.
Back to the UK:
Labour's default approach to anything it considered worth doing was to create a jobs programme. That did three things: it reduced the gross domestic product (GDP), it reduced wages at the margin, and it increased investment returns at the margin. So UK citizens were worse off, UK workers made less and UK investors made more. The Con-Lib Coalition Government started with a tax burden of about 39% of the GDP and is trying to reduce that to a number more like what we see in America--28% (federal+state+local taxes). It is starting with an across-the-board reduction in Government expenditure, with little consideration given to shifting the investment/spending balance. That leads to stories like the following:
--a 35% reduction in post secondary education and research spending: <http://tinyurl.com/38ff458>. The point is that the UK spends about 1.3% of its GDP in those areas, one of the lowest in Europe and about 40% of what America spends on a per-person basis. At the same time, student demand for places continues to outpace availability: <http://tinyurl.com/34owwp2>. Perhaps there is a message being ignored here.
--student debt is up--about $40,000 for a three-year degree: <http://tinyurl.com/37dq5bp>. That suggests a tuition increase, coupled with means-tested bursaries, would be viable. (Also as in previous years, the student loan system remains a shambles: <http://tinyurl.com/2eep2je>, which may be why the Government doesn't want to go that way.)
--instead the Government proposes a graduate tax: <http://tinyurl.com/2wbvgxu>. As I note in my comments here: <http://tinyurl.com/37z8yot>, "In the case of the graduate tax, we see people with equal income paying different taxes, with the higher taxes on advanced education. Aha!--the graduate tax is designed to discourage people from getting an advanced education. Why might that be? Remember, the answer in the UK is usually the preservation of existing class relationships.... Education is the primary mechanism of social mobility."
-- "The difference between theory and practice is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is." (Tom Vogl) Harry Erwin
I have to say I am having trouble understanding the FTL story, and while I've looked into it a bit I didn't get enlightenment, and I'm a bit out of time. Of course with FTL you get a time machine, as I understand it, so perhaps if I do understand it I'll be able to come back and arrange to have more time to understand how to build the device... I will have to leave further investigation to readers, at least for a while.
August 17, 2010
Higher Education in the UK--Oh My!
Watching the wheels come off the UK Government's higher education wagon!
Something like 200,000 graduates applying to university will not find a place--the Government (both Labour and the new one) has defined such severe penalties on universities over-recruiting that most are deliberately under-recruiting.
A Dutch university is offering places to UK students <http://tinyurl.com/2bzdpsp>
Labour's new diploma qualifications have been rejected by many universities <http://tinyurl.com/28kw2py>
And the graduate tax proposal is likely to encourage many students to do their university education outside the UK or emigrate after graduation. <http://tinyurl.com/29hf7eq> <http://tinyurl.com/33k8rsy> <http://tinyurl.com/2d6pzdd> <http://tinyurl.com/2cblaq8>
Harry Erwin, PhD
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." (Catherine Aird)
Update. The media is starting to pick up on the Obama Administration's attempts to deny the military the right to vote. Here are the states most at risk.
John D. Trudel
Doing a little quick reading for some back of the envelope calculations, I came up with this little ditty.
In the section Temperature of Earth:
<snip> Estimates of the Earth's average albedo vary in the range 0.3–0.4, resulting in different estimated effective temperatures. Estimates are often based on the solar constant</wiki/Solar_constant> (total insolation power density) rather than the temperature, size, and distance of the sun. For example, using 0.4 for albedo, and an insolation of 1400 W m−2), one obtains an effective temperature of about 245 K.<l> Similarly using albedo 0.3 and solar constant of 1372 W m−2), one obtains an effective temperature of 255 K.<l><l> <snip>
Note that the average albedo, which is critical to the determination of surface temperature, varies +/- 15% from its stated mean value. Surely that uncertainty has some relevance to global warming analysis?
I keep looking at the error measurements, and I cannot understand how anyone can have much confidence in the tenth of a degree accuracies that are needed to make "hottest year on record" even remotely credible. I don't know if it were hotter in 1938 than now; I don't think anyone can prove it one way or another. I would bet that it was hotter when the Greenland dairy farms were not under the ice, and colder when the Great Lakes were moving glaciers.
Go here to Annals of Applied Statistics: http://www.imstat.org/aoas/next_issue.html
Then scroll to the last entry and click to this article:
A Statistical Analysis of Multiple Temperature
Proxies: Are Reconstructions of Surface Temperatures Over the Last 1000
Years Reliable? <http://www.e-publications.org/ims/submission/
It opens in Adobe:
Abstract Predicting historic temperatures based on tree rings, ice cores, and other natural proxies is a difficult endeavor. The relationship between proxies and temperature is weak and the number of proxies is far larger than the number of target data points. Furthermore, the data contain complex spatial and temporal dependence structures which are not easily captured with simple models.
In this paper, we assess the reliability of such reconstructions and their statistical significance against various null models. We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.
And The degree of controversy associated with this endeavor can perhaps be better understood by recalling Wegman’s assertion that there are very few mainstream statisticians working on climate reconstructions (Wegman et al., 2006). This is particularly surprising not only because the task is highly statistical but also because it is extremely difficult. The data is spatially and temporally autocorrelated. It is massively incomplete. It is not easily or accurately modeled by simple autoregressive processes. The signal is very weak and the number of covariates greatly outnumbers the number of independent observations of instrumental temperature.
I've found Climate Audit to be one of the better sites on AGW theory:
-- "The past, while much studied, is little read." - M.M.
"In the first and in the final analysis, so-called multiculturalists are simply Western radicals, in the Western radical tradition, with the most imperial, dogmatic, and absolutist aspirations of all." - Alan Charles Kors
Subj: Online courseware: MIT vs Carnegie-Mellon
Starting at time index 2:52:20 in the audio from the AEI conference on "Reinventing the American University" on 3 June 2010
I found this:
>>The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie-Mellon didn't start off to change anything about Carnegie-Mellon. The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie-Mellon was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation under their Open Educational Resources Project. So they went to MIT and asked them to ... do Open CourseWare ... . When they came to Carnegie-Mellon it was a very different goal: we weren't putting [together] all of the traditional materials that support traditional instruction at Carnegie-Mellon and make them openly and freely available, it was "Could you bring together faculty experts in different disciplines and figure out how to create a completely Web-based learning environment for an independent learner who doesn't have the privilege of access to higher education [so he could] have a reasonable chance of achieving the same learning outcome as a student sitting in a comparable course at Carnegie-Mellon?" Very different design goal.
... [A]ll of the departments that participated at Carnegie-Mellon, at the beginning of the project said, "That's great that we're doing this for those people out there, but these courses will not be used at Carnegie-Mellon," because what's important at Carnegie-Mellon is the faculty and all the stuff you get in an elite institution. Now, every single OLI course is used at Carnegie-Mellon, and in fact the Formal Logic course is the only way Logic is taught at Carnegie-Mellon.
But is it all online? No, what happens is students use the OLI course and then they still meet in fifteen-student classes with a full tenured faculty member. It's just [that] the quality of the conversation is different.
And that's why I'm talking about using the Information Technology, not to take away that conversation, but to make that conversation actually more likely to happen, because the students are better prepared for it.<<
Dear Dr. Pournelle, I have been pondering your story of Matrice Robinson, towed to the middle of nowhere for not paying her bill, and I thought of a similar experience last December.
I was involved in a traffic accident in December of last year. No question it was my fault; I mis-judged the conditions, and my brakes failed on wet pavement, resulting in a skid into the back of an SUV.
Accidents that require a tow vehicle require a police report. After multiple hours of fun and games getting our cars taken care of, I was issued a ticket for 'failure to control speed'. The officer told me, however, that the ticket wouldn't stand because he hadn't seen the accident -- unless the other driver wanted to appear as a witness. If I went to court, the odds were good I'd be acquitted -- no witnesses, so reasonable doubt exists.
Well, in two months I duly presented myself at the Rockville Traffic Court, and after about two hours of waiting while the judge blasted through the docket at warp speed, I was duly acquitted.
Afterwards, I went to speak to the police officers in the courthouse office and asked a question: The officer knew the ticket wouldn't stand. So why issue it in the first place?
Their answer: "We don't like responding to accidents. If I have to write up an accident report, SOMEONE is getting a ticket."
If you inconvenience them, they will inconvenience you.
What is more, the law seems explicitly written to enable them to do this task. If you look at the traffic laws, you'll see a bunch of things on the books like 'improper driving', 'failure to control speed' -- things you could conceivably convict any driver on the road on. It's like they're tools specifically given to the officer to stick on people he otherwise can't find fault with. But if they want to badly enough, they can stick ANYONE with these.
If they were witness to the violation and can testify in court, it'll probably stand up.
Even if, as in my case, the ticket has no chance at all, they can still cost you some hours of hassle at the courthouse in order to get an acquittal.
And I think this is exactly what happened in the case of Ms. Robinson: The police didn't like responding to a call for someone not paying her bill, considering it a waste of their time, so they decided to cause her the maximum inconvenience possible within the framework of the law.
I'm not sure just how good an idea that is, or whether it's true to the founding principles of the Republic. But I'm pretty sure this sort of thing is going to happen wherever professional police forces exist; they have rights and knowledge ordinary people don't have, and can make the lives of ordinary citizens a living hell if they are so inclined. Within reason. I imagine inconveniencing a hollywood starlet might result in complaints that might actually get listened to.
On the other side of the coin -- I must also note that almost no one who went before the judge left empty-handed. If they had come to plead guilty, he would prompt them for an explanation. Regardless of what they stammered out -- if it was an apparent good faith effort -- he would then find some way to mitigate the sentence. He would reduce the fine. Or he'd leave the fine in place but negate the driving points penalty. But no one who took the time to actually show up for their docket -- that I recall -- went away without some sort of mitigation. The only people who received the defined sentence were the FTAs -- failures to appear.
It seemed to be the same principle with the police in reverse. The judge possesses a number of tools specifically to assist people who pay him the courtesy of showing up for their appointment. Show the judge respect, he (or she) shows you respect.
I'm not sure that is fixable, unless we want to go back to the frontier days when 'the law' was a single professional and a posse of deputized citizens. I suspect that wouldn't work at all in a place like Watts.
Forgotten Man, Shlaes
Excellent recommendation on this book. I note it is #59 on the iBooks store.
A few thoughts.
Rooseveldt & crew did act like a bunch of bullies. The country club republicans of the past decade bullied people in a similar manner. Perhaps that is why they seem to come off as creeps nowadays.
Occasionally, the points that made the most sense in the book were overshadowed by the author's politics. Not always, but upon occasion.
Lastly, I am not so sure that business was at all as much of a victim as Miss Shlaes sometimes portrays it. Or perhaps I am just more interested in some aspects than others.
In any case, well worth the $10 I spent to add it to my collection. I guess I will reread it in a year or so and see how my perception of it changes.
Sent from my iPhone -Paul
For a PDF copy of A Step Farther Out:
August 18, 2010
I share your dudgeon re: the single crime Blago was convicted of, but the fact that 11 jurors voted to convict him on ALL 24 counts should carry some weight as to the job that the prosecution did. I don’t think any of us downstate residents are surprised that someone wouldn’t convict him on the rest – the Chicago area reelected him all by themselves despite his obvious ethical issues. Move the trial to Springfield and you wouldn’t have that lone holdout – guaranteed.
Another illustration of the unwisdom of immediate responses: I had not yet heard the jury count when I wrote that response. I am perhaps unduly sensitive to the "lying to Federal officers" tyranny. I do not believe that every one of those "officers" has been confirmed by the Senate, and the Constitution makes that a requirement to be a federal officer. I wonder why n one has used that defense; but probably the law has been written to distinguish agents from officers and create a category unknown to the Constitution. In my judgment perjury is important and must be prosecuted, but perjury is testimony given under oath under penalty of perjury, not "I didn't do it!" said to a Federal "Officer".
The consequences of this folly are that anyone of intelligence is well advised to tell any Federal "Officer" or agent to go peddle his papers when asked any question whatever including "Did you see him shoot at the President?" or "Do you know anything about this bank robbery?" You are well advised not to answer either yes or no; simply refuse to answer. After all they can later show that you read a newspaper article about the bank robbery so of course you know something about it, even if you were in a different city and unaware that a bank had been robbed until you say it on the evening news or read it in the Times. And yes, that sounds ridiculous but Martha Stewart spent time in stir for saying she hadn't done something that wasn't a crime if she had done it. If they can stretch that far to make you an awful example, what can't they do?
I suppose for me it's disillusion. I grew up with the notion that public authorities worked for me, were my friends, and deserved my cooperation. But that was a long time ago, and I suppose I ought to have the scales fall from my eyes...
Thanks for the reminders.
Dr. Pournelle, you've been looking into how much heat the Earth is putting into the environment, but I haven't heard anyone talk about the heat that is being emitted by our industrial civilization. How much waste heat from power plants burning coal, oil, uranium are being generated? The solar plant at Four corners may be heat neutral, but there still will be electrical generation losses that show up as extra watts of heat. Motor vehicles emit gasses, but they are extremely hot gasses. Every electrical appliance has efficiency losses. Feel the back of your computer, now multiply that by how many millions? Running 24/7? Furnaces dump heat into the atmosphere in the winter (by design) and AC units dump efficiency losses in the summer. Plus there are 6+ billion of us 98.6 degree chemical factories heat sunk to the environment. While it may be small compared to the solar influx, or a single volcanic event, the heat doesn't disappear, the Laws of Thermodynamics still rule. Plus the amount of heat generated around the world is unlikely to start decreasing anytime soon.
Well it depends on the sources of course, but I thought that had been thoroughly discussed. As in Fallen Angels, throw another log on the fire... Of course hydroelectric power, solar power, tidal power, wind power, has effects only through the energy needed to make the generators; watts is watts, and whether they release their potential energy directly as heat by going over a waterfall, or indirectly as electricity that shows up in a house heater, eventually that potential energy gets into the environment. Coal and Oil are another matter, of course. Depending on your theory of the origin of oil -- Tommy Gold may have been right and it's all physical -- coal and oil are supposedly 'fossil' fuels that take solar energy stored up from eons ago and release it into the current biosphere; or else they are just another manifestation of geothermal energy.
Watts is watts, as you said. The Second Law is unforgiving...
I knew it. I've followed Iran for a number of years. Certain Congress Critters voiced concerns of Hezbollah operatives on U.S. soil during the 80's and 90's. I always thought that illegal workers were not the only people running across the border. Probably everyone has set up some sort of surprise for us if we ever go to war with them. Today, I read an interesting article that I found on www.drudgereport.com : http://wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2029721
The crux of the article is up front:
I suspect much of this has to do with businesses largely unrelated to the United States. However, this also allows a conduit for constant anti-U.S. activity in nearby region. Most importantly, this implicates Venezuela in any U.S. conflict with Iran. I would not be surprised to see U.S. strikes against Venezuela and Syria if matters touched off with Iran. I do not think these strikes must necessarily happen, however. The plot seems to thicken.
Last night, I was watching the NBC nightly news and ranting at it. My fiance asked me why I bother watching it if it is such bravo sierra. I told her that I like to sample the corporate media from time to time. That way, when I am talking to someone the next day, I have a higher likelihood of recognizing when someone is channeling Chris Mathews and his PR talking points. Today, I was sampling an alternative media talkshow called Infowars.
During the course of the show, a lady called from Japan. She is a Marine wife and she was talking about an article in the local newspaper at their base. She said the article pointed out that military personnel who went to the wikileaks website and viewed the video there--whether on their home or work PCs--would face punitive measures ranging from non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to Courts Martial. I do not possess a copy of the Manual for Courts Martial at this time, however I was intimately familar with this book at one time. I would not be surprised if the elements for proof concerning the handling of CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, TOP SECRET, etc material included any unauthorized access. The woman who called in pointed out that this would mean that military could face charges even if they simply saw it on television. Again, I would not be surprised if that statement met the elements of proof in the Manual for Courts Martial. For a Court Martial to occur, the prosecuting party must satisfy all 'elements of proof' as listed in the Manual for Courts Martial and Uniform Code of Military Justice.
I am not surprised by the military's philosophy on
this matter, nor the military handling of the matter. We noted the usual
knee-jerk reaction from the Pentagon on this:
Changing tac, I mentioned watching the NBC nightly news last night. They went over some graduation statistics. I believe 47% of Black males nationwide graduated from High School--it was not lower than 45% and not higher than 49%, but the exact number may escape me. One of the talking torsos--they showed more than the head--said that in places like Detroit, 12% of White males graduate in certain High Schools. There were other disturbing numbers. Most of this centered on the East Coast--as far South as Florida and as far North as New York. Memphis and Chicago were implicated in the crisis as well. This is the strong finish to the generation that is hitting the streets now? To quote Jimi Hendrix, "'There must be some kind of way out of here', said the Joker to the Thief. There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief...'"
As if that wasn't bad enough, now Google's CEO thinks
that people don't want to ask Google questions, but they want Google to run
their lives for them and tell them how to live their lives. This is an
Where is Madame Defarge now that we need her...
Augusat 19, 2010
: DSM and "disorders"
Peripherally related to the discussion of the DSM and "disorders": I have long speculated that many of what we nowadays label "disorders" of one sort or another (ADD, OCD, Asperger's, etc., perhaps even depression) are in reality simply points on the extreme end of the bell curve. We like to draw a line and define, "beyond this point lies xxxx syndrome", but exactly where to draw that line is problematic at best.
When I was in elementary school, I was diagnosed as what was then termed "hyperactive". I was prescribed Ritalin (which based on my experience I suspect may work by interfering with the patient's normal sleep, leaving him groggy and thus compliant during school hours, but I digress). I stopped taking it once I was old enough to question what it was for; big fight with my well meaning parents. Nowadays, of course, it's termed ADD or ADHD. I'm also afflicted with mild Tourette's syndrome (often associated with ADHD).
I mention the above because both, from the reading I've done, are often associated with above average intelligence and creativity. My own experience bears this out, having scored quite high on IQ tests as a kid (even though I got mostly mediocre grades in school) and now being known as an unusually creative engineer in my field (not to boast but to make a point). I tend to get easily sidetracked at work but I make up for it by working on several projects at once and jump around as I get new ideas. I was also the "weird kid", bookish, small and non-athletic (except for swimming where I excelled, more weirdness) who was picked on, until I started fighting back in 8th grade (fortunately political correctness didn't rule back then; I didn't get in trouble when I stabbed a bully with a pen in self defense... the last time I was ever picked on, bit again I digress).
So what is a "disorder" or "syndrome"? If I have ADHD (which I almost certainly would have been labeled with if the term had existed when I was in school) I don't think I would want to get rid of it; I think I'd lose more than I gained. As for the Tourette's (which some say affects as many as one in 100 in mild form... is that a "disorder"?) , as much as I'd like to send an entire night (or even an hour) lying absolutely still with my wife in my arms, something I can't do, it's something so interwoven with who I am I don't think I'd risk losing whatever goes with it.
Concentration of wealth
"I have often said that one reason America did not suffer the fate predicted by Marx, that all the wealth would be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, was our employment of anti-trust measures."
Anti-trust, to the extent it is enforced, may hinder the development of ever larger and more dominant corporate entities. But anti-trust law apparently hasn't precluded an increased concentration of wealth among the upper classes:
> Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez.
I have to wonder what will happen to the stability of our society if such a trend continues?
Bill Gates urges all those who have accumulated enormous wealth to ged rid of it. Big disparities in wealth are not good for republics. Alas, the urge to despoil the wealthy is another ruin of republics. Robbing the rich to pay the bureaucrats involves the rich in counter measures, and they are generally a lot smarter than their opponents (although a fool and his money are soon parted...)
I have written on this before. Concentrations of power are generally frightening; yet sometimes they are necessary, and when so, remember Burke, Kings will be tyrants from necessity when subjects are rebellious from principle.
The Republic was supposed to get us around that. It did so by fragmenting power. The new tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect strategies undermine the whole point of the economy. It may be that no fix is possible. I may be that something is possible and we can change directions. I am certain that power must be fragmented, set in opposition to power, if republics are to endure.
August 20, 2010
"bayesian backcasting" , a statatician looks at it
An actual statistician/author has looked at this, and written a very readable, easy to understand (because he is an author) explanation of why models of temperature, such as the Mann hockey stick, are not real temperature, but "fictional data". It could be summed up by saying "the map is not the territory".
The current AGW crowd are presenting us with models, and saying that this is what is temperature over time, but what they are showing us is not actual temperature, but only their map of temperature, which, being a map, does not show the very great uncertainty of the proxies they use to tell past temperature. Or as the link you posted said, "Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy-based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models." He shows why this is so, because turning the raw data into a model, or "smoothing" it, makes you far too certain of your result, because you are actually showing fictional data. Perhaps the best summery is here http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=195 , to quote a part:
"If the points—it really is just one point—I am making seem tedious to you, then I will have succeeded. The only fair way to talk about past, known data in statistics is just by looking at it. It is true that looking at massive data sets is difficult and still somewhat of an art. But looking is looking and it’s utterly evenhanded. If you want to say how your data was related with other data, then again, all you have to do is look.
The only reason to create a statistical model is to predict data you have not seen. In the case of the proxy/temperature data, we have the proxies but we do not have temperature, so we can certainly use a probability model to quantify our uncertainty in the unseen temperatures. But we can only create these models when we have simultaneous measures of the proxies and temperature. After these models are created, we then go back to where we do not have temperature and we can predict it (remembering to predict not its mean but the actual values; you also have to take into account how the temperature/proxy relationship might have been different in the past, and how the other conditions extant would have modified this relationship, and on and on).
What you can not, or should not, do is to first model/smooth the proxy data to produce fictional data and then try to model the fictional data and temperature. This trick will always—simply always—make you too certain of yourself and will lead you astray. Notice how the read fictional data looks a hell of a lot more structured than the real data and you’ll get the idea." (bold mine)
Here also he goes into the actual Bayesian backcasting article http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2773 and summes it up so:
"Can a hockey stick fit this? Sure. Can a straight line? Also sure. A line which also starts high in 1000 (AD) and continuously drops until now also fits. It’s getting colder! Like the authors said, we can tell +/- 5 degrees or better, but not so well with less than +/- 1 degree."
He also shows the raw data with the "smoothed" or "modeled" line over it, and shows how the model seems to show certainty where the raw data says something different You posted a scientist saying: It's something that non-scientists don't quite understand: Science is all about models. When we scientists say "model," what we mean is, this is our best understanding of the world. The fact that models get refined, and improved, is something that the creationists, and their ilk, attack as if it were a flaw, but it is, in fact, a feature of the scientific method, not a flaw." He shows that their current method of modeling, taking raw data, "smoothing" it, and then putting that now fictional data into their models, has a very great chance of error which is covered up by the smoothing resulting in them being far too certain of their conclusions.
What he does not go into is the problem of corrupted data, such as direct temperature measurements corrupted by Urban Heat Island Effects ( often resulting in +10F), land use changes, and "adjustments", which lately have adjusted all older temperatures down, and all recent temperatures up. This is aided by their method of smoothing the data before using it for their models, which covers up the degree of error in that data, allowing them to model it at maximum coldness back then and maximum heat now without showing that the cold then is only the maximum possible cold within the data, and the heat the maximum possible heat. There is also raw data corruption in the Mann hockey stick graph itself, where Mann said in an email how he would " hide the decline" ( Google about 4,790,000 results) , when at the end of the graph his tree ring proxy data show first increasing temperatures, then declining temperatures, despite that in the declining part they had actual temperature measurements from that area which showed temperatures going up, which meant that the proxy tree rings measurement was not accurately measuring temperatures. Mann's solution was to erase the decline shown, and substitute the actual temperature over it, and not bother to tell anyone how this impacted the veracity of the tree ring proxies he had been using, or even that he had done it. As stated above "But we can only create these models when we have simultaneous measures of the proxies and temperature." Mann had both, they showed that the proxy was not accurately showing temperature, and he simply covered this up.
In short, the map and the territory are two different things. The AGW crowd believes in maps. Maps are so convenient, you can include, or leave out, whatever the mapmaker wants. And maps are so much neater than raw territory, and are much easier to show to politicians or the press. Plus, the mapmakers can keep both out of the actual territory, the raw data, by simply not showing it to anyone, and by "smoothing" it and turning it into models, or maps, before anyone, even each other, actually sees it.
But what if the territory changes so much that it no longer resembles the maps?
DM, in cooler than it's supposed to be California
email address not displayed by request
The map is not the territory. All science fiction readers once learned that. Maps are useful, but the map is not the territory.
Now I don't have the time or patience to read all the AGW literature. I have on occasion looked for energy conversion in the conversations and not found it yet. As I am a mechanical engineer, I think in terms of entropy and enthalpy ( heat energy in general terms). When water is heated, there is a conversion of thermal energy to mechanical energy potential. This is how steam engines, Rankine cycle, internal combustion engines, Otto and Diesel cycles, etc. operate. So when we apply thermal energy, the solar heat and/or greenhouse component, we have the potential for some form of mechanical energy to take place. In fact it does as heating water causes water vapor to be released and in general with the differential in density, it will rise in elevation. This is mechanical transport and can be ignored in most cases as it is individually rather insignificant. But a hurricane is not insignificant and the rain storms that have been occurring in parts of the country are significant. Now you raise the water vapor, it condenses, and precipitates. But this is not an isentropic process and the horizontal movement of the water to another location is also not without losses. So the overall question is how much of increased solar energy, and/or retention, is converted to a slight increase in the overall velocity of the atmosphere about the globe? We don't know the answer but it is significant. What about the hydrosphere, the oceans? If the thermohaline cycle is increased by a small fraction, the increased evaporation of water vapor in the tropics, does this increase the net velocity of the Gulf Stream and/or the overall circulation velocity of the oceans? From what I have read, the turn-over cycle of the earth's oceans is around 1000 years, so how much energy is needed to subtract a few hours from that number? How do we know where the thermal/mechanical energy balance is set and how do we know this? When a tornado tears up a building, that is definitely mechanical energy in play, but it was generated by thermal energy and we know that it is significant. Until I hear someone account for all these mechanical energy effects I will have to remain an agnostic on the subject of AGW. On a final note, I attended a lecture on gases trapped in ice cores. So the CO2 was measured, but the greenhouse gas that was not measurable was water vapor, it was in the ice. I pointed this out to the Phd Physicist who ignored the whole topic. CO2 is king, but the king has no clothes.
Volcanic warming of the oceans
Jerry, Volcanic warming of the oceans may be greater than we would first guess. Given that the mid-Atlantic ridge is volcanically active where the plates separate, there will be a LOT of magma welling to the surface there. As an example, Iceland is a point on the mid-Atlantic ridge that rises above the surface of the ocean, and it certainly exhibits more than average volcanic activity. Given that the ridge in its entirety is over 10,000 miles in length, that could amount to a lot of heat. Having said that, I don't have any numbers, nor did a brief search show anything useful in terms of heat transfer.
Likewise, in the Pacific there is a new island forming in the Hawaiian archipelago, with apparently hundreds or thousands of cubic meters per day of fresh lava, and there are various other places where underwater volcanoes are known to be active.
And finally, independent of volcanic heat transfer, we should remember that the crust is much thinner under the oceans, especially in the Pacific basin, meaning that heat transfer from the mantle to the bottom of the ocean in those areas may be 2-3 times greater than on land where the crust is much thicker, both because it sticks up higher, and because the weight of the continental plates causes the continental plates to push deeper into the mantle. Again, I have no numbers that qualify as more than rough guesses, and in any case the values remain on the general order of 10^3 less than heat input from the sun, but as long as we are asking the question, it is worth considering the parameters that we do have some feel for.
I would think it worth devoting a bit of the public money spent on these billion dollar models to go get some data on this, just in case. It never hurts to have good data when you have to make expensive decisions. But the Voodoo seems to have come into the physical sciences, creeping in from the social sciences I suspect.
: Unintended consequnces?
Judge Jackson appears to "find" in his ruling that there is nothing special about the relationship between biological parents and children. Wouldn't this have a profound effect on child custody and children in foster care? Might we reach a point that parents are declared unfit at birth, and the children are handed over to others "better suited" to raising the children - possibly the state itself?
Whatever the truth or falsity of the findings, they are not appropriate for judicial findings. Legislatures may or may not have proper power over such matters, but if they don't then no one does.
In several of my courses related to intelligence and counterintelligence, the matter of China is ever present. At times, we discussed the Chinese capabilities in computer hardware. There was a piece that we read concerning a secret FBI study. There was little concerning the substance of the study, but it basically said the problem was worse than public knowledge indicated. Here is some of the public knowledge I was able to research today when a new article popped up.
Some of these are from blogs, but I read the original source articles--though I cannot locate them at this time. There are some interesting reads in there. One must also integrate bits of actionable intelligence with the other bits of actionable intelligence from past years and other spheres to get a complete picture. However, China is insidiously introducing its systems into ours at subtle and critical levels.
The most disturbing indicator that I have seen so far, I saw today on the
And give some thought to the transportation vulnerability...
immaturity diagnosed as ADHD
Jerry: Children immature? Give them Ritalin!
Kindergarten is none too soon to be working on your lifetime requirement for pharmaceuticals.
Subject: More evidence of misdiagnosed ADHD
Jerry, I found this article through Slashdot
suggesting that as many as a million children have been "diagnosed" with
ADHD simply because they're the youngest, least mature students in their
August 21, 2019
I took the day off.
|This week:||Sunday, August
I took the day off.
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