Plane on January 28, 2011, 09:30:01 pm
I have just finished a book!

Ta-Da!

I may read another one someday.


If you get the time look for "SuperFreakonomics" in chapter 5 they maintain that methods exist which might incuduce global cooling , bringing the earths climate into actual human controll.

I am not sure it would work , but they makd a good case for makeing an experiment.

http://www.amazon.com/SuperFreakonomics-Cooling-Patriotic-Prostitutes-Insurance/dp/0060889578



The question becomes , once there is a demonstration of the effacancy of the method, who does it , who controlls it and who pays for it?

J Thomas on January 29, 2011, 07:32:24 pm
Here's how I see it. First we have scientists who do work that has implications for climate. Many of them have looked at the question whether humans are now doing things on a scale that affects climate, and the answer is clearly yes. But there are a lot of details that are hard to handle. For example, it would be good to have various measurements that have been taken at the same place for long periods of time. But most of the measurements that have been taken at the same place for long times have been contaminated because cities grew close to them, and cities change the measurements a whole lot. Since we don't want to count the effect of cities, we have to find ways to guess what the measurements would have been if the cities weren't there, which is hard to do accurately. I am not kidding. It's hard to get uncontaminated data because humans have changed the climate enough to contaminate the data.

OK, then we have people who have a specific agenda about what to do about human-caused climate change. They think they know what to do. There hasn't been much science done about their suggestions. They have not consulted economists or engineers or social scientists or really much of anybody about their plan. They try to lobby the government to do what they want.

And we have people who oppose the second group. They also think they know what to do. There hasn't been much science done about their suggestions. They also have not consulted engineers or much of anybody about their plan, though they have gotten some quick uninformed opinions from some economists. They try to lobby the government also.

I consider the second and third groups to be largely liars, although there could be some honest ones among them. Both of them try to spread their lies however they can among the public. They try to reference science that can be made to look like it supports their positions. But usually they are practicing deception when they do.

How much anthropogenic climate change can we expect? That depends a lot on what we do in coming years, but the scientists aren't real good at predicting it yet. What would have happened if we hadn't intervened? The scientists aren't real good at that one either, and now that we've changed things around we'll never find out.


I can't speak for mellyrn, of course, but it appears to me that we are both taking the same side: that of science.  Science is typically done by people who are called scientists, who cannot be ignored (unless you have the resources to independently verify every bit of scientific evidence they produce).

OK, but what I see you both doing is repeat the unscientific talking points created by one of the two lobbying groups. If you're interested in science, why not look at science?

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Most of the people involved in "Climategate" have lost all credibility as scientists.  If those people had been on the fringes of the alarmist community, then it might not have mattered much.  But those people (and a few others) are responsible for the climate models which are the core "evidence" behind AGW alarmism.  That "evidence" has been exposed as bogus (to those who didn't know it already).  That's science.

They were working for the UN? And they are getting discredited by the public? But their "scientific" work was to build one particular set of models to describe the climate effects seen by many thousands of scientists? I've never cared about them, but they may have been influenced by lobbyists etc. There were "scientists" who faked results for tobacco companies to say that tobacco had no health effects, and "scientists" who faked asbestos data to make it look harmless, and "scientists" who faked ozone data to make it look like nothing was happening. There's history to say that some people do that kind of thing, and these guys might have done it too.

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If most AGW alarmists had condemned the behavior exposed in "Climategate" (as a few of them did), insisted on throwing the miscreants out, and tried to replicate the miscreants' work, AGW alarmism might have retained some credibility.  But that didn't happen.  In fact, some alarmists tried to excuse it or cover it up, thereby losing whatever credibility they had left.  That's obviously politics, but since some of the people involved in the cover-up were called scientists, it could be considered science (since any "science" produced by those people has now lost at least some credibility).

It was politics. There could have been real scientists who got caught in it, with lobbyists trying to slime them for telling the truth. That happens. But it sounds like this was a big political victory for the deniers against the AGW lobbyists, independent of any truth.

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All kinds of people reported on "Climategate".  To the extent that they sought the truth and behaved like scientists, I'll call their work science.  To the extent that they had already decided on their position and only sought evidence to confirm it, I'll call their work politics.

OK, do you have examples of science in this political scandal?

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The mass media and various politicians who commented on "Climategate" pushed their agendas.  That's politics.  Of course, those people didn't have any scientific credibility to start with.

It sounds like you want to give them some.

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As for my presenting links to the science at all:  for me, the emails, betraying such an appalling standard of conduct by pretty much all the big AGW names, were enough to destroy the credibility of the entire AGW argument.

OK, so if I can find records of big names in climate change denial who have done bad things, you will then agree that no argument on either side has any credibility?

If by "climate change denial" you mean something like "catastrophic anthropogenic global warming denial" (which would be silly but not surprising), then your proposal is interesting in several ways.  I'll assume that's what you mean.

There isn't a "core" group of climate realists.  Many, many scientists have found flaws in AGW alarmism, some of them fundamental (essentially invalidating the theory), and others more peripherally.  Some scientists (such as Richard Lindzen) have had more publicity than others.  I'm curious to see who you would consider "big names".  I'm also curious to see if you can any "bad things".

OK, I expect I'd find flaws in AGW alarmism too. But what does that have to do with science?

Here's an example of what I mean by climate change denial:

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There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause significant heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

This presents some specific claims about the whole body of science. Have the people who make these claims studied the relevant data enough to make predictions? Or have they only looked at somebody else's claims enough to punch holes in them?


mellyrn on January 29, 2011, 11:12:04 pm
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OK, so if I can find records of big names in climate change denial who have done bad things, you will then agree that no argument on either side has any credibility?

What the "climate change denial" names, big or small, have to say is not relevant.  I don't care if all non-AGW climatologists are claiming that little pink fairies are what's driving climate change.  Their work, good or bad, does not change the fact that Mann, et al, a) lied and b) refused to show their work.

I don't care because there is no rational need to have an alternative theory (as climate change "denial" might be) in hand, ready to go, in order to falsify a given one.  When a theory is disproven, it's disproven.  Period.  And AGW was falsified by its own proponents, in the moment they chose to "adjust" the data.

I may not know what is going on re climate, but I sure can know what isn't:  I know it isn't little pink fairies.  And I know it isn't whatever Mann, Jones and the rest of them had to fake data for.

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You say that the politics have decided for you what's true.

No, I say that the unscientific behavior -- altering the data to fit the theory, and refusing to allow real review -- has decided for me what is false.  Whether the unscientific behavior was politically driven, or merely ego driven, or what, I have no opinion on.  If you know it to have been political, you may call it "political" if you wish, but that would be putting words in my mouth, since I know no such thing.

You do keep trying to put words in my mouth by trying to associate me with some positive declaration of opinion or other.  I ain't got one, honey.  I may not know what is true, but I sure as . . . shootin' can know when something's false.

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On f I don't know.

And so long as you refuse to read their own emails, you won't.  Are you sheltering yourself?

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Deniers say if the AGW scientists can't predict exactly what will happen then there must not be any real problem.

Is that what they say?  Then I know of no deniers.  I do seem to know of at least one person who's very good at misrepresenting views s/he doesn't like.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 11:59:59 pm by mellyrn »

mellyrn on January 29, 2011, 11:52:31 pm
If I were a loyal member of the Party in Power
and PiPs always have lies and secrets they need to protect
I'd recognize the Internet as a serious, maybe the most serious, threat to those lies and secrets.  But shutting down the Internet would all but shut down the economy.  So in the interest of defending the Official Party Line (OPL) I'd hie me over to the appropriate Department, that of Defense, say, and I'd set up a little office full of bright young intelligence types, whose job is to spend their work hours hanging out in chat rooms, on forums, writing blogs, pimping the OPL.

Having a virtually-unlimited budget, I'd include staff so that a chatter could call out, "Hey, Jake!  Get me a cite for X, wouldja?" and thus always have one handy.

I'd hold special training sessions:  rehearsal of talking points; netiquette; how to finesse past anything the Rebuttal Team couldn't counter; strategic disinformation; how to name-call, smear and marginalize but ever so politely; how to never ever ever under any circumstances whatsoever lose your temper or call "bullshit".  I'm sure this fictional "me" would think of more that the real mellyrn would take years to come up with, but that'll do for illustrators.

Now, all that's just my little fantasy, but there's a reason no one ever hired me to be a long-range strategic thinker.  I know, I just know, somewhere, in just some such office, someone's just spewed coffee through his nose laughing.  "OMG!  OMG!  We've only been doing this since -- what, since the old BBS days??  And she's only just now thinking of it?  Woot!"

Over in another forum, one I haven't visited in over half a year, there's a guy who I'm morally certain is one of these creatures. 

Just thought I'd share.  Hope you found it fun.

J Thomas on January 30, 2011, 04:57:41 am
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OK, so if I can find records of big names in climate change denial who have done bad things, you will then agree that no argument on either side has any credibility?

What the "climate change denial" names, big or small, have to say is not relevant.  I don't care if all non-AGW climatologists are claiming that little pink fairies are what's driving climate change.  Their work, good or bad, does not change the fact that Mann, et al, a) lied and b) refused to show their work.

OK. Let's say that there was a group of "scientists" who were doing false work. We should ignore those as unworthy of science.

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I don't care because there is no rational need to have an alternative theory (as climate change "denial" might be) in hand, ready to go, in order to falsify a given one.  When a theory is disproven, it's disproven.  Period.  And AGW was falsified by its own proponents, in the moment they chose to "adjust" the data.

?? That doesn't even make sense for politics.

Suppose that we were having an argument about whether the US government ought to continue to fight in Afghanistan until we can achieve a victory. And suppose that somebody who thought that we should pull out, falsified data to "prove" that we should pull out. You find out that they falsified data. Does that mean that we should stay for victory?

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You do keep trying to put words in my mouth by trying to associate me with some positive declaration of opinion or other.  I ain't got one, honey.  I may not know what is true, but I sure as . . . shootin' can know when something's false.

If the Climate Research Unit did a bad job of putting other people's research together then you should discount their efforts. That says nothing about the merits of the actual evidence, only about them. Similarly, if you had firm evidence that some scientists falsified results to "prove" that tobacco had no health effects, that would not say that tobacco causes heart disease or lung cancer.

You have made the argument that if they were right they would not have needed to fake their results. But this assumes full competence on their part. Human beings are known for taking short cuts, particularly under time and funding constraints.

When somebody descends into politics and tries to present whatever they think will convince an audience, that's bad from my point of view -- but it does not say anything about whether they are right or wrong.

Unless we get solid evidence that human actions will not cause significant climate change (or possibly evidence that they will), the verdict is still out on that question.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 05:04:26 am by J Thomas »

J Thomas on January 30, 2011, 05:42:07 am
If I were a loyal member of the Party in Power
and PiPs always have lies and secrets they need to protect
I'd recognize the Internet as a serious, maybe the most serious, threat to those lies and secrets.  But shutting down the Internet would all but shut down the economy.  So in the interest of defending the Official Party Line (OPL) I'd hie me over to the appropriate Department, that of Defense, say, and I'd set up a little office full of bright young intelligence types, whose job is to spend their work hours hanging out in chat rooms, on forums, writing blogs, pimping the OPL.

Having a virtually-unlimited budget, I'd include staff so that a chatter could call out, "Hey, Jake!  Get me a cite for X, wouldja?" and thus always have one handy.

Nobody has a virtually-unlimited budget, though it can seem that way to people who have considerably less funding. I haven't been able to find the military budget for this. DOD has something and each service has their own, and a lot of it is embedded into units that primarily do other things. In peacetime each branch competes with the others to lobby Congress for funds and enhance their image with the public. In wartime they must also work to enhance the image of the war effort since a loss on the home front can prevent victory. Does it seem wrong that our tax money goes to propagandize us into approving of wars etc?

Needless to say, military bloggers insist that they are blogging on their own time and off the budget. Now, imagine a bright young intelligence guy who says "I spent my tour at Headquarters so I got to look at all the classified reports. I can't tell you what they said but we're winning. Things are going a whole lot better than last year." That isn't convincing, is it? Headquarters was getting Vietnam reports that everything was going better right up until we gave up. There are people today who point to that stuff and claim we were winning.

How about this? "I'm back from Afghanistan and my combat unit was the best. We achieved our mission and we made things a whole lot better. And we took casualties. I lost two friends there. Now we need to finish the job so Steve and Eddy's sacrifice won't be wasted." Better? Throw in a bunch of personal details, some reports about fighting, it could come out persuasive.

A real combat junior officer back from Iraq told me that he was offered nonmonetary perqs for blog comments and newspaper letters etc that made the military look good. A unit that had enough of them could get extra R&R or sent home early etc. This wouldn't show up in the budget, and it would likely be more effective than messages fabricated by the spooks.

On the other side, maintaining a database of citations and effective rejoinders and talking points would be pretty cheap.

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I'd hold special training sessions:  rehearsal of talking points; netiquette; how to finesse past anything the Rebuttal Team couldn't counter; strategic disinformation; how to name-call, smear and marginalize but ever so politely; how to never ever ever under any circumstances whatsoever lose your temper or call "bullshit".  I'm sure this fictional "me" would think of more that the real mellyrn would take years to come up with, but that'll do for illustrators.

Yes, I've particularly seen that from the zionist hasbarah league. They often aren't polite because sometimes outrage is more effective. Their quality seems to have gone downhill recently -- I don't know whether the funding was cut or whether their position just looks too hopeless. Or maybe they found ways to test for effectiveness and found the high quality operation they ran before just doesn't matter.

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Now, all that's just my little fantasy, but there's a reason no one ever hired me to be a long-range strategic thinker.  I know, I just know, somewhere, in just some such office, someone's just spewed coffee through his nose laughing.  "OMG!  OMG!  We've only been doing this since -- what, since the old BBS days??  And she's only just now thinking of it?  Woot!"

Over in another forum, one I haven't visited in over half a year, there's a guy who I'm morally certain is one of these creatures.

I've seen people I was sure of too. But consider the expense, versus the strictly limited payoff. On high-activity blogs, the message gets lost among hundreds or thousands of others. On low-activity blogs there won't be many readers either. How much funding is it worth?

So there should be methods to semi-automate the process. Keep a database of responses, and pay somebody to personalize them just enough they don't look completely canned, and then spread similar messages over many blogs. I once responded some to a troll who later emailed Elaine that he was testing a fully-automated system and he had perfected it. I'm reasonably sure that was only a parting troll, though. It's too hard to make an Eliza program that adequately responds to what the other guy says.

quadibloc on January 30, 2011, 03:48:43 pm
I know, I just know, somewhere, in just some such office, someone's just spewed coffee through his nose laughing.  "OMG!  OMG!  We've only been doing this since -- what, since the old BBS days??  And she's only just now thinking of it?  Woot!"
A year or so ago there was some flurry on the Internet about how the People's Republic of China was doing this. Badly and clumsily, of course, which is why they got caught.

But, why, if your glorious country were resorting to this, it would only be to the good of the world, as it would help the truth to get out, that so many people these days fail to understand!

mellyrn on January 30, 2011, 07:35:39 pm
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But, why, if your glorious country were resorting to this, it would only be to the good of the world, as it would help the truth to get out, that so many people these days fail to understand!

 :D

Thanks, quadibloc, I needed that.

On reflection, though, the concept gives me some concerns about EFT and implanted wifi nodes (I forget what they're called) -- I hope the implant presents the information via stimulation of, say, the visual cortex, so it's effectively "seeing", and the decision-making parts of the brain are as independent of the tanglenet input as they would be of any other visual experience.  I just had a few willies about who's in control, is all.

Scott on February 01, 2011, 11:40:00 am
L. Neil Smith explores the potential for both good and evil in brain/computer interfacing in his novel, The Venus Belt. Which is probably going to be re-released by Phoenix Pick/Arc Manor Press some time soon if it hasn't already.

In a nutshell: A century or so in the future, the good people of the Solar (formerly North American) Confederacy happily use cortical implants to enrich their lives and extend their brain power in a variety of ways. But the bad guys -- a statist cabal that yearns to bring back government -- uses the same tech to enslave thousands of women to become breeders in a mad scheme involving time travel. It's a fun read, highly recommended.

 

anything