Holt on January 01, 2011, 07:37:02 pm
Hang on now you're bashing peer review?

Outright advocating not proving research?

J Thomas on January 01, 2011, 09:54:13 pm
I think you have demonstrated the depth of your knowledge about the topic. Do you feel competent to decide which science is junk science?

Determining "junk science" does not necessarily require any knowledge of the underlying subject matter, only an understanding of the scientific method.  That method requires creating an internally consistent model, mapping that to the physical universe to create a theory, and showing that changes made to the physical universe, mapped back into the theory accurately predict the results observed in the physical universe.

That has not been done.  The models created to date have been descriptive but not proscriptive.

When you require that level of verification for economics, how much of the field of economics stands? (I'm guessing your meaning from context, how does "proscriptive" fit in here?)

How much of geology stands?

How much of astrophysics?

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The "global warming asserters -- many supposedly part of the professional scientific community -- when faced with this problem have simply changed the model (without then providing a demonstration that the theory accurately predicts the future changes in the physical universe),

I think you're asking a little much here -- how will you demonstrate that any theory accurately predicts future changes in the universe? We only have one earth to experiment with, there's no control earth, and there's no way to jump 50 years into the future to see what happened, and no way to jump back and try it a different way if we don't like what we see in 50 years.

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launched rhetorical attacks on the skeptics (claiming, for example, that they are all "deniers",  blocked access to the raw data and full methodology used in creating their theory, fudged the data to fit the model, and conspired to prevent publication of papers and studies that contradict their work.

That sounds bad.

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Many others, also considered part of the professional scientific community but outside the particular discipline of climatology have naively assumed that (a) the papers and studies that have been published are a fair sample of the work that has been done,

What, are they paying attention to unpublished work?

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and (b)  that the asserters considered part of the professional scientific community are dealing honestly and in good faith; as a result they have generally accepted this position as scientific consensus.

If there are scientists publishing in bad faith I hope they get exposed quickly.

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I am a skeptic regarding all aspects of possible climate change.  I find the questions regarding it open and unanswered.  I don't really "care" about what the truth may be, but instead am interested in finding that truth.   Given the lack of any solid theory with demonstrably accurate results (note that I use the word "accurate", not "precise" -- and do so deliberately), I remain skeptical.  I am particularly skeptical of the asserters in the associated with the IPCC, since their behavior has the hallmarks of True Believers -- with no tolerance for dissent or even for skepticism.

OK, I have no particular interest in IPCC. I looked at some of the criticism of them enough to dismiss what I saw as an utterly unscientific witch hunt. But just because your opponents are liars doesn't mean you're telling the truth. If they're lying I hope they'll be exposed soon.

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There are individuals in both the denier and asserter camps who are not dealing in good faith -- some of them, I strongly suspect, believe that they are, but are simply lying to themselves; others, I also strongly suspect, know of flaws in their position, but choose to not acknowledge them, out of a stronger motivation to be part of the group identity or out of a fear that their reputations may be damaged.  I say, "A pox upon both their houses -- deniers and asserters alike".  Let's all get back to the problem of discovering the truth rather than trying to force the truth (or at least the perception of the truth) into some preconceived mold.

Agreed.

jamesd on January 02, 2011, 01:31:29 am
Hang on now you're bashing peer review?

As did Galileo.

Outright advocating not proving research?

Research is proven by data, and replication of data, especially by hostile and cynical replication of data, not by consensus of one's peers.  Consensus is for synods.  When peer review came to be widely adopted, soon after science stopped progressing.

Peer review is consensus, and consensus is, as Galileo argued, fundamentally hostile to the scientific method.

Consensus is where religious doctrine comes from.  Science comes from replicated data.  When we adopted peer review, we abandoned the scientific method.  When peer review was introduced, it became necessary to demonize Roger Bacon, and valorize the inquisition.

jamesd on January 02, 2011, 02:02:01 am
If you are likely to be punished for doubting X, X is unlikely to be true.

This is both absurd and perverse.

In general, people who punish doubters do so to protect their privileged positions in a stable society. They neither know nor care whether the beliefs they support are true. It is perverse to use their social position to estimate truth.

If X is true, people who benefit from X will use means more persuasive than punishing doubters.  When authority punishes doubters, this is an admission that authority has been caught lying.

So for example, various racist societies have argued that the disfavored race is inherently inferior, that they are like children who must be "protected" and "taught".

Interestingly, independent outsiders have usually agreed as to which race were the inferior, and which race superior, which was the race that needed to be enslaved for their own good and the safety of their neighbors.  For example, I learned that Hutu are inferior to Tutsi, and that Tutsi are near to whites in character and competence, not from Tutsi, who would undoubtedly be biased on this matter, not from German colonialists, who might favor one group over another in order divide to divide the conquered against each other, but from American and English tourists passing through. 

If those tourists erred through racism, would not they err in the direction of thinking all blacks are alike?

If races were equal, and women equal to men, affirmative action would not have the consequences it does have.  Always the affirmative action hire winds up calling in the white guy to do his job.  Thus, for example, when Obama faced a hostile press core, his inability to speak appropriately ex tempore on complex topics became obvious, so he had to call Clinton back to handle the press.

This position has been taken about native americans, australian aborigines, blacks in the USA and in africa, etc. Is it true?

Obviously, for when American blacks were mostly slaves, and Australians were genociding the most inferior aboriginal races, no one got in trouble for claiming that blacks and aboriginals were equals, whereas today, you do get in trouble for denying that they are equals.  Thus those claiming inherent inequality were speaking the truth, and those claiming inherent equality are lying.

Here is an image of a skull of one the Aboriginal races that Australians settlers eradicated as insufficiently human, as animals smart enough to be dangerous, but not smart enough to be employable, beside a skull of real human.  Do you have any trouble telling which is which?:


J Thomas on January 02, 2011, 06:48:45 am
If you are likely to be punished for doubting X, X is unlikely to be true.

This is both absurd and perverse.

In general, people who punish doubters do so to protect their privileged positions in a stable society. They neither know nor care whether the beliefs they support are true. It is perverse to use their social position to estimate truth.

If X is true, people who benefit from X will use means more persuasive than punishing doubters.  When authority punishes doubters, this is an admission that authority has been caught lying.

Your experience has been different from mine. Or at least your interpretation of your experience has been different. My experience has been that authorities often punish challengers with no thought to whether their official positions are "true" or not. But you say it does not happen that way. I'm going by my experience while you are going by a theory that makes sense to you, that you say is true in general. I run into this sort of thing a lot from you.

Aelar on January 02, 2011, 11:03:35 am
It would have been helpful to at least link to previous discussions in this relatively large forum.

Great idea! When you have finished your link project, please post it. I assume you plan to update it on a regular basis, yes?

That's not what I meant. I meant that when you referred to a previous discussion (apparently in the gargantuan thread "Law and Order where there is Neither" which I have not caught up on yet) you could have linked to it.

As it is you have not answered my question.

Nor do I intend to. Playing "what if" with baseless hypotheticals and endless, recursive. "yeah, buts" services no useful purpose and is a waste of my time. If you have some untainted evidence that supports your supposition, great, then we can talk. Otherwise, it's just a variation of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

Anthropogenic Global Warming is not a baseless hypothetical.

What if global warming were real, and anthropic?

What would the anarcho-capitalist solution to anthropic global warming be?

OK, let us assume that Global Warming is real and anthropic.  Trouble is that giving power to governments does not actually solve the problem, since it is in the interests of any one government to use more carbon, since it gets the benefit, and most of the cost is external.  So you need a one world "Climate Treaty Organization" with authority over all acts that might emit carbon - in other words, a socialist one world government for the entire world.

I agree. This is obviously a bad attempt at a solution.

The whole global warming idea is based on the assumption that physical scientists can tell whether we are heading for problems by burning so much fossil fuel. The obvious next step was to ask social scientists how to respond to that. We could ask political scientists what to expect from governments. We could ask anthropologists and international relations experts etc about intercultural problems and diplomacy etc. Ask economists how to arrange the transition. Ask engineers what sort of existing technology could be applied and what sorts of new technology are plausible. Go back to the economists to see how new technology could be phased in. Etc.

The result should be an assortment of plans that would be the best our scientific consensus could create. They would be acceptable to the US government and to US society, because sociologists and political scientists and advertisers would get a degree of veto. They would be acceptable to foreign governments and foreign populations. They would be economically feasible. They would be flexible enough to incorporate new technology as that technology becomes available. Wherever the scientific consensus failed, we would have alternate plans and some idea how to switch among them as more information becomes available. Would it handle "global warming" as well as could possibly be done if we were all robots who did whatever Central Control told us to? Probably not. It would be the best we could actually do.

But none of this happened. Was it that physical scientists did not trust the competence of social scientists? Was it that politicians did not want to fund social science? Was it that a group of amateurs chose a political stand which did not work? Yes to all three, I don't know which was more important but the funding was central.

Back to the original question, how would you imagine an AnCap society handling it?


Those are some interesting thoughts. I like the way you think, J Thomas.

As far as I can see, the ancap solution is quadibloc's claim that in an ancap society, nuclear power would be more efficient than fossil fuel power due to the lack of NIMBY forces. If nuclear power were to be commercially viable in those circumstances, it would address the problem quite well.

We could look in to the technical details of what the costs are per megawatt for the different kinds of power plant. My suspicion is that the abundance of coal makes modern coal fired plants the most cost-effective in terms of pure cash. I think that possibly the fundamental problem is that Nuclear plants are forced to address their external costs (nuclear waste) while fossil fuel power plants can just spew gunk into the air.

Yes it is true that "state capitalist" or "socialist" states in the past have chosen to pollute quite a bit in order to develop an industrial base as quickly as possible. I'm not advocating soclialism. Pragmatically speaking I expect that a more democratic state with better organized decision making processes would be better able to deal with such externalities than an anarcho capitalist society. I am not confident in this expectation, and am entirely willing to have a discussion about this.

I am not willing however to take simply on faith that government is never useful, always corrupt, etc. Never trust absolutes.

terry_freeman on January 02, 2011, 11:44:55 am
[ Pragmatically speaking I expect that a more democratic state with better organized decision making processes would be better able to deal with such externalities than an anarcho capitalist society. I am not confident in this expectation, and am entirely willing to have a discussion about this.

I am not willing however to take simply on faith that government is never useful, always corrupt, etc. Never trust absolutes.

Well, given all the centuries of experimentation with various forms of statism, surely you can point to some bright shining examples where it was "better organized?"

There are sound historical and theoretical reasons why some people, including myself, are deeply cynical about theories which claim that "This once, after thousands of years of failure, we know how to organize the use of force to make you filthy brutes behave properly."

As Webster put it, "They mean to govern us well, but they mean above all to govern us."

My biggest problem with AGW is not with the global warming hypothesis, nor with the question of whether it is man-caused, nor whether that contribution is relatively meaningful compared to natural inputs - although all of those are interesting questions. The big problem is that all the proposed "solutions" on the table are less about fixing the problem and more about vast transfers of wealth and power to a few elites.

Everything I know about history and politicians tells me that their "solution" is much more important to them than the problem.



mellyrn on January 02, 2011, 12:04:29 pm
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Quote from: jamesd on January 01, 2011, 03:23:27 AM
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Socialist countries supposedly internalized all externalities, but in practice, everything went to hell.
But that's what you would expect of countries run by power-mad tyrants bent on world conquest.

How do you keep states from being run by power-mad tyrants?  I've posted elsewhere a diatribe on psychopaths, how they make up ~1% of the population, how they can be very charming people (they learn watching normals, having lots of normals to watch; normals otoh don't get much opportunity to study psychopaths), and in a competition between a normal and a psychopath, by definition there are some things a normal just Will Not Do whereas his psychopathic rival will do anything for power.

It is therefore logically necessary that psychopaths will be overrepresented in positions of power.  And they can be subtle and they know that normals have a tendency to cling to comforting beliefs.  You will probably ignore what I just wrote.

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all the evidence available indicates that temperatures have been rising rapidly for the last century.

Yes; and if 2010 turns out to be the hottest year in the last 100 (1934 being the other contender for the title -- hmmm), it will also be the 9099th hottest in the last 10,500.  (<--link)

There was mid-20thc cooling, just as oil burning really took off.

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And it turned out global warming was all a sham to get us to do this. Wouldn't that just be awful?

Evidently a clean earth isn't that important to most folks; to be lied to in order to gain something they didn't want that badly?  I imagine the tricksters would be hanged, slowly.

Mind you, I'd like a clean Earth and rivers you could drink from -- but I still use batteries, for example.

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starvation in Southeast Asia.

Why? 


As for peer review -- Copernicus knew what he was getting into, hence refusing to publish until he was dead.  And in his case, it wasn't just sheer mental inertia:  his proposal violated some of the most basic science of his day.  Why do (earthy) things fall down?  The only operant theory was that things sought their natural position in a concentric universe; if the Earth was not the center, practically all physics (as it then existed) was cast adrift.  How well would you receive some research paper that violated the theory of gravity?

Hostile peer review at least gets you published.  The current system says, "No, this paper doesn't fit what we already (think we) know, so can it."




jamesd on January 02, 2011, 12:26:40 pm
If you are likely to be punished for doubting X, X is unlikely to be true.

This is both absurd and perverse.

In general, people who punish doubters do so to protect their privileged positions in a stable society. They neither know nor care whether the beliefs they support are true. It is perverse to use their social position to estimate truth.

If X is true, people who benefit from X will use means more persuasive than punishing doubters.  When authority punishes doubters, this is an admission that authority has been caught lying.

Your experience has been different from mine. Or at least your interpretation of your experience has been different. My experience has been that authorities often punish challengers with no thought to whether their official positions are "true" or not.

Produce examples, as I did.

But you say it does not happen that way. I'm going by my experience

Are you?  Seems to me the experience that you are quoting is that people who doubt what you believe (literal equality of men and women and blacks and whites in the sense of being the same) get punished, and you resent being told that you believe in a state sponsored pious lie.

If you have a more persuasive example from your experience, produce it.


jamesd on January 02, 2011, 12:38:16 pm
Hostile peer review at least gets you published.  The current system says, "No, this paper doesn't fit what we already (think we) know, so can it."

Peer review produces extreme pressure for consensus, and forces people to go along with consensus - which means that scientists will produce authoritative conclusions without the potentially inconvenient necessity of finding and presenting compelling evidence for those conclusions.  We got along fine without peer review from 1277 to 1940.  Why do we now need peer review?

Peer review creates pressure to go along to get along, pressure for false consensus.

J Thomas on January 02, 2011, 12:47:18 pm

Seems to me the experience that you are quoting is that people who doubt what you believe (literal equality of men and women and blacks and whites in the sense of being the same) get punished, and you resent being told that you believe in a state sponsored pious lie.

Today people who claim that some races are inferior, get various subtle punishments. They usually "get away with" saying it, not like the British hate speech laws that make it illegal to say things that might be true just because there's specifically a law against saying it. But there's immediate social disapproval from the general society (though not from some particular racist subcultures). And that disapproval results in job discrimination etc.

Do you deny that there was a time in the US south when people got punished for claiming racial equality?

It looks to me like before date X people got punished for claiming that blacks were not inherently inferior, and after date Y people got punished for claiming that they were. In between X and Y you could sometimes randomly get punished for making either claim.

jamesd on January 02, 2011, 02:27:21 pm
Seems to me the experience that you are quoting is that people who doubt what you believe (literal equality of men and women and blacks and whites in the sense of being the same) get punished, and you resent being told that you believe in a state sponsored pious lie.

Today people who claim that some races are inferior, get various subtle punishments.

It is not subtle at all.  It is more like the Soviet Union around 1980.

They lose their jobs.  Their careers are permanently destroyed.  They can never be hired for a higher status job in a large corporation, and especially not in any governmental or quasi governmental job, or any job in any highly regulated activity.   Only people who have independent businesses, or are in the underclass, or are independently wealthy, or are self employed, or are retired, can afford to disagree.  

In Europe if your disagreement is sufficiently conspicuous they freeze your bank accounts, send around thugs to beat you up (the thugs are supposedy non governmental, supposedly "anarchists" but are never punished, and, strange to report, just happen to be members of a union of government employees) jail you if you are in the country, and retract your passport if you are overseas - and Europeans who disagree tend to be overseas, because it is physically dangerous to disagree if you are in Europe.

TThey usually "get away with" saying it

Not in academia, nor in government, nor in any large corporation.  When businesses are sued for a "hostile work environment", the evidence presented is seldom that anyone displayed hostility to the nominal complainant, but that people employed by the business had forbidden thoughts and therefore might be hostile to the nominal complainant in an unintentional or non over manner - thus it is de facto illegal to employ anyone who thinks forbidden thoughts - that the environment was hostile because of what people might reasonably be suspected of thinking, rather than anything that they were actually doing.  The "hostile work environment" laws are in practice applied as a end run around the first amendment.  The first amendment prohibits hate speech laws in America, so they apply "hostile work environment" law as if it were a hate speech law.  Employing someone guilty of hate speech outside the work environment is a "hostile work environment".

Do you deny that there was a time in the US south when people got punished for claiming racial equality?

I most certainly do deny it.  The idea is ludicrous.

It looks to me like before date X people got punished for claiming that blacks were not inherently inferior,

It looks to me like you are crazy.  Did Mark Twain get punished.  Did Lysander Spooner get punished?  Did anyone at the time even imagine it was possible that they might get punished?

Produce an example of someone punished for arguing that men and women or blacks and whites were literally equal in the sense of being the same.

If you read old books, it is pretty obvious that today is a time of fear, authoritarianism, conformity, and official state doctrine rigidly enforced,   Indeed, to find a time as theocratic and authoritarian as the present, you have to go so far back that the English language gets strange and hard to follow.  There have been times when it was dangerous to say unpatriotic things, dangerous to show sympathy with enemies that we were at war with, or nearly so, but until the late twentieth century, there was never a large body of sacred doctrine with which it is dangerous to disagree, never a long and elaborate line justifying the present social order, a line that can never be doubted.

Such repression as occurred, occurred to maintain cohesion in the face of armed and dangerous external enemies.  We did not see repression merely to support the existing social order against subversion.  In all the history of the english speaking peoples during the time they wrote English in a fashion that I find readable, there has never been a vast body of sacred holy doctrine in support of the existing social order enforced as repressively as today.  There have been times when unpatriotic speech, speech sympathetic to external threats, was repressed, but we never had a big complicated enforced line the way we do today, nor was the target of the repression internal subversion, internal threats.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 02:43:28 pm by jamesd »

GlennWatson on January 02, 2011, 02:28:09 pm
Where did you get the picture of those two skulls?

jamesd on January 02, 2011, 03:42:55 pm
Where did you get the picture of those two skulls?

Google Pintubi modern skull.  Google may suggest you are mispelling PIntupi, but Pintupis are a more modern type.  Insist on Pintubi, accept no substitutes.

That skull is selected for being an extremely primitive looking specimen, rather than being representative, but if you look at photos of Tasmanian aboriginals, even photos selected by the politically correct to make them look as human as possible, or a big collections of Tasmanian aboriginal skulls, they none of them all that different from the Pintubi skull - not as extreme, but not that far from it either.


J Thomas on January 02, 2011, 06:03:18 pm
Where did you get the picture of those two skulls?

It came from here, a blog devoted to, well, you could see for yourself.
http://blog.jim.com/

Jim's Blog almost certainly got it from here.
http://www.canovan.com/
This is a combined photo-alteration/joke shop/anthropology website.

Here is a site devoted to racism that got it from canovan.
http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11365

Here is another site with a section devoted to racism, that got it from canovan.
http://www.thephora.net/forum/showthread.php?t=66850

Here is a site devoted to germanic racism, that got it from canovan.
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=53007&page=2

As near as I can tell, all links everywhere about Pintubi-1 lead back to the Canovan website. Somebody in Australia said it was found around 1905 near the lower Darling River in New South Wales, Australia. There are casts of it, but the original skull is missing.

Nobody's found a second one. I haven't found anything about tests done to it, beyond the photos and Vanhollebeke's descriptions. No tests can be done until it is found.

People are making a whole lot of soup from one missing oyster.

However, there was some other atypical evidence found which sort of fits.
http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~pbrown3/KowS.html

A known person found stuff at a known location. They looked kind of like extinct species to him. There were big parts of 2 skulls and various parts of more than 22 individuals. There was some reason to think the bones had changed shape in the ground. The dating was uncertain but could have been around 20,000 years ago or considerably younger. The details about the bones have not been published, and modern australian aborigines demanded they be reburied and they have been.

It looks quite provocative and might turn into something very interesting.

 

anything