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What has been going on around December 14, 2008

Posted by dorigo in Blogroll, internet.
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I occasionally realize that this blog is a dead end of web surfers, not so much for its content -who cares about content these days- but for the lack of meaningful links. Apart from the blogroll column on the right, in fact, I am very, very lazy with html tags, and my posts have no “further reading” links at the bottom as those of some tidier bloggers.

So let me make an attempt at doing my share of sewing for the internet today. Here are a few blogs that have recently discussed things worth reading.

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Comments

1. Luboš Motl - December 14, 2008

Dear Tommaso,

I am probably not going to fiddle with it too much (partly because it’s too slow to extract the global data from their servers; very long time series from local, isolated stations are much faster). It’s amazing software setup and the people who are deeply into climatology and meteorology should surely buy Mathematica 7. I am convinced that a system to switch all the temperature-measuring team to the Mathematica system (UAH, RSS, GISS, HadCRUT3) should be devised. But I am kind of missing the bigger point here.

Clearly, when you look into a sufficient amount of data, there is no “global warming” in them that would be worth talking about and “global warming” is really the only point claimed to be “new” and “qualitative” about meteorology and climatology in recent decades. Instead, what you see is a lot of the ordinary weather fluctuations. Fine. Common sense and basic experience tells you how the temperature and its variations depend on latitude, distance from the ocean, moment during the day or night, seasons, and so on.

You can draw the pressure and the wind and try to optimize all kinds of pre-motivated differential equations to simulate these things. I am sure that it can be done in a much better way than the current meteorology does, i.e. by a self-adaptive combination of pre-believed equations with parameters and fits made to agree with the predictions of the past – but is that really so important? It’s clear that there will always be limitations to such forecasts etc. It’s pretty clear that most of the effects suspected to play some role – PDO, ENSO dynamics, perhaps solar activity, CO2 etc. – do play some role. It’s about some detailed numbers and fitting.

I was never too attracted by these “dirty sciences” because the results (and paradigm shifts) are never quite “qualitative” and no questions are ever “settled”. Also, the worst students of physics in all departments I know of were going to meteorology (BTW this discipline also has the highest proportion of women among physics disciplines). One of the bad things about the current climate hysteria is that it promotes an inferior discipline pursued by some not-quite-brilliant and not-quite-science-oriented people, and this is simply a bad reshuffling of scientific hierarchies and priorities.

Instead, I am probably going to check how much data from the other regions of knowledge Mathematica offers – e.g. to draw some similarity graphs for stock prices in infinite-dimensional spaces, principal components etc. Of course, the character is analogous here. There are some broad patterns that are partly predictable and a lot of detailed noise added (even at long time scales) that is not predictable.

Best wishes
Lubos

2. Daniel de França MTd2 - December 15, 2008

“BTW this discipline also has the highest proportion of women among physics disciplines”

Hmm! I guess Lubos had a lot of fun in the meteorology departament! :D

3. Count Iblis - December 15, 2008

So, when can we expect Lubos’ paper debunking global warming to appear?

4. Codger - December 15, 2008

“So, when can we expect Lubos’ paper debunking global warming to appear?”

As soon as it does, he will be persecuted by a feminist/meteorological cabal who will force him to resign from his position as janitor at the brewery.

5. Luboš Motl - December 15, 2008

Dear Daniel,

in the college, some of my good friends were doing weather science, and yes, some of them were women. None of them had any doubts that the weather science department as the least demanding discipline a physics student could choose.

It’s just completely beyond me how such elementary things could ever remain a taboo. Every student who is choosing his or her specialization must know what’s going on, what it means to be here or there, how difficult it is, how smart the people are, and what they can roughly do in the near and far future.

And everyone knew that the percentage of women in the department of maths and physics was very low – because everyone saw it. And everyone knew that they have a higher percentage in the teaching specializations which were separate from “real” physics (and maths and computer science), for obvious reasons – yes, that’s where the typical students could possibly find girlfriends.

And everyone knew that in the physics disciplines, the women were much more often to be weather scientists, and everyone knew that with a very few exceptions, girls still have problems with the hard technical stuff. Everyone knew that a large fraction of the instructors give deliberately better grades to girls – not because of political correctness but because of their gentlemanly manners and/or attempts to pick them or compassion with their looks.

It is completely insane to try to hide any of these things, and I am happy to be away from the 1984-style aggressive and hateful loons similar to “Codger” who want to do these things. By the way, astronomy was the 2nd least demanding after weather science. I suppose it’s still the case.

Count Iblis, I don’t enjoy to deliberately discover the wheel – at least not an ordinary wheel – in most cases. Global warming has been thoroughly debunked and only nuts who can’t interpret the graphs or look at thermometers believe that there exists any substantial enough to be predictable warming trend. What else do you want to debunk? This is not an issue for science anymore. It’s about a group brainwashing and political goals.

No sane person believes that there is global warming worth talking about, and no lunatic is going to listen to rational arguments or evidence, anyway. We’re unfortunately past this point and what will follow will be dangerous conflicts.

Best wishes
Lubos

6. mfrasca - December 15, 2008

Hi Tommaso,

thank you very much for pointing to my blog. Greatly appreciated.

Ciao,

Marco

7. Daniel de França MTd2 - December 15, 2008

This guy seems to support Global Warming alarmists, including money:

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=Witten&fname=Edward

Is it possible that he is an irrational global warming alarmist?

http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/what_you_can_do/prominent-statement.html

Nah!

8. dorigo - December 15, 2008

Hi Lubos,

I am not going to enter the topic of global warming with you, because I know you are sensitive to it and I do not fancy being called names by your mr. Hyde personality. But maybe you should trust Ed Witten.

Hi Codger,

I must admit your comment made me LOL. But I disagree that because somebody can be excessively rude one has the right of taking easy shots at him.

Hi Marco,

you’re welcome -the link pointing to your posts is the most meaningful in the pack.

Cheers all,
T.

9. Luboš Motl - December 15, 2008

Dear Daniel,

I know about Edward Witten’s links with the UCS and similar extremist advocacy groups. It doesn’t inhibit my respect for his physics but yes, when it comes to politics (and warming), he’s just insane.

The amount of money he has donated to the left-wing politicians according to the page you mentioned is just amazing. By a percentage of income, his donations almost certainly put him to the top 1% of politically most active or concerned people in the world.

Dear Tommaso,

as you might expect, I don’t think that Edward Witten knows 1% about the climate that I do, so if you kindly allow, I will pay no attention to his opinions unless there is a new rational reason. The links in #7 themselves may actually be enough to demonstrate sufficiently that Witten’s opinions about the climate and similar things have 0% to do with science and 100% to do with politics.

Best wishes
Lubos

10. Guess Who - December 15, 2008

#8: Lack of politeness may be unattractive. Lack of integrity is intolerable.

11. Daniel de França MTd2 - December 15, 2008

Yes, indeed. Witten is really crazy because he donated a lot of money for political reasons, without thinking. Like, he has a lot of political ambitions… in stuff. He blindly follows leaders like, people. And he doesnt even have time to make articles!

12. Luboš Motl - December 15, 2008

Dear Daniel,

Witten received his degree in history, with minor in linguistics, and he indeed had the ambition to be a political journalist.

http://www.speedylook.com/Edward_Witten.html

He published in The New Republic and The Nation. Then he worked – well, yes, pretty blindly – on the presidential campaign of George McGovern (lost to Nixon in 1972), before turning to David Gross and doing slightly more valuable stuff.

So except for your last sentence about the articles, what you write is exactly correct, including the huge donations to the politicians that you revealed yourself. I am just not sure whether you realize that what you write is actually correct.

Best
Lubos

13. Daniel de França MTd2 - December 15, 2008

Hi Tommaso,

Talking about what’s happening around… I would really be happy if you answered #5 and #6 here:

http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/top-quark-mass-measured-with-neutrino-phi-weighting/

Are those really stupid questions

Cheers,

Daniel.

14. Louise - December 23, 2008

Hi Tommaso, thanks for the link! Christmas will bring photos of an even cooler set of wheels.

15. Стихи о любви - December 30, 2008

It’s very intresting information!!!
Thank’s you!


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