2011-10-22 16:47:52Has Watts been a victim of a practical joke?
John Cook


Intriguing email:

Hi John,

Have you seen this,

Has Watts been a victim of a practical joke?

Using the SCIgen tool or similar (http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/) you will get a paper with real science related words but combined in a way to confound. Any graphs or charts would then have to be vague with poor or non existent captions.

With a bit of touching up, this is exactly what Watts has allowed to be published. But the real clincher for me is the lack of introduction. How could someone write one about randomly generated sciency sounding rubbish without giving the game away? What better to do than just ask 'the community to think about'?

I also cannot find any record of the alleged author and their academic record - who is this guy?

Perhaps I'm wrong and I'm just too stupid to understand these things, it wouldn't be the first time, but my suspicion is that there is more going on here than a tentative attempt to publish real research.

Perhaps you might be interested in this and be in a better position to find out what this is all about.

2011-10-28 14:50:58
Julian Brimelow

Hey John,


You are the solar guru.  It looks like gibbersih to me. Perhaps one can try and use the engione to replicate it?  I did some Googlin, he has posted at WUWT before, so unless someone is doing multiple pranks....

Regardless, if this has not already been done.  The above message gives me an an excellent, if not evil idea.....it would be an excellent way to expose Watts et al. ;)  Watts might be vulnerable right now b/c he is so busy reviewing papers (probably E&E as you noted).

2011-10-28 14:54:41


John: my first thoughts are that the topic is way over the heads of the WUWT crowd.

The major topic is cycles generally, with sub topics of e.g. Morlet wavelets and chaos theory.  The basic premis seems to be that intuitively minor influences on climate may generate what I would call 'resonances': cycles on the lines of the Milankovitch cycles.  Taken together, these minor influences are said to probably equate to fractions of a degree Kelvin variations in global temperatures.

For background, please read this.