I hit a snag in a post I've been wanting to upload for the last week. It turns out a small mystery I discovered in the leaked DNC e-mails is not quite as small as I had thought. I've downloaded the full collection of DNC e-mails and started running down some ideas/leads, but I don't know if I want to pursue it.
The problem I'm facing is it has been twenty years since the infamous hockey stick paper was published. I've seen a number of articles and blog posts about this (e.g. here). This has me feeling a bit nostalgic. You see, despite 20 years of coverage of the hockey stick debate, the original hockey stick still holds a number of mysteries. The chart was the biggest icon in the global warming debate, yet to this day, we still don't know how a number of things for it were done.
Think about that. The figure is arguably the most iconic image in one of the biggest debates of the last two decades, yet nobody can answer simple questions like, "How did the authors decide which data to use?" That's crazy. Ask anyone, "How did the authors decide which principal components to use?" I guarantee you, they won't know the answer. Nobody does. Some people think they know the answer, but every answer which has been offered so far can easily be proven wrong. Yet people still offer them. People say things which are demonstrably false because they simply won't examine the question. Everyone who does examine it winds up coming away bewildered.
I find that amazing. I would expect iconic work to be closely examined so people could understand it and all of its nuances. Nothing could be further from the truth. Global warming advocates have adamantly refused to give the underlying work for the paper anything more than a cursory glance. Global warming Skeptics have latched onto a number of talking points to "refute" it, but few of them have any real understanding of what the paper did.
That leads me to a question. Does the validity or lack thereof of the original hockey stick matter? If a person could demonstrate, indisputably, it was fraudulent, would it matter? Is there any discussion of the original hockey stick which could possibly change anyone's mind or behavior about anything?
If not, I don't see any point in me talking about it. I'd be better off spending my time on things like the DNC e-mails.
I have a post I planned to run today about a topic which arose from a recent post of mine. It needs a bit more work to finish it up, but I think it is interesting both for it's "big picture" meaning and some of the technical details which are involved. The thing I find most interesting about it is there's a question in it I can't figure out an answer to. I was hoping some public discussion might produce an answer.
But I can't run that post today. As much as I'd like to have a substantive discussion, I just can't since I see an article which came out yesterday which included any number of lines like, "Wind power was all the rage among Nazis, many of whom shared the party's fanatical commitment to the environment." This statement, and many more like it, come from James Delingpole, a prominent member of the global warming Skeptic movement.
This is the same Skeptic movement which likes to freak out any time someone calls them "deniers" because of how that's supposedly comparing them to Holocaust deniers. Why that would be beyond the pale while comparing people to Nazis would be okay is a mystery I could never hope to solve. Continue reading
I've been mulling over how to write this post for a couple days now. The problem I have is what I want to talk about is so ridiculous there is no amount of snark which would be appropriate for it. I was considering writing a post about it without any snark, but I feel like doing that would give a misleading impression about the severity of what I discuss.
After weighing my options, I've decided to write the body of the post without snark while adding this disclaimer to warn people the neutral wording of this post should in no way be taken to indicate what I discuss is not ludicrous. Because it is. This post by Steve McIntyre is, without a doubt, the most absurd thing I've ever seen him write.
And make no mistake, this is no small feat. To this day, McIntyre has refused to acknowledge that Russia invaded Crimea. Russia sent military troops to occupy cities in Crimea, capture government buildings and hold its parliament hostage until they voted to secede from Ukraine.
McIntyre has not denied any of that. He doesn't admit it either. He simply ignores it and says none of that could qualify as an "invasion" because Russia had a treaty with Ukraine which allowed it to have a naval base in Crimea with some troops thers. The United States has military bases in many countries. I am certain he would McIntyre would not say the same if the United States sent troops from one of those bases to a region to occupy cities, capture government buildings and hold the government hostage,
I hope you'll forgive the segue here, but I believe a certain amount of moral outrage is appropriate for Russia's actions and the defense for them given by people like McIntyre. Plus, while today's discussion is about something nowhere near as heinous, it is somehow, more outrageous. And with that, I will refrain from any further rhetoric or snark.
I think my computer is haunted. I've spent several hours examining it today, and here is a small sampling of what I've encountered. On any webpage in Chrome, typing Ctrl+C like you would to copy something is interpreted as typing "". Ctrl+V, used to paste things, is interpreted as "". Backspace isn't recognized as being pressed at all,* but if I hold Ctrl down, it functions as the Delete key. If I open the same page in Firefox, no keys work *unless* I hold down Ctrl, then Ctrl+whatever works like normal.
And that's just the web pages. Firefox has the same problem if I type in its address bar as if I type on a webpage, but Chrome has something different. In Chrome, if I try to type in a web address, Chrome activates the Ctrl-command associated with any key which has one. So if I type the letter a, it uses Ctrl+A to highlight all text. If I type v, it pastes whatever I last copied. So forth and so on.
*For any programmers out there, the key is actually recognized as being pressed down and let up, it just isn't triggering a keypress event to do anything. I have no idea how that's possible.
I am not perfect. Nobody is. I get that. I have made plenty of stupid mistakes in my life. Even so, I don't understand how some mistakes get made. It's even more confusing when those mistakes get included in a publication. For that to happen, the author needs to make the mistake and not notice the mistake while drafting the publication. Then any editors and reviewers have to not notice the mistake. Then usually, readers have to not notice the mistake either.
For some errors, I understand how that might happen. For others, I don't. Today's post is going to discuss an example where several inter-related errors in a publication caused the paper to have dramatically different results than it would have had otherwise.
Visitors to this site will have noticed I've been absent from it for quite some time. The reason for this is simple. I got fed up with the global warming debate because no group, side or organization involved in it I could find has the slightest bit of integrity. I couldn't even find many individuals who did. The result was nothing I said or did seemed to matter since the overall dialogue is nothing but partisan punditry.
I started doing other things with my time, and I had way more fun and got way more out of them. As time went on though, I missed some of the things that had attracted me to the global warming debate in the first place. I never really cared about the debate itself, but I always liked studying, analyzing and learning that came with it. And to be honest, I loved seeing the many absurdities one could find.
As a result, I recently started examining things again. I thought it'd be fun to go back to my original method of reading and studying, without commenting. It was. But as I did it, I once again found things I need to talk about just to "get them off my chest." Because honestly, some things are too good not to share.
I debated about coming back for a couple weeks, but the latest discovery I made is such a doozy it sealed my decision for me. From here on, I'm not going to try to "make a difference." I'm not going to worry about sides, groups or anything tied to society. I know some people will get annoyed at me for saying this, but everyone participating in the global warming debate sucks.
But that doesn't mean people can't have some fun looking at parts of the debate. That's what I plan to do. Tomorrow I'll be back, refreshed and reinvigorated, with a new post that contains what I think may be my most hilarious discovery to date. I won't say it is important, but god, is it funny.
I'm trying to get a bunch of work done on a couple gaming-related projects by Christmas so I'm not spending much time keeping up with things in the blogosphere, but a person drew my attention to a tweet and I had to highlight it:
It's really quite obscene. If you don't know why it's so outrageous, read my response to it:
Lewandowsky and many of his compatriots of his field of study have completely misused simple correlation tests by applying them to highly skewed data sets, violating basic requirements for the tests. The tests require data have a symmetrical distribution (which you can't have in a heavily skewed data set), and because of that requirement, the relationships their results represent will be symmetrical.
Lewandowsky has amazing chutzpah to violate the requirement his data have a symmetrical distribution then turn around and say his results prove there is a symmetrical relationship.
This title is a bit of an exaggeration of the point I want to make today but only a bit of one. And that worries the hell out of me. Continue reading
Lately I've discussed some examples of how the once great site, Climate Audit, has been going downhill as its proprietor, Steve McIntyre, has taken to a strange behavior in which he says and does all sorts of bizarre things which make him seem little more than a mouthpiece for Russian propaganda.
McIntyre complains about being described as such, but at this point, I think it is a completely appropriate description. We've reached the point where McIntyre happily even the most obvious of tricks used in Russian propaganda. Consider, for instance, this tweet of his:
Here, McIntyre slams a group for supporting "Ukraine, one of only three nations in world to vote against UN anti-Nazi resolution." McIntyre apparently feels this is a terrible thing to do, but if so, why doesn't he mention who the other two countries who voted against the resolution were? Maybe it's because he's Canadian, and those two countries are the United States and Canada. I guess he didn't want to admit he refuses to support his homeland due to it being run by Nazi sympathizers.
I've been in something of a writing malaise as of late, and as a result, I've been spending time doing other things, like helping set up a new website I'll be contributing to (for gaming, not cimate stuff). I feel kind of bad about not posting more here, but honestly, the other things I've been doing feel far more productive.
That said, I did see two things I couldn't ignore today on Twitter. I'm going to talk about one today and the other tomorrow. For today's, no real context is needed but most readers have probably heard Senator Roy Moore has been accused of sexually molesting teenage girls. A user on Twitter, who I believe is aso a commenter here, wrote this in regard to those accusations:
Moore's accuser was a 14 year old girl who says he, when he was a 32 years old assistant district attorney, invited her to his house and gave her alcohol. She says they kissed and he undressed the both of them, so that she was weraing just her underwear and bra while he was just wearing underwear. Then, she claims, he made her put her hand on his genitals.
But this isn't pedophilia, because her underwear stayed on!