A recent post may have made you realize I really don't want to discuss conspiracy theories about the alleged chemical attack on the city of Douma by the Syrian government. I've been trying to avoid discussing that topic, especially on Twitter, but I let myself get dragged into it today.
Don't worry. I'm not going to write a long screed about the topic. That's not the point of this post. The point of this post is to show why I didn't want to. I always come away from exchanges on topics like this feeling they were pointless. Most of the time, I find myself putting more work into examining what others say than they did.
This is why I ask people to make their case in a collected, coherent manner with all the requisite information provided in a single location. It almost never happens. I understand doing so requires a fair amount of work, but not doing so simply forces anyone who cares to examine what you say to do the work you refused to do.
Today, I'd like to show a Twitter exchange why I describe the discussions so many people try to get others to participate in are pointless. Also, I'd like to keep a copy for record keeping.
This is probably the hardest thing I've ever written. I've thought about it time and time again. I've tried to write it a hundred times, and I've deleted it for a hundred different reasons. The thoughts and emotions I want to convey are so great no words I could ever come up with could suitably express them. The words I type today will never be adequate.
To Stephen McIntyre, I want to say something. Above and beyond anything else, I want to say this. Thank you.
I've been silent on this site recently because as of late I don't think anything I say matters. As I've mentioned a few times lately, the blog I respected the most used to be Cilmate Audit. It and its proprietor, Steve McIntyre, had a huge impact on me as I grew up.
I discovered McIntyre's first website back when I was in high school, and I followed his the subsequent blog for well over a decade. Following it taught me a great deal, both about technical matters and how the foibles of people shape aspects of our world. I could go on, but I don't want to as I've lost any and all respect for the site as of late.
To demonstrate part of why I've become disillusioned, I'm going to discuss the question of whether or not Hillary Clinton's private mail server got hacked. Following from this, I'll ask, did someone commit a felony by destroying the evidence which would have shown whether or not that server was hacked? Finally, did the person investigating this topic ignore such a felony to cover things up? Thses may seem like strange questions, but they stem from McIntyre stating:
Comey whitewashed the situation, saying that there was no evidence that the Clinton server had been hacked. “No evidence” because all the server logs had been destroyed. Comey ignored the obstruction of justice.
According to McIntyre, the head of the investigation into Clinton's use of a private mail server, James Comey, whitewashed the situation by ignoring a felony then misled people by saying there was "no evidence" Clinton's server had been hacked when that was tautological as the evidence which would have shown such was destroyed. This narrative is delusional.
Last week, I demonstrated how the mathematics which go into calculating "correlation scores" is relatively simple. Today, I'd like to look at some of the steps involved to better understand what correlation scores actually mean.
I've been struggling to find motivation to write posts lately due to being tired of seeing an endless stream of obvious untruths paraded around as fact by people who nobody will call out. I feel like on practical terms, it doesn't matter what is true or not. There are a ton of topics I want to talk about. I just struggle to see why should I put time and effort into writing when what I write will be no more accepted than if I took LSD and wrote out whatever delusional ideas I might wind up having.
Things went well yesterday, but the painkillers are making my head a little fuzzy. As such, I figured it'd be a good time to write up something I probably should have written up a while back. You see, over a month ago Steve McIntyre wrote this about the recent Gergis et al paper:
Gergis et al 2016 stated that they screened proxies according to significance of the correlation to local gridcell temperature. Law Dome d18O not only had a significant correlation to local temperature, but had a higher t-statistic (and correlation) to local instrumental temperature than:
24 of the 28 proxies retained by Gergis in her screened network;
either of the other two long proxies (Mt Read, Oroko Swamp tree ring chronologies);
Nonetheless, the Law Dome d18O series was excluded from the Gergis et al network. Gergis effected her exclusion of Law Dome not because of deficient temperature correlation, but through an additional arbitrary screening criterion, which excluded Law Dome d18O, but no other proxy in the screened network.
This was a serious accusation he and I had actually discussed in e-mails before he wrote that post. As I told him in those e-mails, I couldn't find a way to replicate his results. I asked him to confirm the data he was using matched what I was using, but that didn't happen. When he wrote the post, I asked again. I asked again later via e-mail, again without success.
Mind you, McIntyre never said, "No," and I think he does intend to do this eventually. I tried to be patient, but given the seriousness of McIntyre's accusations and how they appear to be completely wrong, I think waiting over a month is more than sufficient.