In face of intense criticism from alarmist scientists, Dr. John Christy went to great lengths in a Tuesday congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming th an surface thermometers.
“That’s where the real mass of the climate system exists in terms of the atmosphere,” Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama and Alabama’s state climatologist, said in a Wednesday hearing before the House science committee.
“When a theory contradicts the facts” you need to change the theory, Christy said. “The real world is not going along with rapid warming. The models need to go back to the drawing board.”
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
I have commented before that it is getting increasingly difficult to distinguish reality from satire. Now from Finland is a state-made video advising women on how to ward off sexual predators.
I have tried and tried to make sure that this is not a satire video, but sadly, it is, as best as I can ascertain, genuine. And it is appalling.
Honestly, my first reaction seeing this was, "The Force is strong with this one!" I am sure the "Stop!" technique would be even more effective if the woman says, "I am not the rape victim you are looking for."
Then there is this smartphone video made by an attendee at a town meeting in Germany. One gathers from the video (English subtitles) that there is a Muslim migrant camp in or on the edge of town. The townspeople want to know what the mayor is going to do to ensure the safety of schoolchildren, especially girls, who walk near the camp on the way to and from school. There were events recently that caused real concerns among families.
The mayor's answer? "Don't provoke them and don't walk in these areas."
Needless to say, this does not go down well with the town's families.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Ah, the Bernie Sanders camp is crying Foul this morning:
Then there is the fact that in at least six precincts (that we know of so far) Hillary attained a bare majority of votes literally on a coin toss. Which is to say that the Clinton side called the coin flip accurately six times, the odds of which are 64:1 against. Which is to say a 1.5 percent chance.
However, that calculation would seem valid only if the same person (or candidate's rep) made the call all six times. But Hillary-camp did not make all six calls. The WaPo mentions one toss that was called (wrong) by Sanders' side and presumably there were others.
If each side got to call three tosses, then what are the odds that Clinton would still win all six? Another way of asking is, What are the odds that Sanders' side would choose wrong three times and Clinton's choose right three times?
For Sanders' side to choose wrong the first time is one chance in two, or .5. The same chance pertains for the other two flips, also, so the odds stack thus in getting all three flips wrong: .5 X .5 X.5, which equals .125, or 12.5 percent (8:1). That does not seem to dauntingly out of the realm of possibility. In fact, if the Powerball lottery had winning odds of 8:1, I'd buy nine tickets every time! Of course, the same calculation is used for Hillary's odds of choosing the winning toss three times.
So there is a one in eight chance that Sanders will choose his three flips wrong, and the same that Hillary will choose her three flips right. Combined, the chance of Hillary winning all six tosses are .125 X .125=.015, right? So doesn't that put us back to where we started?
Nope. Each toss is an independent event: one toss coming up heads neither increases nor decreases that chance that a subsequent toss will land either way, nor does it affect the probability that the next call will be more or less likely to be right or wrong. There were six separate tosses, each with a .5 chance of landing as called.
The second reason is that while it might make sense to link each candidate's prediction together to multiply probabilities, I do not think you can cross from Sanders to Hillary and link their respective probabilities together. There were, in a sense, not six coin tosses that Hillary won, there were two sets of three tosses. Hillary won one set and Sanders lost the other, and those two outcomes are not necessarily probabilistically related, even though they are politically related.
Further complicating this is the fact that the actual calculation needed is not the odds of the coins falling heads or tails. The coins landed sometimes one, sometimes the other. The odds that need to be calculated are not those of heads or tails, but the odds that the caller will accurately predict which.
And this teaches us why intuition is not reliable when calculating probability. There is a 50-50 chance that a toss will fall heads. But there is also a 50-50 chance that a caller will call heads in advance. So intuitively, it would seem that you have right off the bat a .5 X .5 = .25, or 25 percent chance that the call will be accurate. And then for three calls in a row, .25*.25*.25, or .015 chance that all three calls will be right, meaning that Hillary's win of all tosses is a truly astounding .015*.015, or 0.000225 (0.0225 percent)!
Except it isn't. You can see why easily by charting the pairing of possible calls and with possible outcomes:
You can see that the chance remains 0.5 to make the correct call. There are four possible call/fall pairings and the caller wins two and loses two.
Update: Is it an error to connect these coin tosses as a sequence? I could argue that they are not. They were in fact independent events that each had nothing to do with each other - separate coins, separate players, separate locations, different times. Hillary's team called some and Sanders' team called others. Hillary in fact did not win six tosses; she won some and Sanders lost the others, as I explained above. There's a difference.
There may be no more reason to chain these together as a mathematically-linked sequence than to link her correct calls with the odds that a NY cabbie could make a run through three or four consecutive green lights.
But someone out there with actual training in probability and statistics, leave a comment!
Update: Now news media are reporting that there were many more coin tosses than just these six. The WaPo:
The initial 6-for-6 report, from the Des Moines Register missed a few Sanders coin-toss wins. (There were a lot of coin tosses!) The ratio of Clinton to Sanders wins was closer to 50-50, which is what we'd expect.
Categories: Election 2016
A long time ago, Gerard Vanderleun made the pages of the Saturday Evening Post, which
was at the time is America's oldest still-extant periodical. (Alas, it is extant no longer.) Correction: Gerard emails, "Saturday Evening Post is still being published. My mother is a subscriber and an old friend, Steve Slon, is the editor."
Gerard was a Leftist radical back in the day, 1966, and IIRC was actually a founding member of the U.C. Berkeley Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, whose most important training slogan to raise up more young radicals was, "The issue isn't the issue." In 1966, Berkeley was the unchallenged place to be to join the vanguard of the revolution to remake America into a fairer, more just, more equitable society, blah, blah, blah.
If you keep up with Gerard these days at his American Digest blog (and you really, really should) you know that he long ago abandoned the empty plate of leftism and is one of the strongest proponents you'll find for personal liberty flowering within a constrained state. I grabbed the photo above from this post.
It used to be used to be an annual tradition of Esquire's January edition to ask, "Why is this man laughing?" - same photo every year:
|Why is this man laughing?|
|Why is this man pointing?|
1. "No, the Bernie Sanders statue should be erected over there by our grandkids. Or maybe Trump's. We'll have to wait and see."
2. "There wolf. There castle. What big knockers you have!"
3. "No, this is UC Berkeley, not Liberty University. It's that way. You should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque."
Monday, February 1, 2016
Sunday, January 31, 2016
We are all going to die!
"Andromeda smash-up: distant galaxy is rushing towards Earth at one million mph - with no hope of deviation"
It is, once again,The End Of Life As We Know It! Let me count the ways:
- The giant asteroid that could be on course to hit Earth causing massive devastation!
- Or the scenario this year as an obscure Planet X -- or Nibiru -- heads toward or collides into Earth.
- Or that "Unseen dark comets 'could pose deadly threat to earth'."
- That's if we live long enough - doubtful because of the comet Genondahwayanung is on its way back and it pretty much annihilated most life in North America when it came here the first time.
- Not to worry about that, though, since we face supernova and galaxy-attack scenarios.
- And then the massive gas cloud speeding toward a collision with the Milky Way!
- But really, who cares about threats from outer space when out own atmosphere may detonate?
- And then the asteroids.
- Then the black hole death stars!
- And we might be swallowed whole by the sun.
- And there's an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way.
- Then there was the fear that "human society is very quickly headed to a violent and disturbing end."
- Then the earth began to kill people for changing its climate.
- Then there is the voracious, galactic Hoover in Switzerland that will suck the whole planet into a black hole.
- And the massive destruction along the coasts of countries like the USA, UK and many on the African continent, within a matter of hours.
- But don't worry about the universe collapsing since that cannot happen before our galaxy rams into another one.
- Don't forget that The Universe is Going to Collapse anyway!
- Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom.
- The Internet is going to kill every one of us!
- There is a stellar Death Star coming right at us. Surrounded by whirling comets, it's like a stellar shotgun!
- The universe is just going to collapse in The Big Cosmic Crunch!
This calls for a rock song!
This was "settled science" back then.