...Why scientific programming does not compute

Rod
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RE: We too have a local

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We too have a local farmer's market ( typically from small holdings ), with a more recently acquired 'organic' label ( though it is hard to pin down exactly what that means ) but in any case does a brisk trade even at the ~ 20% higher price average. Partly that is due to the belief ( or actuality ) that the food is better and tastes better, but also as a deliberate consumer kickback against the larger supermarket chains. In the last 20 or so years they have done two obnoxious things : (a) Wiped out local small businesses in rural/remote areas ( creating an effective monopoly by the tyranny of distance ) via deliberate loss leading ( below cost price buyout of market share ) followed by recouping that 'investment' many fold in later years and (b) providing 'specials' not by taking a profit hit but by deliberate abrogation of price/quantity/conditions on future's contracts with smaller producers ( we're not paying the cartage, take it or leave it, it's rotting as we speak, so sue us .... ). Shades of Lake Wobegon Days .... :-)

It looks to me that those holdings are becoming part of the problem. Again it boils down to consumer 'informed' choice when you have it. It seems south of the border, I have seen reports they are heading for an epidemic of type 2 diabetes.

It also good to support things that are not on most consumer's radar or else they disappear. Like small broccoli.:-). It would be a tragedy if small broccoli disappeared.

The land is certified organic here, not the produce.

edit: I should not have made that remark about type 2 diabetes. I can't back it up.

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Mike Hewson
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RE: It looks to me that

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It looks to me that those holdings are becoming part of the problem.


Sorry, perhaps my poor wording. I was referring to the supermarket chains being obnoxious and the success of small market gardeners ( selling locally ) riding on consumer backlash to such big business tactics.

As regards type II diabetes ( careful : exactly what this means can depend on which medical 'school' is speaking ), then in the US this is overwhelmingly related to having too much body mass with respect to pancreas size. [ You have to say that carefully as there's an enormous emotional load on that triple-letter 'f' word. ] Since the pancreas ( read : insulin factory ) stops growing when you do at the end of puberty, then even a fully functioning one can't keep up with the daily insulin quantities required over a certain body weight. Medication can stimulate more insulin production, or optimise the effect of insulin ( plus some other cleverness ) but the key issue remains weight. I have treated numerous people where diabetes simply goes away with weight loss.

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It also good to support things that are not on most consumer's radar or else they disappear. Like small broccoli.:-). It would be a tragedy if small broccoli disappeared.


I wasn't aware of the 'small' distinction with broccoli! :-)

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The land is certified organic here, not the produce.


I counted about six definitions locally, and like most labels I think there's probably a huge incentive to corner that meaning for one's own production ....

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

mikey
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RE: RE: It looks to me

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It looks to me that those holdings are becoming part of the problem.

Sorry, perhaps my poor wording. I was referring to the supermarket chains being obnoxious and the success of small market gardeners ( selling locally ) riding on consumer backlash to such big business tactics.

As regards type II diabetes ( careful : exactly what this means can depend on which medical 'school' is speaking ), then in the US this is overwhelmingly related to having too much body mass with respect to pancreas size. [ You have to say that carefully as there's an enormous emotional load on that triple-letter 'f' word. ] Since the pancreas ( read : insulin factory ) stops growing when you do at the end of puberty, then even a fully functioning one can't keep up with the daily insulin quantities required over a certain body weight. Medication can stimulate more insulin production, or optimise the effect of insulin ( plus some other cleverness ) but the key issue remains weight. I have treated numerous people where diabetes simply goes away with weight loss.

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It also good to support things that are not on most consumer's radar or else they disappear. Like small broccoli.:-). It would be a tragedy if small broccoli disappeared.

I wasn't aware of the 'small' distinction with broccoli! :-)

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The land is certified organic here, not the produce.

I counted about six definitions locally, and like most labels I think there's probably a huge incentive to corner that meaning for one's own production ....

Cheers, Mike.

My mother in law is an organic farmer, only growing enough for herself though, and has run into MANY people that think Miracle Grow fertilizer is 'organic'! The problem is that to most people organic means using all natural ingredients and since Miracle Grow is just fertilizer, it MUST be organic! LOTS of farmers around my area, just South of Washington DC, claim to be 'organic' but when pressed reveal many non organic procedures. So although they claim to be organic many in fact are not, I think there needs to be an organization that will certify a farm or whatever organic so that we consumers can believe the claims! Using SOME 'organic' procedures some times does not make you an 'organic' farmer!! Some farmers think that because when they plow their fields whatever is on top is tilled under makes them an 'organic' farmer, but they also think the later applications of non organic fertilizers and other chemicals, should not effect that! I compost my garden stuff too, that does NOT make me an 'organic' gardener!!

Rod
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RE: RE: RE: It looks to

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Quote:
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It looks to me that those holdings are becoming part of the problem.

Sorry, perhaps my poor wording. I was referring to the supermarket chains being obnoxious and the success of small market gardeners ( selling locally ) riding on consumer backlash to such big business tactics.

As regards type II diabetes ( careful : exactly what this means can depend on which medical 'school' is speaking ), then in the US this is overwhelmingly related to having too much body mass with respect to pancreas size. [ You have to say that carefully as there's an enormous emotional load on that triple-letter 'f' word. ] Since the pancreas ( read : insulin factory ) stops growing when you do at the end of puberty, then even a fully functioning one can't keep up with the daily insulin quantities required over a certain body weight. Medication can stimulate more insulin production, or optimise the effect of insulin ( plus some other cleverness ) but the key issue remains weight. I have treated numerous people where diabetes simply goes away with weight loss.

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It also good to support things that are not on most consumer's radar or else they disappear. Like small broccoli.:-). It would be a tragedy if small broccoli disappeared.

I wasn't aware of the 'small' distinction with broccoli! :-)

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The land is certified organic here, not the produce.

I counted about six definitions locally, and like most labels I think there's probably a huge incentive to corner that meaning for one's own production ....

Cheers, Mike.

My mother in law is an organic farmer, only growing enough for herself though, and has run into MANY people that think Miracle Grow fertilizer is 'organic'! The problem is that to most people organic means using all natural ingredients and since Miracle Grow is just fertilizer, it MUST be organic! LOTS of farmers around my area, just South of Washington DC, claim to be 'organic' but when pressed reveal many non organic procedures. So although they claim to be organic many in fact are not, I think there needs to be an organization that will certify a farm or whatever organic so that we consumers can believe the claims! Using SOME 'organic' procedures some times does not make you an 'organic' farmer!! Some farmers think that because when they plow their fields whatever is on top is tilled under makes them an 'organic' farmer, but they also think the later applications of non organic fertilizers and other chemicals, should not effect that! I compost my garden stuff too, that does NOT make me an 'organic' gardener!!

If anybody has the time:-)

This what Organic means Canada

[url=http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/organic/032_0310_2006-e_Amended%20Oct%202008-dec%2009(Internet%20version).pdf] Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards [/url]

Organic is more than better tasting or more healthy food ( I never grabbed on to that ideology). It about balanced sustainable food production. It not the answer to all our food production. Just one more tool.

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Mike Hewson
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RE: If anybody has the

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If anybody has the time:-)

This what Organic means Canada

[url=http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/organic/032_0310_2006-e_Amended%20Oct%202008-dec%2009(Internet%20version).pdf] Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards [/url]


Well looking past the evident committee camel aspect and a couple of silly 'green' bloopers - they advocate 'flames' to increase CO2 levels in greenhouses without specifying what to burn! But I think to get CO2 you have start with something that contains carbon? But I also see they didn't mention methane once! :-) :-)

I was also surprised to see a pre-emptive strike against nano-technology! :-)

Be interesting to fully analyse the document and see what else they are externalising. I thought that removal from the herd of any animal that has more than two veterinary treatments per year ( even if fully instigated and enacted by non-veterinarians with each instance ) was a bit harsh. That pretty well excludes cow&calf milk-fed beef that is common around my area, which routinely exceed that in the month either side of calving ( brucellosis, milk fever, post-partum tetany .... ). Since cow&calf is a yearly cycle ( or so ) then you'd lose at least one fifth of your breeders per year and the twinning rate isn't high enough to cover that ( and this none-the-less leaves the problem of bonding a calf with a cow which is not it's mother ). You'd have to bring in new stock to cover that, but that's just a cost shift. And could leave the possibility of two 'organic' farmers simply swapping the difficult births while claiming each as clean skins.

But at least they are trying to define stuff, we don't have anything near the thoroughness of that document. I'm not aware of any such overarching guidelines of that nature.

What is about alot DownUnda are per-product producer/processor contracts and standards, without using the 'organic' word. So my mate who does milk-fed beef has a pretty strict definition of what winds up at market. In his case his beef goes to high-end restaurants and export. It's testing of the meat/kidneys/liver where the rubber meets the road. One breach is a twelve month exclusion from that market avenue and three strikes you're out for good.

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Organic is more than better tasting or more healthy food ( I never grabbed on to that ideology). It about balanced sustainable food production. It not the answer to all our food production. Just one more tool.


I'd say the consumers down here are more ego-centric, they want the best for themselves ( and thus to support efforts that sustain that ) - hence taste and health. I can't see that many are extending the thinking beyond a close personal radius, so not much of the 'balanced' there.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Matt Giwer
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RE: RE: In the real world

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In the real world one increases the measurements in places where there are gaps such as in the LHC rather than arbitrarily and deterministically changing the data set of well understood regions. Rather than do the hard work equivalent to an LHC are changing what is known. Fact: Anything which changes the raw data makes statistics inapplicable because of the foundation of statistical theory.

If you really think that then there's no way I can convince you of anything beyond it. But I don't think you realize just how many branches of science that excludes.

Enlighten me. Name the ones excluded. I'll spot you political science.

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One more thing though: I wasn't talking about models that work on modified data, I was talking about models that work based on implicit assumptions and ideas about modelling strategies - which includes just about every model out there. Of course, whichever way you look at it, the fact remains that you're really just 'playing with data' to draw your conclusions. That's true for even the simplest or weakest (most generalized) models. My point is that this doesn't make them invalid, as long as they have predictive value (which things like psycho-analysis don't).

Models are elusive things. An electromechanical device can be "modelled" as an electronic LRC circuit. That is on the primitive side but was at one time the state of the art.

Modelling is an art not a science.

A legitimate computer model addresses the actual physical properties, all of them. On a planetary scale we do not know all the physical properties in play nor their behavior such that they can be simplified to actually produce results in a reasonable and affordable period of time.

The key thing with every model is validation which you note in saying it has predictive value. Although implied it means correct predictions.

A model can be used to make all the predictions one likes but until those predictions actually come to pass the model is not validated. Only after there is an actual temperature increase or whatever is predicted there is no know to declare the model validated.

And here is the Catch-22. It is only by changing nothing that a model can a prediction be validated. That means not only sticking with oil but in fact behaving as the assumptions of the model require such as a steady increase in oil consumption.

In other words if the use of oil flatlines tomorrow the assumption of the model is no longer true. Also if the rate of increase of oil usage increases tomorrow the model is also invalidated. Only if the future behavior of people is as the model assumes and if people behave as though these modelling efforts were academic projects of no public interest then if the predictions of the model occur then and only then can the model be considered validated.

Bottom line, until a "disaster" occurs there is no validated way of predicting a disaster.

Second bottom line, anything done in response to a model prediction invalidates the model.

We see this sort of problem every hurricane season. Ordering an evacuation based upon a prediction can be more expensive than remaining silent. Hurricanes differ from warming in that there are decades of experience. And even with these decades of experience expensive mistakes both ways are still made.

With warming there is no experience. How can anything rational be said?

Matt Giwer
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RE: RE: Fact: Anything

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Fact: Anything which changes the raw data makes statistics inapplicable because of the foundation of statistical theory.

I think what you may mean is that attempting to reliably deduce population statistics/trends from sample statistics is invalidated when there is a non-random selection of data points ( which is what the CRU matter demonstrated as a deliberate ploy, it was inbuilt within their research to depth - including long standing coding mechanisms ). But I reckon you are right in a sense, if you change the data set you have to re-do the analysis. Is that what you had in mind?

Yes, I meant non-random but had covered that in previous posts. A deterministic change reduces the statistics to being useful only to estimate the effect of the change. Clearly there are ways to preserve the validity of statistical data but it entails randomly eliminating data to make all sample sets equal not filling in data sets that are sparse.

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BTW - has anyone else here actually reviewed the primary ( online ) revealed log from CRU ( that is : the un-edited literal words of the researchers within the context that they themselves endow )? I don't mean derivative spin commentaries and whatnot, but the complete and actual words from the horse's mouth? This should, in my opinion, lay to rest any worries about anti-AGW conspiracies arising from this matter. It really was all their own work. But heck, I beg you not to take my word for a damn thing! Read for yourself .... you have an un-rivalled opportunity! :-)

I took a shot at it but it is not really possible which is as expected. They do not even rise to the level of a formal exchange and the entire context of years of professional relationship and face to face discussions is unknowable. It is as easy to put a negative spin on them as it is to make them positive. It is said Einstein did a lot of politicking to have General Relativity accepted to the point of organizing the eclipse test and had some nasty words for those who disagreed with him. That does not invalidate GR.

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It is interesting that the LHC is mentioned. The entire field of high energy physics is littered with excellent lessons upon how to approach statistics, sampling problems, measurement error, experimental theory dynamic and good old fashion luck & stuff-ups! Also Einstein was appointed to the Swiss patent office partly on his ability and experience with the problems of direct physical measurements - as then mentioned in what we would now call his 'resume'.

Cheers, Mike.

If people listened to me they would stop listening to those who solve their problems by imagining new particles and adding dimensions. It is perhaps good the world does not listen to me.

The pseudo-philosophical point is an implication that because we discover what we measure the discovery is an artefact of the measurement method. It only sounds profound when talking about measuring things on the cutting edge but the exact same observation applies to the meter stick. In both cases they merely quantify what has been observed. Neither creates what is being observed.

Matt Giwer
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RE: My Apologies for this

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My Apologies for this hijack. I would like to broaden the question and state maybe we should stop relying on scientists to solve our problems:-)
From IEEE Spectrum:

Why Engineers Must try to Save The World

_______________________________
I am just throwing this out there. I really don't have an opinion on anything lately.. :-)

On the other hand one can change this entire perception by focussing on the myriad of engineers who made the Manhattan Project possible. One doubts the scientists contributed anything to building the centrifuges and diffusion screens nor chemically separating plutonium nor in learning how to machine either metal.

Which scientist developed the explosives? Learning to ignite so many charges at the "same" time, same being defined as at the edge of being able to measure what same means?

There are dozens of examples of new technology that had to be developed to make the bombs possible.

And on the other hand it is often a struggle to convince people e=mc^2 had nothing more to do with making the bomb than understanding chemistry had to do with making gunpowder. The scientists at Los Alamos were doing mostly engineering type work. They were the kind of scientists engineering companies keep on staff for engineers to consult when they get results that do not work according to established engineering principles. The bomb was mostly a high level engineering project.

OTOH, try The Shape of Things to Come and join Wings over the World. See? We can do it ourselves without Michael Rennie's threats.

Human nature not knowledge drives events.

Rod
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I agree, Like you said, it

I agree, Like you said, it was scientists doing engineering work..:-)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Matt Giwer
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RE: Organic is more than

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Organic is more than better tasting or more healthy food ( I never grabbed on to that ideology). It about balanced sustainable food production. It not the answer to all our food production. Just one more tool.

Penn and Teller addressed the "taste better" idea. The results were fore-ordained just like their test of bottled water.

But organic is not an answer and never can be due to the amount of food farms must produce to meet the demand. Without artificial fertilizer there is only rotation of nitrogen fixing crops taking 1/3 of the land out of production. Not a good idea.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about farming. Take the common view that the entire world could be fed if the US would simply grow only grain and such with some nonsense numbers thrown in. Fact is a lot of land cannot grow grain of a quality people are willing to eat even before addressing the transportation costs to the hungry people still puts it out of their reach and if they are hungry enough to eat what we would only feed to animals.

On top of that not all grain is of the same quality every year or at times even on the same farm in the same year. Once what producers need has been sold does one burn the leftovers or feed it to animals? And when rotating crops there is no need to let the alfalfa go to waste when food animals can eat it. And one does not grow legumes as that would saturate the market and it could not be sold. And then there are market vagaries in demand and many years when too many farmers bet on the same thing and there is a unsaleable surplus of human quality food.

When you look at the big picture most of our meat animals are raised simply to find a productive use for low quality crops and to make use of low quality land. No one is going hungry because of our food animals.

The problem in the developing world is that it cannot seem to increase its production beyond the subsistence level but that same subsistence level existed back when their populations were half or a quarter or less than they are today. Whatever their problem is they are doing something wrong overall as they can obviously double their food production to match a double population. One might almost declare they are satisfied with subsistence level living.

Lets look back half a century when the coming crisis was a world population of 60 billion in 2050 with no end in sight -- praise Malthus! Since then the peak population has not only fallen to around 13B but a decline is predicted after 2050. The only demographic factor that tracks this change is the fraction of the population living in cities.

But this gets us back to being satisfied with subsistence level living because the smaller fraction on the farms is producing the food for the greater fraction of non-farmers living in cities. Fifty years ago their farming methods which have hardly changed were able to produce food not just for double the population of back then but also enough to feed the much greater fraction of non-farmers. Meaning they could have produced at least four times as much food but they did not. Again one is tempted to say they are satisfied with subsistence level living.

Clearly there is something different between the west and the developing world. What it might be is anyone's guess.

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