...Why scientific programming does not compute

mikey
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RE: Another ploy, if you

Quote:

Another ploy, if you like, has been the argument or advocacy by 'referral to authority'. Roughly speaking this goes 'so and so said it, so it must be true'. Now it's not unreasonable to claim ignorance of specifics and arcana thus, similiar to specialist evidence in law courts, we need to rely upon devoted intellectual resources. However one can go too far, and also like a law trial one ought to examine the veracity of any claim to specialist knowledge.

An excellent example DownUnda in the climate debate has been the CSIRO, the federal government funded science research body, which has been proposed by some sources as being authoritative. So effectively the planet is warming because the CSIRO says it is. What I find amusing about that line of reasoning isn't so much whether the CSIRO is right or wrong, but that those who posit the authority of CSIRO have self evidently done so very little homework, or have neglected to reveal any they have done. One ought to do some background checks if you're going run that line of logic ....

You see this is the very same CSIRO that was dragged, kicking and screaming, to a Royal commission in the 1970's for their scientifically fraudulent behaviour in the 1950's ( partly under a previous institutional title ) regarding the then ( British ) nuclear testing in outback Australia. To cut to the chase : they buffed reports that stated that cracking off nukes was not only not bad for the indigenous inhabitants but a positive boon. Back then they ( aborigines ) were viewed by 'civilised' white anglo-saxons as being on a par with native animals - kangaroos et al. So the range safety efforts only targeted whites. Literally. It is actually unknown how many were killed on the day or later on because they were out in the field when the button was pushed. This beggars belief today but that's the record. So science covers criminal activity? All this was a product of doing the work you are paid to do. In this case the paymasters were the political institutions of the day. [ Google say with 'CSIRO' and 'Maralinga' or try this book for instance. ]

OK, you might say, that was then and this is now. So time heals and improves us all, right? You'd think that an institution with that sort of not-to-distant history under it's belt might be real keen to get us to relax about how they go about things nowadays. Well, you'd be wrong. When the Emissions Trading Scheme went to parliament last year various proposals were based on CSIRO work in recent times. When queried the CSIRO essentially slammed the door saying - and get this - it's true because we say it is. Not even partial disclosure of their methods, data and thinking, but a patently silly self-referential statement that any abrasive three year old could come up with.

Note the issue now isn't whether the CSIRO is right or wrong, because at present that is an un-examinable hypothesis ( the CSIRO response has ensured that ). The issue is their active prevention of any testing of their claim to authority. Interestingly some of their computer modeling on climate change was questioned by a direct request to reveal the source code. Which has yet to be honoured, and was rejected with some blather about confidentiality etc ( this from a group of people supported by public funds ..... ). Shades of CRU perhaps? Do we need yet another CSIRO focused judicial investigation?

[ And of course one could ask why the current paymasters aren't forcing that issue, which is very much in their power. Also I am personally confused by such a heavy reliance on GW advocacy. There was already an avalanche of good reasons to reduce our hydrocarbon dependency prior to that hypothesis. I remember the good old days of Rachel Carson .... ]

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) No doubt I'd be labeled as a 'climate skeptic' or some such, which distorts my real intent - but much like cold fusion claims I'm skeptical of those who attempt to use the rubric of 'science' as a cover for personal opinion, preference and gain ( see Al Gore ). You can't really use science to answer sociological questions ..... but you can use emotion to divert objective measurement and thought.

( edit ) To be more exact a humble field officer in the CSIRO, biochemist Hedley Marsden, had the guts to blow the whistle on higher management who were very compliant to political influence. One bizarre 'scientific finding' was that atom bomb radiation exposure was to be preferred, for safety, over a medical chest X-ray! Now the bulk of frequencies from nuclear processes is in the 'gamma ray' range, much more energetic, and so a comparison at X-ray wavelengths alone could give that favourable answer. However that's like saying I'll have less chance of a 60 mph collision if I travel in a car going 90 mph!!

( edit ) More Maralinga detail here, which I'd point out page 18 of 48 ( by pdf count ) :

Quote:
After completing the manuscript for his paper detailing the results of his survey, he had copies sent to the director of CSIRO and LH Martin, the director of the AWTSC, for clearance prior to publication in January 1957. The report seriously implicated the Safety Committee (which, later that year, came under the leadership of Prof. Ernest William Titterton, British - born physicist, open supporter of the continuation of the development of nuclear weapons and first person to ‘press the button’ on an atomic bomb in July 1945) and made inferences between the levels of radiostrontium contamination of Australia, based on his survey of radioiodine. Although the paper was eventually published, the Safety Committee went to great lengths to not publish it, and even discredit its content.

while no especial hard link was found ( no emails then, nor memo trail alas ) to firmly prove collusion b/w upper CSIRO and Federal Government committees, the only logical remaining consistent and simplest deduction is exactly that. Occam.

Which PROVES to us no nothing people on the sidelines that the research is all lies and smoke! As you say though it might be true and honest results coming from honest and prudent research, but if you aren't transparent too many people will call it witchcraft and be non believers! The reasoning of 'because I said so' being adequate went out when most of us became adults!

mikey
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RE: This kind of insanity

Quote:

This kind of insanity is at the heart of the issue. Reality says we have to endure decades of only one more decade to live before we run out of oil. And that is what they other half of the greenies really say -- we will run out of fossil fuel before we melt. Greenies never contradict each other in public.

Actually as long as you see the flaming off of the gases at oil plants, platforms, etc, etc, etc the price and supply of oil is okay with the oil companies. I talked to oil company exec one time asking why they were flaring that off as it was obviously burnable fuel and was told that 'it would continue until the point where it was economically feasible to recover it'! Meaning that until it becomes worth it to go thru the process to save it, it is still cheaper to waste it! We are NOT running out of oil, we ARE running out of CHEAP oil!

Mike Hewson
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RE: Which PROVES to us no

Quote:
Which PROVES to us no nothing people on the sidelines that the research is all lies and smoke! As you say though it might be true and honest results coming from honest and prudent research, but if you aren't transparent too many people will call it witchcraft and be non believers! The reasoning of 'because I said so' being adequate went out when most of us became adults!


Perhaps to really blow your mind, the issue only truly became 'hot' ( outside the CSIRO ) when it was revealed that with at least one of the tests, fallout drifted south over ( anglo-saxon ) Adelaide. Whoops, that might be important. Up until then cracking off nukes where the 'animals' lived didn't really rate.

If you want a not-too fictional account ( there is some of the usual dramatic license ) of a particular associated event, there is the movie Ground Zero. It gave me the willies .....

Anecdote #1 : I once met an aboriginal guy in Mildura ( over 20 years ago now, he's long dead ) who was a young man in the 50's. He gave me a chilling description of what could only have been a nuclear blast seen at close hand. That gave me nightmares for a while.

Anecdote #2 : I still know a fellow who was fishing on a surf beach ( Eyre Peninsula ) back then. He remembers a rain shower that burnt his skin fiercely, and the lucky lad stripped off naked and ran straight into the ocean until it passed by! Wrecked the paintwork on his car.

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: Which PROVES to

Quote:
Quote:
Which PROVES to us no nothing people on the sidelines that the research is all lies and smoke! As you say though it might be true and honest results coming from honest and prudent research, but if you aren't transparent too many people will call it witchcraft and be non believers! The reasoning of 'because I said so' being adequate went out when most of us became adults!

Perhaps to really blow your mind, the issue only truly became 'hot' ( outside the CSIRO ) when it was revealed that with at least one of the tests, fallout drifted south over ( anglo-saxon ) Adelaide. Whoops, that might be important. Up until then cracking off nukes where the 'animals' lived didn't really rate.

If you want a not-too fictional account ( there is some of the usual dramatic license ) of a particular associated event, there is the movie Ground Zero. It gave me the willies .....

Anecdote #1 : I once met an aboriginal guy in Mildura ( over 20 years ago now, he's long dead ) who was a young man in the 50's. He gave me a chilling description of what could only have been a nuclear blast seen at close hand.

Anecdote #2 : I still know a fellow who was fishing on a surf beach ( Eyre Peninsula ) back then. He remembers a rain shower that burnt his skin fiercely, and the lucky lad stripped off naked and ran straight into the ocean until it passed by!

Cheers, Mike.

The US used to test in the Nevada desert and you could see the mushroom clouds from Las Vegas! I did not see them, but there are pictures, but they did stop as Vegas became more populated and the 'locals' complained. There are hi-rise hotels that can be seen in the photos!
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lasvegas/peopleevents/e_atomictourism.html

At the bottom it says "For twelve years, an average of one bomb every three weeks was detonated, at a total of 235 bombs. Flashes from the explosions were so powerful that they could reportedly be seen from as far away as Montana."

DanNeely
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RE: At the bottom it says

Quote:

At the bottom it says "For twelve years, an average of one bomb every three weeks was detonated, at a total of 235 bombs. Flashes from the explosions were so powerful that they could reportedly be seen from as far away as Montana."

Obligatory Tom Lehrer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S769YancquU

tullio
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I remember measuring the

I remember measuring the radioactivity in the air using a ionization chamber at Trieste University Institute of Physics in 1959/60 when the Soviets were testing their hydrogen bombs.The data were never made public.
Tullio

mikey
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RE: RE: At the bottom it

Quote:
Quote:

At the bottom it says "For twelve years, an average of one bomb every three weeks was detonated, at a total of 235 bombs. Flashes from the explosions were so powerful that they could reportedly be seen from as far away as Montana."

Obligatory Tom Lehrer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S769YancquU

I had not seen that before, it was cute!

mikey
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RE: I remember measuring

Quote:
I remember measuring the radioactivity in the air using a ionization chamber at Trieste University Institute of Physics in 1959/60 when the Soviets were testing their hydrogen bombs.The data were never made public.
Tullio

They didn't want to scare or alarm us you know! ;-))

Matt Giwer
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RE: RE: This kind of

Quote:
Quote:

This kind of insanity is at the heart of the issue. Reality says we have to endure decades of only one more decade to live before we run out of oil. And that is what they other half of the greenies really say -- we will run out of fossil fuel before we melt. Greenies never contradict each other in public.

Actually as long as you see the flaming off of the gases at oil plants, platforms, etc, etc, etc the price and supply of oil is okay with the oil companies. I talked to oil company exec one time asking why they were flaring that off as it was obviously burnable fuel and was told that 'it would continue until the point where it was economically feasible to recover it'! Meaning that until it becomes worth it to go thru the process to save it, it is still cheaper to waste it! We are NOT running out of oil, we ARE running out of CHEAP oil!

Who cares the price of oil? If you talked to an oil exec certainly he told you that the problem was burning off the natural gas for no way to licquify and ship it off for sale.

The cost is the cost. That is the way the world works. You cannot screw with the cost by legislation.l

But the point is back to the beginning in the OP and the original follow-ups -- scientists are rotten programmers who do not know just how rotten they are because they have taught themselves. Sort of like a self-taught hostage negotiator when you think about it.

mikey
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RE: Who cares the price of

Quote:

Who cares the price of oil? If you talked to an oil exec certainly he told you that the problem was burning off the natural gas for no way to licquify and ship it off for sale.

The cost is the cost. That is the way the world works. You cannot screw with the cost by legislation.

The oil company exec's point was that with the current cost of oil it is not cost prohibitive to go thru the capturing, compressing, storing, shipping, etc ,etc process of capturing the flared oil. As oil prices go up that will become more cost effective and something they will do. They do have the technology currently it is just not cost effective to use it. As you say 'the cost is the cost' and if it cost 10 bucks per gallon, it is not something they will do right now. I have no idea what the actual costs are, we were just talking and I tried to not get into the specifics of the process or its costs, that is his area of expertise not mine.

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