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The truth shall make you free

How Government Corrupts ScienceArt Robinson is a rare man. He’s risen above and laid bare the creeping failure in the infrastructure of modern science over the last 50 years. He describes how the control of the quest for knowledge itself has been usurped from individuals and private industry and taken over by the government.

At the end of the day, what does being a scientist mean if there is nothing other than a certificate? Where is the code of conduct? Where are the professional associations which stand up and decry those who breach the basic requirements? What sense of duty and honor is left in science when high ranking members can make statements that are dishonest and yet keep their jobs and their reputations?

I was struck with Art’s description of a true scientist–where the most important attribute is honesty, where humility is inevitable in anyone who understands how little we comprehend, and where being a scientist is a lifelong search, rather than a 9 – 5 job.

The 10 page paper  How Government Corrupts Science is worth reading in full.

Below are some select parts that especially struck a chord with me.

How Government Corrupts Science

Isaac Newton was the greatest scientist who has ever lived, or in Albert Einstein’s words, the most “privileged” of all scientists because of the discoveries that Newton was permitted to make. Einstein describes Newton as “this brilliant genius”… Newton said of himself:

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

During most of its history, when it housed and sponsored the work of many of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, the California Institute of Technology proudly displayed its motto:

The Truth Shall Make You Free.

Today, Caltech’s bureaucrats furtively hide this motto, if they have not canceled it altogether – both its origins and its emphasis on the “truth” being counterproductive to the “business” of “science” in which they are now engaged. Today, the “truth” seems surrounded by “lies,” and those whom we have depended upon to tell the truth appear no longer to be reliable. Worst of all, many of our scientists whom we depend upon to know the truth are … silent.

First, who is a “scientist?” A scientist … is a person who seeks the truth about the world we can see by means of direct observations of that world. He often originates hypotheses about how the things in the world work and then tests those hypotheses with experiments and observations. Entirely on the basis of experiments or observations, he refines or rejects hypotheses and extends his knowledge.

Scientists are usually quiet, somewhat reclusive individuals. Confronted, as is reflected in Newton’s statement, with the awesome phenomena that comprise “things seen” and the very tiny part of these phenomena they are able to manipulate and understand, scientists tend naturally toward humility. Most true scientists are completely truthful and honest as their profession absolutely requires, although there have been exceptions. One scientist friend of mine was so impeccably honest that he actually wrote in his autobiography that his wife was the second smartest woman he had ever met.

At Caltech, in the 1950s and 1960s, intellectual honesty was rigorously taught – by example. There were no courses in this. The student was simply surrounded by people who always approached their work with complete honesty. Dishonesty in any action meant immediate expulsion from the campus by one’s peers. Sadly, this is no longer the case at Caltech today.

When a true scientist makes a statement to his nonscientist fellow citizens, he speaks only the truth as he perceives it and as it has been verified – not by hypothesis or by computer simulations, but by actual experiments and observations. Moreover, he strives to simultaneously express all of the weaknesses his statement may have as a result of the always limited data available and the ever present chance that his hypothetical interpretation of that data may be in error.

As they work to expand their knowledge of things they can see, it never occurs to them to hide inconvenient observations or to mislead their fellow men about their work. Direct falsehoods or falsehoods of omission are alien to their being and simply not a part of their lives.

The corruption that is pervasively evident in science today is not resident in our true scientists. It is resident in people who pretend to be scientists – but are “scientists” in title only. Many of these people have received university degrees in science, but they use these titles in a corrupt, nonscientific way.

THE GOVERNMENT STEPS IN

During World War II, scientists and engineers who had been trained in the United States and Europe combined their efforts in the huge Manhattan Project that resulted in the creation of nuclear weapons, the end of the war, and, temporarily, the acquisition of overwhelming military power by the United States.

Many of the outstanding scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project noticed that this huge, government-funded project had succeeded in solving a very difficult science and engineering problem, and they thought other difficult problems such as the finding of a cure for cancer might be solved in a similar way. They forgot, however, that the scientific and industrial people and infrastructure that made this success possible had come almost entirely from independent, free-enterprise, academic institutions and industries. Government had merely bent these institutions to its own purposes during the war effort.

Since their admiration for this government-funded success found sympathetic listeners among big government advocates in the Roosevelt-Truman administration and the administrations that followed, large sums of money for the support of science began to flow from the federal government, primarily in the form of government grants and contracts.

Gradually, over the next two generations, the private capital that had heretofore funded science, endowed scientific institutions and provided the intellectual freedom that is crucially important to successful scientific enquiry was seized through taxation and part of it was then passed to scientists in government “grants” and contracts.

Grantsmanship gradually became the most important “scientific” skill, and the amount of grant money a scientist commands is now, in most institutions, the most important parameter that determines his advancement. The new “scientist” rushes from meeting to meeting, furiously writes grant proposals, and strives to obtain news coverage of his latest “discoveries,” while leaving the actual research to technicians and students.

…the federal government has used some of the earnings of the American people that it demands in taxes to build a giant welfare program for Ph.D.s

In short, the federal government has used some of the earnings of the American people that it demands in taxes to build a giant welfare program for Ph.D.s – now known as “big-time science.” As this welfare program has expanded, the conservative culture among American academic scientists has gradually been replaced by an ultraliberal, pro-big-government culture – in just the same way that large government welfare programs have induced this political change in many other national sectors.

The bureaucrats who now have detailed control over the experimental and observational work of our scientists are entirely unqualified for this work. Important areas of research stagnate while trendy areas are emphasized. Increasingly, good scientists are forced to lie about their work – pretending to do the work permitted, while actually (and illegally) using their laboratories and resources for “bootlegged” research in the areas that are important. Another common technique is to complete the work and then ask for funds to do it, thereby increasing the chance for a grant from bureaucrats anxious to fund “successful” research. These activities undermine the absolute honesty that science requires.

Even when the goal is a good one, this welfare program for Ph.D.s is markedly inferior. For example, government grants funded billions of dollars of work in academia on the solution of the human genome, yet Dr. Craig Venter led a team of privately funded scientists and beat the academics to the goal – while spending less than 5 percent of the amount of money expended by the academics. His reward? So far, envious tax-funded academics have blocked his well-earned Nobel Prize.

The still excellent faculty at Caltech could completely destroy Gore’s movie as a minor entertainment during lunch at the campus Athenaeum, but instead they are … silent. Yet, the administration’s current secretary of energy, Dr. Steven Chu, was invited to give the Caltech commencement address in 2009, during which he grossly misrepresented climate science and lied outright about the sea level experimental data.

When, however, three Caltech alumni, including one very famous individual, asked to give a seminar at Caltech in response to Chu’s claims, their offer was refused. Instead, Caltech asked its alumni to help fund a project wherein students install solar panels on Caltech buildings, using technology so expensive that … it requires 50 years to generate the energy and other costs required to build it…

This same sort of thing has happened to several prominent professional societies and their publications, such as the American Physical Society and Chemical and Engineering News, where activist pseudo-scientists have wormed their way into administrative positions where they use the good names of these organizations to promote their radical agendas, while most of the members of the societies are … silent.

A relatively small group of fourth-rate scientists, who would never be scientists at all under the standards that prevailed 50 years ago, have received huge grants of research funds and extensive mainstream media notoriety by – there is no polite way to put this – lying about climate science in order to provide political cover for the U.N. political agenda. By all objective standards of inquiry, the hypothesis they promote is not just unproved; it is definitively disproved by the experimental and observational research record.[4]

It is remarkable that, after all the billions of years that some say we have been evolving, just at this time – in the few years that comprise our current lives – there have risen up among us men so brilliant that they have unlocked the important secrets of the universe, including the secrets of the origins of life itself. Consider how fortunate we all are to be present during this highly improbable event, considering the time intervals involved. What a long way we have traveled from the humility of Isaac Newton!

Are American scientists corrupt? No, they are not!

Is, however, the custom and culture within the American academic institutions in which they work conducive to the free flow of information between our best scientists and the public? No. These institutions have been co-opted by their dependence on government tax funds.

Are our best scientists blameless in this? Again, no. They have watched passively as their profession, which depends upon absolute honesty, is represented by dishonest people in public forums – and many have not spoken in opposition to these misrepresentations. If they permit this to continue, the inevitable backlash will eventually come. When that happens, the true scientists will suffer right along with the pseudoscientists – a reward they both will richly deserve.

Art Robinson coordinated the extraordinary work of the Petition Project, signed by 31,000 scientists (including 9000 PhD’s). It was done by volunteers, a mammoth task to ask of anyone. Significantly in the paper when he discusses the results he also says:

We found, however, that those outside of government-funded academic institutions were four times more likely to sign than those inside such institutions. Those inside academic institutions are under severe pressure not to offend the government.

The 10 page paper  How Government Corrupts Science is worth reading in full.


Thanks to SPPI, and of course, to the inestimable, Art Robinson.

Arthur Robinson, Ph.D., is a research professor of chemistry and co-founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. After graduating from the California Institute of Technology in 1963 and earning his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego, he served as a UCSD faculty member until co-founding the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine with Linus Pauling in 1973. Beginning with their initial work together on general anesthesia and the structure of water at Caltech in 1961, Pauling and Robinson carried out published research on a wide variety of topics from nuclear physics to nutrition until 1978. They ceased work together in 1978 because of a disagreement between them on the effects of ascorbic acid on the growth rate of cancer in mice. In 1981, Dr. Robinson, his wife, chemist Laurelee Robinson, physicist Martin Kamen, and later joined by Nobel-winning biochemist R. Bruce Merrifield, cofounded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

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90 comments to The truth shall make you free

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    Ike

    So much of “The Scientific Method” is timeless, but Robinson raises one of the most important (and overlooked) questions: “Why?”

    Why are some things studied, and others ignored?
    Why do some theories get funding, while others die of neglect?
    What strings are being pulled to further specific lines of inquiry?

    Nice find.


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    It is interesting to consider professional trust, as distinct from ethics.

    Ethics is a code of behaviour that is imposed by a “professional body” on its members, and is one of the defining factors of each and every “professional body”.

    Trust is more elusive than that. Trust is based on an individual judgement regarding observed behaviour. Trust can also be based on the accumulated judgement of others.

    I trust my dentist. He gets to put sharp things in my mouth. Is he ethical in his recommendations on what need to be done with those sharp things? Well perhaps, but I do have a suspicion that his profit margin may influence his thinking as well. But, hey, I trust him.

    Same goes for Doctors, except that my degree of trust is necessarily more so, and my degree of cynicism is somewhat less – “I think you need a different placebo, this one doesn’t seem to be working any more”.

    I trust civil engineers. Every time I drive over a bridge, or through a tunnel, I trust civil engineers. Are they ethical? Who knows? Who cares, as long as what they have built continues to stand up and function? I guess that the fact that I don’t know if civil engineers have such thing as an ethics committee probably means that they do, and that it works.

    I trust theoretical physicists and mathematicians. I don’t understand them, but I trust them. And how could abstract concepts not be ethical? Also, all those squiggly symbols are kinda cute.

    I am a little sceptical about applied scientists. Sometimes their ideas don’t work as planned, and there are unintended consequences. Trust? Nah. Ethics? Possibly, but defined by the same group of people who do things that sometimes don’t work as planned?

    I trust research scientists, but only when they are doing pure research. Do they have a code of ethics? Yes, on balance, they do. It is often subtle, and enforced in a quiet and private sort of way (not to bring the profession into disrepute, you understand).

    Finally getting to the point, the problem with climate science is that it is an amalgam of research science and applied science. They are trying to quantify the effects of some processes that are based on principles that they are making up as they go along. At no time has any one of the team, when asked a question, replied, “Buggered if I know”.

    They won’t admit that they don’t know what they don’t know. And in consequence they have moved away from pure science, gone through applied science, and ended up in a hole large enough to make a civil engineer proud.

    So since they are now in the realms of engineering, I trust them, because a large chunk of the internet is metaphorically driving around that hole, every day.


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  • #

    In the US there is only one university that doesn’t get government money. Take the embryonic stem cell research debate. The private sector researched it, found it unlikely to produce treatments. The reason for the debate is that it’s a means for government to give schools money for pointless research with lots of string attached and in return the schools say what the politicians want.


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  • #
    bill-tb

    The new scientific method, what do you want me to prove and how big a grant can I get for it?


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  • #

    [...] How governance corrupts science, 63% of weathercasters believe climate change is natural, [...]


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  • #
    Tel

    So I’m told, the CIA uses the same motto. If you read it backwards you get:

    You shall be told lies, and the lies will keep you prisoner.

    It’s probably fair to note that lies and lie-detection are technologies just like any other. Since they have obvious applications to warfare and since the lion’s share of R&D is driven by the military, it would be hopelessly naive to expect that the technology of lies was not part of this effort (and of course it spreads out into other spheres of life as it goes).

    Given the increasing importance of communications, my prediction would be for this trend not only to continue but to accelerate.

    Since deception is not something I am personally skilled at, I tend to be more interested in detection… but if I was a liar I’d be saying much the same thing :-)


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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by d l, d l and d l, d l. d l said: @WalterGa The Truth will make you Free #global warming #climate change http://bit.ly/cFY3ze [...]


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  • #
    Mark Allinson

    Another great article, Jo – thanks!

    “As this welfare program has expanded, the conservative culture among American academic scientists has gradually been replaced by an ultraliberal, pro-big-government culture – in just the same way that large government welfare programs have induced this political change in many other national sectors.”

    This is the key paragraph for me. And a central feature of the “ultraliberal” mindset is the influence of social/political theories emanating from the Arts faculties, where most of the bureaucrats responsible for the overview and organisation of Science receive their education.

    The most recent sustained and (apparently) successful attacks upon the concept of objective “truth” come from Postmodernism, which I mentioned on another thread as one of the destructive elements for my own discipline of English Literature. And as I said, the effects of this relativist philosophy, once confined to the Arts, seem to have impinged on every discipline, now including Science.

    The following points are common postmodernist criticisms of science:

    1. All observations are subjective, including those by scientists. Therefore scientific conclusions are not objective
    2. Although scientists claim to be guided by rationality, the critics argue that rationality itself is guided along the lines of dominant theories that are social fabrications.
    3. The rules of logic are nothing but socially prescribed ways of thinking
    4. The presuppositions of science are only obviously true to people from our western culture.

    So if science is merely another social construction, then its “truths” are mere social constructions, capable of being manipulated for purely social ends. This means that with the complicity of “ultraliberal” Leftist ideals for social engineering, science can now be used as an instrument for social change.

    In short, the “Big Government” control of science inevitably involves the postmodernist view of science.

    Welcome to my nightmare!


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  • #
    Binny

    The animals haven’t yet noticed that the writing on the barn door has changed. It now reads ‘OUR TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE’


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  • #
    Binny

    ‘Grantsmanship gradually became the most important “scientific” skill’ on that one line hangs everything else. It is the exact explanation of the current situation.


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    Bulldust

    Mark Allinson:
    I assume that you attack Postmodernism as a load of old cobblers. None of the 4 points have any weight whatsoever. Point 1 falls down on basic logic alone. It saddens me that there are probably thousands of students studying at university to come up with contrived garbage like that. What a waste of potential…


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    Mark Allinson

    “I assume that you attack Postmodernism as a load of old cobblers.”

    I certainly do, Bulldust.

    Postmodernism is philosophically incoherent, but that doesn’t stop it being used widely in Western universities today as an intellectual wrecking-ball against Enlightenment values.


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Mark Allinson #8

    Post modernism’s ancestor changed the science of geology during the early 19th century when Charles Lyell wrote principles of geology –

    “Undaunted by Scrope’s failure, the young Whig lawyer Charles Lyell now tried his hand at destroying the geological foundation of monarchical theory. In his Principles of Geology he took a much more subtle line than had Scrope. In the 100-page introduction to the Principles, Lyell argued not so much that the diluvial theory was wrong, as that it was mythological and impeded the “progress” of geology. In the first volume he went on at great length concerning the forces of erosion and the effects of volcanic uplift in what was a brilliant avoidance of all evidence of catastrophism. It was just what the moderates were looking for. They rallied around Lyell and elected him secretary first, and then president of the Geological Society.”

    Source

    How thoroughly post modernist Lyell was and it also needs to be pointed out that Lyell was as devout as the Paley, his political opponent of the time, so clearly little has changed.


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  • #
    Denny

    Joanne, thanks for posting the “obvious”! Another phenomenal job I must add…

    Joanne, I just came across this article that pertains to a “push” to control the Internet in Austrialia…Do you have or have you heard about this….

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-voices-concerns-over-australias-internet-filter.html

    Would appreciate any input on this issue!

    Thanks
    Denny


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Denny: #14

    I have seen this also.

    As and outsider, it seems to me that the Australian government has got quite comfortable with the notion of a compliant media.

    Fourth Estate – what a total joke!

    The original role of the Fourth Estate has now been taken up by the blogosphere which, using the wisdom of crowds, tends to be better than 80% correct for 80% of the time.

    80% of 80% doesn’t sound like much, but it is a whole lot better than the aussie media which tends to be 100% correct for 0% of the time (if the footy scores are excluded).


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    Mia Nony

    If you happen to think POST MODERN science is attention worthy, have you by chance checked out POST NORMAL SCIENCE?
    It is nothing less than the entire basis and underpinning of the entire climate “science” game, a science based on the necessity for making life changing and globe altering political and policy decisions based a science situation in which it is deemed impossible to know if a given theory can ever be proven!
    Mind boggling.
    PNS has crept into every corner of science and the corruption is absolute.


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    Mark Allinson

    Denny, here is a link you might find interesting:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/03/putting-climategate-in-perspective/#more-7854

    And I commented yesterday on this issue in the “Putting Climategate in Perspective” thread (comment 13).


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    MattB

    Denny in #14 – hope it doesn’t spoil your conspiracy theory but The Greens are opposed to the internet “filter”. Some dissenting voices in the GOvt and Opposition but I fear it will pass with pretty much bipartisan support.


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  • #
    Denny

    Mark Allinson: Post 18,

    Mark, thanks for that link! It’s good to know about the “fallacy’s” on how the Internet works! I know how important the Internet is for me…To be able to read and understand “both” sides of Issues that the “Biased Media” doesn’t provide!

    Matt B, It’s NOT my conspiracy theory! Be careful on what you accuse!!! Typical Alarmist response,IMO! All I stated was:

    Joanne, I just came across this article that pertains to a “push” to control the Internet in Austrialia…Do you have or have you heard about this

    ….

    I hope it’s an option in Austrialia that the PEOPLE can put this program in their computers and protect their children,not the other way around…;-)


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  • #
    Denny

    Rereke Whaakaro: Post 15,

    Hey Rereke, thanks for the “input”. No, I haven’t read about the “Fourth Estate”…Uhmmm…will check into it!

    Thanks! ;-)


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  • #
    pat

    jonathan holmes plays with ‘untruth’:

    29 March: ABC Media Watch: SBS’s Inconvenient Untruth
    SBS TV has been running a series of what it calls ‘vignettes’ – well, it is
    SBS – as fillers between programs..
    -100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear -
    On March the 6th, SBS aired this one…
    “The Himalayan range is home to the highest peaks in the world and its
    glaciers form the largest inland mass of ice on the globe… By 2035 all of
    the Himalayan glaciers could disappear. Mount Everest will stand bald, and
    the flow in the rivers will change substantially.”….
    100Places.com is the brainchild of a Danish company called Co + Life, which
    claims in a video on its website that…
    “…the selection of all places and captions are based on the reports from
    the United Nations Nobel Prize-winning climate panel IPCC….
    SBS tells us that vignette won’t be repeated. Don’t forget to watch out for
    the rest of the 99 places to remember… before they disappear!
    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2859423.htm

    (includes tokyo, caracas, chicago,pastoral life on the mongolian plains)

    Guardian: 100 places to remember before they disappear
    (Pic 2 of 16)Pastoral life on the Mongolian plains
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/dec/10/100-places-to-remember-before-they-disappear?picture=356663350

    29 March: BBC: Struggling to survive Mongolia’s freezing winter
    It is supposed to be spring in Mongolia, but you would not know it. ..
    Mongolia is suffering the worst winter most people here can remember..
    The government says more than four-and-a-half million livestock have died…
    At the local hospital, the doctors say the health of the whole community is
    suffering. The extreme cold is harmful enough, but the stress it causes is
    making people ill too…
    There are not enough beds to treat the herders who need their help. New
    patients arrive every day.
    Dr Orkhon Gonchigdorj runs the facility. “We’ve never seen a winter like
    this,” she says. “So many sick people – there’s not enough room to look
    after them.” ..
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8592408.stm

    Red Cross appeals for Mongolia aid
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2010/03/201032985050779680.html


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    MattB

    Denny no this is a compulsory external filter/censor that will remove sites and content from Australian net users across the board. It really is quite terrible legislation to be honest. The good news is it probably will not work.

    Crikey has a lot of coverage on the net filter if you are interested.


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    fred

    Excellent article!


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Denny: #21

    Here you go …

    In olden days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody – was it Burke? – called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time, no doubt. But at the present moment it really is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.”

    Oscar Wilde – The Soul of Man


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  • #
    Bulldust

    MattB:
    There is a poll on the SMH regarding the net filter:

    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/government-goes-to-war-with-google-over-net-censorship-20100330-r9bp.html

    So far the no votes are 95%. Conroy is a tool with zero IT experience trying to tell us what is best for the net. His background (before politics) is a BEc and some experience as a union superannuation officer… this is politics at it’s very stupidest (not a word, but feel free to fill in one of your own choice).


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  • #
    Bulldust

    ZOMGZ (O/T) but Law & Order, which has a penchant for rolling real life stories into their episodes, is including Climate Change in their next episode in the US:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/29/climatgate-now-a-law-and-order-episode/

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Back on topic… I had the pleasure (through WUWT) of finding a link to a classic discussion between an experienced statistician (VS) and AGW types on a blog this month:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/

    This is a brilliant example of how a real scientist communicates (at least as far as I was able to read today).


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  • #
    Jack Walker

    I normally don’t post here.

    Though I have read here from time to time.

    My great fear, is that the very things this post discusses may be happening elsewhere in the science community, I am not a scientist though I do hold a degree in mathematics (applied science). I parted company with maths after that though never comp sci and this econometrical modelling or Multivariable statistical computer modelling was predicated to be the big new thing as the Cold war was collapsing.

    Computers were shiny back then and so was this multivariable statistical modelling. No one was looking at meterology, it was economics and that’s why it has had too much emphasis when it’s best function is interpolation to missing parts of functions and data bridging.

    But Institutes were paying big dollars to hire these darlings of science, poaching left and right even thru the ferrous curtain.

    That was my observation and this is my opinion on observation.

    Multariable calculus and statistical analysis are high level tools and really should not be used by people not qualified to open a tin of baked beans or even count tree rings when all is said and done.

    Sorry for the ramble. But those tools are not a modern philospher’s stone. he he.


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  • #
    Ross

    Here is a MUST READ that fits in well with this thread. From the Guardian but is a good interview with James Lovelock

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock


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    Ross

    Re my 29 post — I’m not saying I agree with all Lovelock says , far from it. But he has some interesting comments given he is basically a warmist with regard to AGW.


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    Bulldust

    Jack Walker:
    Yep – I only completed a few (a handful or so) courses on econometrics and forecasting methodologies and it was enough to scare me… well at least to the point of having a very sensible respect for the things these techniques cannot do. Econometrics/statistics is a bit of a dark art at the best of times.

    Most folks are familiar with OLS – Ordinary Least Squares regression analysis. What a lot of lay people forget is that the technique depends upon assumptions about the error term (i.e. that it has constant variance and an expected value of zero, and not be correlated from one observation to the next etc…) There are a number of ailments that can befall OLS models (which are the simplest statistical models), such as autoregression, autocorrelation and heteroscedasticity, to name but a few.

    Some of the ailments are relatively innocuous and others are fatal to the analysis. The latter completely skew the parameters calculated by the OLS technique and therefore invalidate the results until the ailment is determined and compensated for.

    But I haven’t even mentioned the most important problem with OLS models… that is the problem of determining the correct functional form at the outset – i.e. that your model is somehow grounded in scientific/economic theory.

    If you don’t have a sound hypothesis to start with, you have no idea what the functional relationship is between the variables being examined. You don’t even know if you have included all the variables you need to describe the system. To apply statistics in such a situation is a fruitless exercise. All you are going to find is which variables correlate to others, but not which are the indepdendent variables and which are the dependent ones.

    Modelling without a sound hypotheses/theory as a starting point is like looking for patterns in chicken entrails and suggesting they have some deeper meaning.


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    Tony

    Science is a running programme with no end – on any subject or issue. The stupidest remark came from Al Gore – surprise, surprise – when he said “the science is over”.


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    Jack Walker

    Bulldust.

    I had honors in final year, I decided to so some project work to complete my degree, the Boss would not tell me what the functions or even variables we were modelling were.

    The functions were pretty much open source stuff that I could see (being an honors student multivariable and statistical wise), the data he would not discuss. So he had me doing computer sims, because he did not want to waste his own computer time I thought, and yes we all had allocated computer time, not enough. (Accountants and economists needed heaps of time for COBOL compiling go figure).

    Everyone was gonna be the new Liebnitz or Newton, with these great big shiny new toys and nobody ever was. Not that I ever heard about.

    And now science itself is facing extinction thru loss of survival values. Openess transparency and most of all freedom to experiment and audit experiment.

    It began a long time ago.

    I called the tool a fool so they stripped my honors, to teach me not to dick with costly imported dickheads. You should have heard the audience when I took my degree sans my honors and put it in me back pocket.

    It was focked back then and the rot got worse.

    For me this fight was ever personal.


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    Louis Hissink

    Bulldust #31

    And according to the Austrian EConomic school, you can’t model economic activity with a view of prediction. The illogicality of it is that reduces to the nonsense of the price of a dozen chicken eggs depending on where those eggs are around the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

    So the IPCC scenarious are doubly baloney – they can’t predict the climate, and they can’t predict human economic activity. The whole thing is a post-modernist, post-normal science piece of unadulterated nonsense.

    But they want us to continue paying them.


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    Phillip Bratby

    Ross: I agree, the Lovelock article is well worth reading for many of the things he says about government science etc.

    If you ignore his belief in global warming (not based on the evidence that he clearly thinks has been corrupted) and the call for democracy to be suspended, then the rest of what he says is spot on.

    Examples:

    “Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science. I’m not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It’s the one thing you do not ever do. You’ve got to have standards.”

    “Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: “Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.” That’s no way to do science.”

    “You can make mistakes; they’re helpful. In the old days, it was perfectly OK to make a mistake and say so. You often learned from it. Nowadays if you’re dependent on a grant – and 99% of them are – you can’t make mistakes as you won’t get another one if you do. It’s an awful moral climate and it was all set up for the best of reasons. I think it was felt there was far too much inequality in science and there was an enormous redress. Looking around the country [at the wider society] this was good on the whole, but in some special professions you want the best, the elite. Elitism is important in science. It is vital.”

    “I would only have been too pleased if someone had asked me for my data. If you really believed in your data, you wouldn’t mind someone looking at it.”

    “We tend to now get carried away by our giant computer models. But they’re not complete models. They’re based more or less entirely on geophysics. They don’t take into account the climate of the oceans to any great extent, or the responses of the living stuff on the planet. So I don’t see how they can accurately predict the climate.”

    “The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. They could be absolutely running the show. We haven’t got the physics worked out yet. One of the chiefs once said to me that he agreed that they should include the biology in their models, but he said they hadn’t got the physics right yet and it would be five years before they do.”

    “We do need scepticism about the predictions about what will happen to the climate in 50 years, or whatever. It’s almost naive, scientifically speaking, to think we can give relatively accurate predictions for future climate. There are so many unknowns that it’s wrong to do it.”

    There’s a lot of excellent stuff here.


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    Louis Hissink

    Bruce #36

    Borderline lunacy – Delingpole is being a little circumspect?


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    Bruce

    I didn’t think circumspection was something JD believed in!

    Great Youtube video.


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    bsalis

    “I assume that you attack Postmodernism as a load of old cobblers.”
    I certainly do, Bulldust.
    Postmodernism is philosophically incoherent, but that doesn’t stop it being used widely in Western universities today as an intellectual wrecking-ball against Enlightenment values.

    Totally agree Mark @12.

    We have been fortunate to live in the Age of Enlightenment. Where it has formed the foundation of modern Science. Human lifespans have practically doubled in large part due to scientific medicine, to name one tangible benefit, though there is much more we gain in knowledge of the natural world. The scientific method is about as close as you can get to “Absolute Truth”. Though any any real scientist will acknowledge human folly, and that any theory can only exist on a spectrum of good to bad based on observed evidence, results of experiments, and reason.

    Postmodernism is only bringing us culturally based relative truth. It’s a regression back to opinion, authority-as-truth instead of reason, superstition, and everything that has elevated humanity to being something a little more than monkeys who walk upright.

    Interesting article here covering the Modern and Postmodern age if anyone is interested…
    http://derrickjeter.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/the-relative-truth-of-postmodernism-a-sketchy-outline/


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    Dr.TG Watkins

    Well written article.Thanks Jo. Seems as if President Ike’s warnings have come true.
    Despite all the disclosures of the last few months (plus of course years of effort by many) the MSM in Australia and UK has still not really exposed the ”science’ behind the AGW scam.
    What will it take to produce at least one authoritative article by a sceptical scientist? Politicians are a lost cause as they have no science and their so called scientific advisors have an agenda or are already on the ‘gravy train’.
    Piers Corbyn at Climate Realist is going to organise meetings etc. in the UK. Maybe they will make a difference with enough publicity
    Regards, TGW (Wales)


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    Spam delete

    [...] The truth shall make you free « JoNova [...]


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    tide

    A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

    - Arthur C. Clarke (1917-), British writer


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    Dr.TG Watkins @ 40: Politicians are a lost cause as they have no science and their so called scientific advisers have an agenda or are already on the ‘gravy train’.

    Yes, the politicians are a lost cause but that is not the reason. They like AGW alarmism because it gives them cover to do what they do best: aggrandize government, further restrict the freedom of the governed, to steal vast sums of productive wealth under color of law, and to spend even more vast sums of wealth on projects intended to boost their miserably shriveled and corrupt self esteems. The advisers are not the only ones riding the gravy train. They are all bloody parasites deserving no more consideration than a cockroach.


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    janama

    Peter Costello has written a nice article for SMH.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-greatest-moral-conundrum-of-our-time-x2026-until-the-next-one-20100330-rb8s.html

    We were led to believe if the Senate refused to pass the legislation there would be a double dissolution of Parliament. The Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull, warned this would lead to a humiliating election defeat for the Coalition. Kevin Rudd declared climate change ”the great moral and economic challenge of our time”.

    Now the legislation has become less important than getting 30 per cent of the GST from the states so the government can rearrange financing in the hospital system. Can a momentous moral challenge fizzle out like this? Or are you beginning to suspect all the crisis was politically driven?


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    Bruce

    Great article.

    I wonder what brother Tim Costello (an avid AGW supporter) will think about this!


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    Denny

    MattB: Post 23,

    Denny no this is a compulsory external filter/censor that will remove sites and content from Australian net users across the board. It really is quite terrible legislation to be honest. The good news is it probably will not work.

    Crikey has a lot of coverage on the net filter if you are interested.

    Thanks Matt! It would have been “nice” if you would have stated this back on Post 19…But I DO appreciate the input…;-)


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    Denny

    Rereke Whaakaro: Post 25,

    Hey,Rereke, thanks for this input…Always learning something…I wish I had the Internet when I was younger…better late than “never”, right Rereke??? :-)


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    The Robinson paper is definitely worth reading. It is a reminder of how it is that so many honest, well-meaning scientists can come to the conclusion that climate scepticism is just a form of blinkered right-wing politics, corrupt commercial interests, or gibbering religious lunacy, and that they therefore don’t have to actually investigate the details in order to go on assuming that mainstream climate scientists are just doing a normal scientific job.

    Yes, Robinson is right about quite a few things, but he gives a strong impression that that is a complete accident.


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    Mark D.

    Another good viewpoint. I thought this paragraph was good advice:

    Are our best scientists blameless in this? Again, no. They have watched passively as their profession, which depends upon absolute honesty, is represented by dishonest people in public forums – and many have not spoken in opposition to these misrepresentations. If they permit this to continue, the inevitable backlash will eventually come. When that happens, the true scientists will suffer right along with the pseudoscientists – a reward they both will richly deserve.


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    Louis Hissink

    AMcguinn: #48

    Have a read of Bernard Goldberg’s two books about the US liberal media – Bias, and Arrogance. It’s his observation that the liberal media, and for that matter most of the government scientists are also liberal in the US meaning of the term, consider their milieu, the people they associate with, as “normal” and that the rest of us, red necked, hicks are not. It’s a classic example of group-thought, especially when that group is dominated by intellectualism where proof isn’t referred to some external confirmation but from peer agreement.

    So most of the scientists, who are liberals, agree as a group that they are doing “normal science” which, if you read Mike Hulme’s comments, is actually post-normal science, and hence our scepticism becomes a case of serious cognitive dissonance for them, even to the extreme case of liberal pyschologists suggesting that our scepticism is due to some inherent physchological abnormality.


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    Mark Allinson

    Yes, I agree, Louis.

    It’s a bit scary, isn’t it?

    It reminds me of the attitude of the old USSR towards dissidents – they simply MUST be insane to take issue with “reality”, so all you can do is lock them up and “treat” them.

    So we should all watch out for the men in white-coats!!!


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    MattB

    No worries Denny. Note my helpful post has 4 thumbs down:)


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    Denny

    MattB: Post52,

    What you posted on 23 was a “good start” and you wasn’t sarcastic!!! We appreciate that here! Well, at least I do… ;-) Hence my response…


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    Junican

    I get confused. Am I on an Australian blog? Whatever…. I am from the UK.

    I am intrigued by the idea of the corruption of science.

    I recall reading about Tycho Braye. He was funded by Emperor Ferdinand in his studies of the heavens (circa 1500ad). Was there any expectation of some sort of commercial return from Braye’s studies? I doubt it. The funding was provided for PURE research with the objective of gaining knowledge (although there may have been some ulterior religious motive – but nothing I have read indicates any such motive). We must remember that the ‘data’ recorded by Braye and by Kepler were the foundations of Newton’s principia, and we must remember that our ‘trip’ to the moon used Newton’s calculations to plan the gravitational effects. Even the work of the great physicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries (Faraday, Maxwell, Lorenz, Hertz, Planck and Einstein did not expect any immediate, useful, physical consequences (Faraday, “Madam, of what use is a newborn baby?”). All these people were funded altruistically in order to gain knowledge.

    We contrast that situation with today. Certainly, I think that our trip to the moon was altruistic, even if it was politically motivated. Our space probes to the planets are altruistic. The large hadron collider is, essentially, a search for the truth, even if there are possibilities of great future benefits for mankind if it is found that fusion can be harnessed. However, what is the reason for innumerable, highly paid people duplicating studies on global warming? Why are there hundreds of universities all over the world doing the same research? Who is paying for it?

    And so we come the the latest over-researched area – passive smoking. The Royal College of Physicians (note that this establishment is supposed to be a TEACHING organisation) has produced a document requiring the banning of smoking in all cars. They quote 34 studies, of which 24 are since 2007, mostly 2009/2010. Again, we ask who paid for these studies and were they altruistic, or designed and funded for a purpose?

    This whole situation is really frightening from a scientific point of view. We seem to have gone from a truly altruistically motivation, through a practical needs situation (the Manhattan project) into a politically motivated wish-think.

    I think that it is very worrying.


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    Bernd Felsche

    They can’t handle the truth.

    Here’s an anonymized response from a scientist:

    What scientists do is research, and then they write papers. To keep their jobs, and to get better ones, they submit those papers to the best journals they can, where ‘best’ is defined by quantitatve, independent citation ranking services like Scopus.

    To keep up with other research in the field, scientists also read papers, but there’s only so much… See more time in the day, and scientists allow the editorial board and reviewers of journals to winnow out the dross so they don’t have to wade through crap. The fact that any given paper is technically available to be read on the internet doesn’t mean anyone should bother reading it without evidence that it is of any value.

    The fact that nobody has specifically read, cited, and rebutted that particular paperis not evidence for it being _right_, it’s evidence for it being irrelevent. Any paper that really was controversial (as in, had even a small possibility of being correct) would have been snapped up by a higher ranked journal sometime in the last six years.

    I certainly don’t spend my time carefully analysing articles in ‘creation science’ journals about how redshift is caused by tired photons and galaxies are only 4000 years old, because spending my days rebutting low-value papers that nobody takes seriously won’t help my career. The same is true for any other field – any viewpoint will rapidly rise or fall (in visibility and citation rank) to the level it deserves, given the evidence that supports it.

    Pathetic mindset but a reflection of attitudes pervasive amongst many “professional scientists”.

    They’re waiting to be told what to think.


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    P Gosselin

    I read this last night. It is indeed a big problem that needs to be reversed over time – somehow.
    Weaning a feeding baby off the nipple is noisy, tantromous affair.


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    Tel

    The fact that nobody has specifically read, cited, and rebutted that particular paperis not evidence for it being _right_, it’s evidence for it being irrelevent. Any paper that really was controversial (as in, had even a small possibility of being correct) would have been snapped up by a higher ranked journal sometime in the last six years.

    Funny how the WWF managed to get so many of their “papers” cited by the IPCC without every catching the interest of a “higher ranked journal”.


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    R M'Geddon

    This reminds me of the SE Asia country, where I worked as a Management & Tourism Management lecturer at 3 universities over 10 years. The truth was immaterial. What mattered was not rocking the boat.

    One conference I attended was about expanding “Health Tourism” into their country. All the discussion was on the mechanics of getting more international visitors, & using as a drawcard their country’s cheapish (but often rather patchy) medical services, which were frequently provided at hospitals that were as luxurious as smart hotels! Money making & money-making schemes were fequently mentioned, but no one mentioned quality medicine or medical ethics. And when I did all further discussion was instantly terminated, & the meeting wound-up!


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    Louis Hissink

    Bernd Felsche #55

    The crucial distinction is to see most “scientists” as technicians, rather than vocational scientists (as I would be, being a student of geology since 1960 and working as a professional field geologist).

    The mediocre science we are deluged with is produced by technicans with a sound grasp of the technical aspects but not the intellectual drive to realise the limitations of the science, let alone understanding what they are doing. AGW is simply the result of mediocre science, and to be expected when the state funds the science, and needs evidence that they are actually doing something to justify the KPI index bureaucracies worship.

    And when the science becomes disconnected from physical reality, usually when the mathematicians are allowed to become dominant, then the horse and cart are reversed, and another reason AGW theory came about.

    It’s normal for a progressive system (read socialist) to produce post-normal science; it’s intrinsic to the system.

    Our goal is here to minimise the damage they will do to society with their hare-brained ideas; we certainly cannot stop them short of a miracle.


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    Jeremy Poynton

    They typeface is so pale I gave up trying to read the article. More and more blogs are like this, with minimal contrast between background and typeface colours. Do NONE of you bloggers use W3C standards – anyone with a degree of visual impairment struggle with pages such as these.

    Shame, as I wanted to read the article, but it is too hard on my eyes.


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    Jeremy – I want to hear more. Being user friendly is very important. Are other people having trouble with the fonts or sizes or colors? Lionell G contacted me a while ago and got me to change something in the style sheet so he could set his own background color, and together we worked it out the same day. I’ll ask him what exactly he did so he could pick up contrast on his machine…
    Jo


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    Jeremy Poynton

    Jo,

    Thanks for the prompt response! For me it is simply the lack of contrast. I can of course increase the text size, which helps, but the bottom line is that black on white makes for the easiest reading (regardless, indeed, of visual impairment).

    My regards to Oz. Spent a month in South Australia a few years back, for the eclipse, and for the glorious food and wine (when I die, embalm me in Penfolds please), and had a wonderful time, perfected by a glorious four hour meal in Stefano’s in Mildura AND perfect hospitality everywhere. Heaven on earth!


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    Mark D.

    Also consider that this could be a browser setting issue too. (in your computer Jeremy)

    I agree wholeheartedly with your point Jeremy, I once had a web designer try to explain their bad design which included small font and washed out contrast, as ARTISTIC and all the rage. Stupid really as that page was aimed at an older audience.


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    Jeremy Poynton

    Mark,

    Yes – I’m using Firefox, default display settings, which is how I want to leave things. I know style sheets etc. CAN complicate things, but this is really a simple matter of font colour, methinks. And as noted, it seems to be de rigeur in blogs these days to have very faint typefaces. It’s good to get a response from Jo, as usually when I note this I am ignored – and I then ignore the blog! Am keen however to be able to read Jo’s articles.


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    Bernd Felsche

    Jeremy,

    Also check your monitor’s settings. Lots of monitors now come with the contrast set to about half and then adust the brightness based on what the monitor gets from ambient light sensors. So what you end up with in a brightly-lit room is washed-out colours and very faint text.

    Crank up the contrast to 100% (or nearly that) and then manually adjust the brightness.

    The main gripe that I have with the styles on this blog (and many others) is that they’re pixel-based. So the better the monitor, the smaller the text! Pixel pitch varies from about 60 to 120 per inch; so it makes a big difference. I habitually hit Ctrl-+ two or 3 times when opening most web pages.

    Style sheets provide for size specs in points, pica, mm, cm or inch, which are fixed real dimensions. The browser gets to render the screen as consistently as is possible, provided that the graphics subsystem knows the real dot-pitch of the monitor. Pixels and points are only equivalent at 72 dpi. Most newer monitors have at least 100 dpi.


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    Jeremy Poynton

    Bernd,

    Monitor settings fine; I have a very nice Acer 22″ which handles HD, and the resolution is superb. Resolution 1680 x 1050, so like you I often zoom pages.

    As regards the text, what I am seeing is a rather pale grey, on a white background. Black on white, as per the printed book, is the best, as any type setter will tell you!


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    Mark D.

    Jeremy, were you having problems with this PDF?

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/commentaries/how_govt_corrupts_sci.pdf

    When I open it the type is black and the page is white.


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    Jeremy Poynton

    Mark,

    No – the PDF is fine, it’s this blog is the problem.

    I’m interested to know how others “see” this page, if it other than how I see it, which is a white background and a rather pale grey typeface.


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    Joe Spencer

    NEWS : Science & Technology Committee of the UK Parlaiment’s Report on:-
    The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia

    published today.

    Read it & weep.


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    Bob Malloy

    Jeremy Poynton:

    I’m using an acer 23″ monitor at 1920 * 1080 and have no problem reading the site. Text is dark and easy to read.


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    Tel

    published today.

    Read it & weep.

    Classic story of Tom Sawyer and the fence — never goes out of style.


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    Joe – your URL is incorrect – link does not work (reporting Error 404).

    Jeremy – in respect of your font visibility problem may I suggest that you try the following:

    In Control Panel, go into Display, Appearance, Effects, and make sure you have checked ‘Standard’ or ‘Clear Type’ to smooth (actually sharpen) the edges of the screen fonts. That may help.


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    Mark D.

    I just finished reading the PDF report (I think is what Joe wanted)

    Interesting stuff, Jones is off pretty clean.

    This was in the minutes transcript at the end:

    Paragraph 134 read.
    Amendment proposed, at the end of line 5 to insert “Given the increasingly hostile attitudes of both sides on
    this issue, it is vital that these two inquiries have at least one member each who is a reputable scientist, and is
    sceptical of anthropogenic climate change”.—(Graham Stringer.)
    Question put, That the Amendment be made.
    The Committee divided.
    Ayes, 1
    Graham Stringer
    Noes, 3
    Mr Tim Boswell
    Dr Evan Harris
    Dr Brian Iddon

    I guess we can write the episode off as “papered over”


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    Rod Smith

    @Jeremy Poynton:

    In the Mac versions of Firefox, the color of the typeface can be specified in Firefox Preferences. I have no idea if this is the problem or if the PC version even offers such an option, but it might be worth a look.


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    Mark D.

    Jeremy, In firefox, go to tools-options-(content tab) and click on advanced (next to fonts). in the next pop-up you’ll have options to specify fonts. Also a small box will probably be checked which says “allow pages to select their own fonts instead of your choices above” Un-check that box and you will be able to chose a font that you can read better.


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    Joe Spencer

    Mark D.: @ #70 & Steve Short @ #73

    Joe your link doesn’t work, was this the one? http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/387/387i.pdf

    Yes, Thanks Guys. You’ve got it right…

    NEWS : Science & Technology Committee of the UK Parlaiment’s Report on:-
    The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia

    published today.

    Read it & weep.


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    Joe Spencer

    I do recall them giving Lord Lawson, one of the few Sceptics to give evidence, a pretty hard time, while pussy footing around Jones.

    Apart from that one, (is it) Stringer fellow, these MP’s just don’t seem to get it, remaining in awe of ‘scientists’ & instinctively sceptical of any sceptics.


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    Roy Hogue

    It has been said that, “Politics and the fate of mankind are decided by men without greatness.

    “Men with greatness within them do not go in for politics.”

    The author escapes me at the moment. But it rings true for all but a very few.


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    Mark D.

    Roy The quote is very good.


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    Denny

    Jeremy Poynton: Post 68,

    I’m interested to know how others “see” this page, if it other than how I see it, which is a white background and a rather pale grey typeface.

    Jeremy, I see the same thing “in general” here also! Now about every other posting, there’s an off color gray and of course Joanne has an “off color of yellow”. I have no problem,FYI!


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    Jeremy Poynton

    Mark,

    Did that. Font now black and tiny tiny tiny. If I Ctrl+ three times it is legible! Thanks


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    Richard S Courtney

    Joe Spencer:

    At #78 you say:

    Apart from that one, (is it) Stringer fellow, these MP’s just don’t seem to get it, remaining in awe of ’scientists’ & instinctively sceptical of any sceptics.

    Yes, I address this in the final paragraph of a comment I have posted on another thread. The entire comment explains why your observation is correct, so I copy it here (below).

    Richard

    Roy Hogue:

    At #179 you suggest that “law suites” may benefit AGW sceptics because ‘warmers’ will
    “have to put their case and its supporting evidence out in public and then some friend of the court will submit a brief that shoots a hole in global warming that a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier could drive through.”

    Sorry, but that is not true.

    Law Courts assess the credibility of opinions. They do not have the technical expertise to assess scientific arguments.
    So, Law Courts assess the apparent credibilty of witnesses and decide which witness to believe. Governments have appointed AGW-advocates to positions of authority, and a Law Court will alway agree that such witnesses present the ’science’ that should be accepted.

    For example, James Hansen is head of NASA GISS. He attended a criminal trial in the UK where a group of people were being tried for deliberately damaging a coal-fired power station. Hansen said the CO2 emissions from the power station were doing much more harm than stopping the power station could do.

    UK law says that it is lawful to damage personal property as a method to prevent greater harm. For example, a person is entitled to smash a door that is preventing rescue of a child from a burning building and – according to UK law – the owner of the door has no right to object to the door being smashed.

    Hansen’s testimony is not sustainable by scientific argument: there is no possibility that the power station is making (or could make) significant contribution to AGW even if the ‘worst case’ scenario for AGW were correct.

    But Law Courts do not consider the merit of scientific argument. They only consider which expert they will agree is ‘right’.

    And Hansen’s authority as an expert on AGW is proclaimed by the fact that the US Government has appointed him as head of NASA GISS. So, the Court decided – as it must – that Hansen’s evidence was the most credible ’science’. And there is no AGW sceptic in a similar position of authority whose testimony could dispute that (governments have removed all similar experts from their jobs for disputing AGW; e.g. Henk Tennekes).

    So, on the basis of Hansen’s testimony, the Court decided to acquit the people who damaged the power station.

    Indeed, another case was won by AGW sceptics but they only won because they understood that Law Courts only consider which expert the Court will agree is ‘right’: Law Courts do not assess scientific evidence.

    The winning of that case prevented Mr Gore’s science fiction horror movie being shown in schools without explanation to the children that the movie is political propoganda. The government wanted to distribute the movie in schools as being a presentation of the scientific facts. But a UK High Court ruled that the government could not do that because the movie exagerated at least eleven statements by the UN Integovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    In this case the Court accepted that the IPCC is the expert authority that should be believed and, therefore, that Mr Gore was a lesser expert so his presentation in his movie should not be believed.

    Simply, scientific evidence only consists of empirical facts but legal evidence only consists of opinions.

    So, AGW sceptics would always lose a legal case that disputed AGW because governments have ’stacked the deck’ by appointing AGW-advocates to positions that give them supreme authority as ‘expert witnesses’.

    Indeed, I am holding in my hand the full Report of the UK Parliamentary Select Committee investigation of ‘climategate’ (the Select Committee has kindly sent me two copies). It is very obvious that this Report represents a legal – and not a scientific – understanding of ‘evidence’.

    Richard


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    Wayne, s. Job

    It is quite obvious from this article and the comments, that people are a little disconcerted with the direction that big consensus science has taken. Welcome to the club,climate science is but a whipper-snapper of the snouts in trough sciences.
    Physics and cosmology rule the roost, for nearly one hundred years they have usurped the agenda and frozen out all opposition. Those that gave proof against the prevailing wisdom have had their maths truncated and changed, to fit the consensus.
    Thus we have the standard model, that gives us a big bang, and a universe missing most of it’s matter, a universe flying apart in ever increasing velocity. Imaginary geometry, imaginary maths, imaginary forces, imaginary particles,imaginary science.
    Recently surprised gnomes, buried at Cern in the worlds biggest luna park getting more bits than they expected. If you take a piece of energy i.e. a wave form and smash it into another you get bits. If you smash it together really really fast you get a lot of bits. None of them are particles,our imaginary friends with charm and spin.
    The standard model does not explain matter, electricity, gravity, magnetism,light,or any electro-magnetic
    manifestations. Let alone the cosmos. There is and has been for a long time, real science that does work, The time has come, now that consensus science is being deconstructed, to start on the ones that have failed us for nearly a century. Independent realist researchers have given us our modern technology,the others have given us BS. Wayne


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    Roy Hogue

    Richard @84,

    We shall see! If you’re right then get ready for eventual violence as the vice is tightened down on everyone. I wish I could see it otherwise but this administration has put too much harm to the individual into law. It has mocked good hard working people who are the backbone of this country and then dared them to do anything about it. Anger is building like I’ve never seen before. Something will give somewhere.

    I’m hoping I can avoid it. I don’t want any part of that kind of thing. But if you ask me if there’s a point beyond which I would fight I would have to say yes. So we shall see!


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    Graeme Bird

    I just found out some terrific information. Arthur Robinson is going to run for Congress. Is this old news?


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    In President Eisenhower’s famous farewell speech about the military-industrial threat, he also warned “that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    “Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity…The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded.”


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    [...] How governance corrupts science, 63% of weathercasters believe climate change is natural, AKPC_IDS += "4652,"; [...]


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    [...] more on the story, see The scientific world is fracturing and The truth shall make you free by Joanne Nova. For additional information, see the 10-page paper How Government Corrupts Science [...]


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