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Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 616

From experience; I would be willing to bet that ANYONE living with scarcity threatening day to day living is willing to cheat, lie, con, finagle and it can get so bad that you steal, mug, burgle,injure and could possibly kill, dependent on circumstances.

Exactly! Posting this as a difference between "socialism" (as the GDR arguably was not) and "capitalism" (as the FDR certainly was not) is to miss this simple point. Those brought up in a society of relative abundance (FDR) find less need to cheat than those brought up with relative scarcity (GDR). Let's repeat this across Sweden and the US and see if the effect is as marked (or even in the same direction).

Comment: Re:Here's a link to a story about it. (Score 1) 932

by Capsaicin (#47227021) Attached to: House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

Dude. Chill. Sounds like you've done considerable research on the subject and I salute you for that.

It is not I who needs to chill. It is you who needs to put aside your emotion (and perhaps tribal affiliation) and examine at the data dispassionately.

Nothing in that post required "considerable research" (though trying proving that there has been any significant levelling off may well). The data is there, I gave you the link, the tools are there, I gave you the link for that as well, you are a geek (I presume): Where's the problem? Have a look. (And I would suggest, should you not want to mislead yourself, to pick as a starting point a year which is neither particularly hotter nor cooler than the trend).

One doesn't have to be a genius or perform all kinds of complicated mathematical analysis plotting trends to see that YES, the global temperature rise has indeed levelled off for the past 15-17ish years.

The temperatures have continued to rise. Yes the rate over the last decade and a half looks lower than the long term rate, however that is a meaningless observation. You would need to perform all kinds of complicated mathematical analysis to prove that the decrease in the rate of warming was in any way significant (giving even the weak statistical meaning to that term).

It still doesn't negate the FACT that there hasn't been any observed warming recently. The only thing that continues to show a warming trend at this point is your imaginary plot... which doesn't match up with reality.

It is a LIE that there hasn't been any observed warming recently. You have simply been misled. As you can clearly see, should you plot the actual data as I suggested, that period gives you a regression line with a positive slope.

However, it is tautological, that selecting from any data set, a number of data points which, given the set's variance, are too small to enable any significant effect to be demonstrated, will result in an inability to demonstrate any significant effect. So it is true that there has been no significant warming over the last decade and a half. But that observation is, as you so aptly put it, a "parlor trick."

Given that there are also various factors which should work against warming operative over that period (solar variation, the El Nino/La Nina cycle) one might even wonder, but for the fact that the period is also too short to show any significant cooling, why temperatures are apparently still increasing.

I have no idea what you are referring to as my "imaginary plot." Do you not understand that the plot I am helping you to draw is the very data you suggest shows a levelling off?

Have a look for yourself. It's not difficult. You only need to download R and run the code you have been given; checking for yourself, that the given anomalies match the actual data; improving on if by reference to the resources which exist for R programming; and thereby become informed.

Put not your faith in disinformation sites!

This 'statistical noise', if it continues, will be knocking on the door of 'trend' in the not too distant future... so I guess we'll see.

There's another question you can ask yourself with R: How many decades of continuous cooling or even just flat-lining temperatures would be required to negate the significance of the long term trend? My guess is, depending on the rate, that 5 to 8 decades should suffice. But that also requires real analysis.

Comment: Re:Here's a link to a story about it. (Score 2) 932

by Capsaicin (#47218949) Attached to: House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

Hey... Citation was requested... I provided.

A citation was requested, but you did not provide any citation worthy of consideration.

No idea to whom the website belongs.

It doesn't matter to whom the website belongs. What matters is whether the citation is either to a recognised (eg ISI listed) peer reviewed journal appropriate to the subject matter, or to some similar source of data carrying due authority and credibility. I mean a citation to someone's slashdot comment, for instance, would hardly be admissible would it?

Right this moment - the global warming appears to have leveled-off. These are simply facts... no parlor tricks here.

Just for a quick check throw the yearly anomalies (here's the GISSTEMP data) into R and see if the slope is flat. Here ... I'll make it easy for you to get stared (but do improve on this and double check my numbers for the likely transcription error %-) ) :

year <- c(1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
anom <- c(33, 46, 62, 41, 41, 53, 62, 61, 52, 67, 60, 63, 50, 60, 67, 55, 58, 61)

Then plot it and draw a line of fit. (For interest you can check the correlation using cor(year, anom).)

plot(year, anom)
fit <- lm(anom ~ year)

Does that even look flat to you?!

Now given that this is part of a curve which is showing an unequivocal rise over the last 50 years, let alone the entire record, please devise a test to demonstrate that these 18 years show any significant "levelling off" of the long-term trend. And then get back to me with the code. Hell no, get back to the scientific community, with your code ... fame awaits you!

The real question you ought to ask however, is what relevance so short a period (15, 16, 17 or even 18 years) has to data which is not only extremely noisy, but is known to be subject to multi-decadal cycles? If someone asks you to look at climate data over a period of less than at least half a century ... grab your wallet tightly!

Facts? No parlor tricks? Having examined the data for yourself, do you still believe that?

Comment: Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (Score 1) 309

by Capsaicin (#47209243) Attached to: Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

You apparently haven't tried texting with a teenager before...

Wrong. I have one at home with whom I regularly (attempt to) text (not when he's at home).

But maybe you didn't appreciate that the sentence "[P]erhaps you believe the teenagers with whom you converse lack intelligence," ironically leaves open the possibility that they don't.

Many of their texts are random gibberish unless you know their lingo and acronyms.


An example might be "CTN ..."

"U will f@%*ing TN! Or U will lose that phone sunshine!!!" I don't get too many TDTMs from him ... phew! :o

How is that much different than a cat walking across the keyboard?

It's linguistically meaningful?! But what is your point? The teenage boy-bot in question was apparently not fooling his human interlocutors by using such a flurry of acronyms.

I don't personally text with teenagers, with the exception of my daughter, but she doesn't write crap like that as bad

Are you claiming that your teenage daughter is able to produce verbal output meaningfully distinguishable from a cat walking across a keyboard? Surely not!

Comment: Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (Score 2) 309

by Capsaicin (#47208197) Attached to: Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

The idea is to create a machine that is intelligent

The idea is to create a machine with verbal behaviour of a level sufficient to convince a human that they are conversing with another human. Neither a cat strolling across a keyboard, nor the gibberish of an infant is likely to satisfy that test. But perhaps you believe the teenagers with whom you converse lack intelligence?

Turing was explicit that intelligence was to be inferred by that behaviour because, he argued, we accept that other humans, based on their verbal behaviour, have minds. I'm not sure I agree.

Comment: Re:Piketty's real problem isn't spreadsheet-relate (Score 1) 422

by Capsaicin (#47144107) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

We could argue all day about ...

But we shan't. As I said it's a distraction to the point I made, take it up with Mr Reed.

News flash for you from the real world: Society uses different standards of proof in criminal cases than for academic misconduct investigations.

You are confused. I wrote nothing about standards of proof. It is yet another error to conflate presumptions with a standards of proof. Third strike ... you're out.

Comment: Re:Piketty's real problem isn't spreadsheet-relate (Score 1) 422

by Capsaicin (#47141529) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

Someone who accuses another of committing "a very serious error of thought" should probably not compare academic misconduct to murder or rape. When was the last time anyone went to jail for academic misconduct?

Whether an offence carries the prospect of a custodial sentence or is immaterial to the question of the presumption of innocence. You err again. However your previous error, to work instead upon the presumption of guilt, was by far the more serious. This you must not do!

The "comparison" (and there was no actual comparison) with murder and rape was to emphasise, to someone who would so easily accept an accusation that "data was pulled out of thin air," the seriousness of that allegation. There can be no more serious accusation levelled against a scholar qua scholar than academic fraud. One might not end up in prison, but such an allegation being proved, rightly spells an end to an academic career and perhaps even an ancillary career (Consider the well deserved fate of one Andrew Wakefield for instance). It is an extremely serious matter.

Before you go accusing anyone of murder, rape or serious academic misconduct you had better have some real evidence to back it up.

Does Piketty's book disclose that he altered the numbers he worked from ...

Having not read the book I would presume that he it did. As should you. Moreover the fact that he discloses his data and sources exposes any alterations to scrutiny (including that of Giles). I agree that he ought in addition be explicit about the need and methodology of adjustments made to raw data and should be disappointed if he has not.

To pick just one flaw in your new link ...

I claim no ownership of that link, and really shouldn't respond to this distraction (take it up with Howard Reed) ... however ...

I cannot reproduce the 6% discrepancy that Reed claims in his The Guardian piece between data sources (b) and (c) -- I calculate it as an average 3.8% difference in the top 10%'s wealth over the eight-year overlap

On the ten (10) year overlap, (the last eight (8) of which are contiguous), I find an average 5.4% discrepancy. On the last 8 (contiguous) years the discrepancy is 6.2%. I'm not sure what it is you are doing to get your results, are you working from the supplied spreadsheet?

I think I'll opt out of being "highly inform[ed]" by bad arithmetic, thank you very much.


Comment: Re:Piketty's real problem isn't spreadsheet-relate (Score 1) 422

by Capsaicin (#47126227) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

The Economist essentially says: "We can't be sure he intentionally fudged the numbers, and he says he didn't, so we'll take his word for it."

I don't think that's anywhere near a sufficient summary of the writer at The Economist says, no.

That is an extremely weak defense.

You have committed a very serious error of thought. Choose your presumptions with greater care!

Before you go accusing anyone of murder, rape or serious academic misconduct you had better have some real evidence to back it up. I trust you are not claiming that Giles' points of attack are sufficient to establish so serious an allegation to any reasonable level of proof?

Be sceptical about Picketty's treatment and use of data, of course, but there can be no serious suggestion that Picketty "intentionally fudged the numbers," and it is scurrilous to imply he may have. Yes, we ought certainly "take his word for it." To do otherwise, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, is beyond contempt. Seriously!

Besides, that piece was hardly a defence, but rather a fairly neutral assessment of the dispute. For a more spirited, and highly informative, defence, today's data analysis piece in the The Guardian is more in order.

Comment: Re:Piketty's real problem isn't spreadsheet-relate (Score 3, Informative) 422

by Capsaicin (#47104635) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

"Oh, that's just a right-wing smear from EVUL RETHUGLICANS!!!"?

Well the part about figures being constructed "out of thin air" is a smear (whoever it may be who claims it), as becomes clear when one reads the rest of the article you cite. The most balanced assessment of the Giles vs Picketty dispute is perhaps the piece Inequality: A Piketty problem? from The Economist.

Comment: 12ft sea level rise (Score 1) 258

by Capsaicin (#47005743) Attached to: What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze?

The slope of the line then was 2.77 mm/year, and the slope of the line in 2010 was unchanged, 2.77 mm/year. I predict the trend will continue: 100 yrs

Irrelevant on so many levels.

Firstly, and fundamentally, the question here is not what will happen. The question is whether the sea levels "During the Last Glacial Maximum" put into perspective the "worrisome outcomes" a 4-12 ft rise in sea level would have, such that anyone reporting on a probable 4-12ft sea level rise within the next millennium without mentioning sea levels during the last glacial maximum might reasonably be suspected of being ignorant thereof.

Secondly, even if we were concerned with actual outcomes predicted by the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet you are dealing with the wrong time period. The relevant period is most likely 200-500 and possibly up to 1000 years.

Thirdly your "analysis" has entirely failed to incorporate the very subject, namely the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet and the predicted 4-12ft rise in sea levels this is estimated to cause. A 12ft sea-level rise will not inundate any city?! Really?

Finally your extrapolation, even without taking into consideration the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet, flies in the face of accepted science (for which see Layzej's responses). OK that's not, (having ignored your fundamental lack of relevance), strictly an irrelevance, it's just ...

Sigh ... the very reason I framed my original comment an ironic snipe, was to avoid engagement with impertinent nitwits ....

Comment: Re:Put this in perspective (Score 1) 258

by Capsaicin (#46996891) Attached to: What Caused a 1300-Year Deep Freeze?

whatever reference you were making...

Put it this way, if New York, Tokyo, London and the host of other major cities that lie close enough to the coast to be inundated by a possible 4m rise in sea levels did not exist 23,000 years ago, then the "perspective" OP sought to put the matter in, is hardly germane to the "worrisome outcomes" (to quote linked story) a 4m rise in sea-levels might have on humanity, is it? "I wonder how they got their fish," otoh, was a joke.

I have to assume ...

I find it a useful habit of thought, when confronted by a statement which no person of equal intelligence and erudition to myself could seriously make, to work upon the presumption (rebuttable as always) of ironic intent. You don't need to apologise, nor even adopt this habit of thought. It's merely a suggestion.

egrep patterns are full regular expressions; it uses a fast deterministic algorithm that sometimes needs exponential space. -- unix manuals