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Comment Re:What precentage caused by man? (Score 1) 98

Yes, and I want to emphasize again, that there was no reason to believe that they were purposely deceiving the public, or trying to do bad science, or scientific malpractice. I am certainly not accusing them of that, and we agree.

It is however clear that they were not the best statisticians, and if you're doing complex statistical work (which of course, global temperature measurements are), you need to have at least on statistician on your team otherwise your work is going to be inaccurate. That is what happened with this group of scientists, as the investigation found.

This is perhaps best exhibited in the "hide the decline" controversy (good overview here). Because of poor statistics they never dealt with the divergence problem. In other words, if tree rings don't accurately match modern thermometer readings, how can we expect to rely on them for historical temperature measurements?

Comment Re:What precentage caused by man? (Score 1) 98

He was implicated in the CRU leak that was investigated in the article. He was cleared of wrong-doing, along with the rest of the scientists (as mentioned in the previous link), but the use of statistics was bad. As one example, the "hide the decline" trick wasn't necessarily malicious, but it wasn't justified statistically either.

Comment It doesn't matter (Score 1) 52

If you find a way to drive more efficiently, politicians will use it to put off road repair even longer, until the traffic jams are just as bad. For some reason roads are the things that residents get most frustrated about (and indeed, are even willing to pay extra taxes to fix, as seen in elections in California), and yet they are the thing that politicians most would like to delay fixing. I guess that goes for transportation in general.

Comment negative on virtualization (Score 1) 179

Virtualization is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but in practice it fails to completely abstract out the underlying system. In general you're better off using a script that developers can run to automatically set up the environment. This has several advantages: not only does it keep your project clean (clean enough to easily install), but it allows you to easily install the whole thing anywhere.

That way, you can run your script on a production server. Quickly set up a new instance and install it into your cluster. Ideally you'll have another script that tests to make sure the server is running correctly on that instance before it goes live.

The alternative of trying to set things correctly in a VM and sloshing that VM everywhere is just asking for things to become messy.

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