Fight global warming with Asimov-style Psychohistory - profs

Silver badge


"-or lack of it, people are looking at the facts without spin, FUD and outright lies, and deciding for themselves that climate change is a natural process."

I'm not trying to push one agenda here, but I have to take issue with your logic: both "people looking at the facts" and "deciding for themselves". In the rest of this post, you will note that I draw no conclusions about climatology, so don't complain that I am pro/anti-climate change. I am pro-logic and pro-scientific method; I am anti-nonsense and anti-(anti-intellectualism).

Let's deal with the second statement first: almost nobody in the country is qualified to make that decision. I wouldn't go into a hospital and ask the doctor to see a CT scan, then say "well, you say that dark spot is a tumour, but I have looked at the facts and decided for myself that it isn't". You aren't (unless you are a doctor) qualified to read medical data, and your conclusions will be junk. All sane people accept that medicine is a subject where unless you have done lots of training, your opinion is worthless horseshit.

I am a mathematician, and my position on statistics is that almost everyone in the country doesn't have a fucking clue. I am an expert, with multiple degrees, and do maths professionally. Yes, my opinion (on stats) is worth more than someone who got a D at GCSE mathematics. If there are four people in a room, me and three people who haven't the slightest idea what they are talking about, and the three people say that -8 is larger than -3, and I disagree, I am right, they are wrong, *even though there are more of them than me*. The wisdom of the crowds on factual matters is a lie; truth is not a democracy, and you cannot normally reach the truth just by looking at some data.

Finally, a small point about "people looking at the facts": climatology is a subject where there will be an answer, and there will be noise. How do you know that the facts you are looking at are noise? If I have two tests, one of which says the answer is "yes" and one says the answer is "no", how do you know which is right? If you were an expert, you might have an opinion of which is the more reliable test. You might have that opinion even if you aren't an expert, but your opinion is probably based on your own bias.


Back to the forum


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017