Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Peer Review

Academia is hierarchical - every bit as much as the Catholic church - and peer review is one of the methods used to maintain the hierarchy. There is no due process or check-and-balance and the review is done out of the public eye. What makes you think that peer review is impartial? Even the name “peer review” is a misnomer, since it is really the academic elite who run the show.

"Peer review suffers from the referee’s paradox. This paradox goes as follows: Who is best qualified to judge (or referee) an article? The best qualified are those who are in the article’s sub-field. But those people also ought not to be allowed to do it because it represents a conflict of interest for them. But to let others judge the article is to have it be judged by those who aren’t fully qualified. Thus, no one can be trusted to judge an article, either because it’s a conflict of interest for them or because they aren’t fully qualified." - JFP, responding to Jonah Goldberg in a comment at Townhall.com


Monday, March 19, 2007


Say something!


Say anything!

I don't have a site meter* yet, so I have no idea if anyone is dropping by.

Post a comment just to say, "Hi!"


Take the test!


Think you have a good handle on Global Warming?

Maybe? Maybe not.

Click here to find out how much you really know...


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The Constitution Party - America's 3rd largest party

I haven't voted for a Republican since Ronald Reagan in 1984 - and I would would have voted for Adolf Hitler to get rid of Jimmuh Carter (not really - I actually went for Anderson.)

I've voted - some would say I've wasted my vote - many times in the past on 3rd party candidates, usually Libertarian.

The lesser of two evils is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your party.


Erm...Maybe it's the food?


from the BBC:

Professor (Terence) Wilkin said children's activity levels had no bearing on their body mass index - their risk of obesity.

So why are are children getting fatter?

Food portions may be a culprit, but I've a hunch it's as much or more WHAT we are feeding our kids as how much.

It's been my experience that, unless interfered with somehow, kids diets are self-regulating. As parents, you can screw them up with a variety of harmful practices - forcing them to clean their plate, using food inappropriately as reward or punishment, etc - but if you're offering the right kinds of food and limiting - or denying access altogether - availability of "junk" foods then chances are all will be well.

And while you're at it - turn off the damned TV.* Doesn't have much to do with the subject at hand, but TV is an imagination killer and all the garbage they push makes it harder to regulate their diets. Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs Cereal is not a fit breakfast food, but you'll have a hard time getting your kids to buy that argument if they see on the Boob Tube that it's part of a healthy diet.

* Parents who let any child under the age of three watch TV should be beaten with a wet diaper.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Ban dihydrogen monoxide!

Environmentalists are stupid...


Thursday, March 08, 2007


Lock Bumping and Bump Keys

Of course, if you live in Toronto you won't have a problem...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


On wooden shoes, sails, paradigm shifts and unlicensed engineers


Hendrik Tennekes from Unlicensed Engineers (pt 2):

Thomas Kuhn...is the giant who put the study of scientific evolution on the map. He found that science progresses in a saw-tooth way...A new “paradigm” – an old word that obtained its current significance through Kuhn’s book – topples an earlier one all of a sudden, and then the slow rise toward bloated organizational structures begins... The best-known example, of course, is how Einstein toppled all of Newtonian mechanics in a single year’s time. When will the next Einstein arrive? Isn’t it an omen that the world physics community needs such expensive, massive research factories these days? I still giggle when I recall Kuhn’s description of the work all these thousands of scientists do. They are “mopping up” the last crumbs of an antiquated paradigm.

Contained in part one is a cool discussion of wooden shoe sailboat models. The comments to part one make for some highly engaging reading.

The two essays are attacks on global climate modeling. From part one:

I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate models are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society. In all regular engineering professions, there exists a licensing authority. If such an authority existed in climate research, I contend, the vast majority of climate modelers would vainly attempt certification. Also, they would be unable to obtain insurance against professional liability.

From another essay, A Personal Call for Modesty, Integrity and Balance by Dr. Tennekes:

In 1976, Steve (Stephen H.) Schneider published a book entitled The Genesis Strategy. It made quite an impact on me at the time, primarily because Schneider did not promote technological fixes, but a global strategy of what is now called Adaptation, an idea reluctantly and belatedly embraced by IPCC. Those were the days of Nuclear Winter, weather modification, Project Stormfury, stratospheric ozone destruction, and the sick idea of seeding all Arctic ice with soot to prevent the next ice age. In the preface to his book, Schneider quotes Harvey Brooks, then Harvard dean of engineering:

“Scientists can no longer afford to be naïve about the political effects of publicly stated scientific opinions. If the effect of their scientific views is politically potent, they have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions, and to try to be honest with themselves, their colleagues and their audience about the degree to which their assumptions have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence”.


I've spent a good bit of time at Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. Research Group Weblog since the site first came to my attention - thank-you Al Masetti! - and I've been impressed with the level of discourse. Tennekes is an uncommonly good writer, regardless of his position on global warming.

Hendrik Tennekes is a retired Director of Research with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, former Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Penn State and is an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric boundary layer processes.

The Flying Dutchman


Subscribe to Posts [Atom]