May 2008

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Comments

Lamark

The Comment From Theo about Monty Hall is a prime example of someone being smart enough to see an anomoly but not smart enough to accurrately analyse it. I've had a stat grad tell me this one and when I wouldn't believe him he set up a program to prove his point. Of course, he included his basic misunderstanding in the program and that gave him the answer he desired.

From Theos' mail ( paraphrased a bit.)
What about the "Let's Make A Deal" quandary? To recap: 3 doors, one big prize, two booby prizes (a goat). You pick door #1, the host opens door #3 to reveal a goat, and offers you the chance to switch to door #2 instead. Do you?

Assuming Monty always offers the choice, you double your chances of winning by switching doors; your initial choice has a 1/3 chance of being correct, so ruling out one door leaves you a 2/3 chance of winning with the remaining one.

The Flaw Here is that Theo misunderstands the choice point here. The Choice point to switch or not is once the third door has been revealed. At that point in time the fact that the chance of picking the correct door at the beginning was 1/3 is totally irrelevant. Once Monty shows you that door 3 is not the prize door, the chance of your choice being the correct one jumps to 1/2 exactly matching that of changing your initial choice.

If you don't believe me try this out yourself with 3 cups and a coin. - you'll find that both sticking and switching give an equal number of wins.

the_fish

Probably won't make any difference now, but to skeptics of Anthropogenic Global Warming:

http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

It debunks the skeptic myths with arguments of a higher quality than most of the skeptic ones out there, and references its sources appropriately. Please look at this, as it isn't a matter of pride, it's the future of the people on this planet.

Listo Entertainment

"Name one case where this rule doesn’t work."

Global warming maybe?

Oli

"There are islands that are underwater NOW, they had people on them. Now they dont.. this is not a small rock that had nothing but sand, this is an island with a human population that is now underwater."

Give me one example of an island large enough to support a human population (Greater than on family, some people have been sold islands no larger than 100 yards in diameter) that has been submerged under water.

"Want proof? go look up photos of the ice shelf from 10 years ago and then compare them to todays photos of the same areas."

And yet in other areas the ice is growing at an alarming rate.

Plus what you are showing as 'proof' is simply the earths natural cycle, the earth has many weather patterns from hot to cold, rather like a wave on a graph, theres a 50 year top to bottom wave that is based on the wobble of the earth on its axis, a one based on centuries that is accounted for by the earths rotation around the sun bringing it in closer before it is slung a little further out again. There are hundreds of other patterns, most people dont seem to realise this and follow the governments usual propoganda to deflect attention away from its current mistakes. Pollution is a problem but climate change is not something we make much of a difference on.

Saying rising water levels and a slight temprature rise is proof of global warming caused by pollution is EXACTLY the same as saying rising water levels and a slight temprature rise is proof of God.

http://ramblingsofanoficeworker.blogspot.com
http://devinomics.blogspot.com

Oli

"Even if you take the upper limit, which is highly unlikely according to the bulk of the studies, you'll realize that a minimum, an absolute minimum, is 70 percent human caused global climate change. THIS IS HUGE!! THIS IS REAL!!! This is a threat to our species survival."

The bulk of the studies by Environmental Protection Agencies..

Anyone else will point out the wobble on the earths axis, the varying closeness to the earth on its yearly revolutions, the the weather patterns that are repeating (Britain used to be as hot as spain most of the time).

They might also point out things such as the fact a large volcano spews out the same amount of pollutants that cause global warming as the human race does every 4-10 years.

The rising sea levels? The experts who say how much the sea has risen over a particular time always seem to shy away from the actual facts, specifically why in one case they used readings that always progressed one day into the lunar cycle every year they took their readings.

Everytime there is a flood people seem to jump to global warming, litle mentioning the fact that rivers that used to be dredged once a year are now lucky to be dredged once a decade.

Global warming is a myth, its pollution we need to worry about.

http://devinomics.blogspot.com
http://ramblingsofanofficeworker.blogspot.com

Adrian D.

Misanthropic Scott:

I find exactly zero experimental data to support the contention that global warming is human-caused. Oh, there are plenty of data to show that global warming is real. But no data supporting it being human-caused. Worse, it may be peer-reviewed, but it has become a case of "If you do not 'agree' that humans caused global warming, you won't be published." I get very concerned with things being established as orthodoxies and heresies.

just_human

I'm guessing someone didn't actually watch Mythbusters. They proved the myth false.

Misanthropic Scott

Bruce Harrison, clearly, you didn't really read my post. PEER REVIEW! PEER REVIEW! PEER REVIEW! Nothing else matters. BBC is mainstream good journalism. They are not PEER REVIEWED!! They are a perfect case for my point about non-scientific journals.

Adrian D., check google scholar for scientific papers, as I recommended previously. There is much scientific work confirming anthropocentric climate disruption. Try finding the skeptics in the peer reviewed pubs. You'll find some old information. You'll find a little bit of current information about cosmic rays indicating the possibility that as high as 5 or possibly even 30 percent is caused by the sun's rays.

Even if you take the upper limit, which is highly unlikely according to the bulk of the studies, you'll realize that a minimum, an absolute minimum, is 70 percent human caused global climate change. THIS IS HUGE!! THIS IS REAL!!! This is a threat to our species survival.

Ray Kremer

Oooo! Does this rule show that man-made global warming is false too? Keen!

Jack

"You can survive a long fall into water by throwing a hammer downwards so as it breaks the surface tension first."

I was *so* sure this was complete bullshit. (And I'm sure plenty of credible experts were too.) Then they proved it was possible on Mythbusters.

Defenestrator

You're right on the mark when saying that when a fact is in question, "you can safely bet that the fact is complete bullshit." The number of assertions that are true is dwarfed by the potential number of assertions that are bullshit, which is effectively infinite. That makes the average odds of any fact being true infinitesimally small. Therefore, we can safely conclude with mathematical rigor that Everything Is Bullshit.

Emily

One of my friends didn't believe me that pupils of the eye dilate when we see something we want. This is actually true because the sympathetic nervous system is activated when we are excited or nervous and one of the effect is dilation of pupils.

Bruce Harrison

Sure. Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Actually, the majority of climatologists and atmospheric scientists, contrary to what you hear in the media, either don't believe in it at all or believe that the effect of man on the temperature of the climate is miniscule.

There are those for whom AGW is a religion, and anyone trying to point out that it is not scientific is a heretic. For those of you who fit in this category, and consider "An Inconvenient Truth" to be your equivalent of a video Bible, I have something for you:

Here's a URL to a recent BBC documentary (yes, the BBC -- not exactly a conservative outpost) on the whole topic, including its roots, who benefits from pushing the theory, and what real, honest-to-gosh scientists in the field have to say about it. If you saw Al Gore's piece, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this one. But I doubt many of you zealots will -- when you realize your position has no merit, you just try to stifle the voices on the other side.

But just in case, here's the URL: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9005566792811497638&q=Global%20Warming%20Swindle&hl=en

Ray

Pete: I don't think anyone is claiming that "the Coriolis Effect is an urban myth". What *is* being claimed is that it has no effect on which direction water spins as it goes down the drain. Obviously, it is still out there determining which direction a hurricane or monsoon is going to rotate.

keith

RULE OF THUMB?

Did you know that the phrase, "Rule of Thumb" comes from English Common Law stating that you could only beat your wife with a stick that was no thicker than the width of your thumb"?

Yep, bullshit.

Kaleun

You realize, Scott (and answer this), that your theory would mean we have to assume global warming is not happening, or at least not human caused. Since all of Western Civilization except the US has now accepted Human Caused climate change as fact, that makes for a pretty bad bet...

Derek Ludlow

Hey, I am from Canada, but have lived in Argentina for about 7 months, and the experiment seems to work pretty damn well... If it is a hoax, it is a very impressively done one...

Adrian D.

Misanthropic Scott:

Careful with your tally. You may be proving Scott's point. There has been, to date, no evidence produced that global warming is human-caused. So, it doesn't matter if they all "agree". They need an experiment or study to back them up.

Maisey

Interesting, I'm learning more and more each day from your blog :D

Rick Oliver

In a recent blog entry, you said:

"The moon looks extra large. That’s either because of the refraction from the additional atmosphere at that angle, or the moon lost its orbit and its going to destroy all life on earth."

As it turns out, the first (and apparently more rational/logical) explanation turns out to be mostly complete bullshit.

Go to Google or any search engine and search for "moon illusion".

Charmaine

wth. im a 17-year-old student n i read that in my geography textbook?? o_O what are we supposed to believe in nowadays if we can't even believe the textbook :P

Misanthropic Scott

Wow, so many people posting here missed your last sentence entirely. To restate in nice bold letters for those of you that missed it in the original topic:

THE ONLY CONDITION IS THAT THE PEOPLE SAYING “IT’S BULLSHIT” HAVE TO BE CREDIBLE IN THE FIELD, EVEN IF NOT THE MAJORITY.

This is why evolution, quantum theory, and relativity do NOT fall into this. There are NO CREDIBLE EXPERTS disputing any of them. The experts are still looking for a theory that will encompass relativity and quantum mechanics so that we have a single theory that works at all scales.

As I said before, the only legitimate example I have of something that is NOT BULLSHIT but does have some people that at least have credentials within the field is anthropocentric climate change.

The number of these experts is quite small and can nearly always be traced to people receiving funding indirectly from Exxon/Mobil.

One thing that seems to have slipped through the press when they talk about the IPCC report is what it takes for anything to get into the IPCC report.

The IPCC is a panel of scientists from 113 nations that have formed a real consensus, literally, and produced a report based on it. Every single word was scrutinized. If anyone on the panel disagreed with anything, it didn't get in.

These are representatives from nations including, but not limited to Saudi Arabia, China, and the U.S. Again, these are the largest oil exporter, the largest coal burner, and the largest oil importer, respectively. All have vested interests in stating that global warming is a hoax. All agreed to state with 90% confidence that global warming is human caused and a huge threat.

This should be taken very seriously by anyone that cares about the survival of the human species and many species more beautiful than ourselves. The few fringe crackpots, nearly all paid by Exxon/Mobil, get a tremendous amount of press because of a problem with journalism.

The problem lies in journalists being trained to present a balanced viewpoint (good journalists, not Fox news journalists). To do so, every time a new scientific report comes out in a peer reviewed publication, they have to find a conflicting opinion. So, these same few crackpots get to voice their opinions again.

For anyone that truly doubts global warming, or more technically anthropocentric climate disruption, try searching for the disenting opinions on google scholar, a great way to find the real science, the peer reviewed science. Blogs, like this one, allow any moron, like me, to voice their opinions on subjects they may know nothing about. Good journals will always present balance. Peer reviewed journals will present verifiable data.

http://scholar.google.com/

Denise

I just returned from Borneo, and I am enamored of a new piece of fascinating trivia- the Wallace Line. Yet, everyone I mention it to says it's 100% bullshit. It isn't. So I win.

The Wallace Line is an invisible line that runs through Borneo, and on either side of this line the flora and fauna are as different as London and Kenya. Wildlife and spores will not migrate over this line and no one knows why. You travel 5 miles, and few living objects resemble your origin.

Pete

Er.... Coriolis Effect is an urban myth? lol no its not its scientific fact... just like evolution.... you muppets. Can't beleive people who read this blog.... presumably DNRC members all.. are this dumb.

Randy


The "Follow The Money" rule in relation to Global Warming leads to different results for me. Scientists and politicians pretty much agree about Global Warming except the ones who have ties to large oil companies. Want to make any bets about the yearly revenue of the oil companies versus the yearly budget of the scientists?

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