Saturday, 9 July 2016

ATTP: The Scientific Method

A comment I put at

The article's two examples are flawed.

> When Socrates asked “What is justice?” there was never any doubt that his listeners knew what the word “justice” meant.

This isn't true; different participants to the dialogue have different views. One proposes "might is right" and "Socrates" (really Plato) has no coherent answer to that viewpoint. Interestingly, Justice is indeed very hard to define, unless you accept Hobbes's version, which is to define it as "all that is not unjust", and define *that* as breaking covenants, which I think is an excellent approach ( This inversion is reminiscent of Popper's.

Meanwhile, the bit about Kepler is over-simplified at best, since motion around the orbit not just its shape was very important.

As to your question, do scientists need to study philosophy of science, I think I'd go for a Kuhn-like paradigm-type answer: 95%+ of scientists are doing factory-science and don't need that kind of stuff; its the 5% who are in some sense thought-leading and truely innovating who need it; but then again, they've already got it, or they wouldn't be there.

[See-also my: Science]

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

and that the NSA lied about this

Long Article on Snowden's Attempts to Raise His Concerns Inside the NSA says Bruce Schneier. I didn't find it convincing and said so:

> and that the NSA lied about this
That seems very strong, and not justified by the article. I confess I haven't read through all 800 pages of the PDFs, but there was nothing significant in the first 10-20 pages. To save us all trawling through the 800 pages, perhaps you could post some pointers to the bits you consider justify you claim of lies?

Socially constructed silence?

ATTP has an article on what I would call a really rather silly article called Socially constructed silence? Protecting policymakers from the unthinkable by PAUL HOGGETT and ROSEMARY RANDALL 6 June 2016. I commented there, and will record here for posterity since I'm pretty sure at least part of it will be redacted, the following:
The article seems to be wank to me. For example “after the fiasco of COP 15 at Copenhagen… climate change became a taboo subject among most politicians” is clearly drivel, as the most recent Paris summit showed. As to the poor dahling little scientist who was “attacked” by her colleagues – from what is quoted, you can’t tell if that was an “attack” or, as rather more likely, constructive criticism.
I think the article falls into the trap that many denialists do – that most “climate scientists” are working directly on the “big picture” of human-caused GW. But they aren’t; that’s a commonplace illusion, but its wrong. Most “climate scientists” are working on small pieces of the puzzle and would have nothing in particular to say to the meeja anyway. FWIW, when I was at BAS, mgt and the PR dept were desperately happy whenever anyone got their research into the press, or indeed any work-related activity, as long as it wasn’t buggering penguins.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Denialism is the opposite of believalism

A new comment on the post "The RICO 20: lessons in stupidity" is waiting for your approval
Author: Brad Keyes
Dr Connolley writes inline that:<blockquote>[...The antithesis of science is denialism, e.g. WUWT or Republican congresscritters -W]</blockquote>Um, not quite.

Denialism is the opposite of <i>believalism</i>.

Republican congresscritters is the opposite of <i>Democrat senatecritters</i>.

The opposite of science is <i>antiscience</i>: the active hostility to human discovery about nature. This hostility is exemplified when a supposed "scientist" says that if people he doesn't like ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, he'd rather destroy a priceless library of knowledge about climate and weather rather than send to anyone.

The point is that skeptics are constantly being accused of representing the interest of big oil in order to line their pockets

A new comment on the post "The RICO 20: lessons in stupidity"

Author: Tom C

William has steered this discussion onto the question of "is it illegal?"  That could be true or not, but it is irrelevant.  The point is that skeptics are constantly being accused of representing the interest of big oil in order to line their pockets.  We are offered examples that are usually a few thousand dollars or so - typical consulting fees for a couple days work.  Here is a professor that has an institute with some vague purpose, with a name containing the high-minded words "global", "environment" and "society", staffed by his family and friends.  He gets $ 5.6 MM of government climate money to do, well, whatever it is that he does [can someone tell me what we got for this investment?].  This might be all legal, but it is still a scandal.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Weird blog rules

A new comment on the post "Peabody coal's contrarian scientist witnesses lose their court case"

Author: Tom C

I. There shall be no criticism of John Mashey
II. There shall be no criticism of John Abraham

Weird blog rules

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Regardless of what you wankers may think... Salby is correct

New comment on your post "Murry Salby ha ha ha"
Author: Leah Salby 

Regardless of what you wankers may think... Salby is correct. He has studied the subject for over 40 years.

For 40 years from now Salby will be correct in his study. Go back to when the world was flat. Think about that.