Thursday, February 25, 2010

On Economic, Intellectual, Spiritual and Political Bubbles

We all know that there are economic bubbles that inevitably burst and punish investors for their irrational exuberance and willing suspension of disbelief about the laws of economics.

In fact, it seems that these bubbles are not so much built into the free market system as built into man, since we have more or less averaged about one per generation over the past two or three centuries. Thus, the "law of the economic bubble" is a painful lesson that each generation must learn anew.

I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that a bubble occurs when price outruns value, and it bursts when price returns to value, i.e., its actual worth. In 2006, the price of my house was absurdly higher than its value. In fact, even now its price is too high, but that's California for you.

But this is not a post about economics; or perhaps we could say that it is about "psycho-spiritual economics," for what I would like to suggest is that what occurs in economics reflects a deeper principle, and that there also exist intellectual and spiritual bubbles that eventually burst and send their investors hurtling to the ground.

To cite the most recent dramatic example, the climate change industry has been revealed to be a classic intellectual bubble. As with economic bubbles, its worth as a scientific theory became absurdly overvalued, to the point that more and more outrageous claims were required to prop it up. People were willing to pay the price, so long as the illusion of value was maintained. But since the bubble has burst, intellectuals who invested heavily in it are left holding penny stocks that even then no one will buy, for they are essentially worthless.

Most people are not scientists, just as they are not economists. Therefore, they rely on economic advisors to tell them how and where to invest, and they rely on science to tell them "what to believe," i.e., where to invest their credence. But science itself becomes a classic bubble when it morphs into scientism, because it pretends to know things it not only cannot know, but can never know in principle. And because man is everywhere man, this is when science begins taking on all of the trappings of a primitive and poorly thought out, ad hoc religion.

Darwinism is another example of a classic bubble. Obviously the theory of natural selection has some genuine value -- it is hardly worthless -- but nor is it remotely as valuable as its fundamentalist adherents make it out to be, for it is way out in front of its headlights. For the Darwinian faithful, the theory is virtually "priceless," since it explains "everything." It is a totalistic worldview into which the Darwinian invests all of his cognitive and spiritual funds.

But one of the first rules of investment is diversification. You want to invest in a variety of instruments with differing timelines of maturity, depending upon one's stage of life.

In my case, for example, I have some safe, short term investments in science, and some liquidity in the form of common sense and practical wisdom, but the bulk of my longer term investments are in religion, which is unaffected by transient intellectual bubbles (excluding, of course, heretical "manias" that predict the Second Coming, or a new caliphate, or a messiah in the White House, etc.; you might even say that false religions are always spiritual bubbles).

We all understand why it would have been a mistake to ask a man who had all of his holdings in real estate about the health of the real estate market in 2006. Even if he had his doubts, it would be very unlikely that he would broadcast them and place his economic position in peril.

Just so the global warmists. Even before the rest of us, they well understood that their theory -- and their intellectual fortune -- was in peril, so they needed to essentially engage in the sort of thing Enron did -- insist to all of its investors that their money was entirely safe and that the theory was "sound as a dollar." In order to do this, they had to "borrow" truth that did not yet exist. In other words, they used the collateral of their present knowledge to take out loans on future certainty. They assumed that the science would eventually pay off and confirm their intuitions despite the contrary findings.

But they cooked the scientific books in order to take out those intellectual loans, and now that the loans are due, they are in a position of intellectual bankruptcy. In 1995 they assured their creditors that 15 years hence, the planet would be dramatically warmer. This was good enough for the investors. But unfortunately for them, the planet did not cooperate, since there has been no appreciable warming since 1995. This is analogous to a business borrowing millions of dollars based on an economic forecast of a certain amount of profit and growth which fails to materialize.

At that point, the only option is bankruptcy and dissolution. Or a government takeover, which is what is occurring with the warmists. Their theory -- and their industry -- is simply "too big to fail," so now we are in the absurd position of the government not only owning failed automobile companies and banks, but non-viable scientific theories. But a non-viable scientific theory is in many ways indistinguishable from a religion, so the state is in the position of propping up and favoring an established religion, the religion of "radical environmentalism."

Science, just like the free market, is supposed to reward success and punish failure. Thus, under normal circumstances, there are built-in mechanisms of "progress" and "conservation" in both, the former promoting risk, creativity, and leaps of imagination, the latter promoting caution, consolidation, and extraordinary proof for extraordinary claims.

Thus, just as investors should have been skeptical of the extraordinary financial claims of a Bernie Madoff, people should have been far more skeptical of the extraordinary scientific claims of the warmists before investing in the theory. It might have passed as a decent intellectual hedge fund, but certainly not one's core investment.

President Obama is another example of a classic bubble. Why did otherwise sane people invest so much in this cipher? Indeed, why did they ignore all of the evidence that he was absurdly overvalued?

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

82 Comments:

Blogger PeterBoston said...

Why did otherwise sane people invest so much in this cipher?

Americans elected this guy despite his glaring lack of substance and radical leftist associations. I don't know what people expected they were getting but the Obama of 2010 is not any different from the Obama of any other year. The fact that he is so flagrant with has absolute disregard for honesty and truth is stunning but not out of character.

The American Dream is being buried by our Federal overlords and every new Federal employee and public sector union member adds one more layer of dirt.

The Republic was set up so that the citizens of each State could define that State's individual character beyond the reach of a central authority. The institutional framework is still in place to give us the means to roll back the Feds and to regain a meaningful role in defining how we will live our lives.

Only the States have the money and the Constitutional authority to say no to overbearing central intrusion and make it stick. Not that State legislators could be expected to be any more benign than their Federal cousins, but at least we would have the option of having somewhere else to go.

Maybe Obama is Progressivism's bubble.

2/25/2010 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

Someone yesterday mentioned the fossil record to prove Darwin. The fossil record actually disproves Darwin. Where are the fossils of all the intermediate species, the ones that failed to evolve? Why are apes still here if we evolved from them? What about human eyes or ears? How did they start out? How did we evolve into knowledge of the absolute?
Why are there still leftists? They never seem to evolve. They keep trying the same thing over and over after more than 150 years of failure.
There was a special on the History channel last night about the rise of power in Nazi Germany.
The term "We are the one we've been waiting for", and calling Hitler the Messiah came up in Hitler's campaign.
Also, how do the owners of a car company get to force the owner of another car company to testify before them regarding their safety? Is congress trying to increase sales for their car company?

2/25/2010 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, according to orthodox Darwinism, there cannot simply be this or that "missing link," since the path to man was paved by innumerable tiny mutations. So there should be a multitude of these links. Don't hold your breath.

This is obviously why Gould came up with the controversial theory of punctuated equilibrium, in order to try to account for the actual fossil record...

2/25/2010 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

The economic analogy is inspired and original - at least, I don't think I've ever seen anyone else make it.

On an unrelated note, I just read on Ace of Spades that MSNBC pre-empted Olbermann to cover a curling match between Sweden and Great Britain.

Curling.

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!

2/25/2010 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Careful now... Olbermann likes curling.

2/25/2010 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Another thing about intermediate species… any particular intermediate stage creature has to be perfectly suited for his habitat at that stage. In other words, at the time of its existence, I don’t believe, according to the so-called theory, using for example the cow evolving toward the whale, the creature cannot be “on it’s way somewhere” according to the law of “random mutation”. It must exist as an end product (not to mention be better at its current adaptation than any of his buddies – or he gets eaten). So what is the likelihood of a mid-specie surviving with some stubby useless lumps somewhere evolved between legs and fins? Keeping in mind that ALL intermediate stages must survive, if not thrive, “as-is”, including their intermediate breathing systems, digestive, etc. All without them knowing or planning for the “end creature” in their future.

2/25/2010 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Even Gould's punctuated equilibrium won't work using the standard random mutation model. Even if massive changes happened relatively quickly you'd still see a vast number of intermediary forms. The only alternative is that dramatic changes can and did happen from one generation to the next. Whatever that may be, it isn't Darwinism or anything like modern natural selection.

The only rational "defense" I can see is to argue that because the fossil record itself somehow represents a series of "snapshots" -- that conditions were "right" to preserve fossils only rarely. That probably doesn't hold water either.

In any case, just to show that we are in no way anti-science here I would invite any "visitors" to provide us with the formal, currently accepted explanation as to the apparent paucity of transitional forms.

Debass noted the presence of apes -- I don't think that is actually a problem for the theory, given that the theory predicts branching of species. Furthermore according to the theory modern apes and humans came from common ancestor -- we didn't descend from chimps or gorillas. As for the eye example, there have been attempts to explain how complex structures like this could evolve. I remember thinking that the idea didn't sound crazy at the time (basically starting with photo-sensitive skin patches, etc) but I know that Berlinski et al have serious reservations about these explanations.

Aside from the obvious metaphysical issues which Bob has illuminated here on OC, the fossil record seems the most troubling to me as far as the scientific credibility of Darwinian evolution is concerned.

Also, I've noticed that just as global warmists are (at least now) overwhelmingly leftists, almost all Darwinians are overtly hostile to religion, and even the idea of any sort of supreme being. That alone makes me very suspicious.

2/25/2010 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debass's comment is one of the more spectular failures you will find on the Internet.

A complete lack of understanding of evolution, a comparison of Obama to Hitler, and a conspiracy theory, all in one post!

Awesome!

2/25/2010 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analogy. Life is full of bubbles isn't it?

I'd say Obama came from the prosperity bubble bursting. Which was fostered by the "consumption greedy" bubble thats now on life support. Which was made possible by the myopic academia bubble set to go supernova, we just don't know when.

SteveH

2/25/2010 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that a bubble occurs when price outruns value, and it bursts when price returns to value, i.e., its actual worth. In 2006, the price of my house was absurdly higher than its value. In fact, even now its price is too high, but that's California for you. "

Well... yeah... there are 'bubbles' and they do pop, but they are not products of the market proper, but of a market beset by shoplifters and thugs running protection rackets. Bubbles may be real, but they are not naturally occurring in and of themselves, there are two things which can drive up prices (yeah... over simplified, but for example)... well informed desirability combined with scarcity, and uninformed desirability with artificially imposed scarcity and costs... both will drive up the market price, but only one is likely to burst.

The first that is built upon actual value may rise and fluctuate, but will be moderated as other options and alternatives are brought to bare and integrated into the market, one price rise instigating other production or positioning offsets to lower another price, and back and forth, barring something revolutionary (such as what trans-Atlantic flights did to cruise lines) no 'bubble' will be created or pop, prices will vary but they are going to be supported by actual value.

The latter however, becomes driven by those who are unknowledgeable but want the name brand label recognition, and govt begins to intercede with 'consumer protection' measures, whether that be artificially creating scarcity as with Calif. real estate being declared off limits to save various mice and insects, or investment 'protection' regulations, wage and/or production regs... etc. This drives up pricing without related and integrated values to support it in the market... and long before the yahoo's recognize it, those who are knowledgeable skedaddle (which gives the appearance of actual market forces causing bubbles)... and eventually someone publicly notices the emperor has no clothes (or banks were compelled to make loans to people who couldn't afford to pay them) and the 'bubble' pops with a bang and crash.

College Education is an example of original value being overrun by an illegitimate bubble - and our culture may be the thing which 'pops'.

"President Obama is another example of a classic bubble. Why did otherwise sane people invest so much in this cipher? Indeed, why did they ignore all of the evidence that he was absurdly overvalued?"

And that's another really good example of one that was illegitimate from start to ... (we'll see).

(Oh yeah... and I'm no economist either)

2/25/2010 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"To cite the most recent dramatic example, the climate change industry has been revealed to be a classic intellectual bubble. As with economic bubbles, its worth as a scientific theory became absurdly overvalued, to the point that more and more outrageous claims were required to prop it up. People were willing to pay the price, so long as the illusion of value was maintained. But since the bubble has burst, intellectuals who invested heavily in it are left holding penny stocks that even then no one will buy, for they are essentially worthless."

Uhm... or you could just say that. Sure. But mine goes up to 11 (on the longwinded volume knob).

2/25/2010 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Bob says:

"In fact, it seems that these bubbles are not so much built into the free market system as built into man, since we have more or less averaged about one per generation over the past two or three centuries. Thus, the "law of the economic bubble" is a painful lesson that each generation must learn anew."

Major credit bubbles are built into the generations of man themselves. Speficially, into the human feature of memory in light of lived experience.

1929 was the last time a major global credit bubble burst.

All the old-timers who kept the credit rules in place because they knew what would happen if they were removed are now gone. These people were replaced with Boomers and Gen-Xers.

Result?

The recent global credit orgy and (ongoing) collapse. The next global credit bubble is scheduled to burst around 2090. So there won't be any new credit debauchery until about 2070 or so.

I think you form major religious bubbles during the so-called awakenings, which occur about 4 generations (20 years each) apart. That was the 1960s. The next scheduled awakening is the 2040s.


We can expect our next slew of religious bubbles when all of the boomers are gone from the scene, so to speak.

I guess bubbles (of any kind) happen when enough people overrun any given truth at any given time and the herd mentality of human nature kicks in for enough of any given population.

I honestly hadn't given any thought to scientific bubbles. But then I don't think about Darwinism, scientism, or global warming very much at all.

My only goal when figuring out the entire generatioal/bubble concept in the first place was to figure out how I could get 15% returns to infinity in the stock market when I was in law school during the dot-com boom from 1997 to 2000.

As it turns out, I figured out that you can't do that because the stock market runs on human nature and bubbles. And I realized that I was in the tail end of one giant bubble.

2/25/2010 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"But science itself becomes a classic bubble when it morphs into scientism, because it pretends to know things it not only cannot know, but can never know in principle. And because man is everywhere man, this is when science begins taking on all of the trappings of a primitive and poorly thought out, ad hoc religion."

Yes indeedy. Similarly for The Law

"The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!
If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.
... "

Real Truth knows gno bubbles - it just pops them.

2/25/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Van says:

"Well... yeah... there are 'bubbles' and they do pop, but they are not products of the market proper, but of a market beset by shoplifters and thugs running protection rackets."

Bubbles require only two things. Conmen and a steady stream of marks.

2/25/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I am not well grounded enough in evolution theory to contribute to the science but from what I do know I do not see evolution as being incompatible, nevermind hostile, to Orthodoxy. I use Orthodoxy as the proxy for all Christianity because the tradition runs back to 33 AD with the fewest detours.

I do not think that Adam and Eve are actual historical figures but that does not diminish the literal value of the story. Wasn't the brouhaha about eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

What better explanation of being or becoming uniquely human than gaining conciousness of the existence of good and evil, and that human action can have both beneficial and harmful consequences? All of which begs the question of what the heck good and evil mean.

2/25/2010 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a warmist. I don't care whether its true or not. I practice warmism as an expression of my love for gaia.

I don't care about bubbles. The herds of humans and their troubles are unimportant. Gaia matters.

I like Tie-dye, granola, yogurt, chanting, incense, painting classes, and modern dance.

I invite you all to become warmists. Join an drop out of the bubble-trouble and enjoy progressive politically correct living. All of your guilt over your excesses can be left behind and you will be free.

Homeschool your kids, too.

2/25/2010 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, homeschool your kids so you can teach them fairy tales!

2/25/2010 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

If Darwinian natural selection theories were true (or rather, if they were the only truth), no life forms higher than bacteria would ever have evolved. Ever study microbiology? Check out the survival mechanisms and propagation rates of various kinds of bacteria sometime. They are the perfect survival/propagation machine. Not to mention the fact that they are literally ageless due to their unique gene structure, which can exactly replicate itself without any deleterious effect whatsoever on the original.

Absolutely everything that has come about after bacteria - things like gills, lungs, eyes, feathers, brains, legs, aging, you name it - makes survival and propagation more difficult, not less. Everything after bacteria is an evolutionary step backwards, on purely Darwinian principles.

2/25/2010 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't listen to scientists! Listen to some dork named "Warren" posting on a blog!

2/25/2010 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Thanks to A Ninny for demonstrating that whole "evolutionary step backwards" I mentioned....

2/25/2010 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Yesterday you were telling me that the kind of evolution you are talking about (spiritual evolution?) had nothing to do with the coarse, materialistic world of biological evolution. Today you are spending your time making fools of yourself about the purportedly irrelevant biology. Why should matter matter?

2/25/2010 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also re global warming, it is not true that there has been "no appreciable warming" in the last 15 years. What Phil Jones said was that the time period is too short to show statistically significant warming. If you don't know what that means, then you have no business opining about science. Read an intro statistics text.

2/25/2010 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger jp said...

Troll says:

"Don't listen to scientists! Listen to some dork named "Warren" posting on a blog!"

Didn't this blog used to have a QC program designed to make sure that only the highest quality trolls got through?

2/25/2010 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Says you and Phil Jones.

Well, that's good enough for me!

2/25/2010 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Phil Jones?

Is this the same visitor from yesterday who kept quoting Carl Sagan?

"Bill-yuns and bill-yuns!"

Was that Sagan, or Ronald McDonald? Can't keep 'em straight.

2/25/2010 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Somebody who would willingly impoverish themselves and half the planet based on insignificant statistics and simultaneously elevate a theory that crowds out the possibility of a complete life should get an educational refund.

2/25/2010 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Phil Jones is quite literally a criminal. He breached British FOA laws which carry a 5 year prison term. Only the fact that he represents the state religion keeps him out of the slammer.

Anyone who quotes this person as a source on global warming is truly pathetic.

And yes jp, we definitely need to attract a much higher quality of troll around here. Starting with trolls who are at least minimally witty when it comes to insultainment.

Where is the John Cleese of trolls? I'd gladly be called a toffee-nosed, malodorous pervert by that troll any day than have to listen to the usual half-wits drone on and on for no discernible reason.

2/25/2010 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

And speaking of Carl Sagan, I read the Demon Haunted World 20 years ago or so and remember thinking it was one of the most bracing doses of reality I'd yet come across. I was absolutely convinced by his (totally ludicrous, as I now know) arguments in favor of boneheaded materialism.

And I think he did lots of good work publicizing science in general.

2/25/2010 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If Phil Jones and the other global warmeners were on the board of a NASDAQ company they would be doing 10-20 for securities fraud. Wouldn't be too surprised to see the Goracle defending himself in a few lawsuits in the near future. He did take money from private investors on information he knew, or should have known, was false.

2/25/2010 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

Don't forget the Medieval warming period when all those hay burning SUVs were being driven around. Plus all that smoke from wood burning TVs. I'm glad I had my television converted to natural gas. I'm still waiting for nuclear powered cars. That should cut down on CO2 considerably. Then of course there was the Cambrian explosion when CO2 was about 6 times what it is today. Must have been dinosaur flatus.
The warmists always confuse AGW with natural warming and cooling of the earth because the science doesn't fit their warming religion.

2/25/2010 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> I'm still waiting for nuclear powered cars.

Me too. But rear-end collisions might be a little more scary....

2/25/2010 01:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are very confused.

The whole "no warming in the last 15 years" meme stems from an interview with Phil Jones, where a remark of his was picked up, distorted, and fed into the right-wing echo chamber. If he's such a criminal, why are you repeating this factoid? Have you analyzed the data yourselves? What are your sources?

2/25/2010 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I left my global warming research at the beach house but couldn't get back there to get it before everything disappeared under the rising ocean.

2/25/2010 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

My window the past 40 plus years.

2/25/2010 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

How much are you being paid?
What are your sources?

2/25/2010 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supposedly there will be a carbon bubble that comes up when carbon credits become au-courrant.

Somehow money is tied into this. I want some of it. A lot of it.

2/25/2010 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous lurker uncloaking said...

Dear anonymous…(AKA as ”Legion”)…I have been occasionally posting on this site since 2006, and I can assure you, that if you want to be taken seriously, given a little (very little) respect, or not have your posting skipped over….. GIVE YOURSELF A FREAKIN’ NAME!!!! One of the heretofore unwritten rules of “Post a Comment On: One Cosmos” is that ‘anonymous” is a code word meaning clueless, irrelevant, smelly troll, arrogantly and condescendingly wrong, or…all of the above. If you can’t even think up a Non De Plume (such as I choose to use), at least assign yourself a number. Anonymous#666 has a nice ring to it. Otherwise… remain anonymous, and gratefully accept the mass quantities of steaming poo that will be deservedly flung at you.

2/25/2010 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anon:

There is overwhelming -- and I mean absolutely overwhelming -- rock-solid evidence that warming stopped over a decade ago that has NOTHING to do with that idiot and confessed liar, Phil Jones.

For the real story you can check MANY sources, including for example Roy Spencer:

Roy W. Spencer received his Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.

Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE.


Spencer is one of the world's foremost experts in satellite climate data. The raw data from several independent sources show no significant warming in recent years.

Anyhow I really don't want to discuss this. There are literally mountains of information out there proving how the global warming phenomenon was a giant leftist trojan horse. And to be perfectly frank, talking to someone who still pushes this stuff creeps me out. Like knowing someone who was a Red Guard or something.

2/25/2010 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

One thing I've noticed about the global warming thing in recent months:

Many people who were essentially convinced that AGW is a serious problem -- both Democrats and Republicans -- now have grave doubts in light of Climategate, Glaciergate and all the rest. In other words, they believed the "consensus" BS in good faith, and thought making sacrifices to prevent harm to the planet was wise. Once the evidence was finally presented to them (and not just endless propaganda and hectoring) and found drastically wanting, they responded as any rational person would and reevaluated their position. Hence we see public faith in the AGW lobby dropping like a stone.

All of this is as it should be, but here's the kicker:

All of this new evidence has made absolutely no difference whatsoever to the true leftist. They are completely impervious to any actual evidence, which makes their claims about being motivated by "the science" highly dubious to say the least. These people are dangerous and often wicked and they make me feel slightly nauseated.

2/25/2010 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Since the leftist lacks religion, he places his faith in other things. It's the same with socialized medicine. Despite the fact that it doesn't work, the left will never abandon it, because it is in the realm of values, not empirical reality, and one doesn't abandon one's values based upon empiricism. For example, I value truth and free will regardless of what Darwinian science might say about their illusory nature.

2/25/2010 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Well, as Bob has noted before, it is the left that is most ruthlessly anti-science, not the so-called right (Newspeak for run-of-the mill Americans, especially Christians with southern accents).

For those who are interested, here is a link for a summary of work by Ferenc Miskolcski, a Hungarian scientist who had to resign from NASA 3 years ago when they refused to acknowledge his proof that increased trapping of warmth by the atmosphere is a physical/mathematical impossibility:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykgg9m-7FK4

Warning, it requires the IQ of someone with a name to be understood.

2/25/2010 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Here's a link to 1,000 articles debunking AGW. You have be totally irresponsible at this stage to advocate massive government spending or dangerously tinkering with the economy for any aspect of AGW.

Mildly surprising is that the European papers are way ahead of the USA in reporting the collapse of AGW claims. I guess that tells us how much in the bag for the Progressive agenda the MSM really is.

2/25/2010 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

PeterBoston, I think part of the difference is that in Europe, it is generally accepted that humans influence climate to some degree, whereas in the US there is a state of confrontation between people who disbelieve it completely and their counterparts who expect the world to sink into the oceans Real Soon Now.

I have to say I think Bob nailed it this time. Of course we influence climate somewhat. For instance, Sahara has started to become greener lately . The problem is that climate science gets hyped up to become a competition of who can make the most hair-raising horror scenarios and so get media exposure. You have to top the last guy or you're not interesting.

In part it seems to be religion sneaking back in: Gaia is angry and will punish the greedy little humans. At the same time, there is money interests involved, from simple research grants to green technologies that would not be profitable for years yet without governments who have to show that they Take Climate Change Seriously. This is a pretty potent combination, religion and money, as history shows.
Or to quote one of my good old roleplaying handbooks: "Never underestimate the combinations of 'army' and 'demons' in the same sentence."

wv: bullis

2/25/2010 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

I've been thinking about "investing" all day, thanks to the post. On a simple and practical level, we seem to be able to invest time and effort into projects -- building a business, or a garden, or even into "ourselves," such as acquiring education for a particular aim. In such activities there is planning and aiming and execution, and results that we like or we don't. Sort of the "business of living."

But in terms of what Bob called "long-term" investing in religion, or alignment with the Absolute (and the implications thereof -- Beauty, Truth, Virtue), the approach is different, trending toward surrender, opening, receiving. In this process, it seems the "investing" is ... what? ... passive?

Also, it "bears watching" how we try to invest ourselves in various areas, but our "money" (attention, intention) gets diverted, siphoned-off by mind parasites, and used for their own nourishment.

Thanks for the post, Bob!

2/25/2010 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Magnus:

I'm glad you brought that up. Of course we have some effect on the climate -- basic common sense tells us that. I personally don't know too many people who would say that there is no possibility that CO2 in any way affects climate.

I would be overjoyed if we could get back to doing something closer to true science in the area of climatology. I'm sure there are thousands of climatologists globally who'd like to do just that. The ones who aren't corrupt or "progressive" that is.

This isn't about some anti-intellectual, anti-science hicks clinging to our guns and bibles. We're against the AGW lobby precisely because we love science so much. Watching the filthy Left manhandle precious science to further their diabolical agenda is, once again, nauseating.

2/25/2010 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

And here is the "evidence" our Trolls have urged us to produce:

New Global Warming Data Reveals Accurate “Hockey Stick” Graph

From the link:
"...scientists can state with complete certainty that this updated chart accurately chronicles the past and future trajectory of the global warming crisis."

2/25/2010 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

NB:

Yes, my position has always been that we simply don't know, so that to insist that the science was "settled" was a lie pure and simple -- to say nothing of the incredible damage that would be done to the global economy to act rashly and massively on this very unsettled science.

2/25/2010 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Saw this joke on American D yesterday:

"You know what they say in Wyoming: when the horse is dead, dismount."

2/25/2010 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Walt: that's a gas!

Also, we didn't hear nearly enough about the long-suffering "Harry", the computer programmer whose exasperated comments are liberally sprinkled throughout the CRU climate model source code. In a nutshell, the "science" he was ordered to program was so slipshod and outright false that the poor chap was developing serious nervous problems and seemed to be getting more and more desperate as time went on. Initially some people suggested it was "Harry" who leaked the emails and source code, but now that's far from certain.

2/25/2010 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Bob:

Indeed we don't know, not least because the earth's climate is one of the most complex systems we can even conceive of "modeling". I know a thing or two about computer modeling, and that's part of the reason I knew the AGW lobby was full of it when I first heard much about them back in the 90s. I knew (and confirmed this with some math PhD pals) that what the AGW "scientists" were claiming to do with their models was impossible in the strongest sense of that term.

I'm sure Van would agree it's damned hard to accurately model a system with 20 variables, let alone one with hundreds of millions. The inaccuracies in each of those 20 variables compound each other, so that something as complex as climate can't be modeled over decades, period. Modelling the movement of all the celestial bodies in the Milky Way would be comparatively easy.

2/25/2010 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

For example, assume you have 50 variables which interact in a simple manner. The initial value of each of these is understood with 90.0% accuracy individually.

In a model of an interactive system made up of these 90.0% variables, the best accuracy you could achieve would be approximately 0.5%.

2/25/2010 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

I.e., the probability of your model being correct would be very low, even for this simple example.

Now try applying that to the whole climate. Like I said: impossible to get accurate results.

2/25/2010 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

NB-

I knew they were full of shit because they are liberals.

2/25/2010 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

sigh.

Does glowbull warming... data... show an actual climate temperature hockeystick? or a Bat? Poolstick? Limp noodle?

Honestly? I really don't care.

Does mankind affect the environment, weather, climate? I assume so. In my teen years I saw Vegas (oh... sorry JP) change from nearly all dirt desert and routine 115-120 degree heat, to massively watered, landscaped, built up valley and mile (by old timers) temperatures. If we can have that kind of effect locally, my guess is that mankind has some affect on the weather, climate, etc, world wide... but I am completely unconcerned whether or not it causes increased warming, cooling, or somehow evens it out.

Not because it doesn't matter, or wouldn't matter, one way or the other, but because we have no proven ability or method for determining how the actual climate operates, and why, let alone what affect mankind has on that process... or even whether or not terrestrial factors are the most influential to it - the influence of changes in the sun, even belts of dust passing through the solar system... we don't know... but even that is not the reason I dismiss the glowbull warmers out of hand.

The reason I dismiss them, the ozone holers, cloro-florocarboners, over populationers, new ice agers, Corvair flyers... the whole existentiallada of them, why I have zero respect for them or interest in listening to their ravings... at all... is... because... they are... ravings. Literally.

raving: irrational, incoherent, wild, or extravagant utterance or declamation —usually used in plural

When it is demonstrated that your fundamental reasoning, your chosen methods, standards of criteria and process of selecting, admitting and/or evaluating data, is arbitrary - then it, and all that is built upon it, is irrational, incoherent, wild and merely an extravagant utterance or declamation.

(aninny asks 'Wo! What about religionists! That's all they do!'. Well... some extreme literalists... the type who would read "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth" as a guide to finding choice real estate... well, yeah, probably. But - doh... sorry... no, not what's happening here or in any legitimate religion (knock yourself on that one. Please.). Please, knock yourself out giving it a shot... it's fun to watch. And no, your arbitrary accusations don't deserve any further consideration than that. Only laughter. And BTW, if you do think we're being arbitrary... you shouldn't be spending any time discussing the matter, for that too would be raving.)

It doesn't take much research to determine that the data collection methods used are laughable, inconsistent and in the best of cases, cherry picked. Same for all the previous alarmists. Selective use of questionable data used to raise alarms over possible dangers.

It is worthless.

And laughable.

Shouldn't you show concern just in case they are right?! Well... shouldn't you pay me 25$ per hr to enlist my aid in keeping werewolves from breaking into your home at night? Just in case I'm right about their targeting your abode?

(if you answered yes, I'll be happy to also set you up with an account to a new eBay store I'll open in order to keep all of your wolfsbane needs fully satisfied... I'll need all of your financial records, accounts & other data first, of course... just in case you're untrustworthy)

2/25/2010 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "Initially some people suggested it was "Harry" who leaked the emails and source code, but now that's far from certain."

Heh... wouldn't be the first time a fed up programmer had outed a pathetic project manager. We had one exasperated guy who routed his amourous emails to the entire company.

'Private' email. Lol.

2/25/2010 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "I'm sure Van would agree it's damned hard to accurately model a system with 20 variables, let alone one with hundreds of millions."

No Doubt! It's damn near impossible reliably tracking and forecasting the costs of building a single battery... within your own company... ask to include the costs and future pricing of retail display racks for it, and hilarity will ensue.

2/25/2010 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Debass said "I knew they were full of shit because they are liberals."

Lol. Best rule of thumb yet (and for the same reason I bloviated on earlier. You... JP... yeah your pithy.

But mine go up to 11.

Ha! wv has the best ever!
giable

2/25/2010 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1000 blog posts by cranks and articles in the right wing press have approximately zero value for determining scientific truth.

The ex-NASA guy someone mentioned has more. It is certainly true that the science is not settled and there is room for doubt, debate, and alternate models.

But unless you are capable of doing your own analysis, you have to trust the consensus of experts. And the overwhelmning majority of climate scientists support AGW.

That there are a few dissenters is interesting but of course it does nothing like decide the debate in the other direction, as you seem to be claiming.

If you only believe what you read in your little echo chamber you will end up woefully misinformed. If that's what you want, feel free, but recognize that you are living in your own little fantasyland.

Here's some required reading.

2/25/2010 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"If that's what you want, feel free, but recognize that you are living in your own little fantasyland."

I will if you will.

2/25/2010 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Anon said:

"there are a few dissenters is interesting"

How much does it cost these days to live under a rock?

Like I said earlier, people like this guy are absolutely impervious to evidence, and they don't even seem to live on the same planet as we do. Months of non-stop, devastating coverage of the crumbling "consensus" and Rip van Winkle here misses the whole thing.

Just pathetic.

2/25/2010 06:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

He forget to add that the "few dissenters" are also on the payroll of BIG OIL.

2/25/2010 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

NB said, "...people like this guy are absolutely impervious to evidence..."

Yes they are. But I hate to tell you, there's a bunch of 'em.

From the link:
Despite the debacle of the failed Copenhagen climate change conference last December, the United Nations is pressing full speed ahead with a plan for a greatly expanded system of global environmental governance and for a multitrillion-dollar economic transfer scheme to ignite the creation of a "global green economy."

2/25/2010 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Just finished reading a history of chaos theory. The field of chaos experts all recognize Lorenz and his butterfly as the beginning of the theory. The ironic part is Lorenz was a meteorologist attempting to model the weather in order to provide more accurate weather predictions. He noticed that small rounding errors in a very simple deterministic model (believe there were 6 variables) had enormous affects on the outcome. His conclusion on meteorological modeling was that the best that could be expected from any weather model was about 7 days of accuracy before the model collapsed. Funny that Lorenz says 7 days of accuracy possible while AGW believe they can achieve centuries of accuracy with their models. Geez, wonder who is telling the truth?

2/25/2010 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Tigtog:

Indeed.

Actually there is one -- and only one -- leftist I am aware of who actually acknowledged the all but lethal blow inflicted by Climategate: George Monbiot (the Guardian columnist who inspired the term "moonbat"). He's still a leftist, and he still supports global warming, but unlike the little wind-up walking progpaganda machines like tonight's "guest", at least Monbiot had a shred of decency deep inside somewhere.

But that's it. The rest of them are just like Anonymous here. I gotta say, I was never, EVER that bad when I went through my atheist/liberal phase.

2/25/2010 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your're talking about this George Monbiot, right?:

Even if you were to exclude every line of evidence which could possibly be disputed - the proxy records, the computer models, the complex science of clouds and ocean currents - the evidence for manmade global warming would still be unequivocal. You can see it in the measured temperature record, which goes back to 1850; in the shrinkage of glaciers and the thinning of sea ice; in the responses of wild animals and plants and the rapidly changing crop zones.

When I use the term denial industry, I’m referring to those who are paid to say that manmade global warming isn’t happening. The great majority of people who believe this have not been paid: they have been duped...these memes were planted by PR companies and hired experts.

Remember this, next time you hear people claiming that climate scientists are only in it for the money, or that environmentalists are trying to create a communist world government: these ideas were devised and broadcast by energy companies. The people who inform me...“you scaremongers will destroy the entire world economy and take us back to the Stone Age” are the unwitting recruits of campaigns they have never heard of.

2/25/2010 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From aninnymouses link "In what I hope is an improvement on the original categorization, they have been divided and subdivided along 4 seperate lines: Stages of Denial, Scientific Topics, Types of Argument, Levels of Sophistication."

Ohhh... sounds like we've got mental problems... you from Frankfurt? Here, you'll enjoy this one too, "Pathologizing Conservatism"

"Reasonable people, such as the distinguished academic researchers cited here, will no doubt agree that until effective treatments can be developed, we should reconsider whether sufferers of conservatism, like other mental defectives, should be allowed freely to exercise the franchise."

Still laughing.

2/25/2010 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Anon, re:

"Remember this, next time you hear people claiming that climate scientists are only in it for the money, or that environmentalists are trying to create a communist world government: these ideas were devised and broadcast by energy companies. The people who inform me...“you scaremongers will destroy the entire world economy and take us back to the Stone Age” are the unwitting recruits of campaigns they have never heard of."

Funny thing, the oil company sells a product that actually works as advertised - too bad the AGW doesn't, or at best doesn't allow any true peer review to determine its accuracy or lack thereof. Wonder why?

Yes we are in a warming cycle and have been for roughly 200 years. This is a good thing. Please tell me how CO2 causes warming versus sun spot activity. C has a lighter atomic weight than H and has next to no absorptive capability; meaning it can't hold heat. Further, it is less than 1% of the atmosphere. Pray tell, how can an element that weighs less than H or O and makes up less than 1% of the atmosphere cause warming? This is a test, will warming cause more CO2 to gas out of the seas (75% of the surface of the earth) or will CO2 production cause warming? I know this is hard to imagine, given the evil intent of oil companies and their demon SUV, but what causes warming; the sun or some trace element in the atmosphere. If you are right regarding C02 causing warming, can I heat my house on it and put the evil oil companies out of business? I eagerly await your reply to my questions.

2/26/2010 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
Your upcoming trip (flight) reminded me of a phobia I used to have and that that condition was similar (in some ways) to the behavior of our young anon. Or rather, the impenetrable nature of the condition was similar.

No amount of talking or reasoning would cure me of it. I was even willing to admit it was irrational (which I think is one qualifier of being a genuine phobia). Even drugs wouldn’t work…for long.

There is a key for that young man’s lock. We may not posses the skill to find it. Maybe somebody like Bion could. My point is, only one key will do. Not slightly similar keys that work for other locks.

So what worked for me? I think it may have had to do with that I was forced to face it over and over. Anon doesn’t have to face anything but anonymous debates on blogs. Like a smoker, say, (who may know it’s bad, or not) he gets away with it today.

This is not to say he won’t survive. Physically he should be fine. It’s not life threatening. As it was with me, as far as I knew.

Anyway, “like a phobia”, I think.

2/26/2010 05:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""But unless you are capable of doing your own analysis, you have to trust the consensus of experts""

So if i can't fix my cars transmission i have to go to the guy who knows how to fix it but is a demonstrable con man. Hmmmmm.

SteveH

2/26/2010 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Dupree calls it again!

>> He forget to add that the "few dissenters" are also on the payroll of BIG OIL.

A Ninny, less than two hours later, quotes:

>> these ideas were devised and broadcast by energy companies

As Bob often says, conservatives understand leftists backwards and forwards (since they are often ex-leftists who grew up at some point), hence can usually predict exactly what they are going to say or do. Leftists, on the other hand, don't (can't!) understand even the first thing about conservatives.

2/26/2010 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Before I dismount, I’m going to submit my ol equation for all the suffers of the so-called AGW problem:

If it takes 15 years of high-tech analysis and still we have to lower ourselves to accept the high standards of “concensus” in determining if we’ve changed the “climate” 1 or 2 degrees over those 15 years, we can’t adapt to in 15 years though we were capable of causing it?

Now…if we can do that, let’s do it. I would like it warmer. ‘cept not some crummy 1 or 2 degrees. I want at least 20 and I don’t want to wait 15 years for it. Thank you.

These are my demands. And I have every right to demand them, if anon does.

2/26/2010 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Gentlemen. (And Ladies.) Do we have consensus that anon doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

All in favor, say "woof!"

2/26/2010 05:41:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

I think you're onto something, Warren. Does this not raise the possibility, yea the likelihood, that the Anonymi are plants, put there by none other than the Dupe himself?

Meanwhile, back to the interesting bubble concept put forth by Bob, this caught my eye in a comments thread and seemed possibly relevant:

"One factor that . . . engineers are very sensitive to, is lag induced oscillation. The more centralized the decision making process, the slower it will be. This time lag converts negative feedback to positive feedback and giant oscillations, or even complete runaway and breakage are the result.

Our current crisis is largely attributable to this condition. In the days before Fannie and Freddy the risks of a home loan were evaluated at the local level where the loan officer could see for himself what the situation was and make a decision accordingly. Fannie and Freddy sucked this risk decision process away from the local loan officer and turned risk management into a statistical algorithm. But any statistical process lacks detail and has a long lag. Financial collapse was entirely predictable if you view the world from an engineering perspective. Indeed, more than one of my engineering colleagues made such predictions."

2/26/2010 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

aninnymouse holy writ says "...“you scaremongers will destroy the entire world economy and take us back to the Stone Age” are the unwitting recruits of campaigns they have never heard of."

Just so damn funny. Those who think 'energy companies' control the world, are in the grips of 'economists' they never heard of... who are in turn in the grips of philosophical ideas they never heard of... they don't think their own thoughts, they merely operate like the deterministic bobble heads they are and according to pre-determined ideas they've uncritically (heh... irony) accepted.

IOW: Zombies.

You can live with them, but like Shaun of the Dean... keep them chained up tight and stay out of reach of their teeth.

2/26/2010 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Tigtog said "Why do Darwinist dislike Hitler? "

Just the normal revulsion and disdain felt by the typical two-bit criminal and politician for one of ther own who: Got Caught.

2/26/2010 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

A complete list of all the things caused by global warming, from acne to yellow fever.

2/26/2010 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick:

That's a good point. In Sowell's new book, one of the definitions of an intellectual is a person whose entire work product is ideas. And for the typical intellectual, there is no penalty for being wrong, and therefore no reason to change one's mind. One can just go on being a warmist or a Keynesian or a multiculturalist forever.

Physicians, engineers and CEOs of giant corporations are just as intelligent as academics, plus there is a severe and immediate penalty for being wrong -- i.e., feedback from the real world.

2/26/2010 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Maineman "Fannie and Freddy sucked this risk decision process away from the local loan officer and turned risk management into a statistical algorithm. But any statistical process lacks detail and has a long lag."

Sounds like Thomas Sowell's mentor, George Stigler's "Economic Theory of Regulation"... I don't have a link for it right now, but this from wiki gives a coonish glimpse of him,

"Stigler is best known for developing the Economic Theory of Regulation, also known as capture, which says that interest groups and other political participants will use the regulatory and coercive powers of government to shape laws and regulations in a way that is beneficial to them. This theory is an important component of the Public Choice field of economics. He also carried out extensive research into the history of economic thought.

His 1962 article "Information in the Labor Market" developed the theory of search unemployment.

He was well known for his sharp sense of humor, and wrote a number of spoof essays. In his book The Intellectual and the Marketplace, for instance, he proposed Stigler's Law of Demand and Supply Elasticities, that "all demand curves are inelastic, and all supply curves are inelastic, too." The essay referenced studies that found many goods and services to be inelastic over the long run, as well as offering a supposed theoretical proof; he ended by announcing that his next essay would demonstrate that the price system does not exist. Another essay, on "Truth in Teaching," described the consequences of a (fictional) set of court decisions that held universities legally responsible for the consequences of teaching errors.
"

2/26/2010 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said Gagdad said "...there is a severe and immediate penalty for being wrong -- i.e., feedback from the real world."

Used to be, but for the last few decades govt has been more and more ready, even eager, to bail out the biggest errors... and the perceived lessening of actual consequences in favor of preferred positions and sentiments, is what we see around us today - the transforming of the economy into the economic equivalent of wackedemia: institutionalized and supported Error.

2/26/2010 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

>> Does this not raise the possibility, yea the likelihood, that the Anonymi are plants

If you mean they have the IQ level of plants - algae, say - then I would agree.

2/26/2010 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I recall an article written by Obama's chief campaign flunkie, about how they used empowerment (something that nobody typically uses in politics) to allow - to a certain extent - the people on the ground to make decisions about the campaign. The result was unprecedented fervor for Obama since this (to my generation and the previous) proved his 'authenticity.' It was a spectacular success, not because of any particular plans Obama had, or any kind of experience or presidential qualities - it was pure rockstardom. On the internet, enabling fans to 'make their own content' has been shown to be massively successful on a national level to gain a lot of traction and notice, so they tried it with the campaign. Of course, they implied that this pattern would continue once he was in office (otherwise how would it seem like empowerment?)

When he got in office their mailing list went 'necrotic' - response rates fell through the floor because it was business as usual - a bunch of internet kibbutzers can't run the country.

But I think it is safe to say that Obama won by Internet Age Marketing, which worked because of his starlike qualities.

My generation - the cluetrain generation - we'll call them, is largely responsible because they have high idealism for democracy and the internet - to the level of utopian fantasy.

Obama's campaign flunkie was a genius, or at least his choice was brilliant.

2/26/2010 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Northern Bandit: "Debass noted the presence of apes -- I don't think that is actually a problem for the theory, given that the theory predicts branching of species."

It's true that the "why are there still apes" objection is silly.

Northern Bandit: "Furthermore according to the theory modern apes and humans came from common ancestor -- we didn't descend from chimps or gorillas."

But this common "Darwinistic" rejoinder about the "ape-like common ancestor" tends to reflect something worse than a silly objection. It (at minimum) borders on intellectual dishonesty; for it is meant to elide the fact that the hypothetical common ancestor *is* an ape ... and that if "Darwinism" is true, then human beings *are* apes.

2/26/2010 09:47:00 AM  

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