January 26, 2020

Neat, Plausible, and Wrong

This from Willis Eschenbach:

HL Menken saw climate "science" coming when he said:

"Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong."

The Unbearable Complexity of Science

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:52 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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1 I admit I got only partway through Willis' article (that's a great site he was writing on, by the way!), because this was an excessively busy day, but I do mean to go back and read the whole thing. It's too late tonight and I'm tired. The title pretty much says it, and explains why the Warmiacs, the Gang Green and the worshipers of The Algore and St. Greta of Thunberg are totally behind the Eight Ball (heck, many of them are even behind the Cue Ball -- or is it the Queue Ball? Or the Dodge Ball?): the whole thing is way too complex for them and they'd rather just howl at the moon and hope people think they're sounding profound.


In other words, what they think should be so darn simple (seems that way to Adam Schiff to, but I don't want to confuse the issue here) really isn't. As Willis explains, just when you think you have it sorted out, another fact comes along and gobsmacks you by totally screwing up everything you thought you knew about the subject (water flowing down that plank), whatever the subject is. Carbon dioxide -- oh, really?

But it sure makes things fun, doesn't it, Tim. And by the way, thanks much for bringing Willis into the bunch! He's a keeper, for sure!

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 26, 2020 10:39 PM (0gBw9)

2 Yeah he is, isn't he!  Brilliant mind.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 27, 2020 03:34 PM (ejGHA)

3 Indeed he is, or has.

It boils down to: if it seems simple, it isn't. Unless perhaps a really brilliant person is explaining it to you; there are those who can take a really complex problem and break it down so a "layman" can understand it. Years ago I was reading a book a friend gave me on particle physics, which he was studying at the time -- majored in that kind of thing and parlayed it into a lucrative business. Thing was, without having anything like a background in it, I could understand it.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 27, 2020 10:16 PM (ten4B)

4 Explaining something so the layman can understand is the acme of skill. It SHOULD be the goal of everybody who deals with the general public.  I have noticed that many on the Left - or the wrong side of an issue - purposely use pedantic terms and otherwise obscure the topic in an effort to confuse people. It's a sign you are losing an argument. You see that a lot in the global warming debate; they either dumb it down to the point where it is oversimplified or they go tech on it to the point the average person doesn't understand. You see that in the Darwin debate, too.  Proof both the Global Warming crowd and the Darwinists stand on shaky ground.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 28, 2020 07:31 AM (EkXGF)

5 It's called "baffle 'em with bulls**t." The opposite technique, "dazzle 'em with brains," takes brains.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 29, 2020 11:50 AM (nYRaQ)

6 I finally had, or took, the time to read Willis's entire article, and found, as I expected, that the climate situation is about as I expected. I knew it would be a lot more complex than the Warmiacs insist it is. They love to say, as Willis indicates, that "the physics is simple." Well, beware anytime somebody says that, because it usually means they have no idea what they are talking about. The physics behind a bicycle is pretty simple, for that matter, but when you decide to get on the thing and ride it for the first time, and without training wheels, things rapidly become un-simple.

The Warmiacs would never, I suspect, read an article like this one, at least not all the way through. They would stop as soon as it violated their agenda, or at the point where they ceased being able to understand it, whichever occurred first. I must admit I'm confused by the idea that if you try to shorten a river by cutting a channel through the neck of an oxbow, the river will eventually restore that length elsewhere. But I will accept that because I believe Willis knows what he's talking about (and because I don't have an agenda), and because I could surely find it explained elsewhere. Overall, it made perfect sense, as it explained the way nature keeps things in balance.


Thank you, Willis, for this very valuable explanation.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 29, 2020 12:41 PM (nYRaQ)

7 Baffle 'em with bull is right. That's so much of what the AGW crowd does.

We haven't been able to work out a truly accurate weather prediction system for a few days out because of the complexity of the system. But we're supposed to believe this because "the physics is basic"?  If so, why is the weather system so complex? 

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