Category Archives: Mathematics

Mark Steyn’s New Book

A detailed review:

The problems encountered publishing the valid criticisms of Dr. Mann’s hockey stick are a serious indictment of the current peer review system, especially the systems at Nature and at the IPCC. Professor Hans Van Storch (University of Hamburg) went so far as to say “Scientists like Mike Mann, Phil Jones and others should no longer participate in the peer-review process.” Reform is needed and some suggestions by Professor Ross McKitrick are made here. The current peer review process can and has been used to suppress valid and important papers. This is why I applaud the internet and scientific blogs, they prevent self-serving and arrogant scientists from blocking the truth. One thing we have seen since the time of Copernicus and Galileo, no deception of this magnitude lasts forever.

Contrary to the myth that 97% of climate scientists believe we are headed toward a man-made climate doom, the truth is that a very small group of second rate climate scientists have captured the attention of some prominent political and media figures. They have also isolated themselves from the rest of the scientific community and suffer because of it.

Not enough to suit me.

The Virginia Shootings

This is what I’ve been tweeting this morning.

[Afternoon update]

As usual, the White House lies about “gun violence.”

High Blood Pressure

This looks interesting, but I’d like to see some numbers. Like, how much does it cost, and what kind of reductions are they seeing? I often see studies that amuse me, as though a barely-statisrically-significant 10% risk reduction for some expensive drug with unpleasant side effects is actually worth it.

And is it a permanent solution, or does it require periodic retreatment? Also, are there side effects (like insufficient blood flow to the brain on suddenly standing up)?

The Big One

What will happen to Seattle and Portland when it hits?

Flick your right fingers outward, forcefully, so that your hand flattens back down again. When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. (Watch what your fingertips do when you flatten your hand.) The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

…we now know that the Pacific Northwest has experienced forty-one subduction-zone earthquakes in the past ten thousand years. If you divide ten thousand by forty-one, you get two hundred and forty-three, which is Cascadia’s recurrence interval: the average amount of time that elapses between earthquakes. That timespan is dangerous both because it is too long—long enough for us to unwittingly build an entire civilization on top of our continent’s worst fault line—and because it is not long enough. Counting from the earthquake of 1700, we are now three hundred and fifteen years into a two-hundred-and-forty-three-year cycle.

As she notes, the only question is when, not if. I hope it’s not any time soon; I’ll lose a lot of friends.

[Update a few minutes later]

This is a key point:

On the face of it, earthquakes seem to present us with problems of space: the way we live along fault lines, in brick buildings, in homes made valuable by their proximity to the sea. But, covertly, they also present us with problems of time. The earth is 4.5 billion years old, but we are a young species, relatively speaking, with an average individual allotment of three score years and ten. The brevity of our lives breeds a kind of temporal parochialism—an ignorance of or an indifference to those planetary gears which turn more slowly than our own.

This is also why it’s easy to persuade people that extreme weather events aren’t normal, and can be attributed to “climate change.” People have either not experienced, or don’t recall similar ones from the past, when the CO2 levels were lower.

Bernie Sanders

I have to say, I admire his honesty:

There are very few unspoken rules among major-party candidates for president, and Bernie Sanders is breaking one of them. He’s saying that America’s leaders shouldn’t worry so much about economic growth if that growth serves to enrich only the wealthiest Americans.

“Our economic goals have to be redistributing a significant amount of [wealth] back from the top 1 percent,” Sanders said in a recent interview, even if that redistribution slows the economy overall.

“Unchecked growth – especially when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent – is absurd,” he said. “Where we’ve got to move is not growth for the sake of growth, but we’ve got to move to a society that provides a high quality of life for all of our people. In other words, if people have health care as a right, as do the people of every other major country, then there’s less worry about growth. If people have educational opportunity and their kids can go to college and they have child care, then there’s less worry about growth for the sake of growth.”

Socialists don’t understand that in order for wealth to be redistributed, it has to be created.

How To Stop A Centralized Bureaucracy

Math:

The only thing that will upend the carefully crafted apple cart the political bosses have set up is math. The math that Mark talks about in the Soundcloud clip I posted is rapidly becoming a reality in states like Illinois. The answer from Democratic politicians has been to look for ways to increase taxes and fees to keep the shell game going. None of them have cut the size and scope of government. None of them have deregulated anything to allow more choice and freedom for people. Interestingly, the United States federal budget allocates 62% of all spending to entitlements, and the number will rise dramatically with Obamacare. It’s totally unsustainable but the crony capitalists in Washington don’t care about it. They’ll be fine.

They were told there would be no math.