True Science

…versus cargo-cult science:

When the attorney general of Virginia sued to force Michael Mann of “hockey stick” fame to provide the raw data he used, and the complete computer program used to analyze the data, so that “you” could decide, the Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia (where Mann was a professor at the time he defended the hockey stick) declared this request — Feynman’s request — to be an outrage. You peons, the Faculty Senate decreed, must simply accept the conclusions of any “scientific endeavor that has satisfied peer review standards.” Feynman’s — and the attorney general’s and my own and other scientists’ — request for the raw data, so we can “judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at,” would, according to the Faculty Senate, “send a chilling message to scientists … and indeed scholars in any discipline.”

According the Faculty Senate of the University of Virginia, “science,” and indeed “scholarship” in general, is no longer an attempt to establish truth by replicable experiment, or by looking at evidence that can be checked by anyone. “Truth” is now to be established by the decree of powerful authority, by “peer review.” Wasn’t the whole point of the Enlightenment to avoid exactly this?

That old “Enlightenment” thing is for fogies. We’re all postmodernists now.

They Should

Dems fear Republican oversight:

I asked Issa’s staff for a list of the issues on which Issa has spent the most time in the 18 months Obama has been in office. First is mortgage giant Countrywide’s favoritism in granting sweetheart loans to lawmakers, congressional staffers and executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Second is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil case against Goldman Sachs. Third is the Obama administration’s response to the Gulf oil spill. Fourth is the administration’s handling of the Home Affordable Modification Program, which is supposed to help struggling mortgage holders keep their homes. And fifth is the Treasury Department’s management of TARP money for the so-called “hardest hit” housing markets.

And that doesn’t even mention the lawlessness at the Justice Department.

Klaus Heiss


Paul Spudis had some recollections of Klaus when he heard about his stroke back in February. I hadn’t seen him since the AIAA space meeting in San Jose in the fall of 2006. I first met him back in the eighties, at a AAS conference in DC, and I worked closely with his company, ECON, in the eighties and nineties, though he wasn’t very involved at that time. Many blame him for the flawed ops cost projections for the Shuttle, but he never intended that it be so misdesigned as it was, with the solid boosters and expendable tank.

Anyway, ad astra, Klaus. The space movement has lost another visionary.

Matt Labash

…doesn’t seem to fear having his…whatever shoved through a plate-glass window. His thoughts on Mr. Ackerman:

From his hermetically sealed masturbatorium, he can…rhetorically threaten people who have soft hands and who type about politics for a living, but who could still pound the Bad Brains out of him (punk reference!) if they ever came face to face, even if it devolved into a girls-school windmill slap-fight, which it probably would. Though they won’t come face-to-face, of course, because being a tough-guy Washington blogger is a bit like being a phone-sex operator: you can pretend you’re sexy, even when you’re wearing a ratty terry cloth robe, hot curlers, and bunny slippers. Just like as a tough guy blogger, you can pretend on the outside that you want to crease the skull of Frank Foer with a baseball bat or annihilate Ryan Lizza in front of his toddler, while on the inside, you’re a moony-eyed trembling fanboy who writes unicorn-and-silly-bandz sentences such as “Yes we did!” when your swain wins an election. Which is sooo not punk rock. But that’s where the Black Flag t-shirt comes in. It’s a symbol. And what it symbolizes is that Hackerman is a dangerous man, not to be trifled with, since Black Flag was an ur-punk band whose former lead singer, Henry Rollins, was a genuine American badass, the Attackerman of his day. You could tell this, because he swore a lot, and wore tight black t-shirts. Even now, screwing with Rollins is like making a death wish. There’s no telling what that muscled wall of menace might do. He might write a really bitchy spoken-word piece about you, then release it as a podcast.

There’s a lot more where that came from. I wouldn’t want to be these “progressive” dweebs. Of course, I would have never wanted to.

[Via Treacher]

Quake in your boots.

Did I Call It, Or What?

I just ran across this old post of mine from two and a half years ago:

I’m reminded by a commenter that today is the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. I had never really thought about the date before–it hadn’t occurred to me that it took place in the winter in Boston. What did Narragansetts wear in that clime?

Anyway, sometimes, particularly given how little difference there is between the two parties, I think we’re overdue for another one.

See, Rick Santelli just channeled me a little over a year later.

A Vast, White-Wing Conspiracy

Wow, it’d be hard to find a more Caucasian demographic than the JournoList, other than the MSNBC host lineup and the burglars in the Broadview Security commercials. They’re probably racists.

[Update Sunday morning]

Was Sharrod pushed out by a bunch of West-Wing white guys?

See, I told you — racists all.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Obama administration doesn’t know when to hold or fold the race card.


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