The Wolverines

They may pull this out, and remain undefeated, but they’re not looking like a ranked football team. They’re being outplayed by UConn.

[Update in the last couple minutes of the game]

OK, Michigan managed to pull out a squeaker again against a low-ranked team.

This does not bode well for either the Big Ten season, or the season in general. They’re going to have to step it up.


…and its inconvenient truth:

Based upon early drafts of the AR5, the IPCC seemed prepared to dismiss the pause in warming as irrelevant ‘noise’ associated with natural variability. Under pressure, the IPCC now acknowledges the pause and admits that climate models failed to predict it. The IPCC has failed to convincingly explain the pause in terms of external radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar or volcanic forcing; this leaves natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause. If the IPCC attributes to the pause to natural internal variability, then this begs the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural internal variability. Not to mention raising questions about the confidence that we should place in the IPCC’s projections of future climate change.

Nevertheless, the IPCC appears to be set to conclude that warming in the near future will resume in accord with climate model predictions.

Why is my own reasoning about the implications of the pause, in terms of attribution of the late 20th century warming and implications for future warming, so different from the conclusions drawn by the IPCC? The disagreement arises from different assessments of the value and importance of particular classes of evidence as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence – my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence and understanding of natural internal variability of the climate system, whereas the IPCC’s reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of climate model simulations and external forcing of climate change.

The models are utterly useless, as a basis for public policy. In fact, to the degree that people don’t understand this, they’re worse than useless.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: no ice-free Arctic this year. Mazlowski is falsified.

The Safety Culture

Some cogent thoughts from Mollie Hemingway:

Many parents just can’t accept the reality that we’re not in as much control of our children as we wish. Last week my nephew went to an outdoor camp in Colorado with the rest of his 5th-grade class. They were supposed to stay just one night. Floods hit the region, the roads washed out and filled with boulders. There was nothing anyone could do. After being stranded for three days, the parents heard about plans to airlift the kids out via Chinook helicopter. That plan was halted when some parents complained it was too dangerous. Who knew that helicopter parents would be threatened by actual helicopters?

Never mind that riding on a Chinook would be the adventure of a lifetime for a 10-year-old. Perhaps because there were no other reasonable options, the airlift commenced the next day. Every child survived and my nephew reported that “No one ever had so much fun in a natural disaster.”

Look, I’m a mother. I care deeply about my children’s safety. But safety is just one important thing to teach our children. And it’s not even anywhere near the most important thing. Keeping your kids from dying or getting hurt is of secondary importance to teaching them how to live. Safety isn’t even a virtue. If you’re teaching your kids more about safety than you are about honesty, kindness, respect for others, responsibility, gratitude, integrity, cooperation, determination, social skills, enthusiasm, compassion and manners, you’re doing it wrong.

That’s the kind of culture that breeds the hypersafe culture of spaceflight that my book is all about.

And then there’s this:

My neighborhood is in Northern Virginia, an area that has been rewarded for playing it safe and going after government cash. Many of my neighbors are government employees, lawyers and lobbyists. Many of them have found success regulating other people’s businesses out of existence, destructive acts all too frequently predicated on fears that somebody somewhere might get hurt. It’s not surprising, in that context, that my neighbors would call for regulation of the lemonade stand or lawn mowing business run by the kids next door.

The fact is that America is now run by people who profit from keeping everyone else from taking risks. It’s lucrative work if you can get it. Six of the ten richest counties in the country are next to Washington, D.C., for good reason. [“It’s where the money is.” — Willie Sutton] But this isn’t a recipe for prospering culturally or politically.


New Server

This is the first post I’ve put up in a while, because I’ve basically been unable to post. Our theory is that I was running out of memory (the server for this blog, and all my other sites, only had four gig). So I’ve upgraded to one with sixteen. You won’t see this immediately, until the DNS servers pick up the new IP, but hopefully I’m back on the air.

Commenting Problem

A regular commenter writes:

I’ve been blocked from commenting on your site for weeks now. I’ve tried both IE and Chrome, and I get the same error message:

Your comment has been blocked because the blog owner has set their spam filter to not allow comments from users behind proxies.

If you are a regular commenter or you feel that your comment should not have been blocked, please contact the blog owner and ask them to modify this setting.

As far as I know I’m not behind a proxy, whatever that is. I use the same email addy and computer I’ve always used. If I’ve offended you somehow and you’ve blocked me, I would like the opportunity to apologize for the offense. If there’s a technical issue, I haven’t changed anything, but Win7 updates so many times, I wouldn’t know if it messed up my settings somehow.

As I told him, I have no idea why WordPress thinks that he’s behind a proxie, but I’m afraid that if I don’t block proxies I’ll be inundated with comment spam. I’m not sure how to allow his IP, because while I have a blacklist, I don’t think I have a white one. Any suggestions?

Linux On Gateway

OK, so I purchased a new laptop, a Gateway NE522 series. It came with Windows 8 installed. After doing a full Windows update, and making a recovery disk, I tried to install Federa 19 on it from a USB drive (it doesn’t have an optical drive). It wouldn’t boot, instead barfing out the following (after the jump) I’ll probably submit it to the Fedora Project for a bug report, but I’d be interested in opinions:

[Update late evening]

OK, I tried with Ubuntu as well. Same result. Dumped into a shell. I’m guessing that it’s the problem described in comments, but not sure I’ll do that experiment until tomorrow.

Continue reading Linux On Gateway

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