More on the Mashey-Wegman issue. Part 1 is here
John Mashey has written one of those conspiracy theory plots full of colored dots and ink, accusing Edward Wegman of plagiarizing the work of Raymond Bradley and others in his key report to Congress showing the deep flaws in the paper Bradley wrote with Michael Mann and Malcolm Hughes regarding the Hockey Stick Chart.
Bishop Hill has so far said what needed to be said most succinctly:
there are two possibilities in play:
Wegman et al are guilty of plagiarism; short-centred principal components analysis is biased and can produce hockey sticks from red noise
Wegman et al are not guilty of plagiarism; short-centred principal components analysis is biased and can produce hockey sticks from red noise.
There is a bit of meat with John’s Mashed potatoes, sadly, and I’ll get to it in a minute. But let’s get rid of the twisted conspiracy theory garbage first.
In yesterday’s article I noted that it was extremely strange that Mashey would make as his first point the fact that the Congressional sub committee that commissioned Wegman turned over the results of the work they had done prior to Wegman starting his analysis. This is absolutely normal and uncontroversial, but Mashey writes as if it’s evidence of conspiracy, something he seems to find everywhere he looks.
It is also bizarre that Mashey thinks it wrong that works mentioned in the bibliography to Wegman’s report are not cited. This is clearly evidence that Mashey doesn’t understand very much at all about how anything really works. As anybody familiar with publishing knows, the reason a bibliography exists is to show the reader what the author read, precisely because the works may not be cited in the text. But again, this becomes black helicopter conspiracy for Mashey.
But there is a little meat with Mahsey’s potatoes. Please continue.
About half the plagiarization accusations in Mashey’s paper don’t even concern the Wegman report, targeting the recent McShane Wyner paper and dissertations and other collegiate work done by some of Wegman’s associates. Given that the title of Mashey’s report is Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report, I don’t really see what criticism of other work is doing there. I guess it’s all there to prove a grand conspiracy.
But there is a little meat with Mahsey’s potatoes. Please continue.
In case you think I’m making this conspiracy stuff up, just read pages like 103 of Mashey’s report. It isn’t about Wegman at all. It’s about McShane Wyner,
In a report accusing Edward Wegman of plagiarism, Mashey writes this about an unrelated paper published 4 years later:
“MW, p.2, Paragraph 3
―On the other hand, the effort of world governments to pass legislation to cut carbon to pre-industrial levels cannot proceed without the consent of the governed and historical reconstructions from paleoclimatological models have indeed proven persuasive and effective at winning the hearts and minds of the populace. Consider Figure 1 which was featured prominently in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (IPCC, 2001) in the summary for policy makers1. The sharp upward slope of the graph in the late 20th century is visually striking, easy to comprehend, and likely to alarm. The IPCC report goes even further:
‖<B> ―world governments … consent of the governed‖
When one Googles the 6 words above,50 many hits espouse strong conservative/Libertarian political views. Those are fine in the political arena, but not in statistics papers people expect to be credible. From past experience, 51 strong political/ideological beliefs can cause a few physics PhDs to ignore basic laws of physics.”
But there is meat to go with Mashey’s potatoes.
Wegman’s report examined the relationships between the very small community of scientists working in and around the field of paleoclimatology. This is because after Mann’s Hockey Stick chart began receiving criticism, a flurry of papers were suddenly published supporting his results–and they all received prominent attention and temporarily saved Mann’s reputation. But, as Steve McIntyre pointed out, these scientists were all closely connected to Michael Mann, being co-authors, co-bloggers, mentors and advisers of his. Worse, they used the same suspect data and the same discredited analysis techniques.
Wegman formalized an examination of Mann’s compatriots using a relatively new discipline called Social Network Analysis. And in his report to Congress, when Wegman explains what Social Network Analysis is, he copies someone else’s introduction of the science and doesn’t attribute it at all. (It looks like Wikipedia is copied, which means that someone else probably got copied to get it into Wikipedia. There is even the slight chance that Wikipedia copied Wegman, considering dates and such, but that would be just too delicious, so it probably didn’t happen that way.)
So it looks like Wegman and his team did something wrong. They used someone else’s description of social networking analysis and didn’t credit them.
But as near as I can tell, that’s it. And to put their error into perspective, let’s look at how other independent professionals describe social networking analysis without attributing each other:
Social network analysis is concerned with understanding the linkages among social entities and the implications of these linkages. The social entities are referred to as actors that are represented by the vertices of the graph.
It is concerned with understanding the linkages among social entities and the implications of these linkages. The social entities are referred to as actors that are represented by the vertices of the graph. Most social network applications consider a collection of vertices that are all of the same
A social network analysis must also consider data on ties among units” … The entities in digraphs are called nodes and the relations are ….. The density measure describes general level of linkage among the actors in the community
Kilkenny and Nalbarte
A relation is represented as a linkage or a flow between these … relationships among social entities. In Social Network Analysis we can ….. network is referred to this focal person, and every relation is reported by the ego. …. “nodes” of the graph, and the “ties” between actors in the network become “lines”
Social network analysis views social relationships in terms of network theory consisting of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors.
Social network analysis [SNA] is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers, URLs, and other connected information/knowledge entities. The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between the nodes.
Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller