Mosher: Who’s on first?

There’s a riotously funny bit of inside “Climate Math” humor over at Climate Audit from Steve Mosher that is well worth your time. I’m reminded of this famous sketch, but with enough players to actually make a baseball team:

See the next video and link.

Fair warning, if you don’t understand inverted Tiljander sediment proxies, FTP folders labeled “censored”, Real Climate Censorship al la Gavin, or the mindset of Mann and Tamino, you might not get it.

Here’s the link:

http://climateaudit.org/2010/08/06/mosher-on-gavins-frustration

Though, since Climate Math is involved, perhaps this Abbot and Costello sketch is more appropriate:

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56 thoughts on “Mosher: Who’s on first?

  1. Absolutely wonderful. What is most disturbing is I remember watching and listening to Abbot and Costello on early TV and of course radio. Good satire is always in season since the situations never truly change on the names of those being the butt of the joke.

  2. Saw that Tiny Toon cartoon in college and nearly wet myself. I may have been drinking at the time too…

  3. Funny video clips!

    But the hockeyguys are hilarious at realclimate. Every comment is stand up comedy!!!

  4. This is the way the hockey stick breaks,
    This is the way the hockey team folds,
    This is the way the hockey game ends;
    Not with a goal, with a giggle.
    ===============

  5. A real climate thread is also implicated in the amusing “New, New Math” Mosher article:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/

    Sadly the real climate moderators have been releasing only a trickle of additional comments into this thread – which is a shame because they were amusing too (in a somewhat less deliberate way):

    To get a sense of the general tone try:

    “Once McIntyre or Watts’ legions get wind of a forum discussion on AGW, it needs to be heavily moderated. They are just drones that ceaselessly regurgitate denier canards that have been debunked time and time again.”

    Good to know that the science and logic are as crisp and robust as ever.

  6. Ah, but you see “2 + 2 = 5” is actually true, for sufficiently large values of “2”.
    It is also true that “2 + 2 = 3” for sufficiently small values of “2”.

    Given random real numbers that are, to one digit of precision, “2”, their sum will be “4” three quarters of the time, “3” and “5” each one eighth of the time.

  7. Or, how about instead of taking their ball and going home, the Hockey Team is getting the puck outta here.
    =======================

  8. This is really a remarkable development. As discussed here:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/08/01/the-no-dendro-illusion/
    and here:
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/08/04/gavins-perspective/

    …Gavin and Tamino are unable to defend Mann’s hockey stick against the criticism that it relies on the presence of suspect proxies amongst the input noise.

    (Tamino’s attempted defense, posted here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/ was quickly dispatched by McIntyre’s article linked above).

    What’s also amazing is that hundreds or thousands of people have been watching the debunking in public.

    The unprecedented warmth claim itself is now highly suspect. What will happen next? Angry recriminations or acceptance of the facts (even if the fact is uncertainty) – it will be interesting to see!

  9. Can someone (Anthony?) please give Steve M a hand with his new web site. The old one used to print beautifully. The new one is a mess. WUWT was changed recently to print nicely. CA could do with the same treatment. Thanks.

  10. Steve isn’t having as much fun with the thread as some of us, but bless his heart for knowing that comic relief is a necessary part of any healthy conversation.

    SteveM: 2 + 2 = 4
    Gavin: Nobody cares!
    Pielke Jr.: I don’t see a need to dwell on that when the future is a decarbonized economy based on free market principles, not political mandates and unworkable social engineering.

  11. OT, but I came across a new word today – don’t ask me how to pronounce it: Totschweigtaktik – the Austro-German word for ”death by silence”. ”An astonishingly effective tactic for killing off creative work or fresh ideas or even news stories. You don’t criticise or engage with what’s being said or produced or expressed; instead you deprive someone and their work or opinion of the oxygen of attention”.

    It sums up the MO of the official climate “community” perfectly. Dr. Spencer and others have complained about the wall of silence. The word came from an [unrelated] article here:
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/democracy-weakened-by-charade-20100806-11oe7.html

  12. Mann: 2+2=5
    McIntyre: No, 2+2=4
    Mann: thats bizarre
    Mc: 2+2=4, just say it Mike
    Mann: it doesnt matter, look over here we say 3+3=6
    Mc: 2+2=4
    Mann: it doesnt matter, ask gavin
    Amac: ya 2+2=4
    Mann: it doesnt matter
    Mosher: Can anybody besides steve just say that 2+2=4
    Dehog: You said Piltdown Mann once.
    Mc: 2+2=4
    Gavin: it doesnt matter:
    Tiljander: 2+2=4
    Arthur Smith: I”ll look into it.
    Amac; 2+2=4
    Gavin: Can we change the subject, we said it doesnt matter.
    Mosher: can you say 2+2=4
    Lambert: Fuller is full of it.
    Bishop: Mike said 2+2=5, but 2+2=4
    Tamino: Bishop said 2+2=5
    Mc: Bishop was explaining Mann.
    Amac: 2+2=4
    Kloor: why can’t we reason together?
    Gavin: we try, but they wont read our answers.
    Amac: 2+2=4
    Gavin: There he goes again, please shut him up.
    Mc; 2+2=4
    RC commenter: Do your own science Mcintyre
    Mc: 2+2=4 is not publishable. Mann needs to correct this.
    Mann: its all in the SI
    Amac: hey mann website now says 2+2=4
    Gavin: The exact value of 2+2 is uninteresting. move along
    RC commenter: Hey McIntyre said 2+2=5
    Mc: no I didnt
    RC commenter: oops, my bad, but I’m right in spirit
    Gavin: discussion over, lets talk about the black list.
    Kloor: all you people who think 2+2=4, can discuss this further.
    Scientist: Tiljander’s paper wasn’t perfect, lets pressure test her.
    Amac: but 2+2=4
    Scientist: Can you give me a reading list?
    Bender: read the whole blog.
    Amac: in summary 2+2=4
    Deltoid Commenter: tw pls tw eqls fr
    Lambert: You’ve been disemvoweled
    Amac: 2+2=4
    Hank Roberts: I can’t find Amac on google scholar
    Jim Praul: Good I’ll put him on the list.
    Shell Oil: 2+2 =4
    Deep Climate: that proves McIntyre’s Oil connection.
    Briffa: I got 2+2=3
    Harry: I didnt write that code.
    Mann: Keith, hide that decline, here borrow 2 from me.
    Jones: Keith, we match Mann now 2+2=5
    Obsborn: Somebody email Amman and see what he thinks.
    RyanO: good luck with that, Amman never answers mail
    Palmer: Perfect, ask him if our mail is confidential.
    Amman:
    Jones: I think Amman would agree,deny the FOIA
    Briffa (CONFIDENTIAL) gene, McItyre says 2+2=4. Can you help.
    Wahl: We replicated his work, 2+2=5
    Holland: I heard that.
    Amac: 2+2=4
    Amman: Oh MAN! will this crap ever end?? (http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=887)
    RyanO: Hey, how’d you get Amman to answer mail?
    YAD061: 2+2=5 (+-6sigma)
    Amac:2+2=4
    Brian Angliss: Lots of mails you havent read might say 2+2=4
    Santer: Amac, you and me in the alley.
    Dehog: Christy Believes in God.
    Spencer: wrong skeptic, dehog.
    God: 2+2=4
    Jones: Dear God, delete your mail
    Overpeck: Keith we need something more compelling than the Hockey stick
    Briffa: 2+2=4.1?
    Overpeck: MORE compelling keith
    Wigley: McIntyre may have a point on this 2+2=4 thing.
    Mann: “Who knows what trickery has been pulled or selective use of data made.”
    Eli rabbet: Spencer made a mistake, therefore, 2+2=5
    Amac: 2+2=4
    Briffa: I got it, Peck, 2+2=5
    Mann: I said that first.
    Gavin: In a massive waste of time and money Independent researchers have investigated this uninteresting thing.
    Moshpit:{ slaps forehead}
    Amman: http://www.naturesongs.com/cricket1.wav
    Shell Oil: Hulme we gave you 2 million last month and you want another 2 million?
    Hulme: Ya, 5 should be enough. Pachauri, promised us 6, so that makes 12.
    Shell oil: Who is your accountant?
    Hulme: Wei-Chyung Wang, at Suny
    Jones: He keeps great records ask Keenan.
    Amac: 2+2=4.
    Deltoid commenter: can I buy a vowel?
    Lambert: buy 2 get 2 free
    Mann: He doesnt need 5, Tim, sheesh.
    Judith Curry: can you boys please stop this nonsense
    Mann: They started it
    Mc: did not
    Gavin: did too
    Amac: did somebody say 2? 2+2=4

  13. The Monster says: August 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Ah, but you see “2 + 2 = 5″ is actually true, for sufficiently large values of “2″.
    It is also true that “2 + 2 = 3″ for sufficiently small values of “2″.
    Given random real numbers that are, to one digit of precision, “2″, their sum will be “4″ three quarters of the time, “3″ and “5″ each one eighth of the time.

    Given a large number of readings, you can increase the accuracy of your results beyond the precision of your measurements. – Geodesy 321.
    Or you can use alternative methods like PCA and homogenization if you’re more concerned with precision than accuracy.

  14. If the sun refused to shine
    I don’t mind, I don’t mind
    If the mountains, fell in the sea
    Let it be, it ain’t me

    Got my own world to live through
    And I ain’t gonna copy you

    Yeah (sing the song brother…)
    Now if a six turned out to be nine
    I don’t mind, I don’t mind

  15. I don’t think Steve Mc is being fair. If you take into account the ERROR BARS, then 2+2=5 is perfectly correct. With error bars of +/-42.

  16. GISS: if 2+2 represents the trend for stations 1,200km apart and located south of 80ºN then it always equals 5 at the North Pole. I have the pixels to prove it.

  17. Phil: It is obvious to anybody who isn’t a math denialist that when we say 2 + 2 = 5, we mean 2.5 + 2.5 = 5, if you pay attention to the metadata.
    Jim Hansen: Yes, it’s 2.5, we had to adjust the raw data upward to adjust for the fact that it needed to be higher.
    Trenbarth: We can’t find the extra 1 and it is a travesty that we can’t!
    McIntyre: Phil, please send me a list of your addition tables.
    Phil: Why should I, we’ve invested years of time and money into compiling them, why should I send them to you if you are only going to find something wrong with them?
    McIntyre: FOIA says so.
    Phil: I’m sorry, I’ve lost my addition tables.
    McIntyre: ….
    Leaker: Psst, Steve….

  18. It is clever stuff and the warmists will hate it – they don’t seem to get humour.

    I especially liked the numeric series put in by someone: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10….

  19. Thanks Mosh, hilarious :-))

    Reminds me of the Bolb tribe, descended from the Incas of South America. The Bolbs counted by tying knots in ropes. They quickly realized that when a 2-knot rope is put together with another 2-knot rope, a 5-knot rope results.

    Most of the descendants of the Bolbs tribe now work for the Soros Foundation or the IPCC. What goes round comes round!

  20. POST POST-NORMAL SCIENCE?
    a.n.ditchfield
    ______________________________________________________________________________
    Post-normal Science is claimed to be the key to understanding complexity in nature. It is invoked to promote a new world order with sustainable progress on a limited planet.
    What is progress? To most minds it comes from the increasingly efficient use of energy and materials, capital and labour, that translates into lower costs, better income for all, freedom from want and ultimately to more means for care of the environment.
    Not all agree. The bitterness of Green extremists that swept with gale strength at the Copenhagen 2009 conference on climate pointed to the opposite direction: to limiting world economic activity and even casting away the fruits of two centuries of the Industrial Revolution that they blame for a global warming bound to render the planet uninhabitable. This is a controversial meaning of progress.
    Green scare-mongering is too puny to be compared to the 20th century ideologies of Fascism and Communism. Although Green activists are prone to alarmism, the damage they cause is still trifling when compared to the havoc brought about by two world wars and the waste of a long cold war.
    Totalitarians had weapons for their mischief while Green extremists can only brandish words that suggest they would have already capsized the planet, were it not for the ballast of common sense possessed by ordinary folk. They promote public policies too reactionary to be tolerated if implemented. The political reality is that the West resists being rolled back to an idealised Green agrarian past. Forget China and India.
    Again, the world is divided into two camps. One side of the climate issue is epitomised by MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen, who sees global warming as a political and journalistic phenomenon, not a physical one. He expects future generations to look back in wonder at the turn of the century hysteria about climate. On the other side stands Jerome Ravetz, theorist of the fashionable Post-normal Science, who contributed to the uncritical acceptance of anthropogenic global warming as settled science. It is not.
    Ravetz is no common-or-garden Leftist; he holds a Cambridge PhD degree in mathematics. Steeped in Marxism at the Philadelphia home of his Russian/Jewish parents, his US passport was withdrawn during the McCarthy era, although later restored. He then adopted UK citizenship. A disgruntled Ravetz is the kind of articulate intellectual that Oxford likes to keep for a while to enliven debate, and certainly fits the role with his Post-normal Science. He admits that the scientific method cannot be surpassed in its realm of simple phenomena; he argues that there is another realm, of complex matters such as climate, in which the stakes are high and scientific certainties low, requiring a new approach. Enter the Precautionary Principle: if the cause is just and the science unsettled, uncertainties should not stand in the way of acts of government promoted by official propaganda. Enter the Ministry of Truth…
    The truth is that we don’t know – and may never know – how much of global climate change comes by hand of man or by hand of nature, to what degree and when. We do know that hiding uncertainties is fraud, when contrived to deceive public policymakers; e.g. IPPC reports and Lysenko’s Marxist biology.
    The uncertainties of complexity are not new; they been around since the time of the philosophers of Ancient Greece. After them, Hegel and Marx believed they had the instruments to navigate on uncharted and turbulent waters of history, politics and economics. Others argue that questions concerning human nature will always remain in the domain of the intuition of statesmen, of the religious, of the mystics, poets and artists who have the feel, not the thought, to discern in matters beyond the reach of reason – and therefore of science. Their intuition cannot be generalised into a soulless ideological system.
    With Post-normal Science, Marxists try to bring back, as serious, their Alice in Wonderland thought. Their tactics have changed. They now follow the book of Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party in the 1920s. As an exile in Moscow, Gramsci saw the brutal realities of Stalin’s regime and realised the futility of seizing power with revolution and holding onto power with armed force. It led to oppression, not liberty. Christianity is the strongest foe of Marxism; a revolutionary assault on Christian societies entrenched behind a rampart of values upheld for two thousand years is doomed to failure. Gramsci proposed an alternative approach: evolution, not revolution, is the way to the ideal classless society, in a long but sure process. Marxism should spread in concentric circles until it grows into a consensus. First win over the opinion formers; then the university professors, the intellectuals they educate, the journalists, teachers, leaders of civic and religious organisations, political parties. Finally, with the leadership in the fold, the masses would follow. Marxism would rule with no compulsion, in place of societies based on religious values.
    After Communist regimes collapsed into universal discredit Gramsci’s suave approach gained favour, and in now under way. This was perceived by Alan Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, who collected clippings of amusing things written by post-modernists (mainly Marxists) about hard science, especially those who use abstruse mathematical terms to make their text incomprehensible, so as to pass as profound. He grew weary of nonsense written about physics, held by social “scientists” to be white, male and euro-centric. He came to the conclusion that there is no such thing called a social science, because anything goes. He submitted his opinion to experimental proof.
    PROPOSITION
    That a prestigious sociology journal would publish an essay full of absurd statements, provided it was:
    · Well written, of scholarly appearance;
    · Cloaked as incomprehensible physics;
    · Attuned with prejudices of the editor.
    Sokal’s essay announced his discovery of Quantum Gravity, the synthesis of relativity theory and quantum mechanics, on a superior plane that supersedes both. He suggests he had done it with the methods of social sciences, in a feat that did away with the outworn formal logic and systematic experiment, still in use and unduly so. The implications were so revolutionary that the essay had been rejected for publication in peer-reviewed journals of physics, and this was the reason to seek its publication in Social Text, known for a mind open to innovation.
    The essay contains nonsense galore immediately perceptible as a hoax by an engineering student. The essay favoured mathematics freed from the shackles of the rules of arithmetic and stood against the teaching of the outworn geometry of Euclid, a tool for oppression of the working class. There was anti-feminist prejudice in fluid mechanics. Truth is relative. Constants such as the speed of light, (299 792 km/s), universal gravitational constant G (6.67438×10-11N(m/kg)2), and the number pi (3.1416) have values set by the current social context but such values may change in a different future social context.
    No absurdity was contrived by Sokal; all were extracted from what was stated by post-modern thinkers about hard science and he supports it with more than one hundred references to published articles.
    PROOF
    Sokal’s essay, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity was indeed published as submitted, with no comment, although Sokal repeatedly asked whether there were any questions to be clarified.
    “Social Text” #46/47, pp. 217-252 (1996).
    QUOD ERAT DEMONSTRANDUM
    In another journal, at the time of publication, Sokal explained what he had done at Social Text and regretted that a silent tide of irrationality threatened institutions of higher learning to dictate, from a blind and intolerant pulpit, what is right to do, say and think.
    An inquiring mind shuns Gospel according to St. Marx. Reviewers at Social Text could have asked: if a future society decrees that pi = 4 will circles be squares and heavenly bodies cubes? None asked.
    With its pretence of a short cut to deal with complexity, Post-normal Science amounts to sophistry of the kind ridiculed by Sokal. Its previous failure was in economics and the new one in climate. It is a grab for power to ration use of energy worldwide and thus control the lives of every human being. Its followers are not above deceit to exploit emotions of a guilt-ridden West.
    A confident West had worked wonders. French contributions to mathematics are found in the work of Descartes, Pascal, Fermat, D’Alembert, Delambre, Fourier, Lagrange, Monge, Poisson, Laplace, Cauchy, Galois, Poincaré, Benoit Mandelbrot. Then came Post-normal Science with Humpty Dumpty scruple: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less”. It is Mock Science with Mock Turtle arithmetic of: Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, Derision.
    No Post Post-normal Science is needed to dialectically supplant Post-normal Science; a return to Science would do.
    Sokal’s essay is available on Internet at: http://www.sablesys.com/sokal.html.
    Also see:
    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

  21. There is a 10% probability that 2 + 2 might = 4, but invoking the Precautionary Principle, given that 2 + 2 + 5 with 90% probability, we must go with 5 for the sake of our children and grandchildren, or THEY’RE ALL GONNA’ DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Mosh,

    Thanks for the laugh I got after reading your script based on the CA postings – I had to go get a paper towel and clean out my eyes from the tears of laughter.

    I fell under the spell of the discussion over at CA; what is it about those kinds of around and around arguments like the comedy skit videos provided here that so fascinates? It’s like watching the motions of a complex mechanism; or staring at a nice fireplace blaze; or looking at flowing water…sometimes you just can’t look away.

    Reading the postings at CA as they were coming in was surreal. How could grown adults be defending Mann’s (mis) use of the Tiljander proxies? Back and forth and back and forth; fascinating.

  23. Very funny, we need all the comic relief in this epic tale of scientific woe. Thank you.

    rbateman says: August 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm
    What those boys need is a good hot bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Catastrophic Soup.

    You must mean this: http://i37.tinypic.com/9lcvg6.jpg Surely it’s brain food for higher math.

  24. Thanks Guys.

    Hope none of you had hot coffee in your mouths while reading.

    A caffeine laced nose enema is quite the rush

  25. a.n. ditchfield says:
    August 7, 2010 at 6:11 am
    POST POST-NORMAL SCIENCE?
    =====

    Clearly post-normal science requires the use of “post-normal math” (formerly known as “new math”) …

  26. Steven mosher says:
    August 7, 2010 at 7:43 am
    Hu,

    I need to remind myself to wear “Depends” while reading your comments

    Watt’s on second, but Wye do you Depend on his blog to know which way’s up?

    I dunno who’s on third …

  27. Does Gavin have areal job? Does he work for someone who pays his salary? Do they approve of the company time he obviously spends on personal, private, matters promoting an ideology and religion?

  28. Absolutely yes, Abbot & Costello must have been coaching the lecturers at the CRU and elsewhere. It all makes perfect sense now. We can see that kind of logic where statements are made that hardly anyone disagrees with, yet they are used to vilify empirical scientists in an inappropriate fashion. This is a function of a kind of Orwellian Doublespeak, where green means brown, and truth becomes lies.

    The temptation to bluff and bluster, instead of simply stating “I don’t really know”, is overwhelming for most junior administrators and scientists, because they don’t want to lose their jobs, because they couldn’t be bothered to do the research necessary. Then this hokum gets passed ever upwards in a kind of “chinese whispers game”, until the President Himself is saying these things. Of course the POTUS may have another agenda, because as he stated “under my plan, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket”.

    We are so very very far from Kansas now !

    please see the videos at my website, click my name and do yourself a favour.

    – Axel

  29. The wramists have said 2+2=5 and to them the mathematics is then settled.
    To try to get them to debate is futile.

    ( Doesn’t this so clearly show their minds. )

  30. Now, now, New Math is so 1970’s. The latest thing is the New New Math. Teamwork, group activities, calculators and computers, novel creative algorithms, and the answer doesn’t have to be right so long as they were trying their best.

    http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/index.htm

    All the inquiries have found that there was no wrong-doing because standard practice for climate scientists is to find that 2+2=5. It can’t be wrong if everybody who, ahem, counts, that is, those with the grants, gets the same answer.

    Indirect costs say so.

  31. The second Abbott and Costello clip reminds me of a Ma and Pa Kettle clip where 5×14=25.

  32. Gav: take the blue pill and forget all about 2+2=4
    Mc: take the red pill, look into the paleoclimatic rabbit hole and see how far down 2+2=4 takes you.
    Tamino: I took both
    Mosh: Tamino, we know

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