Weekend levity: Heisenberg's uncertainty principal components

I didn’t have a “Friday Funny”, (though I suppose you could count the Mann UVA protest) so here’s the latest from Josh at cartoonsbyjosh.com

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33 thoughts on “Weekend levity: Heisenberg's uncertainty principal components

  1. Careful Josh! Mann doesn’t like it when his image is used to satire him. He’s very thin-skinned. He’ll sue you!
    Good stuff.

  2. Heh…
    That got me thinking about cats of course, and the old saw about it being hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if he isn’t there. After watching the hair pulling done to try and pull a signal out of noise in paleoclimatology, dendrochronology, etc. the corollary is obviously that for some people it’s easy to find a black cat in a dark room, even if he isn’t there.

  3. Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)
    Graffito seen on wall of tavern in Goleta, California: “Heisenberg may have been here.”

  4. stevengoddard says:
    August 21, 2010 at 10:34 am
    “Last three posts have been Heisenberg, Horkheimer and Engelbeen.
    Sort of a tongue twister.”
    Heisenberg: High-sen-bear-g
    Horkheimer: Hork-high-mare

  5. Josh – thanks for your hilarious take on this!
    Here is the history of the cartoon:
    phlogiston says:
    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm
    McShane and Wyner:
    As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series. Furthermore, the lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth.
    What we now have is the HEISENBURG HOCKEY STICK:
    either the handle is real but the blade is illusory
    or the blade is real but there is no handle
    McShance and Wyner attempted to validate the proxies by testing their ability to model the recent upturn in “measured” global temperature in the last 3 decades. The model result from the proxies was also a temperature increase but a much smaller one.
    They assumed implicitly that the measured temperature rise is real or “actual” – so thus the proxy modeled result was falsified.
    (However logically the proxy based model result could be correct, and the adjusted “measurements” wrong”.)
    So they conclude that the failure of the proxies to model the recent and well known temperature curve, combined with other statistical considerations, means that the reconstruction of the last 1000 yrs climate temperature is not statistically valid.
    There are two possible conclusions:
    (1) M&W are right, the recent temperature rise is real; the failure of proxy based modeling to track it, with recent data where proxies should be most reliable, shows that the whole proxy reconstruction 1000 yrs back must be rejected. So, blade but no handle.
    Or
    (2) M&W are wrong. The climate temp reconstruction from the proxies both recently and back 1000 yrs is in fact valid. This means however that the proxy reconstruction of a recent shallow temperature rise in the last 30 years is correct and the “measured” steep temp rise is wrong, an artifact of UHI and data massaging. So, handle but no blade.
    Thus the “Heisenburg” hockey stick: if the blade is solid, the handle is uncertain. If the handle is well known, the blade fades into uncertainty.
    Either blade or handle, not both.
    Or in language Joe Romm might recognise, CHECK MATE.
    Josh says:
    August 21, 2010 at 7:52 am
    Phlogiston, I liked your comment so much I drew this…
    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/Blades4Uscr.jpg
    phlogiston says:
    August 21, 2010 at 10:49 am
    Josh says:
    August 21, 2010 at 7:52 am
    Brilliant cartoon, wow, I’m lost for words

  6. Severian says:
    August 21, 2010 at 9:06 am
    Heh…
    That got me thinking about cats of course, and the old saw about it being hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if he isn’t there. After watching the hair pulling done to try and pull a signal out of noise in paleoclimatology, dendrochronology, etc. the corollary is obviously that for some people it’s easy to find a black cat in a dark room, even if he isn’t there.

    No, it’s not easy to find the black cat even if he isn’t there. Because it is hard, and because a lot of effort was put to the task, the method and results are not to be challenged.

  7. Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a Mann who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish he’d go away…
    When I came home last night at three
    The Mann was waiting there for me
    But when I looked around the hall
    I couldn’t see him there at all!
    Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
    Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)
    Last night I saw upon the stair
    A little Mann who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    Oh, how I wish he’d go away
    with apologies to Hughes Mearns

  8. You want the whole Hockey Stick?
    You can’t handle the Hockey Stick !
    I’m sorry sir, Hockey Sticks are not allowed on the airplane.
    Code 10-72H: Hockey Stick involved.
    Code 417H: Person with a Hockey Stick.
    Code 11-85H: Jackknifed Hockey Stick, Tow truck required
    Code 11-96H: Checking suspicious Hockey Stick

  9. Rhoda R says:
    August 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm (Edit)
    Why bother looking for the cat? Just write a computer model that assumes that it’s there.

    Cat modeling, now there’s something PETA and WWF can get behind. Future headline: “Save the virtual big cats!”.

  10. Josh,
    You are both the Dilbert and the Far Side of the climate comic community.
    Q – Who is the salesman in your cartoon? Is that you or phlogiston?
    On a side note: Humor seems to work best for those with some basic serenity. Some basic kind of confidence that everything in the universe is benign and that any evil (even if it does exist [doubtful me thinks]) is lacking in significance. I think this explains a lot of the apparent lack of humor on the consensus climate science of AGW.
    John

  11. So….you are saying that conspiracy began with non-euclidian math, so Mann´s stick is made by curving the surface of the graph by conveniently applying ghostly tensors.
    That indicates how it works some peoples´mind, while flying in their astral body LOL!!

  12. Well obviously, Heisenberg was not a Veterinary Surgeon and was therefore incapable of interpreting cat behaviour.

  13. People are assuming that the caricature of a small, pudgy, bearded slap-head must represent Mann. That seems cruel.

  14. It was Schroedinger’ cat – Heisenberg was just not certain who owned it and Schroedinger didn’t want a dead one.

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