Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Perspectives and studies
I came across a couple of interesting articles today (Monday) about belief in global warming (aka "global climate change").
Both articles are reports on the same study, of course. They show how editing decisions affect the slant of an article in a way few others have. They do not contradict each other, they simply emphasize different aspects of the study.
But the show one more thing in both cases, belief in anthropomorphic (man made) global warming is more about cultural desires and attitudes than about science.
Or maybe just peer pressure....
"...what an ordinary member of the public believes -- or does, as
consumer or voter -- has no practical impact on climate change, and
hence no impact on the risk he or she faces. So any mistake that
individual makes on the science is really immaterial to his or her
personal well-being. What matters a lot more is having a belief that
fits in with her group -- it can really ruin your life to hold a
position that is at odds with your peers on a controversial issue. So it
makes sense that people will pay more attention to "getting it right"
relative to their group. It doesn't take a lot of sophisticated thought
to be pretty good at that. But if you are capable of technical reasoning
-- and you know a lot about science (we measured that too) -- you can
do an even better job finding support for his or her group's position
and rationalizing away evidence that challenges that position. If that
is how things work, then people who are good at quantitative reasoning
will be even more polarized."
Myself, I do not worry (much less panic) about global warming. After all, it may be a good thing in the long term. We have no way of knowing what is the ideal temperature range for the earth and for human beings. It could be as beneficial as it is disastrous or more beneficial or more disastrous. In any event, it seems inevitable. I think we should spend more time and money figuring out how to adapt to climate change than on trying to stop it or reverse it.