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Messages - Pingu

1
The emerging picture from actual evidence as opposed to Alice in Wonderland stories is that...

1. There was a global flood
2. Which made things very wet indeed
3. Including North Africa
4. When things dried out the land greened up and there were many  lakes and rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert
5. Empires flourished
6. They probably destroyed their land just like we are doing today.
7. Ergo ... Sahara desert
8. As more and more people like Paul Ehrlich are now saying
This is not preaching by the way ... it's an outline of my hypothesis ...

Preaching is different.

Here's the hypothesis version:

1. If there was a global flood
2. It would have made things very wet indeed
3. Including North Africa
4. When things dried out the land would have greened up and there would have been many  lakes and rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert
5. This would have allowed Empires to flourish.
6. If they did, their activities may have eventually destroyed their land just like we are doing today.
7. In which case that one outcome might have been the Sahara desert
8. In the manner that Paul Ehrlich once proposed.

Which you would then compare with at least one alternative hypothesis, e.g.:

1. If there was an ice age that peaked around 21,000 years ago, as copious evidence indicates
2. As the earth warmed up again, rainfall throughout the world would have increased
3. Including North Africa
4. The land would have greened up and there would have been many  lakes and rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert
5. This would have allowed Empires to flourish.
6. However, as the earth continued to warm, rainfall would have reduced.
7. Expanding the desert once more
8. In the manner that is recorded in cyclical changes in dust deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.

How would you decide which of these two hypotheses better accounts for the same observations, namely, evidence that the Sahara was greener a few thousand years ago than it is today?

And which better accounts for the observation (e.g. from ice cores and Mediterranean deposits) that the Sahara has gone through multiple humid/dry cycles over many hundreds of millennia?
Hardly any difference, but ok. 

"How would you decide ...?"

By considering ALL the data ... not just some of it ... i.e. don't ignore data we don't like ... that's apparently what Old Earthers are doing and it leads to absurdities.

So what data do you think are consistent with the first and not with the second?

ETA: There are of course copious amounts of data consistent with the second but not with the first, including the ice core and sediment data I mentioned.  But I'm interested to know what data YOU think are consistent with the first but not the second.
2
The emerging picture from actual evidence as opposed to Alice in Wonderland stories is that...

1. There was a global flood
2. Which made things very wet indeed
3. Including North Africa
4. When things dried out the land greened up and there were many  lakes and rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert
5. Empires flourished
6. They probably destroyed their land just like we are doing today.
7. Ergo ... Sahara desert
8. As more and more people like Paul Ehrlich are now saying
This is not preaching by the way ... it's an outline of my hypothesis ...

Preaching is different.

Here's the hypothesis version:

1. If there was a global flood
2. It would have made things very wet indeed
3. Including North Africa
4. When things dried out the land would have greened up and there would have been many  lakes and rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert
5. This would have allowed Empires to flourish.
6. If they did, their activities may have eventually destroyed their land just like we are doing today.
7. In which case that one outcome might have been the Sahara desert
8. In the manner that Paul Ehrlich once proposed.

Which you would then compare with at least one alternative hypothesis, e.g.:

1. If there was an ice age that peaked around 21,000 years ago, as copious evidence indicates
2. As the earth warmed up again, rainfall throughout the world would have increased
3. Including North Africa
4. The land would have greened up and there would have been many  lakes and rivers across what is now the Sahara Desert
5. This would have allowed Empires to flourish.
6. However, as the earth continued to warm, rainfall would have reduced.
7. Expanding the desert once more
8. In the manner that is recorded in cyclical changes in dust deposits in the Mediterranean Sea.

How would you decide which of these two hypotheses better accounts for the same observations, namely, evidence that the Sahara was greener a few thousand years ago than it is today?

And which better accounts for the observation (e.g. from ice cores and Mediterranean deposits) that the Sahara has gone through multiple humid/dry cycles over many hundreds of millennia?
3
It's one thing to believe ruddiman who is basically echoing a bunch of classical authors like Pliny and Strabo who actually lived during the times that we are talking about

 :no:

Neither Pliny nor Strabo lived in 3000 BC.  Nor did they live in the Sahara.

not to mention strengthening his opinion with actual archaeological finds.

It's quite another thing to believe Dalrymple who has no classical authors or archaeological finds from 4 billion years ago.

 ::)
4
How could any of us "agree" or "disagree" Dave?  As far as I know, the only person at TR directly engaged in holocene climate research was SteveF and he's busy being a father right now.

You have no methodology for deciding whether or not "the black shaded areas on Ruddiman's Figure 6 were heavily deforested sometime between 8000 and 2000 BP" or not.  You can't even be bothered to read, from beginning to end, any papers on the subject, and you scoff at the "RSPL" when you even get a glimpse of the nitty gritty of the data and analysis that might actually tell you something about the evidence one way or another.

Yet you think you know more than the scientists who actually did the work. analysed the data, and wrote the papers.

Yes, as those figures I posted earlier show, scientists think that most of the Sahara was green during the last humid period, and, it looks like even greener during the Eemian.  Between those humid periods, scientists think, based on hard and consilient data, including, btw. the very ice cores you had your tantrum about a few days ago, there were long periods when it was much dryer and the desert areas expanded again.

Sure, that doesn't suit your religious story, but don't kid yourself you are in any position to make an objective evaluation of the actual evidence and analysis.


5
FYI Dave:

The Eemian...is the interglacial period which began about 130,000 years ago and ended about 115,000 years ago

The Holocene ...is the current geological epoch. It began approximately 11,650 cal years before present, after the last glacial period.
6
Quote

Figure 2
Present day meteorology and vegetation in North Africa.

(a) Latitudinal distribution of present-day vegetation belts (MED.: Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean; DES.: desert; GBT: grassland, bushland and thicket; WOO: woodland; FMT: forest mosaics and transitions; FOR.: rain forest) [60], and mean annual precipitation (MAP) and meteorological elements [3], [4], [59] projected onto a cross-section along the eastern Sahara (dark N-S line in b). (b) Map of the main physiographic and tectonic [88], [97] elements. Coloured vegetation belts are based on a structural classification of vegetation (indicating percentages of woody cover: %wc) using MAP values and main climatological determinants on tropical African biomes [56].

Quote

Figure 4
Reconstruction of North African vegetation during past green Sahara periods.

(a) Estimated and reconstructed MAP for the Holocene GSP (6-10 kyr BP) projected onto a cross-section along the eastern Sahara (left panel) and map view of reconstructed MAP, vegetation and physiographic elements [7], [8], [11], [45] (right panel). (b) Estimated and reconstructed MAP for the Eemian GSP (122-128 kyr BP) projected onto a cross-section along the eastern Sahara (left panel) and map view of reconstructed MAP, vegetation and physiographic elements [14], [15], [44], [45] (right panel).


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3797788/
7
Yeah, Dave was straight wrong about that. But DaveHasToBeRight.
9
IIRC, "head rolling" means "going to jail".

So there's Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.
Yeah.

BEFORE his trial.

What is this? The Soviet Union?

You don't have remand custody in the US?  What is bail for then?
10
Of course, "The Persian Empire" is not synonymous with Iran/Persia, any more than "The British Empire" is synonous with "Britain".   And neither is close enough for anything.

Just as "North Africa" is not synonymous with "The Sahara" and is not close enough for any discussion of whether or not the Sahara is man-made.  Even the Sahara itself has many different regions, with very different terrains.

Hope that clarifies things a little
11
Quote
When "Persia" became "Iran"

This article is a part of "Persia or Iran" by Professor Ehsan Yarshater, published in Iranian Studies, Vol. XXII, No.1, 1989.

In 1935 the Iranian government requested those countries which it had diplomatic relations with, to call Persia "Iran," which is the name of the country in Persian.

The suggestion for the change is said to have come from the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of the Nazis. At the time Germany was in the grip of racial fever and cultivated good relations with nations of "Aryan" blood. It is said that some German friends of the ambassador persuaded him that, as with the advent of Reza Shah, Persia had turned a new leaf in its history and had freed itself from the pernicious influences of Britain and Russia, whose interventions in Persian affairs had practically crippled the country under the Qajars, it was only fitting that the country be called by its own name, "Iran." This would not only signal a new beginning and bring home to the world the new era in Iranian history, but would also signify the Aryan race of its population, as "Iran" is a cognate of "Aryan" and derived from it.

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out a circular to all foreign embassies in Tehran, requesting that the country thenceforth be called "Iran." Diplomatic courtesy obliged, and by and by the name "Iran" began to appear in official correspondence and news items.

At first "Iran" sounded alien (for non-Iranians), and many failed to recognize its connection with Persia. Some (Westerners) thought that it was perhaps one of the new countries like Iraq and Jordan carved out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, or a country in Africa or Southeast Asia that had just been granted independence; and not a few confused it with Iraq, itself a recent entity.

As time passed and as a number of events, like the Allied invasion of Iran in 1941 and the nationalization of the oil industry under Prime Minster Dr Mohammad Mosaddeq, put the country in the headlines, the name "Iran" became generally accepted, and "Persia" fell into comparative disuse, though more slowly in Britain than in the United States.


http://www.iranchamber.com/geography/articles/persia_became_iran.php
12
Nor is "The Sahara" a synonym for "North Africa".
Nor is Persia a synonym for Iran.

Yes, it is.

Quote from: Wikipedia
Persia (disambiguation)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Persia, or Iran, is a country in Western Asia.


But it's close enough for our purposes.

No it is not.

Quote from: Wikipedia article on the Sahara
The [Sahara] desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, and the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape gradually changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna around the Niger River valley and the Sudan Region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Sahara can be divided into several regions including: the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, and the Libyan Desert.


13
Nor is "The Sahara" a synonym for "North Africa".
14
I can see some definition of "brittle" applying to land whose ecology is relatively non-resilient to perturbations, like various anthropogenic impositions.  Land at the edges of deserts, for instance.

That is typically refered to as "fragile".

Savory uses "brittle" so he can blame all land degradation everywhere on not enough cows.
Exactly.  Why not just use the word 'fragile'?  I suspect Savory is trying to conflate the metaphorical sense of 'brittle' (i.e. synonymous with 'fragile') with the physical property of a (desert) crust.

No, the site says it is because plant materials get all dry and snappy offy.

Not making this up. Just paraphrasing.
Yup.

Welcome to actual, real, feet on the ground, dirt under the nails science.

Where words like snap-offy are fine.

In fact, they are better than reverse Swahili Pig Latin words because most common people understand them.

We should reform all of science the same way. I mean why measure radiation if you can just eyeball it and make a subjective scale of the general glowiness of stars? I am sure it would make the math so much simpler. And we could stop wasting money and fancy words doing white bloodcell counts and biopsies and such. We just take a look and decide if someone looks kinda cancery.

We could fast-track medicines if we stopped insisting on all this hoity-toity double-talk and annoying double-blind testing. We just kinda eyeball it and see if it side-effecty.

This kinda red-blooded, homespun and robust science-wordiness is fine. In fact, it is better, because Dave doesn't even have to look up the words or anything.

:notworthy:
15
VoxRat - search a bit deeper:

http://www.nous.org.uk/skiamorph.html

Also,
Quote
Skiamorph is a synonym of skeuomorph.

https://wikidiff.com/skeuomorph/skiamorph

Also as applied to textiles:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=XbK6CgAAQBAJ&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=skiamorph&source=bl&ots=S9gb9ee78o&sig=Ez2sAuevQTQ1ULEqjVsLl41qFUU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi84ti09M7bAhWj3YMKHQULCQI4ChDoAQgrMAI#v=onepage&q=skiamorph&f=false

One of my favorites is the convention we still follow of putting engines in the front of cars - where the horse would have been. That necessitated a long crankshaft to drive the back wheels.  It would have been simpler to make the early cars with engines at the back.
18
It's good if Trump doesn't start a war, but he is telling all dictators in the world "Kill as many people as you want, the US won't say shit and will even reward you if you kiss my ass/bribe me/develop nuclear weapons." Which some critics say is a possible downside.

fyp
19
Quote
Most people who even bother to do controlled blind studies are trying to learn something, Dave.
Yes, typically trying to learn something IN SUPPORT OF SOME AGENDA, usually corporate or government.  So they typically set up the experiment so that the results WILL support the agenda.
Quote
When they use bad practices, they can be called on it, their studies debunked using better controls and balances.
Of course, but these folks are smart enough to make their studies unassailable.  But the underlying assumptions and setup are not revealed.
Quote
It's true studies are often done by corporations that, being unfavourable, get buried. Those studies are never put forward as evidence though.
And the studies that ARE put forward are often set up dishonestly.

HONESTY.

Is the key ingredient.

And that's usually missing.  Why?  Because of HIDDEN AGENDAS.
That's right guys, scientists are corrupt.  There is only one man here who knows the truth, the most honest man here (self professed) Dave Hawkins!!!!!111

Dave is actually right here (hehe he won't know because he can't see my posts!)  There is a huge problem with RCTs in medicine, because they are too easy to game.  Things are improving, but there is still a long way to go.

The problem isn't with the RCT methodology - the problem, as Dave says, is with the honesty of the drug companies.  One approach to solving the problem is to require all RCTs to be registered in advance, so that even if an RCT doesn't show a significant effect for a drug, people know it was done and can find out the result.  But it's hard to enforce, so journals are under pressure to refuse to publish any study that hasn't been registered first.

However, a lot of the problem with RCTs is more subtle - the outcome measure is too narrow, or the comparison isn't relevant.  The good thing though is that as long as you don't just accept the bottom line result, and actually read the methodology, that should be apparent.

No skimming for nuggets in other words.  No leaving out the RSPL.

And it should goes without saying that just because RCTs have problems that doesn't mean that a non-R, non-C, T is better. 

Although there are interesting alternatives to the classic RCT that are being developed.
20
How something can appear to have effects when it actually doesn't:
Two personal illustrations of practices which, it turns out, have no bearing on results:

My mother always pot-roasted a specific cut of beef by first cutting off a particular section and wrapping it around the main portion. Finally, 30 or so years after she began doing it, she asked her mother, from whom she'd copied the trick, why. Because, my grandmother explained, that cut of meat wouldn't fit nicely in the pot she cooked it in without rearranging it. My mother's pot was larger. There was no need at all.

I fold my towels a certain way, automatically, the same way my mother always did. One day I noticed she'd changed the way she folded hers. Because she'd changed cupboards: towels fit better folded in thirds in her narrow old cupboard. They didn't in the new one.

The roast got cooked, the towels folded. But there were steps that had no necessary effect on outcome.

Skiamorphs.

I had to look that up. I didn't know there was a word for such things, though I knew about such things persisting in architectural decorative forms, and even a bit in language. :)

I was so happy when I learned that word.  It's become a bit more common now in the context of GUIs, but at the time I learned it it was very rare.  Soon afterwards I was having a conversation with a cornettist - actually the world's greatest cornettist  :smug: - and I mentioned that the cornett was a skiamorph. He hadn't known the word until then.  Next time  I met him, he said he didn't know how he'd managed to live without the word, and had used it at almost daily ever since.

21
How something can appear to have effects when it actually doesn't:
Two personal illustrations of practices which, it turns out, have no bearing on results:

My mother always pot-roasted a specific cut of beef by first cutting off a particular section and wrapping it around the main portion. Finally, 30 or so years after she began doing it, she asked her mother, from whom she'd copied the trick, why. Because, my grandmother explained, that cut of meat wouldn't fit nicely in the pot she cooked it in without rearranging it. My mother's pot was larger. There was no need at all.

I fold my towels a certain way, automatically, the same way my mother always did. One day I noticed she'd changed the way she folded hers. Because she'd changed cupboards: towels fit better folded in thirds in her narrow old cupboard. They didn't in the new one.

The roast got cooked, the towels folded. But there were steps that had no necessary effect on outcome.

Skiamorphs.
22
So what's the bottom line on exit polls?
Should we just ignore them?

No, they are really useful for analysing who voted for whom.  They are also good for predicting the count, but not as a CHECK on the count - they become a useful predictor only after they have been reweighted using the actual incoming counts.  That was what all the fuss was about - the "raw" poll results, before reweighting, showed a Kerry win, which was massively "statistically significant".  But that's because there's so much statistical power that the MoE is always tiny.  It's the response bias, or rather selection bias, that is huge - and unknown until after you've compared it, precinct by precinct, with the actual precinct count.  But the cry of "foul" was because that massively "significant" result for Kerry didn't match the count. So they thought the count had been tampered with.

People think the exit poll must be a reliable poll because it doesn't depend on "Likely Voter" modelling, nor on long-term memory - because you know everyone in the poll has just voted.  But the random sampling procedure is completely crude as compared to a telephone or even an internet poll.  People who don't want to talk to a exit poller just evade selection.

ETA: more here:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/11/4/266452/-How-to-read-exit-polls-a-primer

Seems like such old news now!
23
One of the (many) things I admire about Pingu is her tendency toward clarity.  If you pay attention to her arguments, then either you end up agreeing with her or else you end up with a clearer idea of why you disagree with her.  Both outcomes are good.

Same with you, BD :)  Except that my brain is often several sizes too small for your arguments :(

But yes - both outcomes are good.  My first experience arguing on the internet was over the 2004 US presidential exit polls.  That was an extraordinary experience, and I learned a lot about why people disagreed with me.  Sometimes they were wrong, and sometimes I was. The second was the really interesting part.  The result was a really interesting set of discoveries about why the standard way of estimating response-bias in exit polls doesn't work, why my proposed solution also doesn't work as well as I thought it did, and how to make it better, and eventually to a reanalysis of the exit poll data to find out why the 2004 polls were so wrong. Which, unfortunately, wasn't because of massive vote fraud.

It also taught me that fundamentalism isn't only a Christian, or even right-wing, phenomenon :(
24
Thanks guys!

It's really appreciated.  For some reason my addiction to trying to explain stuff to Dave seems to be finally cured. 

One weird thing about Dave's complaint that I think I am the "Queen" and "strut like a peacock" and flaunt my "regalia" is that that couldn't be further from the truth.  My compulsion to explain simply reflects my own struggles to explain things to myself.  I'm smart enough to know when I don't understand things, but not so smart that I find things easy to understand.  So I end up having to explain things to myself.  And then, having got whatever it was, I have a compulsion to share the explanation! 

My husband says that my brain is "one size too small".  He's probably right.  But you play the hand you are dealt.
25
Dave, your behaviour right now is making me physically nauseous.

I'll see you around later maybe.