[Marxism] Freeman Dyson on scientific heretics and climate change

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Sat Aug 11 16:10:46 MDT 2007


Bob Hopson wrote:

> So if Dyson's substantial credentials as a physicist
> make him a knucklehead, what should we think of you?
>   

knucklehead ... its a term of endearment in my circles. i use it for 
Dyson cuz i know he loves physics. otherwise i might say something more 
nasty about his politics.


> I don't think Dyson is a "savior", I don't even really
> dispute the consensus by climatologists; what I find
> "cute" is how quickly professional scientists get
> riled when anyone questions orthodoxy.  Shouldn't the
> occasional "what if my assumptions are wrong?" be part
> of every good scientists' toolkit?
>   

what makes you think its not in this case of climate modeling?

> As a general rule, I've found that an experienced
> outsider can often make worthwhile critiques of the
> work of experts, groupthink, etc.  Are you saying that
> "being in the trenches" *automatically* means you are
> more correct than anyone outside the trenches?
>   

nope... but folks like you seem to be on this "lets not trust any 
mainstream scientists" philosophy, so you deserve scorn for not 
understanding whats going on IN the trenches.

> I work as a software designer, and let me tell you,
> the end users who have no idea of what I do or how I
> do it are the best critics of all, because they don't
> share any of my assumptions about design, etc.

give me a break. i happen to be working on a large and lengthy software 
design project for the last several years, and i understand how 
end-users  are vitally important to the process of software development. 
what that has to do with a well-founded critique of climate modeling is 
beyond me. if you can find something in what Dyson says that gives you a 
lead on how we ought to redirect climate modeling efforts, clue me in 
and we should be able to  -- according to Alexander Cockburn -- easily 
find funding.

Les




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