Archive for September, 2008

Drought and climate change

Tug Boat Potemkin pointed me to a Bolt article which in turn cites a ‘niche modeller’ (David Stockwell, who is very much blog-connected with the Pielke-Lucia mob) criticising the report by Bates et al which has been used as a basis for claims about the link between the current drought and climate change. In my experience, statements by either CSIRO or BoM scientists about links between the drought and climate change have been heavily qualified, and suggest at most a partial link for only certain regions. Stockwell doesn’t acknowledge any of this, and instead seizes on a slight difference in figures as proof of a conspiracy of exaggeration.


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Pyticles a-b interactions

Forces are neighbourly properties, so in my way of OO thinking they sit best as an attribute of a neighbour list. I’ve added a-b style interactions to pyticles.

In this graphic the red particles interact with each other with hard collisions, and with the blue particles with a hookes law force. Sorry no movie at this stage.

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A quote from a recent Monbiot article (

The industrial revolution was built on protectionism: in 1699, for example, we banned the import of Irish woollens; in 1700 we banned cotton cloth from India. To protect and develop our infant industries, we imposed ferocious tariffs (trade taxes) on almost all manufactured goods.

By 1816 the US had imposed a 35% tax on most imported manufactures, which rose to 50% in 1832. Between 1864 and 1913 it was the most heavily protected nation on earth; and the fastest-growing. It wasn’t until after the Second World War, when it had already become top dog, that it dropped most of its tariffs. The same strategy was followed by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and almost every other country that is rich today. Within the ACP nations, the great success story of the past 30 years is the country whose protectionism has been fiercest: during the 1980s and 1990s, Mauritius imposed import tariffs of up to 80%(4).

Not that I have time to look this stuff up, but it certainly challenges the neolib view of free trade as growth maximiser.

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The Bayesians

It looks like the Bayesians are the cool gang these days. My interest in philosophy of science has it appears been largely historical, and I was unaware that there were serious claims that not only had inductive logic been saved, it has been absorbed (digested?) into the new Bayesian framework.

I suppose I would describe my current philosophical bent as a dynamicist (modeller, if you like). I’m somewhat suspicious about the (somewhat) new philosophy of probability and its apparent ascendency. That said, Prigogine makes some compelling arguments in The End of Certainty, and there is no escaping that our predictions of complex systems are invariably statistical in nature.

Update: Wow. There is a whole philosophical current of modern science that I somehow managed to miss. I can’t avoid all responsibility, but the academy must share it. I’m reading Jaynes now – the best thing about his writing is the style is engaging and plain spoken – truly a pleasure to read.

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F2py has f90 support now?

Sounds like it does. This is good news, I will have to have another go at wrapping SPAC.

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