Re: [asa] Trees don't lie

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Sat Mar 21 2009 - 20:34:55 EDT

For a chaotic system one can't predict the future state of the system in
detail for any length of time. But you can often make (a) statistical
predictions & (b) thermodynamic predictions about the overall state of the
system. Of course these are related. If all nonlinear dynamics could do
was to say that we can't predict anything then people wouldn't publish books
&c on nonlinear dynamics.

Shalom
George
http://home.roadrunner.com/~scitheologyglm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <glennmorton@entouch.net>
To: "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>; "William Hamilton"
<willeugenehamilton@gmail.com>; <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Cc: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 3:05 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Trees don't lie

> George wrote Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:11 AM
>
>> I agree that in some fields "expertise" is overrated. It's pretty funny,
>> in a gallow humors way, to hear the argument that financial firms have to
>> pay big bonuses in order to hold on to the people whose "expertise" has
>> driven the company, & maybe the country, into the ground. OTOH there's a
>> populist temptation to debunk the idea of expertise because then "we're
>> just as good as they are." & it's not clear that being able to predict
>> the future is always the best criterion.
>
>
> There is no doubt that a physicist knows the equations and where it comes
> to deterministic systems, the physicist will do way better than anyone
> else. But, most systems we humans deal with are decidedly NOT linear or
> deterministic. They are non-linear. And one thing that should have been
> learned, but apparently hasn't been by many in the field of science, NO
> ONE can predict the state of a nonlinear system after a certain period of
> time. The physicist is as helpless as the plumber or homeless person and
> thus, all guesses will have the equivalent chance of success.
>
> that is why experts differ on what the stock market will do, what the
> weather will be like next week etc. And when it comes to global warming,
> everyone is absolutely sure that they know what this grand nonlinear
> system we call climate will do. They are acting as if it is a linear
> system when it is decidedly nonlinear.
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Received on Sat Mar 21 20:35:23 2009

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