Re: [asa] Trees don't lie

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Sat Mar 21 2009 - 23:31:29 EDT

Hi, Glenn, glad to hear from you again.

It looks to me as though you are lumping disparate matters together.
Climate involves different sets of conditions. Daily to weekly weather
reports involve a different set of equations than the seasonal
predictions. These latter involve the el nino/la nina oceanic
circulation. They've been fairly good, but can't be used day to day.
Longer term predictions involve a different set of factors, some of which
we're only beginning to understand. Measurement of some of the factors
have been too recent to be entered into predictions, except perhaps
tentatively. Taking a general look at the situation, we have problems
relating to scale.

All situations are complicated when human beings are involved. One of the
recent matters that apply has to do with economics, including the stock
market. The traditional assumption has been that the market is rational,
but I think a chap recently got the Nobel by showing that it wasn't.
There is no way to get predictions right on the basis of erroneous
assumptions. Add in cherry picking and one can get any desired
conclusion.
Dave (ASA)

On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 21:42:02 -0500 "Glenn Morton"
<glennmorton@entouch.net> writes:
> I would say that the climate, the weather, political systems,,
> economics,
> the oil markets etc, are all highly nonlinear. Tell me if it is
> going to be
> raining where you are 33 days from now. Tell me what the price of
> the stock
> market will close at on Monday. Tell me what the price of oil will
> be April
> 23. Tell me what country will be our biggest problem in 2010. All
> of these
> things involve nonlinearities.
>
> And I disagree that if one cant predict from them they won't be
> studied.
> They will be studied because they are the real equations that govern
> this
> universe and curiousity and hope that we can predict something will
> ensure
> their study
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
> To: "Glenn Morton" <glennmorton@entouch.net>; "William Hamilton"
> <willeugenehamilton@gmail.com>; <mrb22667@kansas.net>
> Cc: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 7:34 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] Trees don't lie
>
>
> > 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 23:37:25 2009

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