Hello world!

My first blog was about knitting. It had one post. I’m hoping to stick this one out for longer.

More soon…


    • Aussie

      I had not thought of knitting as mathematical, but if one has a brain that relates well to patterns…. as mine was back in Form 3 🙂 then it is really easy. It is the same with crochet, tatting and bobbin lace-making 🙂 All have a pattern to them…..

  1. Barry Woods

    Good Luck!

    I did say I thought your blog name was even bolder than my suggestion..
    your first post woould appear to demonstrate that!

  2. RealArthurDent

    May I also extend a warm welcome. Its good to see scientists blogging about science, and also sticking to your guns against “poltical” criticism. If I can offer a suggestion, it is after all your blog, the blog will be most useful to others if it sticks to the science and avoids the policy/politics.

  3. Anteros

    Hi Tamsin,

    Good luck again on your blogging adventure.
    As far as I know Lucia’s knitting blog is still going strong – I’m sure you’d be a most welcome guest.
    I’d also recommend Lucia’s Blackboard as the most civil and civilised climate blog around – much to admire there.
    And every month you can bet quatloos on the UAH anomaly!

  4. MikeO

    Power to you to brave the blogosphere.
    I think climate models or GSM are a waste of time. I take it that you are trying see if they are. My background is 30 years of experience as a producer of computer software. I am talking large government financial systems. For a start I cannot accept that a hypothesis represented by computer that is untestable and unfalsifiable can be relied on as a reason to change our way of life. The next thing is I never see evidence of software engineering processes being applied to what ought to be the most important software ever produced by humans. My impression is of a very few people who have persuaded others of the need purchase of super computers for their use. Where are the design specifications, project managers, analysts, programmers, testers and so on. My impression is of intelligent amateurs in the field of software engineering.

  5. phaedrus

    Hello Tamsin,

    Adding my bit to the large pile of advice you are receiving –

    Start from the beginning of the story (model) and “explain” or develop forward – don’t start at the end and try to justify backward. As you seem to want to engage the “deniers”, i.e., skeptics (formerly known as scientists (FKAS)) – this would be the right path in my opinion. Starting at the end and justifying backward puts scientist in the position of being “deniers” (your term), i.e., we “deny” this, that or the other input and/or result. If you can start at the beginning and build forward (and, most importantly, if you are correct) then maybe you can bring some of us “deniers” (FKAS) along.

    Deal with uncertainty explicitly and on all levels: inputs, process and outputs.

    Make all data and processes (in R preferably) available. Emphasis – make raw data (including meta-data) and processing steps available for review, i.e., be the un-Mann/Jones/”team”.

    Actively engage (or at least try) Briggs, McIntyre, Eschenbach and other qualified mathematicians and scientists that may challenge team assumptions and procedures. If they can be “defeated” in a fair blog fight – then “good on ya”, but, that said, good luck with that.

    Thank you & good luck – you’re going to need it. Already having any 2nd thoughts (I notice in the comments that you’ve already received a “job availability notification” from the team)?

  6. Andy

    A modelling blog is very much needed! I will try and follow as closely as I can. One thing – no email, RSS feed or “blog follow” sign-up is available that I can see. Am I just being dumb? I’m now following you on Twitter, but I’m not on it 24-7 so I may miss stuff.

  7. Danangel

    A suggestion for your blog: Add ‘like’ button beside the ‘reply’ button on each comment. This will cut down on duplicate comments and give you a better idea as to what your audience is thinking.

  8. lucia

    I did that during football game (Chicago Bears vs. someone else.) My readers alerted me to your blog– they all know I’ve been buried with family issues recently. I like your blog quite a lot so far though.

    I like your blog rules. I hope you find it possible to enforce them. It’s not easy. Among other things, I give loud applause to the one where you tell people that if they want to complain about your rules they can do that elsewhere. Complaining about my rules after I moderate people has been one of the principle ways people have managed to be placed in perpetual moderation. (Only a few have been banned and they have to go even further than that.)

    I liked your post on the climate compass. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  9. ikh

    Hi Tasmin,

    Welcome to the climate blogoshpere. I love the blog title and sub-title. From the title of this post I guess you have at least spent a little time around computer programmers :-).

    I see Lucia has already visited and I came here by way a blog post by Judith Curry on Climate Etc. Given thosr credentials, I think you just hit the big time in traffic stats. I am looking forward to some interesting articles.

    Best wishes

  10. Markus Fitzhenry

    Love your compass.

    Any chance of weekly prognosis of its bearings?
    For a modeller, what very delightful real world perceptions you have. Good to see.

  11. Andy Extance

    The comments at the end of this post might give you some ideas about what to cover in your future posts. If you, or anyone else reading this comment, cares to weigh in on this debate on the pros and cons of climate modelling on my blog that would be great. But I’m interested to read what you’ve got to say whether or not you can address these specific points!

  12. Anteros

    Tamsin –

    A minor suggestion. Do you have the facility for increasing the number of recent comments you index? Judith’s has ten which works pretty well, even for a lot of traffic. Science of Doom [of which I’m a major fan..] has 15 which is fantastic for returning to any conversations of the last day or two – (on a quiet blog)

    Glad it’s going so well, and hope it isn’t overwhelming. A great venture 🙂

  13. Mark Ryan

    As a member of joe public I would like to thank you for you willingness to reveal your science to us warts and all. It shows respect for our ability to use our intelligence to judge for ourselves value of science and the truth in the ongoing AGW debate.
    Good luck

  14. Bruce A. Kershaw

    $25,000 Reward for the Proof Humans cause Climate Change.
    Bruce A. Kershaw

    [While I’m going through old comments approving things, I’ll push this minimalist one through — Tamsin]

  15. Alexander Harvey

    It feels too far into this new year for nothing yet to be added, lest it all seem moribund. I have nothing to add on any topic so I thought I would do this.

    “… six impossible things before breakfast” (Carroll/Adams)

    I have a problem with stochasticity, I have other problems, but that’s my problem. What can it mean to be governed by the laws of probability; do such laws exist?

    I have a concrete problem, a concern that bothers me, if none other. How to conjure some notion of a random function in purely deterministic systems, whether they be whatever passes for a shared reality or the output from simulators; those satanic mills that labour much?

    The struggle is fought out on the narrow plain that pits uncertainty, unpredictability against randomness, indeterminacy. I recognise this is a niche conflict that concerns few but it does me and in concrete ways.

    Whenever the output of a determined yet seemingly a priori unpredictable system is presented or represented as a random function, I am much vexed. This is a general issue but never more so obvious than in the predeterminations of a simulation. I have the same problem with a coin toss but that is for later.

    I would be interested to know as to how those that have little choice but to consider how to think about deterministic simulations manage to create a mental representation of them that allows their consideration of them to be in any sense random. I can follow the logical train, in such papers as have seemed relevant, just so far before concluding that it is all very well, but completely nuts.

    So how do you folks think about these things? Or perhaps just as significant; how do you define the terms, the words you use?

    For me, to think that such things be random would be a belief. That of course turns on the meaning I attach to the terms, random, belief, and verb to be. I know that things are uncertain, I acknowledge profound ignorance, but baulk at random. I fear that even the dictionaries let me down here; the nature of what people imply by random is not explicit enough.

    To consider the outcome of a coin toss to be uncertain, even unknowable is one thing, but for it to be undetermined, without cause is another. Should not the later be one of your six a day, early preprandial impossibilities?

    I think that there is more to this than my metaphysical musings. We are presented with ensembles of things entirely predetermined yet commonly represented as equivalent random outcomes. Should this not fail to make one a little queasy? An unwelcome perception before breakfast?

    What are you thinking !

    Or better: What is your thinking?

    If science is a belief system that occupies the space of the evidently plausible, scientific thought can still be manifold, were it to claim the domain of the strictly possible, would not belief be finally absented from such thought? Right now we can believe in things and yet be scientific, there are sufficient uncertainties and I cannot but think that this must continue to be so.

    Yet to consider the future, in general, but that of its simulations in particular, to be in any sense random, would be for me to believe in impossible things, an act of Faith.

    Consider the case of the incompatibilist, determinist, yet metaphysical libertarian, I believe they exist. To assert the existence of any freedom to will, as expressed by the notion of a free will, yet hold to any notion of strict determinism and its incompatibility with that assertion is to have faith in things impossible. Whereas such would be deeply perplexing to dwell upon, it would be but a minor inconvenience in most practical circumstances. It is rare thing to have to confront belief in the impossible head on. But not it seems when I consider the manner in which simulations seem to be represented.

    In order to make any sense of and to find any utility in simulated futures we are well guided to use statistical models. I do however think that we err when believing that they are anything more than a conceit.

    I am coming to the conclusion that I will never be able to perform the necessary manipulations required by any representation of things causal as random functions and maintain equanimity. I am both impressed and intrigued by those who do so.

    So how is it done?