User talk:William M. Connolley/Old Talk 4

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Yes, interesting. I hope you hurry up and get lots and lots of UK routes up because I moving there later in the year ;) Stewart Adcock 03:29, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Welcome aboard, wherever the ship may be going... As for lots of routes: sounds hopeful to me! But I intend to try.


Why are you reverting the standard practice? It's common practice to put the title in the 1st sentence and hhighlight it. JDR

I'm reverting the electrodynamics.


Now we've been called called eco-terrorists! :( Dirtbiscuit

Your statement about Caroline H. Thompson was exactly what I felt about Caroline at first.

But then I got to realize that she had some golden qualities after all.

But as us Irish know, these English and Scotts will never come up to our superior mental standards. --DPFJr 17:51, 4 Jul 2004

If that relative motion theory article was garbage, feel free to VFD it. I'm not awfully sciencey, so if it looks potentially legit like that, I just send it to Cleanup. Ambivalenthysteria 09:22, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)

When the nutters start blanking your user page, that's when you know you're doing something right. Still annoying though. -- Cyrius| 14:43, 6 Jul 2004 (UTC)


I kickstarted those two categories. I'm sure more subcategories will occur to you. (SEWilco 01:57, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC))

Radiative Forcing[edit]

Perhaps there is a similarity between +1.8(0.8) and +1.9? (SEWilco 04:15, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC))

1.8 and 1.9 are similar numbers. Dalys web page and peer-reviewed literature bear no similarity at all. You'll have to be a bit less cryptic I'm afraid.

Tedious ethnic arguments[edit]

While there is no problem with leaving van Helmont's national origin off of carbon dioxide, my edit there was not to start a "tedious ethnic argument" in which I am biased towards no side, but to correct a rather egregious anachronism: van Helmont lived 1577-1644, while it is silly to call anyone a Belgian until sometime in the period 1815-1830.

(William M. Connolley 08:46, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)) OK.

Global warming[edit]

You have violated the three reverts rule with the Global warming article. Please stop this edit war immediately. David Newton 11:07, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 20:16, 24 Jul 2004 (UTC)) Well, I did, but because I was on holiday. Looking at the history I have to admit to 4 rv's in 24h: sorry: my mistake. I wasn't counting and I was very annoyed.
Welcome back from holiday. (Insert silly comment with multiple meanings here) -- SEWilco 04:04, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Thanks :-)

Cooperative editing[edit]

Dr. Connolley, thank you for your recent edits to Urban heat island, Global warming controversy, Scientific consensus and Ozone depletion. I'm sure that by working together we can ensure that all relevant facts and all significant interpretations of them, will get into the articles -- in a way readily comprehensible by laymen. (You have the advantage of superior scientific knowledge, so please be patient with me. :-) --Uncle Ed 12:14, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:04, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)) Ah, patience, yes... well I shall do my best.


wmc, I have no idea what wurble is and it's too delightful to ruin it by looking it up. I agree with your recent comment at Scientific Method (too much 'philosophical wirble'), but as noted before I've run out of ideas on getting to a better article. in fact, we both seem to have done. Anyway, thanks for lightening my day with a new Carrollian word. I might suggest in return the word cromulant (invented for use on The Simpsons TV show), but it has a Latinate tone that ruins something. Can't imagine it as a word in the Jabberwocky, whereas wurble on the other hand... Best wishes. ww 14:48, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:02, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)) Thanks... I thought wurble was generally known... maybe I invented it without knowing. As to sci meth, my feeling is there needs to be a new page on sci-method-from-sci-pov. I though AW was going to do that with sci enterprise but sadly no. At the moment, I haven't got the energy to do it myself, so I'm only going to watch (and very occaisionally comment).
Doc, is there anything on the distinction between the process by which scientists make their discoveries and the format in which these discoveries are written up? I mean, when you read journal articles the author doesn't say, I was getting into in my bathtub one day when I noticed the water level rising. I realized then that there wasn't really any more water in the tub; there was just more of me! So I ran through the streets to my lab, yelling Eureka! (forgetting to put on a robe, thank God the cops didn't stop me) and my grad students set up the following experiments... Rather, you get a dry ABSTRACT of 100 words or less, followed by tedious paragraphs of nearly incomprehensible but ever-so-precise prose which omit any mention of the sequence in which the ideas came.
I guess what I'm asking is whether the scientific method is more a way to justify a theory, i.e., prove that it's really true -- rather than a description of the process scientists habitubally go about to discover things. You're the only practicing scientist I know, William, so please enlighten us all! --Uncle Ed 15:01, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
wmc, I'm going to answer Uncle Ed (and apologize if that's the wrong use of this space). Ed, I think you have hold of both wrong ends of the stick here. And keep in mind that what I'm about to say is strongly deprecated amongst the science is a social activity set. Scientists discover things (ie, come up with General Relativity) in an essentially unknown way. Nobody undersands scientific creativity, probably for the same reasons no one understands artistic creativity. Which is why Archimedes bright idea that day evoked an excited Eureka.
However, having had an idea (eg, little green men cause all the beer to disappear down at the pub), one investigates it however one can (eg, hide in the pub all day, set up a mini-cam, weigh all the beer before and after a lgm comes in and leaves, weigh the lgm themselves before and after a visit throwing out datapoints from those who used the facilities, ...). If your investigations (which should be orderly (so you don't get confused) and repeatable by others (to help rule out fraud or mistake)) produce no evidence in favor of the lgm idea, your 'discovery' becomes somewhat less tenable. If they produce evidence incompatible with the lgm idea (ie, beer disappears even when there are no lgm visits), the idea needs some work -- such as tossing it out in this case. Some observation suggesting it was little blue men might set off a new observation cycle.
How scientific papers are written is a kludge and, in my view, no one should take seriously the account they offer. The descriptive conventions (and the prose style) involved are not only ingroup stuff, but may have been designed to confound the out crowd. They certainly have a soporiphic effect on most.
In short, there is no process used by scientists to make discoveries, only one which tests more or less plausible guesses about things, throwing out the inadequate. What's left is, collectively, our current best content for science. ww 15:52, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:15, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)) I mostly agree with Ww here (and yes you're welcome to comment). If you've read talk:sci-meth, you'll know I'm pretty sick of a lot of the philosophical stuff there, precisely because it doesn't say a lot about how-sci-is-done. Becauase (as Ww says) its so hard to pin down how sci is done, there is room for endless theories and endless rebutalls of those theories.
But to return to Ed's q: journal articles aren't there to help you learn how to do science, or to show you how anyone else discovered things. They are there to describe and explain the things that were found (except, they may well have an intro/lit-review that will provide hints about papers they read). So, say, the Peterson 2003 paper won't say "suddenly I realised that if you looked at A you could see that B..." it will say "We discriminated between urban and rural by using satellite sensing of street lights (I think thats what they did) and then removed bias from height-of-surrounding-stations, etc". This in theory allows you to replicate their study and that in theory is what the paper is for. Err, does that help?
Errk... Having reread my comments above, I realize that my dismissal of the published literature (papers on this and that in journals and elsewhere) can be misunderstood. Actually, given what is actually written, it should be misunderstood. I knew what I meant, even if no one else was likely to guess. In fact, what I intended to convey (next try) is that just about what wmc says above. Papers aren't intended to say much about Ed's concerns, eg how discoveries are made, why we did this or that, or how we worked it all out. They're supposed to be reports of what was done and found, not the context around it all. Since the context is the most interesting part to Ed (and most of the non in crowd), the lack of it causes sleep in the out crowd. That most scientists seem not to be able to write well is unfortunate in many ways, but contributes to the soporiphic effect. I hope that is closer to what I meant. Let's all agree that a third pass is not indicated. ww 16:14, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Greetings, Ozone pages...[edit]

Just an FYI, I've merged the Ozone hole page into the Ozone depletion and made some small edits. What do you think? There is much still to be done I think, the article is still very ambling and needs organization. Also, I've just shoved all of the Fred Singer bilge from both pages together without much editing, which is still needed too. :o) cheers.--Deglr6328 03:25, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:47, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)) Thanks for the note. Ed Poor wanted them merged too so hopefully he will be happy. Except when you insult FS, because thats where he gets most of his info from. But to be less facetious, there *is* a distinction between ozone depletion (general) and ozone hole (over antarctica; could be called extreme ozone depletion perhaps) which is not made in the article at the moment.
incidentally this graph has no labels. I think the blue is for the NH but I'm not an atmospheric scientist....--Deglr6328 02:35, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
True but it is easy to tell which is NH and which SH from the sea ice article. Its an initiative test: you don't want to spoon-feed people to much.

Tragedy of the commons[edit]

I've added a note to Talk:Tragedy of the commons questioning the inclusion of a paragraph you readded. anthony (see warning) 18:21, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)