Today: I walked; I figured that I need to walk more. I did the hilly Cornstalk 5.1 course in 1:11:54 (14:05 mpm pace); it was overcast, dark and a bit slippery.
Climate change Last night I went to hear Harold Brooks speak: he is a NOAA scientist. He spoke about thunderstorms and climate change.
1. When it comes to rain, the total volume hasn’t changed much. BUT the way we get it has; we get a higher percentage of it from strong storms.
2. When it comes to thunderstorms, wind shear and available energy are the two big factors. Climate change has reduced the former and increase the latter; these are competing effects.
3. The models are pretty much in agreement as to what will happen (over time) during the winter, spring and fall. What is open is what will happen during the summer: more storms? Fewer? Wet? Drought? No one knows and the models can’t reach even a tentative conclusion.
Yes, there is a huge difference between the great powers and those lower seeds in the NCAA tournament. Attendance at the games isn’t so great either, but part of the reason might be the unusual start times.
First my workout: This was my first weight workout in about 2 weeks and I felt it.
Pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5. Quality: ok, not stellar. Rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 180, 5 x 160 (pathetic) (rotator cuff)
incline press: 7 x 135 (bad)
standing military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbells (weak)
It was a start, but it was rather bad.
Running went marginally better: treadmill, 0.5 incline, started at 5.3 mph and increased by 0.1 every 1/4 mile
2 miles in 21:18, 3 in 30:55, 4 in 39:47 (last 5 minutes at 7 mph)
Yes, I coughed afterward, but this time only for 2-3 minutes or so, instead of 10. It IS getting better, albeit more slowly than I’d like.
After the workout weight (dr. scale): 176.0
Basically, I was weaker with the weights than with the run. The swim is going to be UGLY tomorrow.
There is some chatter among professors about the appropriateness of calling out certain types of student behavior. The old model is that this is somewhat untoward as “professors had more power than the students”. But things have changed; often the professors are adjunct professors with little real power and these-a-days there is a tendency for administration to use student evaluations to evaluate the professors (at least at the more teaching oriented places).
I see something else going on here:
The above refers to grade school. But in the college setting, replace the parents with deans, administrators or even professors from departments that are desperate to retain their students.
There is where the tension comes from. Most professors expect 18-20 year old students to…well, behave like 18-20 year old students. Getting undermined from other parts of the same campus is very irritating and it happens too many times (though not all of the time..at least right now).
You may have read things like “most of the newly reported science results are wrong” and this is because, well, one is more likely to report a positive finding, and many positive findings are honestly done false positives. So, one psychology journal has decided to prohibit the reporting of p-values in its articles. That makes no sense to me, and evidently it makes no sense to some scientists and statisticians either.
Big data is making is possible for navies to approach anti-submarine warfare differently; will it soon become non-cost-effective to use submarines, or should they be used differently? Here is an interesting article on this subject:
In a piece for TNI, the report’s author, Bryan Clark, lays out the problem in more layman’s terms:
Since the Cold War submarines, particularly quiet American ones, have been considered largely immune to adversary A2/AD capabilities. But the ability of submarines to hide through quieting alone will decrease as each successive decibel of noise reduction becomes more expensive and as new detection methods mature that rely on phenomena other than sounds emanating from a submarine. These techniques include lower frequency active sonar and non-acoustic methods that detect submarine wakes or (at short ranges) bounce laser or light-emitting diode (LED) light off a submarine hull. The physics behind most of these alternative techniques has been known for decades, but was not exploited because computer processors were too slow to run the detailed models needed to see small changes in the environment caused by a quiet submarine. Today, “big data” processing enables advanced navies to run sophisticated oceanographic models in real time to exploit these detection techniques. As they become more prevalent, they could make some coastal areas too hazardous for manned submarines.
Could modern attack subs soon face the same problem as surface combatants around the world, where some areas are simply too dangerous to enter, thanks to pressing A2/AD challenges?
One possible future use of submarines is interesting: use them as underwater drone carriers!
First things first: Today, the swimming pool was crowded; glad that I got there early. I enjoyed the swim, but it wasn’t anything special:
500 warm up, 5 x 100 where I did 100 drill with fins, 100 swim, (3 drill reps, 2 swims)
5 x 200 on the 4:00: 3:38, 3:37, 3:34, 3:34, 3:35 (not as good as last week, which wasn’t that good.
100 back (fins), 100 fly/fly drill (fins)
No, this was not an AMAZING for was it an AWESOME workout. I think that these-a-days, “awesome” (pronounced “AWEsome” means what the old “cool” or “groovy” meant.
Posts The Republicans in Wisconsin seem intent on reducing their excellent university system to something resembling a community college system. Classic quote by a state lawmaker who is disdainful of academic research:
He thought this would be fine, as Wisconsin Assembly Speaker (and probable candidate for Governor) Robin Vos declared back in November, nobody really gives a shit about the “ancient mating habits of whatever.” Just prior to dropping the budget bomb, Walker was on right-wing talk radio telling the host that professors need to “work more.”
The cuts are an existential threat. The University of Wisconsin System will cease to exist as a world-class institution. The Chancellor of UW-Madison has said that should the cuts to Madison remain, they are the equivalent to laying off 1/3 of Madison’s faculty, or 1,000 support staff. Imagine that.
Okkkkkaaaayyyy……”Fruit Flies” anyone?
Speaking of science: at times it seems almost, well, fashionable to admit that one doesn’t like science (and especially mathematics) but…well…one needs to read literature in order to be educated! Ha, ha, ha, ha: I am so illiterate I can’t even write a complete sentence!!!
And as far as speaking one’s mind: a professor had his tenure revoked because of a blog post. Now other sources said that the professor had been warned not to mention students by name….
and no, I do NOT do that. Ever.
Swim: I woke up 30 minutes later than planned but I still got my 2200 yards in: 500, 6 x 100 fist/free on 2:10 (2 each), 4 x side/free on 2:30. 5 x 100 on 2:10 (1:43, 1:44, 1:44, 1:45, 1:43), 100 back, 100 of fly/fly drill.
I finished the swim feeling better than when I started.
Paul Krugman on knowing what you are talking about: (he is lamenting a public fight he had with Michael Kinsley)
Part of what made this so sad was that I owe Mike Kinsley a lot. His invitation to write for Slate got me established as a professor who could do a fairly decent job moonlighting as a journalist, which eventually led to the Times. So it was really sad to see him pick a fight with me over stuff where I really knew what I was talking about, and he didn’t.
And what made it sadder was that Kinsley clearly didn’t understand what was going on – that there are issues on which there’s a big difference between just being clever in general and being a guy who really knows what he’s talking about. He thought that a gut feeling – he himself put it that way – plus slick writing entitled him to weigh in on macroeconomics. It didn’t.
I’m not talking about being a paid-up, card-carrying member of the guild. There are quite a few people with all the professional credentials who are nonetheless useless or worse on actual policy issues, and a significant number of self-taught people without formal credentials who do a fantastic job. No, what matters is a large investment of time and hard thinking – and also a lot of reading of what other smart people have said, not to mention economic history. Sorry, but just being a clever, facile writer doesn’t cut it – and imagining that you can just brazen it out in this arena is a recipe for serious embarrassment.
Yes! One can be reasonably clever and have a skilled pen…and still NOT KNOW WHAT ONE IS TALKING ABOUT.
You see lower levels of this in the anti-vaccine movement too. You have people who consider themselves “informed” because they happen to be able to read an “ingredient list” in a vaccine. And, they see passing along such a list as “educating others”. And, no, this is not a “left vs. right” issue either.
Interestingly enough, this is one case where a little bit of “knowledge” is dangerous.
This leads me to a dilemma: on one hand, *I* enjoy pop-science articles and books. But, because I have expert knowledge in one field (mathematics), I am very aware that what I am reading is oversimplified and watered down; there are tons of nuances that I am completely unaware of.
On the other hand, some (many?) who read and perhaps even partially digest such articles suddenly think that THEY are informed when, well, they are really not. I’ve brought up the fact that it is impossible to gleam expert level knowledge from a pop work and people have gotten very angry with me. :-)
Well, here is a famous drunken rant from a scientist who had enough with the morons:
First my workout: 5 mile run (varied the intensity every 4 minutes) 50:26. Then 3 mile walk (42:40); some on an incline. Frozen snow outside.
Evolution: this is a very interesting article. The gist: yes, natural selection acts to select for mutations that give some reproductive advantage. But there have to be possible advantageous mutations available to begin with, and that only works if things are sufficiently complex to begin with. And there have to be several possible advantageous mutations to being with.
I sure wish I had time to train to study this from a mathematical point of view. But I have enough to work on as it is..and that includes things that I am in better position to publish.
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