Ben Langhinrichs

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October, 2004
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Sun 17 Oct 2004, 10:02 AM
"There are a million hockey stories in the naked city."
                                  - Hockey analyst for Atlanta Thrashers
Well, there may be a million hockey stories, but this isn't really one of them.  Instead, it is about the "hocky stick" which appears on the plotting of the temperatures for the past millennium, which supposedly shows that we are experiencing the warmest temperatures of the past 1000 years.  It is often cited as a key proof of global warming, and is as often challenged and defended on various technicalities.



But now, a new challenge has appeared to the validity of the graph, and it may pose some serious questions about global warming.  In an article in MIT's Technology Review entitled Global Warming Bombshell, Richard Muller reports that Canadian scientists have discovered that there is a flaw in the computer program used to create the graph, and that it may completely invalidate the conclusions drawn.  Very interesting reading.  Now we just have to wait and see what the results are once someone fixes the mathematical algorithm used and runs it again.  

Yet another reminder that we need to be very careful about trusting computers too much.  Garbage in, garbage out is only half the story.  Garbage in the middle can be a problem too, as all software vendors should remember.

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