29 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. Rowan Williams says of the IPCC “Their seven-year study states that they are now 95% certain…”

    Do I remember correctly reading a remark by a statistician that a 95% confidence factor is actually quite poor, just on the boundary of plausibility?

  2. He also writes “Predicted changes in the climate are now being observed in the most vulnerable countries, confirming the predictive models that have been used.”

    A mantra often heard. Has anyone offered verified examples of the claim?

  3. My two neutrally expressed comments on some logical points in your piece have been ‘disappeared’ from the ASI.

    I can’t be bothered writing them out again…

  4. Given that the first three sentences of the Wiliams’ quotation contain four unjustified assertions, (or lies as they are sometimes called), I would think that his facility with logic, (or lack thereof), is beside the point.

  5. My mum knows his cousins. When he got appointed A of C, she says they were terribly full of themselves and couldn’t stop bringing up the subject of how a member of their family was holding one of the most important posts in the country. After a few months, they stopped talking about him and changed the subject if anyone else brought it up.

  6. One thing I’ve noticed about the demeanour of Rowan Williams – he’s the best damn wringer of his own hands I’ve ever seen.

    It used to make me wonder what sins he’d committed that day that he was subconsciously atoning for. Predictably, I guessed masturbation over page 3.

  7. Bloke no longer in Austria

    My comments have now reappeared – ASI seems to have a team of scribes that write comments out, pass them to the higher panjandrums and then post them when all considerations have been taken into account and fully documented. Don’t know what Adam Smith would have to say about that… or even David Hume for that matter 🙂

  8. At least he’s consistent: starving a few billion of us as we return to an agrarian feudalism is what you get from Sharia law.

  9. JeremyT

    What the beardy weirdy said about Sharia was perfectly sensible. He said that in the UK people were free to enter into contracts that included Sharia. Just as they are free to enter into contracts that include Talmudic law. The common law has allowed the freedom to contract. (note that he wasnt saying that it should be able to supercede the law of the land – so no sharia for criminal offences, but sharia for civil contracts and dispute resolution).

    Some of the other things he talked about in the same speech showed his fundamental unsoundness – he utters the phrase “community cohesion” – now out of fashion thanks to Rotherham. Basically a rather thick lefty with no charisma or talent. I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he probably does believe in God, which isnt true of many CoE bishops.

  10. “Basically a rather thick lefty with no charisma or talent.”

    I remember many press references to his “ferocious intelligence” and other similar fawning comments.

    Just sayin’

  11. Oh really, Tim. Spam Trap indeed.

    Anybody’d think that the ASI didn’t want spittle-flecked, swively-eyed loons spouting cod-philosophy and/or economics that they picked up from 1970s Open University lectures on BBC2 while waiting for Playaway to start on Saturday afternoons.

  12. JeremyT – “At least he’s consistent: starving a few billion of us as we return to an agrarian feudalism is what you get from Sharia law.”

    That’s not fair. Islam can’t do agriculture. They hate pigs and pigs are pretty much the basis of all pre-modern agriculture. So what you have in those unfortunate lands conquered by Muslims is a long and slow decline of tree cover (because of the goats), the number of farmers and a slow growth in nomadic herdsmen.

    Bloke no Longer in Austria – “Anybody’d think that the ASI didn’t want spittle-flecked, swively-eyed loons spouting cod-philosophy and/or economics that they picked up from 1970s Open University lectures on BBC2 while waiting for Playaway to start on Saturday afternoons.”

    Of course. They are not, after all, the CoE.

  13. Spam trap? I’ve never knowingly been in a spam trap on other websites, ever.
    Can you tell us how to avoid sinking into the ASI spam trap?
    – I have a legitimate, active, non-anonymized email address for
    – a publically accessible domain hosted in Europe.
    Is there a magic phrase we can include in every post?

  14. Sure: “Tim Worstall is right about all things” should work.

    Being more serious, sorry, I’m not responsible for the vagaries of technology.

    Just not.

  15. @ Peter Czerna

    There is nothing “illogical” (as you described it at ASI) with a hypothetical discussion.

    Many of are sceptical about various aspects of the politicised AGW process, but there is nothing wrong with “let’s pretend A, and then see where B or C should lead”; which Tim does frequently?

  16. ken and SMFS
    sharia for civil contracts and dispute resolution includes divorce, ownership of kids, value of the wife’s testimony etc. Yes, the 70+ sharia courts are in theory voluntary for both parties. But for the wife who is being disposed of & her kids taken, they’re not. And that’s a bit un-Christian.

  17. SMFS, Apologies for including you in the above rant, you’re spot on about the goats. North Africa was the granary of the Roman Empire until those bastards got to it.

  18. “Do I remember correctly reading a remark by a statistician that a 95% confidence factor is actually quite poor, just on the boundary of plausibility?”
    NO you do *not*. Your memory is badly at fault.
    Statisticians do not talk about “confidence factors” (I don’t even know what a “confidence factor” could be). The “95% confidence interval” is the standard test for whether one should reject the “null hypothesis” so we commonly reject the preconceived idea if the chance that the observed experimental result will occur is *less than 5%*.

  19. it’s entirely possible to prove that climate change is a problem that we should do something about

    Please be so kind as to offer this proof, Tim.

  20. Apologies to Peter Czerna, I had not read the comments under the ASI article before posting my comment above. However, now that your lone voice has been elevated to a clamour, perhaps Tim will address it.

  21. Goats and statistics being mentioned on the same blog just reminds me of the Marilyn and the goats (Monty Hall) probability paradox, which I have to say I find fascinating.

  22. TOBiI: 95% confidence is pretty standard. It’s 2 std deviations from the mean on a normal distribution ‘bell curve’. When we make measurements our uncertainties are usually calculated to that.

  23. Dongguan John,

    The difference here is that the 95% has nothing to do with statistics. It really does, unbelievable as it may sound, come down to scientists being asked: “how certain are you?” and them answering: “oh, I reckon about 95%”.

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