Posted by: graemebird | September 12, 2008

Pitfalls Of Aggregation In Analysis.

Aggregation is simplification. And it is neccessary in most forms of analysis. It is a form of generalisation. In complex inexact fields of study you need generalisation and you need aggregation. But when building up a body of thought on a subject, not lending itself to exactitude, you are always going to be weeding out the important from the unimportant and boosting up important matters that you may have thought were unimportant earlier on. Some doctrines or paradigms might be sent to the outer-dark as not being important enough or having too many invalid assumptions attached to them.

In economics an example would be the doctrine of marginal-revenue-product. Which the Austrian school still accepts with some qualification. But which doesn’t make Reisman’s cutoff for example. There are too many problems involved with it. On the other hand a lot of the inferences and insights that the Miseans have built on this doctrine still would seem to have great validity and so if it was me i’d teach it, along with its problems.

The neoclassical school is promiscuous with its models. Uncaring about the dubious assumptions involved with their ideas, and caught up in the pretense that if you can construct a mathematically derived model well thats what you need to confound your critics, get the Nobel prize, impress your clients, and smuggle through a whole swag of dubious assumptions that would make William of Occam weep in his grave.

Sometimes less is more. I’ve been instructed recently on problems with this idea of back-radiation. Yet I’m still convinced that there is such a thing and I’m not ruling out that it might not be a little bit enhanced by extra greenhouse gasses. But I think as an idea for judging the effect of the non-water-vapour greenhouse gasses, and for trying to predict how things will go with the future of our climate its likely that we can sideline the idea to a time and place where it might be more relevant. Yet we have been taught that this backradiation is the real deal. The major determinant. The essence of why the planet is as warm as it is. And its hard for us, on both sides of the argument, to escape this idea since our received model of the situation has aggregated matters to such an extent that it has pushed everything BUT backradiation-via-greenhouse to the sidelines. To be added on or subtracted as a bit of a fudge factor.

Others have made pretty good analogies as to why this focus on back-radiation is a bit of a gyp. Let me make an anology.

Suppose you have a dark room. The walls are painted black. And you have two big mirrors. You have the choice of putting the two big mirrors on adjacent corners or parallel to eachother. Your walls are in fact perfectly parallel. So you hang the two big mirrors, made from the best of reflective materials and perfectly constructed, on adjacent walls and you hang down a naked 30 watt lightbulb to midway of the mirrors. Then you switch the light on.

Now you get so much light. But you think you might want a little bit more than what you are getting. Just then your three nieces arrive. And you mention to these children what it is you are planning to do. You are planning to put the mirrors precisely parallel with great precision. They are full of worry because some European atom smasher is going to be started up and they think its going to cause a mini-black-hole which will swallow up the Earth, then the moon, then start sucking in much of the solar wind from all around, then it will swallow Mars and Venus, the sun, all the other planets and in no time it will have eaten a substantial corner of the milky way, burping out punishing gamma rays in the process to really screw up life in the surviving portion of the galaxy.

So with this paniced mindset the first neice says that if you put the mirrors parallel the light will feed on itself and you’ll have a room so glowing that you will have to avert your eyes from looking at the mirrors since you will be blinded. The next one is an expert in maths and she whips out her calculator and deduces that if you leave the light on for three months the black walls will appear white to you and that if the room was broken open for the first time after a year it would briefly light up the valley like Vegas. And the third one tells you that you better not do it or turn on the light at all since the speed of light is so very fast and the room so small that you risk a buildup akin to a sort of localised starburst that could kill the neighbours and that would be wrong since they are not participating in your mad scientist experiments. The first neice vigourously opposes this on the basis that her uncle is a bit of a doofus. And that he won’t quite get the mirrors perfectly parallel. She agrees that her sisters maths is good. But she says everything comes undone if the mirrors are even one millionth of an arc out of alignment. And that the effect will in this case be insignificant. But then she sees the anger in her two other sisters and compromises with them by saying that her uncle ought to pay a tax if he was going to do this on account that its all too risky.

Well you have a choice. Which one are you to believe? But you might get real skeptical and ask whether there will be any light buildup at all?  Well I’ll not rule it out. But you might be better off getting a 50 watt lightbulb if you want more light.

Back-radiation in this greenhouse science is a bit like the above. It ought to have some importance but not nearly as much as we have been taught to believe. One fellow, I think called Cohenite, makes the analogy that its akin to warming your hands next to the fire and expecting your warm hands to significantly warm the fire itself.

You won’t be able to shake the CURSE OF THE LONE PARADIGM in this case until you look into other matters involved with climate and the better, broader view replaces the excessive importance that this back-radiation has planted in your mind. But there are many reasons to believe that the greenhouse effect has been way overated, and even quite apart from this that the effect of an increase in greenhouse gasses is likely to be very small.

Here is a post from Dr Moriati’s blog (actually she’s Jennifer Marohasy, but I’m trying to make light of the leftist demonology that currently surrounds her) where I lay into some gentleman on just how bogus his alarmist model is:


“What is the problem with the concept of average temperature?”

Lets just reword this:

What are the pitfalls of over-aggregation in analysis”.

They are massive. You need to aggregate but you need to constantly think about how and why and what level or specifics of aggregation are appropriate. You are trying to pull off flat earth science. You model sucks all the reality out of climate and even the weather.

Its a model that centres around only one of the three ways that energy is propagated in the atmosphere. Your model ignores all insulative properties of gasses. Of ice for that matter. Makes me want to go and bust up a bunch of igloos and leave the eskimos to freeze and then turn around and say “LOOK WHAT YOU IDIOTS HAVE DONE TO THESE POOR ETHNIC PEOPLES.”

Your model ignores Stefan Boltzmanns disproportionate effect when temperatures are disaggregated. It ignores cumulative joules, the very essence of climate change.

Your model is ridiculous. It just ignores everything. It aggregates and averages water vapour on your implied flat earth. Your thinking is not for the planet in question but for an imagined planet: Flatland, twice as far from the sun and noon all the time. A black body even. With a fudge factor added after the fact to make up for the reality that Earth is no black body.

You ignore the effect of day and night. The effect of the perturbation on strata of the rotation of the planet. The effect of solar cycles. The effect of the planets rotation around the sun as to the timing of its release of energy. The effect of cumulative energy as a result of higher than normal solar activity. The effect of the changing rotation of the moon on atmospheric pressure zones has comes under particular derision.

You ignore the effects of resistance to oceanic circulation. Except as a purely heat transport notion. Oblivious to how Stefan-Boltzmann is implicated in climate change here. Stefan or Boltzmann was a sensitive chap and would commit suicide all over again with the lack of attention you are paying to what he has taught us.

You ignore everything that counts except for back-radiation. And then you say “Look back-radiation has to be of earth-shattering importance to surface temperature” which it surely has to be since you have ethnically cleansed everything else from your model.

You have an absolutely rigid series of steps that you go through with everything else as an afterthought and a computational fudge factor.

You start with the idea, never proved at all, that a doubling of CO2 leads to a one degree increase first up and then you make this leap that this will set off feedback with water vapour. The only reason you think this is that by processing things all the way down to watts….. instead of joules….. you have succeeded in ethnically cleansing TIME!!!! out of your perspective.


Its not science its just stupid and evasive climate-talk-talk.

The whole lot of you need to have your ass whipped and to be sent back to your country of ultimate ethnic origin.

We have this aggregation problem in economics. There is always the problem of how much or how little or the specifics of the aggregation that we use in macroeconomics. We have the problem of the relevant angle from which to approach a problem.

You guys are akin to a group of economists who have trashed all of economics leaving only econometrics. And yet are totally belligerent when your econometric predictions turn out to be wrong useless and misleading.

You expect the computers to do everything. You expect the computers to replace the need for empirical evidence, wipe the babies butt, take the kids to school, fill out your research grant application, let you escape from the need to think conceptually from multiple convergent angles about the problem.

Truly you are the unthinking nazis of science. The goose-stepping zombie hoards of science. The wreckers of science. “THE NOTHING” from the kids movie “The Never-Ending Story”. The never-ending story of leftists debasing all values…….. scientific, monetary and everything else.



  1. You are such a fucking idiot Adrien,

    If you don’t know which school of economics I’m talking about obviously you are agreeing with me that the other school have dubious assumptions.

    Beat it. Fuck off. Go away. Until you decide that you are going to attempt not to be a sort of anti-logic machine.

  2. this constant deleting of comments makes you seem silly graeme

  3. I was only doing it in your case because of the excremental taint to my blog. You know exactly how bad things got when I was away.

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