“Ant colony optimisation” for wind farms

“Ant colony optimisation” for wind farms. (May 4, 2011) Anthony Watts makes another ‘thinking is stupid’ blog post and his free-thinking readers scramble to match his wit.

Anthony found a University of Adelaide press release about increasing wind farm productivity using evolutionary modeling. The researcher happens to mention ant colonies as natural example of achieving efficiency that we can emulate with incrementally optimized simulations.

Here’s the hilarious trigger for Anthony’s derision:

“Ant colony optimisation” uses the principle of ants finding the shortest way to a source of food from their nest.

“You can observe them in nature, they do it very efficiently communicating between each other using pheromone trails,” says Dr Neumann. “After a certain amount of time, they will have found the best route to the food – problem solved. We can also solve human problems using the same principles through computer algorithms.”

Isn’t improving a technology, any technology, a worthwhile thing? This kind of gleeful ignorance, and the vapid enthusiasm with Anthony’s readers join in, reveals a disheartening narrow-mindedness.

New tool for climate change prediction – broken glass

New tool for climate change prediction – broken glass. What are those crazy scientists up to now? Broken glass predicts climate change? I’m totally with Anthony Watts on this one, those climatologists have gone ’round the bend!

Oh. They’re just making a comparison between how dust and glass fractures, with new implications for the amount of dust in the atmosphere. What the hell was Anthony’s point?

From the article:

Physicists have long known that certain brittle objects, such as glass, rocks, or even atomic nuclei, fracture in predictable patterns. The resulting fragments follow a certain range of sizes, with a predictable distribution of small, medium, and large pieces.

Scientists refer to this type of pattern as scale invariance or self-similarity.

Physicists have devised mathematical formulas for the process by which cracks propagate in predictable ways as a brittle object breaks.

Kok theorized that it would be possible to use these formulas to estimate the range of dust particle sizes. By applying the formulas for fracture patterns of brittle objects to soil measurements, Kok determined the size distribution of emitted dust particles.

To his surprise, the formulas described measurements of dust particle sizes almost exactly.

Anthony finds an example of the thoughtful application of physical theory, and his response is derisive mockery. Now there’s an insight!

A reply to Senator Menendez from Santa

A reply to Senator Menendez from Santa. Har, har. Two days before Christmas, Anthony Watts delights in an insulting joke response from Santa, recycled from a 1974 letter from the Cleveland Browns, to Democratic Senator Robert Menendez’s “Letter to Santa” on Huffinton.com.

Compelling denialist argument, or thuggish frat house “hijinks”? Same thing really.

Cancun COP16 attendees fall for the old “dihydrogen monoxide” petition as well as signing up to cripple the U.S. Economy

Cancun COP16 attendees fall for the old “dihydrogen monoxide” petition as well as signing up to cripple the U.S. Economy. More juvenile political stunts by “CFACT students” at the UN conference in Cancun. They seem to be the same Grade 3 wits that Lord Monckton was so taken with a few days before.

Yes, random people can be tricked into signing pretty much anything. Yes, this kind of ambush passes for intellectual triumph in the denialist blogosphere.

As I said before, where’s the science here? This is desperate political dirty tricks, and Anthony’s all for it.

CFACT’s “Kook of the week” at Cancun

CFACT’s “Kook of the week” at Cancun. Christopher Monckton actually thinks that there was someone at the UN’s Cancun climate conference that was a bigger kook than him! And Anthony Watts agrees with him!

So old bug-eyes thinks its clever to bushwhack a random un-prepared attendee and record his off-the-cuff remarks for later dissection? I guess he has to stack the deck pretty hard if he wants to look good in comparison…

So Anthony… where’s the science here? This is desperate political dirty tricks, and you’re all for it.

Friday Funny – Surreal Climate #5

Friday Funny – Surreal Climate #5“. Anthony Watts posts a cartoon by “Josh” showing Al Gore and notable climate scientists in Cancun saying the everything they’ve said for the last decade was wrong. Now that’s hilarious satire! Or desperate wish-fulfilment.