Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Of course, Ed Wegaman is a bad guy

One of the comments Dan Vergano got from Edward Wegman was

"We are not the bad guys. . . .
Of course Wegman is a bad guy, who else but a bad guy would have included that oh so cute "social network analysis" of Mann and his co-authors in a report to Congress supposedly about the statistical treatment of data in paleoclimate proxy reconstructions. It was a drive by in the best Mexican drug cartel style, and you can quote that to Judith Curry and Keith Kloor the queen and king of tutt tutt.


J Bowers said...

So does this mean Wegman believes there actually are "bad guys" in this? Or am I reading too much into what may or may not be quite a revealing comment to make?

Anonymous said...

When the weak feel they are losing they lash out and make all kinds of extreme comparisons. Seems the Rabett is very weak these days as he watches public opinion turn further away from his position, not realizing the tactics employed by his "team" are making it worse, not better. Humorous.

Celery Eater

Anonymous said...

Wegman seems to be a bit defensive, jittery even.

btw, you've got an extry 'a' in his name...such a shame, because that title would make a lovely google hit.


Anonymous said...

Wegman should send Tom Delay a thankyou note for diverting the media's attention..

PolyisTCOandbanned said...

It was dumb! It was half-baked. He had some caveats and all, but it didn't belong in a report to Congress.

Personally, I think Mike is a young Turk ego scientist and that there was a clique operating. (Loved the email where Mike is kissing up to Jones, writing up an award for him and lying about the h-index, when Jones told him not to.) But that sort of inference should have come in other ways and not from Wegman. WEgman should have stuck to stuff that was more cut and dried.

Should have concentrated on the MBH and MM code, algorithm. Figured out how each was done. Looked at how short-centering and other algorithm options interact with different shaped data. Discussed analogies from other fields. Since he dorked up even knowing what kind of noise he was using, that was bad.

EliRabett said...

Poly gets the cracker, but Eli the Sherlock. The fact is that Wegman did not do any of that, and he certainly is and was qualified to do so, but what Wegman did was a hit job, pure and simple.

Hank Roberts said...

What puzzles me is, how can he have done work on Star Wars without understanding radiation physics?

The big lasers to zap MIRVs by shooting energy through the atmosphere ... oh, wait ...

Anonymous said...

Eli: Wegman is qualified to do the analysis that the should have done, but he did not do it. He did a hit job instead.

Wait a minute. If Wegman in fact did not do the analysis, how did he know that not doing it was the best route to a hit job? Surely Congressman Barton's instructions couldn't have that precise.


Hank reminds that Wegman is yet another left over cold warrior now fighting climate change. Do they live in an eternal time warp where there is always a red under the bed, a tree hugger in the woods, kids on your grass or a scientist somewhere that must be destroyed?

Pete Dunkelberg

Anonymous said...

"Wait a minute. If Wegman in fact did not do the analysis, how did he know that not doing it was the best route to a hit job? Surely Congressman Barton's instructions couldn't have that precise."

I'm wondering where he got the social networking stuff from. Since the rest of the paper was essentially what McIntyre thinks, maybe he got the idea for that from McIntyre as well.


John said...


p.9: Memes and Themes: meme-nn (red) and meme-? (red can all be found in McIntyre & McKiitrick (2005), MM05x.

p.10: Meme-b Paleoclimate peer review is poor, due to social network

"McIntyre has history of promoting Memes -b and -c in his blog, but the ideas may have started with Michaels at GMI [GMI2003, p.10]:

'Question: Pat Michaels, University of Virginia. I think what you‘re really uncovering here is a larger and pervasive problem in science, which is the peer-review process seems to be missing important and obvious issues, perhaps failing because of the sociology of global warming science.'"

W.8.9 MM05x, THE KEY SOURCE, pp.185-186.
See Meme-b discussion, p.186.

But really, MM05x is a must-read, given the number of memes found there that pervade the WR.

Of course, MM05x, p.6 has the Denning (Sic = Deming) quote from Science (sic, JSE, the dog astrology journal.

Look, Michaels and the thinktank folks knew they had to discredit more than MBH. SSWR p.17.

Then, one of Wegman's students (Rigsby, who was a helper on WR, had used SNA tools and terminology, somewhat weirdly to describe computer networks (not human social networks, but computer networks themselves). This led to some weird things, like using the term "actor" to refer to a computer that most would call a node.

SSWR W.5, pp.143-146 covers the resulting weirdness. We old computer guys were perfectly happy with the network terminology and graph theory we had long ago. We didn't need to call nodes actors.

Anyway, they had a need to implement Meme-b, and had some tools to make graphs. Voila!

Anonymous said...

Here is a ready list of climate denying idiots, who deny that even the greenhouse effect is real.

Slaying the Sky Dragon, the Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.

Top of the list is Tim Ball.

Anonymous said...

From the blurb.

Even before publication, Slaying the Sky Dragon was destined to be the benchmark for future generations of climate researchers. This is the world's first and only full volume refutation of the greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming. Nine leading international experts methodically expose how willful fakery and outright incompetence were hidden within the politicized realm of government climatology. Applying a thoughtful and sympathetic writing style, the authors help even the untrained mind to navigate the maze of atmospheric thermodynamics. Step-by-step the reader is shown why the so-called greenhouse effect cannot possibly exist in nature. By deft statistical analysis the cornerstones of climate equations – incorrectly calculated by an incredible factor of three - are exposed then shattered. This volume is a scientific tour de force and the game-changer for international environmental policymakers as well as being a joy to read for hard-pressed taxpayers everywhere.

Checks calendar. No, it's not April the first.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Gee, who'd'a thunk that climate science was so politicized even in the 1820s and 1850s? Frankly, I think contribution to this book ought to be admissible in court for findings of non compos mentis.

I almost feel guilty laughing at the mentally handicapped.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Pete Dunkelberg says, "Do they live in an eternal time warp where there is always a red under the bed, a tree hugger in the woods, kids on your grass or a scientist somewhere that must be destroyed?"

Gee, maybe a case of red-green colorblindness?

Anonymous said...

Wegman and Said are both members of the ISI and if they had read and heeded the ISI Professional Ethics, it seems most likely the WR would not exist in its present form and that Wegman & Said would not find themselves neck-deep in the brown smelly stuff, with the level rising fast. Of course, I wonder what inducement / reward was used to encourage Wegman et al. to do what they did. I can't help suspecting the 'pro bono' claim is as false as the claims that the WR was objective. i.e. as genuine as a 3 dollar note.

As a layman, a quick look revealed these clear ethical problems with the WR. It's quite likely that others will spot many more.

Ethical Principles
1 Objectivity
Statisticians should pursue objectivity without fear or favor, only selecting and using methods designed to produce the most accurate results. They should
present all findings openly, completely, and in a transparent manner regardless
of the outcomes. Statisticians should be particularly sensitive to the need to
present findings when they challenge a preferred outcome. The statistician
should guard against predictable misinterpretation or misuse.....

2. Clarifying Obligations and Roles
…..statisticians should take care to stay within their area of competence, and seek advice, as appropriate, from others with the relevant expertise.

3. Assessing Alternatives Impartially
Available methods and procedures should be considered and an impartial
assessment provided to the employer, client, or funder of the respective merits

4. Conflicting Interests
Statisticians avoid assignments where they have a financial or personal conflict of interest in the outcome of the work. The likely consequences of collecting and disseminating various types of data and the results of their analysis should be considered and explored.

5. Avoiding Preempted Outcomes
Any attempt to establish a predetermined outcome from a proposed statistical
inquiry should be rejected, as should contractual conditions contingent upon
such a requirement.

7. Exhibiting Professional Competence
Statisticians shall seek to upgrade their professional knowledge and skills, and shall maintain awareness of technological developments, procedures, and
standards which are relevant to their field, and shall encourage others to do the same.

9. Exposing and Reviewing Methods and Findings
Adequate information should be provided to the public to permit the methods,
procedures, techniques, and findings to be assessed independently.

11. Bearing Responsibility for the Integrity of the Discipline
Statisticians are subject to the general moral rules of scientific and scholarly conduct: they should not deceive or knowingly misrepresent or attempt to prevent reporting of misconduct or obstruct the scientific/scholarly research of others.


John Mashey said...

Anon question re SNA.
SSWR covers the likely origins of the "badper" meme. Open the PDF, and do a full Acrobat search for Meme-b.
Brief answer (on iPhone, longer us painful):

Pat Michaels @ 2003 meeting
McIntyre blog
MM presentation May 11, 2005 MM05x
(which uses quote from dog astrology journal, falsified as Science).
That is the key source for the WR, and you can find all the red-coded Memes there.

The actual formal use of SNA terminology is explained in appendix W.5.

clearscience said...

If Curry said that, you know its gotta be true! Afterall she is the Queen of the drive-by.

Anonymous said...

I almost feel guilty laughing at the mentally handicapped.

That's funny, I don't feel guilty at all pointing out (with verifiable evidence backed up by hard links) that you are dishonest liar when it comes to your personal failures, and your employer's failures (i.e. - the government and its scientific institutions).

William M. Connolley said...

Wegaman? Sounds like of like Reggaeman, man.

Anonymous said...

> I don't feel guilty at all

Yep -- no shame. Vonmiseanist liturgy as a substitute for conscience.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

KT, Uh-huh. Yaawwwnnnn!

EliRabett said...

Gentlebunnies, Eli does not provide coat holding services.

Anonymous said...


No, that's kT. KT is someone else. a_ray_in_dilbert_space is a demonstrated liar.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Elifritz, get a personality.

EliRabett said...

Folks, take it elsewhere

EliRabett said...

Eli said take it elsewhere.

Water Coolers said...

Well i don't think he is that bad, it's just a name by which he is known among various people.....

Free SMS said...

I think the same as well, he isn't too bad guy after all. At least give him a chance to act in a good manner.