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Archive for the ‘Predictive Modeling’ Category

Obama’s Response to Sestak Question is Not Satisfactory

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 28, 2010

Earlier this week we posted an article titled Joe Sestak Political Bribe Could be a Serious Matter about a festering scandal in the Obama Administration.  This story is similar to the Pay-to-Play scandal of fellow politician Rob Blagojevich, that resulted in his impeachment.

While lawyers try to obfuscate reality, the issue is simple.  If Sestak was offered a position in the Obama Administration in exchange for dropping out of the PA Senatorial race against Arlen Specter, Obama’s chosen candidate, then a felony was committed.

President Obama needs to be transparent on this issue.  Instead, the Administration has refused to answer any questions since the story broke months ago.  That delaying tactic was continued yesterday by the President’s in his news conference.  As the video above shows, Obama was asked about the Sestak matter and responded by saying that the Administration would offer an “official response shortly”.  He also said he wanted to assure the public that “nothing improper took place”.  These responses indicate further obfuscation.  If Obama can assure us that nothing illegal occurred, then why didn’t he just answer the question?

Further proof that this story has legs is that it has moved out of Fox News.  Even Chris Mathews, who “felt this thrill going up my leg” when he heard Obama speak during the campaign, is beginning to smell a rat as per his video statement linked below.  Things are getting dicey in the White House.

Posted in Government Ineptness, Joe Sestak, Predictive Modeling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Progressives and the Religion of False Science

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 27, 2010

The longer one observes history the more it becomes apparent that rarely does a generation invent something that is truly new for society.  Each generation merely repackages the works of previous ones.  Such is the case with soothsayers.

According to wordnetweb.princeton.edu, a soothsayer is “someone who makes predictions of the future (usually on the basis of special knowledge)”.  While history has properly placed Tarot Card Readers, Witchdoctors and others in this category, it has yet to include the modern-day soothsayers with their special knowledge of the science of modeling.

Predictive modeling uses mathematical formulas to predict the effects of complex actions in the physical word.  In theory, these techniques along with advanced computers allow scientists to predict outcomes before they occur.  So far so good.  However, modeling has a weakness that is its dark side.  No model can include all of the variables that can affect an outcome.  To work within this limitation assumptions are made by scientists that often lead not only to wrong conclusions, but falsified models.

Shortly after today’s earthquake in Chile, The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for the Hawaiian Islands.  The scientist used modeling techniques to predict the likely creation and outcomes of tsunamis.  These predictions called for the first tsunami to hit Hawaii at 4:05 EST.  Evacuations were called for in Hawaii.

4:05 came with no tsunami.  Still the networks continued to place faith in the science and kept the cameras rolling.  5:05 came, and still nothing.  A reporter then asked a geologist what happened to the tsunami.  The sheepish answer was that models have leeway, whatever that meant.  Finally, at about 5:30, the networks report that there were tsunami effects in the Hawaiian Islands, but at a diminished level from what was predicted.

Attempting to predict complex environmental issues such as tsunamis is indeed rocket science.  Undoubtedly the scientists that got it wrong used their best judgment and it was better to error on the side of caution.  However, this latest example on top of so many other bad predictions should heighten our concern as to the validity of predictive modeling.  Unlike today’s potential tsunami, long-term policy decisions based on flawed or falsified models are dangerous and costly to society.

Modeling is relied on by many decision makers in government.  Their track record is poor with failures that include predictions of a Y2K disaster, the Bird Flu, SARs and this year the H1N1 pandemic.  In addition, the models used by the Federal Reserve did not predict the financial calamity that has played out in the past two years.  Hundreds of billions have been wasted and fortunes have been made by some.  Bad luck for some and good luck for others?  Unfortunately there’s more at play here.

Perhaps the greatest cost to society for its reliance on modeling is still to come and will result from the questionable theory of manmade global warming.  The Progressives and the knuckleheads in government whose previous predictions have been wrong so many times now demand that we reshape the world based on the most complex models ever used; that of the earth and its environment.  Wow; if we follow these folks again, that would be real insanity!

The Progressives and their scientist pals are the ultimate modern-day soothsays.  They have turned modeling into their religion.  As it high priests they make “predictions” based on “special knowledge” and ask us to follow them like lemmings into the abyss.  The Pied Piper of Hamlin played out in 1284.  Society has evolved little since then.

Posted in Predictive Modeling, Progressives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »