Archive for December, 2009

Climate Change and the Appeal to Authority Fallacy

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

There is a comment on James Randi’s blog that is just too good to miss.

Those of you interested in science will be well aware of James Randi. He, like the deceased Phillip Klass and the ridiculous James Oberg, are Ostrich Posturers ‘First Class’ when it comes to things that they would simply rather not believe to be true, despite evidence to the contrary.

Now James Randi has committed blasphemy by denying AGW, and has been roasted for it. He is not the only one by the way, to have to suffer this astonishing and shabby behaviour.

I have no sympathy for him; you cannot pick and choose what you want to believe is true in the face of irrefutable evidence and call yourself a rational man, and that is exactly what James Randi has done in the past, and it is similar to what he is doing now by back-pedalling from a standpoint of pure logic on the subject of ‘Climate Change’ and the ‘scientists’ that promote it.

Now for some definitions:

Argument from authority

Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:

Source A says that p.
Source A is authoritative.
Therefore, p is true.

This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of the claim is not necessarily related to the personal qualities of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it).

On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

This is the argument used by Eco loons who claim that AGW must be true “because a scientist says so”. Of course, the opposite is also true; just because a scientist says it isn’t true, we cannot accept that it is not true solely on the basis that it is a scientists that says so.

And now to the blog comment, here it is:

——-

What specifically WOULD you accept as evidence of global warming? What evidence science could uncover would you accept as proof that climate change is real?

Point ONE:/b] The appeal to authority fallacy is fully functional here because AGWers have not provided the tiniest piece of EVIDENCE for sustaining their HYPOTHESIS. It has been already falsified many times but religious AGWers still claim they have evidence. They are simply mistaking ASSUMPTIONS for evidence. They call evidence computer models projections. They are simply their programmers opinion. Lets define it once and for all: GIGO. Models have been failing to project (not to mention predict) the last ten years plateau and decline in temperatures as shown in this IPCC AR4 graph has observed temperatures added showing the decline.

They have failed to prove any acceleration increase in sea levels. Actually, sea level increase rate was an average of 2.4 mm/year during the last 300 years, and has progressively reduced to 1.75 and 1.4 mm/year. Thats FACTUAL EVIDENCE.

I need no evidence to know and accept that climate changes, and does it continuously, in fact, it does it four times every year. And has been changing since Earths was created as ALL geological and paleoclimatic evidences show.

I have all evidences needed to know that the Earths temperatures have risen since the Little Ice Age, and all necessary evidences to know that during the 20th Century temperatures went up 4 times and down another four times, including the present temperature decline, while CO2 levels have risen in a lineal way, which PROVES its lack of correlation with temperatures, that is, that CO2 increases causes temperature increases as claimed by the AGWers hypothesis.

I would accept AGW Hypothesis could be right IF someone showed me that CO2 has the ability to increase surface temperatures more than 0.4 W/m2 with a doubling of its atmospheric concentration. Someone that proves to me that CO2 has not logarithmic properties when increasing its concentration levels as shown in Australian astronomer David Archibalds graph.

Someone who can prove that during the last glacial termination CO2 DID NOT[7B] increase between 600-800 years after temperatures increased, as demonstrated by Monnin et al, (2000), a peer reviewed study published in Science and not refuted until yesterday, which proves that CO2/temperatures correlation is 100% inverse to IPCC and warmers claims, that is, temperatures rise first, CO2 levels follow.

If you can provide me with SOME FACTUAL EVIDENCE, not ASSUMPTIONS, PROJECTIONS, CLAIMS, or press releases, then I will admit AGW is real. Meanwhile, enjoy a proof of why the forcing theory as by the IPCC idea is completely flawed:

——-

I’m lovin it.

And while we are at it, read this marvellous post from the Foresight Institute it has graphs that show

the temperature record as read from this central Greenland ice core. It gives us about as close as we can come to a direct, experimental measurement of temperature at that one spot for the past 50,000 years. As far as I know, the data are not adjusted according to any fancy computer climate model or anything else like that.

so in other words, these are the FACTS, as opposed to FRAUDULENTLY MANIPULATED DATA of the Phil Jones / Piltdown man school. If after reading that page (and everything else that is based on the facts) and you still believe in AGW, you have a problem, just like Phillip Klass, James Oberg, Carl Sagan, James Randi, Seth Schlockstack and all the other religious fanatics and science cultists out there who bury their heads in the sand, plug their ears with their fingers and say ‘LA LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENINNNNNNG!!!!!’.

Finally, this guide to the debating tactics of fake sceptics is something that you need to have in the back of your mind whenever you read any newspaper, blog, blog comment or watch TV News (if you still do that).

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Sick deluded environmentalists

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

At the Gruauniad, on the ‘failure’ of Copenhagen:

Lydia Baker of Save the Children said world leaders had “effectively signed a death warrant for many of the world’s poorest children. Up to 250,000 children from poor communities could die before the next major meeting in Mexico at the end of next year.”

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/18/copenhagen-deal

What the heck?

250,000 children could die next year from Global Warming or ‘Climate Change’?

Just what sort of sick and twisted people are these? Are they really this stupid, deluded and unhinged? If they are not, then they (and the Gruauniad editors who let this tripe go into print) must think that their readers are a bunch of total retards, who will believe any scaremongering alarm words that they print.

No one is going to die between now and the end of 2010 because of AGW or ‘Climate Change’
. That is a LIE pure and simple.

Thankfully, the number of people that are believing this type of lie and all the other garbage swirling around this push for world government is getting smaller and smaller by the minute.

Using the thought of children dying to promote AGW is just about as low as you can get. Saying that they are going to die NEXT YEAR because of it is beyond insane.

And while we are at it…

Check out this fantastic blog:

I Love Carbon Dioxide.

Where you will see gems like this:

!!!!

Obama: Yes we Canute!

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

The Copenhagen Accord is based on a proposal tabled on Friday by a US-led group of five nations – including China, India, Brazil and South Africa – that President Barack Obama called a “meaningful agreement”.

The accord includes a recognition to limit temperature rises to less than 2C (3.6F)

Canute the politician

Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings. For there is none worthy of the name but God, whom heaven, earth and sea obey”.

So spoke King Canute the Great, the legend says, seated on his throne on the seashore, waves lapping round his feet. Canute had learned that his flattering courtiers claimed he was “So great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back”. Now Canute was not only a religious man, but also a clever politician. He knew his limitations – even if his courtiers did not – so he had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. When they didn’t, he had made his point that, though the deeds of kings might appear ‘great’ in the minds of men, they were as nothing in the face of God’s power. […]


Real people making real things

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The Trilogy Tapes: Nippon Folk, Japan Blues

Cassette, limited to 100 copies.

I paid for it.

Cloudy Cloud, Google Chrome and privacy in The Cloud

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Zeropaid has this story about Google CEO Eric Schmidt Google Chrome and privacy:

There has been a bit of an uproar about a recent quote by Google CEO Eric Schmidt. While talking to CNBC, Schmidt remarked that, If you have something that you dont want anyone to know, maybe you shouldnt be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search enginesincluding Googledo retain this information for some time and its important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities.

Not surprisingly, the familiar pro-surveillance slogan of, if youve got nothing to hide, youve got nothing to worry about, raises the hackles of privacy advocates, and especially so coming this time from someone like Schmidt who has, theoretically at least, more access to users information than just about anybody else in the private sector. And Schmidt is not the first Silicon Valley executive to say disturbing things about privacy in the digital age, as the former Sun CEO Scott McNealy once said, You already have zero privacy. Get over it. While not disagreeing with the current state of the situation, noted security expert Bruce Schneier despairs of just this kind of attitude, that clashes so strongly with his own principle of how privacy corresponds with fundamental human rights, preserving internal domains from prying eyes, even if nothing nefarious is occurring.

What makes the question of privacy, user tracking and data collection so complex currently is the daily, almost constant exchange that occurs between users today and the service providers that make up the backbone of the web ecology. Every time we search on Google, use Google Apps (where this post is being written actually), visit a site using the Chrome browser, click on a friends link via Facebook , etc. etc. we are being paid in a sense via these services for the data we provide to the companies. They of course collate all that data in order to sell it, manipulate it, exploit it, what have you. It is precisely that data that has turned Google into a giant of 21st century business and will likely be the eventual route to revenue for innovative companies like Facebook and Twitter and many more.

Is this exchange, surrendering our data (and ultimately our privacy) for services a fair balance? Who is coming out ahead? Do users deserve more compensation for their online footprints, or at least have more control over who gets the data and what they do with it? What are the implications of an entire Chrome OS built upon this notion of exchange?

As we continue to examine the immense promise of cloud computing and online digital services, we should always keep these kinds of questions in mind, if only to be at least aware of what we are giving up, and what precisely we are getting in return.

Zeropaid

“Maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”. Hmmmm; maybe you should? Who knows.

What all readers of BLOGDIAL do know is what we think about “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”.

The fact of the matter is if you really want privacy, you can have it. We have been saying this on BLOGDIAL for many years; if you want privacy online, all you have to do is take it.

Even with cloud services like Google’s Chrome OS, that are inherently non private.

Here is how you do it.

Chrome OS is open source.
GPG is open source.
You put them together.

Imagine that your copy of Chrome OS is a layer that sits between you, GPG and the Google controlled cloud. Chrome OS and GPG are both running on your hardware, and you have total control over that hardware and what runs on it. Anything that you do on your machine, via Chrome OS is encrypted before it is sent to and stored on the cloud:

That means that when Google, at the request of the NSA or Homeland Security, look at your cloud data, all they see are a series of GPG encrypted ciphertexts that no one, and I mean NO ONE can decrypt.

That means all of your:

  • Email
  • Spreadsheet Data
  • Documents
  • Calendar items

and anything else that Google want to provide to you as a service are all encrypted and decrypted on the fly, and while they are stored on Google’s servers, they are in a form that cannot be read by anyone except you.

Your Google address book would need to stay in plaintext on the Google Cloud, since the email systems need that information in plaintext for your recipients to get mail from you. This system cannot do anything to protect you from having your email subjected to traffic analysis.

You have all the advantages of the Google cloud, without any of the privacy downside. Google maintains the parts of the Chrome OS that do their work, and people outside of Google maintain the Chrome GPG layer (under open source peer review) protecting your privacy. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone except the police state, and since all of the source is developed in the open, it will not be possible for, say, the French to cripple the GPG layer that everyone uses to secure their data, as they have done with the A5 cipher that is used to encrypt GSM phone calls.

All the cryptographic services to do this of this could be hacked into the Chrome OS so that it is completely seamless and transparent to the user; the only difference in operation of Chrome OS would be that there is a second login page where you type in your GPG passphrase that would unlock all your cloud data.

Zeropaid said:

As we continue to examine the immense promise of cloud computing and online digital services, we should always keep these kinds of questions in mind, if only to be at least aware of what we are giving up, and what precisely we are getting in return.

You do not have to give up any of your privacy for convenience. You can have total, unprecedented levels of privacy in your communications without any degradation of service whatsoever. For generations people have suffered having their letters opened, their telexes, faxes and phone calls tapped and their reading habits known to snoops; now, with GPG and ubiquitous and very powerful computing, it is possible for you to have all your letters absolutely secured, the content of all of your phone calls absolutely private, without any degradation in the utility of the services you use.

All you have to do is THINK, create the tools and then USE THEM.

And in there is a snazzy term to help you think about this… “Cloudy Cloud”… hmmmm ‘Chrome OS: Cloudy Cloud Edition’!

UPDATE

A lurker emailed, intrigued, and asked how Google Calendar could work on a shared calendar if all entries were encrypted by default to a single Cloudy Cloud users system.

Thankfully, with GPG you can encrypt your calendar entries (or any other data for that matter) with another person’s GPG Public Key.

This means that the calendar entries that are encrypted with your Public Key and a colleagues public key will be readable by only you and your colleague, and no one else.

Managing this would be as easy as ticking a single box populated by your contacts. the other person’s GPG Public Key would be imported if it did not already exist on your machine (and you would have to verify the trust of it obviously) and then, automagically, they would have access to all those calendar entries that you want to share.

Homeland Security gets secret access to Google Goggles

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Imagine this future headline:

“Google Goggles is not to go public, but instead will be partitioned off for the exclusive use of Homeland Security.”

Think about it; how could Google say ‘no’ to Homeland Security or the NSA if they ask them to provide this service to them? And what about Facebook or any other social networking service that allows you to tag photos of people?

Do you REALLY imagine that these companies are going to say ‘no’?

Remember what happened with the telecoms industry and the requests for bulk back door access to all comms data? The only company that said ‘no’ found its CEO Joseph Nacchioimmediately charged with ‘crimes’; the only honest company that respected the privacy of its users found itself in very hot water for not obeying the immoral and illegal orders of the NSA.

This my friends:

is the face of a true hero.

I guarantee you that Google Goggles, or something like it will be provided to the NSA or Homeland Security without any hesitation or a word of its existence being uttered to the public.

The people who run these companies are scared shitless of the Federal Government; they know what happened to Joseph Nacchio, and they do not want that to happen to them.

In case you have no idea what this is about:

Privacy concerns have forced Google to delay an expansion of its Goggles service which would have enabled camera-phone users to identify strangers on the street.

The experimental Google Goggles application, which was launched last week, allows smart-phone users to search for subjects simply by snapping a picture of them.

Users can focus their phone’s camera on an object and Google will try to match portions of the picture with the tens of millions of images in its database.

But privacy campaigners have raised fears over the ‘ facial recognition’ potential of the service, which would allow users to track strangers through a photograph.

Google, which has confirmed the technology is available but has yet to decide if it will be rolled-out as part of Goggles, has now confirmed that it is blocking aspects of the application until privacy implications have been fully explored.

Google spokesman Anthony House said: ‘We do have the relevant facial recognition technology at our disposal. For instance with our Picasa picture service a user can tag a friend in their photo album and it will search for and tag any other pictures of that person.

‘But we haven’t implemented this on Google Goggles because we want to consider the privacy implications and how this feature might be added responsibly.

‘So if someone uploads a picture of a stranger on Goggles there is no process to identify them and the search will come up with “no matches found.”

‘We will have talks with privacy advocates and consumers before we consider any changes – it may be people want such a service, but we don’t have a rigid timescale on when any decisions will be made.’

[…]

Daily Mail

The only way you can protect yourself from Google Goggles or Facebook Goggles or the other apps that will make use of social networking sites and tagging is to not only delete your Facebook account, but to get everyone you know to delete theirs also.

It appears that everyone has built the ultimate surveillance system with their own hands; all the spooks had to do is sit back and watch it happen and then infiltrate or blackmail the companies that own the networks.

Brilliant!

As usual, BLOGDIAL suggests that you do not take a pessimistic view of these matters.

100% effective brainwashing in full flower

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Well meaning, busy people find themselves brainwashed, and everyone is made to suffer because of their gullibility.

In a Libertarian world, where no one can initiate force against anyone else, these brainwashed masses would be rendered harmless; they can believe whatever they like, and protest all they like. Without a violent state to make their irrational, illogical, crackpot wishes come true, it would all be harmless hot air.

The root of the threat from the brainwashed socialist greens is the state. Remove the state, and they become just another freely associating group of people harming no one.

Swine flu: go to bed and take a statistic

Friday, December 11th, 2009

BBQ reports that:

Swine flu less lethal than feared

The swine flu pandemic is “considerably less lethal” than feared, chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson says.

A study led by Sir Liam found a death rate of just 0.026% in those infected, the British Medical Journal reported.

This links to the article in the British Medical Journal:

Mortality from pandemic A/H1N1 2009 influenza in England: public health surveillance study

Which states:

Initial reports of 208 deaths between 1 June and 8 November 2009 were received. Of these, 138 met the case definition as being related to pandemic A/H1N1. The others were excluded from analysis because the initial clinical suspicion was not borne out by investigation and hence the case definition was not met (n=56) or because they did not yet fulfil the case definition but death certification or results of postmortem tests were outstanding (n=14). An estimated 540 000 people (range 240 000-1 100 000) in England had symptomatic pandemic A/H1N1 infection in the study period. With this denominator, the case fatality rate was 26 (11-66) deaths per 100 000 cases.

My emphasis.

So H1N1 flu is considerably less lethal than other pandemic strains. Also, the vaccine has been pushed at young adults and children as being particularly at risk. However, Sir Liam’s own statistical analysis concludes:

The paper showed the estimated death rate was lowest among children aged five to 14, with around 11 deaths per 100,000 population.

It was highest for those aged over 65, with 980 per 100,000.

So, mortality is 0.026%.

Or is it?

The Health Protection Agency has carried out studies looking for evidence of antibodies to H1N1, denoting exposure, in the general population and concludes that:

Millions more than thought have already had swine flu, Government scientists say

‘Normal’ flu has a symptomatic/asymptomatic ratio of around 1:1, which means only 50% of people who contract the virus will show any symptoms and end up on the statistical database as a flu victim. This ratio seems to be even lower with H1N1, with as few as 1 in 10 children (the “highest risk group”) showing symptoms. Therefore at least 2, and possibly up to 5, times as many people as estimated have had swine flu.

But! Sir Liam, in his BMJ study, only used confirmed cases of swine flu to work out the mortality rate. If we look at the current death toll of 283 as 0.026%, this implies around 1.08 million people have had swine flu.

If we factor in the other 50%-80% of non-reported cases, we end up with an actual mortality rate of 0.013% – 0.0052%. At the upper rate (0.013%) this means over 23 million people would need to get swine flu in order to generate 3000 deaths, which is at the lower end of the deaths from ‘normal’ winter flu.

In spite of this, we are still being treated to heart-string non-journalism like this, from state propagandists BBQ:

The family of a woman who died from swine flu after giving birth have urged all pregnant women to get vaccinated against the virus.

Despite seeming to state that she died from syptoms not normally associated with flu, but noted in many post-partum problems:

She was later transferred to London’s Royal Brompton Hospital for specialist treatment, but died on November 29 after developing complications including deep vein thrombosis and bleeding on her brain.

A personal and familial tradegy, yes. A reason to get every pregnant woman vaccinated, definitely no.

As a final aside on swine flu, around 70% of those people with symptoms have been given Tamiflu. Here is a nice report which suggests Tamiflu is… er… shit. More of your money wasted, scammed from an ignorant government into the pockets of BigPharma. Roche is also accused of hiding trials data on the effectiveness of Tamiflu. You can look it up. Scamiflu!

Two Stories of Gyrgy Ligeti

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Aboriginal Land

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I have been reading The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. There are many interesting things in the book, one of these is the notion of land ownership by the aborigines.

Land ownership is traditionally defined by a number of coexisting rights, which are defined independently of each other;

Patrilineal inheritance is the main ownership right and establishes the Kirda (‘owner’ or ‘boss’). The Kirda has the right to inhabit and use the land.

Matrilineal inheritance, establishes a Kurdungurlu (‘caretaker’ or ‘policeman’). The Kurdungurlu is guardian of the religious knowledge associated with the land and makes sure the Kirda performs the correct ceremonial rituals.

Additionally in aboriginal thought the land is traversed by dreaming lines which define the path taken by a particular Ancestor, the dreamline is located by singing the land. Each person ‘inherits’ the dream lines of a particular Ancestor and therefore maintains the path by travelling as their Ancestor did.

For the land to be exploited (either traditionally or for ‘contemporary’ purposes) both the Kirda and Kurdungurlu must consent however the Kirda and Kurdungurlu will always have a different ‘dreaming’ and are usually of different generations. The two will most likely be from neighbouring tribes, all this means they will be unlikely to collude to misuse the land.

This is reinforced by the general motivation to leave the land as found, so the next generation inherits the same dreaming that stretches back to the first Ancestors.

That a neighbouring tribe has a spiritual ‘ownership’ of land they do not inhabit (and they inhabit someone else’s sacred land) also means they are much less likely to be aggressive against their neighbours who may in return despoil the dreamings on their land.

In a land where immediate resources are scarce this inter-tribal limiting of the ability to misuse the land and attack neighbours seems like a robust solution, and Chatwin waxes poetic about the nomadic lifestyle, however it quite demonstrably limited ‘breaking the soil’ to the extent that farming and potential ‘progress’ as on the other continents did not occur. To have such a system in a land with good potential would be counter-productive, to create such a system in a non-nomadic society that depended on the ability to exploit the land and trade resources would be suicidal.

However if you accept that multiple ‘ownership’ an entity eventually leads to a sort of stasis (or stagnation) then you should accept that the EU countries are already on this path – with the ability of each state to legislate ‘its land’ (I know this is already an imposition) being circumscribed by its neighbours.

The attempts at Copenhagen to subordinate nation states to a global ‘climate policeman’ will also lead down a similar path, only in this case the effects will be more pronounced – developing countries will be crippled but countries that have relied heavily on technological innovation and sophisticated use of resources will be retarded or go into decline.

The true origin of the CRU leak

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Some shameless newspaper editors and hacks are claiming that the FSB are responsible for the ‘hack’ that produced the CRU files. This is probably a result of the files being initially hosted on a server located in Russia. It is simple minded guilt by association, and it’s the sort of illogic you would expect from computer illiterate journalists who are recycling second hand news without any analysis.

But what is the truth behind this? Who is/are the hero(s) responsible for the liberation of the smoking gun data that shot Climate Change / AGW / Climate Chaos to death?

First of all, lets define some terms.

Hacker
In common usage, a hacker is a person who breaks into computers, usually by gaining access to administrative controls. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground. Proponents claim to be motivated by artistic and political ends, and are often unconcerned about the use of illegal means to achieve them.

Other uses of the word hacker exist that are not related to computer security (computer programmer and home computer hobbyists), but these are rarely used by the mainstream media. Some would argue that the people that are now considered hackers are not hackers, as before the media described the person who breaks into computers as a hacker there was a hacker community. This community was a community of people who had a large interest in computer programming, often creating open source software. These people now refer to the cyber-criminal hackers as “crackers”.

[…]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker

The correct term for someone who gains access to computers is a ‘Cracker’, or a ‘Black Hat Hacker’. If someone broke into the CRU computers to do this, CRU was Cracked, not Hacked, by Black Hat Hackers:

Black Hat Hacker
Black Hat Hackers (also called “crackers”), are hackers who specialize in unauthorized penetration. They may use computers to attack systems for profit, for fun, or for political motivations or as a part of a social cause. Such penetration often involves modification and/or erasing of data, and is done without authorization and hence they should not be confused with ethical hackers (see white hat hacker).

They also may distribute computer viruses, Internet worms, and deliver spam through the use of botnets. The term may also refer to hackers who crack software to remove copy restriction methods: copy prevention, trial/demo version, serial number, hardware key, date checks, CD check (NO-CD) or software annoyances like nag screens and adware.
The Black Hat Conference is a major conference dedicated both to learning (and potentially furthering) Black Hat techniques and also to understanding and preventing them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hat

If the people who cracked the CRU facility and released the files were from the FSB, they were spies, not Crackers or Black Hat Hackers.

Which brings us to how the feat was done.

The most recent emails in the archive date from 12 Nov 2009 and the earliest is from 07 Mar 1996. This is highly significant, and produces a number of possible scenarios.

1: All files copied from backup media by an insider
If the CRU keeps its old emails in offline storage (backed up on hard discs or magnetic tape), then someone working inside the facility would have had to get physical access to those backup media and restore the files to a running system (a laptop) to make copies of them and smuggle them out on a device.

2: All files copied from backup media by a burglar
Someone broke into the facility, accessed the backup media, copied it to a device and escaped with the data.

Both of those scenarios require prior knowledge of where the backup media were stored, the formats in which they were stored, and access to appropriate device(s) to retrieve the data from the backup media for copying.

Once those files were off site, it would be a case of taking time to analyse them and then a simple matter to post them on a server anywhere.

Since the most recent file is 12 Nov 2009, if normal backup procedures are being followed at CRU, we might expect that very recent emails would not be stored in offline drives or tapes along with emails from 1996. If that is the case, then we are talking about two different types of access; one to the backup media and one to the live email server at CRU.

The scenarios flowing from those assumptions are:

1: Burglar copying files from the live system and the backup media
2: Burglar copying just the backup media while someone else copies the live files from outside the facility

The third possibility is that CRU keeps all of its email, no matter how old it is, on a live system that is connected to the internet. This would mean that a Cracker could gain access to their email server and leech the entire archive, from anywhere in the world.

All of those scenarios deal with the emails. Now for the source code samples and documents that have been released.

Once again, to gain access to the released source code and documents, we have only three different options; an insider who knew where the backups were stored in the case of the old files being stored offline, or a burglar outsider, or all of these files being stored online in the live CRU system, cracked by a Cracker.

The released documents have been cherry picked to highlight the scientific fraud at CRU. That means someone who has been paying close attention to this matter, and who knew specifically what to look for to expose this fraud has either combed through a larger set of files, or, the combing through has been done for months in advance of the release of the files.

Remember, the latest email is from 12 Nov 2009, and we are talking about a large amount (167m) of cherry picked text. Lets look at some possibilities.

1: The files were released wholesale by an outsider who snarfed them on or after the 12th of November.
It is unlikely that this is the case, since the information is sorted, cherry picked and organised, and the release was very soon after this date, leaving no time to sort out the vast amount of data.

2: The files were released by an insider, after long preparation.
This is more likely than 1. An insider aware of the fraud would know what to release, where to find it and would have time to patiently organise the file. They would also know how to dump a file in an anonymous ftp in Russia, and how to point to that file without revealing their identity. The most recent document is from the 11th November 2009. Someone collating a ‘vengeance file’ would collect information till the last possible moment, which is after the 12 Nov. They would have to have root access to do this and be able to cover their tracks. Or, during the many years they have been working at CRU, they already had a personal archive of all the relevant documents and source code files, copied as a part of their routine work process. This would not explain the inclusion of emails to which they did not have access privileges on the system. No matter how these files were released, the fact that emails from all the people involved were released and not just to or from a single account means that a complete copy of the email archive of CRU, either from tape or a live system, was made, and then subsequently sifted through.

3: The files were released by a Cracker, who, with root access, remotely made copies of large sections of the CRU filesystem, and who then took months to parse through the copied files, by herself, to produce the archive that was dumped in Russia.
Unlikely, but possible. She would have to freshen the archive with the most recent emails and docs for completeness sake. Doable, but why sit on the greatest scandal in the history of science for months when you can have the same impact immediately? Then again, why not wait? And if she did it by herself, it would take months to go though that mountain of data. The FSB of course, has the manpower to sift though a mountain of data like this much more quickly, but then, why not blame the NSA, Mossad or MI5? They are just as skilled as anyone else, and their motives are just as weather like.

Whoever the hero that did this was, wether it was one person or a group of people, one thing is for sure; they had intimate knowledge of either the internal layout of CRU, or intimate knowledge of the CRU network. They also know something about climate research and the personalities involved in it (or they were told who to examine and what to look for).

Finally, all of this is a total distraction.

The only thing that matters is that the Climate Change / Global Warming / Climate Chaos hoax is blown to smithereens. The earth is not going to heat up and die, polar bears are not going to drown and the ice caps are not going to melt because of man’s use of fossil fuels, and it is now irrefutable and proven that these theories are not based on science, but are instead based on fraud. It is now on the record forever. That newspapers are focussing on this rather than the scandal of the trillions in capital that the sheep are planning to divert into pointless and very harmful schemes is a scandal on top of a scandal.

Tories to counter Britain’s health and safety neurosis

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

David Cameron will today pledge to cure the ‘national neurosis’ caused by the explosion of health and safety rules under Labour.

The Conservative leader wants police, schools and volunteer groups to be freed from the fear of being sued.

He said the culture in which someone has to be blamed for every mishap must be countered.

Mr Cameron, speaking to the Daily Mail ahead of a major speech, set out plans for a Civil Liability Act to streamline hundreds of different pieces of legislation and regulation.

He said he wanted to exempt entire categories of workers and organisations from the fear of litigation or prosecution because of ‘over-the-top’ health and safety rules. Mr Cameron said a Tory government would amend the Compensation Act to abolish negligence claims for activities where it should be obvious there is a risk – for example, sport and adventure training.

He is also considering introducing a Good Samaritan Act to protect from liability those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill.
Mr Cameron has been impressed with similar legislation in Australia, which has helped reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.

It has also dramatically scaled back the potential for medical negligence claims against doctors.

‘I want to see if we can extend this sort of legal protection for all people acting in good faith – especially public service professionals,’ Mr Cameron said.

He insisted that health and safety legislation had ‘noble origins’ and had done much to make Britain’s workplaces among the safest in the world.

But he said it was clear something had gone ‘seriously wrong’. He highlighted the examples of children made to wear goggles to play conkers, trainee hairdressers not allowed scissors in the classroom, and staff at a railway station refusing to help a mother carry her baby’s buggy because they were not insured.

‘The rulebooks keep getting thicker. The restrictions keep getting sillier,’ Mr Cameron said. ‘In Britain there is just a great sense that there are too many rules and regulations and petty bureaucracy that are mucking up people’s lives.

‘The impact of this national neurosis should not be underestimated.’

[…]

Daily Mail

This is very interesting, but of course neither the article nor the Tories go far enough.

Before we start, we have to get to the root of what ‘the nanny state’ is. The nanny state is the logical conclusion of the idea that ‘we’ need the state to control the shadowy, ever-present group of people who are not capable of doing things ‘properly’.

It doesn’t matter what you are discussing, there is always a rationale for the state to license something, and the only thing that stops the state licensing everything is that there are not enough apartchiks to operate such a gargantuan scheme.

The evil of the nanny state starts out with what seems to be reasonable and rational idea; for example, ‘we’ need to control people who cook food for sale because there are some people who would not cook properly and poison others, or, ‘we’ must have a system of compulsory vehicle checks and licensing otherwise, people will not maintain their cars and cause accidents.

Ideas like this are at the root of the nanny state, and they are totally false:

A recent editorial by Amitai Etzioni in the Washington Post discussing drivers licenses was “brave” enough to point out that “In a civil libertarian utopia, they would not exist.” Etzioni declared, “I know that driver’s licenses as a means of identification are a joke. Fake ones can still be ordered on the Internet or purchased for about $60 in many cities, and real ones can be obtained fraudulently.” He had the facts to back him up. “[T]he General Accounting Office described a test in which GAO agents had been able to enter the United States using counterfeit driver’s licenses without being stopped 25 out of 25 times in late 2002 and early 2003.”

Unfortunately Etzioni then jumped to the entirely wrong conclusion, because “drivers licenses” are all but worthless, he argued that the United States needs to include biometric information on drivers licenses, such as fingerprints and retinal scans. (See “It’s Not Just a Driver’s License Anymore,” Washington Post, May 16, 2004; page B03) As usual, Etzioni and others who advocate such measures fail to explain how putting finger prints on a license is going to stop counterfeits. It might prevent people from stealing other peoples license and using it (something which is actually quite rare because it is so easy to make a counterfeit, see http://www.ncsl.org/statefed/DLRCSG.htm), but counterfeit licenses will just put the persons finger prints on the document, just as they use the persons photograph.

As usual the solution to worthless government bureaucracy is simply to redouble its worthless efforts. It is unfortunate that so many people try to justify this intrusive and utterly pointless government scheme. I have refused for more than ten years to get a drivers license (and yes, Ive driven hundreds of times without one), and I know a number of other people who have done the same thing. Yet, even many so-called libertarians when they find out that I drive without a license profess to be shocked.

Lets be clear, however. Drivers licenses have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with keeping tabs on people. If someone is driving recklessly then he or she should be stopped and can be fined or imprisoned. God knows there are enough traffic cops, and busy-bodies with cell phones to keep track of people who really do drive recklessly. Of course, it goes without saying that almost all speeding tickets (like drivers licenses) have nothing to do with safety but are a means of raising government revenue. If the person is not driving recklessly, why should the person have to “prove” to the government beforehand that he can do it, anymore than hair dressers should be required to get a license to cut hair.

[…]

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/clark9.html

There are countries that do not have state mandated compulsory annual vehicle testing, and the accident rates in those places is not higher than it is in the UK. The accident rates in Germany, where there are no speed limits on the Autobhan. Quite apart from all that, your right to drive your vehicle on public roads is being interfered with by the arbitrary imposition of what is nothing more than a tax on your personal property and how you choose to operate it, and of course, if you refuse to co-operate, violence is used against you.

And for the enchiladas:

In a Libertarian world the government would be VERY limited. It wouldn’t do things like inspect restaurants, audit banks, or license contractors and doctors. To be a Libertarian, you have to change the way you think. Libertarians have come to realize that anything the government “protects” us from is a freedom that has been taken away. For example, if you want to buy tamales from the Mexican lady next door, current laws forbid such transactions. Why? To protect you from her potential unsanitary cooking methods. No matter that you’ve known her for ten years and trust her completely. Until the government inspects her kitchen and issues her a restaurant license, you are not allowed to buy food from her.

How about the enterprising young man who lives one block over? He installed a sprinkler system for his parents at their home. You need a sprinkler system. All the quotes you’ve gotten from more experienced contractors are WAY out of your price range. He says he’ll do it for a price you can afford. You paid him for a couple hours labor to design a system for your yard, and it was actually better than the designs proposed by the contractors. You’d like to hire him to do the work, but you can’t. Why? Because he could be arrested, jailed, and fined for contracting without a license.

Are you beginning to see how a government that protects you from things, also limits your freedom. As a Libertarian, I believe I should be allowed allowed to enter into any agreement I find acceptable. I should not have the government hovering over my shoulder protecting me.

[…]

http://www.crockett.com/Political/on_being_libertarian_01.htm

The same goes for the licensing of people who want to sell food. Before the licensing regimes were introduced, people sold food to each other for literally thousands of years without significant numbers of poisoning incidents. It is only now, in this unprecedented state of hysterical mass neurosis that it is deemed necessary and morally justifiable that anyone cooking food for remuneration needs to be licensed and regularly inspected. Even people who collect eggs from their own chickens are not allowed to sell them without a license. And we have all heard about the restrictions on people who know each other looking after each other’s children.

Of course, if you do any of those things without the permission of the state, violence will be used against you to stop you from voluntarily transacting and interacting with other people.

If people who cook for others need to be licensed, then why should not a mother who is cooking for her children be licensed also? There is no difference between the two actions, and no doubt, there are some who would like to see kitchens in the home licensed and regularly inspected.

If we accept that the state has a legitimate power to license any activity, then the state has the power to license all activities; one cannot pick and choose which items on the laundry list of ‘risky’ activities one thinks should or should not be licensed based on our personal lifestyles or prejudices, or what we reflexively believe is ‘reasonable’.

This is the double edged sword; it is the ever-present ‘other’ that ‘we’ need to be protected from, it is never ‘us’; “You and I are safe, dependable and stable as parents, but we must protect those children out there who have bad parents”, “Our kitchen is clean and we never get sick, but it is the OTHER restauranteurs who are the dangerous ones; that is why we must inspect everyone and license them all”, “My eggs are always sold when they are fresh, but it is the OTHER chicken owners who we have to be careful of”.

This is irrational. This is neurotic thinking. And it is utterly foolish to think that there are not other people sitting in judgement of your perfectly legitimate activities, saying that it is YOU that is an unknown quantity that needs to be controlled, using precisely the same arguments with total conviction.

This sort of illogic is the thin end of the wedge; first we start licensing only those people who want to sell food (skilful entrepreneurs, who are a minority providing a service that you can take or leave) then it is expanded and expanded until you cannot do anything with food in any context without state permission.

First, education is made compulsory, then school attendance is made compulsory, then all forms of schooling and education, and the associate materials like textbooks that are not approved by the state are outlawed, and everyone who teaches or who supervises education, or even spends one minute in the presence of a child needs to be CRB checked, inspected and licensed.

First, cars are licensed, then drivers are licensed, then the driver’s licence, needs to be renewed regularly, then it morphs into a universal ID card.

Swimming on beaches is unmonitored, then there are volunteer lifeguards, then the lifeguards are taken over by the state, then it becomes illegal to swim or surf without a lifeguard being present.

Once the state gets its hands onto something, it keeps pushing its fingers deeper and deeper into it until it has total control, all from the initial false pretext that the state is needed to protect people because there are ‘people out there’ who are a danger to others, or even to themselves.

The fact of the matter is people who call for the state to license and regulate others are statists, and whats more, they are violent, because if anyone does not agree that they should be licensed to sell eggs, or omelettes, or apples or anything else, these collectivists agree that violence should be used on their behalf to shut down those restaurants, egg sellers or orchard owners that refuse to be inspected or licensed. Car drivers who are perfectly competent should be violently arrested and their money stolen from them upon the say so and whim of the state, with the consent of the collectivists. And yet, many of these collectivist statists balk when it comes to someone else saying that what they do should be licensed, regulated and controlled. It doesn’t make sense.

Not only is the proposition that the ever-present other needs to be licensed, monitored, regulated, inspected and controlled immoral and illogical, but it is also not the only mechanism that can increase the safety of all products and services.

Look at Underwriter’s Laboratories; it is a non state entity that is in the profitable business certifying consumer devices. This is an example of how private people can interact with each other to weed out the statistically insignificant number of incompetent, malicious or stupid people who may be in the business of manufacturing electrical goods.

The next argument that is normally trotted out at this point is, “well, if it (whatever flavour of state interference you like) saves even one life, it is worth it!”. This is false. The nanny state has most definitely not been ‘worth it’, and in any case, who is to make this measure of what is or is not worth while?

No one has the right to assess risk for other people and then force them to live at a standard set by others; in my opinion, a life without risk is not worth living. You learn and are enhanced by risk. Children in particular, need risk to shape and develop a correct perception of what life really is; so that they can become rational adults who are not capable of being gulled into accepting a nanny state or knee jerk collectivism.

That is my opinion, and it applies only to me. I have no right to impose those or any other idea on anyone else, and this is why the Libertarians are morally superior to the collectivists; they cannot accept the philosophies and lifestyles of other people, whereas Libertarians accept all other lifestyles, and they would not EVER agree that violence should be used against people who are minding their own business and voluntarily interacting with others to no one else’s harm.

The nanny state and its proponents also distort the economy, as well as restricting people’s rights. The incandescent light bulb is the latest example of how the state, in its never ending push to protect everyone, has diverted billions into inferior lighting technologies.

That example, based on the now completely discredited and highly destructive Climate Change hoax, is a perfect example of nanny statism based on lies, false presumptions and nonsense.

Rent a wreck is a company that would never have been possible in the UK, since the prohibitive and unnecessary M.O.T. would have made the original business model unworkable. The many second hand car lots selling dilapidated cars would not be in business if the M.O.T. system was in operation in the USA. Because it is not, there is a thriving economy in second hand cars, greater access to cars to people with low budgets and more people on the move. At least, that’s the way it used to be.

I’m sure you can come up with your own examples.

Many of the things this illogic breeds are so irrational it beggars belief that they are even being proposed, and yet, they all come out of the same cesspool of illogic ; “We must do something for the common good”. There is no such thing as ‘the common good’. This is just another pretext to engineer totalitarianism, and literally anything can be shoehorned into it:

This is a staggering range of activities, and yet, they are all connected by the same thread, the same core assumption that the state has a legitimate role in protecting people from risks that they may want to take for themselves, or that may be posed to others by voluntary interactions.

Until the fact of this matter is faced, it will be very difficult to argue that you should be left in peace to pursue your own interests in your own fashion, because there will be innumerable counter examples where the state is interfering with other aspects of life that everyone accepts as reasonable, that overlap with what you do.

It will not matter that their ideas are inefficient, corrupt, evil or just plain insane; to someone, somewhere, you will be ‘the other’ that needs to be controlled to protect everyone, and there are a legion of people who are willing to call for violence against you. This is the fatal flaw in the thinking of those who accept a limited role for government to license activities and regulate risk. There is no such thing as a ‘limited role’ in this instance, just as there is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant.

There is no need for a state, there is no need for a state to protect people from each other or to regulate risk of any kind, and certainly there is no excuse for calling for violence to be used against people who live differently from you.

This is the best way that each person can reach their fullest potential, and for the least harm to be done in a population. As long as there is even a single person to whom the power to use violence is given in a context where no one is doing harm to anyone else, then that person is the seed of the state; the state always grows, and like a weed it never regulates its size and the end is always the nanny state and totalitarianism.

Rothbard on Risk:

The Proper Burden of Risk

We conclude, then, that no one may use force to defend himself or his property until the initiation of an overt act of aggression against him. But doesn’t this doctrine impose an undue risk upon everyone?

The basic reply is that life is always risky and uncertain and that there is no way of getting round this primordial fact. Any shifting of the burden of risk away from one person simply places it upon someone else. Thus, if our doctrine makes it more risky to wait until someone begins to aggress against you, it also makes life less risky, because as a non-aggressor, one is more assured that no excited alleged victim will pounce upon you in supposed “self-defense.” There is no way for the law to reduce risk overall; it then becomes important to use some other principle to set the limits of permissible action, and thereby to allocate the burdens of risk. The libertarian axiom that all actions are permissible except overt acts of aggression provides such a principled basis for risk allocation.

There are deeper reasons why overall risks cannot be reduced or minimized by overt legal action. Risk is a subjective concept unique to each individual; therefore, it cannot be placed in measurable quantitative form. Hence, no one person’s quantitative degree of risk can be compared to another’s, and no overall measure of social risk can be obtained. As a quantitative concept, overall or social risk is fully as meaningless as the economist’s concept of “social costs” or social benefits.

In a libertarian world, then, everyone would assume the “proper burden of risk”[28] placed upon him as a free human being responsible for himself. That would be the risk involved in each man’s person and property. Of course, individuals could voluntarily pool their risks, as in various forms of insurance, in which risks are shared and benefits paid to losers from the pool. Or, speculators could voluntarily assume risks of future price changes that are sloughed off by others in hedging operations on the market. Or, one man could assume another’s risks for payment, as in the case of performance and other forms of bonding. What would not be permissible is one group getting together and deciding that another group should be forced into assuming their risks. If one group, for example, forces a second group to guarantee the former’s incomes, risks are greatly increased for the latter, to the detriment of their individual rights. In the long run, of course, the whole system might collapse, since the second group can only provide guarantees out of their own production and incomes, which are bound to fall as the burden of social parasitism expands and cripples society.

[…]

http://mises.org/daily/2120#4

Finally, back to the tories:

The Conservative leader wants police, schools and volunteer groups to be freed from the fear of being sued.

The police service should not be provided by the state. If you call someone for help, then you are wavering your right to sue them if the rescue goes wrong. A volunteer is not entering into a contract with you when he arrives to help you; it is a different sort of arrangement where you should not expect anything whatsoever or any particular result. If you want a particular result, and a guarantee of a level of performance, then you need to take out insurance, or subscribe to a security firm where the terms are set out in advance for you to either accept or reject.

Mr Cameron, speaking to the Daily Mail ahead of a major speech, set out plans for a Civil Liability Act to streamline hundreds of different pieces of legislation and regulation.

All those pieces of legislation should all be abolished, and the state should get out of the business of compulsory arbitration of disputes and measuring of risk.

He said he wanted to exempt entire categories of workers and organisations from the fear of litigation or prosecution because of ‘over-the-top’ health and safety rules.

He thinks they are over the top, others do not, clearly. Who is right? Neither. Everyone should be responsible for the contracts they enter into. This is not the proper role of the state.

Mr Cameron said a Tory government would amend the Compensation Act to abolish negligence claims for activities where it should be obvious there is a risk – for example, sport and adventure training.

It should all be abolished. If I decide to indulge in some equasy, then that is entirely an affair between me, the horse, its owner and no one else. If I am thrown off, it is my fault for getting on a frisky horse. Period.

He is also considering introducing a Good Samaritan Act to protect from liability those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill.

This is ridiculous. A Good Samaritan Act would not be needed if the state backed out of the business of risk. This is an example of the state creating problems with legislation to which it needs to find a solution with more legislation, just as it is in the case of Local Authorities being given responsibilities that they should not have, being unable to fulfil them, causing more insane legislation to be required. The root cause must be removed to restore sanity, and that means the state must be pruned back.

It has also dramatically scaled back the potential for medical negligence claims against doctors.

Going to a doctor is the same as entering into any other type of agreement. It is up to you both to come to terms that are agreeable to you. In a state where there are no private doctors, this is a slightly more complex issue, because the doctor does not contract with you directly, but instead, is working for the state. Who should you sue in this case, the state, or the doctor working for the state?

‘I want to see if we can extend this sort of legal protection for all people acting in good faith – especially public service professionals,’ Mr Cameron said.

This is putting the cart before the horse.

He insisted that health and safety legislation had ‘noble origins’ and had done much to make Britain’s workplaces among the safest in the world.

All the predations of the state have noble origins, and it always ends up bad. As for Britain’s workplaces being the safest in the world, many of the ‘dangerous’ manufacturing jobs have left precisely because risk is controlled by the state.

But he said it was clear something had gone ‘seriously wrong’.

But what is it? What is at the root of it? Until this is addressed the problem will not go away, and clearly, more legislation is not the answer.