Saturday, December 07, 2013

the literature

In 2002, I made some predictions about moulins on Greenland, and many, including RS said something to the effect of:

Nonsense, we have never seen anything like that!  It is not likely to happen. RS said "Read the literature!"  

Four years later, RS published the first eye witness account of moulin formation on Greenland in Science. The moulin formed just like I said it would.  Four years earlier, there had been NO discussion of phenomenon in the peer reviewed literature.  It was not considered "plausible".  The literature was wrong.   I had read the literature, and then I had done some thinking.

Also in 2002, I predicted that we would see a major Arctic sea ice decline within 10 years.  Many, including GS said, that is not possible, and told me to "read the literature",  and he used the strongest slurs available.  In 2007, we had the Arctic sea ice decline, and by 2010 GS admitted that I had been correct and the literature had been wrong.  It only took 8 years.  The truth is that I had read the literature, but I had also done some thinking.

One friend asked me, "Where do you get this stuff?" I told him that I walked around my garage, shouting and arguing with myself, and waving my arms  -- which is about how Richard Feynman answered the same question.

I am not interested in textile history -- except as it leads to a better textile future.  I got knitting sheaths out of history and they let me knit better.  I got swaving out of history, and it lets me knit better.  History pointed to the DD/DRS system that lets my spinning wheel go faster than any spinning wheel ever built by Alden Amos.

I do not get everything correct. I do  take large risks by standing up and making bold statements, and mostly they turn out to be correct. And, this drives most people crazy. I do not know if it is the boldness or the correctness that disturbs people. That is not my problem. My problem is that I want to know things that are not explicitly stated in the literature.   Feynman considered  moulins to be freshman physics, and not worth publishing. Those physics with RS's own data from Greenland said "moulins on Greenland; real soon now." GS's own data on Arctic sea ice plus industrial QA/QA statistics developed by Demming, said sea ice would soon melt.  It was just a matter of applying the correct analysis to data that was widely available.  It is like Sherlock Holmes knowing where you have been this morning by the mud on your shoe.  Everyone can see the mud, but only Sherlock thinks it through to figure out which train you took.  Anyone fixated on extant texts is going to miss the significance of the  mud, and fail to deduce which train.

There is a ton of stuff in the textile history literature that I do not know. Many people care about that stuff, and I will let them study it, know it, and be the textile history police. By and large police look back, not forward.  They follow patterns, do replicas,  and other "paint-by-number art".   As long as I follow dreams, I will be ahead of The Police, and they will be chasing me, (shouting that I should read the literature). However, they will be looking backwards, at their texts, and not really able to see where I am going.

I see the objects in Peck as a kind of textile "Everest" that must be climbed by any textile worker that wants to claim to be competent.  Everest cannot be climbed in baby steps. It requires bold strides, leaps, delicate balance, and hanging by one's finger tips. (see Reinhold Messner and his work on Everest). Modern textile handcraft cannot replicate the objects in Peck with only incremental  improvements in technique and tools.  It is going to require bold strides, leaps, delicate balance, and extraordinary finger work. If those skills and tools were explicit in the extant texts, we would be pouring out hand made objects as good or better as anything in Peck. We are not making such objects.  We need to read between the lines, see what is not written, make some deductions, and some inductions. With those clear thoughts firmly in our hands, we need to take bold steps.

Why? Because good, hand-made textiles are a good thing.


Harold Wilson said...

I keep reading in your blog about your predictions on climate change made at least a decade ago. Can you tell me where I might find them in full. I am researching a book on how many climate change predictions were right.


Anonymous said...

No one, Aaron, was talking about moulins in Greenland in 2002 except you? Really?

Google is your friend.

Aaron said...

Read the Zwally piece in science DOI: 10.1126/science.1072708

Nothing about sudden moulin formation.

Feynman talked about in Physics X in 1964. We got the problem in chemistry class in 1970, but rapid formation of discontinuities in large ice sheets were not a matter of interest.

Robert Muldoon said...

But what's the relevance of Greenland to any of the stuff you made up about textile production while arguing with yourself in the garage?

Aaron said...

I was retired. I would post to RealClimate or similar, and someone would respond that there were no cites, and that it is just speculation. Then, a few months later someone, (often from NCAR) would publish a paper on the topic, filling the cites.

It was like magic, and I got lazy. Instead of going to the literature, I let the literature come to me. I would post, and the paper that appeared proved that there were dots to be connected.

Often the paper would be by the author of many of the dots. He could publish papers rather, narrow, neutral papers. I could connect the dots in an alarmist way. Somebody would say, "Is this true?" And, the author could weave all of his papers together to tell a complete story.

To a certain extent, this was the result of pay walls at journals.

A lot of what I was saying was not very original - it was new data plugged into old analysis.

The bottom line is that moulins are structural discontinuities in ice that form rapidly. Therefore, the equilibrium model for ice flow is not valid.

Carbon feedback is a problem. It should be in the models. It is not. That is stupid.

Ocean acidification is a cascade that reduces productivity and CO2 uptake. Oceans that typically produce O2, start producing CH4, and other anaerobic products.

Rossby waves in the jetstream presume a uniform polar zone. As we lose snow cover and sea ice, the direction of the jet stream is distorted by oceanic and continental effects resulting in north-south flows of heat that are not in the atmospheric models that assume Rossby waves control direction. Researchers such as Jennifer Francis are starting to recognize this. This is a big deal, and changes in atmospheric circulation affect ocean circulation.

The elephant in the room that nobody is talking about is that water vapor is a powerful factor in wind, but it is not in the weather models or the climate models except indirectly as atmospheric pressure.

And, it is worth noting that the IPCC had not estimated effects impacts on human population. Population is the bottom line of AGW impacts. We will lose infrastructure resulting in large loss of population. A 20 meter sea level rise will make soup out of a lot of infrastructure.

Harold Wilson said...

Oh so really there is nothing i can give you credit for. It's all anecdote, yes?

Aaron said...

If I needed credit, I would have published. Ken and others need to publish. They did, lets give them credit.

(And we remind them when they get it wrong.)

Aaron said...

Textile production and Greenland both obey physics. Most people do sit down and do all the math to understand the physics.

Often one finds that people that are very involved in the technical details have not correctly done the basic analysis.

At that point visions of my chemistry and calculus professors jump into my head and there they are, pounding the chalk board: Define the System!!, Bound the System!! Write Equations of State!!, Calculate all Energy Flows!!, Validate all Assumptions!!, Approximation of physical constants lead to inaccuracy of results!!, and Violation of Mathematical Assumptions Leads to Catastrophic Model Failure.

If you are checking a model of Greenland's Ice for violation of mathematical assumptions, you will do a little arm waving and shouting also. (You do have all the assumptions for the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus at the ready, right!!!!? Models change, but the FTC is always there!)

Then there are spinning wheels that seem so simple, but so many spinners do not understand. I listened to all the expert spinners with experience, and so many of them get it so wrong. That somebody can sit in front of a spinning wheel for 30 years and not understand how it works is enough to make me wave my arms and shout.

Last evening, watched the PBS Newshour , Quest, Nature, and Nova. In that 3.5 hour time span I spun, wound off, and steamed, 1600 yards of woolen weft. All in all, yesterday I spun more than 2 miles of weft. My physics works for me. If it does not work for other, that is because they were so busy bashing my style that they did not think about what I was saying. Some have been spinning for 30 years and not thinking.

Harold wilson said...

Well yes I understand that you don't want credit but you keep saying you were telling others your theories on climate change anyone else and no one believed you.

I am researching a book which is why I asked where you published. So I can't credit you in my book, Pity.