ACADEMICS CHECKED

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The latest column thrills to the accuracy of academic predictions. Art by Dave Follett.

UPDATE. One reader didn’t care much for it:

I am not going to bother with the rest of the article – it is full of drivel and and Time Blair’s usual self-righteous arrogance of how much better he is. Get an education you moron.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/02/2008 at 09:07 PM
    1. It really isn’t that academics are wrong, it’s that they tend to oversimplify. They ignore data because considering it makes their work harder, and often produces results in variance with their hypothesis.

      Then you have human impatience. Climate is a long term phenomenon. It’s really not something you can assess over a few years, or even decades, it’s something that needs to be studied over centuries. Be there a warming trend it hasn’t had long enough for the signal to rise above the noise of random events.

      Just remember that we didn’t learn about the role of DNA in heredity until a century after Darwins On the Origin of Species. Before that the thinking was that proteins were the mediators. Today we’ve learned that proteins do play a role, as does RNA, and that while DNA does the bulk of the work, other agents also play a role.

      As the old saying goes, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

      Posted by mythusmage on 2008 05 02 at 09:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. OT but BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS! BORIS!

      Posted by KK on 2008 05 02 at 10:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2 KK: Red Ken purged? Excellent!

      Posted by paco on 2008 05 02 at 10:05 PM • permalink

 

    1. Academics checked.

      Found wanting.

      ***
      Tim.
      Does Dave let you do the colouring in? Is that why you are so busy? It’s well done. No complaints.

      Colouring as therapy.

      Posted by kae on 2008 05 02 at 10:05 PM • permalink

 

    1. Excellent column Tim.

      Paul Keating will never accept that he’s a bitter, twisted former Prime Minister who was greatly out of touch with the public.

      Mostly because the only “public” he knows are people exactly like him. Bitter and twisted elitists.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 05 02 at 10:07 PM • permalink

 

    1. Puppies!

      I’ll be doggone.

      Posted by rinardman on 2008 05 02 at 10:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. We shouldn’t make broad generalizations about academics; some of them, after all, are quite talented. For example, I knew one who could swallow a slice of orange and bring it up again. And I knew another professor who did a great impersonation of Bette Davis (considering the fact that he was a wizened little fellow with a beard, that’s no mean feat).

      Posted by paco on 2008 05 02 at 10:16 PM • permalink

 

    1. Don’t you mean, “my latest column”?

      The use of the personal pro-noun in this instance would surely clear up ambiguity in regards to other columns which, lets face it, could be later. Just sayin’.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2008 05 02 at 10:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. #8: You’re out of step, M’s M. There’s no need for the personal pronoun; as any lefty can tell you, we read Tim’s column and nothing else.

      Posted by paco on 2008 05 02 at 10:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. I tried to wrap my head around quantam theory but all I found was uncertainty.

      Half of me was in agreement and the other half wasn’t.

      Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2008 05 02 at 10:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2. Is that like BADGER BADGER BADGER BADGER……?

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2008 05 02 at 10:49 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2 – London will swing again!

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 05 02 at 10:50 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2 KK You beat me to it … grrr!

      For those who don’t know, Boris Johnson is the new Lord Mayor of London (England). This colourful, vaguely conservative and very entertaining politician entered the race without a dog’s chance, Red Ken Livingstone being considered a shoo-in.

      #11 BORIS BORIS BORIS BORIS LIVINGSTONE LIVINGSTONE SNAKE SNAKE hmmm, does have a certain poetry.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 05 02 at 10:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. albert told me that the whole theory of relivitity came down to loving your wife and that nothing else really matters

      Posted by missred on 2008 05 02 at 11:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. Bullshit!!

      Everybody knows that kittens cure global warming!

      Posted by AlburyShifton on 2008 05 02 at 11:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. Logies and academics have one thing in common: cleavage, in various academic “ology” breaking, division, etc, while at the Logies we have partial exposure of part of the body.
      remedial learning for their whole” word, learning phonics?
      To say that the moral climate “change” caused AIDS is against the PC regime.
      My highest academic so far is Cert IV in training. My BA in the school of hard knocks has been helpful.

      Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 05 02 at 11:07 PM • permalink

 

    1. i am not married so i dont care
      >giggle<
      but thats what albert said …

      Posted by missred on 2008 05 02 at 11:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. Tim’s other column today, so far only in print version:

      Beclown warrants a long sentence

      Brings to mind Cole Porter:

      Act the fool, play the calf, and you’ll always have the last laugh.
      Wear the cap and the bells and you’ll rate all the great swells.
      If you become a doctor, folks’ll face you with dread.
      If you become a dentist, they’ll be glad when you’re dead.
      You get a bigger hand if you can stand on your head.
      Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown.

      Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 05 02 at 11:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. Academic Joseph Froomkin was honoured by Time magazine in 1965 with the publication of his prediction that computers would bring a 20-hour work week and a mass leisure class.

      Boy, Froomkin missed that one by a couple of light years, didn’t he?

      BTW, Tim, I luuurrrvvveeee that illustration.  I think I’ll hang it in my office where the boffins can see it.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 05 03 at 12:07 AM • permalink

 

    1. PS: Any chance that image is available in a larger size?

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 05 03 at 12:09 AM • permalink

 

    1. Gotta give credit to Keating for his famous retort to the hugely well-educated Gough Whitlam QC back in the 70s after a Keating speech.

      Whitlam: “That was a good speech. You should go back comrade, and get yourself an honours degree.”

      Keating: “What for? Then I’d be like you.”

      Posted by C.L. on 2008 05 03 at 12:25 AM • permalink

 

    1. Great article, great art!  But man, oh man, you really have thrown down the gauntlet to the academics.

      Posted by rabidfox on 2008 05 03 at 01:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. #1

      It really isn’t that academics are wrong …

      Self interest?

      They have their place, but at the very least, it smacks of a childish lack of responsibility to advocate that the populace should endure draconian measures based on constantly revised predictive software modelling; it is even beyond the farce of Hitchiker’s Guide.

      What say you of the UN Ozone outcome of the 80s, hmmm?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 05 03 at 01:44 AM • permalink

 

    1. Hadn’t thought of acdemia as people in perpetual remedial education but it explains a lot

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 05 03 at 02:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. #24
      I’ve always called where I work a sheltered workshop or a special school.Just haven’t figured out quite who are the beneficiaries.

      Posted by kae on 2008 05 03 at 03:33 AM • permalink

 

    1. #19 TRJS – if he meant that most of us would spend 4 hours a day in the office working and another 4 surfing the net, he had a point.

      Posted by squawkbox on 2008 05 03 at 04:35 AM • permalink

 

 

    1. #27
      Camry electric hybrid designed by a committee?Cam•el?

      Posted by egg_ on 2008 05 03 at 05:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. I agree with more of that column than I care to admit.

      Posted by daddy dave on 2008 05 03 at 07:23 AM • permalink

 

    1. Re #26, true, egg, true, but if I have to surf from work, it’s not leisure, it’s work.  ;-P

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 05 03 at 09:20 AM • permalink

 

    1. Wimpy Canadian wrote:

      For those who don’t know, Boris Johnson is the new Lord Mayor of London (England)

      You realise there’s no need to write England unless you’re writing for parochial types?

      Posted by Abu Chowdah on 2008 05 04 at 02:41 AM • permalink

 

    1. Come on, Abu, we might have thought he meant London, Ontario (Canada).

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2008 05 04 at 12:07 PM • permalink

 

    1. There’s also a London, Texas. 🙂

      Posted by Patrick Chester on 2008 05 04 at 01:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. And BoJo is “Mayor of London”, not “Lord Mayor of London”.

      New London.

      Cheers

      Posted by J.M. Heinrichs on 2008 05 04 at 05:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. The secret of the induction ceremony as a practitioner of “academia” otherwise known as “academic”.

      You exchange your paper/parchment degree document for a placard with those immortal words “Prepare To Meet Thy Doom”.

      Posted by LaVallette on 2008 05 04 at 08:39 PM • permalink

 

  1. I suspect that the esteemed mayor of London…Arkansas isn’t too pleased either.  How dare you, just how dare you.

    Posted by yojimbo on 2008 05 05 at 01:41 AM • permalink