Strange Horizons

My review of this year’s Philip K Dick shortlisted novels is up at Strange Horizons.

It may or may not be significant that five of the seven novels are published by Bantam Spectra. It may or may not be significant that five out of the seven authors are women. It is probably not significant that five of the seven have one-word titles.

Comments turned off on this entry to encourage people to comment over there.

One thought on “Strange Horizons

  1. My main concern is that the funding may be the main driver for the research methods.

    This is a generic concern that applies to everyone, and so it doesn’t have any particular force here. The “skeptics” get funding too, you know—on a lavish scale—and one might raise the same concern in their case.

    Does the report address the leak of comments from a particular software programmer? As far as I recall he ridiculed the lines of code he had to amend.

    You’re confusing two cases, I think. The “HARRY READ ME” file criticising the quality of one piece of climate software was one of the documents leaked by a hacker who broke into the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the UK. So it has nothing to do with Michael Mann (who is director of the Earth System Science Center of Pennsylvania State University in the US).

    On the HARRY READ ME case, Nick Barnes’ assessment seems right to me: “it appears to be a very detailed and frank record of a painstaking effort to work out and document the operation of a complex piece of software which has been developed over several years by several different people.” It’s normal for software to become hard to read and maintain in this kind of environment, so the poor quality of the code doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on the quality of the results. To evaluate the results, you have to look at the science behind them, and at independent replications.

    It strikes me that you are trying to use intellectual shortcuts (evaluating the motivation of scientists with respect to their funding, and listening to vaguely remembered reports of poor quality of computer code) to come to conclusions about climate change without ever having to look at any actual climate science. That’s not going to get at the truth in this case.

Comments are closed.