Sunday, 29 November 2009

Cheese shop denial

Just having a browse around the forums and comments pages. I'm trying not to laugh myself silly at some people. Their position is categorically falsified by evidence, and all they can do is gainsay everyone else. It's like reading the script for Monty Python's famous 'Cheese shop' sketch.

As a student I used to be one of those sad cases who actually played the game of 'cheese shop' as a drinking game. The game was played in a pub to decide who bought the next round of drinks. The rules were, a subject (Not necessarily cheese) was picked. Each contestant got three tries. Don't ask me why, I didn't make up the wretched game, to find out that the 'cheese shop' proprietor didn't have whatever they were asking for. It was the sort of thing I got up to as an Engineering student (Nuff said). The more colourful and outlandish the excuse, the more 'beer points' you scored.

Why a drinking game between students? Why not? We were all too geeky and poor for the girls to look our way. In those poverty stricken days we had to make our entertainment where we could. If sex was off the menu, then beer and stupid pseudo intellectual games at least partially filled the void.

It seems some researchers at various climate modelling establishments are also skilled practitioners of this game after this fashion;
Customer; "Hello. I'd like some data please."
Researcher; "What sort of data's that then?"
Customer; "Climate data. Unadjusted."
Researcher; "Unadjusted? How much?"
Customer; "You know the unadjusted data and programs you use for climate modelling."
Researcher; "What d'you want those for then?"
Customer; "To verify that the globe really is warming uncontrollably."
Researcher; "Well it is. Take my word for it. Absolutely boiling. Look at my Hockey stick."
Customer; "Really? Can I see your data modelling structures?"
Researcher; "What d'you want to see those for?"
Customer; "To see if you're correct."
Researcher; "Well we are. However there's a nice one here - oh, the mice have eaten it."
Customer; "Do any of your climate models work?"
Researcher; "This one does - Bugger, the batteries are flat. Got this Hockey stick though."
Customer; "Have you got any batteries for it?"
Researcher; "Not this type. They don't make them any more."
Customer; "What about that one?"
Researcher; "Can't have that."
Customer; "Why not?"
Researcher; "Source data's missing."
Customer; "The source data's missing?"
Researcher; "Got some adjusted data."
Customer; "I don't want adjusted data!"
Researcher; "Pity, got loads of it."
Customer; "I just want some original source data to verify your hypothesis."
Researcher; "What for?"
Customer; "To see if you're right."
Researcher; "Well we are. Take my word for it. As right as right can be. Like this Hockey stick."
Customer; "Well I'd like to prove it for myself!"
Researcher; "Oh we do, do we? The research of millions of highly trained minds not good enough for you eh? Look at this one; lovely peer reviews." (Sorry, wrong sketch)
Customer; "No, I just want to look at your original source data and your modelling code please."
Researcher; "Well why didn't you say so?"
Customer; "But I just did! I'd like to look at your source data and modelling methodology please."
Researcher; "Adjusted or unadjusted?"
Customer; "But I just told you; unadjusted!"
Researcher; "All right, all right, keep your hair on. I had some here somewhere."

And so on, and so on. You could go on all night. But better not, eh?


Gromit said...

Managed 5% of the topic before being cheesed off. Stilton, I think.

Bill Sticker said...

Sorry, that Camembert was a bit too runny. Did I mention I was a very geeky student back then.

All growed up now.

Anonymous said...

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