A very different kind of graph.

Dr Roy Spencer is one of the few people who are in the camp of the warming-doubters (insert preferred nomenclature, ‘skeptic’, denialist etc)  who is actually a scientist actively involved in a key area of research in the topic. His particular area is the measurement of global temperatures using salivate data and for multiple reasons his data series is one oft-cited by those casting FUD around when it comes to anthropogenic global warming.

So when Roy Spencer finds an increase in temperature remarkable it is fair to say that it is remarkable. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/03/uah-v6-global-temperature-update-for-feb-2016-0-83-deg-c-new-record/

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for February, 2016 is +0.83 deg. C, up almost 0.3 deg C from the January value of +0.54 deg. C (click for full size version), which is a new record for the warmest monthly anomaly since satellite monitoring began in late 1978.


Now maybe Spencer has messed up or the data is wrong in some way but that is a remarkable leap even during an El Niño.


SP4 has closed recommendations

The Sad Puppy 4 site has now closed so that the ‘final list’ can be collated. So here is how the activity graph of Best Novel now looks.


What does it all mean? Well we can say some things.

  • There were some recommendations from people who had been opposed to SP3 but…
  • There was no organized disruption by non-puppies, people nominated in good faith
  • There was no Rabid faction doing Vox Day’s bidding (but note he has listed Best Novel yet and I only looked at Best Novel data)
  • There were lost of single novel nominations
  • It does appear to be a transparent process
  • Using dedicated pages with comments was a smart and simple way of doing things
  • There was not a mass of enthusiasm for nominating but there were bursts of actviy

The Iron Law of Puppies

This is a repost from a comment at File 770. The background is this piece http://dacuteturtle.livejournal.com/926038.html which is analysis of how/if the puppies failed, which is OK in places but I don’t think gets it quite right. strawpuppyfull

Why the Puppies lost.

Politically they coalesced around political stances that represent somewhere around 15% of the US population and also in a particularly US sort of way (despite their multinational backgrounds) but saw themselves as representing >50% of the US population that doesn’t self identify as liberal.

While the movement morphed into various approaches the core complaint was a bias in Hugo voters against conservative fiction. However, they also believe that the bias exist in *publishing* against conservative writers – which implies that very few get published (i.e. the bias would lie at stages long before Hugo voting) and hence look to indie or self-published novels. They have been singularly unsuccessful at finding he mother-lode of exceptional, indie/self-published conservative fiction around which they can rally a successful campaign.

Without an actual literary movement to boost, the Sad Puppies have ended up as campaign that either has no purpose or, if it has a purpose, is to promote the standout writers of a non-existent literary movement.

However, having brought together some kind of coalition, the Sad Puppies still exist. They are lacking purpose and direction but their capacity to either morph into something positive or morph into something destructive remains.


Jim Henley replied to that comment:

Jim Henley on February 29, 2016 at 9:57 am said:
@Camestros: Oh man, you just sidled up to the irony of ironies. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracies* applies to the Puppies. The Pups are a little bureaucracy, so of course they are going to keep on keeping on. They can’t help it.

*Which is kind of just a pithy restatement of Public Choice economics and for that matter the well-known principal-agent problem.

Pournelle’s Iron Law can be read here: http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:

  •  First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
  • Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

Sad Puppies 4 does look like a move in that direction. It has an emphasis on rules, structure and procedure and even Sad Puppies 3 can be seen as part of that process – it existed to continue Larry Correia’s previous campaigns but it lacked a clear goal or objective.