24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Von Neuman and Predicting the Weather

I remember a talk that Von Neumann gave at Princeton around 1950, describing the glorious future which he then saw for his computers. Most of the people that he hired for his computer project in the early days were meteorologists. Meteorology was the big thing on his horizon. He said, as soon as we have good computers, we shall be able to divide the phenomena of meteorology cleanly into two categories, the stable and the unstable. The unstable phenomena are those which are upset by small dist...
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
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22 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 With the Seed We May Deduce the Animal

If we possessed a thorough knowledge of all the parts of the seed of any animal (e.g. man), we could from that alone, by reasons entirely mathematical and certain, deduce the whole conformation and figure of each of its members, and, conversely if we knew several peculiarities of this conformation, we would from those deduce the nature of its seed.
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Interesting idea, if wrong for not understanding how environment affects growth, but the idea that we could one day take a seed and predict the full-grown organism that will result from it is intriguing.

21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Common Sense Does Not Predict

Common sense ... has the very curious property of being more correct retrospectively than prospectively. It seems to me that one of the principal criteria to be applied to successful science is that its results are almost always obvious retrospectively; unfortunately, they seldom are prospectively. Common sense provides a kind of ultimate validation after science has completed its work; it seldom anticipates what science is going to discover.
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Science predicts, common sense comes along afterwards.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Origin of Chaos Theory

Lorenz and his team were working to develop a weather forecasting program on an early computer known as a Royal McBee LGP-30.21 They thought they were getting somewhere until the computer started spitting out erratic results. They began with what they thought was exactly the same data and ran what they thought was exactly the same code—but the program would forecast clear skies over Kansas in one run, and a thunderstorm in the next. After spending weeks double-checking their hardware and t...
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
  1  notes

Weather modeling produced two widely different results when a few thousandths of a decimal point went missing.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Autism as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Diseases and other medical conditions can also have this self-fulfilling property. When medical conditions are widely discussed in the media, people are more likely to identify their symptoms, and doctors are more likely to diagnose (or misdiagnose) them. The best-known case of this in recent years is autism. If you compare the number of children who are diagnosed as autistic64 to the frequency with which the term autism has been used in American newspapers,65 you’ll find that there is an a...
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As the illness gets more attention, more people are diagnosed with it.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Prediction VS Forecast

The official position of the USGS is even more emphatic: earthquakes cannot be predicted. “Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake,” the organization’s Web site asserts.24 “They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future.” Earthquakes cannot be predicted? This is a book about prediction, not a book that makes predictions, but I’m willing to stick my neck out: I predict that there will...
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One is a definitive statement, the other a probabilistic one.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Laplace's Demon

We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain an...
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
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If an intellect could know all the positions and motions of the Universe at one point could predict the future.

31 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Predictions of the Future are "Laughably Conservative"

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run—and often in the short one—the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.
Folksonomies: prescience prediction
Folksonomies: prescience prediction
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Not always true, but a nice sentiment.

16 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 Evolutionary Theory Prediction Comes True in Walking Fish

This is where the prediction comes in. If there were lobe-finned fishes but no terrestrial vertebrates 390 million years ago, and clearly terrestrial vertebrates 360 million years ago, where would you expect to find the transitional forms? Somewhere in between. Following this logic, Shubin predicted that if transitional forms existed, their fossils would be found in strata around 375 million years old. Moreover, the rocks would have to be from freshwater rather than marine sediments, because ...
Folksonomies: evolution prediction
Folksonomies: evolution prediction
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Tiktaalik was discovered right where evolution predicted it should exist, with traits that brought it closer to land without making it onto land, creating another fossil prediction for the future.

28 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience

What I had in mind was that his previous observations may not have been much sounder than this new one; that each in its turn had been interpreted in the light of "previous experience," and at the same time counted as additional confirmation. What, I asked myself, did it confirm? No more than that a case could be interpreted in the light of a theory. But this meant very little, I reflected, since every conceivable case could be interpreted in the light Adler's theory, or equally of Freud's. I...
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Science makes risky predictions, predicting things that the theory must be strong in order to prove. Popper compares early psychology and its explanations of human behavior that work in all cases with Einstein's theory of relativity and it's risky predictions.