Friday, December 4, 2009


Murphy Twin Spin

I think I've probably covered most of the points already on Free Advice, but maybe some of you have relatives or co-workers who will read an "official" argument and you want to forward either of the below.

* I criticize the Administration's "stimulus" record on job creation in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

* My thoughts on Climategate. This post has everything: Discussions of Isaac Newton and Richard Feynman, and I throw Rush Limbaugh under the bus.

Nice job on your global warming piece. From a layman's perspective, you characterized the situation very accurately. You can write a little too.
And I'm dead sexy.
"Men who bald from the front are great thinkers. Men who bald from the back are great lovers. Men who bald from the front and back think they're great lovers."

My Pastor from years ago once said that.

Sorry... :)
Your not good that Murphy, just a nerd economist who knows very little atmospheric physics who somehow managed to write an OK essay.

Is that better?

The last comment was meant to be lighthearted, and the first was not meant as flattery. You genuinely did a good job on this.
Dr. Murphy,

Newton's theory of gravity is not wrong. It cannot be applied in quantum environments, but from a classic mechanical standpoint it is correct.

Not trying to be a jerk, but it sounds like you just said, "In Newton's model, Newton's model is correct."

Am I misreading you?
No. He really said that.
Dr. Murphy,

Thank you for your reply. In fact you did not interpret my previous post incorrectly, as I must confess even before I made the post it did read oddly redundant from my chair, even with the existance of the distinction between the two. I'd still like to discuss why you feel "Newton's theory of gravity was wrong".

Thanks for your time.

I'd still like to discuss why you feel "Newton's theory of gravity was wrong".

It gives worse predictions of the movement of planets than Einstein's theory?
I'm thinking of stuff like this. I gather you are making a nuanced point but I still think Newton's theory is wrong, if "wrong" is to have any meaning for an empirical theory.
Argh here is the link.
I await your defense of the Piltdown man discovery ...
Dr. Murphy,

Thank you for your reply. I do not consider my position to be subtle. Newtonian physics did not yield an explanation for certain physical aspects, for which it seems you are aware of such instances, yet this leads to the importance of Einsteinian revelations, and not to the detriment of Newton's work, but a building block towards greater understanding of apparatuses that could not be explained via Newtonian physics.

The purpose for my original failed post was a perception I felt you seemed to make regarding the distinctions between Newtonian and Einsteinian physics, which is one that I would draw between Keynesian and Austrian economics. That one is right and one is wrong. Is my perception of your distinction accurate?

Thank you,

@Bob & Jason:

As part of the Bayesian conspiracy, I prefer to think of theories, not in terms of "right" and "wrong", but "more compressive" or "less compressive" (or "not compressive at all").

By assuming Newton's model, can I restate the motion of the planets with a shorter message than just listing each one directly? Yes I can. Newton's laws give a generating model, so I just have to list the laws and the initial positions of each planet, and then I can calculate where they should be at any time.

I do, of course, have to list all of the ways that observations deviate from this model -- like those that led Einstein to refine it -- but even *with* this list of deviations, Newton's model still allows significant compression of the data.

So rather than describe Newton as wrong, I would say he didn't compress the data as well as Einstein. And he certainly compressed all observed data *at the time* -- a shortcoming of Einstein as well.
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