Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Unhealthy relationship

By Tom Toles

c_12152010.gif

***

The end of reality

Reality TV. This is a funny concept. Sitting on a couch watching a moving image of people in a contrived situation behaving improbably while you do nothing but watch. In what way, exactly, is this real?

I was walking by the National Geographic building the other day and a friend said there was a thirty-foot long conference table in there someplace hewn from a single slab of giant tree. Very real. From the olden days when things were real. Like geography. I guess geography used to excite people, judging from the trunkloads of National Geographic magazines that still bend many attic floors. Now geography, like everything else, is just pixels in a Wikipedia entry. There whenever you need it, wherever there is.

Books are heading down this rabbit hole now, too, as will everything else in short order. Leaving exactly one significant thing back out here in physical space. Us. It may get a bit lonely. --Tom Toles

***

sketchicon_ver1.jpg

s_12152010.gif

By Tom Toles  | December 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Democrats, Environment & global warming, GOP, Health care  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: All we want
Next: Whacky

Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:

Comments


Ah, dave…the guts of the conversation...just where do you expect that money to come from???
Posted by: bertzel

My understanding of where money comes from…
It comes from the same place all money comes from; it comes from the trust and fidelity of economic systems.
Capitalism is a method of providing the necessary exchange of goods and services through value systems that determine what people pay and what they are paid.
Banks lend more money than they have available and governments insure the value of the loans.
Cost of manufacture and services that include overhead, taxes and profits determines costs and available loans and wages makes possible purchases.
The golden mean is sufficient wages to buy products and services and sufficient cost to cover the cost of providing the goods and services.
At times (like these) it takes an influx of capital (money) in order to rebuild nations or prevent nations from going bankrupt destabilizing the nation.
There is not enough gold in the ground to cover the costs of the present world economy. Capitalism is based on numbers that keep a dynamic flow of goods and services to support human life.
There is no magic, just the right numbers to support quality nations (or not the right numbers) that cause inflation or insufficient funds.
Right now we are doing “insufficient funds” which is destabilizing the quality of everyone's life and the ship of state is sinking fast.
Anal retentive economics can be fatal.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | December 16, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Very good jonroesler

You correctly described a Geosynchronous satellite that stays put above the earth. Used for GPS and static satellite functions.

Circumpolar is, I believe, the type put to use here. Good for mapping and photography like Google Earth. Also very good for high res temperature taking. If you can take a photo you can take a temp and you can do it in the dark. Not used by IPCC for temperature in their report though. hmmm

According to GISS (the temp Gods)
(To measure the true regional SAT, we would have to use many (edit) thermometers distributed evenly over the whole region, an obvious practical impossibility. )

This is what this bird can do.

The orbit of this bird is probably a little ellipsoid and dynamic, and the earth is spinning and orbiting the sun, so keeping it perfect is not possible so you have to start throwing a lot of smoothing factor or adjustment into the calculation for bird height after the data download. OK for measuring static objects like the top of a tide gauge or top of Everest but really messy measuring the dynamic ocean surface to the tenth of a millimeter whose radar data is already being smoothed of tides and waves and swells. A lot computer time here.

These IPCC guys seem way to smart to be using this type of satellite for its weakest ability, measuring tides to less than a mm, and not using its strongest potential to measure surface temp. Maybe they just figure most of us are too stupid to know or care. Maybe there is a real good reason but it is not in the report.

So there it is, The IPCC measures temp with land based thermometers ( the earth is 70% not land ) where a single data point often represents 1000 kilometers, and millimeter ocean rise with an elastic measuring tape instead of the many static tide gauges long in existence.

Looking for answers and asking questions is way different than denial with this issue. More reasoned conversation and less politics will provide progress.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

"It may get a bit lonely."

Not that anybody will notice.

Posted by: WorstSeat | December 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

bertzel

OCD manifests as deep dives into applied science. Some of the worlds best scientists had and have no peer reviewed work.

Lets say that Mr. Toles is right about something and AGW is real. I want to KNOW and not be TOLD what is going on.

There are problems with some of IPCC group methodology.


The poorest of the world will suffer the most under the currently offered solutions, none of whom live in the US.


Better understanding of AGW effects by more people will broaden the debate about solutions rather than leaving it to a few climatologists, Pols, and those with money and power.

Greater understanding among different people is a good thing. This issue is broad enough that disagreement and debate need not be politicized.

Toles started this with his repeated harping.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Bertzel,

You said: "A Socialist, dave, is, in FACT, a member of a party or political group advocating Socialism. It is not a person who socializes. Period. Would you consider Maurice Strong to be a Socialist??"

You are incorrect. "Socialist" can mean a member of the Socialist party, but is much more broadly understood as a person that is an adherent of socialistic philosophy.

I am a Conservative, but a member of no party whatsoever.

Half

Posted by: HalflifeToolmaker~~

You are correct. I should have said..."by definition" which it is according to any dictionary...my bad. I see I also have too many commas in same post....oops.

Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

..."Plus how do you keep a satellite at exactly the same orbit to a millimeter?"

There's this force called gravity, you see, and the theory is that satellites orbit the center of mass of the thing they orbit rather than the surface of the thing. If the rotational period is the same, then the average altitude is the same. Variations in orbital period define variations in altitude but, unless something gets in the way of a satellite, like space junk for instance, the orbit of a satellite is not "bumpy."

Not enough explanation, I know, but a small illustration of the reason that scientific papers are subject to something called "peer review," the definition of "peer" being critical and not something one can become simply by browsing the internet.

Sorry if that sounds "elitist," but there it is.

Posted by: jonroesler | December 15, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Bertzel,

You said: "A Socialist, dave, is, in FACT, a member of a party or political group advocating Socialism. It is not a person who socializes. Period. Would you consider Maurice Strong to be a Socialist??"

You are incorrect. "Socialist" can mean a member of the Socialist party, but is much more broadly understood as a person that is an adherent of socialistic philosophy.

I am a Conservative, but a member of no party whatsoever.

Half

Posted by: HalflifeToolmaker | December 15, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

bertzel, he's doing exactly what I said he would do yesterday. He's looking for little things he doesn't "get" to pick at to validate his rejection of the entire thing as a whole. His statements expressing the desire for enlightenment on the subject from "real hard scientific reports" were entirely disingenuous.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 15, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

dalyplanet. I do not understand your obsession with whatever it is you are obsessing about.
Care to explain? Then again perhaps it would be best if you didn't.

Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse


~~~ My Reply...
Trickle down economics was a trick that tricked a whole lot of people.~~~

Touché

~~ More in particular, when you add ism to a word it is intended to modify that word.
Adding le to trick changes the word without any intent to refer to the meaning of the original word.~~

Nice Try…by all means continue with your verbiage.

~~~ On the subject of editing…~~~

Make a lot of mistakes there dave???
I’m not an editor. I’m not on the school newspaper. If I make a mistake I think…oops…and carry on. I don’t claim to be perfect (close) and I don’t get paid for my perfection or lack thereof. If someone misspells a word and it bothers you perhaps I will do it more often!

~~While I am rowing down this stream, on the subject of economics…~~

Nice segue.

~~~ When you have a growing population with a developing technology base; it is not necessary to increase taxes and it is necessary to have more money in the system.~~~

Ah, dave…the guts of the conversation...just where do you expect that money to come from???

I am also very curious dave as to what your opinion of Maurice Strong is. You do know of him do you not?
A Socialist, dave, is, in FACT, a member of a party or political group advocating Socialism. It is not a person who socializes. Period. Would you consider Maurice Strong to be a Socialist??

~~~ Economics is a man made idea that is dynamic and has to change with the needs of the society.
We need to control the economy not the economy control us.~~~

Aren’t all ideas ‘man made’ dave?

I understand that ‘mankind’ must evolve in order to move forward…it is the evolution into what is being suggested that I have a problem with simply because we are not yet ready for that type of reality… It just won’t work …not yet…
Unless of course you are promoting Socialism…

Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

One other interesting bit,

A very smart guy, Dr. James Hansen that runs the GISS, is reference to source of the method and updates used by GISS, perhaps clouding or shading transparency a bit as it is sometimes hard to see ones own faults.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

PrairieDog60 Thank you so much for the links yesterday.

Here is an interesting tidbit from GISS the temperature "gods"

( The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)

Q. What exactly do we mean by SAT ?
A. I doubt that there is a general agreement how to answer this question. Even at the same location, the temperature near the ground may be very different from the temperature 5 ft above the ground and different again from 10 ft or 50 ft above the ground. Particularly in the presence of vegetation (say in a rain forest), the temperature above the vegetation may be very different from the temperature below the top of the vegetation. A reasonable suggestion might be to use the average temperature of the first 50 ft of air either above ground or above the top of the vegetation. To measure SAT we have to agree on what it is and, as far as I know, no such standard has been suggested or generally adopted. Even if the 50 ft standard were adopted, I cannot imagine that a weather station would build a 50 ft stack of thermometers to be able to find the true SAT at its location.

Q. What SAT do the local media report ?
A. The media report the reading of 1 particular thermometer of a nearby weather station. This temperature may be very different from the true SAT even at that location and has certainly nothing to do with the true regional SAT. To measure the true regional SAT, we would have to use many 50 ft stacks of thermometers distributed evenly over the whole region, an obvious practical impossibility. )

My thoughts exactly, here is the condensed solution

GISS again

( Q. If SATs cannot be measured, how are SAT maps created ?
A. This can only be done with the help of computer models, the same models that are used to create the daily weather forecasts. We may start out the model with the few observed data that are available and fill in the rest with guesses (also called extrapolations) and then let the model run long enough so that the initial guesses no longer matter, but not too long in order to avoid that the inaccuracies of the model become relevant. This may be done starting from conditions from many years, so that the average (called a 'climatology') hopefully represents a typical map for the particular month or day of the year. ) end GISS

This is not exactly the 'scientific method ' people but is the kind of statistical analysis that was used by AIG and Lehman Bros. to quantify the mortgage based derivatives sold that crashed the economy.

So the claimed warmest decade globally is based on statistical analysis of temperature anomalies plotted from a standard deviation derived from the coolest three decades of the 20th century. Hmmm. I think I smell an 'agenda' somewhere. I realize this post may not agree with a bunch here but I encourage you all to consider there is more to this than what appears 'scientifically speaking'. even if I am only partly correct.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

To Tom Toles,
It would be nice if we had STATESMAN instead of POLITICIANS who would fight terrorism instead of terrorizing each other and us.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | December 15, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Now would you care to describe the similarity of trick and trickle without the use of trickery??
Posted by: bertzel

My Reply...
Trickle down economics was a trick that tricked a whole lot of people.

More in particular, when you add ism to a word it is intended to modify that word.
Adding le to trick changes the word without any intent to refer to the meaning of the original word.

On the subject of editing…
When I was on my College's newspaper staff, I was told by the editor; edit, edit, edit.
I spend more time editing than anything else. By the way, the or of editor modifies the word edit.
It has nothing to do with the word oar.

While I am rowing down this stream, on the subject of economics…
When you have a growing population with a developing technology base; it is not necessary to increase taxes and it is necessary to have more money in the system.
Economics is a man made idea that is dynamic and has to change with the needs of the society.
We need to control the economy not the economy control us.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | December 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

TT -- You sound a bit down-hearted today. Maybe this will cheer you up a smidgeon: those National Geographics (in the attics that you mention) were nothing about most guy's intellectual fascination with geography "back in the day;" it was all about everyone's fascination with seeing bare-chested native ladies over there in Africa. (Someone wisely remarked that if it weren't for porn, there'd be no Internet.) And besides,TT, our fed-well politico types know that geography is actually quite dangerous as a pursuit for the masses: for instance, if more people knew about the impossible geography of Afghanistan, the outgoing American billions and the incoming lifeless Americans would come to a stop -- pronto!!

Posted by: dudeupnorth | December 15, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

TT, great toon and comment. Your comments about "reality" are interesting. They remind me of the concept of "community" as well. Communities these days are often talked about in the virtual form. "Online community", and "social media", etc. As can be seen often in the comments section here, I think the more we become an online community and less of a real community (with actual human contact), the more our differences seem to magnify while our incredible similarities dissolve.

Humans used to HAVE to depend on each other for life's basic needs. We still do, actually, but we are less conscious of it now. I'm not sure what the solution is, as the commerce and "fun" of the electronic world are not going to go away anytime soon. I guess we have to work that much harder to maintain actual human contact/relationships/communities.

Somewhere aliens are watching us through superduper zoom lenses and microphones, and they're taking bets on how fast we can destroy the Earth. I hear it's the hottest rated reality show on their networks...

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | December 15, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

pete1013...who are you referring to in the following text???
~~~Actually Fascists don't get along with Socialists. Fascism is the polar opposite of Liberalism, or at least what you freaks seem to believe Liberalism is. And the more I hear from "Conservatives" and TP'ers the more you all sound like Fascists. And really anti-community, hateful, mean spirited loners "clinging to your guns and religion". But I guess that's how you want to be perceived, because that is how you present yourselves.~~~

Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Tom, I never watch "reality TV". It doesn't seem very real to me. That's the same reason that I don't watch Fox News...it's not news and it doesn't reflect reality. My everyday life, and the everyday lives of others are real. My reality right now is digging out of yet another Western NY snowfall.

What is going on in Washington right now also seems unreal. Predictably, conservatives are already blaming Obama for the enlarged deficits that WILL be caused by his tax cut/unemployment benefit extension compromise with the GOP. Obama compromised to get this deal, the GOP got everything they wanted w/o compromise. That's what compromising with the GOP gets you. The House should refuse to go along with this compromise because Democrats will be blamed by conservatives for the deficits that conservatives caused. Obama will get no help from the GOP on DADT or the New START Treaty either--the GOP will block those. This is what "compromising"--a better term would be "appeasing"-- Republicans gets you. Regarding DADT, what part of "the current policy is unconstitutional" do the Republicans NOT understand? Are the Republicans actually demanding that a policy that is unconstitutional remain in place? Don't the Republicans believe in our Constitution?

Posted by: ptgrunner | December 15, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Awesome ‘toon’ Toles and so true… on many levels.
Your text also brings many thoughts to mind. I personally don’t watch or care for ‘reality’ TV. Yeah, once in a great while I’ll catch a game-show like Survivor or The Amazing Race but that is the gist of it.
I guess one could conclude that ‘hanging out ‘, online in chat rooms, blogs, Facebook, etc. is the ‘new reality’ show. The difference being that WE actually participate and are able to choose the scenario. We can also choose when to ‘walk off’ for whatever reasons.
I cannot argue that point for it is real, yet, not really.
As for your reference to the National Geographic magazine, I still chuckle at the memory… first glimpses of soft porn come to mind (ahh, brothers).
Anyway, the world of computers and the use of the internet (thanks Al Gore :- ) is indeed changing the world we live in. Not all for the better. I prefer an actual book to a digital version and will continue to buy (support) that industry….nothing like the smell of a new book. Besides, reading on a screen bothers my eyes…maybe they should do a scientific study on that….government funded of course.
I will never put my trust in a computer…..all one has to do is look at what is currently happening with WikiLeaks.
Welcome to Machine…..

Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Actually Fascists don't get along with Socialists. Fascism is the polar opposite of Liberalism, or at least what you freaks seem to believe Liberalism is. And the more I hear from "Conservatives" and TP'ers the more you all sound like Fascists. And really anti-community, hateful, mean spirited loners "clinging to your guns and religion". But I guess that's how you want to be perceived, because that is how you present yourselves.

Dave~ What you are defining as "socialism" is really what social philosophers call the "social contract". Although it is tempting to play that linguistic game, it is futile. Mostly because of your incorrect definition. You are correct in that these folks don't want to honor the social contract. (see paragraph 1) Which would be fine, except that they demand that we dissolve it entirely, when most socialized, cultured, compassionate human beings believe that it is the social contract that keeps us from descending into feudal tribalism and anarchy.

All of these arguments (left vs right, global warming, socialism vs fascism, etc) can be boiled down to one very old question:
Am I My Brother's Keeper? ~Cain
It is how we answer this that defines us as tribal simian or socialized human.

Posted by: pete1013 | December 15, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

~~There is a differnce between being Social and being a Socialist. Socialist does not derive from the world Social as you have chosen to make it....yes...do use a dictionary once in awhile.
Posted by: bertzel
My observation…
You might want to look up the spelling of difference in the dictionary.
When you add ism to social you get socialism.
Socialism is any social system as well as a particular social system.
Dave~~~

yeah dave, sometimes my fingers try to move as fast as my thoughts...doesn't work well all the time. Case in point; I also typed world instead of word in same post.

As for your brainwave of thought....by taking the word trick and adding le thereby creating the word trickle...guess it too has the same meaning...

socialism n. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of industry, capital , and land by the community as a whole.---socialist, n., adj. ---socialistic adj.
That would be from a real book with actual pages made from paper (poor tree).

The Random House Dictionary

Now would you care to describe the similarity of trick and trickle without the use of trickery??
Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 9:40 AM

Posted by: bertzel | December 15, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"Free people have never got along well with Marxists."

Come on. Grocho had friends and everyone liked Chico.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 15, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Lonely by ourselves?

Mr. Toles, you may have a really original insight. You think we will join our stuff in cyberspace? Or...?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 15, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Free people have never got along well with Marxists.

Posted by: jornolibist | December 15, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Sorry you can't understand all this. Maybe I didn't explain it very well...or maybe you just a Tea Partier who can't function w/o Fox News telling you what to think.

Posted by: ptgrunner

So what is your point, The President should NOT be having a National Christmas Tree?, or we need to erase In God we trust from all our money?, or secular humanists should determine the meaning of the constitution going forward? or???

I function OK by thinking on my own and I don't watch Fox news. I am more of a Cartoon Network guy if you have not been able to tell by my being here at a cartoon blog.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles

A very funny but sad observation on the parties today.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks all for those who contributed links for my enlightenment.

I have a couple of questions\ problems though with the IPCC report repeated \ asserted regularly elsewhere on the web.

Despite 106 pages of data, jargon, graphs, there is a complete gloss over of how they arrived at a 2.5 watts per square meter of radiative forcing for long lived greenhouse gas. This seems very important to me as this is the main argument for man made warming.

There is no reference to the raw data regarding the assertion that the global average temp is increasing, only the statement and graphing that it has gone up. I am able to access some USA data and other long term northern hemisphere records plus Antarctica and this raw data seems to indicate no real change in temperature over about 100 years. Where is the temperature rising in the world today.

The IPCC seems a closed loop fraternity that includes no outside study and reviews it's own work. This makes their work appear to be somewhat a soft science and not real like chemistry, more like sociology. Where is the outside lab work to confirm the conclusions expressed in the report.

It appears that they are using satellite data to determine rising ocean levels and land based measurement to determine temperature. This seems opposite to me as radar from space would be impossible to measure to millimeters because of the expanding radar beam and variable sea state conditions. Plus how do you keep a satellite at exactly the same orbit to a millimeter. On the other hand, measuring surface temperatures with satellite IR would provide a large data set of the entire globe for greater accuracy. Please point me to the thinking behind this decision.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 15, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Tom, it's good to see there are still sane people out there...

Posted by: philcperry | December 15, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait until the judge orders UVA to turn over Michael Mann's manmade global warming scientific evidence? We all know there isn't any science behind the manmade global warming scam so that's why the libs are fighting so hard not to have to release it. Cuccinelli for President!

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 14, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Liberals aka "No Labels" always want to get along when they don't have the power to dictate.

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 14, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ptgrunner

["It's safe to say that you could not refute my argument. So you attack me personally. Your reference to the "no-good GOP" sounds about right. I don't read Huffington and I drink coffee only moderately."]

-------------------

You're getting touchy these days ptgrunner. Your rant wasn't well written - you didn't make your point - whatever the point was to begin with dude. At least if you had been over-caffeinated, you would have had an excuse.

Posted by: pararanger22 | December 14, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

WOW! Mr. Toles, you need to do something about that SAD, it is making you sound like a true sad-sack. Oh, and travel a little more. All the TSA groping/fondling your private parts and radiation exposure and what not, will ensure that you have a "real" experience. Me, I am going to Ireland to get a first hand view of what conservak00k/"free market" policies do to a nation when allowed to follow their natural course. Funny conservak00ks never bring up Ireland and Iceland (the apple of many conservak00ks eye) when talking about nations going bust. hmmm....

Posted by: bushidollar | December 14, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company