"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tempest, Meet Teapot

Richard North's idea is to take the ratio of Google web hits to Google News hits; he gets 22.5 million web hits vs. 46,025 news hits for Tiger Woods (a ratio of 489), and compares some other topics (some of them a bit UK-centric):

1. Climategate: 28,400,000 – 2,930 = 9693
2. Afghanistan: 143,000,000 – 154,145 = 928
3. Obama: 202,000,000 – 252,583 = 800
4. Tiger Woods: 22,500,000 – 46,025 = 489
5. Gordon Brown: 12,300,000 – 37,021 = 332
6. Climate change: 22,200,000 – 68,419 = 324
7. Sally Bercow: 25,000 – 86 = 290
8. David Cameron: 545,000 – 4837 = 113
9. Meredith Kercher: 261,000 – 3,471 = 75
10. Chilcot Inquiry: 125,000 – 4,350 = 29


Via Mark Liberman, who elucidates here.

The statistic indicates a lot of interest in the subject from writers of web content, not from readers. So what is really crucially revealed about the politics of the situation is not how shocked the public is at this little bit of insider talk, but how much effort is going into encouraging the public to be shocked.

Why is this? How does such a concerted attack emerge?

In any case, it seems the best thing to do is to move on and leave it echoing long into the night in the echo chamber. We'll never be entirely free of this media event, but it's not an unreasonable response to just leave it alone. It really isn't capturing the popular imagination at all, and it doesn't deserve to either.


Pantheist Mom said...

Encouraging, and kind of what I'd expect (hope?) the reaction would be. I imagine very few minds are going to be changed one way or another from this ridiculosity.

syphax said...

Thank you! I had done a couple other quick investigations via Google Trends to assess the ridiculousness of the "Google is suppressing Climategate in Google Suggest" meme, which is about the best, most delusional thing I've seen in quite some time.

Hank Roberts said...

Also collected here: