Saturday, November 28, 2009

ClimateGate: is a flawed academic consensus really the best?

In the recent discussions of "ClimateGate" involving emails from/to professors at CRU at East Anglia University, there was a small side discussion (invoking names such as Nate Silver and Robin Hanson) on whether or not prediction markets (which incentivize accuracy) could handle the issue of global warming. There are a number of patent applications related to "prediction markets" (eg, US 20090281830 titled COLLABORATION MARKETPLACE PLATFORM SYSTEM FOR RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT OF CHRONIC CONDITIONS ; 20090259581; 20090254475 titled PREDICTION MARKET MAKING METHOD AND APPARATUS; and see below). HOWEVER, the problem of "ClimateGate" relates to the underlying data, and presentation thereof, in publicly available documents, upon which the "prediction markets" would base outcomes. Garbage in; garbage out.

The nimonik blog quotes Hanson on the unfortunate language of Jones and others in the CRU emails:

“It is a shame that academia works this way, and an academia where this stuff didn’t happen would probably be more accurate. But even our flawed academic consensus is usually more accurate than its contrarians, and it is hard to find reliable cheap indicators saying when contrarians are more likely to be right.”

These people should take a good look at the wanderings of the intellectual property academics, including the satire on YouTube. Definitely NOT more accurate than its contrarians. But of course when a given academic stakes out both sides of an issue (eg Lemley on patent grant rate), it's hard to be wrong (or right, or accurate). And, outside the IP framework, recall the ready acceptance by academics of Jan-Hendrik Schon and Hwang Woo Suk. Is the theme song for nimonik--"I like dreamin'"?

See also

"Academics who have purposely hidden data have committed scientific fraud"

How “The Trick” was pulled off

Michael Mann and Friends Hide the Decline ["Hide the Decline" to the tune of "Walkin' the Line"]

FreeRepublic has the text:

A UN scientist is declaring that his three fellow UN climate panel colleagues "should be barred from the IPCC process." In a November 26, 2009 message on his website, UN IPCC contributing author Dr. Eduardo Zorita writes: "CRU files: Why I think that Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process."

Zorita writes that the short answer to that question is: Short answer: "Because the scientific assessments in which they may take part are not credible anymore."

If we don't cite it, it doesn't exist?
Compare this IPBiz post to content in one of the East Anglia emails:
I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.

US 20090199104, titled "IDEA COLLABORATION METHOD" includes text

In today's economy, innovation is essential to the long-term success of an organization. In many organizations, new products, services, marketing initiatives, supporting tools, and other ideas arise on a frequent basis. However, the tools that allow organizations to share, collaborate on, improve, evaluate, filter and rank new ideas are very limited.

and includes claims

A method of ranking user reputation in a multi-user network, comprising:
displaying, via a display interface to a plurality of registered users of a multi-user network, a plurality of concepts for discussion;receiving, from a first registered user via a data interface, a discussion post and a ranking for a selected one of the displayed concepts;
receiving, from a plurality of other registered users, a plurality of responses to the first registered user's discussion post, wherein each response includes an indication of whether the response is positive or negative; and
determining, via a processing device, a reputation rank for the first registered user, wherein the reputation rank is determined based on:a number of discussion posts received from that registered user, anda number of positive responses received from the other registered users for the first registered user's discussion posts; anddisplaying the reputation rank to the registered users via the display interface.

The computer program product of claim 9, wherein the code ensures that determining the reputation rank for the first registered user is also based on:an amount of virtual money that the first registered user has invested in correct outcomes in a prediction market; andan amount of virtual money that the first registered user has invested in incorrect outcomes in the prediction market.

The first inventor is Paul Pluschkel, and the prosecuting firm was Pepper Hamilton.

Note also US 20090198565 titled IDEA COLLABORATION SYSTEM , with claims including

An idea collaboration system, comprising:an innovation market that accepts and displays a plurality of user-submitted ideas;a discussion section that for a first one of the user-submitted ideas, accepts from registered users comments and rankings about the first idea;an idea merit section that determines, using a processing device, and displays, via a display device, an indication of merit for the first idea, where the indication of merit is a measurement based on at least:a number of different registered users who have submitted comments to the discussion section for the first idea,a determination of user interest for the first idea, anda reputation rank for each registered user from whom the discussion section received a positive ranking for the first idea.

**IPBiz notes that, no, Mike Masnick is not a co-inventor on either of the above applications.

**In passing

US 20080294549, first claim

A computer-implemented method comprising:

receiving an offer to pay for advertising to be run in a printed publication according to offer parameters that include a publication time;receiving an acceptance to run the advertising according to the offer parameters; receiving, at a submission time, an electronic tearsheet, the submission time being after the publication time of the advertising; andcharging a corresponding advertiser a first amount and paying a corresponding publisher a second amount when the submission time is within a first predetermined period of time of the publication time and when a challenge to the electronic tearsheet has not been received from the advertiser within a second predetermined time after the submission time.

**As to utility:

Some implementations may provide one or more of the following advantages. An electronic advertising system may provide advertisers with new advertising markets and publishers with new advertising revenue. An electronic advertising system may facilitate an efficient and inexpensive method for publishers to provide electronic tearsheets as evidence that advertising was run according to agreed-upon parameters. An electronic advertising system may facilitate an efficient and inexpensive method for advertisers to verify that advertising was run according to agreed-upon parameters. Criteria for charging advertisers and paying publishers may incentivize accuracy and timeliness, which may lead to accounting efficiencies and increased revenue.

US 20090106748, first claim

A computer implemented method for upgrading a multi-tiered application, the computer implemented method comprising:

responsive to receiving a request to upgrade a multi-tiered application, wherein components of the multi-tiered application are deployed across a plurality of virtual machines,
selecting an appropriate integrated patch for the upgrade to form a selected integrated patch, wherein the selected integrated patch includes an integrated set of patches for the components of the multi-tiered application, state update data, and order constraints;
upgrading the components of the multi-tiered application that are specified in the selected integrated patch by using the integrated set of patches and the order constraints;
updating a state of the components of the multi-tiered application that were upgraded to form an updated state of the multi-tiered application by using the state update data; andsaving the updated state of the multi-tiered application to storage.


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