## tisdag 13 december 2011

### From Google Knol to Annotum

Google Knol launched in 2009 as a challenge to Wikipedia, is now being discontinued and transformed into Annotum at Wordpress with the following motivation:
• Google is prioritizing our product efforts so we can make things much simpler for our users and devote more resources to high impact products.
Evidently knowledge was not viewed to be simple enough for Google users and therefore not a "high impact product".

In any case I have as suggested by Google transferred my knols to Annotum under the name The World as Computation, which thus collects my knol articles and also serves as a blog.

The transfer has not been seamless and has given me incentive to update the articles to keep them alive, a work which will take some time.

As of now I will thus run two overlapping blogs and hope readers will find both.

#### 6 kommentarer:

1. Claes, I have bookmarked your other blog.
However, I have a small bone to pick.
Maybe the standard of engineering in some countries is low but the mathematics I studied in engineering 50 years ago was at level of a degree in mathematics. Not all the engineers took it to such a high level -about half the class in the 3rd year (Arts/Maths degree level) of our 4yr course were studying electrical engineering and the others spread between chemical, civil and mechanical. Some of the topics covered were Laplace and Fourier transforms, Topology,matrix computations, numerical analysis & approximation methods, monte carlo simulations, numerical solutions to partial differential equations, optimisation, & statistics. Have a look at chapter 3 of Perry's Chemical Engineering Handbook for some of details of the range of topics. I am just reading a book about String Theory -"The Shape of inner space" by Shing-Tau Yau and Steve Nadis. We studied some of the Topology mentioned in this book with one of our reference books "What is Mathemetics" by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins.
Here is an extract Yau-Nadis book which might interest you "Did the proofs really change anything? Well to my mind, there is an important difference between knowing something is true and assuming it is true. To some extent, that is the differnce between science and belief. In this case we did not know the conjecture was true until it was a proven fact. As Witten stated in his 1981 paper that presented the proof "it is far from obvious that the total energy is always positive""

2. CaF,

Thank you for your thoughts, both here and elsewhere on this blog.

Would you care to elaborate on exactly what aspect(s) of Claes' work you have an issue with? I can think of several possible implied meanings of what you have written here, but I'd prefer not to have to speculate.

I am sure your meaning is reasonably clear to Claes, but to other readers (certainly to me) it is probably far from clear!

Best Regards,

Richard T. Fowler

Claes,

Please, please do not delete anything that is of a purely scientific nature that appears on this blog. In particular, I find the comments posted here over the last ~6 months to be of the utmost importance to trying to ascertain the validity of your theories, which in turn is a necessary prerequisite to sorting out the present climate fiasco.

I can tell from some of your posts that you are inclined (as am I and many others) to reject the aloof attitude of many climate-blogging scientists toward the possibility of political failure of our community, and instead favor a more vocal and active approach that is more often associated with officially-retired scientists (as well as non-scientists of all ages).

That being the case, I think you would do well to remind yourself that there is more at stake with the work you are doing than getting credit, saving face, or maintaining certain working arrangements. Anyway, all three of these things are transitory. But if you miss an opportunity to prove your case, because you, in a rush and desperate to simplify your life, deleted something that turned out to be unrecoverable ... that, sir, is not transitory.

So, please ... no housekeeping at this time. That would, in my personal and very humble opinion, be bordering on criminal conduct, were it to happen at such a sensitive juncture.

Please, sir, this is no game. Academics (indeed, professional scientists in general) like to play games, often because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and have been conditioned to believe that the entire _world_ (or, in severe cases, the entire universe) is nothing but one huge game for their personal amusement. I have come to expect that from the typical scientist of today. But over the last year or so, I have also come to expect _better_ than that from yourself.

You are presently occupying a unique and profoundly important place in the climate debate: even if some of your theories are wrong, you possess the following qualities in combination: 1) the refreshing realism of Anthony Watts regarding the state of the atmosphere, ocean, and Earth surface, but without his drawback of tending to appeal to the lowest common denominator in his audience. 2) The stamina and competence of McIntyre (at least), but without his jarring lack of concern for outcomes. 3) The debating skill of Jeff Id (at least), but without the occasionally expressed disdain for activism.

Yes, I can see that your audience is much smaller than the smallest of these three. But that doesn't matter, because someone has to fill such a niche, and it has to be someone with credibility. Having that niche filled with someone who has scientific credibility is an essential component of beginning to push back on our common enemy. So ... in conclusion, you have to take the issue of your credibility seriously. And that means, in part, not deleting any of the (calmly worded) criticisms that have been leveled at you over the theories that you are presently defending.

Thank you for the opportunity to post here.

Best Regards,

Richard T. Fowler

3. Thanks Richard! Nothing will be deleted from this blog since the transfer concerned my Google knols, which is a different thing although many themes are the same.

4. To CaF: what is the bone you want to pick? That math can be useful?

5. Richard Fowler – thanks for your thoughts.
I enjoy most of Claes’ posts as they introduce some wider thinking and some of these may lead someone (including Claes himself) to proofs of relations between variables which could be useful in the real world.
Registered engineers may be criminally liable for their decisions. They have to clearly set out the data and the assumptions that they are using. In legislation it may say that they must apply “best practice” which includes the latest information (innovation) and test results. They need to under go continuous learning (one of the reasons I visit this blog). (It should be recognised that, in English speaking countries, the word engineer means many things and even so-called University qualified “engineers” have a large range competencies and that applies to chemical engineers who tend to be more competent)
Mathematics is a useful subject which I enjoy. The same can be said of statistics. However, in the use of maths and stats it is always necessary to know and understand the boundary conditions and the limitations (ie where and how it is used and the errors in use). For example I have pointed out that “black body” radiation only applies to surfaces in a vacuum, and it is necessary to apply an emissivity factor because there are no “black bodies” ( ie unity emissivity) over the full (Planck) wavelength range. There are four types of heat transfer (conduction, convection, phase change, and radiation). Convection is associated with momentum transfer and phase change is normally associated with convection and mass transfer. Heat and mass transfer is complex and not simple as some scientists think.
In maths one can impose limitations which do not exist in real life. Maths can ignore dimensions or use dimensions we can not imagine. This is not possible in engineering. That is why engineers like to work with dimensionless numbers (eg Re –Reynolds number), particularly when scaling up a plant or process. I have suggested to Claes to consider dimensionless numbers to make his workings more useful.

6. Yes, it is common in math to set parameters to 1, and thus hide dimensions. This can be ok or not ok depending on the setting and always
has to be done with care and understanding, so that reality is not hidden.
Even the Reynolds number can be misleading, because flows with the same Reynolds number may behave differently, which makes upscaling of wind tunnel tests tricky business. To draw conclusions about jumbojets from tests on small toy models is dangerous.