Saturday, 12 December 2009

Vast Undiscovered Data?

There is a small story...barely reported by Fox...and almost zero reporting by any other media outlet...over the UN this week. Basically...the UN would like to have $60 billion over the next five years...to get more climate data.

The guys at the UN climate pit....would like to find vast undiscovered climate information...from the land, air and seas.

Naturally....as they collect all this data via their network...it'd all feed back to the UN climate pit itself. There, and only there...could this be truly interpreted.

I sat and pondered this. There are billions upon billions currently laid out by the top twelve industrial countries today...to basically climate climate data. In fact...some collect the data...but it has nothing to do with global warming or climate control...it's just plain weather data that they need anyway.

So I went into a pondering mind....$60 billion...to find undiscovered bits of climate data? Perhaps in Red Bay, Bama? Or down in Bourbon Street of New Orleans? Or over at the Kansas City Royals baseball stadium? And then what? Does this $60 billion worth of new data fit with the rest of the data already collected by the current data collection guys? What if it disagrees?

The neat thing about $60 billion more...is that you'd have to have thousands upon thousands of new Earth Science folks....environmentalists...hired and working for your UN operation. At the end of five years....they sure wouldn't want their great job to disappear....so a minimum of $60 billion would be required for another five years (probably $70 billion because the guys would like a pay raise and new furniture by then).

How much of the $60 billion would be for conferences in Paris, Rio, or London? How much would be allocated for first-class air travel of the guys involved? We might be curious about things like this.

The curious thing is that most of these countries are already paying into one bucket for a bunch of Earth Sciences folks right now. Why pay more? This is like having two Wal-Marts in your town....it just doesn't make sense.

Then we come back to this vast undiscovered data...sitting there...waiting to be discovered. Some idiot at the NFL might look at this and suddenly realize that he has barely scratched the surface on NFL data collection...there might actually be more out there....that could be tapped into and discussed to the ninth degree. What about the number of hours that quarterback sleeps during the week? What about the number of hours in a normal week that a quarterback is sitting on the toilet? What about the size of shoes for the whole offensive line? How much toilet paper does the typical linebacker use during a week?

At some point, you wake up from this dream and realize how stupid things have become. You really wish that common sense would prevail.

The Peace Prize Speech

I came to be surprised by the Peace Prize speech by President Obama. In fact....the first 30-odd minutes...probably laid out his best speech ever.

I sat over the next twenty-four hours and found European news analysts somewhat troubled over that first half of the speech. In some cases...they were simply trying hard to overlook it because it disagreed with them totally.

The defense of military efforts bothered the honored public of Europe and who got all pepped up last summer and felt they had the anti-Bush. This speech really didn't help these people because it defended military actions and brought up historical efforts...that only the US military could solve. It was a defense that intellectuals in Europe hate.

The Norwegians? I surveyed several English publications from the country....which all gave mostly a positive view of the speech. One criticism offered....by a historian working with one Norwegian paper....was that this speech conflicted with the Peace Prize Committee's agenda....and the committee likely sat there "a bit disappointed".

The amusing thing for me....a number of Republicans came out and gave high marks for the speech afterwards.....with only few Democrats commenting.

The Corruption Factor

In the midst of a EU summit this week....a shocker of zero magnitude....the Greek Prime Minister...George Papandreou...came out and acknowledged that the Greek public sector was riddled with corruption. Yes, imagine that..."riddled with corruption".

Basically....we didn't just suspect it or wonder about it or even ponder on the subject....we've known it for over a thousand years.

If you had to pick a place to go start a business of any type out of thin air...Greece would be the last place on earth. Construction permits would involve bribes. Getting property to build on...means having certain political figures paid off. Getting and keeping a license to operate....means getting cooperation, at a price. You have competition within towns where one guy might firebomb your business because you threaten his profits. The cops take a bribe to support him or to fix your problems...take your pick.

Currently...with the world banking episode still moving along at a negative pace....Gree has major issues. This week...Greece watched as its creditworthiness got downgraded. Their stock market tanked. And the debt did a spiral.

This is a government without any real ability to hold the private sector up...like the US, the UK, France, or Germany. The last place on Earth that could do a cash-for-clunkers deal? Greece. The last place where a bank could walk in and request $50 billion to survive? Greece.

The big problem here....which really captures the imagination of the rest of the EU membership....nobody trusts the statistics that Greece reports. The EU guys won't even accept this current argument that faulty statistics and the errors all go back to the previous conservative government....because it goes back for decades...if not centuries.

So what happens? At some point...when cash really doesn't exist and the national bank falls apart...you will see a run on banks and finances. The government could fall apart in less than a month...and the public could demand something that can't exist...a non-corrupt Greece.