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View Diary: By hiring a climate disinformer, Nate Silver undermines his entire premise of data-driven journalism (204 comments)

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  •  Yes. Math without science is useless. (7+ / 0-)

    Science is the connection to the real world. That's true whether the science is economics, political science, climate science, or simple everyday observation and measurement.

    •  No. Wrong on multiple levels: (1+ / 0-)
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      Math is a science.

      Although it is heavily deductive, Greg Chaitin argues persuasively that math is necessarily empirical also.

      GH Hardy argued in "A Mathematicians Apology" that pure math is most valuable because it is useless (ie, as a means to something else).  Indeed math has sublime aesthetic value for those who can see it.

      For that reason, Hardy preferred number theory, apparently the most useless branch of mathematics.   It turned out that number theory has great utility in cryptography.

      Likewise abstract algebra, in particular group theory, called "the supreme art of abstraction" by James R. Newman, pursued for its own sake, turned out to be essential to contemporary particle physics.

      Diary, on the other hand, is right that Silver is abusing math in hiring an obscurantist to distort empirical facts on this most vital of all issues.

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:21:57 PM PDT

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