Sunday, 11 September 2022
When we’ve seen it all before
This is not a post about chess, but there is a strikingly useful analogy to be found in the difference between amateur and professional chess players.
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has said he generally plays chess intuitively rather than analytically. Professional players quickly recognise patterns which turn out well and those which do not without necessarily having to work out why. They have seen similar patterns many times before. Carlsen sees this as a key difference between top level players and lesser players who have to rely on step-by-step analysis of most positions.
A more well-known example of intuitive pattern-recognition might be driving a car, where we recognise road situations and respond to them without needing to analyse why we respond one way rather than another. We recognise patterns we have seen many times before. It is even possible to drive the daily commute without being able to remember the journey afterwards.
Similarly, many sceptics do not have to analyse the climate change narrative scientifically. Long experience of real life allows them to recognise patterns of human behaviour instead. People don’t glue themselves to the M25 in support of a scientific theory. They don’t demonstrate, wave placards and refer to sceptics as ‘deniers’ because a scientific theory cannot be wrong.
The behaviour of the climate faithful does not fit patterns of behaviour we recognise as open scientific enquiry. It does fit patterns of behaviour we recognise as strong and even fanatical political allegiance. We recognise the behaviour patterns without a need to analyse them because we have seen them so often before. On that basis we may conclude that climate science is window dressing for something which is not science, and we know what that something is.
It’s not rocket science. It isn’t science at all and even more interesting – it’s obvious.