Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Working-with-your-hands Wednesday

A big project that ultimately proved that one man's ideas about improving San Francisco Bay were - no good at all.


George said...

He was ahead of his time, not having a moronic and corrupt media
and academia to keep his idea alive for a generation or two.

JeffS said...

An excellent documentary of a really well built physical model! I never used that facility, but it's legendary within the Corps of Engineers, co-equal with a model of the Mississippi River that was shut down in 1973.

But one point sticks out to me, where the narrator says that computer models have replaced physical models.

That's not entirely true. Computer models of any complex system take years and years to develop into something even remotely accurate. ESPECIALLY if there is any chaotic element present. Smaller models are still in use, such for hydrological scenarios.

Even a simple model will still show variations from real world data ... especially if the base assumptions are not valid. At best, models are a guide for an experienced use to start from. Well, I should say "experienced and intelligent users" -- many people forget the basic law for the current state of inductive computer technology: GIGO, or "Garbage In = Garbage Out".

Anyone who thinks otherwise is "following the science", IYKWIMAITTYD.

So while the documentary does offer a great review of old school modeling, it glosses over the weaknesses of computer modeling.

JeffS said...

Oh, and regarding the damming of San Francisco Bay ... ... wow. Even if the idea had been proven to not be disastrous, my mind boggles at the engineering required to block off the ocean. I'm not certain that the technology of the time was up to the task.

The dude pushing the idea definitely had an imagination, you gotta give him that.

Gregoryno6 said...

I'd like to conduct a similar experiment involving one or all of our recently built quarantine centres, several million unused doses of Fauci junk juice, and the political/medical/media know alls who were so quick to dispense unfounded wisdom for three years. They could learn up close and personal just how good or bad their ideas were.

Paco said...

The dude pushing the idea definitely had an imagination, you gotta give him that.

He sure did. And the model actually did its job: it tested the theory and found it unworkable.

JeffS said...

Gregory, that would be an EXCELLENT experiment to conduct!

I’d be glad to volunteer to perform the actual injections.