Searching for the ‘smoking gun’ in the climate change code

Since the now notorious CRU email distraction hack, it seems EVERYONE has become an expert in not only climate change but now code. Apparently ‘Armed and Dangerous‘ quote mined the code for ‘suspicious’ words like artificial, and stumbled across the following code in on of Briffa’s reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere temperatures.

; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!'

…and reaches the following conclusion…

All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot (Read more),

I’m not sure exactly how they managed to track this one given the person writing the code managed to spell ‘artificial’ incorrectly (searching for fudge, maybe?). Sorry to be an apologist here, but Tim Lambert over at Deltoid does a great job of showing exactly why its pretty pointless to analyse and critique code when you have no idea how the code functions. In summary, it’s neither false or deceptive. Still looking for that smoking gun?

But hey, code-mining is fun. Anyone here run a Linux system? Try this command:

find . -name *.[hcS] -not -regex ‘./.git.*’ | xargs cat | grep ”hack” | wc -l

Except replace the part in red with, oh, anything you like. If you want to see which files contain the word you are grepping for, use this:

egrep -H -A2 -ir “(hack)” *

Some of the comments in the Linux kernal are pretty revealing. You know, when you quote-mine for profanity:

arch/mips/pci/ops-bridge.c:      * IOC3 is fucked beyond believe …  Don’t even give the
arch/mips/pci/ops-bridge.c-      * generic PCI code a chance to look at it for real …
arch/mips/pci/ops-bridge.c-      */
arch/parisc/kernel/sys_parisc.c:/* Fucking broken ABI */
arch/parisc/kernel/sys_parisc.c-#ifdef CONFIG_64BIT
drivers/mtd/mtd_blkdevs.c:        registered, to prevent the link/init ordering from fucking
drivers/mtd/mtd_blkdevs.c-         us over. */
drivers/mtd/mtd_blkdevs.c-      if (!

lib/vsprintf.c: * Wirzenius wrote this portably, Torvalds fucked it up
lib/vsprintf.c- */

net/ipv4/netfilter/nf_nat_snmp_basic.c: * (And this is the fucking ‘basic’ method).
net/ipv4/netfilter/nf_nat_snmp_basic.c- */
net/ipv4/netfilter/nf_nat_snmp_basic.c-static int snmp_parse_mangle(unsigned char *msg,

Conclusions? Quote mining code is a waste of time unless you know what you are looking at.

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