Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Lessons from Hurricane Katrina

Katrina victims, my prayers and my thoughts are with you. Though it is way to early to tell the amount of destruction that hurricane Katrina will leave in its wake and the final toll will probably rival some of the worst natural disasters on record, one thing is for certain, it was not the doomsday scenario that many scientists had predicted when a hurricane of these precise characteristics went through the region. And we have to be thankful for that portrayal, as it was partially this perception that might have reduced the death toll considerably (1). Though many lay people would chalk this up to Scientists not knowing what they are doing, to Scientists this belongs to: thank god we were wrong, let's take the data to improve our models. That is what Science means, Science is perfectible, proving parts of itself wrong is its modus vivendi, is what makes it science. Science cannot staunchly hold to beliefs though, being a human creation, it will have its mistakes and biases. The only thing needed is a good proof (and some promotion) to completely change the playing field. That is my way of thinking, on everything, including politics, the only thing you need to change my mind is a good reasonable argument based on facts not beliefs (or labels for that matter). It is this way of thinking that I want to portray in this blog.
  1. If it seems like I am implying anything related to the global warming scenarios that a large proportion of US wants to ignore, let's make that a certainty, yes I am (and BTW, is Bush still on vacation?)
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