Modelling the “Model” and the Observer (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)


Modelling the “Model” and the Observer (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

The nature of the assessments which I have shared in my blog are based on the challenges which I have faced through my career since I started studying Environmental developments in 1995 with my masters.

I made questions as student which did not have answers. Then since 2002 I started doing my own research over those questions while I was attending the tasks demanded by the projects in my contracts.

Some of the ramifications which I have found through my career were outside the scope of the contract under which I was getting paid so I had to leave their research as part of my “hobby”.

Once in 2013 I found myself without a contract, I took this situation as an advantageous point to start my blog as an opportunity to fully address all those questions applying my own methodology and critical thought “without reservations” but without support.

Modelling the Model

The subject of modelling came across my path through my thesis. The scope was presented in a simplistic manner. To Evaluate the aerodynamic properties of pollen grains throughout measuring their settling speeds (relative to concentration and deposition measurements in parallel), indoors and outdoors.(link to discussion section)

That would give an indication of the mobility of the pollen grains airborne and an estimation over the potential range of contamination from GMO pollen transport in the atmosphere throughout space. Keeping the scope limited to addressing such evaluation was a challenge defined by the level of uncertainty incorporated with the measurements obtained. Ultimately the results proved to be of acceptance within those margins and the EU incorporated the methodology on their standards monitoring GMOs.

But the ramifications which I identified from this study were way too much complex.

Instruments represent the reality of the measurements which they are designed for, and introduce a bias, since environmental conditions move in wider ranges than the design of any instrument. The environment affects the variable being measured, the variable affects the efficiency of the instrument and the design of the instrument the measurements.

The type of data obtained from the measurements are already biased by the design of our instrument. It can be due to the format (binary data, numerical data, qualitative, …) it can be due to its sensitivity through the time set to capture samples, by the interferences of other variables unaccounted for, and even by the shape of the data set built either from spatial dimensions or qualitative limitations.

An instrument measures just what it is designed for, which is only what the designer has been able to identify and the technology available allows to.

So the method is static whereas the variables measured are dynamic, the narrowness of the value for the data describing the variables is far more restricted than the variables in themselves. Measuring heat can be done with mercury, the expansion of a fluid, but it will not describe if it is enough to trigger forms of work associated to processes being activated or inhibited in the environment. Is it an “active” form of heat or a passive one? A sensor in a satellite can read wave lengths “associated” with processes. Two processes sharing wave length would not be identified easily, or processes restricting each other.

That is just the challenge of building a data set worth to be considered as an accurate description of the environment that we want to model.

Then there is the question of our algorithms.

Which in turn are handmade instruments to carry one value from one place in our data set to another place outside our dataset in the form of a forecast or prediction.

And as I have described in my previous blog post, shares limitations with that of an instrument designed to measure a variable. It will only measure what its design allows it for. Or even when measuring indirectly something else, it will not be represented in the data obtained from the instrument due to the nature of the data set designed to use those measurements.Furthermore, if an instrument is measuring two things at the same time but it was designed just for one, the measurement resultant and the data set created will incorporate an unknown interference. Let say, plants do not feel “heat” as a variable completely isolated from the rest of the variables. There is direct radiation, transference, conductance, humidity and advection to say  some. Like describing the temperature in a location and the wind chill factor. Both talk about similar things but both are related to the activation or inhibition of different processes.

So the accumulation of uncertainties through the chain of command takes us to assume levels of uncertainty.

And yet, when the level of uncertainty in the outcome of our model is low, with a high probability of happening, it means that its occurrence is the replication of something which is plausible because it has become, somehow, part of a “normality” built on repetition for an event which has happened before.

So if it has happened enough times to be certain it will gain probability and reduce uncertainty.

Modelling the Observer

As a biologist myself I find intriguing to see that our environment is predominately not described in biological terms.

Einstein made it very clear, our environment is a relative proportion of free energy and fixed energy in mass. There is one process in our system fixing E into mass, and one releasing E from mass. The “relative efficiency” of both processes is what is defining the behaviour of our thermodynamic environment.

Some previous related posts with more discussion

Debating Climate, Environment and Planetary evolution. Define your position. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) October 2, 2014
May 7, 2015 Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)
December 3, 2015 Energy. Looking For Sources of Something We Waste. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)
March 3, 2017 Thermodynamic Ecosystems by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD
February 10, 2015 (UPGRADED 24th March2015) Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla.

The reality which we are facing is “a transition” from a previous state. As such incorporates uncertainty and erratic patterns describing new forms of expression.

And that is why it becomes so important to understand the role played by the observer.

The observer is the only one with the capability to adjust its own criteria to interpret the interaction of all the sources of data and error as a whole. And the only one able to adjust the level of relevance which has to be given to different variables in an ever-changing environment.

Models and numbers are tools, no answers.

As a photographer I have always faced the challenge of realising that the reality is never fully represented by an instrument. Sensors narrow down the amount of information to the format of the capacity available to handle the information. And that is transferable to all sensors in satellites.

As a musician, models work like compression in music formats versus analog formats. The amount of information is reduced to the capacity of perception, leaving aside an spectrum part of the whole data describing reality.

Lateral thinking. From Micro to Macro (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) July 4, 2015
July 17, 2015 Something for the curious minds. Climate and Streamlines (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

The Observer

(updated 13/3/2017)

We are beginning to see our world through a screen and to think and interact accordingly. My question is: how much faith can we put in making our world digital in order to face the challenges of understand it being part of it?

With age, we are tamed to move from being creators driven by curiosity into become followers carrying a task.

When we are children we explore the possibilities from bending the rules. We “play” innovating with our own creativity looking into identifying “the extra-mile” and “the limits”.

When we become involved in learning processes and social awareness, our senses are domesticated looking for acceptance in a society where we are judged based on our ability to perform following “the norms”, learning the language.

We try to play safe and to achieve social integration and employment by learning how to numb our instincts for creativity showing “particular differences” which set us apart from the rest.

Such behaviour rules social and work related environments.

The balance comes from learning how to make the most of what you have available. For the employer and the employee. There is a need for empathy.

Curiosity is innate, safety is not.

As an employee, your curiosity might be seen as a distraction from your ability to carry out your duties. And the time that you invest following your curiosity has to be set apart from your job responsibilities.

Some employers have started to create “states of safety” through strategies aimed to promote the expression of curiosity offering a safe environment as part of the job dynamics. If you offer such space where employees feel safe and the time spent in new personal development as part of your business plan, your employees will use it.

As I said, curiosity is innate and it can be numbed or stimulated.

Social interaction and critical thinking.

In this post I try to touch issues driving our current state of human development and behaviour for the two most relevant aspects of our evolution:

Social interaction and critical thinking.

Both components, social driven and thought driven, are being increasingly dominated by the application of algorithms. In both cases, social behaviour and critical thinking (including social and scientific) are being isolated from tangible “reality” due to a developed dependency which, in many cases, leave us with our senses being occupied in reacting to stimulus created from algorithms applied in media platforms, loosing the capacity of recognising our own nearest reality or numbing our senses and creativity outside “those walls”.

We are starting to forget that there is an empty space in the absence of directions given which can only be occupied by our capacity to think and innovate.

In the absence of guidance we are starting to forget that there is a type of silence which is describing the shape of a huge question mark when we get rid of the algorithms and we are forced to think by ourselves.

We are starting to forget to make questions outside the box defined by the algorithms driving our lives, socially and scientifically.

The present situation is moving towards judging our own capacity to feel integrated in the “social system” and the “scientific system”.

We are beginning to be judged by our capacity “to follow” above our capacity “to innovate”.

We are making our capacity to follow the subject being analysed instead of questioning the validity of the methodology applied. People feel that the reality without social media is not real, and environmental assessments are not real if they have not been described through “mathematical” precision.

Everything in our world is becoming digital, and we are starting to understand our world accordingly, even our own perception of ourselves.

Our capacity to innovate applying analytical thinking is being pulled aside, focused on perfectionating algorithmic digital methods and language programming which can replace our own capacity to assess situations and generate outcomes.

Such scenario has demanded an increasingly enhanced capacity from us to find ways of making easier to follow instructions generated by either the social media or the scientific algorithms and models.

When we become designers of tools we become biased when we apply them because we will only ask from those tools to perform as we designed them for. So the outcome from those tools is already biased by the designer involvement. That is why a racing car team will have engineers and pilots, a football team players and a coach, etc…

In science there is no Plan A and Plan B. We can not apply numbers as solutions in a Plan A or avoid their application in a Plan B.

However, the race is on and numbers are getting the protagonism driving science and scientific innovation as well as in social media generating pressure driving our behaviour.

I think this is easy to be seen in social behaviour throughout the challenge of being socially integrated in the absence of continuously feeding our avatars.

One remarkable example comes from a worldwide renowned singer called Ed Sheeran from UK. He decided to take a year off the social media. When he was asked about his experience, he made a very thoughtful remark. He claimed that when he stopped using social media he started to find empty spaces of time (when he was waiting for someone or something to happen) which he did not know how to fill in. Then, without his phone, he said: “I started to use what I had at hand, my mind. So I started “to think” about things which I had not thought before since I always was busy following media stimulus.” That is one way of making science at its core. Change the method and see how your results hold their value.

This change from innovative thinking into followers of the media also plays a role in science.

We are getting to a point where almost all scientists are beginning to use the media programmed for us to follow. This time the competition is not about android versus symbiam or iphone, or mac versus windows. The competition is about who makes the best model to show how easy is to create a digital environment with which we play travelling to the past, present and future.

I leave you here a reference to support my point about this issue in science:

“Scientific method: Statistical errors. ” P values, the ‘gold standard’ of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume. Regina Nuzzo. 12 February 2014.

http://www.nature.com/news/scientific-method-statistical-errors-1.14700

“Researchers need to realize the limits of conventional statistics, Goodman says. They should instead bring into their analysis elements of scientific judgement about the plausibility of a hypothesis and study limitations that are normally banished to the discussion section: results of identical or similar experiments, proposed mechanisms, clinical knowledge and so on. Statistician Richard Royall of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, said that there are three questions a scientist might want to ask after a study: ‘What is the evidence?’ ‘What should I believe?’ and ‘What should I do?’ One method cannot answer all these questions, Goodman says: “The numbers are where the scientific discussion should start, not end.”

Today I had the opportunity to assist to a conference about satellites applied to monitor our environment, “Small Satellites: the university way to access space”. At the end I had a talk with the speaker Chantal Cappelletti, in person, and something which all scientists applying satellite data have to understand is that, like any instrument from any laboratory, satellites also have limitations and it must be improved the concept that some researchers apply to the value of the data obtained from satellites.

I have already written about this subject in different pots in my blog at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com “Filling In or Finding Out Gaps Around ”

Debating Climate, Environment and Planetary evolution. Define your position. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) October 2, 2014

Climate. Looking at the forest for the trees (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) April 9, 2015

In climate it is becoming Less probable to not have a High probability. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) May 29, 2015

The scope of Environmental Science and scientific thought. From Thought-driven to Data-driven, from Critical Thinking to Data Management. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) June 26, 2015

What if, the relevant bit lies hidden on identifying the pattern behind similarities instead of trying to match anomalies? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) September 3, 2015

Between The Walls Of Silence There Is A Silhouette With The Form Of An Interrogation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD) “Philosophy of Science”. What are the special conditions that make burst of progress in science? February 17, 2017

(end update 13/3/2017)


Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD “in transition”

My research project has reached an inflection point. It has completed a cycle and the budget that I had available for it has finished. I have had the opportunity to create my own line of research and follow it without interferences and external pressures. And I have reached conclusions which can challenge those followed by official administrations and institutions.

Now that I have my own criteria I have accomplished one of my goals. It has been three years investing my savings in giving fair attention to my assessments. Therefore, the continuation of my assessments will be delegated to a second place in order for me to give full priority to find a remunerated position and to dedicate my time to look into my following steps in professional and personal life.

Due to my change in priorities, in the last weeks I have been confident on that, while I stop making my assessments over real time developments, I would see some other professionals or administrative or meteorological services doing the assessments that I am interested in.

And yet, may be I have missed them, but since I do not see public activity doing such real time kind of assessments and that is why I wanted to share my thoughts in my previous blog post:

Those Little Things in Atmospheric Dynamics. Juno, Jonas, Mathew and Joaquin (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD) Posted on

It would be very disappointing to realise that the news are made based on algorithms and the research based on what a model says. That would mean algorithms are doing the thinking, or some professionals do not feel free to share what they think.

If I slow down or stop in sharing my assessment in real time events is simply because I do not have the economic support to keep doing it, if not I would not stop doing it. It would be my pleasure to be just the nexus point joining others more knowledgeable than me to discuss things. I do not know it all, I just want to know enough to make useful questions with thoughtful arguments. If only that could be a job.

See full timeline and framework in the following link

___________________________________________

This work is protected under Intellectual Property laws licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.)

As from March 2017, I am in transition looking for new opportunities and new challenges, to join a team. At the same time that I look for job openings to incorporate my resume, I would encourage any one finding interesting any of the skills which I apply throughout my research, as well as communicator, to evaluate my profile as a candidate for your projects (Profile at Linkedin and CV english and español) email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

After performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new job. However, in such competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv between desks waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I used it as an advantageous standing point to start and develop independent research in a blog in which I could open my own line of research completely free of external pressures or interferences. Through the whole project I have published pieces of research applying my own perspective focused on addressing relevant environmental questions.

The work which I present in my blog is just a chapter in my career. At Feb 2017, it has reached an stage in which its framework has been defined and it has been applied in follow-ups delivering the subsequent conclusions.

The level of uncertainty which I have accomplished in my assessments has reached enough accuracy to replicate real time developments to the point of compete with models sustained by corporate and administrative budgets.

The economic support sustaining the three years of research presented in this blog has been private based on my own capacity to generate it. Once the main conclusions of the project have demonstrated their value, it is time for my career to find new ways of growth and/or external sources of financial support.

Therefore, at this time Feb 2017, the generation of assessments over present developments discontinues in the absence of external financial support.

You can look at the whole project (more than 190 posts between Oct 2013 to Feb 2017) published at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com and also you will find some of those publications in my profile at ResearchGate

I am living in Spain free to relocate geographically worldwide.

Since October 2013 I have been publishing pieces of research studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in Researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

Author’s Disclosure Declaration

For those unaware of the content offered in this blog I might have to issue a warning: Handle with care. Also with the product obtained from scientific analytical thinking there are traces of personal and professional “passion”, by-products obtained from “original and unpeered grey matter juice” originated from “independent critical thinking”. Also sometimes the packaging might be rough around the edges due to its “unfunded nature”.

4 years ago I joined a discussion which made me realise how much knowledge was settled on the past, built upon past conventions and unable to give answers about present developments in all parts of our environment. From the impact from GMOs, plastics, soils degradation, atmospheric composition, land use and cover, water cycles, … I had addressed scientifically unanswered questions before doing my PhD so I decided to give it a go and to offer my take over those gaps. It has been a pilgrimage to become aware of how much faith and fear is put on scientific publishing above raw understanding and discussion.

I do not know how far this blog will go, however, it represents the assessment of a global process and I expect that past posts will become a description of continuous present for the next years.

Altogether, the body of work which represents the line of research presented in this blog is composed by more than 190 pieces, covering data analyses and conceptual discussions. All those different discussions and assessments presented here build together a single concept. The format applied is the result of making a big effort trying to apply simplistic approaches with the aim to allow a multidisciplinary access. Since the topics treated in my publications have implications for many sectors in the academic and not academic world, with the aim of allowing my research for open review, there is also the objective of allowing access to a multisectorial and multidisciplinary audience sharing interest.

For a more profound discussion over my assessments and analyses as well as constructive feedback, please use my email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com.

My agenda is simple, I am in transition looking for either funding to grow the research published in this blog or for a job position in any field in which my assets are valued. Behind my research there is nothing more, nothing else than to showcase my capabilities doing what I like, research. I am a methodologist. I don´t look at the color of the result obtained, only at the suitability of the method and the coherence of the result. As I have said before, if I am wrong on my assessments and conclusions, it will be better for all, and my work would showcase my capabilities anyway. A CV shines the goals obtained by anyone, but by publishing here my research, I expose myself and my work to public judgement. There is a difference between being naive and raw. If you see the difference you will understand better my work and my personal position.

The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found refuting the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will help me in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.

Perspective

(This post is part of a more complex piece of independent research. I don´t have funding, political agenda or publishing revenues from visits. Any scientist working in disciplines related with the topics that I treat in my blog knows how to judge the contribution that my work could potentially add to the state of knowledge. Since I am in transition looking for a position in research, if you are one of those scientists, by just acknowledging any value you might see from my contribution, would not only make justice to my effort as independent researcher, but ultimately, it will help me to enhance my chances to find a position with resources to further develop my work.

I believe that the hypothesis that I have presented in previous posts in this blog (here, hereand here) could help to understand present and possible future scenarios in atmospheric circulation. However, this is an assessment based on observation which needs to be validated throughout open discussion and data gathering. So please feel free to incorporate your thoughts and comments in a constructive manner.

If you feel like sharing this post I would appreciate to have a reference about the place or platform, by private or public message, in order for me to have the opportunity to join the debate and be aware of the repercussion which might generate d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

More assessments presenting chronologically the line of research published in this blog can be accessed in the category Framework and Timeline.

For anybody interested in the posts related with this discussion here I leave you those more relevant in chronological order (there are comments bellow some of them. Please check them out, updated 09th Dec 2016):

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About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! DOIs can be generated on demand by request at email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com for those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project. **Author´s profile: Born in 1974. Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my work previous to 2013 as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After 12 years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my own line of research. In the current competitive scenario, in order to demonstrate my capacities instead of just moving my cv waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I decided to invest my energy and time in opening my own line of research sharing it in this blog. In March 2017 the budget reserved for this project has ended and its weekly basis time frame discontinued until new forms of economic and/or institutional support are incorporated into the project. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this platform and at LinkedIn has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my achievements and that the Intellectual Property Rights generated with the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in similar lines of research. **Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome as well as any approach exploring professional opportunities to be part of.** In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2017. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
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