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Flawed Mathematical Models

Pres. Reagan's secret agent, Lee Wanta, masterminded a creative way to financially take down the economy of the Soviet Union. He joined Richard Syrett, along with Lon Gibby (director of a documentary about Wanta), to discuss his claim that he amassed trillions of dollars that were designated to go back to the American people. In his effort to carry out his mandate, he was imprisoned, and the funds were stolen or converted illegally into the Federal Reserve.

In the first hour, security consultant and researcher Colin Hall detailed his investigation into two unusual car accidents in England and France that seemed to have paranormal elements.

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Flawed Mathematical Models

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - January 28, 2007
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Orrin Pilkey

Duke University Professor Dr. Orrin Pilkey discussed how unquestioned faith in mathematical models can misrepresent future situations and lead to unmanageable plans. Quantitative models that predict where, when, and how much, are typically inaccurate, and can lead to bad decisions, he outlined.

For instance, the plan to dispose of nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain in Nevada tries to look ahead one million years and presupposes that it may fail someday with leakage into the groundwater.

A better way to look at such issues, he argued, is the qualitative model, which asks how, why, and what if. Considering various contingencies can offer more flexibility in long-term solutions. For instance, in Sweden nuclear waste is buried 1,000 ft. underwater, with the possibility in mind, that over long stretches of time, another ice age may hit the area. Pilkey also addressed how global climate change, AIDS and other issues are hampered by quantitative models.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Sunday January 28, 2007

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