Mark Twain was Wrong, Maybe

When Mark Twain uttered his famous quote: “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it,” it was funny because it was just obviously true.  Nobody could do anything about the weather because not only didn’t we have the technology, we were still so far away from it that nobody even imagined the

There is still very little we  can do about the weather.  A bit of cloud seeding here and there.  We could make the weather patterns a bit less disastrous  by cleaning up the atmosphere, but try telling that to the people who run the world.

For the most part, realistically, we are still limited to talking about it and reacting to it with as effective a defense as possible.

A new supercomputer in England ,however, is certainly going to make predicting it more accurate, and that’s halfway to doing something about it.  16,000 trillion calculations per second is a hell of a huge number of calculations.  A person can’t even count up to 16,000 trillion.

But, it gives me a chance to bring up my hypothesis, which is this: We will never be able to predict the weather 100%.  Here’s why.  People deal in real numbers.  1, 2, 3, etc…We can figure with numbers like 1.232465678, for instance, but it’s still not an amount that’s recognized by nature.  Nature doesn’t have ten fingers.  Nature doesn’t deal in real numbers.  Nature deals in critical mass, and forces acting on each other.  We can never know exactly and precisely where or how they will react, because they are not working with our number system, or any rational number system.

It also seems to me that you can never accurately determine the area of a circle, because we don’t know the true value of pi.  Math majors, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Anyway, with regards to the weather.  Even if we can never get it perfect, the closer our estimate, the better.


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