Ove Kåven

RSS / Atom

Questions and Answers

You can ask me questions here.
  • Questions may be asked in English, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Northern Sami, or German.
  • Anonymous submissions are allowed, but your IP address may be logged (in case a question ever needs to e.g. be reported to the police or something).
  • The question queue is moderated. Your question will generally not be published before it is answered.
  • If you don’t want your question to be published publicly here, it’s possible to use the Contact form instead (but I make no response guarantees there, and you can’t be anonymous).
  • Currently, questions may not contain HTML.
  • I may choose to not publish or answer questions that:
    • promote disinformation or hate;
    • advertise particular products or services;
    • contain personal or sensitive information;
    • are abusive or of a harassing nature;
    • or I’m just not legally allowed to answer.
  • I will generally try to answer questions within a few days.






Hello Ove, I recently read your article about voting for MDG and found it interesting. Can I ask your thoughts on made made climate change, technically speaking? I haven't found any good articles that specifies how much of the warming is due to made made emissions and as I like to play advocatus diaboli, I found information from renowned physicists like Ivar Giæver (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEgqkLciei0), Richard Lindzen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd-SybBwZWY) and Seven Koonin where they express at least to my understanding that the physics are not settled on this matter and ask questions like: What is actually the optimum C02 consentration in the atmosphere, and does it really matter if average temperature rise 2 degrees. I have heard Giæver state that where he lives the temperature delta between summer and winter can be over 50 degrees, so why would a few degrees more matter?

Cheers Magnus
A possible answer to your “how much” question can be found in the latest IPCC report. From the “Summary for Policymakers”: “A.1.3 The likely range of total human-caused global surface temperature increase from 1850–1900 to 2010–2019 is 0.8°C to 1.3°C, with a best estimate of 1.07°C. It is likely that well-mixed GHGs contributed a warming of 1.0°C to 2.0°C, other human drivers (principally aerosols) contributed a cooling of 0.0°C to 0.8°C, natural drivers changed global surface temperature by –0.1°C to 0.1°C, and internal variability changed it by –0.2°C to 0.2°C. It is very likely that well-mixed GHGs were the main driver of tropospheric warming since 1979, and extremely likely that human-caused stratospheric ozone depletion was the main driver of cooling of the lower stratosphere between 1979 and the mid-1990s.” (Or, to put it simply: probably all of it.)

In your first video with Ivar Giæver, much of the physics is correct, but at 1:45 the “interviewer” makes the claim that for the last 18 years, temperatures have been flat. The rise in measured surface temperature was a little slower between 2001 and 2015 (which, to be fair, seems to be when the video was recorded), but saying “flat for 18 years” is basically a blatant lie, at best based on extremely cherry-picked data (I’ve previously mentioned an example of the kind of cherrypicking deniers use in my article “World of bullshit”), and therefore most of the conclusions drawn in this video are also incorrect. Giæver does mention that water vapor is a strong climate gas. That is true, but water doesn’t linger in the atmosphere in the same way that CO₂ does. Long-term atmospheric water concentration will thus only change because of other climate drivers (basically, the amount of water vapor that can be in the air depends on the temperature, among other things). But when it changes, it does have an effect, which means that when we emit more greenhouse gases, water vapor actually amplifies the effect, and makes it much worse. For this reason, CO₂ is considered a cause of climate change, while H₂O is only considered an amplifier (but an important one).

Sure, there are many people out there who might claim the physics is “not settled”. For the most important questions, that’s not really true (at least not in the sense they’d like you to think), but even if it was, why should it matter? If it’s “not settled”, it means that there are two options: everything is fine, or we could all die, and we don’t yet know which. So even if it’s “not settled”, there’s a risk. If there’s a chance your house could burn down, but you’re not sure, do you not still buy insurance for it? Do you not want a fire department nearby? Why would we not want to take action even if it was the case that the physics is “not settled”? There’s even less excuse now, because for all practical purposes, it is in fact settled. (Some details are still to be investigated, of course, but there is no doubt which way we’re heading.) But some people (even scientists in some cases) just don’t want to believe and will do anything they can to sow doubt (like in that other video you posted, in which the guy pretty much says nothing substantial about climate change, beyond perhaps trying to create doubt).

“The optimum CO₂ concentration” probably depends a little bit on what we want from the climate, but I’d probably be fine with what the concentration was around the year 1900.

And yes, it absolutely matters a whole lot if the average temperature rises 2 degrees over a century or two, because that’s much faster than natural evolution could keep up. It’s especially bad if it’s due to CO₂, because too much CO₂ doesn’t just cause warming, it has other bad effects as well. In particular, CO₂ is an acid when dissolved in water (“carbonic acid”, in Norwegian known as “kullsyre”), and too much of it kills life in the oceans. It also matters on land; while it’s possible it wouldn’t be too dangerous exactly where Giæver lives, there are large areas of Earth which will become effectively uninhabitable because it would become too common for summer temperatures to exceed what most life could survive. Warming would also cause sea level rise (remember, water expands as it heats, when above 4°C) and cause a lot of current coastal land to be flooded. The increased amounts of energy in the atmosphere (remember, heat is energy) would cause more severe weather, such as stronger hurricanes. All in all, given how quickly the climate is changing because of us, much of life on Earth would not be able to adapt quickly enough and would die, and with it, much of humanity, perhaps all, would die as well.

[Edit 1: added links and minor clarifications]
[Edit 2] I thought it might also be interesting to check just how much energy a 2 degree change in the atmosphere is. A quick calculation shows it to be roughly 10²² J. That is about 600 million Hiroshima bombs. Also, it seems to be the total energy usage worldwide for about 17 years. Interesting. And this calculation only includes the air, not the oceans.
[Edit 3] I’ve written another article, “Vi må tørre å tenke nytt”.

Trygve Guttormsen (2021-08-10 06:33:55)
Kan det tenkes at ens egen pedalkraft er nok til å holde en selv og et slags helikopter svevende i flere timer i strekk? Kanskje man bare må finne opp en bedre rotor? For eksempel kan rotorbladene rotere rundt som på et vanlig helikopter, men bladene spinner ved hjelp av lufttrykket rundt seg selv som en golfball med underskru, for på den måten å øke løftet til rotoren. Det jeg egentlig spør om er om det er noen fysiske lover som hindrer at vi kan fly i flere timer av gangen?
I 2013 vant en gruppe kanadiere, “AeroVelo”, en premie på $250000 ved å klare å holde en diger helikopter-aktig konstruksjon i lufta med bare pedalkraft i over ett minutt, se f.eks. www.wired.com/2013/07/human-powered-helicopter-prize/. Det var en ganske utrolig bedrift, men det er ingen grunn til å tro at dette ikke kan forbedres i fremtiden, med enda bedre teknologi, bedre vingedesign, og antagelig med mennesker som er i svært god form.

Jeg er bare ikke så sikker på at konseptet med pedaldrevet helikopter noengang blir særlig praktisk. Husk dessuten at selv blant fugler krever det mye mindre energi å fly fremover, enn å skulle holde seg i ro i lufta. Også menneskedrevne flymaskiner som ikke er helikoptre har man allerede klart å fly i over 3 timer. Så helikopter vil nok alltid være den vanskeligste måten å gjøre det på.

We, plants, the sky, The earth, galaxies, universe is made of different energy? Right? So if the earth was suddenly taken away, we would just be floating about? Or to say it differently, energy (we plants, other,) would be in that exact space at that time. But space is also energy. So if all is energy, is it possible to say that we are the universe, and the universe is us?

Should we be «nice» to for example the roadsign by the road, because it is energy, and that energy is in fact the universe, and therefore ourself?
Are we all connected? What are we?
It’s not clear to me what you mean by “different energy”, but if you mean their energies are substantially different from each other, then I’d say no, they’re not. In physics, arguably there fundamentally aren’t even different kinds of energy, there’s just energy, just manifesting in different ways. There are different forms of matter, but all matter is made of energy, it’s all the same. And if you mean spiritually, then the shamanic traditions I’ve looked at also say something similar: everything has a soul or spirit, including animals, trees, drums, roadsigns, the Earth, galaxies, and so on. Obviously, such things might not think like us, or do the same things as us, but the fundamental forces are not really all that different. We’re all made of the same stuff as anything else in the universe, we’re all part of it. But whether that means the universe really is us, might be a question you’re better off trying to answer for yourself. Some people might see it one way, others might see it another way, and every way to see things may yield its own unique insights.

Similarly, I think whether you want to be nice to a roadsign, or a tree, or whatever, should be up to you. But even if you don’t consider the roadsign part of you, your behaviour towards it certainly is. How nice you are to things, that’s you. Choosing whether to be nice will always affect who you are. And indeed, whether or not you can feel the universe inside or outside yourself, you’re still part of it and your actions will affect it, in some way. Always.

Hello Ove, can I ask your thoughts on multiverse theory?

Cheers Magnus
Scientifically, there’s currently no way to know for sure, but personally I don’t really care much for it. For various reasons, I don’t really believe that’s how the universe works. For example, take “the universe is actually a simulation” hypothesis (which is getting quite popular). Based on my investigations into both modern physics and into spiritual traditions, I too believe the universe isn’t necessarily “real”. But if the universe is a simulation, then that simulation could only handle a finite number of parallel universes (probably only one) at any time, not an infinite multiverse. Thus, at any given time, I think there’s only one “physical” universe like the one we’re living in (although it’s possible that when one universe eventually dies, it gets replaced by another, ad infinitum). But, this one universe can hold more than we think, and it does. Much more.

[Edit] Another reason I want to mention is that the multiverse hypothesis is unfalsifiable (i.e. doesn’t qualify as science). So its main purpose seems to be to allow physicists to avoid certain difficult questions about how the universe works and how it came about. At the moment, it’s not really useful for much else.

Is there any piece of art, or any action, or a location, that makes you feel like you're in the right place and time, that the world is less broken for a few minutes? I've been listening to choral music by composers like Palestrina, Tallis, Josquin des Prez lately, because it makes me feel that way. I often experience that feeling when I'm focused on my cat, too.

I suppose this is a pretty personal question. It's all I have at this moment, though.
There’s not really any single thing or piece of art that always works. But if you’re looking for something, maybe try the mixes on the EpicMusicChannel or Pandora Journey on YouTube. The music pieces featured on these channels are all by excellent composers who know how to use music to take you away from your everyday worries. At least for me, there have been some songs there where I could just close my eyes and listen, and maybe there’s something there which works for you too.
im curious, tante vera retter meg på mange ord.. samma d. men hvordan spores alle de småe samsung telefonene? har en case jeg prøver å løse :)
tenkte på alle kodene som devicen sendt tx rx
Mobilkommunikasjon er designet for å ikke kunne spores av privatpersoner. Med spesialutstyr finnes det riktignok triks for å finne signaler fra den hvis du allerede er fysisk i nærheten av telefonen, men det er jo ikke det du spør om, og heller ikke noe jeg ønsker å gå inn på her. Så, det finnes altså to hovedmåter å spore en telefon på:
  • Få mobiloperatøren til å prøve å spore telefonen. Men for at de skal gi ut slik informasjon, må man formodentlig først gå til politiet. Det kan være en fordel å kjenne telefonens IMEI-nummer, dersom det er mulig at noen har byttet SIM-kortet.
  • På smarttelefoner er det mulig å installere og aktivere programmer/apper som aktivt og med vilje sender sporingsdata til en sentral server (som regel eid av de som utviklet programmet). Da kan man hente dataene fra denne serveren, hvis man er autorisert til det.
    • Samsung har et slikt program innebygd i deres telefoner, men det må aktiveres. Dersom det er aktivert, kan eieren av telefonen spore den på findmymobile.samsung.com (Sporingen kan visstnok også aktiveres herfra dersom telefonen er logget inn på Samsung-kontoen.)
    • Google har også en app som heter “Find My Device”. Hvis denne er aktivert, kan eieren av telefonen spore den på www.google.com/android/find
Is there a connection between creativity and intelligence?
To some extent. Although we can think of creativity and intelligence as different things, intelligence tends to affect pretty much anything you do, because intelligence affects how fast and how deeply you can learn anything (including artistic subjects, techniques, anatomy, etc), as well as how easily you can see patterns and connections in what you’ve learned, and how to develop your skills further. Furthermore, one of the traits of intelligence is “adaptability”. Since creativity makes you more adaptable, in a sense it also makes you more intelligent.

So, if you’re interested in developing your brain and becoming smarter, doing something creative is one of the ways I would suggest for doing that. (It’s a shame that the Western school system tends to destroy children’s natural creativity, so adults tend to have to learn creativity all over again from scratch.)

Many children find maths challenging. Could maths education be improved?
Generally, the problem isn’t the children, nor is it necessarily the teacher. The problem is the way we teach maths; it’s completely wrong, and quite damaging. In fact, I believe most of the children who actually succeed in maths, don’t do it by paying attention in class, but by studying maths on their own, for example by reading the maths book in their free time. (This was certainly the case for me.) In any case, I recommend the essay A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart, which, although he’s clearly more into pure maths than applied maths, explains the issues beautifully.