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Monday, November 14, 2011

Recent Reading & Some of My Comments

  Some of why the press support eco-fascist lies?

Bad news is the only good news

Journalists can only be as good as the sources they carefully select

Scientific laziness
A useful article on shale gas contains this:
In 1865 the English economist William Jevons noted that with energy “almost any feat is possible. … [but] without it we are thrown back into the laborious poverty of early times.” The economic history of the last century and a half has confirmed the insight of that observation, year in year out, without exception.
Human ingenuity has led to a dramatic evolution of advanced technologies and modern energy supplies that enable economic development. Similarly, history shows that energy demand not only increases in conjunction  with economic growth, but that the types of energy that we rely on also evolve with time.

Steve Sailer on research which has found 7 genes, in a genetically undifferentiated population, which correlate strongly with longevity. The most important converts cholesterol.
Wearable defibrillator can prevent 91.6% of heart attack deaths which can have 7 to 21% survival rates otherwise

Bishop Hill did an article on the Linear No Threshold theory. Other commenters were interested in this from me:

"the calculation of how many deaths one gets per green politician is validly subject to direct linear extrapolation. 25,000 premature deaths from fuel poverty each winter, assume only 50% are preventable by plentiful cheap nuclear or shale power divided by about 640 of the 650 MPs comes to 19-20 unnecesary killings each per year. That is a reasonable extrapolationn because no other factors get in the way. The difference with LNT is that the old rule "the dose makes the poison" applied precisely because we know many substances which kill at large doses are vital trace eleemts/vitamins at small doses. This "hormetic" effect is undeniable in many cases and likely in all.
In particular there is no experimental evidence whatsoever for LNT in radioactivity & never has been, whereas for around a century there has been proof of radiation hormesis in plants, mirobes and small laboratiory animals where such testing is ethical and possible."
John Redwood wrote on growth

“Controlling public spending is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for growth”
The sufficient and in the long term necessary condition for growth is

economic freedom + cheap energy = fast growth
We could have those any time the government wanted."
Steve Sailer has an interesting thought on the rise, since the 1950s of legal conditions that allow small minorities to prevent things going ahead. I think this correlates closely with the rise of ecofascism and the slowdown in western growth. Don't know which is cause and which effect or if they both have a deeper cause.

An interesting thought Steve. the risec of "minoritarianism" coindides with the rise of anti-technology scare stories (eg the LNT radiation theory was officially promulgated between 1959 & '63 though it had supporters before it was official and has become even more enforcably official since). The reinforcing connection is that the more scary theories the courts listen to the smaller the minorities who can claim to believe they are being harmed by allowing something. This leads to the situation where GM foods are largely suppressed on the extreme version of "precautionary principle" that if there is anybody, anywhere who believes there is a danger, albeit they can suggest no mechanism whereby it would work or test of the theory, it must be banned. This would be the reductio ad absurdaum of minority effects, with the minority effected reduced to zero, if it were not where we now are.
As somebody who thinks minority rights a sign of civilisation I can't object to some movement from the early 50s position. However it is easy to demonstrate that the net loss to the community must almost always be greater than the gain to the special interest group.
On the other hand it provides ever more work for lawyers which may explain it all.
Douglas Carswell suggests we now have less democracy than before the 1832 Reform Act.

That is a very interesting comparison slightly overstated. It took decades of popular will to abolish slavery and establish free trade. I could also point to wars (Crimea, WW1, Sudan campaign) which enjoyed overwhelming initial support and in hindsight were less necessary.
Democracy is quite good at limiting the day to day power of the state. Less so at resisting finding an out group (bankers, Jews, fuzzy wuzzies) to blame, tax and shoot at).
From Al Fin on continuing human evolution. - "We're beginning to see that it's an accumulation of small changes. Scientists have recently been able to compare the genomes of Neandertals and modern humans, which reveals just a .004 percent difference. Most of those changes lie in genes involved in sperm, testes, smell, and skin."

That looks like sexual selection being the main, even overwhelming, driver of evolition over the last 25,000 years. This seems not unlikely because such selection (ie the peacock's tail) is dominant in species where selection by being able to escape predators is less important and we reached the top of the food chain about then.

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