Saturday, January 14, 2012
John Gribbin has done his own assessment and come to the conclusion that we are alone in the Galaxy for, among other reasons.
Gribbin points to the origin of the Moon by an impact with a Mars-size body over 4 billion years ago as a pivotal and yet very dicey event. The impact itself had to avoid destroying Earth’s spin (as apparently happened at Venus) and yet excavate and launch into space enough material to form an unusually large Moon that could gravitationally anchor Earth’s axial tilt. Without such a Moon our rotation axis would wobble chaotically due to tugs by Jupiter, Venus and other bodies, and undermine the long-term climate stability conducive to the development of high intelligence and civilization.Certainly the existence of our Moon is so extraordinary that no explanation exists that fully explains it. If intelligent life is that uncommon that would mean either Earth has 2 events which have astronomical odds against or that they are related. Personally I think the variable and high tides the earth has must have greatly eased, or made possible at all, the journey of life from sea to land. There may be other effects.
Dr Bruce Cordell's estimable site has also published his assessment of the odds under the Drake Equation and comes up with a highest estimate which is only a bit more optimistic.
Initial Kepler results plus the Watson/Carter model of intelligence appear to preclude other intelligent ETs in our Galaxy unless their L’s are in the millions of years. This was attained only by our species upper limit, using Gott’s technique; the closest ETs would be ~10,000 light years away. Other high-tech civilisation timescales — species LL, nuclear doomsday, and singularity — are consistent with the Rare Earth HypothesisIf we are alone in the universe, or at least sufficiently alone that we are never likely to face competition there are philosophical consequences. We alone are the carriers of intelligence. If we destroy ourselves, through comparatively meaningless squabbles, or limit ourselves to never getting off the planet we alone on this small planet will have robbed the universe of meaning.
On the other hand this greatly increases the chance that we will succeed. The simplest answer to the Fermi question and the only one that makes sense over eons, is that intelligent scientific civilisations wipe themselves out as their power increasingly exceeds their self restraint. However if we are alone the question never arises and there is no reason to believe we will not succeed in settling as much of the universe as we wish and achieving the fullest possible understanding and mastery of it.
Friday, January 13, 2012
N.C.S.E. - Nazi Child-Abusers for Suppression of Evidence - the filth that creeps into the US education system
The real justification for her doing so is that she is the boss of the American NCSE*, - a busybody organisation which originally justified its existence by fighting creationism but which has since clearly found there is a niche for opposing scepticism about catastrophic warming and decided to take advantage of it, undismayed by their ignorance of the subject.
Some time ago I sent this letter to Ms Scott and the NCSE. They have been unable to despite in any way whatsoever any of the points - specifically that there is no evidence for their claims and that therefore nobody with the remotest respect for science, indeed nobody but an out and Fascist, could support their policy of suppressing free investigation. of the evidence requested and the obscene Nazi whore has not apologised, though she has certainly been given more than enough time.
Dear Ms Eugenie Scott,
I saw your lecture last Thursday in which, among other things, you boasted of the National Center for Science Education's role in prevention Al Gore's film being matched by children being allowed to experience a debate on the subject of alleged catastrophic global warming. By definition a debate, which is itself a balanced process, cannot on its own balance a one sided, indeed repeatedly untruthful lecture. However it would have ameliorated the situation since the children would not have been limited purely to Gore's proven lies.
I assume, since you are lecturing others on the warming scare you are an expert on the subject as well as on the principles of science. As such you must be aware that Mr Gore's film has been proven stuffed with indisputable lies. Clearly you will know that the promotion, indeed exclusive promotion, of indisputable lies is not consistent with any respect whatsoever for the principles of science. Nor does it fit any definition of "education" though it does count as propaganda. Your claim that the public should not be allowed to hear ideas not promoted by those in power, but only state lies, is a major part of the definition of Fascism.
I also publicly asked questions following your lecture.
Any theory, to be scientific, requires to be accepted as falsifiable by some evidence (this is accepted by all who understand science as you claim to), thus catastrophic warming must be falsifiable. So what would you accept as falsifying it. You could produce no such conditions (indeed the fact that Hansen's 1988 1 C rise prediction by now has not come true the theory would already have proven it false it were part of science). Thus attempting to enforce warming alarmism on children is inconsistent with any claim by the NCSE to be scientific.
You were also unable to name a single solitary scientist, anywhere in the world, who supports the catastrophic warming scare and is part of the majority of scientists who are not paid by the state. While, as an open fascist you are enthusiastic about promoting state propaganda, no matter how dishonest, it cannot be honestly denied that a "scientific consensus" cannot exist if none of these scientists are part of it. As such your continued repeating that there is a "consensus" on the subject, while knowing there none of these scientists in it proves you to be wholly, completely and totally dishonest...
I would also be interested to know if you can name any single creationist organisation or individual who has less than 1,000 times as much honesty, human decency and respect for scientific principle than your own Fascist organisation. If you cannot you clearly owe all creationists a public apology for implying some moral superiority over them by lying child abusing Fascists such as yourself
I await your confirmation that you intend to act. I believe I am also entitled to an apology for being lied to by you.
Will all due respect
* NCSE according to the organisers stands for National Center for Science Education but since they are absolutely opposed to the principles of science and far from supporting education, are resolutely opposed to it this cannot be true. A more factual use of their acronym is Nazi Child-Abusers for Suppression of Education.and I do not think any employee, donor or other person associated with it could dispute the proper title
Should any representative of the organisation wish to say anything with any factual basis (no obscenities or fact free ad homs) I am certainly prepared to publish it.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
A couple of interesting articles at Next Big Future here and here from Joseph Friedlander on Dr. Bruce Cordell 's theory, looking at Kondratieff waves, that we are due a major economic boom starting about 2012.
Kondratieff waves are a claimed regular (55 year cycle) of innovation. I don't take it as being that predictable. At best, if you watch natural waves coming in at the sea shore you will see that some waves are larger, some almost non-existent and some arrive a little earlier or later than expected. Nature, not being a machine, is more messy than we pattern forming folk living in a mechanical society are comfortable with.
Nonetheless there does seem to be validity to these cycles. Dr Cordell describes the cause as periods of enhanced ebullience, which he calls a Maslow window (after orbital launch windows - because if you miss they they are gone).
About twice per century over the last 200+ years there are extraordinary pulses of great explorations (e.g., Lewis and Clark) and macro-engineering projects (e.g., Panama Canal) that resonate around the world. These “Maslow Windows” are times of extraordinary affluence-induced ebullience similar to “animal spirits” theorized to drive business cycles by British economist John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. In response to ebullience, many in society ascend Maslow’s Hierarchy and, as their world view expands, find that great explorations and MEPs are not only intriguing, but seem momentarily irresistible. This captivating, but short-lived ebullience is triggered by major, twice-per-century economic booms over the last 200+ years that were first described by Kondratieff in the 1920s.
Purely personal and anecdotal but I do get the feeling that, popularly rather than governmentally, we are entering such a period. People are starting to be willing to optimistic scenarios - that we aren't expecting catastrophic warming; that new technologies can do amazing things; libertarianism - all of these are far more acceptable than even a couple of years ago as Ron Paul's success testifies. I remember the 1970s when the opposite was very much the case - as the success of Paul Ehrlich with his long list of transparently ridiculous disaster claims proved. Pournelle has talked of audiences drowning him out when he told them we weren't doomed, which is something one might expect them to be glad to hear.
Wouldn't take such cycles too far - if true China has been at the top of its own cycle for 30 years. But well worth watching. There certainly are more than enough new technologies available to provide real growth if we are allowed, or have the confidence to allow ourselves - space development; Moore's Law of computers actually speeding up*; GM crops; shale gas; nuclear power; modular building; "cold fusion"; seasteding - each of which has the potential to cause the equivalent of the industrial revolution.
Both of the articles are quite long and complicated and well worth the time. Here are a couple of comments I have added.
May I suggest that the cause of such cycles ending cannot be an inherent loss of investment resources since by definition the overall economy has grown in the growth phase. What could happen is that the parasites grow faster than the wealth creators. Historically that could be anything from ne4ighboiring tribes looting the cities of ancient Mesopotamia; the growth of an ever more useless and parasitic aristocracy under Louis XIV the Sun King; to the current state parasitism where tax takes about 50% of the economy and regulatory controls (nuclear regulations, housing restrictions, environmentalism etc) destroy at least 50% of the possible economy reducing what people really get to 25% of the optimum.
Modern governments can afford to extract more than barbarian hordes and absolute monarchs because there is so much more existing now but this in turn means that the potential for growth without the parasitism is very much greater than ever before. This growth in state parasitism may also explain what economists call the "productivity paradox" - that the doubling of computer capacity every 18 months has not improved growth rates (at least not in the "developed" countries though the number of countries achieving 10% annual growth is unprecedented elsewhere.
It may well be that success in a Maslow window attracts war.
A significant reason for British and French enmity to Germany before WW1 was that Germany's economy was growing faster than their's. Paradoxically this was also a reason for German enmity to Russia at the same rime since Russian industry was growing fast, albeit from a low rate. In WW2 a major cause of enmity towards the USSR was that it, during the 1920s & 30s, had a remarkable growth rate. Hitler in particular thought that if Germany didn't take Russia's resources (lebensraum) by the 1940s they would become a resource poor backwater (wrongly as post war history showed). The enmity between the northern and southern states of the USA in the 1850s was also fuelled by the disparate growth of the north.
On the question of whether war can have technologically beneficial results I think there is some reason to say yes. Governments waste enormous amounts of productive wealth during wars but they waste it during peace as well. The difference is when there is an existential threat to the state (ie a war more serious than Vietnam) government becomes willing to spend some of those resources on promoting innovation and that is enough. The common explanation for the US getting out of the Depression is wartime spending but if that, alone, were true then when the war was over it would have sunk back into an even deeper Depression. Instead the inventions and infrastructure built to stop the Wehrmacht marching up Pennsylvania Ave made everybody rich.
Compare the literally trillions Obama has put into "stimulus" projects, all of which has gone to cronies or old industries, with the refusal to put anything into X-prizes. 1% of that money put into prizes would have developed a lot of space industry by now and more than ended recession but, without an actual existential threat government has no incentive.
It was only when the USSR collapsed of its own governmental parasitism that the western governments fully adopted the current "environmental" Luddism which has brought us into the current recession - the competition of a rising China is thus good for humanity & probably the average US citizen
This links to Dr Cordell's site - again worth following.
* Finally here is Wikipedia on what is called the "Productivity Paradox" - that, at least in developed countries the massive increase in computer capacity (the Moore's Law doubling time of capacity now reduced to about a year) has not been accompanied by an increase in productivity. The obvious answer, which has escaped the official experts, being that this has allowed and been swallowed up by a matching increase in government parasitism. The possibilities, if we do not let government parasites steal this window from us are without parallel in human history. If we let them the possibility is comparably dire.
UPDATE Dr Cordell has put down a comment which I wish to add here:
"Just 2 brief points:
1) On the above comment, not all explorations that are great are "Great Explorations". Great Explorations always have an international audience that's riveted.
A classic example of an exploration that was great (but not a GE) was a Howard Hughes-like character of the 1800s named Clarence King. The Yale-educated socialite was friends with President Adams, a great explorer of the American West including exposing the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872, and the first director of the US Geological Survey (1879), and yet he is almost unknown today. Compare his celebrity with Dr. David Livingstone ("Dr. Livingstone I presume.") who explored during the mid-19th century Maslow Window and is still a minor pop culture icon even today.
2) I initially noticed that the Great Explorations, MEPs, and major wars lined up very well with the Stewart Energy Cycle (it was later that I noticed it also worked well with K-Waves etc.), which is a very well-documented societal energy use cycle that was discovered in 1989 by the prominent nuclear engineer Hugh B. Stewart. You can see the cycle in my ISDC presentation for 2011 -- http://21stcenturywaves.com/the-articles/ It's 3rd from the top on the page."
I assume the immense interest in space exploration from the Sputnik moment to the Moon landings, followed by coverage of later landings allegedly not displacing reruns of I Love Lucy as examples of lack of interest after the Maslow Window closes. Admittedly Sputnik and the Moon landings were more important but not that much so. This would suggest that another reason for the window closing, apart from increased (government) parasitism is that we humans just get bored with success. Such boredom doesn't make much sense but experience supports it. - Neil
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Alex Salmond has been righteously annoyed about a report Citicorp wrote to advise their investors whether to put their money into Scottish windfarms. In fact the report sticks rigidly to the investment opportunities of their clients and steers clear of the political question of what windmillery does to us punters.
That this can be considered controversial shows how unconcerned with economic, engineering or any other reality the Holyrood "consensus" is.
The starting point of the report is that both England and Germany can get power far cheaper (essentially French nuclear) than Scotland will ever be able to sell it at and then question whether they will, for political reasons, buy it anyway. They skip that wind is so variable that it can provide no part of baseload (as Scottish Renewables have acknowledged) or that, because of that intermittency, Scotland will be the one dependent on electricity from (or via) England. For obvious reasons, even were price not a factor, most customers would prefer reliable rather than intermittent supplies
Ignoring the fact that wind power is intermittent is proper for the report if the only consideration is their client's revenue as it should be - Holyrood is where the Scottish people's wellbeing should be considered - and if they can be certain these countries will pay the full price for intermittent power even at times of low demand when they don't need it. This latter assumes a triumph of politics over reality which may or may not be justified..
Last December only 0.2% of UK power came from wind and a wind powered Scotland would have needed massive supplies, indeed larger supplies than the interconnector can handle and probably much larger than England, if it were also depending on wind, would have had spare, to keep lights and heating on. This is not a consideration for Citicorp but it should be for Holyrood.
Citicorp's question is who will pay the massiver promised subsidies in the event that Scotland ceases to be part of the UK. They accept that Scotland can't. Their 3 questions are whether, if we become "independent" England will continue to subsidise the windfarms already built; whether they will subsidise as many new ones as Scotland authorises; and whether this can be guaranteed for the next 25 years. Alex may decry them asking this but it is an obvious doubt.
In fact their answer to the three questions assumes a new English government would sign up to this & is only doubtful on the 3rd part. I find that optimistic but even so my understanding is that "no Parliament can bind its successor" so that the answer to the last has to be No whatever the Parliament of the moment says. What Parliament, 10 years from now, when everybody realises how useless windmills are (or is that 6 months from now) is going to feel bound to pay billions to a foreign country, who no longer has any votes in that Parliament?
Without subsidies, indeed massive subsidies, even wind turbines already built aren't worth keeping running which is why 14,000 of them already stand, abandoned, in the US. I hope Citicorp's customers know that because it is a question "renewables investors" in Spain are already facing as that country decides it can no longer afford to pay enough for it to be profitable for an "investor" to invest in running a searchlight all night to keep his solar power cells producing.
Anybody, anywhere in the world relying on governments being elected keen to pour tens of billions into subsidising windmills, for the next 25 years, either has more faith in the promised impending catastrophic warming becoming highly visible or in the electors not rebelling, than I. To rely on the electorates being willing to fork out to help what would be a foreign country seems even more disconnected from reality..
What this whole episode reveals is that independence is not being treated as a serious issue but merely a standard to wave. A party seriously committed to independence would be able to tell us what currency we would have. A party seriously committed to independence would not be making Scotland totally dependent on England to keep the lights on, if we are lucky. A party seriously interested in independence would not be relying on continuing to receive billions in subsidy after independence.
On non wconomic matters, a party seriously interested in independence would have some idea of what its future constitution would be - even something as simple as would Scotland be one of the very few countries with a unicameral legislature and power in the hands of the Prime/First minister rather than a President. A party seriously interested in independence would have come up with some serious plans for the state broadcasting organisation. A party suggesting a willingness to compromise on "devo-max" would even be able to say what it was. The refusal to consider these matters suggests they aren't serious and the failure of the other parties to bring them up suggests they also are merely engaged in kabuki theatre.
I suspect there is nobody more worried about Alex Salmond winning the independence referendum than Alex Salmond. What on Earth would he do then?
The role of the SNP has always been to threaten to throw their toys out of the pram if Westminster doesn't give them more, which is not something a country should be proud of, and something very destructive of Scotland's sense of self reliance, as we can see.
If Scotland's political class continue to act as if politics is simply the art of extracting subsidy we may get a Czechoslovak solution. When the Wall came down the Slovak political class metamorphosed into Slovak nationalists, calling for independence but willing to accept more subsidy instead. The Slovaks voted for them on that basis and the Czech leaders forced them to live up to their promises by "letting them go" without a referendum which would certainly not have secured a majority.
Polls in England show a minority but a growing minority there in favour of Scots independence and a Czechoslovak solution is no longer an impossibility. But what would the SNP, or indeed any of the other parties, for this is very much a race to the bottom, do then?
I should also point out that the shock of being thrown in at the deep end prompted the Slovaks, long considered a stronghold of old fashioned socialism, to embrace the free market more enthusiastically than their neighbours and have, consequently, prospered. Independence would certainly force us, sooner or later, to acknowledge reality but would any of our current political institutions acknowledge it before national bankruptcy?
I personally would prefer to remain part of Britain. Britain is, still, one of the world's important countries while Scotland, however successful, won't be Scotland's role in world history, as great a role per capita as any people apart, possibly, from the Jews, is virtually all within the Union.
Size is not related to running a successful economy. China, the world's largest country is growing at 10% annually, Singapore, one of the smallest, at 14%. India was one of the slowest and now one of the fastest growing without gaining or losing an acre. An independent Scotland, or a Scotland within the Union could easily be the richest or the poorest part of the British Isles. The relevant factor is having competent government and Alex Salmond, attacking Citicorp for, only partially discussing reality, shows what the real problem is.
A recent poll which shows that 2/3rds of us would choose independence if it were worth £500 a year and only 1/5th if it cost £500 shows that for most people the economy is indeed of far more importance. What I would choose is a federal UK with sufficient fiscal autonomy that Holyrood would be visibly to blame for economic idiocies and visibly rewarded for allowing the economy to grow. Even so it might take a couple of elections for a party committed to competence to appear or evolve.
A Federal system encourages good government because the well run parts provide a good example and the badly run bits an 'orrible warning (this is feedback, vital to any dynamic system, in politics as much as engineering). It has largely worked for the US and could for Britain.
If the SNP were serious about "independence" they would welcome Citicorp pointing out what they had apparently not noticed - that we would have to be able to keep the lights on without foreign subsidy.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Almost 80 percent of Egyptian Muslims in nine provinces voted for radical Islamist parties in the second round of Egypt’s election. Roughly 5 percent voted for a moderate Islamic party and about 15 percent voted for liberal parties.Me neither.I think I keep a pretty good idea on the news but had no idea that the Islamic Brotherhood were getting around 80% of the vote.That is and ought to be worrying for anybody who approves of democracy and freedom as principles or even who just wants to live in a peaceful world.
That says it all. In the overall vote — that is, including the Christian voters — 70 percent supported radical Islamists, 47 percent (4 million) supported the Muslim Brotherhood (86 of 180 available seats so far; they might win more), and 32 percent were for the Salafists (3.2 million; the Washington Post seriously underestimated their votes).
The liberal (but not overtly anti-Islamist) Wafd won 1 million; the liberal Egyptian Bloc won almost 800,000; and the moderate Islamic Wasat Party got 370,000.
Incidentally, the vice-chairman of the Wafd said in an interview last July that the U.S. government carried out the September 11 attacks and Anne Frank’s diary was a fake. At least he doesn’t like Iran, though he thinks it is right about the Holocaust being phony. And he’s the liberal...
Egyptians and foreign observers now have two choices: face reality or retreat into comfortable fantasies about moderate Islamists. The Christian population cannot afford to engage in fantasies so it is increasingly fleeing, as documented by Lucette Lagnado in a moving, detailed article on Coptic refugees in the United States.
One might wonder what the diplomats; the great and genocidal; government experts; and all those politicians we are expected to trust to know what they are doing think about it.
The answer is Nothing. If you think we are kept ignorant by the government, the government is even more eager to keep itself ignorant.
As the article's author points out the government has specifically banned this article from the websites it uses to "inform" its own "experts" on the grounds that mentioning the victory of a party with at least significant neo-Nazi views is encouraging hate. It seems certain this is merely the tip of the iceberg of censorship going on there.
I presume the BBC and the rest of the "responsible" media have adopted a similar, though perhaps slightly less firm, line.
The practical, as opposed to principled, objection to big brother style censorship is that it prevents even the dictators learning the truth. So long as even those in charge can't find out what is going on they can't do anything to improve things even if they wanted to.
I have limited interest in how Egypt runs itself, just so long as it doesn't attack other countries. However attempts at the adoption of full scale totalitarian fascism in Britain concerns me greatly.
That this is not alone and that the alleged concern about ethnic niceness is being used to suppress free speech & promote fascism widely in Britain is shown by the recent imprisonment of 17 year old Stephen Birrell as part of the equally evil and equally stupid SNP campaign against free speech. He is, by any normal definition of the term, a political prisoner and has thus earned the support of both Rangers and Celtic fan groups.
It takes a particularly high degree of ineptitude, blinkered devotion to censorship and hyhypocrisy to unite both the practitioners of free speech and its alleged victims in opposition to our leader's inept fascism.
The more we accept the idea that the state should curb harmful and offensive language, the further we retreat from Mill’s plea to protect free speech even when we find words distressing. Mill’s suggestion that adults should be free to say whatever they want, short of causing harm, meant something in societies that defined harm in physical rather than psychological terms and that judged humans as capable of making that distinction.
The society we live in today is very different. A newspaper editor, reacting to my objections to the new laws, recently pointed out to me that Mill and Voltaire are long dead.
Monday, January 09, 2012
On 28th November I sent an FoI Enquiry to SEPA asking for information on
"Assuming SEPA have been running your investigation into alleged manmade radioactivity at Dalgety Bay in the proper scientific manner the very first thing you must have done is to determine the number of aircraft destroyed at that beach; weight of paint required to paint the numbers on each of the dials in such aircraft; and the proportion of paint that consists of radium ...
Secondly, since any serious scientific investigation of substances requires a control example you must have carried out a similar investigation into the radioactivity level of a comparable and presumably adjoining beach"
Unsurprisingly the answer provided no answer to these. However it does answer the questions of whether SEPA have even attempted to answer these and therefore whether it is even possible for SEPA to have been engaged in a scientific procedure. No and No.
"SEPA is considering these aspects as part of our investigation; however precise data is not available"If SEPA has no precise data on the maximum possible contamination and has made no serious attempt to obtain such data it simply is not engaged in a scientific investigation and is not capable of making any honest assessment pf the site. The answer implies but doe not say, that the MoD have refused to provide the data. The MoD have claimed to be co-operating with this inquiry so one or other is lying. My bet is that it is SEPA but we will see.
"when monitoring for background (control) can be on an area of the site itself",
"SEPA does not hold data on the rate of man hours per particle"
The "control" area being the site itself is clearly nonsense. Warming alarmist claims that we had a particularly warm October depend on looking at previous Octobers. Not even they would say that this October was the warmest October for 11 months. SEPA clearly aspire to being far less scientific than even them.
If they have no idea how much time has been put into searching for particles (a particle being merely a clump of rock/soil which is significantly more radioactive than the others and random variation is bound to produce a large number of them, then they can have no idea whether such clumps are more, or less, common than elsewhere, though obviously since the average Aberdeen street is more than 50% more radioactive random chance would produce many more clumps of greater radioactivity there.
SEPA have said that unless the MoD ponies up an unspecified amount of money to take action they resolutely refuse to specify, to prevent a "threat" they are unwilling or unable to produce evidence for, within 3 months (ie at the end of January or early Feb) they will designate the land a "radiation hazard" despite there being no evidence whatsoever that it is more "hazardous" than any other similar piece of land and is agreed as being less radioactive than some. SEPA will do this on the basis that they do not need evidence and "It will not change its mind".
They have been given the power to ruin this (or any other) thriving community anytime they want, without any scientific justification and this corrupt, lying, entirely parasitic bureaucracy intend to have their fun.
And neither the local MP, whose legal duty is to his constituents, nor any other elected politician is willing to stand up for the people.
In response to your recent reply to my FoI on Dalgety Bay I would like, under the same rules, to ask for clarification.
Your answer on the first point - what is the theoretical maximum amount of radiation present - implies that the MoD have refused to supply data they must have known. The Mod, however, have said they have co-operated with you. I would therefore like to see a copy of the communication from the MoD refusing this reasonable request - assuming it exists.
I would also like to know what "imprecise" estimate you have been using for all this time and what it was based on?
Since SEPA decline to give even an imprecise estimate of how much effort has been put into this does SEPA accept that the average square mile of land, to a depth of 1 foot, would yield 9 tons or uranium and thorium and 1 gram, vastly more than you have actually found - if SEPA were to put enough effort into searching for it. Obviously much more if it were done in any Aberdeen which is the closest thing SEPA have produced to a control area.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Recent Reading - Philosophy More Than Actions
"United States published 10,481 scientific papers that were frequently cited, while the entire Arab world published only four"
Scary considering the Islamic immigration of Europe.
Frank Furedi on how the "leftist" Luddites are stealing the term "progressive" - having already stolen and debased so many other terms like "liberalism", ""socialism", "science", "environmental", "sustainable", "equality", "freedom" etc etc.
Video of "peaceful protest" to promote their "ideas" by the Occupy thugs.
Some laws of Systemantics
The Primal Scenario or Basic Datum of Experience: Systems in general work poorly or not at all. (Complicated systems seldom exceed five percent efficiency.) etc
No system works well. The bigger the are the worse they work.
The same as above as seriously applied to science. H/T Charles Crawford
New Year’s Resolutions For Climate Scientists by Steven Goddard
I will admit that warming has been much slower than we expected etc
They never will.
!982 article on how the De Beers diamond monopoly and Madison Avenue kept up the price of diamonds. Apparently no De Beers senior executive had, then, for 40 years, set foot in the USA to avoid being questioned under anti-trust laws. H/T Steve Sailer
Dan Hannan on how the ONLY remaining argument for staying in the EU is that otherwise we might become like Norway or Switzerland - the 2 richest countries on the continent.
Me on Pournelle's
Health Care as a Social Concern
When it comes to infectious diseases we are not individuals. We are all vectors in the disease pool. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the growth of cities which have always been pools for infectious diseases. I suspect this is not unrelated to the growth of welfare states, from Bismarck’s to Roosevelt’s at the time. Nobody, no matter how libertarian, says people in cities should be free to store shit in our apartments. The great Victorian public sanitation systems were carried out by city governments run by unrepentant capitalists.
For the long term i.e. decades not presidential terms, the important fact is that infectious diseases are no longer serious killers (with the possible exception of AIDS) but diseases of age and lifestyle to which we react as individuals not vectors. This means that much of the social basis for welfare is gone.
In some ways I regret this. As a society we are far richer than the Founders could imagine & we can afford to look after people to an extent they couldn’t.