Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. So, from the government’s point of view, is there no important difference between a person without a child and couple with a child(ren)?
  2. A book noted, which I guess touches on evolution quite a bit.
  3. Song.
  4. Civil war or not? Does it matter?
  5. The nut for the GOP to crack.
  6. No. It’s not a “war crime”, or OK, maybe it’s a “war crime” (with scare quotes) but doesn’t rise to the level of war crime.
  7. So, do  you want to buy some? It’s real good shit, man. (literally)
  8. So, defenders. Do you want to cite some actual Washington venture capital successes?
  9. The innumerate candidate. It was a tie, move on, ever hear of error bars, eh?
  10. Ms Jolie’s new film and the land it portrays.
  11. You know, at the beginning of the concert when they announce “turn your cell phones off” that doesn’t mean “put it in airplane mode” and now you know why.
  12. Global warming silliness. Which brought a consideration to mind, it occurs to me that the AGW alarmists really think that the issue isn’t just a demographic shift moving peoples about as areas of arable land shift about on the planet, but that they think that human life on the planet is in jeopardy. That’s just nonsense. I wonder if they realize that.
  13. That high risk pool, bad numbers on both ends.

8 responses to “Monday Highlights

  1. 1.So, from the government’s point of view, is there no important difference between a person without a child and couple with a child(ren)?

    I wasn’t aware that the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board was a Branch of Government. Perhaps you’d be polite enough to wait for Romney to actually win the election before you declare it so.

  2. Which brought a consideration to mind, it occurs to me that the AGW alarmists really think that the issue isn’t just a demographic shift moving peoples about as areas of arable land shift about on the planet…

    Are you freaking serious? I mean let’s just suppose you turned the world’s most fertile land areas into deserts but at the same time turned deserts into equally fertile land. The impact could be nicely summed up as a ‘demographic shift’ but the reality would probably be that such a shift would leave tens of millions of people dead.

    I suppose it may not cause the extinction of human life on earth. It’s nice to know where you set the bar. We suspect that at some point in human history, humanity got to a nasty bottleneck where there were less than 10,000 individuals on the planet. It’s nice to know humanity might not go extinct if our population dropped by 5,999,990,000 people or so, I wouldn’t set the bar there though.

  3. 2.A book noted, which I guess touches on evolution quite a bit.

    not sure I’d agree his ‘thesis 6′ says anything about the validity of Christian thinking. If random mutations do not contradict Christian thinking, nor would abiogensis (the creation of life from non-living matter as a result of purely natural laws of physics and chemistry).

    The error, I think, is in assuming a dichatomy between the laws of nature and the laws of God….as if the laws of nature were some other thing that God needs to ‘set on pause’ if he wanted to accomplish something. This would seem to be an error….thinking that God would be limited because our imaginary version of God must be limited by definition. This leads to a false choice of either the first living thing(s) came into existence on earth either due to God directly suspending the laws of nature, or there is no God and the laws of nature just generate living things provided you get the right amounts and types of matter and time together in one place.

  4. 8.So, defenders. Do you want to cite some actual Washington venture capital successes?

    Why then do you defend special tax breaks and subsidies for oil companies? Hmmmm…

    Anyway, I’ll cite the Internet as one major success. I’ll also cite the land grants that opened up the country to settlement in the 1800’s.

  5. Boonton,
    I am “freaking serious”. If what your concerned about is that if CO2 increases that overall biological capacity of the planet is increased, more crops/stuff can be grown, but that the particular regions in which it grows will change from where they are now. People over the next centuries will find it advantageous to move. Then you are panicking over nothing.

    The impact could be nicely summed up as a ‘demographic shift’ but the reality would probably be that such a shift would leave tens of millions of people dead.

    We’re talking a move that has to be done in 40 to 100 years. Nobody’s starving. It would leave “tens of millions dead” because of the same evil that left those tens of millions dead in WWII, i.e., human.

  6. If what your concerned about is that if CO2 increases that overall biological capacity of the planet is increased, more crops/stuff can be grown, but that the particular regions in which it grows will change from where they are now. People over the next centuries will find it advantageous to move.

    Let’s just say that North America became as desolate for growing crops as North Africa, but in exchange North Africa suddenly got 150% more fertile than North America. By your reckoning this is all for the better. But no its not, all the people and capital (physical, human and social) is in North America. The capital in North Africa is nearly zero and in some ways is probably negative (consider the political climate). If this happened, maybe in the very long run it would be a positive for humanity but long run meaning a period of time that could be centuries long. In the short run it would be a diaster.

    We’re talking a move that has to be done in 40 to 100 years. Nobody’s starving. It would leave “tens of millions dead” because of the same evil that left those tens of millions dead in WWII, i.e., human.

    You’re assuming that this complex system will just happen to make all its moves in a gradual enough way to accomodate human sociology. Where, pray tell, do you justify that assumption?

  7. Boonton,

    Let’s just say that North America became as desolate for growing crops as North Africa, but in exchange North Africa suddenly got 150% more fertile than North America.

    Lost in that is that arable land globally will increase and plants will in general grow more. So, a more likely scenario (in North America) would not be that all of North America became desert .. but that the North American desert areas might shift, but at the same time southern temperate (rainy) areas would get a bit more like tropical and that the Northern parts of of the continent would be available for crops that normally would grow further South (and that parts of Canada for example, which can’t sustain crops now but might be able to if the clime was warmer. So to be glib, Georgia becomes more like Brazil and North Dakota like Kansas in climate. Millions dead. I don’t see it.

    You’re assuming that this complex system will just happen to make all its moves in a gradual enough way to accomodate human sociology. Where, pray tell, do you justify that assumption?

    From the GW believers. Ever single graph I’ve seen predicts a gradual increase … not that we’ll be constant for 40 more years and suddenly have a 3 degree shift. Can you show me someone who is predicting that?

  8. I think what you’re missing is the fact that capital and labor simply does not shift around the globe without friction (capital here means real capital, not electronic currency transfers which is better termed as ‘finance’). Even something ‘simple’ like reducing growable land in America’s bread basket and transferring it to Canada entails serious movement and destruction of real capital. This is why I gave you the extreme hypothetical of imagining North Africa getting not all of America’s growing power, but 150% of America’s growing power. That 50% increase is unlikely to offset the massive costs to capital being destroyed. The net result will likely be a long period of decreased production before the new areas are exploited at the ‘old rates of efficiency’ and the expanded areas can be enjoyed.

    So let’s ask ourselves, would it make sense to agree to an offer of ‘help’ from space aliens who could, at a push of the button, trade North America’s growing power with North Africa and provide a 50% or even 100% boost? The answer is probably not. The enjoyment of the boost will likely be multiple decades out while the cost of suddenly making massive amounts of capital and labor useless is born immediately. I don’t know if you ever covered present value calculations in a finance class but if you did you should see immediately what I’m talking about. Such a proposal would probably have a net present cost to us in the trillions of dollars. That means not only is it a bad deal, it would even make sense to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to avoid the deal!

    From the GW believers. Ever single graph I’ve seen predicts a gradual increase … not that we’ll be constant for 40 more years and suddenly have a 3 degree shift. Can you show me someone who is predicting that?

    I suggest you figure out what your story is and try to stick to it. Are GW models unreliable because they don’t take into account just how chaotic the climate really is? If that’s your story you can’t turn around and count on a ‘gradual’ shift because its what comes out of GW models. Or are the models reliable and we should consider the ‘gradual’ 40 yr shift real?

    If you choose the latter, then there’s a very real problem that in terms of human civilization 40 years is not a very long time. Hitting the NE with 3 times the amount of hurricanes, for example, will likely incur hundreds of billions of dollars in costs. Yes maybe it will become possible to build the equilivant of New York City in areas that were previously not worth the effort, but NYC2 will not be built in 40 years nor is increasing potential food supply 10% or 20% on net necessarily a giant boon when you consider al things.

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