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catallaxy in technical exile

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The Austrian Economists, desperate for readership, have played the SEX card.

David McKnight at Beyond Left and Right has finally got around to putting up some new stuff with a predictable slant in the direction of the tendentious. He is excited about the so-called split on the so-called right between free traders and cultural conservatives. Actually there is not really a division between people who support free trade and people who support humane and civilised values. The real division is between people who see free trade as an essential adjunct to civilised values and those who think that Governments should support special interests to do other people down and incidentally undermine the freedom and vitality of society.

Crikey awarded Nicholas Gruen the gong for blog of the year,with honourable mention to Larvatus, Tim Blair and Professor Bunyip. I wonder about the readership at Troppo, the discussion threads are very short but I think the very quality of the Gruen posts tends to leave nothing more to be said. Anyway that is my explanation for posts of mine that draw no comments.

Chris Berg has been sending messages from Hong Kong and Beijing with news of the WTO proceedings and associated street theatre.

There were an enormous amount of cops, armed with big roman-style shields, little hoplite-style shields, and big computer-game-style shotguns. And, apparently, pepper spray. But none of it mattered, because, apart from the intimidatory tactics by the Hong Kong police, nothing happened. The police drew a line just off the beach, about 1km from the convention centre itself, and the protest was unable to pass that line. While the media I have seen has reported a few skirmishes, it has massively overplayed the extent of the violence. Nothing happened.

Its funny watching the protest following media in action. The front line of any protest would be 1/3rd protesters, 2/3rds cameramen. Its easy to tell whenever something happens – a sea of cameras rise above the crowd. This creates most of the drama – flash-bulbs, rather than pepper-spray. Oh, and the incessant drums played by the protesters provide an fantastically ominious soundtrack, taunting you with the possibility of action.

David Friedman has posted an idea for a research project to estimate the rate of bad court decisions that send innocent people to prison (or worse). On the topic of research, he has provided a link to data on water use in New York in case anyone wants to explore the possible reasons for the reduced use in recent times.

On the low-flow toilet issue: New York City has enjoyed a precipitous decline in per capita water use since the high in the 1980s. If I recall correctly, both low flow regulations and water use fees were introduced around the same time, so this probably complicates the situation too much to allow you to draw any conclusions from the data without much more information, but perhaps somehow the contribution from the regulations could be isolated.


Written by Admin

December 22, 2005 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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