catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Open Forum 1/12/06

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Written by Admin

December 1, 2006 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

69 Responses

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  1. The fecking Supreme Court Year is over, my chambers looks like a tip (major cleaning job for next week) and I’m currently working my way through a nice bottle of chianti.

    Life is good.

    skepticlawyer

    December 1, 2006 at 9:58 pm

  2. Jason, I can’t see any of your comments, despite what the plugin is telling me. What the feck is going on?

    skepticlawyer

    December 1, 2006 at 10:50 pm

  3. Mayne’s a shit head, but no ones deserves to get beaten up for that.

    Anyone know what caused it?

    It’s interesting how Mayne didn’t stand his ground though. He didn’t have to fight him, all he had to do was not run off like that as it made him look like a coward. Pathetic.

    JC.

    December 1, 2006 at 11:01 pm

  4. wrong thread.

    JC.

    December 1, 2006 at 11:02 pm

  5. My favorite ARC story – a grant into medieval Icelandic poetry – is replayed in today’s Australian. I thought I was the only person who thought it an outrage.

    In 2002, one academic was granted $600,000 to produce editions of Old Norse poetry

    whole story http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20876,20836160-5001986,00.html

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 2, 2006 at 7:13 am

  6. The EU just conned Switzerland into paying $1B pa to be able to free trade

    http://stefanmikarlsson.blogspot.com/2006/11/eu-blackmails-switzerland-for-billion.html

    rog

    December 2, 2006 at 7:44 am

  7. I have a lot of time for Arnold Kling – I think he’s a smart guy. He makes a mistake that I think many libertarians make – he’s ambivalent on democracy. Now I’m sure he’s doesn’t want to live in a dictatorship, but that’s not what I mean. Similar comments were made over at the Shock+Horror thread at the ALS.

    At TCS, http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=102406A , he says

    [Political leaders] are selected by a very unreliable process.

    But what does this mean? Sure we get ever-increasing government – but is that a function of the choice mechanism? Are we getting the wrong sort of people elected? Sure there are not enough libertarians in parliament, but that failure is our inability to convince voters.

    Kling does say that democracy works well in riding us of government we don’t like. True. But it also works well in aggregating preferences (Hayek makes this point). The expansion of government is our failure to create binding constraints on government action, not the democratic process itself.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 2, 2006 at 7:59 am

  8. here is the recent paper that suggests we got some genes for brain development from the Neanderthals
    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0606966103v1.pdf
    see here as well
    http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2006/11/are-most-of-us-bit-neanderthal.html
    This is far too speculatve for me to make into a post but here are some ideas about what happened
    1) the Neanderthals had bigger brains than us. But they didn’t develop as sophisticated a civilisation. My guess is that this is because their speech was underdeveloped – they had vocal cords and there are some studies which suggests Neanderthals and homo sapiens had much better developed vocal cords than other primates but it’s all relative. I think they just didn’t have speech as sophisticated as us because our vocal cords were much better developed.
    2) It is this speech advantage which gave us a head start despite our smaller brains relative to the Neanderthals. It allowed for cultural transmission possibilities which multiplied the collective intelligence of homo sapiens. It allowed for the development of Machiavellian/social intelligence. Unfortunately these things carry handicaps which can also prove self-destructive. Look at all the energy homo sapiens waste on social and emotional crap, being polite and double faced, etc. The Neanderthals had less of this. My guess is their big brained less social intelligence civilisation is what civilisation would look like if it were made up of high functioning Aspergers’ people.
    3) then there was interbreeding as the paper linked to suggests, resulting in us picking up on some of this big Neanderthal brain development in our genes. The rest is history.

    Jason Soon

    December 2, 2006 at 8:35 am

  9. Sinclair Davidson [post 5]

    Twenty years ago, my wife (an ex-servicewoman) and I went to the United States to look at programs for the resettlement and reintegration of Viet-Nam War veterans. Worthwhile trip. Saw something of the Small Business Administration’s encouragement of veterans to start up their own businesses; the Emergency Veterans’ Job Training Project; various state programs for veterans; shop-front and outreach work for homeless and incarcerated veterans; the business mentoring Vietnam Veterans’ Leadership Program; etc., etc.

    All good stuff which could be applied, with minor modification, for the benefit of veterans and for the reduction of veterans’ affairs costs here in Australia. I sent a heap of the stuff I gathered along the way to DVA, RSL, etc.

    Naturally, I could not get any funding at all for such a trip. Apart from the hospitality of American veterans’ organizations, every cent of the cost of that project came out of my own pocket.

    I now see my error: I should have applied for a grant to study XII and XII Dynasty Ancient Egyptian Toe-Nail Picking and sneaked in a look or two at all these veterans’ programs while I was on the “study?” trip. We would have travelled all the way in the pointy end of the aircraft, stayed in five-star hotels, dined in well-known restaurants and been wafted hither-and-yon in stretch limos. I’ve learnt my lesson. Next time ……..

    Graham Bell

    December 2, 2006 at 9:19 am

  10. LOL. Your chances would be enhanced if you were to investigate power relationships and gender inequality in Ancient Egyptian Toe-Nail Picking. 🙂

    In fairness to the ARC, while they have funded a lot of crap, I have had relative success there (begging the question, of course). At the margin, however, I’m not convinced they add value.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 2, 2006 at 10:13 am

  11. If people at universities follow the rules they will never travel business class. I have both ARC and industrial funding but regardless how much money I have, I cannot use it for business class travel (unless I am an executive dean).

    However there is no strict restriction on hotel class.

    Boris

    December 2, 2006 at 12:56 pm

  12. “Naturally, I could not get any funding at all for such a trip. ”

    Did you apply to ARC?

    Boris

    December 2, 2006 at 12:57 pm

  13. “The expansion of government is our failure to create binding constraints on government action, not the democratic process itself.”

    Bravo, Sinclair. Too many libertarian-minded people don’t recognise this.

    fatfingers

    December 2, 2006 at 1:04 pm

  14. the expansion of government is a very natural state of affairs

    as the government provides more services they are less accountable for the services they already providing

    i think this is one of the reasons politicians are driven to increase the size of the government

    drscroogemcduck

    December 2, 2006 at 1:51 pm

  15. If people at universities follow the rules they will never travel business class.

    I get upgraded a lot, so I often in Business Class. My brother-in-law, who is in the air-force, is only allowed to travel Business Class.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 2, 2006 at 2:50 pm

  16. One can get upgraded even when travelling on your pocket money. I used to get upgraded but for some reason not in the last 3 years. Seems like Qantas has tightened it up. And the points needed for upgrades are massive.

    Boris

    December 2, 2006 at 4:21 pm

  17. You thought you only got nightmares as a kid. Read this extract taken from the Belmont club blog and start to feel a little scared.

    The real shite hits the fan when terro groups start arminmg themselves with this stuff. Three BA planes have been contaminated.

    see link: http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/

    The Second Man
    The man Alexander Litvinenko met at a London sushi bar has been taken to the hospital to be treated for polonium 410 poisoning. According to the Times of London:

    ——————————————————————————–

    Police fear that the murder of a former Kremlin spy may have been part of a double killing plot after a second man was taken to hospital last night with radiation poisoning. The Anti-Terror Group is examining whether the killers of Alexander Litvinenko also tried to poison Mario Scaramella, an Italian security expert who met the Russian exile on the day that he fell ill.

    Toxicologists confirmed yesterday that Mr Scaramella had also been contaminated by a “significant” amount of deadly polonium-210. The level leads them to suspect that it was more than he could have ingested from simple physical contact with Litvinenko.

    In the meantime, at least three BA wide-bodied jets have been grounded for forensic testing after traces of radiation were found on aircraft plying the London-Moscow route. Thousands of passengers are being contacted to tell them of their risk. The airline is taking a significant financial hit because of these activities. And whether or not the Russian secret service is behind this, terrorists the world over are beginning to learn how destructive radiological contamination can be to the West.

    JC.

    December 2, 2006 at 6:01 pm

  18. What worries me is just how much of this Polonium 210 may be floating around… and who’s got it. Like something out of James Bond, only nastier.

    skepticlawyer

    December 2, 2006 at 8:13 pm

  19. LP fruitloopery watch: blogger hopelessly bested in argument by GregM (again), threatens legal action, deletes comment, thread shut down.

    C.L.

    December 2, 2006 at 8:33 pm

  20. Goodness me. Why would you get involved in a blog debate if you were then going to threaten to sue?

    Anyway, google has a cache.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 2, 2006 at 8:58 pm

  21. Oh dear. I had a bad feeling about that thread the other night when I checked in on it on your account, CL. My view hasn’t changed.

    Frankly, Graham Bell and Greg M are probably the only two who can legitimately as well as intelligently comment on the issue raised in that thread. The original thread author should have steered well clear of something about which she clearly knew very little. She was exposed very quickly, and the thread was left to limp along and decend into particularly nasty personal abuse.

    I didn’t know Peter Kemp was a lawyer, though. When there are lawyers about, it’s best to refrain from nasty snarks – you’ll finish up paying for it, otherwise. I wish he’d told everyone at LP upfront, though. One of the reasons for my nic is to let everyone know exactly where they sit in relation to me.

    We’re all still learning, I guess.

    skepticlawyer

    December 2, 2006 at 9:01 pm

  22. Peter Kemp is a persnickety bamboozler who also blogs on Leftwrites.

    Jason Soon

    December 2, 2006 at 9:11 pm

  23. If that’s the case, I bet he doesn’t work in commercial or property law.

    skepticlawyer

    December 2, 2006 at 9:26 pm

  24. SL, GregM is also a lawyer and I suspect the deleted comment probably merely questioned Peter’s legal competence in so complex a subject as international law and the history of Vietnam – about which GregM at least is obviously very knowledgeable. International law for Peter is nothing more than the polemical, if not jurisprudential, Trojan Horse for mobilising his hatred of both the United States and Israel.

    C.L.

    December 2, 2006 at 9:36 pm

  25. International ‘law’? Now I’m sounding like a real positivist…

    skepticlawyer

    December 2, 2006 at 10:06 pm

  26. I think one of the reasons governments keep growing is because if a new social issue emerges (or becomes topical) it may take a longer time to organise solutions via the private sector or civil society. And so long as the government is making noices that it may act there is a big disincentive to initiating any alternative.

    In NSW the state government is planning to deploy a Wi-Fi style solution to cover the whole CBD by 2008. I am guessing it will be based on Wi-Max and they are saying it will be free. In other words if you’re in the private sector and you were thinking of building such a network you now know that you should not bother.

    terjepetersen

    December 2, 2006 at 10:09 pm

  27. google it, it is a good post.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 2, 2006 at 10:23 pm

  28. Here it is. It’s not defamatory:

    Peter, nothing on your potted CV on LP indicates that you have any legal training and nothing you have ever written indicates that you understand legal method or the basics of contract law, or from a previous thread, the relationship between international treaties and municipal law, the role of courts in applying municipal law, the canons of statutory interpretation, how to read case law, the difference between criminal law (with its presumption of innocence) and administrative law etc, etc, etc.

    I made that observation as a legally qualified person. Nothing you have written on this thread leads me to change that view. I cannot conceive that even our worst law school could have so failed in its training as to leave you with such a total lack of understanding of just about every element of law that you seek to discuss. I don’t disrespect you for your lack of elementary legal knowledge. Not all of us get the chances in life that we would like to. However so much of what you write is so risible that I cannot help responding to it for my amusement and that of Rob and others. Why you continue to write on legal issues that are well outside your understanding is a complete mystery to me. What is the point of it?

    One other thing; I corrected my error on summary executions and I am quite correct on what I wrote about the presumption of innocence. You however never seem able to correct even the most elementary errors, and there are plenty of them, that you make. Why is that? Sad really.

    skepticlawyer

    December 2, 2006 at 10:44 pm

  29. I started to watch the last episode of The Glasshouse but could not stand the pain after about four minutes, or just into the second stanza. Interesting but!

    Rafe Champion

    December 2, 2006 at 11:33 pm

  30. Saw an ABC ad tonight for tomorrow evening’s ‘My Favourite Album’ with Myf Warhurst. Various famous Aussies were being vox popped about their favourite record whereupon Bomber Beazley and his wife were asked the big question – at some public function or other they were attending. Kim looked dumbstruck and passed the question to his wife. “You know”, she said to hubbie. Kim still looked discombobulated. Finally, his Mrs had to asnwer for him: “You Can Leave Your Hat On”, at which Kim guffawed in the Bomber fashion.

    Christopher Pearson pointed out today that Beazley’s opening salvos in Question Time on Thursday were not actually based on – or cognisant of – the conclusions of the Cole report. Downer slam-dunked the questions because they were absurd. Rudd’s question had the nuance that made sense of the post-Cole accountability angle. I also saw some news footage tonight re the leadership challenge. Beazley looked unwell to me, weight loss or no. I’d say Rudd is going to win on Monday and I wouldn’t be surprised if further information comes out about Beazley’s health.

    I hope he’s OK because he’s a good human being but he doesn’t really seem to be switched on.

    C.L.

    December 2, 2006 at 11:51 pm

  31. Sheesh, the way you put those incidents together like that makes it sound horrible, CL. I certainly hope the ‘not being switched on’ isn’t related to his health problem. That would be terrible.

    Jason Soon

    December 2, 2006 at 11:55 pm

  32. Earlier this year, I was a critic of the connection myself, Jason. (That time it was being put about by Glenn Milne – not that a health crisis would affect his public behaviour ;)).

    I’m just not sure at the moment.

    I hope all’s well.

    C.L.

    December 3, 2006 at 12:08 am

  33. “I hope he’s OK because he’s a good human being but he doesn’t really seem to be switched on.”

    Yeah I think you might be right here. He’s putting up a brave face but somethings a bit wrong.

    He’s a good guy and if Keating hadn’t made him spray red ink everywhere he would probably have had a stint at PM.

    But somethings not quite right there.

    I wish it wasn’t so.

    I’d want a strong opposition and with a good old 18 stone Bovver-Boy-Hawke running things in a labour government.

    But somethings not right with Kim and I wish he was in good form because the last thing we need is that UN-male-Stepford-Wife Rudd taking control of things.

    If Rudd gets to the lead this will be a grudge I will hold against Philip Adams.

    Philip would be talking about any topic at all. And then he’d give a plug for Rudd.

    Why Philip Why?

    GMB

    December 3, 2006 at 3:10 am

  34. What if Beazley gets up by one vote! Where does that leave the ALP?

    It would certainly ensure that the commentariat and the politicians would not have to apply their minds over much to policy issues.

    Rafe Champion

    December 3, 2006 at 8:14 am

  35. Boris [posts 11 and 12]:
    You are right, of course, about cabin-class – the ones I struck were probably upgraded or paid the difference. From what I remember, ARGC told me that my project was unrelated to a university activity; the AWM was downright unhelpful: etc., etc. Apparently innovators and inventors in this Clever Country hit similar brick walls; it seemed that anything outside a very narrow range would get no support – so I didn’t feel lonely at all.

    btw, I’m not hostile to the publication of Old Norse poetry but I am towards anything that sounds a bit dodgy.

    CL [post 19]:
    Had a chuckle over that threat to litigate on LP the other day too. G’wan, I can match that.
    Accidently stumbled onto an interesting blog …. left a comment ….. later found it was the blog of a Liberal Party luminary …. his reply to my comment had holes in it …. so I gave him a polite factual and useful response …. which he chose to moderate out. Geez, if he doesn’t want to read opinions that differ from his own then then why is he blogging? Unless it is that he wishes to appear all-wise and all-knowing, in which case he would be running an advertisement and not a blog.

    Graham Bell

    December 3, 2006 at 8:57 am

  36. Graham

    “it seemed that anything outside a very narrow range would get no support – so I didn’t feel lonely at all.”

    I am not sure I’d agree to this. I came here in 2001, didn’t quite know the rules, had no history of competitive grants in ANY country, had only a half-decent publication list, and got my ARC discovery grant from the first attempt. I was lucky of course and teamed up with right people, but I won’t agree that it is narrow, or that it’s old boys club.

    It’s true though that they have universal rules for everything, and that may pose problems for a variety of projects, including yours. However you are not required to be connected to a university.

    Boris

    December 3, 2006 at 5:45 pm

  37. Boris

    December 4, 2006 at 4:05 am

  38. Thanks Boris.

    I was never bothered by the need for rules and to have strict control on how funds were to be used.

    Things may have changed since the mid-“Eighties but I haven’t heard of any revolutionary changes in the grants area. Back then – and perhaps later – it was indeed an old boys’ – or old girls’ – club. If your face fitted, money was thrust upon you, even if your “research” would now qualify you for an IG-NOBEL Award; if your face didn’t fit, bad luck.

    If you yourself scored a grant for something worthwhile in recent years, good luck to you.

    Sinclair Davidson [post 10]:
    And good luck to you too if you got a grant.

    Thanks for the application hints: if I ever think again of applying for a grant I shall include all the words WMD, global warming, Christian, workplace reform, Iraq, ….. though relating all these words to a grant to develop an elementary system for foreign adults learning to read Chinese will be a bit of a challenge ….. 🙂 L-O-L

    Graham Bell

    December 4, 2006 at 8:39 am

  39. Boris [post 37]:
    Russia’s win in the Davis Cup will surely renew pride in Russia and what it can do.

    Graham Bell

    December 4, 2006 at 8:43 am

  40. Creepy: two US senators have asked ExxonMobil to “‘come clean’ about its past denial activities“.

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 4:44 pm

  41. Commentary on this bizarre letter here.

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 4:50 pm

  42. Amazing. A “working class hero” to coal miners and J.D Rockerfeller’s beneficiary question the ethics of Exxon Mobil in relation to climate change?

    When will the trust fund be distributed to newly unemployed coal workers?

    Mark Hill

    December 4, 2006 at 4:57 pm

  43. Just wanted to wish everyone here a happy Christmas, if a bit prematurely, as I am going on holiday until the new year and may not be here to add my pitiful contributions until then.
    See you all in the new year.

    Andrew Reynolds

    December 6, 2006 at 5:37 pm

  44. Thanks Andrew, same to you – you’ll be missed. If you’re in Sydney, try to get along to the Blogbash.

    skepticlawyer

    December 6, 2006 at 6:25 pm

  45. “What worries me is just how much of this Polonium 210 may be floating around… and who’s got it. Like something out of James Bond, only nastier.”

    Actually that might not be as bad as one would think since it breaks down pretty quickly.

    Whats more worrying is regime INTENTION. And this mania for letting the regime off the hook.

    Such a tendency threatens us all whether or not regimes are involved in any particular incident.

    They ought to be considered guilty until proven innocent.

    What people are doing now to contort themselves into letting the regime off the hook is pretty much what happened with the Iraqis after 9/11.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 8:40 pm

  46. Anyone watching this bilge presented by Pria on SBS?

    What tripe. Clive Hamilton is right because Keynesianism is right (consumption keeps the economy going) and marketing is oh so powerful it can change our perceptions.

    Utter garbage.

    1. Consumption does not drive growth.

    2. Marketing isn’t successful unless they identify your needs. The customer is always right.

    Oh yes the market controls you and efficiency is bad. The efforts of other raising living standards controls you and waste is good.

    PS We should adopt compulsory 35 hour weeks because France did and they are still wealthy. Pity they have average an growth rate of 1.56%. Perhaps China should do the same?

    There’s no virtue!

    Mark Hill

    December 6, 2006 at 9:25 pm

  47. Have a good one Andrew, and see you back here next year.

    Jason Soon

    December 6, 2006 at 9:32 pm

  48. Yeah Mark.

    Keynesianism is like this severe mental disease. But you pick up the financial review and there it is on every page.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 9:44 pm

  49. “[EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]”

    No I won’t.

    But you keep this up just as long as you want.

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 10:19 pm

  50. Got tipped off to this one by Tim Blair.

    Pretty much an I told you so moment:

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V9/N48/C2.jsp

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 6, 2006 at 11:09 pm

  51. Mark: “Consumption does not drive growth.”

    I also thought it does. Please explain (in plain English).

    Boris

    December 7, 2006 at 12:09 am

  52. Short answer:

    1. Increased consumption under expansionary fiscal and monetary policies diverts from saving and capital investment.

    2. Look at long run growth models.

    3. Look at the modern vertical Philips curve.

    4. Investment must be made to produce and market a good to the public before it can be consumed and raise our living standards.

    5. It largely pays for factor costs and is an end process.

    Mark Hill

    December 7, 2006 at 12:18 am

  53. Mark, I have to say I agree with you on the SBS show. Perhaps five years ago I wouldn’t have, but today I couldn’t watch that show without thinking what utter rubbish it was. I wanted to yell at Clive that happiness levels haven’t really changed in 30 years, so we certainly aren’t “increasingly unhappy as a nation despite our increasing wealth”. We might not be getting happier, but we’re not getting sadder.

    And I couldn’t help but notice the grand piano in the background at Clive’s place. Clearly his consumption of “things we don’t need” is on par with or greater than the trend.

    fatfingers

    December 7, 2006 at 1:17 am

  54. Mark, I specifically pleaded “in plain English”, didn’t I?

    When Japan got deflation, the economy got into downward spiral since nobody would buy anything if it will be cheaper tomorrow. They save. Companies produce goods but nobody buys them. They go bust.

    Where is my fault?

    As an aside they can’t buy anything anyway because they have no more space in their Tokyo flats:-)

    Boris

    December 7, 2006 at 2:46 am

  55. Your fault is not thinking about what happened prior to that.

    Their deflation isn’t what the problem was.

    The problem came with the massive inflationary bubble that led to the bust.

    And also with the profligate deficit spending that they got into during the deflation.

    Its not true that companies produce goods in Japan but nobody buys them.

    And it might be true that they would buy more consumer goods if they had larger flats but they have these small flats because of the height restrictions on buildings.

    Mark did speak in plain English:

    “1. Increased consumption under expansionary fiscal and monetary policies diverts from saving and capital investment.”

    All quite right. So when you say that:

    “When Japan got deflation, the economy got into downward spiral since nobody would buy anything if it will be cheaper tomorrow.”

    That hasn’t got any truth to it whatsoever.

    But if we take out this part of it:

    “…since nobody would buy anything if it will be cheaper tomorrow.”

    Here we see great potential to the ending of poverty everywhere.

    Its not the least bit true that no-one will buy anything in Japan. Actually their savings rates are likely less during the deflation then it was in earlier decades.

    But if people aren’t buying as much consumer goods under growth-deflation (rather then under some sort of post-bubble-crash) then that means MORE AND NOT LESS INVESTMENT.

    Which means a greater production of wealth.

    GMB

    December 7, 2006 at 5:59 am

  56. “Mark: “Consumption does not drive growth.”
    I also thought it does. Please explain (in plain English).”

    Growth comes from the accumulation of capital goods.

    Therefore the idea that growth is driven by consumption is medieval in its stupidity.

    Its total macromancy. Its a sort of superstition on the level of sacrificing virgins to bring a good harvest. And its just as wasteful and almost as nasty.

    Yet if you read the financial review this idea will be being thrown out at you like the most bludeoning Soviet propaganda on every page.

    Its really quite sickening.

    Unfortunately the bizzare we we do our national accounting reinforces this.

    And GDP is such a stupid figure that a consumer spending spree will show growth in it even if the economy were on verge of collapse and business investment had ground to a halt.

    If we were using GDR instead we wouldn’t have this meaningless short-term boost in it just from everyone maxing out their credit cards at once.

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 7, 2006 at 6:09 am

  57. I”ll repost this one. Since the stubborn and pig-headed admin intervention might have distracted peoples attention to it. And its very important information.

    Going on Catos posted graph by Lindzen we see it implied that if CO2 were the ONLY thing causing warming in the last two centuries this would likely imply that a doubling of CO2 only lead to an increase in average temperatures of 1% or so at least in the time periods we are talking about.

    But what we know is that the sun increased its activity during this time. Which implies that the increase in temperature from a doubling is FAR LESS THEN 1%.

    Not 3% as Annan so unscientifically claims.

    This study says that natural causes to warming are 4 or 5 magnitudes more powerful then anything humans are doing.

    That said however I would not rule out the possibility that the humans could make a greater difference if the time period is in the thousands of years.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Got tipped off to this one by Tim Blair.
    Pretty much an I told you so moment:

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V9/N48/C2.jsp

    [EDIT BY ADMIN – I, GRAEME BIRD, WILL BE FORCED TO APOLOGISE TO FDB BY HAVING THIS COMMENT FORCIBLY INSERTED IN ALL OR MOST OF MY COMMENTS UNTIL I VOLUNTARILY RETRACT OR APOLOGISE TO FDB FOR MY VILE COMMENT ON THE GAIDAR THREAD]

    GMB

    December 7, 2006 at 6:30 am

  58. re: controlling the debate, Mark Steyn readers claim to experience vendor resistance when purchasing his book

    http://www.steynonline.com/index2.cfm?edit_id=66

    rog

    December 7, 2006 at 7:55 am

  59. Jason Soon

    December 7, 2006 at 10:28 am

  60. The Collective will as espoused by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, is really the only way forward. What is happening in China now isn’t socialism at all, it’s revisionism. They’ll be open capitalists within a few years. The rot set in 30 yrs ago, after the death of the Chairman.

    from commenter ‘Dean’ at the blogosphere’s Bizarro world, Leftwrites.

    Jason Soon

    December 7, 2006 at 3:46 pm

  61. You have no idea how apposite that is, Jason. I think it’s a moniker we need to meme through the blogosphere.

    skepticlawyer

    December 7, 2006 at 4:17 pm

  62. “The rot set in 30 yrs ago, after the death of the Chairman.”

    It has to be a spoof surely. I reckon some people are just going on there and pretending they’re hard lefties as a joke.

    There couldn’t exist even one idiot who would think what has happened in China over the past 30 years isn’t a good thing.
    Yes? Yes? Help me out here and agree with me.

    JC.

    December 7, 2006 at 4:36 pm

  63. I hope you’re right, JC, but suspect you’re not. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about Bizarro World, it’s that humour is not in evidence.

    skepticlawyer

    December 7, 2006 at 4:46 pm

  64. I cannot access leftwrites. What gives?

    Mark Hill

    December 7, 2006 at 4:46 pm

  65. Interesting US Supreme Court case to watch…

    C.L.

    December 7, 2006 at 4:47 pm

  66. If the Teacher’s Association wins, that would be a gross injustice.

    It doesn’t matter who you are, you shouldn’t have a right to someone else’s paycheck so you can push your barrow a little further!

    “Dissidents”, heh.

    Mark Hill

    December 7, 2006 at 4:52 pm

  67. Union to non-members: We are the Borg, you will be assimilated!

    skepticlawyer

    December 7, 2006 at 5:00 pm

  68. “Since 2000, the WEA has spent nearly $10 million on political campaigns, PAC contributions and lobbying, according to the state’s public disclosure commission. The union’s political war chest ranks in the top five in the state in terms of money raised and spent.”

    This is a lot of money indirectly going to the DNC. No wonder it’s heading to the Supreme court.

    JC.

    December 7, 2006 at 5:11 pm

  69. Indeed, Mark. My comparable experience was in opposing student “fees” – I know, heroic me 😉 – and the union/admin cappos deploying their usual mafioso extortion racket standard: Nice doctoral candidature; shame if somethin’ woz to happen to it.”

    Or they wheeled out the hackneyed old rubbish about free-riders. ‘Fine’, said I, ‘I’ll make out a cheque for the same amount to a charity or organisation on campus that I support. OK?’

    I remember feeling that universities were spiritually dead when a colleague agreed with my stance but counselled me to comply. “This is serious”, he said – referring to my enrolment.

    No shit, Cardinal Newman.

    A compromise of sorts was reached but I, for one, cheered loudly when Howard banned compulsory student unionism – a great day for liberty in Australia.

    Why do so many Western educationists and ed-unionists so passionately hate freedom of expression and association?

    Anyway, good luck to the Washington “dissidents”!

    C.L.

    December 7, 2006 at 5:22 pm


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