catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Open Forum January 16, 2010

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Written by Sinclair Davidson

January 16, 2010 at 9:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

519 Responses

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  1. White House slams Robertson over Haiti remarks.

    Pact with the devil caused earthquake? That’s almost as out there as preaching that the CIA invented AIDS to kill negros. And, come on, what sort of an oddball would belong to a church whose pastor believed that?

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

  2. After reading this blog post by Robert Higgs, I decided to look at similar data for Australia.

    Unfortunately, the ABS does not provide a neat private/public sector breakdown in its labour force data, but it does provide quarterly industry data. This data is not seasonally adjusted, so I have applied a four quarter moving average.

    In the year to the November quarter 2009, national employment in Public Administration and Safety increased by 22,800 persons (+3.5%) compared to an increase of 36,500 persons across all industries (+0.3%). Put differently, 62% of all new net jobs last year were created in this one industry – an industry which accounts for only 6.2% of the total national workforce.

    An alternative approach is to construct a broader definition of ‘public sector’ which takes into account three other industries that include state-owned or state-subsidised/regulated enterprises: Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; Education and Training; and Health Care and Social Assistance.

    In this more broadly defined ‘public sector’ category, employment grew by 108,600 persons in 2009, an increase of 4%. Not too shabby!! In contrast, the remaining largely private sector industries (e.g. agriculture, mining, manufacturing, retail, construction, transport, financial services, etc., etc.) recorded a drop in employment of 72,100 (-0.9%) over the same period.

    Robert Higgs:
    Vulgar Keynesians like to suppose that whenever the government undertakes new spending to augment the ranks of its employees a multiplier effect will result, causing private economic activity and employment to follow the same upward course. Here again, however, a closer examination of what the government does and how it goes about doing it may serve to shield us from the fallacies of overly aggregative economic analysis.

    Just as the multiplier did not work in the USA, it would appear to not have worked in Australia either.

    Capitalist Piggy

    January 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

  3. Via Climategate a New Scientist editorial

    IT WAS a dramatic declaration: glaciers across much of the Himalayas may be gone by 2035. When New Scientist heard this comment from a leading Indian glaciologist, we reported it. That was in 1999. The claim later appeared in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report – and it turns out that our article is the primary published source.

    The glaciologist has never submitted what he says was a speculative comment for peer review – and most of his peers strongly dispute it. So how could such speculation have become an IPCC “finding” which has, moreover, recently been defended by the panel’s chairman? We are entitled to an explanation, before rumour and doubt compound the damage to the image of climate science already inflicted by the leaked “climategate” emails.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

  4. While on India and the IPCC lets not forget the UK telegraph’s Sunday investigative report on the fabulous Doc. Pach.

    He knows it’s coming and blames the accusations on the same people that “stole” the emails. LOl

    In reality the Telegraph has had the crook in their sights for over a month trying to patch things up about the Pach.

    JC1

    January 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

  5. The Massachusetts special election has turned into something rather extraordinary. Republican Brown is leading Coakley in all major polls. Coakley has run one of the worst campaigns ever seen – yesterday she told a radio audience (in Massachusetts) that Catholics shouldn’t work in emergency rooms. It’s possible Brown will be the 60th vote to block ObamaCare. The Democrats are already canvassing dirty tricks to stop that, if he’s elected. These include moves to delay the official declaration of a Brown win and Harry Reid’s announcement that he won’t seat Brown in Congress until late January. Will Brown win? The pundits are saying it’s increasingly likely but I wouldn’t bet the house on it. The irony, though, of a Republican taking Teddy’s seat and scuppering health care “reform” would be epic.

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

  6. Oh Lord. I was wondering is this appalling woman could do anything more stupid than she has already.

    Answer: yes.

    Coakley uses image of World Trade Center in attack ad to symbolize greed.

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

  7. Following from the last thread, Ken said:

    What many do believe is that governments are the greatest threat to liberty because they have coercive powers that no-one else has.

    I think most people can agree on wanting liberties to be protected from coercion or repression. From my own personal observations, some rejoinders to the libertarian approach are:

    1. Libertarians seem to prioritise the economic over the political, som economic liberalism has primacy over political liberalism. This leads to people valorising Singapore and Hong Kong, whilst demonising Europe, for instance.

    2. Libertarians have too rigid an understanding of the public/private distinction. One doesn’t need to be an arch-deconstructionist to recognise this opposition as totally false, in that there is enormous collusion between the public and private spheres, there are public-private partnerships, etc. There is no pure private sphere that exists, anywhere.

    3. Power has no necessary relationship to government, a point that is often missed. There are governments will as much clout over their people as a feather duster. The corollary of this is that coercion and repression is just as much a ‘private’phenomenon as it is public.

    4. Libertarianism seems, if I can put this somewhat harshly, to be a refuge for less mentally defective right-wingers, for whom conservatism is too contradictory and idiotic. The downside of this is that libertarians (and this is merely my own observation) often lapse into silly partisan positions of the side of the right (or the coalition/GOP). In other words, there’s much clutching of pearls regarding Kevni’s latest spending spree, and relative silence about Guantanamo, the phoney and utterly illiberal war on terror, and so forth.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm

  8. Also being exposed re Coakley, her casual treatment as district attorney of a man who raped a toddler with a curling iron. And that’s from Democrat house organ the Boston Globe.

    In the WSJ, her role in the notorious, Salem-like Amiraults case.

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

  9. The Massachusetts special election has turned into something rather extraordinary.
    .
    Egad! The Earl of Kennedy must retaliate to reclaim their birthright and flog these ungrateful peasant swine. I love it when entrenched elites get the boot. Now it’s time for Utah to elect a Drag Queen for governor. 🙂

    Adrien

    January 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

  10. More on hockey stick fraud-purveyor Michael Mann scoring $500,000 in stimulus cash.

    Want the money? Join the cult. It’s that simple.

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

  11. Has anyone read Saul Bellow? Is he any good?* I saw a reference to Ravelstein yesterday and it looked interesting.

    No need to tell me he won the Nobel prize for literature – as if that was a recommendation.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm

  12. THR,

    1) Libertarians probably believe that most people accept that political freedom is a good thing, yet most people are not convinced that economic freedom is a good thing. Hence the focus of debates on economics.

    2) Its true that there is a mixing of private and public, there are, after all, no true laissez faire economies. So the question becomes, do we want more/or do we want less, government intervention?

    3) Sure, anyone can be coercive/aggressive. But govts have a special place, they in fact have a monopoly on violence and aggression.

    4) I agree that many libertarians lean towards conservatism. But libertarianism per se, does not. In fact libertarianism, properly understood, is an extremely radical philosophy.

    Capitalist Piggy

    January 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

  13. The curious thing about THR’s list is that those who have by far the most intelligent position regarding his points 1-3 are often conservatives and yet in point 4, he, chooses to critize conservatism for being “contradictory and idiotic”. A typically reactionary left-wing viewpoint.

    dover_beach

    January 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  14. No need to get defensive, db, I’m thinking primarily of “actually existing” conservativism.

    And no, I think you’ll find that conservatives have positions that are neither coherent nor substantial when it comes to the points above.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

  15. In the WSJ, her role in the notorious, Salem-like Amiraults case.

    Was that her? What a complete turd. I followed that case pretty carefully at the time and those poor people were absolutely hounded. It was actually a modern version of a Salem witch hunt… Same state and all.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  16. That case was quite possibly one of the worst example of prosecutorial overreach I’ve ever seen.

    Croakley of course didn’t wish to be interviewed over the case. People should read that WSJ link that CL posted above, get acquainted with one of the worst ever miscarriages of justice and then ask yourselves how could any political party decide to run a candidate such as Croakely for the US senate when she actually deserves to be behind bars herself. The Demolition party is really nothing more than a fascist party these days. During the 90’s I actually sent a little bit of money as a donation to that family to fight the case.

    It truly disgusted me.

    Dorothy Rabinowitz, the author of the WSJ piece, wrote a book on the case.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

  17. I trying to vote in this poll and finding it really , really hard deciding on the winner for the 2009 beta male of the year.

    I need help.

    Who is the 2009 Beta of the Year?

    January winner: Man who stood by wife who took a hit out on him.

    February winner: Man who consoled cheating wife while she laid flowers on lover’s grave.
    March winner: Ex-husband who invited his ex-wife and her new husband to live in his home.

    April winner: Man who directed cheeseball video of himself professing his undying love for an ex.

    May winner: New York Beta Times reporter who married spendthrift old broad and couldn’t control her extravagance.

    June winner: Billionaire heir who can’t bring himself to dump raging tart.

    July winner: SWPL man who wonders why his wife has so many male Facebook friends.

    August winner: Upper class WASP who politely asks eurotrash interloper to stop schtupping his wife.

    September winner: Husband who tolerates wife consorting with serial killer.

    October winner: Croatian tennis pro who marries has-been single mom cougar.

    November winner: Cuckold who confronts cheating girlfriend by asking her what he can do to make her love him.

    December winner: Throat slashed survivor who tries to get murderous wife’s sentence reduced.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

  18. THR

    Short replies:

    1. Libertarians seem to prioritise the economic over the political, som economic liberalism has primacy over political liberalism. This leads to people valorising Singapore and Hong Kong, whilst demonising Europe, for instance.

    Don’t know who you are talking about here. Not me.

    2. Libertarians have too rigid an understanding of the public/private distinction. One doesn’t need to be an arch-deconstructionist to recognise this opposition as totally false, in that there is enormous collusion between the public and private spheres, there are public-private partnerships, etc. There is no pure private sphere that exists, anywhere.

    I have never said anything about a public/private distinction. Dunno where you got this.

    3. Power has no necessary relationship to government, a point that is often missed. There are governments will as much clout over their people as a feather duster. The corollary of this is that coercion and repression is just as much a ‘private’phenomenon as it is public.

    Except in an anarchic society (about which I am not talking) the government is the source of most coercive power. If a private organisation exercise it, it is almost always by authority of a government.

    4. Libertarianism seems, if I can put this somewhat harshly, to be a refuge for less mentally defective right-wingers, for whom conservatism is too contradictory and idiotic. The downside of this is that libertarians (and this is merely my own observation) often lapse into silly partisan positions of the side of the right (or the coalition/GOP). In other words, there’s much clutching of pearls regarding Kevni’s latest spending spree, and relative silence about Guantanamo, the phoney and utterly illiberal war on terror, and so forth.

    No idea what this means. Libertarians are rarely conservatives. Guantanamo and the war on terror were abuse of government power – examples of what the whole discussion is about.

    Like many, you seem to have invented a stereotype of a libertarian that embodies many of the things you dislike but which bears little resemblance to reality.
    A bit like the way, in the 50s, some (certainly not libertarians) used the word “communist” to encapsulate all the evil and immoral things in the world.
    A pity we have not grown out of that shallow way of thinking.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 3:20 pm

  19. Has anyone read Saul Bellow? Is he any good?* I saw a reference to Ravelstein yesterday and it looked interesting.

    No need to tell me he won the Nobel prize for literature – as if that was a recommendation.

    Long time ago Sinc but I read a few of his novels. Here are some notes from a book of his:

    It All Adds Up

    30/05/99 18:56

    Title [It All Adds Up: From the Dim Past to the Uncertain Future
    Author [Saul Bellow
    Publisher [Viking, Penquin
    Place Pub [New York
    Date [1994
    Source [library
    Pages [
    Notes [

    33.
    “I have often thought,’ wrote William James, “the the best way to define a man’s character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, fe felt himself most intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: ‘This is the real me!'”

    46
    “The degree to which you challenge your own beliefs and expose them to destruction is a test of your worth as a novelist.”
    86
    “Perhaps if we were to purge ourselves of nostalgia and stop longing for a literary world, we would see a fresh opportunity to extend the imagination and resume imaginative contact with nature and society.”
    91
    “The fact that the death notice of character has been signed by the serious essayists means only that another group of mummies – certain respectable leaders of the intellectual community – has laid down the law. It amuses me that these serious essayists should be empowered to sign the death notice of a literary form. Should art follow “culture”? Something has gone wrong.
    96
    “Out of the struggle at the center has come an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are, and what this life is for. At the center, humankind struggles with collective powers for its freedom, the individual struggles with dehumanization for the possession of his soul. If writers do not come again into the center, it will not be because the center is pre-empted. It is not. They are free to enter. If they so wish.”
    129
    “Our way of going about thinking is not something on which we can congratulate ourselves.”
    141
    “Democracy might be saved if we built not for the buck but for the occupant.”
    142
    “I was pleased to read some months ago what the Austrian writer Karl Kraus had said on his deathbed when he heard the news that the Japanese had gone into Manchuria: “None of this would have happened if people had only been more strict about the use of the comma.”
    157
    “A professor in California has estimated that on an average weekday the New York Times contains more information than any contemporary of Shakespeare would have acquired in a lifetime. I am ready to believe that this is more or less true, although I suspect that an educated Elizabethan was less confused by what he knew. He would certainly have been less agitated than we are. His knowledge cannot have lain so close to the threshold of chaos as ours.”

    “What good is such a plethora of information? We have no use for most of the information given by the New York Times. It simply poisons us.”

    302
    “They know no more about how it all works than we do. So we are in the position of savage men who, however, have been educated into believing that they are capable of understanding.”

    308
    Interviewer question:
    Does the adult Bellow criticize himself for this? [embracing past ideologies]
    No, I don’;t see how I can. To avoid every temptation of modern life, every pitfall, one would need a distinct genius. No one could be so many kinds of genius.”
    ———

    Some of his quotes from my archive:

    Take our politicians: they’re a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches as the first prize.
    A man is only as good as what he loves.
    Art is the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos.
    Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.
    The truth is, we’ve not really developed a fiction that can accommodate the full tumult, the zaniness and crazed quality of modern experience.

    John H.

    January 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm

  20. While I completely disagree with Robertson, firstly because I do not believe in god, and secondly because my reading of the Christian religion strongly suggests his view is highly idiosyncratic, why would the President of the US deign to involve himself with this unpleasant theo-meglomaniac? The absolute most he can achieve by responding is to give him oxygen.

    Has anybody else noticed a very recent trend whereby Heads of State are required to loudly denounce this or that utterance by this or that civic leader as part of a nations foreign policy? It’s as though these people want their political leaders to become something like Orwell’s Big Brother; a guardian of the polity’s thoughts, ever ready to dispatch the security forces to monitor certain thoughts and utterances. Creepy.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm

  21. CL

    I was always under the impression it was the Soviets who invented AIDS. During their leadership of the World Health Organization, the HIV virus was supposedly put into all sorts of vaccines and to male San Fransisco air stewards. The idea was that the Soviets hoped to cause economically-damaging civil unrest on the US by demonizing gays for threatening the rest of the population with the deadly virus.

    Or something like that. 😉

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

  22. THR – I wrote a well thought of set of answers to your comment about libertarians but as I caught my foot in the cord to my laptop and dragged in onto the floor, it was lost.(My foot is fine, thanks)

    I won’t write it all again but will say that your four observations do not reflect my views or resemble those of any libertarian I have met or read.
    You seem to have invented a stereotype of a libertarian that encapsulates many of the things in the world you don’t like. Similar to the way in the 50s that the term “communist” was used to reflect all that was evil and immoral in the world.
    It is a pity that we have not grown out of that kind of thinking.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

  23. Libertarianism seems, if I can put this somewhat harshly, to be a refuge for less mentally defective right-wingers, for whom conservatism is too contradictory and idiotic.
    .
    shorter THR: Right-wing is wrong.
    .
    You may be interested in this: A libertarian defense of social conservatism.
    Well, probably you’re not interested in it THR but others might be.

    I’m anything but a social conservative. In nine presidential elections, I voted Libertarian in six. I am a hard core “limited government” conservative/libertarian; I want government out of my pocket-book and out of my bedroom. Concerning my religion, it’s none of your business, but I’m somewhere in the lapsed-Catholic-deist-agnostic-atheist spectrum; let’s just call it agnostic.
    Having said all that, I have no problem with “social conservatives” or the “religious right” and their supposed influence on the Republican party. I base this not on the Bible or historical authority, but on the love of liberty and the evidence of my own eyes.

    daddy dave

    January 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

  24. I won’t write it all again but will say that your four observations do not reflect my views or resemble those of any libertarian I have met or read.
    You seem to have invented a stereotype of a libertarian that encapsulates many of the things in the world you don’t like.

    They were broad brush strokes, Ken, so I can’t claim that they’d apply to every libertarian. They’re also my observations, and whilst I don’t proclaim to be a mind reader, I doubt few libertarians consciously view themselves as tilting to the right on almost every issue, or prioritising economics over politics.

    Dave, the article in your link was of particularly poor quality. Full of hyperbole and outright lies, the author’s whinge amounted to little more than the fact that ‘liberals’ attempt to get their agenda legislated, whilst pretending that the religious right don’t do exactly the same thing. It’s utterly disingenuous, and reflective of the general endumbening of political discourse that happens with much of the right.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

  25. OK then, THR, my only advice is to be careful of stereotypes.
    Few people these days fit neatly into a box.
    Libertarians by and large distrust government power. But from that you cannot infer much about their views on other political or economic issues.
    People are wonderfully complex and, increasingly, they are working it out for themselves rather than taking on a package of predictable beliefs and values.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm

  26. THR

    I don’t put too much store in sharply distinguishing economic and political liberty. I suppose reducing economic liberty to a secure, consistent, and reliable property and contract law regime is helpful, and the corollary that the more property is subsumed by the state – including investment, production and distribution decisions – the less economic liberty there is within the citizenry or civil society if you prefer.

    I suppose political liberty means also the degree to which temporal governments have too much discretionary power. In that sense, the highly decentralized system of political power in the US, including – but not limited to – its vigorous federalism, plus a constitutionally enshrined Bill of Rights suggests there is much political liberty in the US.

    OTOH, there is little and declining political liberalism in Europe as political decisions are increasingly lost to the gnomes in Brussels and Strasbourg.

    By removing political decision-making one step further away both geographically and in accountability, individual Brits, French, Italians, Spaniards, Swedes, etc. increasingly have little connection with these supranational political assemblies and bureaucracies, who in turn have little fear of being accountable to local constituencies.

    The European citizenry’s loss of political liberty of course weaves into a decline in economic liberty as a leviathan of red-tape – again concocted by the gnomes of Brussels and Strasbourg – restricts the flow of property and the nature of contractual relations.

    While Australia does not – yet – suffer the corrosion of economic liberty taking place in Europe, we do have the common law (and statute law) encroachment on contract law that increasingly sees contractual obligations not in terms of what is actually written in the contracts, but more like the increasingly ethereal nature of torts, whereby courts read all sorts of other obligations into contracts, which neither party ever wanted.

    Sure I do not see a straight equation economic liberty = political liberty, but they are still quite interconnected.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  27. THR

    On the notion of ‘power’ you fundamentally misunderstand what is unique about the state as a social/political/civic institution. It has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence.

    The state is the only institution authorized to send the bailiffs or sheriff around to your house and cart off all your furniture. The state is the only institution authorized to bankrupt you. The state is the only institution authorized to chase you, tackle you, handcuff you, drag you to a cell and lock you up before the state decides whether to keep you handcuffed, transport you to the jail, and keep you there for a period decided by it.

    Sure, we do not live in a society where state police and soldiers capriciously and wantonly burst into our homes, businesses, local pubs, and use us all as target practice, but every restriction, every law, every government and bureaucratic policy in our society always has the threat of state violence hovering in the background to be used should any of us step too far out of line.

    State power is very, very real.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

  28. THR:

    Can you point to a major spending initiative (by the government say both here and the US) that they haven’t fucked up. I mean this with the utmost sincerity as I can’t think of one thing these fuckers have touched that hasn’t turned to shit in a Midas in reverse kind of way.

    1. Libertarians seem to prioritise the economic over the political, som economic liberalism has primacy over political liberalism. This leads to people valorising Singapore and Hong Kong, whilst demonising Europe, for instance.

    That’s true to some extent because a lot of libertarians like me don’t particularly like majority rule which to some extent is also a form of tyranny. In fact I’m starting to think majority rule without serious constitutional safeguards that can’t be cracked isn’t worth much more than a pinch of shit.

    HK seems okay to me because although you may not have the vote, you can keep your money. Frankly there’s no place I can think of where you can have political freedom without economic freedom, whereas you can economic freedom without political freedom.

    2. Libertarians have too rigid an understanding of the public/private distinction. One doesn’t need to be an arch-deconstructionist to recognise this opposition as totally false, in that there is enormous collusion between the public and private spheres, there are public-private partnerships, etc. There is no pure private sphere that exists, anywhere.

    Perhaps you’re right in that there is no pure private sphere that exists anywhere at the moment although HK comes close in an economic context. However we have had experiences of such systems before.

    3. Power has no necessary relationship to government, a point that is often missed. There are governments will as much clout over their people as a feather duster. The corollary of this is that coercion and repression is just as much a ‘private’phenomenon as it is public.

    You would believe that if you were a Marxist. However my former boss only had as much power over me as I let him in order to keep my job.

    4. Libertarianism seems, if I can put this somewhat harshly, to be a refuge for less mentally defective right-wingers, for whom conservatism is too contradictory and idiotic. The downside of this is that libertarians (and this is merely my own observation) often lapse into silly partisan positions of the side of the right (or the coalition/GOP). In other words, there’s much clutching of pearls regarding Kevni’s latest spending spree, and relative silence about Guantanamo, the phoney and utterly illiberal war on terror, and so forth.

    There are parts of the right that are downright dumb, however as far as dumbness goes and economic illiteracy the left win hands over. Rudd is a perfect illustration of that at present, as he doesn’t have any idea what the fuck he’s doing or what is going on. Obama also fall into that category.

    The left thinks it can solve ills by legislating against economic laws they don’t like, which is not without consequences. Libertarians believe there are consequences to laws and in almost most cases the end result is not worth it.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

  29. The point is not whether state power is ‘real’. Of course it’s real. This doesn’t really clarify very much in terms of the workings of this power. For starters, the examples you cite refer to different organs of the state – bankruptcy is dealt with by the judiciary, policing is essentially a public service bureaucracy, and the role of soldiers is decided by the executive.

    Secondly, the state does not have a monopoly on these things. Various parts of the world have private prisons, private armed forces, private police, and so forth. Even in Australia, various arms of the state are basically outsourced to the notionally private sector.

    Thirdly, to the extent that State power does exist, we should ask a Leninist questions here and ascertain who benefits from it. Believe it or not, police and bureaucrats themselves receive little or no benefit from each new piece of legislation, for instance (and in some instances are actually worse off). So who benefits from this threat of state violence?

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm

  30. Art is the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos.
    .
    Nice.

    Adrien

    January 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

  31. THR, all you are saying there is that the state is organized, not anarchic. Hardly a worthy contribution.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  32. So who benefits from this threat of state violence?

    So you don’t believe there is such a thing as perceived benefit. There are lots of people who think jailing 1 million + people in the US because the use , sell drugs (usually both) is a great thing.

    There are lots of people that think ConTRoys promise to control the internet in behalf the kids (isn’t it always the kids) is a good idea.

    Lastly there are numerous number of people that would like to be employed by the state so there are obvious perceived benefits there too.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  33. Can you point to a major spending initiative (by the government say both here and the US) that they haven’t fucked up.

    Medicare. The pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Those two came to mind first.

    Rudd is a perfect illustration of that at present, as he doesn’t have any idea what the fuck he’s doing or what is going on.

    I think Rudd knows well enough what he’s doing, which is running a permanent election campaign. Almost all of his actions, interpreted from that standpoint, are perfectly sensible and coherent.

    There are parts of the right that are downright dumb, however as far as dumbness goes and economic illiteracy the left win hands over.

    It’s true, the left has been very lazy when it comes to even taking economics into consideration. However, thee’s plenty of intellectual laziness and myth-making by the right in this area. For starters, capitalism is not the ‘natural’ economic system, it’s purely contingent. Secondly, ‘fee trade’ rarely if ever got any nation rich, and it certainly had nothing to do with the West become wealthy. Third, economics of the sort that libertarians would approve has very frequently been contrary to political freedom. There are plenty more canards of right economics that are there for the smashing.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

  34. Ever seen an advertisement for a government job? You think there aren’t any applicants?

    Those that apply for the job obviously think there are benefits attached to working for the government or they wouldn’t apply.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

  35. So you don’t believe there is such a thing as perceived benefit.

    No, it was a sincere question. I’m not suggesting that nobody benefits, but perhaps not the people you might think.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm

  36. I suspect that where we stand on the libertarian – big government spectrum depends largely on self interest and life experience. If we think we can influence government to do what we want or if our income depends to a significant extent on the government we probably believe in big government with lots of powers.
    This does not necessarily correspond with political leanings.
    Many Liberal or National voters in this country reckon they do well out of the government: protection against imports or other competition, government grants – all the rent seeking stuff. This helps explain why the size of government never gets much smaller whoever is in power. Though it increases faster under a left or social democratic party.
    Going back to my first point, academics often believe they can influence governments and they are paid, indirectly from the public purse, so with few exceptions they are not libertarians.
    Present company excluded.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

  37. Going back to my first point, academics often believe they can influence governments and they are paid, indirectly from the public purse, so with few exceptions they are not libertarians.

    What about the CIS and the IPA? There’s an argument to be had about whether libertarians are actually over-represented in academia and media, considering their relatively small following at a grass roots level.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

  38. Medicare?

    Really? Medicare is a fucked up mess. The initial promise of medicare was that it wouldn’t cost more than the levy and was supposed to be self financing.

    It isn’t. That promise was a lie and it’s now eating up 9% of federal spending.

    I think Rudd knows well enough what he’s doing, which is running a permanent election campaign. Almost all of his actions, interpreted from that standpoint, are perfectly sensible and coherent.

    Homer thinks his ideas are sensible and coherent. Bird does too.

    For starters, capitalism is not the ‘natural’ economic system, it’s purely contingent.

    I agree. Capitalism is a hard thing to understand for most people as human nature is still stuck in the old tribal mentality and behavioural studies troublingly suggest that envy is a worrying issue when it comes to humans, as this emotion alone can really screw things up. The tall poppy syndrome is a very concerning element of human nature that we should be always vigilant to ensure it doesn’t infect us.

    Secondly, ‘fee trade’ rarely if ever got any nation rich, and it certainly had nothing to do with the West become wealthy.

    As bad as it is for me to mention this, go read Paul Krugman’s work on international trade and the reasons why it benefits humanity. It really is a masterpiece of economic work. He dissects it point by point and proves why mankind would benefit from complete free trade.

    Third, economics of the sort that libertarians would approve has very frequently been contrary to political freedom.

    Like what?

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm

  39. Small in numbers, perhaps THR, but big in brain power.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  40. THR

    Beneficiaries of state violence:

    1. All people who sign a contract
    2. All people who walk around not wanting to be victims of violence

    Do you want more?

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm

  41. THR

    Also you err in conflating “public” and the state.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm

  42. What about the CIS and the IPA? There’s an argument to be had about whether libertarians are actually over-represented in academia and media, considering their relatively small following at a grass roots level.

    I’m not sure about that. libertarians aren’t necessarily all voting LDP.

    In any event a great deal of what these two think tanks offer is lots of economic advice. I don’t see them getting too involved in the culture wars.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm

  43. tal

    January 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

  44. As bad as it is for me to mention this, go read Paul Krugman’s work on international trade and the reasons why it benefits humanity.

    I think it’s more accurate to say that there are some benefits, and even those benefits need a few caveats put in front of them. Neither the US nor the countries of Western Europe practiced free trade until relatively recently (and their still not averse to heavy doses of protectionism, despite the rhetoric). Basically, trade is one thing, ‘free trade’, another altogether.

    Like what?

    There’s the rightist/libertarian mantra that public=bad, private=good. So whilst it makes no sense to privatise certain things, even from an economic vantage point, the rightists still cheer it on. It’s no coincidence that virtually every privatisation is overwhelmingly opposed by the public. Another example – for all of China’s economic liberalisation, there’s been additional power given to thugs at a local level to act as enforcers against protestors, most of whom are workers. China is the protest capital of the world. There are quite a few examples of democracy being completely antithetical to economic liberalism.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  45. Beneficiaries of state violence:

    1. All people who sign a contract
    2. All people who walk around not wanting to be victims of violence

    Point two is a little redudant. Nobody wants to be a victim of violence, but I’m not sure that the state’s activities do a great deal to deter violence. I’ve heard it directly from coppers that you’d be better off calling a friend before you call 000, in case of an axe-murderer at your door.

    As for point one – what your saying is that people with property, in other words, are the ones who benefit from state violence? And not only the ones with property, but those with sufficient property to gain access to the law in order to have it enforced?

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

  46. THR – aren’t you confusing libertarians and anarchists?

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  47. “No need to get defensive, db, I’m thinking primarily of “actually existing” conservativism.”

    Yes, I had “actually existing” conservatism in mind, THR; representatives including in the last sixty years: G. E. M. Anscombe, Robert Blake, John Casey, Maurice Cowling, Maurice Cranston, John Finnis, Phillipa Foot, Shirley Letwin, John Kekes, Michael Oakeshott, J. G. A. Pocock, Roger Scruton, to name but a few. You know, when dealing with ‘conservatism’ you might actually want to name one or two and address their alleged ‘incoherence’ directly or else you’ll sound pretty much like a critic of Marx that has in fact never read any Marx.

    “And no, I think you’ll find that conservatives have positions that are neither coherent nor substantial when it comes to the points above.”

    Having never, or hardly, perused their work you wouldn’t be in position to make such a judgement. You find that conservative criticism of libertarianism often follows the same lines you adumbrate in points 1-3 especially in the few named above. Oakeshott, for instance, takes aim precisely at the private/ public distinction in part of OHC. He also address power by more finely distinguishing between authority and power.

    No need to clutch your pearls, THR, but “actually existing” conservatives often agree with radical criticism of a certain form of liberalism.

    dover_beach

    January 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  48. “There’s the rightist/libertarian mantra that public=bad, private=good. So whilst it makes no sense to privatise certain things, even from an economic vantage point, the rightists still cheer it on.”

    You are creating stereotypes again THR,
    I know no-one who fits what you describe.
    Personally, I believe many of the privatisations were dumb and done for the wrong reasons. And some things that should have been privatised weren’t.
    “Right” and “libertarian” are not the same thing.
    Many on the right do not believe in freedom.
    As my T shirt says
    “I think you will find it’s a bit more complicated than that”

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  49. Sinclair, I think libertarians sometimes confuse themselves with anarchists.

    Anyway, I’ve merely been thinking out loud. I’ll have to leave you to it, for the time being.

    THR

    January 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm

  50. Yeah, getting close to cocktail hour.
    It’s Saturday night, after all.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 16, 2010 at 5:11 pm

  51. THR – The state began when a a place where people met to trade goods was surrounded by a wall to allow that trade to continue unencumbered by raiding parties who had little to trade and/or couldn’t be bothered. Someone had to build the wall. Someone had to guard it. That costs. Hence the state.
    .
    Things haven’t changed in essence just in volume and complexity.

    Adrien

    January 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm

  52. Adrien is right. The state emerged not long after man left the trees for the risks of settled agriculture and pastoralism. While very hard at first, lean times more typical than bountiful, eventually he got the hang of it, was able to produce surpluses, and thus plan for the future. This surplus led to tensions over how to distribute it.

    Religion, art, warfare, and most importantly the state, all evolved along with the increasing diversity and complexity of surplus production and technology.

    In fact, I argue that even modern legal systems are at root sophisticated branches of the law of property and contracts.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  53. Oakeshott makes the point that politics proper only emerged when we found that the laws that governed the lives of our communities were amendable to change, i.e. that they were human inventions or at least that their alternation did not dishonour the gods. So politics is the discussion of laws that govern how we are to live communally; that is there public character.

    “This surplus led to tensions over how to distribute it.”

    Rarely; most communities never really had much to distribute. I think you’ll find that tensions normally emerged where new classes of people become prosperous but were denied the exercise of political authority, that is, the right to contribute to the process of law-making, etc. Rome and the tensions between the plebs and the patricians being a case in point.

    dover_beach

    January 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

  54. Actually, dover beach, no. I am quite fine with my original exposition.

    Peter Patton

    January 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

  55. It’s Saturday night, after all.
    .
    “Saturday night.” What’s that?

    daddy dave

    January 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

  56. Feng-shui experts say this year the Year of the Tiger will be characterized by conflicts between nations, the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters and new leaders coming to power. The fuck-wits on Bolts blog and the motor mouth bloggers on Blairs blog of bile, are hoping that the new leader coming to power is Tony Abbott—what can I say but in your dreams, you rightard trolls. Regards RR.

    Richard Ryan

    January 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm

  57. Kevin Rudd, neoliberal:

    HE Rudd government is considering new tax breaks for banks and reducing financial regulation in an effort to build Australia as a regional financial centre, capitalising on Australia’s good performance during the global financial crisis.

    The measures, contained in a report delivered to the government yesterday, go against the international trend of raising bank taxes and restricting the growth of the financial services industry.

    Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen said the government believed the financial crisis had created an opportunity.

    “For some time, the world’s investors will be looking to see who got through the best, and who was a safe haven; Australia stands out,” Mr Bowen said.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/tax-breaks-to-woo-banks/story-e6frg6nf-1225820234610

    Michael Fisk

    January 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

  58. Taking up a point made this morning on last week’s open forum, in which I note Charles Johnson’s highly qualified “defence” of Danny Glover’s odd comments on the Haiti earthquake: I note that “Escort 81” who posts sometimes in lieu of Tigerhawk, seems to basically agree with Johnson:

    “In the other corner, there is the actor Danny Glover, who is apparently saying (though I am not anywhere near sure) that the failure of the Copenhagen summit to result in a meaningful agreement leads Mother Earth to let loose her wrath..

    I don’t think that Glover is saying that global warming or climate change caused the earthquake. I think he was saying that islands in the Caribbean Basin face threats related to climate change, though he did not cite evidence (there has been some degradation of coral reefs around a number of Caribbean islands).”

    http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2010/01/idiot-bowl.html

    I would now mention CL’s response to this, except that he apparently dislikes it when my powers of ESP fail to tell me whether he is on line or not.

    steve from brisbane

    January 16, 2010 at 10:08 pm

  59. Richard, not for nothing, but your critical of Bolt,Blair and their readers yet without even blinking you’re citing Feng-shui dudes offering predictions on this years disasters and global tensions. Are you smoking dope or doing lots of crystal meth?

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm

  60. I meant, I would mention CL’s comments this morning about it…etc

    steve from brisbane

    January 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm

  61. I don’t think that Glover is saying that global warming or climate change caused the earthquake.

    Yes he is, Steve.

    Listen to the idiot.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  62. …though he did not cite evidence (there has been some degradation of coral reefs around a number of Caribbean islands)

    No he didn’t because there isn’t any evidence. There actually is a theory that the Caribbean climate system will see less extremes as a result of AGW.

    As I said Glover is an idiot and you shouldn’t be making excuses for morons. like him.

    Shame on you.

    jc

    January 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm

  63. Keep away from women born in The Year of the Tiger Richard Regards Tal

    tal

    January 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

  64. That’s interesting. Watts Up With That notes that it appears the satellite figures for January indicate that 13 January will be the warmest January day (globally) since the UAH satellite records began. Motl does the guest post about it, and appears to be doing a pre-emptive disavowal of the relevance of global average temperatures, after all. Ha.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/15/uah-satellite-data-has-record-warmest-day-for-january/

    steve from brisbane

    January 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm

  65. I didn’t mention ESP, Steve. I noted your growing tendency to be obsessed with me and to raise subjects in which I have no particular interest while drawing concocted conclusions about what you think my view is. Charles Johnson is one of the web’s most notorious racists and fruitcakes. He’s defending far-left conspiracy theorist (and anti-semite) Danny Glover who this week linked the Haiti earthquake to global warming.

    The threat of what happened to Haiti is the threat that could happen anywhere in the Caribbean, to these island nations. You know, they’re all in peril because of global warming, they’re all in peril because of climate change and all this. And we need to find … when we did what we did at the climate summit, in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m sayin’? That we have to act now.

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm

  66. “Global warming” update from India:

    City records the coldest day of past four decades.

    C.L.

    January 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm

  67. Richard, not for nothing, but your critical of Bolt,Blair and their readers yet without even blinking you’re citing Feng-shui dudes offering predictions
    .
    jc, Richard’s a troll, worse than Phil. Banned on leftwing and rightwing blogs. Ignore ignore ignore.

    daddy dave

    January 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm

  68. DD if you missed cocktail hour may I recomend I nightcap?
    http://www.fireflyvodka.com/

    tal

    January 16, 2010 at 11:33 pm

  69. thanks tal. took me back to the South.

    daddy dave

    January 16, 2010 at 11:51 pm

  70. Steve you’re referencing Lubos (Motl)? A well-known hot-head who got fired from Harvard for being a hot-head?

    I don’t want to tangle with him because he’s a praticising physicist (which I’m not) and by all accounts and evidence pretty capable in string theory. I’ve got my doubts about his climate science though.

    And so does he, it appears. In his post at Watt’s site there is this paragraph in which he condemns and disparages his own analysis from the opening of the post:

    “So while it may be fun to watch the global temperature – a meaningless game that many people began to play in recent years because of the AGW fad (and yes, your humble correspondent only plays these games because others do, not because it is scientifically important) – it is very important to realize that the changes of the global mean temperature are irrelevant for every single place on the globe. They only emerge when things are averaged over the globe – but no one is directly affected by such an average.”

    In other words, he seems to be aware that his analysis is nonsense, but then finishes with

    “it’s almost certain by now that January 2010 will also be the globally warmest January on the UAH record – the anomaly will likely surpass 0.70 °C. It may even see the highest (or at least 2nd highest) monthly UAH anomaly since December 1978”

    It looks like Watts is not cognitively capable of understanding that Lubos is offering him no support.

    JM

    January 17, 2010 at 2:18 am

  71. JM, I basically agree with you about Lubos Motl, although I don’t know anything about his accomplishments as a physicist. I do know he was a very unpopular figure on physicists blogs I have read.

    I think Watts understands the post, as although it deals with an apparent fact very surprising to the skeptic side (and anticipates that the skeptic’s much beloved UAH global figures are going to be on the up in 2010,) it also sets the grounds by which some skeptics will argue it isn’t relevant.

    steve from brisbane

    January 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

  72. “Actually, dover beach, no. I am quite fine with my original exposition.”

    Peter, I don’t disagree with your exposition in toto, only a part of it; namely, the part I mentioned. For instance, in order to gain a surplus in production the inhabitants of any area must have already been engaging in politics, etc. even though they lacked a surplus. The other thing which struck me about your exposition was its Marxian character: Religion, art, warfare, and most importantly the state,[superstructure] all evolved along with the increasing diversity and complexity of surplus production and technology [base]. It seems to me that more often than not the base follows the lead of the superstructure rather than vice versa.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 8:37 am

  73. JM, Lubos is not saying that his analysis is nonsense but that the quantity, global average temperature, is physically meaningless “for every single place on the globe.” Steve from B understands this was Lubos’ point but not you; given this, you might be more circumspect when next questioning someone’s(incl. Anthony Watts) cognitive capability.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 8:48 am

  74. CL, stop being so sensitive. You were a pretty prolific blogger for years, and am now a very active participant here. It’s not as if people don’t know where you are coming from on a lot of issues. It seems to me that what annoys you more is when I correctly anticipate your response to something, rather than when I get your view of the matter completely arse-about! All I said in the last post was that you would rubbish Johnson, and how was I wrong? I simply pointed out I don’t defend everything Johnson says. Oh, how controversial for you…

    As for Charles Johnson – I didn’t follow him religiously when he was seen to be purely of the Right, and don’t follow him religiously now. I don’t know whether your description of him before is fair, but I don’t recall Tim Blair or any other prominent right wing boggers calling him out on racism before. I only have noticed criticism of him now for being a turncoat.

    But there’s no need for a longer discussion of it: it remains true that I think he is largely correct in his criticism of the Right in America as it currently stands. That doesn’t mean the Democrats or generic Left are doing a bang up job either – I suspect a lot of people around the world are just pretty depressed about the state of politics everywhere at the moment.

    And back to Glover – the point is what he said is ambiguous, given during a bit of rambling discourse about “internationalism”, and one suspects that if he was given a chance to clarify, he would deny meaning what you (and even Huffington Post) have said he meant.

    I have found at least one clearly conservative blog (Tigerhawk) that agrees with me.

    That’s all.

    steve from brisbane

    January 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

  75. I do know he was a very unpopular figure on physicists blogs I have read.

    Steve thinks one has to be popular to talk about science matters … like how Brittany Spears is popular.

    You do seem a little obsessed with CL, Steve.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

  76. From this week’s Barons round table:

    Barron’s: In case none of you noticed, the market did rather well last year. What do you think 2010 will bring? Felix, let’s hear from you.

    Zulauf: This will be a transitional year. I am not sure how it will end for the markets. Cyclical forces are bullish. Governments and central banks have poured money into the global economy. We don’t know what the true condition of the economy would be without all that help.

    Are there any comparable periods in history?

    Zulauf: The only comparable in modern times is Japan, although Japan’s financial and economic crisis was worse. Japan lost three times the value of its gross domestic product as asset values deflated, while the U.S. lost only one times GDP.

    I never realized it was that big. Japan’s asset bubble deflated 3 times GDP. Fme. Those Japanese really know a thing or two about bubbles.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 11:14 am

  77. Zulauf: What is truly shocking is that 20% of personal income in the U.S. now is transfer payments — money handed out by the government. And that number is rising.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 11:23 am

  78. MacAllaster: How does that compare to Europe?

    Zulauf: It is about the same, and also rising. A lot of people have been kept in their jobs in Europe because the government pays companies just to keep people employed.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 11:24 am

  79. Steve, I’m not being “sensitive.” You are. This is what you always do. You’re a fundamentally, dishonest, trollish person. You posted a stupid comment in the old open thread – for some bizarre reason, directed at me – about how nutjob Charles Johnson had defended nutjob Danny Glover regarding the latter’s linkage of Haiti with global warming. The comment included a conclusion about what you thought my opinion would be about the subject – a subject in which I have no particular interest. (Beyond the telling revelation that you’re a reader of notorious hate site, LGF). Glover did indeed link the earthquake to the failed Copenhagen meeting – suggesting, like his fellow weirdo Pat Robertson, that Gaia was punishing humanity. It’s very interesting that you’re lining up with Glover and Robertson. But not entirely surprising. You yourself argued here last year that Nick Minchin would be held accountable for hot weather in the Australian summer.

    And only a catastrophising sycophant could look at a nation being slowly bankrupted and undermined by Obama’s cabal of thuggish, Marxist lunatics and decry the state of “TEH right.” And no, I don’t know anyone who is “depressed about the state of politics everywhere.” There are people filled with hope that the worst government in the history of England will soon be thrown out of office, that wrecking ball Obama is failing spectacularly and that we now have a Leader of the Opposition in Australia who isn’t a global warming bed-wetter.

    C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

  80. lol….

    The obama Administration’s plan to run an accumulated deficit of $12 Trillion over its life, show’s a disturbing inclination to hire loons in senior positions and Steve is worried about “TEH right”.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

  81. Steve:

    Don’t walk away and go hiding behind the garage with Homer and Rogette in the hope this stuff will just go away.

    You need to face reality and answer to this form of mental instability.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

  82. Daddy Dave – If you wanna argue about Sarah Palin here that’s fine with me.
    .
    For the record I don’t see any evidence that she’s a full-on religious nutbag. I wonder, in fact to what extent networking advatages play a role in her faith. She has as much right to run for office as anyone else. And I was well and truly disgusted by some of the tactics used against her.
    .
    But individually nutty or no Palin seems to me to represent a general tendency in US politics that seeks to remake of that country a theocracy. One of the great accomplishments of Enlightenment thought has been to seperate religious institutions from political one. Palin and those like her are reacting against the uses to which this has been put. This creed is appalled by many aspects of modern culture and see connections, imaginary or otherwise, between pornography, the eradication of sexual innocence, the banning of prayer in schools and the wholesale abandonment by coastal Americans of organized religion.
    .
    They argue that this is not what the American founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the constitution. They’re quite correct.
    .
    Still their actions and attitudes are pre-Enlightenment ones. They neither truly understand nor value the line drawn between the religious and the political. This is part of an ancient cycle wherein democracies decline and theocratic rule replaces them.
    .
    That’s America’s business but I don’t want it happening here, for economic and social reasons. Those on the Right fail to take this as seriously as they should (imho).

    Adrien

    January 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm

  83. Oakeshott makes the point that politics proper only emerged when we found that the laws that governed the lives of our communities were amendable to change
    .
    Mmm inerestin’

    Adrien

    January 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm

  84. Danny Glover, September 2009, joined such truth-telling luminaries as Jimmy Carter, Jane Fonda and John Pilger to criticise the Jews vis-a-vis the Toronto International Film Festival. Here he is having a hug with police state tyrant, anti-semite and murderer Hugo Chvez.

    Warmenists hate Tony Abbott but they defend Glover. No wonder polls show that “global warming” is now in freefall on people’s list of priorities.

    I have found at least one clearly conservative blog (Tigerhawk) that agrees with me.

    Lefty mega-blog, Huffington Post, ridicules Glover:

    Danny Glover: Haiti Earthquake Caused By Global Warming.

    C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

  85. dover beach

    OK, we’re a little closer now. Perhaps I should have stated my emphasis more strongly. I deliberately said ‘all evolved along with..’ to avoid making claims about origins. I’d agree you must be right that it is at the least highly probable that religion, art, and politics predate settled agriculture and surpluses.

    After all, we know that Australian Aborigines had complex political structures, cultural traditions, religion, and art without sedentary surplus-producing societies. Even within large bands (or whatever more precise anthropological terms are appropriate) of Aborigines were divisions across which marriage took place to prevent inbreeding and to maintain cohesion. We also know much about pre-colonisation law, as much of it is extant, such as the law of ‘payback’. And of course the rock art, and other artistic traditions undergoing a revival even today.

    Similarly, we know from archeological evidence, cave paintings, and so on, that this was also the case across the per-Neolithic world, including Europe and the Middle East.

    What I wanted to emphasize was that once settlement, agriculture, and surpluses emerged, religion, art, warfare, law, state structures all evolved in a co-integrated fashion.

    I don’t know enough about Marx to be able to comment on his attitude to chicken-or-egg dynamics, but I’d be very wary of any claims to trans-historical meta-narratives that rely on the primacy of superstructure or productive base over the other. Or to put it into an Enlightenment framework – idealism over materialism. Again, I’d opt for the less ambitious and deterministic evolved together.

    Having said that, if I were forced to choose, I’d probably go with the material conditions, including production and distribution being a stronger determining force of the art, law, state, politics, religion, etc. than vice-versa, largely because societies have less choice/freedom over the material stuff.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  86. Doc Pach’s Teri scored a STg10 million “donation” to his charity, from the left wing UK government. TERI has also filed a report admiting accounting irregularities.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/

    I wonder what’s going on in the “charity” business and the left because it was only last week that I picked up the story that the Rudd government had donated between $10 to 20 million to Clinton charity. A short while later Clinton referred to Rudd as one of the world’s top three leaders.

    Don’t tell me they’re sending a wrecking ball through the charity business too now.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  87. What happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming
    .
    Ha ha ha. What a dickhead.

    Adrien

    January 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm

  88. While very hard at first, lean times more typical than bountiful, eventually he got the hang of it, was able to produce surpluses, and thus plan for the future
    .
    That’s not quite correct. The surplus predates the state and began in a time and place of plenty. The oldest walled cities date from this time. The reason for this is axiomatic. Outside the crescent things weren’t so good. Hence the walls.
    .
    You’ll notice that wiki link’s factual area, the crescent was not the site of the wheel’s invention.

    Adrien

    January 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm

  89. The implications on American civil society of the US opening its doors to Haitians fleeing the devastation are grim. The implications for Haitian civil society of the US not opening its doors are tragic.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  90. Adrien, I don’t think I said otherwise. In fact, doverbeach criticized me for arguing the opposite – that the surplus predated the state, which is precisely what you are arguing. 😉

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm

  91. “Meet Matthew. He suffers from industrial strength stupidity.”

    C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm

  92. “Having said that, if I were forced to choose, I’d probably go with the material conditions, including production and distribution being a stronger determining force of the art, law, state, politics, religion, etc. than vice-versa, largely because societies have less choice/freedom over the material stuff.”

    But from the point of view of idealism, material circumstances cannot determine art, law, politics, religion, etc. simply because our material circumstances are not ideas. If material circumstances influence art, law, etc. it is to the extent that we can devote fewer or further resources to these activities.

    “Again, I’d opt for the less ambitious and deterministic evolved together.”

    I think we should also avoid biological analogies in respect of historical explanation and thus, ‘developed’ should be preferred to ‘evolved’. Historical change is always the result of a series of human choices, even where they are a response to natural events.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

  93. No, it would be a mistake to deny the co-evolution of groups of people, their cognitive frameworks, and their social-cultural institutions.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  94. C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  95. “The surplus predates the state and began in a time and place of plenty. The oldest walled cities date from this time. The reason for this is axiomatic. Outside the crescent things weren’t so good. Hence the walls.”

    You seem fixated with walls, Adrien. Apparently, the creation of a surplus required the presence of a city that involved people working together. Presumably, a portion of population engaged in what we recognize as politics. There were offices of some sort that identified those with authority, etc. At some stage, these officers ordered the building of walls. In other words, the state preceded the surplus and the walls.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

  96. Peter, I second Dover’s advice. Be careful how you choose your words on this topic; ‘social Darwinism’ is a dirty word.
    (Or word phrase, whatever.)

    daddy dave

    January 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

  97. Peter – I only meant to say that civilization was born in an age of plenty.
    .
    DB – You seem fixated with walls, Adrien.
    .
    Well you would be too if you’d been thru what I have. I woke up tied to the bed and this giant razor blade came swingin’ at my head. Lucky for them rats the blade only grazed my shin but after that a low machine grunt and then the walls started closing in.
    .
    They’re out to get me I tells you! Walls are evil! Walls are a CIA plot. Or maybe I should just never’ve dropped the Edgar Allen acid. 🙂
    .
    Walls, I think DB, are where cities begin. You’ve got a trading place, where the farming people meet the sea people and swap wheat for fish. A market grows. The people who live in the arid outer regions where there ain’t no fish and you can’t plant shit start coming down outta sticks and stealing everything they can.
    .
    So you build a wall to protect the market. You need people to guard it, you need to pay ’em. You need someone to charge for the privilege of doing business in the wall. You get to the stage where you need rules governing behaviour within the walls. You need to write these down ’cause there’s different folks with different custom… etc.
    .
    It starts with walls.

    Adrien

    January 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

  98. doverbeach, before we all get too petty. :). That particular sentence of Adrien’s does seem a little ambiguous, but he clearly states surplus predates state. The walls were built to protect a settled group’s crops and animals from being stolen by outer-group raiders. No surplus, no need for walls, no need for state to oversee co-ordination of the division of labour among crop-tenders, animal herders, fence-builders/menders, clothes-makers, security enforcers and soldiers, housing and public buildings workers, and so on.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm

  99. Adrien

    I agree, but ‘civilization’ never just suddenly appears, carried by a bolt of lightning or delivered by the stork, see the proto-civilization markers of pre-colonization Australian Aborigines above.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

  100. “No, it would be a mistake to deny the co-evolution of groups of people, their cognitive frameworks, and their social-cultural institutions.”

    Peter, I think not. I don’t think that anything is gain by suggesting the groups of people, their cognitive frameworks (BTW, I don’t think there are any such things; Stephen P. Turner addresses the problems associated with collective objects, which cognitive frameworks are, in his The Social Theory of Practices), or that their institutions ‘evolve’ or that they have ‘co-evolved’. This is not to say that people shouldn’t investigate it, I just don’t think it will be very profitable if they do.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  101. On the contrary it is not only extremely profitable, there is no other way to investigate it. Each of these different instances of institution and praxis did not just fall out of the sky.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm

  102. “Walls, I think DB, are where cities begin.”

    Really, Adrien, they build the walls before the city? Doesn’t ring true to me.

    “So you build a wall to protect the market.”

    Precisely, a market precedes the wall that may later be built.

    “The walls were built to protect a settled group’s crops and animals from being stolen by outer-group raiders. No surplus, no need for walls, no need for state to oversee co-ordination of the division of labour among crop-tenders, animal herders, fence-builders/menders, clothes-makers, security enforcers and soldiers, housing and public buildings workers, and so on.”

    Peter, firstly, walls are not only built to defend a surplus which may itself be squandered in a city’s defense, but its population. Surplus’s can always be restored sooner than a city’s population. Secondly, states are not merely instruments to solve co-ordination problems, they are, principally, instruments that allow settled groups to live together and go about their business relatively harmoniously. Thirdly, you are likely to need a division of labor in order to create a surplus.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm

  103. db, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to fill in the gaps of your education, you’ll have to go away and bone up on history, anthropology, and archeology. One excellent and highly accessible introduction (though far from perfect or the last word) is Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  104. “On the contrary it is not only extremely profitable, there is no other way to investigate it.”

    Actually, we call it history. Conversely, sociology, which in certain instances, attempts to investigate human institutions as if they were subject to natural laws rather than human choices has been an abject failure. Now, the studies which you may think have been extremely profitable may have indeed used words such as ‘evolved’, etc. but I suggest they may have only been aping the sciences or hoped to hitch a ride on their wake. Can anyone, for instances, really argue that the history of the English Civil War followed a evolutionary path? That the development of the relevant institutions, i.e. monarchy, Parliament, nobility, etc. were not the result of the choices of key participants, i.e. Cromwell, Charles I, etc.

    “Each of these different instances of institution and praxis did not just fall out of the sky.”

    I never said that institutions “fall out of the sky”, I said that they are principally the result of human choices.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  105. Oh, and another pointer. Markets require surpluses first.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  106. “db, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to fill in the gaps of your education, you’ll have to go away and bone up on history, anthropology, and archeology.”

    It’s still January, but that must be a contender in the Calallaxy Putdown of the Year contest.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

  107. “db, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time to fill in the gaps of your education, you’ll have to go away and bone up on history, anthropology, and archeology. One excellent and highly accessible introduction (though far from perfect or the last word) is Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel”

    What condescension. Peter, I have achieved Honours in history so you are going to have to do better than a reference to a popular work. I dare say, Diamond’s work does not suggest that walls appear surrounding a city before there is even a city to surround.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm

  108. “Oh, and another pointer. Markets require surpluses first.”

    This is only trivially true.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

  109. db, the problem is with each post you switch between putting my argument into other – but consistent – words, claiming you are contradicting me, or you contradict things I never claimed in the first place. This usually happens when somebody has a fixed idea in their head about a topic and want to put it down regardless of the specifics of the thread.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  110. db, we are talking about the evolution of humanity from the Paleolithic period into the Neolithic, and on to the Bronze and beyond. Nobody has suggested anything like “natural laws”, least of all me. And evolution is absolutely crucial. At the level of the individual and social, natural and selection take places inextricably within a biogeographical context.

    Why do you think that even today there are huge differences in lactose tolerances between East Asians and Northern Europeans? Why do think there is no equivalent of Çatalhöyük or Jericho or Tenochtitlan on the Australian continent?

    Why do you think west Africans have dark/brown skin and brown eyes, while Northern Europeans have light colored skin, and high concentrations of blond hair and blue eyes?

    Why do you think Mediterranean civilizations, and their offspring have words like ‘citadel’, ‘urban’, ‘city’, and ‘citizen’ in their vocabulary, while Eskimos have many different words for ‘snow’? Why do you think peoples on the outskirts of the Eurasian continent have many words like ‘time’, ‘future’, ‘planning’ and their cognates, while pre-colonization Australian Aborigines did not? Indeed one of the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was that a lot of the deaths were suicides of offenders from remote communities, who had only basic notions of time and the future; they did not properly appreciate that they would be in jail for “only” three months or so, as culturally that sort of forward planning had never been necessary. These are all examples of the evolution of the interplay of biogeography and cognitive development.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 5:13 pm

  111. Mark Steyn rhetorically suggests that on Tues we’ll find out if even Massachusetts will follow Mr. Hopeychange down the cliff.

    http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/educated-229341-massachusetts-obama.html

    Good piece.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

  112. PP I was with you until you relied on the old urban myth about Eskimos having many words for snow.
    You might find this interesting.
    http://users.utu.fi/freder/Pullum-Eskimo-VocabHoax.pdf

    Ken Nielsen

    January 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm

  113. Peter – I agree, but ‘civilization’ never just suddenly appears
    .
    No. It’s a notoriously imperfect word. By it I usually mean a complex society with a certain degree of division of labour. There was a gradual process from the Agricultural Revolution to the formation of full civilization. The marker of this latter is possibly monumental architecture? You could add writing but Mesoamerican civilizations had the former without the latter. Not to mention the Celts.
    .
    DB – Really, Adrien, they build the walls before the city? Doesn’t ring true to me.
    .
    It depends what you call a city. Most cities of the ancient world would appear to a modern person like a combination Nimbin market/Supertruck rally (without the trucks) with a healthy dose of what happens early Sunday morning in in-bred east Texas shitholes. Just with ‘tribal’ people. I think you’ve got to get to ancient Ehypt before you get anything you’d recongize as a city.
    .
    When does a village become a city? There’s no clear line. But a wall is a very good indicator. The ancient Greeks, by way of augmentation, thought of freedom as something that could only be enjoyed in public space – that is in that area protected by the city walls. It’s within this area that one can make laws and enforce ’em.
    .
    Outside the walls it’s the jungle. hence my obsession with walls.
    .
    But I gotta go. I dropped some more Edgar Allen acid and my friend Montresor reckons he’s got some fine plonk in his cellar so I’m going with him. He’s a good friend. I can trust him. Can’t I?

    Adrien

    January 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  114. Yeah Adrien you can trust him.
    OLe Teddy will be rolling in his grave JC.

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  115. Ken, I’m going to do a Germaine Greer here. When Germs was finally persuaded she had erred in her characterization of the different chromosomal arrangements between males and females, she declared “well I’ll be fucked”! 🙂

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm

  116. “db, the problem is with each post you switch between putting my argument into other – but consistent – words, claiming you are contradicting me, or you contradict things I never claimed in the first place.”

    Peter, if I’ve done that I apologize, but I don’t think I have.

    “Nobody has suggested anything like “natural laws”, least of all me. And evolution is absolutely crucial.”

    You said that human communities ‘evolved’, which is to say that human history is determined by natural forces, and yet the history of these peoples is always a history in which they come to terms with the natural and human events that accompany their existence.

    “Why do think there is no equivalent of Çatalhöyük or Jericho or Tenochtitlan on the Australian continent?”

    For much the same reason that some people surf and others ski, that is, because the geography where these people live is suited to one and not the other.

    “Why do you think west Africans have dark/brown skin and brown eyes, while Northern Europeans have light colored skin, and high concentrations of blond hair and blue eyes?”

    What does any of this have to do with history?

    “Why do you think Mediterranean civilizations, and their offspring have words like ‘citadel’, ‘urban’, ‘city’, and ‘citizen’ in their vocabulary,…”

    For the simple reason that in the course of their history they happened to find themselves gradually living in cities, engaging in trade, and governed by states that enacted laws, etc. One doesn’t need biogeography in order to explain these eventualities.

    “These are all examples of the evolution of the interplay of biogeography and cognitive development.”

    No, they’re not. They are the outcome of human choices confronting the circumstances before them.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 6:12 pm

  117. I don’t think he’d be able to, Tal. He weighed at least 300 lbs before he died. Rolling around in his grave wouldn’t be somehting he’d easily able to do.

    http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3037/2282662466_0671224fcd_o.jpg&imgrefurl=http://mrssatan.blogspot.com/2009/04/north-ireland-pol-attacks-ted-kennedy.html&usg=__r9HBQiLtGRUEk9Tls8gAYHE_Dfs=&h=388&w=200&sz=14&hl=en&start=17&sig2=QQrMBM1l6418K5kQUoxPLA&um=1&tbnid=c-LgxZryZ0lvnM:&tbnh=123&tbnw=63&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfat%2Bted%2Bkennedy%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1&ei=JrhSS4fXCpietAPyhtH3Bw

    In other news old Harry is now quoting Keith Doberman as an authority on “teh American Right”.

    Keith Olbermann on Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh’s Haiti comments. He summarises my views more eloquently than I could.

    It’s the same Keith Doberman that tells people he’s a Ivy League grad who really studied Media Studies at the agricultural school loosely attached to Cornell.

    Watch when Brown wins in mass on Tuesday how the left and its doctors wives appendages get twisted up in knots wondering what’s happened to Hopechange’s revolution and his cap and trade. Trading in his cap is all he’ll be doing for the next 3 years.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  118. It is pretty funny to watch JC
    Nancy and Harry are on anti-depression meds

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

  119. db, I’m sorry, I have to revert to ‘I haven’t got time’. Your thinking and use of language is too muddled tonight. Once again, you have re-phrased my arguments in a way consistent with my original argument, and claiming it as a contradiction.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

  120. The Dems are waking the dead as we speak

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  121. The trouble for Brown or any GOP candidate is that they need at least 3 points advantage in votes in order to counter Demolition party vote rigging at the box.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

  122. In fact The ACLU is now running a case before SCOTUS where they argue that it is constitutionally proper that the dead have a right to vote and for the Demolition Party determining voter intention. Of course they expect the court to go 5/4 against.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm

  123. Not to mention the unborn

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm

  124. http://www.smh.com.au/world/spanish-official-the-face-of-bin-laden-20100117-mduf.html

    A Spanish lawmaker was horrified to find out the FBI used his photograph as part of a digitally enhanced image showing what Osama bin Laden might look like today, calling into question the crime-fighting agency’s credibility in battling terrorism.

    Gaspar Llamazares of the United Left party said on Saturday he would no longer feel safe travelling to the US after his hair and facial wrinkles were taken from the internet and appeared on a wanted poster updating the US government’s 1998 photo of the al-Qaeda leader.

    “I was surprised and angered because it’s the most shameless use of a real person to make up the image of a terrorist,” Llamazares said at a news conference. “It’s almost like out of a comedy if it didn’t deal with matters as serious as bin Laden and citizens’ security.”

    The FBI said in a statement on Saturday it’s aware of the similarities between their age-progressed image “and that of an existing photograph of a Spanish public official”.

    “The forensic artist was unable to find suitable features among the reference photographs and obtained those features, in part, from a photograph he found on the Internet,” the statement sent to The Associated Press said.

    The photo appeared on a US State Department website rewardsforjustice.net, where a reward of up to $US25 million ($A26.85 million) is offered for bin Laden, wanted over the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 1998 US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. The FBI said the photo of bin Laden will be removed from the website.

    Llamazares said he plans to ask the US government for an explanation and reserves the right to take legal action.

    Jason Soon

    January 17, 2010 at 6:41 pm

  125. Nancy and Harry are on anti-depression meds

    I think it’s actually a little more dangerous than that, Tal.

    The Demolition party’s senior ranks are basically populated by aging liberals in hurry. I really don’t think they give a shit about the party’s prospects as long as they get their agenda through before the avalanche closes in.

    Reid knows he done for in Nevada and appears not to give a hoot about it. Pelosi comes from an electorate in San Fran that would vote Mao in giving the chance and she’s not in any threat although her position is.

    People like Dodd and other old liberals are retiring but they also know that once a large program gets through it will almost be impossible to disband it as no program ever has. That’s why they really don’t give a shit.

    Obama is the same. I don’t think he really cares much if he re-elected or not as long as he’s able to ram is hard left program through Congress. That’s more important to him than anything else. He’s also a punk completely over his head.

    I used to think Bush was in over his head, but President Hopeychange hits that ball out of the park.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 6:46 pm

  126. “db, I’m sorry, I have to revert to ‘I haven’t got time’. Your thinking and use of language is too muddled tonight. Once again, you have re-phrased my arguments in a way consistent with my original argument, and claiming it as a contradiction.”

    Peter, when you get a chance you might (i) demonstrate that I’m muddled; and (ii) show how I’ve re-phrased your argument in a way consistent with your original argument (its called paraphrasing) and claimed it is a contradiction. I’ve argued that you are on a [particular point/s, wrong, not that your statements are contradictory.

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm

  127. “Not to mention the unborn”

    Tal, so far as the ACLU is concerned, don’t you mean “no mention of the unborn.”

    dover_beach

    January 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

  128. db, there you again. I said that you think you are contradicting my comments, but all you are doing is rewording them, unaware that your rewording is merely restating my own view. I give up.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

  129. Peter, you gave an account of human history that has biological evolution playing a central and ongoing role. Dover is disputing that.
    He’s rephrasing your words, but – here’s the catch – removing the concept of evolution. That’s the substantial difference between your POV and his.

    daddy dave

    January 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm

  130. Did GG ever admit to being wrong?

    Ken Nielsen

    January 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

  131. These are all examples of the evolution of the interplay of biogeography and cognitive development.”

    A good example of that in the perceptual realm is visual illusions. Those raised in differing visual environments have differing susceptibilities to visual illusions.

    Also look at language, initially we seem to demonstrate an eidetic capacity but this rapidly becomes lost, our hearing, at least in relation to vocalisation, becomes “attuned” to the prevailing visual constructions.

    These are all examples of the evolution of the interplay of biogeography and cognitive development.”

    You’d have more luck looking at diet and cognitive development than biogeography. Early childhood diet and even adult diet can and does induce a variety of changes. On a number of occasions I have shifted by cognition through various supplements and dietary alterations. The effect is so pronounced that Mark Mattson, a key researcher in neuroimmunology, has entitled a paper, “Starve me and watch my brain run”. Something like that. It is quite surprising but starvation stimulates BDNF, a growth factor that is often deficient in schizophrenia and depression.

    Biological evolution never goes away, there is even the possibility that the rapid rise in autism is through a greater demand for the skills that autism spectrum disorders display.

    Another example put forward is a study I read about the incidence of ADHD in hunter gatherers. Can be higher, should be expected. It is reasonable to expect that cultural forces do have effects on cognitive function and maturation. At present the most parsimonious explanation for the rapid rise in ADHD is the cultural changes post WW2.

    The most stunning example I have heard about re culture and cognition is from Ellen Langer. She took a group of men and placed them in an environment very closely resembling the environment they experienced 25 years earlier. The results were remarkable, the men were reverting to behaviors of that time period and if I recall correctly there were even phyiological markers indicative of rejuvenation. Unfortunately I have not been able to obtain the paper.

    A recent striking paper even found that in mice that undertook mothering roles their rate of neurogenesis increased even if they were not suckling the young. Perhaps that explains why grandparents dote so much on their grandchildren, they are unwittingly engaging in a neuroprotective strategy.

    Never use “evolution” to explain the so called progress of culture. Too confusing, different dynamics.

    John H.

    January 17, 2010 at 7:52 pm

  132. So JH is it right to suggest, in terms of what you’ve said, that culture or at least cultural changes can tweak evolutionary dynamics?

    Even before you agree or not I would have to say that I’ve always found the argument that evolution only seems to have a phyiscial dimension to it less than credible.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 8:01 pm

  133. So JH is it right to suggest, in terms of what you’ve said, that culture or at least cultural changes can tweak evolutionary dynamics?

    Of course it can, anything in the environment can potentially impact on evolutionary dynamics. I am at a complete loss to understand how one can presume that culture does not impact on evolutionary dynamics.

    John H.

    January 17, 2010 at 8:13 pm

  134. JC,

    If you want a current example look at:

    In a series of studies in a lab setting, researchers found that watching or even thinking about someone with good self-control makes others more likely show the same restraint.

    http://www.livescience.com/health/self-control-contagious-100115.html

    John H.

    January 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm

  135. The new scandal:

    Glaciergate? IPCC Claims That Himalayan Glaciers Will Disappear By 2035 Are Melting Away.

    One of the most alarming predictions of the IPCC, the scientific panel that is considered the world’s most authoritative source of information on global warming, turns out to be a total fraud, according to this story in the London Times. The prediction that the Himalayan glaciers, the prime source of water for hundreds of millions of people in South Asia, would disappear by 2035 have been a keystone in the case for urgent action on climate change.

    This is much, much worse than hungry polar bears; three nuclear weapons states depend on Himalayan runoff for vital water supplies: India, Pakistan and China.

    Environmental activists have made this prediction a centerpiece of the campaign for urgent action and with the full authority of the IPCC behind it, the prediction has received massive publicity; yet it now appears that this dramatic and highly publicized prediction never had any scientific backing.

    Another warmenist lie bites the dust.

    C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm

  136. “I’d cheat to keep these bastards out”

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 9:01 pm

  137. Quick CL give Doc Pach a wad of cash,he’ll stop the ice from melting 🙂

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm

  138. Of course they would cheat. It’s basically a fascist party in all but name these days anyway as they continually attempt to try and de-legitimatize the opposition

    According to these guys they’ll soon propose universal voter registration which will have the effect of polluting the electoral rolls so much that they’ll even be able to have illegals vote in elections.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/how_to_lock_democrats_in_power.html

    John Fund of the WSJ wrote about it.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 9:09 pm

  139. JC did you have a good financial week?

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 9:18 pm

  140. Dover, Motl’s point about global average temperature not affecting individual points on the globe is solipsistic. Technically correct, but of no meaning.

    Take the analogy of measuring the average height of a classroom of children. Over the year the average will increase.

    Now the average itself has not affected any individual child in any way at all – it’s a derived quantity – but each child still grew taller.

    JM

    January 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm

  141. Nope, Tal. It was a downer. Started off ok and then went midas on reverse on myself.

    I like my positions though and will keep them.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm

  142. Better luck next week JC
    Did you get away with the family?

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm

  143. yea, but came back yesterday as we had something in town.

    Will get out of town latter this week I think.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm

  144. What’s “The Boss” got planned for Australia Day?

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm

  145. ” The Boss” has me scheduled to go to a sleep clinic on the 24th to see why I snore, Tal..

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

  146. Jesus JC…no really!!!!

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  147. What the hell are you doing leaving town, JC? You hate the country. 🙂

    C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  148. Yea…

    She says it’s pretty loud, which I told my Doc and he suggested I go see a sleep specialist who will be looking for sleep apnea.

    As far as testing goes it’s a real full-on test so for a full-blown hypochondriac it ought to be one of the primary tests as they stick you on a heart monitor and other testing paraphernalia all night and get a really good look into pulmonary and heart function. I can’t really fault it. If they find apnea they could save your life long term as irregular breathing could cause lots of damage. They also look for other stuff too. It’s a great test as far as I’m concerned and wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    hahahahahhahahaha

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm

  149. What the hell are you doing leaving town, JC? You hate the country.

    I know. In fact I despise the country. I’m the perfect environmentalist, CL. I would never set foot out of the city if I had my way.

    I manage to escape this crap during the winter, but I can’t in summer without being accused of being “boring”, so I’m forced to leave. It’s a killer too. My sinus get destroyed.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm

  150. Scott Brown campaign calls for volunteer attorneys to deal with an expected Democrat Party attempt to fraudulently “win” the Massachusetts special election.

    C.L.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm

  151. My mum sent my dad to the sleep clinic. Now he goes to bed looking like Darth Vader! 🙂

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm

  152. Yea, you get to wear a mask of some such. Hey Peter, if you can manage to get a few more years on this earth I’m all for it. Apnea can cause strokes too.

    You can’t beat death, but you can skew those odds jsut a little to get a few extra years and in any why risk it when the government pays for all the crap you wear and the hospital stay.

    The sleep specialist was a riot. He asked a few questions about how sleep to which I replied that I was unconscious so i should be the last person to ask. He then spent a decent 20 minutes talking about his stock portfolio and what needed tweaking. The cost of the visit… 290 bucks.

    Add in the hospital stay which will probably run a grand or so, followed up by a lung function test to see how they working and the entire kit and caboodle will end up costing the Feds 2 grand or so by my reckoning.

    I honestly can’t figure how this medicare ponzi scheme (no bird, it’s not FRB) won’t end up bankrupting the country in a decade or so.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

  153. PP, JC loves medical tests he’ll sling the doc some cash and get tested for sickle cell, or uterine cancer 🙂

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 10:14 pm

  154. Scott Brown campaign calls for volunteer attorneys to deal with an expected Democrat Party attempt to fraudulently “win” the Massachusetts special election.

    Cl… I already mentioned that earlier. Brown needs at least 4 points in order to win by a point or less as the vote stealing will cost at least 3 points if not more.

    GOP candidates need at least that many votes in order to ensure victory and general voter fraud is about 3% in marginal electorates.

    The polls suggest he’s ahead by 3. As far as I’m concerned that’s counted as a loss.

    jc

    January 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  155. JC did you have a hard time relocating back to Australia?

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

  156. After dad saw the results of his night at the clinic all grumblings and cynicism vanished. I have never seen him change his mind so quickly.

    Peter Patton

    January 17, 2010 at 10:20 pm

  157. Well Peter that’s a good thing yeah 🙂

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm

  158. ea, you get to wear a mask of some such. Hey Peter, if you can manage to get a few more years on this earth I’m all for it. Apnea can cause strokes too.

    And high blood pressure and dementia and … William Dement has written an excellent book on the sleep. The Promise of Sleep. He argues that maintaining good sleep is as important as exercise and diet. After I studied circadian rhythms for a poster presentation I completely changed my attitude to sleep, now using a sleep mask and ear plugs. Makes an incredible difference to sleep. Dement states that in his experience normalising sleep was one of the best ways to reduce blood pressure. The other good way is for people like me to avoid blogs like this.

    John H.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm

  159. John H did we denormalise sleep?

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  160. No, this place leaves me laughing too much.

    John H.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  161. John H did we denormalise sleep?
    .
    yes… artificial light means you can stay up as late as you want; engage in various activities, and your body won’t even get a clue that it’s time for sleep.
    Add to that recreational chemicals such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, plus all the illegal stuff like speed, pot etc… that all potentially disrupt the 24 hour cycle.
    .
    I’ve become convinced of late that sleep disruption is widespread and under-rated, causing health problems and quality of life problems across the whole spectrum of society.

    daddy dave

    January 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

  162. I’ve become convinced of late that sleep disruption is widespread and under-rated, causing health problems and quality of life problems across the whole spectrum of society.

    Bang on the mark Daddy Dave. Dement even goes so far as to suggest that if you do get up in the night never use full lighting as this can disrupt the sleep pattern. To give you an idea of the sensitivity of circadian rhythms to sleep, in the fruit fly even mooonlight was changing their circadians. Early morning exposure to bright light will quickly collapse melatonin production and acts as a resetting mechanism.

    John H.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm

  163. Daddy this calls for a nightcap Bakon Vodka
    http://www.bakonvodka.com/

    tal

    January 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm

  164. thanks tal, although all this talk of sleep makes me want some pretty soon. John H I am interested in that book you mentioned and will track it down.

    daddy dave

    January 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  165. Glaciergate heading the news:

    United Nations’ blunder on glaciers exposed.

    THE peak UN body on climate change has been dealt another humiliating blow to its credibility after it was revealed a central claim of one of its benchmark reports – that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 because of global warming – was based on a “speculative” claim by an obscure Indian scientist.
    The 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming, appears to have simply adopted the untested opinions of the Indian glaciologist from a magazine article published in 1999.

    The IPCC report claimed that the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish inside 30 years.

    But the scientists behind the warning have now admitted it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s report.

    One – not slight – quiblle with The Australian’s headline. It wasn’t a “blunder” – it was a deliberate act of fraud.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 2:55 am

  166. “Has anyone read Saul Bellow? Is he any good?* I saw a reference to Ravelstein yesterday and it looked interesting.”

    I read Herzog a number of years ago and I thought it was brilliant…

    Labor Outsider

    January 18, 2010 at 6:11 am

  167. “db, there you again. I said that you think you are contradicting my comments, but all you are doing is rewording them, unaware that your rewording is merely restating my own view. I give up.”

    Peter, I must have imagined you meant more by using the term “evolved” where the word “changed” might have sufficed and avoid the misunderstanding that the former word can and did engender.

    “Peter, you gave an account of human history that has biological evolution playing a central and ongoing role. Dover is disputing that.
    He’s rephrasing your words, but – here’s the catch – removing the concept of evolution. That’s the substantial difference between your POV and his.”

    Daddy dave, that is not quite right. I’m not trying to airbrush evolution from an account of human history, I simply suggested that in any account of human history, evolution is, like the environment or other human beings, one of the factors human beings respond to in their day-day engagements. If I misunderstood Peter it was because he clearly stated to begin with that cognitive frameworks, institutions, and practices ‘evolved’; my problem then was with the mode of historical change this implied which Peter and probably yourself failed to notice. This was probably my fault.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 9:21 am

  168. “Dover, Motl’s point about global average temperature not affecting individual points on the globe is solipsistic. Technically correct, but of no meaning.

    Take the analogy of measuring the average height of a classroom of children. Over the year the average will increase.

    Now the average itself has not affected any individual child in any way at all – it’s a derived quantity – but each child still grew taller.”

    JM, no, and your analogy doesn’t analogise what you state in your first paragraph as constituting Motl’s point. Firstly, Motl’s point is that what is important are changes in local or regional temperatures, not global temperature. To use your analogy, if growing tall too quickly had catastrophic consequences for children, Motl is arguing that converting the individual measures of their height into a single index is silly since what should be preferred are the individual heights of each child for their diagnosis. Secondly, it is because of this, I believe, that he thinks that the global average is meaningless and the local/ regional temps meaningful. And thirdly, simply because the average height of a class has increased doesn’t necessarily mean that “each child grew taller”, it merely indicates that the average child has grown taller.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 9:35 am

  169. CL, re Glaciergate, I commented on that at least a month ago reporting what was said over at Pielke Snr’s blog, etc. My god, the MSM is ‘glacial’ in their reporting of fiascos associated with AGW.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 9:42 am

  170. CL, why is every mistake, error or case of careless on the AGW issue a “lie” or a “fraud”? On this issue, you sound a hell of lot like Margo Kingston’s mob during Howard’s term. Everything was proof of an e-vil maliciousness on the part of Howard who obviously was a deliberate liar.

    Having said that, this glacier point is a major embarrassment to the IPCC – I have already admitted that here when it was first brought up weeks ago.

    steve from brisbane

    January 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

  171. In the wake of Glaciergate, Ed Morrissey claims to have unearthed the latest source for a coming IPCC “report”:

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

  172. Steve, again, your now hackneyed trollish cliche: YOU are on side with Margo Kingston’s worldview on almost everything – including warmening. Not me. You should get a job at the IPCC. You’re the man who predicted the public would blame Nick Minchin for summer 09-10. We know that the report on glaciers was knowingly cobbled together on a wilfully flimsy basis for the express purpose of scaring people. It was a lie and a fraud. If you insist that it was just one (massive) honest mistake, you are – in any case – now conceding that the science isn’t (and never was) “settled.” Welcome to the Abbott camp.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

  173. Scots named as booziest Britons.

    “This is a wake-up call,” said Scotland’s Public Health Minister Shona Robinson (SNP).

    And yes, the police state wowser wants to punish her naughty countrymen by pricing them out of the booze they like so much.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:51 am

  174. You always know what “wake up call” is going to lead to , don’t you?

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm

  175. Steve

    How does “an honest mistake” make it better? They were trying to lie about Atlantic hurricane activity until Chris Landsea from the Colorado uni who is a world authority threatened to resign as a result of the lies they were trying to include on this subject.

    The IPCC is basically compromised now as a result of Doc. Pach’s activities too.

    I keep saying that this part of science is too important to be left to a bunch of lying rodents. You continue to support them. Why?

    The entire senior ranks needs to be cleaned out and the empty offices fumigated.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  176. Huggy Chavez doing what leftist loons do best.

    Venezuela Nationalizes French-Colombian Retailer Exito

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100117-703649.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

  177. jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm

  178. Is he blaming the Swiss?

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 12:31 pm

  179. An ‘honest’ mistake? They contravened their on regulations by including such an unsupported assertion that lacked any peer-review. Furthermore, the claims made were more or less unphysical; the Himalayan glaciers could not melt by 2035, period, unless, that is, we crush into the sun or some other unlikely event. That this passed through all the so-called hoops of review, i.e. the critical gaze of the infamous ‘2500’ scientists, is a colossal embarrassment.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

  180. So I’m not the only one thinking this.

    CNBC’s Jim Cramer: Brown Win Tuesday Causes Huge Stock Rally As Investors Celebrate ‘Pelosi Politburo Emasculation’

    I think investors who are nervous about the dictatorship of the Pelosi proletariat will feel at ease, and we could have a gigantic rally off a Coakley loss and a Brown win,” said Cramer on Friday’s “Mad Money.”

    “It will be a signal that a more pro-business, less pro-labor government could be in front of us.”

    The trouble is that Brown needs at least 4 points to win as you know that 3 points will be stolen. So I’m still calling this election a toss up despite Brown being ahead solidly by 3 points.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm

  181. InTrade has Brown out in front considerably.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm

  182. Wow. Obama’s rally in Massachusetts fails to fill the venue.

    “It holds 3,000 and frankly only 2,000 to 2,500 showed up.”

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm

  183. BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

  184. The Brown rally is a contrast:

    “It’s an absolute mob scene. The police have closed off the streets. It’s mind blowing. The hall is already full, and it holds 3,000 people. There may be another 1,000 people outside.”

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm

  185. InTrade has Brown out in front considerably.

    That’s true, but people may be assuming no cheating will take place.

    It would be hysterically funny if Brown wins and the stock market takes off on Wednesday. The bank tax will be dead in the water so bank stocks could also take off.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  186. The real lesson with a Brown victory is a couple of things.

    1. Americans are basically worried about a left wing government and they never really signed on for that.

    2. Decent GOP candidates can actually win in the North East if the party is prepared to cater to their opinions.

    3. If this seat goes GOP no Demolition party seat is safe other than the Botox gal’s in San Francisco.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm

  187. BirdLab,do you like the frock she was wearing?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

  188. Barbara Boxer in deep trouble in California. Lead cut to within margin of error.

    http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/7734

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm

  189. She had to wear something to stop them swinging out and hitting someone Tal.

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  190. Denialist Tim Lambert yet to comment on the Glaciergate fraud.

    My guess: he’ll blame Ian Plimer and Big Tobacco.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm

  191. From CLs link

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

  192. No db. Once again, the word is co-evolved. And yes, evolve/evolution is pointedly, deliberately, and correctly chosen.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm

  193. Of course he’ll blame Ian Plimer. He’ll also use that other excuse soon.

    That exposing obvious frauds like this is bad for the future of climate science as it will deter bright young minds from entering that field.

    Doncha wish dwarf throwing was legal?

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

  194. Space shuttles going cheap if anyone’s interested:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/science/space/17nasa.html?ref=science

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm

  195. Nah BirdLad,already got one

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

  196. CL: to be precise, I argued that public sentiment would be against the Minchin “do nothing, AGW is all a crock anyway” approach if there were further heat waves this summer similar to those of last summer. Seems to me too early to tell if the record heat waves of November are going to be repeated again this summer, so too early to tell if my prediction was right or wrong.

    I think your current paraphrase of my argument is somewhat closer to truth than some of your previous just outright dishonest versions, yet still inaccurate. Qualified congratulations on your less misleading way of putting my arguments are due, I suppose. (By the way, if I saw some humour in some of your exaggerations, I wouldn’t care so much or take it as a sign of dishonesty, but I see no real evidence for that.)

    It is also very odd how, um, shrill you can get over my criticisms. I want to see the old, he-used-to-argue-by-reason-and-not-continually-exaggerate-or-twist-other-people’s-words CL back, but all I get is more hyperventilating, it seems.

    In particular, your “everyone who is not with me on AGW is against me – on everything” mentality on AGW is genuinely irrational. For example, I argue that your rhetoric (lies! fraud!) is the same as that used unfairly all the time by Margot Kingston’s lefties (and criticised by me at the time); you respond that I am a Margot Kingston style Lefty because I believe in AGW.

    It’s an illogical, almost paranoid line.

    Anyhow, back to the point of glaciers. I dare say that the adverse effects of a Himalayan glacier melt that takes 300 years to complete begins to be felt way before the last icecube melts. How soon – I don’t know, I would have to ask an expert – but this paper for example:

    http://www.wrq.eawag.ch/organisation/abteilungen/surf/publikationen/2008_kehrwald.pdf

    from 2008 details research into ice loss from the middle of glaciers in the Himalayas, and ends with this:

    “Estimates of the impact of Himalayan glacier retreat on water resources have not accounted for mass loss through high elevation thinning such as is currently occurring on the Naimona’nyi ice field. If Naimona’nyi is characteristic of other glaciers in the region, alpine glacier meltwater surpluses are likely to shrink much faster than currently
    predicted with substantial consequences for approximately half a billion people.”

    Should this not be taken seriously, even if it takes 100’s of years for all ice to melt?

    JC: I simply think it is too late, and unnecessary, to start from scratch, so to speak, as I consider the evidence of error (or Lies! Fraud!) to not be so large so as to doubt the big picture findings of the IPCC. Jason has said here before it was unfortunate that a political figure like Gore ever got involved as an advocate; I agree. It is also unfortunate that a lot of UN baggage gets carried into the climate change conferences (like Chavez getting to speak aobut it.) But starting from scratch with the science just isn’t justified. We already now what most of the experts think. Those whose views have not made it into peer reviewed journals on an allegedly unfair basis have had years of the internet
    to air their points.

    steve from brisbane

    January 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

  197. Jeez.

    You can get a shuttle engine for free? I imagine sticking that thing under the hood.

    100K in .0005 seconds would certainly be a head turner at the hotrod races.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

  198. I am a bit concerned. The manual that came with my electric shaver does not say that it was peer reviewed.
    It seems accepted now that any publication that is not peer reviewed is likely to be wrong and probably full of delusionist lies paid for by the tobacco and energy companies.
    What should I do?

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

  199. And yes, evolve/evolution is pointedly, deliberately, and correctly chosen.
    .
    in that case, you’re simply incorrect.
    That’s not a mainstream position at all.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

  200. What should I do?
    .
    Give it to a friend who will peer review it then return it to you. Voila! Peer-reviewed shaver.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

  201. No DD you have to pay someone to review it for you,and keep paying everytime you use it

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm

  202. What if I was peerless?

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

  203. What should I do?

    have it pee reviewed. Everything now must
    be pee reviewed.

    We had the Head (Dave) on the blubber thread (whales thread) suggesting that unless blubber research is pee reviewed it isn’t with the toilet bowl.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

  204. Tough luck old boy 🙂

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  205. Well I haven’t said anything about any “mainstream” position as I don’t know what that is.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

  206. Mr. Hopeychange changed the number of hours in a day.

    As audience members streamed out of Pres. Obama’s rally on behalf of AG Martha Coakley (D) here tonight, the consensus was that the fault for Coakley’s now-floundering MA SEN bid lies with one person — George W. Bush.

    “People are upset because there’s so many problems,” Rosemary Kverek, 70, a retired Charleston schoolteacher said as tonight’s rally wrapped up. “But the problems came from the previous administration. So we’re blaming poor Obama, who’s working 36 hours a day … to solve these problems that he inherited.”

    If Croakely loses it’s Bush’s fault and Hopeychange is working 36 hour days.

    LOL.

    You gotta love the Demolition party and its supporters.

    (Note the previous employment of the quoted innumerate)

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  207. Sorry, I was reading another blog where TerjeP is fighting the good fight on several fronts and was challenged thusly

    “Re: Enterprise bargaining
    Give me a reference to a peer reviewed article in a proper journal (not from a loony toons think tank) the provides a convincing rationale for enterprise bargaining?
    Go ahead. Make my day!”

    Seems nothing is real unless peer reviewed.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

  208. Well I haven’t said anything about any “mainstream” position as I don’t know what that is.
    .
    Something for which there is empirical support and which at least some researchers in the area believe.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm

  209. Ken
    I saw that. I think Terje’s interpretation of EU labour markets being more flexible because they are at an enterprise level is far fetched to say the least. I don’t think he understands that all this means is that you have more complex fragmented system of labour regulation, not that the enterprises aren’t in effect still subject to pretty high min wages and conditions.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  210. The obsession with peer-review is a bit dated since the climategate scandal. Here is the Senate talking about my FuelWatch submission.

    Professor Davidson from the Institute of Public Affairs and Concept Economics were also provided with data by Informed Sources and conducted econometric tests, also not peer-reviewed and also without making the data used available, and concluded that Fuelwatch had not reduced relative petrol price margins in WA.

    Here is my peer-reviewed version of the submission. Talk about not bothering to find out the facts.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  211. European labor laws at the national level are extremely restrictive. What’s he talking about?

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

  212. Oh no, Tal. Not the Eurotrash at the tennis thing again.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

  213. dd, i don’t know what you are referring to.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

  214. JC

    This is an argument I’ve had with Terje before. He must feel some sentimental attachment to Scandinavia and feels obliged to defend it. If some nationally based trade union has an exclusive right to negotiate wages and conditons for workers in a particular industry (which is the set up that Terje is referring to) then I don’t see how the outcome of that negotiation is going to reflect market forces.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

  215. dd, i don’t know what you are referring to.
    .
    In that case I’m happy to let it rest.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

  216. Speaking of Scandinavia, I saw this at Ace of Spades yesterday.

    The Awesomeness of Dolph Lungren.

    Okay okay he’s a dirty Swedish scandi but apart from that he’s actually a pretty awesome guy. Here’s a couple of Dolph facts you probably didn’t know: By training he’s a chemical engineer and he has a masters degree in ChemEng from the University of Sydney. The only reason he came to the US is because he won a Fulbright scholarship to study at MIT.

    However shortly thereafter he met and started dating Grace Jones who convinced him to take up acting instead. So that was then end of his academic career. Since then he’s played countless bad guys, a few good ones and even made a cheesy workout video. Oh and he also won the European full-contact karate championships in 1980 and 1981.

    I thought he was just a blockhead.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm

  217. Really… MIT? I thought he was a blockhead too.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm

  218. This doesn’t sound freer than a country with a low legislated minimum wage. if anything it sounds worse

    http://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp774.pdf

    levels. Within each agreement minimum wages are, or have been, laid down in accordance with the number of workers and workplace characteristics, such as occupation, age, work experience, type of employment contract and location. Agreements apply to all firms
    that are members of a signatory employer association in the industry, whether the workers are unionised or not. Approximately 90 per cent of all workers are covered by collective agreements. In general, minimum wages are specific to the negotiating area and nationwide.

    Minimum wages in all Nordic countries are set in collective agreements (see Table 1). Differentiation of rates is widely used in all countries. Finland – and to a much lesser extent Norway – extends the rates in the agreements to uncovered sectors. In Finland, extension is possible if the collective agreement is ‘representative’, which is
    assessed by a specific institution, the Board for Ratification of the Validity of Collective Agreements, and by the Labour Court. They have considered a contract to be representative when at least half of the workers in the industry are union members and most industries have a representative contract (Böckerman and Uusitalo 2007). In
    Norway, extensions have been few, however, and used mainly in the construction sector. Denmark is the country that resembles Sweden the most as it relies solely on collective agreements for the determination of minimum wages.
    Since the collective agreements in the Nordic countries tend to also cover most workers with atypical employment, like fixed-term and part-time jobs as well as employment in temporary work agencies, few workers are excluded from the minimum rates. However, like in most other countries, self-employed workers are not covered.
    Due to the complexity of the minimum wage systems in the Nordic countries and the absence of legislation, very little systematic information is readily available on the rates and their evolution over time.2 Consequently, there is virtually no information at
    all regarding the overall percentage of workers on the minimum wages, wage mobility of minimum wage workers and other important characteristics of the minimum wage systems, although the share of low-paid workers in general seems to be relatively low
    in all Nordic countries.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm

  219. re Dolph Lundgren

    I read somewhere ages ago that he has an IQ>140

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  220. tal

    One of the most telling aspects of this debate over “racist attacks on Indian students” is the way they assume Australia is still an all white society. Therefore, when these ‘brown’ Indian students arrive, any misfortune must be an act of white racism.

    They fail to understand that in the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne (particularly the western suburbs) are an unbelievable multicultural melting point, which with it entails a lot of more recent arrivals bring the enmities and conflicts from where they emigrated. Violence is committed by Pakistani Muslims, Irish Catholics, Anglos, Croats, black African refugees, other Indians, Lebanese Muslims, Vietnamese, Aborigines, Polynesians, and on and on.

    Sometimes young males organize into gangs that even though might be based on race/ethnicity are not necessarily racist. Often it is just because they are mostly the type of boys in their neighbourhood, etc. A group of Aboriginal boys who live in Redfern who mug lone people walking through an unlit park late at night are not the victims of ‘racist attacks’ even if all the victims are white or Asian, etc.

    My experience is that a lot of these gangs of young males tend to be quite multicultural themselves, with anybody fair game as a target if they look like they have something worth stealing.

    This Croat thing shows there are lots of gangs of male youths ethnically/racially based. But they are less likely to be gangs of Anglos UNLESS they are really racists, like the skinhead gangs who used to target Vietnamese and other Asians in the 1980s and early 1980s in areas such as Footscray and Newtown. But has anybody heard much from skinhead neo-Nazis for a while? I haven’t.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  221. Building-climber, Alain Robert – AKA ‘Spiderman’ – sets his sights on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  222. Jason
    I am inclined to agree with TerjeP that enterprise bargaining can produce a more flexible – and therefore better for the economy – outcome than industry bargaining.
    Before EB here, there was really not much competitive advantage in good industrial relations. Companies in many industries left it all to the trade association, knowing that whatever wage increase imposed on them applied to the competition as well. In extreme cases companies hardly communicated with employees – in a sense the union was like a labour hire business.
    In the really bad old days, the industry went straight out a got an increase in tariff protection following a wage increase.
    Enterprise bargaining meant that you could be at a competitive disadvantage from a wage settlement. In some industries that was the start of companies beginning to take responsibility for labour relations. Talking to their people, sharing information about the business’s financial position and getting them to realize that they had an interest in the strength of the business.
    It seemed to me at the time that EBAs were a major step in IR.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

  223. Yea it does sound worse.

    The US shouldn’t have a minimum wage law however for the most part it’s been pretty lowish for most regions anyway.

    The other thing he’s missing is the legislation once you’ve hired people which in most of those places is like a marriage contract.

    I can’t quite make out how he would actually turn the tables here and suggest Europe has freer labor markets than the US. That’s a head spinner.. But then he’s always had this curious affliction for Europe.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm

  224. But I know nothing about Sweden other than at Christmas they eat a kind of preserved fish that tastes awful.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

  225. Ken

    I don’t really know how you can distinguish between enterprise bargaining and industry bargaining as they’re both rotten methods of wage determination anyway.

    Detroit had I would guess a form of enterprise bargaining and look where it got them. I say it would be a form of enterprise bargaining as it affected the entire industry from the component makers on up.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  226. Ken
    Of course EB is better than a *high* legislated minimum wage or minimum wages or conditions.
    But Terje is talking complete nonsense with his claim that because Denmark, Norway etc have no legislated national minimum wage they have more flexible labour markets than the US with its low legislated minimum wage.

    You can have a low minimum wage which doesn’t keep up properly with inflation and it’s just as good as not having one.

    Conversely when you give quasi-State functions to employer and employee associations to fix wage rates between themselves it’s silly not to call that wage regulation merely because it isn’t one set of minimums at a national level.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm

  227. Ken do you mean pickled herrings? Disgusting

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

  228. Christopher Booker on the UK Met office and its serial fraud – perpetrated for one specific purpose:

    Shortly after midnight on Friday morning, as 200,000 merrymakers were departing from the Thames after enjoying a spectacular fireworks show in sub-zero temperatures, flakes of snow began to fall on Whitehall. In light of the Met Office’s prediction that this would be a “mild” winter, with temperatures above average, it seemed an apt way to start the New Year. But hasn’t the time come for us to stop treating the serial inaccuracy of Met Office forecasts as just a joke and see it for what it is – a national scandal?

    The reason the Met Office so persistently gets its seasonal forecasts wrong is that it has been hi-jacked from the role for which we pay it nearly £200 million a year, to become one of the world’s major propaganda engines for the belief in man-made global warming. Over the past three years, it has become a laughing stock for forecasts which are invariably wrong in the same direction.

    RTWT.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

  229. jc – EB was an improvement in this country over the very bad IR situation we had before. Still not great but better.
    As I saw it, it forced management – in many cases for the first time – to talk to their people.

    And yes Jason of course it’s wage regulation.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm

  230. No tal, I can eat pickled herring.
    But not this
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutefisk

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  231. Pickled herring is delicious.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  232. “No db. Once again, the word is co-evolved. And yes, evolve/evolution is pointedly, deliberately, and correctly chosen.”

    Sorry, Peter, but if you think the history of ideas, institutions, or practices is subject to an evolutionary mode of change than you are simply wrong. Ideas, institutions, and practices do not ‘evolve’ or ‘co-evolve’; changes in each are not ‘mutations’ that improve the fitness of A, B, C compared to their rivals in their particular environment. Whatever changes occurs in the history of ideas, institutions, or practices, they are indubitable intelligent, or not-so intelligent, choices made by human beings responding to their understood, or misunderstood, circumstances that presently confront them.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  233. Ugh

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm

  234. At Christmas – I think Christmas eve – the Swedes eat a meal that is all white – lutefisk, boiled potatoes and I think a white sauce -to match the snow outside I believe. Not recommendable.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm

  235. Sounds exciting Ken

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  236. Dolph’s intellect is common knowledge amongst his real fans. He’s purportedly a human tripod, too.

    Infidel Tiger

    January 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm

  237. Anyway, I’m just trying to avoid trying to fix my network drive which seems to have forgotten how to work: “Bad Firmware” it says. Why isn’t there a 15 year old kid around when you need one? Betcha he’d fix it real quick.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

  238. Wow

    Talk about the good lord being in a great mood when he handed out the genes to Dolph 🙂

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

  239. So next time someone tells you how high Sweden’s HDI is just say one word: “lutefisk”.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

  240. ken how’s the Bad Firmware going?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

  241. Nudists complain ‘swinger nudists’ give them a bad name

    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/immoral-sex-romp-resort-is-ruining-our-image-nudists-20100117-mdxr.html

    I’m not into either but frankly I wonder what the point is of nudism ‘without the sexual connotations’

    Jason Soon

    January 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm

  242. tal seems I need to do a Boot Recovery using RAIDiator – 4.1.6 on a USB drive.
    And just as soon as I work out what that means, I’ll give it a try.
    Meanwhile, I’m off to the gym to sweat.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm

  243. Hey jc, going back to your sleep test, you will find that using CPAP significantly reduces the bruising of your ribs.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

  244. yuck… Don’t swim in that pool.

    From the comments in Jason’s link.

    My wife and I are both Nudists and Swingers and have stayed at a number of Nudist places throughout Australia, including Taylorwood and The White Cockatoo. At every place we’ve stayed we’ve met other likeminded adults, and even indulged in sex in the pool with others at many, including Taylorwood and The White Cockatoo.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

  245. CPAP significantly reduces the bruising of your ribs.

    Can you explain Ken?

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

  246. Prudie nudie that’s funny

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  247. When I get back jc – but think about it.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

  248. oh yea… Like not getting bashed in the ribs by an angry spouse…. Lol.

    I usually get kicked in the legs and lower body ending up with an argument at 4 in the morning. That’s funny.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

  249. “The Boss” will stop punching them JC

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

  250. Yeah, that’s it.
    A great improvement in quality of life all round.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm

  251. So much for the influence of the mass media.

    Fatties are not hot – obvious even to blind Freddie

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T6H-4XWD03V-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=a29821b4c71b93dd82db6ca85f56e4cf

    Previous studies suggest that men in Western societies are attracted to low female waist-to-hip ratios (WHR). Several explanations of this preference rely on the importance of visual input for the development of the preference, including explanations stressing the role of visual media. We report evidence showing that congenitally blind men, without previous visual experience, exhibit a preference for low female WHRs when assessing female body shapes through touch, as do their sighted counterparts. This finding shows that a preference for low WHR can develop in the complete absence of visual input and, hence, that such input is not necessary for the preference to develop. However, the strength of the preference was greater for the sighted than the blind men, suggesting that visual input might play a role in reinforcing the preference. These results have implications for debates concerning the evolutionary and developmental origins of human mate preferences, in particular, regarding the role of visual media in shaping such preferences

    Jason Soon

    January 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm

  252. db

    And how does that process – which I have been describing all along – not constitute co-evolution?

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm

  253. Tal:

    I get kicked in the legs; usually having the effect of startling the shit outta me which invariably ends up in an argument at 5 am.

    Usually along the lines of

    ” what the hell did you do that for?”

    “your snoring is impossible to sleep through”

    ” I’m unconscious. I dunno I’m snoring. You bloody well kicked me in my sleep”

    ” You woke me up and you HAVE to so something about your snoring”

    “should I stop breathing altogether”.

    ” You promised me years ago that you would go see a doctor about it”

    “what’s he gunna do, I’m not wearing a damn mask”

    ” You will if you wanna sleep in the same bed”

    ” I’m not leaving for the spare bed, you can”

    ” no, you can. I’m not snoring. you’re selfish”

    ” I’m asleep… unconscious. I can’t be selfish if I’m asleep”

    That sort of thing. Goes for 1o mins and then it’s over as we both fall alseep.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

  254. And ‘mutations’ is precisely a damn good metaphor for how ideas, institutions, and practices have evolved since the Neolithic.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

  255. What a fine frock. The actress was Saffron in Firefly – where she wore an even better frock.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm

  256. Wow Great dress. I was chosen to play to her obvious strengths.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

  257. This looks great… Can O’Farrell screw this own up? Yes he can!

    Love how Keneally is really trying to disguise her accent.

    http://player.video.news.com.au/theaustralian/#1388233509

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm

  258. KK is a little bit of alright.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm

  259. What is this? New Idea?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

  260. Harry Clarke, intellectual eclectic, using Keith Doberman as an authority on America’s odious right forgot to report about American’s odious Left.

    Mother Jones blames Bush and Cheney for Haiti.

    Think I’m kidding. Take a look.

    How Bush-Cheney Policy Screwed Haiti

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/us-policy-helped-keep-haiti-chaos

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

  261. “And how does that process – which I have been describing all along – not constitute co-evolution?”

    Because the mode of change history entails is not a process. Because the changes that impinge upon ideas, institutions, or practices that are related do not co-evolve even this notion is understood in its broadest sense.

    “And ‘mutations’ is precisely a damn good metaphor for how ideas, institutions, and practices have evolved since the Neolithic.”

    Peter, it’s plausibility depends upon its metaphorical use, as opposed to its precise use, and it is, even then, extremely misleading as metaphor. For one thing, there is nothing that approximates ‘genotype’ so far as ideas, institutions, or practices are concerned that may be subject to mutation. Moreover, ideas, institutions, or practices are not induced internally or externally by natural processes, i.e. they do not mutate; whatever changes emerge they are always the result of a choice of those human beings presently employing an idea, an institution, or a practice to whatever purpose they have designed. Democracy is not a mutant form of republicanism or monarchy; they are all different responses people have formulated to the problems of authority, government, legitimacy, power, etc.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm

  262. “It was chosen to play to her obvious strengths.”

    You of couse mean her Golden Globes JC.

    “What is this? New Idea?”

    Oh come on tal. Everyone likes a nice frock:

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_kwcfqmocdL1qz9qooo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0RYTHV9YYQ4W5Q3HQMG2&Expires=1263878294&Signature=SzAQKyTom69P2p6pmkJEqIo8cEA%3D

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

  263. Stuff the frock BirdLab I love the shoes

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  264. Of course, I meant “her golden globes”, birdlab. What else would I be talking about? Lol Good one.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  265. Here we go 🙂

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm

  266. Correction: Moreover, changes in ideas, institutions,…

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm

  267. DB what are your thoughts on the frock

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

  268. “Stuff the frock BirdLab I love the shoes”

    It always comes back to the shoes.

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  269. “Stuff the frock BirdLab I love the shoes”

    It always comes back to the shoes.

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

  270. Science confirms something we all know: men like women with the hourglass thing happening.

    Scientists have also confirmed: Kelly Brook Has Perfect Body.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

  271. CL, Yes that is true. Despite all the hoo-ha over how ‘skinny’ Kate Moss was/is, she still have a perfectly hip-waist ratio.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  272. Now we’ll have the Nigella hour 🙂

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  273. who is Kelly Brook?

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  274. sorry CL but Nigella has grown too buxom. she did look better before.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm

  275. “English model, actress, occasional swimwear designer and television presenter.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Brook

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm

  276. db, surely you realize that even Charles Darwin thought highly of the ‘evolution’ metaphor. There is absolutely nothing at all ‘precise’ about ‘evolution’ not even in Darwin’s use. And democracy most certainly DID mutate from monarchy, aristocracy, and tyranny.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  277. Teddy’s son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, campaigns for Martha Coakley – gets her name wrong on several occasions.

    Patrick Kennedy a big fan of, um, “Marcia” Coakley.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm

  278. Sounds like he’s on the turps CL

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  279. “DB what are your thoughts on the frock”

    LOL. Tal, seriously, its awful, and really unsuited for her. Look how much more flattering this dress is for her bust and figure:

    She is gorgeous, by the way.

    “Scientists have also confirmed: Kelly Brook Has Perfect Body.”

    I really don’t need ‘science’ to confirm what my eyes do already.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  280. the grapes don’t fall far from the vinyeard

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

  281. Who’s the crossdresser who accompanied George Clooney to the Globes?

    http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/gallery/goldenglobes10/

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

  282. Someone tell James Cameron’s Mrs that her days of wearing slinky numbers are over.

    http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/gallery/goldenglobes10?pg=2

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm

  283. Good Lord

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

  284. Sigourney Weaver:

    One word: horrible.

    http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/gallery/goldenglobes10?pg=3

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

  285. Kate Hudson: stupendously revolting.

    http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/gallery/goldenglobes10?pg=13

    Hey, this is fun.

    C.L.

    January 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm

  286. BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm

  287. tal

    January 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

  288. BirdLab that’s gross!!!!

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

  289. “db, surely you realize that even Charles Darwin thought highly of the ‘evolution’ metaphor. There is absolutely nothing at all ‘precise’ about ‘evolution’ not even in Darwin’s use. And democracy most certainly DID mutate from monarchy, aristocracy, and tyranny.”

    You’re just playing with words now, Peter, and not in a very convincing manner. What Darwin though of the metaphor is neither here nor there. What is meant by biological evolution is both precise and clear; it was clear in 1859 and became clearer following Mendel’s discoveries, and clearer still in the intervening years. And, no, democracy did not ‘mutate’ from monarchy, aristocracy, or tyranny; not even in its broadest sense.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  290. I just call ’em as I see ’em, tal.

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

  291. Shudder

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

  292. db. I have not been talking about whatever ‘precise and clear’ conception you have of ‘biological evolution’. If you are incapable of conceptualizng the web within which socio-cultural institutions and practices co-evolve then I wonder where you are getting your knowledge from.

    And yes, democracy did mutate from monarchy, aristocracy, and tyranny. I urge you to revisit the history of Athens from Solon through the Pisistratid, and on to Kleisthenes’ demes, and beyond.

    Make Homer, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Thucydides, Aristotle, and Plutarch your friends not whatever nonsense you currently rely on!

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  293. *KK is a little bit of alright.

    jtfsoon

    January 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm*

    I hate to be cynical, but I reckon that’s why she’s so “likeable” and hence polls well.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm

  294. That’s true, but people may be assuming no cheating will take place.

    JC, there is no question about the Democrats cheating. They are worse than the PRI of Mexico. You’ve gotta be clear by 3% to even have a chance of victory, cos they’ll be stuffing ballots like there’s no tomorrow.

    Michael Fisk

    January 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm

  295. db

    With all due respect, all you have done throughout this entire thread is say “no it isn’t/doesn’t” without providing even the slightest rebuttal or shred of evidence you really have any idea what’s going on. Again, you need to go away for a while, hit the books hard, and then we can continue.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm

  296. “With all due respect, all you have done throughout this entire thread is say “no it isn’t/doesn’t” without providing even the slightest rebuttal or shred of evidence you really have any idea what’s going on. Again, you need to go away for a while, hit the books hard, and then we can continue.”

    Peter, I’ve explained countless times that history does not involve an evolutionary mode of change for a very specific reason, again: Ideas, institutions, and practices do not ‘evolve’ or ‘co-evolve’; changes in each are not ‘mutations’(internally or externally induced natural changes) that improve the fitness of A, B, C compared to their rivals in their particular environment. Whatever changes occurs in the history of ideas, institutions, or practices, they reflect indubitable the intelligent, or not-so intelligent, choices made by human beings in responding to their understood, or misunderstood, situations.

    Your replies to date have been simply to ignore this central point, which obviously goes over your head, and to regurgitate evolutionary terms, that can only be sustained if they are employed only in a metaphorical sense, without the courtesy of admitting that when used strictly they flounder on the shallows of your condescension. And you have the gall to tell me that I should hit the books hard. What would be the point? I’m not the one who is here mistaking their ass for a hat.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm

  297. And democracy most certainly DID mutate from monarchy, aristocracy, and tyranny
    .
    It’s actually a cycle, read Aristotle. Or perhaps Machiavelli viz why the Romans lasted so long. Each system contains flaws which lead to its destruction and replacement by a different system. Aristotle lived at the end of democracy and the beginning of a monarchical age.
    .
    When the Roman republic went belly up they didn’t scrap it. They just created a new office princeps or ‘first citizen’. Ironically the Roman conservatism helped create the basis for liberal democracy which keeps the howling mob from fucking it all up a bit longer.
    .
    Like America. Hell 200 years wasn’t bad. Shame really.

    Adrien

    January 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm

  298. Again, you need to go away for a while, hit the books hard, and then we can continue.
    .
    Peter, all you’re doing is rehashing the “meme” concept first put forward by Richard Dawkins; I presume you have read The Blind Watchmaker, which is what excited you to this opinion. But while memes is a cute idea it doesn’t lot of empirical support. Furthermore it’s of limited use in understanding historical events, including the rise of Western democracy.
    .
    But then you’ve mixed memes in with social Darwinism which is a discredited theory. So it’s unclear what you believe the empirical or rational support for your position is.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm

  299. “It’s actually a cycle, read Aristotle.”

    That is another mode of change that was initially postulated; it, too, has little to recommend it.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm

  300. db

    Again, you keep returning to this ‘people have ideas’ as though that actually says anything. It doesn’t. I have provided you many examples of co-evolution. One man’s ‘ideas’ never goes within coo-ee of explaining human history, and you have not even shown you appreciate that history-moving ‘ideas’ only ever occur within the broader co-evolving dynamics the individual finds himself, and the competitive struggle.

    daddy dave

    Actually memes is a very powerful explanatory force in history. But no, my thesis does not come from Dawkins. Dawkins is not known for his historiography. It comes from my own education experiences, but is far from peculiar. Again, read Jared Diamond, read Bruce Trigger, Colin Renfrew, Marshall Sahlins, William Durham, and on and on.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  301. Dover, as you point out the analogy with a class of children isn’t perfect.

    But if Motl believes what you say he believes, he is denying two very obvious facts:-

    1. The climate system of the earth is one system (or if you prefer a series of systems all connected and in long term equilibrium with each other)

    If he is denying this, then I’m very surprised since such concepts are at the root of physics, particularly thermal physics on the one hand, but also the advanced physics he deals with where ‘manifolds’ are patched together from many small subsystems. I’d be astonished if he were to claim otherwise, as would everyone else who knew the slightest thing about the mathematics he uses on a daily basis.

    2. That the earth as a whole is in equilibrium with the surrounding space and that a change in the heat transfer function will manifest itself as a change in the global average temperature. Again this is something that is basic physics and I’d be astonished if he believes the opposite.

    No, I’d prefer to take him at his word when he says he’s playing games.

    If you read his comments on his blog re. climate change you’ll find his level of knowledge of the topic is very, very low; and that he is completely unwilling to look closely at the topic.

    If you consider his extreme arrogance – also evident at his blog – you wouldn’t be surprised. As far as Motl is concerned only string theorists know anything, and he is damn near king of the hill (or soon will be).

    He’s a hot head.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm

  302. Adrien

    Aristotle is hardly the last word on, well, anything, really. Polybius provides a nice rejoinder to Aristotle, but even then, they were all products of the material, biogeographical, techno-psychological milieux of their time and place. Aristotle is largely understood through his agonistic relationship with his teacher, Plato. Greek city-states of the time were arenas of cultural, political, poetic, and military agon. Plato’s own thought evolved parallel to the broader evolution of material and political prosperity and despair throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean, and near East, and the mathematics and cosmology of his pre-Socratic and Pythagorean mentors.

    Any attempt to understand any work of art, literature, philosophy, cult, festival, entertainment is still-born without an appreciation of the forms it grew out of.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

  303. Me: ” and in long term equilibrium with each other”

    Sorry, for clarity, that should be and in long term equilibrium with their neighbours

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

  304. PP – I don’t have a dog in this fight though I have been following and trying to make sense of it all.
    You do seem to be making assertions that are not, on their face, obviously true then when asked to support them you list a number of books that you say should be read before your assertions can be challenged.
    I must say that the ideas you have suggested are interesting and worth a bit of thought. But they seem to be just ideas, not statements of scientific fact that can be supported by evidence.
    Or if that evidence does exist you should cite it specifically.

    ken nielsen

    January 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm

  305. ‘Scientific’ fact, eh? Nah, I’m not gonna go there. Oh, and I have provided more examples than others combined.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

  306. Re that CL linked photo of Mrs James Cameron (I think it has moved to here: http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/gallery/goldenglobes10?pg=3 )
    whatever that style of dress is called, it seems to me to only ever make an appearance at American awards shows, where it always looks like dated 70’s sleaze fashion. Yet why does it re-appear every year?

    steve from brisbane

    January 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm

  307. “Again, you keep returning to this ‘people have ideas’ as though that actually says anything. It doesn’t. I have provided you many examples of co-evolution. One man’s ‘ideas’ never goes within coo-ee of explaining human history, and you have not even shown you appreciate that history-moving ‘ideas’ only ever occur within the broader co-evolving dynamics the individual finds himself, and the competitive struggle.”

    What are you on about? Firstly, I don’t think I’ve even used the phrase ‘people have ideas’. I’ve asserted that ideas, institutions, or practices do not ‘evolve’ or ‘co-evolve’ in the strict sense in which these terms are used in biology. Secondly, you haven’t provided an example of co-evolution so far as it concerns ideas, institutions, or practices because there aren’t any examples. Finally, I haven’t said anything about “one man’s ideas” nor whether they could possibly explain human history and so far as these co-evolving dynamics are concerned and how they may influence changes in the reception of ideas you haven’t uttered a single word in example.

    Anyway, I’m off for tea.

    dover_beach

    January 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm

  308. It could be vintage, Steve. It could even be say Channel vintage which ins some cases the gals pay up to 100 G for stuff like that which is 30 odd years old.

    Cameron should be a decent haircut. That rounded look is so 70’s.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm

  309. Dover, the first book you read re evolution might be “The Extended Phenotype” – Richard Dawkins.

    Basically genes don’t get anywhere in the reproductive stakes until they get into a body that is a successful reproducer.

    Once you’re dealing with social animals, reproductive success is proportional to social success.

    And social success is linked to success of the society as a whole. Pertinently to the issues and times Adrien and Peter are discussing, the Romans were a far more successful society than the Carthaginians (who they spent a few decades in direct competition with – aka war).

    Most historians would say that the Roman system of social organization won, which led to the extermination of the Carthaginians.

    Which would you rather be:- a gene in the body of a Carthaginian circa 204, or a Roman? Only one of you is going to survive, reproduce and get your kids to adulthood.

    And the reasons are directly linked to the social organization of the two societies.

    I don’t think there’s any real problem with the argument from that perspective. After all, it’s not like that problem child evolutionary psychology with all its “just so” stories.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

  310. db

    I get the impression I should not bring up Christianity as the victor of memetic selection. 😉
    Enjoy your dinner.

    JM

    Thank you for bringing all this back on track. And once we consider phenotypes, then we open the Pandora’s Box of the unit/s of selection, per se, all the way from gene, to phenotype, to individual body, family, kin, village/neighbourhood to civilization, and their biogeographical context from diet to disease, and beyond still to all the social organization, politics, religion, art that is carried in its wake…

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm

  311. For example, excluding the climate change during the Medieval Warm Period would seriously disable your understanding of the change in relative energy/dynamism between the Islamic world and the Latin Christian West from roughly the 12th century on.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm

  312. a gene in the body of a Carthaginian circa 204, or a Roman?
    .
    yeah, but the selection is due to genocidal annihilation of the population represented by a losing army; the victory was due at least in part to strategic decisions made by individual leaders such as Hannibal. It’s a long stretch to claim that there was any kind of useful genetic selection going on. In fact, it’s ridiculous.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  313. Before you read anything about genetics try reading Susan Oyama’s The Ontogeny of Information. Philosophy is important in these matters, though obviously Dawkins considers himself in no need of such counsel.

    John H.

    January 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  314. daddy dave

    Genetic selection is about nothing more or less than who wins.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm

  315. Genetic selection is about nothing more or less than who wins

    For one 1/2 of the population. the other 1/2 talked themselves into bedding the former enemies to survive so they lived off their wits a lot more. Isn’t that a form of winning in a way.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

  316. Whew back to genetic selection,I thought the place was turning into Queer eye for the straight guy

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm

  317. Genetic selection is about nothing more or less than who wins.

    Must be more than that: genetic drift.

    John H.

    January 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

  318. Genetic selection is about nothing more or less than who wins
    .
    no it’s not. It’s about who breeds successfully.
    .
    Rome destroying Carthage is as much an instance of natural selelection as the destruction of Pompeii. There’s a lot of randomness in the system and it takes vast numbers of events to make it work. Military victories followed by genocide don’t have the freqency counts to make an impact on that, and introduce way too much random carnage. If you think the fall of Carthage is natural selection at work, then you’re just simply wrong.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm

  319. Hey Tal

    During the madness of the ‘six o’clock swill, you missed a reply I posted you about the Serbian/Croatian nutters.

    https://catallaxyf.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/open-forum-january-16-2009/#comment-15451

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm

  320. dd

    You’re scrambling the whole ‘unit of selection’ issue.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

  321. Bring back the stocks I say PP

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

  322. tal

    All I can say is thank god I was not caught up in Carson Kresley’s genetic web! 🙂

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm

  323. You’ll have to learn to talk proper

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

  324. Dave (and others), sure Carthage is a single, extreme data point.

    But the war (actually three of ’em) was very lengthy over decades and success fell to the Romans largely through superior social organization. They could raise and sustain larger and more effective effort over decades than Carthage could.

    Also their attitude to war was more in the “total victory” model than Carthage who leaned to the more common “limited advantage negotiated outcome” model. This is clearly a product of their social theories.

    It’s a very extreme example, but I think it’s clear that Rome’s social organization played a major role in Rome’s victory which I think is the point being made by Adrien in his comments re. cities and walls giving advantages to farmers and markets, and also in more sophisticated form in Peter’s arguments.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

  325. Oh, and if you don’t think social factors play a role in selection – peacocks.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm

  326. Tal

    Your comment about ‘bring back the stocks’ is more profound than you might have intended it. Ironically, tragically, all those white middle-class blogger ‘anti-racism’ keyboard warriors are playing into the hands of Ted Ballieu and his advisor, Gautam Gupta. The Victorian Opposition Libs would give their left nut for a ‘law and order’ election, which would send the pale-face bloggers nuts! 🙂

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm

  327. JC, would you like to make the submission?

    http://www.crank.net/submit.html

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm

  328. Tar and feathering works well,is cheap and you really don’t need too much training to do it

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

  329. More stupidity from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela (which Mark Bahnisch once declared to be doing “good things”), the world capital of power blackouts, shortages and inflation:

    President Hugo Chavez ordered Sunday the seizure of a French-owned retail chain on accusations that it raised prices after Venezuela devalued the currency by half.

    “Until when are we going to allow this to happen?” Mr. Chavez asked during his Sunday television program in reference to the alleged price hike by Almacenes Exito SA, headquartered in Colombia and controlled by French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon S.A.

    The Venezuelan leader said that new law may need to be approved to carry out the nationalization. “I’m waiting for the new law to begin the expropriation process,” he said. “There’s no going back,” he added.

    Almacenes Exito saw some of its stores closed this week by government authorities on accusations that it was increasing prices regardless of Mr. Chavez’s orders that retailers were not to adjust prices after he devalued the currency to 4.3 bolivars per dollar from the previous rate of 2.15 bolivars.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703569004575009420323919964.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

    Chavez botches macro-policy, forcing retailers to raise prices to maintain margins, which are nationalised in return by the government – now the proud owner of a bunch of loss-making enterprises. He has actually managed to go backwards in spite of the oil windfall.

    Michael Fisk

    January 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

  330. JC, BirdLab don’t he’ll go nuts

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm

  331. Precisely.

    BirdLab

    January 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

  332. The unfolding of Chavez’ Venezuela is painting by Hayekian numbers. 😉

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

  333. You know who is over there I think he has enough on his plate

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm

  334. Oh, and if you don’t think social factors play a role in selection – peacocks
    .
    I do think social factors play a role. But to blithely claim that the rise and fall of civilisations is merely natural selection at work is silly.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm

  335. DB – That is another mode of change that was initially postulated; it, too, has little to recommend it.
    .
    Really? Elaborate please.
    .
    Peter – Aristotle is hardly the last word on, well, anything, really. Polybius provides a nice rejoinder to Aristotle, but even then, they were all products of the material, biogeographical, techno-psychological milieux of their time and place.
    .
    Does Polybius refute Aristotle’s understanding of history? Does he say it’s inaccurate?
    .
    I didn’t say Aristotle was the last word. I said that you will find reference to the cycle of political systems that underpinned Greek political history up until Aristotle. It’s difficult to truly verify this, and someone may be better read here than I, because a lot of the texts Aristotle was familiar with have been destroyed since.
    .
    Machiavelli was still considering the problems in Aristotle’s Politics quite a bit later. He argued that the Roman state’s success lay in their separation of powers wherein no one person or group had total control of the state. Montesquieu developed this further. Wah-la.
    .
    I familiar with the importance of context. I went to a Po Mo Dawkins University and studied ethnic basket weaving historicist lefty crap.
    .
    Just ask Currency Lad. 🙂
    .
    Techno-psychological? Fine word. Is that what’s hot at the raves this summer?

    Adrien

    January 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

  336. The Trots have been putting posters all over the place asking if Chavez is building socialism. Is he? Let’s see…
    .
    1. Economic’s fucked
    2. free speech is history
    3. He wants to stay in power forever
    .
    Yep he’s building socialism a’right. 🙂

    Adrien

    January 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm

  337. Nah. That’s psycho-techno, not your pussy old Pump Up The Jam, Ride on Time shite, either! 🙂

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm

  338. Rome destroying Carthage is as much an instance of natural selelection as the destruction of Pompeii.
    .
    I think this natural selection metaphor’s been stretched so far it’ll be in the postmodernism generator before morning.

    Adrien

    January 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm

  339. Adrien what do you think of the Golden Globe frocks?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm

  340. not your pussy old Pump Up The Jam, Ride on Time shite, either
    .
    Oh you mean the stuff that gives you a headache. The stuff that you can only dance to if you’re a V8 engine or about to have a heart attack.
    .
    Techno’s for people who can’t dance – doof doof doof. Let’s get some synchopated style shortly.

    Adrien

    January 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

  341. Adrien what do you think of the Golden Globe frocks?
    .
    Bring back the stocks. 🙂

    Adrien

    January 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

  342. Aye.

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm

  343. Well, the psycho bit helps ‘ease the pain’ of the techno. 😉

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDMA

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm

  344. Adrien

    A lot of that ‘po-mo’ stuff was/is actually pretty good. Unfortunately, it was broadcast to the Antipodes by a cadre of preposterously dumb middle class intellectual serfs who were able to ride its obscurantism up the greasy pole of academe.

    Have you noticed that since the financial meltdown – or ‘GFC’ – the word structure, and its declension are ubiquitous? It seems that all the post-structuralists of a year ago are all chanting the same mantra: We Are All Structuralists Now. We Have Always Been Structuralists!? 😉

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

  345. Credit where it’s due, Pump up the Jam was groundbreaking in its day. Ditto Black Box.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 8:58 pm

  346. tal

    January 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

  347. Adrien: “I think this natural selection metaphor’s been stretched so far it’ll be in the postmodernism generator before morning.”

    Why?

    Natural selection is an algorithm that works like this:

    1. Children are like their parents and like each other, but different.

    2. More children are born than will live to reproduce

    3. The reason why some die before they reproduce while others live has something, however minor, to do with their differences

    Rinse and repeat through the generations. (It’s an algorithm, a procedure, that’s how they work)

    Nothing more than that is required for evolution to work, in any situation.

    Surviving Pompeii could be due to a large number of factors, mostly luck, but superior (in relation to the circumstances) knowledge, education, perception will do just as well as being able to run faster than your brother.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

  348. Have you noticed that since the financial meltdown – or ‘GFC’ – the word structure, and its declension are ubiquitous?
    .
    No. Got any examples?

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm

  349. Surviving Pompeii could be due to a large number of factors, mostly luck, but superior (in relation to the circumstances) knowledge, education, perception will do just as well as being able to run faster than your brother.
    .
    Probably not for Pompei but I take your point that there’s some non-luck going on in many wipeouts. My point was that, given their mostly random nature there aren’t enough such events to have an impact in terms of survival of the fittest, at least with respect to selecting genetic superiority in one society over another.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  350. dd

    I was only being clever. I couldn’t agree more; Ride On Time was/is/will always be sublime.

    Peter Patton

    January 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm

  351. Yes PP but it spawned evil

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

  352. True enough Dave and I take your point.

    Mine though is that selection occurs at the level of the individual (actually the gene, but it needs to be in a successful individual to be selected). And if the individual is a social individual then the society in which s/he lives sets a lot of the environment – including providing skills useful for survival and successful reproduction.

    So the properties of the society are important as part of the “extended phenotype”, which is the point of Dawkins book.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 9:16 pm

  353. Thanks for that Lab. I’m just filling in the sheet with the details.

    Tal, I’m only fulfilling my duties to society informing it about a crank and a crank site.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  354. Tal: that Sun story has a distinct whiff of something dreamt up by a journalist as a quick filler after a liquid lunch. There’s no actual evidence cited, just reference to a “spokesman”. Still, no doubt some kids will eventually be named after it.

    Meanwhile, I am curious as to whether any Catallaxians have seen the movie in question. I feel I have to see it so as not be the only person in the world not able to talk about it, but I really hate the idea of contributing to uber-jerk Cameron’s bank balance.

    steve from brisbane

    January 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm

  355. Lab:

    I left the following reasons why it ought to be listed on Crank.net.

    It’s serious site run by a crank who makes racial slurs toward people that disagree with him, is tremendously abusive and has serious issues dealing with reality.

    Seems to obsess about Banking and bankers a great deal.

    Demonstrates a high degree of jealousy towards people that have accomplished something in their lives.

    Seems to think we’re being attacked by aliens and other countries.

    Sees spies everywhere.

    Links to other crank sites around the deep, dark reaches of the web.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 9:38 pm

  356. Why do you think Cameron is a jerk, Steve?

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 9:39 pm

  357. I really hate the idea of contributing to uber-jerk Cameron’s bank balance.
    .
    I haven’t seen it but I think I may tomorrow night. As for Cameron, he’s already so wealthy that it doesn’t matter.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

  358. tal

    January 18, 2010 at 9:48 pm

  359. So the properties of the society are important as part of the “extended phenotype”, which is the point of Dawkins book
    .
    sure and I agree with that.
    However one must be careful that such a line of thinking doesn’t end in a kind of racial triumphalism. I’m sure you would reject such thinking outright, but it’s worth saying anyway.

    daddy dave

    January 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  360. Has anyone actually seen Avatar? I’m wondering why its got an M rating and whether I can/should take my 10-year old son to see it?

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  361. Steve I thought the “Pappa Smurf” line was funny

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

  362. I haven’t seen Titanic, so doubt I’ll bother with Avatar. Might buy a pirate copy in Asia.

    Infidel Tiger

    January 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm

  363. I’ve seen the movie. It’s very cliched leftie environmentalism, but if you’re able to stomach that stuff it’s not a bad intro to 3D.

    I was a little underwhelmed with the 3D as i was expecting better technology. Some of the shots frankly weren’t terrific and they seemed to have been put together in haste or limited by technical issues.

    3d needs an lot more work and perhaps it will be fantastic in a few years time. We went to see it at a regular screening and I’ve been thinking that Imax would be much better as the screen is made for 3D. So perhaps I would suggest you see it at Imax.. it would also help me a little as i bought some Imax stock on the back of the movie, as I think more 3D crap will come out after this huge debut and people will get used to it.

    As far as the movie story goes, you know how it ends in the first 10 minutes after they meet the upright rats.

    Some of the stuff was really funny too as the cliches were really over the top resembling Gaia worshipers and how they’re at one with the planet. Fme.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm

  364. Sinclair, I have been elected the grown-up to entertain a gang of 9-12 year olds, and intend taking them to see Avatar. From all reports, it has animation, a simple morality tale based on good guys and bad guys, no coarse language, or sex scenes. It sounds perfect for kids.

    It is also the highest grossing film of all time, which while perhaps not being a perfect indicator, I can’t think of any better.

    Skepticus Autartikus

    January 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm

  365. Tiger:

    There’s no point in buying a pirate copy as you need to see the crap in 3D seeing the story line is pretty pathetic. There’s really no point.

    Pound for pound I would much rather have seen Team America in 3D if that was possible as Hans Blix in the shark pool would have made a superb scene that tech format.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm

  366. Tiger I haven’t seen Titanic either ,we all know what happens

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  367. Thanks for that. The boss got a bit annoyed when I wanted to take both boys to see The Watchmen. She felt the younger son too young.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm

  368. JC when will you know if your entry at the Crank site has been accepted?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

  369. it’s a pretty fun movie but you have to watch it in 3D to get the most of it.

    Jason Soon

    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

  370. You gotta hand it to Cameron though. The dude really does know how to hit the raw nerve to make people crave to see his movie.

    The guy is a freaking genius and you gotta respect that. Any guy that gets grosses like he does and has produced some spectacular movies is a genius.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

  371. Tal – I saw the movie on a flight to Singapore (in the old days before individual movies in the seats) and kept thinking ‘please die, please die now’ and in the end the diCaprio character did die. One of the longest flights I can recall.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm

  372. I do like the Terminator films. Pity he turned Arnie into a poof in the second instalment, but that’s Hollywood for you.

    Infidel Tiger

    January 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm

  373. Sinc did you hit the Singapore Slings?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm

  374. The Gaia stuff was a bit unrealistic but the movie is really a bit of a Rorschach test.

    Some people see a Greenie fable, others see a story about a quasi-State crony capitalist operation infringing on the property rights of the natives.

    Jason Soon

    January 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm

  375. Tokenism Tiger

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm

  376. Di Caprio must be the most annoying actor of our timn. Has a head like a toad with the mumps.

    Infidel Tiger

    January 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm

  377. Scotch – makes the aeroplane fly faster after you’ve had 4 or 5.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm

  378. I remember when folks used to call Di Caprio “the little boy in the boat” 🙂

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

  379. Sinc don’t you worry about breathing on customs officals after a few nips?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm

  380. The terminators were great. He got a lot of flack for the second one as I recall people didn’t warm to it at first and the studios were packing shit they wouldn’t get their money back. They spent huge bucks at the time and the risk reward was appalling. The idiots should have asked a hedge fund dude or a regular trader before they committed that mullah.

    It cost around $200 million plus to produce and they were expecting to make $50 million over the costs. This was big bucks in the 90’s.

    Anyways Cameron single handedly fucked the chances of the studios making any expensive blockbusters for a few years as they realized how close they sailed to death’s door. That movie also almost wrecked his career as the studios just saw him as a big spender and big ego dick.

    The fucking studios are really badly run for the most part. I can’t recall which movie it was but some other really low budget crap came out that year that blew pants of Terminator in raw profits so the studios were all grovelling around the next year of two trying to make the big bucks with low budget shit. But that stuff is like buying deep out of the money options. You’ll lose on nearly all of them and you need to make a huge number of them to hit the jack pot.

    Just watch. For the next few years the studios will all be doing blockbusters hoping to cash in like Cameron. Then as it always happens they don’t make money and they get on the next theme. They really are useless.

    On the whole they never make big bucks.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm

  381. No. Customs officials are an impediment to free trade and therefore immoral. Why should I care about them?

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 18, 2010 at 10:38 pm

  382. Some people see a Greenie fable, others see a story about a quasi-State crony capitalist operation infringing on the property rights of the natives.

    Yea that’s true. good point. I never saw it in that context but now I do seeing you mention it.

    However the parts where the spirits of the dead large rats were living in the trees and magic floss made me laugh. Enough said as I don’t want to spoil the non plot. hahahahahahahah

    Sigorney Weaver was really fucking uptight throughout the movie and was hoping they would kill her off early.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  383. Sinc, I’m not saying it’s impolite to breathe scotch fumes on Customs officals I’m saying it’s inadvisable 🙂

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

  384. Sigorney Weaver is in Avatar?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:50 pm

  385. Yep. He made aliens with her so they have a history together I suppose.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

  386. We’re not talking about tentacle porn are we JC?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 10:59 pm

  387. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/01/15/guest-post-by-legal-eagle-earliest-political-memories/

    Mark Bahnisch commented that when he was in Grade 2, he wrote a poem about Gough Whitlam.

    LOL

    Jason Soon

    January 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm

  388. no no no. I didn’t mean it that way although it sounded like that.

    She was very cute in Aliens but she was of course a lot younger too.

    I just meant they have a history of working together and he’s by some accounts a bit of a shit to work with, so the relationship has lasted an long time.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

  389. Jason…..didn’t you?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm

  390. hahahahahahah he wrote a poem on Whitlam? Why on earth would anyone admit such and embarrassing thing.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm

  391. Maybe the narrative made him do it Joe

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm

  392. JC, not sure if you were joking when you asked why I think Cameron is a jerk, but there was a very long profile of him (he sets the ultimate standard of offensive control freak which Kevin Rudd can only aspire too) in the New Yorker recently:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/26/091026fa_fact_goodyear/

    Sinclair: I’m pretty sure from reviews that I would not like Watchmen, but in particular I know quite a few critics the superhero sex scene really, really terrible, although they don’t really explain why. (I assume it also made it unsuitable for kids). Care to comment? 🙂

    steve from brisbane

    January 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm

  393. By the way, Fantastic Mr Fox is very quirkily amusing, possibly more so for adults than kids.

    steve from brisbane

    January 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  394. Steve,

    Na, i wasn’t kidding. Thanks for the link. Appreciate it.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  395. JC, are you going to blog about your adventures at the Sleep Clinic?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm

  396. You’re infatuated with this sleep clinic, Tal.

    Yes, I will, but I’ll be asleep for most of it. Can’t wait to see the gizmos they’ve got going.

    jc

    January 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm

  397. Dave: “one must be careful that such a line of thinking doesn’t end in a kind of racial triumphalism”

    I agree, entirely. Which is why I tried to emphasize selection of the gene and the individual.

    And yes, it does need to be said in these sorts of conversations, it shouldn’t even start in any sort of triumphalism. There’s a lot of contingency involved in the circumstances. And given both that the analog between genes and memes isn’t exact, and that societies don’t get anything like the same number of trials as genetic phenotypes, evolutionary selection of societies isn’t even out of the starting blocks.

    But certain memes that appear to recur in successful societies – like markets, distribution of powers and responsibilities, inclusion and expansion of franchise etc – could have a better chance of being compared to genetics and selection.

    Adriens point about the increasing complexity of demands on societies and sophistication of the responses remains I think.

    JM

    January 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm

  398. It’s a mistake to impute any kind of teleology to natural selection. Surely it’s a process without a subject.

    THR

    January 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

  399. Well ya see JC I have a small problem with snoring in my bedroom.”The Boss “attacks the legs and lower body,”She who is always right”(me)I am a pillow over the face person.You are a bit of a Guinea Pig…sorry

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

  400. Oh F**k natural selection I’m sick of reading about it.THR how’s the girl child?

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 11:44 pm

  401. She’s good. Putting on weight, smiling a lot, and even chuckling from time to time.

    THR

    January 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm

  402. That’s lovely to hear THR.

    tal

    January 18, 2010 at 11:56 pm

  403. Good catch THR. Thanks.

    Would you be happier if I said “increased complexity of demands on societies produces more sophisticated responses, decreased complexity produces more simple responses”?

    JM

    January 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

  404. Steve:

    I read the New Yorker piece . Thanks. Funny people, humans:-) I read the piece and was overawed by Cameron as a total genius now. Yet you see him as a jerk.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 12:04 am

  405. My comment on teleology wasn’t directed to you specifically, JM. Sometimes, people speak of evolution as if it’s picking winners based on cleverness or the niceness of a smile. Strictly speaking, it has nothing to do with that.

    It seems tal is getting sick of this topic. Is there another discussion to be had around here?

    THR

    January 19, 2010 at 12:07 am

  406. Frocks,snoring knock yourselves out

    tal

    January 19, 2010 at 12:11 am

  407. JC and BirdLab have been cooking up diabolical plans to discredit Graeme

    tal

    January 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

  408. JC – oh come on. His control freakery and aggression would be half excuseable if it was for something important, like winning a war. But just for so-so movies that make money? You can have him over for dinner if you want; I would pass on the invitation.

    steve from brisbane

    January 19, 2010 at 12:25 am

  409. Steve:

    They’re not so so movies. One is the world’s highest gross and the this one looks like it will beat it.

    The guy is a committed perfectionist. One clue about what others think of him is the length of time he’s worked with people and there appear to be several long term employees in his production company which is a good sign that he isn’t a low life jerk.

    I’m sure he’s a pain in the neck at times but you can gloss over that if someone is that brilliant and inspirational.

    He’s basically revolutionized movie making, Dude. As for people in that industry… are their any nice ones?

    He’s also said he doesn’t want to be part of the cut throat Hollywood crowd and tries to stay away from them although that sounds a little far-fetched as he lives in a Hollywood enclave by the sounds of things.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 12:40 am

  410. Uh-oh. Kevin Rudd has found a new contrived diversioncrisis” to replace warmening and which will, of course, require massive government spending.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 1:27 am

  411. Speaking of movies, I watched cult classic Escape From LA again the other day. Kurt Russell – one of the writers – themed it up with his philosophy (he’s a life-long libertarian). Loved it when he made it back and asked Malloy (Stacey Keach) for a smoke. “The United States is a no-smoking nation. No smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no women,” he’s told. “Land of the free,” says Snake sarcastically. Later – after taking out all of the world’s power sources so we can start again from scratch – he finds a single cigarette in a discarded pack. The brand is ‘American Liberty.’

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 1:33 am

  412. Bad news for Turnbull crybabies.

    Support for PM Kevin Rudd softens as Liberal base swings to Tony Abbott.

    KEVIN Rudd’s personal support has taken a tumble as he confronts an election year with early signs that Tony Abbott is recapturing the traditional Liberal base.

    As the Prime Minister returns from summer holidays to the political frontline, a Newspoll published exclusively today in The Australian reveals Mr Rudd has recorded his second-worst voter satisfaction rating since the 2007 election.

    In a boost to Mr Abbott’s leadership, the first full Newspoll survey since he took over as Opposition Leader in early December reveals he has secured 61 per cent voter satisfaction among Coalition voters, reversing high dissatisfaction levels under Malcolm Turnbull.

    But but but, women hate him ‘n stuff.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 1:37 am

  413. Barry Brook posts about the hypocrisy of those advocating renewable energy for mitigation/AGW purposes and who also criticize nuclear.

    It pretty good. And Barry really lays it on the line with a Friends of the Earth critic of nuke in the comments sections.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/01/17/hypocrisies-of-the-antis/#comments

    Even sceptics ought to be heavily supporting Barry, a totally committed environmentalist, who believes we’re doing great damage to the atmosphere, in his advocacy of nuclear energy.

    Nuclear is the easiest, most efficient way in dealing with emissions and even those that have doubts should factor in the uncertainty of dumping all this crap into the atmosphere.

    Properly done nuclear could produce all the energy we need in copious amounts and stop the argument.

    A decent bet is that in over a decade, with intelligently thought out safeguards, nuclear energy could end up producing power at a cheaper rate per unit than coal as the world begins to scale up plant installation.

    If you’re a sceptic you should be supporting Barry’s
    push introduce nuclear energy into the suite of options.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 1:49 am

  414. I am glad that you raise Barry Brook JC, he believes in global warming, climate change and putting a price on carbon.

    Even worse, he is an advocate of a zero net carbon emission economy, accelerating roll-out of wind and solar thermal power generation capacity and the eventual phasing out of all coal power.

    That would make him unacceptable to the inmates of catallaxy.

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 6:37 am

  415. And by the way he doesnt have much time for catallaxy local heroes, Plimer, Pell, Carter, Marohasy and Bolt amongst others.

    Popcorn anybody?

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 6:41 am

  416. Wake Up! JC

    Your new friend Barry is urging us all to got to this site

    New friend Barry has just finished reading all these wonderful books but don’t you bother with all that, CL will be along shortly with some sizzling snippets from Fox News, Pat Robertson and Tim Blair

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 7:24 am

  417. Steve – yes. the superhero sex scene made it inappropriate for children. Don’t know why the critics panned it though.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

  418. The Australian notes that the latest Newspoll has Labor support on 2PP dropping. Yes – to a level above what they had when Turnbull was leader at the start of November.

    I’d keep the champagne in the fridge til Abbott has some more policies beyond a paid Green Army to pull weeds out of the bush.

    steve from brisbane

    January 19, 2010 at 8:03 am

  419. “I get the impression I should not bring up Christianity as the victor of memetic selection. 😉
    Enjoy your dinner.”

    Peter, your impression is correct as was your suggestion, but your historical assertion is false.

    “For example, excluding the climate change during the Medieval Warm Period would seriously disable your understanding of the change in relative energy/dynamism between the Islamic world and the Latin Christian West from roughly the 12th century on.”

    Again, not an example of co-evolution. Moreover, I’ve never denied the impact of environment or climate on historical events but it is simply another factor and no different to the actions of other people, i.e. the appearance of the Huns or Mongols in Europe, to which we must respond. Actually, I’m know convinced you have no idea what my point is or any idea of what would be required in historical explanation if the mode of change that it was subject to was evolutionary.

    Dover, the first book you read re evolution might be “The Extended Phenotype” – Richard Dawkins.

    Basically genes don’t get anywhere in the reproductive stakes until they get into a body that is a successful reproducer.

    Once you’re dealing with social animals, reproductive success is proportional to social success.

    And social success is linked to success of the society as a whole. Pertinently to the issues and times Adrien and Peter are discussing, the Romans were a far more successful society than the Carthaginians (who they spent a few decades in direct competition with – aka war).

    Most historians would say that the Roman system of social organization won, which led to the extermination of the Carthaginians.

    Which would you rather be:- a gene in the body of a Carthaginian circa 204, or a Roman? Only one of you is going to survive, reproduce and get your kids to adulthood.

    And the reasons are directly linked to the social organization of the two societies.

    I don’t think there’s any real problem with the argument from that perspective. After all, it’s not like that problem child evolutionary psychology with all its “just so” stories.”

    JM, what an intellectual shambles. Sorry, most historians would argue that the number of legions that the Romans could place on the field (this was not the result of superior social organisation or social theories but because they had a far larger population from which to draw fresh troops, and anyway, their social organisation is not a product of their genetic inheritance so point to this is superflous so far as the argument you wish to sustain is concerned; I cannot believe we are having this social Darwinian nonsense being reproduced on this thread), among others things, allowed them to beat the Carthaginians, and the Greeks, and Gauls. It had little to do with differences in their social organisation. And please, stop recommending books I’ve read and have on my bookcase; it really is becoming tiresome. By the way, trying to piggy-back talk about social organisation on the back of Dawkins’ Extended Phenotype is simply. The point of that book was tp point to the importance of behaviour in the process of genetic selection; how you want improvements in individual behaviour to be reflected in ‘social organisation’ and thus collectively is a bridge too far.

    dover_beach

    January 19, 2010 at 9:11 am

  420. dover beach, I enjoy your contributions very much but you really must learn to use basic html markup, especially the following:
    <i>to start an italicised section and </i> to end the italicised section. It makes reading back-and-forth exchanges much easier.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 9:42 am

  421. daddy dave, I shall; that habit is a vestige of my days before I learned those basic commands.

    dover_beach

    January 19, 2010 at 11:27 am

  422. I had a feeling Rog would be loopier than usual today with news that Abbott has made up what loser Turnbull so spectacularly squandered amongst the Liberal Party base. Rog predicted Malcolm was destined for The Lodge and that his and Kevin’s ETS would influence the whole world at Copenhagen. The mention of Blair and Marohasy is funny because Rog loitered at Blair’s for years as a hard right union bashing bore, when he wasn’t at Morahasy’s blog accusing Greenpeace whale campaigners of terrorism.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 11:27 am

  423. Rogette;

    Barry’s interests would be pretty much aligned with most people in the sense that I don’t know anyone here that would be opposed to nuclear power other than you, who has said often enough that we could achieve our energy needs by placing propellers on sticks- a description that seems to send you further up the wall of crankery.

    Here’s the point you miss (as usual) Rogette, you low IQ medical wife.

    It’s pretty deplorable-in fact more so for people that are concerned with AGW- to make pathetic excuses against nuclear power.

    I don’t see much of an issue when it comes to sceptics on this front as most would support the introduction of nuclear energy especially as it promises to provide energy at a cheaper rate than coal once economic scaling begins to occur.

    In other words, Rogette you’re the real anti-science
    luddite here.

    So I would be getting off your toy horse if I were you, you moron.

    The mention of Blair and Marohasy is funny because Rog loitered at Blair’s for years as a hard right union bashing bore, when he wasn’t at Morahasy’s blog accusing Greenpeace whale campaigners of terrorism.

    Yes but since the sex change she’s become a reverse bore.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 11:41 am

  424. db, I’m not much an HTML guy myself. It looks so time consuming. Then again, the HTML I do use nowadays, has become just as natural as other typing.

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

  425. The famous Cuban medical system is back in the news:

    The Associated Press reported: “26 patients at Cuba’s largest hospital for the mentally ill died this week during a cold snap, the government said Friday.”

    As John Stossel pointed out: “Michael Moore, in his movie Sicko, lauds Cuban health care. Everyone gets free treatment. Too bad Americans have to pay and suffer. Of course, many socialist systems offer free treatment. I wonder if it’s worth what they pay for it.”

    As the Associated Press report noted: “Communist Cuba provides free health care to all its citizens but, though the quality of its medical system is celebrated in leftist circles around Latin America, it is also plagued by shortages. Patients are expected to bring their own sheets and towels and sometimes their own food during hospital stays.”

    But we are glossing over the real icky part of this: The state decides who is mentally ill. The Soviets and just about every other totalitarian government decided that political opponents are mentally ill.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 11:50 am

  426. And by the way he doesnt have much time for catallaxy local heroes, Plimer, Pell, Carter, Marohasy and Bolt amongst others.

    Popcorn anybody?

    Rogette:

    While on the subject of getting out the popcorn…If I went to Blair, Bolt and Jenny’s site what would I find there with regard to your comments?

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 11:52 am

  427. John Stossel is great. He’s a libertarian that really gets under lefties skin.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

  428. CL: “…Abbott has made up what loser Turnbull so spectacularly squandered amongst the Liberal Party base.”

    And who exactly were those Liberals who didn’t like Turnbull going to vote for? Labor and their ETS? The Greens? The Shooters Party?

    steve from brisbane

    January 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

  429. Analysis: 116,483 registered voters in Massachusetts are dead.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm

  430. If I went to Blair, Bolt and Jenny’s site what would I find there with regard to your comments?

    Well, you’d find Rog at Blair’s expressing his hatred for lefties:

    The facts of the matter are….the left completely stuffed up again, as usual. Couldnt organise a root in a brothel (well actually they have, but that was the ALP conference)

    Where’s my list…..

    health system fail
    economy fail
    foreign relations fail
    national security fail
    transport system fail
    water system fail
    credibilty fail (thats the BIG ONE)

    On it goes…

    But that was 2006. With the help of his pink helicopter, Dr Edelsten helped Rog see the world from a new perspective.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

  431. Abbott should bite the bullet, show he has balls and just come out with a plan to introduce nuclear power over a period of years and achieve a better outcome with regards to emissions than that little piddly bureaucrat who never “makes any apology” for being “courageous”.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  432. “If I went to Blair, Bolt and Jenny’s site what would I find there with regard to your comments?”

    Go for it, dig your hardest.

    Probably lots of boring stuff, weather stations, bushfires, solar arrays – way over your head.

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  433. Probably lots of boring stuff, weather stations, bushfires, solar arrays – way over your head.

    Lol

    You mean like that comment CL nicely retrieved for us showing you have a grasp of all these subjects, Rogette, you twit.

    or how about this one?

    Comment from: rog May 30th, 2006 at 7:40 am

    You Can Have Your Whale and Eat It, too

    The time has come for regulations that recognize that whaling, handled right and in moderation, can be sustainable.

    Rog the early years showing a distinct and in my mind a slightly disturbing inclination to eat whale burgers.

    I’m calling this “Rog, the Early Years Series”.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  434. THR and JM are most certainly right about evolution/natural selection not being teleological. Another way to put it is that evolution/natural selection has nothing to do with liberal/Whiggish historiography. Evolution is never about constantly improving or “getting better”.

    The “survival of the fittest” metaphor has really had a bum rap over the years. As I said earlier, it really means not much more than which genes prevailed in this or that particular environment and this or that time. If a successful gene or phenotype, or even meme is plucked out of the environment and time in which it was successful and dumped randomly somewhere else, there is little way of having any clue what the consequences will be.

    That is why a co-evolutionary perspective is such a powerful historiographic tool. We can always have a reasonable stab at the jigsaw of the past, but that same tool is useless in trying to understand the future, and even the present.

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 1:08 pm

  435. That is why a co-evolutionary perspective is such a powerful historiographic tool.
    .
    Who today is using evolution as a powerful historiographic tool?

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

  436. The time has come for regulations that recognize that whaling, handled right and in moderation, can be sustainable.

    Hear hear, Rog.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  437. Peter, instruments, i.e. institutions, practices, etc. do not ‘co-evolve’ with human beings for the simple reason that instruments are artifacts, not living organisms. They are in no way analogous to the co-evolution of long-beaked birds and a long-stemmed flower. I would, however, love to see an example in which this or that historical event, etc. is explained my means of co-evolution that retains the qualities throughout of such an explanation in the biological sciences. I’m not going to hold my breath though because I think it is impossible.

    dover_beach

    January 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  438. db

    I don’t think anybody has ever set ‘the biological sciences’ as any standard-bearer, if not for no other reason than ‘the biological sciences’ are currently so incredibly primitive that there really is no solid ‘explanation in the biological sciences’ to use as a standard even if we wanted to.

    The ‘web of life’ is far, far, far too complex – and revealed so more and more each day – to pretend to such a simplistic reductionist standard. But if you think you have one, then shoot.

    But one thing we do know is that homo sapiens, their cognition, and their adaptations and manipulations of their environments, differ over time and space and always inescapably from that same ‘web of life’. Our explorations of particular moments, periods, and areas in time and space are immeasurably enriched when we show some humility and keep that web in mind.

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

  439. Peter, do you have an example of co-evolution being used as a historiographic tool?

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

  440. dd

    I have listed a few above. But if you want more, just say the word.

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

  441. Sorry, I wasn’t sufficiently clear. I meant, examples in books or academic journals, for example, maybe historians that use such an approach.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  442. Wow, earth shattering stuff.

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm

  443. How you going with the “Barry Brooks is my next best friend” meme JC?

    Seems like you are running out of heroes

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

  444. dd

    Historians have been using this perspective since Herodotus, though the classic treatment would be Hippocrates’ On Airs, Waters and Places. I am really surprised this is so foreign to you. For another classic, but more recent, treatment see Darwin’s The descent of man and selection in relation to sex.

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm

  445. Heroditus? Hippocratus? They lived long before the theory of natural selection was proposed by Darwin.
    .
    This confirms my suspicions that you’ve got nothing to back up your claims.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm

  446. The state decides who is mentally ill.

    The State does in Australia too, as it does in most developed countries.

    THR

    January 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm

  447. Unedited passage:

    The state decides who is mentally ill. The Soviets and just about every other totalitarian government decided that political opponents are mentally ill.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

  448. dd. Have you actually read Herodotus, Hippocrates, or Darwin? Intellectual history is not really your special subject, is it? Even Darwin acknowledges he stood on the shoulders of giants, and was, he, himself but a part of a broader more intricate biological web. Human beings were more than aware of the processes of natural selection millenia before Darwin was even born. Selective breeding of grains, crops, and livestock is almost as old as homo sapiens.

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  449. The State does in Australia too, as it does in most developed countries.
    .
    Mental illness is such a tricky area.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

  450. Hah, google is my friend

    speaking of mental illness – here is JC, Joe Cambria and Joseph Clark all having a nice little chat.

    JC says that LED lighting will be 90/100% of new lighting in 10 years.

    LED lighting is not a replacement for 240 volt.

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm

  451. Good one,Rog. Another reason to send you to the back of the class.

    LED will replace an enormous amount of lighting source over the next 10 years as they are basically interchangeable and require minimal adaptation to circuitry and even then it will be in built.

    As a former builder you should know these things however I now understand why you failed even in the midst of a boom.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm

  452. There’s some really funny articles in the press lately about the Obama presidency. Reporters have finally decided they can’t hide the decline, so to speak, so they’re now arguing that Barry is struggling because of “disappointment” that he hasn’t been as radical as they thought he’d be. LOL. The old media – clueless and dying and totally unaware of why they’re clueless and dying.

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

  453. From Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a poorly thought-out talking point in the former seat of Teddy Kennedy:

    “Why would you hand the keys to the car back to the same guys whose policies drove the economy into the ditch and then walked away from the scene of the accident?”

    C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:48 pm

  454. More from Rog: “The Early years series”

    Rog thinks ocean acidification and local climate occurs due to naterual variability.

    # Comment from: rog January 31st, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    *The oceans are becoming more acidic due to absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. …*

    Hang on, how can you differentiate between human induced CO2 and natural CO2?

    (answer; you can’t, CO2 is just CO2 irrespective of its source)

    More junk science.
    # Comment from: rog January 31st, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Down the east coast we are getting a stronger than usual northerly current, this is causing turbulence bringing cold watewr to the surface, around Xmas on Newcastle beaches peoiple were being treated for;

    a. sunburn and heatstroke (air temp 40deg C)
    b. hypothermia (water temp 14deg C)

    Such is life

    Yes such is life, Rog…. Sure is.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm

  455. rog, I don’t know how long you can keep this up, but surely not forever.
    I’m looking forward to the moment you say: “All right! All right! I confess! I’m using someone else’s account and I’m not the same person who used to post under the name ‘rog.'”
    .
    It’s okay, you know. It would kill the whole issue and we could all move on.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  456. rog,

    Clark and Cambria are different people.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  457. I don’t think anybody has ever set ‘the biological sciences’ as any standard-bearer, if not for no other reason than ‘the biological sciences’ are currently so incredibly primitive that there really is no solid ‘explanation in the biological sciences’ to use as a standard even if we wanted to.

    Peter, no one said the biological sciences were a standard bearer. What I wanted was an example of an historical explanation that was analogous to the sort used in the biological sciences when they are describing an instance of co-evolution. This still remains unfulfilled.

    The ‘web of life’ is far, far, far too complex – and revealed so more and more each day – to pretend to such a simplistic reductionist standard. But if you think you have one, then shoot.

    I haven’t posited a single reductionist standard, but that inadvertently is what you’re doing by proposing that historical change is evolutionary and thus no different to biological change.

    But one thing we do know is that homo sapiens, their cognition, and their adaptations and manipulations of their environments, differ over time and space and always inescapably from that same ‘web of life’. Our explorations of particular moments, periods, and areas in time and space are immeasurably enriched when we show some humility and keep that web in mind.

    All of this is beside the point. The ideas, institutions, practices, etc. that human beings create and employ change over time, not because of evolution, but because human beings themselves create, amend and destroy the instruments they utilise in their diurnal engagements and because they and their instruments are subject to contingency.

    dd. Have you actually read Herodotus, Hippocrates, or Darwin? Intellectual history is not really your special subject, is it?

    What a joke? Are you going to tell me that historians of ideas employ this approach? I’m well versed with the ‘Cambridge School’ that includes Skinner and Pocock, could you point me to a ‘school’ whose approach approximates what you describe? Up to now, incl. your list of names, Herodotus, Hippocrates and Darwin, intimates to me anyway that your blagging your way through this conversation.

    dover_beach

    January 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

  458. db

    Are you and daddy dave related? You both have impenetrably appalling comprehension skills, and an even greater lack of self awareness. Just listen to yourself. First you insist

    Peter, no one said the biological sciences were a standard bearer.

    And then in the very next sentence

    What I wanted was an example of an historical explanation that was analogous to the sort used in the biological sciences

    There is clearly something awry in your cognitive tool-box that has snuffed out logic. And your Science is also completely stuffed.

    I think its best we keep it light and fluffy and avoid the stuff about Science, intellectual history, complexity, historiography, and such.

    So, have you been keeping up with Hogan’s Heroes on Foxtel?

    Peter Patton

    January 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

  459. Peter,
    1. I don’t know db in real life – only on this blog.
    2. there’s nothing inconsistent in the two sentences you quoted. The first about “standard bearers” was clearing up a misconception that arose due to your short attention span. The second was asking for evidence to back up your fanciful claims. In the end, as “evidence” you loftily quote Darwin himself without even explaining why. LOL!
    3. You’ve been routed in this particular debate but don’t have the smarts (or perhaps humility) to realise it. To prove the point, try answering db’s question: ” Are you going to tell me that historians of ideas employ this approach?” The answer is zero. That’s because the approach you’ve been advocating is useless.
    4. I think its best we keep it light and fluffy and avoid the stuff about Science
    .
    this coming from the man who thinks that evolution is about who “wins.”
    .
    intellectual history complexity, historiography, and such.
    .
    this coming from the man who thinks that Hippocrates used co-evolution as a historiographical tool.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm

  460. It’s the same person Dad. Rog admitted in an earlier thread when CL scooped up some of his inconsistencies that the “Rog” at these other sites is the same dude as the “rog” here.

    No issue with changing one’s mind, however it would be a nice gesture to explain exactly how he’s done a sudden 180 carrying a certain attitude now that is frankly jawdropping.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm

  461. Peter, if I may give some well-intentioned advice for future interactions:
    i) don’t insult people without provocation, even people you don’t know and can’t see. They’re still people.
    ii) it’s okay to admit you don’t know something, or were wrong, or that you have been arguing a position that you now see is flawed. It’s hard I know but I do it all the time… especially on this site where there is considerable intellectual firepower and I am not an expert in all, or even most, of the topics that are discussed.
    iii) when cornered, accusing your opponents of being ignorant or stupid isn’t going to work, although it may make you feel better.
    .
    In other words, it’s okay to back down. This advice is sincere. I’m not being sarcastic or giving a back-handed insult. I feel like you’re going on with this charade of pretending you won simply because you don’t know how to back down gracefully.

    daddy dave

    January 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm

  462. Are you and daddy dave related? You both have impenetrably appalling comprehension skills, and an even greater lack of self awareness. Just listen to yourself. First you insist

    Peter, no one said the biological sciences were a standard bearer.

    And then in the very next sentence

    What I wanted was an example of an historical explanation that was analogous to the sort used in the biological sciences

    Peter, you’ve hoisted yourself on your own petard. In the first sentence I was correcting your mistake, not mine. In the second, I was asking you to provide an example (still waiting. BTW) of something you have purported to exist , not myself; you’ll recall that I think this sort of explanation “impossible”.

    There is clearly something awry in your cognitive tool-box that has snuffed out logic. And your Science is also completely stuffed.

    I think its best we keep it light and fluffy and avoid the stuff about Science, intellectual history, complexity, historiography, and such.

    So, have you been keeping up with Hogan’s Heroes on Foxtel?

    Peter, whenever you are challenged and bluffing your way through doesn’t work you engage in this sort of buffoonery. Its ugly but indicative of someone with a feigned grasp of whatever is being discussed and is punching above his weight. You’ve made a complete arse of yourself.

    dover_beach

    January 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm

  463. JM – Why?
    .
    Because tho’ evolution and political history may resemble each other, as in an evolution from simply to more complex forms, this is superficial.
    .
    Rinse and repeat through the generations. (It’s an algorithm, a procedure, that’s how they work)
    .
    When Cicero defended Sextus Roscius he asked: cui bono. Who benefits? Interesting that a man has to be on trial for murder before someone asks this question.
    .
    Today the cops ask that question first up. I’m not crediting Cicero with inventing this elemental aspect of crime investigation merely illustrating that there was a time when such was not standard procedure. That it has become standard procedure is thanks to such as Cicero.
    .
    The process has taken thousands of years. But essential to it is human reason and design. This is not the same thing as the random mixing of two DNA sets and the ‘selection’ that obtains whereby certain heritable features give one survival attributes.
    .
    Nothing more than that is required for evolution to work, in any situation.
    .
    Sure about that? I was led to believe that a. Unlike evolution natural selection is just a theory not a fact, and b. Natural selection has certain limitations, it can’t explain, for example, homosexuality.

    Adrien

    January 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm

  464. Dover, you’ve misunderstood me, I’m not promoting social darwinism, I was just interjecting in a conversation that appeared to be about memes.

    As to Rome while most historians would definitely agree their success had a lot to do with the amount of legions they could sustain in the field over a long period of time (something I said myself earlier), I think very few of them would say this ability was independent of their social and political organization.

    Population wasn’t the only factor. Carthage had access to large populations also and for many years fielded larger armies by drawing on populations in Africa, Spain and Gaul in addition to Hannibal’s raisings from allies in Italy itself.

    In fact, it started the wars being strategically much better placed being the larger and richer “empire”, having vastly the better, larger and more capable navy.

    JM

    January 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm

  465. “Clark and Cambria are different people.”

    Did JC say that?

    “It’s the same person Dad. Rog admitted in an earlier thread when CL scooped up some of his inconsistencies that the “Rog” at these other sites is the same dude as the “rog” here.”

    Did I say that?

    Sad really, the revolving doors of a poorly functioning mind

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm

  466. “Sure about that? …. ”

    This is just a definitional question. The term ‘evolution’ is used almost interchangeably to mean alternatively the fact of evolution as observed and the theory of common descent with natural selection. There’s no universal agreement on terms, and many people – including myself – get lazy about drawing the distinction.

    As to your example of cui bono, I think there’s more than human reason and design involved – experience, utility and success must have played a large role. So you have a meme that survived.

    That said, the analogy with genes is far from perfect as there is no underlying mechanism that is well understood like DNA. But the same was true of evolution in Darwin’s day, it didn’t prevent him from describing what was happening.

    JM

    January 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm

  467. Hey JC, I’m glad that you showed me the benefits of Barry Brooks.

    serious, thats a big heartfelt “thanks”

    He recommends that we got to this site about skeptics; it sounds sorta familiar, whaddya reckon?;

    1. They profess that markets can solve all problems while simultaneously preaching that businesses will never be able to adapt to higher energy prices.

    2. They argue that siting problems (e.g. urban heat island) render temperature data useless, while simultaneously arguing that adjusting for those problems constitutes scientific fraud/ fudging the data.

    3. They say they support free markets, but oppose cap-and-trade (the free market solution to climate change).

    4. They advocate skepticism and oppose proclamations that “the science is certain,” while simultaneously claiming certainty that all climate science is one big hoax.

    5. They argued that averting a 1% chance of catastrophic terrorist attacks justified spending $100 billion a year on the Iraq war, but oppose investing billions of dollars per year in averting a much higher risk of catastrophic climate change. (see this Tom Friedman article)

    6. They said the US did not need a permission slip from other countries to go to war in Iraq, but don’t want to act on climate change until poor countries have done so.

    7. They claim that the US temperature record is unreliable when it reports warm temperatures, but have no problems using the US temperature to report cool temperatures.

    8. They say it is arrogant and “elitist” for climatologists to defend their science, but have no problems with the arrogance of laypeople questioning a science they have never studied.

    9. They support subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power but not for renewable energy.

    10. They claim to believe in property rights, but don’t stop polluters from sending their CO2 onto other people’s property (or the common property of the atmosphere).

    11. They call themselves “conservatives” but oppose efforts at conservation.

    12. They claim humans are not wise enough to intervene in the economy without causing unintended consequences, but have no problems with humans massively intervening in Nature by pumping CO2 into the atmosphere (WAG).

    13. They say it’s unwise to make decisions off of uncertain climate models, while basing their own predictions of economic doom off of uncertain economic models (WAG).

    14. Humanity adding ~15Gt/year (net) to ~3000Gt baseline atmospheric CO2 is “pissing in the ocean” but spending 0.1% of GDP per year on reducing emissions will precipitate world-wide economic collapse (anonymous).

    15. They removed regulation from banks in the name of free markets, then spent trillions of dollars to rescue banks because they were too big to fail. But they refuse to spend smaller amounts on the greater damage of climate change, even though it’s more important that the planet not be allowed to fail (anonymous).

    16. They say 30 years is too short a time to conclude there’s a global warming trend, but base their own claims of “global cooling” on a 10-year trend (Tony O’Brien).

    17. They say scientists don’t respect skepticism or disagreement, then point to disagreements between scientists as evidence of conspiracy or that the science isn’t “certain” (Tony O’Brien)

    18. They say CO2 can’t affect climate, but also use the argument that CO2 must be saving us from an ice age (Tony O’Brien)

    19. They demand more science/research before we can make a decision, then oppose funding for that research (Tony O’Brien).

    20. They never criticise each other even when taking opposite sides. Just ignore the discrepancies and charge ahead. When one argument looses traction recycle an old one, e.g. they say it’s the sun causing global warming, and when the sun cools down they say it’s cosmic rays (Tony O’Brien).

    21. Denier Willis Eschenbach falsely accuses Australian scientists of fraud for “blatantly bogus” adjustments of temperature data – without ever contacting the scientists to ask why the adjustments were made, or even mentioning their previously-published explanations. Then, when The Economist calls him out, Willis whines, “the Economist did not contact me before publishing an article full of false accusations, incorrect assumptions and wrong statements.” (WAG)

    22. They accuse university scientists, small renewable energy companies, and Al Gore of manufacturing “alarmism” for money, while ignoring the far greater financial incentives of the giant fossil fuel industry to manufacture doubt, denial, and delay. (WAG)

    23. They call their opponents “alarmists”, but warn of impending economic doom should we try do anything to counteract AGW (anonymous). [I particularly like this one – I’m going to dedicate a whole post to it soon. In the meantime, here’s a previous post to help visualize what “economic doom” looks like.]

    24. They promote nuclear power (and pooh-pooh small scale “roof-top” photovoltaics), while decrying government control over anything else (anonymous).

    25. They plead for balance and respect of dissenting opinions, and yet they continually insult people who disagree with them. (Steve Carson) [e.g. “Leftists, Communists, eliteists snakes that prey on our children in their quest to take over the world.”]

    26. They say, “You can’t trust proxy data so the hockey stick is wrong,” but then they claim “Loehle’s reconstruction shows the Medieval Warm Period is warmer than today!” (Prof. Mandia) [One of my favorites]

    27. Denier S. Fred Singer: “From the very beginning, the IPCC was a political rather than scientific entity, with its leading scientists reflecting the positions of their governments or seeking to induce their governments to adopt the IPCC position.” But then: “A reviewer of IPCC reports, Singer now shares the 2007 Nobel peace prize with Al Gore,” according to materials announcing his keynote speech at a one day conference ‘Have Humans Changed the Climate?,’ hosted by Roger Helmer, a British conservative member of the European Parliament.” (Prof. Mandia)

    28. They claim that temperature data that shows warming cannot be trusted because it has been fraudulently adjusted, but then use that same data when it shows temporary cooling to say that “observations prove the models’ predictions wrong.” (WAG)

    29. They say climate scientist have a “bad scientific attitude”, never criticising each other. And when there is a scientific discussion they claim it proves that “the science is not settled”. (Anonymous)

    30. They demand full disclosure of data and code from scientists who agree with the IPCC’s conclusions; and yet, when asked for their code or data to replicate denier studies, they try every weasel way to avoid sharing code and data (see Scafetta’s dodging at RC) (True Skeptic)

    31. They challenge the scientific consensus and demand empirical “proof” that it is correct, yet at the same time insist that they don’t have to prove anything themselves. “I’m just asking questions!” (Rumble) [Here’s where the proof is]

    32. They oppose government regulation to control CO2 emissions, improve fossil fuel efficiency, encourage energy conservation and encourge research into and development of renewable energy, because that would be “too much government intervention in people’s lives.” Yet by and large they are the same people who will pass laws to prevent/regulate abortion, gay marriage. (Anonymous)

    33. Climate change deniers demand unequivocal proof that CO2 is causing dangerous global warming, even though they are unable to present any evidence at all that it is safe to allow atmospheric CO2 levels to continue to rise indefinitely. (RF Shop)

    34. They do not trust the reliability of modern instrumental records, citing poor calibration and inadequate coverage, but are quick to point to anecdotes of Vikings or of other early Europeans as evidence that the entire planet was warmer in preindustrial times. (Mike G)

    35. They claim proxies are also unreliable during modern times when they show dramatic warming in agreement with the instrumental record, yet denialists use them to show with great certainty that it was much warmer at various points in Earth’s history, back to several million years, or that CO2 was much higher at certain times in the past to high degrees of precision. (Mike G)

    36.They say instrumental measurements are unreliable for measuring surface temperatures and as evidence of such, deniers point out that the measurements are being corrected constantly. Then they say that it is much more accurate to measure temperatures from 200 miles up by converting microwave measurements to temperature and then attempting to filter out signals from each layer you’re not interested in. The constant corrections for computational errors and orbital drifts are not evidence against reliability in this case. (Mike G)

    37. They say it’s disingenuous to point to extreme weather events (Hurricane Katrina, wild fires, etc.) as evidence of warming, but crow joyously over every cold weather event (“it’s snowing in Texas!). (WAG)

    38. They point to the “decline” in tree-ring proxy data as evidence that Michael Mann is covering up cooling temperatures, but criticize proxies as unreliable when they show past temperatures cooler than today’s (and when temps look warmer in the past, they accept the proxy data as reliable again). (WAG)

    39. They say the US can’t act on greenhouse gas reductions until other countries agree to, and then fly to Copenhagen to try to prevent other countries from acting (WAG)

    40. When climate scientists don’t speak publically about their work they are accused of hiding in their ivory towers’. When they do talk publically they are accused of politicising science. (Anonymous)

    41. When climate scientsits don’t respond to attacks and smears they are again accused of hiding in their ivory towers’, when they do defend themselves they are accused of circling the wagons and promoting the party line. (Anonymous)

    42. Deniers claim that projections of warming can’t be trusted because (they think) scientists made doom and gloom predictions of global cooling in the 1970’s. However they accept the claims that regulation will be ineffective and/or economic suicide despite the fact that the think tanks and lobbies that are pushing those predictions also made (incorrect) doom and gloom predictions that phasing out CFCs and leaded gasoline would be ineffective and/or economic suicide. (Anonymous)

    43. Deniers claim that anthropogenic global warming is a partisan, political line rather than legitimate science, and then argue against it by citing talking heads and press releases from industry front-groups, or “free market” think-tanks. (Wheels)

    44. Taking as gospel truth sources which up until that moment they had previously castigated as never to be trusted (e.g. last year’s Pravda article claiming the Sun was the cause of GW) (Sergei Rostov)

    45. Criticizing AGWers [people who accept the reality of anthropogenic global warming] because of their political and/or religious leanings while complaining they are being criticizing solely because of their political and/or religious leanings. (Sergei Rostov)

    46. They say that we know nothing about clouds and subsequently they say that clouds can explain the warming trend. (Jesús)

    47. They say there hasn’t been any warming, but later they explain the warming with mechamism different than CO2. (Jesús)

    48. They explain the warming with mutually exclusive theories (eg. cloud albedo, sun, ocean currents…) (Jesús)

    49. They criticize climate advocates for “wanting to send us into a technological dark age,” even though they themselves advocate the use of 19th century energy production technologies over innovation and research. (WAG)

    50. They favor the UAH satellite data and say it is the most accurate – until that data also shows warming, and they start looking for errors in it. (WAG)

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 9:06 pm

  468. Might be better if you and CL stick to stuff that you something about, whatever that is

    rog

    January 19, 2010 at 9:10 pm

  469. C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 9:10 pm

  470. Yea Rogette, no problem and always glad to help out a damsel in distress.

    However there’s a couple of things you need to clear up first, sweetheart.

    Which Rogette are we dealing with here? Is it the Jenny M version who hates lefties and thinks AGW is a crock of shit or Rogette that recently married Geoff in a cheesy wedding and now an AGW and wind-power enthusiast?

    Typical of a dishonest dimwit like you, Rog, you missed all the excuses mental pygmies like you give that were listed on the site when disputing the advantages of nuclear power and think wind farts would be able to power us.

    If you’re looking for the real science frauds, you can’t go past yourself, tiger.

    You dickhead rog.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 9:35 pm

  471. Adrien: “Natural selection has certain limitations, it can’t explain, for example, homosexuality.”

    First, I think this is just an unanswered question, as homosexuality clearly exists and persists across the generations.

    Second, I was reading something recently (in New Scientist I think) that referenced some work explaining homosexuality in terms of social interactions favoring the survival of the ‘genes’ that might lie behind it. Sorry, wasn’t that interested and don’t remember the details.

    JM

    January 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm

  472. I think it has something to do with uncles being around to ensure their nephews and nieces survive, or something like that.

    And no I don’t mean it THAT way.

    entropy

    January 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  473. “Rog : the early days”

    One sustainable solution offered is the banning of all beer, coke and beef ie the BBQ. No doubt puritan killjoys will be rejoicing, I see it as yet another attack by the femi-nazis on a harmless and benign male ritual.

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,,21122658-3102,00.html

    Seems to love barbecues then. I bet she drank beer before she met Geof.

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm

  474. Any particular reason you post here, Rog? I assume it’s because you’re a contrarian turd or maybe you’ve read all the magazines in your husbands waiting room.

    Infidel Tiger

    January 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  475. More of “Rog: The early years”. Before she met Geoffrey, Rogette seems to have been a Hillsong Devotee, as he’s quoting the gospel.

    Perhaps that’s where he met Homer before Geoffrey.

    Comment from: rog January 21st, 2007 at 5:18 am

    Hmmph!

    A line from Matthew (taken out of context) could mean the rich get rich and the poor get poorer

    “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

    This is known as the Matthew effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_effect

    What he is really saying is use it or lose it, “it” being the talents that God gave you. If you want abundance then work, trade, be industrious and use those talents “He that received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made other five.”

    This is an instruction that the Law of abundance is an inner power; when put into action by the individual it results in further abundance. The Law knows no favouritism and applies equally to those who are poverty stricken. When applied to education those children who have reading skills (are “wealthier”) very early on tend to thrive academically leaving the others behind. Educators using early diagnostic assessments can correct these imbalances in the early years.

    “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

    jc

    January 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  476. C.L.

    January 19, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  477. Another shocking frock.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 19, 2010 at 11:22 pm

  478. “4. They advocate skepticism and oppose proclamations that “the science is certain,” while simultaneously claiming certainty that all climate science is one big hoax.”

    Well thats CL down to a T

    “5. They plead for balance and respect of dissenting opinions, and yet they continually insult people who disagree with them. (Steve Carson) [e.g. “Leftists, Communists, eliteists snakes that prey on our children in their quest to take over the world.”]”

    And JC

    rog

    January 20, 2010 at 12:07 am

  479. rog,

    I am fairly sure that you can put Communists in group that actually have tried to take over the world. We also have a resident Marxist who is a refugee here.

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 20, 2010 at 12:15 am

  480. Rog:

    Seriously, Tiger asked you as reasonable question which was why on earth do you post comments here?

    There is nothing you’ve posted since I can recall, even before you married Geoff, that was remotely interesting or even made sense at times.

    All you want to do now is start flame wars with pathetic attempts at trying to be pithy. You don’t know how to make pithy comments, aren’t remotely amusing and have really nothing to say.

    See if you can go for a day without obsessing about CL or myself and try to add to a conversation rather than post junk pseudo-authority sites with some inane short sentence like you used to and everyone ignored.

    jc

    January 20, 2010 at 12:16 am

  481. Does anybody know what Rog is talking about?

    C.L.

    January 20, 2010 at 12:20 am

  482. God Sinc Ms Carey gets her fashion tips from the 4 floors of whores

    tal

    January 20, 2010 at 12:35 am

  483. Sadly, Peter Cosgrove has become a mush-brained jerk in his retirement. He has imperiously deigned to declare that most of his countrymen aren’t racists and suggests that we find some love for Islam.

    C.L.

    January 20, 2010 at 12:41 am

  484. I can top that, Sinc. From the Golden Globes portfolio of snaps, Jamie gives you the Worst Dress Ever.

    C.L.

    January 20, 2010 at 2:17 am

  485. People meet your next senator.

    Brown actually did pose naked in this cosmo pic 20 years ago.

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/scott-brown-nude-in-cosmo

    jc

    January 20, 2010 at 2:33 am

  486. The reason Infidel is to allow you people to provide further proof of your lunacy – which cant be denied.

    rog

    January 20, 2010 at 7:46 am

  487. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0008733

    Here we found that individuals’ political affiliations could be accurately discerned from their faces. In Study 1, perceivers were able to accurately distinguish whether U.S. Senate candidates were either Democrats or Republicans based on photos of their faces. Study 2 showed that these effects extended to Democrat and Republican college students, based on their senior yearbook photos. Study 3 then showed that these judgments were related to differences in perceived traits among the Democrat and Republican faces. Republicans were perceived as more powerful than Democrats. Moreover, as individual targets were perceived to be more powerful, they were more likely to be perceived as Republicans by others. Similarly, as individual targets were perceived to be warmer, they were more likely to be perceived as Democrats.

    Conclusions/Significance
    These data suggest that perceivers’ beliefs about who is a Democrat and Republican may be based on perceptions of traits stereotypically associated with the two political parties and that, indeed, the guidance of these stereotypes may lead to categorizations of others’ political affiliations at rates significantly more accurate than chance guessing.

    Jason Soon

    January 20, 2010 at 7:50 am

  488. As to Rome while most historians would definitely agree their success had a lot to do with the amount of legions they could sustain in the field over a long period of time (something I said myself earlier), I think very few of them would say this ability was independent of their social and political organization.

    JM, and neither would I. The point is that the Carthaginians and the Greeks themselves also had complex modes of social organisation that enabled them to project military power more effectively then we would expect from populations of their size. What favoured the Romans then was not their ‘social organisation’ but their greater population from which they could draw fresh legions. The Romans could afford to lose battles and yet win the war but the Carthaginians and the Greeks couldn’t.

    Population wasn’t the only factor. Carthage had access to large populations also and for many years fielded larger armies by drawing on populations in Africa, Spain and Gaul in addition to Hannibal’s raisings from allies in Italy itself.

    I know that. But compared to what Carthage could raise in Libya, Numidia, Iberia, etc., Rome could always eclipse Carthage. Moreover, an equally important factor is the tactical and strategic skills of the military leaders. If Hannibal invested and then raised Rome following his victory at Cannae then Mediterranean and European history may have been much different.

    In fact, it started the wars being strategically much better placed being the larger and richer “empire”, having vastly the better, larger and more capable navy.

    That was only until the Romans built their own fleet.

    dover_beach

    January 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

  489. Bush, Obama bring last great empire down from the inside:

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

  490. JM, regarding Motl and your claim that he is a hot-head, I think you should read his comment following Judith Curry’s criticism of the Lindzen-Choi paper here:

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/18/curry-reviews-lindzen-and-choi/#comment-216398

    Not so much a hot-head as a straight-shooter; or else, one person’ hot-head is another’s straight-shooter.

    dover_beach

    January 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

  491. Tal – I don’t know about that. Strange things are happening in Singapore.

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

  492. daddy dave/dover beach

    I think I know what is going on here. You both have a problem with the word ‘evolution’; a problem that smells like anxiety. You both also have a need for the certainty of acceptable authority figures to ground your opinions. On another thread, daddy dave nearly had a heart attack that posters did not share his reverence for the pharmaceutical psychiatry industry and its shills.

    Are you two by some chance young earth creationists? This would completely explain all your intellectual blockages and anxieties.

    Peter Patton

    January 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

  493. I’m over it Peter.
    Time to pack up the cards, put away the cigars, and move on to whatever the next topic du jour is.

    daddy dave

    January 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

  494. That is probably a wise decision. But in your spare time, you really should have a go at some of the literature I suggested above.

    Peter Patton

    January 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  495. But in your spare time, you really should have a go at some of the literature I suggested above.
    .
    FFS give it a rest.

    daddy dave

    January 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm

  496. US Supreme Court decrees that human trash, Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, shouldn’t necessarily escape the electric chair, after all. It has ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision to overturn the death sentence.

    C.L.

    January 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

  497. I think I know what is going on here. You both have a problem with the word ‘evolution’; a problem that smells like anxiety. You both also have a need for the certainty of acceptable authority figures to ground your opinions.

    Peter, you haven’t the foggiest; that is clear for all to see. You’ve been bluffing your way through this like a virgin in a whorehouse. I have no problem with the word ‘evolution’, but like any other word, I don’t like seeing it used improperly or in such a way that renders it devoid of its meaning which is what is involved in your use of the word. And for someone critical of psychiatry/psychology you seem to have no problem engaging in fourth-rate psychologizing yourself.

    Are you two by some chance young earth creationists? This would completely explain all your intellectual blockages and anxieties.

    You really are pathetic. I said previously I had no problem with evolutionary theory but then you really haven’t paid any attention to what I’ve said anyway. As for “intellectual blockages and anxieties” you might simply satisfy my previous request for an example of an explanation of an historical event, etc. that exhibits all the characteristics of co-evolution rather than pretending to have the knowledge you obviously lack. But, again, I won’t hold my breath.

    dover_beach

    January 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

  498. db

    Disavowing the broader socio-political structures, organizations, and ideas that constitute a fighting force – such as an army/navy – will disable your analysis and understanding of any military conflict.

    Your appreciation would be much deeper if, for example, you consider in 1532 Francisco Pizarro’s motley gang of 168 Spanish soldiers wondering into the middle of the Inca capital, Cajamarca. Despite being in the middle of the Inca king, Atahuallpa’s empire of millions, with nearly 90,000 of his professional soldiers surrounding him, and thus the 168 Spaniards, nevertheless the Spaniards won in an unseemly short time, with nary a casualty.

    To understand this stunning military victory, you need to appreciate the co-evolutionary aspects of western Europe, particularly Spain up to that moment, highlighting the different co-evolutionary trajectories possible in central and southern America up till that time.

    I suppose it all depends on what sorts of questions interest you.

    Peter Patton

    January 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  499. db

    Come on, you know quite well I have referred to and suggested many sources above you could consult if you were truly interested. So continually claiming I have not just makes you look silly.

    Peter Patton

    January 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  500. d_b: I don’t know whether PP is one of those gargon generating bot or a flesh and blood troll.
    Either way, all you are going to get is meaningless ramble and regular insults.
    Not worth the energy, I reckon,.

    Ken Nielsen

    January 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

  501. Proving

    1. The American people aren’t buying into the Demolition party’s horse shit

    2. They will do what they can to avert the latest attempt to bankrupt the country

    Scott Brown takes the Massachusetts seat.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_massachusetts_senate

    Obama is now basically cactus unless he quickly changes his ways.

    jc

    January 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

  502. Ken, you are right; his last two comments constitute further evidence.

    dover_beach

    January 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

  503. Hey, there was a scarcely commented upon prequel to Harry Reid’s preferance for “light-skinned” negros.

    WSJ, December 2009:

    Cosmetic Surgeons Get Reid to Tax Tanning Salons Instead.

    C.L.

    January 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

  504. Paging Homer – please run more. Like a marathon a day

    http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/fitness/jog-your-memory-brain-cell-secrets-explored-20100119-mj77.html

    THE health benefits of a regular run have long been known, but scientists have never understood the curious ability of exercise to boost brain power.

    Now researchers think they have the answer. Neuroscientists at Cambridge University have shown that running stimulates the brain to grow fresh grey matter and it has a big effect on mental ability.

    A few days of running led to the growth of hundreds of thousands of brain cells that improved the ability to recall memories without confusing them, a skill that is crucial for learning and other cognitive tasks, researchers said.

    jtfsoon

    January 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

  505. I think this is just an unanswered question, as homosexuality clearly exists and persists across the generations.
    .
    Yes and why? After all it would appear that homosexuality does not have any advantages when it comes to sexual reproduction and yet…
    .
    There’s no universal agreement on terms, and many people – including myself – get lazy about drawing the distinction.
    .
    That’s slippery. You’re using the idea of natural selection meaning the favouring of certain genes as a metaphor for political development. Firstly the evolution of species is not about producing better and better life forms. It’s more a permeatation determined by oscillations in climate and geography. We just think of ‘higher life forms’ because of our egotism. Please see Full House Stephen Jay Gould for elucidation.
    .
    As to your example of cui bono, I think there’s more than human reason and design involved – experience, utility and success must have played a large role. So you have a meme that survived.
    .
    I fail to see how experience, utility and success can be distinguished from reason and design. Surely reason makes sense of experience and with design determines utility and evaluates success.
    .
    That said, the analogy with genes is far from perfect as there is no underlying mechanism that is well understood like DNA. But the same was true of evolution in Darwin’s day, it didn’t prevent him from describing what was happening.
    .
    True. But if one wants to understand the underlying patterns of historical trajectory it’s worthwhile realizing what scientists understand: the limits of knowledge. Much folly has occured because this or that intellectual thought they could understand the course of history. For example Hegel and Marx.
    .
    The hermetic view of history appeals to us because it makes sense of chaos. It’s similar to astrology in that way. Danger Will Robinson. Umberto Eco’s novel Foucault’s Pendulum is one huge joke on the subject.

    Adrien

    January 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

  506. The Chinese govt obviously thinks Avatar is about property rights not environmentalism

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/china-to-pull-james-camerons-avatar-from-cinemas-reports/story-e6frg996-1225821509458

    Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported that the state-run China Film Group had instructed cinemas nationwide to stop showing the 2-D version of Avatar from January 23 on orders from Beijing’s propaganda chiefs. It is not just the desire to entertain the masses with a Chinese movie that has prompted the censors to step in and pull James Cameron’s hit from 2-D screens.

    The government fears that too many citizens might be making a link between the plight of Avatar’s Na’vi people as they are thrown off their land and the numerous, often brutal, evictions endured closer to home by residents who get in the way of property developers.

    .

    The newspaper said: “Reportedly, the authorities have two reasons for this check on Avatar: first, it has taken in too much money and has seized market share from domestic films, and second, it may lead audiences to think about forced removal, and may possibly incite violence.”

    China’s favourite blogger, Han Han, a twenty something writer and racing-car driver, was among those who quickly spotted the similarity between the film’s plot and real life.

    He wrote: “For audiences in other countries, such brutal eviction is something beyond their imagination. It could only take place on another planet – or in China.”

    Popular views of the film as an allegory for predatory property developers across China will not have gone down well with the Propaganda Department in Beijing. Blogs are buzzing with the news of Avatar’s imminent disappearance.

    jtfsoon

    January 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

  507. Wonder if the Chinese have blocked internet searches for Kelo or Peter Spencer?

    Semi Regular Libertarian

    January 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm

  508. jtfsoon

    Your point above about Avatar being a Rorschach Test is brilliant. Clicking around the blogs I have seen so much nonsense that would make your eyes pop. One blog had over 500 comments to the bloggers review, which asked

    When will white people stop making films like ‘Avatar’?

    The argument was that Cameron was channeling the collective guilt of all white people for the genocidal horrors of the imperialism they have inflicted on the world. Whether or not the blogger was relying on an opinion poll of ‘white people’ was not made clear.

    Peter Patton

    January 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

  509. For audiences in other countries, such brutal eviction is something beyond their imagination. It could only take place on another planet – or in China.
    .
    It’s a normal part of industrial development. It happened in the UK, in the Sov, now China.

    Adrien

    January 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

  510. Rudd: if I’m re-elected, I’ll spend another truckload of money.

    Says it’ll be great for the country (and your childen’s children etc) in 2050.

    C.L.

    January 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm

  511. He’s a highway PM, Cl. First there the information superhighway and now he wants propose a rail highway.

    It’s a new route for him.

    He seems to be peddling crap over the past few days possibly giving a clue that focus groups are suggesting the wider public is getting sick of him.

    JC1

    January 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  512. He makes “no apology” I bet.

    JC1

    January 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

  513. Dover: “But compared to what Carthage could raise in Libya, Numidia, Iberia, etc., Rome could always eclipse Carthage.”

    This just isn’t true. During most of the first and second Punic wars Rome’s “population” was smaller (partly after Cannae when they lost considerable numbers of allies).

    Secondly, prior to the “total war” era of the 20th century the number of troops in the field bore little relation to population. This is not WWII we’re talking about here where the US and the USSR were always going to overwhelm the Axis through sheer weight of resources and numbers.

    “If Hannibal invested and then raised Rome following his victory at Cannae then Mediterranean and European history may have been much different.”

    Very much argued about. Many feel it’s doubtful Hannibal could have sustained the march and subsequent siege of the city. And while the normal response of a defeated power – which Rome was after Cannae – would be to seek terms, that just wasn’t the Roman way. So social factors played a role in their eventual victory.

    JM

    January 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  514. Dover, that’s Motl on his best behaviour. Besides it demonstrates his “mathematics is the only thing that matters, stuff everything else” and also reveals his astounding ignorance of the climate science – you can tell: every time he waffles on about how there “must” be some underlying effect that is unknown – you can bet that it is known and studied.

    His relationships with collegues are worse and he’s publically bad-mouthed leading figures in his own field to the point where Harvard couldn’t stand him anymore.

    JM

    January 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm

  515. Guys please move to the new site

    Sinclair Davidson

    January 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

  516. Adrien: Yes and why? After all it would appear that homosexuality does not have any advantages when it comes to sexual reproduction and yet…

    Exactly. Genetic selection goes far further than sexual reproduction, or even sexual selection alone.

    Homosexuality nonetheless exists and as we know in the modern age is innate in some way. And in many, many species besides humans. I think we’re all agreed that it’s not simply not a lifestyle “choice”

    That’s slippery. … [etc]

    Memes and genes was not the distinction I was talking about there. Nonetheless I am aware of Gould’s ideas on contingency, and no-one with any sense believes in teleology.

    I fail to see how experience, utility and success can be distinguished ….

    are the environment

    …. from reason and design.

    are the response, which get tested in subsequent “trials”.

    the underlying patterns of historical trajectory

    By pattens I assume you mean features of society and/or political economy that appear across societies and time?

    By trajectory I assume you mean development, improvement and consolidation (etc)?

    If you believe the patterns exist, and develop, you need an explanatory principle (at least one). The “Great Man” theory doesn’t really cut it anymore.

    “Patterns” are not that different from “memes” are they? And “trajectory” is not that different from “evolutionary development” is it?

    Look, I’m not saying that Darwins Dangerous Idea is the “killer app” historians have been searching for, or even that it has compelling application, just that:-

    a.) it is a very powerful algorithm that works in many, many disparate cases, and

    b.) I don’t see anything so fundamentally wrong with it that it couldn’t have value as a perspective.

    JM

    January 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm


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