Casaubon's Book

Archives for October, 2011

At ASPO!

Between now and 4:30 Tuesday morning, I have to get 1 extraordinarily cute lion, three vikings and a clown ready for Halloween (the Vikings are going to pillage a neighboring town with two of their best friends, the other two are just trick or treating), do a few dozen errands, shovel out the snow, vaccinate…

Fortunately, ASPO-USA is on the Case!

From The Onion: Admitting they had “absolutely no idea what the fuck [they were] doing,” millions of Americans immediately ceased trying to manage the country’s large-scale, ongoing disasters and pleaded with U.S. scientists, economists, educators, philosophers, and inventors to intervene and make things better again. “You are good at doing things, and we are bad,…

In _Depletion and Abundance_ I spend a lot of time talking about the ways that the informal economy is actually more robust in some ways than the formal economy, and the ways that informal economy activity can strengthen our home economies. I argue that in the Developed world, the informal economy is hidden or “housewifized”…

AWOL

The phone rang about 2 on Thursday afternoon, just as I was about to settle down with my book draft for a long, dull afternoon of revisions. If I was implicitly fantasizing about something to get our adrenaline pumping, I got it. Our social worker called and asked if we would consider taking a 17…

On the 31st of October we will officially reach 7 billion people on the earth. Over the next week or two we’ll be talking a lot about population issues, and I wanted to start by doing a light revision of an article I wrote some years ago about a concept a lot of people don’t…

Speculation and World Food Prices

Yesterday was World Food Day, and NPR has a good piece about the role of speculation in food prices: The economists argue that increased trading is a significant part of the reason grocery prices are higher this year. And grocery prices are indeed up this year. For example, in August, the average price of bread…

Jubilee!

Brian Davey of FEASTA argues that we could do debt cancellation ethically, while leaving the larger financial system intact, and that OccupyEverything should focus its message on the idea of Jubilee. Instead we need a scheme with a pattern of rewards and incentives that is more appropriate to the times that we live in. This…

From David Leonhardt at the New York Times, a good, if very partial explanation of why the overall future of the US and the Global North generally doesn’t look as promising as the 30s. See if you can guess what’s missing from the article. Still, the reasons for concern today are serious. Even before the…

More Doubt About 10 Billion

From Yale Environment 360, more questions about future UN population projections: For now, we can indeed be highly confident that world population will top 7 billion by the end of this year. We’re close to that number already and currently adding about 216,000 people per day. But the United Nations “medium variant” population projection, the…

Sundry

Lots of stuff to update you all on. First, the family expansion project – still nothing new. After three months of waiting, we’ve decided to expand our looking in a few different ways – our county just doesn’t have a placement, and after all the work of getting ready, we’re anxious to get one. Meanwhile,…