Archives for February, 2013

Testing, testing

Having a comment policy is a good idea. But then it can be fun to test the limits of other people’s (cite, in case the limits turn out to be as hard as announced). Errm, pinch-and-a-punch, first of the month, no returns :-) You can use this thread to discuss comment policy if you like.

Or so says Marginal Revolution (via Timmy). I repeat it here to wind up all the people who continually tell me how wonderful fuel efficiency standards are. Prediction: no-one will change their minds. a gas tax provides immediate, direct incentives for drivers to reduce gasoline use, while the efficiency standards must squeeze the reduction out…

A fascinating paper, Why Do Voters Dismantle Checks and Balances? by Daron Acemoglu, James A. Robinson and Ragnar Torvik (h/t FE). There is a pile of maths in there, but you don’t really need it and I only skimmed it. From the conclusions: In many weakly-institutionalized democracies, particularly in Latin America, voters have recently dismantled…

Thinking beyond pipelines?

There is a nice article by DM at Planet3.0 on the Keystone XL pipeline. I almost didn’t bother read it, ‘cos I’m a bit bored by all that, but I’m glad I did because he gets it quite right in an illuminating way: The anti-keystone movement, or more generally the entire anti-tar-sands movement, is trying…

Or, perhaps, not so strange, you might well say. I’m talking about Has Global Warming Stalled? I’m not sure what is supposed to be new about it – it looks like the same tired old stuff. The “gotcha” bit is supposed to be The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals…

The sleepwalkers

He moves in darkness as it seems to me / Not of woods only and the shade of trees. The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe is a 1959 book by Arthur Koestler, and one of the main accounts of the history of cosmology and astronomy in the Western World, beginning…

Are the [[International Climate Science Coalition]] notable? (webcite in case they aren’t and you care 7 days from now). By which I mean, in the sense of Wikipedia:Notability. Sources about them are thin on the ground, and those so far proposed only mention them in passing. Blogs don’t count, of course, and nor does their…

Incestuous

- Hello, Mr. Amman. We have here for you one persecution pizza with pepperoni! – You must be mistaken. I am currently toeing the party line, and thus not persecuted. – Would you like to be persecuted by us? We have Team Member discount. 10 for the price of 1. – No, thanks. – Are…

Here comes a border collie

Whew, that’s a relief. The Arbiter has finally spoken, and I can stop trying to think for myself. Not that I was trying very hard. No one really likes thinking for themselves anyway – if you can its hard work, and if you can’t its not pretty. Yeah, I should probably have had a tl;dr…