Day: November 5, 2019

David Friedman on dealing with the future


Tirole on the economics of crises

The Myth of the Nazi War Machine

The V1 and V2 programs combined cost 50% more than the Manhattan project, 

Notes On Liberty

Nazism and fascism, in the popular imagination, are associated with evil, immoral, inhumane treatment across conquered groups and their own subjects alike. These evil actions loom even larger because the thought of an entire society dedicated to military industry, extending its reach across and beyond Europe, inspires ghastly fears not only of evil intent but also astonishing military might that could overwhelm the Allies with the technological wonder of the V2 rocket, the deadly and ever-present U-boat threat, and the German “Royal Tiger” tank that was so well armored that Sherman-fired shells literally bounced off of it. This vision of the Nazis as conquering through technological and industrial superiority is not just a mistake of modern historians, but is actually based on the overestimation of their foes by the Allies and on the disastrously misplaced overconfident messaging of the Germans, Italians, and Japanese that their technology, industrial power, and elan

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could sociology ever canonize a non-progressive intellectual?

The LSE clip is a horror show where sociologists show no insight into why their profession is far left.

Not a good look…

I’ve now taught social theory at the undergraduate level for over a decade, and I am now teaching social theory at the graduate level. I am also conversant, but no means an expert, in the history of what is considered canonical social theory. Here is an observation. While non-progressives do actually have fabulous careers in sociology (e.g., Robert Nisbet), their work tends not to “stick.” It doesn’t get remembered or canonized and seems to fade rather quickly.

For example, you might think some of the major figures of late 19th century laissez-faire, such as Herbert Spencer or William Graham Sumner, might be candidates for sociology’s “hall of fame.” Spencer’s evolutionary theory certainly feeds into Durkehim and Sumner was president of the American Sociological Association. Later, you might pick up on someone like Robert Nisbet whose book, The Quest for Community, is considered a touchstone for…

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Peak Oil Denier Takes A Victory Lap

Science Matters

View of Oil Well Pumpjack (Horsehead) at Sunset Oil Industry GETTY

Michael Lynch writes at Forbes The Peak Oil Denier Takes A Victory Lap. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Monday’s New York Times includes a story titled “Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming,” which (presumably unintentionally) mimics the title of my 2016 book, “The Peak Oil Scare and the Coming Oil Flood.” Which provides a good reason to look back at the debate and some of the arguments countering my own.

Although I have spent decades writing about oil supply and the tendency of forecasters to be too pessimistic (see references at end of column), for many it was my 2009 New York Times op-ed, which the paper titled “Peak Oil is a Waste of Energy,” that brought attention to my heretical views. And unleashed a heap of opprobrium. Of…

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NY Times op-ed dismisses Obama’s critique of “woke culture” because he’s an uncomprehending and privileged “Boomer”

Why Evolution Is True

I’m too busy watching glaciers go by in the Beagle Channel to post much today. The Channel was in fact where Darwin saw his first glacier, and it’s cool to think that I’m seeing the same glaciers that he did.

But on to the opinion of the day. This time it’s a beef about Obama’s recent critique of “cancel culture.” You might remember that the ex-Prez said stuff like this at a meeting of the Obama Foundation in Chicago:

Mr Obama told the audience: “I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people.

“If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because ‘Man did you see how woke I was? I called…

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