Sunday, 4 February 2018

God You are right, I should look elsewhere this is very boring

Nathan has left a new comment on your post "Men spake from God being moved by the Holy Ghost /...": 

You are right, I should look elsewhere this is very boring.

I think the problem is that you choose to direct conversations in THE MOST boring direction possible. 

You are not playful with conversation, you don't use it as an opportunity to explore concepts, or to expand an understanding of something. 

So rather than explore the question of how regulation becomes Law (and therefore different and apparently better) you would rather discuss that you didn't literally say regulation is bad.

Posted by Nathan to Stoat at 9:57 pm

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

IPCC Communication handbook

IPCC Communication handbook at RC. I could have been more cynical but contented myself with:

1 and 6 fail the “does the negative make sense” test.
4 seems doomed to generate those stupid stories that focus on some bloke wot has seen see rise over his lifetime, oh yes, and have zero scientific content.
2 seems a bit dubious; abstract ideas are valuable and powerful. 

And the exciting follow up:

William Connolley says:
> 17: Radge Havers says: WC @ ~ 3: 1 and 6 fail the “does the negative make sense” test: Huh? How so?
Try their negative:
not-1: Be an unconfident communicator
not-6: Use the least effective visual communication
These make no sense. Which is a hint that the “positive” or original versions are largely vacuous.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018


Trolling (no, not really, I just like to see if people are capable of thinking) on Twitter (arch):

Bess Kalb: When my great grandmother came to America from her shithole, she ended up creating two physicians, a professor, four attorneys, a Harvard economics Phd, an MIT-trained engineer, and a mouthy little bitch who harassed the racist President until he blocked on Twitter.

Me: Hey, that's great. But doesn't it kinda prove his point? Would she have created two physicians, etc etc, if she'd stayed in the shithole?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Soc Flop

CIP has a series of posts based on Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle (p. 364). Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.. Kindle Edition; the latest being Soc Flop. As you can tell, he isn't impressed. To prove my credentials, in 2015 I said the Republic, I think it was. Anyway, that’s a despicable piece of propaganda masquerading as philosophy or the wordy windbagging twaddle of Plato from 2012.

My comment which is long enough to preserve is:
My impression is that Soc/Plat is reasonably good on the negatives: using questions to expose flaws in the opponents reasoning and ideas. But poor when attempting to put forward his own ideas as positives. Which ends up making the questioning seem cheap: it turns out that exposing at least a minor flaw in someone else's ideas is really not that hard; building something able to withstand close questions is difficult.
And to be sort-of fair it is the questioning that he is remembered for; no-one actually remembers the city-state-building in the Republic (and if they do remember it, they hate it).
There is also (sorry, I'm getting carried away, stop me when you're bored) possibly a very big philosophical error in all this, if you believe Popper's analysis. It's also quite subtle so I may get it wrong. It's in TOSAIE vol 1 I think. His point is that definitions - like "what is a puppy?" - in the hands of Plato turns into the Ideal Form of the Puppy, in order to explain how we all see young dogs and all these disparate objects are recognised as a puppy. Popper asserts that instead that it should be read in reverse, as a description. This does away with any need for Ideals, but it also implies that focussing on the meaning of a word - like "the Good" - becomes as pointless as focussing on the True Meaning of the word Puppy.
I find I've touched on this before; Justice and Injustice.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Where are the corpses?

John Bowles has left a new comment on your post "Another Koch-Up": 

We are already two degrees warmer than the 1850’s … more than that since the early 1800’s.

So my question to the assembled masses is … now that we’ve breached the all-important two degree Celsius climate limit, where are the corpses? Where are the unusual disasters? Where are the climate-related catastrophes? Why are there no flooded cities? What happened to the areas that were supposed to be uninhabitable? Where are the drowned atolls? We were promised millions of climate refugees, where are they?

In short, where are any of the terrible occurrences that we’ve been warned would strike us at the 2 degree Celsius limit?

Seriously, we’ve just done the natural experiment. The world has warmed up the feared amount, and there have been no increases in any climate-related disasters.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Quandaries about ethics

In Quandaries about ethics mt is anguished. I try to help, but I'm not sure I have (archive).

Updated archive. New comment:

I don't think I'm making my viewpoint at all clear. I may be forced to write my own post; everyone should re-invent their own wheel after all. But

> if the optimal pathway is one in which we could cross a number of climate tipping points, then how much confidence should we place in such an analysis? It may well be that it's been done as well as it possible could have been done, but if we aren't sure of the consequences of passing these tipping points, how do you incorporate them into the analysis?

I think is typical of the incompatibility between my (and std.econ) and mt / ATTP, I think. I find it very hard to understand what anyone means when they write stuff like that; it seems to imply a complete failure to understand the std.econ viewpoint. So I'll make one last despairing attempt here: the std.econ viewpoint takes into account all those tipping points, costs then as best it can, and then balances all the different costs in an attempt to provide a view of competing costs and benefits. This is fundamentally incompatible with your viewpoint, as I understand it, which is (I exaggerate for effect) "woo tipping point scary lets not go there". Which is to say you substitute your (and others) intuitive ideas of damage for the std.econ analysis.

There's probably an analogy here with the denialists; there usually is. The std.econ folk, if challenged, could write all their stuff down in numbers and equations. Just as folk could do the same for their calculations of warming, or of sea level rise. But the denialists that write bollox about "cooling is about to start" or "the GHE doesn't exist" can't write their stuff down in that way, and we are contemptuous of them for it. Why do you expect protection from contempt when you do the same for costs?

But Tim is an idiot

A Brief Segue Into Contestable Markets by CIP (archive). Not I think a post of any quality. I continue in the hope of converting him, with out any real hope. My comment below may be too provocative to live.

See-also: One More Try (archive).

> But Tim is an idiot.

No. You're being silly; and you're being silly from within the comfort of your own bubble. In any actual discussion of economics Timmy would rip you to shreds. Being Brave calling him an idiot here ought to be beneath you.

> Mr. Connolley

I didn't waste three years of my life for you to call me "Mr".

> A perfectly contestable market is not possible in real life.

Sigh. Yes, of course I read this. I almost wrote something pointing out that of course the theoretical perfection isn't actually met with in real life, but I thought: no, I'm talking to someone intelligent, I won't bother.

Consider physics. Often, physics problems neglect friction; air resistance. They do so because the fundamental features of the problem can be described in this way, without obscuring the essentials in pointless detail. Naturally, if making exact calculations this can be factored in. You know all this. I'm patronising you. You should not deserve this.

As to contestability: Micro$oft probably does have a genuine monopoly, but as I've already said, no-one really gives a toss any more. They are history.

Amazon and Google are I think contestable. It isn't free, but there are no real barriers, at least not compared to the scale of what is required. And of course Google is indeed contested.

Fb might be different due to network effects. But actually it is contested: many young folk head off to Instagram and so on. You're making the typical unimaginative "there is no alternative" when actually there are choices.