Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2009

Normally, I don’t debate random bloggers on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).  However, I made an exception for Robin Hanson.  For those who don’t already know of him, he was both an early proponent of decision markets and has a reasonably well known journal article on why two Bayesian rationalists can’t agree to disagree. I’m a fan of his work and have been reading his blog for years.

Yesterday, he put up a post titled CO2 Warming Looks Real.  He’s not an expert. Like me, he has an economics background and did some detailed research.  Yet from the title and body of the post, I though he must have reached a very different conclusion than I did. So I thought I’d try to engage him to find out where we differ. The results were interesting.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Everyone has heard about the Large Hadron Collider, arguably the most ambitious and complex engineering project ever undertaken, anywhere.  The purpose, no less ambitious, is to answer all sorts of burning questions about the nature of the universe, including whether the Standard Model of particle physics is valid.  Given such ambition and high stakes, it would surprise most people that the LHC is managed in a collaborative manner with very little hierarchy.  Essentially it’s a giant, crowdsourced science experiment.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Short but brilliant TED talk by Joachim de Posada.  I love the economic point he makes at the end.

Read Full Post »

As an occasional reader of science blogs, I can’t help but notice the extraordinary amount of time and space devoted to the debunking of Creationist and Intelligent Design “science.” Certainly there are good reasons for this: the poor reasoning and scant evidence behind such pseudoscience makes it an easy target, and the surprising momentum of the Creationist political agenda represents a genuine threat to American science education.

Still, I can’t help but feel that the focus on Creationism’s pseudoscientific claims have obscured what is really a debate about beliefs and values, not science. Moreover, the discourse on blogs often reflects a view that religion (of all forms) is inherently opposed to evolution, and that no intelligent person could possibly believe in both.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Have you ever heard of anyone selflessly helping out a stranger by buying their house at a bank foreclosure auction and just giving it back to them?  Well, now you have.

More likely, you’ve probably heard of private investors taking advantage of the banks’ unwillingness (or inability) to deal with all the bad loans on their books. Like the group of investors in Act 2 of this This American Life episode, you buy a house that’s in foreclosure for a significant discount on its true market value and then “you get the homeowner into either a mortgage they can afford, or they’re able to rent it, or you pay them a bit to move somewhere else.”

Well, what if there was a way to combine these two activities so that you are doing good for someone else while doing well for yourself financially?  There are many variants of how this could work, but here’s the basic concept:

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Here The 2009 map evokes nuclear strike graphics from 80’s films! Very clear that it is easier to destroy an economy than build one.

Read Full Post »

A number of people responded to my recent post on the California budget. So I thought I’d dig a little deeper into the issue. The three points I’d like to address at the moment are whether spending as a percentage of income is rising, where the extra spending is going, and whether the extra spending is beneficial.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »