Archive for January 30th, 2015

The Gnonion

Bryce found this superb thing. A sample (but don’t miss out on the rest):

EARTH — In a seemingly unstoppable cycle of carnage that has become tragically commonplace throughout the biosphere, sources confirmed this morning that natural selection has killed an estimated 38 quadrillion organisms in its bloodiest day yet. […] “What we’re seeing here is the work of a hardened, practiced killer,” said Yale University evolutionary biologist Richard Prum … “It is painfully clear this slaughter was perpetrated by a force that holds zero regard for the value of life” …

In what many are calling its most grotesque tactic, the killer appeared to single out the most vulnerable organisms — particularly the young and the physically weak — for its murderous rampage, slaughtering them without mercy as other members of their species fled in panic. Reports indicated those who escaped the carnage were left with no choice but to try to move on with their lives and survive even as the ruthless killer continued stalking them. […] Virtually no species was unaffected by yesterday’s killing spree, experts stated. […] “This is the work of a killer without empathy, without conscience,” said Jyotsna Ramjee, a University of Calcutta zoologist who confirmed that the day’s death toll was the largest on official records dating back to 1859, when the perpetrator was first identified.

January 30, 2015admin 12 Comments »
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Oil Pulse (II)

Given two finite natural commodities, one a consumable energy resource undergoing accelerating absolute depletion, the other an indestructible precious metal, there can be no question about the fundamental trend of price divergence, surely? Except, apparently there can. Pure reason (or principled intuition) fails once again:


The world seems determined to thrash us into empiricism.


If there is a trend, it shows up more persuasively in the erratic sequence of consistently-escalating negative oil price shocks.

ADDED: Patri Friedman helpfully points to Hotelling’s Rule.

January 30, 2015admin 31 Comments »