After a brief dalliance with Medium, in the last couple of years, I’ve gone back to (infrequently) posting on my blog Some relatively recent posts on the blog include musings on the thoughts on René Girard and a review of the book “Apocalypse Never”.

Medium has a great UI for authoring, but their implementation of the paywall is really annoying. I hope some day my dream of market-based micropayments for content will become a reality.

Looks like the slope is about 10 percentage points per decade. So, it will take 20–30 years to double the efficiency of solar energy conversion. Disappointing.

Tyler Cowen asks : The most expensive weather disaster of 2018? How many of you have heard about it?

Gro Intelligence, for one. We predicted it.

The chart shows historical soybean yields in Argentina, as reported by 4 different data sources, together with Gro Yield Model forecast for the current year.

See the light grey in the top right corner, “Rejected Energy”? That consists of things like the heat coming off car brakes when you decelerate, i.e. the part of the energy you consumed during your acceleration that you will end up never using. Unlike the acceleration which has value, no matter how subjective, the heat is pure waste. Almost no one should object if you reduce it. This is the energy consumption where reduction is a technical problem not a political one. And it’s more than half!

It comes mainly from electricity and transportation. Now if you go one step further back and consider the input sources, electricity is 60% hydrocarbons. Transportation uses energy that is more than 90% hydrocarbons. Therefore, the best target to reduce CO2 emissions without getting stuck in political problems (and I don’t mean “political” pejoratively, just simply the fact that you will have subjective differing interests) is transportation.

In this article from the NY Times a few days ago, Manhattan Skyscraper Linked to Iran Can Be Seized by U.S., Jury Finds, was an absolutely shocking sentence: It asserted that Iran sponsored or was responsible for the 9/11 attack. For days, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. “Is this like Iraq in 2002-2003 with Judith Miller et al?” I ask myself… Even in real estate articles! Scary stuff.

So finally today I decide to get if off my chest here. But as I look up the article to get the exact quote... It’s been “corrected”! They changed "sponsored" to "some culpability". …

Ever since I heard about the concept, via Robin Hanson a long time ago, I’ve been a fan of the the 2d political map. Much better than the usual 1d left-right spectrum.

If you drew the equivalent picture for France, you could put LePen instead of Trump, and Macron where the question mark is.


Nemo Semret

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