Posts archived by year

2020

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2019

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2018

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2016

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2015

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2014

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2013

Publication/dissertation update

less than 1 minute read

After spending nearly a year in Land Economics’ publication queue, I’m pleased to say that my joint paper on “Electricity Prices, River Temperatures and Cool...

More good music for your listening pleasure

2 minute read

It occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned my Noondaytune contributions in ages. Without further ado and including some snippets from my rather lyrical write-u...

Quote of the Day - Madiba

1 minute read

I was seven years old, and on the day before I was to begin, my father took me aside and told me that I must be dressed properly for school. Until that time,...

Asimbonanga (Mandela)

less than 1 minute read

Asimbonanga (We have not seen him) Asimbonang' uMandela thina (We have not seen Mandela) Laph'ekhona (In the place where he is) Laph'ehleli khona (In the...

Why economists love auctions

2 minute read

Some background first: South Africa’s power market is utterly dominated by (a) coal and (b) Eskom, the parasitical parastatal monopoly. In a bid to encourage...

Bad science: Paleo diet edition

4 minute read

A while ago, I wrote a post praising the scientific approach that advocates of the paleo diet</a> appeared to be adopting in arguing their case. In par...

TEDxBergen

2 minute read

I mentioned the other day that I acted as moderator for the recent TEDxBergen conference. Videos of the various talks have now been posted online, but here a...

Obligatory comment on the 2013 Nobelists

1 minute read

Seeing as it is very de jour to comment on this sort of thing in the econ blogosphere, here is a quick personal take:I know that this year’s laureates have r...

Quote of the Day - Privacy

less than 1 minute read

"At a moment of austerity and with a general sense that our state's ability to guarantee prosperity for its citizens is in retreat, that same state is about ...

Links and happenings

2 minute read

Busy times for yours truly over the last two weeks. Here is a list of things that I’ve been doing, plus one or two items that I spotted on ye olde internet.1...

China to reduce coal consumption?

1 minute read

I’ve tried to emphasise the importance of relative concepts many times on this blog. However, there are occasions when relative measures can also be more tha...

Advocacy and climate research

1 minute read

The latest furore to erupt in the climate blogosphere concerns whether climate scientists undermine their credibility by engaging in advocacy? (For some resp...

July playlist

less than 1 minute read

My fellow Noondaytune.com contributors have outdone themselves with some very cool song choices during the month of July. I say this with some authority as i...

Personal note

less than 1 minute read

I'm not normally one for broadcasting personal information and relationship updates on social media, but, hey, this a big one. Very pleased, then, to say th...

Music updates

less than 1 minute read

My latest contributions to Noondaytune are a mix of classic rock and Nordic lo-fi (complete with a youth choir). Something for everyone!1) Crosby, Stills, Na...

Happenings

2 minute read

Given the inadvertent success of my previous post, I’ve decided to take the philosophical route for this next one: My fifteen minutes of quasi-blogosphere fa...

Econ blogosphere comment form

1 minute read

There is no cake-stagnation by Tyler Cowen  Here. Paul Krugman writes about the virtues of black forest cake versus regular vanilla sponge. While ...

Summer has arrived

less than 1 minute read

Yesterday. Finally.Please stay!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>

Video - Fracking chat with David Zetland

less than 1 minute read

I had a long video chat with David Zetland yesterday, where we discussed fracking, water pollution, property rights and a bunch of related issues. David’s ta...

Recent Noonday Tune contributions

less than 1 minute read

“Junk Bond Trader” — Elliott Smith“Love Spreads” — The Stone Roses(Worth clicking through for the descriptions alone!)

Milestones

less than 1 minute read

Just clocked up our 30,000th pageview here at The Corral.<div></div><div>I feel that this a pretty respectable return for a (very) part-t...

Fracking and water pollution

1 minute read

My new article for The Energy Collective is up: Hydraulic Fracking and Water Pollution.There’s much debate about whether shale gas “fracking” (i.e. hydraulic...

Am I being unreasonable?

less than 1 minute read

See the back-and-forth here.Generally, I try to be as civil as possible when it comes to internet debates. (Often is the time that I’ve rewritten a response ...

Monetary regimes and economic outcomes

2 minute read

Eric Rauchway has a post over at Crooked Timber that’s generating a fair bit of interest, since it compares real economic growth and inflation for the “G7” c...

New writing gig - The Energy Collective

1 minute read

Some exciting news for yours truly is that I’ll be writing a series of articles for the excellent energy and climate website, The Energy Collective, as part ...

Noonday Tune

less than 1 minute read

I get quite a bit of flack from (non-economist) friends and family whenever this blog goes too long without a music intermission... or some other distraction...

Climate science is pseudoscience(?)

2 minute read

So says Ivo Vegter in his latest column, calling up the spirit of Karl Popper. I drop by in several places in the comments, saying that this pretty much utte...

Chavez, Thatcher and the oil that binds them

less than 1 minute read

Daniel Yergin (one of the world’s foremost energy experts) tweeted yesterday: “Too soon to say what Hugo Chavez’ death means for oil prices but it is certain...

Hardship on the slopes

less than 1 minute read

The posts may have dried up a tad here at the Corral, but things have been busy for yours truly back in the real world. Most notably going away for our depar...

Quote of the Week - Schadenfreude

less than 1 minute read

"[T]he British are the only people who indulge in schadenfreude – pleasure derived from another’s misery – about themselves." An oldie, admittedly, but nicel...

A question for Nassim Taleb fans

4 minute read

I read an interesting article last night, detailing a public exchange between Daniel Kahneman and Nassim Taleb.<blockquote class="tr_bq">[E]ach man was...

Backyard (royal) skulls

1 minute read

People seem to be pretty excited by the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton underneath a Leicestershire car park. I suppose this would be quite interesting i...

I was Ayn Rand’s lover

less than 1 minute read

Posted this on twitter a few minutes ago, but I’ve just stumbled on the best piece of satirical writing that I have read in ages: I was Ayn Rand’s lover by G...

Review - Economics Evolving (Agnar Sandmo)

3 minute read

Following an email exchange with Dan Kuehn and Jon Catalán, I decided that it was finally time to write up a review for Agnar Sandmo’s “Economics Evolving” (...

A journey through the seasons

less than 1 minute read

After my previous Norway bump, here are two videos that seem appropriate.<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.c...

Thinking of doing a PhD?

3 minute read

Well, then consider doing it in Norway. I've been quietly promoting this line for a while. So, alongside the regular factors for choosing a graduate program,...

Too good not to share

3 minute read

File this under the "Unintended hilarity" section.  Via Ryan Coetzee, I see that South Africa’s beloved Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Apri...

A note on the Vegter review

1 minute read

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how popular my review of Ivo Vegter’s “Extreme Environment” has proven. I initially thought that only a handful of people w...

Review - Extreme Environment (Ivo Vegter)

24 minute read

Extreme Environment (hereafter EE) is a book written by South African journalist, Ivo Vegter. I have mentioned Vegter before on this blog and he generously a...

Unintended consequences

3 minute read

During the last year, South Africa has been in the throes of violent upheaval in the mining industry. Most prominently the “Marikana massacre”, which receive...

Back in business

1 minute read

Having said goodbye to family and friends after a wonderful holiday in South Africa, and then endured a 20-plus hour trip (two transit stops) back to Norway ...

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2012

Gas booms and carbon leakage

1 minute read

Following what I hope is my last written exam ever earlier this month, I must apologise for the sporadic posting of late. You see, I’ve also made my way home...

The limits of reductio ad absurdum

3 minute read

Unlearning Econ has a new post up on Milton Friedman in which he, among other things, criticises Friedman’s use of reductio ad absurdum arguments to win deba...

Coffee drinkers and energy subsidies

less than 1 minute read

Busy times over here with term papers due, TA work and finishing up some revisions for my current working paper. (Referee comments were pretty favourable, so...

Debt and utility come alive!

2 minute read

As promised, here is an interactive Excel spreadsheet showing how utility changes in a debt-financing scenario versus the laissez faire case. Read my previou...

The plot thickens in the debt debate

3 minute read

Since joining this debate, I have consistently argued that deficit financing is no less sustainable than taxation if economic growth is at least equal to the...

Even more debt and inheritance (and sales)

2 minute read

Bob Murphy and another commentator have left some interesting observations underneath my last post. They basically want to distinguish between straight-up be...

Debt and inheritance

2 minute read

UPDATE: Spotted an important typo in the text that I’ve now corrected for. I’ve also added a sentence or two to the paragraph before the Baker quote to hopef...

Review: Surviving Progress

1 minute read

Apologies for the lack of posting recently. Aside from research stuff, most of my "internet" time has been spent working on the RECONOMICS HUB.[*] We have no...

Climate, economy and ladies

1 minute read

As a postscript to the previous entry, here’s a quick story about a newspaper interview that I had last week. It was with one of the major broadsheets of the...

Google this

less than 1 minute read

2 sqrt(-abs(abs(x)-1)abs(3-abs(x))/((abs(x)-1)(3-abs(x))))(1+abs(abs(x)-3)/(abs(x)-3))sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)+(5+0.97(abs(x-.5)+abs(x+.5))-3(abs(x-.75)+abs(x+.75)))(...

Gold: Demand, supply and price

5 minute read

My old school friend and unashamed proponent of all things gold, Chris Becks, has left a few comments underneath this post in which I criticized misleading s...

Starting a new blog…

2 minute read

A group of us at my university have decided to start a blog dedicated to tackling environmental issues from an economic perspective. Things are still very mu...

Quote of the day - Occam’s Razor

less than 1 minute read

Finally, in some areas at least, Nature seems to show an inexplicable simplicity. This is a brute fact, more or less of a bonus, which if it had not existed ...

The problem with economic school-ism

3 minute read

Economists are a tribal bunch. The endless list of denominations, schools and sub-schools would be enough to make a Christian theologian blush.<div><...

Hibernation

less than 1 minute read

You may have noticed that blogging activity around these parts has taken a marked turn for the worse lately. My life has turned into one soul-sapping assignm...

Murphy vs Nordhaus vs Me summarized

1 minute read

It might be difficult to keep track of things in my previous post, because the lengthy discussion involves numerous claims and counterclaims. With the aim in...

Nope, Nordhaus is still (mostly) right

12 minute read

[NB: See the UPDATE at the bottom of this post.]Following our previous tête-à-tête on the Heartland Affair, here’s a response to Bob Murphy’s latest post on ...

If it worked for Casanova…

less than 1 minute read

This might not hold much interest beyond some old school friends reading this blog, but flicking through channels this morning I stumbled on a CNN documentar...

Quick links (05/05/2012)

1 minute read

I’m about to go into a pre-exam blogging hibernation, but here are some links to keep you interested:1) Ed Dolan gives a nice overview of the economic issues...

Slogans for Heartland

1 minute read

Given my previous discussion of the Heartland Institute and climate change, I feel to compelled to comment on this latest development. From The Guardian:<...

Quote(s) of the Day - Marxism

less than 1 minute read

Just to prove my even-handedness on this issue of a priorism and empirical validation, here is the father of the falsification doctrine himself, Karl Popper,...

Another post on empirics (and a priorism)

3 minute read

I was away last week in Amsterdam taking part in The Econometric Game, a competition involving 30 universities from around the world. Despite the… hmmm… dour...

More on Malthus

less than 1 minute read

If you don’t wish to take my word on Malthus, here’s a snippet from Econlib’s excellent encyclopedia entry that I’ve just stumbled upon:<blockquote class=...

The sardonic Adam Smith

less than 1 minute read

In reality high profits tend much more to raise the price of work than high wages. [...]In raising the price of commodities the rise of wages operates in the...

Rhino poaching… Hope on the horizon?

3 minute read

A few months ago, I discussed the staggering increase in rhino poaching that is plaguing Southern Africa. According to the Dept. of Environmental Affairs, a ...

Earth Hour: Sending the right message?

1 minute read

In the build up to this year’s Earth Hour, humourless critics were once again up in arms about the fact that turning off the lights for one hour would have a...

Bob Murphy on Heartland and Gleick

4 minute read

Bob Murphy is probably the one “Austrian” school blogger that I make a sincere effort to follow. I don’t agree with everything — or even most — of what he wr...

Quote of the day - Rebellion

less than 1 minute read

After the previous post, I’m afraid it’s unavoidable:<div style="text-align: center;">“If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.”</div>&...

On censorship and misreading Ray Bradbury

2 minute read

Earlier today I read Bill Maher's op-ed in the NYT: Please Stop Apologizing. I deeply agree with his general point and am reminded of the way he put it &mdas...

The language of science: Paleo edition

4 minute read

I've developed an armchair interest in the so-called "paleo" diet. Among other things, my curiosity was piqued when Tim Noakes — one of South Africa's ...

International Energy Workshop in June

less than 1 minute read

Sweet news.I’ll be presenting my paper on electricity prices and water scarcity at this year’s International Energy Workshop, which will be held in…Cape Town...

Why do we pay tax on plastic bags?

less than 1 minute read

Because here’s why:<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xPphi3YES80" width="560"></iframe>Fo...

Climate mitigation as a secondary benefit

3 minute read

But keep it quiet.I spent some time last week with the Dutch economist, Johannes Bollen, who was visiting my university to present his research on the “co-be...

Happy St Paddy’s

1 minute read

I hope my Irish forebears would approve.<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/FLsMvGCFtOU" width="420"...

Chief EU science adviser on GMO

3 minute read

Scottish microbiologist Anne Glover is the recently appointed chief science adviser to the EU. The below excerpt concerning GMO is taken from an interview th...

The face of Gabriel

1 minute read

Jonathan Haid’s comments on the spiritual nature of warfare reminded me of a passage in Captain Correli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. The character Mandr...

Housekeeping

less than 1 minute read

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve changed the previous post — on Invisible Children and James Inhofe — around a bit since it was first published. I wrot...

The real reason to be wary of Kony 2012

1 minute read

With the internet abuzz about Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” viral campaign, it was predictable that there would be some blow-back from critics. The most c...

Cover Thursdays - James Morrison edition

1 minute read

When James Morrison first came on to the scene, I was distinctly of the “meh” opinion. His debut album Undiscovered was everywhere I looked and, for the life...

We’ll go no more a roving

less than 1 minute read

In the rapidly fading twilight that is my 20s, please indulge me. ~  So, we'll go no more a roving So late into the night, Though the heart be still as ...

Kings of Convenience - Me in You

less than 1 minute read

If for no other reason than my apartment gets some camera time.[]Some very mellow Sunday night listening with suitably serene Scandinavian scenes.<iframe ...

Science and distortion

less than 1 minute read

Below is a video of the late climate scientist, Stephen Schneider. Please watch it and tell me that scientists are the ones trying to polarize this debate an...

Quote of the day - Let it stand

less than 1 minute read

This one comes via my friend and rival literatus</i>, Bloomsboy[*]. It concerns James Joyce’s relationship with protégé and Waiting for Godot playwrigh...

Cardinal sins

less than 1 minute read

The French statesman Charles Talleyrand famously lamented of the Bourbons: “They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.“<table align="center" cellp...

Quote of the day - A priori reasoning

less than 1 minute read

"The a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts won't fit in, why so much the worse for the facts." - Erasmus Darwin, writing to ...

The Meters - Ain’t No use

less than 1 minute read

Because it’s Sunday and you deserve it. <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mc8g41fB28k" width="420"...

Low-cost lighting from used plastic bottles

less than 1 minute read

As a general rule, bottled water is not particularly good for the environment. If I were the judgmental type, I might even chime in that buying bottled water...

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2011

Irony

2 minute read

From the Wikipedia page on Agricultural Policy:<blockquote class="tr_bq">Some argue that nations have an interest in assuring there is sufficient domes...

Economics > Doing the right thing

less than 1 minute read

Drowning in university work here, so no time for any blog posts. In the meantime, read this article by Gernot Wagner, who has a new book out explaining why e...

Facts vs Beliefs (George Monbiot edition)

3 minute read

When the facts, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?  - Apocryphally attributed to John Maynard Keynes A criticism often leveled at environmenta...

Homeopathic A&E

less than 1 minute read

Following Monday’s post, which touched on the murky world of alternative medicine… South African comedian, Warren Robertson links to a brilliant Mitchell and...

Quote of the day - Consensus

less than 1 minute read

Reading through the comments on a YouTube video is normally enough to make you despair for humanity. Every now and again, however, you come across some gold....

Rhino horn! Homeopathy! Psychics!

6 minute read

A few weeks ago, the South African government announced that it was appointing a team to reconsider the ban on the trade in rhino horn. In short, the idea is...

Cover Thursdays - Ni’ Zilund edition

less than 1 minute read

In search for a unifying theme for this week’s Cover Thursdays post, I suppose that I can do no better than tip my hat to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand....

A very interesting paper…

1 minute read

From the latest American Economic Review:<div style="text-align: center;">Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy</div&g...

Easter Island - History revisi(onis)ted?

2 minute read

I’ve just handed in a fat micro assignment and thus finally seen the back of a hellish two weeks. Twelve-hour days (plus) have become the new norm… and the...

Happy birthday to Stickman’s Corral!

4 minute read

Well, a day late… but that can probably only be described as fitting.Of course, recent postings have taken a severe backseat, as you might have observed. To ...

First journal submission

less than 1 minute read

In other news…I finally submitted my (co-authored) paper to a journal yesterday.<div style="text-align: center;">Title: </div><div style="text...

Like a kid on Christmas eve…

1 minute read

The Rugby World Cup 2011 starts tomorrow… BOOM!<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto...

Krugman, Hotelling and gold

4 minute read

… and negative (short-run) supply curves.Paul Krugman’s recent column, which links the high price of gold to a disinflationary environment, has generated a l...

Privileging theory over evidence

3 minute read

It’s late and my brain is in desperate need of sleep, but I’ve just read something very interesting on the Mises.org blog (via Twitter). In particular, Bob M...

Cover Thursdays - Poncey Dylan edition

1 minute read

Guest post.My mate, Poncey notes my calls for help RE this whole blogging thing and a lack of sufficient posting time. I would also let the record state that...

Finally…

less than 1 minute read

The academic paper that you’ve been waiting for! Zombie guru, George A. Romero, teams up with Columbia statistician, Andrew Gelman, as they seek to answer th...

Service, interrupted

1 minute read

You may have noticed that blogging’s been a bit slow around these parts, lately. Please accept my apologies, but it’s a hard thing to rectify given my curren...

Cover Thursdays - Instrumetalist edition

less than 1 minute read

And, yes, I did mean to spell it that way.Just got some time to squeeze this in before a self-imposed deadline… I feel it’s high time we had something a litt...

Ideas, not people

2 minute read

Beyond the specific subject matter of my previous post, I think that the Paul Samuelson article inadvertently highlights something else of value… especially ...

Four-Year Plans…

1 minute read

So, my PhD programme began today. We’re starting with a preparatory maths and statistics course, before getting into the core modules — micro, macro, ‘metric...

Hayek contra Coase… on property rights?

4 minute read

Say it ain’t so!Well… I guess it ain’t technically “so”… but hear me out on this one.Noah Smith, citing his personal experiences in Japan, writes that irredu...

Ikea

less than 1 minute read

Two things that I learnt about Ikea (and public transport) yesterday:1) Flat packed furniture may be much easier to move about than the ready-built stuff, bu...

Cover Thursdays - 90s throwback edition

less than 1 minute read

Super quick post as I’m off to catch a plane shortly, but here’s a little something to take you back a decade or so:1) The awesome Karen O leads her Yeah Yea...

Red House Painters - Have You Forgotten

less than 1 minute read

Talking about the Vanilla Sky soundtrack, here’s a great example of a “nearly perfect” song. I’m not sure where the problem lies exactly, but it’s just missi...

Changing Faces

3 minute read

I’ve just come back from London, where I was staying with one of my best friends from school. He is a professional rugby player and currently plies his trade...

Perspectives

3 minute read

That the Oslo-Utøya killings were a heinous, monstrous act is beyond question. However, the sheer scale of shock cannot be separated from the fact that they ...

More on Norway, liberty and labels

4 minute read

UPDATE: Two very good additional posts by Daniel and Gene Callahan. In particular, will Breivik’s quoting of Mises and Hayek be cause for reflection among li...

Quote of the day - Terrorism

less than 1 minute read

"You don't protect civilization by dismantling its civilizing achievements."  - Tom Arnold, former member of the British Parliament.

Reconciling capitalism and environmentalism

4 minute read

Alternative subject line: Saving environmentalism from the environmentalistsMy attention has been brought to a new book by the British environmentalist and a...

Oslo

1 minute read

Man oh man…Apart from the immediate concerns for the injured and dead, I dread some of the reverberations from the bomb attack in Oslo. Thankfully, it appear...

Cover Thursdays - Stripped Down edition

1 minute read

Coming attcha live from the beautiful Lake District in Cumbria, where I am soon to be attending a wedding, here’s a little something to whet your appetite be...

Hiatus and Happenings

3 minute read

I’ve been receiving abuse from various quarters lately for the lack of posting on this site. My apologies, but I’d sworn of any real computer activity for ...

Thesis = Submitted

less than 1 minute read

Feels like a fat bloody gorilla climbing down off my back.I’m exhausted after working very late over the last couple weeks to get everything done in time… An...

Cover Thursdays - Poncey Special edition

1 minute read

I’m in a world of thesis pain at the moment. My hand-in is just around the corner and I’m frantically making some revisions based on the last set of my super...

Putting a price on nature (II)

6 minute read

Yesterday, I wrote a post in response to George Monbiot's recent column, "The true value of nature is not a number with a pound sign in front", which laments...

Putting a price on nature (I)

5 minute read

George Monbiot has produced another thought-provoking column this week. However, rather than take his fellow greens to task for their irrational and self-def...

A riddle: Hats and signalling

2 minute read

Some of you may know this one already, but a here’s a favourite riddle of mine.Four prisoners are blindfolded and arranged as follows: Three of them are line...

Bleg - LaTeX (plus Linux)

1 minute read

So, I’m thinking of making the big, bad move over to LaTeX. The document style and structure simply look too good for me to keep plugging away at Microsoft W...

Comrades

3 minute read

In a few hours, the start to the 86th Comrades Marathon will sound off. This year is an “up run”, as 18,000 runners of all race, creed and nationality set of...

Cover Thursdays - Justin Vernon edition

1 minute read

Coming at ya live outta southern Denmark[*], a (very) quick Cover Thurdays edition to keep you interested.Most of you probably know Justin Vernon as the brai...

Cover Thursdays - Leonard Cohen edition

4 minute read

[NOTE: This post did originally appear on a Thursday (May 12, to be exact), but has since been “moved” following the blogger spaz out over the weekend. Just ...

The back burner

less than 1 minute read

That special time of the year has arrived, when I’ll be foregoing the pleasures of summer and reaping the rewards of procrastination. Yup, it’s exam time for...

A thought on supply-side micro

3 minute read

The Financial Times ran a story yesterday about Britain and Switzerland closing in on a deal regarding the taxation of the undeclared assets of wealthy indiv...

The awesomeness of Frightened Rabbit

1 minute read

Commentator Dave asks a question on this post; what album would I consider worthy of the title “2008 Album of the Year”? (See the post for date context.)<...

Sustainability - Robert Solow’s take

less than 1 minute read

I wrote the bulk of the previous post before (re-)reading a Robert Solow essay that I’d largely forgotten about, Sustainability: An Economist’s Perspective.P...

Sustainability: Defining the undefinable

7 minute read

What does it mean for something to be “sustainable”? Does the term, as it is widely used in the public lexicon today, contribute anything useful to our every...

More of this please…

1 minute read

Steven Landsburg writes:<blockquote>When something is wrong on the Internet, bloggers love to pounce. But since no blogger is infallible, most of us ca...

Cover Thursdays - TV on the Radio edition

1 minute read

I was giving the new TV on the Radio album, Nine Type of Light, a listen/watch yesterday. I like the ambition of the concept…<blockquote>Nine Types of ...

Avoiding hypocrisy on the big issues

10 minute read

Think of an important environmental issue. Now imagine that there is a large body of scientific research, underpinned by peer-reviewed literature, which has ...

Cover Thursdays - Gaslight Anthem

less than 1 minute read

The only logical step after last week’s Springsteen edition is these fellas. (Well, logic and the fact that I’m still alarmingly short on time just before th...

Snakes on a Plane: The (African) Sequel

4 minute read

Apologies for the lack of posting recently. To borrow a phrase, course work and project deadlines have been tearing me some new ones over the past two weeks....

“Africa Black and White” by Nick Brandt

less than 1 minute read

Africa Black and White<iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="1.2938689217759" data-auto-height="true" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc...

Cover Thursdays - The Boss edition

2 minute read

So, a few months ago the internets were alight about Jimmy Fallon’s Neil Young impression… And I have to say, it’s pretty damn good. Spookily spot on and fun...

What BMT looks like

less than 1 minute read

Four straight birdies to close out The Masters.<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: aut...

Links - Market Design edition

4 minute read

Regular readers[*] will know that a favourite theme of this blog is thinking about how — and where — markets function “optimally”, versus cases where some fo...

“To the Moulin Rouge Dancers!”

less than 1 minute read

That little beauty of a subject line is the title of an email that I received today. The message itself reads:<blockquote>Dear [XXX]You all were FANTAS...

It’s official…

1 minute read

You may have noticed that things have been a bit slow around the Corral lately. Primary reason being that I have been involved in numerous applications and i...

Quick links - History Repeats Itself edition

2 minute read

Some things that I’ve been meaning to write about, but short on time[*]…1) A heavily fancied South Africa bombs out during the knock-out stages of the Cricke...

Guess who has tickets to watch The National?

less than 1 minute read

That would be me.Campo Pequeno, Lisbon. May 24.<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JUhpzyun8SE" titl...

Free will in a world of Mad Men

4 minute read

Mark Thoma links to a study discussing the limits — or "origins" might be more correct — of free will. I'll just highlight the snippet on implica...

What’s wrong with this paragraph?

less than 1 minute read

From The Economist:<blockquote>Of the nuclear plants that provide about a third of Japan’s electricity (see chart), Fukushima Dai-ichi is not the first...

Aphorism of the Day - Harmonicas

less than 1 minute read

A harmonica solo will improve a song's awesomeness by approximately 15%. Stick a Hammond B-3 in there and it'll boost you to 20%.[*] That is from l’il old me...

Nuclear and Water

4 minute read

I’ve been drowning in work and other stuff lately, so no blog posts. Like everyone else though, I’ve been watching the unfolding tragedy in Japan and just ho...

What’s in a (psuedo) name?

4 minute read

Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Duden...

Quick links - Saudi Arabia edition

3 minute read

Two interesting takes on Saudi oil production amidst all this trouble in North Africa and the current oil price spike.1) Interfluidity ponders what the priva...

The Castle: “It’s the vibe”

less than 1 minute read

Yesterday, I mentioned The Castle. If you haven’t seen this Aussie comedy gem yet, I advise you rectify the situation ASAP. Your life will be better for it.&...

Hippie Baptists and Libertarian Bootleggers

5 minute read

Like, take it easy, Man. Disclaimer: I’ve conflated a lot of libertarianism/Austrianism in post. This was partly for simplicity, but also because I’m recalli...

xkcd - Beliefs

less than 1 minute read

Can’t believe I missed this one…HT: Lou Grinzo

Action Axiom: Rothbard contra Mises/Kant

2 minute read

Okay, last thing I’m going to post on the action axiom for a while, but a friend (of unabashed anarcho-capitalist persuasions) emails me:<blockquote>Yo...

Links - Anti-polemic edition

4 minute read

It’s something of a point of pride that I don’t wish this blog to descend into a polemic. In that spirit, here are several links to some interesting articles...

George Selgin on the Action Axiom

4 minute read

Plus my reply.I was pleasantly surprised to see George Selgin leave a comment underneath my previous post concerning Mises’s action axiom. In case you missed...

Tort law is no panacea for the environment

9 minute read

Looking over the comments section of an old post, I realised that I had yet to make good on a promise to “flesh out my scepticism regarding the ability of to...

Happy birthday to me

less than 1 minute read

I feel you, brother. Still under 30.Just.I’d better start reading…

Junk Bond Trader

1 minute read

I’m a little short on time to post anything substantial, but I figure a music post is overdue anyway. And so, with the news that Bernie Madoff has claimed th...

The “call on OPEC”

3 minute read

Reading through some of those Wikileaks’ cables from last week on how Saudi Arabia has been… uh… massaging the true extent of their remaining oil reserves, I...

Wikileaks: Saudis overstating oil reserves

1 minute read

… Apparently by as much as 40%.Heavy days.I’ve yet to read through the actual cables, but The Guardian’s summary doesn’t paint the prettiest picture:<bloc...

Two quick links - Krugman edition

1 minute read

Paul Krugman is the ultimate polarising force. People either love him or loathe him. I suppose that’s what comes with the territory when you are, arguably, t...

Food prices and climate change (gasp!)

4 minute read

Secondary subject line: The relative prices argument for strong action against climate change. Paul Krugman must have been feeling more provocative than usu...

Dumb regulation

2 minute read

As should be clear from some of my previous posts, I think that some areas of our economy are in need of regulation; others distinctly less so. Her...

To the heart of the Euro crisis!

less than 1 minute read

Well, maybe not the heart... Pancreas perhaps? After seriously hacking to sort out the correct visa (I <3 immigration bureaucracies), I'm off to Portugal!...

Exploitation and Industrialisation

3 minute read

In the comments thread of the Meat and Veg(etarianism) post, I drew a parallel between the ethical treatment of animals and the banning of child labour. That...

2010 ties for hottest year on record

less than 1 minute read

There or thereabouts. Just saying. PS - As for the floods in Australia, Brazil and elsewhere... I believe that those are the result of La Niña. I fin...

Chirp of the Day - Australia

1 minute read

A Norwegian friend of mine was telling me about the first time he ever traveled outside of Europe, which happened to be a gap-year stint in Australia after...

Meat and Veg(etarianism)

5 minute read

UPDATE: I stumbled upon this George Monbiot post today (Jan 24) from a few months back, discussing what seems to be a very interesting book by one Simon Fair...

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2010

Quote of the Day - Idiots

less than 1 minute read

"Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience." Not sure of the original source, but spotted this pithy little pi...

Leaving Europe in a few hours

less than 1 minute read

The taxi arrives in three and a half hours to be precise... And it's just gone midnight now, so you can guess how I'm going to be feeling after the 16-odd ho...

Merry Engerland

1 minute read

Exams all done and dusted :) Went reasonably well. Some time issues for two of them, but that's nothing uncommon for me to be honest... Anyway, just a quic...

America is in good hands…

less than 1 minute read

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cChair Apparentwww.colbertnation.com</embed>Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Al...

Experts, democracy and public opinion

6 minute read

Consider this a follow-up, of sorts, to my Facts vs Beliefs post...Going over what I had written there and then partaking in the comments section, ...

Facts vs Beliefs

4 minute read

I should really be studying... but my attention has been drawn to several articles and interviews over the last few weeks that coincide with a recurring them...

Exams beginneth…

less than 1 minute read

So posting is going to take a back seat for the next week or three.  Well, not that I've been particularly prodigious in terms of output so far anyway....

Solar thermal and water use in California

2 minute read

Having discussed some similar implications for the grandiose solar plans in South Africa, here's a snippet from an interview with Bright Source Energy CEO, J...

Physics Envy (again)

3 minute read

Seeing as I've covered the topic a few times already, here is an interesting - and surprisingly amusing - presentation by Andrew Lo of MIT, based o...

Fancy a cruise?

less than 1 minute read

This gets better and better…<div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div></div><div></div><div><div style="text-...

Movember

1 minute read

Anyone out there doing Movember? Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a month long moustache growing charity event held each year to help raise...

SA planning world’s biggest solar park

2 minute read

Very interesting: South Africa is to unveil plans this week for what it claims will be the world's biggest solar power plant – a radical step in a coal-depen...

Currie Cup Final

1 minute read

After a great start to the 2010 season, South African rugby descended into disappointment and embarrassment. Still, there's light at the end of the tunnel as...

More water issues in SA

1 minute read

(Semi) fresh on the heals of The Corral's coverage of an appeal to major water-using companies to fund "an extensive water monitoring project" in South Afric...

God, morality and monkeys

8 minute read

And by "monkeys" I really mean "altruistic chimpanzees", but I'm a sucker for alliteration...I stumbled on a really excellent opinion piece in today's New Yo...

Quote of the day - Fish

less than 1 minute read

Speaking of life in the oceans…<blockquote>“Sharks are just evil bastards. I’m quite happy if all the sharks just went, because they eat fish and us… A...

Maths and Economics - The Interlude

2 minute read

Those of you paying attention may have noticed that I yet to deliver on my promise to provide a second economic-maths example. Apologies for the delay, but ...

In honour of my Austrian visitors

1 minute read

So it seems that my “Why we need maths in economics” post was picked up by someone in the Mises.org community… Who, in turn, may have first read about it on ...

Why we need maths in economics

5 minute read

Secondary subject line: Why words and intuition aren’t always good enough. A lot has been written about the use of mathematics in economics. Much of it nega...

Quote of the day

less than 1 minute read

Well, more chirp of the day, but let's not split hairs here. So sharp...NMTB hasn't been quite the same since Simon Amstell left as regular host, but still a...

Water pricing in different sectors

3 minute read

My previous post linked to a new alarming/alarmist (potato, potahto) study of South Africa’s water pollution problems. I mentioned some economic elements tha...

Quote of the day - Experts

less than 1 minute read

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less. - Nicholas Butler Take THAT Adam Smith! Mild sarcasm font over, there are obviously produ...

A word from our sponsors…

less than 1 minute read

</embed> [Warning: One or two f-bombs in the above clip.]<div style="text-align: justify;">I have many uninformed opinions and, possibly, some re...

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