Post-Slump Links

Since every hour that passes I’m more certain I’m not going to keep blogging, here are a few good links for your perusal:

Stuart Staniford of the Oil Drum explains carefully why the Saudi production decrease is due to peak oil rather than a voluntary reduction. The minutiae of the Saudi production curve are more consistent with a post-peak slump rather than with a voluntary reduction meant to give Saudi Arabia the power to flood the market at any given time.

C. L. Hanson notes that the two basic principles of relationships – that people have the right to say no to sex and that people shouldn’t sleep with anyone but their partners – are incongruous. As such, she talks about how cheating can save relationships.

Stentor rebuts market-based arguments against environmental legislation. He explains specifically that air pollution needs to be curbed collectively since air is naturally a shared resource. This isn’t an especially novel argument – the tragedy of the commons is a recognized market failure – but some libertarians’ hostility to it requires repeating it more than should be necessary.

Melissa Franklin, Harvard’s first tenured female physics professor, speaks at a conference about women in science that has just given her an award. She recounts experiences ranging from students’ crying because they couldn’t finish their problem sets to sexual assault.

12 Responses to Post-Slump Links

  1. Shnakepup says:

    Sorry to see you go, man. I’ve always enjoyed your writing. Sorry I didn’t comment more often.

  2. Jonathan Weed says:

    I just started reading your blog last week, so I’m especially sorry to see you go.

    But what I wanted to say: “first *female* tenured physics professor”?

  3. Phil says:

    Since every hour that passes I’m more certain I’m not going to keep blogging, here are a few good links for your perusal: …

    Why does blogging sound like drinking?

    I’m going to stop drinking. Really. But just after these few …” :-)

  4. Alon Levy says:

    I quit Coke like that. I told myself I would only drink the two cans I had at home, and then drank a little more when I went to Monaco for a week (outside the US, soda tastes a lot better than inside the US).

  5. Phil says:

    BTW (if you continue to blog math) it would be good to see more math blogs move to using … elements, since it looks so much better. A typical example

    http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/archives/000492.html
    and others on that site

    (which looks good in Firefox with math font installed)

  6. Phil says:

    That was <math> elements.

  7. Bruce says:

    Thank you for the accurate use of the modifier “some” in reference to li bertarians not getting the issue of contamination of a public resource. Not only does air pollution contaminate a public resource, but it also happens to contribute to the destruction of private resources as well. Acid rain is not the most horrible pollutant with which we must cope, but it does inflict meaningful damage on some buildings in some parts of the country.

    More importantly, everyone needs the inhaled nitrogen, oxygen and CO2 cocktail that we breathe “neat” not on the rocks with particulate matter.

    Externalities are the norm, not a special case, in medium- and large-scale human interactions in 2007. Maybe not in 207, but definitely in 2007.

    Frankly, one of my “beefs” with one of the blogs that I think is getting under your skin of late is its resort to irrational arguments about libertarians (e.g. playing ad hominem to some nerd stereotype, making irrational overgeneralizations, recklessly or dishonestly misstating libertarian claims, etc.) When they tell me that not all feminists are Andrea Dworkin groupies, that’s a fair statement. They should follow suit.

  8. Alon Levy says:

    Well, libertarianism is a lot like feminism: it has a more liberal or soft-core version, and a more radical or hard-core one. People who define themselves as socially liberal and economically conservative (including the median English-speaking economist) I have no trouble with. It’s not as if I’m a flaming leftist on economic issues; sure, I’m to the left of the average American, but I don’t think the US government even needs to hike social spending, only shuffle it around. On the contrary, those socially liberal, economically conservative people are the moderates I think the Democratic Party should appeal to; I don’t use that language, but when I talk about the importance of the Northeastern suburbs and undercutting Giuliani, those are the people I’m talking about.

    And then there are the libertarian Dworkinites: Objectivists, Austrian economists, anarcho-capitalists, and Libertarian Party members who think there’s no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans because they’re both “for government intervention.”

    Phil, the thing about <math> tags is that apparently, the reader needs to have them, too, for everything to work well. I’ll check them out nonetheless, since I don’t need anything spectacular for Galois theory or number theory, but if I run into problems, which I probably will, I’ll return to my combination of LaTeX and ASCII.

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