Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday Morning Ramble: The Earth Moved Under Our Feet Edition

Earthquake near Wellington this morning measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale (and 16 stone on the ordinary household scale*).
Recent Earthquakes – GEONET

"Impossible to serve hot, good-quality food" in schools, says Indian state education minister after 23 kids die.
In India, Playground Now a Graveyard – WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Maori population in Australia ("aka “Mozzies”) is growing faster than it is here, and they’re earning much better too—some evidence, you’d think, that race-based welfarism here at home is less beneficial than the melting pot across the Tasman.
Maori in Oz: Living the good life – STUFF

Well, you can’t say they’re not ambitious.
Auckland Transformed: The Congestion Free Network – AUCKLAND TRANSPORT BLOG

All this talk about where the Auckland council wants to put us, and none about where people might actually want to live if a planner didn’t stop them. So how would places function without the planners’ zoning laws? Yaron Answers

All America wants to talk about is “race hate” and the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case. Thomas Sowell reckons he’s now so old he can remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white…
Thomas Sowell Asks "Who Is Racist?" – Thomas Sowell, ZERO HEDGE

Hippy economist favouring redistributive government reviews The Spirit Level—and finds it’s full of bollocks. “… The Spirit Level, with its disregard for the literature and data on inequality, and the poor data analysis involved, leaves me cold.”
Review:  Spirit Level – THE VISIBLE HAND

Private investment is the great driver of economic growth. Without it, all the ingenuity in the world counts for naught. Yet despite the need for this driver of prosperity, those who prosperity would help most are noisiest in objecting to investment when it comes from foreign sources. Simon Lester reckons such objections could not be more misguided.
Rethinking International Investment Rules – Simon Lester, CATO AT LIBERTY

“The diversified knowledge structure of the modern economy necessitates reliance on expert opinions. However, imbuing these experts with political authority has many disastrous consequences.”
The Era of Expert Failure – Arnold Kling, LIBERTARIAN LIBRARY

Ayn Rand Bot“The uncontested absurdities of today are the
accepted slogans of tomorrow.”

- Ayn Rand

UAH Atmospheric Science professor Dr. John Christy destroys the Global Warming scare in 7 slides. Extreme weather  increasing?  Record temperatures? All nonsense.  And then there’s this (below)…
Climate Change Roundtable Presentation – John R. Christy, GLOBAL WARMING


Busybodies can’t leave people alone, even when they’re homeless. Now nannies want to stop the homeless smoking.
Public health nannies object to homeless people smoking – JUNK SCIENCE

Have you ever wondered if the people who complain about “gas-guzzling,” “waste,” and “materialism” are confessing that they themselves don’t take full advantage of the unlimited opportunity that fossil-fuel energy gives us?
Why I Love Living in “Gasland”  - Alex Epstein, CENTER FOR INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS

Sorry, misanthropists.
Fracking phobia fails yet again – Rich Lowry, NEW YORK POST

Another in the list of things a bureaucrat could never imagine: a window that stops sound, but not air.
Redesigned Window Stops Sound But Not Air, Say Materials Scientists – TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

“A free economy cannot exist without competition. Therefore, men must be forced to compete. Therefore, we must control men in order to force them to be free….”
Ayn Rand in her own words: the contradiction of antitrust – VOICES FOR REASON

"Do you share the widespread assumption that morality has to be based on  religion? If so, are you willing to check that assumption?"
Capitalism Without God: Freedom is a Secular but Absolute Value – Harry Binswanger, FORBES

Gluten insensitive? Consider your self-diagnosis might be mistaken: “around two-thirds of people who think they are gluten intolerant really aren't.” It’s called the “nocebo effect.”
What if your gluten intolerance is all in your head? – Alan Levinovitz, NEW SCIENTIST

Ayn Rand Bot“Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision--i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears.....”
- Ayn Rand

“Scientists have corrected the genetic fault that causes Down's syndrome– albeit in isolated cells – raising the prospect of a radical therapy for the disorder.”
Down's syndrome cells 'fixed' in first step towards chromosome therapy – GUARDIAN

"People who are together but aren't very happy have, in most cases, simply neglected their relationship."
To Love is to Cherish – Dr Michael Hurd, DELAWARE WAVE

It’s true: your strand-up desk will prolong your and increase your productivity.
Standing while coding may boost developer productivity – Lisa Morgan, SD TIMES

So the fellow who co-founded Groupon and Lightbank wants you to to know about Atlas Shrugged too.
A Book that Changes Lives – Brad Keywell, LINKED IN

paperback free range kids -medium“I’m ‘America’s Worst Mom.’ (Feel free to Google it.) I got that title after I let my 9-year-old ride the subway alone and wrote a newspaper column about it.”
Parenting Advice from America’s Worst Mom – Lenore Skenazy. MARIA MONTESSORI .COM

From the “you-cannot-stop-an-army-of-ideas” file: “scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.” Always?
Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas – SCIENCE DAILY

“Things are worse than we thought when it comes to renewable energy in Europe.”
Forbes Asks: “Requiem For Spanish Wind?”…High Costs, Poor Performance And Public Protest Dog Wind Power – P. Gosselin, NO TRICKS ZONE

“Law of Sustainability:
If it’s not economically sustainable,
it’s not sustainable.”

The humanities are thriving, but not in the academies, as "training" replaces education—and professors fill books and courses with wildly specialised jargon, narrow reading lists to a coterie of approved gurus, and prosecute literature and the arts for not exemplifying their narrowly “enlightened” values.
The Decline of the Humanities—and Civilization – Rosanna Warren, NEW REPUBLIC

“The results of fifty years of government programs that pushed higher education as the ticket to happiness and prosperity are in—and they don’t look good. The massive loans, subsidies, and incentives didn’t make people in general smarter and richer. They just diverted resources and squeezed out private alternatives. 
Is There A Viable Alternative To University? – Jeffrey Tucker, THE FREEMAN

Consider the success of government schooling: “58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school. 42% of college graduates never read another book. 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.” And it’s not just the US, is it people.
The book on books – Jeff Jarvis, BUZZ MACHINE

Who killed it, how did it happen, and how do we fight back?
AUDIO: "History is Dead, Long Live History"– Scott Powell, Diana Hsieh, PHILOSOPHY IN ACTION

Here’s an army of ideas just busting to get out: join the army now with any one of nine courses, all online. All free!


You’ve never heard Bach like this. Organist Cameron Carpenter, who played last night at the Auckland Town Hall, plays what begins as Bach’s first cello suite. (And if you like this, you can catch him again on Sunday, I’m told.)

[Hat tip Geek Press, Gus Van Horn, CherylBernstein, Stephen Hicks, Kay Brooks, Jesse Pesta, Tom Bowden, Ayn Rand Revolution, JWSpry, Yaron Brook, Justin Templer, P Gosselin]


  1. The quake was a goodie!
    I was on the 10th floor and got a good shake.
    Ducked under the desk for safety's sake, but wasn't scared at all.

  2. In the Minority Rules article about 10% being the tipping point for ideas to spread... well, that might work for a new idea, but I can't see it applying when there are 2 competing ideas, each with > 10% support!


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