HVDC lines in China

feature article by IIIE Spectrum on China’s buildup of HVDC lines in the past decade, 18,000 km of lines, the longest over 2,000 km long China’s Ambitious Plan to Build the World’s Biggest Supergrid

Why is it so difficult to build new electric lines in the US? because you must ask permission to all sorts of agencies in every state. And if you want to build an oil pipiline? Just ask the The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC- So during Obama’s presidency only two of the seven lines (no HVDC) were built, meanwhile in 10 years over 100,000 miles of gas pipelines were laid

oh, it shows in the energy mix, renewables are growing but natural gas is the superstar

I am pretty sure we get the same situation in Europe, eruope-wide gas pipes network is probably better developed and more robust than electricity, I have to check, in the meanwhile here’s the gas pipelines. (form reasearchgate somewhere)

one is brought to believe that the oilman is a natural born cosmopolitam while the electricity man is a localist, jealously guarding its home turf. But hopefully this is going to change

China’s HVDC father dreamed of global electric grid, at some point HDVC links were parte of the China Road and Belt initiative ( I always tend to write Bridge and Tunnel, funny)

BTW I think all belongs to a presentation by Albert Pinto https://twitter.com/70sBachchan/status/1420479694877638664

GMO’s some links

U.Chicago announces a RNA modification that yields 50% more in rice and potatoes https://news.uchicago.edu/story/rna-breakthrough-crops-grow-50-percent-more-potatoes-rice-climate-change

pretty good, if demonstrated, never take PR at face value. WIll it be easily accepted

UPDATE Derek Lowe wrote about it and exxplained a bit the role of FTO enzyme in animal and plants https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2021/07/28/one-lost-methyl-group-huge-amounts-of-food-production

Golden rice had a lot of trouble (vitamin A rich rice for developing countries) https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/agriculture/golden-rice-approval-in-bangladesh/

BT modification are blocked in some places, Italy and EU included. Bt is a transgenic modification, plants are modified with genes from Bacillus Thurigiensis and become resistant to some pests, which the bacillum is resistant itself http://www.bt.ucsd.edu/bt_crop.html

I managed to put all this together since I have been following Channa Prakash on Twitter https://twitter.com/AgBioWorld and he always curses the fools who do not allow Bt GMO’s in their countries, while the neighbour does and produces much more

Speaking of fools, we are always folled by randomness, As Taleb says, and Taleb says that transgenic modifications fall in higher risk class versus normal mutations, so we shild apply the precautionary principle https://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/PrecautionaryPrinciple.html

Government vs. Tech the comeback

After years watching the internet take life, live by its own and create the tech giants governments realized there’ is something wrong and are sharpening their knives

Biden tries to overcome Bjorkism and bring antitrust back to Brandeis, Noah Smith on the issue https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/the-economists-revolt

China cracks down on internet companies probably fearing that the superb economics of software growth would crowd talents out of less frivolous challenges “Why is China smashing its tech industry?” still Noah

Thiose less frivolous challenges is what we call “deep tech”, I never quiet understood this term until I decided that I would rename tech into “consumer internet” then “deep tech” becomes Tech

naturalismo, rassegnazione e monopoli digitali

capire cosa sono i monopoli digitali, come interferiscono con la nostra felicità on e offline, come si limitano, spaccano, combatto, regolano etc è poi così esoterico e fuori dalla nostra portata che una posizione molto tipica che ho notato, in cui sono passato anche io è:

è colpa delle economie di network, ci sono cosa ci possiamo fare

antitrust, ma se danno tutto gratis, non si può fare, non pensiamoci

poi tanta gente che non capisce il web lo fa per potere politico, non voglio essere uno di loro

in fondo, è naturale, è il mercato, ce l’hanno fatta, va bene così perchè se facciamo qualcosa dalla padella alla brace

molte cose vere ma messe in fila così fanno un ragionamento sbagliato, meglio studiare e studiando piano piano si riesce a mettere qualche punto fermo per reagire allo strapotere delle piattaforme, per sentirsi nel giusto nel farlo

per iniziare, quella cosa lì del “è gratis non si puà fare antitrust” , storia USA, l’antitrust nacque come una rezione politica alla strapotere dei cartelli, rockfeller e amici e l’azione era giustificata dallo strapotere che squilibrava la democrazia. Quindi in origine si pensava in termini di potere e tutela della democrazia

poi venne Bork negli anni 80 che cercò una definizione puramente economica, misurabile e da allora l’antitrust si faceva solo se c’era un pregiudizio per il consumatore, cioè aumento dei prezzi. Inapplicabile ora, e sarebbe insensato applicarlo perchè cambiano i tempi si possono aggiornare le interpretazioni, ed è quello che si deve fare. Ritorno a Brandies, consiglio la lettura di The urse of Bigness, Tim Wu

Questo però mi lascia ancora quello smarrimento intorno, se penso che Facebook è sbagliato così com’è, Zuck è colpevole per quello che è passato sulla piattaforma, le basi per i genocidi, per gli attacchi alla democrazia, per le stragi di qualche fuori di testa di 4chan, sono io che sono invidioso, pieno di odio, fondamentalmente un poveraccio in cerca di un capro espiatorio che incidentalmente sta sempre su Facebook ?

Fuck no, sono sul web da più di 20 anni, non era, così, era il web dei milioni di siti, non il mosaico di piattaforme di milioni e miliardi di utenti, tutte chiuse in se stesse. Scrivo su Linkedin e non so dove finisce, discuto in gruppi Facebook e non so come esportare. La portabilità dei dati, se ne parla, ma è una cosa statica, terminale, un backup.

Ecco, l’interoperabilità avversariale di Cory Doctorow, dovrei poter scrivere qui su e buttare in automatico su linkedin e facebook perchè loro non possono bloccare il mio wordpress che si logga come me e posta. Fantasie? eppure era e può essere così

come si giustifica ? il principio di concorrenza nei mercati, questo è la sua articolazione nello spazio del web.

Mandated interoperability, or rather adversarial interoperability “we need something that stops dominant firms from subverting standards—a penalty that they pay that is market-based, that impacts their bottom line, and that doesn’t rely on a slow-moving or possibly captured regulator but that, instead, can actually just emerge in real time. That is what I call “adversarial interoperability”: reverse engineering and scraping and bots”

Wet bulb temperature

a human-readable definition that explains why it is important to measure heat waves and their letality “

—the lowest temperature to which something can be cooled through evaporation from its surface

that means, you are in 37c wet bulb temp you do notcooldown and you are in trouble

How Asia works

How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region by Joe Studwell is the book on development I want to read. Meanwhile in my bubble everybody is reading it and so here is Scott Alexander reviewing it https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/book-review-how-asia-works

and here Noah Smith doing some critics to it “What Studwell got wrong “https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/what-studwell-got-wrong”

Studwell book is good because it has a 3-step concise, no-bullshit, recipe to develop past the middle income trap:

land reform

promote export

Control finance

Pretty much what would be anatema to IMF and World Bank, not requiring full democracy, rather working well under autocracy, but in the end economis and countries should open up to mjeet the gorwing challenges of an advanced economy

I have been wondering wether this recipe could work for Africa, I will keep an eye on the issue. By chance I ran into this blog post on the divergence in the tropics between some east asina and some west african countries, which in the end boild down to high food prices, which keep high industrial salaries and sitlfe growth. Also, in the flying geese model, asia had Japan, Africa has no seed investments from a contiguous mature country

Food Prices and the Little Divergence https://tomwestland.com/2021/06/08/food-prices-and-the-little-divergence/

Resilient as a Cuban

After Cuba lost USSR financial support in the n90’s,, calories intake fell, they lost weight and became helathier, mortality fell https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/166/12/1374/82812 “Impact of Energy Intake, Physical Activity, and Population-wide Weight Loss on Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Mortality in Cuba, 1980–2005”

Conversely, when North Korea lost that support, infant mortality and mortality over 65 started diverging markedly versus South Korea https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/28/5/830/4930643 “The life expectancy gap between North and South Korea from 1993 to 2008 “

I found it in this 3d of the Pseudoerasmus which start off mortality comparison between China and India last century betweehttps://twitter.com/pseudoerasmus/status/1404403291837112324

Jewish achievement

debate between Noah Smith and Scott Alexander about Jewish achievement (so many Nobel prizes e.g.), how could be explained, should he be modelled into policies?

The point is, if you believe that Jewish achievement is real, a phenomenon per se, then you shouldn’t do much to correct discrimination, it hinges around USA legal term https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disparate_impact that is ground for claiming sistemic discrimination.

The argument goes, if jews have been able to be so good despite persecution etc, then why black can’t do the same? It must be their fault, not the white man’s fault. Conservative shit

Noah goes all the way showing statistical confounders and cultural factors that let you question why one should use the nobel prizes won by Jews to question current anti-discrimination policies https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/a-response-to-scott-alexander-on

Interoperability Cory Doctorow edition

I am so happy Cory is spelling this need of interoperability for me, without him I would be left feeling vaguely angry at things the way they go on the internet while now I have a much clearer idea.

The great news is that a bill named The ACCESS act was introduced to House Judiciary Committe in the US, “a bill to force interoperability on the biggest tech platforms,” more from Cory here: https://pluralistic.net/2021/06/12/access-act/

The proposed changes to the ACCESS act allow me to see in details the main problem of interop legislations, here https://pluralistic.net/2021/06/22/vapescreen/#improve-access

also Cory wrote unsurprisingly a SF story centered arounf interoperability: “Inside the Clock Tower: An Interoperability Story” https://digital-lab.consumerreports.org/2021/06/15/inside-the-clock-tower/

Göbekli Tepe

rewriting history, aprticularly the idea that agriculture was the driver of urbanization, while at Göbekli Tepe we find monolithic temples without agriculture, but already wild cereals and beer

“That fishing, hunting, or gathering could sustain complex societies means that social technology, rather than the discovery of farming, is the key bottleneck of civilization” the thesis here https://palladiummag.com/2021/05/17/why-civilization-is-older-than-we-thought/

Göbekli Tepe article on italian newspaper, long and well written https://www.ilpost.it/2021/06/24/gobekli-tepe/?fbclid=IwAR062sHHpr5s_Rn0r1UZenKSF1hsbQaUq5e__56-cBGHL1Qkf38xYDoo_98