out of Glasgow

150 trillion public/private committment to climate crisis, while the paltry 100 billion promised to less developed countries hasn’t been paid out yet. Promesse da marinaio

Daniela Gabor notes that IMF paper on climate crisis quotes 23 time “carbon pricing” and only once “industrial policy”. So imagine IMF finance conditional to setting a price on carbon, imposed on poor countries, reminiscent of stabilization policies in the 80s. Will it work ? Gabor and PolicyTensor doubt it

Daniela Gabor https://www.ft.com/content/1d2dcdc4-4de2-4e87-ab1f-574a32c5e0e2

IMF report https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Policy-Papers/Issues/2021/07/30/IMF-Strategy-to-Help-Members-Address-Climate-Change-Related-Policy-Challenges-Priorities-463093

Policy Tensor ESG and Carbon Pricing La La Lands

Meanwhile Tooze reviews Andrea Malm and notes: Green New Deal appeals to economic mobilization in WW2 USA, Malm rather prefers lenin’s mobilization in 1919-21 russia. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Green Leninism https://adamtooze.substack.com/p/chartbook-50-andreas-malm-and-ecological

LRB has a second review of Malm’s book, this one is less theoretical and more historical and facts “Malm and the Zetkin Collective’s claim is not that far-right parties happen to exploit voter prejudice against both migration and climate mitigation, but that these two things are necessarily linked. They see ‘fossil fascism’ as an emergent political formation, linking ‘primitive’ fossil capital – direct extractors, which can’t survive divestment – with racist politics.” https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/n22/james-butler/a-coal-mine-for-every-wildfire

Quantum simulation

“Nature isn’t classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you’d better make it quantum mechanical, and by golly it’s a wonderful problem, because it doesn’t look so easy.” Feynman, 1981

Waiting for the Quantum Simulation Revolution

Chemistry is quantum computing’s killer app “quantum computers could aid development of catalysts for clean energy and renewable chemical manufacturing, enable deeper understanding of the enzymes that underlie photosynthesis and the nitrogen cycle, power the discovery of high-temperature superconductors and new materials for solar cells, and much more.”

Suddenly Sabine, who goes on saying “qubits are cheap. it’s not the number of qubits per se that’s the problem. the problem is getting out anything that isn’t just noise” https://twitter.com/skdh/status/1456293385229189122

This is a sponsored article by a UK agency which will help companies to develop applications of quantum computing, but really quantum simulation “One of those near-term applications will be to simulate the behaviour of a simple quantum system, such as a small molecule or the interactions between molecules – which some researchers think could be achieved with around 1000 qubits”

Industry engagement prepares UK for quantum transformation

Zuck and the bicameral mind

So Zuckerberg rebrands himself to Meta

This is because he wants to build the Metaverse

Where did he get the Metaverse from ?

Neal Stephenson cyberpunk classic “Snowcrash”

in Snowcrash the internet is actually a road and is called the metaverse

In Snowcrash there is also the sumerain goddess enki and the bicameral mind

I say no more, read it, I don’t wanna spoil it for you

The bicameral mind was inspired to Neal by Julian Jaynes, an american psychologist

today it is still an amazing book, go read it

and be aware, Homer does not exist, I hope it is not a Santa Claus type of trauma for you

and BTW, does Zuck knows about all this ?

Why we need a ministry for the future (generations)

This is not about the book, this is about discount rates applied to long term, very long term, the pone where we are all dead, and so aour children, and their children all the way to 500 years which isn’t such a long span in histyorical terms but yields absurd results when using discount rates

It originates from chapter 4 of Stubborn Attachment by Tyler Cowen and ends up with Burke, worth giving it a second read, future generations is the ones we should fight the climate disaster for, thank Greta for reminding us, this issue is moral and philosophivcal with great practical implications: imagine a world where we keep negative interest rates by means of printing a lot of money and make the future generations more valuable than ourselves


A black swan swimming in your city

is it a black swan? Maybe just an extreme, unforeseen outcome of the current climate crisis set in motion by global warming.

Global arming is a rather straightforward phenomenon, well measured with standard physics tool (heath radiance physics, spectrum analysis etc)

Climate change encompasses all the effects on the global interconnected system of atmosphere, land and seas. Good luck in figuring out preciusely what will happen, extreme outcomes might be hidden behind unphatomable mechanisms.

For example , sea level rise hinges on the melting spped of Greenland and the South Pole, the 2 biggest ice masses (the arctic sea is a rather smallish ice mass and might be gone for good pretty soon)

Consensus is for 80-120 sea level rise by year 2100 and some vague 7 meters going forward, if we do really bad at containing emissions. But what if we missed some mechanism which melts glaciers more quickly?

So Kevin Anderson likes to go ice melt seminars but here we have a point, IPCC models might be underestimating the forces in play. What extreme outcome are we risking here?

Meltwater Pulse 1A is a sudden rise of sea levels in the range of 16 to 25 meters in the span of 4 or 5 centuries, happened right fter the last glaciation some 15,000 yers ago, the deluge ? here’s wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meltwater_pulse_1A.

I got to know about the Meltwater Pulse from Lawrence Krauss Physics of Climate Change, hereis what he says “sea level has varied by more than 10 meters within a few centuries, as can be seen during the period between fourteen and fifteen thousand years ago—compatible for example with a total loss of sea ice in Greenland within a millennium.”

Compatible with total loss of sea ice in Greenland within a millenium. Sea ice? Only sea ice? Uhm, thing to checl, I thought it required the melt of the overland glacier, in some places 5 km thick.

So you see why it is worth studyng glaciers in Greenland and Antartica, a black swan might be swimming soon in hthe main orad fo your coastal city. Maybe in 100 maybe in 500 hundred years, why should we care ?

Culture, Kayaks

“Societies’, wrote Mauss, ‘live by borrowing from each other, but they define themselves rather by the refusal of borrowing than by its acceptance” (..)

“Cultures were, effectively, structures of refusal.” (..) “It’s easy enough to see how this could be true of aesthetics – styles of art, music or table manners – but surprisingly, Mauss found, it extended even to technologies which held obvious adaptive or utilitarian benefits. He was intrigued, for example, by the fact that Athabascans in Alaska steadfastly refused to adopt Inuit kayaks, despite these being self-evidently more suited to the environment than their own boats. Inuit, for their part, refused to adopt Athabascan snowshoes.”

so Inuit kayaks are superior to Athabascan kayaks. This was an excerpt of The Dawn of Everithing by Graeber and Wengrow and I am trying to understand in which way the inuit boat is superior to the athabascan one. Let’s see

Googling i get a plan of an athabascan canoe from a museum, it’s a birch bark canoe, open canoe it seems, link https://museums.alaska.gov/pdf/teachersResources/birch/canoe8.5×11.pdf

Now the Inuit kayak is the closed kayak that everyone identifies with the traditional kayak, made of whale bones and covered of skins, I can imagine its better performance, slender and more agile better fit for hunting, photo from wikipedia. Reading around I gather thers is a great variety of Inuit kayaks in different areas of the Arctic. But then, which one is the best?

It is an Aleutian kayak the Russians named Bardaika, which I got to know reading Analogia by George Dyson, who loves this kind of kayak and helped the world rediscover it, becoming a producer. And by the way, theu are the best kayaks according to Dyson himself, but I believe.

“The Aleut kayak’s bifurcated bow attracted the most attention, but there was just as much genius in the design of its compound, truncate stern, evolved to facilitate planing at high speed and minimize the quarter wave, which often exacts more of a penalty than the bow wave in a high-speed craft.” (..) “Fifteen years after the last baidarka left Nikolski, I was twelve years old, living in New Jersey, and began building a crude wood-framed kayak, oblivious to the ten thousand years of accumulated knowledge that was evaporating, at that very moment, four thousand miles away. I could have gone to Nikolski, Unalaska, or Atka and learned from the last of the master builders who were still alive at the time, instead of stumbling around on my own.” This is from Dyson’s book.

From wikipedia “A prominent feature of a baidarka is its forked bow (bifurcated bow). Very lightweight and maneuverable, it was made out of seal skin sewed only by Aleut women, over a frame made strictly of drift wood (since no trees grow in the Aleutian Islands), bone, and sinew. It was treated as a living being by Aleut men, and it was taboo for women to handle them once completed.”

I took the picture from the site of this producer of beautiful wooden baidarkas https://laughingloon.com/north.star.html

Dyson’s Baidarka company website with a lots of beautiful pictures and a builder’s journal http://gdyson.com/a-builders-journal/

Dawn of Everything reviews

Flesh and Blood by Harper is a review centering on familiy, violence and torture, parallel France and Wendat, and the play of domination and care in human relations, how we are stauvck in a world that confuses the two

Human History gets a Rewrite this is the review with the iconic upside down pyramid that got shared in the days taking to the launch. If I well remember, mostly about how Wendat inspired Illuminism and the revision of Rousseau myth

David Graeber Knew Ordinary People Could Remake the World yet to read, I already read some Ongaro’s article in Italian on Graeber and I liked it, he has been a student of his at LSE

The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow review – inequality is not the price of civilisation graeber vs. harari, fukuyama and the stages of human history

Early Civilizations Had It All Figured Out DoE versus Hebbesian Pinker and Rousseauian Harari. ““The Dawn of Everything” is a lively, and often very funny, anarchist project that aspires to enlarge our political imagination by revitalizing the possibilities of the distant past.” A funny bit “Graeber and Wengrow neglect to mention their strongest rivals: the science fictions of writers such as Kim Stanley Robinson”

The Radical Promise of Human History Boston Review

Elite ideologies and ground realities

Greta Thunberg to politicians “Iask you to listen to science and act”

Great cartoon summing up Greta’s thinking in darkish mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2axbxYbWLmk

Policy Tensor, great read how elite ideologies ignoring ground realities have led to countless disasters from WWI all the way to the great monetarist austerity, and carbon pricing, as we comes to climate change again https://policytensor.substack.com/p/esg-and-carbon-pricing-la-la-lands

Quantum reads oct 27th

Sabine Hossenfelder continues her crusade against Quantum theory: Who is Killing Physics

Arguments about quantum theory incosistencies:

“The most remarkable of those recent arguments is perhaps the Frauchinger-Renner paradox, which demonstrates that quantum mechanics cannot consistently describe the use of itself. If you imagine observers observing observers, Daniela Frauchinger and Renato Renner showed that in some cases the observers cannot agree on what happened – if quantum mechanics is correct. It’s simply not fit to be a fundamental theory of nature.

Another milestone has been a no-go theorem for theories that may underlie quantum mechanics. In 2012, Matthew Pusey, Jonathan Barrett, and Terry Rudolph proved that certain completions of quantum mechanics – that is, theories from which quantum mechanics might derive – are impossible. Now, this may sound like a negative result, but no-go theorems are incredibly helpful for theory development because they narrow down possible options.”

At the end of the article I find this one by John Horgan, science book writer: My Quantum Experiment

science book writer in the sense he is a write, a journalist writing books and no scientist, but eventually, in lockdown, he decided to study quantum mechanics, really study it, its mathematics, in order to unrstend the theory. Pretty much what I intended to do myself last year and now I am a bit stuck, maybe it’s time to start over

Modern slavery, according to ancient philosophers

click here and get to listen to David Graeber saying that Aristotle would not find much a distinction between the situation where you are so indebted that you sell yourself into slavery to work 12 hours a day, isn’t very different from the contemporary situation where you rent yourself to work 12 hours a day because you are indebted https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZIINXhGDcs

It’s Graeber talking about his book Debt the first 5,000 years