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

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/

Renewables, more like Internet than Oil&Gas

Renewable energy behaves more like Telecom/Internet than Oil&Gas, economics-wise, taking into account sourcing and transportation.

Oil&Gas is about exploration, find an oil field and your paramount problem is shipping the oil to the market, provided there is a market. Imagine the Dutch who just discovered an oil field in Sumatra in 1885, with no clear market nearby, how could they feel stranded.

So you fret finding buyers, then booking rail carts to the refinery, sold what is in demand and dump the rest into streams. At early times, you could sell kerosene for light and throw away the exploding part od oil. Over time internal combustion engines are developed and most of oil used. Gas used to be vented, but a market developed there too. Today all oil is used, unless there’s a glut then it stays aboard ships around the world, which is the cheapest stockage, as we learned in 2020.

Wind&Solar, you need not discover them, there are maps and no need to dig a hole in the ground. Rather you have to study government papers to find money buried in there for sustainable projects, but that’s another story.

The story is that the economics of solar and wind is now competitive and so it should be a case of “build it and we will fill it” and the best way to promote renewables in the world would be building power lines from most productive areas to markets, according to forecast consumption.

Sun and wind is there for us, To be clear, if Europe builds direct current power lines going into sahara states, should it expects those pipes to be filled wiht renewable electricity which has found a market ? Smart money would move to north afrcia and build capacity, like in the end some smart money thought it could profit from Sumatra oil and built refineries nearby.

So the global renewable energy build-up should look very much like the global broadband buildup at the turn of the century when most undersea cable would be laid (but demand took time to materailize and the bandwidth glut le to a few telecomm companies, while the slack was picked up by internet players like google etc, dark fiber).

So my question, why are we not building those power lines ? The technolgy is called High Voltage Direct Current Transmmission https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current, isn’t it ready from prime time ? Are we waiting to develop a business case for it ? Or we need first figure out how to fit it in our geopolitics ? China has already proposed those links as part of Belt and Roads so now you know. Still, if the econommics of renewable production are right, why don’t we create the market for the would be producer of the world ?

Let’s built it and they will fill it.

Le energie rinnovabili non sono come il settore Oil&Gas, somigliano piuttosto a Telecom/Internet, tutto dipende da dove si trovano.

Il petrolio lo trovi in giacimenti, quando hai il giacimento hai il problema di portarlo al compratore. Nei tempi eroici Rockfeller monopolizzò vagoni ferroviari e oleodotti in USA . Immaginatevi invece gli olandesi che nel 1885 trovano il petrolio a Sumatra e non c’è ancora un mercato in Asia, nemmeno una raffineria nè un compratore.

Invece oggi, negli anni pioneristici delle rinnovabili, tutti vogliono avere più rinnovabili e meno co2 nel proprio kix energetico, non se ne producono abbastanza, nonostante le sovvenzioni. Ma tutti dicono che ormai gli economics di solare ed olico sono giusti, sono i migliori, LCOE più basso e allora perchè non crescono più velocemente. Una modesta proposta, costruiamo una o più linee HVDC verso i paese del Sahara e vediamo se le riempono di elettricità rinnovabile

le linee HDVC sono linee a corrente continua ottimali per il trasporto su lunghe distanze oltre, gli 800 km. Se ne potrebbero stendere tante sul fondo dei mari come all’inizio del secolo, in pieno di boom internet, si stendevano migliaia di km di fibra ottica su cui far passare il traffico internet. Sulle prime, tropa fibra, molti fallimenti e fibra rimasta spenta. Ma col tempo, ce l’avete costruita e noi l’abbiamo riempita, Google et al. hanno comprato dark fiber per anni e non hanno più smesso

Possiamo ripetere l’impresa con le linee elettriche, facendo partire un boom di investimenti in rinnovabili nei paesi più dotati di sole e vento ?

Income inequality

the world taken as a single country would be as unequal as the most unequal country on earth, South Africa

World’s inequality was reduced in the past 30 years, for the first time since maybe the 1820’s and this was mainly due to China getting back into the world economy. No longer, right now China is more unequal than the average, so its growth will add inequality

Will Africa grow and reduce world inequality? Very likely no, african countries need growing on avergae 7-8% a year and historically they have not recorded that steady growth ever. And also India needs growing and pulling its population out of poverty, will it succed?

So, unless advqned countries takes a decisive action within, world inequality will soon stop oing down and will start growing again

Thanks Branko Milanovic for that clear view http://glineq.blogspot.com/2021/05/notes-on-global-income-inequality-non.html

and 2 charts from here https://twitter.com/BrankoMilan/status/1211317792361926658

Definition of Conservative, effective

https://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/21/liberals-against-progressives/#comment-729288

“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.”

I have been looking for a synthetic operational, braod definition for all those behaviours relating to universality and particularism, privilege and rule of law and I like this one

Being in Italy there is no conservatism (funny, there’s lot more “conserved” from the past here) soi I think to it as an effective defintion of “right politics”

thanks Cory Doctorow for the pointer, funny the defintion is buried in a comment in Crooked Timber https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1388934085242810373

I like the idea of a Gresham law for political ideas “

There is no such thing as liberalism — or progressivism, etc.

There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation.

BTW the comment is fresh, Frank WIlhoit has been dead for over 10 years, it is a famous quote. I know nothing of political science and indeed the quote is misapprorpiated, it was said by a Frank WIlhoit composer

Mis-appropriated Quotation on Conservatism[edit]

There’s a quotation[10] floating around the internet originally written by the composer and software architect Frank Wilhoit:[11]

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

.

Several authors have misattributed this quotation to Francis M. Wilhoit: e.g. [12] with people later realizing that the comment was made 8 years after Francis M. Wilhoit died.

Africa latent assets

– African societies are based on achieved status – is closely related to Chinese meritocracy (..) shows Africa to be the most socially mobile part of the world. Africans are also the most optimistic about future mobility.

-‘scepticism of authority’. Unlike many societies in East Asia, Africa is much more like Western liberal democracies in its anticipation that political power will be abused

-‘cosmopolitanism’. Because of the heterogeneous and small-scale nature of historical African society, Africans endlessly had to deal with differences – different languages, different cultures, different histories. This is reflected in African languages where the word for “stranger” is typically the same word as for “guest

from here Vox.eu https://voxeu.org/article/africa-s-latent-assets

Got to note this here while I a reading “Things fall apart” by Chinua Achebe, where it shows

Diverse libertarianism

actually Diversity Libertarianism https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/more-antifragile-diversity-libertarianism

libertarians want to be free from the state, what about religion, corporate oppression, monopolies etc.

Thiel comes out as somebody who just does not want to pay taxes, but “Freedom and (small “d”) democracy are, in conditions of rampant inequality, a cruel sham as Bakunin understood.” this is James C. Scott

Scott again “Nor do I believe that the state is the only institution that endangers freedom. To assert so would be to ignore a long and deep history of pre-state slavery, property in women, warfare, and bondage. It is one thing to disagree utterly with Hobbes about the nature of society before the existence of the state (nasty, brutish, and short) and another to believe that “the state of nature” was an unbroken landscape of communal property, cooperation, and peace.”

this is Tyler Cowen on how there is no stable “libertqrian equilibrium” when a virus kills score of fellow citizens andntherefore is better have an efficient state at the onset of an epidemy that spares everybody much suffering “Given the way government and public choice work, anything that kills over half a million Americans is going to be a big deal for policy, whether we like it or not (Don should be the first to recognize that government will restrict your liberties for far less than 500k deaths!).  You want the best feasible version of a response, as there isn’t really a stable libertarian response pattern out there.  Trying partial but non-sustainable libertarian approaches will in the end get you more and more statism as the virus keeps on defeating you, deaths rise, and calls for ever-greater state action increase.  A lot of what libertarians don’t like about lockdowns in part stems from the “do nothing” response of the first two months of notice that we Americans had when Covid first appeared in China.” from here https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/04/from-the-comments-34.html

Tyler coined the term “State Capacity Libertarianism” by the way

So we are at 2 diverse types of libertarianism here, and I have also quoed an anarchist