Posted by: graemebird | May 11, 2007

Forget Popper: Multiple Small-Models In-Parallel.

Just forget Popper!

There is nothing worth retaining as a take-home-story that hasn’t already been fully absorbed by the culture. A clean break from the guru is necessary. We may try and divorce the man from what has now commonly become the message. But if in fact we cannot do so and maintain Poppers exalted reputation as a good guy…. Well too bad.

I think he was a good guy. But too bad. He’s just being used as an excuse for all sorts of nonsense. The version of Popperism out there is like a diseased computer-virus, let loose on the culture and most particularly on the scientific culture.

Put your faith in reason and good methodology. Not in individuals.

I’ve seen the phenomenon so many times. That bad ideas get shored up because we feel the need to lavish great praise on an individual before tentatively criticising his work.

We must short-circuit any such childish Shiite and criticise the ideas direct. And not have Poppers memory buggering everyones ear.

Look it doesn’t matter what sort of a human being he was. And in the end it doesn’t matter if any of us have been mislead as to the nature of Popper by people who consider themselves to be Popperian.

None of these concerns are important in the greater scheme of things. What really matters is we’ve got to just trash a number of stupid ideas that are out there…….. whether or not the “REAL” Popper can be blamed for these bad ideas.

After the iron curtain came down and the Soviet Union imploded I remember seeing advertisements for lectures. And often there would be lectures scheduled at Universities which said: What Marx REALLY said.

There is just no use going into that. Not at least until the bad ideas that are out there are well and truly trashed.

I am seeing incredible stupidity combined with arrogance in a lot of debates. The likes of which I’ve never seen before. Its a generational thing. And it keeps on coming back to epistemology. And the dopey epistemology where you have a bipolar world view.

There is the CONSENSUS model. Then there is the benighted opposition model. But why only two? Why only two models?

Falsification is a good rule of thumb to tell you when to fold your arms and look with slit-eyes at someone. But its not the sort of major thing that people are making it out to be. You DON’T want to be falsifying things all over the place as a knee-jerk bully-boy-advocate-of-the-status-quo response.

What you want instead is the development of a number of small models running in parallel for any field where persistent controversies and mysteries still abound.

You want to be developing and ranking and re-ranking these competing and complementary models as the new data comes in. You don’t want falsification… you want RANKING…. And you don’t want falsification in the final analysis either…

… Instead what you are after is CONVERGENT VERIFICATION.


Insofar as any model can almost always be improved-upon, explained better, simplified, or made to predict with greater accuracy… Insofar as all this is true the number of small models potentially out there is infinite.

From what I have seen the Popper virus would have it that the first slant, or way of looking at things that can be represented as the consensus is to be shored up….

…. Thereafter, because life is short and hypotheses are many the Popperian goes about trashing all other ideas. And though he recognises that what he is furiously backing…. Backing like a dumb-sheep-with fangs….. Though he realises that this model may one day fall from Grace…. Still for now he will treat this model like it was the revealed truth.

The Popperian acts as though he expects the replacement model to just arrive from the Brow Of A Titan… already developed, proven, and attractively presented. Already full-blown as a mature adult school-of-thought.

It reminds me of the thinking that once pervaded management. The thinking that statistical methods could lead to quality. But quality is designed-in and not some ethereal thing that comes about as a result of aberrations being inspected out.

The stupidity of this Popperism or Faux-Popperism (I don’t CARE which!!!!! We just need to get rid of it) is paralysing science. And Popperism even spilled over into issues of war and peace after 9/11.

You see since the left is so tribal they are taking the wrong ideas that back up Popperism and they are using these wrong ideas to rig things in a circular fashion.

So the trick is for a whole lot of bully-boys to agree on something they cannot possibly know AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

Its a furious race to establish THE CONSENSUS.

So these assholes move incredibly quickly and establish an impromptu left-consensus….. Step 2 is that they decide that the leftist consensus they have established on-the-fly is actually THE CONSENSUS.

Step 3 is to go about furiously “falsifying” any divergent opinion.

Popperism-gone wrong has exploded out of no-where to become a full-blown crisis. It totally took me by surprise. I guess it was brewing in the background for a very long time.

Sort of like Jihadism.

Popper is dead.

We don’t need any Popper today.

Its come to my attention that a lot of the Einsteinian Paradigm has a certain use-by date to it.

Its not likely that if better models overturn Einsteins work that I’m not going to think of him as the greatest scientist or at least in the top 5 of the greatest scientists of the 20th century……

And everybody loves Alfred.

But in the end it doesn’t matter. Yes we try to be respectful to the dead, because this reaffirms the value of life and therefore the value of all things that have value.

But if there is some interim blowback, and some of the youngsters start being abusive, in their youth and ignorance, of Popper or Einstein, merely because their work has to be overturned……

…. Well in the end I’m sorry.

I’m sorry but things have gotten that bad that we simply cannot get attached to our various gurus.



  1. Verification never proves anything bird, its merely the absense of falsification. All knowledge is conjecture. It was extremely well verified that terrorists won’t fly planes into buildings in New York, up until 10/9/01, this was a well verified theory. All the years of confirming evidence is not worth a damn though as it is falsified by one result.

  2. No thats all bullshit. What was verified was that the terrorists had not YET done so.

    So you are a Popper extremist????

    Falsification is but one small tool. Verification is obviously what you are after since you want to know if your theory is true or not. At what point can you be rightfully certain of this?

    Its when you have full spectrum CONVERGENCE.

    Like the idea that the heart pumps blood. Thats verified on all levels leaving no outstanding contrary information that contradicts the notion.

  3. another false Jewish idol laid to rest by you, Mr Bird. Bravo!

  4. Its more a feature of philosophers. They tend to get a good and novel idea and they push it too far. Thats one reason I get very perturbed at people being excessively critical of Ayn Rand. Even where the criticisms have some validity. Because this is an occupational hazard and singling out Ayn is mean-spirited in that context. Also downgrading her to being a lesser philosopher rather than one of the best and most important in the modern era. They reduce her importance without knowing that virtually all the others have similar faults.

  5. Popper said that knowledge increases incrementally but also that it is never finished in the sense that anything is knowable as true for all time. A lot of sense in that.

    But his failure was to focus only on rationality and formal logic so the context, individual rivalry, ambition, hidden agendas etc of scientists or philosophers were left out of his account as somehow irrelevant.

    This mistake was corrected by an interesting thinker, Thomas Kuhn, a physicist turned historian of science. He reckoned that science consists of relatively stable periods when nothing much of interest or new goes on and scientists tend to work within accepted and acceptable paradigms. When this occurs it tends to undercut genuine intellectual openness and scepticism and scientists he said tend then to work in a sort of mental straitjacket as laid down by the theory they are all pretty much following.

    Change in thinking occurs when anomalies become so great that a crisis looms within a branch of scientific orthodoxy and new paradigms emerge that better explain the anomalies.

    Kuhn was a cool dude in that while noting science was a collaborative exercise he said that revolutions in science are often initiated by young, untested people or outsiders who are not schooled in the predominant mode of thought.

  6. I would add that among the worst examples of the mental straitjacketed thinking on the right side of politics are people like Mark Hill, Sinclair Davidson, JC and dover-retch from Cataleprosy.

    Must be awful to be them. Quelle horreur as the misogynist queen Greenslime was wont to say. Is he still around?

    • I hear you. But I actually have a pretty good view of Greenshades. But the faux-Popperian mentality of the others really gives me the shits. Funnily enough, its Rafe, the Popper-scholar, who is the most clear-thinking and open-minded of them all, so long as he isn’t actually talking about epistemology. He is the Popper-Scholar and he will know better than me to what extent I’m being unfair.

      The thing is they always become famous for the stuff they are no good and wrong about. When all their other stuff can be completely righteous. Popper had good things to say about a great many things. But his gear is used as an excuse these days for the worst bloodymindedness.

      It would be as if we were to take only from Ayn Rand the idea that we ought to side with corporatism.

      • It’s pretty hard for women to forgive or forget such blatant misogyny as “John Greenfield” and his various aliases constantly projected and explicated. It was always so extreme, so nasty (if banal and trite) it had to be viewed as a form of misanthropy, given the gender balance and composition of humanity and essential familial and biological relations.

        I never could figure it out cos I defended him against homophobic attitudes more than once on LP and Cateprosy. And I have always supported the human rights of homosexuals (as an adult). And all the homosexual men I know and have met in real life really dig women and treasure sympathetic and empathetic women as confidantes and friends.

        He’s also stupid to the point of drooling idiocy about the left, the greens, Marxism and the rest. It was so personal and visceral that you gotta wonder what the subtext/personal experience is to justify his irrational, borderline unhinged hatred of what are in essence simply ideological different opinions and points of view of other ordinary often less privileged people.

  7. I think economists and engineers are very alike in many ways, apart from mostly being dull as porridge (aside from you of course) in that they have in common adherence to rigid theoretical or design shibboleths and nostrums, even grand plans, that on paper are supposed to produce a particular outcome, but of course they don’t and rarely do, when they don’t result in disasters.

    In this sense both disciplines (apt nomenclature in this context) are mechanistic (and therefore by definition lifeless and anti-human) forms of thought and planning, which reality in all its waywardness, variety, unpredictability and infinite complexity always contradicts if not negates.

    I think the most important thing Chomsky said is that fiction, i.e. good literature, teaches us more about human relations than any other single form of cultural knowledge.

    Pity and fear the dudes with any sort of power or authority who don’t read, love and need literature in their lives.

  8. Speaking of books and literature. Do you know that there now exists twenties something graduates who say they refuse to have books in their home (ok they are women with young kids) because they say books gather dust and are filthy germ-ridden objects?

    They also say – for the same reason – they would never borrow a book from a library or buy a secondhand book because “you never know who has touched the book and in what context”.


  9. “It’s pretty hard for women to forgive or forget such blatant misogyny…..”

    With Graeme, you get a racist mysogynist, admitting he sometimes calls his wife a “gook” to her face.

    From elsewhere:

    # Lewis A. Beach 2011-03-23 18:32
    Mr Bird does not sell the machines but he is a renowned fool who only serves to humiliate himself every time he attempts to make some form of a point. He has been blocked from a number of sites and he seems to have a great gift for making himself unwelcome. We have only blocked one spammer who posted obscene and disgusting comments on this website and as vulgar and deluded as Bird is, we still believe in freedom of speech (unfortunately this includes his drivel). Though Bird resembles a spammer in many ways he still retains a little more integrity (emphasis on ‘little’). The poor fellow is off his trolley and nothing will pull him away from his computer. My advice is to ignore him and the garbage he spouts. Thanks for visiting!
    Reply | Reply with quote | Quote

    # Brenda 2011-04-16 20:21
    Well.. after reading this long long LONG page, I have two things to say.
    1) Peer review brought us OUT of the dark ages. Christianity and Islam and attempting to drag humanity BACK to the dark ages.

    2) This Graeme Bird person is so horrifyingly anti-science it makes a person feel ill.

    • Nah. Graeme is neither racist nor misogynist.

      You OTOH BirdFlip-Flap are:

      1) a terminal and mindless bore
      2) an obsessive stalker
      3) envious to the pychopathic depths of an Iago
      4) emotionally and intellectual stupid equal to the cognitive and imaginative and reasoning level of a gnat
      5) uncultured, unread
      6) humourless; witless
      7) stupid on a continuum to cretinous
      7) spiritually dead.
      8) sadistic. A real SS character

      I hope this helps.

  10. You are a hero Birdie and for more than one day.

  11. But – it also must be said – we don’t need another hero.

    Love and compassion, your day is coming.

    How magnificent is this woman-performer.

    • I agree. I saw her in concert in Auckland. Great legs at any age. And she managed to get hold of some very good lyricists.

  12. BirdFlaps you’re a delusional fantasist who is envious of Bird. And yes, you’re right to he envious of him,

    You poor, miserable sap.


    • Nice legs would have to be a fortunate thing for a young lady to have. Because if she is smart she can maintain them for decades. As evidence Exhibit A:

  13. I’m quite proud of that good Aussie boy getting his priorities right during a riot.

  14. your thoughts, Graeme?

  15. I haven’t read it yet but its bound to be yet more idiocy and selling-out.

  16. Okay I’ve read it. Its complete idiocy from start to finish. The stupid cunt actually thinks that the basic nature of planet earth will be altered if he ignorantly sides with junk science. He’s a fuckwit. I thought his relentless stupidity was something he might grow out of. He’s never going to give up on being a drop-kick.

  17. “Indeed, it could be that passing an Australian carbon price reduces the incentives for a global deal, because we are promising to act irrespective of whether there is a deal or not. A better strategy for encouraging a global deal might be to pass legislation that introduces a carbon price only if there is a strong, binding, global deal, which gives other countries an incentive to pass such a deal.”

    What a lame and disingenuous argument.

    The problem with everything I’ve ever seen this dude write – fortunately that’s not a lot – is that he reeks of smug shallowness and unoriginality.

    Not a bright man. And ultimately, a nihilist. Just what we need in politics (not).

  18. Right. But lets not forget that this is science fraud. And probably a simple case of manipulation from globalist minded conspirators.

  19. Actually there is some reasonable stuff in the mid-section. What John is saying is that by Garnauts own testimony the carbon tax fails any cost-benefit analysis. Even with all the crazed assumptions that Garnaut is making. Thats an okay thing to know.

    • You can be extremely sensible and balanced at times, Graeme.

      • All the time.

  20. There are countless expenditures or policy decisions that aren’t or can’t be subjected to a meaningful CBA. Calling for a CBA is only ever done by the right (and then only by economists). More often than not it’s a hooey piece of flag-waving dogma wielded by fanatical opponents of progressive and socially beneficial measures. As always context is key. And questions such as who pays and who benefits.

    I’m not arguing for a carbon tax. The realistic and far sighted Left first opposed and exposed this policy years ago because of its shortcomings and limitations.

    However, you’d have to say that reducing atmospheric pollution is a net gain always for people and their communities, not least for health reasons.

    And physical health is the number one good and precondition for all else for individuals and their societies. So on a quick mental CBA you’d have to say that the benefit of reducing pollution emanating e.g. from basically unregulated coal and other polluting industries is undeniable and would be less costly, in human and public health terms in the long run than doing nothing now (even though, admittedly, a carbon tax is a completely inadequate means for achieving anywhere near the level of environmental protection that is needed).

  21. In fact, if you had a conspiratorial cast of mind you would say the Left has deliberately engineered this dichotomous debate around tax or no tax precisely in order to co-opt the slow thinking oxen of the right – who myopically think they’re breaking new intellectual ground, duh – to prove our point about the limitations of policies such as carbon taxes and ETS in addressing the major environmental issues and problems of the day.

    Many of these dim wits are helping to educate the public but not at all in the way they foresee or will like.

    • Yeah I’ve thought of that. If they have a tax the globalist conspirators will want it to be an international one. Going to the UN, so they can grab those resources. So they push a trading scheme and wait for these neoclassical dildos and sellouts to suggest that a tax is more effective and less costly. The catallaxians can be relied to do this like clockwork.

      Note also how Humphreys is already there talking about globally binding treaties. The fellow sells us out in his sleep.

  22. John Humpreys seems to be a bought and paid for shill for all polluting, carcinogenic industries.

    You’ll note the only other thing that’s moved him to post on the popular widely read ABC website is his need to defend tobacco industry magnates.

    How does a person like that live with himself?

    His only other claim to fame is to massively exploit poor young Cambodian people with a Western-style HECs “loan” scheme. And to run a blog managed by another tobacco industry shill called Tim Andrew – some ex-Young Liberal who has risen to the dizzy heights of moderating comments on dud blog sponsored by an obscure SA Liberal MP whose only claim to fame was to be forced by Malcolm Turnbull to apologise to the nation for his hateful, phobic comments againt Australian Muslims.

  23. Graeme
    The people at Catallaxy have organised a tribute to you, orchaestrated by Tillman.

    See the word cloud for Julia at the bottom? The words ‘brutal’ ‘ice age’ and ‘pulverising’?

  24. Man, that ABC Unleashed thread is a masterclass on why calling for a CBA is an irrelevant diversionary crock.

  25. Humphreys’ CBA call in this context reminds me of a similar sustained argument made by his intellectual soulmate, one “tigtog” on LP, to wit that “sensible” women should always do a fully costed risk assessment analysis before they even contemplate having sex with a man, lol.

    The things some people come up with.


  27. Jason Soon. What is this callousness all about?

    “just remember, Prince Phillip is one of the last Romanovs. What was that he said again?

    “I would like to go to Russia very much, although the bastards murdered half my family””

    You seem to be relentlessly soft on communism SOON.

  28. what callousness? that was what he actually said.

  29. that’s a hilarious set of quotes btw.
    Prince Phillip is a legend.

  30. SOON. Why do you assume him to be wrong?

    “During the visit, the Queen and Earl Mountbatten asked Philip to escort the King’s two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, who were Philip’s third cousins through Queen Victoria, and second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark.[26] Elizabeth fell in love with Philip and they began to exchange letters.[27]”

    All these royals are related.

  31. “Nicholas (((((((ie Nicholas the 2nd off Russia, that is to say Nicholas Romanov))))was the son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (formerly “Princess Dagmar of Denmark”). His paternal grandparents were Emperor Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, (born “Princess Marie of Hesse”). His maternal grandparents were King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel.”

    “Nicholas’ mother, the Empress Marie, born Princess Dagmar of Denmark, was the sister of Queen Alexandra, the consort of Edward VII, and the mother of George V. The Empress Alexandra was the daughter of Princess Alice, herself a daughter of Queen Victoria, thus making Edward VII her uncle, and cousin to the Emperor Wilhelm, on her mother’s side; and equally a direct descendant of Queen Victoria. The Emperor Wilhelm was a son of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, also named Victoria, who married Crown Prince Frederick of Germany”

    So you see these people all have Queen Victoria and King Christian IX of Denmark in common. That is to say the Romanovs, our Queen, and Prince Phillip. The communists really did murder a big chunk of Phillips family.

  32. Yes Graeme, and I never said that Prince Philip’s comment was wrong. All I implied was that he said it in his characteristically funny way

  33. Prince Phillip. as numerous Brit Royal bios already reveal was an appalling male role model for his sons. His loveless, bullying mode of fathering and sexually and in other ways exploitative attitude to all women, save for obvious reasons the monarch to whom he was joined in marriage, bore fruit most hideously in poor terrorised and lonely Prince Charles and his relations with women especially but not solely with Diana.

    Phillips’ humiliating public status, decreed by authoritarian tradition and enforced by Elizabeth as no more than the Queen’s consort and designated social inferior, led him to carve out a face-saving, yet narcissistic existence as serial and multiple philanderer and bad-mannered, loud-mouthed, racist old fogey, even when he was young. Or rather even especially in his youth.

    What’s to admire?

  34. There probably isn’t a great deal to admire. But he’s got a nostalgic feel to him. Like he’s akin to some sort of mummified 19th century country squire and a character that Peter Cook might do a good job of making fun at. And yet placed in this position near to all this pomp and ceremony. Its of course no good that you have all this privilege to some and the others can’t get a break. But in this orgy of bank-stealing and overblown public service and big corporate salaries, the sort of privilege that the Prince has had seems oddly less offensive then it ought to.

  35. I saw the King’s Speech the other night, the awardwinning Brit film about Elizabeth and Margaret’s father, Bertie, played by Colin Firth.

    It was a surprisingly affecting film. You felt sorry for him not just because of his stammer per se but because of the causes of it which were suggested via his conversation with the formally unqualified charlatan who helped cure him. The suggestion was that he too had a bullying, loveless, competitive family life with the pressure of the social expectations of royal leadership, let alone mere competence in fields beyond the ken or even desire of most, let alone this very average bloke.

    My father also stammered for much of his life, but I never did discuss that with him before he died, which I regret. We do think it was because of sub-optimal parenting and the poverty of the family and the fact that his mother died when he was eight.

    Dad ended up being a commanding and witty public speaker expecially on formal occasions despite the remnant of a very sight stammer and he made sure all of us had extra-curricular speech training at school level though I still hate public speaking and am not very good at it.

  36. Wow. So he got rid of it for the most part.

    Funny how stammering used to be so widespread but is now comparatively rare.
    Or at least its funny how you get that impression.

  37. Yes. Speech therapy in schools seems to have helped a lot. Perhaps its current incarnation is young kids who can’t or don’t speak much at all.

    In some places in Australia among poor demographics it’s not unusual for 5-7 year olds to have great difficulty engaging in simple conversation. This is at least partly attributed by people working in the field to these kids having been not much spoken to, let alone engaged in conversation, in their very early years by their parents or principal carers.

  38. Dad did get rid of his stammer. It was worst when he was young up till his early 20s. But he was a high achiever and very determined to not have the life his father had, to make good and to provide for his many children. And his success in the business world gave him confidence I suppose and spurred him on to overcome this disability.

  39. Its amazing how they could bring us all up. How our parents could have so many kids and not make a complete hash of it. I’d find it daunting to have so many kids. It wouldn’t be affordable money or time-wise and the kids would have nowhere to run around. No place to slide around on the lino with their socks on or go exploring in the bush.

  40. It was amazing. The rich had housekeepers and nannies, boarding schools and the rest. Even the successful working class had access to some of this in many instances. We had a housekeeper/carer at certain times of the year and a gardener. But we were not rich.

    And then there was simply the economies of scale of big families: the older kids looked after the younger ones. My eldest brother is 10 years older than me with three siblings in between as well as younger ones.

    Being born into a big family turned me (and other siblings) off wanting to have any kids of our own. I date my decision on this to when I was four. I was desperate to go to school and get away from that fraught and claustrophobic domesticity, which my mother too resented and hated as did my Dad, in varying ways though it probably gave their lives meaning more than anything else did.

    But then we all had quite a bit of physical space especialy outdoors to be our private selves and enjoy life that wasn’t communal.

    Of course there are ways of achieving much the same today, if by quite different means and in a different spatial and relational context.

  41. The economists are like that fat guy in the movie version of “1984.” They keep putting out these bullshit statistics which say that things are getting better and better all around. Steve Kates broke the mold and stated at the ABC that living standards are deteriorating which is the truth of matters.

    I don’t know whether its a conspiracy of happy-talk or a nexus of stupid. But they look at statistics that they don’t understand. They focus on GDP divided by the inflation rate. But the inflation rate is understated. And it doesn’t take into account the increase in prices of things that you would need to go into business. Farmland or premises, or a spare couple of rooms.

    The reality is that a spare couple of rooms is now prohibitively expensive since when you buy a property you are totally up to your eyeballs working for the bankers and for the government. So you don’t have the wherewithal to add those couple of rooms to start a new family or a new business.

    The other thing is GDP is C+I+G+X-M.

    They treat a higher G leading to a higher GDP as if it was all more cake and winnings. But the reality is that we pay for G. Its not what we are rewarded, its what we pay for. So the idea would be to go GDP-2G divided by the taxpayer class. We will see that we have been truly rooted since 1971. But then again since the banking system is a way of manipulating people into working for bankers, as if it was a second government with a second taxation requirement, then another set of statistics could add the financial industry on top of G. So you would go with that metric GDP – 2(G+gross banking revenue change) …… Only after looking at a number of metrics like this will we have a good idea of to what extent we are being driven down and enslaved.

    Meanwhile Clive Hamilton tells us that being richer has not made us happy.

    When I work all weekend I’ve got to tell myself that I’m not a complete jerk for paying taxes to maintain another government department that we don’t need. I’ve got no choice but to tell myself that I’m not a complete prick to be working all weekend so as to bring another welfare family kid into existence who will grow up and steal the copper from my house. I’ve got to try and sucker myself into not saying that I’m a loser for carrying other peoples kids around. Feeding them. Making them big. Educating them to believe all the wrong stuff.

    Bankers kids. Welfare kids. Public servants kids. I’ve got to tell myself I’m not breeding these people like ferral rabbits.

  42. Interesting discussion that touches on FRB on my favourite economics blog. There’s a video link too in one of the comments which I haven’t watched yet discussing it and related issues.

  43. Graeme Bird :
    24 Jun 2011 4:53:37pm
    These guys have the right idea about the bankers. Modern banking isn’t a feature of the market. Its an imposition on the market. They are an invasion and a distortion of the price system. And what they seek to do is place debt on anything worthwhile. The debt placed on natural resources leads to an oversupply of these resources to keep up with the interest payments.

    There isn’t much wrong with the Adam Smith concept of the invisible hand. But modern banking is like finding that invisible hand, seeing that hand, grabbing that hand, and breaking all the fingers on that hand.

    Resource companies ought to be tax-free except for one thing. They ought to pay massive royalties. If the royalties are high enough it will cut the bankers out. And our resource-usage rate will be more reasonable.

    For the moment the royalties ought to be waived for domestic use where we go all the way to manufacturing. But we could start jacking up the royalties on exported resources fairly quickly, at the same time granting tax exemptions to the extraction industry.

    Reply Alert moderator

    Graeme Bird :
    24 Jun 2011 4:39:12pm
    The anti-human consumption ideology is so dangerous that we must head it off. We have to slant our economic levers so as to lead the population to produce a relentless oversupply of land substitutes. Including agricultural-land substitutes.

    Even if this bias leans towards the anti-economics side of things it will be worth it. Because if we let this anti-consumption ideology get out of hand there is nowhere it leads but to genocide.

    But bear in mind it isn’t the poor man in Africa that is using up all your resources. It is the public servant and the rich bankers that are doing that. No poor person in Africa ever stole off you. So lets just calm down a bit and stop putting the blame on poor people overseas.

    Reply Alert moderator

  44. Well humans do breed like rabbits unfortunately. And there’s not much we can do about that right now.

    Taking any of this personally is not the way to go I think. I must say I have never taken injustice personally, not consciously at least. Can’t control the unconscious. And I think it’s better not to do that, consciously. Writing about the injustice helps and is important in figuring out its mechanisms and effects, for oneself and others.

    I told you ages ago to put up a Paypal thingy on your blog. You’ve put a lot of work into this over many years and while I think you are wrong on some issues, you’re right or at least very thought-provoking on many others. Either way, your arguments and ideas and the superb and idiosyncratic way you express these are always worth reading and cogitating.

    And you shouldn’t be fazed about seeking support for the effort and time you put into expressing them here. You have a lot of readers who really enjoy or appreciate in various ways what you have to say.

    So go for it I say. If you need help in setting this up, email me.

  45. Does your dislike of Popper have anything to do with his dismissal of conspiracy theories?

  46. I never really minded Popper. But the kids seem to be using him for all sorts of mischief. Plus he clearly didn’t have a clue when it came to epistemology.

  47. I only ask because of this ABC RN Philosopher’s Zone episode I listened to today on Popper’s views on the role of conspiracy theories. The discussion is with a philoophy teacher from Otago University interestingly enough who thinks Popper was wrong to dismiss conspiracy theories as being unimportant in explaining decisive historical events.

    I’m working my way through all the PZ broadcasts since 2005 which can be downloaded (or read). Perfect for short walks or commutes.

  48. Thanks. Listening to it now.

  49. Hey Graeme, did you know that Lord Monckton supposedly has a cure for HIV and malaria? I wonder if it’s as good as your cancer cure.

  50. Malaria is easy to cure. HIV does not appear to be all that virulent a virus. Most of the people were killed by the medication of the quacks.

    • Peter Sinclair is another of these fellows who can never get anything right in science. Never. A total straight case of getting everything wrong.


    • I wonder who Bird is calling an idiot that has “no idea about science”?

      Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, PRS (born 25 January 1949) is a British geneticist and cell biologist. He was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Leland H. Hartwell and R. Timothy Hunt for their discoveries regarding cell cycle regulation by cyclin and cyclin dependent kinases. He is the current President of the Royal Society and Chief Executive and Director of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation.


      • Sir Paul Nurse won his Nobel prize in the category of “Physiology or Medicine”, not Peace. This award is for outstanding scientific research, so for you to say that he is an idiot who knows nothing about science is moronic.

        All you’re doing is projecting your failure onto him, standard operating procedure for you it seems.

  52. BirdFlaps does consistently appear as, ahem, cognitively challenged. But then it is also obviously SOON who I’ve never seen make a profound or insightful or even just well-informed statement on anything.

    Too many hamburgers at too many pubs I guess.

  53. LOL. I never noticed before that the pudgy SOON is wearing a faux Aboriginal art T-shirt. Obviously trying for some elusive choice left pussy in Chippo. As if.

  54. More stupidity by Sinclair Davidson in the Australian today. I am sure that when he says the word “capital” at any given time he has no idea what meaning of the term he is referring too. He’s ignoring the core problems that Bob Brown has pointed out. preferring to call Bob names. So Bob is now a xenophobe. He’s economically illiterate. The second charge is correct. But Bob is a greenie politician. He SUPPOSED to be economically illiterate. Whereas Sinclair is a professor of economics. And so has no excuse at all.

    Sinclair does not seem to understand the implications of compound interest or of selling strategic assets. Where does it end Sinclair. Where is your endpoint for this trajectory that the failed policies you advocate has brought us. Obviously if you (on a net basis) keep borrowing and selling strategic assets you end up impoverished, without assets, and in debt. This is where economic ignorance is taking us in this country. Sinclair has never understood the difference between going into hock, selling things off, and capital accumulation. He’s never understood monetary economics and its role in capital accumulation. He’s soft on the carbon tax. He thinks that the comparative advantage we have in resources means its okay that our manufacturing is failing …… So where does this pillock, and the other writers in the Australian today, imagine where that leaves us, when all our mining properties are sold off.

    The stupidity of this is mindblowing. Really these people are all quislings. Thats what it amounts to.

    And catallaxy did no better. I knew they would do no better. They were as stupid as the Australian. Not one of them addressed the suicidal trajectory we are on. I just don’t know how it is that this level of dumb gets locked in.

    • So Bird, you’re now defending Baghdad Bob over Sinclair.



      • Bird’s idiocy has no boundaries. The problem with narcissists is that they don’t feel embarrassment to any great degree, certainly not enough to change moronic behaviour.

  55. It must be understood that going into hock is not capital accumulation. Any more than running budget deficits is the way forward to world-class infrastructure. And calling the nationalisation of our gear by China “capital inflow” does not mean that we accumulate capital goods that way either.

    Countries that are destined to accumulate world class capital goods and world class infrastructure will be running trade surpluses and surplus budgets. They won’t be running trade deficits and putting government red ink out there. And yet these policies are positively championed by Australian economists who have hard-wired for us a path to national destruction.

    When Hong Kong was accumulating capital goods 1960-1980 was this on the back of trade deficits? How about West Germany during the same time period? How about Holland? Or Japan?

    Sinclair is living in a glass house and throwing stones. He has no excuse for his economic illiteracy and ought not be so free with the insults. If he addressed the issues and stopped the name-calling then he might find that his ideas are a failure. He’s failed to even so much as think about how natural resources are allocated and whether thats part of the problem. He has not begun to think about monetary-economics and how that dovetails into this same problem. Plus he is deficient as an observer of the real world and in his capacity to exercise simple logic.

  56. Sinclair Davidson is a useless economist. Unlike many Australians, and people from all corners of the globe who have their own knowledge of this, he doesn’t give any weight to the long history of opposition to foreign ownership and investment in countries that results in the most of the profits being expatriated overseas for the benefit of exactly whom or what. But then he was a white supremacist in South Africa, part of the caste that exploited the Black majority in that country for generations and he has no interest in political or social history.

    The heavy dependence of the Australian economy on agricultural and mineral resources has long been a major problem and that problem is only going to get worse and one day blow up in our faces when the means of creating these forms of wealth ends for a variety of forecasted reasons.

    Note that Sinclair Davidson has absolutely zero interest in alternative means of investment in diverse Australian industries that will actually build social and and other forms of capital that will create long term prosperity and jobs in ways that may be less economically and environmentally destructive in the medium to long term.

    Call the Greens economic illiterates all you like, but the fact is that the principles on which their politics are based are supported by a decisive section of the community and that demographic is only going to grow and is already steadily showing signs of doing so.

  57. I just don’t understand why these neoclassicals are unable to register the grim place they are taking us. To a man they disparage manufacturing. But then at the same time as they maintain that our resources mean that we have to lose our manufacturing, they also want to sell off those resources. This is loony-tunes territory.

    And supposing if this selling off of our gear and this orgy of borrowing really was the flipside to capital accumulation ….. WHERE ARE ALL THE MACHINES that their models say we have? Why do we merely quarry iron ore. Where is the capital accumulation this borrowing and selling allegedly has produced such that we could be refining this ore and turning it into spare parts? But of course that would be manufacturing …. which is to be downgraded in their books. So what can capital importation mean to these simple-minded fellows?

    • Graeme, the ordinary man and woman in the street are asking the very same questions now about the resources boom which is fuelling the economy of other countries – or rather enriching a portion of the population, a minority – and our economy to a certain limited extent, but which is happening within the overall context of high levels of real unemployment and rapidly increasing costs of living and very little to no investment in other tangible longterm industries with something to show for themselves down the track.

      We’re told we have to pay for the higher costs that somehow or other are connected to this profit bonanza. It doesn’t make sense and everyone knows it. Hence why all politicans are increasingly on the nose across the globe. Politicians who contest this consensus which is just a cover for onoing exploitaiton are getting a hearing and always will.

      • Exactly. Here here. The good fortune of our mining industry would be fueling a boom in other industries if our policy settings were good. But these dopes in the economics profession are making out like its some sort of liability. We have no excuse for poor performance in the rest of our economy because we are luckier then most when it comes to the means with which to create an all-around boom.

        China’s success in manufacturing doesn’t mean they have to run deficits. China’s success in one area has not meant the other areas have to wither and die. This is a simple matter of the drones in economics not admitting failure and so not coming up with the needed policies to change direction.

        I’ve had things to say about the way forward, on catallaxy, on this forum, and at the abc. But I don’t see others coming up with the goods.


  58. It’s quite amusing the way the rabid, but shallow Murdoch opinionistas and their acolytes try to demonise Bob Brown.

    Never was there a more futile and doomed to fail objective.

    The man is viewed by virtually everyone as a living saint on a continuum to thoroughly decent, upfront, brave, plain speaking political leader without peer on a party to party basis. He’s long been a great asset for the public face of the Greens and that’s not going to change even if people may disagree with this or that policy position of the Greens (including within the Greens).

    Furthermore, the Greens hold the position, the status and influence they do today in Australian politics because of the cumulative success of organised, grassroots left and evironmental activism and politics – here and internationally – over at least the last half century (though the roots go back a century and beyond).

    Winners are grinners. And why the hell not.

  59. The woman who wrote the report seems pretty amazing. She’s done standup comedy as a hobby. Standup has to be one tough gig. Thats got to be the toughest gig of all the performing arts. And she manages an actuarial consultancy from a small town in Tasmania. Thats one women who has her act together. The Australian nitpicked on some of her calculations, but didn’t make even a glancing blow at the thrust of the problem. They had an RBA fellow called McKibbon, they had Sinclair, then some fat fool thats one of their regulars. Not one of these guys addressed the issue, but merely took the easy swipes at Bob.

    Like for example they pointed out the irony of Bob suggesting that we process the iron ore locally, when Bob wants to get rid of the coal industry. But what if Katter asked the same questions or made the same suggestions? …. It would then hardly do to focus on Bob Browns dislike of coal. So the quislings in the Australian furiously ran down Bob but just as stridently ignored the authentic issues.

    And if they thought that they could disparage the report writer by showing us what a fantastic lower body she was sporting for her standup routine, well that technique was a complete failure with me.

    Really its pretty clear that this was a full-blown editorial decision to keep the current trajectory of continual Australian impoverishment going strong. This was hyper-globalist policy on the part of Murdochs crowd. None of these clowns want to admit that our economic policy is a failure.

  60. What report and woman are you talking about?

    • She’s an actuary that wrote a report for Bob Brown that he was using for his speech at the press club. When she did the standup routine she went under the name “Dolly Putin.”


      • Sounds fascinating. I’ll have to follow that up.
        BB’s always attracted smart people, left of field people, who don’t even necessarily share his politics holus bolus, but who like a lot of what they do see of him in the political arena. There was a guy who famously went to work for him (research, policy, speech writing) when he first got into the Tasmanian parliament who subsequently went to Harvard and got his PhD there in economics.

  61. The only thing that the neoclassicals seem to understand is their textbook models. So it does not occur to them to question the way that our resources are doled out to the bigshots. Which is approximately one third of the reason for the disaster we face. Here is a couple of posts I made at the ABC which are a bit of an introduction to the subject:

    Graeme Bird :
    24 Jun 2011 4:53:37pm

    These guys have the right idea about the bankers. Modern banking isn’t a feature of the market. Its an imposition on the market. They are an invasion and a distortion of the price system. And what they seek to do is place debt on anything worthwhile. The debt placed on natural resources leads to an oversupply of these resources to keep up with the interest payments.

    There isn’t much wrong with the Adam Smith concept of the invisible hand. But modern banking is like finding that invisible hand, seeing that hand, grabbing that hand, and breaking all the fingers on that hand.

    Resource companies ought to be tax-free except for one thing. They ought to pay massive royalties. If the royalties are high enough it will cut the bankers out. And our resource-usage rate will be more reasonable.

    For the moment the royalties ought to be waived for domestic use where we go all the way to manufacturing. But we could start jacking up the royalties on exported resources fairly quickly, at the same time granting tax exemptions to the extraction industry.

    Reply Alert moderator


  62. You know it’s already projected that as China outstrips the US economically, possibly in the next 5 years max, and as it truly comes into its own as the predominant global economy, and therefore political power, a new historical division, BC and AC, will be instituted: (Before China; After China).

    The environmental movement was always a far sighted movement and therefore by definition one that is in humanity’s long term interests. Scaling down to Australia, the environmental movement (and the popular sentiment and common sense critique on which it is based) will I think prove to be the best, indeed decisive, defence of the Australian nation against the depredations and excesses of the coming Chinese Era.

    • “The environmental movement was always a far sighted movement and therefore by definition one that is in humanity’s long term interests.”

      That would be the case if they were able to not get their act so horribly skewed. Forces that manipulate groups of people do not need to take them head on. They can just persistently coax and gently push them off course. So that concern for the environment is gently skewed towards giving bigshots and globalists the power to ration energy and fresh water. And worrying about the other creatures becomes skewed into belittling the humans and undermining their interests.

      Where are the projects to green the deserts? They are not given priority because the goals have been so warped in the direction of those who want to say that everything man does is against nature by definition.

  63. Graeme Bird :
    25 Jun 2011 4:06:24pm
    Leases are auctioned off, and in most cases in such a way so as to favor the banks and the people with the deepest pockets. The people with the deepest pockets of all are of course the Chinese communists. The government (the bankers junior partner) tries to wet its beak with lease fees.

    So here you have lease fees, company tax, and interest. Only the bigshots can minimize the menace of the company tax. The interest is a deduction against the company tax, so this brings the bankers in bigtime.

    Instead of this setup leading to us using our resources cost-effectively and wisely, it forces the bigshots to use the resources FAST to handle lease and interest payments.

    If everything was rolled into royalties, then and only then would the focus be on using the resources efficiently, and with some sort of long-term thriftiness.

    The net effect of this all is that Australia is using up its resources paternity for the benefit of bloated government budgets, banks, bigshot company executives, and the Chinese communists. At the same time as bidding the resource price down we are shunting the ownership of these resources off to the people with the deepest pockets.

    Its a disgrace and we need reform fast.


  64. I just don’t have the time or energy right now to do a full-blown treatment of this topic. There is a way out. But the neoclassicals are so plain dumb they cannot seem to so much as recognise there is a problem.

    For their models to work trade-deficits would lead to trade surpluses. The importation of capital would be equivalent to massive reindustrialisation. That this is not occurring means that they ought to be saying “what went wrong” and then going back to see where the assumptions of their models don’t comport with the current reality. But the conclusions of their models have become tribal axioms. Not needing any ongoing justification.

    The benefits from foreign investment can only ever be there if the investment arrives with a shitload of machinery. Otherwise the models and the conclusions they bring simply cannot work and are not valid.

  65. Philomena. Do you know how to find the video of Bob’s speech? It would be worthwhile seeing what lead to this furious sidestepping of the issues at the Australian. I’ll try searching the ABC.

  66. Here it is:

  67. He raises a lot of important questions. To think that his description of the dire state of the mining industry is what freaked these guys out? When all of them are soft on the carbon tax. Sinclair and the other two critics. Completely weak on the carbon tax and the CO2 scare. But he talks about how our resources are enriching other people and thats what gets under their skin.

  68. Look at what this dumb wop has to say when confronted with the total failure of our extraction industry policy:

    “Capital inflow helps pay for our imports, like CAT scans and drugs to keep people alive”

    Believe me. Neither the stupid wop nor Sinclair EVER know what they are saying when they use the word “capital”. Getting into debt and selling stuff does not put you into a good position to buy imports. Exporting does. Its exporting that is the only sustainable way to import. The wop is typing, the lights are on, but no-ones home. And clearly if we own nothing, export fuck all, and are in debt, then we are not in a position to import all the good stuff.

    Another example of the dumb wop NEVER knowing what he is saying when he types the word “capital:” was his justification of the bankers heist. “Didn’t you want all the firms to be “recapitalized” he said.”

    Fuck he’s a stupid primitive wop.

  69. More choice stupidity form the dumb wop, who will not admit that our policies are a failure:

    “Does Bird and Tasmanian comedian realize that the biggest institutional shareholders are actually depositary banks where the stock is held in trust for the end owners?

    These institutions are the biggest holders of BHP. In most cases they are international banks providing custodial services for the end owners.”

    So the biggest thieves in history are holding the stock of the companies who have gotten ownership of all these Australian resources. And the dumb wop thinks this is something for us to be happy about. What this means is that, in accordance with our ghastly extraction industry policy, the deepest pockets wind up owning all our gear. It was ours now its theirs. And the dumb wop doesn’t think this is failure.

    • Right but whats your point? We owned all these resources and now we don’t. You are making the wrong assumption that the current way resources are distributed is some sort of hard-wired part of the free society. Actually we distribute these resources in horribly counter-productive ways. Our particular system is not carved in stone nor pulled from a burning bush. And its critical we reform it. We don’t get the parsimonious usage that we might from true monopolization. And at the same time we are giving away supernormal profit potential to whoever has the deepest pockets. So we are getting the worst of both worlds.

  70. Cambria sez:

    “Capital inflow helps pay for our imports, like CAT scans and drugs to keep people alive.

    Rundle, if you wan to talk economics then do a course so at least you know what the fuck people are talking about and what it all means. However I’m not sure sure you’d pass.”

    I ask you. Why doesn’t the dumb wop do a course in economics. So he might understand what he means when he types the word “capital”. So that he could figure out how hard it is to import when you have sold off all your assets and you are in debt.

    Fuck he’s an idiot. He’s never understood economics. Its exports that buy imports. Where do you end up when you have sold all your assets and you are in debt. Wop doesn’t know. Wops brain is hurting.

  71. This seems to be a common affliction in economics circles. The incapacity to understand that you need to export in order to import. That selling off assets and going into debt is an unsustainable strategy for importing. Not one of these clowns at Catallaxy have shown an understanding of this matter.

  72. Brilliant work by Ms Edwards. Here is the report.

  73. Yes. The situation screams out for higher royalties. Not just to cut the deadweight loss of banker involvement but out of shear national prudence. Note how its taken this long for someone to seriously sound the alarm. And so much damage has already been done. If we got rid of the company tax for any company that was processing these goods all the way to the production of spare parts, then we could have a second-wave increase in royalties. And that setup would spark domestic productive power.

  74. Yes, and as Rundle on Crikey rightly notes, the Greens are on to a winner with their economic nationalism because it taps deep populist roots in the Australian political psyche and memory.

  75. Bob Brown mentioned that the small farmers were two and a half times more productive then the agri-business outfits. If he’s right that would have to be on a per-acre production basis. Rather than on productivity per employee. This is also a pretty significant thing that needs to be put about if true. And he was right to mention that the globe will have perhaps 9 billion mouths to feed in this context. Note also that he stressed that he was bringing these things up for discussion and review. He wasn’t pretending to have the answers. His instincts in terms of solutions aren’t usually the best. But someone has to start talking about these dire realities.

    The big food outfits like Monsanto. These guys are the four horsemen rolled into one. Because they have these seeds that don’t renew themselves every year. If we are caught out be a massive global disaster and we are left with big agri-business and these crap seeds, the sorts of famines that are possible will be like nothing yet heard about in written history.

  76. Its pretty clear that we need to have a tax regime that promotes small-scale business, massive capital accumulation, and smaller, more intensive farming. We have to go at this with great despatch with the goal of shoring up civilisation. These bankers, themselves operating under a monetary regime that is akin to an elephant balancing on its trunk, are further creating a non-banking world that mirrors this setup. We just need a string of disasters and then we are toast.

  77. “And worrying about the other creatures becomes skewed into belittling the humans and undermining their interests”

    There’s more than a little rightist reversalism going on here methinks.

    Environmentalists/conservationists aren’t necessarily careless about human beings and their well-being. Their approach to nature, of which we are a part, belies that distorted notion. It’s because of our reliance on nature that environmental science, knowledge, action exists in the first place.

    Rather it is economists who tend to have a mechanical and instrumentalist view of nature and the environment with their narrow cost-benefit prism and their ignorance of or diminishing of the authority and knowledge of other disciplines, especially the natural sciences and moral philosophy.

  78. You are talking a lot of sense. Good on you.

    You know environmental concern in Australia dates back to the colonial era when even the British naval officers and early governors such as Phillip, King and Hunter attempted to protect by edict or laws native fauna and flora, fruit bearing trees (banana trees on Norfolk Island) rivers and streams from pollution, the degradation of pastoral lands, etc.

    These were utilitarian laws aimed at ensuring the natural environment provided an enduring source of food and to protect public health. By 1802, eg, scientists were warning that the seal population of the Tasmanian islands would be destroyed unless protected by government regulation.

    Cruelty to animals though was also an early concern and the world’s first prohibition of cruelty to animals laws occurred here dating from1790.

    It’s true that human beings have a propensity to react strongly to cruelty to other animals, while the very same people can be relatively unmoved by cruelty that they are directly or indirectly responsible for to human beings in their midst. We’ve seen this most recently with the live export vs refugee issue. And again in the colonial era, officers and free settlers’ often marked antipathy to cruelty to animals occurred at the same time they participated in extreme forms of cruelty to convicts.

    We’re a weird mob.

    • If we had excellence in policy in this country all the live export ban would mean would be solid investment in processing the animals here. We could make a gain out of it.

      • Yes processing here would be good, except they reckon some of the Asian markets don’t have the refrigeration room. Is that really true?

      • My mother-in-law has a fridge. But not a great deal of fridge space. The ice truck comes for the shops every morning. And we go to the local market every morning. So yeah thats probably a valid objection. Where you have all these little villages where everyone walks or bikes to the local market every day.

  79. I wish I could find the picture the Australian had of Naomi Edwards. Her figure is just a sensation. I can find one of the pictures they had of her, but not the other.

  80. I saw the picture of her, yep, she’s hot all right. Smart, good politics, good looking, and wealthy. What a find.

  81. Its just so sad though isn’t it. Even if the figures are less bad then she would have it, the intellectual climate is so moronic, that by the time anything is done about this, matters will be worse then she paints them. What a bunch of zombies and vandals we have in our ruling class. Only Bob Katter and Barnaby Joyce talk sense amongst the lot of them. Well of course Bob Brown too when he’s not being entirely loopy. But its just so sad when we have all these nincompoops around who are so dimwitted they cannot recognise a problem.

  82. This is pretty funny. Great opera, but the things the Brits gotta do to get an audience these days. LOL.

    • The fairy queen hey? The girl seems to be eve and then dresses up to become Daphne. Wish it was in English.

      • Good pick. I’m pretty sure Shakespeare did plunder Ovid for this play.

  83. What really bugs me about the neoclassicals is their lack of culture. They are so ignorant. You won’t find them reading history books. It would never occur to them that when Byzantium started outsourcing its ship-building to the Venetian Empire, the writing was on the wall, whether or not it was a cost-effective move at the time. They don’t see any need to compare the way resources were allocated in the Klondike gold rush to the malign way they are auctioned off now. They wouldn’t look for a comparison to how the Eire Canal was built as opposed to the crap way we go about infrastructure today. You cannot communicate with people who are so principled about their ignorance. There is no way to get through to them. No common ground upon which to field examples or get some sort of dialogue going.

  84. Yes, they’re barren territory to plow and yield nothing of value.

    You by contrast are a joy.

  85. It is a joy when science and the humanities come together. That’s why I admire Aldous Huxley so much as his interest in and knowledge of both was vast and inextricably linked.

    This is interesting work being done today in that vein.

  86. It’s an adaptation by Purcell of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; It’s a comedy and like most operas has a ridiculous plot.

    The lyrics in english for that bit.

    The Man:

    Thus the gloomy World
    At first began to shine,
    And from the Power Divine
    A Glory round about it hurl’d;
    Which made it bright,
    And gave it Birth in light.
    Then were all Minds as pure,
    As those Ethereal Streams;
    In Innocence secure,
    Not Subject to Extreams.
    There was no Room then for empty Fame,
    No cause for Pride, Ambition wanted aim.

    Thus Happy and Free,
    Thus treated are we
    With nature’s chiefest Delights.
    We nover cloy,
    But renew our Joy,
    And one Bliss another Invites.

    Thus wildly we live,
    Thus freely we give,
    What Heaven as freely bestows.
    We were not made
    For Labour and Trade,
    Which Fools on each other impose.

  87. Right. Really conjures up the garden of eden then. All the goods laid on. No need to get your hands dirty.

  88. One of my first “dates” was with a bloke whose parents had been dairy farmers. They’d split up and sold the farm, it was too small to be successful, but his mother still had a few 100 beef cattle which she had on agistment around the place though she had no farm land any more herself. The date involved rounding up the cows and calves from a couple of paddocks into a pen so she could count them. What fun.

    She had names for many of them. But when it was time for them to be slaughtered she dropped the names and simply referred to them as “the beasts”.

  89. There is nothing of Athens in the Chinaman. He’s just conflated my pointing out that Monsanto and others are setting us up for catastrophe, with me being against genetic engineering. I’ve got not general problem with genetic engineering. But the inability of these dummies to think means that the disaster building, with seeds that don’t reproduce themselves properly, has sailed entirely over their heads.

    You can see that if there was no patent protection then there would be no point vandalising seeds in this way.

  90. Patent protection being a form of private property?

    • Right. Private property ought to only relate to a physical good. Some of the work that the mises institute has done has turned a lot of people around on this matter. All sorts of mischief has been undertaken by Monsanto and others on the basis of their patents. The charging of farmers who have seeds that have cross-polinated and not by any doing of the farmer. And worst of all the inhibiting of the seeds ability to reproduce. So they can sell these admittedly very good seeds on the cheap but come back and charge the farmer every year.

      This crowds out the potential for some big benevolent outfits to create excellent seeds that can reproduce every year. Even if there are some sort of substantial medium term gains its setting us up for the worst disaster in all history.

  91. The incapacity of these people to grasp reality is so thorough-going you would think that it was some sort of performance-art. Now the dumb wop has countered the reality and massive danger seeds that don’t reproduce properly ……. by quoting Monsanto’s stock price.

    For fucksakes won’t someone take this fool away somewhere in case HE decides he wants to reproduce again. Surely we can see that the answer isn’t to ban genetic improvements. But to as quickly as possible get rid of the patent protection. Or the next disaster could effectively be the last one for the species.

    • I presume you are talking about JC. The man is a certifiable idiot. Fortunately, even most of the Cataplexy people think he is a loudmouthed fool. He was voted the most obnoxious prick on the site more than once as I recall.

  92. Now this is incredible. I found out this week that in the early 1950s when nuclear tests were conducted at Woomera, in South Australia, the uranium for the nuclear bombs came from Qld and was transported in dicky little canisters on commercial TAA (precursor of Qantas) flights. There are photos of this in the Courier-Mail.

    Probably accounts for at least some of the cancer explosion today.

    • Right. Sounds pretty dodgy at that.

  93. People might counter that if the patent protection weren’t there, then there would be no incentive to create great pest-resistant high-yielding seeds. But there is or was such a thing as rich people who are also good people and want to do the right thing. The general principle is that patents inhibit rather than drive technological progress. And there is no reason to believe that this would not be the case in this area as well.

  94. If the general principle is that patents, which you agree are a form of private property, inhibit technological progress, then what does that say about others forms of private property and the inhibition of technological innovation?

  95. Well its the granting of property titles to non-physical items that is the problem. People imitating what others are doing is part of how technological progress gets about the place. But with patents, someone clamps down on this process of learning and imitation.

    • Well the Chinese have circumvented patents in many ways a long time ago. They travel the world now and copy and sell stuff that is inferior, modes of individual transport made of plastic rather than steel, clothes made of plastic or synthetics, rather than wool or cotton or natural fibres, but that doesn’t necessarily represent technological progress does it? Or not in an optimal way. And the Chinese are still relying heavily on brutal modes of work organisation and control to create wealth – or at least a little more than subsistence – for their own citizens at home and working abroad.

  96. This fellow has completely transformed a lot of thinking in this area:

  97. You know there hasn’t been a real lot of technological innovation in the last 50 or more years, social media technology and some military technology of the US alone aside. Why is that? Why is it that all the wealth creation of human beings, the growing productivity of labour which computer technology has facilitated has resulted in a stalling of investment in new ground breaking technologies?

    And the best that some economists can do is say that alternative renewable technologies, e.g. haven’t got off the ground so much because they cost too much.

    What circuitous self-serving rubbish.

  98. People go to the patent office with alternative energy and the patent office won’t grant them the patent, because they reason that the energy system ought not work!!!! So the investors won’t go in for it. Because if it does work someone else will then get a patent and close their act down.


  99. Look at this. Here we have another of these complete total fucking morons. Don’t you just want to slap these people? None of them will answer questions if you put it to them. Do you think Sinclair or this other carbon-copy idiot would fucking answer any questions laid out to them?

    Fuck these people are lunatics.

  100. John Perkins has done a major good work with his book “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman” Note how Max and Gerald refer to him when talking about
    the international banking syndicate.

  101. Graeme
    you’re famous

  102. You have got the sexiest voice, Graeme.

    • That wasn’t Graeme, Phil, it was someone taking the piss, rather hilariously.

  103. Yeah that was magnificent. A total parody of my blog. Who are these people? Wonderful. Best thing I’ve heard for awhile.

  104. These guys put a great deal of work into this parody. Marvelous stuff.

  105. What radio show is this? These guys are pretty imaginative. I’ll have to tune in to their show. What do they usually talk about when they aren’t doing excellent parodies of my blog?

  106. “Cambria and Tillman had nothing” You have to listen to it about three times over before it loses its edge. The first two times I was laughing out loud but then I had bragging rights to my stepdaughter. Its not dirty and misleading criticism either. The fellow is really “in-character.” Its quite an excellent performance. This fellow can really think on his feet.

    I told the girl “people talking about me is good. Doesn’t matter whether what they say is good or bad so long as they are talking about me.”

    The fellow has to be a sometime regular Catallaxian. Makes me regret that I don’t have time right now to be writing four or five new articles a fortnight.

    “You can forget about Sinkers” Just cracked me up. And he has some fairly deep and valid criticism here because I tend to think I’m right when I pass an idea past a bunch of people and they are unable to come up with a reasoned response. Whereas in sober reality thats pretty weak confirmation. It is some confirmation though and its a worthy way to go about things over the long haul.

  107. Here’s a post, moderated elsewhere, to help satisfy my new fan base:

    The official back-history of global warming, starting with Arrenhius, is really just a side-show in the history of bad ideas. The real, or at least more relevant, history of these very bad ideas goes back to NASA and especially Carl Sagan. Sagan and the others were tendentiously trying to swat away the idea that Venus was a new planet.

    Turns out that the evidence is very clear. The heat of Venus is coming from the inside-out. Implying that Venus is indeed a new planet. And it is the consensus wrong understanding of Venus’ extraordinary high temperature that is haunting this subject. Making a bunch of very bad ideas seem plausible.

  108. hey graeme
    this is one of the people behind it

  109. Thanks.


  111. Graeme, that was a deliciously funny skit and all the characters in it were great. Very funny. But that bloke’s voice did sound uncannily like yours which made me think it might have been you mucking around. But then you’ve never (to my knowledge) adopted another persona to talk about yourself. And you’re hardly likely to cite jc or Sinclair as worthy intellectual peers, which of course they are not. And you’re right, it was an affectionate tribute to your work whether in agreement or not. I’d like to hear more from them. And meanwhile you provide fodder for others to riff off. But then that’s been apparent for a long time.

  112. Hey Graeme, I just watched the movie “Inside Job”, no it’s not about conspiracy theories but about the reasons behind the 2008 global economic crisis. It is particularly critical of investment bankers and financial service institutions.

    Have you seen it?

  113. Not yet. Looks good.

  114. Hey Bird

    What’s your position on the Bilderberg annual conference where all the world’s movers and shakers go.

    There’s a bunch of people that think it’s a global conspiracy.


  115. Here’s a very good lecture from David Stockman. He breaks down events leading to the heist by the lunatic Henry Paulson. A heist that Joseph Cambria has always supported. Just like the slimy traitor that he is.

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