Last week’s Economist (highlights)

stephencdickson for Wikipedia
  • A Royal Marine describes an encounter with Somali pirates:

The pirates misread the troops’ intentions, and thought they were about to be abandoned at sea; a few jumped into the water while the rest attacked Mr Tennant’s team.

Temporary chaos and confusion gave way to swift action:

His team acted that way, Mr Tennant argues, because they were used to working with each other and they had wargamed what might go wrong. In contrast, the pirates were suffering from fear, stress and fatigue and acted on gut instinct. “If you haven’t gone through the decision-making process in advance, then gut instinct tends to kick in,” Mr Tennant says.

I recall hearing once that you should actually practice moving your fingers on the phone to the buttons 9-1-1.

  • A profile of NextEra:

It is already the world’s top generator of wind and solar electricity… It was quick to take advantage of generous tax credits to build wind farms across the Midwest.

  • From a piece on millennial investors:

When most boomers began saving a handful of investment firms loomed large, offering high-fee mutual funds. But electronic trading makes it much easier and cheaper to buy and sell directly. The cost of investing $100 on a stock exchanged has fallen from $6 in 1975 to less than a thousandth of a penny today.

  • Consideration of Peter Turchin’s idea of “elite overproduction:

“The next decade is likely to be a period of growing instability in the United States and western Europe, he asserted, pointing in part to ‘overproduction of young graduates with advances degrees.’

Is that a supply problem or a demand problem? I’d expect The Economist to offer an answer. A price signalling breakdown for sure.

From the Declaration’s website:

Who initiated the Declaration? 

Dr Kulldorff invited Dr Bhattacharya and Dr Gupta to Massachusetts to record a video outlining an alternative to the current COVID-19 strategy. While meeting, the three spontaneously decided to also write a short Declaration to summarize the thinking.  

Why was the Declaration signed in Great Barrington? 

The Declaration was written and signed at the American Institute for Economic Research, located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The Institute kindly offered to help with the video recording, providing a location, equipment and a camera man pro bono.  

When you hear about an institute for economic research, look for the agenda of the rich far-right donors.

  • Studies of the unintended consequences of wildlife fences:

Pangolins curl up into a ball when endangered, in order to protect their soft underbellies. This is generally a wise move, but not when it causes them to embrace the wire of an electrified fence.

  • Review of Rod Dreher’s Live Not By Lies.

Visiting Russia, Mr Dreher learns how honest Soviet citizens tried to avoid having much to do with the system. Geology was a popular discipline among scientists, as it let researchers spend a good portion of their lives in far-fling and unsullied places.

From a piece on what Biden would mean for Britain:

Bill Clinton was annoyed with John Major because Conservative activists publicized his dope-smoking at Oxford.

(Shouldn’t we encourage prospective politicians to smoke dope? It might take them off the path of ambitious grasping, or at least chill them out a hair).

  • Similar topic, different article:

in 2018, ABCD, a German-marketing firm, estimated that Delhi and Mumbai are among the top six cannabis-consuming cities in th world, together burning more than 70 tonnes each year.

Alberto Bonadona, an economist in Bolivia:

There is no lithium industry. What we have is salt for a good barbecue.



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