Rafe’s Roundup 29 November

Late Final Extra. Innovative coffin ads h/t Tiny Dancer prompt calls for commenters IT “I once did something filthy with a sock puppet” and Tiny Dancer to be banned for lowering the tone of the site.

World News. Cat archives at the National Library. Five boats arrive this month, 207 people.

Posts of the week. Agriculture continues to become more productive. So much for running out of food.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that world rice harvests for 2012/2013 were a record 469 million metric tons. Corn and wheat harvests were also strong, following record harvests for both grains during the 2011/2012 season. The USDA is now projecting world record harvests for corn, wheat, and rice for 2013/2014.

Just imagine if they wasted less grain by converting it into biofuel to replace petrol!

The rapid rise in food prices has been a burden on the poor in developing countries, who spend roughly half of their household incomes on food. It concludes that the most important factor was the large increase in biofuels production in the U.S. and the EU. Without these increases, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably, oilseed prices would not have tripled, and price increases due to other factors, such as droughts, would have been more moderate.

Silly things from Barry Williams, honourary grand vizier of the skeptics. Unlikely literary productions. Test your geography. Conspiracy theory flowchart.

Publishing. Literature. An exciting piece of work from a local talent. Popup books and the art of paper engineering.

Advertising. Get some pork on your fork.

Around the town: At the frontier of science and technology. The Little Red Blog, IPA HEY. The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Liberty on the Rocks, the notice board for the ATA: Quadrant on line, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. Stephanie Forrest at the IPA.

How we lived. How some of us lived. Demons eat pies.

Leftoid philosopher of the week. When philosophers run out of things to say. The first comment nails it.

For nerds. The Tanner Lectures, a remarkable collection. The economics of science. What gets measured, gets done.

An invisible Austrian? Does this very active Austrian at Melbourne Uni have a profile in the Australian School of Economics?

Rafe’s ebooks.

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14 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 29 November

  1. Ken N

    Good links Rafe. Thanks.
    And today’s MWD shows Gerard in top form.
    Pity he is about to go on a WEB.

  2. Jim Rose

    Thanks race. the sucsess in stopping the boats. Is amazing. I did not think he could do it.

    the tanners are great

  3. Ken N

    Has anyone heard from Prof Bunyip?

  4. David

    Bunyip has been quiet. His lady gave him the flick so he is probably licking his emotional wounds.

  5. Tinta

    Thanks for the interesting Roundup Rafe.

  6. caveman

    Wonder if the witty leftoid scribe could do one where Socrates meets Lind Lovelace. Or Socrates builds a bike lane and tie dyes his toga in the colours of the rainbow.

  7. Big Jim

    This is not meant to be polemical, just a thought provoker: But, only left-side-bell-curve subjects in the advanced world even consider that grasses (such as wheat, rice, etc,) even count as food anymore. So this jazz about bonanza ‘food production’ is passé, or condescending to people who can’t stretch to Paleo diets, or what?

  8. wreckage

    Regarding Abbott meets Socrates: Tony Abbott studied philosophy. Do modern journos actually even know how to read?

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t one of Abbott’s attested strengths as a pollie the fact that he doesn’t generally give people the brush-off?

    Finally, would someone who trained for the Catholic priesthood criticise philosophy as a worthless endeavour that benefited no-one?

  9. Rafe

    wreckage, the worst of it is that the creepy professor is not a journalist, he is a lifelong academic philosopher. He thinks it was a compliment to the significance of philosophy that Socrates was put to death for “corrupting the youth”. He thinks that now –

    Indeed, it is much more likely for them be written off as socially irrelevant. For that reason, it might well be thought, it is a waste of public money to support philosophers and philosophical projects

    In the light of his own work that would be a fair call.

  10. Jim Rose

    a nice discussion of scottish independence is at http://www.volokh.com/2013/11/29/prospect-scottish-secession-britain/

    scotland leaving with its 41 labor, 11 LDP, and 1 conservative seats would condem UK Labor to permanent opposition

    go scotland, go

  11. Rafe

    go scotland, go

    Yes the electoral implications in the southern “rump” of the UK are massive. Except that nonleft conservatives might have to vote for UKIP instead of Cameron’s big government green wets.

  12. Jim Rose

    see http://www.volokh.com/2013/11/28/thanksgiving-purported-pirates-russia-u-s/ for a good case that the seizing of the greenpeace ship on the high seas was illegal.

    piracy is the only legal basis for seizing a vessel on the high seas. their actions were no against a ship nor did they involve acts of violence or detention. they were putting a poster up, which is trespass, not piracy.

  13. Jim Rose

    yes rafe, the UKIP will divide the vote to allow Red Ed to be elected easily.

    Ipredict has: Red Ed at 68% chance as PM in 2015; clinton is a 69% chance of being the dem nominee

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