Roundup 16 Oct

A very important piece by Grace Collier. How come this kind of commentary on the union movement (and the corruption of the system by compliant employers) is so rare? The need for trade practices legislation to cover the activities of trade unions. And more sense talked by Malcolm Roberts of One Nation.

Australia is known as the most expensive construction destination on the planet. If the poor wording in the exemption is corrected to reflect its original intention, the cost of our construction could drop by 30 per cent. Roberts seems to comprehend this. He has just written to the government asking for the ACCC to furnish a report on how the exemption may be best amended.

The Nobel Prize is awarded to a complete idiot. The author dismisses the argument that singing does not count as poetry, but he is not happy.

The singer-songwriter, then, is modernity’s absurdly convoluted name for the poet. That the term is one of implied praise shows the low esteem in which we hold ‘mere’ singers and cynical, profit-driven songwriters. But these shifting values distract us from the fact that Homer and Hesiod were singer-songwriters no less than Virgil, Chaucer, Wagner, Michael Tippett, Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse and Laura Mvula.

Dylan, perhaps better than anyone, raises a smudged and shaking mirror to the shallowness and lack of intellectual ambition which have come to stand as our age’s foremost images of excellence.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. Spiked on line. Accuracy in academia, fighting for school choice. Café Hayek.
The Spectator overview. The Spectator magazine. Spectator Coffee House. Spectator Health. Spectator Life.
For people who love wildlife. The joy of rabbits.

The rabbit sat contentedly nibbling the grass, looking up every now and again to check for danger. She twitched at the call of a grey partridge nearby, cleaned her whiskers and began to graze once again.
I breathed in and as I breathed out relaxed, as I had been taught, until the gun was steady and I could get my eye the right distance from the sight. The view cleared, the crosshairs appeared…

When you ask a perfectionist to do a job.
Dan Mitchell. Can Brazil get spending under control? The case for unilateral free trade. How we lost economics. Dan Mitchell on America’s terrible tax system.
The week in review from the Mises Institute. My friend Pete Klein says some favourable things about the Nobel winners.

Climate stuff. On the bright side, the demand for coal increases worldwide. There are fears of a “bonfire” of regulations designed to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gases after the UK leaves the European Union. And China is very busy helping other developing countries to generate more coal-fired power.

The limited debate on Chinese coal investments abroad also overlooks several factors. First, China and other countries are actively and increasingly exploring new coal options – in particular the gasification of coal. Second, as part of its official strategy, Beijing has continuously increased its overseas investment in coal mining and power projects during the last decade. Third, China may have the third largest coal reserves behind the United States and Russia, but it may last a decidedly low 30 years, which helps explain the Chinese search for coal import supplies and investment abroad. Finally, China is currently restructuring its own coal industry by closing many smaller, inefficient mines and companies.

And of coursed China is happy to produce budget-priced solar panels and windmills for other states which are eager to experience the Green/ALP future demonstrated by South Australia.

Judith Curry’s week in review of the science literature. Judith Curry review of climate and politics. Coral reefs and the PH of the ocean.

Although some researchers have raised concerns about possible negative effects of rising CO2 on ocean surface pH, there are several lines of evidence demonstrating marine ecosystems are far more sensitive to fluxes of carbon dioxide from ocean depths and the biosphere’s response than from invasions of atmospheric CO2. There is also ample evidence that lower pH does not inhibit photosynthesis or lower ocean productivity (Mackey 2015). On the contrary, rising CO2 makes photosynthesis less costly.

Jo Nova on the SA-style trainwreck in Ontario, correlation of solar activity and floods, and how much renewable energy can a distribution system handle?

For nerds. Friedman on group think in New York, read the second quote and think Canberra in place of NY.

There was an unbelievable degree of intellectual homogeneity, of acceptance of a standard set of views complete with cliche answers to every objection, of smug self-satisfaction at belonging to an in-group. The closest similar experience I have ever had was at Cambridge, England, and even that was a distant second.

Spectator, books and arts. Literary Magazines

How to do Austrian economics and work with the mainstream. Interview with Peter Klein.

For me, the Austrian School has been a professional plus. It maintained my interest in economics in the midst of the tedious mathematical modeling that passes for economics today. It provided me an organizing framework into which fit the pieces of the rest of mainstream thought. When I read the textbook version of theories, the Austrian School made me interested in where a theory came from, where it is headed, and where it goes wrong.
If you are going to be an economist, you have to be interested in the way the world works. By the way, this is not only a criticism of the so-called radical subjectivists. It also applies to the extremist mathematical modelers. Many of them are not interested in the economy either. Austrians must realize that if they ever stand a chance of influencing the profession, they need to provide a persuasive rationale for how the world works. That requires being more interested in General Motors than in Wittgenstein.

How he became a Hayek editor.

Providence, I suppose. In graduate school, I was looking for a summer job, and through my contacts with the Mises Institute I hooked up with W.W. Bartley III at the Hoover Institution, who was at that time the general editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek.

The first volume in the series, The Fatal Conceit, had been published in 1989. I worked as Bartley’s research assistant on what became volume three in the series, The Trend of Economic Thinking. It was through that work that I got involved in volume four, The Fortunes of Liberalism. Bartley was a trained philosopher, a student of Karl Popper. He wanted an economist to help him with the volume. We were going to co-edit the volume, but he died unexpectedly before we really began serious work on it. His successors at the Collected Works asked me to edit the volume by myself. Now I am an associate editor of the project itself and will be editing more volumes in the future.

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23 Responses to Roundup 16 Oct

  1. Snoopy

    A case for unilateral free trade? Be still my beating heart.

    Nations have to export less to import more. That’s it?


  2. Rafe Champion

    From the piece.

    If in the past, some trade treaties may indeed have been beneficial for commerce, this is long gone. Negotiations are now left to unaccountable bureaucrats discussing which crony should benefit the most. It follows that “free trade treaties” consist in an avalanche of detailed regulations. The recent trade agreement between the EU and Canada, for example, is 1,598 pages long.

    Have we been allowed to read the text of the TPP?

  3. Snoopy

    No matter how bad trade treaties may be that doesn’t make unilateral free trade bonzer.

  4. Snoopy

    Our Dot is a firm believer in unilateral free trade. A law student, he doesn’t believe the offshoring of laweryin’ is likely.

  5. Mark A

    Read about unilateral free trade a bit but I am still none the wiser how it can benefit the nation offering it without reciprocation by the other parties?

  6. Rafe Champion

    In a nutshell, protection puts up the price of goods produced by protected industries. Consumers suffer.
    A nice piece on Australian protectionism.

  7. Snoopy

    So how much can an unemployed man buy to consume and who pays for it?

  8. jupes

    The Nobel Prize is awarded to a complete idiot.

    Okay, we get it. The author doesn’t like Bob.

    He’s not alone, nevertheless I reckon it is great that Bob Dylan has been given a Nobel Prize for literature. For one, I can’t read poetry – literally – but I can listen to Bob all day.

    Secondly Bob has always written and sung what he liked regardless of what his fans wanted or what was the fashion of the day. Regardless, he has won fans throughout the decades and has written masterpieces from the ’60s to the ’00s.

    Thirdly, Bob has nailed the breakup song/album better than anyone. If you have any doubt, listen to Idiot Wind.

  9. Megan

    The Nobel Prize is awarded to a complete idiot.

    Not for the first time either. A major idiot won one for Peace in 2009, no? No complaints about the shallow idiocy of society then.

  10. Megan

    Should have said that I don’t agree that Dylan is an idiot either. I am a long time fan girl.

  11. Shelley

    So much good reading, I just wish there were more hours in the day.

  12. Up The Workers!


    If Bob Dylan can score a Nobel Prize now, just imagine what accolades he will get if and when he ever learns to sing in tune!

  13. Step for a Hint

    I am disappoined that the “Science must Fail” highlighted by Tim Blair didnt make Number 1 in your Roundup.
    Essentially, the left leaning group of students condemned western science.
    As progressives, they seem to share a similar philosophy as the majority in SA and Tassie.Admittedly, they are a bit left of left.
    My view, l suppose, is regressive. I like electricity, an uncontaminated water supply free of faeces, high production of food and medicines which free us from avoidable epidemics.
    I know I will disappoint progressives and to some it must look radical but I think I must carry a gene which defends my brain against the modernity vjrus.

  14. Mayan

    Regarding Dylan’s Nobel Prize: Image that Shakespeare had written his opus while the Nobel for literature was being awarded. There would be howls of outrage that a playwright, a man who wrote entertainment for the masses — for profit, no less! — might be awarded the Prize.

    People have been sanguine when poets have won the Nobel, but poetry relies on cadence and tone, just as does the work of a lyricist. Well written prose is often written with rhythm and cadence in mind. The lines between songwriter, playwright/screenwriter, poet, and novelist can be fuzzy.

    Now let’s kick back, relax, and wait until an essayist or writer of short stories wins the Nobel Prize for Literature, and some people whine about that.

  15. Mayan


    Guess who isn’t getting a Nobel for her blog comments.

  16. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    So much good reading, I just wish there were more hours in the day.

    +1 Thanks for collating all of these interesting links for us, Rafe.

    Mayan, I agree with you. Shakespeare would have been howled down in favour of some Court poseur.

    Dylan spoke to the masses, a fine lyricist, but very disorganized. Didn’t reach the great heights, but it is time to recognize that works of literature don’t only take one form.

  17. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Not sure that I entirely agree with that ‘Dylan as representative of the failures of the age, irresponsibility as a virtue’ piece, an ‘idiot’ in the sense used by the Ancient Greeks. His poetry reflects more than a ‘muddy mirror’. Coleridge, the opium eater, in the ‘Ancient Mariner’ showed the bitter interior of desolation, a transformative desire for redemption from the albatross of doom; so does Dylan, for the drug-addled generations of the sixties and seventies. Poetry like that is literally mind-blowing, for humans have always sought to escape from realities into poetic dreams. There is a very long duree for that.

  18. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    longue duree, to put it in the proper French. As people here know, I am fascinated with the consciousness-experiments of the European Neolithic as displayed in the great tombs of Ireland, Britain and the Mediterranean; that is how far back this stuff goes.

  19. old bloke

    Leftist criticism of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Peace Prize award will increase as his position on Zionism becomes more widely known.

    Neighbourhood Bully

  20. Siltstone

    Thanks Rafe for the link to Dan Mitchell, he has some good cartoons for every big-spending Government occasion.

  21. La Deplorevole Tintarella di Luna

    Rafe there is so much there, what a smorgasbord.

  22. Rafe

    If only i had time to resd all of it myself.
    I am here to help.
    After working for the government for years helping became instinctive.

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