==> Tyler Cowen jumps in on the side (?) of Sumner and Rowe (HT2 Max R.), regarding Cantillon effects. (Here Sumner is much clearer–to Austrian readers–about what his position has been all along.) Gene Callahan makes what seems to be a modest point, but it actually is the equivalent of Luke Skywalker’s shot into the Death Star. Incidentally, Sheldon Richman’s actual article (which so upset Sumner) is now online; I have no problem with his discussion whatsoever. At some point I will write up a post-game show.
==> So you know how Bruce Bartlett has been receiving sympathy from his new friends on the left, for getting blacklisted by the WSJ and Fox News, especially when his book critical of Bush came out? (Remember Bartlett had praised the wisdom of the Murdoch empire for ignoring his book, thus ruining his sales.) Try to think of the most awkward link I could possibly give in this context. Merry Christmas. (HT2 Teqzuilla for this article laying out the he-said-she-said, as well as Bartlett’s explanation. And don’t miss this either.)
==> Chip Knappenberger uses the IPCC scenarios to estimate the effect on global temperatures in 2100 from a draconian but unilateral US carbon tax. I ran it by a progressive economist who is an expert on this stuff and a big fan of carbon taxes. He didn’t dispute Chip’s numbers but said one of the mechanisms through which a US tax could help, is to stimulate development in low- or zero-emission technologies. Thus China and India would switch to “green” energy not because of their own carbon tax, but because it would become more efficient even looking at private costs and benefits.
==> This Ed Feser post on Nagel is great. (HT2 Gene Callahan) It is incredibly pedagogical. Even if you hate what he’s saying, I think you will appreciate his laying out of the issues. An excerpt (and I’m retaining the italics from the original):
Thus, as common sense understands color, sound, heat and cold, etc., the reductive method ends up treating the world as essentially colorless, soundless, devoid of temperature, etc. What the methodcalls “color,” “sound,” “heat” and “cold” is in fact something different from what the man on the street thinks of when he hears these terms. The “red” that the method says exists in the material world is just the tendency of an object to absorb certain wavelengths of light and to reflect others. The “red” that the man on the street thinks exists in the object does not really exist in the object itself at all but only in his perceptual experience of the object. The “heat” that the method says really exists in the material world is just the motion of molecules. The “heat” that the man on the street thinks exists in the object does not really exist in the object at all but only in his perceptual experience of the object. And so forth.
Now, Nagel’s point is not that there is something wrong per se with overthrowing common sense in this way. It is rather that whatever value this method has, it cannot coherently be applied to the explanation of conscious experience itself. If the reductive method involves ignoring the appearances of a thing and redefining the thing in terms of something other than the appearances, then since our conscious experience of the world just is the way the world appears to us, to ignore the appearances is in this case just to ignore the very phenomenon to be explained rather than to explain it. Consciousness is for this reason necessarily and uniquely resistant to explanation via the same method scientific reductionism applies to everything else. For the application of the method in this case, writes Nagel, “does not take us nearer to the real nature of the phenomenon: it takes us farther away from it.” To treat the appearances as essentially “subjective” or mind-dependent is precisely to make them incapable of explanation in entirely “objective” or mind-independent terms.