16 Nov 2009


All Posts, Potpourri No Comments

* Is gold going to crash? EPJ says that Goldman was short gold mining stocks when outsiders last peeked. So do they know something we don’t, or were they just helping the Plunge Protection Team to slow down gold’s meteoric ascent? (And don’t meteors crash into the ground? Shouldn’t we call it gold’s carbon dioxidic ascent?)

* Dick Clark points out to me that there could be trouble with gold mines, even though gold itself continues to rise. I obviously know nothing about gold mining. However, my Julian Simonesque worldview (as well as some articles by Michael Lynch) led me to reject the peak oil theory, so I guess my instinct is to reject peak gold as well.

* A Christian (vs. Freudian…) slip by Landsburg’s copy editor.

* I met Taylor Conant at the Mises Circle this weekend. He mentioned his take on the usual dismissal of conspiracy theories, and I thought it was pretty neat.

* Bob Roddis alerts us to this Bruce Bartlett critique of Hayek. I couldn’t really find anything too objectionable in Bartlett’s piece except this weird argument: “At a minimum, I think it’s safe to say that Hayek was wrong about the inevitability of totalitarianism arising from growth in the size of government. The collapse of communism is proof enough of that.” Wow, I’ve gotten frustrated with eager Austrians who say the collapse of communism vindicated Mises’ calculation argument. But it never occurred to me that it refuted Hayek’s serfdom claim. How so, Bruce? Hayek didn’t call it The Road to Perpetual Serfdom. And I’m pretty sure Hayek was aware of the fall of the Roman Empire and other brutal governments. He must have been a serious idiot then to have thought that serfdom could never end!

* Oh boy. Steve Landsburg–a staunch believer in modern evolutionary theory–points out another absolutely ridiculous claim by Richard Dawkins. And instead of saying, “OK yeah, Dawkins and other evolutionists should stop claiming it is the most solid result in all of science, because it’s clearly not,” most of the commentators argue with Landsburg. (And yes yes, many Bible thumpers are just as over-the-top in their claims as Dawkins. Waaaa.)

* While at Landsburg’s blog, I followed his link to this neat brain teaser. Free Advice: If you click through and read it, I strongly urge you to try to figure it out first before reading the suggested solution. I was in an airport with time to kill and did just that, and really enjoyed it a lot more. It’s the kind of thing where it seems at first you can “prove” in 15 seconds that the answer goes one way, but if you think about it you realize you overlooked something crucial. Discuss.

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