Showing posts from 2013

Quick note re Geothermal

For some time I've had Geothermal as my No. 1 candidate for best long term alternative among renewable energy options. I thought I'd lay out my arguments in simplest form.

First, the resource is limitless for all practical purposes and relatively equally distributed around the world. The later is down the road although in the short run, due to technology limitations, some locations are more attractive than others.

Second, it offers both a"utility scale" and more granular solutions. One can utilize the same resource on a different scale both on the MW but also on a "subdivision scale" or even on an individual home scale.

Third, we are still on the steep part of the technology curve with geothermal and problems to be solved are within visible reach of further development of technology. Advances in drilling techniques "ported over" from fracking type of drilling will solve the problems of occasional seismic activity and also drive down the cost of th…

Things we can do by ourselves, and things that we can't

Making a list (and not checking it twice) of things one can do by oneself and those which one can only do with somebody else. Please feel to contribute.

Things one can do by oneself - read, run, swim, meditate, eat, hike, chop wood, ski, drink, dance, sleep, play chess, cook, sing, practice any number of sports, feel guilt (as opposed to shame).
Things that can be done only with participation of at least one other person - hug, kiss, have a conversation, get or give a massage, shake hands, play any number of sports, entertain somebody else with one's dance, singingor writing, feel shame (as opposed to guilt).

The VCR killed communism - lessons for dealing with North Korea

For decades now political scientist and politicians have tried to figure out why the communist experiment in the Soviet Union failed when it did. That it was going to eventually was not as much of a puzzle as was / is why did it happen when it did and what were the proximate causes (as opposed to the ultimate causes if one adopts Jarred Diamond's terminology).

My contention has long been that the most destructive weapon against communist ideology was the VCR. With increasing proportion of the population being able to see "how the other side lives", all the propaganda simply could not keep the genie in the bottle. People wanted to have a refrigerator and became unwilling to suffer the trade-off involved in not having a refrigerator so that the country can afford more MIG-17s.

What Voice of America or Radio Free Europe could not achieve because they were considered mere counter propaganda and as such inherently not to be trusted any more than home grown propaganda, was acc…