Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:June:28 Saturday <Friday, Sunday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2008/6/28-30 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Troll] UID:50407 Activity:nil
6/27    motd boob guy do i have a video for you
2008/6/28-30 [Uncategorized] UID:50408 Activity:nil
6/27    The Hulk: see this movie!  Best line: "Is that all you got?"
2008/6/28-7/14 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:50409 Activity:moderate
6/27    Thanks Republicans, for high gasoline prices!
        \_ Link unread, no point.
        \_ Wow, that's some awesome reasoning.  And thihs guy is a professor?
        \_ Wow, that's some awesome reasoning.  And this guy is a professor?
           What a moron.
           \_ Yet, he still gets laid more than you by waiving his PhD
              \_ Why did you bother to post this drivel?
           \_ Wow, what a stunning rebuttal. You don't think CAFE standards
              could have reduced our depedency on foreign oil?
              \_ No.  Conservation is good but ultimately only market forces
                 \_ The whole point about free-market vs. control isn't
                    about efficiency. No one is argueing that free-market
                    is much more efficient at changing the market. The point
                    is about *stability* of market. Boom/bust cycles have
                    been well studied in the past few decades and is a
                    naturally occurring phenomenon in free-market, and a
                    great driving force in optimizing supplier vs. consumer
                    patterns. It also creates a lot of instability which
                    destroys businesses and hurts consumers during
                    harsh transitional phases. Obviously, there is a
                    middle ground, a trade-off between efficiency and
                    stability that unfortunately the ultra Left and the
                    ultra Right have failed to compromise on.
                    \_ Stability is a crock. With "stability" comes complacence
                       and lack of responsibility/accountability. The prospect
                       of going bust keeps markets in check. But another issue
                       is that the boom/bust cycles that have been studied in
                       the past were not truly free markets... we've never
                       really had a free market. In all the 20th century
                       crises the government was an active player in leading
                       up to the problem. The government manipulates currency,
                       borrows and spends massively creating entire industries
                       sucking on its teat, and acts to "rescue" and subsidize
                       imprudent/inefficient businesses. And it never goes
                       bankrupt itself... we're all stuck with its stupid
                       \_ Nice tautology: Free markets work, because we've
                          never had a free market.
                          \_ Markets work because it's experimentally proven
                             that they do. Some regulation is necessary such
                             as anti-monopolization and preventing destruction
                             of ownerless resources such as air quality. The
                             idea of boom/bust being an inherent problem is
                             simply not proven. We probably need high
                             simply not proven.
                             \_ nor is it proven that markets provide optimal
                                results in the real world.  -tom
                             regulation of banks. It seems like a common
                             It seems like a common
                             source of problems is when companies/banks get
                             so huge that they individually make or break
                             the economy of a large region, and then they
                             cannot be allowed to fail. The solution
                             would be to enforce competition by limiting
                             company sizes.
                             company sizes. And if that is impractical, say
                             for a power distribution grid or other common
                             resource, then private ownership may not make
                             Markets work on basically the same principle
                             as genetic evolution. We see the same problems
                             in nature when there is too little diversity;
                             the system becomes vulnerable to individual
                             diseases and is unstable. For example, with
                             low genetic diversity of endangered species,
                             or with agricultural species such as bananas.
                             \_ Would you like to try to prove that evolution
                                always produces an optimal result for a
                                given species?  -tom
                                \_ What is the definition of "optimal result
                                   for a given species"?
                                   \_ Do the semantics really matter?  It's
                                      pretty clear that evolution did not
                                      produce an optimal result for the
                                      dinosaurs, for example.  And while some
                                      \_ Well, it did: the dinosaurs were the
                                         optimal things for their time. We
                                         are apparently more optimal than they
                                         for our time. If dinosaurs were a
                                         business then they went out of
                                         business... but then that was probably
                                         a natural disaster that changed the
                                         world so you can't plan on that.
                                         Then again they say birds came from
                                         dinosaurs and they're doing ok.
                                      argue (without any real evidence) that
                                      markets always produce optimal results,
                                      there's no reason to believe that a
                                      market will produce an optimal result
                                      for the United States specifically, or
                                      for people in the US.  -tom
                                      \_ No, but given that nobody is all-wise,
                                         competitive markets are the best way
                                         to let people decide for themselves
                                         what they want the economy to do.
                                         You never have "perfect competition"
                                         and even then you need humans to
                                         come up with ideas, but markets
                                         do the best at optimizing results
                                         for what people want. It doesn't
                                         solve wealth disparity... but that
                                         is a technicality. I think wealth
                                         caps are reasonable just like
                                         breaking up monopolies is reasonable.
                                         I don't think unrestricted immigration
                                         is reasonable, or that the government
                                         is obligated to support everybody
                                         on welfare.
                                         \_ I understand your ideology; you
                                            haven't provided any evidence
                                            that it provides optimal results
                                            in the real world.  If you want to
                                            talk about the dinosaurs and
                                            evolution, we are in the position
                                            that we *know* that an asteroid
                                            is on its way.  We can either
                                            keep doing things the way we are
                                            now and hope that it works after
                                            the state of the world changes, or
                                            we can use our higher brain
                                            functions to anticipate and
                                            prepare for the changes.  -tom
                                          \_ What you don't understand is
                                             that I think it's better to let
                                             people make choices and live with
                                             them. I think we've adapted pretty
                                             well so far and don't *know* that
                                             there is an asteroid. Is that a
                                             global warming reference? Make
                                             your case, let people choose.
                                             It's not so clear cut as you
                                             imply. And "optimal" is not
                                             the same for every person.
                                             \_ The idea that aggregated
                                                individual choice will
                                                necessarily produce a result
                                                which is best for the US in
                                                the long run is unproven, and
                                                frankly absurd.  -tom
                                                \_ Is democracy absurd?
                                                   \_ I certainly wouldn't
                                                      assert that democracy
                                                      necessarily produces
                                                      optimal results for the
                                                      people.  -tom
                                                     \_ Well, neither do
                                                        other systems.
                                                        So far as it works,
                                                        it by definition gives
                                                        the people what they
                                                        want, subject to
                                                        their resources.
                                                        Our democracy is
                                                        really a republic
                                                        of course and the
                                                        system is flawed.
                                                        But I certainly
                                                        prefer this principle
                                                        of freedom than to
                                                        put faith in fallible
                                                        and corrupt authority.
                 will change the way we live.  When gas is too expensive,
                 people will drive smaller cars.  There is no reason to force
                 people to do so however as the government is not fit to
                 engage in social engineering as they will only make things
                 even worse than they already have.  The problem is lack of
                 \_ Complex problems need multi-prone solutions. Conservation
                    allows us to prolone the reserves longer, which will
                    allow us to buy more *time* to transition to alternative
                    energy. If we let the free-market force rule, we'll
                    get into a sharp, unpleasant transition where millions
                    of people will get priced out in a short period of
                    time and will unable to function in society (unable to
                    deliver goods, go to work, etc, which will cascade
                    down to the global economy). Free market will create
                    boom (cheap oil) followed by bust (breakdown of economy
                    when sharp shortage occurs within a small time span).
                    We need a middle ground of course. Conserve to buy more
                    time, and more drilling to buffer price instability
                    and to keep status quo. Not doing both hurts the market
                    in the short term, and in the long term.
                    \_ I disagree with your oil boom/bust scenario. If cheap
                       oil is foreseen to end, then there is a profit waiting
                       for those to take advantage of that. The market is
                       adapting and there are alternative energy sources,
                       and efficient tech. Where is the "breakdown of
                       economy"? The fundamental problems lately have had to
                       do with mass stupidity about housing prices and bad
                       loans, combined with the government borrowing and
                       spending like mad, natural disasters and political
                       instability affecting crops and oil production, and
                       cheapening of the dollar internationally. None of this
                       really dire stuff about peak oil has happened or ever
                       will happen as far as I'm concerned.
                 supply for current demand.  If oil co's had been allowed to
                 start new drilling projects 10+ years ago we wouldn't be in
                 this situation today.  That should be obvious.  Over the long
                 term we *may* run out of easy oil or the definition of easy
                 may change as technology improves such that we have an
                 effectively infinite supply of cheap oil until other energy
                 tech catches up in 100+ years.  But not drilling now (or ten
                 years ago) in the vague hope that something will change is
                 economic suicide.
                 \_ I don't think that even Adam Smith would have asserted
                    that only market forces can change the way we live.
                    Certainly there's no real evidence for that position.  -tom
                    \_ And your answer is to instead distort the market with
                       the government sledgehammer?  There are things the
                       government is good for: road building, border defense,
                       making sure the factory upstream doesn't pollute your
                       drinking water.  Forcing conservation through an
                       artificial lack of supply?  Don't think so.
                       \_ There is a middle ground to be met.
                       \_ Nice straw man.
                          Tell me, how would the free market solve the tree
                          shortange on Easter Island?  -tom
                 \_ Reducing demand has the same effect on prices as increasing
                    supply. If we drilled in Alaska and the continental shelf,
                    the extra oil would only allow us one more year of oil
                    growth, and then we would be in the exact same situation
                    we are in now, but worse, because we would have less world
                    reserve to tap into. If we had forced improved gas milage
                    on cars 10 years ago, we would be in better shape, because
                    we wouldn't be stuck with a huge fleet of fuel innefficient
                    SUVs. Wise government policy cannot overturn the laws of
                    economics, but it can ameliorate the shocks from it. Do you
                    really think that doubling gasoline prices in a year is
                    the best way to reduce demand?
                    \_ Oil/energy is a necessity.  Currently most of our
                       energy comes from oil.  So yes you can reduce prices by
                       lowering demand but demand is mostly inelastic.  You
                       can't lower prices by bringing our economy to a
                       crashing halt.  The fields in Alaska are good for one
                       year *if* that was the *only* oil we imported that
                       year.  That would obviously not be the case.  Bringing
                       that oil online smooths the entire world supply.  The
                       contintental shelf(s) is/are estimated to have decades
                       of oil, again without *any* other sources of oil which
                       again is not the case.  I have no problem with some
                       reasonable standards for fuel efficiency.  Have you
                       seen the new standards?  They're simply ridiculous when
                       \- They're not ridiculous if you can consider
                          ALTERNATIVE vehicles. I'm talking about reducing
                          our "needs" for 5000 pound SUVs in favor of
                          more European-like mini vehicles. If you think
                          the current lifestyle of people driving
                          Hummers and turning up AC+heat for a 4000sqft
                          McMansion can be sustained forever with more oil
                          drilling and with solar energy (corn->ethanol),
                          maybe you should look at the documentary
                          The End of Suburbia:
                          Current energy demands will clearly outpace
                          energy supply shortly and the transition will
                          be very harsh for global economies.
                       you take into account that MPG is now measured by real
                       world conditions, not lab conditions which is a large
                       part of why fuel efficiency has dropped or remained
                       flat across auto lines.  I'm unclear how you got the
                       idea I'm in favor of doubling gas prices to reduce
                       demand.  I'm in favor of adding supply to reduce gas
                       prices (95%) and in favor of reasonable CAFE-like
                       standards to nudge car companies in the right direction
                       but not the company wrecking random numbers they pulled
                       out of thin air on this latest round of CAFE standards.
                       Remember, energy use is mostly inelastic.  Raise the
                       \_ This contradicts with your fucking free market
                          drivel. First free market will change usage
                          patterns based on price. Then you said usage
                          is mostly inelastic. Did you even graduate
                          from Cal?
                       price too high or simply not have enough supply and
                       real people living real lives will starve, go bankrupt,
                       or generally live crummier lives than they would have
                       if energy was cheaper.  What we really should be doing
                       is building more nuclear power plants, spending on
                       cleaner coal technologies and sticking wind mills and
                       solar in places that can effectively use them (like off
                       Kennedy's coastline).  Sorry, had to take the one cheap
                       \_ The "free market" is what has doubled gasoline prices
                          in such a short time. Perhaps I am not making my
                          argument clear enough: if all the oil in Alaska was
                          already online, prices today would be exactly where
                          they were last year, demand would be up 1M/day and
                          people like you would be arguing that there was no
                          shortage. Next year, prices would have doubled and
                          we would be in even worse shape than we are today.
                          Better to face our problems now. We can always
                          drill the Alaska oil when we actually need it (like
                          during a World War or something). Think of it as
                          The Strategic Reserve II.
                        \- this is a decent article:
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:June:28 Saturday <Friday, Sunday>