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Mike the Mad Biologist

I think you've hit the nail on the head: our energy use is largely an effect of how we live--our housing and our travel patterns. Unfortunately, too many people believe that all we have to do is buy a Prius, install a couple of solar panels, and get use better light bulbs and the problem will be solved.

It's a little more difficult than that.

El Jefe


Really enjoyed your second post in particular. I see you're a thorium fan too. And really, if you want any better advertisements for why letting private companies run public utilities leads to colossal screwups (any advertisements besides, say, a whole lot of American history) the guys running Daiichi are it. Sand and concrete, gentlemen, even the Russians figured it out. But that would dent their investment and show evidence of wrongdoing ....


Everything from your nice twist "Palin is right" should be a post of its own. And reposted, and reposted, and reposted. It's the problem with a number of Western (most of the anglophone and some of the southern European) economies (and I'm sure some German and French banksters out there are looking forward to calmer weather in a liberalized North Africa with its oodles of cheap labor.) And it's sure the trouble here.

Really, you've got three books you're writing here. One is the Aspbergers'/autism book. One is about how the guy inside you who happens to be Lance Mannion tags along with you and the pair of you relate to the world. The third is the most clearly written indictment of American political economy since the "Sinclairs" (Lewis and Upton) were running around. And the "clearly written" part is important. Lots of really smart, important people have said many of the same things, but few of them have connected the dots so clearly at the human level or spelled it out in words everyone gets, without frills or detours. It comes down to this: every part of the Americas that were settled by Europeans, no matter what language they spoke, were settled by a leading edge of two kinds of people (the lumpen go-alongs came later.) One was idealists, and they could be anything from idealists who wanted a more perfect union based on laws not men and the rule of humane principles and evidence, to idealists who wanted to purge the Unbelievers with fire. But that bunch were all idealists. The other set wanted to recreate bastard feudalism (all of the perks, none of the pecking order, "laws unto themselves") in a new land and get on top of the pile. They've played a long game and right now they're winning. That needs to change or it will all crash down like feudalism always, eventually, does. What you're saying in plain words, is actually a pretty deep answer that spreads out across a bunch of landscapes and knocks the pins right out of that 21st-Century-feudalist model.



As usual, this was a very insightful post. Everything you stated rings true and clear to me.

Lance Mannion

Thanks, AnDa!

El Jefe, from your keyboard to some agent's and deep-pocketed publisher's iPads.

Mike, thanks for the links. I'm an ambivalent supporter of nuclear power too. Question: are thorium-powered reactors smaller as well as less waste-producing?

El Jefe


I'm sayin'. Trouble is the deep-pocketed publishers I know decently well all do textbooks, which are not so much MiniTrue as a fact-checker's Bosnia (which faction wants their stuff front-and-center for this state board of ed? ....) And looking forward to you Q&Aing with Mike.

Ken Muldrew

Great post, as usual. If I might be allowed a tiny nitpick, when you write, "Try driving across Manitoba", the cognescenti are really expecting "Saskatchewan", for reasons that become obvious when one takes that drive.

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