- Discover Magazine shares some really amazing information on the human migration to Australia 50,000 years ago - a story which becomes more amazing the more we learn about it. Humans are capable of some really amazing things. This reminds me of one of my favorite books - "Kon Tiki". It's an old one, but if you haven't read it you should. It's about Thor Heyerdahl's journey on a raft across the Pacific to Polynesia. So a little farther east than Australia, but the same idea - that the feats that humans can accomplish with relatively underdeveloped technology are astounding. I recently picked up a used copy of Heyerdahl's book "Fatu-Hiva" as well - this one is about his honeymoon, which he also spent on a raft, on the ocean, and then on Fatu-Hiva, in the Marquesas Islands.
- David Henderson picks up the Phelps op-ed I wrote about recently and makes a really strange counter-argument. He writes:
"If that were true, we could not explain the behavior of oil companies or drug companies. Both could raise their short-term profits by cutting their spending on discovery (oil) and R&D (drugs) to zero. They haven't done that. Why? Precisely because they care about share prices and share prices reflect the market's expectation of the present value of the future stream of net income."What an odd thing to say. So because oil and pharmaceutical companies don't exemplify the most extreme version of Phelps's point they disprove Phelps's point? Strange. Note well readers: reductio ad absurdum and economics generally speaking do not mix. Economic decisions are not scalar.
- At Critical Rationalism, Alan Forrester clarifies a point about the relationship between evolution and epistemology. There was a somewhat strange post on ThinkMarkets about this recently - I'm glad Alan cleared it up.
- Kate and I went to (among others) Vint Hill Craft Winery, just west of Manassas, this weekend. I highly recommend it for anyone in the D.C. area. Vint Hill makes and bottles its own wine, but it also has people contract for a barrel of their own wine, which apparently makes about three hundred bottles. The winemakers at Vint Hill work with you to produce whatever character you want for your wine. They'll ship in fruit from wherever it needs to come from to get it right. In the end you have 300 bottles, and Vint Hill will buy five or six cases of it to provide at tastings and sell if they like it enough. So we heard about that whole process, and got to try, in addition to several Vint Hill wines, some wines made by other people in the area. It was an interesting business model and a great experience. If you do make the trip to Vint Hill, make sure you also go to Winery at La Grange and Pearmund Cellars, which are owned by the same people. All are excellent.
- A commenter on a much earlier post with similar concerns about the Austrian school shares the blog Human Action, out of South Africa, with me. It seems somewhat typical of the "crude Austrian" genre - everyone is a "socialist" and a "statist". It hits all the usual hot button issues. It doesn't seem to be particularly poorly written. Anyway - maybe check it out. I'm going to follow it for a while and see if it's worth engaging. While I'm on the subject, I also recently started following Roderick Long's "Austro-Athenian Empire". It's a fascinating blog - you should check it out if you haven't already.