Blog entries from anciendaze

anciendaze has a total of 77 entries.

  1. anciendaze
    Today's news tells me the Eurozone has reached an agreement on closer fiscal integration, minus the U.K. There are other, more ominous, signs, though they may not accurately reflect response to this. Time will tell. The important point is that EU leaders have agreed to give up significant aspects of fiscal sovereignty without waiting for public support for such an idea to materialize. The...
    anciendaze, Dec 9, 2011
  2. anciendaze
    My topic today is outside the daily scope of economic news. While many overlooked details are too small to be seen, this is an example of the opposite. We don't normally perceive this trend because many of us have lived our entire lives inside it. My story starts in the mid 1950s with a geophysicist named M. King Hubbert. (He didn't like to be called Marion.) He published a surprising...
    anciendaze, Nov 21, 2011
  3. anciendaze
    Recent financial news has followed a very predictable course. As a result, three governments in southern Europe have fallen, and been replaced with new leaders, in Greece, Italy and Spain. All have pledged to implement austerity measures to staunch the hemorrhage of red ink in those countries. This is a necessary measure for survival of the Eurozone, but it is not sufficient. Greece has...
    anciendaze, Nov 21, 2011
  4. anciendaze
    Economics can be the study of how people have outwitted each other, often outwitting themselves in the process. We have an example in recent settlements of cases characterized as either fraud or misleading representations. Deutsche Bank has settled a case brought by the National Credit Union Administration on behalf of five failed credit unions. This recovered $165 million. Deutsche Bank,...
    anciendaze, Nov 21, 2011
  5. anciendaze
    What is the normal course of events leading to endogenous retroviral sequences in most mammals? It starts with infection by an exogenous retrovirus, naturally. While endogenous retroviral sequences may be recombined, there is no reason to believe they appear by spontaneous generation. After a sequence has been incorporated into germ-line cells it may still fail to be fully endogenous....
    anciendaze, Nov 15, 2011
  6. anciendaze
    In 1907 the first evidence that warts were caused by a virus was found by Guiseppi Ciuffo in Italy, who showed transmission via cell-free filtrate, indicating this could not be a bacterial infection. This can be taken as an important milestone marking discovery of the first human virus. It would ultimately be called a papilloma virus, following the medical name for warts. (My inspiration for...
    anciendaze, Nov 8, 2011
  7. anciendaze
    We are either approaching a summit which will resolve the global financial crisis, or sliding into an economic sinkhole, depending on who is talking. Frankly, I've lost track of some of the financial legerdemain, and would not hazard a guess on which shell, if any, hides the pea. My confusion is not entirely a personal problem. Even the most knowledgeable of financial experts have had...
    anciendaze, Nov 3, 2011
  8. anciendaze
    One principle I picked up over several careers was that if a group of intelligent and reasonably hard-working people have failed to solve a problem, after a sustained effort at finding a solution over a considerable length of time, finding a solution might very well require systematically violating various rules and shibboleths governing group behavior. While this has regularly been taken as...
    anciendaze, Oct 21, 2011
  9. anciendaze
    I am indebted to the late Douglas Adams for the idea that a device which radiates emissions causing people to perceive "somebody else's problem" would enable one [media] Increasing medical and scientific specialization has expanded the scope of this technique astoundingly. I'm sure many readers will have felt such emanations coming from physicians. Coupled with my own discovery in the study of...
    anciendaze, Oct 19, 2011
  10. anciendaze
    The title word may not be familiar. Indeed, for those speaking languages other than English, it is difficult to translate. It can be traced to a Persian tale, "The Three Princes of Serendip", and was coined in English by Horace Walpole. The princes in the story have a series of adventures which might fit the Arabian Nights, since there are stories nested within stories. In the process, they...
    anciendaze, Oct 13, 2011
  11. anciendaze
    This post is not tagged as humor, however dark. It is intended to be a serious discussion of how people deal with ignorance and uncertainty. The title is taken from inscriptions added to make blank areas of old maps somewhat less naked. Those dragons would naturally explain an absence of information from the region. Obviously, explorers who ventured there failed to return. This might...
    anciendaze, Oct 12, 2011
  12. anciendaze
    At this time of crisis I want to make it clear I do not support some extreme criticisms of the CDC. Should the shocking charges against one administrator be proved in court, which remains to be decided, I think all reasonable people will agree she violated CDC policy in several serious ways. First, it is alleged she became emotionally involved with a victim, losing clinical detachment....
    anciendaze, Oct 11, 2011
  13. anciendaze
    Hierarchiology, the study of hierarchies, is essential to modern science, in which hierarchies play a dominant role. Let me discuss a few fundamental principles of this subject. First, the purpose of any hierarchy is to separate authority from responsibility. This, for example, allows political leaders who start wars and generals who direct them to survive while thousands of foot soldiers...
    anciendaze, Oct 10, 2011
  14. anciendaze
    This is a departure from my recent biological posts and a temporary return to topical economic issues. Two things have prompted this: 1) news of further problems with European debt; 2) a recent announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The news of a downgrade in Spanish and Italian credit ratings, the second this week for Italy, is hardly surprising. It is part of a...
    anciendaze, Oct 7, 2011
  15. anciendaze
    [ATTACH] Public health officials live a life of short-term excitements, bouncing from one crisis of confidence to another, constantly reassuring the public that everything will be under control so long as doctors and patients follow instructions, and the public keeps funding flowing. Historical perspective is a luxury they are denied. This leads to some questionable strategic decisions....
    anciendaze, Oct 5, 2011