Fwd: More problems with hydrogen

Dave Long dl at silcom.com
Tue Dec 2 13:38:42 PST 2003

> If we had done with the whale what we've done with corn,
> or chicken or pigs or you name it, just in terms of selective
> breeding (never mind genetic engineering), we'd never have
> bothered with crude oil and the middle east.
> Or hell, think tree farms, but with whales.
> I think I'm on to something here.

Or, instead of the Irish, maybe we'll
just breed Americans to be fatter and
fatter with each generation, until a
single baby's large enough to provide
a whole whale calf's worth of boots.

More seriously, the difference between
whales and pigs is that whales take too
long to mature. [0]

More cynically, the raw calculation says
that a finite overfishing game may turn
out to be preferable to an infinite one
of farming, under high interest rates. [1]

"Re: sentient, malevolent, whatever :-)"
> There is a great footnote in Koerner's _The Pleasures of Counting_:
> | Using the model above, explain why we may expect fishing to 
> | extinction may be rational, in a simple economic sense, for species 
> | which reproduce slowly*.
> | * This will disturb only those who believe /both/ in saving the 
> | whale and the substitution of economic for moral choices.

Hmmm.  How much does Route 128 owe to
to Capt. Ahab?


:: :: ::

[0] according to Diamond, only a very few
species are worth domesticating; most of
those possibilities became practice early.
Pigs, for instance, around 8000 BC.

for a list of major domesticates:
"Re: of dogs and cows (was Re: this weekend)"

Chickens[2], I'm not so sure about.  2000 BC?

> Circling back to the conversation at hand, it's my *suspicion* and 
> *hope* that as power increases for any individual or civilization, so 
> does the likelihood of them playing as an "infinite game player" in the 
> above sense.  At the bounds of power, this likelihood could approach 
> unity:  it seems to me that there's no particular reason for it *not* 
> to approach unity.

What about the PNAC?  I'd argue that that's
playing a big Defect, but perhaps the guys
in this administration are all old enough to
only care about finite payoffs.  (but even in
the finite payoff case, they seem to be very
aleaphilic -- so maybe the answer is that the
likelihood of the US playing as an infinite
game player should be high, given our power,
but as it's still not unity, we effectively
have the snake eyes in charge)

[2] apparently The Chicken Dance was, in its
original 70s Oktoberfest incarnation, really
The Duck Dance (Ententanz), but when it hit
the midwest, there were no duck costumes to
be had, while chicken costumes were ready to
hand, so it underwent translation in species
as well as language.

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