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Posts from December 0

Prisoners of Math: Falling into the Resource Fixity/Depletion Imbroglio

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- May 19, 2009

[Editor note: the current debate over climate policy has obscured another important energy-policy controversy: the notion that the production of hydrocarbons (even coal) has, or will soon, reach a physical peak. This post, like the author’s previous ones on this subject, shed light on the fallacious concept (from a business/economic viewpoint) that mineral supply is fixed and thus depleting.]

The recent death of Patrick McGoohan brings to mind one of the best lessons offered by television, and one ignored by all too many analysts (including academic economists). In an episode of his cult-classic series The Prisoner, McGoohan is confronted with a unique teaching system, wherein “The General” pumps information into villagers while they sleep. The General proves to be a ‘supercomputer’ (presumably less capable than desktops now available) containing all known information.…