Thursday, August 31, 2017

What Colleges and Graduate Schools Don't Want You to Know

I have heard that 40% of college graduates have to take a job that does not require a degree.  It means that we are educating more people than the market needs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017


One concern that has been on my mind is the displacement of workers. This has certainly been an issue in the midwest, which has been highly dependent on the declining domestic manufacturing. In Indiana, I can see the terrible effect it has had on people, especially in the poor areas of the state.

Automation is threatening to take over as machines become more intelligent in the next decade or so. This is going to be much more rapid than automation in the past, which has been generally beneficial and we have had plenty of time to adjust. It seems likely to me that in the near future, we will see many, if not most, jobs just disappear.

We can imagine a future where humans have to do almost no work. It is not a question of if this will happen, but when. We have known this all along. Science fiction has predicted this for decades. Assuming that this is the future, how should our society be organized? Normally I would just trust the free enterprise system to sort things out, but the pending sudden rise in automation is threatening to more sharply divide us between the haves and have nots.

Intelligent machines will change the world more than anything that has come before it.

The fear of automation has given rise to the call for Universal Basic Income. Although I see this as Marxism in disguise, if human workers really do get displaced by machines, we might not have a choice. However, having people idle and making them wards of the state is bad for the human condition.


Transition of Power

We are a country that is noted for, and is proud of, its peaceful transition of power. However, lately we have been living in bizarro land and there may be no going back from this. The new response to a both a democratically elected president, and unpopular speech, has been violence. The purpose of free speech in a free society is not to protect popular views, but to protect unpopular ones, because popular views need very little protection. We should recognize the right of people to protest peaceably, regardless of how much we disagree with their views.

Politically, we are in danger of becoming a third world country. In most places where people feel like they have very little political power, conspiracy theories run rampant; people believe that an external force or scapegoat is responsible for their oppression. So they riot in the streets.

The path we are on is a decline in civil society and a decline in civilization.

When Republicans lose, there is very little problem with the political transition. Republicans are used to losing and are used to being on the outside looking in, so they mostly have been content being the opposition party. Some people say that Republicans prefer to be the opposition party, as evidenced by their failure to lead.

However, there is an element in the extreme left that has risen up that is Marxist to the core. This element does not want to tolerate contrary opinions, because they view their opponents as oppressors, thus justifying a violent response. This is why we get calls for Trump's assassination, and actual violence.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Friday, August 18, 2017


I'm pissed off. If Donald Trump picks his nose he is a racist. If he fails to say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, he is a white supremacist. In fact, he is a Nazi for just being Donald Trump. By definition. Everything Trump does results in outrage at ever increasing hysterical levels, and will continue to do so until all the forces aligned against Trump succeed in getting rid of him.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, August 7, 2017

Re: Top 10 Climate Change Lies Exposed

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 2:47 AM, Albert Nelms <alnelms
​> ​
Another quick rundown of global warming lies. You've mentioned most of these issues in your debates with friends online.

1.  There is a long term consequence of raising the temperature 5 degrees celsius or more that is very bad, which is that the polar ice caps will completely melt.  Based on current temperature trends, I don't think that this is likely to happen, and if it does happen, it will take 5000 years, giving us plenty of time to do something about it.

2. The direct effect of doubling CO2 in the atmosphere is an increase of 1.1 degrees celsius.  Almost everybody agrees on this.  There are a couple of dissenters who say that over geological periods of time you can't find a clear correlation, but there is so much else going on over geological periods, usually solar and orbital variation, that confuses the issue.  

There are additional positive and negative feedbacks that are in dispute.  Whereas the direct effect is 1.1 degrees celsius, the data since 1880 indicates to me that the Climate sensitivity is slightly under 2 degrees.  That means that there is positive feedback, although solar variation could also be the cause.  It also means that the climate sensitivity is less than the alarmists are claiming.  I heard one lecturer say that the positive feedback was "0.6", which seems to me to be close.

Until about a week ago, I didn't see any evidence of positive feedback, but that was because I had miscalculated the Climate Sensitivity.

#3 and #4 are interesting points.

#12 He doesn't explain his point about acidity very well.  

Warming does cause the oceans to release more CO2.  There is also very little doubt that CO2 causes warming.  The real issue is how much?  The warming caused by CO2 is a logarithmic function, which means that you have to keep doubling the CO2 level to achieve the same result.  Based on current temperature trends, we will run out of fossil fuels long before we reach an increase of 5 degrees celsius.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Re: Global Climate


As I recall, the human contribution to total emitted carbon dioxide gasses is around 5%.  The usual argument is that the CO2 both leaving and being put in the atmosphere was in balance before, and now it is not.  Since about 1880 we have seen the atmospheric CO2 level go from about 280 PPM to around 400 PPM.  It was 230 PPM in the preindustrial period.   It is expected to reach 800 PPM by the year 2100.  As long as it doesn't go higher than that, I think that this is more beneficial than detrimental.

Previously, I did my math wrong.  I thought that an atmospheric increase of CO2 from 280 PPM to 400 PPm was a 70% increase, but that was because I did a brain fart on the math.  Instead, it is about a 43% increase.  I just now discovered my mistake.  Doing a new calculation, based upon the 0.85 temperature increase since 1880, I get a new climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 of 1.98 degrees Celsius.  However, the IPCC changed the low end of their range to only 1.5 degrees because they accepted papers that said that this was the climate sensitivity based upon 20nth century data.  So other people are looking at recent data and are coming up with Climate Sensitivity numbers.  The generally accepted range by the IPCC is from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees.  Whereas the skeptics think that 1.5 degrees is the most the climate sensitivity could be, the IPCC think that it will be at least this much, if not much higher.  I just watched a climate scientist claim that it is 6 degrees celsius.

I just found yet another source claiming that it will take 5,000 years for the polar ice caps to melt.  This is the disaster scenario that the alarmists warn about.  The temperature has to warm about 5 degrees celsius for this to happen.  Obviously we have plenty of time to change course if the Climate Sensitivity is more than I think it is.

Correlation is not the same as causality.  The biggest driver of temperature is solar variation.  Ice core samples going back hundreds of thousands of years show that temperature increases precedes CO2 increases, and not the other way around.  This is because warmer air causes the oceans to release more CO2.  Although the two things are correlated, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a clear causality relationship between CO2 and temperature.  When I looked at temperature data, sometimes the two went in opposite directions.  Although I am certain there is a greenhouse effect, CO2 may not the main driver of temperature.