Thursday, April 22, 2010

Suggestion box and a call for help

After more than two years of blogging I have still not run out of topics to discuss. Like the television series Mythbusters, who seem to find that humanity can produce a constant stream of urban legends, I too seem able to constantly find economic myths, political promises, and social conundrums to pick apart.

However, I would love to hear what topics are currently of interest to readers – anything from social, environmental, and political concerns to the downright nonsensical. Please post a comment if you have any suggestions and I will endeavour to investigate in future posts.

For your interest, some of my favourite topics include:
leisure time, helmet law and sunscreen rebound effects
• the food security myth
• arguments against population growth
unintended consequences from maternity leave and child care subsidies
• why preventative health care adds to rather than diminishes the cost of the health system (here and here)
• and of course the many myths surrounding the housing market (here, here, here, here and here)

Finally, I would very much appreciate your help promoting this blog to the world. If you have your own blog site I would appreciate a plug (and will reciprocate).

If you want to be very helpful, you could promote some of your favourite posts by email, twitter, or some other medium to your friends and family, or post a link on your Facebook page.

One final prediction.  Next week's CPI release from the ABS will come in lower than expectations.  The probability of the RBA increasing interest rates again will drop from 70%, and the AUD will drop at least 1c against the USD.


  1. I asked of CSIRO scientists a question about an idea I had that WOULD collect 99% of the carbon from the burning of coal in the power stations.
    As most of us know, every time we go out after a good hard rain, the air has become pleasant to breathe, it seems to be fresh and clean, for a while. You remember that don't you?
    The air has been washed clean by the rain. So I asked them. "If they funnelled the smoke to be released at the base of the huge cooling towers; or even built separate one for this job. (Which is used to recycle the steam water to be used again.) Send the smoke up through the condensing steam and this would collected the carbon in the cooled water that does rain down inside the towers and filter the carbon out, then put the collected carbon back into the empty trains that delivered the coal and dump it back in the hole where it came from. I thought that this was a good question, but…
    That was about two years ago and no answer ever came back. I wonder why. Roy
    (Shortened version)

  2. Predictions, eh?

    I predict that the Tasmanian government will be lucky if it gets through the next year.

    A post about the similarities between the game theory of two-hand poker and the relationship between the states at one end of the COAG table and Kevin Rudd at the other (in the context of health reform?), might be nice.

    Seems to me like there's a lot of missing information on both sides. This problem could alternately be viewed through the lens of the familiar game of chicken (first applied in economics in the field of post-civil war reparations), which is a two-period, two-player sequential game. Get in contact if you want the details and I'll let you figure out how you want to generalise it - it's a pretty straightforward model.


  3. Short answer for Roy:

    A lot of industrial process already use 'scrubbers' to take pollutants of their exhaust stacks in exactly this way. Unfortunately water can't adsorb enough COx out of the smoke to make it worth while. (Hint: it's the same reason a beer goes flat once it's been opened...)