When European leaders say “global warming,” they mean “Russia”

This post came from a chat with Brendan of I Hate Linux. It confirms the cap-and-trade bill pushed by President Obama.

We are doing it for Europe

When Europe says “global warming,” they mean “Russia.”

The transposition works almost every time.

X is a threat to civilization; X is a threat to humanity; X is a threat to small nations; X must be combated by all developed nations.

Obama’s cap-and-trade is basically a way for us to assure europe that they won’t be at a compettive disadvantage if they throttle-down on Gazprom deliveries.

Human Nature : Evolutionary Psychology :: Dreams : Freud

That is, not much serious research on one is done through the other. But it’s fun to think about.

Zenpundit links to a piece on Whirled View about nuclear disarmament.

Cheryl’s reference to “evolutionary psychology” is a misdirection, but an accidental and understandable one. “Evolutionary Psychology” is a small, marginal, not particularly useful, if incredibly interesting take on the intersection of human evolution and human psychology.

A far more useful field is “behavioral genetics.” The current media-friendly discussion on “human nature” comes from “behavioral economics.” And of course, there is a whole lot of work on cognition that does not necessarily invoke evolution at all.

With respect to nuclear arms, international relations, and human nature is this: people predictably make irrational decisions that can only leave themselves worse off. Here is a Scientific American piece on bubbles and a post over at gnxp about neurotypicals.

Cheryl’s conclusion

Part of human nature is the ability to evaluate our situation and to change our behavior….

So we should be able to consider, and work toward, outlawing nuclear weapons.

Makes almost no sense. Of course we are able to evaluate our situation and change our behavior. Indeed, those systems that allow people to do this most often can lead to catastrophe more often, because of the lack of a governing infrastructure (such as a Military-Industrial Complex) that prohibits bad outcomes.

People rarely understand the consequences of their behavior. Feel-good liberals in the Obama administration, in an attempt to protect science, censor science (Half Sigma, Slashdot). The same thing happened under Bush and Clinton.

Similar politically correct idiocy controls every area of human endeavor that has not been automated into mindlessness.

This is a consequence of our human nature — we are irrational, prejudicial creatures with limited attention and even worse facility for logical thought. Smart people regularly say dumb and stupid things, not because they are bad, or even stupid by human standards, but because they are human.

Smart people regularly do stupid things too, as history has shown.

The real discussion on nuclear weapons should not be conducted in the optimistic tones of Cheryl’s post. Rather, the appropriate question is this: Given that the world’s military forces will be under the control of humans in the near-to-mid term, should those military forces also include nuclear weapons? And in that discussion, breazzy assurances that we can evaluation our surroundings are so can outlaw nuclear weapons have no place.

Tom is on Fire with Iran posts

No complaints here. All are worth reading.

I especially liked Tom’s comparison of the 2009 Islamic Republic with the 1820 United States.

The combination of speed and depth afforded by blogs is one reason that is beets Twitter as a serious commentary source.

Do you have a friend in Tim Geithner?

If you want a financial future, you should!

Two differences between Guaranty Financial and Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs has a friend in Tim Geithner. Goldman Sachs won’t be seized.

What’s the difference between Ben Bernanke and Calvin Coolidge? Hard to tell.

What’s the difference between the UAW GM and the old GM. Old GM was responsible when a defective GM product killed you. The UAW is above the law. Geithner could have forced the UAW to cover these costs as the price for the bailout he gave them. He did not do this. This is because the UAW has a friend in Tim Geithner.

Geithner’s pressure to delay foreclosures hurts honest lenders and honest borrowers.

What is happening in Honduras?

After reading reactions at Catholicgauze, Coming Anarchy, Half Sigma, and Zenpundit, and following the news in China Daily, I am confused why the United Nations, President Obama and others are condemning the actions in Honduras.

As I understand it, the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the President. The Congress has acted to administer the country. In other words, this appears to be a the whole point of a tripartite separation of powers: any two divisions can act against a third.

If the Congress and the President of a country acted together to impeach a Supreme Court Justice, would the US be similarly angered?

I realize I am getting only a slice of the news here in China. What am I missing?

An Afternoon at the Embassy

Fei and I spent the afternoon at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, attempting to resolve the green card snafu. We got close to a same-day resolution several times, but after each our hopes were dashed. As the day got later the staff got friendlier (the crowds mostly dispersed), and near the end we were able to talk to a supervising officer briefly in person.

Then there’s the whole hassle of United Airlines, an airline company that seems like the very worst in the world — except for all others. Besides a catch-22 we found in the process (copy of airline tickets is supposedly needed to get a waiver form; we need to know when we will have to waiver form to buy tickets), UAL also claims to have no flights out of Beijing before July 5th. Or, rather, every flight is overbooked, and there is no standbye.

So I’ll miss my mom’s birthday. Not to mention our little fuwa back home.

However, I need to say a word to correct some concerned tdaxp groupies on facebook — and if you didn’t know there were tdaxp groupies on facebook, then you’ve been hanging out with the wrong friends — who thought the problem was that China wasn’t letting Lady of tdaxp go out.  The problem isn’t the Chinese government, it is correcting an error on Fei’s greencard that is preventing her from returning to the country. Indeed, because China granted me an extended stay visa earlier this year, at least my wife and I do not need to be separated.

I am tdaxp

And my wife was denied boarding on a UAL flight from Beijing Capital Airport to San Francisco, California, this morning.

The problem appears to be two nonsensical dates on my wife’s green card. The physical green card implies (so says United) her permanent residency began before we were married, before we contacted our lawyer, and so on.

Tomorrow (June 30, 2009), my wife and I have an appointment at the US Embassy in Beijing, China, at 2:00 PM.

To this meeting, I will bring as much paperwork concerning our marriage and my wife’s immigration status as possible. some of this is in the form of informal online journal entries either published to the blog “tdaxp” (available at  www.tdaxp.com), or in other documents downloaded from through tdaxp.com

This site, tdaxp.com, is my personal web site. I am the only regular authors. All references to “I,” “me,” “myself,” “tdaxp,” etc., refer to me. All references to “my wife,” “Lady of tdaxp,” “Fei,” and so on, refer to my wife.

Today, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow the Day After

As I understand it, I will board an airplane late tomorrow morning, and arrive in San Francisco, earlier the same day.

United must have a time machine.

But why don’t they use it more often?

Probably Tim Geithner’s Fault.

If Tim Geither was spending the Treasury’s money on Time Machines instead of bailing out his Wall Street friends, we wouldn’t even be in this crisis!

Air Pressure Accupuncture?

Yesterday my shoulder was hurting, and I received what I can only describe as a version of accpuncture based on air pressure. It stung a bit (kind of like pinching your flesh with a paperclip), but the relief was almost instantaneous and now 14 hours later I’m still feeling better.

I’m covering up the red welts with a t-shirt, btw…

In the future…

… Windows will still suck. Heh.

We went to the Urban Planning Museum, where there is a gigantic building-for-building, tree-for-free model of Beijing, based on satellite imagery


Not SimCity

There is also a “home of the future” exhibit, featuring a smart fridge running Windows and IE — that predictably is generating an error message.


Behold! A windows-based future!

Even cooler was the Windows-running Smart Payphone by Fuchingmen, which simply crashed on boot


Behold! A Windows-based now!

Relatedly, Microsoft may be behind the upcoming release of a Zune-based netbook. This will be great, to anyone who does not already have a Windows-based netbook, a Windows-CE based netbook, and for some reason is hoping for a Zune-based netbook instead of an iPod Touch-based one. Heh.