[ExI] Clark and Braudel

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 15:43:00 UTC 2011

On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 1:42 AM,  <pharos at gmail.com>> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 6:41 PM, Keith Henson  wrote:
> <snip>
>> Kelly, I really recommend reading Clark's research paper, Genetically
>> capitalist. ?Or his book or both.
>> There are substantial differences in populations because of different
>> past selection pressures. ?It's not politically correct to say so of
>> course.
> Because it's wrong, of course.
> Culture and institutions are far more important.

Bill, if you read Clark's rather detailed research, you would find
that it was long persisting culture and institutions that set up the
conditions for the strong genetic selection in the UK.

Kind of like the strong selection for lactase production into
adulthood was the result of the culture where people were keeping
dairy animals.

So from a *causal* perspective, culture came before the strong
Darwinian/Malthusian selection that changed the average personality
characteristics of certain populations.

Clark makes a case that in 400 years of selection, the UK population
got a nearly complete genetic replacement by those well off in the
Middle ages.  By 1800, when the poor largely quit dying from
starvation, the stage was set for the industrial revolution.

"Importance" is hard to assign in complicated systems of feedback loops.

> For example, you could try reading Capitalism and Material Life,
> 1400-1800 by Fernand Braudel. it is a massive 3-volume epic by a real
> historian.

I have to wonder what Fernand Braudel would think about Gregory
Clark's work.  Braudel is one of the few who took a long enough view
of economic history to appreciate what Clark is proposing.  They are
both economic historians.



> <https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Fernand_Braudel>
> Quote:
> Braudel claimed that there are long-term cycles in the capitalist
> economy which developed in Europe in the 12th century. Particular
> cities, and later nation-states, follow each other sequentially as
> centers of these cycles: Venice and Genoa in 13th through 15th
> centuries (1250?1510), Antwerp in 16th century (1500?1569), Amsterdam
> in 16th through 18th centuries (1570?1733), and London (and England)
> in 18th and 19th centuries (1733?1896).
> ------------------------------
> BillK
> ------------------------------
> Message: 9
> Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 15:47:41 -0700
> From: Damien Sullivan <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] THE END for fossil power
> Message-ID: <20110402224741.GA3953 at ofb.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> On Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 09:25:01PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>> Now one thing I found very concerning, and I hope it is not right is
>> that the US is now a net coal importer. That has geopolitical impact
> We might be exporting crap coal, and importing the good low-sulphur
> stuff for use in domestic power.  Imports might be cheaper than burning
> our crap more cleanly, even if we could provide all our own coal.  Just
> a guess.
>> that goes beyond whether we are imminently running out of coal. The
>> other thing that was truly disconcerting is how fast China was going
>> through their supplies. I'd like to see some more mainstream numbers
> And if oil runs out enough that people start synthesizing it from coal,
> coal'll run down even faster.
> -xx- Damien X-)
> ------------------------------
> Message: 10
> Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 17:23:38 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] note from a foaf in japan
> Message-ID: <BANLkTimCXOkQpE_Cf4hXjj0aM+t1pqDggA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM, Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it> wrote:
>> Il 01/04/2011 6.17, Kelly Anderson ha scritto:
>>> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 7:53 AM, Mirco Romanato
>>> They bred a few hundred foxes with each generation, then only bred
>>> the 1% that were most tame or most aggressive.
>> As I stated, this could not happen without having an huge number of
>> foxes. Even with females able to carry ten kittens they would not be
>> able to keep their population stable without an huge inflow of new
>> foxes, that would have washed away any genetic trait selected.
>> It is a math problem, not other.
>> If we had 99 vixen and one fox, any vixen could give birth to 10 kittens
>> at time. Make it 20 in her life.
>> This is a total of 1980 kitten in two years. Half female and half male
>> (I don't know of any sex imbalance in foxes).
>> Kill all the males apart one and 99% of the female and you will have
>> only 20 (rounded up) females and 1 male.
>> The next generation would leave 4 vixen and a fox.
>> And they would be very inbreed.
> This makes sense. Stated simply, to be able to pick 1% of the
> population at each generation, you would have to have 200 offspring
> per mating pair. So obviously, the report on NOVA was at the very
> least incomplete, if not completely wrong or I just misunderstood it
> completely.
>> Now, If you replenish the gene pool with other foxes and vixens, you
>> simply outnumber the selected breed with the unselected one, diluting
>> any gene selected for in the previous generation.
> Under heavy selection, genes would not be diluted, as long as you
> always bred a new fox with one in the studied population. Suppose that
> we have 50 foxes from the previous generation, 25 male and 25 female.
> We bring in 50 foxes from a non-selected group. If the gene is
> recessive, then we would expect 50% of the babies to be carriers, 25%
> to express the gene, and 25% would (on average) not have the gene. If
> you choose to keep the 25% that express the gene only, then the
> recessive gene becomes the only expression of the gene in the
> population in one generation. If it is a set of genes, it gets harder
> to get just the genes you care about, but not so much that you can't
> get terrific drift in 20 generations.
> The key is how good the selection criteria are. Diluting the genes
> from a general population would not be a huge issue. Genes don't
> dilute like sugar in water... it's a digital issue. You have the gene,
> or you don't. If you are doing good selection, you will get fast
> results. If nature does the selection imprecisely, then it takes
> longer, but it can still have a huge effect.
>>> I don't know the details of exactly how this culling was done, but
>>> I'd guess that the selection was done more on the male side than the
>>> female to avoid needing too much breeding stock.
>> I'm contesting the number of 1% as not real and not realistic.
>> Not anything else.
> Having thought it through with you, I am inclined to agree with you. I
> was merely repeating what I had heard without critical thought. Not
> good... thanks for straightening things out. I'd still like to see the
> original research papers to see how they did it.
>>> The main point though is that these foxes were under a very severe
>>> selection compared to anything humans have ever faced. The black
>>> death took 20% of a generation at its height!
>> This number is a bit optimistic.
>> The Black Death had taken out around 30% of the population of Europe
>> when ended. Given that more than one generation lived in the same time
>> (usually three), in many cases it wiped out entire generations and
>> populations and social strata.
> The key issue is what was the selection criteria? In this case, the
> only criteria was 'can this individual survive the plague?' That
> doesn't select for much of anything else, even though poor and weak
> individuals would more likely die for non-genetic factors.
>> We can suppose that it wiped out the most weak, physically, of the
>> population. And we can suppose that the poor were the most weak of all
>> (statistically).
> Recall that most of the people at the time were very poor. The rich
> ruling class was very small at this time, and there was virtually no
> middle class in feudal Europe.
>> In the wild I think highly randomized selection is very rare if not
>> impossible.
> It happens all the time on genes that are secondary to the primary
> gene set that assures survival. For example, the first dinosaurs that
> evolved feathers weren't selected for whether or not they had
> feathers, but for how fast they could run, or some other feature that
> was more important. As feathers evolved, the selection became more
> focused on feathers, and particularly on the ability to glide and
> eventually fly. Once birds were fully evolved, feather formation
> became a primary selection mechanism because feathers are much more
> important to birds than to the first dinosaurs that evolved feathers.
> So for secondary traits, highly randomized selection is the norm, so
> long as the mutation isn't negative towards the survival of the
> animal.
>> The selective pressure of people living in cities is continuous over
>> centuries. They are selected for traits allowing to thrive there.
>> Also, being city population sinks, they attracted large numbers of
>> people during many generations that allowed the selection process to
>> continue unabated. Often, then, the most successful families in the
>> cities would move out of the city with their wealth and buy farms and
>> large homes, to be able to afford more children.
> Name a specific trait that allows people to thrive in cities. Then
> tell me what the selection mechanism is to keep people without that
> trait from reproducing.
> The bottom line with people is that memes have been more important
> than genes for hundreds of years, so I would not expect see a lot of
> genetic changes over the past few hundred years because a wide cross
> section of society reproduces. Another way to ask the question is what
> sort of people don't reproduce in our modern societies?
>>>> We can add to this that humans are able to move in other places, if
>>>> local conditions are unfriendly. And they are able of assortative
>>>> mating. These possibilities can, alone, make up for the difference
>>>> in selective pressure.
>>> Agreed. Thus the selective pressure on humans has been fairly low
>>> over time, which was my point.
>> I don't think so.
>> The poor were able to become a class only in the last two centuries
>> because before they near always died with few or no offspring. And they
>> were supplanted by the less accomplished (but better than them)
>> offspring of the middle class.
> The children of rich people can become poor very easily. Today the
> poor reproduce at higher rates than the rich. I'm not sure what the
> historical case is, but farmers have historically had lots of kids.
>> In this way, in 20 generations (say the double of the time the foxes
>> needed to be culled) the people in England was selecting for middle
>> class traits and culling the poor (and partially the noble) out of the
>> breeding stock.
> The evolution of the middle class is memetic more than genetic, imho.
>> Recessive traits can not become dominating after a few generations or
>> many generations.
> This is true. However, the alternative gene set can become so rare
> that the trait becomes ubiquitous in the population. I'm sure there
> are thousands of recessive genes that are expressed in each of us for
> just this reason.
>> They could outnumber the dominating traits due to selection or
>> inbreeding, but in presence of a dominating gene they would not appear.
>> An inbreeding of 2-7% could cause a drift during many generations if the
>> population is keep closed. But if the population is replenished of
>> individuals with no inbreeding, the inbreed traits of one generation
>> have only 2-7% of a chance to be passed to the next. So in the best case
>> we have 4/10K to pass the same trait to the second generation and in the
>> worst 49/10K AKA 0.5%.
>>> Please restate your premise, or what you think is mine. I'm not
>>> following your point here perhaps. Sorry, I'm just a bit lost...
>> Your premises (as I understood them) are that the foxes and the vixens
>> were subjected to an extensive culling (1% surviving to generate), where
>> the actual number given in the article I linked were 5% for foxes and
>> 20% for vixen.
> You are probably right. Still, with a 5% or even 20% survival rate,
> that is an EXTREME selection pressure that human beings have almost
> never seen. And certainly we haven't seen those extreme selection
> pressures based on the kinds of cultural issues that we started
> talking about.
>> Another premises of yours was that the population was not replenished by
>> new individuals. In fact, the scientists replenished the population
>> selected with other foxes and vixens coming from the original breeding
>> stock of foxes they started from (the ones used to produces furs).
>> They did it to avoid the spreading of recessive traits and inbreeding;
>> but you assumed inbreeding and the diffusion of recessive traits in the
>> tame foxes population.
> That does not surprise me. Nevertheless, the genes apparently became
> quite common in the population overall.
>>> If culture leads to genetic selection over the generations, i.e. if a
>>> person has a specific trait, they are more likely to breed in a given
>>> population, then yes, this could have an effect. This seems possible,
>>> at least. But I can't think of a documented case.
>> The predisposition to learn how to read, write, do simple math is and
>> was a strong cultural trait that cause genetic selection.
> I don't think this is a justified statement.
>> Try to breed today without being able to read/write/do simple math.
> Lots of people do.
>> Take away the welfare state, the food stamps and the rest. Leave them on
>> their devices. Like 200 years ago or more.
>> Even more strong and durable, the selection for taking out people unable
>> to control their impulses and empathize others.
>> They would be, at least, be banned from the civil society. And without
>> welfare they would die because of starvation or be prey of organized
>> groups. For example, a not married woman having sex and becoming
>> pregnant would lose her family support and be shunned by any other
>> reputable man. Why? Because they would not risk to be rising someone
>> else children instead of theirs.
>> Exceptions abound, but invariably they concern very low standing women
>> (prostitute or maiden) or very high standing women (too valuable to
>> consider their previous sins).
> But can you point to one case where genetic change has happened. The
> only one that comes to mind is that our genes for lactose intolerance
> have been bred out after the creation of dairy as a main human food
> source. That is a very different kind of genetic drift than you are
> talking about. What you are saying is theoretically possible, but as
> far as I know undocumented as having actually happened.
>>> This should breed out the poor. So why do we keep getting new poor?
>>> ;-)
>> Because poor is relative and not absolute.
> That is mostly because of technology, such as indoor plumbing, dentistry, etc.
>> It is the Red Queen Effect.
> Understood. This is what led Darwin to some of his initial thoughts in
> the first place.
>> Also, the people coming from the country have traits that could be
>> useful in the country but are not useful or are damaging when living in
>> a city. This is something discovered studying an African tribe; the same
>> traits that made them successful in herding sheep (so they were able to
>> feed themselves well) made them not very successful in keeping a job in
>> a city (so they were unable to keep themselves well fed).
> African tribes have definitely had enough time for some genetic drift.
> Is this research or a guess? In western cultures where people move to
> the city, then to the country and back, there isn't enough pressure or
> time to create meaningful genetic drift.
>>>> The problem is, if culture is the culprit, it would work
>>>> everywhere in the same way.
>>> No, it would work differently in each culture... Again, not following
>>> your logic.
>> If the culture is the dominant factor, if you take Africans (black) and
>> put them on adoption on European (white) families they would be
>> behaviorally and intellectually indistinguishable from other (white)
>> Europeans. They would be intellectually indistinguishable from
>> Europeans. Unfortunately it is not so. The same would be true for Asians
>> in Europeans families and the reverse or Europeans in African families.
> I am engaged in just such an experiment. I am Caucasian, I have six
> African American children, four Hispanic and one half Asian child.
> Culturally, they are all mostly culturally white. They are
> intellectually indistinguishable from me (other than some physical
> issues stemming from in utero abuse). Your position on this point
> seems racist, and completely unsupported by research. Of course, there
> is a cultural limit on how much real research has been done in this
> area because nobody wants to be called a racist.
>>>> This, in the US is not true, as North-East Asians are law abiding
>>>> more than Europeans that are more abiding than Latino Americans
>>>> that are more law abiding than blacks.
>>> This is a whole other can of worms.
>> A can of worms that people in the US is often afraid to touch for
>> cultural and social reasons. It is like talking about freedom of
>> religion in Saudi Arabia. If you talk abut the freedom of some Christian
>> to convert to Islam, all is good. The reverse is not well accepted in
>> the mainstream.
> We talk a lot about the higher rates of incarceration of minorities.
>>> Blacks are more carefully watched by the police,
>> Why?
>> Why they don't check more for Hispanics or Vietnamese or Italians?
>> Are the policemen racists? Even the blacks one?
> Yes, even some black policemen are racist against blacks. In certain
> areas other minorities are targeted. For example in south Salt Lake
> city, there is a lot of pressure by police on the Polynesian
> population because so many of them have joined gangs. Again this is
> cultural, not genetic.
>> What allowed Jews, Italians, Irish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese,
>> French, Russian and others to come in the US and, starting from the
>> bottom, climb up the social ladder until they were at par (and sometimes
>> over) the WASPs? Surely they were subjected to their fair (or unfair)
>> share of stereotyping, racist slurs, hate and lynching from the dominant
>> groups. Why they succeed anyway and the blacks didn't?
> My short answer is that politicians, particularly Democrats, have
> conspired to keep the blacks poor so that they would remain dependent
> upon the welfare state. It is a very complex situation. We have had
> racial issues in America since the beginning of our nation. Those
> issues are less prominent today than they ever have been, but they
> still exist. The problems of poverty, hopelessness and drugs in the
> inner cities affect minorities more than white people.
> It took the Irish at least three generations to escape from being the
> lowest in American society. At one point, the coal mines in West
> Virginia would hire Irish over black slaves because they were less
> valuable than the slaves to the mine owners. Similarly, the Chinese
> who build the transcontinental railroad were valued less than slaves.
> I blame politicians more than anyone else for the problems facing the
> blacks in America today. The black leadership (Jessie Jackson and the
> like) are particularly guilty IMHO.
>> There are cultural (maybe also genetic) differenced in behavior between
>> blacks coming from American ancestries and blacks coming from the
>> Caribbeans and blacks coming from Africa. Often they don't go well
>> together because of this.
> Blacks who recently came from Africa or the Caribbean are usually more
> immediately successful than African Americans with the cultural
> history. Yesterday, I interacted with an African pharmacist. I was not
> surprised, but I would have been more surprised by an African American
> pharmacist. In other words, the problem is not such much the color of
> their skin, but the color of their mind. After hearing that the "man
> is going to keep you down" for generations, many African Americans
> give up. My own African American children don't hear this negative
> talk, and I fully expect them to succeed in America. It's not genetic,
> it's cultural.
>>> leading to higher arrest rates.
>> If I know to be more carefully watched by police, I usually try to be
>> more law abiding than usual.
>>> Their poverty leads to poor representation, which leads to higher
>>> conviction rates. That does not imply that blacks are necessarily
>>> less law abiding than other races.
>> Law abiding, in fact, is a too vague.
>> Could we talk about homicide rate?
>> Could we compare the Blacks on Blacks, White on White, Blacks on Whites
>> and Whites on Blacks or the East Asians on Blacks, etc.?
>> I suppose this is independent of who the police is watching more.
> Where I live, the most disproportionate homicide is done by
> undocumented Mexicans. Again, even if the homicide rate nation wide is
> higher for black on whoever, that doesn't mean it is genetic. It is
> societal and cultural if that is the case.
>>> You might be able to make a successful argument on a different
>>> basis. Besides, you can hardly argue that blacks in South Central LA
>>> live in the same culture as I do. That is beyond naive.
>> So, if it is not genetics, then it is cultural. But this imply that the
>> culture of South Central is the main cause of the lawlessness (or of the
>> high arrest rate) of the Blacks.
> Correct. It is also the main cause of lawlessness of the Hispanics
> that live there. I would suspect that any white people living in South
> Central would also commit crime at a rate higher than the rest of the
> nation, but there are very few whites living there. I don't have
> numbers, this is a feeling. Four of my kids come from Compton (in
> south central) and I have spent some time there. I have also spent a
> couple of months in East Palo Alto, another troubled neighborhood.
>> But, if it is the culture, why is it not possible to force a culture on
>> a group to change its behavior in a generation or two. If it was
>> possible, someone would have already done it. What would had prevent
>> them from succeeding?
> They have succeeded. This doesn't make sense. Large changes in the
> zeitgeist are accomplished all the time. Look at the change in
> Southern attitudes towards blacks, or the nation's view of
> homosexuality. They have changed a lot just in my life time.
>> For example, the Conquistadors had not problem to raze Aztec temples,
>> kill their priests, and force the survivors to convert to Christianity.
>> One would suppose the Mexican population would be formed by perfect
>> Catholics, adopting Spanish costumes. It didn't worked exactly in this way.
> I have also spent a lot of time in Mexico. It DID work exactly this
> way. Mexico is 90%+ Catholic to this day. Where are you getting these
> ideas?
>>> Sweet! Now I wish I had some money. :-) That's really cool, and those
>>> foxes are really quite cute fellows...
>> I would like to have the money to clone my current dog.
>> But also be able to buy a cute tame fox would be interesting.
> Sadly, they not only charge close to $7K, but you also get a neutered
> animal. Only five Americans have bothered to this point. You are
> prohibited from reproducing the animal. Not that you could without
> cloning. I think they are making a marketing mistake with this.
>>> Haiti is f'ed up. I would not necessarily attribute that to genetics.
>>> Their government has been horrible for a very long time. I attribute
>>> most of their problems to that.
>> But the governments don't fall from the sky at random. Not usually.
>> Usually they are an expression of their population behaviors.
>> This is true for Haitians, Italians, Chinese and others.
> Yes, you do have something of a point here. Bad enough governments do
> eventually get overthrown. There are secondary religious issues in
> Haiti, as well as a huge amount of hopelessness. I took a water
> filtration system to an orphanage in Haiti. Rather than using it to
> filter water, it was immediately stolen and sold. It was very sad.
>>> Here is my bottom line. If there were as much genetic difference
>>> between groups as you suggest, then I think there would be a larger
>>> and more popular belief in racism. I'm not saying that you are a
>>> racist, but what I am saying is that if there were as much difference
>>> between different humans as you suggest, there would be a greater
>>> basis for racist thought.
>> Are you talking about emotive/innate basis for racism or
>> logical/scientific/moral basis for racism?
>> Are we talking about the gut feelings of common people or the rational,
>> often learned, arguments of polite people in polite circles?
> I am talking about logical/scientific basis for racism. I don't think it exists.
>> Apart from the mainstream white western world, the rest is racist. Maybe
>> they don't wear the KKK hoods or don't shave
>> their heads, but they behave and often speak out their belief without
>> any problems.
> If you believe some people, ONLY white people in America are capable
> of racism. I don't agree with them. And in fact, I believe there are
> more black racists than white. Unfortunately, it is self directed
> racism in many cases. It's a kind of self inflicted wound. It really
> sucks. Yes, there is racism in every corner of the globe. Japan is
> racist against Koreans and Chinese. Don't even get started with tribal
> racism (Rwanda, etc.) It's all over the place. That doesn't mean
> people are right (in the scientific sense).
>> For example, recently the Thai police cracked down on blacks of Africans
>> origin (mainly Nigerians) because they engaged in too much drug
>> trafficking and behave in a too aggressive way to be tolerated.
>> Was the Thai police "racist"?
> Possibly not. Racial profiling of criminals is not necessarily racist,
> it's reality. Racial profiling of people getting on airplanes seems
> like a good idea to me. I think it is ridiculous to confuse racism
> with racial profiling of criminal elements. It is part of the
> confusion that is rampant in America today.
>> Try to apply the "racism" argument to the foxes.
>> After the breeding program, we have two population of foxes.
>> One tame and one wild.
> And one VERY wild, don't forget.
>> We know that some of the tame foxes developed characteristics that were
>> not present before in the wild population: curly tails, blue eyes, white
>> spots on the fur, floppy ears and these characteristics are common in
>> domesticated mammals.
> Correct. The chemical processes that bring about tameness, also bring
> about these other changes.
>> Now, a blue eyed population of foxes, looking at their wild counterparts
>> living on the wild, could note the others are more aggressive. They
>> don't know why the others are more aggressive.
>> They could develop one or more ?cultural explanations why the wild foxes
>> are more aggressive: the "racists" could say the "blue eyed" foxes are
>> superiors because they live in a peaceful civilization and all blue eyed
>> foxes must stick together to defend their civilization against the wild,
>> not blue eyed foxes. Others could think the white spotted foxes are
>> better behaving than the red foxes living in the wild.
>> Some full white and blue eyed foxes would develop the belief they are
>> better than all others (elitists exist everywhere).
>> On the other side the "racist" wild foxes would look at the white-lily,
>> watery eyed foxes as a bunch of weak, degenerated, infantile and whining
>> individuals, only able to play with their human masters and live in
>> their cages or inside human homes. Why don't take advantage of their
>> individual weakness?
> Ok. Here you are talking about real selected genetic difference.
> Racism in humans is not based on significant genetic differences
> because humans don't have very significant genetic differences. This
> is primarily because of the population bottleneck around 600K years
> ago.
>> Than another group of tame foxes could develop the explanation that the
>> wild ones are as they are because they are unfortunate and they never
>> were born inside their breeding farm. So they never developed and
>> learned how to behave and how good are humans to take care of them and
>> how beautiful is to love them.
>> Now, these "enlightened foxes" could be open to mate with wild ones or
>> adopt wild foxes kitten without parents or to invite the wild type to
>> live with them at the farm. Then they would be surprised that things
>> would not work out as they think. I think they could also blame the
>> "racist" foxes for the failure, because they never accepted and
>> continued to discriminated against the wild red furred, black eyed ones.
> As we progress towards real genetic differences engineered in
> post-humanity, I can see this becoming a REAL issue. I don't think it
> is a real genetic issue now.
>> They all would be wrong. They could feel better or find some advantage
>> to believe a thing or another, but they would anyway be wrong.
>> If the tame foxes want to bring inside some wilder foxes they must know
>> and accept the facts. The wilder foxes must be breed and selected for a
>> behavior more tamer. And if the tame foxes want live with the wilder
>> one, they must breed themselves to be more aggressive (in this the most
>> aggressive can help).
>> Maybe they can breed in or out in different, novel, ways.
>> What they can not avoid, like it or not, is evolution and selection to
>> happen anyway. Their believes and their behavior can change how
>> evolution and selection happen, to themselves and to others, but can not
>> stop it.
> Ok.
>> Yes. But soldiers in moder professional armies are mainly from middle
>> class and their IQ is a bit over the mean (this is surely true for in
>> the US). And in modern society the middle class is the bigger part of
>> the society.
> Actually, in the US armed forces, minorities and poor are represented
> in higher proportion than middle class and white. This is because of
> the financial benefits of joining the  armed forces are more effective
> in recruiting people who need those benefits.
>> If they come from there, they are genetically and culturally inhibited
>> from acting aggressively. In fact I remember a German soldier, in a
>> documentary about the Battle of Cassino, complaining that the US
>> soldiers didn't went in battle like "real soldiers" but like they were
>> going to a "normal" job.
> In World War II, it was a very different issue because they had a
> draft. So the army had more middle class elements.
> My bottom line is that I believe memetics are more important in recent
> human evolution than genetics. Culture brings about changes much more
> quickly than genetics, to the point that human genetics (at this
> point) are nearly meaningless. As we engineer human genetics, it will
> start to make a bigger difference, of course. Even then, I personally
> believe that cybernetic implants will have a bigger effect than
> genetic changes.
> Racism is wrong morally. It is also wrong scientifically. Comparing
> humans to the foxes just throws out too much baby with the bath water.
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
> Message: 11
> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 00:46:15 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] THE END for fossil power
> Message-ID: <BANLkTimvQQKvnQc8iR0DyEAi4TjEEFrX-A at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 4:47 PM, Damien Sullivan
> <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
>> On Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 09:25:01PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>>> Now one thing I found very concerning, and I hope it is not right is
>>> that the US is now a net coal importer. That has geopolitical impact
>> We might be exporting crap coal, and importing the good low-sulphur
>> stuff for use in domestic power. ?Imports might be cheaper than burning
>> our crap more cleanly, even if we could provide all our own coal. ?Just
>> a guess.
> This is just the kind of crap that happens when we say that we're
> concerned about the global environment, but really only care about the
> politics of power. I'm just so sick of it. I really do care about the
> environment, but none of the politicians seem to really care about
> that, except when it gives them some political advantage. It makes me
> sick. I hope this isn't really happening, but you're probably right.
>>> that goes beyond whether we are imminently running out of coal. The
>>> other thing that was truly disconcerting is how fast China was going
>>> through their supplies. I'd like to see some more mainstream numbers
>> And if oil runs out enough that people start synthesizing it from coal,
>> coal'll run down even faster.
> True, but I'm not worried about that so much, because I think it's
> cheaper to synthesize oil from tar sands (Canada has a LOT of that)
> and even the methane deposits at the bottom of the ocean will
> *probably* be cheaper in the long term than coal gassification. There
> will probably be some conversion of coal to a liquid fuel, but I'm
> hoping that the other options (even if they are fossil options) will
> kick in first. I don't know what the actual cost is of each option,
> this is just my sense of things hearing how people talk about it. I
> can do the research later if anyone is really interested in the
> relative costs. The methane fuel (methane hydrates?) is really a big
> deal because there is an abundance of it. Of course, the global
> warming crowd won't like liberating any more CO2, and at some point it
> really is going to start having a big effect. Sorry, it's late... I'll
> do more fact checking later if I get a chance.
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
> Message: 12
> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 00:50:57 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 91, Issue 2
> Message-ID: <BANLkTinFsNodjaBeEtCgdkuOJC4DU6sx0w at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 11:41 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Kelly, I really recommend reading Clark's research paper, Genetically
>> capitalist. ?Or his book or both.
> Do you have a URL? I'm not afraid of additional facts, no matter how
> politically incorrect they may be.
>> Mirco has a solid understanding of the situation.
>> There are substantial differences in populations because of different
>> past selection pressures. ?It's not politically correct to say so of
>> course.
> I may be wrong, but I don't think genetics plays a bigger part in
> recent zeitgeist shifts than memetics. You'll never convince me that
> I'm smarter than my non-Caucasian children... :-)
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
> Message: 13
> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 01:08:06 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Millions of tons to space
> Message-ID: <BANLkTikWH1pmJTxQDKHQS1=4crr1bUK_zw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> 2011/4/2 Mr Jones <mrjones2020 at gmail.com>:
>> 2011/4/2 spike <spike66 at att.net>
>>> This implies you understand what we (humanity) are fighting for.? Do you?
>>> Explain please.
> I'm fighting/hoping for more intelligence in the world. With enough
> intelligence, I think we can solve our energy problems.
>> Energy. ?Whether it be in the form of fuel in our tanks, or food in our
>> stomach. ?It's all about energy. ?Always has been. ?Before OIL it was COAL.
>> ?Before COAL it was WOOD.
> Energy is clearly central to the endeavors of human beings and will be
> to our successors as well. Let's do a little exercise... Let's suppose
> that in 100 years most intelligence is non-human. That is, it runs on
> a non-biological substrate. I would suppose that such a substrate
> would be able to survive without too much difficulty in outer space.
> Given the nearly limitless solar energy that could be harvested by
> orbiting the sun, I kind of wonder if earth itself won't be a
> backwater in 100 years. If intelligent robots can survive in space
> without the life support that biological humans require, then
> harvesting the needed materials from asteroids, comets and other
> sources will be cheaper than bringing materials up from earth to
> space.
> So the whole concept of the importance of the space elevator, beaming
> solar energy down to earth, solving global warming and so forth may be
> a problem for the remaining biological legacy on earth, but may not be
> "where it's happening" in the future.
> This is just a thought experiment, I'm curious what you all think.
>> If the brilliant minds humanity has at it's disposal, spent less brain
>> cycles devoted to destroying/controlling one another, and instead focused on
>> freeing ourselves...we'd be much better off imho.
> Of course we would, but if we didn't spend money on war, we certainly
> wouldn't be spending it on something less politically important. At
> some point, when gasoline is $20 a gallon, and there is no hope of it
> ever going under $15 a gallon, then the people of the USA will raise
> the priority of energy management to the point that such spending will
> seem justified to the point that the politicians will pay attention.
> Sorry for the cynical attitude today... but I just don't see
> politicians as an intelligent life form.
>> It's silly, we spend $400B plus a year importing oil, yet $100B investment
>> in renewable/sustainable energy is unheard of?
> Yup. The idea that Al Gore would have done things differently is a
> pipe dream... even with his green ideas, I don't think it would have
> turned out all that differently.
>> It's a matter of mindset. ?Like being pro-peace, not anti-war. ?Move towards
>> things, don't run away from them.
>> Hell, the USoA has spent what...$2-3T on Iraq/Afghanistan, for what..global
>> oil production? ?Imagine what $2-3T would have accomplished had it went to
>> R&D in the energy sector.
> I love the spin on Libya. It's so clearly about oil, why do they have
> to maintain the facade that it's human rights concerns? We haven't
> done crap in Sudan. There is more human suffering in Haiti, Sumatra
> and Japan than there ever will be in Libya, but Libya has oil... it's
> the only difference.
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
> Message: 14
> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 01:24:30 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] pale diet again: RE: It's not only the fittest who
>        survive.
> Message-ID: <BANLkTimzgxMOewoDG4KbzLxy8ZNXkgiiRg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Serious question to the paleo dieters... Why would we emulate a diet
> that resulted in a 25 year life span? I understand the bit about us
> being evolved to the diet, but we also were living short fast
> difficult lives at the time. Is that what we want to return to? It
> just seems counter intuitive to me.
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
> Message: 15
> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 01:29:01 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] THE END for nuclear power
> Message-ID: <BANLkTim7ynWTNc3JaeyJJ0cx2jwM+95o6Q at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM, Richard Loosemore <rpwl at lightlink.com> wrote:
>> Kelly Anderson wrote:
>>> On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM, Jeff Davis <jrd1415 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> *reflected* back by the wall, it will build up behind it, because it is
>> travelling at 50 mph.
> Just a dumb question here... but they say that the tsunami waves
> travel at mid ocean around 500 MPH. Why do they slow down so much when
> they go onto land? I get the bunching up and getting tall part, but
> why does it slow down 10x? Does anyone have a handle on that?
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
> Message: 16
> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 02:41:59 -0600
> From: Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com>
> To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Are mini nuclear power stations the way forward?
> Message-ID: <BANLkTi=sb+R5hGE6BZc=oZrZ3EAcZopRXw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
> On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 5:38 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 06:58:45PM -0600, Kelly Anderson wrote:
>>> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 3:21 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>>> >> I think the future in offline storage MAY lie in compressed air. Large
>>> >
>>> > No, only for very large scale. The thermodynamics of it doesn't allow
>>> > small scale.
>>> Tell it to Tata motors.
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_car
>> Disadvantages
>> The principal disadvantage is the indirect use of energy. Energy is used to compress air,
>>which - in turn - provides the energy to run the motor. Any conversion of energy between
>>forms results in loss.
> Absolutely! And we have the same problem with batteries and fuel cells
> as well. Since we're talking about storing excess solar energy, it is
> all the same kind of problem, although the specific numbers may differ
> for particular systems.
>>For conventional combustion motor cars, the energy is lost when chemical energy in fossil
>>fuels is converted to heat energy, most of which goes to waste. For compressed-air cars,
>>energy is lost when chemical energy is converted to electrical energy, and then when
>>electrical energy is converted to compressed air.
> Yup.
>> When air expands in the engine it cools dramatically (Charles's law) and must be heated to
>>ambient temperature using a heat exchanger. The heating is necessary in order to obtain a
>>significant fraction of the theoretical energy output. The heat exchanger can be problematic:
>>while it performs a similar task to an intercooler for an internal combustion engine, the
>>temperature difference between the incoming air and the working gas is smaller. In heating
>>the stored air, the device gets very cold and may ice up in cool, moist climates.
> I agree that the heating of air on compression, and the cooling of air
> on decompression are the greatest problems to overcome in a compressed
> air power storage system.
>> Conversely, when air is compressed to fill the tank it heats up: as the stored air cools, its
>>pressure decreases and available energy decreases. It is difficult to cool the tank efficiently
>>while charging and thus it would either take a long time to fill the tank, or less energy is stored.
> That is a correct analysis.
>> Refueling the compressed air container using a home or low-end conventional air
>>compressor may take as long as 4 hours, though specialized equipment at service stations
>>may fill the tanks in only 3 minutes.[3] To store 14.3 kWh @300 bar in 300 l (90 m3 @ 1 bar)
>>reservoirs, you need at least 93 kWh on the compressor side (with an optimum single stage
>>compressor working on the ideal adiabatic limit), or rather less with a multistage unit. That
>>means, a compressor power of over 1 Megawatt (1000 kW) is needed to fill the reservoirs in
>>5 minutes from a single stage unit, or several hundred horsepower for a multistage one.[6]
>>[citation needed]
> Ok, correct me if I'm wrong on this one... but if you have compressed
> air in a large storage tank at the gas station, and you merely
> transport that compressed air into the car's tank, that doesn't
> involve active compression, and thus for that particular exchange,
> there is no heating or cooling issues. Getting the air compressed at
> the gas station is admittedly a big issue, but fueling up is not, I
> think, a big problem. Going down the road of course is another time
> where the temperature issues come up.
>> The overall efficiency of a vehicle using compressed air energy storage, using the above
>>refueling figures, cannot exceed 14%, even with a 100% efficient engine?and practical
>>engines are closer to 10-20%.[7] For comparison, well to wheel efficiency using a modern
>>internal-combustion drivetrain is about 20%,[8] Therefore, if powered by air compressed
>>using a compressor driven by an engine using fossil fuels technology, a compressed air car
>>would have a larger carbon footprint than a car powered directly by an engine using fossil
>>fuels technology.
> Not if the compression were accomplished with solar or wind... right?
>> Early tests have demonstrated the limited storage capacity of the tanks; the only published
>>test of a vehicle running on compressed air alone was limited to a range of 7.22 km.[9]
> I had heard Tata had gone above 20 miles, but that may have been with
> a hybrid system compressing air as you go...
>> A 2005 study demonstrated that cars running on lithium-ion batteries out-perform both
>>compressed air and fuel cell vehicles more than threefold at the same speeds.[10]
> Interesting.
>>MDI has recently claimed that an air car will be able to travel 140 km in urban driving, and
>>have a range of 80 km with a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph) on highways,[11] when
>>operating on compressed air alone, but in as late as mid 2009, MDI has still not produced any
>>proof to that effect.
> Yeah, got to see something actually working to totally believe it.
>> A 2009 University of Berkeley Research Letter found that "Even under highly optimistic
>>assumptions the compressed-air car is significantly less efficient than a battery electric
>>vehicle and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional gas-powered car
>>with a coal intensive power mix." however they also suggested, "a pneumatic?combustion
>>hybrid is technologically feasible, inexpensive and could eventually compete with hybrid
>>electric vehicles."[12]
>>> If I could score some parts from a Tata Nano, I think I could make a
>>> nice storage system... I don't understand what you mean by the
>>> thermodynamics of the situation in detail, I do understand that
>> Just ideal gas law.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_energy_storage
>> Compression of air generates a lot of heat. The air is warmer after compression.
> Understood.
>>Decompression requires heat. If no extra heat is added, the air will be much colder after
>>decompression. If the heat generated during compression can be stored and used again
>>during decomression, the efficiency of the storage improves considerably.
> Perhaps something can be accomplished with this more effectively in a
> home electric storage system than in a car where weight is more of an
> issue... just a thought.
>> There are three ways in which a CAES system can deal with the heat. Air storage can be
>>adiabatic, diabatic, or isothermic:
>> Adiabatic storage retains the heat produced by compression and returns it to the air when
>>the air is expanded to generate power. This is a subject of ongoing study, with no utility scale
>>plants as of 2010. Its theoretical efficiency approaches 100% for large and/or rapidly cycled
>>devices and/or perfect thermal insulation, but in practice round trip efficiency is expected to
>>be 70%.[3] Heat can be stored in a solid such as concrete or stone, or more likely in a fluid
>>such as hot oil (up to 300 ?C) or molten salt solutions (600 ?C).
> fascinating.
>> Diabatic storage dissipates the extra heat with intercoolers (thus approaching isothermal
>>compression) into the atmosphere as waste. Upon removal from storage, the air must be
>>re-heated prior to expansion in the turbine to power a generator which can be accomplished
>>with a natural gas fired burner for utility grade storage or with a heated metal mass. The lost
>>heat degrades efficiency, but this approach is simpler and is thus far the only system which
>>has been implemented commercially. The McIntosh, Alabama CAES plant requires 2.5 MJ of
>>electricity and 1.2 MJ lower heating value (LHV) of gas for each megajoule of energy
>>output.[4] A General Electric 7FA 2x1 combined cycle plant, one of the most efficient natural
>>gas plants in operation, uses 6.6 MJ (LHV) of gas per kW?h generated,[5] a 54% thermal
>>efficiency comparable to the McIntosh 6.8 MJ, at 53% thermal efficiency.
> So how much does the natural gas heating eat into the storage capacity
> and efficiency?
>> Isothermal compression and expansion approaches attempt to maintain operating
>>temperature by constant heat exchange to the environment. They are only practical for low
>>power levels, without very effective heat exchangers. The theoretical efficiency of isothermal
>>energy storage approaches 100% for small and/or slowly cycled devices and/or perfect heat
>>transfer to the environment. In practice neither of these perfect thermodynamic cycles are >obtainable, as some heat losses are unavoidable.
> Yes, conversion of energy type always results in some heat loss. That
> is to be expected. Low power levels sounds like it might work in a
> home storage environment. How much do you think the rules change when
> dealing with a home electricity storage unit vs. running a car? i.e.
> what can you gain by having the luxury of extra weight in the system?
>> A different, highly efficient arrangement, which fits neatly into none of the above categories,
>>uses high, medium and low pressure pistons in series, with each stage followed by an airblast
>>venturi that draws ambient air over an air-to-air (or air-to-seawater) heat exchanger between
>>each expansion stage. Early compressed air torpedo designs used a similar approach,
>>substituting seawater for air. The venturi warms the exhaust of the preceding stage and
>>admits this preheated air to the following stage. This approach was widely adopted in various
>>compressed air vehicles such as H. K. Porter, Inc's mining locomotives[6] and trams.[7] Here
>>the heat of compression is effectively stored in the atmosphere (or sea) and returned later on.
>> Compression can be done with electrically powered turbo-compressors and expansion with
>>turbo 'expanders'[8] or air engines driving electrical generators to produce electricity.
>> The storage vessel is often an underground cavern created by solution mining (salt is
>>dissolved in water for extraction)[9] or by utilizing an abandoned mine. Plants operate on a
>>daily cycle, charging at night and discharging during the day.
>> Compressed air energy storage can also be employed on a smaller scale such as exploited
>>by air cars and air-driven locomotives, and also by the use of high-strength carbon-fiber air
>>storage tanks.
> Yes, I understand that the carbon fiber tanks are a necessity for
> weight and safety issues.
>>> compressed air can get very hot and needs to be cooled... but it would
>>> SEEM that Tata has resolved these issues to some extent.
>> Tata can't magically route around thermodynamics.
> No, they can't. It would seem that they have backed off of some of
> their initial claims and schedules as well :-(
>>> >> building sized batteries also have some interesting potential. An
>>> >
>>> > The car industry will bring you pretty powerful batteries within
>>> > the next 10 years.
>>> I hope so. Battery power stored per kilogram follows a Law of
>>> Accelerating Returns curve, does it not?
>> Not at all, progress is linear, and will be sublinear as
>> it asymptotically approaches the ceiling of the storage
>> technology:
>> e.g. http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/07/was_moores_law.php
>> http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/Battery%20Energy%20Density.jpg
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density
>> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Energy_density.svg
> Pity that.
>>> > Yes, but one of the most inefficient things you can do with PV
>>> > panels you rely on to sit under snow. Climbing up the roof to
>>> > clean them off is not a particular sane way of dealing with the
>>> > situation.
>>> I think it is the only sane way to deal with it... putting in a
>>> heating system is just not practical. If I had it to do over again, I
>> It is not that difficult to add adhesive resistive heating pads to the
>> back of the panels even after the fact. (More adventurous natures
>> could attempt to bypass the panel diodes, and use the panel
>> itself for heating, e.g. this is a problem with monocrystalline
>> cells parts of which are shaded off, but I wouldn't do that).
>> Just use ethylene glycol or another antifreeze mix, picking a mix that
>> will survive your worst case without freezing.
> That makes sense.
>> What is your battery capacity, in Wh? What exactly are you running
>> at night? Is your diesel on-demand or has to be switched on manually?
> My generator is gasoline, not diesel. Currently, I have no batteries,
> but previously I had 8 large L16P Trojan batteries.
> http://www.trojanbatteryre.com/PDF/datasheets/L16PAC_Trojan_Data_Sheets.pdf
> I can't get it to download right now, so I don't know the Wh off hand.
> -Kelly
> ------------------------------
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