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Robert Smart

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  • Equation 1.4, the P and Q subscripts of A should be p and q. And maybe the big-U notation deserves a footnote explanation.
  • Is it obvious where to send typos and other suggestions? I'm guessing this is not the place.
  • When plants started the CO2 levels were much higher (25%?). Compared to then we're in a CO2 desert. If you only look at the plants in the desert and see if they'd like more water, the answer is yes. But of course if it starts to rain more in a parti…
  • Australian Atmospheric Scientist Garth Paltridge got pretty good results for Earth's climate using maxEP while working for CSIRO in the late 70s. I vaguely remember that he made a good prediction for Titan's climate. I tried to find out why CSIRO di…
  • This stuff on cloud formation from the interaction of volatile organic compounds with cosmic rays looks relevant. It does suggest that cloud cover might be related to unknown cycling of solar strength, and with possibly knowable cycling of our posit…
  • Language loss is hardly a new problem. The British people are genetically almost identical to the people who where there when the Romans arrived. Just a sprinkling of genes from Scandinavia and from the "Angles and Saxons". Yet all the British langu…
  • Of course there would also be a communication team. It would create videos, documents, posters, audio podcasts, etc. It would give Azimuth a presence on twitter, facebook and all that stuff. It would issue press releases and try to get stuff on TV (…
  • Here's the plan. Note that I'll talk as if the people in our investigation teams are male, but actually we want women in there. More than 30% might not work well, but I don't think that is likely to be a problem. Azimuth is going to be the greatest…
  • I think it is important to understand some relevant aspects of human nature. When someone told Churchill that "by 2050 women will rule the world" he said "Still?". The point is that women are the meta-rulers of the world. They decide the rules of th…
  • Kirk Sorensen is an engaging speaker, and he seems to have discovered a sort of video Boswell. See his blog post. It uses a number of cameras, then editing afterwards to pick between them, or pick from the slides. I'd actually recommend watching the…
  • I downloaded SEWTHA PDF and found that it does have a go at the world case on p235. It aims for a European energy use of 80kWh/day. But it assumes 6 billion people. The first thing one notices is that I don't have to consider wind because the total …
  • nad: What's your opinion of food irradiation?
  • Well I started to write a document about how to do it, which the quoted paragraph is a part of. But realistically I don't have any spare time (if I did I'd get a job, which I need to do). However it occurs to me that there is a need to do the exerci…
  • The "Peak Uranium" article illustrates the complexity of thinking about these issues. To have any chance of understanding them we have to hold a lot of things constant that aren't, in practice, going to be constant. The current once-through system h…
  • name change ok with me. The phrase "peak uranium" implies an expectation that a shortage of uranium will limit the deployment of nuclear power. This implied statement is the one I was disagreeing with. Let me make a point about peak oil that appli…
  • David Martin comments on various Internet forums as davemart and devewmart. He's the commenter I'd like to be: can figure out his references and has the numbers at his fingertips. He does get a bit grumpy when anti-nuclear folk stray from their reas…
  • The expectation of a shortage of uranium seems fanciful. Uranium is a very common element, which is significantly concentrated in many places. This is quite apart from the fact that we can fairly easily use a much higher percentage of the fuel than …
  • And I meant to add: 3 cheers for Kirk Sorensen. I hope he saves us. It certainly seems like a valuable exercise to track down these various R&D projects that might save us and seek out some independent expert opinion on their strengths and weakn…
    in Quora Comment by Robert Smart May 2011
  • Where did you hear that? I guess from this news item. I don't think my interpretation is incorrect. I'm not very good at determining what is worth long term memory. RE
    in Quora Comment by Robert Smart May 2011
  • Another "save the world" effort is the Google charitable arm's RE
    in Quora Comment by Robert Smart May 2011
  • I started a wiki page [[Carbon pricing]]. Then I discovered that there was already a carbon trading page. Not sure where to put my little classification of carbon pricing schemes, if anywhere.
  • This is a million miles over my head. However let me try to make an improbable connection. Paul Krugman (who claims expertise in resource economics) recently opined that peak oil would not be too serious, because oil only takes a small part of our …
  • Viticulture! I can't believe the way people who want the world to stop burning fossil fuel think it is some sort of minor matter, so that it is worth mentioning all sorts of trivia like the impact on tourism here or increased disease there. If we st…
  • There is a real language J (jsoftware.com). It is APL "done right", by the original author of APL (Ken Iverson). Like APL it is more renowned for the incomprehensible one liner than software engineering. Still it is popular with some mathematical fo…
  • The Azimuth Project is trying to look at all relevant issues objectively, but still we all have our prior convictions. Mine is that there is no alternative to nuclear power to maintain our current level of civilization. Renewables can't do the job f…
  • Barbers are meant to be a thought experiment mostly: even if there were in fact no rise in productivity their wages would still have gone up in line with the general rise in wages. So productivity rises in one part of the economy [less than or equal…
  • Let's forget for a moment that the economic system is there to support the people, rather than the other way around. Before the industrial revolution energy was usually the thing in chronic short supply, and wages were driven to the floor. Since the…
  • It used to be an even split. Oxford favoured ize, including Fowler's "Modern English Usage". CSIRO used to be C.S.I.R.Organization. Basically mid last century there was a bid to resist Americanization, and this got caught up in it. It's been a losin…
  • Monads are the basis of the do statement in Haskell and the for statement in Scala. [Dom Verity said in a recent talk in Sydney that programming monads correspond to "monads with strength" in Category theory]. Scalaz implements a lot of Haskell stuf…
  • People trying to integrate programming with mathematics find Scala is ideal. See for example the scalaz library [look at the Type Classes section].