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'[OT] Interesting jobs:: Tsar Bomba observer'
2008\02\08@210410 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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[moved to [OT]]

On Feb 8, 2008, at 4:58 PM, John Gardner wrote:

> the untold story
> of the Cold War is just how expensive nuclear weapons are.
> For openers, the first four cost in excess of $2 billion, in 1945
> USD. 40 years on, something like 30,000 of the things had been
> produced, for an expenditure that can only be guessed at - Let
> it be said that a careful examination of US economic statistics
> over the period reveal an economic black hole

Really?  Wasn't the duration of "The Cold War" pretty much concurrent  
with the period of the largest economic, technological, and  
scientific growth anywhere, ever?  Probably social and philosophical  
too; there's nothing quite like a contrasting opinion...   It seems  
to me that cold wars are significantly better than warm or hot wars,  
for instance, and the current rate of US expenditure in the middle  
east, JUST on the war itself, makes weapons programs look like mere  
drops in a bucket...

BillW

2008\02\08@213429 by David VanHorn

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> Really?  Wasn't the duration of "The Cold War" pretty much concurrent
> with the period of the largest economic, technological, and
> scientific growth anywhere, ever?  Probably social and philosophical
> too; there's nothing quite like a contrasting opinion...   It seems
> to me that cold wars are significantly better than warm or hot wars,

I was thinking the same, and the US economy was booming as well,
though I'm not sure there's a causal relationship there, much less
which direction it runs in.

2008\02\08@222031 by John Gardner

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> Really?  Wasn't the duration of "The Cold War" pretty much concurrent
> with the period of the largest economic, technological, and
> scientific growth anywhere, ever?

Non Sequitur...

> It seems
> to me that cold wars are significantly better than warm or hot wars,

The warm war I got caught up in (SEA) was definitely an exercise in
contrasting opinions...

2008\02\08@222931 by John Gardner

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On 2/8/08, David VanHorn <spam_OUTmicrobrixTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> I was thinking the same, and the US economy was booming as well,
> though I'm not sure there's a causal relationship there, much less
> which direction it runs in.

The US economy boomed 64-67, on war-generated spending of
first borrowed, then printed money. The resultant stagnation lasted
nearly 15 years.

Jack

2008\02\08@230307 by Apptech

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> Really?  Wasn't the duration of "The Cold War" pretty much
> concurrent
> with the period of the largest economic, technological,
> and
> scientific growth anywhere, ever?  Probably social and
> philosophical
> too; there's nothing quite like a contrasting opinion...

Maybe the second greatest.

The period of greatest scientific and technological growth
ever is, ...
drum roll ...
ta da ...

The nineteenth century - maybe extend that up until say
1930.

Obviously arguable. But (as I believe I've noted here
before) in there you have atom splitting modern electricity,
wireless, IC engine, automobile, flight, discovery of most
of and all the undiscovered elements, splitting the atom,
quantum mechanics, LASER predicted (Einstein about ? 1905?),
Einstein!, plastics, ... . Even the war to end all wars! The
personally richest person to have ever lived so far (WG eat
your heart out?) in terms of their day lived then (if we
ignore people like eg GK or AtG or the Caesars who
essentially personally 'owned' empires.

Quite a period in manunkind's development.

Vaguely related question:    Napoleon's dinnerset for his
top guests was made of gold. His personal dinnerset was made
of a metal more precious. Not anything like Platinum,
Silver, Rhodium, Palladium etc. Something that nowadays
would be a non starter. What was it made of?



       Russell.




2008\02\08@233831 by Peter Todd

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On Fri, Feb 08, 2008 at 06:03:46PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
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Hmm... I dunno, I've been looking into the effects of war on the economy
for a class, and for instance found that the dow jones average stayed
completely flat between 1965 and 1985. That said, that's the only chart
I've seen from that period yet, still gotta make up one for the US GDP
as well as find data for other indexes. Besides, what's good for
scientific and technological growth might not be good for the economy.

- --
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2008\02\09@002704 by Peter Todd

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On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 05:02:46PM +1300, Apptech wrote:
> Vaguely related question:    Napoleon's dinnerset for his
> top guests was made of gold. His personal dinnerset was made
> of a metal more precious. Not anything like Platinum,
> Silver, Rhodium, Palladium etc. Something that nowadays
> would be a non starter. What was it made of?

Aluminum?

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2008\02\09@021122 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Feb 8, 2008, at 8:31 PM, Peter Todd wrote:

> between 1965 and 1985

When do you consider the "cold war" period to have started?  I
would has said MUCH earlier than 1965, and the period from 1950
to 1965 had similar growth in DJIA compared to 1985-2000

Besides, isn't 1965 to 1985 when most of the interesting things
happened in electronics and computers?  Not so much the fruits
of Moore's law, but all the stuff that made it possible...

BillW

2008\02\09@023709 by Apptech

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> When do you consider the "cold war" period to have
> started?  I
> would has said MUCH earlier than 1965, and the period from
> 1950
> to 1965 had similar growth in DJIA compared to 1985-2000
>
> Besides, isn't 1965 to 1985 when most of the interesting
> things
> happened in electronics and computers?  Not so much the
> fruits
> of Moore's law, but all the stuff that made it possible...

The Cold War, at the latest, started immediately after WW2
and it had it's roots solidly in the WW2 era. A reading of
any of the WW2 personal accounts of the Western leaders
(Churchill being as good a place to start as any) makes this
clear enough.

IMHOFWIW, Moore's law has no fruits - it's just an empirical
comment on the way that fruit trees appear to grow.



       Russell


2008\02\09@030351 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Feb 8, 2008, at 11:36 PM, Apptech wrote:

>> Besides, isn't 1965 to 1985 when most of the interesting things  
>> happened in electronics and computers?  Not so much the fruits of  
>> Moore's law, but all the stuff that made it possible...
>
> IMHOFWIW, Moore's law has no fruits - it's just an empirical  
> comment on the way that fruit trees appear to grow.

What I meant was that I thought the advances in electronics and  
computer science from 1965 to 1985 were more qualitatively  
significant than the advances since 1985, which have more along the  
lines of following the geometry curve to "cheaper, faster, and more  
powerful."
Now, I'm not all that sure of that opinion; it seems to me that if  
you look closely at the enabling technology that allowed Moore's law  
to proceed, there's quite a lot of "real developments" that did in  
fact occur.  Perhaps the advances that allow a gigaflop computer to  
be purchased by Joe Consumer at Sears ARE as qualitatively important  
as the ones that allowed Cray to build a Gigaflop computer only  
governments and very large corporations could afford.

BillW

2008\02\09@080304 by Apptech

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>> Vaguely related question:    Napoleon's dinnerset for his
>> top guests was made of gold. His personal dinnerset was
>> made
>> of a metal more precious. Not anything like Platinum,
>> Silver, Rhodium, Palladium etc. Something that nowadays
>> would be a non starter. What was it made of?

> Aluminum?

Yes.
Very rare and valuable stuff.
Nice finish.
Reasonably corrosion resistant with exceptions.
Exceedingly hard to extract.
Even now it's a specialist art - because it's a large and
industrial one we don't see how much magic there is in
getting it right.



       Russell

2008\02\09@083004 by John Gardner

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Read somewhere once that the apex of the Washington
Monument was originally a pyramid of  Aluminum.

Jack

On 2/9/08, Apptech <.....apptechKILLspamspam@spam@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\02\09@091240 by Peter Todd

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On Fri, Feb 08, 2008 at 11:10:58PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> On Feb 8, 2008, at 8:31 PM, Peter Todd wrote:
>
> > between 1965 and 1985
>
> When do you consider the "cold war" period to have started?  I
> would has said MUCH earlier than 1965, and the period from 1950
> to 1965 had similar growth in DJIA compared to 1985-2000

You are right, but the cold war did extend into the mid eighties, and I
suspect what happened is initially the cold war was *relatively*
friendly, enough to still allow growth of the conomy, but as time went
on pressues such as the oil shocks and stagflation dragged things down.
Notice how the first big oil shock, in 1973, was triggered over the Yom
Kippur War, and the second, 1979, over the Iranian Revolution. Too much
turmoil, not enough stability.

Vietnam too would have dragged the economy down, sure you've got a lot
of defence-related spending, but "broken windows" still applied and you
had a heck of a lot of young men being employed in something that just
isn't very productive. Vietnam ended in 1975, right in the middle of the
flat period I'm talking about.

> Besides, isn't 1965 to 1985 when most of the interesting things
> happened in electronics and computers?  Not so much the fruits
> of Moore's law, but all the stuff that made it possible...

Quite likely it... The computer industry was still a very small part of
the economy then, and a part that probably didn't have much effect on
the DJIA.

- --
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2008\02\09@104119 by Apptech

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> You are right, but the cold war did extend into the mid
> eighties, and I
> suspect what happened is initially the cold war was
> *relatively*
> friendly, enough to still allow growth of the conomy,

Can't comment usefully on effects on economy, but the cold
war was bitterly serious from day one, or before.

Gaggle  "The Gehlen memoirs" for a picture of the secret war
continued from the very very very end of WW2 as if things
had never ceased. Given that during WW2 Gehlen was head of
"Foreign Armies East" whose job it was to 'spy' on the
Russians for Hitler, and that with a pause of only months
(while he and his top people hid in alpine woorlands while
things settled down and he was then taken to the US and then
returned to Germany), he continued to do the identical job
for 11 years after the war as head of a "private research
organisation" paid for by the US government and then "his
organisation" was transformed into the
Bundesnachrichtendienst  aka West German Federal
Intelligence Service (on 1st April 1956) and he continued in
Fereral employ until retiremnt in April 1968.

ie the cold war was war with fury but hidden weapons from
day one.
Book has a photo of an East German "cyanide gun" used to
kill specific targets surrepitiously.

FWIW Gehlen says, and you may find like I that his claims
all have a reasonable ring of plausibility, that in WW2 his
organisation predicted EVERY Russian attack in advance
throughout the war, accurate to position and magnitude but
sometimes unable to be specific to better than +/- a few
days. What Hitler DID with his information can be read from
the history books.

Also, FWIW he claims that he predicted the exact date of the
start of the Israeli 6 day war and told a West German
delegation about a week in advance - at that stage the
Israeli cabinet had not made their decision whether to go
ahead or on what date.

The Gehlen Memoirs
Reinhard Gehlen
Translated by David Irving (hmmmm)
Collins
St James Place, London 1972
ISBN 0 00 211203 0



       Russell


2008\02\09@125327 by John Gardner

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Russell -

> The Gehlen Memoirs
> Reinhard Gehlen
> Translated by David Irving (hmmmm)

Hmm indeed. If you'd asked me yesterday if I was acquainted
with Irving's work I'd've remembered reading "Hitler's War" in 1977.
Consulting his bibliography ( Wikipedia ) I was surprised to find
I'd read nearly all of his works prior to 1977, remembered the
books but forgotten who wrote them. The Gehlen memoirs
in particular ...

John Keegan's view of Irving, as stated by Irving's wiki page, is
particularly interesting - Irving being what he is I have the urge
to authenticate the wiki's purported Keegan quotes.

Thanks for bringing it up.

Jack

2008\02\09@150430 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Feb 9, 2008, at 6:06 AM, Peter Todd wrote:

> [I suspect] initially the cold war was *relatively* friendly

You're kidding!?  If you divide the cold war into 1945-1965 (djia 10x  
growth) and 1965-1985 (djia "flat"), then the first half includes  
most of the major nuclear weapons initial invention ("Limited Test  
Ban Treaty" in 1963 stopped atmospheric testing), The US "McCarthy  
era", the Cuban Missile Crisis, fallout shelters, school drills for  
nuclear attack,  and in general a feeling that REAL war could erupt  
at any moment.  The second half was comparatively mild in attitude,  
perhaps post-MAD; nuclear war became "unthinkable" rather than  
"expected at any moment and we're going to WIN."

BillW


2008\02\09@153553 by Peter Todd

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On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 12:04:06PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
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Perhaps I am showing my age, or lack of it. :)

Maybe one should ask what the real effect the early cold war had on
business planning. I mean, if real war did break out, it would have
looked like a complete doomsday scenario, so why discount things based
on that? Oil prices were low and as others have mentioned there was
tremendous scientific progress. (although, note that the first man on
the moon was 4 years after growth stopped)

http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1947.gif

Meanwhile in the more recent Iraq war the economy lost tremendous
amounts of value, likely recognizing the very real effects of an actual
war that would actually cause oil prices to skyrocket. (amoung other
negatives)

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2008\02\09@162359 by Cedric Chang

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On Feb 9, 2008, at 1:29 PM, Peter Todd wrote:

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On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 12:04:06PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
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I remember the "duck and cover" drills in school where we went into
fetal position , hiding under our tiny desks and waited to die.  I  
was terrified
and repeatedly thought any flash through the window was a nuke going
off.

Cedric

2008\02\09@165219 by Gerhard Fiedler

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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> Really?  Wasn't the duration of "The Cold War" pretty much concurrent
> with the period of the largest economic, technological, and scientific
> growth anywhere, ever?  

Without going into much detail, I think "anywhere, ever" is a pretty strong
statement. How much do you know about economic development in China 2000
years ago? Probably not much more than I do :)

Besides, how measure each of the three (economic, technological, and
scientific growth), in a form that can be compared with everywhere else, at
all times? And once (if) you find those indicators -- do they really
indicate growth, or do we just "cook the books" and use numbers that rise
because we're so hooked on "growth"?

Gerhard

2008\02\09@173814 by Jinx

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> repeatedly thought any flash through the window was a nuke
> going off

I have the same thing with private investigators

2008\02\09@173950 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Feb 9, 2008, at 12:29 PM, Peter Todd wrote:

> in the more recent Iraq war the economy lost tremendous amounts of  
> value

Did it?  djia 2000 (peak, pre-bubble-pop): 11600  djia now: 12182

I'm not saying that wars are good things, but if you're going to make  
blanket statements like "statistics over the period of the cold war  
reveal an economic black hole", you've got to be a lot more careful  
than people have been so far to define exactly what they mean.

I recall a quote from somewhere that said something like "capitalism  
has two stable states: warfare and welfare."  (an equally provocative  
statement...)

BillW


2008\02\09@180017 by Peter Todd

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On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 02:39:06PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
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You're right, but there's this big "hole" in the lead up to the iraq
war, thing grow a bit after, then stabilize, and take ages to start
growing again.

11600->12182 is only %5 growth, over 8 years, a very very small amount.
The djia *did* go from 7859 to 10627 over the year following the
outbreak of the war, on the other hand, the same amount was lost leading
to the war. Given that stock prices, in theory, should represent
expected returns I'd interpret that as the markets interpreting a lot of
risk leading up to the war, the war itself not going all that badly at
first, (with an expectation of oil prices, trade-deficit, etc. returning
to normal eventually) and then reality sinks in.

It's funny too, on the djia you'd be hard-pressed to figure out where
the internet bubble is exactly. Not so true on NASDAQ though... :)

> I recall a quote from somewhere that said something like "capitalism  
> has two stable states: warfare and welfare."  (an equally provocative  
> statement...)

Yup, I started looking into that stuff after having Naomi Klein's
Disaster Capitalism as part of my assigned reading in a class. Pretty
much that sort of sentiment. I can't say I agree with it though, at
least for the market as a whole, now war-profiteering on the other
hand... well, Haliburton stock's been doing just great. :)

(er, that's a joke, there's a lot I don't know there, like why it tanked
a few months after Sept 11)

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2008\02\09@180841 by Peter Todd

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On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 07:52:01PM -0200, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
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Not to mention the really tricky game of to what extent are the economic
indicators measuring current conditions or expected conditions? If a
risky event is on the horizon the indicators, like the mentioned dow
jones average, should go *down* to account for the increased risk even
though present conditions haven't changed a bit. Similarly technological
growth might not help a bit if the impact of those advances aren't
generally known yet, or haven't solidified.

At least the nice thing about market based indicators is that they will
take into account perceived risk of governments and corporations cooking
the books. 'Can't say I've actually looked into it, but I bet you could
find examples of that in various communist countries around the world
with the markets discounting for corruption. But, that's only percieved
risk, not actual... Enron was only "discounted" once the scandal came to
light, and then whole sections of the economy got "discounted"

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2008\02\10@102432 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Peter Todd wrote:

> At least the nice thing about market based indicators is that they will
> take into account perceived risk of governments and corporations cooking
> the books.

Not if most of the players are "hooked" on the same "cooked" indicators.
Note that the "market" as used here (I supposed) is not about the actual
economic conditions, it's about money. Which is, again, not the real thing
but only an indicator (for what doesn't seem to be so clear).

Gerhard

2008\02\11@050026 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> repeatedly thought any flash through the window was a nuke
>> going off
>
>I have the same thing with private investigators

Why, what have you been doing Jinx?

2008\02\11@050606 by Jinx

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> >I have the same thing with private investigators
>
> Why, what have you been doing Jinx?

Hire a PI and you'll find out

2008\02\11@063310 by Tony Smith

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> > >I have the same thing with private investigators
> >
> > Why, what have you been doing Jinx?
>
> Hire a PI and you'll find out


Or ask your wife.  If she's home, that is.

Tony

2008\02\11@070836 by Apptech

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>> > >I have the same thing with private investigators
>> >
>> > Why, what have you been doing Jinx?
>>
>> Hire a PI and you'll find out

> Or ask your wife.  If she's home, that is.

It's obvious you haven't had a PI on this case.


       R

2008\02\11@072038 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> > >I have the same thing with private investigators
>> >
>> > Why, what have you been doing Jinx?
>>
>> Hire a PI and you'll find out
>
>Or ask your wife.  If she's home, that is.

Maybe his wife's PI would like a bonus to pass on what he has already found
out, without doing any extra work ...

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