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Multiple Fallacies of the Simon-Ehrlich Wager

 Five years ago, I described this very famous 1980 wager  here . Wikipedia has a good, understated description  of the wager.   Ehrlich-Simon wager according to the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan V. Last , August 30, 2013, more less he sam time I started analyzing this wager. The fact that Ehrlich "lost" according to the omnipotent neoliberal economists was used broadly as a vindication of the power of economics in predicting what would happen in the physical world.  But were the economists mostly spouting nonsense, as is their long-standing tradition? Natural copper.  Copper is one of the most important metals in the global economy that gravitates towards the "low carbon solutions" (whatever this term may mean to you). Source: Wikipedia. In short, Simon challenged Ehrlich to choose any raw material he wanted and a date more than a year away, and he would wager on the inflation-adjusted prices decreasing as opposed to increasing. Ehrlich chose copper (Cu), chromium,

A Letter to a Friend

 Dear Friend, I do not mention your name, for you can be anyone on the whole Earth. You could have any color of skin, and belong to any tribe and clan. You could give offerings to any Gods and believe in any myths. In modern impersonal terms, you could be of any race, nationality, religion and political creed, and be of any sex whatsoever.  It took us a million years to develop that big, complex brain of ours. Some 100,000 years ago, in the harsh, frigid climate of Europe and Asia, there were perhaps a few hundred of us left on the brink of extinction.  But we did not go extinct then and here we are, my friend and brother, all 7.8 billion of us. Gregory, John Walter 1896 - 1968, The Great Rift Valley. London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd. This Sketch by Gregory from his expedition to East Africa in 1892-3. shows "Mount Kenya from the Kapte Plains west of Machakos". Learned people say that we must have come from Africa, mostly from the Great Rift Valley : "Our species, Hom

One year later...

In the first week of August 2020, I was back home from the famous cancer hospital in Houston, MD Anderson, in which I received a brutal chemotherapy to control my lymphoma.  How the lymphoma ran away is a separate story of poor decision making by a junior doctor at MD Anderson, and me not dumping him two months earlier and starting on Acalabrutinib that has kept me alive until today.  Because of the rather sloppy administration of the support IVs, over four days they pumped into me a net 10 kilograms of liquids, and I was swollen like an elephant. How do I know this?  Because I weighed myself each day and at the peak I gained 10 kilograms. The doctor who burst in for a 5 minute visit, disputed my finding, arguing that it did not agree with the nurse's notes about my urine production. More about notes soon. I asked him quietly if mass conservation did not hold in medicine?  He was somewhat embarrassed, but then again, he was busy running from one patient to another, and 99% of my th

Shall We Overcome?

Here is the welcome visited upon us by one of our neighbors.  After arrival at our home in Austin, TX, on July 10, 2021, we found three adult foxes, one male and two females, and a young fox poisoned with a rodent poison, possibly laced with arsenic. Later we found two tiny newborn fox babies lying by their dead mother. Through tears, I posted to the neighborhood group bulletin this gentle reminder:  "No matter how you feel about wild animals, please note that putting out rat poison is very dangerous to your pets, dogs and cats. If they eat it or bite on a poisoned mouse, they can die too. Poisoned mice and rats, when eaten by other wildlife - foxes, racoons, coyotes and birds of prey – will kill them too, and so a cascade of deaths will continue. These foxes have lived happily on our property for at least two years."  This male fox had been our companion during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, and brightened our days. He was smart and funny, and approached us with certain non

Update on US shale play papers by Patzek et al.

 This is a continuation of the previous list of 29 papers and 1 patent: 30. Zhu, W., Khirevich, S., & Patzek, T. W. (2021). Impact of fracture geometry and topology on the connectivity and flow properties of stochastic fracture networks.  Water Resources Research , 57, e2020WR028652.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2020WR028652 Natural fractures usually comprise complex networks and control many physical properties of rocks, including stiffness, strength, and permeability. Therefore, they significantly impact many engineering fields, such as hydrology, waste disposal, geothermal exploitation, and petroleum reservoir exploitation. In a low permeability formation, fractures play a dominant role because the contribution of the matrix to fluid flow is almost negligible. Connectivity of natural and induced fractures thus determines the overall capability of fluid flow of subsurface rocks. Commonly used approaches to evaluate the connectivity (percolation method, connectivity index/field, and

Papers by Patzek et al. on US shale plays

I've been receiving recurring requests for the links to our publications on shales.  Thus, I have decided to put our shale story together, and update it in the future as the new papers are published. So far, this story consists of 29 papers and one patent published, and eight papers are pending.  Our goal is to describe the well-by-well histories and possible futures of all major US shale plays, starting from the earliest one, the Barnett. To achieve this goal, we have been using a physics-based scaling of individual well production and the generalized extreme value (GEV) statistics for spatio-temporal cohorts of wells.   As an aside, out of 15 or so, only  three of our paper submissions to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) conferences have been accepted since 2017, and we have given up on the SPE, of which I am a Distinguished Member with 38 years in the Society under my belt.  It is quite sad for me personally, but SPE has been in disarray for several years. Except for th