Friday, 25 July 2014

Australian car phase-out 40 years overdue: revealed beyond doubt

That climate change in southwestern Australia reveals a need for Australia to phase out all private motorised travel (and of course much more than that – fossil fuel-based power and land clearing need to go too) has long been known to me. Of course, absolutely no pressure has been put to demand the radical (and for most of Australia’s population disturbing and costly in every respect) changes that would need to be made to every aspect of how Australia is run to produce a carbon-free economy that would directly and indirectly reverse these changes.

More than that, the details of what has happened to the climate of southwestern Australia are simply not taught in schools in the Enriched or Tropical World, despite the fact that they have infinitely more relevance, utility and potential economic loss (farming and urban water supply) than the fate of ice caps lying in regions without cities, possessing nothing whatsoever in significant natural resources like iron, aluminum and titanium ores, and with no frost-free season to permit agriculture at all.

Despite political (and scientific) dithering between 1980 and 2005 over what has caused a reduction of about five-sixths in runoff to Perth’s dams, the extremely insular scientific community has not been able to persuade people, even locally, that radical and compromise-free changes in planning in Australia are essential to reverse the trend.

In this context, it is revealing that Thomas Delworth and Fanrong Zeng of Nature has once and for all confirmed that the decline in rainfall over southwestern Australia is completely anthropogenic, and that natural cycles could never produce the observed rainfall declines. Delworth and Zeng demonstrate with good models that rainfalls are likely by 2090 to fall to between a quarter and three-tenths the virgin mean if Australian carbon emissions are not cut back. Such a value would leave Perth with a mean annual rainfall of around 300 millimetres – enough with hotter temperatures to qualify as a fully arid BWh climate under the Köppen system.

Both researchers are revealingly from Princeton Unversity in New Jersey rather than Australia’s depoliticised science bodies who should be urging the government to transfer 100 percent of private- and public-sector transport monies to a high-speed rail network and demolition of all (inherently unsustainable) freeways, and to ensure that road projects can be constitutionally challenged and wiped out: fuel inefficiency of single-occupant cars stands too low for any road to be viewed sustainable.

Whilst the idea of making road building illegal is radical, Australian ecology is so sensitive to climate change and land degradation compared to the exceptionally young land surfaces of Eurasia and most of the Americas, which have over mere blips in geological time been shaped by radical changes from ice-covered to uniquely hospitable for high-density agricultural populations. Incomparably more rigid laws are needed to achieve any kind of sustainability in Australia, the thirteenth highest emitter in the world, where ecosystems have been adapted for tens of millions of years to similar (if wetter) climatic conditions as the continent’s pace of drift matched global cooling for steady-state temperatures and soils remained likewise the same. In contrast, Eurasia’s and the Americas’ soils have been completely transformed in merely two to four million years – from being similar to Australia’s into soils averaging five times as much available phosphorus, with similar increases in critical nutrients sulfur, copper and zinc.
Delworth and Zeng have confirmed that global warming is likely to ensure the Avon becomes a dry stream even during the former rainy season of southwestern Australia, as the rain-bearing fronts gradually disappear from the region.

Lack of understanding of how Australian soils are (relative to other present-day continents’) enriched in lithophile elements and severely depleted in biologically important chalcophile elements has led to major ecological damage in the West Australian Wheatbelt – which will be compounded if likely rainfall declines cause a shift to livestock grazing.
In the early 1990s the Democratic Socialist Party in Environment, Capitalism and Socialism and the truly independent Russell Report and Public Transport Users’ Association demonstrated that with a transfer of all freeways funding towards public transport, Australians could have equal mobility at less public and private cost as under the present car-based transport system – but with huge savings in pollution and greenhouse emissions! It is clear that the disruption to family life is a cost suburbanites simply will not pay even temporarily! What Delworth and Zeng have conformed is that a radical phase-out of all private motorised transport in Australia is four full decades overdue (and becoming more and more remote in possibility).

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Are children really happiness for the Enriched World?

The declining conservative side of Enriched World politics likes to believe that women who work would actually be happier raising children, and that most women are not “independent” because they look to “Uncle Sam” for their resources rather than for work. It is an assumption I have accepted in the absence of clear, contrary evidence as I try to investigate the real motives behind Enriched and Tropical World politics and relate these to the severe demographic decline in these regions, in spite of the fact that large welfare states and limited housing space give children negligible value in today’s Enriched and Tropical Worlds.

The issue is one I have never seen considered before Arnstein Åssve, Anna Barbuscia, and Letizia Mencarini’s ‘Expected happiness from childbearing and its realization’ came out in March this year. The results show that in France and Italy, there is considerable happiness from having a child, whereas in formerly Stalinist Bulgaria there is not. The difference, however, exists only for second and subsequent births, but is only marginally affected by employment status and level of education, with in Bulgaria and Italy the better-educated feeling slightly greater happiness from children than the less-educated.

A telling statistic is that men feel more happiness from children than women – a reflection perhaps of how thoroughly defeminised Enriched World women have become and of how much they value personal comfort over the sacrifices thereof needed to nurture a new generation, especially in strongly atheist Bulgaria where Marxism dominated among the peasants and urban poor long before Stalin took over the country.

This tendency is supported by the fact that employed women have fewer feelings of happiness about children than those who stay at home whilst their partners work. This suggests that the Enriched World needs to lower living costs so that women do not have to work if it wants to avoid a severe demographic decline. The article does not look at whether excessive living costs are the factor behind the failure of Enriched World adults to achieve desired numbers of children, but it seems very probable and the same should be said concerning regulations and taxes.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Competitive balance in football: a new approach

Conventional measures of competitive balance – the Noll-Scully index based on actual versus idealised standard deviation of team winning percentages – are flawed in many ways with football because of the low number of games per season. A low number of games per season means that the idealised standard deviation of team winning percentages is relatively large since there is more room for random variation, while the Noll-Scully index ignores how the maximum standard deviation is consistent regardless of how few games each team plays. In low-scoring sports like soccer, gridiron, ice hockey and rugby where a lucky score can easily change the result of a match, this is not important, because even at very large differences in team qualities will not result in absolutely extreme win percentages.

In football, however, the rules of play allow for teams to score easily and, unlike basketball or netball, teams do not take “turns” with the ball to have opportunities to score. This means that propensities of teams to score or concede points can deviate much more than when the rules give each alternate “turns” – in football, each team needs skill to gain a “turn” at scoring. In fact, as Loet Groot shows in ‘Some Determinants of the Natural Level of Competitive Balance in European Football (Soccer) and US Team Sports: The Role of the Referee, the Scoring Context and Overtime’, a team with half the propensity to score of an competition’s average team would expect a winning equivalent no higher than 2 percent (a practically certain winless season in real-world football schedules) as against 20 percent in rugby and 35 percent in soccer. To put it another way, for the same disparity in win percent team qualities would need to deviate twice as much in rugby as in football.

The problem of not considering an upper limit for standard deviation was noted by P. Dorian Owen in ‘Limitations of the relative standard deviation of win percentages for measuring competitive balance in sports leagues’. However, at the same time one should not ignore the fact that if teams were equal in winning probability they would not all win the same number of games – especially in short-season sports like football.

Thus, as a new measure of competitive balance I propose the following steps:
  1. Calculate what Dorian Owen sympbilises “ASDub” or the standard deviation of a perfectly unbalanced league
    • Owen demonstrates for us that ASDub = ((n+1)/(12*(n-1)))1/2 where n is number of teams
  2. Subtract the idealised standard deviation from ASDub (ASDub-ISD)
    • The ISD as based on the simple binomial distribution is give by (4l)1/2/4l where l is number of games per season or average number for unequal schedules
  3. Divide this value obtained in (2) into the actual standard deviation
Thus we have a formula for a “relative index of competitive balance” of:
(ASDactual-ISD)/(ASDub-ISD)
which can take values from below zero when the actual standard deviation is less than the ideal to positive unity for the perfectly unbalanced league.
(ASDactual-ISD)/(ASDub-ISD) ratios for the three largest (Australian rules) football leagues between 1898 and 2013.
Note: the zeroes for the SANFL are seasons without regular play during the World Wars (1916, 1917, 1918, 1942, 1943, 1944).
What is notable is that the diagrams show football as competitively unbalanced as theories of competitive balance predict a sport with very high scoring and a very restricted talent pool to be.

The fact that the pre-World War I period without equalisation by zoning or revenue sharing was – despite much lower scoring than later eras – quite close to the hypothetical perfectly unbalanced league implies:
  1. that without these regulations football would with higher scoring have acquired (ASDactual-ISD)/(ASDub-ISD) ratios consistently negligibly different from positive unity, and/or
  2. that reduced variation in team qualities after World War I led stronger teams to play more attacking football and thus increased scoring
    • a proposition supported by more defensive tactics since Docklands supplanted Waverley. This change eliminated opportunities for shorter players of value in wet or windy conditions, made very tall people of limited supply more valuable, and almost certainly increased discrepancies in team qualities.
It’s also notable that the NBA, discussed much for its competitive imbalance, has an ASDub of:
  • ((30+1)/(12*(30-1)))1/2 
  • = (31/(12*29))1/2 
  • = (31/348)1/2
Thus, the Noll-Scully for a perfectly unbalanced NBA equals:
  • (((31/348)1/2)*((4*82)1/2))/(4*82)
  • = ((31/348)1/2)*((328)1/2)/328)
  • = (10168/348)1/2
  • = (2542/87)1/2
  • ≈ 5.40540385
This suggests that, in fact, football is at least as competitively unbalanced within-season as basketball, since a Noll-Scully of 1.90 (typical for football over the past 115 years) corresponds to a ASDactual-ISD)/(ASDub-ISD) ratio of about 0.65 – larger than the 0.351 of the NBA (for details see pages 65 to 67 from David Berri’s of The Wages of Wins). There are several periods when none of the three leagues graphed ever achieved a value as low as 0.35 (1908-1915, 1946-1953, since Docklands), and in the first period there were two values under 0.5 out of 24.
These are the raw Noll-Scully ASD/ISD ratios for the “major” football leagues since 1898 (again, the zeroes in the SANFL data are wartime seasons without regular football)
The next step needed will be a more detailed analysis of what these figures reveal about competitive imbalance in football and what has driven changes over time.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Abbott’s unspoken goal: a global economic and “opportunity” monopoly for Australia

In the mainstream (Age) and even in business papers, as seen here in the Spectator, there is the ingrained belief that if Australia falls behind in climate action it will suffer economically. There tends to be little evidence or reasoning behind this, but rather an unspoken belief that if Australia removes regulations on greenhouse emissions, pollution and land clearing it will lose opportunities to invest in new technology that will grow its economy.

The fact is, however, that there are a number of severe fallacies behind this myth – a myth that I know has existed for a long time but have taken little notice of.

The basic problem is that it ignores the severe social and economic problems faced by nations with technology-based economies. Without one solitary exception, their fertility rates are extremely low (almost always less than 1.5 children per women or a population declining by 25 percent each generation) and, even if they have had free market-oriented policies in the past, government debt is a major problem and likely to grow in the future as there are fewer taxpayers to pay it off.

More than this, as taxpayers become fewer in technology-oriented economies, they are forced to specialise in higher and higher technology, which tends to make them even more inhuman – there is so little ordinary work being done by people that those without the most advanced education are excluded. This exclusion, of course, serves to severely limit the range of people a technology-oriented economy can include: in most such cases, even basic necessities such as housing, food and transport become very expensive for those without higher education.

An additional problem is that seeking to emulate technology-oriented economies is the norm throughout the Enriched and Tropical Worlds, because it promises more rapid growth and because Enriched and Tropical nations are losing to exhaustion most of the mineral and energy resources they ever had. This produces a uniform specialisation that offers little room for diversification – especially with most major companies thoroughly globalised – and much room for economic decline.

What Tony Abbott wants to do to Australia is what the Politically Incorrect Guides and their allies wanted to do to America in the 2000s:

  1. remove all the vast books of government restrictions from minimum wages to pollution
  2. remove the high taxes faced by working people
  3. dismantle most of the public sector and make what is needed (defence) more efficient
  4. privatise such government services as education, national parks, hospitals, public transport, public housing etc. etc.
  5. allow entrepreneurs to provide essential services like housing and transport without restriction
  6. encourage the poor to depend upon their own labour rather than welfare
  7. encourage those with limited academic talents to work in basic occupations and form families
For all the PIGs have told me about how a society without government regulation would be better, there is no practical example of the PIGs’ policies actually being tried in a country for one to evaluate. However, the evidence they do give and what I do know about past history does make me feel instinctively that the policies Abbott wants to implement will shift virtually all the opportunity for work social capital amongst the poor to Australia. If the poor had no taxes to pay they would be able to save their earnings to a much greater extent than I do – especially with essential services provided at lower cost due to greater incentive for cheapness. If the “super rich” had no taxes to pay the PIGs argue that they would create many more jobs than they can now even in Australia, and unemployment would be eliminated without minimum wage laws as expensive education would be unnecessary to maintain a liveable existence.

There is no doubt that requiring more and more expensive education to maintain a liveable existence is a dead-end – it is making the Enriched and Tropical Worlds elitist and unable to cater for the poor, besides their lack of natural resources. Abbott, on the contrary, desires a nation where the market gives the poor opportunities rather than the radical equality which the poor of the Enriched World wish for – but which invariably produces a super-selfish and shallow culture with no sense of community.

Monday, 16 June 2014

A famous series factored

  1. 1709 is prime
  2. 175709 is prime
  3. 17575709 is prime
  4. 1757575709 is prime
  5. 175757575709 is prime
  6. 17575757575709 is prime
  7. 1757575757575709 is prime
  8. 175757575757575709 is prime
  9. 17575757575757575709 = 232433*75616446785773
  10. 1757575757575757575709 = 11*159779614325068870519
  11. 175757575757575757575709 = 2111*83257970515194579619
  12. 17575757575757575757575709 = 3943859957*4456486226028937
  13. 1757575757575757575757575709 = 173*366802913*27697155836476241
  14. 175757575757575757575757575709 = 1381*427079*297997182510316599391
  15. 17575757575757575757575757575709 = 31*227*141175273*17691630749494130809
  16. 1757575757575757575757575757575709 = 4157*18283051*23125192599076866676387
  17. 175757575757575757575757575757575709 = 5552280144181*31655026618528309935689
  18. 17575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 61*1747*13773420668783*11974282550887212469
  19. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 359*4895754199375369291803832193804338651
  20. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 131*3301*16649*24412321477226626113603794029211
  21. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 11*22215689*79153844321*908635225024778431197151
  22. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 157005143*11194383343071491459089182559935361963
  23. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 197*892170435317643439470850638363328718658667897
  24. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 223*63823*1857752125057*664728362446941928248983050253
  25. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 1063*1249*2281*2383*3933171103853488169*61919320722043350661
  26. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 3659* 126019*1777758569*33139200473*6469948268613023137745917
  27. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 2909*6041855474650249486963134264612435805285581841099201
  28. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 21521*81667940968159359498051937994319853898869743858359629
  29. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 23302843690014955258934603857*7542323078487034222609522369037
  30. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 31*37957*62706567193*48786343248739*335752101003029*14542211193761569
  31. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 1962726262900441*895476 761480 982102 013000 299201 718009 795541 010149
  32. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 11*15977961432506887052341597796143250688705234159779614325068870519
  33. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 613*9103*24424958805029*128954112399003341882222810189440132169042678539
  34. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 is prime
  35. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 18541192627*563253307139758553921128481*16829555184169478233728912256897807
  36. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 1951*5035583486513*47082479284759*37996855706984840508397069492813348163262277
  37. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 3217*84463*662713*261672884530021933421*37300295994715906042796884562177859933223
  38. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 5867814178896517*29952818954234195618960924328686498255258236366268654065646777
  39. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 511169073067345123*34383452563535701064449531892319688724585779827252251020003583
  40. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 718493*22352123669*109439152382241910025713677777520585913614792858539694345514348477
  41. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 797*112325831*1346124115937*62 335686198837598681339897*23396680404361770014500708277109583
  42. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 307*397*79941361540433*865738137714777972308487797*2083661086307718043024536553063923450671
  43. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 11*3229*3361*4202739912737*626763772013640445188512537207473*5589184049785809462220696581044051
  44. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 1315525279*74408376185177*1692750790631921*1060718158139156356909258195018241558478846803288363
  45. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 31*593*15808321*455748915120203815399*327316250494363138054999*405432640057521827534555119546585363
  46. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 193*55817*3306343*78611671*627704613688030707273350520257045443735709706744562677925335631768943413
  47. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 367*376265317*305357431261173291433*4168168888370230510758531716943971599946182171758611133468736607
  48. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 61*18047*282398741*31179632203563251*3578167032684799497524218843*506739602224671324479239846077359498179
  49. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 22273*852807887515992442351907*57184507886793672798909503937563*1618101424183202239630794213930783277613
  50. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 105594421*59689006847*27885518728427693048576408924014248650898365614890555107475528605224758696228346807
  51. 17575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 275183*63869343585023696077067833317310937658124802679517178595973434317372714730109627323481376965785523
  52. 1757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 48519733*93980827*385439650645734488904135060635906657389678208060689522395925645952672432306124889499793899
  53. 175757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575757575709 = 853*2840041*6763665496930552219*10726506289186464505703680959144185487865094315050383188927412078711499281892307
The table above gives the factorisation of a famous sequence of numbers known for, in its first eight members, producing an uniterrupted sequence of primes.

As is always the case, however, the sequence starts producing composite numbers: of the subsequent 44 members of the sequence, only the thirty-fourth is prime and I do not know how much research has been done to find more primes.

Nonetheless, compiling this sequence as far as I can get it factored is something I have wanted to do for a long time since there is nothing on it on the web. The series, which as you should see has the formula 17(57)w09, is quite different from those kept by Makoto Kamada, being a variation on the smoothly undulating series where each member is two digits larger than the last.