RGD: the Amazon launch

As some of you have already noticed, Amazon is listing The Return of the Great Depression, albeit with an incorrect release date of October 1st. For those intrepid readers who are interested in participating in the Amazon launch, it is scheduled for Sunday, October 25th, from 12 noon to 12 midnight Central. And, in order to provide some encouragement to those who remain undecided about picking up a copy, here’s John Derbyshire of National Review’s impression:

“Vox Day gives us a splendidly pessimistic look at the current economic mess based on a deep background in finance and global economic history. Written with style and wit – not to mention a good imitation of Dante. Read it, weep, then get on the phone to your investment advisor.”

UPDATE: Prediction time – Vox vs 43 expert economists:

The group asked 43 top economists last month if they believe the battered U.S. economy has pulled out of the worst U.S. downturn since World War II. Those surveyed include economists from leading Wall Street firms and major corporations, as well as from highly respected universities and research firms. Thirty-five respondents, or 81%, believe the recovery has begun. Only four, or 9%, believe the economy is still in a recession. The other four say they’re uncertain.

Thus spake Vox: the economy is in a depression, not a recession. It is occurring at a scale which the experts, with their myopic focus on irrelevant bottom-line quarterly GDP, have failed to recognize. The separation between the much-manipulated economic statistics and the real economy has become too great to credibly paper over, which will lead to either a complete junking of the very concept of GDP as a credible measure of economic activity, or more likely, a significant redefinition of GDP to enable it to more accurately reflect the real economy.

Positive GDP in the third and potentially fourth quarters does not mean the economy is growing, only that the government attempts to expand credit had limited success in pulling future consumption forward; such success will only last as long as the government-expanded credit programs continue to expand.

As per request, I am in the process of putting together some objective metrics that can be tracked in lieu of relying upon GDP and used to falsify my contentions, but note that positive quarterly GDP reports are not sufficient to formally indicate that a recession is over. Nor is there anything such as a “W-shaped recovery and recession”, that’s nothing more than economic posterior-covering and ignores the larger scale view.

So much for the fossil record

Big dinosaur, little dinosaur, what didn’t begin with E?

Many dinosaurs may be facing a new kind of extinction—a controversial theory suggests as many as a third of all known dinosaur species never existed in the first place. That’s because young dinosaurs didn’t look like Mini-Me versions of their parents, according to new analyses by paleontologists Mark Goodwin, University of California, Berkeley, and Jack Horner, of Montana State University. Instead, like birds and some other living animals, the juveniles went through dramatic physical changes during adulthood.

This means many fossils of young dinosaurs, including T. rex relatives, have been misidentified as unique species, the researchers argue.

Obviously, the jury is still out on this one. But, if it’s demonstrated to be correct, it will be a tremendous blow to TENS. If paleontologists can’t even be relied upon to correctly distinguish between mature and immature examples of the exact same species, this will obviously cast serious doubts on the credibility of the fossil transition sequences between species that they have constructed.

I await with amused interest for the true believers to explain how a complete misreading of a significant portion of the fossil record should not be taken as a reason to doubt any conclusions that were made based on the incorrectly interpreted fossil record.

WND column

A Prize-winning Presidency

Unlike many right-wing commentators, I had very high hopes for the Obama administration. Whereas most conservatives were wringing their hands about how Obama was likely to destroy the economy, I was confident that Ben Bernanke already had the task well in hand. Sure enough, Obama was content to continue where George W. Bush had left off, expanding the bank bailouts and quadrupling down on the $168 billion Bush stimulus package with his own $787 billion gambit.

UPDATE: I have to admit, Tom Bemis at Marketwatch did it better:

Obama fails to win Nobel prize in economics

In a decision as shocking as Friday’s surprise peace prize win, President Obama failed to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Monday.

You know that’s the inevitable joke every time any prize is awarded anywhere over the next six months.