Linkfest 2022-06-04: Beowulf
An excellent animated version of Beowulf.
Catholic Dioceses of the USA Map
An interactive zoomable map of the ecclesiastical provinces and dioceses of the United States. An ecclesiastical province consists of several dioceses (or eparchies), one of them being the archdiocese (or archeparchy), headed by a metropolitan bishop or archbishop who has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all other bishops of the province
What’s New Under the Sun: Science is Getting Harder
This is a subject I’ve looked at several times
Is the rate of intellectual discovery slowing?
A decline in science?
Is the rate of production of useful ideas really dependent on the number of people involved?
My conclusions are that scientific and technological progress follow sigmoidal or logistic growth or S-curves, and that discoveries of any note take people who meet such a high ability threshold that looking at the total number of “researchers” or whatever is meaningless, because adding more people won’t help do it better or faster from where we are.
Tree of Woe: Running on Empty Part II
A continuing series on the petrodollar system. I’ve pulled out some related items below.
The Long View: A Republic Not an Empire
In my 2014 introduction to this book review by John J. Reilly, I said:
I've sometimes wondered about the price America extracts for being the world's policeman. In a sense, we really do this out of a sense of justice and obligation. On the other hand, US Treasury bonds are purchased by much of the world, and we use the money to spend almost as much for defense than the rest of the world combined. The full faith and credit of the United States government means something much more than just our willingness to service our monetary debt.
I was not aware of the secret petrodollar agreement with Saudi Arabia when I wrote that.
Bloomberg: The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41 year US Debt Secret
Reporting on the deal with Saudi Arabia that Tree of Woe cites
Statista: Major Foreign Holders of US Debt
The most obvious quibble I have with the petrodollar story of Tree of Woe: the deal with the Saudis helped oil be sold in dollars, but lots of other countries have even more Treasury debt, in my view undermining some of the claims about the deal’s effect on the US economy. Yes, I know this is now, but I think most of these countries are long time holders of US debt.
Market Urbanism: Unpacking Emergent Tokyo with author Jorge Almazán
A great look at the details of Japan’s zoning laws with regard to a certain kind of small business.
Uncharted Territories: France Explained
A geo-political look at the history of France.