Some Tuesday thoughts & links

An update on Brandon Deaderick follows at the bottom of this post—it is a story from the Boston Globe. But there are lots of other interesting links that don’t pertain to football. But be sure to read the Deaderick profile piece below. It has a few great quotes from him.

Stephen Hawking explains how to build a time machine. The article in the Daily Mail explains the paradox of time travel into the past and why time travel into the future should be possible. It is possible—provided that you can go fast enough.

The paradox is presented via the Mad Scientist thought experiment: “I don’t like the way scientists in movies are often described as mad, but in this case, it’s true. This chap is determined to create a paradox, even if it costs him his life. Imagine, somehow, he’s built a wormhole, a time tunnel that stretches just one minute into the past.

“Through the wormhole, the scientist can see himself as he was one minute ago. But what if our scientist uses the wormhole to shoot his earlier self? He’s now dead. So who fired the shot? It’s a paradox. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s the sort of situation that gives cosmologists nightmares.

“This kind of time machine would violate a fundamental rule that governs the entire universe – that causes happen before effects, and never the other way around. I believe things can’t make themselves impossible. If they could then there’d be nothing to stop the whole universe from descending into chaos. So I think something will always happen that prevents the paradox. Somehow there must be a reason why our scientist will never find himself in a situation where he could shoot himself. And in this case, I’m sorry to say, the wormhole itself is the problem.”

Perhaps Hawking is correct. But doesn’t it seem convenient that a wormhole would exist, but the universe is so uniquely constituted that it prohibits the very paradox that it creates? Maybe we just cannot determine cause and effect. Alternatively, perhaps we aren’t really thinking four dimensionally when we try to view time.

Keynesian economics doesn’t work
Larry Kudlow writes, “The latest GDP report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that the 3.2 percent first-quarter economic growth rate got no help from government spending. In fact, combined federal, state, and local spending actually fell 1.8 percent. What’s more, over the last three quarters of a mild V-shaped recovery, with an average quarterly rebound of 3.7 percent, government spending actually exerted a small net drag (-0.03%) on growth.

“I guess it’s time to ask our Keynesian friends in and out of government what exactly happened to those vaunted multiplier(s)…So far, there is zilch effect.”

Following the Gulf spill?
If you are following the situation in the Gulf of Mexico there are two links I’ll suggest. First, if you want to read Reuters, AFP, and AP updates on the situation—you don’t have to leave the Capstone Report. Just click the NEWS tab and it will take you to a constantly updating feed of reports from the major news services about the state of Alabama.

Also, the Mobile Press Register exposed just how incompetent our government has been since the 1990s. According to a report filed yesterday on, “If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land. … “They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand,” Bohleber said. “If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose.”

This incompetence spans Republican and Democratic administrations. It is the type of problem that governments always create—bureaucracies are notoriously inefficient. Of course, in this instance it might be better to call incompetent the entire government including Republican and Democratic presidents and congresses.