Peter Maass, author of NY Times article on Peak Oil, gives his views on Freakonomics

Peter Maass wrote the NY Times Sunday Magazine piece on “Peak Oil” that I have been blogging about recently.

He was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air. During the course of the interview, he defended Matthew Simmons, saying,

“Matt Simmons, he is not some kind of wild environmentalist, or kind of rogue economist, or anything like that…”

Phew, we already have enough rogue economists.

Random

> Phew, we already have
> enough rogue economists.

Well, don't flatter yourself. With your line of argumentation, you are a regular, conventional, traditional, "market will fix all our problems, if market can't fix it then we aint' have a problem" type of an economist.

However, cultivating that "rogue" image was a smart book-selling marketing move, wasn't it?

hornswoggled

I thought it was funny that Simmons said that he became suspicious of Aramco when they told him that they used "fuzzy logic"--something he had never heard of--to estimate recoverable oil reserves. For Simmons, I'd recommend Google. But for the rest of us who are interested in a succinct critical review of estimation methods, and their reliability or lack thereof, where do we turn? Google is not efficient if you don't know how to pose the query.

It's understandable that a layperson would find the term
"fuzzy logic" a little disturbing when used by an oil company.

http://www.economicfractalist.com/

A Completed Fibbonocci Third Growth Sequence on Friday 26 August 2005

The fractal evolution since October 2002 strongly suggests that there are very real and very simple quantum number fractal laws that underlie the macroeconomy. This discovery will be little consolation to the turmoil that is about to unfold over the next decade.

August 24 (Wednesday's) and August 25 (Thursday's) trading days once again demonstrated on a 5 minute unit fractal level, the recurrent precise fractal theme of x/2.5x/2x-2.5x - that pervades the economic universe.

For the Wilshire 5000 the base was about 17 five minute units. The three sequential growth fractals were 17/42/34 of 34 before the fall on Friday morning. The lateral 'skeletonized' evolution of this fractal sequence suggests the final lower (very lower) high is close at hand. Friday August 26 is the Fibonacci 85th day of a 52/130/85 daily sequence dating since August 2004.

1.62 times 52 equals 84.24 days.... If growth sequences follow idealized
Fibonacci related fractals, Monday 29 August 2005 will break lower in
a nonlinear manner. A deluge is coming.

Gary Lammert The Economic Fractalist http://www.economicfractalist.com/

Read more...

Princess Leia

Hilarious to be so referenced!

Prof. Levitt, how about a post on what's playing on your iPod these days? I've been most curious, and perhaps it could solidify your status as the world's pre-eminent "rogue economist," as I am sure you have much better taste in music than any of your colleagues.

And not to be too nosy, but what might Mr. Dubner have on his iPod? ;-)

Bubba

Hey, at least taking on Peak Oil has livened up the conversation on your blog. You get to get insulted by all kinds of people from all over the economic, philosophic spectrum. It's better than being ignored.

monkeygrinder

The only people who should be insulted are those who admit they know nothing about peak oil, then proceed to discuss it on that basis. (*cough* Tierney)

Whee!

Post peak oil again - I dares yah!

Anonymous

Was the "rogue economist" comment an insult or a compliment?

Anonymous

I think Maass was referring directly to Levitt in that remark :)

Anonymous

I hate the word 'blog' - why don't you simply call it "writing", which is what it is. The fact that it's online and nitwits like myself can leave comments doesn't really distinguish it enough to give it a name like "blog". Actually, the word "blog" sounds like somethig you call a plumber to deal with and ask if he can please hurry because it really smells...

odograph

... just read (and enjoyed) the kunstler entry. He (and his guest blogger) can be extreme, but they are not boring writers.

But I have a serious question for you.

I understand the position that "the market will solve it" even if I see clouds in that silver lining.

My question is whether YOU see your confidence as an endorsement of complacency or activity?

We are IN the market with our purchases and choices. Do you see us responding to Peak Oil now, or should we not worry and trust someone else (some OTHER market?) to solve everything?

odograph

BTW, I think the reason we (the concerned) see "don't worry" to mean "don't do anything" is because there IS a real "don't do anything" contingent out there.

GM certainly wants you to buy a Hummer on the vague promise of a hydrogen future.

(Their recent tv ads, which alternate images of Hummers and hydrogen cars are particularly annoying.)

Anonymous

Is a "rogue economist" different from an "economist and a rogue"?

StCheryl

It depends on your definition of "a rogue". After consulting Webster's, I would say that a "rogue economist" is someone whose logic, assumptions and/or nonlinear thought patterns are uncommon among traditionally-trained Ph.D. economists, and may lead to surprising empirical or logical results. An "economist and a rogue" is an economist who seduces others sexually with lies and then abandons them, or who is dishonest, whether the dishonesty relates to financial gains or ideas. Neither of these has anything to do with rogue elephants.

My experience with economists in more than 20 years of observing several top Ph.D. programs, both personally and vicariously, and then working with an entire government agency full of them, is that while the two groups are almost mutually exclusive, most of them lack the imagination to be either rogues or rogue economists.

Random

> Phew, we already have
> enough rogue economists.

Well, don't flatter yourself. With your line of argumentation, you are a regular, conventional, traditional, "market will fix all our problems, if market can't fix it then we aint' have a problem" type of an economist.

However, cultivating that "rogue" image was a smart book-selling marketing move, wasn't it?

hornswoggled

I thought it was funny that Simmons said that he became suspicious of Aramco when they told him that they used "fuzzy logic"--something he had never heard of--to estimate recoverable oil reserves. For Simmons, I'd recommend Google. But for the rest of us who are interested in a succinct critical review of estimation methods, and their reliability or lack thereof, where do we turn? Google is not efficient if you don't know how to pose the query.

It's understandable that a layperson would find the term
"fuzzy logic" a little disturbing when used by an oil company.

http://www.economicfractalist.com/

A Completed Fibbonocci Third Growth Sequence on Friday 26 August 2005

The fractal evolution since October 2002 strongly suggests that there are very real and very simple quantum number fractal laws that underlie the macroeconomy. This discovery will be little consolation to the turmoil that is about to unfold over the next decade.

August 24 (Wednesday's) and August 25 (Thursday's) trading days once again demonstrated on a 5 minute unit fractal level, the recurrent precise fractal theme of x/2.5x/2x-2.5x - that pervades the economic universe.

For the Wilshire 5000 the base was about 17 five minute units. The three sequential growth fractals were 17/42/34 of 34 before the fall on Friday morning. The lateral 'skeletonized' evolution of this fractal sequence suggests the final lower (very lower) high is close at hand. Friday August 26 is the Fibonacci 85th day of a 52/130/85 daily sequence dating since August 2004.

1.62 times 52 equals 84.24 days.... If growth sequences follow idealized
Fibonacci related fractals, Monday 29 August 2005 will break lower in
a nonlinear manner. A deluge is coming.

Gary Lammert The Economic Fractalist http://www.economicfractalist.com/

Read more...

Princess Leia

Hilarious to be so referenced!

Prof. Levitt, how about a post on what's playing on your iPod these days? I've been most curious, and perhaps it could solidify your status as the world's pre-eminent "rogue economist," as I am sure you have much better taste in music than any of your colleagues.

And not to be too nosy, but what might Mr. Dubner have on his iPod? ;-)

Bubba

Hey, at least taking on Peak Oil has livened up the conversation on your blog. You get to get insulted by all kinds of people from all over the economic, philosophic spectrum. It's better than being ignored.

monkeygrinder

The only people who should be insulted are those who admit they know nothing about peak oil, then proceed to discuss it on that basis. (*cough* Tierney)

Whee!

Post peak oil again - I dares yah!

Anonymous

Was the "rogue economist" comment an insult or a compliment?