the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The Blog Trap

Posted by Jeff Id on January 19, 2012

Tom Fuller has started blogging again. He used to post at the SF examiner – until he also quit. Many of you will remember that he and I hold different views on politics but I find him honest and a far better writer than me. According to his email, his new blog will focus on energy and climate and appears to be directed at renewable energy. I’m looking forward to his contributions again and expect he will create a comfortable blogging atmosphere where difficult yet reasoned discussions can be held.

Let this be a lesson to new bloggers, it is a trap!

Tom’s blog ( is here and linked on the right.

30 Responses to “The Blog Trap”

  1. Tom Fuller said

    So I guess blogging is like crack for the mind… thanks for the link.

    Our politics may be different, but I gotta say you have a better class of commenters than we lib’ruls. At least you guys can count…

  2. Mark T said

    Only poltical issue I ever had with the guy was economic… which covers about 90% of the politics I care about and includes gov’t control (whuch is about money, too). His climate stuff was refreshing coming from a librul. I agree he writes well… even gets the grocers’ apostrophes right! 🙂


    PS: subtle jab in your direction, Jeff, hehe.

  3. Mark T said

    Don’t fool yourself, Tom, we can do linear algebra, statistics, calculus, differential equations, and myriad other forms of math, but counting is right out. I f it weren’t for my fingers and toes, 21 woud be impossible.


  4. Tom Fuller said



  5. Jeff Condon said

    #2, Not too subtle.

    Slattering the queens inglesh since 2008.

  6. GregO said


    Thanks for the tip. I always enjoyed Tom’s other blog and enjoyed his political viewpoint as a gentle and measured counterpoint to how I generally think about policy. One thing perhaps we should keep in mind is that many of us come to our political awareness from what we do in life and how our life experiences inform us.

    Half my family is school teachers. They are all “liberals” or at least members of the Democratic party and will argue that line all day. The other half is from construction, engineering, industry and military. We are all “conservatives” or at least members of the Republican party and will argue that line all day.

    I can discuss some things (rationally that is!) with some of my lib relatives and their friends, and some things are just best left alone. However, I always found Tom pretty open-minded and had a lot of good info and some pretty good discussions on his blog. Thanks again and I hope everybody at least checks out Tom’s blog – he’s a sharp dude.

  7. LC said

    Good to see Tom back in the chair. Good to see Jeff getting back into the technical stuff again too.

    Mark T If you count them all twice, you can get up to 43.

  8. Brian H said


    the bulk of this blog will revolve around one basic equation.
    The medium range UN forecast for population in 2075 is between 9.5 and 9.9 billion souls.

    As I commented there, the “medium range UN forecast has a 100% error rate. But the lowest edge of the low-range forecast has always been right. It now says <8 bn, peak, around 2035. Declining thereafter.

    So Dear Tom is dead in the water before he begins.

  9. Brian H said

    P.S. Willis gives him a good going-over there for witless “exchange rate” projections of incomes, costs, etc., citing all manner of approved UN futurologists, etc.

    But Tom’s arms have a life of their own, and just can’t stop waving. Sad, really.

  10. Mark T said

    Good point, LC.

    My subtlety skillz are comparable to my counting skillz, Jeff. 🙂


  11. steveta_uk said

    Tom’s concern about energy consumption is odd – hasn’t he heard of Rossi’s E-Cat?

  12. Tom Fuller said

    Steveta_uk, no, I actually haven’t. Pray tell… elucidate… illuminate and explain. (I just felt like Number 5 from Short Circuit, there for a minute…)

  13. Chas said

    On the blog he says:
    “Technically, a btu is the amount of energy required to heat a pint of water from 39 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.”
    A pint or a pound ?

  14. Earle Williams said


    Rossi’s E-Cat, per Wikipedia:

  15. Tom Fuller said

    Earle, if they build it, we will come. Chas, I thought a pint’s a pound the world ’round…

  16. unakite said


    You beat me to it (but then, I just got on). 🙂

    Great to know if you need a pint of water and only have ice.

  17. Mark T said

    Chas a pint is a pound the world around (close enough at least).


  18. diogenes said

    a pint is a pound? Must be crazy US measures. My daddy told me a gallon of water – 8 pints – weighed 10 pounds.

  19. Mark F said

    within about 20 percent, maybe – 16 vs 20 oz., US to UK. At least the ounces are the same.

  20. Chas said

    TF: “Chas, I thought a pint’s a pound the world ’round…” I like that – thanks
    Unfortunately a pint around here is 2.90 pounds… sterling 🙂

  21. Tom Fuller said

    How much of that is tax?

  22. M. Simon said


    Women who comment her can only count up to 20.

  23. M. Simon said

    Women who comment here

  24. stan said

    Tom is always a worthwhile read. During his hiatus, he could be found in the comments at Kloor’s (at least back when I used to read it). He is one of those whose politics are wrong (at least to me), but his honesty and commitment to logic are always apparent.

  25. stan said

    As for projections of the future, the experts are always wrong. See Tetlock, Philip. See Future Babble by Dan Gardner. See Ancient History, World History, see American History. see Economic History. see European History. See Medieval History. See Marxism. See military history. see — read books, get an education, pay attention!

  26. Pax said

    “it is a trap” I don’t get it – I feel stupid.

  27. Mark F at 19. Nope, the ounces are not the same. Take your pick:

    International avoirdupois ounce 28.3495231g
    International troy ounce 31.1034768g
    Apothecaries’ ounce 31.1034768g
    Maria Theresa ounce 28.066g
    Spanish ounce 28.75g
    Dutch metric ounce 100g
    Chinese metric ounce 50g

    If you think these differences are pedantic, then (a) you have not dealt in gold internationally and/or (b) you have forgotten the cause of the wrong curvature of the mirror on the Hubble telescope, same principle, different units.

  28. Mark T said

    Geoff: I think Mark F was merely pointing out that the UK pint is approximately 20% larger than the US pint (20 imperial fluid ounces vs. 16 US fluid ounces, or, in standard measures, 568 ml vs. 473 ml). Hence, a pint in the UK weighs about 1.2 pounds (US).

    At the end of the day, this means that when we order a pint in a US bar, we get 16 US fluid ounces of the good stuff, but if we go over to the UK, we get about 19.2 US fluid ounces of the good stuff. 🙂

    Chas: I actually got the saying from Alton Brown, the host of the show “Good Eats” on The Food Network here in the US. Sadly, Mr. Brown ended production of the show this summer after 249 episodes (it is my favorite food show).


  29. Mark F said

    Pedantic would fit – the context was pints of ale or beer.
    Next question: did the Pilgrims drink wine or beer? Hint: The origin of the size size of the US Gallon (and pint and quart, but not the OUNCE) traces through this fact.

  30. hunter said

    Tom is a great guy and good writer.
    He and I disagree often, but we are able to maintain a mutual respect that I find rare in the blogosphere.
    His book on climategate (written with Steven Mosher) was important and under appreciated.

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