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Tag Archives: technology

Gold Demand in the Tech Sector Up in Q1

Gold demand in the technology sector was up 11% year-on-year, coming in at 81.2 tons in the first quarter of 2021.According to the World Gold Council, the strong growth was partially due to comparison with relatively weak tech demand in the first quarter of 2020, as governments began shutting down economies in response to the coronavirus. But comparisons with Q1 2019 and Q1 2018 suggest that demand has recovered quite quickly and is now at more typical Q1 levels. The electronics sector...

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Silver Investment Demand Explosion and Other Silver News

Silver investment demand surged in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the feature story in the most recent edition of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.Holdings in silver-backed ETFs tripled last year, surpassing 1 billion ounces for the first time. Meanwhile, investment in physical silver also saw a healthy increase. Silver coin and silver bar purchases grew 8% to 200.5 million ounces in 2020.Strong investment demand wasn’t enough to offset tanking industrial...

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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will writes wisely about technology – and the people who use it. A slice: Today, the Internet and social media enable instantaneous dissemination of stupidity, thereby creating the sense that there is an increasing quantity of stupidity relative to the population’s size. This might be true, but blame it on animate, hence blameworthy, things — blowhards with big megaphones, incompetent educators, etc. — not technologies. Technologies are giving velocity to stupidity, but are not...

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Why Human Space Exploration Matters

Unity proves elusive, but Americans who cannot seem to agree on much else— from Trumpian and traditionalist conservatives on the right, to certain libertarians, to liberals and progressive social justice advocates— do seem to agree on at least one big policy thing: space does not matter much, and other things matter much more than space. Cue the familiar disagreements on what those “other things” are. But the first part undoubtedly stands. Broadly speaking, the...

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The “mad scientist” problem

Last May, I said the following: Occam’s Razor also applies to the lab release theory. We know that dozens of epidemics have come from viruses jumping from animals to humans without any “lab” being involved. Why construct an entirely new theory for this epidemic? . . . Actually, the CCP would look far better (in a ethical sense) if the virus accidentally escaped from a lab doing valid and useful scientific research, rather than from disgusting “wet markets” that the CCP refused to...

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Protectionism echoes Luddism”

In my column for the March 23rd, 2011, edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I wrote of the similarities between protectionism and Luddism. You can read my column beneath the fold. Protectionism echoes Luddism From the dawn of modern economics — lit by the beaming light of scholarship that is Adam Smith’s 1776 book “The Wealth of Nations” — one consistent insight shared by most economists is that political borders are economically irrelevant. Such borders might be relevant for...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 327-328 of 2015 Nobel-laureate Angus Deaton’s 2013 book The Great Escape: The slowdown in [economic] growth is likely overstated, because the statisticians miss a lot of quality improvements, especially for services, which represent an increasing share of national output. The information revolution and its associated devices do more for wellbeing than we can measure. That these pleasures are barely captured in the growth statistics tell us about the inadequacies of the...

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Rain, Rain, Go Away. Come Again Another Day?

According to that nursery rhyme we all grew up with: “Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.” This goes in spades for hurricanes, which have devastated the economy, and tens of thousands of lives. But our complaints about the weather do not end there. Sometimes, on the day of an annual parade, we just don’t want it to rain. We’re not against a little precipitation; oh no. We would just like it to pour down when we want it to, not when “it” decides to do so....

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Physical Silver Investment Set to Surge 27% and Other Silver News

Investment in physical silver is expected to surge by 27% to 236.8 million ounces in 2020, a 5-year high. This was one of the highlights of the annual Interim Silver Market Review highlighted in the December issue of the Silver Institute’s .According to the report, the largest retail market for silver bullion bars and coins was the US with a projected 62% gain.The report also highlighted the strength of silver ETF demand. Investment in silver-backed exchange-traded products surpassed 1...

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Russ Roberts (Econ)Talks with Virginia Postrel

I’ve not yet read Virginia Postrel’s new book, The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World, but seldom has a book been released that I’m so eager to read as this one. My eagerness to read it was only heightened by listening to Russ Roberts’s latest podcast with Virginia. The podcast is fascinating throughout. Here, though, are two of my favorite parts. Just after the 32-and-a-half-minute mark, Russ asks Virginia about the Luddites. She points out that the Luddites where...

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