[Marxism] Re: Hubbart's Peak

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 3 04:22:55 MDT 2004


I think that this discussion has been fruitful. From a rigorous
mathematical viewpoint the issue comes down to whether the CLT (central
limit theorem) is applicable. It is based (as has been noted by others)
on the independence of the various distributions of oil supply over
time. This latter statement is clearly untrue as the distribution is
affected by a variety of factors (e.g. technological advance and supply
controls). As such, from a rigorous mathematical sense it is clearly bad
science to apply the CLT to yield an overall normal distribution in a
simplistic manner. This is not to say that we won't have a bell curve or
something similar arising if we got a more accurate model of oil
extraction to take into account these factors just that it might be a
normal distribution with a much higher variance. I suspect it will be
more like a J-curve myself with technology pushing the various
distributions forward in time overall. Note any change in even every
individual well's supply of oil would make no difference to the
applicability of the CLT - so arguments about wells giving a higher than
originally expected yield make no difference to the Hubbart's normal
distribution. What matters here is that the overall distribution of oil
well discoveries is not independent.

This is not to take away from points made that instead of focussing on
supply we need to consider all factors in a proper 'political economy'
sense.

As an aside, does anyone know anything about a writer called Rudolf
Bahro from East Germany. I know he wrote one book called The Alternative
in the late 70s. What happened to him since?

As a second aside, still thinking about opening a vein here on QM and
the standard interpretation vs dialectical materialism. Any ideas for a
start, Les?

Is mise
DoC.




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