I tried to lay out an argument on Twitter why opening schools seems problematic from my vantage point. Unfortunately, it was somewhat involved and hard to understand when I attempted to explain it in a series of tweets. That’s why I would like to write it up in a more adequate form here.

The argument is completely different from the ones that I have encountered elsewhere. It also leads to rather different conclusions: I would not expect an immediate effect from school openings with a big boost for numbers or that teachers must be particularly hard-hit relative to others or that schools have to suffer from explosive outbreaks on a regular basis although some may take place. …


In the following, I would like to develop an epidemiological model that is capable of reproducing qualitative behaviors that are observable for the current pandemic, but are hard to explain from other vantage points. The stress here is on “qualitative.” The results below should not be interpreted as an exact explanation of what is going on or even a forecast for what will happen in the future. I make lots of arbitrary assumptions that I have not tried to calibrate to actual data in any way.

— — —

The starting-point for my thinking were various observations that I found baffling. …


[This is part of my series on Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population,” first published in 1798. You can find an overview of all my posts here that I will keep updated: “Synopsis: What’s Wrong with the Malthusian Argument?”Note that this is a work in progress, my previous posts may be outdated and contain errors. Later posts supersede earlier ones.]

In my last post, I introduced a simple non-Malthusian model for population dynamics as a proof-of-concept (for my definition of the term “non-Malthusian,” cf. my post here). The central relationship in the model was:

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TFR here stands for the total fertility rate, which is determined by the ratio of DENSITY for population density (equivalent to population size for a fixed area) and a constant R’ that is plugged into a power function with an exponent of about -3.33 (for the estimation of the inverse of this exponent from data for South Korea, cf. my post here). The constant is the ratio of a constant R that stands for the target level where the population density stabilizes over time and another constant C for the replacement level that is determined by current mortality. R’ is roughly the level at which the population stabilizes, but somewhat above it by a percentage that is larger for high mortality, about 20%, and goin down for low mortality. That is actually the population increase that I found for a mortality transition from pre-modern to modern levels in my previous post. …


[This is part of my series on Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population,” first published in 1798. You can find an overview of all my posts here that I will keep updated: “Synopsis: What’s Wrong with the Malthusian Argument?”Note that this is a work in progress, my previous posts may be outdated and contain errors. Later posts supersede earlier ones.]

I would like to present a very simple model for population dynamics here that is non-Malthusian in the sense of my previous post. By “non-Malthusian” I mean roughly that a population with such population dynamics will not regularly end up in a Malthusian endgame with maximum population size (or equivalently: population density for fixed area) and with a minimum for the food supply per capita. …


[This is part of my series on Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population,” first published in 1798. You can find an overview of all my posts here that I will keep updated: “Synopsis: What’s Wrong with the Malthusian Argument?”]

I have not blogged about my critique of the Malthusian argument for some time. Had to let a few things sink in, and now is the time to work my new insights out. As a general remark: Some of my ideas have turned out to be wrong or at least suboptimal. So treat my previous posts with extra caution, even more caution than is warranted in general with explanations that are definitely not well-established knowledge. …


I have made a similar point already on Twitter, but it tends to get lost. So I wanted to write it up in a short post, also because the argument is too involved for a few tweets:

My simple question is: What was the purpose of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky on July 25? I would include in this the run-up to the call and events that came afterwards. And I mean the part here about investigating the Bidens. The consensus answer is: Trump wanted to force Zelensky and his government to meddle in the 2020 general election. I don’t object to that in a broad sense. …


[This is part of my series on Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population,” first published in 1798. You can find an overview of all my posts here that I will keep updated: “Synopsis: What’s Wrong with the Malthusian Argument?”]

Here comes another installment in my mini-series on how to spot charlatans writing on demographics. Unfortunately, there are very many of them around and they have shaped the views of the public for decades.

The top telltale sign in my experience is when someone argues with birth and death rates instead of fertility and mortality. …


[This is part of my series on Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population,” first published in 1798. You can find an overview of all my posts here that I will keep updated: “Synopsis: What’s Wrong with the Malthusian Argument?”]

I am working on a critique of the Malthusian argument and blog about preliminary results here. My main target is Thomas Malthus’ original theory. However, there have been modern reinterpretations that are inspired by the original thesis although they try to circumvent some of its problems. The connection with the Malthusian argument is often vague. …


An earlier post of mine seems to have hit a nerve: Homeschooling is not illegal in Germany. It has by now more than four thousand views and about one thousand reads. I assume that means someone has read the whole post, but I don’t know.

The post came about when I tried to make my argument against “homeschooling” on Twitter with some libertarians who are in general very much into this. But then Twitter is not a good medium to develop an involved argument, so I wrote it up as a post. …


[This is a post in my series on free migration. I will keep an overview with short summaries updated that you can find here: Synopsis: Arguments for Free Migration.]

Apparenty I need to write this up as a reference because I see this mistake on a regular basis. The latest entry is from Noah Smith, and a few days back it was Kevin Drum (at least it seems as if the same error were in the background). The context is this: Someone wants to disprove that there is a crisis at the Southern border of the US. As far as it goes, I fully agree. This is a made-up panic. …

Freisinnige Zeitung

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