Agriculture

Tolstoy Dichotomy, Part Two

[caption id=“” align=“alignleft” width=“120” caption=“Tatiana Samoilova as Anna-bobanna”][/caption] So back in March, 2009 I blogged about a phenomenon I called the Anna Karenina Yield Anomaly. In short, I postulated that in the production of crops the idea of a national ‘good year’ pretty much means everyone had a good yield and a national ‘bad year’ meant that some had an OK year and some were having a terrible year. And thus I made myself seem more literate than I am by linking that phenomenon back to Tolstoy and his line “All happy families are happy in the same way.

The Anna Karenina Yield Anomaly

[caption id=“attachment_240” align=“alignleft” width=“157” caption=“Leo Tolstoy”][/caption] Leo Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina with the famous lines: “All happy families are happy in the same way. All miserable families are miserable in their own way.” I did my graduate thesis on the spatial relationship of stochastic variables. The stochastic variable which I found most interesting at the time was farmer corn yields. Since yields can’t go any lower than zero I had a preconceived notion that in bad years all farmer yields were bunched up down close to zero and on good years yields were very spread out with some farmers having average yields and some having nearly double their average yields.