Posts by Stephen Judd

  • Up Front: So Farewell Then, UCSA,

    I'll just leave this here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hug Reform,

    As unions grew stronger and stronger in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, capitalism demanded that bonds of solidarity be weakened. Thus it is that the frostiest interpersonal behaviour is found in those Protestant countries where industrialisation and the factory model are or were strongest.

    Since the power of the labour movement got smashed from the 70s onwards, it's been ok to allow physical demonstrations of friendship, but only in support of commodified activities that encourage commerce. Truly free activities that require no equipment or admittance fee, like fucking, remain out of bounds.


    Sorry, I just woke up at the keyboard.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: TPP, eh?, in reply to Deborah,

    is it also okay to remove real (land, buildings etc) property that people have inherited after a certain period of time

    Isn't that akin to what happens in jurisdictions with death duties, land taxes, asset taxes, and the like? Or compulsory acquisition? Or in jurisdictions where the state owns all land and only ever leases it (eg China)?

    The state can and does limit your ownership rights in real property all the time, including in ways that force you to give them up altogether.

    Whether this is OK or not is a different point, but if we must call copyright "property" (and I dispute they're analogous), there are certainly analogues to limiting peoples' rights in property.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Crowdsourcing Project Cortex,

    Protection from malware could also cover submissions to websites -- eg, infected Office documents or PDFs. So one could plausibly claim that a website is protected by Cortex if user-generated content is filtered in some way.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Misrepresenting Kiribati and…,

    The other thing to consider is salination and the ability to grow food crops. I heard a correspondent on the radio on the weekend, talking about how tree crops are dying as their roots get down into the brine :-/

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The positive option of Red Peak,

    I agree that the likelihood of deliberate attack goes up as the matter at stake gets more important, and that's why online systems are probably ok for things like incorporated societies electing their officers, or maybe even the Labour party selecting a leader...

    The biggest issue that still gives me pause is that using them in lower risk situations would normalise them for use in a general election. People will become habituated, not understand the risk, and demand them in contexts where they're not appropriate.

    Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy. I still don' t really approve of postal, either.

    Finally, as a general opponent of online voting, I do worry about disabled voters. There needs to be a solution that works for them. I understand proxy vote by telephone has worked well in the last election, but I'd like to see investigation of other technical solutions.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The positive option of Red Peak, in reply to chris,

    Online voting would be cool if there was a decent chance of a secure system that your average scrutineer could understand, but I reckon that's not so with the current state of the art, and not likely any time soon. Online voting's kind of like flying cars were in the 1950s -- modern, desirable, seemingly just around the corner, and with the odd apparently working prototype, yet beset with a host of problems that continue to make the whole idea unworkable at scale.

    1. anonymity – no one here seems too concerned.

    You may not be, but I am.

    3. We can already apply for a passport, order a birth, death or marriage certificate online.

    Those processes are inherently not anonymous. Nor does a low level of fraud have serious consequences whereas elections can hang on a handful of votes.

    4. Many of us already conduct all our banking and financial transactions online.

    Again: fraud is easier to deal with because of lack of anonymity; losses are financial only; small scale fraud doesn't threaten the integrity of the institution; and there is an acceptable level of fraud which is just a cost of doing business. It's not comparable at all.

    5. For those who are overseas we already have a prototypical form of online voting in which the vote cast in not anonymous.

    That is an unsatisfactory response to a logistical problem. The fact we've gone part-way towards a worrying end doesn't mean we should go even further.

    6 Switzerland (PDF).

    Has experienced problems. Ask yourself how much you trust public sector procurement or project management to deliver a quality system in NZ when other advanced countries have failed.

    Here's a list a friend compiled recently, looking at the same 12 jurisdictions last years NZ working party reviewed:

    - 1 Australia - significant security issue (report today, coincidentally)
    - 2 Canada - "successful" but minimal impact on turnout
    - 3 Estonia - seen as successful, but severely critiqued by independent researchers
    - 4 France - fake votes demonstrated
    - 5 Netherlands - banned outright
    - 6 Norway, abandoned online voting
    - 7 Portugal - discontinued
    - 8 Spain - discontinued
    - 9 Switzerland - ?
    - 10 UK - discontinued
    - 11 Washington, D.C (genuine trial, hacked in 48 hrs),
    - 12 West Virginia, unclear
    Summary: abandoned in 6 of 12 with others facing criticism or security issues found .

    There's a bunch of other issues like whether lay people can hope to audit a system, the generally poor security of most people's PCs/phones/tablets, dealing with phishing and DDOS, but these have been canvassed at length elsewhere.

    It's definitely not the no-brainer it appears to be at first glance.

    My friend Nigel wrote this a few days ago which tackles most of the issues nicely as far as I'm concerned.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: In defence of the centre, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    the careful, nuanced wariness of other professional politicians. You can have no doubts what they value, and the policies they espouse.

    Plain-speaking politicians, unguarded politicians, especially on the left, are liable to be monstered by the right-wing noise machine. As is already happening to Corbyn.

    Possibly another reason National are careful to keep Key away from the hard interviewers and confine his media appearances to soft entertainment is that then he doesn't have to use Guarded Politician Mode and spoil the everyman non-politician illusion.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A cog in the Mediaworks machine, in reply to Joanna,

    everyone here should watch Anne Helen Peterson's excellent Webstock talk What we talk about when we talk about Brangelina

    Seconded. So-called gossip has an important social function. Also, how is it worse or different to sports news (or many other kinds of "news" that are coded masculine)?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Meet the middle, in reply to HORansome,

    , if both of those propositions are true, the fact that people slam Labour for engaging in dole bludger rhetoric (for example, that story about the roof layer) despite claims about policy

    That argument, mutatis mutandis, applies to the Chinese names/foreign buyers debacles. Perceived to be racist, therefore racist.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3052 posts Report Reply

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