Posts by tussock

  • Speaker: A hazy, intriguing crystal ball, in reply to chris,

    An age old problem with tried and tested responses.

    Do you have any concept of how much building a sea wall around NZ would cost? We don't live next to the North Sea with it's unending gentle drizzle on shallow and sheltered coastal waters, but the vast Pacific Ocean with it's Cyclones, Tasman sea in the roaring 40's, and Southern Ocean with waves that build for thousands of kilometres.

    We're not the wealthiest country on earth in our time gaining new and highly productive land next to some of the largest and cheapest trading networks on earth that it also profits from, but instead trying to maintain often a dodgy profit of any sort on young and sandy soils on the far side of the planet from most of our customers.

    Those people spent centuries building a patchwork of walls with constant missteps and floods and tens of thousands of deaths and paid for it all with the new highly productive land they created and sold, as it acted as flood protection for their rapidly growing trade capitals. The land itself had only recently gone underwater due to the glacial rebound trend in that part of the world, most was old sunken river deltas.

    The estimated costs of long-life sea walls facing the pacific are tens of millions of dollars per kilometre, plus the ongoing costs of raising the rivers and pumping out floods, and you're talking NZ with 15,000 km of coastline, instead of Netherlands with 450 km of coastline, just to hang onto small amounts of often marginal land.

    The entire area of Denmark recovered by dykes today is about 40 km^2 per km of coastline, NZ only has 10 km^2 per km of coastline if you include all the mountains.

    Economically, it's a struggle in Dunedin now to figure out how protecting the older parts of South Dunedin can be paid for without mostly outside assistance. Protecting coast farmland is a joke, we already can't keep the suburbs dry.

    We really have very little and relatively unproductive land to protect, and a very large amount of rather angry sea to protect it from. Even Denmark has given a lot of what it took back to the sea over the years because it simply wasn't profitable to reinforce it in the face of continued subsidence.

    And that was all sinking at a small fraction of the speed that's expected in the next 2-3 centuries. This will largely be the problem of future generations, who will be dealing with it in a post-oil world with heavier flooding events and larger cyclones that persist further from the equator. Dikes simply aren't going to happen.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in the Flag Referendum, in reply to izogi,

    yet still claim to vote and support National. Why?

    People are tribal, and they vote for the people who remind them of themselves and seem to be living the life they want. The majority of people want Green/Mana policies, and they vote for the National Party to implement them because they want to be successful and get everything they ever wanted and be relaxed about all that other stuff like John Key did and is.

    Similarly, they did not want the life Bill English got for himself, nor Don Brash, though the latter was much closer on account of he was secretly a bit racist too.

    In the US, a majority of Republican voters want the all Democrat's main policies implemented, and none of the Republican ones, and they vote for the Republicans to do that because that's who they aspire to be like, including being all racist dog-whistler and scared of Jesus and their own sexuality and stuff.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The beginning of the end of the…,

    There's stuff from political folk in the US that said the whole point of the drug laws in the 80's was a new way to criminalise and ostracise black people by the Republican party. It's not that the harshest laws hit the minorities hardest, it's that attacking minorities was the whole point of the thing.

    When they talked about "inner city drug problems" it was just dog-whistle politics. It got votes because it really only hurt black people and everyone knew that. Ferguson running the city budget on crazy fines for black people and the associated riots and brutal enforcement aren't new there.

    Or here, really. "Māori privilege", "Māori violence in the home", "Māori underachievement", and all that. How we help by having the state steal more land and sell it to keep taxes lower. Still.

    These days it's the "war on terror", which is obviously there to harass people of the currently demonised ethnicity who have something we want, which is exactly why people vote for it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: The Whaledump Saga: Scooby-Doo Edition,

    So, is the real story here that politicians have been blackmailing senior NZ journalists by having the spooks hack their private communications and search for nude photos.

    Because, well, isn't exactly that why we got that new law to make sure all our ISPs and Telcos had to install pre-hacked US hardware, under firm guidance of the local spooks, and not the good Chinese stuff instead? And now we want another law to ban encryption, because Paris.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Social media, disability…,

    Yeh, the compulsive collecting and sharing isn't linked to the predatory or harmful actions that the laws there are designed to limit, but the law is an ass and applies equally to all of us.

    Dude needs a new hobby, anyway, being securely monitored for a year or so might help him find one. Or could do, if prisons where useful places that taught people good habits, instead of shitty places we get our kicks from putting the poor people who got caught.

    Remember kids, it's not sexual harassment if you're the Prime Minister, especially not those kids he was touching.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: TPP, eh?,

    Yay, life plus 70 years.

    Because it's super-important that people who died in the 1950s can have some shitty heartless multinational wreck your creative works by claiming you've violated their copyright (you know, because you can sort of make out a radio playing in that house they walk past for eight seconds, or glimpse a logo of something out of focus in the background) in order to encourage the creativity of ... corporate lawyers.

    Creative people? Sorry, it's called work-for-hire, you get nothing.

    TPMs! Yay! That's where you buy a game and they install spyware on your computer, as a "technological protection measure". Telling people that it exists and how to get rid of it will become a criminal offence. Huzzah. You know what a TPM is? It's whatever the fuck they want it to be, so good luck.

    Who needs medicine anyway. Generics? That's like exactly the same thing only cheaper; but why buy a pill for 20¢ when you can pay $10,000, or whatever the fuck they choose to charge for their extended monopoly on your well being. For the drugs discovered, almost all the time, in state-funded research labs, and then sold to the highest bidder. With the actual creative people doing work-for-hire and getting nothing.

    And of course Labour will vote for it. It's a "trade" bill. Labour and National have voted together on "trade" bills forever, their main point of difference is still if the top tax rate should be 33% or 37% (and thus the rate at which public services will be cut and replaced with private for-profit statute monopolies and the infinite glory of user-pays, where they mean poor people paying and giant companies getting billions in handouts).

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Rugby, Racing and Emotions,

    Danielle, to answer your rhetorical, the rugby conversions like to point out that it's deeply commercialised façade of things that barely exist any more because that never really gets mentioned in the MSM.

    On account of the MSM being advertising based, and rather being a part of the non-problem. It's not harmful, as such, it's just a weird thing that there's this huge myth perpetrated by the media (who we all trust to keep us informed, to some extent) and folk are going to talk about that.

    The fact that this great fake story of "Rugby really matters" ends up with obscene amounts of public money spent on it is also going to get on people's nerves. Not as much as that Sky City deal in Auckland maybe, but still.

    I know I go on about it, but the local council in Dunedin used to have plans for things, the ancient sewers, the interesting roads, the flood systems that don't work, doing something about the encroaching sea, missing public transport links, none of that will happen in my lifetime now because they built a tiny rugby ground that they can't use most of the time instead (rather than spend 10% as much to improve the one they already had). For "our" world cup. Be nice if people woke up, eh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…, in reply to Sacha,

    Helen Kelly has pointed out that the Minister was pushing those ludicrous myths herself on TV in June, to justify said taskforce.

    You know, it could just be that the minister was ignorant, believed all the rubbish going around their social circles about government was true, and sought rightly to fix it. Only to be told it was all rubbish by a proper investigative body. Oops.

    I mean, it's true that good builders don't really need inspected all the time, it's just also true that we have good builders because they get inspected all the time and don't really have any choice in the matter. When the inspection rules got softened, just a bit, half the new houses went rotten, but that doesn't happen any more, so ....

    Like the old mines inspectors. Hadn't had a mine explosion in years, what was even the point of all those inspections? Hmm? Oh, right.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just…,

    You want an artist to get money? Hand them cash, walk away happy.

    Content in general is no longer valuable. Weird, huh, but there it is. Wikipedia has shown that people will produce better content for free than anyone can figure out how to sell, other than on one or two big locked hardware platforms (Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Nintendo). Interestingly, people really want to pay you, it's just not normally feasible to connect that with the content any more.

    So either you licence your music for the things where money still buys content, like a Playstation game or a Hollywood movie, or you sell yourself and use the music as an advertisement for you.

    Merch is ... limited. There's only so much room in people's houses, big fans might easily buy everything and run out of ways to give you money. Years ago the webcomic industry discovered giving it all away sold more books. Then they discovered that letting people pay to have the books made in the first place sold even more books. Now they've discovered you can just ask people to pay you to make the free comics you were going to make anyway, and that makes even more money than all the rest of it put together, and also helps you sell more books.

    Obviously music is produced in longer format than webcomics, but there's folk posting pretty crap vlogs on youtube backed by Patreon to the tune of thousands of dollars per week and there's musicians putting live stuff on youtube too. I'm sure that could work for musicians.

    The usual add goes: I only put up one of these a month (week, whatever), because money. Pay me more to put each one up, I can do it more often. Do that with live stuff, random jams, get a fricken unique domain up and advertise your existence, tour dates, places to buy, email lists to alert people that you're doing things they can pay your for like they want to.

    Post free shit, get a following, and ask the people who like you for more money so you can post more free shit. Sell autographed CDs, sell personalised one-off jams, sell the shirt your wore at that concert. People want a bit of that magic awesome in their lives, so it'll rub off on them.

    Not through a fucking service that people call generous at 15%! Stop giving away 85% of your revenue, you fucking idiots. Kickstarter takes 5% and hosts all your adds and deals with all the money for you, with no up front costs and you set a minimum for following up on it at all, Patreon takes 5% for people paying you to do what you were doing anyway. You know who takes 85%? Fucking crooks.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A week on from the housing controversy,

    /Russel Brown.

    there is an issue of historic proportions looming with respect to Chinese capital outflows

    Really? Is that ... extrapolation? Or just ... random ass-pulls.

    Because I recall there being an issue of Belgian dentists, or Japanese widows, or Dutch dairy farmers, or bankers from Sydney, or ... let's say, everyone in NZ who isn't Māori. I mean, if you wanted to talk about historic proportions of capital flows, there'd be an interesting place to start, surely, the ten of trillions of dollars in capital stolen from Māori by imperial conquest, that we're all disturbed about now because it's not Europeans stealing it all, it's just normal and lawful everyday commerce with the CHINESE!!!!!* ... you know Kiwis are buying a bunch of stuff in China, too, right?

    And not at all, say, "people whose names sound Chinese". Which is historically associated with some really nasty racist stuff in this country's history, but isn't what is happening here, even though it obviously is.

    Since Nov 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

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