Posts by tussock

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to Andrew Robertson,

    Tussock – it’s not that simple.

    What they report now is bullshit. You don't like my simple approach because it doesn't cover some contingencies, but what they report now covers almost no contingencies. Maybe 1 if a party's near 5%.

    The results for each party are non-independent, so if the number of seats for one party changes, this changes the number of seats other parties will get (irrepective of what their range is).

    Yes, but if you actually care that National (or whoever else) don't really have the range of outcomes you say they have, and think that's important, maybe you should be doing something about it already.

    They report the polls as a left vs right thing (and you should probably ask people if they want a left- or right-lead parliament to inform their reports) with some centre parties mostly ignored in the graphics.

    So it doesn't actually matter how many votes flip between Labour and Green, only between the left block and right block. Because that's all they're really reporting.

    And that's simple enough math. Because the right block is almost entirely the National Party it's variation is the same as the net variation in the left block. Can't be otherwise. Any further variation in Labour and Green is unknown between those two and a bunch of minor parties.

    When you chuck another party on National's side, the uncertainty on that side grows, and so does the uncertainty on Labour's side to match. That's really easy to display on the hop. You don't have to cancel out the movement between those graphically joined parties, even though you could try.

    Parties with a range crossing the 5% threshold would then add to this complexity and would shift entire ranges altogether. Then to add even more to the complexity, the total number of seats will shift depending on whether parties have ranges that might create an overhang. The number of seat combinations would be ridiculous, and impossible to report.

    You, sir, are making the perfect the enemy of the good. We don't need to see the exact chance of every possible parliament layout, we don't need an exact chance you've found a left-wing majority. It's just when Duncan Garner and co get on and prattle about National having 62 seats on the last poll data and they'll be governing alone on that poll that should fucking well embarrass you.

    Because it's not true. Your data doesn't show that. It never shows that. It can't. I understand they can't display everything the data might be showing, but right now they display things the data doesn't show.

    And one way to fix that is just to show that National has polled between 58 and 66 seats, and those 8 seats could actually be going to other parties by the same poll data. By candy-striping them or something.

    It's not the whole story, the error's going to be too large combining parties, etc, etc, but it's a hell of a lot more of the story than picking the number in the middle for everyone and pretending like that's true.

    So no, a little bit of maths won’t do it unfortunately.

    A little math would be better. No math would be better if when they put up their graphic of seats in parliament it just showed that some of them were uncertain.

    And that includes the uncertainty of a 121st or 122nd seat, the big change if Winston misses or gets in (because his range might be 0 or 6-8 and that drops other parties by 0 or 1-4 by size). But you'll notice the number of seats Winston gets is equal to the total seats everyone else loses and so they're the same damn seats in the graphics.


    OK, the graphics at TV3 and TVNZ aren't your problem, and I'm maybe talking to the wrong person entirely. But you'd have a hell of a lot more sway with them than I do, because I've heard them give your excuses there already on TV. You already do influence them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Decidedly Undecided, in reply to Andrew Robertson,

    Actually, we've had people tell us that we shouldn't even report to whole numbers - but provide only ranges. If we did that though, we couldn't convert to seats and it would be hard to tell how close things are under MMP.

    Of course you can convert it to a range of seats. National getting between 58 and 66 seats is what your poll data is saying. A little math would tell you the odds they're polling above 60 seats. Taking the median and suggesting they get 62 seats exactly is simply not supported by the data.

    You could even point out that National get at least 58 seats, Labour and Green at least 52, minor parties 4, and there's six seats could go to either block is the real story of the poll. The uncertainty of the cross-bench point is the bit that actually matters. Highlight it.

    Maybe some more people will GOTV to try to help it one way or the other. The one curse of polling is so many people end up thinking their vote doesn't matter. That it's all decided already, when the uncertainty is always there, right on the cross benches. Well, usually it is.


    Even got a house graphic for you: Striped seats in the middle with colours covering the uncertainty range of each party. Labour's got 5 half-seats, Nats 6 Half-seats, Greens 3 half-seats. Look at 'em there, just waiting for your lazy ass to get out and vote.


    Edit: Then put up a graphic with how many seats the non-voters could swing. Because it's what, 30 seats? More?

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Labour's Fiscal Plan:…, in reply to Swan,

    It is double taxation on the same income no matter who is paying it

    That's a specious argument. Everything is double or triple or more taxation because money really does circulate. When I spend money in a shop I've been taxed and then they pay GST, and then the wages the shop pays and profits they make are taxed, same for all the other businesses in the chain, and their workers also spend that money and pay GST, and around it goes. Bit and bobs get claimed back along the way.

    If someone happens to buy and sell assets during that merry-go-round, and you set the tax rate on that to zero like we do, people will game the system with asset-trades. It's like the government paying people to put ever more money into fixed assets, which with a limited fixed asset supply can only ever distort asset prices upward in the long run, at least until the pyramid comes crashing down.

    In the US it got so bad the banks wrecked the entire world's economy gambling on house prices going up year-on-year forever with no significant risk. The market is literally insane around tax gaps.


    Joyce is simply being deceitful to say that leaving some private homes out of the system will make people game it when almost everyone in the National caucus is already gaming the system more than they could with this change, including him. The perfect is not a true enemy of the good, especially if a perfect system is unelectable.

    So yes, asset taxes are totally a double tax. Just like every other tax. And they're important because our asset prices are highly distorted against their realisable value at the moment, because of people gaming the system to chase that 0% tax.



    Someone asked how you play the game? The standard was (it changes as the govt/IRD tweak things) to count your rental as a loss maker, and dump 30% of your income into improving it's value (while secretly defrauding the IRD by putting most of the money into your own house instead). This gives you a tax rebate for your regular income equal to your normal tax bill. That's harder to do now than ten years back, especially with WFF giving many folk 0% tax anyway, but not impossible.

    The game finishes when you flip properties and realise the untaxed capital gain. You earned 90k, put 30k "into the rental at a loss", paid no tax, sold the rental for +60k when inflation happened, for net income 120k, total tax paid 0k. Times about 50 for rich folk, inside those layers on layers of trusts they "know nothing about" while living in and driving.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Suicide Reporting; or, The…, in reply to william blake,

    just because the gutless arsehole

    That's not how that works, by the way. It's always nice to believe that people doing horrific things hold belittling character flaws, but it's not true.

    It's a mental health issue. They're not well, or at least they weren't for that last minute. Most suicides are just something lethal being right there at a very bad moment for otherwise normal enough people: gun locks (and medicine and such put out of sight and away from where you spend time) save a lot of lives for that reason.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sponsored post: Speed and Safety,

    On the discussion of how speed works, there was an Experiment in Victoria, Oz when I was kid there (early 80's), where they figured a lot of people were crashing on the main freeway north of Melbourne (Hume Highway) because the road was too bloody easy to drive on (design was to allow safe travel at 160k) and put people to sleep.

    So they raised the limit to 120k, from 100. After a year, they had less accidents, less injuries of all types, about the same serious injuries, and a few more deaths. About as expected. They did the math on social costs, and the extra deaths lost significantly: adults are just too valuable.

    NZ roads just aren't that good. At all. I'd point out how much better off society would be if the speed limit was lowered (crash rates and injury rates drop on anything but the easiest roads), but it'd be an easy way to lose an election for any party proposing it, so it's not going to happen.

    Having said that, many local back roads are down to 80k now. Because the council asked and no one objected.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Words and Disability - The…,

    It's pretty strait forward as a language issue.

    You "are" the things which you are; smart, handsome, tall, married, a doctor, white (not going to prison for pretty much anything, eh). They're huge social constructs, routinely affecting your everyday life and how people treat you.

    You "have" the things which are normally invisible to society or transitory in nature. You have a TV, or HIV, or poly-cystic ovary syndrome, or a bloody nose, or a degree in statistics. You can also "get" iterative things, like migraines or colds or ulcers, "catch" the infectious ones if it's commonly thought they are such.

    You "had" the things which affected you in the past (often permanently) but are not recurrent. You had a vasectomy, a year off work, a stroke.


    You had a job. You don't have a job. You are unemployed.
    You had a wedding. You have a spouse. You are married.
    You had an accident. You have epilepsy. You are fine, thanks.

    With autism, there's no had. Nothing happened.
    You can have social difficulties, anxiety, you can get panic attacks and dissociative events. But they're treatable, you learn to deal.
    You are autistic though. It's a defining thing. When people think it's something you "have", that's a problem, that causes difficulties.

    Excuse the definite article, "one" reads rather poorly in repeat.


    Anyway, the language people use has to reflect that. "Experiencing" is just bullshit, you experience the mountains by taking a walk on the Routeburn. It's a holiday, something you willingly partake in and then leave behind.


    Disclaimer: I am an aspie, being totally off-base about how language works in the wild does happen.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves, in reply to Pete George,

    I’m also puzzled by the no frills ordinary bloke claims, I didn’t often see that in him.

    It's like when estate agents sell a house. Cozy => Really f***ing small.

    "No frills" just means he swears a lot. "Ordinary bloke" means he's a sexist dinosaur. Also the sort to launch a popular crusade against one of our most powerful companies, and then abandon the party for greener pastures in the middle of it because he "didn't want to work with a bunch of fucking smelly pot-smoking hippies that give him a hard time just because he says what everyone's thinking".

    If you'll forgive the not-an-actual-quote. But that does seem to be about what happened, tried to find some way to both stay in parliament and not work with the greens and when that didn't work he jumped at a fake diplomatic position (but one with a real paycheck, "roving pacific ambassador" => permanent island holiday on the government dollar, mate).

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: All of these things are…,

    Three strikes laws are abhorrent. If the penalties on burglary or whatever else are too soft, raise them for everyone.

    That doesn't actually do anything but put more people in prison, but at least it would keep certain ACT party donors (the private prisons, duh) happy without forcing the law to be disproportionate.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Language of Climate,

    Didn't you all know? If it was important, people would be doing something. As people clearly aren't doing anything, it can't be important. Logic demands it.

    So if we keep not doing anything, that keeps us safe. A good sign that things aren't really all that much of a problem after all, despite all those chicken little types and their fancy science.

    Like getting inoculated, just asking for trouble. Retreating before the coming tide, as if! No tide if no one retreated, is there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Polls: news you can own,

    Though after the last election, polling of non-voters suggested more National voters stayed home because National "was going to win" than did those who might have voted for opposed blocks.

    So declaring a victor before polling really does make everyone less likely to vote. And more so for National matches their polling results quite well.

    Or maybe Labour just GOTV better every time. Greens similarly poll well with younger intending voters, only to have young people ever less likely to actually vote on the day. Maybe the Greens need to join the Labour program and help young people get to the polling station, at least in the seats with the widest total margin between intent and result for them.

    Winston polls better with old folk, and they still do vote very strongly, so their comparative proportion rises on the day (not to mention the climbing proportion of old folk in society over time, and how they don't have to skip work to vote). Supporters dying out indeed. If anything it's the religious brigade who are slowly disappearing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

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