Posts by tussock

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war,

    Can I just point out, if someone wants to compare people to Nazis, that the actual Nazis were an elected government that popularly sent their armies across national borders to control and eliminate foreigners with what they termed "sub-human" cultural standards and laws, who were no danger at all to actual Germans but did make a nice story to explain the expansionist war for the control of critical industrial resources?

    That there really were a lot of little countries just signed on a few troops to the Nazi movement so as to be on the right team, because you've got to trade with someone after all.

    Obviously the United States of America isn't anything like Nazi Germany, with it's Department for the Security of the Fatherland spying on all their own citizens, a local racially-defined underclass locked away in vast ghettos or penned up in huge numbers in isolated prisons for the most ludicrous of victimless crimes, casually murdered in the street by so-called law enforcement officers.

    The US supreme court itself declared racism doesn't even exist there, so we're all good. State-compelled breeding for the chosen ones. It's not us that's the Nazis, it's those fucking Arabs, if they'd just settle down and smile more we might even stop bombing them some day, with our gigantic technological marvels of overwhelming military power (which will obviously win us the war, don't you know).

    Just shows you how right we are, really. How they keep on fighting us. Primitives. Look at them liking things that we don't like, doing things that we stopped doing as much as thirty years ago.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Losing cultural treasures under…, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    But aren't all rights* artificial goods we've created for public policy reasons?

    No. Rights are things we, the people, kept cutting heads off the heads of state until the next ones took the hint and gave them to us. There's quite a long history of power shifting between the heads of state and the populace of that state, and every time the state is powerful all the rights all go away, and every time the populace is powerful they kill the heads of state and take them back.

    The power of the state and it's control over the internet companies has just removed our rights to privacy in our communications, for instance. That whole Prisoner of War thing no longer happens. While the populace with cameras everywhere is effectively giving us more power against state repression.

    Some modern states are quite clever about seeing problems coming and pre-empting them with policy changes, but it's the threat they face which makes them act.

    And while copyright as such is artificial, the right to be paid for your labour isn't!

    That's another thing you might recall the odd war being fought over not so long ago. The early days of labour unions in the US and UK involved facing down cannons and cavalry charges, but despite losing a lot of battles they did eventually win their peace and get slavery banned along with a few other gains, even though it took a very great deal of killing for some heads of state to take the hint.


    Which doesn't say much about copyright in sleepy old Nzld. I just pretend it doesn't exist, which works quite well other than having to avoid products with stuck locks on them. Or from what I read, perhaps extra well by avoiding those things.

    The way the modern world should function is traffic-based micro-payments like radio and other public musak uses, because everything is very much like radio now and costs next to nothing to make copies of. But we don't because the people who used to print vinyl music and hardbound paper texts have been gifted all of our history. "For the artists."

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Sex with the office lights on:…, in reply to Lilith __,

    Imagine if the pub-crowd had merely had a giggle and a good story to tell their families when they got home.

    Pics or it didn't happen. Carefully 'shopped for the kids (and youtube), of course, as a teaching lesson about privacy expectations in the modern world. Blur their identity and place of work and they've got their privacy back, surely.

    There should be an app for that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Sky is the limit,

    What's the return on investment here? OK, for the National party they invest public money in Sky City, and get 0.5% of that back to the National party through the trusts, so that's only costing them a fourth term. Or not even that, as three years for people to forget the Christmas news dump will be plenty. Plus, early retirement's coming up anyway.

    How about the rest of us? Obviously I get nothing from it, wrong end of the country and all, everything here's got to be closed and moved to Christchurch to show how well that rebuild's going. Oh, well, sharing the load.

    But ... you know, someone must get a return. Sky City seems a bit like they're going to struggle to make any money off it, and even then it relies on a massive increase in gambling to pay for the thing. Auckland Council could bleed money into it for decades and only ever see more costs. Hoteliers? I mean, yeh, maybe, for a handful of days a year they get booked out, which to a large extent just displaces regular visitors and creates more empty capacity the rest of the year as the market compensates.

    I mean, we're a long way from anywhere. New Zealand. US convention centres have tens of thousands of people mostly drive to them out of the surrounding population of tens of millions, and most people only do it a few times in their life, meaning most conventions have to move around every few years to find the right city and right venue as their audience changes. A bunch of them fold up every year, it's a tough business.

    Auckland's going to struggle to get a thousand people a day at any sort of regular convention at that, most being locals and not even needing a room, and we've not as much money to spend as the Americans do when we get there. The speakers and exhibitors have to pay more to get here, but they can't collect as much when they do. So we'll simply have al lot less of them viable.

    Everyone knows that's what conventions are, right? A few people flying in to milk the locals. Dedicated fans doing the clown-car trick to get there cheaper. Maybe sneak some extra people into the hotel room.

    What's the business plan? That'll tell you. Hope it's not like the fucking stadium down here, all hopes and dreams of transformation and all "build it and they will come", because that shit really means a big-ass public cheque every year for a big empty building, for the rest of my life at least. Surely someone's expecting a return.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Terror panics and the war imperative,

    News is the things that are not happening to you. Unfortunately, our monkeysphere sense says they must be happening to someone, because there's only about 150 of us, and so the insignificant bullshit which fills the news scares the crap out of most folk. Politicians and the media know and love this fact, using it to justify whatever they were going to do anyway.

    News at 11: we're invading Syria. Because they have oil and only Iran looking after them, who we aren't scared of. The trick is in creating a sufficiently fearsome enemy (we give them money via the Saudis, to buy arms via the Turks, and then highlight the resulting chaos and death all out of proportion) that can justify our looming mission.

    Remember, Syria is our ally. We sent them people for especially cruel torturing just recently. Also, Syria is our enemy. They torture people, FFS, it's monstrous. We also torture people, but anyone who tries to prove that goes to prison, and we don't call it torture so that's fine.

    Nothing's going to "go down" in New Zealand that isn't already going down on a routine basis. There's scores of murders every year, they're not even news, one day one will be by or of an "Islamic terrorist" who no one suspected of any such thing (because they weren't, duh) and that'll be trumpeted from the rooftops as we parcel some young men and women off to secure the safety of future oil supplies. It's for their own good, you see, enduring this and manifest that. Democracy. Whatever floats your boat, keeps the protests manageable.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Inequality: Too big to ignore, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    Pfft. The Laffer curve's fine. It's just you get maximum tax take at 70%, rather than 30%.

    It's not about tax anyway, it's about shut up, rich people work harder than you.

    They don't, their life is a literal cruise, but it's not about how hard you work anyway, it's about shut up, they're just smarter and more deserving.

    They're not, it's not even correlated, once you correct for how much they spend trying to look smart, but it's not about smart, it's about shut up, you're just jealous.

    Studies show that isn't true either, feelings vary greatly but tend toward a love of what you have and dread of richer and poorer lifestyles alike, but it's not about that, it's about shut up, you can't change the system.

    I mean, you can, obviously, just change the system. A 70% top tax rate does give the state the maximum amount of money for health and education and justice and infrastructure and real safety initiatives and transforming the economy before the looming oil crash in a world of rapid climate change, but it's not about that, it's just that rich people love their life and dread becoming a little less rich.

    So they buy governments and have laws passed to protect their wealth, and spend their days setting the poor against the even poorer so they'll all vote for it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Inequality: Too big to ignore,

    The fundamentals of it all is you get a large number of people get 15% poorer so a small number of people can get 45% richer, and then the economy grows by 15% less and you have large numbers 30% worse off in real terms so small numbers can be 30% better off. Hurray.

    Only the few right at the top are about 1000% better off in real terms and they also own the government. So that thing where most people are 10k a year short of where they should be? That's not going to change. The people appointed to your news programs by ex-ministers of state for the National party will not be banging on about this. Newspaper editors under the control of very rich men will find something else to worry you with.

    Expect reports very soon of more te'rism and war and the need for strict monitoring of everyone's communication for security reasons and what are you, some sort of communist terrorist, anyway. We torture people, you know. It's a thing. Doesn't work and we do it anyway. Lock people up for years just for talking about it. Just say'n.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: A rather incomplete…,

    @NSA, 13 terrorist attacks in twelve years in China is 1 per billion people per annum. At that rate NZ would expect one every 250 years.

    Anyway, urgent legislation happens to counter urgent events. The recent urgent event being Kim Dotcom's big show before the election where a reporter showed up on an aeroplane to criticise the local security clown show.

    So they're getting the right to grab all of such people's data on the way in or out of the country. Because that should stop the pricks turning up in the first place. Plus being given the right to do all the stuff they're doing anyway, as per normal. Finally, y'know, t'rism, for the name. Scratching out some judicial oversight about some unused bullshit makes a nice red herring.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Garbage in, garbage out,

    So, let's say the National Party knows that hanging shit on poor people and nominal criminal types is a reliable vote winner with the swingers. For argument's sake (because it isn't always that way).

    Let's say then they wanted to win votes, desperately. To win the election. Which was very close despite Labour getting beat up in the press afterward. Because they wouldn't be politicians otherwise, eh.

    What would be their imperative to tell the truth? Say they asked for a few different reports over the years and one was clearly bullshit but served their interests. Even without trying to get a broken report, they get a lot of them anyway and can just hang onto the right bits of the right ones for election time. Because the sky is falling and it's not the time to rock the boat => votes.

    Surely that's the expected behaviour. They don't want to start a civil war or anything, but demonising people in counter-cultural social clubs, people out of work a long time, anyone the swing voter is unlikely to know personally, it wins elections.

    So when something comes out near an election, a bit close to dig into it effectively, and it's one of those shitty vote-winners for them, it's going to be bullshit. Not fabricated, just wrong and probably long ago corrected.

    It seems like that should be the default assumption, because it's something they are strong incentives to do. Ministerial wage type benefits. Prestige. Just the thrill of winning, really, compared to the kick in the pants of losing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Song of Angry Women,

    There's been a substantial fall in the number of people who couldn't really understand why misogyny was bad, in various forums I frequent, as a result of gamergate conversations. Not to mention the great deal of further instruction that arose, about treating people decently no matter who they are, even when they're not present (because they usually are, duh).

    People I never really expected to be convinced of that have come on side. Not that the arguments were pretty, but almost no one wants to be on the side that's … those guys. They are exceptionally creepy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 492 posts Report Reply

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