Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: First, admit it's broken

42 Responses

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  • Euan Mason,

    If Americans want to see what their international status will be later this century, then they should look at Britain. Both empires have been stifled by costly wars and somewhat irrational realpolitik, accompanied by an erosion of their core values.

    I find myself strangely sad. I guess it was comforting that the global superpower spoke the same language as me. No I'm not referring to English, but to the the language of human rights, opportunity, decency and democracy. It has been startling to see its departure from those values in recent years.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Inside, Fareed Zakaria’s essay of that title faults the US – and other Western economies for failing to address and adapt to changign economic circumstances, positing that “the danger for Western democracies is not death but sclerosis.”

    Indeed. There may not be another big crash like 1929, but all the same the West is probably in for something like Japan's Lost Decade.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Indeed. There may not be another big crash like 1929, but all the same the West is probably in for something like Japan’s Lost Decade.

    That's his conclusion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I'm going. If there's a chance for a PAS cluster afterwards, love to meet people.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Oh - I like that blog! Thanks Russell. James Ritchie's article was insightful (as is usually the case with James) and what an interesting line-up of contributors. My only problem was that it wouldn't let me register. Either it thinks I'm an error, or I was in error or they need to fix up the registration page.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    He is an optimist. Japanese households have lots of savings, with which they buy lots of Japanese debt. Japan has cashed up conglomerates which again hold lots of Japanese debt. The Americans have no savings, their comglomerates are very multinational - the support mechanisms Japan has, these do not exist for America.

    When America goes it is more likely to mimic the Soviet Union, decline followed by massive collapse. America is fast becoming a place that makes nothing anybody wants to buy, like the USSR became, and therefore has nothing supporting its apparent wealth. The Americans have a big military, like the Soviets did, so they will continue to be respected until the collapse.

    Then the fun starts - interesting times.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Jan Farr,

    Yes, it seems impossible to register with the site.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    There's registration? I just put my name and email in, and it knew who I was anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    America is fast becoming a place that makes nothing anybody wants to buy, like the USSR became, and therefore has nothing supporting its apparent wealth.

    They exported 1.564 trillion dollars worth of shiznit in 2012 according to the oracle that is wiki.

    The US imports a lot of raw materials which it then turns into something shiny and exports again, which is what China is also doing. I'm worried about that because sustainability isn't something most of these importers of raw materials are worried about.

    The Chinese are doing a great job (illegally for the most part) of clearing the shit out of the Congo rain forest, bringing it back to China in a raw form and turning it into furniture, flooring, doors... for domestic consumption and a good chunk heads overseas to the US and Europe.

    There's only so long practices like that can go on for.

    For just a dollar a day you can employ a local to chainsaw to the deck a 500 year old tree ...

    Oh well, the US can still export escapist movies, truck loads of porn, crappy pop music, some rubbish and some brilliant TV series, and a whole heap of great sport. They just might be getting paid a little less bling to produce it...

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Isaac Freeman,

    Chris Anderson gave an interesting Long Now talk recently (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/salt-seminars-about-long-term/id186908455).

    Among other things, he discussed how a small factory of multi-purpose robots can build affordable one-off customised items that are impossible in huge, labour-intensive Chinese factories, which need to produce thousands of the same item before they break even.

    Obviously Chinese companies can build robots too (and they do), but it may mean that there's less value in going where the cheapest human labour is, and more in building close to the customer. China may have emerged as the world's greatest industrial power just in time for the end of the industrial revolution.

    Give or take half a century.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Admitting it's broken is a critical step, but it may not be the first step. You have to also have a clear alternative. That's the bit I'm most interested in hearing. Genuine alternatives, in detail, rather than more deconstruction. I was convinced our economic system was pretty damned broken a long time ago, as so many people have been.

    What I still struggle to foresee is how our economic system can actually survive the end of work. It should be the penultimate moment in our history, rather than a catastrophic king of the hill battle to be the last owners of everything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to BenWilson,

    rather than a catastrophic king of the hill battle to be the last owners of everything.

    That could take a while.
    meanwhile in all other news the species called "human" is courageously trying to drown itself in a sea of bullshit and sport, words spouted from the mouths of fools seems to be the Golf Standard....whoops slip of the keyboard there
    Ratslinger just has to dress down a bit to encourage others to blow smoke up his ring piece (or did he have to return it) So hard to know.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1878 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Like, again. C’mon Bomber, don’t let this sort of self-referential crap colonise your new site.

    I also ended up doing a TL:DF on Bomber's How left wing are our left wing politicians? Bomber appointing himself to the Tyra Banks role in New Zealand's Next Top Marxist is exactly the kind of stuff that lead me to stop reading most political blogs.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    Among other things, he discussed how a small factory of multi-purpose robots can build affordable one-off customised items that are impossible in huge, labour-intensive Chinese factories, which need to produce thousands of the same item before they break even.

    At the Wellington Voyage of a Lifetime last year, Rod Oram and I both agreed that 3D printing is a potential way forward for re-localisation.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Jan Farr,

    My only problem was that it wouldn't let me register. Either it thinks I'm an error, or I was in error or they need to fix up the registration page.

    I've tweeted them about it, and it's a TLA issue with the site.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I also ended up doing a TL:DF

    Too Long: Did Facepalm?

    I'd say the reason for that one was much more to actually get the politicians themselves interested. Of course the Labour bigwigs wisely chose not to respond at all.

    But yeah, one of the things that most put me off Kiwiblog was not the trolls, but Farrar's tendency to run those kind of pieces. His "report cards" on the various politicians were a study in setting up a framework for debate that excludes people who come from a different point of view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    It ends up being like reading a live blog of the Council of Chalcedon. Who's taking an orthodox line on the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ? Don't really care, to be honest. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    3D printing is a potential way forward for re-localisation

    Some discussion yesterday at an Australian copyright conference about the likelihood of industry middlemen slapping regionalisation restrictions on it, just like DVD coding.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    some people like being told what to think :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • lprent,

    Russell: It was pretty damn depressing writing in detail about another idiot slagging off authors at TS using the same tired tactics of selective omission yet again. I'd finally finished my project at work after nearly three years, wandered off home determined to start writing text again rather than just code, and found Pete George acting as a parrot for Whaleoil. It was a far more depressing way to end the day digging out the relevant rebuttal than it probably was for you to read it.

    Afterll I can remember doing a interview with you on exactly the same topic two projects ago - that was what? 5 years ago

    Moreover he was having a go at a named blogger (Mike Smith) because of their part-time employment that they took up after they became a blogger. This from someone who has pontificated that there was nothing to fear for people writing under their own names. Yeah right!

    That particulaly annoyed me. It is no wonder that younger bloggers with professions outside of the media (where waving your name around is a professional requirement, like charm is for a politician) virtually always write under psuedonyms. It isn't what they say is usually any less valid. It is because there is always another fuckwit around trying to attack bloggers through their professions rather than dealing with what they said.

    The Daily Blog? It just happened that I read the post from Pete on the 31st and wrote a response (on my first untasked day in months). I'd promised bomber a early post and that kind of used up my available time since I was scheduled to be drifting around the country for the next few days. So I sent it to them since they were starting the next day. I also figured that since Pete is banned at TS, he'd be able to respond to my criticism there. Looks like they toned down my title, corrected some grammar and typos and put it up.

    I guess they put it up in the media section because there wasn't a post to go there and it was about an endemic problem (making a story work via omission) displayed across much of our local media. Patrick Gower springs to mind after watching his performance at the Labour conference. It is worse in the blogs, but watching the media it is quite evident that they frequently do the same

    But really, what do you expect me to do? Let any half-arsed writer inaccurately besmirch people and the site I am responsible for without responding? To let that same behaviour to deter other people from wanting to write in blogs unless that a safely ensconced in retirement, secure jobs, or journalism in some shape or form?

    So I corrected the inaccuracies and expressed my opinions in public. Exactly the same way that I have done for other bloggers and journalists in the past. For that matter with politicians of almost every hue. As I intend to do when required in the future (now that I have some more time after product release). I'm only interested in affecting people's appalling behaviour and have no particular interest in being liked by them...

    So if you don't want to see this kind of post from me again, then just keep beavering away in your way commenting on the media. I will do it my way which derives more from the net than the media.

    BTW: I will probably repost at The Standard later to make sure that the SEO pops it up high against Pete George's name and to allow further commentary.

    Since May 2008 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to lprent,

    it was about an endemic problem (making a story work via omission) displayed across much of our local media. Patrick Gower springs to mind after watching his performance at the Labour conference.

    I reckon addressing another example like that would have strengthened your post.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Just before the US presidential election I bumped into a friend and asked how his daughter was (she's married to an American and they've lived in Chicago for almost 20 years).

    He said they were ok, but about to arrive back in NZ to live. "They reckon America's f--ked", he said (meaning politically, economically, socially).

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    3d printing looks like it is about to go into a long patent/ copyright (patents for the machines, copyright for designs) war period, which may add a few years to the spread rate of it.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    I can't remember where Media3 was last mentioned, so here will do....

    I can't get the latest episode to load. TV3's 'report a problem' function seems to assume, reasonably I guess, so far as assumptions can be reasonable, that I must be in NZ - but why does it give dial up as a possible connection type?

    Anyway, it certainly doesn't seem to be a Great Firewall issue, but TV3 videos always loaded quickly enough for me to stream them in the past (compared with TVNZ - hit pause, wait for ages, and hope the video actually loaded, or Maori TV - hit pause, wait an eternity, then watch). Oh well, hopefully it's just some minor technical issue, the kind that pops up every now and then but doesn't generally last much longer than a day.

    ETA: Oh, and I clicked 'submit' on TV3's report a problem form and what happened? Nothing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I can't get the latest episode to load.

    Russell tweeted that there were technical problems this week, so it may take longer for it to be posted on TV3's website.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

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