Posts by Kumara Republic

  • Hard News: The Midterms, in reply to Roger M,

    I think the question is, does the US qualify as a democracy at all?

    The Dems taking the Congress is just the first step back towards political sanity. Yet there are systemic issues that still need fixing, as the voter suppression-driven margins of error in Georgia & Florida go to show.

    The Economist demoted the USA to a "flawed democracy" for the 2nd year in a row, thanks to the malaises that have been brewing for a generation, and coming together and materialising in the form of the Trump Regime. More infographics here.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The big vision and the small problems, in reply to simon g,

    It’s not my job to give advice to a party I don’t for, but here it is anyway: remember what Labour got wrong after they lost in 2008 and then don’t do it. The sense of deja-vu is striking: the opposition underestimating the political skills of the PM, getting excited about scalps that nobody remembers, listening to the online echo chamber, chasing a series of disconnected headlines, not grasping that the A team has gone (Clark, Cullen, Simpson vs Key, English, Joyce) and the B team over-rate themselves, etc.

    They really are remarkably inept.

    Also, a wildcard has been thrown into the mix by world politics. Namely the implosion of the trickle-down status quo, and the resulting vacuum that the Populist International has only been too happy to fill. So far the red-green-black coalition has made the right noises about fixing the conditions that have given rise to populism to begin with, though there’s still a long way to go, and I’m keeping a close eye that they keep their word. By contrast, the blue-yellow team is still like pre-Brexit David Cameron taking the status quo for granted.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The big vision and the small problems,

    There is so much wrong with this tweet. Business owners are not the only taxpayers – far from it – and not the only New Zealanders with a claim on policy. Some of them also have children who do need more than the education system has been able to provide. I’m one of them.

    Michael Woodhouse's tweet is bordering on Trump-like. And the JLR debacle has flared up again.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    The JLR affair is symptomatic of Dirty Politics going all the way to the highest levels of the guilty parties. It's bordering on GOP-grade underhanded-ness. And yes, let's keep JLR's mental health issues separate from his role in all this.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Mirror of Our Selves, in reply to Peter Alsop,

    That's interesting, would love to come across that. Thx for sharing. Te Papa held great Roundhill exhibit, curated by Richard Wolfe, but produced no exhibit catalogue or book ... Crying shame.

    Apologies for the thread necro, but I finally found it...
    https://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/561038

    Amazingly, he started it in 1960, but not completed until years later:
    https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/unblemished-record-the-flawless-reign-of-bernard-roundhill/

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead,

    Also, I missed this one:

    Artificial intelligence: ‘Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us’

    Robotisation has reduced the number of working hours needed to make things; but at the same time as workers have been laid off from production lines, new jobs have been created elsewhere, many of them more creative and less dirty. So far, fears of mass layoffs as the machines take over have proven almost as unfounded as those that have always accompanied other great technological leaps forward.

    There is an important caveat to this reassuring picture, however. The relatively low-skilled factory workers who have been displaced by robots are rarely the same people who land up as app developers or analysts, and technological progress is already being blamed for exacerbating inequality, a trend Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes may continue in future.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead,

    Further wisdom from "recovering neo-liberal" Joseph Stiglitz on automation:

    Joseph Stiglitz on artificial intelligence: 'We’re going towards a more divided society'

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Abroad and Home, in reply to BenWilson,

    At least it seems like the Government are doing their damnedest to crank out housing. It's long overdue, and Ardern has showed just how easily solved it really is, it only involves having a will to actually do it. I think it's going to take a long sustained bipartisan effort across at least 20 years to pull us out of the housing poverty spiral that's happened here, though, and I don't see any indication of National coming to that party. Long may they stay in Opposition, in that case, until they get their heads out of their arses. But established right wing parties all around the developed world are showing signs that heads up arses is the new normal, and nowhere more clearly than in Mother England.

    Mainstream Burkean/Merkel-ite conservative parties are either being infiltrated by Tea Party neo-nationalists (as in USA, UK and Hungary), or losing ground to their right flank by Tea Party neo-nationalists (as in Germany, France and Scandinavia). As I've previously mentioned, I'm hoping against hope that the Great Troubles isn't on the horizon.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Abroad and Home, in reply to Rich Lock,

    She's 48, slightly older than me. She grew up during the conflict. I can remember bombs going off in the UK. I can remember mortars being fired at Downing Street. I can remember riots during marching season. I've probably heard or read the word 'sectarian' (as in: 'sectarian violence in Northern Ireland') literally thousands of times. It's hard to emphasise how basic that is. Possibly something like being appointed Minister for the Deep South, and not realising that the KKK might not vote for a black candidate. And this is the woman who is in charge of the region of the UK that has the only land border with the EU.

    On that note, the next big global conflict probably won't be World War 3, simply because mutually assured destruction made total war between great powers obsolete.

    What could well happen next is a "Great Troubles" or "the Troubles to end all Troubles", where militants within nations go UDA & IRA on each other, with the police & military struggling to maintain order.
    To name one example, the American UDA would probably include Atomwaffen, the Bundy militia, and Oath Keepers; the IRA equivalent would likely include groups like Redneck Revolt, Red Guards Austin, and the Huey P Newton Gun Club.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: R.O.A.R., in reply to tussock,

    I find the parallels with the 20's and 30's to be existentially threatening in the age of rapid climate change and nuclear weapons.

    As the new-old adage goes, history doesn't repeat but it does rhyme.

    1930s Great Depression = 21C Great Recession
    1930s Fascism & Communism = 21C Alt-Right & "alt-Left"
    World War 2 = World Troubles/The Great Troubles?

    ICYMI, a World Troubles/Great Troubles is just like what happened in Northern Ireland in the last third of the 20C, but on a global scale - more violent than what's happening now, but still not violent enough for formal declarations of war. Instead of an Allies vs Axis conflict, it'll likely be between globalised non-state actors, with government forces struggling to maintain the peace.

    I wager a World Troubles/Great Troubles would be far more likely than WW3, because the atom bomb made traditional conventional war obsolete, and last I checked, the Nuclear Club is still sticking to a "no first use" policy.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

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