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The power of blogs

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, June 3rd, 2013 - 220 comments
Categories: blogs, Media, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

One of the most bizarre aspects of the Collins / Lusk faction’s plans (as per the leaked Lusk paper) was their perception of and plans for blogs.

[Area of Operation 2. a.] Dominate the media by controlling the message through credible right wing blogs.

Wonder where these credible right wing blogs were supposed to come from? (heh) And “dominating” the media – hubris much?

The right currently controls the blogosphere, and the political journalists repeat much of what appears on blogs.

The case in point is the way the Maritime Union have received huge negative publicity about their salaries, based on POAL working with certain bloggers to control the story. Financial support for these bloggers will enable them to build their credibility and readership.

The right is more active in the blogs as the stats show. Just like angry right wing nuts are more common in the talkback radio space too. My theory is that right wingers have more time on their hands and are more prone to angry ranting, while lefties are busier in the real world.

As to the vexed relationship between blogs and money, as is clear from recent rants on the Lusk/Slater Whaleoil blog, with a right wing blog you don’t know if posts have been bought and paid for. I think I can pretty safely state for the record that no Standard author has ever been paid to write anything here, and would never accept money to do so under any circumstances (authors please contradict me if I am wrong!). Round here what you see is what you get.

220 comments on “The power of blogs”

  1. ghostrider888 1

    …but nobody reads blogs.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Dont laugh….look at the success of Angry Birds !

    The National partys ‘research ‘ unit which was linked closely to Farragoblog and its Stasi like archives of any one and every one linked to left wing activity in NZ.

    I think it was Farrars first paid job working for National. Its clear now a lot of Oily Orcas output comes from the unpaid interns and others working for the National party directly or a ‘Trust’ established by Nationals backers for the purposes of funding the opposition party dirty tactics unit.

  3. Anne 3

    ….for the record that no Standard author has ever been paid to write anything here, and would never accept money to do so under any circumstances (authors please contradict me if I am wrong!). Round here what you see is what you get.

    Goes without saying… but it won’t stop Cameron Slater, Judith Collins, the Lusk acolytes etc. from claiming as much or something equally questionable. Indeed, what I saw from some ‘twitterings’ uploaded on to this site recently, they have already started!

  4. Melb 4

    But articles here are written under pseudonyms by employees of political parties.

    • George D 4.1

      You’ll get banned for that comment.

      • r0b 4.1.1

        No – it’s a generic accusation not targeting any particular author.

        I don’t know who the pseudonymous authors are so I can’t say if it’s true or false, but assuming for the sake of argument that it’s true, so what? No one is being paid to blog here, and even employees of political parties are entitled to express their opinions. (Compare with Farrar as employed by the Nats.)

    • Bill 4.2

      Care to signpost just one post to illustrate that claim Melb?

      Some posters use pseudonyms. But, for example, Mike Smith – the only employee of a party as far as I’m aware – always uses his own name.

      [r0b: Actually please NO. Bill, please don't encourage speculation about authors, as you know lprent frowns on that rather strongly]

      [Bill: Fact is that no examples of a political party employee using a pseudonym exist. If melb had inserted the simple word 'and' into their comment, then it would be accurate enough]

      • tamati 4.2.1

        I do wonder why the Standard authors feel the need to use pseudonyms, most people know who they are anyway so why bother?

        • felix 4.2.1.1

          What makes you think most people know? I don’t.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1.1.1

            I suspect s/he’s using a very special definition of ‘know’.

          • tamati 4.2.1.1.2

            Most is probably an exaggeration, but if you try you can usually find out.

            • Lanthanide 4.2.1.1.2.1

              There are a few authors that ‘most’ people will know who they really are. For the rest of the authors very few people will know, or even be able to find out. Lynn has posted in the past that even he doesn’t know the identities of some of the authors – if the sysop doesn’t know, then I strongly suggest the average reader is hardly in a place to know.

              • Melb

                So if even the sysop of the site doesn’t know the identities of some of the authors, how can they be sure these pseudonyms aren’t being paid for the writing that is submitted here?

                [lprent: I couldn't even if I knew exactly who they are. I'd have to have audit rights on their assets before I could be "sure". Stupid strawman argument. ]

                • karol

                  I think probably all authors are known to at least one of the senior author/managers of the site, but the sysop doesn’t know all of them personally.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Shit, Melb, now that you bring it up how do we know that you “aren’t being paid for writing that is submitted here?”

                • lprent

                  If I see anyone pushing what appear to be paid opinions (ie like we often see from Whaleoil – his repetitious attacks on Tolley last year for instance), then they’d wind up having to explain to at least me. Not something that anyone would usually want to do.

                  Even if I only have a suspicion then they’d find their login rights changed to only allow them to contribute and not to post (ie a admin would have to release their post). If I don’t know who they are, then one of the long-term editors has to have given them author access and I contact them.

                  Author incidents happened twice in the first year after the site got set up. Once when some defamatory “satire” went up, and once for the “HFee” post which was disliked by most of the other authors at the time as bringing the site into disrepute (I still have no idea who “batman” was). Subsequently a new author got a trifle enthusiastic about moderating.

                  But I’ve never had to kick authors for suspecting that they’d been paid to write posts, and obviously there is no way that I could be sure without looking at their bank accounts. But the style of posts by any particular author is quite distinctive, and so is the feel when they are writing puff or attack pieces. If I ever saw such a pattern then they’d be explaining before they can post here again.

                  It isn’t that different from how we moderate. We allow a wide latitude but can get quite draconian when we see someone walking past what is allowable in the site’s about and/or policy.

        • karol 4.2.1.2

          Did you see Anne’s comments under the “On Party Membership” thread?

        • QoT 4.2.1.3

          Oh, no reason. We just like being sneaky, or something.

        • Murray Olsen 4.2.1.4

          I wouldn’t have a clue who most of the authors or contributors are. Doesn’t worry me in the slightest.

    • karol 4.3

      I have never been a member of a political party and have certainly never been paid by anyone to post here.

      As r0b says, it doesn’t matter if authors are employed by political parties, they/we are not paid to blog here.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.4

      I note that these “employees of political parties” nonetheless manage to articulate a range of views, and what’s more, they often disagree! It’s almost as though they’re expressing their personal opinions or something!

    • infused 4.5

      The whole attack against shearer looked well planned, just like the Lusk leaks.

      • lprent 4.5.1

        I presume you mean around the NZLP party conference last year?

        It wasn’t a particular attack on Shearer by authors. My posts for instance targeted the bloody useless way caucus was being run. Nor was it planned. If you’d looked at the posts in the years prior to party conference you’d have found many posts expressing disquiet at the way that the NZLP was heading.

        As much as anything else it was a reaction to the fuckwits in the Labour caucus and leadership who decided to use those gormless pack animals in the parliamentary press mob to run an attack on their opponents inside the caucus like Cunliffe et al.

        David Shearer was a innocent fool for allowing that to happen. While it probably fooled many people in the wider audience, it just irritated many inside that Labour conference who could see what a complete wankfest the press gallery storyline was. And they haven’t exactly been quiet about informing other activists who weren’t there.

        Lesson for political dickheads in parliament. Going and running an obvious lie to try and make political unease inside your party look better to the outside world is a bloody good way to lose activists and get them mouthing off at you – for years. Deal with the problems inside the party rather than running a trumped up public show trial via Patrick Gower and the other political fools of the parliamentary press gallery.

        But bearing in mind how thick many of the MP’s are, I suspect that it will require an election to show them how foolish and politically inept that kind of crap was.

        BTW: I don’t particularly favour anyone for the caucus leadership. They’re either too inexperienced or not particularly outstanding. But that isn’t really the issue. At present none of them currently look like they are capable of doing the job of making the caucus work together effectively – which is what their main job is. Of course the Nats have had the same problem for a lot longer.

        • Anne 4.5.1.1

          Oh brilliantly said!

          Yet despite all the evidence to the contrary, they are still in denial.

          David Shearer was a innocent fool for allowing that to happen.

          It must be said however that he has had opportunities to right the wrongs done and heal the divisions caused by the fuckwits in the Labour caucus in the process. He didn’t take them so the division continues… and the longer it goes on for, the harder it becomes to make the party strong and whole again.

  5. Whaleoil and kiwiblog (hehe im ranked 78, thanks to my 50 hits a day) may be the top blogs, but I would have to say the left totally dominates the blogosphere overall in New Zealand and worldwide.

    Like the right dominates talkback radio, the internet mainly belongs to the left. along with social media like Twitter and Facebook.

    • prism 5.1

      BD Forming written sentences is harder than frothing at the mouth, spluttering and grunting. So RWNJs like talkback.

    • fender 5.2

      Hope you do plenty of nice things in return for your mum making those 50 hits.

      • Brett Dale 5.2.1

        Well unless my mum can live in various countries around the world at the same time, I think it’s other people.

        • fender 5.2.1.1

          For the sake of our international reputation I’d rather they were locals making the accidental click.

          • Brett Dale 5.2.1.1.1

            Hey fender, i state my blog is my own personal thoughts and rantings. Strange the only complaints I have ever had were from left wing kiwis, even though 80% of my posts arent political, but that;s left wing kiwis for you.

            • fender 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Well that’s ok then, I’d hate to think people overseas formulated a view of NZ with the help of your rubbish.

              • Fender, hey my posts about hoverboards are on the money.

                • fender

                  It’s good of you to warn others on the dangers of hoverboarding without a helmet on. How’s your recovery coming along?

                  • Expected that type of comment from someone here, not invented yet, but your already giving out health and safety guidelines, (helmets) next you will want the the doc to ask for resource consent.

                    • fender

                      It’s your head injury Brett.

                      If you were a landmass I’d expect resource consent requirement before surgery.

              • felix

                It’s true, fender. Brett’s one of the most prominent and trusted hoverboard bloggers in the Canterbury region.

                • fender

                  Well at least he’s an authority on something. It might pay for him to stick to something he has knowledge about, politics not being his forte sadly.

                • I personally love his you-tube videos where he discusses the hoverboard issue while riding a copy of The Office DVD – magic and should be viral if there was any justice in the world

                • Some has to be felix, not long till October 21 2015.

        • felix 5.2.1.2

          “Well unless my mum can live in various countries around the world at the same time, I think it’s other people.”

          I’ve heard she gets around…

    • ak 5.3

      Only 50 Brett? you’re getting off lightly

      • Brett Dale 5.3.1

        Im sure they’re classy people of the highest standard.

        • marty mars 5.3.1.1

          I’ve checked out the pile of filth you call your site brett – not very impressed – your sick rant against Hone was funny though – you call people vile and abuse them for the traditional expression of anger yet not a word about the hungry kids – you don’t give a fuck about them. The dim is even dimmer in you.

          • Brett Dale 5.3.1.1.1

            Pile of filth? Most my social issues posts are about gay rights and yes I have no respect for any politican who will use the turn white mother F**** or have someone on their party list who celebrated 9/11, the guy is vile.

            • QoT 5.3.1.1.1.1

              If being called a motherfucker is the worst thing to ever happen to you … you might have white privilege.

              • I have never been called that, i think MP’s should never use the term, or have people on their party list, who celebrated the deaths of 3000 people.

                • felix

                  Hang on Brett, what do you mean you haven’t been called a white motherfucker?

                  At the time, an awful lot of commenters were insisting that Hone was calling every white person a motherfucker.

                  Were you one of them? Have you changed your mind about that?

    • Clockie 5.4

      I’ve looked in on your anemic intellectually malnourished little blog a couple of times Brett. Just wanted to see if you were as big a dick at home as you are out in public. It reminded me of a teenage boys bedroom (in so many different ways). I suspect quite a few of the rest of your “hits” are garnered the same way.

      • Brett Dale 5.4.1

        Clockie:

        I dont think teenage boys are interested in modern family or the office, or gay rights, or the
        wnba. So Im not sure what posts your talking about,

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Nothing wrong with left blogs eventually resourcing professionals for writing and investigations. It would actually be a very positive development.

  7. Furrball 7

    From the UK, from a brief period of snooping around, some random and subjective perceptions of the NZ blogosphere are:

    • Too many disparate and fractured voices on the left with seemingly little crossposting or linking. For instance, I find out that Chris Trotter writes elsewhere than Bowalley Road, but he doesn’t seem to bring the links over. I don’t want to have to go Twitter.

    • Annoyingly, WhaleOil and KiwiBlog have far higher design standards which makes them far more approachable to view. No-one’s going to read your shit if it looks like shit. Scoop is a design mess, so is this archaic-looking blog, so is The Daily Blog. I hate to think what they’re like on mobile platforms. The rest seem to be a mixture of basic WordPress templates.

    • An ego thing: Too many voices on the left don’t seem unique, strong or coherent enough to sustain a single blog consisting of just one writer. The Standard should ideally look to something like DKos where anyone can contribute with cross-posting thoroughly encouraged with a wider variety of topics that engage community organisations and other third sector issues, as well as more humour, snark, picture blogs, whatever. All in the name of community-building across a broader audience that isn’t just focussed on party politics or the media. Mission: to entertain and inform.

    • Blogging’s dying. RSS is dying. Long-form especially is dying. Want to influence younger generations? Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr… these are where the eyeballs currently are or are heading. The only trump card that blogging will have is the coming of paywalls.

    • Too many disparate and fractured voices on the left with seemingly little crossposting or linking. For instance, I find out that Chris Trotter writes elsewhere than Bowalley Road, but he doesn’t seem to bring the links over. I don’t want to have to go Twitter.

    • Annoyingly, WhaleOil and KiwiBlog have far higher design standards which makes them far more approachable to view. No-one’s going to read your shit if it looks like shit. Scoop is a design mess, so is this archaic-looking blog, so is The Daily Blog. I hate to think what they’re like on mobile platforms. The rest seem to be a mixture of basic WordPress templates.

    • An ego thing: Too many voices on the left don’t seem unique, strong or coherent enough to sustain a single blog consisting of just one writer. As an umbrella, Pundit is disappointing. The Standard should look to something like DKos where anyone can contribute with cross-posting encouraged with a wider variety of topics that engage community organisations and other third sector issues, as well as more humour, snark, picture blogs, whatever. All in the name of community-building across a larger audience than just party politics.

    • Focus: Auckland Transport Blog is a sterling example of focus. Too many NZ blogs I’ve looked at throw in all sorts of stuff, like views on foreign news which seems utterly superfluous. If I want to read informed writing on American politics, I’ll read US blogs and sources, for instance.

    • Blogging’s dying. RSS is dying. Long-form especially is dying. Want to influence younger generations? Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr… these are where the eyeballs currently are or are heading. The only trump card that blogging will have is the gradual rollout of paywalls.

    OK. I said it was random. Enough.

    • felix 7.1

      “Annoyingly, WhaleOil and KiwiBlog have far higher design standards which makes them far more approachable to view. No-one’s going to read your shit if it looks like shit. Scoop is a design mess, so is this archaic-looking blog, so is The Daily Blog. I hate to think what they’re like on mobile platforms. The rest seem to be a mixture of basic WordPress templates.”

      Err, kiwibog is a bog-standard wordpress template. And whaleoil is the clunkiest most clumsy site around, easily as bad as the daily blog.

    • karol 7.2

      Furrball, you clearly are not within NZ, or a regular frequenter of left wing NZ blogs. And you don’t sem to have any understanding of the importance for the left of politics from below.

      Have you seen the links to the right of this blog (under FEEDS). Trotter’s Bowalley Road blog posts always show up there, as do all of the Daily Blog posts.

      We are a pretty small country. Many of us switch regularly between Scoop, here, The Daily Blog, Bowalley Road and other blogs.

      The Daily blog also does regular (almost) daily round ups of left wing blog posts which is a useful source of current links).

      The Daily Blog also includes audio and video files, eg of Citizen A episodes, which include many of the people posting on various left wing blogs.

      To those of us here, it really doesn’t look that fragmented. It has a somewhat chaotic character, but manages to have far more connections with politics on the ground. in contrast, the right wing blogs are much more managed from above. I always prefer content over style. Usability is pretty important.

      Letting anyone post here would be overwhelming for the moderators, who do the moderating, and check comments are within legal bounds, for no charge outside their usual (paid) work hours.

      • Furrball 7.2.1

        Thanks for the tips, karol. My initial disclaimer was my ‘random and subjective perceptions of the NZ blogosphere’ from a brief snooping around. Take it as it is, it’s no personal reflection on anyone.

        And yes, the feed is cool; it’s the best front page feature. And yes, as I clearly stated I’m not within NZ (as you can probably tell from my ip address) or a regular frequenter (yet). But I’m a New Zealander who is looking for alternative sources of news than Stuff or the NZHerald.

        However, if my perceptions and suggestions have any validity, just think how the left blogosphere is going to attract new and growing audiences. Or is a dash of populism not a consideration? Is this just some replica of The Village where there’s a tiny audience of people cross-referencing and doffing their hats to each other?

        Having been a moderator on a huge international site, I understand your concerns about moderation workload, but perhaps there’s more scope for community moderation. After all, a top-down model is part of the problem when it comes to community building.

        Anyway, peace. :)

      • George D 7.2.2

        Apart from the annoying repetition within a single comment, I agree almost entirely with Furrball. Kiwiblog could do with a redesign though.

        I’d also reiterate that having a coherent identity, and refraining from things that compromise that identity, is important. I/S of NoRightTurn writes excellent fact-based posts, and then adds vitriolic attacks and swears. This blog does excellent work, then posts sewer-like caption contests. And no matter how good a post is, if the comments are bad I won’t link there – it’s like directing someone to a painting with an overflowing rubbish bin underneath.

        Auckland Transport Blog just became the third largest blog in the country. They’re a perfect example of doing it right. They’re factual and in-depth, refreshingly free of personal attacks, lacking in empty speculation, well designed, and full of visually interesting photo posts. And their comments policy is something to be admired.

        • karol 7.2.2.1

          It seems contradictory to ask for more focus as well as asking for an open posting policy, and to limit comments added beneath a post..

          Each blog has its strengths. Being highly moderated keeps the focus on the posts at the top of a thread. There is a value in some blogs doing that.

          One of the unique thing that TS does, is allow a wide variety of people to participate in the discussion. If that was more strongly moderated, it would favour the more educated/middleclass/MOR posts, while preventing a wider cross-section of people from commenting.

          • George D 7.2.2.1.1

            You’re right. Because of the repetitive paragraphs I skipped past that. Open posting sites are a disaster, in my experience.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.2.1.1.1

              You’ve picked up something though: consistently factual, context based left wing news and op-ed articles, free of hyperbole and vulgar language (and which admittedly will sometimes need professional resources to write and produce) will garner a lot of views and readership. It begins to move towards the model of a Left Wing news, media and opinion source like the original Standard 1.0

              Perhaps in the future an offshoot development or separate section of The Standard could fulfil this need.

              • ghostrider888

                or (see below) we could continue a ‘g’ pissing contest; ‘Yes’ started it, who’s up for the gravy stroke… ;)

              • karol

                CVG @ 1.36pm, I think that’s what Bradbury has been aiming for with The Daily Blog. There’s more of a focus on bringing some significant bloggers into one space, plus multi media. He has a foot in various (albeit marginal) media outlets – e.g. with Citizen A, Selwyn Manning, etc.

          • Pete 7.2.2.1.2

            I would hazard that Bryce Edward’s occasional roundup of the blogs is a significant source of traffic for all concerned.

            I’m not sure youtube will get much traction as an improvement over blogs. Interest.co.nz’s 90 at 9 a.m. only gets a few hundred views on youtube, likewise Citizen A.

            • Colonial Viper 7.2.2.1.2.1

              TV remains where it is at, for better or worse.

              • Pete

                I’d go beyond that and say radio is where most of the daily national discourse takes place, and those who host talkback radio are, chiefly, to the right of the spectrum. Even Radio NZ overcompensates to the right.

          • Mary 7.2.2.1.3

            “Being highly moderated keeps the focus on the posts at the top of a thread. There is a value in some blogs doing that.”

            Perhaps, but your comment here reminds me of how much of a graveyard Redalert’s become. It felt as though nobody could really say what they thought for fear of being told off by Trevor Mallard. The way they moderated killed that blog, not that this was a bad thing.

            • karol 7.2.2.1.3.1

              Well, I guess it’s all in HOW the moderation is done. The Daily Blog and Bowalley Road seem to be quite strongly moderated – all comments go through moderation.

              • Mary

                That’s for sure. Redalert’s become such a wasteland. Sums up Labour perfectly.

        • George D 7.2.2.2

          Oh yes, and a single anonymous writer can successfully maintain an identity. Where there are many, as there are here, that distinction collapses. I’ve strongly suggested here that the byline be made larger for that reason. It would help.

          • marty mars 7.2.2.2.1

            I don’t agree that the distinction collapses – I find each voice very distinctive and that is true for most of the commenters too.

            • IrishBill 7.2.2.2.1.1

              I agree with Marty. I wouldn’t have a clue who George D or marty mars are in person, but I have a pretty good idea of the political outlook of both of you, and I assume you’ve got a pretty good idea of mine.

              On the other hand there are plenty of elected MPs, with real power, who people know by name, but who are virtually anonymous in the detail of their politics.

              I think that’s of far more concern democratically than people using pseudonyms on blogs.

          • Brett Dale 7.2.2.2.2

            The problem I have with anonymous writers, is that they take pleasure in naming and remaining other bloggers in their posts.

            • stargazer 7.2.2.2.2.1

              oh please. we do know that “brett dale” is not your name in the offline world. you’re actually anonymous as well, so please stop with the double standards.

      • Jonathan 7.2.3

        Hi,

        Just thought I’d throw in some comments from someone who has only been regularly reading blogs for a few months.

        Personally, I find The Standard really easy to read. And I think the ‘FEEDS’ links are fantastic.

        I started out reading The Daily Blog, but now check in here first, basically because I don’t find The Daily Blog so well set out and friendly on the eye. And that does affect things! I can always follow a feed link through to their articles (many of which are great). (If any of The Daily Blog crew are reading this, by chance, sorry, I’ve thought of giving some feedback direct to you, but wasn’t sure how to word it!)

        I also like The Daily Blog round-up of left wing blog posts.

        I prefer blogs rather than video, generally, unless I’m looking for something very specific. It’s far easier to get a general sense of a blog post than a video in a quick glance! I assume others feel this as well. (?)

        I do find the discussions here on The Standard a bit hard to get into (this is my first post here). Even though there’re some good comments in it, I don’t feel like I usually have the time to sift through to find them, so haven’t previously put the energy into engaging. In relation to that, I liked the fact that someone the other day made BLiP’s comments about the Nats’ environmental record into its own post. (Definitely long, but worth the read, I thought.) Makes me wonder if there’s some way of distilling down the discussion about (some) posts to share with readers. Of course, this would take extra work, and I can’t put a hand up for the job myself… just trying to think open-mindedly about what is interesting and useful for people.

        Anyway, there’s my 2 cents worth. Hope you’re all having a good day. (It’s bloody cold here!)

        • felix 7.2.3.1

          Hi Jonathan, can you explain what you mean by “distilling down the discussion about (some) posts to share with readers.”? I’m not quite getting it.

          Oh and welcome, don’t be shy ;)

          • Jonathan 7.2.3.1.1

            Probably not totally clear, because I’m not 100% what it would look like, myself. And it might well turn out to be more effort than it’s worth.

            I suppose I imagine that a certain portion of people who come to The Standard usually just read the main articles, while another portion usually also read a good amount of the discussion on the articles (and possibly join in). It’d be a continuum, of course, and maybe I’m wrong, but imagine that it’d be a two-clumped continuum.

            A whole bunch of ideas come up in the discussion of articles, and I think it could be interesting to distill these ideas from the discussion somehow. Sort of like what a good facilitator might do in a meeting, to focus things, and have a sense of getting somewhere.

            And the point would be generally to contribute to community-building and movement-building… to draw people in to greater involvement.

            Make any sense?

            • felix 7.2.3.1.1.1

              Yep. And to an extent it does happen, in that articles are sometimes based on things that are first bought up in Open Mike (should be “Mic” grrr) or in other threads.

              I suppose it’s worth noting that anyone is welcome to write and submit a Guest Post, so if you’d like to do some distilling yourself…

            • lprent 7.2.3.1.1.2

              The post authors tend to prefer writing their own stuff (frequently inspired by comments) in their limited amounts of time – usually in the early morning and late at night (like Helen’s post after 2am last night). Moderators rush around trying to read all of those inordinate numbers of comments.

              The real problem is that we are all kind of busy with one thing or another outside of the blogs. I write code with a profound enthusiasm that I can’t bring to blogging (you see a pale shadow of my dedication to that here), r0b teaches some interesting stuff and keeps a department running at a uni, Helen runs a union of unions, Mike enhances his retirement golf game and does a bit of advice for Shearer’s office, Bill tries to deal with a debilitating disease, and Rochelle is raising my nephew. Plus of course family and friends. And those are just the people who can be bothered having a public backstory outside of their pseudonyms.

              I have no real problem with someone wanting to do it. The best idea would probably be to build semipermanent FAQ type pages hung either off a menu item or even a page section around the site

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.3.2

          Makes me wonder if there’s some way of distilling down the discussion about (some) posts to share with readers.

          it’s one of the beauties of the Standard (and also of the Archdruid Report)

          The commentary, banter, and exchanges which follow a main post can be just as, if not more, informative and context filling as the main material.

          There are some really smart people on here, some educated smart, some street smart, some with a real combo. It’s good to know NZ still has talent (even though some of the participants are currently commenting from far away…)

    • prism 7.3

      This furrball in UK is making a careful analysis of blogs and comments. Then repeats his comments within his comment window! And doesn’t edit it out, a service that is offered on this blog. Very superior, knowledgable and experienced. Hah.

      • Furrball 7.3.1

        Had too many browser tabs open to keep track of what I’m doing. Sorry for upsetting your sensibilities. Have a mintie.

        BTW, prism. Never assume anyone on the web is a bloke. Check your privilege. ;)

      • Populuxe1 7.3.2

        I think you need to see someone about your Outrage Addiction, prism. It’s getting in the way of you having a point.

  8. The right are keen to push the line that they are more active/more hits/more views/more readers but this is a meme that suits them. I’ve got rid of sitemeter (although I can’t get off their bloody list now) because I realised I was just playing into that meme and it has a couple of parts – generate money via advertising and generate awareness of ‘position’ to generate money via advertising. The Standard with its multiple authors, informed commenters and vigorous debate is by far and wide the best political blog around.

    btw to go up the rankings is easy just add a few popular culture tags like kardasian, or elvis and away you go – this is an admitted tactic by some.

    • felix 8.1

      Pretty much all Cameron Slater does these days is post videos that are already viral and tag them up.

      • Mary 8.1.1

        And they’re almost all about guns or killing or some other tasteless topic posted as statements of how “free” he is.

  9. pollywog 9

    Can’t beat bomber for spamming the daily blog on facebook though!

    I tend to click through from there.

  10. Phil 10

    I’m as right-wing as they come, but this post was spot on! Well said, Anthony.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Yip. Smart man our Anthony Robins.

      • ghostrider888 10.1.1

        that ‘Yes’ appeared ‘smart’. ;)
        Lets have a ‘g’ pissing contest then!
        You start…

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          lol I’m honoured but I’m not the sort, really :)

          • ghostrider888 10.1.1.1.1

            Anonymous
            (this film sums things up nicely). What a week of it in New Zealand politics aye?

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for the recommendation; oh it’s just getting started, I believe we see renewed determination from the Greens to be the Opposition Party with punch in 2014.

              As for the NATs yes they are leaking voters (yet to turn into a gush), but where will those voters go? To Labour? To Greens? To Winston? To the non-vote?

              What I think – for every point National loses: 4/10 will go LAB, 3/10 will go Greens, and 3/10 will go NZF, Other and Non-vote

              • ghostrider888

                could do. Certainly appear to be many challenges to the credibility of National. I did however follow, and concur with some electorate analysis I heard on RNZ that explained the demographic reasons for which the electorate is likely to be influenced by more conservative political decision-making, particularly in the provinces, within the present historical context.

                • Colonial Viper

                  NZers aren’t silly, that’s for sure. Both National and Labour supporters that I know think that there is a global shit storm brewing overseas and that it’s only a matter of time before it reaches our shores.

                  As for “conservative” decision making, that word can mean many things of course, but what people want to see are sensible moves building this nation up, not stripping her down for parts and salvage.

    • Tim 10.2

      Just as an aside… “I’m as right wing as they come”. I’d be really interested to know what caused it.
      An open mike post might be more appropriate – but I’m really curious to know the how and why there are people ‘as right wing’ as they come.

  11. xtasy 11

    A forum for the mentally disturbed, strongly advised to be avoided at any given time:

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/06/queens-birthday-general-debate/#more-96607

    Just look at how this stranded whale is gasping for air and attention, presenting his “new tattoo”?!

    To down-vote a comment, one has to register. I know no other blog that stops anyone from commenting critically or down-voting a comment in such manner. You have to “register” to do that, but do not need to do so if you give it the thumbs up.

    That is designed to cater just for the extreme far right Judith Collins fans, I suppose. It is a bit like inviting votes in favour in a special booth for that, in an election – by anyone coming past, no questions asked, no ID to be checked, while dissenters have to go through endless checks and to a booth in a hard to find corner faraway.

    How much does this Slater get paid, and by whom, I ask? And he is in charge of “The Truth” now. Shock, horror, ghastly.

    Sick fringe blog, claiming to have a strong following, I conclude.

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      I think even Judith Collins is a bit too much of a compassionate socialist for some of the people on that sewer of a blog. I struggle to see what differentiates half of them from Kyle Crapman.

    • Tim 11.2

      The funny thing is that former editors and/or contributors of “The Truth” would be rolling round in their graves with laughter at the prospect of Cam Slator being ‘in charge’ of anything other than his own ego.

  12. vto 12

    blogs aren’t real, they are merely splinters of reality

    but as a rough whole some semblance comes to being

  13. QoT 13

    I think I can pretty safely state for the record that no Standard author has ever been paid to write anything here, and would never accept money to do so under any circumstances (authors please contradict me if I am wrong!).

    Oh, I’ll be honest, I fucking wish I got offered money to blog. I’d even be a good little girl and moderate the swearing …

    • Brett Dale 13.1

      So your a sell out?

      • handle 13.1.1

        A wannabe sell-out just like Slater. Demands money but doesn’t get any, he claims.

        • Brett Dale 13.1.2.1

          Fair enough question, he has denied he is paid for his blogging, so I guess he has ads on his page that people click, do you have proof that he is lying?

          • QoT 13.1.2.1.1

            Try using the fancy numbering system to figure out which bits I’m eyerolling at, dude.

            • Brett Dale 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Please Im on the internet, I dont want to have to think.

              • QoT

                That much has always been obvious.

                • Well Im glad we agree, well actually i couldnt care, but there ya go anyway.

                  • QoT

                    A classic Brett Dale comment: can’t commit to one position, tries to be conciliatory, still won’t back up calling me a sellout.

                    • You said you will stop swearing on your blog, if you were paid, how is that not selling out your style?

                    • weka

                      Many people who get published by others have to fit a certain style. That’s not unusual. Whether that person is selling out depends on what they compromise. For instance choosing to not say fuck alot is hardly the same as changing one’s core beliefs or message.

                    • felix

                      Hi Brett, I’ve had lots of jobs where I wasn’t able to go around saying “fuckdiddly fuck fuck fuckitty fuck fuck” even though I would’ve liked to.

                      I don’t think I was selling out to take those jobs. Do you?

                    • QoT

                      You said you will stop swearing on your blog, if you were paid, how is that not selling out your style?

                      Allow me to blow. Your. Mind. here, Brett: I go through large chunks of my day not swearing while communicating with others. It’s almost like I have this personal venting space on line where I let off steam on topics which annoy me and then go through life as a perfectly normal human being.

                      … I stills swear sometimes, because – I also don’t know how to break this to you – cussing is a pretty normalised part of the Kiwi dialect.

  14. Another thing that I find that these Lusk papers ignore, is the effect and contribution of microblogs, that is blogs that have small readership or small size (compared to say the standard or whaleoil) but highlight important issues for a short period of time, or a long period of time.

    Just look at the effects of microblogs in China, or the microblog that leaked spreadsheets from the EQC. You can claim that blogs like The Standard or Whaleoil get more readers, but I don’t think you can claim that they are any more (or less) important than smaller blogs – examples of microblogs also include Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, the center-left dominates Facebook for example with 23,000+ likes for the Greens and 3000+ for National. Sometimes quantity can be better than quality, at least in the sense you have a lot of people out there on the web with center-left and centralist views.

    Microblogging is a broadcast medium in the form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregate file size. Microblogs “allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links”.[1] These small messages are sometimes called microposts.[2][3]

    [...]Microblogging has noticeably revolutionized the way information is consumed. It has empowered citizens themselves to act as sensors or sources of information that could lead to consequences and influence, or even cause, media coverage. People now share what they observe in their surroundings, information about events, and their opinions about topics from a wide range of fields. Moreover, these services store various metadata from these posts, such as location and time. Aggregated analysis of this data includes different dimensions like space, time, theme, sentiment, network structure etc., and gives researchers an opportunity to understand social perceptions of people in the context of certain events of interest.[13] Microblogging also promotes authorship. On the microblogging platform Tumblr, the reblogging feature links the post back to the original creator.

    • karol 14.1

      The Greens use Twitter quite a lot. I rarely go to the facebook commericialised surveillance society these days.

      • kiwicommie 14.1.1

        Facebook gets boring eventually, I use it to keep track of friends and family more than anything.

        • Pete 14.1.1.1

          It can give an insight into the public mood, though. Over the weekend there were quite vicious comments on the 3 News thread on the prison riot, but about 70% of the comments on the 3 News story about the Greens’ plan for school nurses were positive.

        • felix 14.1.1.2

          “I use it to keep track of friends and family more than anything.”

          Crazy…

      • Populuxe1 14.1.2

        Most unsatisfactorally IMO given that it’s impossible to articulate policy points in 140 characters without reducing it to facile fluff with very little actual content. Gareth Hughes is particularly bad for this because he comes across like he doesn’t even understand his own party’s policies – which given his “Hey Clint” moment is probably an accurate impression.

    • Melb 14.2

      >the center-left dominates Facebook for example with 23,000+ likes for the Greens and 3000+ for National.

      And 40,000+ for John Key’s page.

      • kiwicommie 14.2.1

        If leader cults count, Obama has 35.8 million. I am hardly surprised that John Key has 40,000.

        • Melb 14.2.1.1

          National do a lot of promotion through that page because it is so popular and reaches a lot of people, so the idea of the centre-left dominating this space is not so clear cut.

          • kiwicommie 14.2.1.1.1

            Perhaps, really depends on the content.

          • QoT 14.2.1.1.2

            I think it’s actually a lot harder to “dominate” a space like Facebook. People have to (a) like your page and (b) see your posts – not at all a guaranteed thing since Facebook started trying to monetize everything that moves.

            Twitter has a lot more reach I think given the ease of sharing / having conversations with people you don’t necessarily already follow, combined with the number of mainstream journalists trawling it for stories.

  15. Jacobin 15

    I think when it comes to the large number of eyeballs on Slaters website it has to be said an enormous number of left-wing people including myself still end up on his website regularly even though its often almost always distasteful because well, you do wonder what the shock jock is going to say next. Comparison to talkback radio is valid.

    • karol 15.1

      I don’t believe I’ve been there more than a few time (probably way less than 10). And only following a link in a discussion.

  16. Pete 16

    Last year I posted on Flesch-Kincaid blog readability scores here and I found that the right leaning blogs were significantly simpler to read. I have to wonder if the left blogosphere is sometimes too clever for its own good.

    • infused 16.1

      This site is fucking horrible… in saying that, the mobile site is actually really good… confused. Hence I read the standard on my mobile while taking a crap most of the time ;)

      Kiwiblog is the opposite… I find his site really good, but mobile horrid. But I think that’s been fixed recently. The comment system needs to be like this one though.

      • felix 16.1.1

        “The comment system needs to be like this one though.”

        Oh, in so many ways ;)

        I have the opposite response to yours to this site though; I like the full version but the mobile one sucks for me. Are you ios or android?

      • handle 16.1.2

        “Kiwiblog is the opposite”

        Incoming crap, yes.

  17. Murray Olsen 17

    My opinion is that “left wing” social change blogs would be much more effectively if conspiracy theorists were given much less space. They usually just muddy the waters and spread despair. Of course, since I devoted 10 years or more to become educated about a few specialised areas, I’m probably either brainwashed or a counter intelligence agent. Pffft.

    • karol 17.1

      Murray, can you define what you mean by “conspiracy theorist”, please?

      • Murray Olsen 17.1.1

        What I mean by it is someone who couches almost everything in terms of 9/11, or chemtrails, or Bilderberg, or the Illuminati, and their own particular explanations, which generally happen to be shared by, and often originate with, the likes of Alex Jones. They then insist that everyone read the links they put up and often answer the smallest questions with stuff like “You can chose to believe everything the MSM puts out, but I have woken up.” Their main contribution is derailing every discussion with their latest pet theory and smearing anyone who disagrees in the slightest.

        In my experience, they are usually tools of the right and put forward totally contradictory explanations and theories. For example, AGW is a UN plot to take control of our society internationally, and the idea that human activity can affect the global climate is ridiculous. At the same time, they are happy to invent chemtrails, which they say are changing the global climate. They often oppose Agenda 21, which they see as a plan for the UN to do away with world government and private property. They are completely immune to any information which contradicts their world view and anyone who actually does explain or know anything slightly technical has been brainwashed by the dreaded “powers that be.”

        That’s what I mean by conspiracy theorist.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          Like how one of the founders of the IMF was actually a communist agent acting on behalf of the Soviet Union. And that the US Govt knew all along and let it happen anyway. And how he died of a heart attack before he had a chance to make a full defence of himself. That kind of conspiracy theory?

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/opinion/banker-tailor-soldier-spy.html?_r=0

          Just saying that real life often gets rationalised after the fact, even though before, they were considered crazy.

          • Populuxe1 17.1.1.1.1

            You would have reason to worry if they started weeding out the conspiracy nutters, CV, what with you being a big screaming Truther and all.

          • Murray Olsen 17.1.1.1.2

            When the IMF meetings took place, in 1944, the US and the USSR were allies against Nazi Germany. White wasn’t the only one who passed information to the Soviets, believing that this would help make a better world. He was actually removed as potential head of the new organisation once Hoover made his reports. I don’t know what you mean by “the US Govt knew all along and let it happen anyway”. People also die of heart attacks all the time. Do you have access to any medical reports which suggest this one was suspicious?

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.2.1

              Fully rationalised after the fact, mate? That’s what I mean. Conspiracy theory normalised into conspiracy fact, decades down the track.

              • Murray Olsen

                Where’s the conspiracy in that?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Secret agents, powerful international financial institutions, communists, capitalists, global monetary framework, no conspiracy there. Just another day at the office.

        • karol 17.1.1.2

          OK. Thanks. I asked because some people respond to criticism of things like Key’s cronyism or his suck up to the US &//or UK governments, or the “1%” acting in their own interests as conspiracy theories. To me a “conspiracy” is something carefully planned and orchestrated.

          Is Bilderberg a conspiracy? The meetings actually happen, so is majorly different from theories about an “Illuminati”.

          Also, I wasn’t aware conspiracy theorists were a big problem on left wing blogs.

        • tracey 17.1.1.3

          The beauty of “conspiracy theorist” is it has become perjorative for “lunatic”. Which is similar to what key has been doing for months regarding the Greens. The beauty is that some of the conspiracy theorists are right about some of the conspiracies. BUT throw in enough slurs of ‘crackpot” “tinfoil head” and so on and suddenly ALL conspiracies must be lunatic. Just as “feminist” was regarded as the equivalent of calling someone a “lesbian”. So many women distanced themselves from feminism to avoid the “stigma” of being labelled a lesbian. Clever really. PC is another example. It actually refers to something which is about respecting other people as equal in value and worthy of respect. Instead it is a perjorative. Shuts down debate instantly.

          The right have always been good at this.

          • Murray Olsen 17.1.1.3.1

            Funnily enough, you’re exaggerating your position to label anyone who doesn’t have much time for conspiracy theories as right wingers who want to shut down debate. Funny how this stuff only goes one way. I was very specific in my definition. Why did you choose to ignore that and make your inferences?

          • rosy 17.1.1.3.2

            The beauty of “conspiracy theorist” is it has become perjorative for “lunatic”

            The ‘conspiracy theorists’ live in a parallel world where an event is framed as a greater plan by people who want to rule the world to dupe the population. I’d love to have a different name for people who find conspiracies within this framework because as soon as they latch on to real conspiracies the response of people who don’t see such an overarching plan is to automatically dismiss a real world conspiracy, meaning the whole thing takes longer to be outed.

            If it wasn’t for investigative researchers and reporters working with information, rather than this over-arching assumption we’d probably always (instead of sometimes) have to wait for the post career memoir to work a conspiracy out. I’d hate to imagine what would have happened to Watergate research if the activities of conspiracy theorists we have now were as loud then, as now. (Although there’s probably a conspiracy theory around that conspiracy too, I guess).

            People like Key, who scream conspiracy when something is better defined as planning (e.g policy coordination between Lab/Greens) or processing information (e.g. that the IMF has austerity wrong) by a group he doesn’t like know that people dismiss conspiracy theorists so use it to negate the importance of things he’s trying to dismiss.

            • Murray Olsen 17.1.1.3.2.1

              Well said, Rosy. That’s pretty much how I see the danger. I like to use Occam’s razor appropriately, and I find it cuts away a lot of the fluff pretty fast. I don’t need a bunch of nomads from the Khazar mountains collaborating with the English royal family in a banking cartel which makes us all slaves by issuing birth certificates to explain why austerity capitalism exists. Nor do I need to hear that I’m shutting down debate by not wanting to listen to it.

            • RedLogix 17.1.1.3.2.2

              Of course there are no conspiracies. Us ordinary people never know nuthin.

              • rosy

                “Of course there are no conspiracies. Us ordinary people never know nuthin.”

                I guess that’s your view because I never said that at all.

                • RedLogix

                  That’s the problem isn’t it though? The world doesn’t always make a lot of sense and in the absence of real information we are left with speculation which is mostly, but not always,wrong. But the alternative is wilful ignorance, which in my book is worse.

                  How do you solve that?

                  • rosy

                    “in the absence of real information”

                    Often we do have real information, but as you point out, people don’t want understand it. I don’t think there’s a lot to choose from between willful ignorance and looking beyond the evidence (rather than looking for the evidence) of a conspiracy. Both lead to misinformation.

                    How to solve it? No idea. Pointing out willful ignorance to the uninterested when it arises is probably is more effective than pointing out willful ignorance of verifiable evidence to conspiracy theorists, as far as I can see.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    If you see the alternatives as wilful ignorance or believing anything whatsoever, there is no solution.

                    How did we discover the world wasn’t flat? It wasn’t by imagining that there were dragons at the edge. You extrapolate stuff from what you do know, and progress a step at a time, testing your extrapolations against reality. A very few of us, like Einstein, are able to extrapolate a bit further.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We discovered the world wasn’t flat because some guys against all known knowledge reason advice and social norms went out and sailed around the thing, proving it.

                      Before they did that successfully they were accused of being conspiracy theorists by people who knew better, of course.

      • travellerev 17.1.2

        That would be people like me Karol but then Murray Olson has a track record of maligning and blocking people all over the net including facebook for having opinions outside of the accepted paradigm.

        Good news is people are finding my blog just fine. I’m sure he would love to shut it down.

        In other words Murray Olson loves to control discussions and keep it strictly within the authorized left/right paradigm as described by Naom Chomsky:

        “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
        ― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

        If Murray Olson is not a paid shill he is a very obedient supporter of limited opinion and the discussion there off in a very lively manner.

        • Murray Olsen 17.1.2.1

          I couldn’t give a stuff about your cut and paste Alex Jones propaganda site. I do give a stuff when you say I get paid to point out crap when I see it.

        • Murray Olsen 17.1.2.2

          Seeing you brought Chomsky into it, my views on conspiracies align pretty well with his. Please try to understand stuff before you cut and paste it:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_fFkLcRrBE

        • Murray Olsen 17.1.2.3

          Here’s another Chomsky interview which I think is very relevant. He says that “One of the major consequences of the 9/11 movement has been to draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background, crimes that are far more serious than blowing up the WTC would be, if there were any credibility to that thesis. That is, I suspect, why the 9/11 movement is treated far more tolerantly by centers of power than is the norm for serious critical and activist work.”

          http://rense.com/general74/dismiss.htm

          By the way, Chomsky is paid to be a linguist. I am paid to be a physicist. I have no idea what you are paid for, and I don’t really care.

    • Puddleglum 17.2

      Hi Murray Olsen,

      Do you think that there might be a conspiracy to generate conspiracy theories – a bit like jet fighters releasing a whole lot of metal fragments to deflect ‘target-locking’ missiles? :-)

      • Murray Olsen 17.2.1

        The chemtrails would stop the target-locking missiles from working by locally changing the permittivity of the atmosphere.
        I don’t know is the answer. I think that enough stuff arises naturally that no one would need to bother. If governments needed to, I think they might well do something like you mention. At the moment, enough people still buy the American dream, or the aspirational bullshit, or the idea that only bludgers end up on benefits, or that only the guilty go to prison, that I don’t think they need to.

  18. Felix: fair point about saying fucky ditty fuck fuck, but when people read blogs, they’re reading about your personal thoughts, even if your being paid for it. At work everybody is on their best behaviour, at your own blog, its a part of you, it doesnt matter if your paid for it or not.

    • felix 18.1

      I see what you mean, but I don’t think the swearing is here or there when it comes to what QoT is saying. She clearly likes to swear a bit, but take the swearing out and she still means everything she says.

      Selling out in my mind would be if taking payment to write something you didn’t believe, or to not write something you did believe.

      • Brett Dale 18.1.1

        But isnt that like a movie producer taking out swearing, so the movie, wont get an R rating, but get a PG13 rating, so it will make more money at the box office.

        • QoT 18.1.1.1

          … yes, because making money at the box office is their job.

          Ever go to work in your pyjamas? Why not? Aren’t you “selling out” by putting on proper clothes?

          • Brett Dale 18.1.1.1.1

            I dont wear pajamas, even on wear pajamas to work day.

            yeah and cussing is a kiwi thing to do.

            • felix 18.1.1.1.1.1

              What do you wear to bed?

              • My garth brooks tee shirts and my hobbit boxers, if ya must know.

                • felix

                  So why don’t you wear them to work? Are you some kind of sell out?

                  • Im an office temp, i always wear office clothes to my temp assignments.

                    • felix

                      So you’re a sellout, in exactly the way QoT is.

                    • QoT

                      Let’s be particularly correct, felix: in exactly the way I wish I could be, only no one’s stumping up the cash to corrupt me.

                      But nice to see Brett can, with much training and perseverance, be brought to the point. Not that I think he noticed it himself.

                    • felix

                      Oh yep sorry Q, I forgot you’re just a wannabe sellout ;)

                    • QoT

                      *sobs* It’s just so *sob* disappointing, you know? Like *sob* why don’t they LOVE me, felix? *weeps*

                    • lprent

                      Thats ok. They don’t love me either. There may be several attitudinal reasons for that.

                      My highest praise for food tends to be something like “that was edible”, and maybe if really stretched I might get up to “that was quite edible”. I’ve noticed that you have same perfectionist dream – nothing is really quite adequate. And definitely not politicians… So we’re no good at brown-nosing in that way that good ol Cam does as he panty-sniffs his way around the political spectrum.

                      And while we may exaggerate for effect and even speculate in the light of limited facts, we don’t make crap up out of nothing in the way that the PR nutters seem to like. I’m afraid that I prefer the real world and I prefer not to to live in some kind of paranoid depressed comic book (probably the first edition of The Watchman).

                      That means we have limited appeal to people trying to shaft others. My usual response when someone tries to push me that way is to start asking what motivation they have, and getting interesting questions to ask. So I have found that most people seem to just prefer that I’m not looking in their direction.

                      So don’t weep. They’re just spending too much time wandering around trying keep their gonads covered to offer the luv. Anyway I’m not really here to be liked, I just want some crap fixed up so it doesn’t irritate me too much.

  19. tracey 19

    Could the media please stop using bank conomists as ‘experts” on whether interest rates will rise or fall.

    Could the media stop giving space to people like Matt McCarten and David Farrar and Michael Laws and Rodney Hide becaue it perpetuates a myth that they base their copy on anything other than vested interest and self interest. It also should be insulting to any self respecting journalist.

    That neither of these things will happen in my lifetime (even when those folk die they will be replaced by another ego masquerading as a font of knowledge)saddens me.

    Thanks for this bit of insight.

    ““The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
    ― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good ”

    Jaques Ellul also said that intelectuals were the best propagandists because they are like sponges to information and spread it everywhere they can (regardless of whether it is true or not)… Thus the illiterate are almost lucky, and prior to TV more immune to spreading propoaganda.

    • QoT 19.1

      While we’re making a wishlist, can they also stop breathlessly reporting every time the Real Estate Institute makes a fuss about house prices? Talk about vested interest.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    TED – Love and acceptance of your children no matter what

    worthwhile watching

    http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_love_no_matter_what.html

  21. felix

    Well i have my boxers on underneath.

    • felix 21.1

      Underneath and out of sight, hiding your truth behind a veneer of respectability.

      You sellout.

      • Brett Dale 21.1.1

        No i just like to keep warm.

        • Clockie 21.1.1.1

          No. You just like to avoid admitting when you’ve been bested in a line of logic however trivial.

          [lprent: You are getting perilously close to the owned/pwned fallacy. I'd advise against heading towards that because it is one of the things I ban for. Doing so removed a lot of stupid flamewars. Check the policy before I have to "notice" you.

          This site runs on a agree to disagree basis because of the rarity when anyone admits to any flaws in their carefully constructed online personality. :twisted: ]

          • weka 21.1.1.1.1

            Lynn, what’s the owned/pwned fallacy? I googled but am not much the wiser (except for the bit of geek history). Do you mean that there is no point in claiming to have won an argument because it leads to flame wars?

            • lprent 21.1.1.1.1.1

              It is where people start saying the they “owned” someone else. The pwned part came from a typo on Warcraft. It is less generic a word than “owned”

              The basic problem is that unless you’re dealing measurements and numbers, there are few absolutes in anything. And if you do science at all then you’ll know that even the “absolutes” in science are hedged around with experimental limits. There are even fewer disagreements that can be solved with the limited bandwidth and lack of referencing by participants on the net – they usually just jump off into meaningless partisan links. And everyonestarts talking past each other rather than with each other.

              So trying to claim any kind of victory in an online forum usually results in an extremely boring exchange of stupid dick measurements in manner that has a whole lot to do with primate posturing and nothing much to with facts – at least as far as anyone reading who is not involved in it.

              So it pays not to go to that point. I allow discussions to go on for quite some time. Agree to disagree is usually the stop point. At that point it becomes apparent that no-one else can be bothered getting involved apart from making exasperated comments.

              But I also have this habit of finding the first one to claim victory and giving them a educational prize. Usually a ban for a week or two to give peace to everyone else. It also allows them to examine another concept – that of a pyrrhic victory and muse on where they should stop next time. I’ll warn if they don’t actually claim victory when I think that it it is heading in the direction of pwned fallacy.

              Most people figure out the balance point, and we moderators wind up with less work to do… cool eh.

          • Clockie 21.1.1.1.2

            Cool. It’s not Brett’s personality I nag him about however. It’s his determined refusal to engage in reasoned debate and the fact that when he thinks it looks as though he’s getting cornered he just disappears from that discussion and starts another series of trite one-liners elsewhere. Your admonition noted.

        • fender 21.1.1.2

          Good idea, wear hobbit boxers to keep your ass warm, can’t have your mental facilities running cold Brett.

          • Brett Dale 21.1.1.2.1

            Huge difference in a work dress code, than blogging.

            • felix 21.1.1.2.1.1

              Example one: Your job requires you to moderate your use of seven words to someone else’s acceptable standard. If you don’t, you lose the job. Nothing else changes, you perform exactly the same tasks and function exactly as you would without moderation.

              Example two: Your job requires you to disguise your underwear to someone else’s acceptable standard. If you don’t, you lose the job. Nothing else changes, you perform exactly the same tasks and function exactly as you would without disguise.

              What’s the difference exactly?

              • Seriously Felix?

                A job is say 40 hours a week, you go in, do some data entry and filing, wear office clothes, and thats it. Now of course you dont say those seven words that George Carlin talked about, but i have never felt the need to drop swear words in the office.

                People dont blog 40 hours a week, they get paid to write, now im pretty sure “QOT” wouldnt write any piece no matter how much she got paid that she disagreed with.

                Ah fuck it, i dont know what to think anymore, your probably right.

                • felix

                  “Ah fuck it, i dont know what to think anymore”

                  I hope you work it out before you get dressed for work in the morning :D

                  • vto

                    Have you guys worked out who’s wearing the pyjamas yet?

                  • It best that i just keep my head down and get on with things.

                    • fender

                      Keeping your head down is what got you into the mess you are in.

                      Raise your head, open your eyes and wake up to the destruction ShonKey is forcing the country to endure.

  22. QOT

    You seem upset, should i call you a wambulance?

  23. Fender:

    I beleive, maybe the left in newzealand, should stop trying to paint John Key, like the right in the USA paints, President Obama.

    • fender 23.1

      I save my paint for the canvas and have no desire to paint Key, although I would consider tar and feathering him.

      I will gladly point out his numerous faults and protest against the destructive policies he is implementing however.

      And I’ll never be seen dead in hobbit boxer shorts either, I’m rather pissed off with Jackson after his stunts to make money off the back of changing/buying our labour laws, you should be too.

      • Brett Dale 23.1.1

        Fender:

        Do you think comments like “hes a rich prick” is going to help
        the left wing parties in the next election, attacks on President
        Obama didnt work for McCain or Romney, this will back fire.

        Looking at the latest tourism numbers we all owe Peter Jackson
        a big thankyou.

        • fender 23.1.1.1

          I must have missed the attacks on Obamas’ wealth, I’m not sure they actually happened due to Romney being so wealthy himself and the lack of tax he seems to pay.

          I don’t care if people call Jackson a rich prick, I myself tend to see him as a sad prick for trampling over working conditions of NZers.

          You can thank Jackson if you wish, but I’m not convinced tourists are flocking here on his account, don’t believe everything you hear or read in the msm regarding stats on visitors. When there was a slump in visitors prior to a recent rise, was that Jacksons’ doing too?

        • lprent 23.1.1.2

          Looking at the latest tourism numbers we all owe Peter Jackson
          a big thankyou.

          I’m always intrigued when people say crap like that about causation. Here is the chart of international visitor numbers from the MED (image is clickable).

          There is a small spike similar to the many little spikes that have gone before. Based on past trends it looks like the recession in air-travel for tourism is starting to end (as countries claw their way out of recession, tourism world-wide increases – look at the effect of the post Asian financial crisis in 1999). Now look at the spikes for actual events up and down – bigger eh. That is causation rather than a flimsy assertion.

          But let us take the alternate view – the of the previous effect of The Lord of The Rings films, which had a lot more impact than the Hobbit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings_(film_series)

          The films are, by subtitle, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003)…

          Now show me where the spikes in visitor numbers for the release of the three Lord of the Rings films happened?

          Really easy to see right?

          Basically he makes little apparent causal difference except for a couple of locations that get increased visitor numbers. Most likely they are simply depriving other locations of those visitors. I suspect that he has considerably less effect than the long term effect of the numbers of people coming over from Japan to have weddings and/or wedding photos here.

          • Brett Dale 23.1.1.2.1

            The spike is right there, 140 to 200.

            • fender 23.1.1.2.1.1

              There’s no spike there, it’s just a continuum of the long term upward trend.

            • lprent 23.1.1.2.1.2

              That was the post asian financial crisis recession jump. Widespread recessions do that. Just like rapidly increasing fuel prices depress it (ie 2005-2007 flattening). When they end you see a sharp increase worldwide as people take their deferred vacations.

              You can look at the inwards figures for any tourist destination in the world and you can see it. Just as you see the 9/11 drop worldwide.

  24. Look at the spike from sars iraq war.

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