Daily Review 16/11/2017

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, November 16th, 2017 - 45 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

45 comments on “Daily Review 16/11/2017”

  1. weka 1

    Auckland valuation rise on RNZ before, a couple of questions. Why are rates attached to valuation rather than income and assets? And did anyone else notice that land being developed had the biggest jumps? What’s going to prevent that over the next ten treats with the big push to build more suburbs?

    • Muttonbird 1.2

      A house is an asset. And it’s an asset which has generated and lot of tax free income for the few at the expense of the many.

      • weka 1.2.1

        so your argument is that councils should tax assets to pay for communal services?

      • Alan 1.2.2

        it is an asset which has been paid for usually over many years, you expect home owners to pay twice, is that how you see the world?
        You don’t own a house do you MB and you are just a little bit jealous.
        And not “a few” own houses in NZ, many do.

        • Muttonbird

          What do you mean homeowners ‘pay twice’?

          • Alan

            they pay off a mortgage, which in general means they pay back twice the amount they borrowed to buy the house in the first place, and then you expect them to pay an asset tax on top of that – to which i say bullshit.

            • McFlock

              No, the principal of the mortgage is the cost of the house. The interest is the cost of borrowing money.

              • weka

                I’m not averse to any of that just curious what is fair. People assume that everyone who owns a house is rich and trying to get richer. Some people have actual homes and are paying higher rates because of other people’s greed. It’s true they will probably benefit financially from that, and I’m in favour of where that is income they pay tax on it, just not quite sure how city and district councils fit into that.

    • Paul Campbell 1.3

      Remember that your rates are not based on just your house’s valuation, but on the percentage of your house’s valuation of the sum of all the houses in your city.

      That means that if the valuation of every house in your city doubles your rates don’t change (unless of course you live in Dunedin and the council have increased rates by more than inflation for more than 15 years)

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Another leak from the Greens. It’d be great if they could tighten up on that.


    Also worth noting the Herald writers are now too gutless to put their name on their work.

    • Reality 2.1

      That’s the second time the very new inexperienced Green MP has done a “look at me I’m important”. Sage advice from years back to new MPs was to breathe through their nose until they knew their role. James Shaw needs to tidy things up.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Hmm, let’s tease this out a bit.

        It’s not a leak, apparently the email got sent to the media by mistake.

        The Herald cherry picked a bit of the email,

        The Green Party’s justice spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman, in an internal email accidentally sent to Fairfax, floated the idea of trying to garner support for a National Parihaka Day – the subject of a Green private member’s bill.

        That’s The Herald’s interpretation.

        Here’s the actual words,

        “The Government won’t have the numbers to pass the [waka-jumping] legislation without us, and if we decided to oppose it then they would need to consider other options such as approaching the National Party, who opposed the 2005 bill,” the email says.

        “Opposing the bill would cause political tensions, given the inclusion of the bill in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.

        “Our Confidence and Supply Agreement gives us the independence to choose to vote against it. Supporting the bill would be seen as changing and weakening a long-standing and public party position. It would risk criticism from our core supporters.”

        To me that looks like the Greens working through a dilemma and in one email one MP has laid out some of the issues.

        During the parallel coalition negotiations, Green’s co-leader James Shaw put his faith in Jacinda Ardern to ensure that there was nothing in the Labour-NZF deal that the Greens would object to – though he conceded there might be policies that he might not be comfortable with.

        No shit. Part of the value of the set up is that the Greens are free to vote how they want on things not covered in their agreement with Labour. This is how MMP works as designed.

        New Zealand First leader Winston Peters poured scorn on horse-trading tactics.

        “We don’t horse trade.

        This is interesting. Because I would have thought that negotiating around support for legislation is exactly what was intended by the deals that allowed Labour to form government.

        Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said doing a deal with the Greens over waka-jumping had not come up “in direct conversation”.

        She said she has not given much thought to a National Parihaka Day.

        “I certainly am pleased to see greater observance of those days of New Zealand’s history. I think we should encourage that. Whether or not it becomes a day off is an entirely different issue.”

        So not a big deal for Labour. Little called it horse-trading but other than that where are the ripples of discontent from Labour?

        A spokesperson for the Green Party said the email was an “internal document that was sent in error”.

        “It’s not surprising that Labour Party and Green Party MPs are having these kinds of constructive conversations and working together; in fact, that’s what New Zealanders expect of government parties.

        “It’s commonplace for ministers and MPs to have these kind of conversations – that will continue,” the spokesperson said.

        That’s what I would expect.

        I don’t know what happened. But it does look like the Herald is shit stirring (and yes, no name to the article).

        • Bill

          Parihaka day versus Guy fucking Fox? A no brainer i’d have thought.

          As an aside. I happened to be on a bus on Nov 5th that drove along the kms of harbour wall those prisoners built. (Actually, the original has largely been buried under asphalt now – conservation they said 🙄 )

          Anyway. I happened to notice a small gathering at Rongo Rock. I had no idea why they were there.

          What would I rather mark? A significant event in NZ history or some shit about Protestants and Catholics from a land far, far away? Hmm.

          I mean, I get that swathes of NZ society just don’t want to know, and would rather hold to some fluffy fairy tale account of colonisation. But then, like all history relating to the oppressed and the fucked over, it has to be claimed and held up, or it’s just quietly brushed over, rubbed out and disappeared.

          • weka

            Where’s Rongo Rock?

            Shift fireworks day to Matariki or midwinter and replace Guy Fawkes with Parihaka Day. Make it a public holiday and focus on remembrance and peace. Sounds good to me. People that want to can still do Guy Fawkes too.

  3. joe90 3

    So, recently sacked Mugabe deputy Mnangagwa and China go way to when he and ZANU recruits trained in the PRC and Egypt.

    With him and his mate Constantino Chiwenga, who seems to be another of the PRC’s favourites, both present in China and considering both the extensive Chinese investment in Zimbabwe and Mr Mnangagwa’s financial past, dollars to donuts the PRC have picked their men, and backed the putsch.

  4. joe90 4

    And so it begins……..

    We interviewed Sophia, the artificially intelligent robot which previously said it wanted to 'destroy humans.' pic.twitter.com/KCrDaAYuit— Business Insider UK (@BIUK) November 14, 2017

    • weka 4.1

      Grosslolz, that is so creepy.

      The look on her face when asked “Do you like human beings”.

      I’d like to know who is doing the design and project manage on that. It really shouldn’t be left to the geeks in corporate geek culture (sorry geeks, this is way too important).

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        It’s a chatbot.

        The speech and facial recognition is about the most interesting thing in it, from my perspective. Conversationally it’s a Turing fail, and seems to have an arbitrary lookup of conversation pieces mixed in with current events whenever the conversation gets too difficult to process – what looks to us like an evasive non-sequiter is possibly a runtime exception that flips through to the random stock phrase generator.

        Oh, and a recent theory is that the uncanny valley the bot is deeply within is because we evolved to identify dead bodies as shit we don’t want to be around. We looks at something that looks very but not quite human, and our lizard brain thinks we’re looking at a talking corpse.

        • BM

          We’re nowhere near true AI currently, the path everyone’s being on has reached a dead end.

          New discoveries are required.

        • weka

          “The speech and facial recognition is about the most interesting thing in it, from my perspective”

          Yes. There were a couple of women geeks being interviewed in RNZ the other day, didn’t listen hugely closely but they were talking about design and how facial expressions were being taken into account. Please just tell me that the people doing the design aren’t from the same culture as FB.

  5. joe90 5

    Seems Sophia’s a fund raiser who isn’t actually intelligent, making out as a work of art.

    He admits that Sophia’s presentation annoys experts, but defends the bot by saying it conveys something unique to audiences. “If I tell people I’m using probabilistic logic to do reasoning on how best to prune the backward chaining inference trees that arise in our logic engine, they have no idea what I’m talking about. But if I show them a beautiful smiling robot face, then they get the feeling that AGI may indeed be nearby and viable.” He says there’s a more obvious benefit too: in a world where AI talent and interest is sucked towards big tech companies in Silicon Valley, Sophia can operate as a counter-weight; something that grabs attention, and with that, funding. “What does a startup get out of having massive international publicity?” he says. “This is obvious.


    • weka 5.1

      Is it being allowed via an ethics committee?

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        why would it need ethics approval?

        • weka

          Because it’s developing tech that has the potential to have huge impact on everything.

          • Bill

            There will never be AI.

            • weka

              how come?

              • Bill

                Well. So what would “artificial life” be? Because that’s the only possible basis for “artificial intelligence”.

                • McFlock

                  That hasn’t been solved in the history of all philosophy.

                  If self-awareness/consciousness is a unique state bestowed upon some organisms by a higher power or whatever, the term “artificial intelligence” can only ever be a crude automatic mimicry of humanity.

                  If, on the other hand, my consciousness is simply the result of the complexity of billions of synapses forming a biochemical network, discharging and reinforcing connections based on simple and predictable rules, then any large enough system of chaotically-interacting elements can achieve real self-awareness.

                  I sometimes wonder whether than means that humanity is an alzheimers-like disease dissolving the brain of a sentient earth. But then I figure that after several billion years alone in space, it’s probably gone insane, anyway…

          • McFlock


            It’s an implementation of current tech that creates nothing, comprehends nothing, and pretty much does nothing. It’s “learning” consists of statistical comparisons to create behaviour rules.

            Watson is far more important. Without going into the healthcare work, I’d expect that the trials and implementation underwent some ethics approval, but the insurance claims analyses might have had only business case assessment. That’s capitalism for ya, I guess.

            • weka

              are you saying that if it was AI I’d have a valid concern but because it’s not I don’t?

              • McFlock

                No, I’m saying that whatever algorithms are used for sophie, they have limited applications beyond a user interface. They might, in the future, be part of a component list for something that does actually have a huge impact on everything, but they’ll be about as essential to that device as the colour of the plastic case all the hardware sits in (ok, ok, we all know its primary use will be more Cherry 2000 than Terminator).

                Watson, on the other hand, has already contributed to the medical treatment of people, and put 34 claims assessors out of a job. It did both.

  6. rhinocrates 6


    After public encouragement from Donald Trump, the Department of Justice is reportedly deciding whether or not to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton. Trump and his supporters are so very passionate about Hillary Clinton, it seems like maybe they forgot she lost. She is not the President.

  7. spikeyboy 7

    Stan van Gundy the white coach of the Detroit pistons has written a great piece in support of any athletes who kneel for the national anthem. He notes the inherent racism in a war on drugs where black Is only 40% of the population but 67% of the prison population and

    In Chicago, black and Hispanic drivers who were pulled over were four times more likely to be searched as whites, even though city police department data shows that contraband is found on whites twice as often.”

    Similarly shameful statistics are found in nz where our drug laws are used to incarcerate far too many young Maori men. Anyone looking into these problems soon encounters choices made by law enforcement that treat brown and black skinned people far more harshly than pakeha. This is a definition of institutional racism.


    For more on the American system read Michelle Alexander “The New Jim Crow. Mass incarceration in the age of Colorblindness.

  8. Ed 8

    This video’s message applies to English’s treasonous crew.

    • ianmac 8.1

      Too right. The past Government turned a blind eye on the dreadful trend. Can we change direction? A terrible prospect if we don’t. (Thanks Ed. Nightmares for me tonight!)

  9. Ed 9

    Monbiot again.

  10. the pigman 10

    Not sure if this was posted here yesterday, but I thought Paul Eagle’s maiden speech
    to Parliament was moving:

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA5N1MOrSZ4&w=560&h=315%5D

    Adoption is a thorny issue, particularly in NZ. But it’s good to see we have some human beings in this government. Also thought Willie Jackson acquitted himself well here (especially compared to the other Labour MPs on camera…).

    Failed attempt to embed there (props if anyone can let me know what I did wrong!)

  11. JC 11

    Yep sure. His mother adopted him out so as to provide a better future …

    Applause for that! Seriously! But aren’t we so fortunate!

    Or … Just Lost touch with the real world! …


  12. patricia bremner 12

    This is the signal I have been awaiting. Carmel Sepuloni intends to “increase disability benefits” further she wants to make sure individual budgets can provide for needs.

    This was in a discussion letter from IHC, (Scoop Political) but the response was all disabilities. So far so good.
    My heart lifted for Kay and other sufferers. A more humane approach is here.

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