Go, technology, inequality, the future of work

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, March 13th, 2016 - 42 comments
Categories: human rights, jobs, labour, science, wages - Tags: , , ,

This week saw a significant development in Artificial Intelligence (AI), with a Google program AlphaGo resoundingly beating the human champion at Go. This is significant because, unlike chess, Go is difficult to crack with brute-force search. It requires pretty abstract pattern recognition and (what we have called up until now) “intution”. AlphaGo is based on “deep learning”, which is all the rage in AI at the moment, with many practical applications, from driverless cars to speech recognition. (I have an interest because “deep learning” is versions of artificial neural networks, which have been my area of research and teaching for a couple of decades.)

Given this significant breakthrough in AI we should collectively take a moment to consider the implications for society. Coincidentally another piece in The Guardian today covers a similar topic:

Our tech future: the rich own the robots while the poor have ‘job mortgages’

Artificial intelligence expert Jerry Kaplan says those whose jobs involve ‘a narrow set of duties’ are most likely to see their work replaced by automation

Ever since the first vision of a robot appeared on the horizon of mankind, humans have feared that automation will replace the workforce in our dystopian future.

There typically follows a period of reassurance, in which we are compelled to believe that this will be a good thing, and that robots could actually liberate us from the drudgery of daily toil and free us for more enjoyable, cerebral pursuits. Futurist Jerry Kaplan, 63, is among those optimists. He estimates that 90% of Americans will lose their jobs to robots and we should all be happy about it.

“If we can program machines to read x-rays and write news stories, all the better. I say good riddance,” Kaplan said. “Get another job!”

Gulp.

Less discussed is the observation that inequality will be “a dark cloud” over this period of robotic rule. The robots, Kaplan admitted, will be owned by the rich. “The benefits of automation naturally accrue to those who can invest in the new systems, and that’s the people with the money. And why not? Of course they’re reaping the rewards,” he said. …

Read on for more, including the bizarre sounding concept of “job mortgages”. Will the automation of work be captured by the 1% and increase inequality, or is it a chance (with Universal Income) to free people for an egalitarian and creative future? (Given climate change, will we even get to answer that question?)

I don’t have any answers, but I’m glad that at least one political party is thinking about the issues. Well done Labour for its Future of Work initiative.

42 comments on “Go, technology, inequality, the future of work”

  1. b waghorn 1

    ” liberate us from the drudgery of daily toil and free us for more enjoyable, cerebral pursuits. ”
    It might surprise many , but some of us enjoy a bit of toil in our day and are not interested in to much navel gazing or the arts.

    • joe90 1.1

      Fishing man, fishing!.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Nah, the good fishing spots will be full of robots. Or rich people who’ve banned access. Brave new world.

        😉

        • b waghorn 1.1.1.1

          Or just plane overfished by all the ubi ers subsisting on easy money.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that comment.

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.2

            b waghorn
            Wherefor is this easy money? Tell us more.

            • b waghorn 1.1.1.1.2.1

              If a ubi is introduced , it has to be high enough so all other welfare can be dumped, if it is high enough some will choose to live on that alone, I say this because as a young hoon I went on the dole and the only reason I went off it was because it wasn’t quite enough to keep me in booze smokes and food.

              • weka

                I’d struggle to think of any beneficiary that can survive on a base benefit alone. You’d have to have no housing costs.

                I don’t know how old you are but benefit rates are much lower relative to the cost of living than they used to be.

                Whatever UBI gets introduced it’s unlikely to pay a living income.

                The Living Wage is $19.60, or $784/wk (40hrs) before tax.

                The minimum wage is $14.75 or $590/wk before tax.

                The dole is $210/wk in the hand for single people, or $175 each per couple. Gareth Morgan’s model suggests that rate for the UBI, but it’s predicated on people working as well (I don’t know what he suggests for people that can’t work). How many people could live on that alone?

                • b waghorn

                  Yes you picked the obvious I was living in a shed for $10 a week when I was on the dole.
                  Wasn’t good for me and ultimately would of been bad for the state if I’d done many winters there.
                  Hate to burst the far lefts bubble , but humans aren’t all created equal and some need looking after ,some need guiding some need reigning in and some need a swift kick up the Arse! ( metophorically speaking)).
                  A ubi will not work in nz.

                  • greywarshark

                    b wahorn
                    I think you might be making the mistake that many do of assuming that a change of policy will mean it will be to one that will solve all problems. A UBI will be an assured amount of money but won’t as I understand it for myself, mean much of a living, or mean all problems vanish. One thing will happen though, the number of WINZ workers will reduce by probably 60% and that saving can go into support programs to help people having difficulties, manage better and be more self-sufficient, even enable them to get some part-time work. It will mean that everyone will be entitled to a basic living and won’t feel like shooting WIBZ when those po faced women once again say no nothing for you despite your woes.

                    People will be encouraged to work, at present there is about 80-90% drain off benefits as soon as you get a good few hours, not enough to live on but enough for WINZ to hack at your benefit so you might end up $10 better off after considerable travel, organisation of children, stress at work, and the cost of clothes to suit the job. So there is a lot of lying about people raking off money from the state, and there is always some amazing amount waved about as an example, or words like lazy incompetents, good for nothings, going on by welfare departments and the general public full of spite about beneficiaries. Nasty people, who always know one or two who they think in their wisdom could be out working. They know little of the person’s conditions and actually don’t give a damn about their difficulties.

                    • b waghorn

                      ( out on a limb here) the big picture stuff is that humans are to successful for our own good, once we got past the need for all of us to be actively involved in our day to day survival friction started.
                      I think as a species we should invade space, set up a far east mars company, let those mad brave buggers that will sail a ship into uncharted territories types have a crack , and health and safety be damned.
                      Humans are seekers of the new , conquest is the only thing that would unite us.

                  • weka

                    b, why does it bother you if people don’t work?

                    What did you do with your time when you were on the dole?

                    I still think the number of people able and willing to live on $200/wk will be relatively small.

                    • b waghorn

                      When I was young and out of work I slept till eleven smoked pot and watched TV , and was toying with growing weed while associating with gang members.
                      When times where tough in 08 /09 as a self employed fencer a paced the house and annoyed the wife.
                      I’m sure some do fine filling their days in , but its no good for others,
                      I think the single greatest thing a government could do with welfare is make it easier for people to switch on and off the benefit , so if they find a couple of days work they can take it without having to jump through hoops.

                    • weka

                      I totally agree with your last paragraph. The bureaucracy and the financial penalties are a huge disincentive for many.

                      How much of the issue for you was the unemployment rate? i.e if there had been decent work available would you have taken it? What if there had been work you were really interested in?

                      One would hope that a UBI would be introduced by a govt that saw things a bit more holistically than throwing money at people, and I take your point about the people who need work. But we’re already in that situation with them where many of them can’t get work.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Obviously someone who’s never engaged his brain. If you had you’d realise that cerebral pursuits does not include navel gazing nor does it exclude a bit of toil in the day but that the toil is to help with the cerebral pursuits and isn’t the job.

      • b waghorn 1.2.1

        Like all good intellectual s you missed the point completely.
        I’ve been unemployed I’ve been self employed I choose to be an employee,yes my job isn’t quite what Id like it to be, but I’d be lost if I didn’t have a little bit of whip to get going in the morning. Not all of us are highly self motivated.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          And what has that got to do with what I said?

        • greywarshark 1.2.1.2

          You are making a point b waghorn that I think is important. I think most of us who are well need to work, though sometimes it would be easier not to have that discipline. We need to work for our mental and physical health and that is what I can’t agree with DTB about technology doing people out of jobs is a good thing.

          Those who are invalids or with impaired bodies or minds, need something to match their abilities to do that brings them together with others, something to concentrate on and feel a sense of competence. I consider that bringing up small children is work, and that it is so important, that parenting or child caring requires training to ensure that the right psychological skills and values training is understood. After the child is older, then a parent should be able to take on outside part or full-time work, but children still need care and attention even when teenagers which governments don’t seem to allow for.

  2. One Two 2

    The likes of Jerry Caplan, despise the human species. They despise themselves and the organic body which provides them with life. Life which they will see replaced by death

    Ray Kurzweil who has been leading Google research, is another

    • ropata 2.1

      -1 Completely wrong headed. A case of fearing what you do not understand.

      • One Two 2.1.1

        Completely wrong headed is it Ropata ?

        Tell me. What industry do I work in ?

      • Gristle 2.1.2

        Don’t confuse being able to operate the remote control or write a bit of code with understanding technology: Unintended consequences abound whenever something new is introduced.

        You think you understand the application of technology and then somebody points out that there may be a linkage between CFC and holes in the ozone. Who would thought that the “@” would have caused the demise of the post office.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          Who would thought that the “@” would have caused the demise of the post office.

          I did. In fact, I’m amazed that it’s taken so long.

          I would have thought that the concept of phone numbers would have gone by now as well but the phone companies seem to have found a way to rip us off through their continued use.

  3. greywarshark 3

    My suggestion is to start forming like-minded co operatives committed to supporting each other, living a thoughtful, simplified and affordable life, and aiming to increase supportiveness in their own community. This doesn’t mean that they have to live together but they join up in a Trust or something that can arrange and offer central meeting point, events, talks, demonstrations of skills, visiting experts, social get-togethers.

    Also encouraging local production, and buying most things locally, or made in our own country. So that is most things, some things can be imported and being fairly rare, would be conserved and cared for, not just used a couple of times and discarded. (Thinking of women’s clothes here. I know about the op shop waste, good simple clothes in good condition can hardly be given away in these conformist, fashion conscious days.)

    I think it would be helpful to institute a meeting time held weekly, a few hours on Saturday or Sunday morning where people wanting to live the life mentioned above, can talk about an agreed topic of concern for a set time. Then have a simple tea and sandwiches while people move round and chat. This would be rather like this blog, where like-minded people can share information and hopes and tips and I have found there is a big boost in meeting good people who you can respect.

    There are so many people with whom you can’t speak openly, and this includes family and friends. You can alienate yourself from people who will not turn their minds to reality, to think or talk about, or have built their lives successfully in material terms by thinking exclusively of their own interests, it is an affront to them to discuss this of course. You may love them, and respect them to a great extent, but not be able to speak clearly and honestly to them And this can apply to the wealthy or those managing to scrape a life on the low income strata.

    Ironically religion could be doing this but its ability to handle the future and enable ethics mixed with pragmatism, is often fragile. Turning to the bible is one of their answers, reciting poetic speeches, praying for a divine hand to assist people who have been given the gift of divine life and consciousness, but can’t utilise the gifts adequately. I think we can pray for guidance, but not a proxy to carry out our duties.

    • One Two 3.1

      This is what must happen to ensure continuity and a return to a way of life which our ancient hardware and software is designed for

      The digital world and its owners are hell bent seeing in thier transhumanist agenda.
      Policies which open pathways towards such an era, can be seen throughout the analogue world

      • weka 3.1.1

        That’s an interesting comment One Two.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        So, that would make you one of those authoritarians who are scared of social changes then.

        • One Two 3.1.2.1

          Authoritarian, No.

          Scared of social change vs technical dictatorship. No

          The authoritarians you refer to, own the technology and science based industry’s

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            No, the authoritarians that I refer to are scared of social change at the individual level. The ones you refer to are also scared of social changes but for different reasons – the social changes that need to come about which will get rid of the rich.

            The problem is that they then coalesce into a grouping against social change that prevents both from happening.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Hugh Fletcher notoriously learned Go at on point, but never appeared in competitions – I suspect he never became very good at it. International competition trailed off a bit when JAL withdrew sponsorship after Cho Chihun proved an insurmontable obstacle to Japanese players for a decade or so, rather like the more recent dominance of the US womens’ golf tournaments by Koreans, one of whom is Lydia Ko.

    Go is a great game for learning strategy – the presumptions of chess are too monarchial to extend far into the contemporary world. If Americans played Go instead of chess they might not be quite so prone to believe that toppling a leader like bin Laden or Hussein would end all opposition to their occuppying forces.

  5. ropata 5

    Sorry all you luddites we aren’t throwing away our tech in the foreseeable future… it certainly has a dark side but when used for good, technology can be a massively empowering and democratizing. (That’s probably why the US Gov is trying to steal everyone’s encrypted phone data… democracy is not in their interests)

    Stop blaming IT for an economic and political malaise: i.e. the continual depredations of the wealthy preying upon the poor using the tools of state and media and law

    • weka 5.1

      The Luddites didn’t suffer from political malaise and look out that turned out. I think we have reasons to be concerned even if things were moving in the right direction politically and economically.

      And as always, where’s the climate change analysis?

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    “If we can program machines to read x-rays and write news stories, all the better. I say good riddance,” Kaplan said. “Get another job!”

    Yep, exactly. We should be destroying jobs as fast as possible. Get rid of the low pay, low skill ones that garner no respect first.

    Then we have face the real problem with capitalism. The fact that the rich demand that everyone else work for them and that if they don’t then they will be destroyed through poverty and discrimination.

    So, along with those lose paying jobs we also need to get rid of the rich.

    • ropata 6.1

      Sounds like you need to join McGillicuddy Serious and help implement the “Great Leap Backwards”

      Do you really think Auckland Council could run better using paper records? (greywarshark does, and his idiotic comment was not contradicted by anyone. I ignored it because it was so naïve… ) Don’t you remember what it was like getting anything done in 70s? A simple phone connection would take months.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        ropata
        You are too excitable and inclined to jump to emotional responses despite your connection to scientific technological methods. A very simple process of taking a little time to absorb what you are reading instead of jumping to your opinionated knee jerk reactions will take you and your ideas to the top of whatever you are doing I should think. Time to reflect and understand first will help with mature decisions. If you are middle aged, you had better learn quickly.

        and DTB
        Sometimes your thinking doesn’t join up the dots. Don’t talk down unskilled jobs, just ensure that they get paid a living wage. It is no advantage having advanced economies and technology if the only way they can be successfully used is to deny a lot of people work that enables them to live an enjoyable life doing something they think is worthy and appreciated in society. Bugger technology if it can’t end up with all people better off.

        We may indeed have to live without it soon, so don’t give up doing some things manually in case your arms shrivel and drop off, through maladjustment in understanding that humans need work so they can stay fit mentally and physically to survive.
        edited

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          And who gets to decide which are the useless jobs? I’d have less of a problem with his argument if the people who do those jobs were asked.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            I can assure you that the people cleaning toilets and parks and other similar work don’t want their job because they’re fucken boring and working them to death.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2

          Don’t talk down unskilled jobs, just ensure that they get paid a living wage.

          Why? Much better to get rid of them.

          Please note: I’m not talking down the people doing those jobs.

          It is no advantage having advanced economies and technology if the only way they can be successfully used is to deny a lot of people work that enables them to live an enjoyable life doing something they think is worthy and appreciated in society.

          19th century that assumes that people must have a lot of work rather than that technology will be getting rid of the work.

          Bugger technology if it can’t end up with all people better off.

          That’s what we’re trying to do. Many are trying to prevent it by ensuring that they benefit while most become worse off.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        You’re not talking to me are you?

        I’m all for more technology and getting rid of jobs with it.

  7. ropata 7

    This comment on HackerNews stuck with me:

    As someone who studied AI in college and am a reasonably good amateur player, I have been following the matches between Lee and AlphaGo.

    AlphaGo plays some unusual moves that go clearly against any classically trained Go players. Moves that simply don’t quite fit into the current theories of Go playing, and the world’s top players are struggling to explain what’s the purpose/strategy behind them.

    I’ve been giving it some thought. When I was learning to play Go as a teenager in China, I followed a fairly standard, classical learning path. First I learned the rules, then progressively I learn the more abstract theories and tactics. Many of these theories, as I see them now, draw analogies from the physical world, and are used as tools to hide the underlying complexity (chunking), and enable the players to think at a higher level.

    For example, we’re taught of considering connected stones as one unit, and give this one unit attributes like dead, alive, strong, weak, projecting influence in the surrounding areas. In other words, much like a standalone army unit.

    These abstractions all made a lot of sense, and feels natural, and certainly helps game play — no player can consider the dozens (sometimes over 100) stones all as individuals and come up with a coherent game play. Chunking is such a natural and useful way of thinking.

    But watching AlphaGo, I am not sure that’s how it thinks of the game. Maybe it simply doesn’t do chunking at all, or maybe it does chunking its own way, not influenced by the physical world as we humans invariably do. AlphaGo’s moves are sometimes strange, and couldn’t be explained by the way humans chunk the game.

    It’s both exciting and eerie. It’s like another intelligent species opening up a new way of looking at the world (at least for this very specific domain). and much to our surprise, it’s a new way that’s more powerful than ours.

    • Stuart Munro 7.1

      It would be interesting to see whether AlphaGo revives GoSeigin’s shin fusekis – the man himself gave them up not because they didn’t work, but they were too much effort compared to less iconoclastic openings.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      That makes sense. Everyone wants to learn from it; good players are talking about the beauty of its game.

      Sedol wasn’t just beaten: he was outplayed. Exciting times.

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    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Police Association Annual Conference
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