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Open mike 02/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 2nd, 2020 - 71 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

71 comments on “Open mike 02/08/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    One News last night ran this story;https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/deepfake-pornography-triggering-alarm-bells-nz-officials

    The country's first report of deepfaked pornography saw the identity of a New Zealander being used.

    Apparently, you can't tell it's a fake. So this is how Trump can wipe out Biden's 13-point lead overnight: a deepfake political ad showing him doing something scary.

    Deepfake technology enables anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to create realistic-looking photos and videos of people saying and doing things that they did not actually say or do.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2020/05/25/deepfakes-are-going-to-wreak-havoc-on-society-we-are-not-prepared/#7fb451167494

    Several deepfake videos have gone viral recently, giving millions around the world their first taste of this new technology: President Obama using an expletive to describe President Trump, Mark Zuckerberg admitting that Facebook's true goal is to manipulate and exploit its users…

    The amount of deepfake content online is growing at a rapid rate. At the beginning of 2019 there were 7,964 deepfake videos online, according to a report from startup Deeptrace; just nine months later, that figure had jumped to 14,678.

    Today we stand at an inflection point. In the months and years ahead, deepfakes threaten to grow from an Internet oddity to a widely destructive political and social force. Society needs to act now to prepare itself.

    Imagine deepfake footage of a politician engaging in bribery or sexual assault right before an election; or of U.S. soldiers committing atrocities against civilians overseas; or of President Trump declaring the launch of nuclear weapons against North Korea. In a world where even some uncertainty exists as to whether such clips are authentic, the consequences could be catastrophic.

    In a recent report, The Brookings Institution grimly summed up the range of political and social dangers that deepfakes pose: “distorting democratic discourse; manipulating elections; eroding trust in institutions; weakening journalism; exacerbating social divisions; undermining public safety; and inflicting hard-to-repair damage on the reputation of prominent individuals, including elected officials and candidates for office.”

    So AI tech has achieved this new higher-level competence and expertise and made it available to market players. And we have this local operation:

    Weta Digital, the company behind the special effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and one of Li's former workplaces, has been a pioneer in the media trickery. https://www.govtech.com/products/Deepfakes-The-Next-Big-Threat-to-American-Democracy.html

    The time for Trump to strike with one of these ads is around a week prior to the close of his campaign, giving enough time for the impact to swing 20% of voters around, and not enough time for technical evaluation to counter the impact persuasively.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      The actual, unfaked clips of Biden making inflammatory speeches are far worse than anything coming from those crafty North Korean and Russian masterminds in the Valley of the Uncanny.

    • Gabby 1.2

      Who's this Li?

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        To get yourself the answer, you need to read the linked reports. Clue: an expert in the tech. Another clue: oriental…

    • greywarshark 1.3

      No not our Weta! We are better than this, but can you step out of the fakery and still stay in the tech world? Is it going to be so intertwined that it is impossible to have any probity?

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        You know human nature: attracted to money & power. Tech fakery gets you both, who's a gonna say no?? 🤑 😕

  2. Peter 2

    Fake portrayal of a politician doing something scary?

    Trump has been doing scary things for a number of years. Not fake, boldly overtly, proudly. Bizarre.

    The way things work in the States what heinous thing would have Biden have to do to be worse?

  3. Ad 3

    Big Ups to the New Lynn LEC last night for putting on another excellent Mid Winter Dinner.

    In fact, shoutout to all the Labour crews working their butts off knocking on doors this morning.

    Love ya work team.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Could this… https://www.mfe.govt.nz/waste/product-stewardship-responsible-product-management/regulated-product-stewardship

    …be the means to resolving this…https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/422298/environment-court-accused-of-multiple-errors-in-awaiti-water-take-case ?

    The Environment Court ruled that it was not within its jurisdiction to consider the impact of exports or plastic waste, particularly because bottles in itself did not require a resource consent.

    Ngāti Awa has alleged the court, therefore, closed its mind to the impact the end-use would have at a local level.

    Hopkins said it was impossible to separate the water-take from the bottling, and the court should have considered the impact of end-use.

    "My submission is that the bottling is an essential part of the activity and that the Environment Court got it wrong when it said the primary activity was the water-take.

    Is it too late for the new Regulated Product Stewardship Scheme to have an effect in the High Court case brought by Sustainable Otakiri?

    "We have an acknowledgement that the water would not be taken if it could not be bottled … the water bottling is arguably the primary activity or, at the very least, an essential component of the activity, and it should not be considered as subordinate to the water take," he said.

    Creswell New Zealand Limited – a subsidiary of Chinese Company Nongfu Spring – has proposed to produce 154,000 plastic bottles per hour over a period of 25 years.

    That is 3.7 million bottles per day, 3 billion bottles a year and 33.75 billion bottles in total.

    Think about that for a minute or two….

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      That is 3.7 million bottles per day, 3 billion bottles a year and 33.75 billion bottles in total.

      That would be:

      3,696,000 bottles per day

      1,349,040,000 bottled per year

      33,726,000,000 for the 25 year period

    • greywarshark 4.2

      edit
      Oh dear, folk tales time again, for truth! The Emperor's New Clothes – the fact that The Emperor was naked could only be observed and spoken about by an innocent unhampered by the overwhelming conventions and precedents of the herd.

      That the water needed to be contained in some way was beyond the power of knowledge or imagination of the Court. Would a dam have received such positive acceptance? What if the plastic bottles had to be returned to the country of origin – would the profit-taker accept responsibility for recycling them?

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    RNZ political panel this morning, Richard Harman's take on Labour's campaign: "they're trying to pretend they don't exist."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018757586/the-weekend-panel-with-jane-clifton-and-richard-harman

    • AB 5.1

      Harman seemed a tad bitter about it. But it's a reasonable strategy – to try to appear like some natural phenomenon one barely notices but is essential and inevitable all the same; like air.

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        Harman has never gotten over Bill Rowling's humiliating him live on television on election night 1981. Harman had not prepared properly for the interview and froze up on camera. Rowling cut him no slack and didn't help him out by speaking and thus giving Harman a chance to sort himself out. A large crowd of Labour Party workers surrounded them, and their jeering laughter must still resonate in Harman's memory all these years later.

        It was one of the only happy memories for Labour supporters in an otherwise grim night as Muldoon held on to win.

        Harman has only got older and bitterer and more right wing since then.

    • Ad 5.2

      Both major parties reek of complacency and lack of policy.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    I wonder what his dad thinks? If he's still alive. Back in the seventies, he was our very own Carlos Santana, he was that good a guitarist.

    Before the pandemic, Te Kahika’s Facebook page was free of politics. It primarily documented his career as a guitarist, following in the footsteps of his father, the pioneering musician Billy TK.

    His posts started to become politically tinged in late March, in the early days of level four restrictions. Like everyone else, Te Kahika was in self-isolation with his family, which meant he had his days free to research issues online.

    Much of this research veered towards fringe ideas, circulated on Facebook and YouTube. His political posts became regular, and increasingly incorporated information from the emerging ecosystem of conspiracy theories related to the pandemic, typically centring on unsubstantiated or outright false claims.

    It culminated in his live broadcast, which merged these ideas into a unified theory: That the pandemic had been planned, and the New Zealand Government was at the forefront of a global push to enslave the population.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300070891/the-conspiracists-election-how-the-farthest-fringes-of-politics-are-making-a-play-for-the-centre

    The party’s Facebook page, not yet two months old, already has 20,000 followers, more than the ACT party, which has been online for nine years.

    They even share their political culture. Consider

    how far the Outdoors Party has shifted. Five years after its formation as a party for moderate environmentalists, it has come to embrace the farthest fringes of the conspiracy movement… Both the NZPP and the Outdoors Party have tapped into a conspiracy pipeline that has prospered online, particularly on Facebook and YouTube, and has come to dominate the edges of New Zealand politics.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      A pity the writer of that article didn't provide links to the two featured parties' websites so readers could read for themselves the policies and kaupapa.

      https://www.outdoorsparty.co.nz/policy/

      https://www.nzpublicparty.org.nz/what-we-stand-for

      This article was first published back in May…and I guess has had a reprise due to the rise and rise of NZPP. Their website is most certainly more slick than I expected and there is a sophistication in their policy statements that came as a pleasant surprise. Other than demanding open and transparent government ( and who doesn't want that?/sarc) there is a refreshing lack of dogma. There's ..'this is what we believe, but we want you, the people, to help us form policy that more of us can live with.'.

      The NZOP… I spent an evening with this bunch when they came to support a local activist group and I was made welcome even though I have no commitment to either group. A lovely assemblage, headed up by the inimitable Sue Grey, and I felt like the time machine had transported us all back to an early, early Green Party hui. Jeanette got more than one mention.

      Of course both of these parties have individuals with what can be described as 'fringe' views…but scratch the veneer of many sitting MPs and no doubt you will find some pretty extreme opinions. Well concealed, in the main, by the attendant spin doctors and minders. For the most part.

      Personally, I think Charlie Mitchell erred by trying to incorporate the word "conspiracy" as many times as possible…poor reading of the then (in May) and now insecurities of the communities poorly served by the governments of the past thirty years.

      Interesting to see Billy Te Kahika attracting so many views….maybe the time is ripe for some of these new parties to gain some ground.

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        I see former Horowhenua Mayor Michael Feyen is standing as a candidate for NZPP, exposing how the shadow government operates in NZ.

        • PaddyOT 6.1.1.1

          It's more a video of Vinny under false pretences of wanting to hear Feney, dominating the entire conversation with his theories. According to Vinnie we're all to go into our police stations and demand to speak to the " chiefs" about our government.

          It'll be good to hear back from those who do?

          • The Chairman 6.1.1.1.1

            Feyen gets his point out.

            But yes, Vinny is too much. Unfortunately, the mainstream don't seem to be covering this.

      • PaddyOT 6.1.2

        Agreed on this point, Rosemary-

        " Personally, I think Charlie Mitchell erred by trying to incorporate the word "conspiracy" as many times as possible…poor reading of the then (in May) and now insecurities of the communities poorly served by the governments of the past thirty years. "

        But -:

        "Their website is most certainly more slick than I expected and there is a sophistication in their policy statements that came as a pleasant surprise."

        Why so Rosemary? Seems as if the promotion is undermined by exceptionalism.

        Alternately, mistrusting more empty promises, the Party could just post on their website news like –
        ——————–
        A laissez-faire pollie was campaigning in the back country, let's just say in Northland. Outside a derelict house, he saw a young guy digging a garden. The pollie approached the man, ready to make his pitch for a vote.
        Just as the pollie was getting started, an old man called from inside the house, " Son, get in the house! And who is that guy you're talking to?"
        "Says he's a politician," the son said. "In that case, you'd better bring the spade and your shoes inside with you."

        ——————–

        "The myth of Māori exceptionalism says that only a handful of us are worthy, and that we damn our sisters, aunties, mothers and grandmothers to worthlessness with our material success. “If you can do it, why can’t they?"

        https://i.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300058729/the-myth-of-mori-exceptionalism

        • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.2.1

          Why so Rosemary? Seems as if the promotion is undermined by exceptionalism.

          I was, I thought, making a comparison between the established NZOP and the very newly minted NZPP.

          Hence my evaluation of surprising political slick.

          • PaddyOT 6.1.2.1.1

            I did understand your comparison and support your views. The thinking is similar – that Charlie's duplicious piece needed addressing and I support your challenging him by looking further.

            The alternate story is a push back too. I don't support BillyTK's prior theories either nor JLR exploiting Billy.

            That BillyTK has decided to bring attention to the shite deal Northland has historically got ( which you rightly pointed out ) AND put his hat in to run for parliament, is worthy of some praise. Apologies if I misread.

    • weka 6.2

      "It culminated in his live broadcast"

      Do you know when that was, or have a link?

  7. Pat 7

    Vox pop

    Speaking to a connected lifelong Tory yesterday….the election conceded and the narrative is its a good time not to win.

    • I Feel Love 7.1

      Tory/RWs scared of hard work, only like to lead in the good times, Trump & Johnson great examples of this. Even Hooton bails when going gets tough.

    • tc 7.2

      What needs to be done post covid is against nact dna. They'll be happy to 'oppose' as they've done so far.

    • PaddyOT 7.3

      Election victory a desirable prize but could turn into a covid poisoned chalice.

  8. Herodotus 8

    Anyone else viewed "Head High" Great to see Te Reo be used in an everyday situation.

    The live play does not depict just how impressive any 1st 15 game is, be it 1A,1B or 1C.

    • Sacha 8.1

      Well written, eh. For another level of the same smooth use of te reo in daily life, see Ahikāroa on Māori TV.

  9. The Chairman 9

    There has been a bit of talk of 'Cancel Culture' of late, thus I thought some here may be interested in this clip below.

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      A very slanted report, for all that there are issues with cancel culture. It would have been more persuasive had it been more even-handed.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        Out of interest, in what way did you perceive it being slanted? And in your mind, what did it fail to persuade you of?

        • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1

          It failed to consider what might have prompted the development of cancel culture, or whether it might be appropriate in some circumstances. So the pre-determined conclusion was 'cancel culture bad'. I can think of a few serial abusers of free speech rights whose cancellation did not seem misplaced to me.

          Jones suggested the Prime Minister "shove a sock down her throat" during the tirade on 2GB radio on Thursday morning

          Though Jacinda was surely not the most disempowered victim of the likes of Jones, I don't think the boycott of his advertisers represented the kind of totalitarian tyranny Sky Australia intends such measures should be construed as.

          A better report would have looked at good and bad instances, to help the public appreciate the boundaries of cancel culture legitimacy. Such a meditation was however beyond the capabilities of the "journalist".

          • PaddyOT 9.1.1.1.1

            Bob Jones is 'cancel culture' king. BNA.

            He writes slanging Human Rights.
            in his June 2020 blog " No Punches Pulled ".

            Quote from that piece he wrote -:
            "That said it would be fun to " work" in the Human Rights Commission creating these rights. Some off-the- top examples; the right for me to have it off with Miss New Zealand each year sounds a good start" .

            Caution rushing to his page, his ticker might explode over his rush of excitement from too much traffic.

            A ' Cancel culture' example too , would be silencing youth by banning TikTok.

          • The Chairman 9.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Stuart. Fair comment.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    RMA reform must proceed on a consensus basis, to serve the nation effectively. Rod Oram's report on the process thus far is here: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/economic-recovery/oram-doing-right-by-the-economy-and-environment

    The report from the panel, led by Tony Randerson, a retired Court of Appeal Judge, explains in depth why the RMA has failed to live up to our hopes for it. Their 23-page summary of what’s gone wrong and how we can fix it is well worth reading. Their full 531-page report delivers extensive evidence and analysis for their conclusions and proposals.

    The RMA’s key failures are: “a lack of clear environmental protections; a lack of recognition of the benefits of urban development; a focus on managing the effects of resource use rather than on planning to achieve outcomes; a bias towards the status quo; lack of adequate national direction; insufficient recognition of Te Tiriti and lack of support for Māori participation; weak and slow policy and planning; weak compliance, monitoring and enforcement; capability and capacity challenges in central and local government; and weak accountability for outcomes and lack of effective monitoring and oversight.”

    The panel says the solution is not more reform of the RMA but to replace it with a new twin-Act approach. The Natural and Built Environments Act would retain some of the key RMA principles, but it would recognise the concept of Te Mana o te Taiao — the importance of maintaining the health of our natural resources, such as air, water and soil, and their capacity to sustain life. Stronger national direction and a significant overhaul of processes and plans would reduce complexity and deliver specified outcomes, targets and limits for both natural and built environments.

    The Strategic Planning Act would set long term goals for the country and help to integrate the NBEA with existing legislation in allied areas such as climate, land transport and local government. In addition, the panel is calling for a new and separate Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act. This Newsroom report gives more details on the overall proposals and this one on the new climate act.

    The panel’s report drew strong support from a collaboration of environmental and business groups which have developed their own deeply researched proposals for resource management reform over the past few years. Its members are the Environmental Defence Society, Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern), Property Council of New Zealand and Infrastructure New Zealand. All their reports, including their latest out this week on urban issues, are available here.

    Seems like an impressive effort at producing consensus involving multiple stakeholder groups. We can probably be confident of a robust outcome – which will require proposed legislation to go through the select committee process first.

  11. joe90 11

    Crook knee…

    • Gabby 11.1

      A bare minimum of common sense.

    • McFlock 11.2

      I daresay I could Jackie-Chan it: 300 takes, several serious injuries, all for one successful take. Dunno about 22 seconds though- might stop for a breather a couple of times.

  12. ScottGN 12

    Level four lockdown for Melbourne and a citywide curfew from 8pm until 5am from tonight. Shit’s getting real over there.

  13. sumsuch 14

    Apart from The Daily Blog I feel in fear of losing my rights to free speech on blogs. Which I take as a compliment though. Though speaking truth without fear nor favour is a cold business. This blog is integrally about power as Labour has always been. Except the 35ists were for us.

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