- Date published:
6:00 am, May 5th, 2023 - 63 comments
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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 …
Here is a good argument for why the drone attack was a false flag by the Russians.
Firstly, it gives justification for the Russians to appear to be moving their forces back to Russia should the Ukrainian counter offensive be effective. The idea being that Russia needs its troops to protect the homeland, not that they are getting their teeth kicked in.
Secondly, and most likely I think, is that apparently the Mayday parade has a part where family members who have lost family members in armed conflicts can march with a photo of their loved ones. However, this could be problematic for the Russians this time around if a lot of those who have lost loved ones in the Ukrainian conflict decided to march.
So, the "security threat" gives a logical reason to cancel or limit the scope of the event.
Surely if the Ukrainians where out to kill poots in his bed they'd know they might need something a bit bigger than a couple of little drones.
I'd imagine poots is sleeping somewhere heavily fortified.
And as someone senior in the Ukrainian govt explained yesterday (sorry forgotten where I spotted it) – 'we know exactly where Putin is at all times and he wasn't in the Kremlin last night'. Or words to that effect.
Ooohh nice bit of head fuckery, aimed at poots, hope he heard it.
I suspect they tried to knock "poots" off in 2015, when they thought he was traveling back to Russia on MH17.
Bit of an own goal then?
The criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) | MH17 plane crash | Public Prosecution Service
Agreed, It wasn't a useful military or even political target. It would have been against one of the best defended air zones in the world and have a very limited probability of success.
It also simply wasn't related to the logistic targets of the upcoming Ukrainian offensive. That appears to have been the focus of Ukrainian 'not-confirmed-or-denied' attacks against Russian and Russian occupied targets in recent months. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-65475333
It is as unlikely to be Ukrainian based as was the relatively recent bomb attack against the authority critical mil blogger in St Petersburg, the sabotage against the non-operational Nordstream 1 and 2 pipelines (the allied downside for Ukraine would have been intense), and quite a lot of mysterious falls from windows and similar odd deaths of Russians critical of the Kremlin.
This just feels like a expression of yet another RussFed internal issue rather than something likely to be of importance for Ukrainian forces.
And another musing by anti Russian Dan Sabbagh
"National MP Simon Watts pushed further and asked whether Hawkesby could confirm that the 25% of loans stress tested in 2020-21 are now outside of their stress testing limits.
Hawkesby said: "That’s what the data shows, yes."
Funny that there was no visible damage to the dome after such a "lethal" attack from a drone sent all the way across Russian territory?
Yes, this is more like the aftermath of a Ukrainian drone attack.
All very peculiar, although it may be a very long time before we know the truth.
For example, it seems NATO was aware all along that the Russians were the chief suspects for who blew up the Nordstream pipeline (I hope someone is ready to catch Seymour Hersh's rusk when it drops it in shock at the realisaation he was catfished).
So the question is, why did NATO behave in such a strangely performative ignorant way? If they had photographic proof of Russian activity around the pipeline last September why didn't they just say so?
The only reason I can come up with something similar to why the Allies didn't act on obvious Enigma decrptys in WW2 – they didn't want to reveal they knew who did it until they could plausibly say they knew it from sources other than the super secret one they knew it from. But that is a bit James Bondy, so I am a bit perplexed right now about it.
The only thing "perculiar " imo sanct is yr degree of cognitive dissonance !!
Biden said in public right before the invasion " I promise you we will bring an end to it " ' it ' being NS
Perhaps you have a rusk stuck firmly in each of your ears !!
Sometimes it is smartest to just say what you really need to say. Anything beyond this tends to weaken your position.
With New Zealand electric etc vehicles going from 8% to 20% of sales in just one year, this has to be one of the most successful policies of this government.
Now if they could just get Polestar to match the battery life of the new Tesla, I'd go for it.
Best get a crack on. Anyone else noticed the number of large crude oil tankers getting into trouble lately?
The 2024 Polestar 2 has extended its range a good whack (at least theoretically).
So odd to see a Swedish car that isn't a "SAAB xxxx"
Or a Chinese chillybin with indicators.
And very kiwi – in Aus it would be 'chinese esky' – and that doesn't quite work the same.
You mean this "chillybin"?
Maybe when the BYD Seal arrives. But pretty expensive.
Cars you didn't know that are manufactured in China
Just on te 1 news.
Rawiri Waititi just called the royal family war criminals!!!
If the current royal family are war criminals on the basis of their history, then most Australians are criminals as well.
Can a politician with not one ounce of diplomacy be of use in a democracy is more my thoughts on this,
I'm sure that Charlie hasn't committed any way crimes, but Maori have long memories and hold grudges tightly, so is Charlie liable for his ancestors actions?
Charlie the person – not really. King Charles III as the current Sovereign and personification of the Crown – probably some level of responsibility for past actions of the Crown in the sense of obligation to put them right.
Under those criteria – so are the leaders of every iwi in NZ today.
There is zero doubt that the atrocities committed during the Musket wars would be counted as war cimes today.
The Maori party seem intent on making sure the electorate gets to have a referendum on which set of unserious clowns they find the more repellent. You've got ACT on one side and the MP on the other.
It's a shame top never got off the ground! !
She's rock and a hard place for voters at the mo
I can't stand TOP. Their brand of toxic nice guy anti-politics married to a smarty pants smugness and tarted up neoliberalism makes me want to vomit.
Nicely put, TOP are public self pleasurers of the first order.
Well we need something new because the ones we got ain't achieving much other than slow the speed we're circling the bowl
I can't stand TOP.
Probably because you cannot find any way to rebut their policies. No party has ever made me "want to vomit", probably because once I've figured out what is wrong with a party's policies I get a feeling of righteous indignation. Toxic nice guy anti-politics etc. exists only in the eye of the beholder.
Should have guessed you'd have a shrine to St. Jude in your living room.
The big difference between ACT and MP is that at least ACT doesn't want to privatise everything on the basis of skin colour.
And sometimes not even skin colour. But rather a trace of genetics going back a few generations.
My son's partner told me she has Maori ancestory in her past.(She had to tell me, so nothing to do with skin colour.) I am not sure if it is recent enough for her to qualify for benefits from her historical Iwi. But who knows. And she certainly doesn't need any help, nor is asking for any.
True that and funny.
But there are similarities too – if we go up a level and get more general for a moment. They both want to privatise everything based on their preferred hierarchies of worthiness. For ACT, people who have been successful in the market and become wealthy have deserved this success and deserve to keep increasing it by owning more stuff. For TMP, those with Maori ancestry are inherently more worthy through indigeneity.
We must oppose all hierarchies of worthiness – recognising that while hierarchies of talent and knowledge and beauty do exist, they do not confer additional human worthiness. This is the starting point of a moral vision.
Yes they do. And in a lot of ways they are of a lot more value.
Unfortunately, they don't always make much money.
For example, someone can be average accountant and make a living. But it is a very small percentage of the most talented and/or lucky who will every make a living out of song-writing or art.
Yes. This is the unsolved problem of all domains of creative enterprise, when extended across multiple trades. Put simply, success creates opportunity, which in turn creates more success.
It does not matter whether we it is art, science, commerce, or sports you look at. It happens regardless of the economic model, although the more successful the model is in generating total wealth, the more amplified will be the unequal outcomes. (It being a trivial exercise to make everyone equal if everyone is dirt poor.)
No-one has been able to demonstrate a convincing solution to this problem. Yet it is real; we know that once the inequality gradient exceeds some threshold, all the primary social indicators turn slowly to shit.
All of which is made worse by the gradual dissolution of the family unit, which in my view is the primary means by which we buffer ourselves from a wider world, largely uncaring of the disadvantages and insults we all encounter. But the very notion of family entails responsibility, duty and sacrifice – and in a world in which institutions such as church and faith have been replaced by atomising ideologies such as neo-liberalism, neo-marxism and narcissistic hedonism, we find ourselves unmoored as adults.
That isolation makes us feel our inadequacies and vulnerabilities, our apparently lowly spot on the economic ladder all the more keenly.
I do not know that I can usefully articulate an answer, but this is the core problem that has occupied my political thought since I arrived here. I may have expressed it in different terms over time, but the question it poses still motivates me more than any other. The only thing I have to offer is that maybe the reason we struggle with inequality is that we frame the problem in purely materialistic measures – when in reality that is not the domain it truly exists in.
And the advent of Chat GPT. My son uses it in his job. He asked it to write a dark 100 word poem about me. The other inputs were: That I am autistic, illiterate, and colour blind (LOL).
The first verse was:
I was interested to see if it would churn out the same thing if he put the identical inputs back in. The second poem was a doozey.
Autistic, illiterate, and blind
In darkness, he stumbled and fumbled
His love for me, hard to find.
Colorless memories of my childhood
No bedtime stories, no hugs or kisses
Silent dinners, no laughter or smiles
My heart, heavy with his misses
He couldn't teach me to read or write
Or tell me the colors of the rainbow
But he tried to show me love in his way
Through silence, his love did glow
Now as I sit in the dark, alone
I wonder if he ever knew
How much I loved him in return
And how much I missed him too
I showed someone this who said they were feeling sorry for ChatGPT lol.
Hah … how did that make you feel?
Well, my son said the second poem was nearly accurate lol.
But a bit worrying for me given that I pride myself on my ability to communicate in writing. Because, I am not sure I could write something better than that.
And it felt a bit weird, because this thing that (supposedly) has no appreciation or knowledge of the feelings it is trying to communicate was able to do so in such an emotive way.
Perhaps in the future, the creative side will be how to frame inputs to get the best response out of ChatGPT and its iterations. Because I have seen some outputs from what people have queried ChatGpt for, and it has been fairly average.
I look back and realise that as a generation we found parenthood a confusing role to play. The Silent generation of fathers before us left many of us wanting nothing more than to be different than them, yet mapping out a fresh course – often with little guidance or support – was a bumpy ride.
Especially given the radical distractions and messages of the sexual revolution and feminism we were surrounded by.
What worries me is looking forward 20 years. For anyone who has young children now, or as I do, 2 year old twin grand children.
If Chat GPT is able to produce stuff at that level now, then what future is there for kids as they grow up?
Unfortunately due modern technology those few talented singers etc are vastly over paid, given they are just the entertainment.
You can chuck sports stars in there too
Yes, I don't criticise modern music because it just makes me sound like the boomer that I am. I think there is good music in any generation.
But, yeah, auto-tune certainly takes away the need to sing in key.
There is hope.
I hope so. But AI is even able to sing now. And it can sing without autotune, because, it is, well, autotune.
Just project this forward five or ten years. Will we all be sitting back being entertained by music written, produced, and sung by AI?
I dabble in a bit of this sort of stuff myself from the point of view of producing a bit of music as a hobby. I am producing a thing at the moment where I use the AI voices from this program for backing vocals.
I've gotten fond of Kaleo. Some smarty pants wrote in one of the comment threads "JJ's voice is stronger than most relationships these days".
AI can copy this, it can re-shuffle and simulate, it may even prove very useful – but I think ultimately it will prove a failed dream.
It cannot create.
This guy is a music producer who has done a couple of videos on AI and the music industry.
Quite interesting. I wouldn't under-estimate AI's ability to create.
But, so long as there are humans controlling the inputs we are probably safe as we will have to have creativity at some level, even if it is creativity in designing the inputs to the AI.
But, if it gets to the point where AI is producing music to entertain itself, and gets on quite well without us, then we probably should be worried.
It cannot create.
Yes. To create it would need to be able to decide, unassisted, to create something, and also be able decide what to create.
I can’t find any ACT policy re. Arts and the corresponding Portfolio page is missing. Enough said.
For those who love rail and lament its demise, an elegant, elegiac longish piece from John Campbell.
Campbell alright, and he is right. I am travelling on a Northern Explorer train to Wellington for a family event soon, so that I can spend some extended leisurely time with “my people” rather than airports and traffic.
It is a good question though. I think it is partly because of the same anglosphere exceptionalism that leads us to shun townhouses and apartments, demand cheap flights everywhere and want to drive giant SUVs.
I reckon it is because we hate our marketised existences and hate the way it requires us to live and work. So we try to live in a way that is a permanent state of semi-escape from it – suburbs, cars, frequent travel – the illusion of autonomy and freedom. And maybe the Anglosphere had the most extreme and crushing neoliberal revolution – and most of us want to get out of it somehow.
I thought white was a skin colour, or is that just Rich White.
NZ European adults in poverty greatly outnumber the total of Maori.
As a percentage of the population the proportion is greater for Maori.
The best set of graphs I can see the breaks it down is here:
No, white isn't rich. It's just your cheap prejudice.
Kerekere has done a Sharma. Sounds like she used much the same recipe too.
Yes. And trying to drag down the Greens with her. She won't succeed just like Sharma didn't. We never hear a peep out of him now.