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Open mike 06/06/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 6th, 2022 - 102 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 …

102 comments on “Open mike 06/06/2022 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I think that this policy implimented in France is the type of policy we should look at here in NZ, and the rest of the world for that matter.

    The idea is to include a "repairability" index rating on products available for purchase. The rating includes factors such as availability of spare parts, ease of access to replace parts etc.

    From an environmental perspective I think there is such a huge waste of resources and damage to the environment that occurs because these days products tend to be cheaply made and disposable. It is seldom worth repairing appliances, especially smaller ones these days. So, encouraging businesses to build better quality products with availability of spares has to be a good thing. If the quality is higher products will last longer and it will be more worthwhile repairing them.

    When I was married 30+ years ago, my wife had a Kenwood food processor. It had been built in Britain. That lasted over 20 years before it finally was unusable. These days, we are doing well if a similar item lasts several years, especially if it is being used a lot.

    Even cheap appliances could be made repairable. For instance, just by identifying the main wearing components and designing the products so those parts are easy to access and replace by the owner would make the items more worth repairing.

    I think that attitudes are changing from an environmental perspective with consumers now, as can be evidenced by many companies changing the materials in their packaging to cardboard rather than plastic for instance. So, consumers may welcome this type of option becoming available.

    Also, it would open up opportunities for companies inside NZ to start manufacturing better quality products. And the appliance repair industry would also get a leg up through this.

    So, I think this type of idea is something political parties should consider promoting.

    • Patricia Bremner 1.1

      Yes "Built in obsolescence " needs to end. To conserve and to avoid enless plastic clutter "Repair " needs to be fashionable and rewarding again.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      I've got quite good at repairing 1970's appliances like our cake mixer. They have machined parts and just consist of resistors and the like. When they burn out it is really easy to unscrew them (they use good metal and are screwed together, not snap together and the plastic is thick not cheap and brittle) identify what happened and repair to better than new.

      I've still got my mothers 1940s hand operated eggbeater (well my sister pinched it but like an elephant, I never forget). It is made of solid steel. From England, when they built battleships there.

      The problem is that in the 1970s and 80s cake mixers were valuable enough to be prizes on game shows. They lasted a lifetime, but they cost a bomb. Our entire post-inudstrial, late capitalist service economy model is completely reliant on a rampant consumer materialism with very high retail consumption of disposable goods – everything from a Warehouse eggbeater, a Briscoes cake mixer to disposable coffee cups to excessive overseas travel – fuelled by personal debt.

      The point is making a solid, 50 year lifespan cake mixer that is repairable undermines the entire neoliberal capitalist job model of the last fifty years. If the cake mixer and other kitchen aplliances don't need replacing every 5-10 years then the all the jobs in the importers warehouse, the retailer, the distribution system, etc etc would vanish.

      • tsmithfield 1.2.1

        Yes, I understand that the cost of having appliances produced at the quality level of half a century or more back would make the cost prohibitive for many these days.

        But, even with cheap appliances, it should be possible to at least make the wearable parts easily accessible and, perhaps sell the items with a set or two of spares so consumers can easily extend the life of these items without needing to take them to a repair shop.

        Something else I find quite obscene is the way that people are pushed to keep upgrading what they already have. For instance, why do people feel they need to constantly upgrade their TVs to something with a few more, normally irrelevant features when their existing one works fine.

        Also, business models based on encouraging consumption, such as selling printers at less than the cost of the cartridges. There is an obscene rationale from this, that it is cheaper to continually replace printers than purchase cartridges which just adds to needless waste.

        Something else that contributes to the endless and needless consumerism and waste is the availability of easy credit, and the perception these days that we should all be able to have what we want now.

        In my parents day, they would have just made use with what they had until they could afford to purchase what they wanted. And when they made the purchase, it would be something they purchased of good quality and would look after it and aim to keep it going for as long as possible.

        These days, it is just chuck it away when it breaks down.

        • tsmithfield

          Further to that comment above is the annoyance with the likes of Apple TV boxes and modern TVs is that when some app is available, it isn't available for models over a certain age, sometimes as little as three or four years old.

          Often it seems that there isn't any technological reason why the older models couldn't run the apps. Rather, it seems to be a deliberate policy to force people to upgrade if they want the newer features.

          Another example I find really annoying is the Imac I purchased a few years ago. It basically is unrepairable. It can be repaired or upgraded by a technician. But requires careful removal of the front glass screen that involves breaking the glue holding the glass in place, and has to be done carefully to avoid breaking the glass.

          Contrast that with the PC in a case where it was easy to open the side panels to clean out heat sinks, and upgrade or repair as required.

        • Belladonna

          Constantly upgrading mobile phones (some do it annually)- is the ultimate in built in obsolescence.
          Many (looking at you, here Apple) are either impossible or prohibitively expensive to repair. And none have an upgrade pathway.

          Unless you live totally off-grid – in a 'Good Life' style existence – modern life really does require having a mobile phone.

          [Yes, yes, there are exceptions – and I'm defining 'need' as 'participating in NZ 21st century life'. But if you have kids, for example – schools and ECE and holiday programmes all need a real-time contact – so unless you sit at home beside the landline, you need a mobile.]

          I know this one is well beyond the ability of NZ to impose (or even influence, really) – but it's one of the areas which would make a huge difference.

          • Robert Guyton

            I don't have a phone 🙂

            • Incognito

              We can tell from your appearance that you’re off the grid and live a subsistent life cheeky

              I do have a phone but hardly ever use it – it was supa-convenient for the couple of times I had to do the Covid scans and show my vaccination status.

              • Robert Guyton

                I communicate with distant friends using a series of sub-audial grunts, like those employed by whale and manatee. My thick, boney eyebrow ridges serve as a receiver for their replies. We don't talk often.

                • Incognito

                  When you’re on the same wavelength of jungle drum, one beat can say it all! It can be exhausting having to repeat the same word over and over again because of poor reception or hard-hearing recipient.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    I've built a high tower on which to sit, above the tree-tops, when sending and receiving. It's constructed from thousands of expired smart-phones, gleaned from the neighbourhood's recycling-bins.

                    • Incognito

                      I heard that those 1G networks are slow but very reliable. One downside of those towers is that they cannot be used during thunderstorms. The upside is that on sunny days the reflective screens of those smart-phones can be used as mirrors to send light signals, which is the 1G+ option that can rival traditional optical fibre connections and it is much cheaper. Visiting dodgy websites can be a bit of a problem because VPN is not really an option with 1G.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I broadcast and receive over the RG system; only occasionally reliable but cheap as chips to run.

                    • Incognito []

                      Good on you! And you don’t strike me as a socially isolated teen (you wish?) and you seem to be a moderately effective local politician with some YouTube fame (and other social media, I assume) cheeky

                      Who needs a smart phone!!

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Moderately effective!


                      (New short-film to be released tomorrow – Happen Films present, via You tube, "Growing wild together")

                    • Incognito []

                      I don’t want you to get too big for your boots, that you stay grounded. I’ve heard that some polies can’t handle the (relative) success & fame – do you know who I am? I’m sure you’re made of much stronger wood, so just in case cheeky

            • Belladonna

              Do you have school age children, a job which requires you to be on call, or elderly parents? For teens and young adults, those without a cellphone (when everyone around them does) are really operating under a significant social handicap.

              Yes, there are (as I said) some exceptions – mostly among the … richer in years … who still operate their social connections outside social media… but for the majority of us, a mobile is required to effectively participate in NZ 21st century life.

              Even the government thinks so – the Civil defence/tsunami warning system operates through mobile phones, only.

              • Incognito

                You seem the think that all NZ school children at secondary (and primary?) school who can afford it have & use a mobile phone. Some (…) make a stand, for whatever reason (children can be like that), and refuse to use their phone and don’t even charge or switch it on, which can drive their parents mad because they rely on it. I don’t think the ‘requirement’ is as high as you think it is.

                • Belladonna

                  No, I don't think that all primary school children have mobile phones.

                  I do think that the vast majority of secondary school kids/teens have mobile phones. Primary, much less so – and I agree, at that age it’s much more about parental security, than kids desire for communication.

                  Choosing not to answer their parents – is a completely separate issue 😉

                  But, not having a phone is really socially isolating for teens. All of the meet-ups, etc are organized via social media, and their interaction is frequently via various apps: Discord & Instagram for the teen in this household ATM – Facebook is just for aged parents – but subject to change. Observationally, they rarely (if ever) actually speak to anyone on the phone – apart from aged grandparents – it's all texting.

                  Any of them who have a job – especially one of the typical zero hours contracts, that Teens so often get – will absolutely require a mobile (and one charged and switched on), or they won’t get any work.

                  I'm sure some do make a stand – but surprisingly few, Even the most radical of climate change activists – and passionate supporters of Greta Thunberg – amongst the peers of the household teen – still use their mobile phones to organize.

                  There's a good reason why removing the mobile phone is still the ultimate in behaviour-management consequences for most teens.

                  • Incognito

                    The point is that some teens choose to not use their phones (or even have one) for whatever reasons. Whether this is socially isolating, because they are socially isolated or choose to not engage with their peers by phone, or neither/some other reason is an interesting question that I cannot answer for you here on TS. I note that they often still can be active users of another electronic device for gaming and after-hours socialising. I also note that almost all teens have access to a device for their school work – the digital divide became clear during the lockdowns when it turned out that not all teens have online access and/or the means, but this will soon disappear again from most people’s minds. The point is/was about mobile phones being such a requirement or necessity in modern life, which I challenge – it is definitely a convenience and for some NZ teens a luxury (but so are sports shoes).

                    • Belladonna

                      Evidence that a significant proportion of teens are choosing not to use mobile phones?

                      From my, admittedly unscientific, mental survey of the household teen's peers, our wider family network, and a variety of friends who teach in secondary schools at all deciles (phone management in classes is a constant student-management issue)- the numbers would be *tiny*.

                      The fact (which I admit) that a very small minority of the population may choose to not use mobile phones, isn't really relevant to the fact that they are required for most participation in modern life. Yes, you can choose to live off-grid, and not engage in any social interaction – but most people don't (and don't want that kind of life)

                      According to teacher friends in South Auckland (low decile schools) the teens they teach are much more likely to have a mobile phone, than they are to have home internet (they have chromebooks, etc. now, through the Education system, post covid – but not Internet access – except via mobile hotspot). Most do their homework (if they do it – other deprivation issues going on) – at the local library, where there is free wifi.

                    • Incognito []

                      Either you haven’t properly read & understood my 2 comments or you want me to chase your strawmen.

                      FYI, mobile phone ownership & usage is very high among NZ teens and there are plenty of surveys and studies that show this.

                      You’re conflating high usage, personal reliance and convenience with genuine requirement for mobile phones. Your argument is that because many/most people jump into the mud they all want to and (should?) jump into the mud. If anything, it is giving into to peer social pressure rather than demonstrating the alleged requirement. Fact is that some people get by perfectly ok without using a mobile phone and without becoming social outcasts and/or uneducated illiterates.
                      Taking a mobile phone away from an addicted user, especially a teen, has the same response as with any addict going through withdrawal. Arguably, an ironically having the phone becomes a requirement because of the personal dependence – these effects are very real (and worrisome).

                      PS for simple but effective communication (e.g. emergencies or basic texting), a basic phone without all the so-called smartphone features (bells & whistles such as Giga pixel cameras) can be perfectly adequate. They tend to be called ‘dumbphones’ or ‘duty phones’. See this Approved Mobile Phone list – May 2022 from Otago University (https://www.otago.ac.nz/its/otago719498.pdf).

              • Robert Guyton

                "Even the government thinks so – the Civil defence/tsunami warning system operates through mobile phones, only."

                Or, your partner's.

                Half of NZ's married or partnered population is exempt from that 'requirement'.

                • Belladonna

                  Yes, it's a cause of amusement in larger groups, when they test the mobile alert system, the order in which the various phones receive it and sound the alarm.

                  Never the same twice.

              • Incognito

                Even the government thinks so – the Civil defence/tsunami warning system operates through mobile phones, only. [my italics]

                There’s no way this can be correct, and it isn’t: https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/get-ready/civil-defence-emergency-management-alerts-and-warnings/

                • Belladonna

                  Emergency mobile alerts – are only provided via mobile phone


                  Yes, this same information may (or may not) be supplied via broadcast media – but that relies on you (the audience) happening to be listening to the radio/tv at the time (for a 3am tsunami warning, not likely).

                  Specifically, none of the alerts are transmitted via the landline phone system.

                  You may (or may not) be living in an area with audible sirens to alert for tsunamis.

                  • Incognito

                    That’s saying that mobile phone calls are only made to mobile phones, i.e. a tautological statement.

                    The results from last 2019’s nationwide test showed that more than two-thirds of New Zealanders received the test alert.

                    • Belladonna

                      Actually, mobile phone calls can easily be made to landlines.

                      I do it all the time when calling the less technologically literate members of the whanau (if I'm allowed to use that word)

                    • Incognito []


                      What is Emergency Mobile Alert?
                      Mobile Alerts are messages about emergencies sent by authorised emergency agencies to capable mobile phones. The alerts are designed to keep people safe and are broadcast to all capable phones from targeted cell towers.

                    • Belladonna

                      Sigh, right back at you.

                      The *point* of this discussion was that non-ownership of a mobile phone excludes you from some societal benefits.

                      A personally targeted (i.e. sent to your mobile phone – rather than requiring you to know to go and seek it out on the radio) emergency alert was a specific example.

                      There is no equivalent alert system for landlines. [Although, there could be, if the govt felt that it was worthwhile. They don't, because a sufficiently high (and growing) percentage of the population have mobile phones]

                      No mobile phone, no alert sounding in your house.

                      Sometimes, I feel that we are just talking past each other.

                      I'll stop now.

                    • Incognito []

                      You said “only”, which was not correct.

                      Have a nice day.

          • KJT

            There is, of course, the advantage of a mobile phone is that I no longer have to buy a separate computer, camera, video and audio player, watch, calculator, star identifier, GPS navigator maps, stopwatch, alarm clock and many other items. Thanks to the constant advances in the ability of mobile phones to replace all of those.

            That software changes turn many of them into useless bricks in less than 5 years is annoying. As is being charged $1000's to add to Apples bank account, for something that costs a fraction of that to produce.

            Planned absolesence keeps millions in jobs, and economies afloat.

            Which is why a more sustainable economy is impossible, while we have an economic system that is dependant on infinite growth.

            • Incognito

              Don’t forget the monitoring of your health data. I believe that in some cases & countries this may even be covered by private health insurers (depending on your policy, of course!

          • Muttonbird

            Build quality is exactly why you buy Apple products which are far more reliable and long-lasting than their cheaper PC and Android counterparts, some of which are truly disposable.

            Apple's philosophy is high quality, great user experience, and seamless interconnectivity and is therefore the opposite of built-in failure and obsolescence.

            • KJT


              None of my families Apple products have been really useeable after two years.

              Apple even lost a court case over it. Apple Agrees To Pay $113 Million To Settle 'Batterygate' Case Over iPhone Slowdowns : NPR

              The ultimate in planned obsolescence. Apple investigated by France for 'planned obsolescence' – BBC News

              It is a pity the excellent Nokia linux based cell phones, were bought out and buried by Microsoft.

              Now we have a choice of Apple or Andriod, both of which are frankly, crap. Even Windows phone were better.

              • Incognito

                My pet peeves, especially with f-ing Apple, are batteries & charge-leads.

                • Belladonna

                  How about having to go to a licensed Apple dealer (and pay a premium) or void the guarantee.

                  • Incognito

                    That’s almost an anathema to me! Like selling my soul to the highest bidder so that I can have the logo on my forehead to show I’m a soulless hipster with good taste but questionable judgement.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Which of course reenforces that Apple are committed to reliability and length of use.

                    • Belladonna

                      No. It shows that Apple are committed to extorting the maximum possible for the use of their products.

                      Their business model is to deliberately inflate the cost of repair, making purchase of a new model more desirable.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Pretty sure it would be hard to find a manufacture honouring a warranty after being repaired by someone unlicensed, or paying someone unlicensed to repair under warranty.

                    • Belladonna

                      Nope. Any reputable dealer should be able to replace a broken screen or a battery. Apple requiring this to only be done by licensed dealers, is an absolute rort.

                      How come you're so hot on defending a multi-billion-dollar American corporate empire?

                      They're doing exactly what all the other corporates (that you so often decry) are doing – maximizing their business model and return to shareholders.

                      I don't denigrate them for playing the game according to the current rules – but give them no corporate brownie points for doing so.

                      However, I do think that the rules should change.

                      The articles made it really, really clear that Apple were doing the slowdown, deceptively (via automatic update, without telling users), in order to 'encourage' them to trade up to the new model. When caught, they paid up. Enough said. No corporate every pays up unless they know they are guilty – and are trying to avoid even worse court-ordered penalties.

                • KJT

                  Charge leads for Apple may not be a problem soon. The EU are forcing them into USB C.

                  I still have my MS surface after 5 years. They said when I bought it the battery may need replacement after 5 years. It is replaceable. Still fine though. Won’t load Win 11, but MS are still supporting 10 which works fine.

                  In that time, my wife has gone through 3 Apple tablets and 2 Iphones which we have had to replace for various reasons.

                  • Incognito

                    Ah, yes, I remember reading something about Apple & USB, but I like to hold on to my grudges.

                    Spent a small fortune on f-ing Apple products over the years cryingangry

                    My Dell laptop is > 10 years old and the battery is completely dead. It also doesn’t load Win11 but I don’t care. MS Office 2010 (out of support). My brain is in dire need of an upgrade too – all good things come to an end, eventually.

              • Muttonbird

                How many families do you have?

                The reason for Apple slowing phones down is legitimate unless you are a conspiracy theorist.

                Fact is, the policy was again an attempt by Apple to prolong the use of their devices, which is the whole point of this particular thread…

                • Belladonna

                  Really drunk the coolaid here…..

                  Do you have any evidence (apart from Apple press-releases) that slowing down older phones was in any way legitimate?

                  Because the EU courts don't appear to agree with you (see KJT's links above)- though, perhaps they're all conspiracy theorists over there.

            • Belladonna

              Apple phones are effectively bricks after 5 years. None of the apps are backwards compatible after that long.

              Built-in obsolescence is just as much a feature of their business model as it is for Samsung and Huawei (and, all the rest). Their *entire* marketing campaign is all about 'buy the latest' not 'buy the phone which will last a lifetime'

              It's just that they've cornered the top end of the obsolescence market. Pay a premium for branding.

              • Muttonbird

                And other manufacturers phones stop working at all after 3 years. Their marketing campaign might hype a new release but, news flash, that is what marketing campaigns do.

                Yes, consumers pay a premium, for quality.

                • KJT

                  Someone should tell my Nokia 7.2 it is supposed to stop working after 3 years. Not showing any signs of it. Unlike my wife's 2 year old I thing.

                  And. It was a quarter of the price of the I phone.

                • Belladonna

                  5 years and counting on my 1st Samsung (had to replace, because of an accident to it – repairs not cost-effective – which is what this thread is about). Current Samsung 3.5 years – and not an issue in sight.

                  Price – less than half of an Apple iphone. Quality slightly worse (mostly in the camera, which I mourn a little, but not enough to pay for either a top of the line Samsung or an Apple product).

                  For Apple, you're paying for the logo and brand styling, and to be part of the 'tribe'- maybe a 'little' for quality – but the difference would be literally unnoticeable to most people for what they use their phone for.

                  All of the product reviews I’ve read, comparing top of the line Samsung (and other Android phones) with Apple basically say there is no difference in UX or quality.

                  • Sacha

                    Also no real difference in price at that spec level.

                    • Belladonna

                      Agree about the top end specs/price for Apple/Andriod phones.

                      However, can buy a very decent mid-spec Samsung for way less than the bottom spec iPhone.

                    • Sacha

                      For sure. They are all pretty good value for a tiny supercomputer with cutting edge software like AI image processing. Evolves so fast that nothing is stable for more than a few years.

        • Belladonna

          Thinking about this again (as I laced on by Allbirds and went out to the local bakery to buy bread for lunch) [getting my virtue signalling in ;-)]

          I really think that that up-front cost is a significant barrier for many families – for whom there is very little disposable income.

          I bought my Allbirds 3 years ago – they took me around a 7 week trip of Europe, with miles of daily walking, I continue to wear them most days in winter, and they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned.

          They were expensive. But the cost/return ratio has certainly worked out for me.

          But, I refused to buy a pair for the household teen, whose feet are still growing. In the time I've owned my Allbirds, I would have bought 8-9 pairs of shoes for the teen – both feet growing, and lost shoes (grrr)

          The cost/return ratio for Allbirds doesn't work in this instance. I don't buy expensive Adidas or Nike trainers, for the teen, either.

          When I was growing up, shoes were *expensive*. I remember my Mum doing the budget to buy new school shoes for the 3 of us (hand-me-downs didn't work – we were all too close in age). Roman sandals in summer were cheap enough, but winter shoes were always a struggle.

          Moving to a more sustainable, long-lasting, solution – will be more expensive. And that solution isn't always warranted. Sometimes, just having a cheap pair of shoes, which will last 6 months (because the kid will have outgrown them by next winter) is actually all that's needed.

      • Belladonna 1.2.2

        Not necessarily 'prohibitively' expensive – but 3-4 times the cost of the 'cheap' disposable one – which makes them a niche product – only available for the relatively wealthy who can afford the 'excess' cost in return for the luxury brand.

        My Kitchen Aid mixer (US – solid as a rock, and absolutely able to be repaired, should it need it) – is going on for 30 years of regular use. I bought it, deliberately, because I did a lot of baking, and wanted a heavy-duty mixer that would last the distance. At the time – it was approx 5x the cost of a cheapie plastic one (and I bought it at a super-end-of-season markdown price – with no choice of colour (sniff)). Long-term, a good buy – but it's hard to see that as a young person (everyone I knew was horrified – 'you spent that much on a mixer' – or as my mother said 'an eggbeater!')

          • Belladonna

            Yep, I'm thoroughly familiar with the inimitable Sam Vimes.

            Terry Pratchett continues to be one of my favourite 'comfort' re-reads (sadly taken from us much too soon). Characterization, Language, Humour and the ability to poke a stick at the most unlikely of social constructs – all a constant joy.

        • Matiri

          Mmm – the quality doesn't cost, it pays argument!

          I have a 25 year old Magimix food processor, 20 year old Dualit toaster (elements have been replaced), 10 year old Kitchen Aid mixer, 20 year old Italian espresso machine (boiler cap has been replaced). All regularly used and still going strong.

      • tsmithfield 1.3.1

        Yes, those printed computer boards are incredibly annoying.

        I have had that experience with a dishwasher that failed due to the control board failing. The cost of the replacement board plus the cost of someone to fit it was prohibitively expensive.

        I am sure the board was being sold at a price many more times the cost of production, and was part of the "built in obsolescence" plan of the manufacturers who probably thought I would by a new dishwasher.

        I think I did actually do that. The problem for the manufacturer was that I was pissed off at them as a result of that so purchased a different brand.

        • Barfly

          Just an FYI friend of mine had a LG tv it stopped – "it's the circuit board it's a frisbee now" fortunately his brother is a very skilled and knowledgeable IT guy.

          Circuit board goes in the oven bag into a warm oven and remove it as soon as you smell solder and hey presto one working tv – Apparently with the soldered connections on circuit board the solder can crack causing it to fail. Heating can re-melt the solder causing a repair. Strange world.

        • KJT

          One of the current issues on ships is the very short life span of computerised control systems.

          Before computerised engines, it was rare for engines to break down at sea. I had only three in ten years. The mechanical parts still rarely fail.

          Computerised fuel and other systems, cause problems on a regular basis. And it usually seems to be the ones you don't have a spare board for.

          It makes me laugh when they talk about autonomous ships. The costs of reliable electronic control systems, that last 15 to 20 years would easily exceed crew costs.

    • Incognito 1.4

      My (building) frustrating experience with most modern appliances (incl. cars) is that their weakest point often is poorly designed and/or poorly manufactured electrics/electronics with sub-standard components, not so much the wear & tear of the moving parts. They also have no in-build ‘resilience’, i.e., one faulty component kills the whole thing dead and useless.

    • Molly 1.5

      Our british bought Kenwood processor lasted well over 25 years.

      On our second for the last decade.

  2. Chris T 2

    Don't get me wrong. Was cool.

    But one of the more surreal moments in my life. Getting out of bed. Turning on the TV and there is Tom Cruise presenting the Jubilee and then the Trinidad and Tobago military band playing "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.

    As I say cool…..But a bit weird when you have just woken up 🙂

  3. PsyclingLeft.Always 3

    Good Morn tsmithfield, Patricia, and Sanctuary. Re planned/inbuilt Obsolescence,and UNrepairable and/or UNrecyclable appliances etc…

    I dont know if you have heard of, or seen….



    But they Both are trying very hard to change this very sad state of affairs.

    Personally I live as Sustainably as possible. (and that is absolutely possible : )

    I rebuild Bicycles ( 100 plus : ) that would have gone to the scrap metal.

    And…being practical…can "sometimes" fix a washing machine, stereo,video/dvd, etc etc. Problem being….a lot are now UNrepairable. Printers are one very bad throwaway….(the jerks sell the printer cheaper than the replacement ink cartridge !!

    And in lot of newer type appliances, cant even open them up…as NO screws!

    anyway, please look at Petition and repair Cafe Aotearoa.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      My wife and I buy most of our clothes at Savemart and other op shops

      What's interesting about that is the differences between men and women, in that my wife has no issues finding expensive clothing barely worn (sometimes tag's still on) whereas for me it's a lot harder

      Seems like women are more likely to buy clothes, not wear them then donate them whereas men are less likely

      Great for her but makes it harder for me

    • tsmithfield 3.2

      Signed the petition.

      I think from a marketing perspective there is some hope in all this.

      One good thing about the marketing approach is that it focuses on understanding consumer desires, attitudes, and beliefs and aims at meeting those needs.

      Thus as consumers become more concerned about environmental factors (as they are) then the marketing perspective should lead to companies picking up on those changes in public sentiment, and aiming to align their products and services accordingly.

      We can already see this approach having an effect in various aspects. For instance, companies using a lot more cardboard in packaging rather than polystyrine, supermarkets trying to eliminate plastic from there packaging etc.

      At the moment, this is all a bit superficial. But, I think that is where governments can align their policies with the change in sentiment as well so that companies have an environment that enables them to make more fundamental changes without the fear of losing out to their competitors.

      Hence, that policy that France has adopted that I pointed to in my first post seems to make a lot of sense. From a marketing perspective it gives companies a point to differentiate there products so that people feel they are getting value for spending more on a product that should last them longer.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 3.2.1

        Oh good on you signing ! And yep, absolutely Consumer Awareness/pressure will make Manufacurers/Suppliers change (I hope not kicking and screaming? : )

        I've been involved in Sustainability and associated for…a long time,and as in your link, I look World wide for updates and Innovation.

        Re the polystyrene and excess packaging ! I remember reading years back where Germans (Great Recyclers ! ) just started unpacking the appliance Instore..and leaving extraneous detritus there. Well…that focused the Store Owner !

        As to Polystyrene….possibly one of THE worst pollutants. And a developed byproduct of the petroleum industry : (

        As I like to look ..for Alternatives..there is any amount of Compression Resistant Cardboard (some like a honeycomb ) etc.

        And…back to Consumer Pressure. I'm ever hopeful..but also try to let people know HOW.


        • Rosemary McDonald

          Polystyrene packaging? Gold. (Assuming y'all are into power-conserving haybox cooking.)

          (And somewhere in this modern take on the Haybox is a bit of corrugated cardboard as well.)

    • aj 3.4

      Printers are one very bad throwaway

      "Rage Against the Machine"

      The Machine was probably a printer.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 3.4.1

        Or a "[email protected]" product. Plenty of memes of Xbox's (INBUILT Red Ring of Death : (

        And Windows (vista ?! etc etc etc) going out …sometimes, through…a Window. : )

        Of course…Geeks/Nerds have shown ways to repair the Xbox…even when they were supposedly throwaways. And Update PC’s with Alternatives .

        Take that, Bill Gates…Lord of Nearly a Lot : )

    • Patricia Bremner 3.5

      Yes, Thank you P.L.A. Great.yes

  4. tsmithfield 4

    One thing that annoys me about the current approach to sustainability is that there often seems to be a short-sighted focus on the most obvious aspect without considering other factors.

    For instance, I am all for EV technology.

    But the focus seems to be on the cars themselves without considering the other highly relevant factors. For instance, the sourcing of raw materials, the effect of manufacturing on the environment, the availability of charging infrastructure, the availability of renewable generation to charge the batteries, and end of life disposal of batteries.

    The result of a narrow focus can be that people feel they are doing the right thing. But it ends up becoming an exercise in virtue signalling if the whole production and use chain from beginning to end isn't considered.

    • KJT 4.1

      The whole paradigm of duplicating capabilities of petrol cars needs to be considered.

      For many people the range and carrying capacity of petrol cars is not needed.

      Making the resource intensity of car manufacturing much less.

      For example, Mazda with the MX 30 use a battery big enough to be more than adequate for most city owners. But smaller than competitors. Saving weight, resources and energy usage.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        From an overall environmental perspective, I like the concept of hydrogen-powered cars if they can become viable. The biggest issue is around producing the hydrogen in the first place. However, if this can be done economically, I think the overall environmental footprint would be better than EVs.

        • KJT

          There is no way hydrogen for cars can have a better footprint than EV's. The sums simply don't add up.

          Reticulation and storage come into the equation as well. Hard to beat an electric grid for energy transmission.

          As lightweight high energy "batteries" for ships and planes hydrogen has potential. For land transport the numbers don't add up.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.2

      Oh yea…with you on all that. And I get that not everyone can..or "could" Cycle. Why I also talk Public Transport…and Transition Towns.



      And there is Apathy of course…



      Anyway…as I said Ever Hopeful…(and its a Sunny Day, so off to the Outside World)

      Nice talk..and keep Looking : )

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Having spent some time in Korea, I have to agree with Simon Draper.

    Stuff closed the comments pretty quick – they don't feed the preferred narrative.

    South Korea has a vision for the future. Where is New Zealand's? | Stuff.co.nz

    • Populuxe1 5.1

      A typical think piece based entirely on wishful thinking and a category mistake. No consideration of how South Korea got to be in the economic and developmental position it is in the first place after the Korean War – i.e. a military junta from 1961 to 1963, and a virtual dictatorship from 1963 to 1972 driving development. Nor do I think the degree of nationalism you see in South Korea today would catch on here.

      It's one of those daft arguments like "we should model ourselves on Singapore" which pays no attention to the unique conditions that allow Singapore to operate the way it does – ie. it's vital position in SEA, the fact it's the only non-corrupt tech hub to do business in in that part of the world, and a degree of top down authoritarianism we simply wouldn't put up with in this country.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Not wrong about NZ, lack of vision, however.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.2

        Having spent some time with the architect of their economic policy from 1950, Lee Kie- Hong, there is much that we could learn – but the conventional response is always to reject such suggestions out of hand, without considering any of the details. The contrast is informative.

        NZ is actually quite keen on economic resurgence. It became a platform for Muldoon, Douglas, and was much of the misplaced attraction of John Key – but none of them was much cop frankly. NZ produces regular crops of self-styled 'steady hands' and 'economic miracle workers' none of whom have a ghost of a clue what they're doing.

        In the meantime Korea has equipped itself with high speed rail, universal internet, the best subway system in the world – the kinds of things NZ governments barely dare to dream of – a single conventional train from Hamilton to Auckland, which we had a hundred years ago, is about as far as things go. The same lack of vision is presently dooming our climate response.

  6. joe90 6

    …to strike the objects we haven't targeted yet..

    Strike what, kindergartens, hospitals, schools, churches, care facilities?

    • tsmithfield 6.1

      It looks like Putin is alg about the Himars systems going to Ukraine (with the 80km range missiles not the 300km ones) saying that Ukraine already had missiles with that range, so it doesn't change anything.

      That being the case, the US should send a few hundred of the systems.

      • Francesca 6.1.1

        Yes , four's a bit measly, a token effort, almost as if the US is not serious

        • tsmithfield

          I understand that four were immediately available in Europe.

          The Ukrainians need to be trained on these so I expect that is what the first four will be used for and that more will likely be on the way.

          I don’t think the US and NATO fully disclose everything they are doing for obvious reasons.

  7. Blade 7

    Are people who post on political blogs nuts? Of course we are. We are the electronic version of people who write letters to the editor, except we are nuttier. To loosely paraphrase Chris Trotter (re blogs):

    '' a hand full of people jumping up and down and arguing on a very small part of the internet''

    In my opinion there are two classes of nut: Those who know they are nuts and carry on regardless. And those who have no idea they are nutty. They believe they are pontificating arguments of importance that will influence something, somebody, down the track. Thankfully I belong to the former class.

    Jumping forward.

    A while back I commented to Iprent that I dealt more with emotional feel and psychic imprints around a topic rather than dry facts. Hence, Incognito stating I can argue my opinions but not the facts. That is true to a DEGREE.

    The problem with facts is you can attack their architecture. The fact may remain but a taint is added: eg ''The study was 5 years old, so may not be currently accurate.'' Even though the facts show, and a recent review confirms the original study is still current and proven valid, a taint has been added.

    Iprent shows two examples of this in his replies to stories I have posted:

    1- I posted that inflation was at the time running at 5.9%. He added much commentary around that figure. But nothing had changed. The figure was still 5.9%.

    2- I posted that the current radio survey/ratings had Mike Hosking's show top in its time segment and that it had picked up increased audience numbers. Iprent basically said those type of surveys are inaccurate and meant little. I knew he was incorrect simply because of the anger out in the community aimed at Labour. I knew he was incorrect because of the hate Lefties have for Hoskings. 77, 000 people signed a petition to get rid of Hosking a few years back when he was at TV1. I bet many of those who signed were Lefties who didn't even watch the great one. I knew Iprent was incorrect because in many of Mikey's interviews, the interviewee says '' that's a good question.'' before answering. So I'm getting my feel for the topic/fact, not from the facts, but from peripheral issues/emotions surrounding the topic.


    I have always thought I would love to have my system made into a programme that could be used to save myself time. A programme that could scan issues and posts for the emotions and feeling underneath facts and words.

    And someone has done that, but with the twist of using computers to analyse social media posts and gain an insight into people's mental states.


    ''What sets the new model apart is a focus on the emotions rather than the specific content of the social media texts being analysed. In a paper presented at the 20th International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, the researchers show that this approach performs better over time, irrespective of the topics discussed in the posts.


    Lordy – the results of scanning this blog would be interesting.blushsadlaugh

    • Stuart Munro 7.1

      What a surprise – the ignorant and opinionated dolt is impressed by another ignorant and opinionated dolt.

      So your grasp on realty is so tenuous you admire a calumniator – why tell us? Go direct to Hosking talkback – there you will find many other stupid people whose discourse is likewise unleavened by inconvenient facts.

      [Don’t take the bait, don’t feed the trolls, don’t attack others here, don’t start flame wars and leave it to the Mods – Incognito]

    • Incognito 7.2

      This comes across as yet another unhinged rant by you because you have a chip on your shoulder and you’re confused about how this site works. It is also a broad attack on the site and its commenters implying that they have mental disorders and they’re nutty without knowing it.

      Whether you call it “emotional feel and psychic [sic] imprints”, views or viewpoints, or opinions, it is all the same, but none give you a free pass to spout your BS without consequences. Facts, claims of facts, assertions, all of those you need to be able to support, as part of your argument.

      You should read this first: https://thestandard.org.nz/policy/#rules.

      You make up some BS hypothetical example about a fact, which proves nothing and clears up nothing. And it’s f-ing irrelevant. Taking liberties with facts, making tentative extrapolations, and projections into the future are all symptoms and very recent examples of your disingenuous commenting here. But then you give 2 examples by Lprent that supposedly show how right you were and how wrong Lprent was.

      You did not include links!! I should ban you for this alone.

      The first one about inflation I could trace to this: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-02-02-2022/#comment-1857344. You were being educated and you still don’t realise it. And you didn’t state that inflation was 5.9%, FFS!

      The second one about Mike Hosking is a bit of a guess, but I assume it is this one: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06-12-2021/#comment-1839806. However, I cannot see the connection with your present rant, so maybe I’ve got the wrong one.

      So I'm getting my feel for the topic/fact, not from the facts, but from peripheral issues/emotions surrounding the topic.

      No, forget your ‘feels’ and learn to properly argue here, following the simple rules of this site.

      I’m deliberately not moderating you here because I want to give other Mods a chance to do so. If not, I’m sure I will moderate one of your comments soon enough because you have no credit left and show no signs of improvement.

    • SPC 7.3

      The guest knew his time would be short and so, before he was chosen for the departure line, determined on gaslighting the neighbourhood.

      Dartmouth researchers have built an artificial intelligence model for detecting mental disorders using conversations on Reddit, part of an emerging wave of screening tools that use computers to analyze social media posts and gain an insight into people's mental states.

      What sets the new model apart is a focus on the emotions rather than the specific content of the social media texts being analyzed. In a paper presented at the 20th International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, the researchers show that this approach performs better over time, irrespective of the topics discussed in the posts.

      "Social media offers an easy way to tap into people's behaviors," says Guo. The data is voluntary and public, published for others to read, he says.

      In their study, the researchers focused on what they call emotional disorders—major depressive, anxiety, and bipolar disorders—which are characterized by distinct emotional patterns. They looked at data from users who had self-reported as having one of these disorders and from users without any known mental disorders.

      The map is a matrix that would show how likely it was that a user went from any one state to another, such as from anger to a neutral state of no emotion.

      Different emotional disorders have their own signature patterns of emotional transitions. By creating an emotional "fingerprint" for a user and comparing it to established signatures of emotional disorders, the model can detect them. To validate their results, they tested it on posts that were not used during training and show that the model accurately predicts which users may or may not have one of these disorders.

      While the researchers don't look at intervention strategies, they hope this work can point the way to prevention.

      One more reason to have an online username and maintain internet ID privacy … .

      So the psychiatric gulag is hunting patients online. It might however provide useful information as a background check for access to guns.

      However, it could be so easily manipulated by those who know of the design. A few deliberate provocations, or calculated insults to create an impact/effect.

  8. Blade 8

    Anything to say about the post? Apart from invective? I won't ask you to self reflect and state what class of nut you are, simply because you are incapable of doing that. Idiot.

    [It looks like you’re heading for self-martyrdom and want to drag other commenters, who are stupid enough to take the bait, down with you. Suffice to say, the bans won’t be of equal length – Incognito]

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