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Open mike 08/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 8th, 2011 - 62 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

62 comments on “Open mike 08/07/2011”

  1. joe90 1

    The Scientific American Blog Network, more than 30 blogs from different fields of science,

  2. toad 2

    Kiwiblog outage
    Kiwiblog will be off air this Sunday between 6 am and midday approx. The sewer it is on is being cleaned and moved.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Paid off my student loan!

    • r0b 3.1

      Congratulations! And apologies from my generation to yours that you ever had to take one. Education should be free.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        $1000 p.a. tertiary fees is reasonable.

        You can earn that with a summer holiday job and still have beer money.

    • framu 3.2

      me too!

      (and im pushing 40 – thats how long its taken)

      • ianupnorth 3.2.1

        That’s scary, I have an 18 year old heading off to Uni next year!

        • framu 3.2.1.1

          well – to be totally honest – there was a couple of years of “unproductive borrowing”

          plus that was when the interest on them was pretty high

          factor in a gap between the first and second batches of study (pre and post grad stuff) where i was earning 8 5ths of bugger all (plus a false start at the beginning before any of that) and “presto chango” – big debt

          my advice to your 18 year old would be
          do it once, do it right and stick at it. Its all the bad planning and false starts that gets you

          • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, the biggest killer for lots of people with student loans is that they screw around, fail courses, waste time etc, or take a gap year, or simply drop out of university because it’s not the right course for them (should’ve gone to polytech and gotten a trade qualification).

            Doing degrees in non-commercial studies doesn’t help either.

            • vto 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m going for the record longest time to repay a student loan ………….

              (is that morally wrong?? its a bit hard to judge these things when you’re a rwnj)

              • jackal

                A student loan gets written off when you die. Those who can, should pay their loans off. Those who can’t because of low wages etc shouldn’t.

                National’s idea of chasing people in other countries who do not pay their student loans will end up costing New Zealand much more than is retrieved. It’s more stupid Right wing legislation that will not work.

                A Ministry of Education report said only $6.4 billion of the $13.9 billion borrowed since students started getting loans in 1992 has been paid back. Student loan debt is growing by around $1 billion annually.

                • Lanthanide

                  “National’s idea of chasing people in other countries who do not pay their student loans will end up costing New Zealand much more than is retrieved. It’s more stupid Right wing legislation that will not work.”

                  So far the recovery rate has been something like $3-4 for every dollar spent. Pretty good rate of return, especially when compared to Roads of Notional Significance.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So far the recovery rate has been something like $3-4 for every dollar spent. Pretty good rate of return, especially when compared to Roads of Notional Significance.

                    I bet that doesn’t take into account the bonus of confirming to our talented young grads around the world that New Zealand is run by tossers happy to chase them down across seven seas for loan money.

                    While at the same time giving tax payer funds away to rorting farmers, bankrupt finance companies and under insured insurers?

                    Yes, an excellent rate of return for NZ.

            • rosy 3.2.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, the biggest killer for lots of people with student loans is that they screw around, fail courses, waste time etc, or take a gap year, or simply drop out of university because it’s not the right course for them

              Part of the problem is that many 18 year-olds have no idea about what will suit them – they know in theory what they want to do, but that doesn’t always work for them when the reality arrives, or they don’t know how to prioritise learning over the distractions. Loans are a huge penalty for taking a longer time than to mature a bit.

          • Vicky32 3.2.1.1.2

            Too true! (I made the same mistakes..) Luckily my son didn’t…

          • rosy 3.2.1.1.3

            Congratulations! My daughter is a month away from paying hers off – 13 years. Apart from one year out to have a child she’s been working full-time since she qualified. She didn’t mess around, got a trade qualification and is earning reasonable money now. She’d be paying it forever if the interest was not removed.

      • Deadly_NZ 3.2.2

        I’m 55 and I still owe 9 grand.

  4. Campbell Larsen 4

    Media academic Donald Matheson calls The Standard a victim of ‘the trend to squash opposing views’ and a ‘major offender’
    The poor wee fella must have become a bit timid and debate shy having been couped up in academia.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10737026
    (it’s the last item at bottom of Drinnans page)

    He should go and hang out at kiwiblog, which he appears to rate (enough said)

    • Here’s the full comment on The Standard:

      The left-wing blog The Standard, used for strategic public relations by the Labour Party, was a major offender and a victim of the trend to squash opposing views.

      More than a few who’ve tried opposing views are likely to agree with that.

      And on Kiwiblog:

      Rather than tolerance, debates are often about “having a go” at people who do not follow the correct ideological line.

      Matheson mentioned the right-of-centre Kiwiblog, which he said dominated blogland due to its hit rate.

      Hard to disagree with that either, although “having a go” there tends to be more of a free-for-all rather than from one party view.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Ummmph. There are some (a minority) of the authors here that have affiliations to Labour (myself included). The majority do not. I’d say that many of the authors seem more grumpy with Labour than anything else when they mention them. Mostly they focus on National.

        I don’t take orders or even suggestions from Labour, and I don’t see any of the others doing so either. Even Ben seems to write whatever he is interested in from  his perspective – and he is the Labour candidate in the North Shore electorate.

        At a rough guess I’d say that Donald Matheson regards agreeing with Labour as being controlled by them – which is a common level of stupidity that I have been seeing from academics recently. And he is both severely mistaken and a total dickhead for thinking I moderate to squash opposing views. Which I guess is what he is talking about.

        If I want to really want to squash opposing views, then I will comment rather than moderate, and tear into the persons views. I moderate to get rid of objectionable behavior that makes the site comments boring to read. 

        And SS, in case you hadn’t noticed – most of the discussion you get in here will be from people who have not any particular known “party view”. But I guess you probably mean that there are considerable numbers of people from the left commenting here, many of the people from the right turn out to be inadequate at putting up decent arguments against them, and as far as I can tell have a real problem distinguishing between the many viewpoints across the left. They seem to lump them as “Labor” which is about as stupid as I’d expect from a supporter of the right. 

         

        • Secret Squirrel 4.1.1.1

          I think number of posts is more pertinent than number of authors.

          I’m quite aware of varying views across the left, and also across the centre and across the right.

          What often happens here (and also in reverse on Kiwiblog, I’ve been attacked much more for much longer there than here) is that if people assume you’re one of “the right” they attack you regardless of where in the spectrum you’re trying to debate. Personality blogging often prevails.

          If you think I’m a supporter of the right, I won’t say stupid as I don’t know why you keep suggesting it, I’ll just say you’ve got it wrong or you know you’re wrong and say it anyway.

          I’ve always been curious to know why this blog can be so unwelcoming if the perception is one isn’t the right sort of left, or centre. No matter how distant the Labour association is here I guarantee it adversely affects Labour support levels.

          • Campbell Larsen 4.1.1.1.1

            Polite would prevail in an ideal world, however we do not have an ideal world, though we may strive towards it, in the meantime I suggest you get some nuts.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.2

            “What often happens here (and also in reverse on Kiwiblog, I’ve been attacked much more for much longer there than here) is that if people assume you’re one of “the right” they attack you regardless of where in the spectrum you’re trying to debate. Personality blogging often prevails.”

            This happens pretty much wherever you go, in whatever forum. People read your posts, decide what pigeon hole you fit in and then start arguing against the general views they ascribe to that pigeon hole rather than specifically what you said.

            I’m often quite pedantic on here, and sometimes espouse views that many here would consider centre-right. Other long-time contributors probably “get” this, but on one occasion a newcomer saw one of my rightish comments and attacked me for being a right-wing nutjob.

            Similarly at primary school, I was the smartest in the class and always well-behaved. We had a substitute teacher once that for some reason thought I was a troublemaker and came down on me hard for things other kids in the same room got away with. She simply assumed I was a troublemaker after first impressions and so treated me like one.

            • Vicky32 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I’m often quite pedantic on here, and sometimes espouse views that many here would consider centre-right. Other long-time contributors probably “get” this, but on one occasion a newcomer saw one of my rightish comments and attacked me for being a right-wing nutjob.
              Similarly at primary school, I was the smartest in the class and always well-behaved.

              It’s probably me you’re thinking of Lanth, and you must admit that you  are significantly right-of-centre… Oh, and this is me being poncy, but do you mean you were ‘one of the best dressed’ at primary school, or one of the cleverest? In my day kids who were said to be ‘smart’ were being told they were cheeky beggars! (That, and elegantly dressed) are the two meanings of smart in New Zealand… ) Smart has only meant clever for as long as ‘bathroom’ has meant toilet – i.e., since about 2005! It’s very ambiguous. If all of middle and upper NZ has decided to speak American, I seriously wish they’d tell the rest of us, so we don’t end up too confused! (We’re stupid, we bennies, after all!) 😀

              • Lanthanide

                No, I’m not thinking of you at all, and I definitely don’t consider myself right of centre at all.

                • Vicky32

                  I definitely don’t consider myself right of centre at all.

                  Nevertheless, you sometimes are! 🙂

          • lprent 4.1.1.1.3

            No matter how distant the Labour association is here I guarantee it adversely affects Labour support levels.

            So? They’re a big party, they can start their own blog – and in fact that is exactly what they have at Red Alert.

            I have no idea if you are supporting the right or not, and neither do I care. Similarly I don’t particularly care about the perceptions of ‘Labour’ from this site. It isn’t run by or for Labour.

            What I care about is this site. In particular what I perceive as attacks on it by people attempting to meme it – which is what I perceive you as trying to do. I do tend to associate that particular attack as being a right-wing meme because the people of the left have usually had some experience with trying to get Labour to do things that are new in the political space..

            Quite simply trying to say that it is run by Labour is offensive as hell to me and the authors. It is a denigration of the resources, time and effort by myself and the other authors and moderators have put into making this site as successful as it is. That has been done without support from any political party (except for an annoying accident for a few weeks). Most of the time it done despite the political parties and we get quite a lot of back end moaning from various parts of Labour.

            But basically we’ve had a gutsfull of the “Labour blog” meme over the years. I personally have zero tolerance for it. If you use it, then you can expect to get removed from my site and sight.

            Quite simply if you sound like a someone trying a series of well known memes from 2008’ish you’ll get responses from commentators, moderators, and me that reflect our experience of those memes. They may still sound fresh to you, but the world moves on and you’ll find that they sound tired and desperate to us. Learn to argue.

            I think number of posts is more pertinent than number of authors.

            Same thing applies. Right now we have more posts from authors who support Labour than I think that we have ever had over the last month or so. But a large part of that was because Marty G bowed out from writing earlier this year. He wasn’t exactly the greatest advocate for the Labour party and stated that quite clearly in his final post as well as many others. He did 922 posts that made up the bulk of the posts over last year.

            Anthony/r0b, Mike, and Ben have stepped up their posts which means for probably the first time there are more posts written by actual Labour supporters than not. Eddie seems to lean to Labour as well. I quite like it – but then I’m a Labour supporter.

            It also doesn’t really affect the mix. The constraint on political views is on who has time to and who is motivated to write. Other authors with posting records like Irish, Zet or The Sprout will get more time to write. One of the authors with just a few posts will get motivated. Or we will finally get around to getting some of the guest posters logins.

            There have been been times when this site looks like a convention of Greens – even from authors who’d normally support Labour. Some times when it has looked like a revivalist meeting for New Labour. It really just depends on who has time to write posts. Right now, I think that it also depends on when I have time to fix the Contribute Post pages.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.2

          “And he is both severely mistaken and a total dickhead for thinking I moderate to squash opposing views. Which I guess is what he is talking about.”

          I think he’s talking about the echo-chamber effect and commentators dogpiling up against others (even if they deserve it, like big bruv), not specifically the moderating behaviour. Probably his point is that the moderating style allows this to happen, which personally I don’t have a problem (which is why I’m here).

      • Ed 4.1.2

        Matheson mentioned the right-of-centre Kiwiblog, which he said dominated blogland due to its hit rate.

        I haven’t seen any statistics in recent years – it is possible that other blogs are in fact more popular than Kiwiblog now. Are blog statistics available?

        • Secret Squirrel 4.1.2.1

          Here are the rankings of New Zealand blogs with publicly available statistics for June 2011. These rely on blogs having sitemeters which allow public access to the stats. There are now over 250 blogs on the list.

          The blogs are listed in the table below, together with monthly visits and page view numbers for June, 2011.

          June ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking

          [lprent: A better page is this one at Open Parachute where you can see all of the stats that have been collected over the last couple of years. Our first full month was May – the month that required me to add a new server… I was pretty glad to see the mid winter slump finally starting ]

          • swordfish 4.1.2.1.1

            Obviously, Russell Brown’s Public Address and (his bete noire) Chris Trotter’s Bowalley Road aren’t included.

            • lprent 4.1.2.1.1.1

              I was talking to Chris last night at Bryce Edwards lecture and showing him that. We’ll see what can be done. I’ll also ask Brian Edwards if he’d like a hand.

              Ummm. jarbury should be able to to that OK at ATB. Russell will know how to do it.

              But it really isn’t that hard to setup at least not for sites that don’t quite have our volumes. At present there are several analytics, a neilson, and now a sitemeter on this site. One GA is for us, and the sitemeter was stuck in for Open Parachute.

              If anyone wants a hand – give me a yell.

               

          • prism 4.1.2.1.2

            Scanning Open Parachute for June 2011 I note that both Kiwiblog and The Standard have about the same Page Views/Month yet The Standard has 100,000 less hits – approx 150,000 to Kiwiblog 250,000. So it seems that visitors read The Standard blog widely compared to Sound Bite Charlies tossing graffiti at Kiwiblog. Does that sound prejudiced! I bet it’s the case though.

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      He can’t he it’s having it’s sewers flushed.

  5. prism 5

    Intermittent Signal Jully ’11 – A move from thinking smart business leaders. Pick up the interview from Radio NZ 9to Noon this morning.
    Is NZ at risk of squandering its Pure Advantage?
    Rob Morrison is the chair of the newly-formed Pure Advantage group of business leaders, who include Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall and Air NZ CEO Rob Fyfe. (27′55″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3

    More on google under nz pure advantage – one excerpt –
    Pure Advantage, a group made up of business leaders urging New Zealand to embrace green technology and join the ‘green growth’ industry, was launched …
    They are working on a parallel, but in touch with nz group –
    (on google) 1 Feb 2011 – The eight-strong Advisory Group will be chaired by Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly and includes entrepreneur Melissa … This is – the Government’s advisory group on green growth.

    There is money in being green, frogs can turn into princes (or princesses). These pure advantage business people are alert to the fact that we are rated 15 in the world by some Yale survey for good ecology and they say, reasonably, that as the only country in the world that has as its main selling slogan that it is 100% Pure, then 15th doesn’t cut it. And there are ways that we can create new business and utilise our present knowledge in using efficient ecological systems and also work on developing new ideas both for us and places like China which has money available for R&D in green matters.

  6. jackal 6

    Time for an Early Warning System

    Yesterday, it took GeoNet over two hours before they even registered a 7.6 Magnitude earthquake on their website. The powerful earthquake hit off the Kermadec Islands at 7.03am NZT at a depth of 48.5km.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Read about half your post, and it’s very weird.

      Geonet tracks earthquakes. They don’t track tsunamis.

      The pacific ocean tsunami monitoring centre in Hawaii tracks tsunamis. They had a warning out 11 minutes after the quake.

      I’m not sure why listing a distance earthquake which is going to result in no shaking damage in NZ on the Geonet site is important?

      • jackal 6.1.1

        Lanthanide says:

        Read about half your post, and it’s very weird.

        A tsunami warning system for New Zealand would incorporate Geonet’s infrastructure, so it’s not weird at all to infer that they’re the authority to implement one.

        Geonet tracks earthquakes. They don’t track tsunamis.

        It took over two hours for them to even register the 7.6 M earthquake on their website. If you think that’s acceptable, you’re a fruit loop!

        The pacific ocean tsunami monitoring centre in Hawaii tracks tsunamis. They had a warning out 11 minutes after the quake.

        It took as little as 5 minutes for some of the tsunami to hit Japan. Without a proper warning system in New Zealand, Hawaii’s information is relatively irrelevant. The top speed of a tsunami over the open ocean is about 800 kilometers per hour. A large earthquake many kilometres away can generate significant tsunami, even when it’s hardly felt in New Zealand. A closer large earthquake that generates a tsunami when there are no proper warning systems in place in most areas will be catastrophic!

        I’m not sure why listing a distance earthquake which is going to result in no shaking damage in NZ on the Geonet site is important?

        Listing a large earthquake on GeoNet in an acceptable time frame is important when that quake might generate a tsunami. The point is that it took over two hours for them to register the quake. There is no proper tsunami warning system in place for New Zealand especially if a quake is close to shore. An early warning system could save lives. If you don’t think that’s important, then pray tell us why?

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          I think you’ve missed the point.

          For earthquakes that are far away, when a tsunami takes an hour+ to reach here, it will be monitored and reported by the station in Hawaii. And then distributed by the TV and radio as appropriate.

          For earthquakes that are much closer, putting an update on the geonet website isn’t going to save anyone and again the information (if there is any) will be coming from radio and TV.

          No one in any scenario is going to be expecting tsunami information to be posted to the geonet website. The radio and TV stations get information directly from civil defence.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            For some reason I can’t edit it any more (shouldn’t have timed out yet).

            You might also like to read these links:
            http://geonet.org.nz/news/archives/2011/locating-earthquakes-being-faster.html
            http://geonet.org.nz/news/archives/2011/jun-22-2011-overnight-earthquake-proves-troublesome-to-locate.html

            • jackal 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m unsure why you’ve failed to understand my argument? New Zealand needs a tsunami early warning system… full stop.

              When there is an earthquake, finding out how big it was and where it was located is required to know if there is a tsunami danger. If the data is not available, Civil Defense cannot act appropriately. GeoNet has obviously not replaced it’s earthquake location system with SeisComP3 or any other relevant system so the problem remains. Saying you’ll do something and actually doing it are two entirely different things.

              Your argument amounts to: “New Zealand doesn’t have any tsunami warning system for earthquakes within 800 km and here’s an excuse for why GeoNet doesn’t provide information.”

              It’s pathetic Lanthanide, you’re making a fool of yourself.

  7. Bored 7

    You have to love Cactus Kate for her severely misanthropic viewpoints. Her latest is a classic look at the right wing mind…..

    (CGT)…It will be the first time in three years that Labour have set the policy agenda.

    They are commencing a mainstream class warfare. A war between those who for years have profited from buying and selling property, and those who have always aspired to but now are discouraged to do so. A war between those New Zealanders working hard to better themselves in the higher tax brackets and those who dont wish to contribute positively and seek to vote themselves an income when they don’t deserve the vote because they are net beneficiaries.

    Kate shows her advanced vision of the democratic principle by implying if you are on the wrong side of the wealth ledger you should not get the vote. Ayn would definitely approve, the poor are bludgers who deserve nothing from those who got rich at their expense. especially not a vote.

    The most revealing bit is her tax proposals ( http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2011/01/labours-top-10-tax-policies-of-2011.html ) which provides a great pointer indicating all the areas RWNJs are terrified Labour will go, it is a sort of sign posting of where the money is that we should be taxing. Nice work Kate.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The bottom 95% of income earners and wealth holders in this country aren’t worth knowing anyway.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Poll: Tell Bill English that you like the CGT!

    http://www.billenglish.co.nz/

    Haha almost 90% are for the tax.

    • Vicky32 8.1

      I just went and did that! Yes, the results will cause English some discomfort, I am sure! 🙂

    • It’s a meaningless yes/no poll, there’s a lot more to CGT than that.

      The poll is just another Nat/Lab one up contest that has nothing to do with what’s best.

    • jackal 8.3

      That’s strange, I just went and checked the poll again 8:40 PM after voting a little while ago and the results now show:

      No
      50%, 1270 Votes
      Yes
      51%, 1321 Votes
      Total of 2591 votes.

      However the No was at the top of the question but it has now been changed to the Yes question at the top. The poll has clearly been altered after the results weren’t going National’s way. Fraudulent bastards!

      • Vicky32 8.3.1

        That doesn’t even compute Jackal! No 50% and Yes 51% doesn’t add up right… I would not put cheating past them..

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Go torture Bill English:

    Your thoughts on…
    Do you support a capital gains tax?

    No
    17%, 106 Votes
    Yes
    84%, 525 Votes

    http://www.billenglish.co.nz/

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Damn, looks like the NATs are almost pulling even on the poll, at long last 😀

    • Deadly_NZ 9.2

      And now after he has had a hell of a lot of his supporters voting No.

      Its No
      43% 1455 votes
      Yes
      58% 1932 Votes

      Got his mum, friends and party faithful trying to skew the numbers against CGT.

      • Jim Nald 9.2.1

        Honest Bill should just remove that poll from his website.
        He can blame Labour for uploading it.

  10. jackal 10

    A New Rainbow Warrior

    The new Rainbow Warrior ship was floated last Monday. It’s the first time that Greenpeace has a purpose built ship which is environmental in design, set for sailing and perfect for the purpose of spreading the message of sustainability and peace to the world.

    I’ve just set up a media news monitor, mainly to keep track of the stories I read. Check it out.

  11. jackal 11

    Friday Fun with Photos #8

    “Bureaucrats throw ze weight around and zumetimes refuze to grant ze consentz on flimsy excuses. Ze RMA rules that require consultation with ze Maori, must be eradicated. Zat iz why we must have ze first past ze post system, or we will become overrun with ze underclasses who ve pay to breed.” said Don Brash at a recent vote for change rally.

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