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Open mike 08/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 8th, 2012 - 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

102 comments on “Open mike 08/09/2012 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    http://www.facebook.com/events/376891172379944/

    Concerned Citizens presents:
    Wellington fundraiser for the displaced people of Syria

    Saturday 15 September 8pm @ 13 Garrett Street, Wellington
    The Garret St party fundraiser is for the charitable foundation in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, now a shelter for many internally displaced families.

    Featuring the amazing bands:
    The Body Lyre
    All Seeing Hand
    Hutt Old Boys

    $10 donation. All proceeds to Jafra Foundation in Yarmouk, Damascus.

    http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/wellington-fundraiser-for-the-displaced-people-of-syria/

    The refugee camp’s hospital was heavily attacked by the government for ignoring the government order not to treat the wounded from all sides of the dispute.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I hear France is now going to provide heavy artillery, other heavy arms, and financing directly to the rebels now.

      This foreign powers proxy war is going to help the Syrian people no end.

      • fnjckg 1.1.1

        pre scroll (scrabble to play)

        ol’ FOX tele: chem weapons in 20 sites (U.S intell)
        U.S personnel at Turkey/Syria border

        FOX-what if, waht if, waht eef..weapons reach Hizbollah?

        la la la la la…

      • David H 1.1.2

        What next? F15’s and F18’s against SU30’s over Syria perfecting their latest weapons and upgrades? Attack helicopters circling like vultures ready to rain death and destruction on some poor bastard on the ground , Oh yeah that’s already happening. New war, new chance to test out some really secret shit. Probably in the surveillance area from the Yanks and death from a robot overhead. Yep welcome to the world, If I was an Alien I’d just keep going.

      • Jenny 1.1.3

        I hear France is now going to provide heavy artillery, other heavy arms, and financing directly to the rebels now.

        Colonial Viper

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

        Marcello Truzzi

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcello_Truzzi

      • Vicky32 1.1.4

        This foreign powers proxy war is going to help the Syrian people no end.

        Indeed! It’s terrible…

      • Jenny 1.1.5

        The Syrian people in open revolt against the thieving murderers and torturers of the Assad regime that is oppressing them, are aware of the accusations made by Assad and his supporters in the West that they are the “infiltrators”. This is what they sing:

        http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/syria-revolutions-mocking-bird-haunts-his-murderers/#more-19868

        Bashar you are a liar

        To hell with you and your speech

        Freedom is at the door

        “It’s time for you to go Bashar”

        Maher* you are a coward and an agent of the US.

        Syrians won’t be humiliated.

        “It’s time for you to go Bashar”

        You create new thieves everyday

        Shaleesh, Rami and Maher

        They robbed my uncles and my cousins

        “Time for you to go Bashar”

        Bashar you’re the infiltrator

        To hell with you and your Baath Party

        “Time for you to go Bashar”

        Bashar you’re an ass and all those who support you.

        “It’s time for you to go Bashar”

        Syria wants freedom.

        There you have it Colonial Viper, the people of Syria have officially labeled you as an ass.

        *(Maher Assad’s brother in law. Known as Syria’s banker who oversaw the neoliberal looting of the state which privatised an estimated 60% of the nations wealth delivering it into the hands of the elite around Assad)

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.5.1

          Actually the Syrian people aren’t in open revolt; it is likely that at least half the rebels are foreign fighters/foreign jihadists with very little support from locals. And very little interest in the wellbeing of Syria going forwards.

    • Jenny 1.2

      The huge Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, which has also become a haven for many internally displaced Syrians. Is being bombarded by regime artillery again.

      Syrian army mortar and artillery shelling of an area of southern Damascus where Palestinian refugees live has killed at least 20 people, said residents and local emergency workers.

      Among the dead were seven Palestinians killed on Thursday in a bombardment of Yarmouk refugee camp, reported sources in the camp.

      Forces loyal to president Bashar Assad bombed Safad and al-Jaouna areas and the al-Basel Hospital, local Yarmouk media reported, adding that residents of the camp would protest the shelling outside the al-Waseem Mosque after evening prayers.

      Kia Ora Gaza

      http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/palestinian-area-of-damascus-blasted-by-assads-artillery/

      If you are in Wellington next Saturday support the fundraiser for Yarmouk.

  2. Carol 2

    Is this what xtasy @

    Open mike 05/09/2012

    has been asking, or campaigning for? or at least a step on the way? or is xtasy referring more to WINZ and sickness and disabled beneficiaries?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7637014/ACC-pays-millions-to-send-its-hatchets

    ACC is spending millions of dollars flying doctors around New Zealand to assess long-term clients who have already been assessed by other doctors.

    The policy has been slammed by John Miller – one of the country’s top lawyers specialising in ACC legislation – who said the so-called “independence” of some assessors was a sham.

    ACC lawyers, advocates and claimant groups know those doctors as “hatchet men and women”, Mr Miller said.

    “They are not independent, as a substantial part of their income comes from ACC,” he said.

    • weka 2.1

      “Mr Miller said the solution would be for ACC to start using a group of trusted assessors who could “be used by both sides.””

      That says it all really. That there are now two sides demonstrates the failure of ACC to look after people in need.

      What worries me is the people that get shunted off ACC onto WINZ. In the past at least they could get Invalid’s Benefit, but I suspect with the tightening up of IB rules, many are being put on SB long term. SB rates are set because it is meant to be a short/med term benefit.

       
      There is the huge disparity between disability that comes from accident and disability that comes from illness. Accident means you get substantially higher support (which is why ACC is so focussed on getting people rediagnosed as chronically ill). Illness means often you get bugger all support. 

      It’s also a concern that the role and culture of ACC has been being changed for so long that for many people what ACC do now will be considered normal. The situation we are in now is a result of the failure of our political system.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Agreed.
               
        I wonder how long before a complaint is made to the medical council and they get suspended for malpractice? ACC provides their paycheck, but the MC provides their accreditation…

      • fnjckg 2.1.2

        ATOS-“they come for ‘X’ “

    • xtasy 2.2

      Carol –

      This is not something that I am “campaigning” for, it is about real issues that sadly the mainstream media simply do not raise and adress much at all. I just recently was told by a NZ Herald journalist, that they are simply not given the time to do any proper research of topics and issues, they do generally more rely on press releases and the likes.

      That is why there is almost “zilch” in reporting on social and health issues of this type, and too much consideration and respect is given to medical “experts” and the people running ACC and WINZ.

      This whole ACC saga only came into the headlines, because a former National Party hot-shot like Bronwyn Pullar involved the media, and especially since she also involved her other top Nat. Party friend to try and get a settlement – using also the leaked information to push her case.

      There are many stories where ordinary people are affected, but little or NO attention is given to them.

      I also did primarily focus on what has been going on at WINZ. How would anybody feel, if they have to go and see a so-called “designated doctor” for a “second opinion”, when the fact is, that they have been “trained” in special course sessions by the Ministry of Social Development since 2008. How “independent” is that???

      Anyway re ACC, it pays to have a closer look at the board member Dr Des Gorman, who has a very chequered and questionable background as frequently used, former “advisor” to ACC on individual claims and cases.

      Dr Des Gorman as new board member of ACC, working alongside the new head of ACC, who is Paula Rebstock (former business operator, Commerce Commissioner, senior Welfare Working Group member), does sent serious warning signs. It does show anything else but a supposed “change of culture” at ACC:

      Dr Des Gorman’s appointment to the ACC Board, announcement National Party website:
      http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?articleId=39319

      Dr Gorman’s qualifications, summarised background and reference to his senior position at the Medical School of the University of Auckland:
      https://www.alumni.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/af-des-gorman

      Dr Des Gorman’s controversial assessments and recommendations:


      Dr Des Gorman’s involvement in the appointment of the Health and Disability Commissioner:
      http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/11451-des-gorman-involved-in-appointment-of-health-and-disability-commissioner/

      Dr Des Gorman as Executive Chair of Health Workforce New Zealand (a new business focused organisation set up within the Ministry of Health in 2009, by Tony Ryall):
      http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/about-us/board-members

      Health Workforce NZ’s Annual Plan for 2011-2012:
      http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/sites/all/files/HWNZ%20Annual%20Plan%202011-12.pdf
      http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/sites/all/files/HWNZ Annual Plan 2011-12.pdf

      Health Worforce NZ’s influence on GP training by the Royal NZ College of GPs:
      http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/our-work/gp-training-review
      http://healthworkforce.govt.nz/our-work/gp-training-review/discussion-paper-and-feedback

      http://healthworkforce.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Discussion Paper – Workforce Requirements for New Models of Service Delivery.pdf
      (see especially the already commenced training program to enable GPs to complete some additional modules in training, equipping them with basic “mental health” qualification, to be used for treating and assessing mental health clients, also of course, for WINZ)

      Dr Gorman’s involvement with the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners:
      http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/home/SearchForm?Search=Des+Gorman

      Dr Des Gorman as member of the National Health Board:
      http://www.nationalhealthboard.govt.nz/who-we-are/our-members

      Dr Gorman’s attendance NZ Healthcare Congress 2012:
      http://www.healthcarecongress.org.nz/page.php?ref=programme

      This man now wields so much influence and power in the whole health sector, it is extremely worrying to have that man sit next to Rebstock on the ACC Board for the next 3 years. I do not for one moment believe there will be a “culture change”, except perhaps more stringent privacy policies and more secrecy about what they get up to at ACC. I am extremely concerned about what is going on at ACC and WINZ!

  3. Carol 3

    David Cunliffe made a cutting state of the (deteriorating) nation statement yesterday:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/back-to-the-future-as-job-crisis-deepens

    “Meanwhile the property market in Auckland is back on the tax loophole-driven rollercoaster, with double-digit price increases over the last year locking more young New Zealanders out of homes and syphoning capital away from job-creating businesses.

    “How bad does it have to get before the Government wakes up?

    “Just this morning Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce claimed ‘we are not seeing growth in unemployment’. He must be blind. The Household Labour Force Survey is crystal clear that unemployment has gone up.

    “The National Government promised a brighter future, but nothing has changed from their hands-off-and-hope approach of the early 1990s. They have no economic policy beyond tax cuts and salary increases for the wealthy, and wishful thinking about commodity prices in milk powder and raw logs.

    • Poission 3.1

      “Meanwhile the property market in Auckland is back on the tax loophole-driven rollercoaster, with double-digit price increases over the last year locking more young New Zealanders out of homes and syphoning capital away from job-creating businesses.

      This is an important issue,as the AK property market is presently being driven mostly by investors using leverage and historical low interest rates.

      The sell of the CGT by labour was problematic,and confounded by unnecessary policy distractions such as gst on veges etc.

      If the demand was constrained by CGT a more sustainable regime of low interest would be available to all New Zealanders and housing affordability would be more ubiquitous,

      Household debt affordability (as a % of disposable income) has reduced significantly of its peak of 2009 driven solely by interest rates.If interest rates corrected upwards,the many would again pay for the few.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        If the demand was constrained by CGT a more sustainable regime of low interest would be available to all New Zealanders and housing affordability would be more ubiquitous,

        Needs more than a CGT to achieve that. Don’t know what more though.

        • Poission 3.1.1.1

          CGT is a mechanism that constrains price growth, eg bubbles,it would tend to smooth price bursts.

          Would not a more sustainable future with low interest rates allow both households and business to have more manageable forecasts.

          Labours sell of CGT failed to some extent on the premis it would raise little funds in the short term.It does have a number of positive feedbacks such as diversifying investment and reducing funding costs.

          Much more transparency needs to be brought into the benefits and costs of the policy,it is not necessarily a silver bullet,so to speak but it is a start.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            CGT is a mechanism that constrains price growth, eg bubbles,it would tend to smooth price bursts.

            In theory. Most of the OECD have one and yet housing price bubbles still eventuated bringing down the entire global financial system.

            I’m all for a CGT but we’re going to need more to achieve a viable society. Stopping the banks from creating debt based money would be another needed policy.

            • Poission 3.1.1.1.1.1

              In theory. Most of the OECD have one and yet housing price bubbles still eventuated bringing down the entire global financial system.

              The main reasons for the bubble, were deregulation of the financial systems in the US and too much liquidity eg Reavis 2012

              At the same time that U.S. banking regulations were easing, the middle class in emerging markets such as China and India was growing at a phenomenal rate. As a result of this economic growth, the “global pool of money” doubled from $36 trillion in 2000 to $70 trillion in 2008. One economist observed, “The world was not ready for all this money. There’s twice as much money looking for investments, but there are not twice as many good investments.”What was once considered a safe and profitable investment, U.S. Treasury bonds, was no longer appealing as the federal funds rate that was 6.5% for much of 2000 dropped below 2% in 2003.35 Enter mortgage-backed securities.

              Nice link.

              • Colonial Viper

                As a result of this economic growth, the “global pool of money” doubled from $36 trillion in 2000 to $70 trillion in 2008.

                This is assbackwards I’m afraid. Economic growth doesn’t ‘create money’. Central bank printing and investment bank debt creation creates money. Which in a real economy gets put to use for economic growth.

                • Poission

                  Central bank printing and investment bank debt creation creates money. Which in a real economy gets put to use for economic growth.

                  The NZ market did not correct ,the real estate investments are still significantly higher then their income and rents eg Bollard.

                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/7426164/Accumulated-debt-stymied-economy-says-RB-governor

                  This suggests that the investment is not on fundamentals,such as a return on equity,but on future value ie speculation.This is more related to the AK market ,as say Wellington where housing inventory is around 1yr.retail and light commercial around 3 yrs and office around 5 years in surplus.(mostly due to strengthening requirements) and employment stagnation and uncertainty.

                  Clearly we need some innovative thinking,to redirect investment into sustainable and productive sectors.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2

            Asset speculation bubbles are heavily predicated on access to ever increasing amounts of easy, cheap, bank debt.

            A 15% CGT is going to do sweet FA if property speculators are anticipating that they can keep 85% of big gains from an overheating property market. And that those gains are better than what can be got from say, investing in a small business and hiring staff.

            So much more needs to be done than just a CGT. A straight out asset tax is an option. As is Steve Keen’s idea – you limit the amount banks can lend for a property to a multiple of the rental income that property can generate.

            • Poission 3.1.1.1.2.1

              So much more needs to be done than just a CGT. A straight out asset tax is an option. As is Steve Keen’s idea – you limit the amount banks can lend for a property to a multiple of the rental income that property can generate.

              Indeed,not only in say property but in “revalued asset” returns as suggested by Gareth Morgan such as natural monopolies such as Energy generation,airports and ports etc.

              The cost/plus mentality reduces the technological evolution for continuous improvement and efficiency.

        • millsy 3.1.1.2

          Simple really. Increase state housing by 100 to 200% — if impractical to build, then properties should be purchased on the open market.

          Flooding the market with low-rent, decently built, secure rentals will do more to dampen down housing speculation than any CGT ever will.

          Look at what happened when the state housing system was first started…

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1

            You also need to control the availability of bank debt fuelling house price increases.

            • millsy 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Can be controlled with my solution above.

              If every poor person manages to get housed by HNZ, then it will be less tempting for a ‘mum and dad’ New Zealander to buy a block of flats on tick and rent it out at crippling prices to DPB mums and call it ‘saving for their retirement’.

    • muzza 3.2

      How about we hear Cunliffe start addressing things such as the monetary supply in NZ, then perhaps real conversations can happen.

      Until that is addressed, its nothing more than empty words!

      • Poission 3.2.1

        How about we hear Cunliffe start addressing things such as the monetary supply in NZ, then perhaps real conversations can happen.

        Indeed a more open discussion on monetary policy is important,especially if ACT disagree.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1209/S00081/nz-first-snake-oil-no-cure-for-high-dollar.htm

        Banks seems to be out of step with his focus groups such as The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

        The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) is encouraging political parties to support the RBNZ Amendment Bill to the select committee stage. The Bill proposes changing the wording on the primary function of the Reserve Bank.

        This is the proposed wording:
        “The primary function of the Bank is to formulate and implement monetary policy directed to the economic objective of maintaining stability in the general level of prices while maintaining an exchange rate that is conducive to real export growth and job creation.”
        NZMEA Chief Executive John Walley says, “Across the political spectrum we have agreement that the New Zealand Dollar is too high and volatile. Supporting this Bill through to the select committee stage will create open debate on the issue and perhaps some action will follow. The world is a different place today than it was in2007 when monetary policy was last reviewed.”
        “The changes to the Reserve Bank Act need to be debated – what are the targets, what are the mechanisms, how will the decisions be made, who will make those decisions and how will the Reserve Bank board be constituted. All political parties should support the Bill through to a select committee phase and front up to the arguments .What we have at the moment is not working.”

        “A number of central banks around the world have taken action to prevent the overvaluation of their currency so there is now plentyof international evidence to call on. The United States Federal Reserve has just announced it is likely to have another round of quantitative easing, Canada has introduced loan to value ratios to prevent demand for household debt from pushing up their currency and Switzerland has been intervening for over a year to lower the value of their currency.”

        “Lowering the exchange rate is the precursor to balancing the economy through export growth. Openly exploring options on how to achieve this has to start somewhere.”

        Unfortunately toxic brands such as Banks (whose shelf life expired some time ago) still linger like a bad odour.

      • gobsmacked 3.2.2

        How about we hear Cunliffe start addressing things such as the monetary supply in NZ, then perhaps real conversations can happen.

        He’s not the Finance spokesman. He has to leave that to David Parker.

        Don’t blame Cunliffe for the allocation of other portfolios, or the performances in them.

        • muzza 3.2.2.1

          Parker, will utter no such words, he is as under control as Bill English, and any finance minister before him.

          Cunliffe needs to break ranks and speak out, if he is to be a force for good, then at some stage, someone is going to have to break ranks!

          Perhaps they don’t quite fancy the consequences of speaking against the money changers, can’t say I would blame them, given the track record….

          The reality still remains, no convo about monetary control, makes everything else oxygen theft!

      • Olwyn 3.2.3

        On a related note, I would like to see them spell out their intentions forthrightly. I would like to hear someone say something along the lines of, “We intend to divert investment away from property and into the kinds of productive industries that underpin employment. We intend to bring about affordable housing, whose affordability is not undermined by excessive travel costs. We intend that our cities are liveable cities, and that our provinces are not left to die from lack of investment. If our initial moves, like the capital gains tax etc, do not bring about the intended results, then we will try other methods, but we are absolutely determined to make real progress in these areas.”

        In the 2000s, it was possible to believe that the market was maturing, and that incremental social gains could be made as it matured. That seems to be the thesis that underpinned the third way. Not any more. The market now stands revealed as a great predation machine. No progress can be made until it is treated as such.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Chris Trotter makes an interesting observation about economics and parties:

      If Procrustes had two iron beds upon which to stretch or truncate his victims, the current neoliberal establishment possesses two political parties to fend off any genuine ideological challenge. Both parties insist that New Zealand measures-up to the financial markets, and if it’s found wanting, both are ready to lop off a billion or two.

      Over the last few centuries or so capitalism has been shown to be a failure and yet no parties seem willing to advocate for anything to replace it.

  4. Carol 4

    There has been evidence that the Scandinavian social democracies have been better positioned to survive the GFC. That is what is claimed in this article from 2009:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2009/aug/05/scandinavia-recession-welfare-state

    According to liberal thinkers, Scandinavian countries should have drowned in the current economic crisis with their bloated public sectors and a nanny-state mentality that stifles individual creativity.

    But the opposite has happened. Sweden, Denmark and Norway, where many people pay 50% of their income in taxes – with some even paying 60% – are coping better than most, in particular better than Britain.

    Not that these small, export-led economies have not been hit by the decline in global trade. All the Scandinavian governments have had to offer bank rescue plans and stimulus packages. Some manufacturers, such as the carmaker Saab, have gone bankrupt. Unemployment is on the rise too – 9.8% in Sweden, 3.8% in Denmark and 3.1% in Norway.

    Overall, these countries’ high-tax, high-benefit welfare systems have been acting as stabilisers to their economies. If you lose your job in Sweden, you can expect to receive 80% of your wages for the first 200 days of inactivity, up to 680 kronor (£55) per day, dropping to 70% for the following 100 days. If you lose your job in Norway, you will receive 62% of your previous salary for up to two years.

    But according to this piece of uni research from Denmark, the Scandinavian model is built on trust, that needs to be there before the development of a welfare state:

    http://sciencenordic.com/trust-creates-welfare-state-%E2%80%93-not-vice-versa

    “Our research indicates the exact opposite,” says Bjørnson. “We’ve always had a great trust in other people in Scandinavia, and this trust is the cornerstone of our welfare state.”

    Together with Andreas Bergh, of Lund University in Sweden, he has just published the article Historical Trust Levels Predict the Current Size of the Welfare State in the economic journal Kyklos.

    Bjørnskov believes this trust can be explained with reference to the great internal stability in Denmark and Norway. These two nations have never really had any feuds, civil wars or general disagreements.

    Bjørnskov argues that since the welfare state involves handing out money to people we don’t know, a general trust in our peers is essential.

    The only other countries with the same trust levels are Canada and New Zealand. Bjørnskov thinks it would be impossible to introduce a welfare state in any other countries:

    But in recent times we have seen both National and Labour (highlighted by Shearer’s roof painter story) doing their best to undermine and eradicate any such trust that still exists amongst Kiwis.

    • KJT 4.1

      Interesting because the one that is having worse results than the other two, Sweden, has been praised recently by the Neo-Liberal right for abandoning “socialist” policies and becoming more economically “liberal” than the other Scandinavian countries.

      Note the drop in Swedens OECD education rankings since they started charter schools, for example.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      But according to this piece of uni research from Denmark, the Scandinavian model is built on trust, that needs to be there before the development of a welfare state:

      And the entire neo-liberal system actively undermines that trust. People who are systematically exploited to benefit a few know that they’re being exploited and so trust is undermined in the normal working of the capitalist socio-economic system.

  5. Poission 5

    Google has as its feature the 46th anniversary of star trek.

    ESA (The European space agency) has set a new record for “quantum teleportation”

    http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMLWO7YJ6H_index_0.html

    • weka 5.1

      Any chance someone could give a lay explanation of that article?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Roughly 100 years ago they discovered that particles smaller than atoms could be described in terms of a ‘quantum state’. A whole lot of characteristics which mainly apply to matter and energy on a tiny scale. Fairly easy to understand things like the frequency (colour to the human eye) of a photon of light and the voltage of an electron of electricity etc. but also many other characteristics.

        What they also figured out is that two tiny particles which are associated (entangled) together somehow, like two photons of light (maybe they were from the same light source but you split them apart) stay somehow connected even when you physically separate them. In this case over 100km.

        What these guys did, by using really sensitive detection equipment, is show that they could transfer the quantum state of one of the photons of light to the other one 143km away. With no known passing of information, signals or messaging between the two locations. Governments are interested in this stuff as it means that there is no known way to “intercept” such a transfer.

        Or to use another example. It’s like one twin instantaneously knowing what the other is experiencing from the opposite side of the world.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          Cool, thanks. More questions of course:

          Is the entanglement something that is known about in more detail, or is it assumed on the basis of the behaviour? ie what does entanglement mean?

          “maybe they were from the same light source but you split them apart)”

          But this happens in nature on its own too? (two entangled particles a distance apart). 

          Can they study it in nature, or are they looking solely at ones they create?

          How can they separate two particles over a distance?

           
          ” they could transfer the quantum state of one of the photons of light to the other one 143km away” 

          Ok, but does that mean that they make changes in one and the changes happen in the other for reasons we don’t know yet?
           

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            Is the entanglement something that is known about in more detail, or is it assumed on the basis of the behaviour? ie what does entanglement mean?

            Like typical scientific knowledge, its a theory which seems to fit and predict what has been observed over many decades. “Entanglement” to my mind means a connection via some past association. This is the kicker: the application of human consciousness can create and alter entanglement. In physics this is seen when the quantum state of a particle is set when – and only when – we decide to measure it.

            But this happens in nature on its own too? (two entangled particles a distance apart).

            Can they study it in nature, or are they looking solely at ones they create?

            How can they separate two particles over a distance?

            Yes it happens in nature too. If it is indeed a fundamental characteristic of matter and energy then in fact our universe is dependent on “entanglement”. I believe they can study naturally occurring instances of entanglement but the mere action of studying something, changes it.

            As to how you can separate two particles over a distance. Its really quite easy in principle. I don’t know how they did it in the experiment but using a mirror, prism or diffraction grating to split a single light source up in different directions is totally standard practice.

            Ok, but does that mean that they make changes in one and the changes happen in the other for reasons we don’t know yet?

            Yes. For instance they can set up two entangled particles where their “spin” (not actual spin like a ball, just another crazy quantum characteristic they named that way) of the particles has to be opposite to each other.

            They can then separate the two particles. When they force one of the particles to change its spin guess what happens to its entangled partner? Yep…it changes too, to remain its opposite…and does so instantaneously.

            Its about here that considerations of universal cause and effect become very interesting.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks CV, that’s given me a refresher on quantum physics, and added a few things.

              ” “Entanglement” to my mind means a connection via some past association. ”

              Curious name to have been chosen.  Anyone know what the reason was?

              Are all these experiments being done with photons?

              “Its about here that considerations of universal cause and effect become very interesting”

              Indeed. It’s one of the few areas of very expensive science that I think isn’t a waste of money in the face of resource depletion and CC. 

              As an aside, are they teaching quantum physics in schools now? It must be so much easier to be able to think outside newtonian physics if one learns it as one grows up. 

              • Murray Olsen

                Photons are the easiest to do these experiments with because entangled pairs can be created through a process known as parametric down conversion. This generally consists of a laser at a certain frequency shone into a nonlinear crystal. Some of the photons will change to two photons of a lower frequency inside the crystal. The easiest case to imagine is where each of these is at half the frequency of the original photon. They will then exit the crystal in different directions, with momentum conserved, and can be measured at spatially separated locations.
                If the measurements violate certain inequalities which are usually developed from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the two photons are shown to be entangled. One of the ways of understanding this without violating Special Relativity is that the two photons are described by the same wavefunction before measurement and that the measurements lead to a collapse of the wavefunction. This will collapse in different ways depending on which measurements are made. This is the explanation of the Copenhagen interpretation, with others being possible.
                There is no reason why atoms and other things cannot also be entangled. In fact, experiments have already been done with atoms and even Bose-Einstein condensates. What we need to remember is that information cannot be transferred instantaneously using this mechanism, because this would violate Special Relativity. This was one of the points that made Einstein unhappy about quantum mechanics, with his claiming that it was an incomplete theory. Experiments much later on, measuring some quantities defined by Bell, showed that it wasn’t. 
                As far as teaching it in schools goes, I think entanglement is generally introduced in the 3rd year of university physics. Some of quantum mechanics could be taught in schools and I remember learning about the orbitals of the hydrogen atom in the 7th form, but in general understanding stuff like entanglement properly requires a reasonably high level of mathematical sophistication, which I doubt many schoolteachers would have, let alone the students.
                The name came from Erwin Schrödinger, who called it verschränkung.

                • Murray Olsen

                  We should also remember that entanglement was not a theory developed to explain observations. It is a physical effect predicted by a theoretical extension of Quantum Mechanics into what Einstein considered ridiculous, but Schrödinger and others defended. It was only observed experimentally many years later.
                  Scientific theories are sometimes developed to explain things which have been measured already, but they can also be used to predict things which have never been observed, such as the Higgs boson. In this sense, entanglement is as much a theory as the road outside my flat is.

          • Poission 5.1.1.1.2

            A simple analogy is Le Chatelier’s principle.

            Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chatelier%27s_principle

            In the ESA case the measurement produced the anti correlation.

      • joe90 5.1.2

        Cool, thanks. More questions of course

        This bloke has a go at explaining it all.

        http://www.davidjarvis.ca/dave/entanglement/

        These pages explain quantum entanglement by way of pictures, analogies, but without math.

        To understand quantum entanglement, several ideas and words must be explained, especially the idea of a photon. The photon is a key concept in physics, and so critical to entanglement that its behaviours must be fully understood. But before delving into the details of photons, let’s take a look at the world of the tiny, beginning with waves and atoms.

  6. Jackal 6

    ACC’s corrupt specialists

    Clearly the current regime of ACC specialists declining people’s claims without justification and often contradicting existing medical assessments isn’t in the best interest of people’s rehabilitation…

  7. David H 7

    And here’s another thing for the Bene bashers to have a go at..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/7638430/Welfare-fraud-exceeds-4m-in-five-years

    But there again if you are treated like shit, and made to think you are lower than every one else, then really what do they expect? And then if you are lucky to actually get a part time job, Winz are there yet again, just to remind you that you are lower then whale shit, and tax you to the extent that it’s just not worth trying to get ahead. So if they want to stop the fraud then stop treating people like third class citizens. But as usual Puddin Benefit is not listening .

    • gobsmacked 7.1

      Some of those cases aren’t minor, though. We’re only playing Bennett’s game if we equate major organised fraudsters with people struggling on the sickness benefit. Lumping them all together in the public mind is exactly what the right are aiming for. The left shouldn’t fall into that trap.

      What the left (looking at you, Shearer) should do is talk MORE about fraud, like this …

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/115320/former-director-admits-defrauding-investors

      So, to put that into context, one “respectable” white-collar crim ripped off 5 million bucks, which is more than 200 people managed in the Stuff article linked by David H.

      The finance companies and associated scams (either failed or fraudulent) have cost thousands of Kiwis countless millions, there are people in court every week, and if we want to talk about fairness and greed, it’s all there, ready for Labour’s next Grey Power speech. If only they could see it.

  8. captain hook 8

    she too busy in her own pipe dream!

    • RedBlooded 9.1

      Hell yeah, If only I had the courage or intellect to compose something similar to my local MP Lotu-Iiga.

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Stop the press, Audrey Young makes unjustifiable assertions:

    If Maoridom were to unite behind a single and reasonable response to the Waitangi Tribunal report and the Government unreasonably ignored it, it could develop into a crisis.

    But the chances of that happening are slim to zero and the Government is banking on that.

    Yeah, no. I suspect that nationwide hui that are happening will, as a matter of fact, produce a united and reasonable response from Iwi.

    and that stupidity was followed by:

    The Government does not have a strategy of divide and rule.

    Um, Audrey, all the bene bashing that has been coming out of this government is part of their divide and rule strategy.

    I didn’t get any further than that as the ignorance she was spouting just wasn’t worth reading.

    • weka 10.1

      “Stop the press, Audrey Young makes unjustifiable assertions, again”

      fify.

      (she also wrote that crap about accommodation supplement a while back).

    • Carol 10.2

      Yes I didn’t get much further than this quote:

      The Government does not have a strategy of divide and rule.

      Because it indicated her article had NO credibility!

  10. Tim 12

    Dear Russia and/or Mr Putin,
    Please keep him.
    He was going to “challenge” you. Now he’s only going to “ask”. So no need for the knife in the side.
    But if you could see it in you – we’d rather nor see him back anyway.Perhaps a position as Syrian gauche – iator? Suit us just fine.
    Bronah’s busy weighing he options but a one bedroom flat would do.
    …..more to follow

  11. fnjckg 13

    Hard Case!

    for Putin et al, the nz FTA is seen as a pilot project (u could not make this up-pilot)

    Key-effectively “if it is what Putin wants, it will be what Putin gets” ffffftt.
    yet
    Romney-effectively “Russia is the U.S’s #1 Enemy, go figure…

    RONS-“flat lining….provincial funding” Yep! over 50 tonnes on collapsing shoulders and rising water tables

    Creative work: Hebrew ‘yosah’ -modelling from previous material, as a potter modelling clay
    and ‘bara’ sans microns/macrons-event

    ‘eres a couple a comebacks for the fasci fissures

    -mehr sein als scheinen-they will fall in love with that one
    -endogenous retroviral insertion
    -sans FOXP2 (even in the gut)

  12. NickS 14

    Holy Fucking Shit:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7414/pdf/nature11247.pdf

    I don’t have the brains (sleep debt for the win) to completely go over this, but it now appears the non-coding regions of the human genome are full of regulatory elements, regulatory elements which are actively expressed in cells at levels beyond mere basal level of expression. Sure, there’s still non-coding DNA with no damn function and various transposons and other such parasites such as LINES, SINES etc, but damn.

    Uh, basically, this makes gene expression control in eukaryotes even more interesting and potentially complex, but also explains why we see so many major issues caused by the lose of major non-coding areas of chromosomes. Especially given that these regulatory elements are interspersed through out the genome…

    Oh, and this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junk_DNA has some of the basics of gene expression, it’s not a nice simple binary process typically, but a glorious, multi-factor monster that would drive a computer programmer mental (blame evolution, elements tacked on and recruited via accident and pressed into service via selection and whole systems re purposed blindly) and turn an engineer into a gibbering husk.

    As for analogy? It’s a bit like having a mostly dark sky due to an interstellar dust cloud blocking the view, only when you develop the visual and radio astronomy tools do you find the sky is full of fucking stars. Everywhere. Even the darkest parts are full of light (r.e. the Hubble Deep Field) if you look closely and long enough.

    But now, the geneticists, cell and developmental biologists get to drive themselves nuts trying to work out just what’s going on. Me? I’ll have to ponder this until I’m mentally fit enough to go back into study and delve into it in post grad work. And damnit, from an evolutionary developmental biology perspective this is utterly glorious stuff that’s going to make things _very_ interesting in terms of understanding phenotypes and breeding barriers :3

    • RedLogix 14.1

      Is this epigenetics?

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        I was taught that all this non protein coding stuff was just “junk DNA”. That’s what really smart, yet simultaneously dumb, scientists taught the rest of us muppets for years.

        RedLogix: look up the “Central Dogma” of molecular biology. Yes, they really called it that.

        The human genome project was a have. Genes are just design blue prints. They control fuck all.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          It is also worthwhile to view HS’s defence of conventionally accepted cancer treatments, and his detraction of everything else, when absolutely NONE of those cancer treatments were designed or proved with any knowledge of epigenetics in mind. Sorta important for working with tumours, one would have thought. If those treatments work for some patients, great, but they work from the standpoint of significant ignorance.

          • NickS 14.1.1.1.1

            🙄

            Pro-tip, I’ll keep 🙄 at you if you keep abusing the term epigenetics, with cancers it’s all down to gene expression patterns and epigenetic specific issues don’t dominate anywhere near compared to ye olde random DNA mutations, inherited dodgy genes and mutagenic chemicals. At least from what I know of the science, but by all means feel free to go a hunting through the actual peer reviewed, published cancer research literature.

            As for conventional cancer treatments vs “new” ones, cancer is a fucking mosaic of causation and phenotypes, and at present, the older methods have a much broader coverage (bar the untreatable cancer types…) as they hit the basic stuff that most cancers share, rapid, uncontrolled cell growth. As gene expression profiling becomes more common in a medical settings (and _if_ iRNA tech gets anywhere) we may see more targeted approaches, but until then some of the newer biotech drugs only work for a subset of sufferers. So yes, sticking with the older, well tested treatments is not entirely irrational.

            Especially given the failure rate of new drugs and treatments in clinical trials.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Pro-tip, I’ll keep 🙄 at you if you keep abusing the term epigenetics

              Since I’m not in your narrow field, and have no need to be published by the journals representing your narrow field, I don’t have a particular need to abide by your narrow field’s narrow definition of jargon terms. Especially when the term has been defined and used in multiple other ways for 70 odd years.

              To put it another way, you don’t get to define and capture the language.

              Your statement

              with cancers it’s all down to gene expression patterns and epigenetic specific issues don’t dominate anywhere near compared to ye olde random DNA mutations, inherited dodgy genes and mutagenic chemicals.

              and

              cancer is a fucking mosaic of causation and phenotypes

              seem to directly contradict each other

              but I suppose that may be accounted for if you are using the phrase “epigenetic specific issues” in your narrow field’s particularly narrow way.

        • NickS 14.1.1.2

          Well, that was because it had no known function at the time.

          Thing is in science, until you have evidence something is X, claiming it’s X without any evidence ranges from mere conjecture, to reasoned scientific hypothesis and all the way to outright pseudoscience.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.2.1

            Thing is in science, until you have evidence something is X, claiming it’s X without any evidence ranges from mere conjecture, to reasoned scientific hypothesis and all the way to outright pseudoscience.

            So these scientists had evidence showing that those vast stretches of nucleotides were junk? Doubtful.

            Instead of saying “it’s likely that those areas of DNA are junk” why didn’t they say “it’s likely that our understanding of those areas of DNA are junk”? Scientists more willing to junk nature than to junk themselves. Imagine that.

            A whole generation of molecular geneticists have come and gone and finally the cogs of science can advance one more turn, I suppose.

            BTW one generation’s “pseudoscience” often turns out to be the next generations “scientific consensus”. DDT being harmful, artificial food colourings bad for kids etc.

            Why is that?

            • NickS 14.1.1.2.1.1

              So these scientists had evidence showing that those vast stretches of nucleotides were junk? Doubtful.

              /sigh

              I should have included a bit of history of the term, namely that it was picked up in the pop-sci press and became entrenched, but suffice to say, the null hypothesis always applies first until you have evidence it’s wrongzors.

              And yes, until recently we haven’t had the molecular biology tools to the work ENCODE has done here. Hell, 10 years ago DNA arrays weren’t readily available and took a lot of work to prepare, so western blot and similar electrophoresis gel systems were still the norm, except for very well funded labs. And so working out what genes were being expressed was rather fun and involved a hell of a lot of grunt work, and we didn’t have anywhere as much background as we do now.

              BTW one generation’s “pseudoscience” often turns out to be the next generations “scientific consensus”. DDT being harmful, artificial food colourings bad for kids etc.

              🙄

              I feel the need to cluebat you, as you haven’t bothered doing teh research on the history and critical thinking it seems on either of those. Because if you had, I wouldn’t be 🙄 at you.

              Go read up grasshopper and think.

              • Colonial Viper

                Funny how scientific arrogance (and being condescending/smarmy/superior) doesn’t seem to win many friends or influence many people.

                • Murray Olsen

                  What about the arrogance of looking stuff up on the internet and thinking you know more about it than people who have actually devoted years of their life to studying and advancing the field? How many friends does that win?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Not sure where I have been arrogant here. Perhaps arrogant in attempting to challenge the narrow outlook of a narrow academic field? Subject area experts must always expect and be prepared to respond to generalist challenge IMO. Not all can.

                    NickS uses the term “epigenetic” is a way which is very particular to his field, but does not accept that the term predates his field by decades and has other longstanding definitions.

                    I also mention various cases where the science ‘flip flopped’ (you could be kind and say “advanced”) where lay people once demonised by the professionals eventually turned out to be way ahead of the game.

                    BTW in my view physics and mathematics are the two true sciences. The third I might add is in complex systems.

                    • weka

                      “I also mention various cases where the science ‘flip flopped’ (you could be kind and say “advanced”) where lay people once demonised by the professionals eventually turned out to be way ahead of the game.”

                      What are some examples CV? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Already mentioned some. But NickS discounted them saying I didn’t know my history about them and he did.

      • NickS 14.1.2

        Epigenetics refers to non-DNA inherited changes, stuff like micro RNA’s carried over and patterns of histone and DNA methylation.

        Where as ENCODE is looking at the genome 😉

        So while there’s some epigenetic aspects involved with methylation patterns vis gene expression, this deals with genes*.
        _______________________________
        *Gene – any sequence of DNA, seriously. Type of gene depends on where the sequence is, and what the sequence is.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1

          Epigenetics refers to non-DNA inherited changes, stuff like micro RNA’s carried over and patterns of histone and DNA methylation.

          No it doesn’t.

          • NickS 14.1.2.1.1

            And who exactly here has teh experience in genetics? Right, that’s me.

            And referring to teh wiki:

            epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics. It refers to functionally relevant modifications to the genome that do not involve a change in the nucleotide sequence.

            This is the very definition from the scientific literature.

            With cancers, if it’s not mutational (random, viral, or mutagenic chemicals), it’s usually caused by chemical-induced changes in gene expression that become locked in via methylation pattern changes initially, though I’m not quite up-to-date with cancer biology vis epigenetic cancers.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1.1.1

              Ahhhh thanks. I see that “modern” science has decided to narrow the definition down severely from the 1942 introduction of the term into something convenient for research, although not something I’m confident is necessarily useful for much else.

              To quote the wiki entry more fully:

              Robin Holliday defined epigenetics as “the study of the mechanisms of temporal and spatial control of gene activity during the development of complex organisms.”[8] Thus epigenetic can be used to describe anything other than DNA sequence that influences the development of an organism.

              The modern usage of the word in scientific discourse is more narrow, referring to heritable traits (over rounds of cell division and sometimes transgenerationally) that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence.

              • NickS

                Science terminology is always refined via how it’s used in the published research 😛

                • Colonial Viper

                  Ain’t that the truth bro.

                  • RedLogix

                    Thanks guys. This topic is way out of my zone, but it’s fascinating seeing science do what it eventually does best; building new insights on what has shown to be sound and discarding what is no longer useful.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I can only really speak about physics, but most of what we follow today is an extension of what went before. Good examples of this are Special Relativity, which extended Newtonian mechanics and classical electromagnetism to higher energies, and Quantum Mechanics, the development of which was necessary to understand the radiation emitted by hot bodies at high frequencies. Most theories develop from a need to understand nature in a regime where the old ones are inadequate. In that sense, Newtonian mechanics is perfectly adequate to design a car, but would be pretty hopeless at designing a GPS system.
                      When new theories do come up, the first thing they need to do is explain something better than the old ones, or they get rejected pretty quickly. In my view they should also be testable, and tested, by experiment.
                      In other disciplines, such as chemistry and medicine, for example, the systems worked with are not generally as “clean” or “simple” as in physics, so that absolute proof or disproof of a theory can be a bit harder.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Physics and medicine are not comparable types of science. At best, medicine is an applied science which has decided that sampling statistics will largely determine what it views as true and untrue.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      (sleep debt for the win)

      Then you should probably go play games. 😈

    • NickS 15.1

      🙄

      Yeah right, given who the author is, I’d rather shove glass shards in my eyes…

      • Vicky32 15.1.1

        Yeah right, given who the author is, I’d rather shove glass shards in my eyes…

        Ignorant. You won’t read something because you don’t like the author? Seriously?
        When we lived in Welly I read him regularly. Sometimes I agreed, sometimes I didn’t – but it’s juvenile to refuse to read a column by someone because they offended you once. (That being said, I don’t agree with this particular blog entry.)

  13. Draco T Bastard 16

    An article by John Pilger where he expresses the logic that shows that liberalism is the most violent and warmongering ‘ism around.

    In Anglo-American scholarship, influential theorists known as “liberal realists” have long taught that liberal imperialists – a term they never use – are the world’s peacebrokers and crisis managers, rather than the cause of a crisis.

    They have taken the humanity out of the study of nations and congealed it with a jargon that serves warmongering power. Laying out whole nations for autopsy, they have identified “failed states” (nations difficult to exploit) and “rogue states” (nations resistant to western dominance).

    • Carol 16.1

      Well, I have always seen “liberalism” as a fairly conservative philosophy – centrist. Its focus is on the individual’s rights & responsibilities. But, as far as I’m aware, it doesn’t include much analysis of power differences or they way some groups have more power or status than others.

      US-ians refer to liberals as “left”, but that’s because several decades of reds-under-the-beds scaremongering has expunged socialism from the mainstream. Their “liberalism” promotes a (mythical) meritocracy, which is based on assumptions of a level playing field for all.

      So, it doesn’t surprise me that liberalism opens the door to violent, and other forms of, dominance, conquest and suppression, by powerful elites.

    • Jenny 16.2

      The “leftist liberal” admired by Anders Brevik.

      Racist Islamaphobe Bruce Bawer declares his dismay that Anders Brevik is a great admirer of his. Brevik favorably cited Bawer’s name no less than 22 times in his racist anti-multicultural ‘manifesto’ justifying his massacre.

      Bawer describes his anti-islamic policies as “liberal”, “leftist” even.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903999904576465801154130960.html

    • Vicky32 16.3

      Thanks, DtB – Pilger’s always good!

  14. captain hook 17

    the classic liberalism has almost become an anachronism.
    just like scientific marxism
    it is time the world developed new philosophies to cope with the degradation of the planet and overpopulation.
    just mouthing old words aint gonna do nothing.

  15. fnjckg 18

    Great work Viper and Draco
    (u know my thoughts on specialization, credentialism and hubris) Rock On!

    husk? yes; gibber? well that is in the eye of the beholder
    (dude put me off my breeze)
    there is always one, is there not

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