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Open mike 09/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 9th, 2022 - 120 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 …

120 comments on “Open mike 09/01/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Virtual reality has never pushed my buttons but I can see how it might appeal to escapist younger generations. There's even economic opportunity for young kiwis:

    Kiwi-founded Non-Fungible Labs created Fluf World – 10,000 unique 3D digital artwork bunnies based on one of the project leaders' pets – in early 2021 and has since taken the world by storm. The ‘Flufs’ are stored as tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

    The original non-fungible tokens (NFT) sold for about $4 million to users around the world. A smart contract programmed in the platform allows the Kiwi entrepreneurs to make a 5 percent cut on every transaction.

    Users have generated more than $100m worth of trading activity from buying and selling the NFTs. Its second avatar collection in December sold for $5 million in about 12 minutes.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/summer-pro-the-boomerverse-and-other-trends-in-the-metaverse

    Selling imaginary products online into the global marketplace boosts our economy without adding to global warming. Centrality chief executive and co-founder of Non Fungible Labs Aaron McDonald says

    the two key components of how the metaverse differs from how the internet has operated so far is that the metaverse allows for individual ownership of content and assets and it also merges different sectors on one platform.

    • pat 1.1

      "Selling imaginary products online into the global marketplace boosts our economy without adding to global warming. "

      Apparently not

      'So what’s not to like? Surely it’s a good thing that artists who have had a hard time earning a crust in the pandemic can get paid? It is. But there is one small snag: the technology that ensures that the NFT you’ve bought is a blockchain similar to the ones that power cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or Ethereum. And the computation needed to provide the certification that is the USP of blockchains requires massive amounts of electricity, which comes with a correspondingly heavy carbon footprint. A single transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, for example, currently requires 232.51 kWh, which is equivalent to the power consumption of an average US household over 7.86 days."

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/08/why-the-climate-wrecking-craze-for-crypto-art-really-is-beyond-satire

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        I did wonder about that angle. I've reported energy-hungry bitcoin mining here before – just didn't want to assume same applied. So we will have to include that costing into the enterprise as you imply. I'll leave it to economists to quantify the comparison with conventional business but for now best to acknowledge the Green dimension of the enterprise is more apparent than real. frown

        • pat 1.1.1.1

          I dont know how accurate his numbers are (he links to this site…https://digiconomist.net/ethereum-energy-consumption) but am sure someone will be along to correct it if invalid.

          The appeal of NFTs in general however is a complete mystery to me, (aside from those taking the commissions and a few speculators) …burning banknotes would make as much sense and at least you could boil a billy.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.1.1

            The appeal of NFTs in general however is a complete mystery to me

            The impression I get is that the system works similar to copyright. Ownership is the hook that pulls the buyers in…

            • Nic the NZer 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Not really like copyright. An NFT is digital so many copies can be appreciated without the owner even being aware. And of course there can be examples of essentially duplicate NFTs being produced and sold. Similar things happen with prints in the art world where you are essentially taking the artists word that only a limited run of prints will be sold.

          • joe90 1.1.1.1.2

            The appeal of NFTs in general however is a complete mystery to me,

            You have no ill-gotten gains?

            Let’s say Mark has $10 million in illegal profits from his scheme.

            Step 1: Buy illiquid JPEG image (with clean money)

            Step 2: Buy your own JPEG for $10M (with the illegal money)

            Step 3: Claim $10 million in clean profits! Woo Hoo!

            https://cryptowhale.medium.com/money-laundering-tutorial-how-to-launder-millions-with-nfts-7530b7079a78

    • Blazer 1.2

      Biggest con since Charles Ponzi got going.

      This guy exposes NFT and Crypto scams.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Critics haven’t been kind to Adam McKay’s eco-satire, but many climate experts are lauding it. Here four give their views: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/08/dont-look-up-four-climate-experts-on-the-polarising-disaster-film

    it’s a broadly smart satire with some zinger one-liners and in my view the film pretty successfully used the impending doom of a scientifically indisputable planet-killing comet to draw parallels to the impending doom of the climate emergency, which we’re watching play out in real time. In the film, the world has six months and 14 days to save the planet from destruction but fails to do so because short-term political gain, corporate greed, misinformation, and utter stupidity divides America.

    After 17 years of reporting on the climate crisis, I doubted at first that the film had much to tell me about the frustrations of communicating a hypothetical catastrophe. As the film’s scientists first struggled to clothe their data in sober, measured terms, then broke into swearing, arm-waving shrieks about provable imminent apocalypse, I nodded along. Yes, that’s what it feels like, and no, no one listens, not until it is too late.

    The film wastes hours hand-wringing about celebrity culture, algorithms, memes and data privacy.

    Perhaps for critics assessing the movie solely on artistic merit, but not for scientific communicators such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, who told his 14 million Twitter followers: “Everything I know about news-cycles, talk shows, social media, and politics tells me the film was instead a documentary.”

    The public seems to be siding with the movie makers. In its first 11 days, Don’t Look Up became Netflix’s third most-viewed film ever, and 250,000 people on IMDb gave the film a strong average rating of 7.3, compared with a Metacritic review of just 50%.

    Consciousness raising around global warming is always helpful so the movie is performing a public service. Not for me – I don't use Netflix. Too busy.

    [formatting added for clarity]

    • pat 2.1

      The Poms would have done it better….satire or self parody?

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        I think it needed to be done badly (to reflect the real situation).

      • Bearded Git 2.1.2

        Yes if Armando Iannucci had made it it would have been much more subtle and funnier while still making the message clear. 3/5 stars from me.

        Having said that, it was good to see the global warming message put forward in a mainstream film-it might make a few people think.

    • weka 2.2

      I added a series of ellipsis to the quote in your comment. These make it clear there are gaps in the quote, and make it easier to understand what is being said (there were some non-sequiturs when reading without the breaks) 👍

  3. Gezza 3

    Good to see on Al Jazeera tv news that the James Webb Telescope, having successfully unfolded & fully deployed its multi-layered sunshade, has now also successfully unfolded & fully deployed its primary mirror comprised of multiple hexagonal mirrors that will work together as one single optical unit.

    As someone who is intensely curious about the cosmos & has enjoyed seeing many of the fantastic images from the Hubble Telescope I look forward to the continuing success of the deployment, calibration testing, & the beginning of the many observation projects assigned to this telescope.

    The launch went so well very few course corrections have been needed, which means an extended operation time for the JWT.

    Here’s an excellent short explainer about the JWT deployment, & its upcoming work programme, that I’ve just watched, for anyone else interested.

  4. Puckish Rogue 4

    I don't know if anyones been following the US Womens Football fight for 'equal pay' but this guy has been

    Short version:

    the women should have taken the mens deal, the men should have taken the womens deal and now the women want the guaranteed pay of their deal and the performance deal of the mens

  5. Anne 5

    Looks like Novak Djokovic is going to get his come-uppance one way or another:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/novak-djokovics-unbelievably-irresponsible-behaviour-while-covid-positive-exposed/A4PZO7YSYYULP5WLN53EGPBG3I/

    What a pathetic dick of a man.

    • gsays 5.1

      And yet:

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/tennis/300492398/we-need-him-here-nick-kyrgios-continues-role-as-unlikely-novak-djokovic-ally

      “Honestly, I hope it all gets sorted as soon as possible. For the sport, we need him here, it's that simple,” Nick Kyrgios.

      "Yet he has now become one of his old foe's most unlikely and sympathetic backers, declaring that Djokovic hasn't been treated humanely and that tennis really needs its world No 1 back at the Australian Open."

      or:

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/tennis/300492366/australias-home-affairs-told-djokovic-his-travel-declaration-met-requirements-lawyers-claim

      "That letter stated Djokovic’s Australia Travel Declaration had been assessed and his responses “indicated that he met the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia where permitted by the jurisdiction of [his] arrival”."

      Unless of course this is just a matter of 'unvaxxed = bad mmkay'.

      • woodart 5.1.1

        you know the sport is a joke when one person is "needed". formula one is facing the same nonsense with "experts" claiming that lewis hamilton is "needed" to save it. rugby in aus went through the same bullshit with folau . no one person should be "needed" to save a sport. what happens if they step in front of a bus?

        • gsays 5.1.1.1

          I agree with your wider point about individuals being larger than the game.

          In the case of Folau and Djokovic, decisions are being made because lots of sticky beaks (folk with no 'skin in the game') can express howls of outrage and bring political pressure to bear. There were more than one or two teamates who shared Folau's attitude but were prudent or lacked the courage to voice them.

          • woodart 5.1.1.1.1

            or knew how to honour a written contract . folau is now playing rugby in japan and you can bet that he is well aware of what will happen if he AGAIN fails to keep his word. as novax is finding out, no one person is bigger than their chosen sport.

      • Anne 5.1.2

        "Unless of course this is just a matter of 'unvaxxed = bad mmkay'."

        Wouldn't hazard a guess what "mmkay" means but guess its a snide attack on anyone who believes the vaccination mandates are there for an excellent reason and must be upheld in the interest of all citizens.

        But the first part is absolutely correct. It is a matter of whether a person is vaccinated. If they are well and good. If they're not then off you go.

        Bye bye Djokovic.

  6. Gezza 6

    What’s going on here?

    Former senior figures have accused the Greens of jettisoning core principles as party discontent surfaces over its co-operation agreement in government.

    Ex-MPs Sue Bradford and Catherine Delahunty say the agreement makes no sense and that the party’s position in government amounts to a failure of leadership.

    Delahunty criticised her former colleagues for not pointing to an “unholy alliance between banks and the government” that accounted for record bank profits, inflated house prices and growing inequality.

    Former co-leader and current head of Greenpeace New Zealand Russel Norman has also called Green minister James Shaw’s climate position “simply not credible”.

    RNZ can reveal a number of activists have recently stepped away from the party, including former executive and policy branch members.

    They accuse co-leader Shaw of having an autocratic style and complain that the party executive is not holding the caucus and leadership to account over policy decisions in government.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/459250/green-party-discontent-members-walk-ex-mps-criticise-leadership

    Serious internal dissension, or just a Silly Season media beat up story because nothing else is happening politically while parliament is in recess?

    Or is this a media hit job on the Green Party? If so, who might’ve organised it – & who benefits? Labour would be my answer to the last question.

    • Blazer 6.1

      Valid criticism of our 'transformational Govt'-

      Delahunty criticised her former colleagues for not pointing to an “unholy alliance between banks and the government” that accounted for record bank profits, inflated house prices and growing inequality.

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      Ho hum.

    • pat 6.3

      Not sure Labour would benefit….much Green support is disenchanted previous Labour supporters id suggest.

      I imagine IF there is that level of disquiet it will result in a breakaway party or non participation

    • Robert Guyton 6.4

      Bryan Gould's comment might help with your confusion:

      BY BRYAN GOULD

      PUT ANOTHER RECORD ON

      "Help! Mercy! I had thought (or hoped) that, as we turned into the New Year, the Herald would give us a break or put another record on. But, presumably because they have nothing new to say, the Herald has begun 2022 by re-publishing the columns written last year by their reliably anti-government columnists. As the French say “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

      And, if the supply of these golden oldies runs out, they can always turn to some publicity-hungry, so-called “socialite” to regale us with her “expert” opinion on constitutional matters. Anything, it seems, is worth publishing, as long as it takes a pot-shot at the government.

      We surely have a right to expect something better from our supposedly leading daily newspaper?"

      • Gezza 6.4.1

        That would explain it if were The Herald.

        But this is RNZ, which is generally very Woke & supportive of the government.

        Could this be a signal that they are supportive of Labour, but not the Greens?

        I note most of the info is about events that happened quite some time ago. So is it a hit piece – or media massaging what’s really a non-story into something bigger in the absence of current political activity in Parliament?

        • Stephen D 6.4.1.1

          Not sure why you regard RNZ as "woke" whatever that actually means.

          • Gezza 6.4.1.1.1

            Not sure why you regard RNZ as “woke” whatever that actually means.

            Just googled the definition of woke & got back lots of articles discussing how it’s become so extensively used & misused now that it’s lost its original meaning and is falling out of favour.

            It originally meant (apart from its more obvious meaning as the past participle of wake) being aware of issues of racial & social injustice.

            Perhaps I should have used the term politically correct – with which it is now seemingly becoming confused – or merging – in everyday usage?

            And all I meant is, that whenever I listen to RNZ (e.g. Morning Report hosts like Suzy Fergusson, Corrin Dann, Guyon Espiner, or Kim Hill, Jim Mora, Kathryn Ryan, Jessie Mulligan … they all seem to me to be at the politically correct social & racial awareness Left or far Left end of the spectrum when it comes to their commentaries & interviews.

            I realise I’ve become more conservative in my outlook on some issues as I’ve got older. Perhaps it’s just me. Others might get a different impression from listening to them?

    • Herodotus 6.5

      many of those representing the Greens don't have a bio that is strongly Environmental or a history of, and that anything that they would include would seen as shallow tokenism to Climate change and the environment. But take some time to read and point out what I have missed Here are a few pointers as to a start on where to look.

      https://www.greens.org.nz/our_people

      And fro the link below from Weka, not lot "environmental". Yet that was the reason for some of us giving support but not seeing alot of action. Ad after reading David Attenborough – A life on Our plant and watching a few TV (The Age of Nature) and youtube docos not seeing a lot of gov lead response yet other countries appear to have greater commitment to the causer.

      https://thestandard.org.nz/the-green-party-list-2/

    • Dennis Frank 6.6

      Excellent review of biodiversity within the GP by that journo! smiley I especially appreciated his in-depth examination of the nuances around the various views. I decided not to renew my membership after the election due to the woke thing.

      Way I see it, Gezza, it all boils down to the old divide between purists & pragmatists. Some of the complainers are oppositional by nature – perennial protestors in their own minds (tacitly so). Funny to see Sue Bradford hitting the nail on the head explaining that politics is a numbers game while being unaware that she was thereby defeating her own argument. Voters gave Labour the numbers!

      I share the disquiet around lack of critique from the GP and suspect a culture divide between caucus & party has emerged. The caucus is more inclined to see themselves as in the tent with Labour.

      Joel, a former branch organiser and executive member, has been a party activist for 10 years and is now thinking of letting his membership lapse. RNZ has agreed not to use his real name.

      Joel said party delegates had supported the agreement in good faith, but there was now disenchantment over the party being effectively co-opted by Labour. "The idea was Marama and James would have kind of principled points of difference, and at the other MPs would basically function as an entirely separate oppositional party, against the labour Party," he said.

      Well, that idea either was or was not included in the agreement, right? If it was, the caucus are at fault in not adhering to it. If it ain't there, who's likely to see a breach of verbal contract? Get it in writing, kid! Dunno the guy so if he's actually middle-aged I apologise in advance. 🙄

      • Green 6.6.1

        Reckon you’re probably right about the GP caucus vs members divide.

        Sue Bradford seems to me to be a right old-fashioned soap box battler – & good on her for sticking to her principles on social justice issues. But I got the impression she got dumped becos her style was so in your face & uncompromising (she calls a spade a spade) she ended up irritating too many people – both inside & outside the party – so they decided to sideline her & get rid of an irritant before she cost them more votes than she gave them.

        The Greens, in government & becoming more politically aware, are losing their original passion for green issues & their original brand.

      • Gezza 6.6.2

        [Sorry Mod. Dunno where my head was at. I typed Green instead of Gezza in a comment & it’s gone into moderation. Perhaps you could just delete instead of releasing it?]

        Reckon you’re probably right about the GP caucus vs members divide.

        Sue Bradford seems to me to be a right old-fashioned soap box battler – & good on her for sticking to her principles on social justice issues. But I got the impression she got dumped becos her style was so in your face & uncompromising (she calls a spade a spade) she ended up irritating too many people – both inside & outside the party – so they decided to sideline her & get rid of an irritant before she cost them more votes than she gave them.

        The Greens, in government & becoming more politically aware, are losing their original passion for green issues & their original brand.

        • Robert Guyton 6.6.2.1

          Sue's a likeable and smart person. The party didn't "get rid of an irritant" when they selected Meteria to be their female lead, they chose, from the two, the person they believed best fitted the future direction they saw for the party. Given Sue's strength of character, you'd hardly expect her to fade away altogether and, freed from the yolk of representation, she's now and since been commenting on all manner of issues she feels strongly about, I reckon.

          • Dennis Frank 6.6.2.1.1

            I never interacted with her personally but we were in the same working group co-designing what eventually became the GP after the Gaia Conference in '89.

            Everyone has the right of free speech & I'm not inclined to discourage using it, but I did wonder (again) what part of retirement her & Catherine don't yet understand. It's the second time those two have attempted to insert a metaphorical stick between the spokes of the metaphorical bike the younger generation leaders of the GP are riding in tandem.

            Seems rather uncool of them really. Ageist, even. devil

          • Gezza 6.6.2.1.2

            I note Sue wasn’t on the Green Party List for the 2020 election.

            Is that because she no longer puts her name forward or because the party decided to limit themselves to 24 candidates & the others all came in ahead of Sue?

            https://www.greens.org.nz/green_party_unveils_its_candidate_list_for_the_2020_election

            • Gezza 6.6.2.1.2.1

              Oh. Never mind, Robert. I see she actually left the Green Party in 2011. I’d forgotten.

              Anti-poverty activist Sue Bradford has revealed she left the Green Party over what she saw as its shift toward right wing politics. Ms Bradford resigned as a Green MP in September 2009, months after missing out on party’s co-leadership to Metiria Turei.

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/green-party-abandoned-principles-bradford/3DY6XEE67KI4NR5NHXT6BHZ37A/

              • Dennis Frank

                Greens, in terms of identity politics, have usually identified more strongly with the global Green movement than any party that happens to form to attempt representing it in national politics.

                That's always been the case from my generational perspective. The tendency to conflate the two is comprehensible if one considers that it is normally done by folks who don't belong in either category. Sue's critique emerges from this double context just like mine does, naturally. We aren't members, currently, but the option of rejoining is available in our minds.

  7. A comment on another blog site goes some way to explain why discussions here have been a little tetchy at times:

    Anti-mandaters exude “A sense of righteous zeal that makes them feel that they are at war, and so justified in the most extreme actions. They can harass, they can abuse, they can spread half-truths in the name of their holy mission. They believe they are doing this for the rest of us, fighting an injustice that nobody else can see.”

    The Daily Blog.

    • gsays 7.1

      Any objective view of the 'discussions' here, can point to "righteous zeal", "They can harass, they can abuse," on both sides of the topic.

      Pro plaguers, freedumb, anti-vax (a lazy epiphet often applied to anyone who questions the official narrative) were some of the more common labels tossed about.

      Before the mandates started and coercion of medical treatment was legitimised, the level of opprobrium was definitely one sided 'round these parts.

      It is only recently that more and more people are asking questions. About the framing of statistics (a broken leg that happens to have Covid is a 'hospitalised' statistic), vaccine efficacy – the initial two jabs giving 90 odd% coverage to this new booster regime. Which the state is urging us to take up at a rate not recommended by Pfizer 3months not 6months.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      I believe I understand what you are saying/feeling, Tony, having experienced this first-hand in our local community. The "sense of righteousness" developed in the background – in their lounges and cafes where they met to support each others positions, well before any similar attitudes formed in the vax-willing population. That "mission-zeal" was rapidly shared across social media, initially through Facebook but that's long been abandoned as a forum but those folk (the younger ones, in any case) for other platforms (Telegram, etc…)

    • mauī 7.3

      Probably a good idea to think of the teachers, midwives, health professionals, fire fighters who have given years, sometimes decades of service to the New Zealand public and lost their careers over this very issue, and then ask yourself if you're on the right side.

    • pat 7.4

      A thought…..if this were a dispute over religious interpretation what would your position be?

      Would we determine that say Protestants had the wrong interpretation and that only Catholics should be employed?…I think the Northern Irish did the reverse and were condemned for it.

      It appears to me that the risk posed by the very small proportion of unvaccinated (not all anti vaccers) is greatly overshadowed by the disproportionate penalty….life carries risk, and none of us get out alive.

  8. Stephen D 8

    Another interesting read about world wide house price rises. A lot of it applicable to Aotearoa.

    https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/how-long-can-the-global-housing-boom-last/21807002

  9. Bill 9

    Ugh. Project Fear just keeps arollin'…

    More than 150,000 people have died in the UK from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic…

    two sentences later

    …bringing the pandemic total to 150,057 people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid.

    Anyone else utterly sick and tired of this bullshit?

    Might almost think the goal was – oh, I dunno – having everyone hooked into a vaccine passport say, and then incrementally bolting on an ever expanding framework of reference that would enable ever more intrusive and immediate forms of social control at the personal level…Nah.

    That only happens in the like of the joint venture between Alipay and Pfizer in China.

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      "Anyone else utterly sick and tired of this bullshit?"

      Why are you seeking it out and exposing yourself to it?

      If you've already established, in your own mind, that such reporting is bullshit, why not move on to seeking out and proposing, solutions?

      • gsays 9.1.1

        Without wanting to speak for Bill, I, for one, am grateful to have this 'anomaly' pointed out.

        Dying from Covid and dying a month after testing positive are two different things.

        To ignore or dismiss this, is cognitive dissonance popularly attributed to them anti-vaxxers.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          pretty major conspiracy that all the health systems in the world, those governments and statistical departments, are plotting to usher in a new age of control and authoritarianism.

          Otoh, if this is the UK alone, then obviously it's already in a process of shifting to an authoritarian state, and that was/is happening independent of covid.

          I've commented below on the 28 day thing. I agree it does need explaining. I just don't think we're going to get that explanation via a conspiracy theory.

          • gsays 9.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for your explanation of the 28 day thing. Less, necessarily global conspiracy, more careful, deliberate language that leaves an impression.

            Very effective nowadays when headlines or bylines are all that's read, the Twittersphere influence by using short, snappy often binary framings, diminished attention spans and the tribal nature the vaccines, mandates and passports nurture.

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.1

              My guess is that the confusion about death numbers results from a combination of these:

              • health systems use reporting processes designed for health systems, not the general public
              • there's some government jiggery pokery eg in the UK
              • it's an acute ongoing crisis, there hasn't been time to stop and sort out the messaging
              • people sharing rumours about this on social and alt media
              • people using those rumours to run conspiracy theories on social and alt media
              • MSM sensationalising
              • everyone is tired and burned out
              • Pete

                The best thing of course is to have not put out numbers. All the way along.

                A bit disconcerting then for the True Blue 100% whingers. Their call would have been "Secrecy!! We deserve to have the numbers!!"

                They get the numbers and they scream, "Scare mongering!" Or the media doesn't highlight the numbers and they say, "The Government's manipulating, the media is in cahoots playing things down!"

                And naturally when there are numbers you're always going to get those whose familiarity and comfort with numbers has them struggling with 3+2.

              • gsays

                I would add to your bullet points from a view from the other side of the bridge

                *plenty of folk have lost their jobs

                *lots of us are trying to repair fissures in families and trying to stop new ones forming

                • weka

                  those things affect how death numbers are discussed?

                  (what's the other side of the bridge?)

                  • gsays

                    The lenses through which these numbers are viewed.

                    The bridge refers to the gap between thars with passports and thars without.

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Less, necessarily global conspiracy, more careful, deliberate language that leaves an impression.

              Or in the case of this subthread, both.

        • joe90 9.1.1.2

          People who've lived for years with their comorbidities test positive for Covid.

          That they then die within the month has nothing to do with their Covid infection, right?

          • weka 9.1.1.2.1

            I think the concern is that people with positive tests die from something else within 28 days. It's not explained though, it's just this rumour on the internet.

          • gsays 9.1.1.2.2

            "That they then die within the month has nothing to do with their Covid infection, right?"

            Who knows? Most importantly it is recorded, reported and attributed to Covid.

            • weka 9.1.1.2.2.1

              Do you really believe that there is widespread fraud going on in most countries reporting covid deaths?

              • gsays

                Sorry weka, I have been outside, laying up compost and brewing up biochar.

                I feel the phrasing has been chosen very deliberately.

                When the strategy became popping all the eggs in the pfizer basket, a narrative that reinforced the fear created by the virus was prudent. Doubly so, now that the response to the virus is a political one rather than a health one. tThe caution is very important now that a line has been stepped over with the mandates and passports.

                As we have seen, a lot of the victims of the coercion were towards the bottom of the heap- young, poorly paid, largely powerlesss.

                When the new licences were introduced, we were assured they would not be used for ID purposes… Sure, what businesses did after the licences were introduced has nothing to do with the state. Potentially the same with these passports/mandates. My previous employer could not say that once I was vaccinated they couldn't rule out requiring annual flu jabs nor boosters.

                • weka

                  making biochar is an infinitely better activity than arguing on the internet 👍

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  That govts (Tories in the UK, Republicans/Democrats in the US, and centre-right parties in Brazil) would inflate the number of Covid dead make no sense to me – that'd make them look even more incompetent.

                  Mortality estimates based on excess death analyses suggest the true pandemic death toll is at least double the reported 5.5 million figure.

                  Why excess deaths have varied so greatly around the world during the pandemic [10Dec. 2021]
                  As you might expect, having many COVID deaths was linked to increased excess mortality. However, collectively across the 79 countries examined, excess deaths in 2020 were more than double the total officially registered as COVID fatalities (3.7 million to 1.5 million).

                  Some of that will be due to under-reporting, some due to compromised health services, and there will be other contributing factors. Otoh, a decreased number of deaths from other communicable diseases has likely contributed to NZ's negligible excess death estimates.

                  Whatever the true pandemic death toll, good data is important, now and in the future.

                  Covid 19: A strong pandemic response relies on good data [4 Nov. 2021]
                  Will vaccine passports help, or are they a technological distraction from efforts to achieve global vaccination (doi:10.1136/bmj.n2571)? What more should we do to encourage vaccine uptake during pregnancy (doi:10.1136/bmj.n2377)? And how good are the data on deaths from covid? Before the pandemic, an estimated 40% of deaths worldwide were not registered, with under-reporting most marked in low income and fragile settings (doi:10.1136/bmj.n2239). The pandemic is unlikely to have made this better. Why does it matter? Because death numbers are the basis for evaluating the progress of the pandemic and the effectiveness of public health interventions. They are the basis for weighing up complex trade-offs in efforts to control transmission and for holding governments to account. And they are what drives allocation of resources, including vaccines, on the basis of accurate estimates of the global burden of disease.

                  If we are to achieve a scientifically robust and globally equitable response to the pandemic we must invest in good data.

        • Shanreagh 9.1.1.3

          They could have in fact died of Covid, or the effects of it ie lung problems, kidney problems.

          On both the Sorry anti vaxxer and Hermann Cain sites there are instances where a person who seemed to be doing well after getting Covid suddenly dies. Covid passes from the body but leaves such ill effects as ARDs, lung weaknesses. Many leave the hospital with oxygen bottles. I have no problems counting such in with the Covid deaths. As after all the illness or disability they left the hospital with was a direct result of getting Covid. As people have mentioned there is Long Covid and people may die from this……well after 28 days.

        • McFlock 9.1.1.4

          Dying from Covid and dying a month after testing positive are two different things.

          95% of the time, no they're not, really. Or at least the covid was related enough to mention on the individual's death certificate.

          I suspect, now that testing is largely systematic and the scaling problems have been worked through, that the 28 day measure is actually still a bit of an undercount – albeit good enough for government work. If you look at table 1 of my link, 95% of deaths <29 days after a test still had covid19 on the death certificate, but they were only 88% of deaths with covid on the certificate. Even at 60 days, 30% of the deaths had covid on the death certificate.

          The happy fact is that very few of us have our lives threatened multiple times by completely unrelated factors within a month, even in the UK.

    • weka 9.2

      A UK doctor's explanation on the BMJ website, Feb 2021

      According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the total number of deaths with covid-19 recorded on the death certificate in England and Wales has now passed 100 000.1 The government’s daily press releases, however, report “deaths within 28 days of a positive test result”—a definition repeated faithfully by broadcast and print journalists and on social media.2 This approach probably under-recognises the real number of deaths from covid-19 by around 20%.3

      Having two parallel reporting methods is unfortunate as it plays into the “What are they not telling us?” narrative of covid denialists, conspiracy theorists, and lockdown sceptics.4

      ONS data are based on what doctors responsible for a patient in their final illness write on the death certificate to the “best of [their] knowledge and belief,” and they do not take into account how recently the deceased had had a positive covid-19 test result.5 I would advise anyone therefore to trust ONS data above the government’s reporting tool. In 90% of certificates where covid-19 is recorded, it does so in part 1 as the cause contributing directly to death.6 The Nuffield Trust has issued a similar note of caution about covid-19 death statistics.7

      https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n352

      Inference there, and I've seen this said before, is that the UK government wanted to under report deaths for political reasons, so they started using the 28 day thing.

      Here's the UK ONS website page, I did a quick search but couldn't find the total number of deaths easily. They do update regularly,

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19latestinsights/deaths

      In addition, the total number of deaths in the UK relative to pre-covid is shown, which is another way of looking at how many covid deaths there might be. Same ONS page I think.

        • Bill 9.2.1.1

          The first link you provide underscores the contention that deaths from Covid are being promoted over deaths with Covid, and by extension, over death from any other cause.

          The new coronavirus strain (COVID-19) should be recorded on the medical cause of death certificate for ALL decedents where the disease caused, or is assumed to have caused, or contributed to death.

          [….]

          ….the immediate recommendation is to record COVID-19 in Part I of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

          [….]

          Existing conditions, especially those which are chronic in nature, that may have also contributed to death should be certified in Part II of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Chronic conditions may include but are not limited to: coronary artery disease, COPD, diabetes, cancer or disabilities

          • weka 9.2.1.1.1

            Please explain how. Because what I see is them saying record it as a covid death where covid was a direct contributory factor to the death.

            Are you suggesting they only record deaths where covid is the sole factor?

            • Bill 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I'm saying a distinction ought to be made where Covid was merely present at the time of death, and where Covid was the cause of death.

              In the US, there were 800 000 deaths attributed to Covid. 95% of that 800 000 had serious co-morbidities (an average of 4 per person), any number of which could have been the principal cause of death.

              As reporting is being done now, I could have late stage cancer, catch a cold and die, and I would be reported as having died of the cold. ie, cold being in part one of the certificate and cancer in part two.

              I'm going to go out on a limb and pick that's not how cancer fatalities are generally tallied, on the basis that many cancer patients likely die from secondary infection, and it would be absurd to elevate those secondary infections to prominence in official stats or on death certificates. (Except, for whatever mysterious reason, when we're talking Covid)

      • Poission 9.2.2

        Heres the Uk stats for excess mortality (click on the weekly stats then left hand all persons)

        Covid numbers mentioned on death statistics fits the excess deaths nicely (cusum)

        https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/excess-mortality-in-england-weekly-reports

        • weka 9.2.2.1

          ta. Still doesn't tell me the total number of deaths in the UK since the pandemic started. Can't find it on ONS either. And I'm wondering why, not conspiratorially just that I find it odd and I’m curious.

      • Bill 9.2.3

        Inference there, and I've seen this said before, is that the UK government wanted to under report deaths for political reasons, so they started using the 28 day thing.

        Not following that at all. If death within 28 days of +ve test result is counted as a Covid death, then how can that possibly lower the tally? It's counting in all deaths and assuming Covid is the cause of death.

        e.g. Colin Powell is just one rather prominent example of being reported as having died because of Covid, yet suffering from an advanced morbidity (or two?).

        The ridiculous reported instance of this happening in NZ was the Aucklander shot in his driveway who tested + ve and so was initially tallied as a Covid death as per WHO guidelines that NZ was following.

        • weka 9.2.3.1

          Speaking of WHO guidelines,

          A death due to COVID-19 is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness, in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID disease (e.g. trauma). There should be no period of complete recovery from COVID-19 between illness and death.

          A death due to COVID-19 may not be attributed to another disease (e.g. cancer) and should be
          counted independently of preexisting conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of COVID-19.

          https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/Guidelines_Cause_of_Death_COVID-19.pdf

          It's pretty clear there that they're saying don't count non-covid deaths as covid.

          The ridiculous reported instance of this happening in NZ was the Aucklander shot in his driveway who tested + ve and so was initially tallied as a Covid death as per WHO guidelines that NZ was following.

          Really? So it was a mistake that was rectified? Sounds like the system working.

          Not following that at all. If death within 28 days of +ve test result is counted as a Covid death, then how can that possibly lower the tally? It's counting in all deaths and assuming Covid is the cause of death.

          I'd like to see some evidence of that last sentence.

          • Bill 9.2.3.1.1

            It's pretty clear there that they're saying don't count non-covid deaths as covid.

            Actually, the precise opposite if you read it carefully." …unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID disease", then the cause of death is Covid.

            I'd like to see some evidence of that last sentence.

            If death within 28 days of a +ve test is recorded as a Covid death, then obviously deaths from other causes where a +ve Covid test was recorded within 28 days of death are relegated/dismissed, and the cause is death is attributed to Covid..

            I don't even begin to fathom your apparent confusion.

            The Auckland shooting wasn't a mistake. A gun death was initially recorded as a Covid death. The government, via Bloomfield, only rowed back in the face of the overwhelming absurdity being held up for them to explain. Hardly "the system working".

          • McFlock 9.2.3.1.2

            Counting the number of X that occurred in period Y after criteria Z were met is a perfectly normal public health measure, e.g. for deaths occurring during or related to a surgical procedure (although NZ's perioperative mortality review committee uses a 90-day period, rather than wikipedia's 30 day period). They're both an odometer for how we're doing and an indicator of what we might be missing (especially in conjunction with other measures, like excess death), but they're not meant to be exact. They are designed to be close enough to make policy decisions on, not perfect.

            PHE chose 28 days under original-brand covid because that's when their auditing of records showed 95% of deaths had covid on the death certificate, and 88% of deaths occurred. So it's near enough, and reasonably precise. Initially they went out to 60 days in order to ensure they were getting the bulk of covid causes (because covid was new and unknown). That picked up too many unrelated deaths so they tightened it up – but then the 60 day mark was in the early days of the pandemic, when testing wasn't done so routinely, so could still be an undercount.

            If long covid can contribute to deaths months down the line, the basic public health measure could well undercount not overcount. But that's not the point, either.

            UK has ~150k deaths from covid, and growing each day. Does it matter to a govt or administrator if the true value is 135,555 deaths, or 168,907? No. It's the ballpark that dictates policy.

            Unless the "with not from" crowd can come up with another cause of death that results in the inflated number of excess deaths in all countries that had massive numbers of "with not from" covid deaths, that duck quacks like covid.

            And no, it's not the vaccines, because NZ is highly vaccinated with fuckall covid and has an embarrassingly low death toll compared to previous years.

            • weka 9.2.3.1.2.1

              thanks. I'll reread that when my brain is functioning better, but in the meantime can I assume this means,

              • the UK government didn't monkey wrench the stats for its own purposes
              • they are including deaths for other reasons than covid, but for people with covid positive test
              • it doesn't matter that the data gathering isn't tight, because a) it tells PHE other things in addition to hard death numbers and b) for public health purposes, close enough is near enough.

              That middle one is the cruncher.

              • McFlock

                They are also excluding deaths from covid.

                Table 1 shows the shift from a 60 day threshold to 28 days moved the covid-involved proportion of all deaths from 90% (i.e. 10% not mentioning covid on the death certificate) to 95% (5% not having covid mentioned on the death certificate). The cost of being that specific was not counting 2,000-odd deaths that did include covid on the death certificate.

                All population statistics are approximations, and frequently involve tradeoffs between resources, precision, and delivering the results in a useful timeframe. Even if we conducted a census every night instead of every 5 years, the numbers would still be off. But that doesn't mean population statistics aren't usefully accurate.

            • Macro 9.2.3.1.2.2

              yes

        • weka 9.2.3.2

          Re the man shot in the driveway,

          Hart is included in New Zealand's Covid-19 figures because of a change in the way the Ministry of Health reports on deaths.

          "The clinical criteria will continue to be guided by WHO definition which is basically to report any death where the person had an acute Covid-19 infection regardless of what the cause of death might be," Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told RNZ.

          "We will be now publicly reporting confirmed deaths as those where the death documents or an investigation has shown that the cause was Covid-19 and we will report other deaths where the cause of death is not certain but the person has Covid-19.

          "We will report them separately, and the latter group will be classified as 'under investigation' while we await further information from clinicians or a coroner's follow up."

          https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/11/11/new-lynn-shooting-victim-was-positive-for-covid-19/

          That is coherent and logical. It also strikes me as an example of the difference in reporting for public health purposes vs reporting for the public. MoH will want to follow WHO guidelines (for obvious reasons of standardisation).

          My reading of the above is that where it's unclear what the cause of death is, they can't discard the death from the count. Did Hart die because he had covid and couldn't survive what was otherwise a survivable wound? Or did he die of the gun shot and covid made no difference? Or both? The coroner will decide.

          • Bill 9.2.3.2.1

            That is coherent and logical

            Maybe. But clearly neither "coherent" nor "logical" before the change in approach they speak of. "We will now… " blah blah clearly indicates that what they will do 'now' (as from that date/highlighted incident) was not what they were doing previously.

  10. Poission 10

    when you click on all persons on the new screes upper lefthand side purple box with cusum

  11. Herodotus 11

    During the Christmas break I came across a 2009 NZ Geo mag with this article regarding the history into protecting Manapouri & Te Anau from being dammed, and how the Tawai/Comalco smelter has continually played all NZ governments. For all those out there I recommend this to understand the history and some amazing people, and to understand what went before regarding protecting the environment !!!!

    https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/manapouri-damning-the-dam/

  12. joe90 12

    The most barking obit you'll read this year. Or next…

    Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff, Twins in an Uneasy Spotlight, Die at 72

    In France they were science-loving TV celebrities (molded by plastic surgery) whose own research was suspect, maybe a hoax. They died within days of each other.

    https://archive.li/dhb0L (nyt)

  13. Koff 13

    The tropical low that Scud mentioned near Darwin on 24th December (9.1.1), eventually drifted south east, developed into Cyclone Seth on the Queensland coast and then passed right over our boat (where we live) as a low in Sandy Strait 200 km north of Brisbane, dropping immense amounts of rain and wind. We are worried about an 88 year old friend in the Mary River who went to rescue his boat today in the floods at Maryborough. Typically, despite the fact that the rain event has been descibed as "once in a lifetime" by local media, climate change has not yet been mentioned. Cop26 only just over a month ago and almost forgotten!

    • Anne 13.1

      …climate change has not yet been mentioned. Cop26 only just over a month ago and almost forgotten!

      Yep. Its the same situation in NZ. At best, when there is a major weather event CC is only obliquely mentioned. Its almost as if there's an unspoken agreement among governments to avoid specifying direct links to CC in order to keep the masses from understanding the urgency to do something. I mean… its the next few generations who are going to cop it – not so much us – so let us let sleeping dogs lie. We'll be dead and gone by then. 😡

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