We should have a chat about Artificial Intelligence

Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, April 2nd, 2023 - 36 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, employment, tech industry, uncategorized, unemployment, workers' rights - Tags:

As we adjust to the advent of civilisation threatening climate change there is a new threat that is emerging, the unregulated development of artificial intelligence.

Chat GPT has upended the development of Artificial Intelligence and has left its larger more resourced competitors such as Google languishing.

Suddenly there is this ability to generate superficially coherent prose.  As an example I used it to write a history of the Standard which was incorrect in parts but not bad for something that took milliseconds to generate.  The program is in development and I am confident that with further iterations its performance will improve.

But the worry is that the improvement is happening too quickly.

This week the Council of Trade Unions stated that the latest release of Chat GPT is a “wakeup call“, and that regulation is needed to make sure workers do not get a raw deal.

The implications are clear.  As Artificial Intelligence evolves more and more jobs will be lost as the need to perform work will be lessened.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.  I am sure we would all relish working less.

But the problem is that it appears almost inevitable that the result will be the increase of wealth for the few and greater poverty for the many.

And Chat GPT already has the ability to write code.  These may be simple snippets for basic coding but what happens when it can revise and rewrite its own code?  How will it develop when it becomes self aware?

This raises the prospect of requiring Isaac Asimov’s three laws to be hard coded into all AI programs including Chat GPT.

The laws state:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2.  robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The problem is that there is no ability to require developers to insert these requirements.

The CTU’s request has some unusual supporters.  Eion Musk, Steve Wozniak and a group of other prominent computer scientists and other tech industry notables who this week released a joint letter calling for a hiatus of development of Artificial Intelligence.  From AP News:

The letter warns that AI systems with “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity” — from flooding the internet with disinformation and automating away jobs to more catastrophic future risks out of the realms of science fiction.

It says “recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

“We call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” the letter says. “This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

Governments are busily trying to work out what to do.  The problem is that the situation is changing that quickly that our leaders may be too late.

There was a fascinating interview yesterday on Radio New Zealand between Kim Hill and Brian Christian, author of the book The Alignment Problem.

His analysis is complex but he is essentially calling for AI to be much more transparent so that we can understand how it makes decisions.  Otherwise we may be allowing decisions to be made which enforces discrimination on the basis of race or sex without our knowledge.

Hopefully this issue can be addressed properly before AI becomes self aware.  Otherwise we may be in for an interesting time.

36 comments on “We should have a chat about Artificial Intelligence ”

  1. joe90 1

    Great, another Oppenheimer.

    The ChatGPT King Isn’t Worried, but He Knows You Might Be

    Sam Altman sees the pros and cons of totally changing the world as we know it. And if he does make human intelligence useless, he has a plan to fix it.

    […]

    This past week, more than a thousand A.I. experts and tech leaders called on OpenAI and other companies to pause their work on systems like ChatGPT, saying they present “profound risks to society and humanity.”

    And yet, when people act as if Mr. Altman has nearly realized his long-held vision, he pushes back.

    “The hype over these systems — even if everything we hope for is right long term — is totally out of control for the short term,” he told me on a recent afternoon. There is time, he said, to better understand how these systems will ultimately change the world.

    […]

    To spend time with Mr. Altman is to understand that Silicon Valley will push this technology forward even though it is not quite sure what the implications will be. At one point during our dinner in 2019, he paraphrased Robert Oppenheimer, the leader of the Manhattan Project, who believed the atomic bomb was an inevitability of scientific progress. “Technology happens because it is possible,” he said. (Mr. Altman pointed out that, as fate would have it, he and Oppenheimer share a birthday.)

    He believes that artificial intelligence will happen one way or another, that it will do wonderful things that even he can’t yet imagine and that we can find ways of tempering the harm it may cause.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/31/technology/sam-altman-open-ai-chatgpt.html

    https://archive.li/yg3Gz

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      Little story:

      Oppenheimer met Harry S Truman in October 1945 and it did not go well. Oppenheimer famously told Truman that "I feel I have blood on my hands". Truman immediately replied that that was no concern of Oppenheimer's, and that if anyone had bloody hands, it was the president.

      After the meeting Truman told told David Lillenthal that he was solely responsible for dropping the bomb and that "never wanted to see that son of a bitch in this office again".

  2. Bearded Git 2

    Personally I am highly skeptical AI is a threat to jobs.

    Chat GPT appears to be a very clever programme that that can pull info together from all over the web into "superficially coherent prose" as you describe it rather well Micky.

    But AI is not capable of logic, innovation or coherent argument based on constantly evolving events and knowledge in the real world. This is why we need humans.

    So-called AI (I dispute the use of the term intelligence) may well get better and better as Chat GPT and other programmes develop. This is going to be an issue for the universities, for instance, where it may become impossible to tell if a thesis has been written by Chat GPT or the student. (This may well already be a problem)

    But it will never be a substitute for the human brain in real life situations.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1

      But it will never be a substitute for the human brain in real life situations.

      Perhaps not ChatGPT (Feed me!), and perhaps not tomorrow – but never say “never“.

      Do A.I.-powered 'agents' have to answer 'truthfully' when asked if they're human?

    • Aph 2.2

      Even if you are correct, and AI isn't able to outright replace jobs (which I think is shortsighted), if AI is able to increase the productivity of a worker by 100% a conservative number for many jobs, if demand remains the same then that means the business only needs half as many workers.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      That is quite a list. Trust you are well.

    • Tony Veitch 3.2

      I knew it, Erica Stanford was onto it far quicker than any of us: she intends to use ChatGPT to write an entirely new curriculum for schools in only 2 weeks!

      Aren't these Natz marvellous! /s

  3. Incognito 4

    I’d say that AI is (already) self-referential, by design. This might not be the same as being self-aware. Douglas Hofstadter wrote a fascinating book on this topic entitled I Am a Strange Loop (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_a_Strange_Loop). One would think that self-awareness is associated with self-interest and self-serving actions/behaviour but one ‘drawback’ of those AI chatbots is that they lack intention and purpose and they are not conscious or sentient in the classical sense. I think the ‘intelligence’ of chatbots is absurdly over-rated and their IQ are very low (although they might do very well on IQ tests). My car, for example, has more ‘personality’ than my PC yet I spend many more hours on my PC than in my car. When things go awry I do tend to swear at both of them [not at the same time], so go figure. BTW, do I need to say “please” and “thank you” when using chatbots and do I have to ask how they’re doing?

  4. Belladonna 5

    There is little that 'we' (as in NZ) or our government can do about the development of AI.
    It's all happening overseas in jurisdictions over which we have no control.

    And, while we can consider the impact that it may have on employment – why should white-collar classes be any more exempt from the march of technology than blue-collar makers of buggy whips.

    Perhaps we'll have an upending of society where the hands-on craftsmen and women have jobs (no replacement for hairdressers and barbers) while the journalists, marketers and lawyers are rapidly retraining.

    There is zero change chat any of Asimov's hopes for 'laws of robotics' could be coded in any meaningful way. If AI takes over, we'd just better hope that it's positively disposed to humanity.

  5. Stuart Munro 6

    Well Chat GPT could certainly do the work of many self-styled journalists – and Hosking to boot.

    But the Turing test is a pretty low bar really, and the Chinese Rooms similarly lacks intention.

    The psychopathic intelligence of popular fiction – Skynet, Hal, the Borg etc, are really thinly disguised humans. Poorly socialized and lacking empathy, but otherwise humans.

    Nevertheless, pathological market forces will continue to erode the living standards of working people. Had we a Labour government, we might expect some protection from such threats. No such luck. Thus far they cannot even respond intelligently to cows nitrifying our acquifers – much less AGW.

    By the time the last of genus homo shambles off this mortal coil, and it will be soon, Intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic will seem like a distinct improvement.

  6. Ad 7

    Ask GPT4 to name 20 jobs it could replace, and it's an interesting start:

    Image

    • Belladonna 7.1

      The only one I'd really quibble over is translator. Word-for-word, yes; but real translating requires retaining the 'flavour' of the original, while translating the sense of the words. It's not easy.

      The triumph for me was always Anthea Bell – the not-as-famous-as-she-should-be translator of the wonderful Asterix series of graphic novels. Very few of the words are directly translated – but the sense is retained, and the puns and wordplay only work in their own languages.

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        ChatGPT does not translate word-by-word and it is not Shift+F7 (Thesaurus). It is a Language Model that is trained on [loads of] text and it looks for patterns and predicts the next word and so on. The training sets included multiple languages hence it can do translation (very) well.

        • In Vino 7.1.1.1

          I agree with Belladonna , and very much doubt that any AI is anywhere near doing the brilliant Asterix translations, where so many of the plays on words, the jokes, and the comic references in names are so very different from the French original, yet are of equal quality. I suspect that AI will take some time to gain such oversight.

          When it does, we will indeed have a great deal to fear.

          • Incognito 7.1.1.1.1

            Put GPT-4.0 to the test and let us know what you think then.

            • In Vino 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I do not have the time to feed in a whole French text with pictures. So I will not be able to judge the oversight shown..

              It is a bit like asking me to feed in a whole Dickens novel, and asking me if the AI French version is of equal quality.

              Short texts would be a different matter

  7. Ad 8

    Imagine a world where GPT's descendants essentially ruin social media by ensuring that it is viewed as utterly corrupted and without any redemptive capacity to see real humanity on it ever again. Far more people would repudiate social media altogether, and return back to a much smaller circle of communicative trust.

    That ruination of Twitter, 8 Chan, Weibo, TikTok, Tencent QQ, Telegraph etc would do the job that open societies such as the United States have failed to do namely to successfully regulate social media as a publisher or media company like any other.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Yes. JP pointed to this issue a while back – what happens when AI is so pervasive that literally nothing we encounter online can be trusted? It would be the death of the internet and indeed all communications; as you say we would have to very quickly revert to purely face to face interactions only. This alone would be incredibly disruptive, before we consider unconstrained job destruction and warfighting catastrophies.

      Vernor Vinge anticipated something of this back in the 90's with some of his novels where he named the galactic version as the Net of a Billion Lies.

      I have not watched all of this, but Stephen Wolfram is one of the more influential mathematical minds alive:

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Very helpful expert interview with the actual ChatGPT inventor.

        Note it's a hour long so buckle up and open the chips.

  8. Ad 9

    If we've got orders in, as well as replacing conveyancing law and most accountancy practices, I'd put an order in for a ChatBot that could replicate a dairy farm dog.

    We like most industrialised countries are going through an intense shortage of skilled workers. We have a declining workforce, and an urgent need to boost productivity.

    In a bid to spruce up production lines that can churn out higher-value goods, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information released the Robotics-plus Application plan last month. It had a clear target: double the industrial sector’s robot density by 2025, from 246 per 10,000 workers in 2020. The blueprint recommends widening the use of machines into areas like hydropower stations, wind farms and critical electricity systems.

    China can do it, so can we.

    I'd also like to put an order in for robots who can harvest grapes at the right time, robots who then process them, robots who control the vats to a perfect market-focused flavour and sweetness and acidity level, then robots who bottle and label and pack them. In that list only the vat 'winemaking' processes aren't common already.

    We have nothing to lose but drudgery.

  9. tsmithfield 10

    My son is manager of an online training school.

    He said that one pupil had got way behind on assignments, and then suddenly submitted six very high quality assignments. My son was a bit suspicious. So, he fed the content into ChatGPT and asked if ChatGPT had written them. The answer came back that Chat GPT had written all of them.

    Then, as a confirmation he fed in other high quality material he knew hadn't been written by ChatGPT, and asked the same question. When it hadn't been written by ChatGPT, the answer from ChatGPT was that ChatGPT may have written the content, but not definitely saying it had written it.

    So, my son failed all six assignments.

    • Ad 10.1

      A nice solid threat to a lot of teaching, and pedagogy within it.

      Your son is doing what millions will do within months: self regulate.

    • Incognito 10.2

      Ghost writing of assignments has been around for yonks, which you would know if you had gone to uni. ChatGPT is just an extension of that. And there have been products such as Turnitin, to help keep academics and wannabe-academics on the straight and narrow: https://www.turnitin.com/solutions/ai-writing

      • Ad 10.2.1

        I have certainly gone to university, and it has been a threat to both lecturing and research there.

        But this is a substantial step upwards on that threat and extends to all levels of writing from students.

  10. tsmithfield 11

    Several general comments about AI.

    Firstly, AI tends to be isolated to the scope of problems it is programmed to solve. For instance, chess programs can now beat grand masters at chess. But they can't solve the inner workings of a black hole. So long as AI can't expand beyond the limits to which it has been programmed, then humans are still in control. But, if AI is able to organically expand into areas beyond its programmed scope, then I think we have problems.

    Secondly, I have thought about what it would take to know whether a computer program had become conscious. I think the test for that would be if the computer starts describing what it sees or hears. For instance, if a computer camera is recording while you type and the program says to the user that it likes the green top the user is wearing, or something like that, then I think it would be a strong indicator that it had become sentient.

    That is because being conscious is more than just having signals through the optical nerve activating the vision centre of the brain in vision. It is the part of us that views those visual activations as if it were someone watching a movie. So, if a computer starts expressing things in such a way that it suggests that it has that capability, then we could start thinking of it as sentient.

  11. Thinker 12

    What concerns me about chat gpt is not chat gpt but, if this is the technology we mortals get to see, then what similar but deeper technology is able to, and possibly is, coupling with all our 5 eyes data being "able to be…" stored. Imagine 5 eyes monitoring all the email traffic there ever was and some super chat gpt being able to write reports on us, who we know, which toothpaste we use etc. Ditto, Google, facebook and so on. The mind boggles.

    Just before chat gpt went live, I happened to watch a movie called Eagle Eye from 2008 and it amazed me that the scifi movie I'd recently watched was already mainstream, free technology. https://youtu.be/kU44N6MKG9Q

    However, to temper the mood a bit:

    1. I asked chat gpt if it should concern me that it was getting out of control and it said no, because there was a team of regulators monitoring it. Of course, that's the team calling time, so not sure if it is deep-stating me into false comfort.

    2. I asked myself if I would prefer chat gpt or Trump running the USA and immediately felt better about things.

  12. That_guy 13

    My experience with chatGPT and programming/coding is that I use it regularly and it's very useful. However if there is a "bad way of doing things" in the community then chatGPT will tend to do that as well, it's rare that it spits out code that is immediately usable, and you have to know a lot about what you want to do and how to ask questions using the correct terminology. In other words it's not that useful to someone with absolutely no knowledge of programming.

    I actually think that the jobs most at risk aren't to do with coding but are when human beings digest a lot of text-based information and summarise it in some way. Journalists, paralegals, etc.

    In fact the list of 20 jobs at risk that Ad posted isn't too bad, and notably does not include much in the way of "pure coding" jobs.

    • Thinker 13.1

      To some extent, we can compare this "revolution" with the changes to, say, the car industry, where factory workers were laid off because robots did the job better, for longer, and generally consistently accurately. I remember reading, when the first Lexus LS400 came out in the 90s, that only 66 people were required to assemble the whole world's supply of the cars.

      The move to robotics caused a short-term crisis for auto workers and even changed the face of places like Detroit, but overall it has left the auto workers with cleaner, safer working conditions and where their minds aren't toasted by repetitive mundane tasks.

      I've been playing with chat gpt and it sure has its uses, if you stick to the 'grunt' tasks that are equivalent to what the robots in a car factory do. Ask it to write poetry and it might do better than Trump (https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Poetry-Donald-Trump-Canons/dp/1786892278) but Keats and Shakespeare/Bacon won't be turning in their graves just yet.

  13. I've played with the free version of Chat-GPT, aka "GPT-3" and it's pretty impressive. GPT-4 is another level again – it can compose sonnets, develop software, write convincing blog posts, imitate voices, and manipulate photos. These deceptive practices are still detectable and probably should be illegal.

    A Google engineer was fired last year for raising the alarm when he believed the AI he was talking to had gained sentience. In other words it passed the Turing Test. No doubt later iterations of that AI will fool even more humans.

    I don't think we should be worried about AIs producing infinite paper clips. It is more likely that shadowy 3-letter agencies like the NSA already have even more advanced AIs and are working on weaponising them.

    Their main weapons? Probably memes, with humans being the vector for spreading misinformation. These agencies have been trying to hack human brains since the start – propaganda is a powerful tool.

    https://twitter.com/roblogic_/status/1613613675751038976?s=20

    • roblogic 14.1

      PS There are other words for disembodied entities that whisper to humans; egregore, collective unconscious, shadow transference, ghost.

      Zombie themes in popular media like 'The Last of Us' are a powerful analogy to the real existence of mind parasites and social contagions that can run through human cultures.

    • tsmithfield 14.2

      My son has access to the paid version of ChatGPT.

      He asked it to write a rather unflattering 100 word poem about me based on several inputs. It was really great prose that it came up with.

      So, I asked him to ask ChatGPT to write another poem of the same length based on the same inputs to see if it would repeat exactly what it had written last time. But it came up with a completely different poem which was quite impressive..

  14. Simon Louisson 15

    I recently downloaded ChatGPT and as an experiment asked it to tell me about our house, the Pilot's Cottage, a historic house in Seatoun.
    While it started off ok – "The Pilot's Cottage is a historic building located in the suburb of Seatoun in Wellington, New Zealand," it soon launched into a fantasy novel of "alternative facts" that Donald Trump would have been proud of, including the year it was built – it was actually 1866 not 1895.
    It then said: "Today, the Pilot's Cottage has been fully restored and serves as a museum and community space," which is complete news to our family who have lived there for 25 years.
    Most of the spiel was complete made-up nonsense. Tread warily folk.

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    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    3 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    3 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    4 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    5 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    5 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Pharmac Fiasco
    If you don’t understand how things work you make foolish mistakes. To explain how the government got into its cancer drugs muddle, we need to explain first how New Zealand’s pharmaceutical purchasing system works. There is a parallel between Pharmac and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Government sets ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • An unexpected honour.
    One can take many things as a budge of honour but this was somewhat unexpected. Was it something that I said? See line 3: https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1959715/ ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • An Ode to the British Tories
    The legend Jonathan Pie nails it in under 5 minutes. There is more, of course, but his summary is both fair and an outstanding take on the UK Conservative Party’s right wing legacy.Austerity, cuts to the public service, trickle down economics, corruption, policies favouring corporations and the wealthy, underinvesting in ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Knives out for Kāinga Ora
    Note this a longer read.TLDR: Bishop had always intended to shortchange Kāinga Ora and malign the Board and Executive. The $500,000 independent review of Kāinga Ora was anything but, and poses serious ethical issues in both conduct and outcomes. Kāinga Ora had a debt to assset ratio of 0.25 when ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Something's going to change
    If you’re selling your soul, working all dayOvertime hours for bullshit payNothing’s gonna change if all you do Is wish you could wake up and it not be trueJoin a union, fight for better payJoin a union, brother, organise todayYou’ll see where the problem really liesWhen the union comes around: ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 5-July-2024
    Welcome to the second half of the year! And another roundup of stories that caught our eye over the week. As always, feel free to add anything we’ve missed, in the comments. The fortnight on Greater Auckland Last week was a short week, but nonetheless action-packed: On Monday, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • How the team of 5 million lost the game
    A study of the 2020 election has found that though the swing to Labour was the biggest vote shift in New Zealand for more than a century, it was not structural. Indeed, the fundamental electoral forces that drove the result were not dissimilar to those that had emerged in the ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27 2024
    Open access notables Climate-driven deoxygenation of northern lakes, Jansen et al., Nature Climate Change: Oxygen depletion constitutes a major threat to lake ecosystems and the services they provide. Most of the world’s lakes are located >45° N, where accelerated climate warming and elevated carbon loads might severely increase the risk of ...
    1 week ago

  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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