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Monday message board

May 30th, 2005

As usual on Monday, you are invited to post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please. I’m planning something on industrial relations reform before long, and I’d be interested in your views.

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  1. harry clarke
    May 30th, 2005 at 08:13 | #1

    I read an obiturary to George Dantzig (1914-2005) the founder of linear programming in this morning’s Age newspaper. He initially made his mark in statistics by solving two famous but previously unsolved problems that a professor has left on a blackboard and which Dantzig thought was set as homework.

    This reminds me of a story in Sylvia Nasar’s book A Beautiful Mind that John Nash while a graduate student instructor set a whole set of unsolved maths problems for his class at Princeton as an examination. When challenged on their difficulty his response was — if they don’t know they are famous unsolved problems maybe they might solve them.

    While not condoning Nash’s approach perhaps it does support Prof Q’s claims about looking at problems afresh without relying on extensive literature searches. You don’t have priors and a fresh attack may help.

    By the way Dantzig was probably one of the most important applied mathematicians in the past 100 years. His work in linear programming and his derivation of the simplex algorithm revolutionised the solution of a range of scientific, industrial and management science issues.

  2. Dave Ricardo
    May 30th, 2005 at 10:03 | #2

    Here’s a massage for CS:

    Tahs. Outhought, outfought and outplayed.

  3. Andrew Reynolds
    May 30th, 2005 at 10:35 | #3

    CS
    Maybe the Tahs had one massage [sic] too many.

    Worse luck next year – go Western Force.

  4. May 30th, 2005 at 11:07 | #4

    Have you seen the report on wage distribution by St Vinnies. Gini has gone over 0.3, quite an acheivement.

  5. observa
    May 30th, 2005 at 11:30 | #5

    Plebs! cs and I are on a much higher plane and into far more intellectual pursuits like cricket now. Go Gilchrist Power!

  6. May 30th, 2005 at 11:34 | #6

    Flutey,

    Link?…

  7. May 30th, 2005 at 11:55 | #7

    Most of the time I can kid myself that the blogosphere represents some high minded search for collective meaning in the service of a bright future for our children.

    Then we talk about sport. And I realise it is just a 21st century Coliseum.

    Such naked cruelty.

  8. May 30th, 2005 at 12:43 | #8

    I have a new blog focusing on my rise the Prime Ministership and featuring biting commentary and analysis along the way.

    **The last word on the Corby case** has come from Graham at ambitgambit. http://ambitgambit.nationalforum.com.au/archives/000631.html The Indonesian legal system promotes crimes against humanity, that’s right, all who serve the Indonesian legal system are guilty of human rights abuses. As the Graham says article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that it is a basic human right that if charged with a penal offence to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Here is the thing.

    “(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”

    Corby was presumed guilty until her legal team could prove her innocence, an uphill battle which has initially at least been lost. She certainly didn’t have every guarantee if any.
    So anyone for crimes against humanity? Does anyone want to change their minds?

  9. May 30th, 2005 at 15:02 | #9

    OK, we were completely outclassed. Canterbury really are a fabulous football team, a complete team. The coach also seems very cool.

    Our tactics were abominable. And they launched an audacious and successful assault on the two players who have been Tah pillars all year – Grey and Vickerman. Still, there were some good performances in defeat. Turinui played immaculately in attack and courageously in defence. Tiquri and Waugh stood up, and the forwards generally performed well – must have killed ‘em to see the ball being kicked away. Yet we never got a glimpse. They had a lock on it from the get out.

    Not to worry, the best team (by far) won, and Tahs fans still had a great season, with notable victories over the Brumbies at their place, the Reds, the South Africans at their place, and it was great to finally make the blasted final. We’ll be all the better for the experience next year, mark my words. The Mighty Tahs will be back!

  10. May 30th, 2005 at 21:53 | #10

    I note Bob Katter the Member for Kennedy mentions you on the Hansard dated the 11th May 2005 Professor, p120 of the pdf or 104 of the hansard itself. However you may feature regularly I don’t know.

    Either John Quiggin,
    who won the economics prize for Australia,
    is correct, and we have a real unemployment
    rate of about 16 or 17 per cent, or
    the government is right in claiming that there
    is an unemployment rate of four or five per
    cent. I would put my money on John Quiggin.
    I would do that because clearly the
    Treasurer is well aware that all that has happened
    in Australia is that we have moved
    people out of the unemployment rolls and
    onto the disability rolls. Anyone who read
    his speeches associated with the budget, even
    in a most cursory manner, would realise that
    he of all people is supremely conscious of
    the fact that there is huge unemployment in
    the land—it just goes by the different name
    of ‘disability.’
    To be very specific, the last time I saw the
    figures—albeit a couple of years ago now—
    the Treasurer claimed that there had been a
    reduction of 400,000 in the unemployed. I
    went to the disability figures, having read
    numerous papers, most prominently John
    Quiggin’s, and I discovered that there had
    been an increase over and above the normal
    increase in disability pensioners of 396,000.
    You could not have asked for a more compelling
    argument that all that happened was
    that people simply moved from the unemployment
    rolls to the disability rolls. I do not
    think that any thinking person in this place
    would think anything else.

  11. James Farrell
    May 30th, 2005 at 22:29 | #11

    Next time John decides to coauthor a book with an MP, he’ll know whom to pick.

  12. derrida derider
    May 31st, 2005 at 10:52 | #12

    I don’t reckon JQ will be comfortable with that at all. For a start, there’s a diference between unemployment and underemployment – and the latter is what John was on about. For a second the line that “unemployment payments have gone down, disability payments have gone up, therefore people have been moved from unemployment to disability” is a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. And for a third Katter is an unreconstructed rural socialist and a strong social conservative.

    In fact the rise in disability payments can be accounted for by factors quite unrelated to the labour market – notably workforce aging, but also improved survival of severely disabled people, the passing of veterans’ cohorts, the raising of the age pension age for women, the requirement since 1995 of dependant spouses to qualify for a payment in their own right, and the increasing generosity of DSP payment rates and conditions relative to Newstart and (especially) Youth Allowance. The only substantial increases in *age specific* DSP rates have been amongst 60+ women and teenagers – most of the others have been falling.

  13. James Farrell
    May 31st, 2005 at 17:27 | #13

    Changing the topic, Bruce Chapman’s HECS scheme for farmers came up on the 7.30 last night The idea has bee floating around for three years, if this old article is any indication.

    Jimm Middleton said it’s only the ‘city Liberals’ who oppose such a plan, while labor and the rural Coallition MPs support it.

    So why would ‘city Liberals’ oppose something so sensible? What does Malcolm Turnbull think, I wonder.

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