A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Unless directly responding to the OP, all discussions of nuclear power, MMT and conspiracy theories should be directed to sandpits (or, if none is open, message boards).

56 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Ivor what is the problem that you sees is being fixed by stimulus? The one you say will not work. I seem to recall that debt link to the Australian is seen as dubious by some.

  2. @Florence nee Fed up

    Whatever Keynesians claim. In general whatever macroeconomic instability is prominent at the time.

    The only thing Keynesians do not include is fixing up low wages. They leave this to the economy once it has supposedly had its magneto restarted.

  3. Tesla, the rather famous US electric car company, is now taking reservations for its 7 kilowatt-hour Powerwall home energy storage system. At current exchange rates it is $3,800 Australian dollars. This is major news for the Australian electricity sector. I am guessing they were hoping this sort of announcment was still a few years off. While it is not year available in Australia, and even Americans can’t get it at the moment, it does indicate what home energy storage will cost in the near future. It has a ten year warranty and apparently an extended warranty for 30 years can be obtained, so it will pay for itself for a very large number of households, even assuming significant extra costs for installation and a compatible inverter. And the killer app in Australia may be a combined solar inverter and energy storage system, which should largely eliminate the extra costs. It is clear that the electricity sector here is due for yet another major shake up as home and business energy storage starts paying for itself.

  4. The ABC reports “Economist John Adams calls for chess to be taught in Australian schools.”

    “Mr Adams has previously worked as an economics advisor to Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

    He has now been appointed as government relations director with the Australian Chess Federation and over the next year plans to conduct a research project drawing on a large international body of work into the positive impacts of the game on brain development.” – ABC

    Of course, I don’t know exactly what Mr. Adams said as reporters almost never get stories right due to mistakes and omissions.

    However, “Chess should be taught in schools” is a much too narrow concept. I would go wider and say that mental games should be taught in schools along with the mathematical and programming skills to explore how to automate these games. This total package would have a far better educational effect. Key games that should be taught are draughts, chess, go and computer RTS games. Not only human vs human games but AI vs AI games should occur where students write game programs which compete.

    Maths, including for example matrix mathematics, is a key component of game programming. The necessary maths concepts could be introduced along with the games and game programming concepts. The power of mathematics can be seen to come alive in intelligent game programming. I think this would engage some students much better in mathematics.

  5. I’d be pretty unhappy if I was in a union that paid millions of dollars in “commissions” – taken from my pay – to my corporate giant employer. It would be naïve in the extreme to imagine that such a union wasn’t fatally conflicted when it came to looking out for my interests.

    Australia’s biggest private-sector union pays major employers including Coles and Woolworths up to $5 million a year in commissions that help maintain its large membership, and influence in the Labor Party.

    The ALP’s largest union affiliate, the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA) plays a significant role in social policy debates, its influence viewed as pivotal to marriage equality in Australia.

    The “shoppies” are ultra-conservative ultra-right and have huge power in the ALP.

    On the Gallipoli thread I described Australian unions as “fascist operatives”. I have previously said that I generally take “fascism” to be described the way Mussolini did (“fascism should more properly be called corporatism…”). “Operative” in this sense fits the following, Merriam-Webster, definition: “a person who works toward achieving the objectives of a larger interest”.

    Far from a “bizarre” opinion, it is at least arguable based on the evidence.

  6. It wrote 30 years above for some reason with reguards to the Tesla home energy storage system for some reason. It should have been 20 years.

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