Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

16 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Mark Latham’s call for genetic testing for aboriginality seems to have been crowded out by ‘other’ events. Without drawing any comparisons in outcomes between the former ALP leader and Mr B,
    how both developed their views – white supremacy/ welfare ‘fair dinkumness’ – is intriguing. As a potential NSW Upper House recruit, Mark Latham surely knows social services access is a federal issue. Dog whistling?

  2. If discriminatory social welfare benefits are to be distributed on the basis of race then testing for race seems reasonable if it, in fact, works in the sense of accurately identifying those who are eligible and is cost-effective. I think benefits should be paid on the basis of need not race so testing would be unnecessary.

  3. There is no genetic test that can identify Aboriginality. Latham pulled that out of his arse.

  4. I’m disappointed that in this time, eugenics is still being discussed.

    It seems we will always be struggling to make headway.

  5. pablo: Dog whistling?” Yes.

    Smith9: “no genetic test that can identify Aboriginality.” Agree

    Harry Clarke: sounds like a good argument and you might be swayed on distribution and cost effectiveness. As Doug Demokas says “Just say No!:

    Rog: imagine if we were able to kulturally settle arguments. Vigilence would turn to virtous beneficial action. $ value – priceless.

  6. And from sublime to the not so ridiculous. News you may eat. As a kid I was, in no uncertain terms, told never to eat my nose pickings. I’ve let it go and allowed my kid too. Discretely please! Again – $ value cost for listening to dettol and glen 20? Yugge…

    “Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared.
    “We’re fed a steady diet of a hygiene-related marketing that began in the late 1800s, according to a novel study published in 2001 by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Scientists at Columbia University who did the research were trying to understand how we became so enamored of soap products.
    Some highlights:”…

  7. Net zero buildings update. Japan has been making great progress on this (***** Money quote:

    By next year, the government expects more than half of all newly built homes to be ZEH-compliant.

    ZEH means “zero energy home”.
    Two takeaways.
    – This progress depends on national technical standards, as opposed to the balkanised patchwork in the USA. Australia and Germany both have unfussy national standards for residential PV installations, and system costs are half those in the USA. The cost difference must be even larger in pure installation. Ideally, standards for traded goods should be supranational, as in the EU. Brits are waking up to the fact that Brexit means following either EU or US standards, with no say in either.
    – Japan’s energy policy is mediocre to say the least: the nuclear fiasco, high dependence on imported coal, shilly-shallying over wind farms (they have just discovered, like Brits, that fish don’t vote against offshore wind farms, and if they did would support them as trawler-free zones), and a futile and costly dead-end pursuit of fuel-cell traction for cars. But they have got this one right. Nobody’s perfect. Dr. Johnson’s epigram about dictionaries, including his own works, for energy transition policies:

    Dictionaries are like watches: the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.

  8. The Murdoch media is full of commentary on the need to – let’s not mince words – censor social media to (try to) stop the spread of hate speech.

    This is a position I am reluctantly starting to agree with. The hate forums, blogs and posts on social media trigger reactions in the reptilian parts of certain people’s brains and the result is dozens and dozens of people shot to death, and dozens and dozens more who may be disabled for the rest of their lives by their wounds. Not to mention they provide a means to broadcast mass murder live to the entire world.

    Enough is e-bloody-bough. It’s true this material has always been available, but pre-Internet and especially pre-social media it was to hard to access. You had go into a back room of some dingy bookshop or get it by mail order. These days the incipient crazies can find an infinite amount without leaving their bedrooms. And they stir each other up in their chat rooms. The virus was there, dormant, but the background conditions did not enable an uncontrolled spread.

    The big social media companies don’t care. They are American, conditioned by the first amendment which allows anybody to say just about anything, American political culture where too much personal vilification is never enough, and the libertarian ethos of the tech industry.

    Well if that’s the way the Americans want it good luck to them but there’s no reason for the rest of us to be endangered or either personally or societally.

    Of course Murdoch and his minions are motivated only by the threat to their business from Google, Facebook and Twitter. But you can be right for the wrong reasons.

  9. Smith9 – “But you can be right for the wrong reasons.” And be the biggest hypocrite and propagandist in the known universe.

    You have two incorrect words: replace ‘social media’ with ‘mainstrem communication’ not just “censor social media to (try to) stop the spread of hate speech.”

  10. And if we listen hard and act long term as Mary Catherine Bateson says, hate speech will – long term – become extinct.

    This is by far and away THE most IMPORTANT quote I have heard. Full stop. [ please post yours ]

    “… she wins the race  by NOT EXPLOITING…”

    Mary Catherine Bateson on how Women Can Transform Society

    Said in first minute.

    The race Mary Catherine Bateson is talking about is:-
    “About The Iditarod…
    “The Last Great Race on Earth®””You can’t compare it to any other competitive event in the world! A race covering  1000 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dog teams. Add to that temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod. A race extraordinaire, a race only possible in Alaska.”

  11. We need a plan for AI.
    “Artificial intelligence inspires wild fantasies, but remains hard to imagine.”

    Ernestine? Ze sprechen ze Deutch? (obviously not me)
    14. März 2019, UhrSerie zur künstlichen Intelligenz

    “Der Geist in der Maschine
    “Artificial intelligence inspires wild fantasies, but remains hard to imagine. A SZ series creates clarity.”

    “Technology in turbo gear: Humanities and Natural Sciences must finally be united to talk about artificial intelligence.”…

    …”such as the cognition researcher Steven Pinker, the robot ethicist Kate Darling, the science philosopher Max Tegmark and as an eminence price, the writer and anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson.”…

    …”Mary Catherine Bateson began the evening with a call for the need to revive the almost forgotten science of systems theory in light of the complex networks of AI. The developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik asked that we remember that while four-year-olds are mentally immature, they’re fitter than any AI. Max Tegmark compared A.I. to a missile that requires precise control by humans.”

    Above series and talks very intellectually dense and supurbly concise.

  12. Agreeing with Murdoch means that you also agree with Sky News, host to most if not all of the televised racism in Australia. They legitimise hate speech for their own benefit.

    Murdoch wants you to pay them for your news and would like to see alternative free expression sites restricted if not eliminated.

    So it doesn’t add up, agreeing with Murdoch, that is.

  13. If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both. Give up liberty for Murdoch safety… and have neither. And, yes, like Ben Franklin’s original quote in context it is again actually about money and taxation – easy money and zero taxation for Murdoch and friends. Get a grip!

  14. The economic and population decline is similar, I’d say. The politics are different. Other than an all powerful tina duopoly party Australia has the Nats who sometimes serves their rusted on rural base as well as rural minors/independents that sometimes do get elected to a crossbench with actual teeth.

    IPCC is underselling climate change
    Date:March 20, 2019 Source:University of Adelaide

    Summary:A new study has revealed that the language used by the global climate change watchdog, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is overly conservative – and therefore the threats are much greater than the Panel’s reports suggest.

    “We found that the main message from the reports — that our society is in climate emergency — is lost by overstatement of uncertainty and gets confused among the gigabytes of information,” says lead author Dr Salvador Herrando-Pérez, from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and Australian Centre for Ancient DNA …

    The team says the IPCC reports should incorporate a clear connection between the certainty of thousands of scientific findings and the certainty that humans are vastly altering the Earth’s climate. The team recommends a new IPCC working group of communication specialists to oversee the language and effective dissemination, and convey the message accurately…

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