Monday Message Board

Back again with 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


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67 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The federal government is giving out cash grants, tax relief and interest free loans for small businesses affected by bushfires. This may help them survive in the short term but businesses need cash flow over an extended period of time. If these businesses suffer from geographic recession then they will not survive long term. The micro economy cannot be sustained merely by government handouts.

  2. The only acceptable way to boost the economy in a major way now is to put almost all the extra spending into climate change amelioration and mitigation. It’s all hands to the (climate) pumps.

  3. B-b-but Matt Keane “doesn’t know what he is talking about”
    The PM proved it today just by saying so!

    Ikon, more hope of getting blood out of a stone.

  4. There is a successful pathway for orderly transition from coal mining which maintains employment and increases meaningful economic activity. The last coal mine of many around the town of Kerkrade in SW Netherlands closed in the early 70’s. The Dutch government and the management of DSM (Dutch State Mines) planned for this and transitioned the organisation and the area into a booming technological area producing a wide range of products from chemicals to pacemakers with a mixture of Government and Private money. When change is accepted and planned for the outcome can be manifestly positive. How about the Hunter Valley for starters?
    https://www.dsm.com/corporate/about/our-purpose/heritage.html

  5. There is a successful pathway for orderly transition from coal mining which maintains employment and increases meaningful economic activity. The last coal mine of many around the town of Kerkrade in SW Netherlands closed in the early 70’s. The Dutch government and the management of DSM (Dutch State Mines) planned for this and transitioned the organisation and the area into a booming technological area producing a wide range of products from chemicals to pacemakers with a mixture of Government and Private money. When change is accepted and planned for the outcome can be manifestly positive. How about the Hunter Valley for starters?
    https://www.dsm.com/corporate/about/our-purpose/heritage.html

  6. Pointing out that there are alternatives is pointless. Morrison will die in the last ditch rather than give the smallest encouragement to green notions, and we’re all in there with him. If you think that we’ll vote against him three years from now, do factor in that he’s got god in his lap and there will be soaking rains in good time before the elections. Voters have the memory of goldfish.

  7. Animal welfare – the media is encouraging the ‘rescue’ of injured animals, especially wildlife, such as cuddly koalas and young kangaroos, caused by the bushfires. But since the fires have destroyed most of the food sources these animal species will need for survival, wouldn’t it be better (and cheaper) to put down the injured animals, and instead devote the resources to providing food for healthy specimens, which otherwise will starve to death in a few weeks time…
    It’s human nature, to get attached to cute furry critters with bandaged paws, but practicality indicates that it might be much more practical to keep healthy animals fed for the next few months, rather than spending scarce resources on medical care for a handful of damaged individuals.
    I also note that none of the news stories indicates that if the treated animals are returned to the wild (where they were rescued), they’ll probably starve. Or returning them to unburnt bush will displace existing populations of healthy animals or lead to territorial fights that the damaged specimens will likely not survive, or will reduce the limited food already feeding too many existing animals.

  8. If you think that we’ll vote against him three years from now, do factor in that he’s got god in his lap and there will be soaking rains in good time before the elections. Voters have the memory of goldfish.

    If you think the number of times in history that an incumbent Liberal Prime Minister and government have been voted out of office is nought, then who is it that has the memory of a goldfish? Morrison’s defeat at the next election is not guaranteed; neither is his victory. In Australia incumbent governments are re-elected more often than they are defeated, but they are defeated with a frequency which makes it a routinely recurrent event on the scale of a human lifetime.

  9. Cavitation, it’s all just another bit of the great dying, difficult to get used to, difficult to feel good about. The situation is serious, but hopeless, and we’ll decry it until it kills us. It would surprise me if those working in and committed to animal/ecological welfare were not able to make good judgement calls on this – what lives, what dies. It is an area always strapped for resources, and that is just another hopeless facet of the great dying.

  10. Ikonoclast says:It’s all hands to the (climate) pumps.

    paul walter says: “Ikon, more hope of getting blood out of a stone.”

    But (unforetunately re central banks – us) Ikon is correct – like it or not due to bailing out stranded assets we will all be pumping to pay one way or the other. Best to do it soon.

    As we are now firmly in “late stage”,  the Reserve Bank is going to act as “‘climate rescuers of last resort’. Meaning they got the loot, we got the wHOLE risk! Grrr…

    “Green swan events may force central banks to intervene as ‘climate rescuers of last resort’ and buy large sets of devalued assets, to save the financial system once more,” it warned.

    “The value of the world’s stranded fossil fuel reserves is massive but difficult to pin down according to the report, ranging from Carbon Tracker’s $US1.6 trillion ($2.3 trillion) estimate to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s 2017 calculation of $US18 trillion ($26 trillion).

    “Under an abrupt transition scenario (e.g. with significant stranded assets), financial assets could be subject to a change in investors’ perception of profitability,” the BIS warned.

    “This loss in market value can potentially lead to fire [ ironic unintended pun ] sales, which could trigger a financial crisis.”

    “In the worst case scenario, central banks may have to confront a situation where they are called upon by their local constituencies to intervene as climate rescuers of last resort,” the BIS report warned.”
    https://abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/reserve-bank-urged-to-battle-green-swan-risks-of-climate-change/11885176

    “The green swan
    “Central banking and financial stability in the age of climate change

    “… All these actions will be complex to coordinate and could have significant redistributive consequences that should be adequately handled, yet they are essential to preserve long-term financial (and price) stability in the age of climate change.”

    https://www.bis.org/publ/othp31.htm

  11. I’ve often heard it said that Australia is a large country where cars are necessary for personal transport, and bicycles could not substitute given the vast distances.

    However, Australia actually has a highly urbanised population distribution and urban densities are similar to the Netherlands and Denmark where infrastructure for bicycle and restricted speed moped transport has radically changed how people get around and the feel of their large cities. Urban commuter distances and trips for personal needs are no further there than in Australia. Australia simply doesn’t need to burn anywhere near as much oil, gas, or coal to meet the bulk of personal urban transport needs. The infrastructure for bicycles/mopeds costs far less in both dollars and emmissions to build than that for cars, takes far less space, and provides for transport that is far less intrusive on daily life in the urban environment. Why not have it in urban Austrlia? It was hard to get up in the Netherlands and Denmark once, it took some decades, but they wouldn’t go back now. And certainly not now that E-bikes and Pedelecs have arrived globally.

    Global sales of electric bicycles by 2050 is to be approximately 250 million annually.

    follow of a Speech made at the global Ebike Future Conference 2019 by Hannes Neupert, Chairman ExtraEnergy, 26th November 2019:

    Market of Pedelecs Today – Part 1 – Wake up Potential
    http://extraenergy.org/main.php?language=en&category=&subcateg=&id=101140
    https://vimeo.com/380529650 (3m:27s)

    “Today, we have only a few pedelecs sold in five main markets:•China about 5 million units annually (average retail about 200 euro unit)
    Currently, the Chinese government has a very big program to push electric bike sales by making all of the about 300 million bikes legal.•Europe about 2 million units annually (average retail about 2600 euro unit)
    Manufacturers are in trouble to make enough to fulfill the market demands.•Japan 0.7 million (average retail about 950 euro unit)
    In Japan, it is quite stable for about ten years, very similar products all over the time.•USA 0.5 million (average retail about 1700 euro unit)
    In USA, the amount of sold pedelecs is going up.•ROW (Rest of the World) about 3 to 5 million (average retail about 450 euro unit)

    Market of Pedelecs Today – Part 2 – Kindergarten Phase
    http://extraenergy.org/main.php?language=en&category=&subcateg=&id=101142
    https://vimeo.com/381132658 (3m:11s)

    Today, the population of electric two-wheelers (legal as bicycles) in China has accumulated to about 300 million units, with annual production of 30 – 35 million units.
    …In the commuting and family pedelec application new parking policies as well as sharing technology and health insurance fitness programs will drive the pedelec to an absolute mainstream product.
    The number of pedelecs in operation may be within just 30 years close to equal of the number of inhabitants of the world.
    Like the bicycle is today in countries like the Netherlands and Germany.

    Market of Pedelecs Today – Part 3 – Market Volumes
    http://extraenergy.org/main.php?language=en&category=&subcateg=&id=101654
    https://vimeo.com/382440415 (2m:59s)

    Bicycle makers just don’t get the point that this is not a bicycle.
    We have a pedelec which is a really much more functional product.
    According to my expectations the annual pedelec production will cannibalize the majority of the bicycle and grow to annually 250 million sales approximately 2050.”

    Automotive companies stop pedelec activities 4th December 2019
    http://extraenergy.org/main.php?language=en&category=information&subcateg=99&id=100951

    Continental announced to pull out of the electric bike market. Hannes Neupert blames the pressure due to the switch to electric cars. Interview by Jack Oortwijn, Bike Europe.
    Severe restructuring
    “They have not taken serious or even ignored the trend to electric cars. Most of them could simply not imagine that it will finally happen.
    It means that hectic and severe restructuring is under way now. It results often that every part of these big companies that is not highly profitable will be closed.

    ExtraEnergy.org
    http://extraenergy.org/main.php?language=en

    Ebike Future Conference – 26 November 2019
    https://www.ebikefuturecon.com/efc2019home32700971

    Urbanization by country
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_by_country

    Urban population (% of total population) – Brazil, Australia, Canada, Russian Federation, Netherlands, Denmark
    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.URB.TOTL.IN.ZS?locations=BR-AU-CA-RU-NL-DK&name_desc=false

  12. So much for BHP getting out of steaming coal

    Energy coal production decreased by 12 per cent to 12 Mt. Guidance for the 2020 financial year remains unchanged at between 24 and 26 Mt.

    New South Wales Energy Coal production decreased by 11 per cent to 7 Mt as a result of the change in product strategy to focus on higher quality products. Smoke from regional bushfires and dust have reduced air quality at our operations, which has impacted December 2019 production. We are monitoring the situation and if air quality continues to deteriorate then operations could be constrained further in the second half of the year. Guidance for the 2020 financial year remains unchanged at between 15 and 17 Mt.

    Cerrejón production decreased by 13 per cent to 4 Mt as a result of a focus on higher quality products, in line with the mine plan, and the impact of adverse weather in the September 2019 quarter. Guidance for the 2020 financial year remains unchanged at approximately 9 Mt.

  13. What with the bushfires and the consequent focus on climate change as a front in the culture wars, the looming AustraliaInvasion Day has flown completely under the radar.

  14. Amnesia Day.

    If people were aware of the numerous deliberate poisonings of aborigines, they might be a bit more sympathetic.

  15. A digression re mean-spiritedness.
    AMP in the news again for diddling customers.
    As one expert asked, ” don’t they ever learn?”

  16. KT2 @2:58

    When the “green swan” emerges we shall all recall as loudly as possible the efficient capital market hypothesis and we make use of it. The argument: Surely 40 years was long enough for price expectations to efficiently reflect the scientific knowledge. End of story.

    The only price offered is a fire sale price for the equipment minus rehabilitation costs. Otherwise a Rudd-gov. type emergency funding of stranded employees.

  17. Svante: you can see the impact those are having all over the place. I was somewhat mentally stereotyping the inner city hipsters with their e-commuters and mummy bikes. Then I moved to Blacktown and while there are fewer of them, guess what? The “useless povos” of Blacktown also have ebikes. This despite a local government who hate bicycles*, and a police force who love pretextual stops of cyclists (Blacktown has the highest rate of no-helmet tickets and one of the highest overall rates of tickets issued to cyclists).

    * there are a lot of “haha you die now” cycle facilities that lead cyclists into deathtraps then end, dumping cyclists onto major roads or just in random poor locations. It’s as though they want the facilities funding but don’t employ any cyclists, except that some are so egregious that there’s at least passive-aggressive “if we do this badly enough they’ll stop asking”.

  18. How much should we make of the change of heart on fossil fuels by investment manager Blackrock? (https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2020/01/is-blackrock-going-green-or-just-greenwashing/) On the one hand, there is as usual less in the substance than in the headline. The shift is modest and does not extend to passively managed index funds. On the other, Blackrock controls a staggering pot of money: $7 trillion. Even a small change in the allocation of this can shift markets. However, I suspect the larger impact will be on the financial culture. Mark Carney’s campaign to get the finance world beyond insurance to take climate risk seriously is paying off.

    Davos Man is no longer denialist. They sit in respectful silence to hear a 17-year-old Swedish Joan of Arc berate them for climate inaction, rather as Henry VIII and Louis XIV were expected to sit through sermons on chastity. They know perfectly well that Greta is telling them the truth and Donald Trump empty bullshit. The cognitive dissonance imposed by their institutional hypocrisy is at heart-attack levels.

    As the financial world cools to oil and gas (coal is a lost cause), what will happen to the oil companies? Prudence would suggest hedging, and shifting a lot of investment into renewables, not the current token stakes. But I doubt it. One problem is that wind and solar development has matured; the companies doing it, like Oersted, ACWA and Engie, don’t need technical advice from newcomers and can borrow money at least as cheaply. Another is that divestment by prudent investors will shift the equity in oil and gas more and more to amoral risk-takers with short horizons. The majors will shrink through stock buy-backs, the frackers just go bust.

  19. Ernestine Gross: 9:37 pm

    Ernestine’s “Loudly as Possible” Range EMHLessons T-shirt design #001 

    “Surely 40 years was long enough for price expectations to efficiently reflect the scientific knowledge. End of story.”

    I like the flourish – don’t bother arguing – “End of story”.

    Gretta might wear one when next at Davos.

    I understand green swan offers only at fire sale prices but remediation and retraining for 20,000 as well. Won’t we have to fund all three even if remediation is a negative against assets? Won’t assets – except land – at time of green swan be worth less than $0? Why pay except to remediate? I assume (silly me) property right to extract forfeited due to acceued liability?

    1. Assets at fire sale price may be minus due to cost of…

    2. Remediation

    3. Retraining / worker support bailout

    If GEERS spent $150m + 8.5k retrain @$950 + $155m employers = $312m. Coal workers say 3x 8.5k. So approx a $1bn to retire / retrain workers? Not your preferred method Ernestine. What is your preffered support to transition workers please.

    “Rudd-gov. type emergency funding of stranded employees.”.
    (I have to look up policy, as I do not have such knowlege as direct recall.)

    “GEERS is a payment scheme established to assist employees who have lost their employment due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer and who are owed basic employee entitlements.

    “$50 million has been sought to specifically support possible claims for GEERS assistance from employees of ABC Learning.

    “In the December quarter of 2008, a 65.5 per cent increase in the number of individual claims lodged for GEERS assistance was recorded, when compared to the same period in 2007-08.

    “This general increase in demand, together with the anticipated demand from ABC Learning employees prompted the Government to act.

    “GEERS is not designed to act as an incentive for employers to do the wrong thing.

    “Beyond GEERS, the government has recently announced a $300 million measure to ensure redundant workers get assistance and support immediately rather than having to wait up to 3 months. 

    “$155 million has been targeted to encourage employers, Group Training Organisations and training providers to take on out-of-trade apprentices and trainees in these difficult economic times.”
    https://ministers.employment.gov.au/gillard/government-seeks-additional-70-million-redundant-workers

    Nic Gruen / anyone – has / will the Commonwealth recoup this via Goodstart please?  “$50 million has been sought to specifically support possible claims for GEERS assistance from employees of ABC Learning” + $22m?

    “The Federal Government will commit up to $22 million to ensure ABC Learning Centres will stay open until the end of the year.”
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/abc-gets-22m-in-state-aid-to-stay-open-20081107-5jw4.html

    Final word by JQ, Ein2L, 11.4, pg 223…
    “… The central, and false, claims of the EMH is that financial markets provide the best possible way of generating and aggregating such information”…

    And JQ, unless you authorised this 249pg odf of Zombie Economics; https://eldivandenerdas.files.wordpress.com/2011/12zombie-economics.pdf
    … you may notify WordPress to take it down

  20. Malcolm Turnbull has been talking a good game since he lost his job. It’s a shame he didn’t play a good game while he was in the job, but then that’s him all over, all hat no cattle, all sizzle no sausage.

  21. KT2,
    1. I didn’t specify that the ‘fire sale price’ has to be strictly positive (i.e. greater than zero). Some investors are currently investing their money at negative rates of return in nominal terms. I suspect it would be rather difficult to get a payment. It may not even be desirable because of supply chain linkages that could lead to higher consumer prices for renewable energy (which may take a long time to get rid of via ‘competition’).

    2. Rudd-type policy in response to GFC: Money was given to people who had lodged a tax return in the preceding financial year. This allowed individuals to use the funds according to their own individual situation (some pay off a little more of their debt, others buy themselves something they couldn’t afford otherwise, others to buy a gift and others to save for a rainy day.)

    So ‘funding stranded employees’ does not exclude retraining but it is not limited to it. The advantage of this type of ‘flexibility’ is that a 60 year old may not be interested in retraining and, in any case, there wouldn’t be a ‘high’ return from societies perspective because of the person being close to retirement (a payment equivalent to 5 years after tax income might be preferred). The situation looks different for a 25, 35, 45 and even 55 year old person – how different depends on many other factors than age. One needs empirical research data to become more specific. Retraining and the establishment of a government subsidised new technology work place might be suitable in some instances. And there are more possibilities, I can’t think of at present or at all.

    The advantage of an administered price for ghg emissions (tax or tradeable certificates) is that it provides some flexibility for producers of the negative externality, allowing them to decide when it is financially better to close down and selling any remaining certificates, or to go on a little longer and buy some certificates. In short, better coordination between the age of physical assets and reducing ghg emissions is not excluded.

  22. 2. Rudd-type policy in response to GFC: Money was given to people …And there are more possibilities

    Money was given to people the car sales industry after GE Finance promptly cut credit, packed up shop and departed. Rudd underwrote the big banks that he incentivised to quickly fill the space. This (like the cash for clunkers that didn’t get up here) done not so much as to keep dealers afloat and their employees in jobs as to maintain the tax revenues of state governments (one car sale trading up leads to another, various stamp duties and levies flow in).

    It worked somewhat, unlike the horror Rudd inflicted on Queensland during the recession ‘we didn’t have to have’ some 16 years earlier when Rudd underwrote the residential housing market to stimulate State revenues.

    Rudd took over the entire government and ran Queensland from the Premier’s anteroom during those days. The state ultimately lost billions, numerous low income folk lost their life savings, and some through suicide lost their lives. The horror scam was called “Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME)”. All public record of that was incrementally disappeared from qld.gov sites beginning 2007, including internet archives more widely. AFAIK the revisionists haven’t altered newspaper and journal archives yet, but it’s easy to imagine them doing so. In 2013, even after ‘Can’t Do’ Newman sacked tens of thousands of government employees partly to be rid of ALP plants (in the early 90s Rudd got rid of only Qld public service senior management by first sending them to ‘Coventry’) , and radically amended the Qld Housing Act 2003 to finally do away with the Housing Commission yet nevertheless was compelled to grandfather obtuse subsections dealing with the still ongoing financial fallout of HOME, undercover ALP moles took down the very last vestiges of any reference to HOME on qld.gov sites. For all intents and purposes HOME was so buried and forgotten by anyone outside Labor by 2013 that not once did Newman reference it to beat the ALP over its financial management head. Not once!

    ¯\_(?)_/¯

  23. “Wasn’t Biden “objectively” more corrupt anyway?
    No. There’s no basis for that conclusion.”

    This is the original kompromat on Biden (Made in Russia or rather CCCP) from February 19th, 2015, well before Donald Trump era. The page has not been altered since 2017/07/20 (checked on waybackmachine, unless this is also a KGB conspiracy)

    http://johnhelmer.net/the-hunt-for-burisma-when-the-pack-of-hounds-is-missing-its-master-the-fox-escapes/

    Obviously a lawyer can argue that … whatever…

  24. One overlooked point is that the US stockmarket is no longer an avenue for investment but for disinvestment: more money flows out than in. A part of this presumably reflects the growing proportion of retirees, but a larger chunk is the rich pulling money out of the economy and stashing it in the Caymans. It’s a modern version of rack-renting. In this sense rising stock prices are no surprise: there’s a smaller pool each year, the race to get out is ever more intense and stock-owners have a strong interest in pushing prices higher.

  25. Svante @ 7:31
    1. The only mention of “Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME)” I could find via a google search pertains to Illinois, USA. Without credible references, your assertions regarding Rudd and HOME are mysterious at best.

    2. The Rudd-type policy I referred to is well documented. By Rudd-type I mean the policy at the time of the GFC, which started not long after Kevin Rudd became Australian PM, involved giving $900 (from memory) to individuals who had lodged a tax return during the previous year. Taxpaying individuals are also people. This policy was a success by all criteria other than playing party politics.

  26. individuals who had lodged a tax return

    IIRC is was “had a taxable income”, because while I lodged a return I did not get that money.

  27. Thanks Ernestine. I ended up with a bit of gfc stimilus thanks to Rudd. I gave it to a 13yo who had a broken family. He bought a huge monitor and good pc. Went on to dux school and now has a double degree physics / comp sci. The stimulus for him probabky will return ??? 1:100 fold for economy.

    Svante, your description and recall make me inclined to not doubt your recall and I (h/t J-D) now want a reference. Cracking story if it is as you say. Not whitewashing / revisionist, but total erasure.

    I too searched HOME with various words and must includes, and tried ddgo, google and then trove. I thought trove would have newspaper or policy refs. This is all I could find;

    https://trove.nla.gov.au/result?q=Home+Ownership+Made+Easy+%28HOME%29

    “”HOME OWNERSHIP MADE EASYTuesday 17 June 1941 p 10 Article Illustrated… HOME OWNERSHIP MADE EASY Hundreds of llic modern homes erected in Brisbane in recent years would … building schemes which simplify the problem of home ownership. Tim general principle of these schemes is … 333 words

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6,910.258)

    HOME OWNERSHIP MADE EASY Sunday 6 May 1928 p 5 Article… HOME OWNERSHIP MADE EASY The growing tendency, among Australians to build their own homesshows ? a … many men and women who although realising the advantages of home ownership, do not know that it is now … 282 words””

    So. Call an investigative journo? FOI? Svante, it seems the ball is in your court.

  28. When searching HOME serendipity showed up research to put JQ’s writings re neolib era back to 1959…

    “This article suggests an alternative thesis: the model that facilitated widespread owner-occupancy in the 1950s began to erode from 1959 due to federal government policies that prioritised financial imperatives to the detriment of social goals.

    “These policies and market-driven changes gave rise to an exclusionary model of home ownership in Australia.”…

    This is Menzies era.

    “Stepping Stones to an Exclusionary Model of Home Ownership in Australia

    By Ferreira, Renata Ribeiro

    “Together, these policies promoted a partly-decommodified market that placed equal weight on the social provision of shelter, social security and economic growth via the housing construction sector. This created the conditions for a more equitable distribution of the private housing stock, leading to an increase in the proportion of owner-occupied dwellings from around 50% in 1947 to around 65% in 1961. In the same period, investment properties decreased from 41% to 27% (refer to Figure 3).

     “Although written from various vantage points, these housing scholars tend to anchor the disjuncture point in the 1980s, following the financial deregulation of the Australian economy. This article suggests an alternative thesis: the model that facilitated widespread owner-occupancy in the 1950s began to erode from 1959 due to federal government policies that prioritised financial imperatives to the detriment of social goals.

    “These policies and market-driven changes gave rise to an exclusionary model of home ownership in Australia.”…

    Journal of Australian Political Economy
    No. 77 – Winter 2016

    https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-456479862/stepping-stones-to-an-exclusionary-model-of-home-ownership

    How and when will this occur again?
    “In the same period, investment properties decreased from 41% to 27% “.

  29. Adam K

    The source you cited contains no information comparing Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and therefore provides no basis for conclusions about their relative corruption (‘objective’ or otherwise)..

  30. Dear J-D,

    Please be aware that I am interested in an exchange of arguments because I would like to assess the validity and power of these arguments. I am not trying to convince anybody. I don’t even do it to my cats.

    The level of objective corruption cannot be measured. The level of relative corruption may be determined by the voters in the US and in my opinion the Democrats have walked straight onto the trap set up by Trump. Who is going to be impeached is not Trump I am afraid. He might be going to expose in detail what Hunter Biden was doing and what Joe Biden knew about it.

    I find it amusing that an acting VP could not get the CIA to validate the company his son was going to work for in the first place. (Please bear in mind that the source I have provided was most likely Russian intelligence). The most obvious answer was that he did not see anything wrong in his son participating in butchering what had been left from the Ukrainian economy, after personally helping the so-called “Maidan revolution of dignity” and watching Putin desperately trying to grab his part of Novorussia. This is precisely what I find so revolting. It is not even the corruption that is selling influence for money, it is that they all have blood on their hands. Who gave Biden and the others the right to meddle in Ukraine, knowing in advance that the Russians would react in the way they did? Also, the actual reaction of the Russians to pulling Ukraine from their zone of influence is that they are trying to de-legitimise the democratic process in the US and undermine the state. Enter Donald Trump…

    What I find the most interesting is the level of denial on the “progressive” side, and the “narratives”. It can only rival the level of denial of climate science on the conservative side. This is precisely what I am interested in exploring. Nothing good will come out of it for sure.

  31. JQ said – Don’t bet using wages. Don’t do social science / economics with a gun to your head.

    Byran Caplan and the zero sum test “can we change a person’s behavior purely by changing his incentives?” …”the ‘Gun-to-the-Head Test’. “… ah, Bryan – yes – yes you can change my behaviour by putting a gun to my head!

    ***
    “CONTRA CONTRA CONTRA CAPLAN ON PSYCH

    “… Bryan calls Alice’s problem “different preferences” and Bob’s problem “budgetary constraints”, even though they’re presenting exactly the same way! It doesn’t look like he’s “diagnosing” which side of the consumer theory dichotomy they’re on by their symptoms, but rather by his assumptions about the causes.”

    “But Bryan doesn’t budge:

    “I’m unimpressed, because I not only anticipated such objections in my original paper, but even proposed a test to help clarify the fuzziness…can we change a person’s behavior purely by changing his incentives? If we can, it follows that the person was able to act differently all along, but preferred not to; his condition is a matter of preference, not constraint. I will refer to this as the ‘Gun-to-the-Head Test’. “…

    https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/01/15/contra-contra-contra-caplan-on-psych/

    ***
    Here are two papers – one with developed model-  which may bolster Scott Alexander’s position at Slatestarcodex.

    “A distributional code for value in dopamine-based reinforcement learning

    “… According to the now canonical theory, reward predictions are represented as a single scalar quantity, which supports learning about the expectation, or mean, of stochastic outcomes. Here we propose an account of dopamine-based reinforcement learning inspired by recent artificial intelligence research on distributional reinforcement learning4,5,6. We hypothesized that the brain represents possible future rewards not as a single mean, but instead as a probability distribution, effectively representing multiple future outcomes simultaneously and in parallel. This idea implies a set of empirical predictions, which we tested using single-unit recordings from mouse ventral tegmental area. Our findings provide strong evidence for a neural realization of distributional reinforcement learning.”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1924-6

    Code availability
    “The analysis code from our value-distribution decoding and code used to generate model predictions for distributional TD are available at”…
    https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/UX5RG.

    ***

    The anatomy of choice: dopamine and decision-making

    Karl Friston, Philipp Schwartenbeck, Thomas FitzGerald, Michael Moutoussis, Timothy Behrens and 

    Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2014 369, 20130481, published 29 September 2014 Raymond J. Dolan

    “This paper considers goal-directed decision-making in terms of embodied or active inference. We associate bounded rationality with approximate Bayesian inference that optimizes a free energy bound on model evidence. Several constructs such as expected utility, exploration or novelty bonuses, softmax choice rules and optimism bias emerge as natural consequences of free energy minimization. Previous accounts of active inference have focused on predictive coding. In this paper, we consider variational Bayes as a scheme that the brain might use for approximate Bayesian inference. This scheme provides formal constraints on the computational anatomy of inference and action, which appear to be remarkably consistent with neuroanatomy. Active inference contextualizes optimal decision theory within embodied inference, where goals become prior beliefs. For example, expected utility theory emerges as a special case of free energy minimization, where the sensitivity or inverse temperature (associated with softmax functions and quantal response equilibria) has a unique and Bayes-optimal solution. Crucially, this sensitivity corresponds to the precision of beliefs about behaviour. The changes in precision during variational updates are remarkably reminiscent of empirical dopaminergic responses—and they may provide a new perspective on the role of dopamine in assimilating reward prediction errors to optimize decision-making.”

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1655/20130481.full.html#ref-list-1

    This article cites 68 articles, 16 of which can be accessed free
    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1655/20130481.full.html#related-urls

  32. KT2, thanks for the references: The anatomy of choice: dopamine and decision-making.

    A few years ago, on the occasion of a seminar at the University of Sydney, I became aware of interdisciplinary research of economic theory and neuro-science. This was exciting – something really new! (Sometimes I wish I would have several lives concurrently – there is so much going on and there is so much to do…. )

  33. Ernestine, I am vaguely trying to come up with a thesis proposal along those lines. I clioped above from this post.

    But really, I just want to meet Karl Friston.

    Please, you nor anyone need not reply, yet I’d believe the oscillations math to be key to moving economics & social policy forward… “The identical oscillators, which were all identically coupled to their neighbors, had somehow split into two factions: Some oscillated in sync, while the rest drifted incoherently” from the article “THE MATH OF HOW CRICKETS, STARLINGS AND NEURONS SYNC UP” below.

    My words are no match for this article.

    If as the article states, oscillations in sync connected with other oscillations with incoherent drift would go along way imho, to developing better agent based models. We are usually unaware of the ‘systems’ we inhabit – from Friston “which entail beliefs about hidden states in their environment”.

    We also ‘think’ both policy and personally our oscillations (we set up waves with standard axioms, heuristics, external rules interacting with our choices and rights) are known to us. “I’ll wait for…” “when x is at value y” “because I need want now) yet oscillations transend feedback, and continually effect second third – 8 in article – order oscillation effects providing not chaos, but messy decision dynamics and ‘field space’ which are imperceptible except to researchers (and life long learners) with it seems, serious maths.

    But with the oscillations math under control, it would seem like time for “NeuroEconomic Interactions: How we interact with the market and oscillate so badly” or some such catchy title. I understand you may leave my course and go straight to the math. So… the court jester said… plenty of brain food anyway.

    *** draft 0.01…
    Just sayin’ JQ, I am busting to email Karl Friston to propose a study with you. Didn’t you always want to be a neuroscientist? Ripe for integration into your “Epistemic & Personal Transformation: Dealing with the Unknowable and Unimaginable”.

    Neuroeconomics.
    Let’s get the critisisms out of the way first…(From wikip… criticisms…I’d bet this is what the chicago / austian / traditionalists / pedants say)…

    “…  or that neuroeconomic studies “misunderstand and underestimate traditional economic models”. A salient argument of traditional economists against the neuroeconomic approach is that the use of non-choice data, such as response times, eye-tracking and neural signals that people generate during decision making, should be excluded from any economic analysis.[48] ”
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroeconomics

    Above is Lesson 1 biologically stated imo, as “reward predictions are represented as a single scalar quantity.”

    How our reward system actually makes decisions – Opportunity Cost as a “dopamine-based reinforcement learning”, and “a neural realization of distributional reinforcement learning.”? 

    ***
    This paper has code enabling testing / learning / proof of concept, neurologically.

    Abstract;
    “A distributional code for value in dopamine-based reinforcement learning

    “… According to the now canonical theory, reward predictions are represented as a single scalar quantity, which supports learning about the expectation, or mean, of stochastic outcomes. Here we propose an account of dopamine-based reinforcement learning inspired by recent artificial intelligence research on distributional reinforcement learning4,5,6. We hypothesized that the brain represents possible future rewards not as a single mean, but instead as a probability distribution, effectively representing multiple future outcomes simultaneously and in parallel. This idea implies a set of empirical predictions, which we tested using single-unit recordings from mouse ventral tegmental area. Our findings provide strong evidence for a neural realization of distributional reinforcement learning.”
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1924-6

    Code availability
    “The analysis code from our value-distribution decoding and code used to generate model predictions for distributional TD are available at”…
    https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/UX5RG.

    ***
    The anatomy of choice: dopamine and decision-making

    Karl Friston, Philipp Schwartenbeck, Thomas FitzGerald, Michael Moutoussis, Timothy Behrens and 

    Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2014 369, 20130481, published 29 September 2014 Raymond J. Dolan

    “This paper considers goal-directed decision-making in terms of embodied or active inference. We associate bounded rationality with approximate Bayesian inference that optimizes a free energy bound on model evidence. Several constructs such as expected utility, exploration or novelty bonuses, softmax choice rules and optimism bias emerge as natural consequences of free energy minimization. Previous accounts of active inference have focused on predictive coding. In this paper, we consider variational Bayes as a scheme that the brain might use for approximate Bayesian inference. This scheme provides formal constraints on the computational anatomy of inference and action, which appear to be remarkably consistent with neuroanatomy. Active inference contextualizes optimal decision theory within embodied inference, where goals become prior beliefs. For example, expected utility theory emerges as a special case of free energy minimization, where the sensitivity or inverse temperature (associated with softmax functions and quantal response equilibria) has a unique and Bayes-optimal solution. Crucially, this sensitivity corresponds to the precision of beliefs about behaviour. The changes in precision during variational updates are remarkably reminiscent of empirical dopaminergic responses—and they may provide a new perspective on the role of dopamine in assimilating reward prediction errors to optimize decision-making.”

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1655/20130481.full.html#ref-list-1

    This article cites 68 articles, 16 of which can be accessed free
    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1655/20130481.full.html#related-urls

    ***
    Free Energy Priciple also know as active inference. ( free energy has a bad rap but not in this case). Is this related to TANSTAAFL or TISATAAFL?

    “The free energy principle tries to explain how (biological) systems maintain their order (non-equilibrium steady-state) by restricting themselves to a limited number of states.[1] It says that biological systems minimise a free energy function of their internal states, which entail beliefs about hidden states in their environment. The implicit minimisation of variational free energy is formally related to variational Bayesian methods and was originally introduced by Karl Friston as an explanation for embodied perception in neuroscience,[2] where it is also known as active inference.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_energy_principle

    ***
    And integrate into system of external systems “Dealing with the Unknowable and Unimaginable” via oscillators …

    “THE MATH OF HOW CRICKETS, STARLINGS AND NEURONS SYNC UP”

    …”a new kind of synchronous behavior in a computer-simulated population of coupled oscillators. The identical oscillators, which were all identically coupled to their neighbors, had somehow split into two factions: Some oscillated in sync, while the rest drifted incoherently.”

    “What was so weird,” he explained, “was that the universe looks the same from every place” in the system. And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. The symmetry of the system “was broken,” Strogatz said, in a way that “had never been seen before.”

    https://www.wired.com/story/the-math-of-how-crickets-starlings-and-neurons-sync-up/

    ***
    No economic & neurobiology at UQ…
    “University of Queensland economic neurobiology PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships
    “economic” x AND “neurobiology”×”

    ***
    Contact Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    “The Neurobiology of Economic Decisions 

    “Consider the following questions: If someone offers you $1 today or $1.10 next week, which would you pick? If they offered to give you $1 a year from today or $1.10 a year and a week from today, which would you pick? Economists like to think that people will behave in a rational, consistent manner with their money, but that is often not the case. That has left them hypothesizing and puzzling over how such ill-formed decisions are made. Recently neurobiologists have stepped into this messy fray and have come up with a rather simple theory that appears to explain a common inconsistency. 

    “Although this behavior may seem irrational to economists looking at our current banking system and market, Cohen suggests that this sort of emotional pull to reap rewards immediately could have been an important adaptive trait when resources were scarce and only intermittently available, as was likely the case in a hunter-gatherer society. 

    “From research in animals, it seems that the dopamine system peaks in adolescence, and that the brain is novelty-seeking. We seem to be seeing that with fMRI, says Berns.”
    https://dnalc.cshl.edu/view/843-Neurobiology-of-Economics.html

    ***
    “The economics, neurobiology and pharmacology of intertemporal choice in humans

    “… In intertemporal choice, decision-makers must choose between options whose outcomes occur at different times in the future and are associated with different magnitudes of gain or loss. Previous neuropsychological research on this problem is dominated by a behavioural-economic model which proposes that choice outcome is solely determined by a process of devaluing rewards with time, termed temporal discounting. This thesis investigates the veracity of this assumption by developing a new mathematical model of choice which takes into account another fundamental feature of human preference, namely the non-linearity of the relationship between the utility and magnitude of gains. Using behavioural data, methodologies are developed to demonstrate that this model is superior to previous models in accounting for human intertemporal choices. ”
    https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1322963/
    ***

    Who knows, yet it all makes my brain oscillate wildly and with seeming coherence. And thanks for your blog JQ.

  34. Please be aware that I am interested in an exchange of arguments because I would like to assess the validity and power of these arguments.

    Do my responses to you have any effect on your assessment of the validity and power of those arguments?

    The level of objective corruption cannot be measured.

    Can the level of ‘objective’ corruption be measured?

    The level of relative corruption may be determined by the voters in the US

    How?

    Who is going to be impeached is not Trump I am afraid….

    It seems you have not been paying attention to the news. Trump has already been impeached. How did you miss that story? If that’s the level of attention you’re paying, it’s not surprising if you’re drawing ill-founded conclusions.

    Also, it’s not clear who else you think is going to be impeached.

    He might be going to expose in detail what Hunter Biden was doing and what Joe Biden knew about it.

    Anything might be going to happen. You’ve got no basis for concluding that this is going to happen or that it is likely to happen.

    What I find the most interesting is the level of denial on the “progressive” side, and the “narratives”.

    It is not clear which denials you are referring to. It is also not clear which “narratives” (or possibly narratives) you are referring to.

  35. Dear J-D

    “Do my responses to you have any effect on your assessment of the validity and power of those arguments?”

    Absolutely, yes. I am looking at the way you are trying to find a gap in my reasoning or however you call it. The only way you could have abstained from giving me valuable feedback is by not responding.

    For example this:
    “Anything might be going to happen. You’ve got no basis for concluding that this is going to happen”

    First of all I wrote “might be going to happen” not “is going to happen” but I am not interested in an escalation of a certain form of negativity in the comments.

    Also I wrote this sentence after reading the following re-tweet from Trump quoting Ted Cruz:
    “A reminder of what this is all about: any president — any administration — is justified in investigating corruption. And there was serious evidence of real corruption concerning Hunter Biden on the board of Burisma.”

    It is logical to expect this “serious evidence” to be shown publicly when it suits Trump, with rather obvious effects on the Biden’s presidential campaign. Obviously a sceptical person can say there will be no evidence since nothing existed in the first place but I am not a sceptical person here for the reason presented below.

    I don’t want to deny that Trump was digging dirt on Biden or that some of that dirt was provided by the Russians. This is obvious. I would even claim that the Russians are behind the systemic destabilisation of the American political system. I hope you are not going to question this statement. Even worse, I have reasons to believe that the Russians are behind some of the activities of global climate denialists.

    Why does the mud stick?

    Do you honestly think that Biden and his son were just trying to advance global American interests by throwing Ukraine under the bus, sorry, helping to establish liberal democracy there and everything else is a Russian conspiracy theory? Or that they also wanted to earn some pocket money by helping the oligarchs?

    For me the fact that Hunter Biden joined Aleksander Kwaśniewski (a former Polish president) in Burisma is enough to draw far reaching conclusions. There was a scandal in 2003 people may not be aware of…
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2907087.stm

    NB this scandal opened the path for the current right-wing group to eventually rise to power in Poland. Lech Kaczyński succeeded Aleksander Kwaśniewski in 2005.

    The only person sentenced in the scandal was Lew Rywin. But I have read somewhere that Rywin is still alive only because he did not spill the beans. There were a few prominent people in Poland who became victims of a “serial suicider” how we call this in Polish. It could have been the same non-existing person who didn’t get Epstein…

    The only indisputable fact not a rumour is that we have far-right governments in Poland, Hungary, Israel, Brasil and the US. I don’t know whether I should include Australia here. Everything else are my absolutely misguided and unfounded speculations.

    Regarding the narratives and denials we only need to wait a few more months. I will be really very happy to be wrong this time. I claim “they” are running circles around “us”.

  36. Ernestine Gross says: January 22, 2020 at 2:47 pm johnquiggin.com/2020/01/20/monday-message-board-447/#comment-219048

    Svante says: January 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm johnquiggin.com/2020/01/20/monday-message-board-447/#comment-219054

    Ernestine Gross says: January 22, 2020 at 10:56 pm johnquiggin.com/2020/01/20/monday-message-board-447/#comment-219063
    “Svante @ 7:31
    1. The only mention of “Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME)” I could find via a google search pertains to Illinois, USA. Without credible references, your assertions regarding Rudd and HOME are mysterious at best…”

    KT2 says: January 23, 2020 at 8:30 am johnquiggin.com/2020/01/20/monday-message-board-447/#comment-219077
    “…Svante, your description and recall make me inclined to not doubt your recall and I (h/t J-D) now want a reference. Cracking story if it is as you say. Not whitewashing / revisionist, but total erasure.
    I too searched HOME with various words and must includes, and tried ddgo, google and then trove. I thought trove would have newspaper or policy refs.
    …So. Call an investigative journo? FOI? Svante, it seems the ball is in your court.”

    Ernestine and KT2,

    how many pages in of google returns did you scan. Not useful here I’d say as it’s old and it’s been wiped, but sometimes beyond page 42 google can begin to deliver, and possibly in a language other than English. That’s been my experience on occasion. But there are many places google crawlers don’t go and many google doesn’t know. I may provide some links and archived links I know later, but without background they’d confound or simply be dismissed. This subject requires some familiarity, it is complex, and explanations tend to be rather involved.

    I’ve given adequate refs below from which to launch into your own better guided searches in Queensland and beyond, if you wish. Failing that you must await the book, which may in turn await a death or two. There’s always a chance old mudrake will publish a story probably in the run up to a state election…

    The other day I wrote in part:

    “Rudd took over the entire government and ran Queensland from the Premier’s anteroom during those days. The state ultimately lost billions, numerous low income folk lost their life savings, and some through suicide lost their lives. The horror scam was called “Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME)”. All public record of that was incrementally disappeared from qld.gov sites beginning 2007, including internet archives more widely. AFAIK the revisionists haven’t altered newspaper and journal archives yet, but it’s easy to imagine them doing so. In 2013, even after ‘Can’t Do’ Newman sacked tens of thousands of government employees partly to be rid of ALP plants (…) undercover ALP moles took down the very last vestiges of any reference to HOME on qld.gov sites. For all intents and purposes HOME was so buried and forgotten by anyone outside Labor (insiders and victims) by 2013 that not once did Newman reference it to beat the ALP over its financial management head. Not once! ¯\_(?)_/¯ ”

    Like I said above they took it off the web and buried any former brief web existence it had been given in any way shape or form on .qld.gov sites. All this began before the internet became anything like ubiquitous. Back when very few people had a personal IBM, Apple IIE, a Tandy, or even a Commodore. About from 8 or 10 years to around 5 years prior to online ubiquity depending on what you count. It was reported in the media of the time. It was advertised early on, and coverage later extended to opposing political/financial opinions being aired in broadcast and print media. By the late 90’s the Queensland Government and departments were up on the web. I first looked in on the housing department site, particularly anything to do with the HOME scam and a rather interesting 1990s departmental history section sometime around then.

    They buried it on the web, I’ll give some links later to where some stuff was/is, and to the internet archive absence. The info there isn’t apparent, its in the overlaps and gaps if anywhere, it’s in things that may appear to read similarly to the unfamiliar, but in fact are totally different in kind. .

    They buried it on the web pretty effectively, but any virtual disappearance aint ever a real death. It was virtually saved by individuals before its rumoured crossing-of-Labor-fingers demise. It was also placed by law in various archives. There’s the repository of Queensland newspapers at the State library where I’ve delved myself, but that was some sometime ago now. I wrote above that “AFAIK the revisionists haven’t altered newspaper and journal archives yet, but it’s easy to imagine them doing so….” There’s the Curried Snail itself, and other Murdoch rag archives, if you can. For Government records by law there’s the State Archives, if you must. Then there’s Right To Know, but I’m sure any RTK application regarding HOME, whether relating to a personal matter or otherwise, wouldn’t return so much as a scrap before the change in government that’s scheduled for October this year. There’s also as mentioned the other day the Qld Housing Act 2003 as ammended by Newman in 2013, but again the references are oblique, one must know the signs, there is no explicit reference to the home Ownership Made Easy scheme nor HOME. There are obtuse references grandfathering powers granted to make decisions on some seeming rent to buy options, but which ones are which? Even with a clue it’s hard going there too.

    Around 1993 in Brisbane I attended and taped some early large, fiery, and extraordinary meetings of victims, and later attended and taped select regular evening meetings between Ken Smith, Housing Director General, and victim’s groups held with tea, fruit cake, jam rolls, and Arnotts cream biscuits aplenty all splendidly laid on in the Housing Department head office boardroom on the corner of Mary and George streets. I dealt personally with several ‘mexican’ housing bureaucrats downstairs (mexican = mostly Victorian job refugees post the 10 August 1990 fall of Kirner in Queensland Labor government employ, and noteably in Labor Brisbane City Council employ. BCC, a far richer plum than Tasmania for any party). I spoke with numerous HOME victims. I with others gathered personal stories, newspaper clippings, letters, assorted documents, memoranda, promotional materials, accounts records, and scans of same. Again, this was all during pre-internet days. In the early 2000s as the relevant departments placed material on a website I downloaded it as well as fully archiving each changed webpage. My archiving predated the WayBackMachine archiving which began 5 January, 2005, some 6.5 years after the first of 3 successive Queensland Labor governments under Beatty by then, and after major revisionist changes had already occurred. Of course, I believe by law anything they ever placed on the net has to be archived by them too, but, you know, belt and braces.

    My particular interest was/is the Queensland outbreak of the HOME disease exacerbated by those infectious mexican Labor asylum seekers. However, IIRC, HOME and other-named equivalent disease outbreaks in other states originated about midway during the Wran Labor governments in NSW. No doubt Labor thought it the best idea anyone had ever come up with since sliced bread! What could possibly go wrong for these financial geniuses? The revenues would roll in, a benefit to government, they’d be boasting about impressive housing numbers too, and, anyway, who else would the other “beneficiaries” vote for? It was all too good to sit on. It had to be spread around. A contageous disease-like epidemic reulted. It was taken up by the Cain Labor government in Victoria. Thence it spread to Tasmania under the one term Field Labor government before it fell in 1992, and earlier to Queensland under the Rudd-Goss government. I recall having quite strong feelings of disbelief upon hearing from Qld housing ‘mexicans’ who’d just returned from Western Australia that WA under Lawrence was about to implement the scam there after it had already begun collapsing in Queensland so soon after commencement, and had certainly absolutely collapsed in Victoria and NSW! I’m not sure how far it had gone before/after Lawrence in WA fell in 1993. Also my memory is a little hazy on the South Australian situation before the Arnold Labor government there fell in late 1993. SA may have adopted it rather earlier from either Victorian or NSW Labor governments or by way of Labor refugeeniks from NSW after the fall of Unsworth there in March 1988 or from Victoria after the fall of Kirner in October 1992, but I do have a nagging thought that they were still only thinking about it, so perhaps SA escaped it entirely?

    Rudd the dud is like Macavity The Mystery Cat. You look around Queensland, where there’s damage, where’s the money? And pffft he’s just not there.
    He sways his head from side to side with movements like a snake
    And when you think he’s half asleep he’s always wide awake

    “Queensland speaks” is a good public source. There are small references made all over if you know something of the background of the person and what you’re after. Some of it’s lies between the lines, and the critical importance of something may often be ranked best by what is left unsaid.

    Listen to Queensland speaks Ken Smith queenslandspeaks.com.au/ken-smith

    line 170 source src=”/sites/default/files/audio/KenSmith.m4a” type=”audio/mp4″ /
    line 174 object width=”100%” height=”20px” type=”video/quicktime” data=”/sites/default/files/audio/KenSmith.m4a”
    The mp4 audio file preferred for repeating bites, fast fwd/rev, etc is: queenslandspeaks.com.au/sites/default/files/audio/KenSmith.m4a

    Centre for the Government of Queensland, Queensland Speaks, 2011, queenslandspeaks.com.au/ken-smith , 00:13:46 – 00:17:21
    “At this time, he notes, the states moved into home ownership products.”
    [mp4 16:00 – 17:10 Note: “… moved away from vanilla.. diversification.. it was also a time the states moved into home ownership products and that’s another story… they were very important until(er, until they failed totally as they always inevitably would)” esp from 16:14]

    Ken Smith guaranteed his worth to Qld Labor not by administering this dog of a program begun before his time as housing Director General and implemented by ex Victorian Labor government housing apparatchicks (mexicans) kicked out by Kennett. No, he guaranteed his ongoing worth to Qld Labor by burying it and its low income victims. And nothing in the government of Queensland happened without Rudd’s say so. Rudd directed everything, even government Ministers, in every portfolio in minutae.Wiki says: “Partly as a result of this, as well as the increasing unpopularity of Goss’s management style (widely thought to be authoritarian) and growing anger at the federal Labor government, Labor was severely punished at the polls.” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Goss#Premier). Goss was a bit of an uptight Methodist with an ego, maybe, but in the end the only access to him and his only access to any of the machinery of governmnet was through the indispensable omnipresent overbearing Rudd. There’s your authoritarian narcissist, but oh look, like Macavity he’s again not there. Who then got the state worker rehab contracts, the money, the UK New Labour connections, that fortune, and all after dudding a nun here? Like Macavity he wasn’t there either.

    It never got to court (yet) over compensation claims or ownership disputes, of course, as legal advice was that the matter would be referred to the High Court immediately and at the least for re-defining or clarrifying questions relating to the definition of “property”. Was this about a property matter? If so, good, those paths are well trodden. If not??? The Queensland state government, and other state governments, had either developed a completely new type of “property” or had for money made promises to in future make promises to make promises to make promises to make promises, binding or non-binding or binding, ad infinitum, and all Attorneys General from all governments in the country including the Feds, and the banking industry, etc, would have much to say at some length at the bar of the High Court about nailing all that down. That made for an impossible consideration of costs before even getting to first base in the Queensland Supreme Court, and who could tell what new wonders the High Court might throw up? So in Queensland before 1996 the government, through Ken Smith, undertook to let victims surrender “their” “properties” and walk away. Queensland would forget any debt owed (works on several levels!), but not actually forgive any debt owed (again that works on several levels!). Notwihstanding the horror scam perpetrated by a Labor government in the first instance on low income Queenslanders dreaming of home ownership (but who else are they gonna vote for?) the Queensland “solution” for victims was relatively mild compared to what transpired in some other states. In NSW, for example, the Greiner Liberal government ended the failed scam there introduced by the Unsworth Labor government and by the early 90s were hounding victims over debts, and to their deaths. There was no forgiving nor fogetting there. They pushed it all the way to bankruptcy as fast as could be. There was a significantly higher rate of related suicide deaths in NSW as compared with those in Queensland. The incoming Queensland Borbidge Coalition government although slaming the scam, finally and completely closing it to new victims, and exposing it for what it was and what it cost the state treasury / tax payers in losses and write-offs kept to the preceding Goss-Rudd Labor government policy of forgetting victim debts without forgiving. Aint Queensland great!

    Listen to Queensland speaks David Watson, Borbidge Coalition government, second Housing Minister queenslandspeaks.com.au/david-watson

    Line 170 source src=”/sites/default/files/audio/DavidWatson.m4a” type=”audio/mp4″ /
    Line 174 object width=”100%” height=”20px” type=”video/quicktime” data=”/sites/default/files/audio/DavidWatson.m4a”
    The mp4 audio file preferred for repeating bites, fast fwd/rev, etc is: queenslandspeaks.com.au/sites/default/files/audio/DavidWatson.m4a

    Centre for the Government of Queensland, Queensland Speaks, 2011, queenslandspeaks.com.au/david-watson , 00:31:45 – 00:38:40
    “He discusses the low morale of the department and some of the strategies he used to boost morale.”
    [mp4 32:37 – 32:49 Note: “…the problem was … the department was … morale was really very very low”

    Concerning that low morale, and this is post Rudd-Goss labor, and Watson links the low morale to Ray Connor who following the Coalition’s 1995 election win became Minister for Public Works and Housing until 1997 when Watson succeded him. Connor came down hard on HOME and homies.

    There was one mid-level housing bureacrat I recall in particular that used to run info sessions and HOME open days at HOME display villages when the scam kicked off in the early 90s after an ongoing media campaign had commenced. He was getting up in his fifties, rotund, balding, patient and jolly. Quite a nice old guy. He’d been with Qld Housing and the Housing Commission before that helping low income people with housing forever. He wasn’t from anywhere near hard-sell real estate, his demeanour was just plain friendly, open, and honest. It was his unwitting job on these occasions to deliver a spiel on the benefits of the scam from the front porches of houses all bedecked with bunting. Some of his obligatory spiel went like: where can you buy a house new and/or old for only a $1000 deposit, without needing a solicitor, without needing a banker. Without needing a building surveyor! With easy repayments at government interest rates and housing commission rent assessments. You don’t need a solicitor as we know all there is to know about housing. Obviously. You can trust us, we’re the government! I once received a HOME brochure from someone wherein this lovely man had written some numbers and then signed it. Well, he later suicided. When the scam came apart and the horror of it, the dishonesty of it, and the suffering it caused became apparent he couldn’t live with the fact that he’d been part of stitching people up. He became very depressed, and exited. I don’t know that other Housing staff topped themselves but can be certain many were not in a good place. By the way, in one display village most of some 50 new houses sold to HOME scam victims had major building defects. Some later fell into holes, some fell down from termites, some had electrical fires, some just cracked up here and there. Every cloud has a silver lining though doesn’t it? In this case that was being a major trigger for what became the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. What often happened with HOME victims buying into older houses was just as bad or worse. Insane deals were done without building inspections on rotten old housing stock.

    Somewhat OT, but turn over a Labor rock anywhere in Queensland and there can be no helping some digressive following of some of the things found creeping about…

    Centre for the Government of Queensland, Queensland Speaks, 2011, queenslandspeaks.com.au/ken-smith , 01:48:16 – 01:48:16 [mp4 queenslandspeaks.com.au/sites/default/files/audio/KenSmith.m4a 1:52:32 – 1:53:29 – 1:53:44 – 1:54] Re Brisbane airport land (Did someone bring up Labor grey mate

    dealings?)… “He goes on to note the development of the land at Brisbane airport…”Ken Smith, formerly closely working under BCC ALP Lord Mayor Jim Soorley, now Chair of Aviation Australia and Director General of Employment and Training hardly touches on the sellout of Qld taxpayers and BCC ratepayers by the low price realised from the sale of Brisbane Airport. He doesn’t mention that in short order as the privatised airport corporation unconstrained by BCC or state government laws and regulations (something of a sovereign state, a contractual oversight? wink) expands the commercial utilisation of the surrounding lands in numerous large scale ways, much of it nothing to do with air transport. This suddenly massively strained every kind of service for miles around including water, sewerage, roads, motorways, bridges. All had to be upgraded at massive cost to ratepayers and taxpayers directly and by greedy merchant banker PPPs and tolls to the further benefit and expansion of the rentier airport corporation. It strained state budgets to the point of being a major contributor to Anna Bligh’s inglorious downfall. But not to worry, Anna has landed on her feet after all, just as earlier had Jim Soorley landed nicely on his feet after bailing out from his neoliberal-globalist-privatise-the-workforce Lord Mayoral position to take a prime seat on the newly privatised airport corporation board, as does Ken Smith always land well on his feet, not to mention Peter Beatty.

    “Text Queensland” is a good public source
    .textqueensland.com.au/
    .textqueensland.com.au/journals
    .textqueensland.com.au/hansard – links to – .parliament.qld.gov.au/global/advanced-search?actionId=1

    Political Chronicles – Queensland
    “An annual and (from 1997) bi-annual summary of political events in Queensland written for the Australian journal of politics and history. The best starting point for Queensland politics in this period.
    Date range: since 1955”

    Political Chronicles – Queensland Australian journal of politics and history volume 38 issue 2: pp. 233-237 Brisbane. University of Queensland Press, 1992
    .textqueensland.com.au/item/article/2f06df4b43a95b372a4910ce80254461
    See page 234 top right column:
    ‘A “Helping Hand” Budget’ “The state Budget was described by the Treasurer as “a helping hand” but responsible budget for Queensland. It … provided for the expansion of available financial assistance for low income home ownership.”

    Political Chronicles – Queensland Australian journal of politics and history volume 38 issue 3: pp. 433-436 Brisbane. University of Queensland Press, 1992
    .textqueensland.com.au/item/article/28c68c3068c6b9eaba0a158f2c25b1c4
    See page 435 top right column:
    “Repeated Opposition attacks were also made on the number of “mexican bureaucrats” in the state public service (non-Queenslanders appointed to positions, which up to mid-1992 were not statistically large by any measure). In June this parochialism led the Opposition leader to challenge the Premier to provide Parliament with a list of names of all “mexicans” appointed by the government. When the Premier refused, Borbidge declared that a cover up was underway.”

    Political Chronicles – Queensland Australian journal of politics and history volume 41 issue 2: pp. 282-286 Brisbane. University of Queensland Press, 1995
    https://www.textqueensland.com.au/item/article/d6bdb34a2525dea264a4aae0d01e242c
    See page 285 upper left column –

    In July the government finally abandoned its
    controversial HOME scheme (Home Ownership
    Made Easy) after some low income recipients
    had fallen badly into debt and in some cases
    owed banks far more than the current value of
    their homes. A similar NSW scheme had also
    collapsed leaving substantial government losses.
    More than 18,000 people had benefited from the
    Queensland scheme but lower interest rates and
    a depressed housing market made the provisions
    of the scheme far less attractive than when
    HOME commenced in 1989. Although a new
    and revised housing loan scheme replaced
    HOME, the government felt some
    embarrassment over the whole affair and a
    number of low income earners were left worse
    off by the experience.

    Queensland Hansard Search
    .parliament.qld.gov.au/global/advanced-search?actionId=1
    with the exact phrase: will return results of the words entered in that exact sequence.

    Your search (on 1997 with the exact phrase: Home Ownership Made Easy scheme) found 16 hits in 4 documents.
    Snips from four hits available in full as pdf:
    Hansard 30 Jan 1997 (opens in a new window)
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • Do honourable members remember the Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme ? That scheme was a $1.5 billion disaster, a financial scandal condemned by international rating agency Standard & Poor’s.That was under the Labor Party.Talk about incompetent Ministers!

    Hansard 29 Aug 1997
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • Then, in terms of the reshuffle, the Opposition might bring back the technical expertise in respect of the Home Ownership Made Easy scheme— the $1.2 billion disaster for which this Government is still trying to bail out the battlers of this State who were sold down the drain by a scheme that had failed in New South Wales and failed here

    Hansard 29 Oct 1997
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • I say “hypocritical” because, under Labor’s shameful Home Ownership Made Easy scheme , Queensland’s low- income earners had to pay 27% of their income.That is 27%! On top of that, they had to pay rates, and that 27% rose by 6% each year.

    Hansard 20 Nov 1997
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • 2 billion disaster, the Home Ownership Made Easy scheme , for which we are still paying.We had TV advertisements running for the then TE score system.We had TV advertisements running about women’s safety.We had TV

    Your search (on 1994 with the exact phrase: Home Ownership Made Easy scheme) found 8 hits in 2 documents.
    Sort By: Best Match Best Match Descending | Date Results 1 to 2 of 2
    Hansard 7 June 1994
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • It fails to recognise the enormous debts associated with the discredited Home Ownership Made Easy scheme .It fails to take into account the $600m in new debt contained in the Budget’s flagship, the QIFF.It fails to acknowledge that the Government’s corporatisation agenda is pushing most of the debt off Budget.

    Hansard 18 October 1994 (opens in a new window)
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • First, let us consider the Government’s disastrous and now scrapped Home Ownership Made Easy scheme .That was a disaster in judgment, a disaster in planning and a disaster in execution which had a rolling line of credit with the Queensland Treasury Corporation averaging some $500m a year.That was then on-lent to unsuspecting battlers, the majority of

    Your search (on 1991 with the exact phrase: Home Ownership Made Easy scheme) found 8 hits in 2 documents.
    Sort By: Best Match Best Match Descending | Date Results 1 to 2 of 2
    Hansard 1 October 1991 (opens in a new window)
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • I am afraid that Governments cannot do much about that, but they can do something, and this Government is responding by releasing an additional $600m for the Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme , which will enable scores of my constituents to get into their own homes. My friend and colleague the honourable member for Broadsound, Mr Pearce, and I have seen a steady stream of people coming through our doors looking for forms and advice on the HOME scheme that the Government has put together. Mr Elder: For the first time giving them a chance. Mr SCHWARTEN: It does.It gives those people

    Hansard 10 October 1991 (opens in a new window)
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 4 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • The Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme loans have a waiting list of 10 months, and HOME Share loans have a waiting list of between 12 and 18 months.Most importantly, there is a waiting list of two years or more for a Department of Housing house.Public rental accommodation is in a similar situation. For two to three bedroom units, the waiting list is between 10 and 20 months.For one-bedroom apartments, the waiting list is eight months.To get pensioner units, people have had to wait for 12 months, but, with the opening of new units at Newtown

    Your search (on 1990 with the exact phrase: Home Ownership Made Easy scheme) found 16 hits in 2 documents.
    Sort By: Best Match Best Match Descending | Date Results 1 to 2 of 2
    Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
    Hansard 23 August 1990 (opens in a new window)
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 8 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme Mr PREST: In directing a question to the Deputy Premier, Minister for Housing and Local Government, I refer to the launch on Sunday of the Government’s new Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme , and I ask: what steps does he plan to take to fully explain the working of the scheme? Mr BURNS: Prior to the launch, a small pamphlet was available.Most of the people who have telephoned did so on the basis of press

    Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
    Hansard 2 October 1990 (opens in a new window)
    StarStarStarStarStar 01 Dec 2004 8 hits

    from Queensland Hansard in Hansard • In particular, the Home Ownership Made Easy scheme will help lower-income groups.In addition to the vast improvement in funds to assist homeless and disadvantaged youth, and in keeping with its social objective, the Government will fund more than 2 800 new public rental dwellings, over half of which are located in rural areas.Housing schemes are also in place to accommodate people with severe intellectual disabilities, and housing cooperatives will be encouraged to expand. National parks were poorly treated by the …The honourable member also mentioned the Home Ownership Made Easy Scheme .In itself, it sounds very nice; perhaps it could do a lot for the low income earners of this State.I wonder why the other scheme, which involved an interest subsidy, has been dismantled.The subsidy helped many people to buy their own homes.For those honourable members who are not aware of what the scheme consisted of, I tell the Committee that it was a subsidy on the interest

  37. Go Svante!

    As you have hansard refs, wouldn’t putting in a Right To Know request return something? Even if heavily redacted or just a list of doc names NOT released, you would at least find some cracks and leads, to other information?

    “archiving predated the WayBackMachine” – I wondered why I got no hits as I tried wayback after my reply. Ibstill dint understand why trove didn’t turn uo anything. A letter to NLA re…

    “Requests to change content
    “The NLA has endorsed the National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA) position statement on requests to take down access to content from our collections.” Requests to change content

    “The NLA has endorsed the National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA) position statement on requests to take down access to content from our collections.”.

    You’ll fall off you chair if MLA returns “Yes”. And choke on the smoke from all the smoking guns.

    “don’t know that other Housing staff topped themselves but can be certain many were not in a good place”. Same w bankers…
    “Ms Dos Santos has denied allegations that she built her fortune by exploiting her country

    “A banker implicated in the embezzlement and money-laundering case against Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, has been found dead in Lisbon.

    “Nuno Ribeiro da Cunha, 45, managed the account of oil firm Sonangol, formerly chaired by Ms Dos Santos, at the small Portuguese lender EuroBic.

    “His death, on Wednesday, was reported on Thursday soon after Angolan prosecutors named both as suspects.”
    https://inspirednewspaper.com/isabel-dos-santos-banker-found-dead-in-lisbon/

    Maybe it sounds snowflakey to you, yet I urge you to write in preface to your book a contact ala lifeline or trauma line. You may unwittingly save the life of someone who feels guilty and “is not in a good place’, but probably was not nefarious.

  38. “As you have hansard refs, wouldn’t putting in a Right To Know request return something?”

    It may but for what you’d be digging for I reckon it would go particularly slow this year.

    ““archiving predated the WayBackMachine”

    To clarrify if needed, my archiving predated the WayBackMachine beginning to archive the Housing site by some years and the Housing site was up some years before that.

    Trove? Shouldn’t they have major newspapers and be searchable? But Queensland newspapers from the beginning of the 90s? I dunno, but I think their having Queensland state bureacratic materials and departmental publications may be a stretch.

    I’ve not troubled to trawl through any Queensland uni libraries on this. There’s bound to be material touching on the subject. An issue there is that as the victims are an invisible underclass and the perps were Labor, supposedly the party of the underclasses, it may have gone against the grain to expose it even if noticed when researching something else.

    By the way there are still today a few people persisting with their HOME home. That’s mainly why it’s still kinda in the Act, and why its here, if you can see how it is between these two pages, for example:

    This: https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/financial-help-concessions/rental-purchase-plan-program

    “You will also need to have at least $2,000 equity in your home to be able to buy more shares.” – The deposit required initially, 24 – 28 years ago was $1,000!

    Not this: .qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/financial-help-concessions/pathways-shared-equity-loan

  39. Svante, here is the polar opposite to HOME…

    A good US UBI story.
    $1,000 a month, no strings attached. Toi short a timeframe. Wish we evaluated ubi on second generation, as that is where most social gains accrue.

    “A Mississippi program giving low-income mothers a year of “universal basic income” reflects an idea gaining popularity with Democrats even as restrictions on public benefits grow.

    “Gray’s relationship with money changed dramatically. She used to want to put her children in the hottest clothes to prove that she was providing for them, but now saw the value of visiting the clearance racks. She paid off $4,000 in credit card debt. She found an $11-an-hour teaching job at a preschool and another part-time job, so she could save more money. As her new bank account grew from zero to $1,000 to $2,000, she began looking to leave the projects.

    “Gray had to agree to attend financial literacy workshops and complete 125 hours of “sweat equity” — hammering nails, painting and doing other tasks with the volunteers that Habitat uses to keep costs low.

    “On a summer evening, she took Alonzo and Allonah to the place that would be their new home. It is in a quiet neighborhood, and it has a large front yard and yellow siding. Through the windows, they could see that the home had been gutted.

    “I like it, Mom,” Allonah recalled saying.

    “I don’t like it,” Alonzo said.

    “The windows were so big that he worried he might get hurt if a bullet came through.” [Im happy not to have been brought up there].
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/01/month-no-strings-attached/

  40. Here is the first WayBack archive of the relevant 90s but post sanitised history page on their timeline. It stayed pretty much the same style from 2005 until 2011, thence altered in style until 2013, thence altered in style until May 2019, thence pffft. The styles periodically changed but the content remained until history ended with a site make-over. But there was a beginning before this beginning style page and with HOME content:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20060822112200/http://www.housing.qld.gov.au/about/doh/history/timeline/6_1990s.htm
    .archive.org/web/20120425230234/https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/housing/about-us/housing-and-homelessness-services/housing-services-history/timeline/the-1990s-developing-better-communities
    .archive.org/web/20180319212234/http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/aboutus/History/Pages/OurHistory.aspx
    .hpw.qld.gov.au/about/department

    And they say the USA is a country always forgetting!

  41. This article is about hate crimes, incarceration, de/radicalisation yet speaks to me more about politics and polarization.

    This is a black swan, imo. “a society that portrays the left as the principal dangerous rabble – often based on online rudeness by leftwing activists “…

    “And there is a broader political context that also cannot be ignored. David Renton, a barrister and author specialising in rightwing extremism, speaks of the left’s anti-fascist folk memory, of the Anti-Nazi League andRock Against Racism in the 1970s. Back then, the far right could be isolated as a small bunch of extremists who could be defeated through popular struggle. But in the US, Britain and elsewhere today, the demarcation between centre right and far right has collapsed.

    “Both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are treated as icons of the contemporary far right, quite unlike their Republican and Conservative predecessors. Britain’s prime minister has the avowed support of far-right extremists such as Britain First and Tommy Robinson. Nations such as Hungary and Brazil can accurately be described as being ruled by far-right governments.

    “While the National Front of the 1970s recruited through membership lists and magazine subscriptions, Renton notes, today the online world has become a central portal of radicalisation. Helping to legitimise the far-right worldview, the conservative press systematically scapegoats minorities such as Muslims, migrants, refugees and trans people, all the while demonising the left as dangerous traitors.

    “And what is the current “anti-woke” backlash other than an attempt to reverse progressive social values – the hard-won gains of minorities and women – in order to reimpose conservative norms and ingrain inequality?…

    “In a society that portrays the left as the principal dangerous rabble – often based on online rudeness by leftwing activists – here is a growing menace lacking the attention it requires. The danger, surely, is that without an effective strategy far worse will happen to others…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/23/what-my-attackers-conviction-taught-me-about-far-right

    Would be appropriate in op “tolerance, acceptance…”

  42. I will be really very happy to be wrong this time.

    I can’t figure out any way that anybody will be able to tell whether you were wrong.

    If you are able to make clear to me how people will be able to tell whether you were wrong, I will be impressed.

  43. Dear J-D,
    I have grave concerns that Trump wins again and the global insanity continues at least for the next few years. I hope I am wrong.

  44. Speak German? Have your say…

    Good idea. But bad law which will entrench mainstream media as ‘we’ won’t be able to afford the links tax/ licence. We will get it right… one day. And chilling, as satire seems to be included in this version.

    “… Germany was the main driving force behind the ancillary copyright requirement, also known as the snippet or link tax. And like France, Germany has managed to make its proposed national implementation (original in German) of what was Article 11, now Article 15, even worse than the general framework handed down by the EU. The former Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda has a Twitter thread (in German) that picks out the main bad ideas. Under the German proposals, in general only “single words or very short extracts” of a press article can be quoted without a license.

    “Before the new laws go into operation, people can submit their views to the German government at the email address

    konsultation-urheberrecht@bmjv.bund.de

    until 31 January 2020. Now might be a good time to remind the German lawmakers — politely — that supporters of the EU Copyright Directive insisted repeatedly that memes were “exempt” and “safe” under the new rules. Germany’s unbalanced and extreme implementation shows that simply isn’t true, and means that memes and mashups are most definitely under threat — just as many of us warned. ”

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200117/07301943748/germany-wants-to-limit-memes-mashups-derived-press-publishers-material-to-128-by-128-pixels-resolution-three-seconds-length.shtml

  45. And perhaps read an article here about above laws…

    And the US attempt by Harvard to adress ‘misinformation’.

    “Emphasizing publishers does not effectively reduce susceptibility to misinformation on social media

    “Survey experiments with nearly 7,000 Americans suggest that increasing the visibility of publishers is an ineffective, and perhaps even counterproductive, way to address misinformation on social media. Our findings underscore the importance of social media platforms and civil society organizations evaluating interventions experimentally rather than implementing them based on intuitive appeal.”

    “Connect with timely, peer-reviewed research about misinformation. Subscribe to the HKS Misinformation Review newsletter to receive our issues bi-monthly and other news from the community.”

    https://misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu/

    Example article with methods data results format – able to be cited!;
    “Cross-platform disinformation campaigns: lessons learned and next steps

    “We conducted a mixed-method, interpretative analysis of an online, cross-platform disinformation campaign targeting the White Helmets, a rescue group operating in rebel-held areas of Syria that have become the subject of a persistent effort of delegitimization. This research helps to conceptualize what a disinformation campaign is and how it works. Based on what we learned from this case study, we conclude that a comprehensive understanding of disinformation requires accounting for the spread of content across platforms and that social media platforms should increase collaboration to detect and characterize disinformation campaigns.”

  46. I hope I am wrong.

    I can’t figure out any way that anybody will be able to tell whether you were wrong.

    If you are able to make clear to me how people will be able to tell whether you were wrong, I will be impressed.

  47. Update on Blackrock
    IEEFA as so often has the goods on Blackrock’s Tartuffian conversion on coal (https://ieefa.org/ieefa-update-capital-flight-from-thermal-coal-is-accelerating/).

    “Financial markets are mostly operated by a pack of lemmings. The move by Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG, AuM of US$1.1tn) to progressively divest from fossil fuel firms who deny climate science and who are undermining the Paris Agreement had limited impact. [….] GPFG encouraged Japan’s Nation Pension System (US$1.6tn AuM) to strip a US$50bn mandate off Blackrock last month, and then award it to the Paris-aligned Legal & General Investment Management (US$1tn AuM).”

    So Blackrock lost 7% of its portfolio in a day from being a climate laggard. That’s enough to wake up the sleepiest CEO. This story is excellent news; self-interest is a s stronger and more reliable motivator than altruism, as Adam Smith noted.

  48. James, great. What does this translate to as fees and dividend loss?

    I wondered why Blackrock moved. 7% or $1,000,000,000 US Under Asset Management for those of us ignorant of US$1tn AuM.

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