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.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.

25 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Concrete. Mars assists in saving Earth. Maybe.
    And then they list an NFT. D’oh!
    Then – Covid.

    “TERA will be constructed from a 3D printed biopolymer basalt composite –a material developed from crops like corn and sugar cane – tested and validated by NASA to be (at minimum) 50% stronger and more durable than concrete. 

    “This material has the potential to be leaps and bounds more sustainable than traditional concrete and steel, leading to a future in which we can eliminate the building industry’s massive waste of unrecyclable materials. It could transform the way we build on Earth – and save our planet.

    “The transformation from MARSHA – AI SpaceFactory’s NASA-award-winning Mars habitat – into TERA is a literal demonstration of how Space technology can reshape how we build and live on planet Earth.”

    “They are adapting a now-commonplace manufacturing technique in which a computer-controlled dispenser spews a malleable material that hardens into the shape of a pipe fitting, a chair or aninternal organ — or, one day, a whole inhabitable building, with its myriad components and systems robotically extruded.”
    nytimes com 2019/11/08/realestate/a-3d-print-out-you-could-call-home.html

    Jul 09, 2020
    “Last month, a 3D printed house that can float on a pontoon was unveiled in the Czech Republic. Last year, work started on a community of 3D printed houses for low-income families in Mexico. While building homes with 3D printers is becoming more scalable, it’s also still a fun way to play around with unique designs and futuristic concepts for our living spaces.

    “The company was set to open an Earth version of Marsha, called Tera, in upstate New York this past March, and people leaped at the chance to pay $175-500 to sleep in the structure for a night; but the plans were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, and the company hasn’t yet announced a re-opening of the Earthbound cabin.”

  2. KT2,

    Yep. Which illustrates, yet again, that government funded R&D is the real engine of technological progress. All the advances that laid the groundwork for mRNA vaccines were also government funded R&D. hen Corporations come along, gazump or get gifted the copyrights and monopolies to the whole process, creating new billionaires. Inequality increases and the third world goes seriously under-vaccinated. This has to change or the climate, covid and other crises acting in concert will send us extinct. The dangers now ARE truly existential.

    Capitalism, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Not the people, not the planet. That doesn’t leave much in this cosmic neighborhood. Capitalism. Change it or die. It’s both that simple and that complicated.

  3. Greedy capitalists and bosses, big and small, wanted to let COVID rip with minimal controls. Now they are getting what they wished for.

    “SO DAMN PREDICTABLE—UK govt drops restrictions, airlines like easyJet drops masks… and less than 2 weeks later… huge spike in pilots and flight attendants out sick with COVID19 unable to work, and 120 flights cancelled! Airline CEOs asked for this.

    Mass infection spillover—“Chaos” at Heathrow Airport
    Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed as airlines have been hit by staff absences due to #COVID19. 3 hour queues—some flights delayed 24 hours. How is ‘let it rip’ good for economy?” – Eric Feigl-Ding.

    Personally, I have no sympathy or empathy for capitalists and bosses who wanted to let COVID rip and now face business problems and losses from it. They are getting precisely what they deserve. Unfortunately, those workers, consumers and vulnerable people who did not want “let it rip” are now also suffering and suffering worse with no stored wealth to ease their plight.

    I keep predicting this pandemic will get worse and worse from the inflection point where we discovered vaccinations alone are not sufficient and yet simultaneously abandoned other controls and most testing. So far the pandemic is indeed getting worse and worse from that inflection point. There is nothing significant on the horizon so far as I can see to make it better. Where are the variant-specific vaccines? So far they are no-shows. Where is the new generation vaccine that does not wear off in 3 to 4 months? So far it is a no-show. Where is the effective push to adequately vaccinate most of Africa with whta we’ve got? Nowhere. Why are even first world countries falling behind on boosters (3rd and 4th shots)? What is being done to redress this? Far too little.

    Our COVID-19 response is going backwards and the virus is mutating and evolving forwards. We are losing the battle. Outcomes are trending worse. Reinfections will soon rule the roost, even multiple re-infections at this rate. Vaccine protection failure and runaway pandemic waves are looming without game-changing vaccine advances and/or extra controls on virus spread. None of what we need seems to in the offing to change this trajectory. Things will worse yet, much worse, without these changes.

    I guess it’s going to be just like climate change action. “Yes, we will do it. Yes, we are doing it.” Blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile nothing near effective enough happens and what little happens, happens far too late. We’ve seen this neoliberal, capitalist system failure too many times now. The standard neoliberal modus operandi of deny, delay and hope it goes away. It won’t go away. Act or die is the simple message of material reality.

  4. JQ, new venture? Sell primes.

    [You gotta be very Ferm-at avoiding such primes. PGN]

    “The problem is that both primes are too similar,” Böck said in an interview. “So the difference between the two primes is really small.”

    “Cryptographers have long known that RSA keys that are generated with primes that are too close together can be trivially broken with Fermat’s factorization method. French mathematician Pierre de Fermat first described this method in 1643.

    “Fermat’s algorithm was based on the fact that any odd number can be expressed as the difference between two squares. When the factors are near the root of the number, they can be calculated easily and quickly. The method isn’t feasible when factors are truly random and hence far apart..

    “Researcher uses 379-year-old algorithm to crack crypto keys found in the wild

    Via The RISKS Digest
    Volume 33
    Issue 10
    Monday, 21st March 2022
    Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems
    ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator

  5. At the moment Japan seems to be the only country that did not decide to let covid rip after a bigger outbreak. China and Taiwan are still on a sucesfull zero covid strategy.

    Bought lots of food Saturday, since there is no mask mandate in supermarkets anymore since monday At least we still got one in public transport and medical facilities, just like no test/vaccination mandate in Restaurants. Not sure how this works on cross country flights at the moment. Most theaters and museums have opted to impose mask mandates voluntarily. Not a single big supermarket chain did. Suppose the later choice is perfectly economic rational in an oligopoly market. Pur let it rip for all intents and purposes. A vaccination mandate .. unlikely over 18, maybe over 50 sometime before the next winter, maybe not at all GRRRRRRR

  6. hix “grrrrr” … “let it rip for all intents and purposes.”

    Plenty of grrr here too. Peak supposedly this month. We will get lots of data re long Covid.

    Victorian Health Minister, Martin Foley today in the Guardian re Victoria…
    “There are 94,426 active cases in Victoria among 0 to 19-year-olds in the state, and 55,930 active Covid cases among 10 to 19-year-olds alone, the second highest age group behind 30 to 39-year-olds. Numbers are possibly more accurate among that age group due to the state’s free rapid antigen test program in schools.

    “Callum Godde(@calgodde)
    “He said a CDC study, published this year, showed masks and other measures in junior schools contributed to a “23 and 28 per cent reduction in transmission”.

    “If you multiple that out across their homes settings, (it) saves thousands of infections in those communities.”
    April 5, 2022″

    11% to 16% infected 0-49yrs.
    Let. Er. Rip.

  7. Maybe a good time for something different: Korea is supposed to be the big thing in media exports. Boygroups, TV Series. Saying supposed too, because some articles look a bit too bombastic for my taste. Count the time until this turns into a mix of exagerated admiration/exageration of the economic meaning and xenophic hysteria at the same time, like the one about Japan in the early 90ths or about China currently.

    The country has fastcinated me at least since a played way too much Starcraft (1), which had professional players in Korea long before spectator e-sport was a thing in any other country. These days i´m playing only board games online, less addiction risk. Korean opponents have a distinguishable playstyle over both game types: Competitive, trained and timed to get to the game end with low resource use. No dirty destruction or borderline and beyond bug abuse, also never a big economic built up, rather it is all about finishing the game fast with low resources.

    Back to Korean media exports:
    Boy (or to a lesser extend Girlgroups) are not exactly a highlight in creativity. The big Boygroup man in the US and inventor of the standardiced Boygroup assembly line later moved on to financial fraud
    Perfect scaling, Samsung or POSCO style in services as opposed to industrial production.
    The won tends to be valued significantly below ppp, favouring exports of expensive to produce media content, just like the usual scale to monopoly/oligopoly tech export industry.

    The Korean Boygroup assembly line has moved from recruiting dancers at theme parks at an age at least above 16, to starting specific schools with dance interview and english training. Guess it fits Korean wilingness to learn like mad day and night in school. Also not structurally different from elite balet or football boarding schools in Europe. Start the clock – Americans will copy that innovation at some point. To some extend, Korean Boygroups are more honest – there is no real pretense the background stories of the individual subbrands is authentic.

  8. hix,

    Re Starcraft and other RTS games. I put a bit of thought into some of them at one time but I was never good against young players. Their APM (Actions per Minute) left me for dead. RTS can be interesting but the commercial games have a limited view of what constitutes a good game (to appeal to young players).

    (1) Games are hyper-accelerated to get results as quickly as possible.
    (2) Click speed (APM) rules. Don’t be on the far side of the world with lag problems (internet latency).
    (3) Tactics rule over strategy.
    (4) Building, tactics and strategy are all artificial (unrealistic) in multiple ways.
    (5) Designers (IMHO) don’t fully understand the economy / military interaction (in game terms).

    As some examples of points 3 to 5. APM, “deathballing”, “counters” and “stone, paper, scissors” dominate too much design. Maps based on artificial chokes are much too common and chokes influence the balancing too much. “Kiteing” (Parthian tactics) affect play too much. Action ranges are too short and unit speeds are all out of whack. Yeah, I know “because playability” but it is all taken too far.

    When you say “never a big economic built up, rather it is all about finishing the game fast with low resources” this is about the following:

    Economic growth (civilian (peon) growth and military growth) in RTS is exponential if unimpeded by enemy action. Early tactical action to snipe or raid peons or bases, if successful, knocks the raided player off the exponential growth path. This rapidly leads to an economic growth loss translating into a military loss for that player. The skilled, multi-tasking, macro-keyed attacker retains full exponential growth rates while knocking the other player off that exponential growth path.Some good young players I have known in other RTS (not Starcraft) often said the whole game was decided in the first 3 minutes even if the game went on to last 30 minutes. The scope for comebacks against accurate players, as opposed to just getting inexorably ground to dust, was limited.

    Other RTS economic models are possible which can push the economic growth path back to linear. This reduces the chances of early tactics deciding whole games and gives the opportunity to develop the game strategically even if put a bit behind by early tactics. But this takes a host of other design changes too and longer games. Young people (I mean under 20) just don’t want that. It’s not commercial. RTS is sort of a languishing genre anyway these days.

  9. Sure did not see that one comeing Iko.
    Yes, as a baseline, Koreans are/were just more likely to play correct starcraft, which is what you would expect with pros tactics more visible to emaluate. That is they played tactics that are most likely to make them win – at least on a competitive play standard map in a 1v1 player match when both execute technical perfect. Those matches also tended to be very short and draging the game out could well be considered unsportive behaviour. I would however argue that there was a visible tendency to go beyond that point of rational competitive play. The observation becomes all the more interesting when the same happens in a tabletop game where the economic model is not quite designed in a way that makes it a winner when everyone executes perfect. Those things are always hard to entangle what´s culture, whats random (my n of coreans in tabletob games is rather low) or a bad observer, what´s caused by the infrastructure of training or whatever in a particular country… Still, at the end, it seems to me that yes you can see some particularity that depends on national cultures – not just koreans vs westerners, also e.g. Germans vs Americans vs French etc even in how they play starcraft – on average, as always, individuals ingroup variation tends to be higher than the variation between cultural spheres.

  10. Decisions. An Australian post doc representative?

    “NeuroBridges 2022

    “Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from a set of alternatives. Decisions can be sensory-based, perceptual-based, memory-based or social-based depending on the cues and evidence available to the agent.

    “The forthcoming NeuroBridges 2022 will be a ten-day summer school. Students will attend lectures delivered by leading neuroscientists, experimentalists as well as theoreticians, which will address the fundamental questions in the field of decision making. In addition to the lectures, the students will work in groups on small research projects.

    “The school is intended for graduate students and postdocs, primarily (but not only) from the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, either working in their home countries or abroad. We will consider applicants with some background in related fields in neuroscience or cognitive psychology.

    “The school will take place between September 4 and September 15, 2022 in Le Centre de Conferences Internationales de Cluny (CCIC). Cluny is a small medieval town in Burgundy, France,

    “NeuroBridges is co-organized by Ahmed El Hady (Princeton Neuroscience Institute, USA), …

  11. Grandparent? Maths games? Looking for a present?

    And a most unusual game rule “my mother always enforced an ironclad rule of “educational computer games only.”. No wonder he is publishing;

    “Review: Math Games With Bad Drawings
    …”it’s a sizeable collection of fun pen-and-paper games you can very much play anywhere, along with some enjoyable discussion of the logic, strategy and maths behind them”…

  12. John
    I was wondering if you have done a back of the envelope calculation as to how much productivity would increase if the cost of energy reduced by 50%. I ask this because it is entirely feasible this could happen in Australia over the next 10 years, especially if you only looked at the cost during daylight hours. And the optimal way to achieve this improvement in productivity would be for the government to fund the wind and solar power investment necessary to reduce the cost of energy,
    due to it’s low cost of capital.

  13. Here is a brilliant take on COVID19 by one Dr Henry Madison (PhD) at Ragesheen on Twitter.

    “Where are the mental health advocates for the millions dealing with Covid? Why are they so vocal about people missing school and work, but silent on Covid? Forgive me for suspecting they’re just apologists for the economic status quo. Who remembers workers and school children pre-pandemic being devastated every time a holiday arrived? Anybody? How did these pandemic narratives ever survive the pub test of ‘you have to be kidding’? We’re seriously supposed to believe that our psyches have gone into a foetal position, because our work and schooling was interrupted? What planet are these people from? Well paid jobs working from home planet, maybe? Retired and opining on tax-free super about how all those monstrous poor people and children aren’t engaged in productive work? Newsflash for these numpties.

    The most mental health distress by a country mile I’ve seen in this pandemic, is people trying to cope right now with rampant infection. The fear and stress of becoming infected, of their children becoming infected, of trying to continue putting food on the table when their sick pay runs out. Of not being able to socialise with older and more vulnerable members of their families, for fear of killing them. Of worry about getting repeatedly infected, and wondering how many years that may be taking off their life. What sort of staggeringly stupid society have we become, that all other social priorities have to be surrendered to the great engine room of commerce, manufacturing crap we mostly don’t need, paying us chicken feed to do it, while every part of our lives becomes continuously more unaffordable?

    There will be a reckoning about the disgrace of the past 2 years. About the venal, idiot politicians who were too lazy and stupid to do basic public health work. Too beholden to their donors. But even more, for the ‘experts’ who offered themselves as their human shields.” – Dr Henry Madison

  14. Harry, any comment on “Economic models frequently invoke entities that do not exist, such as perfectly rational agents…” below? I’m confused now.

    Ikon, who is Dr Henry Madison?  He also said, and I take this (confirmation bias?) as support of my call to replace  the word and concepts of welfare, with justice… 

    “Language really is power. If you want to oppose the current ‘economic’ elites, you have to stop speaking in a pleading way.”

    My recent language change call – justice replaces the word and concepts of welfare.

    And at Lars P Syll, Dr Henry Madison appears in a comment posted by “skippy on 3 Jan, 2022 at 21:43 “SyringeSyringe Dr Henry Madison @RageSheen”

    And the interesting comparison of economics with heavy balls and feathers by Lars P Syll ;-
    …”In the end, it all boils down to one question — are there any Galilean ‘heavy balls’ to be found in economics, so that we can indisputably establish the existence of economic laws operating in real-world economies?

    “As far as I can see there are some heavy balls out there, but not even one single real economic law.

    “So to come up with interesting conclusions you have to rely heavily on those other — ‘structural’ — assumptions.

    “Economic models frequently invoke entities that do not exist, such as perfectly rational agents, perfectly inelastic demand functions, and so on.”…

    Any comment JQ, Ernestine.

    Harry Clarke, you said in “Pathological liar vs gutless fraud” thread you “always found it difficult to provide examples of goods in completely inelastic demand”. 

    It seems you overlooked your own workplace. 

    I have to say I find elasticity of “University education near 0 [69]” (Wikipedia) causes me cognitive dissonance and makes me think of perverse culture & incentives. Another piece if data I will need a PhD in before coming to terms with. Any comments HC, to assist my cognitive dissonance?

    “and perfectly inelastic demand (= 0), where a rise in price leaves the quantity unchanged.”

    [69] “Tuition Fees and University Enrolment: A Meta-Regression Analysis
    …”we find that the literature is consistent with the mean tuition–enrolment elasticity being close to zero.
    “Nevertheless, we identify substantial heterogeneity among the reported effects: for example, male students and students at private universities display larger elasticities.”

  15. KT2,

    I don’t know who Dr. Henry Madison is. That may well a pseudonym. He makes good sense and his rhetoric is refreshing. He states: “All views my own. Not a medical doctor. A PhD doctor (much longer training, much less money).” He’s willing to attack and ridicule the absurdities of neoliberalism in no uncertain terms.

  16. Is the reason for purported “0 elasticity” of university akin to JQ’s “this piece by Stefano Bartolini, which argues that people strive to increase their wealth as a response to the negative externalities generated by positional externalities[4] and the destruction of social capital.”
    ” fn4. To translate from the economese, the fact that some social benefits depend more on your relative position than your absolute wealth means that if one person becomes better off, others are worse off.”

    Chris Bertram @1 says ” Shades of the enclosures …. and more reason to resist the encroachment of the market in those areas that still provide people with goods for free (health and education, to some extent).”.

    Or maybe I am just confused about insulin, university & education related to elasticity.

  17. KT2,

    I’ve reached the point where I don’t believe in economic laws with perhaps a few exceptions. [1] It seems to me that most of what are called economic “laws” are really theorems of a given theoretical axiomatic system in question.

    According to Lionel Robbins, “Economic laws are statements of uniformities about human behavior concerning the disposal of scarce means with alternative uses for the achievement of ends that are unlimited.”

    This seems a reasonable definition in some respects and perhaps many orthodox economists would subscribe to it. What it leaves out are all historical, regional, legal, moral, cultural and institutional differences and it then ascribes an axiomatic uniformity to human behavior in relation to scarce means and open-ended ends as if the other multitudeinous factors did not exist. Thus, it becomes moot whether the definition is prescriptive or descriptive. Is it describing universal uniformities or is it prescribing rules (economic rules) which then make uniformities appear which said uniformities are artifacts of the prescription?

    As Schumpeter said: “Economic laws are much less stable than are the ‘laws’ of any physical science…and they work out differently in different institutional conditions”.

    I would probably go so far as to say economic laws are not laws at al, in any sense which is worth saving. They are merely theorems of the particular axiomatic set-up in question which then play out when used (via applied economics) in real systems (of humans and natural systems) mainly as unforeseen and unintended consequences. This statement is a little hyperbolic and sarcastic and yet perhaps not so far from the truth.

  18. Why Sweden did what it did during the pandemic.

    I did not know, and it would have been informative to hear – “In 2014, the Public Health Agency merged with the Institute for Infectious Disease Control; the first decision by its new head (Johan Carlson) was to dismiss and move the authority’s six professors to Karolinska Institute.”. Those who professed how great Sweden was as a great pandemic management example from the outset, to my knowledge, didn’t mention this tidbit in their declarations.

    Australia has just announced a royal commission into the pandemic. What is Sweden’s equivalent? Definitely some hard questions for many to answer. The loooong tail of covid and debt still to play out.

    “Did Sweden beat the pandemic by refusing to lock down? No, its record is disastrous

    “Evaluation of science advice during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden

    “We argue that that scientific methodology was not followed by the major figures in the acting authorities—or the responsible politicians—with alternative narratives being considered as valid, resulting in arbitrary policy decisions. In 2014, the Public Health Agency merged with the Institute for Infectious Disease Control; the first decision by its new head (Johan Carlson) was to dismiss and move the authority’s six professors to Karolinska Institute. With this setup, the authority lacked expertise and could disregard scientific facts. The Swedish pandemic strategy seemed targeted towards “natural” herd-immunity and avoiding a societal shutdown. The Public Health Agency labelled advice from national scientists and international authorities as extreme positions, resulting in media and political bodies to accept their own policy instead. The Swedish people were kept in ignorance of basic facts such as the airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission, that asymptomatic individuals can be contagious and that face masks protect both the carrier and others. Mandatory legislation was seldom used; recommendations relying upon personal responsibility and without any sanctions were the norm. Many elderly people were administered morphine instead of oxygen despite available supplies, effectively ending their lives. If Sweden wants to do better in future pandemics, the scientific method must be re-established, not least within the Public Health Agency. It would likely make a large difference if a separate, independent Institute for Infectious Disease Control is recreated. We recommend Sweden begins a self-critical process about its political culture and the lack of accountability of decision-makers to avoid future failures, as occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  19. And no vaccination mandate in Germany, not even above 60, a hell lot of cheap manouvers, including a pointless non mandate mandate up for voteing so some MPs can claim they voted for/agianst a mandate depending on the audience and a CDU firm in the hands of super corrupt “i´m middle class with 2 million annual income and weflare receipants can easily life on 150 Euro a month Merz”. . Disgusting.
    (in German)

  20. One addition: It is just disgusting how the reporting is so persoanliced, as if Heiner Lautberbach (health minister) where some kind of star coach at a football club that lost a game which you should now chear or be sad about, or bash the trainer for the wrong tactic depending on random emotional ties. Deciding to kill at least 100000 people is not a drunk sports debate in a bar grrrr…..

  21. This gem from Lang Hancocks introduction in the preface to the booklet that accompanied Milton Freidman’s visit to Australia in the year before Freidman won the Nobel Prize for economics .

    “The emphasis must be placed at all times on making people understand that the basis of all civilisation is mining ,because everything comes from the earth . This is not understood by the media , bureaucracy and government , but it is understood by the communist controlled unions who realise that by destroying mining they are able to achieve their aim of destroying Australia ”

    He had another good one where he advocates for telling Aboriginal people that they can only get their dole cheques in the one place so they all go there and then putting something in the water to sterilize them all.

    The man was a towering intellect and proof positive that the market allocates wealth properly.

  22. Russia. Australia soon? How does Human Rights, police misuse of power, and media collusion, effect the market, economic policy and socioeconomic equity please? Anyone. Vigilance. Feeling a chilling effect? You’re colluding.

    We, me – yes you too – are complicit in our.. loss of “credibility of government and our public institutions has crumbled over the past nine years of this government; meddling, peddling, bullying and hiding things from its electors.” ( Michael West link)

    …”Partially compliant human rights commissions are given ‘B status’ and may only participate as observers. They are essentially works in progress.

    “Among the countries in this class are Myanmar, Venezuela, Chad, Libya and Bahrain.”

    “Professor Nolan said Australia’s standing on the world stage had been jeopardised by the federal government “hand-picking” commissioners.”

    “The key concern of the committee that led to the deferral was the selection and appointment process for commissioners.”

    “Australian Human Rights Commission warned by global body to improve independence of appointments

    “This was no whisper from an anonymous source, no dodgy “drop” by a politician’s media adviser, this was a verifiable document. None of the parties implicated: MP Tim Wilson, former defence minister Christopher Pyne and others, or for that matter the investigating law firm Sparke Helmore, have rebutted the story.

    youtube com/

  23. sunshine, here is another gem by Linda Ronndstat, a seriously flawed gem and a rigged market, and a rock – TA.

    Here is Linda R on Rupert, (and I note Lachlan**, has taken this mantle and espoused Lesson 1 + extreme culture war and white entitled culture, at an IPA lecture just LAST MONTH.)

    As you say sunshine, another “man was a towering intellect and proof positive that the market allocates wealth properly” called out by Linda Ronstadt & Don Lane in 1983!

    We are all complict. We allow ourselves to comment and be commented on via ‘their’ narrative,  language and framing. Justice, not welfare. Humanity not tribes.

    “Linda Ronstadt had Rupert Murdoch’s number as far back as 1983, thirteen [not three, like I first posted before an astute commenter corrected me] years before he launched Fox News. 

    “Yeah he’s very responsible too, you know,” she said sarcastically. “I mean, you see these screaming headlines in his newspapers about politics, or a shooting, or a killing, that are only made to inflame terror and horror … it’s bad for journalism. It’s bad for the responsible journalists out there.”

    “Here’s the clip:
    Linda Rondstadt on Australian TV in 1983: “Australia gave us Rupert Murdoch. Thanks a lot, you guys. Take him back!”pic twitter com
    — Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) April 5, 2022

    Flawed gem.

    Lachlan Murdoch says;
    “We must steel ourselves to protect our Australian way of life”

    “It is this fluid way of life that makes the Centre for the Australian Way of Life such an inspred idea”.

    29th March 2022

    Rock, and creatuure living under said rock.

    The Centre for the Australian Way of Life is a front for IPA. See the internet address – it has Australia appended to the dns!

    (apologies for TA below – needed to remind us which rock provides … Succour- To help; aid TA, in the sense that; Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to Mammon, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to SUCCOUR them that are tempted.”… is our TA & IPA, with Lachlan as PR man.(

    Lachlan Murdoch said in above article:
    “Australian culture is under threat like never before. Join us in our fight to defend and extend the Australian way of life.”

    Here is the defender and extender of culture wars going back before the dark ages…

    “Tony Abbott
    28th Prime Minister of Australia &
    Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs”

    Lachlan’s PR exposed :
    “Why do Putin, Trump, Tucker Carlson and the Republican party sound so alike?
    Robert Reich

  24. Because I am a legend in my own lunchtime (that’s self-deprecating humor folks) and for a change of pace, I have adopted my own theme tune.

    Iko! Iko!

  25. The Conversation published yesterday a piece by Peter Martin titled One issue matters more to top economists than any other this election: climate change, began with:

    Offered a menu of issues to choose from as the most important in the May 21 election, Australia’s top economists have overwhelmingly zeroed in on one.

    Three quarters of the 50 top economists surveyed by The Conversation and the Economic Society of Australia have nominated “climate and the environment” as the most important issue for the incoming government and the most important in the election.

    JQ is quoted saying:

    Overall, the most depressing and dispiriting election campaign I have seen in 50+ years of paying attention.

    No significant policy offerings from either major part[y], so we are left with pork barrel bribes and character attacks, which feed into worst kind of media coverage.

    Climate change and poverty/inequality are the most important issues, but neither party is offering anything substantive.

    I’d suggest the most important issues are:
    1) Climate change – an existential threat to human civilisation – if we/humanity cannot solve the climate crisis then nothing else will matter;
    2) Worsening energy security – disrupted energy supplies and increasing unaffordability means disrupted food, clean water & medical supplies – we then starve, get weak, sick & die;
    3) Ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – increasing numbers of severe ‘long-COVID’ sufferers will in future likely overwhelm medical systems and be an increasing drag on economic capacity, and will likely ultimately erode human lifespan.

    I see these are all personal existential threats. I don’t see anything from the Coalition or Labor adequately dealing with these issues.

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