What’s the internet worth to you?

August 2, 2011

How much would you have to be paid to give up the internet forever?

How much do you pay to use it?

The answer to the first question is likely to be a very big number, the answer to the second not very much.

To understand why the price we pay for the internet is so much less than how we value it, watch this:

Hat tip: SOLO Passion


Did you see the one about . . .

April 10, 2010

Italy versus Cambridge – Quote Unquote on cultural differences.

KASS Music Gem(s) of the Day and Their Antipodes: Top of the Pops, 1951/2009 Lindsay Perigo at SOLO demonstrates how music has degenerated in his lifetime.

The end of the road – Rivetting Kate Taylor’s been tiki touring.

Labour MPs in 2009 – Kiwiblog ranks the Opposition and reranks them at More Labour Rankings.

Getting stuff done – Lindsay Mitchell on being motivated by laziness.

Fonterra lets out groans – Cactus Kate doesn’t have an issue with foreign ownership of NZ dairy farms.

I’m still standing – Kismet Farm is dealing with chemotherapy and home renovations.

Satistkick me – Opionoinated Mummy does the numbers on cognitive tests (a follow up to Kick Me on the horrors of the recruitment process.)

Revolution Is In The Air – the latest in NOt PC’s regular posts on works of art.

Just at thought but – Inquiring Mind wonders how far anti-whalers carry their opposition to things Japanese.


Did you see the one about . . .

April 5, 2010

Think tank + teach tank = sea change – John Ansell reckons it’s time for the right to use the power of emotion. While you’re there you might find how to say my hovercraft is full of eels in 76 languages entertaining, if not useful.

Foreign investment explained – the Visible Hand in economics fights feelings with facts. He also has an excelent example of price discrimination.

Organ Markets – Offsetting Behaviour on letting donors come before non-donors.

Inglorious grammar – Something Should Go Here laughs at grammar Nazis.

Academic writing in one lesson – Anti Dismal has a wonderful Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

Cut funding better results – Cactus Kate finds under funding leads to success.

Nigel Cox on C.K. Stead followed by the prologue and the last post  – Quote Unquote has a tale of literary revenge.

Question time in the House of Lords. Seriously – Dim Post finds real Hanard transcripts imitating satire. He’s also had a horrible thought prompted by the end of daylight saving.

Fish for freedom – Phillip D at SOLO shows how a goldfish seller got stung.


Electoral finance reform

September 29, 2009

The process for the reform of electoral finance is so much better than it was for the now ex-Electoral Finance Act.

Aiming to get good law rather than handicap the opposition is a good start; and consultation, discussion and genuine attempts to get cross-party support ought to result in something fairer and enduring.

Justice Minister Simon Power has released a proposal document for discussion.

* Broadcasting allocation – I don’t support any public funding of political parties and their activities. Whether or not there is any public funding, parties, other groups and individuals should be free to spend their own money on broadcasting should they choose to do so.

* MPs’ work vs electioneering:

The Parliamentary Service Commission is considering these issues as part of the process for developing a permanent definition of funding entitlements for parliamentary purposes in the Parliamentary Service Act 2000; in addition, the Speaker of the House has recently convened a cross-party committee that has developed a public disclosure regime for Parliamentary Service funding.  

 The Government proposes to ensure consistency between the Parliamentary Service Commission’s work and the work undertaken as part of the electoral finance reform by raising the suggestions made in the submissions with this cross-party committee for further consideration.

It is often difficult to distinguish between parliamentary activities and electioneering. During the election period any advertising which is paid for by Parliamentary Services should be restricted to factual information which helps constituents such as electorate office hours.

* Campaign expenditure limits haven’t changed since 1995. they need to be raised to take account of bigger electorates which were established by MMP and be adjusted for inflation.

* Regulated campaign period – should not advantage the governing party and should not be retrospective.

* Disclosing identity of promoter – requiring a real name is reasonable. I am not sure why it is necessary to also have an address on the material, especially for parties which all have registered offices.

Other discussion on the proposals can be found at Kiwiblog  , SOLO (where Lindsay Perigo is not impressed),  Not PC (who agrees with Lindsay; and Monkeywithtypewriter (who applauds the cross-party approach)


Did you see the one about . . .

May 24, 2009

The invisible hand at Anti Dismal

Seventies pessimism: Polemical Poets 1978  at Bowalley Road

Beatles’ karaoke a viral hit in ad land at Dave Gee

Bob Jones’  appreciation corner at Cactus Kate and also on the same subject ( the entrepreneurs summit): Yes We Can Do  at Opposable Thumb.

Sex, sleep, eat, drink, dream  at Quote Unquote

Oh Dear  – on the frustrations of dictionary definitions – at Mr Gronk


Feds talk straight to Obama

May 24, 2009

Federated Farmers aren’t mucking about with their response to the USA’s reintroduction of export subsidies for dairy products.

In a media release headlined US dairy subsidies a potential catostrophe they start by inviting President Obama to New Zealand to explain why his administration has decided to subsidise 92,000 tonnes of American dairy products destined for international markets.

“I cannot express the anger I feel about today’s decision,” says Philip York, Federated Farmers economics and commerce spokesperson.

“The precedent this sets is actually worse than the European Union’s (EU) decision in January to go down the same path.

“Federated Farmers had respected American restraint from not retaliating against the EU. That has all been thrown away on the compost heap that is the US dairy lobby.

“The US dairy lobby is more interested in protecting subsidies than in exporting on free market principles. The fact President Obama caved into their demands is a genuine shock. I honestly thought the age of pork barrel politics had passed but I’m sadly mistaken.

“What’s worse is that this comes at a time when international prices for dairy commodities had started to stabilise.

“Now, from left field, comes this ludicrous decision which takes the world to the edge of trade anarchy.

“The World Trade Organisation needs to get to Washington and Brussels urgently to discuss this with the EU and the Obama administration. I know Don Nicolson, the President of Federated Farmers, will be raising this at next month’s meeting of the Cairns Group.

“This could easily set off a domino effect as smaller economies rush to follow the irresponsible ‘example’ being set by the EU and the United States. Tariffs and tit-for-tat trade barriers could depress international prices and trade volumes before spreading to other trade categories.

“The world is back to five minutes to midnight for an all out trade war and President Obama needs to get his hand off the trigger,” Mr York concluded.

That’s a very direct message.

I don’t think the chances of Obama hearing it are very high and the chances of him heeding it are even lower but no-one can accuse Feds of taking a half-hearted approach to their fight for free trade.

Hat Tip: SOLO


Animated guide to credit crisis

February 25, 2009

Not sure how the credit crisis happened?

Jonathan Jarvis produced an animated depiction which explains it for his thesis in Media Design.

Hat Tip: Solo


Passive maintenance threatens high country

February 15, 2009

febrero-0211

Whether this  is iconic New Zealand landscape which should be in public ownership and under public control is a matter of opinion.

The previous government thought so and took an aggressive approach to retiring much of the South Island high country from pastoral farming and putting it under the care – and I use that term loosely – of DOC.

This property is privately owned by people who graze it and undertake extensive weed and pest control. A lot of the neighbouring property was surrendered during the tenure review process and instead of being actively managed by pastoral lessees it’s being passively managed by DOC.

That means pest control is largely left to hunters who are given licences to shoot given areas. Their aim is sport not the good of the land, so many selectively cull to ensure enough pigs, deer and other animals will survive to breed so they have something to kill next time rather than aiming to eradicate them.

Weed control doesn’t seem to be happening at all as the land is left to revert back to its natural state.

But natural now isn’t the same as natural before people arrived so introduced species like gorse, broom and hyracium are winning the battle with tussock and other native plants and also increasing the risk of fire.

The photo above was taken in North Canterbury last Wednesday and it was very dry but grazing and weed control have kept the growth down. The growth on the neighbouring land has gone unchecked and it’s a significant fire hazard.

Misguided regulations on tree planting and conservation are thought to be party responsbile for the dreadful loss of life and property from the Australian bushfires.

There are fewer people and animals in the South Island high country, but they, the buildings and the land are also at risk  because of policies based on emotion and politics not science.

P.S. In related posts on the Australian fires  Not PC  found a house that was saved when the law was ignored and one which was lost because it was obeyed; Poneke says green lobby demands were partly to blame for the fires and Solo asks can we get angry now?


No need to bother with policy

October 17, 2008

“Show us your policy,” they’ve been saying for months.

But does policy really matter?

Leighton Smith played this tape on his show yesterday which demonstrates people not only don’t know what McCain’s and Obama’s policies are but they’d vote for their preferred candidate even if he had the other’s policies and deputy.

Yet more evidence that some people would be performing a public service if they didn’t vote.

Hat TIp: SOLO


How big is government?

October 8, 2008

Luke H at SOLO printed off a list of the government departments, state owned enterprises, councils and quangos – all 407 of them – and it took nine A4 pages of normal print.

If you can’t visualise just how much that is pop over here to read the list and see the pictures.

But don’t even try to think about the paper work each of these 407 bodies generate with their rules, regulations, reports . . . it’s too depressing.


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