Friday, December 31, 2004


If you cant tell the difference between yourself and this
you have a problem

Tsunami Disaster Highlights Corporate Media Hypocrisy
by Peter Phillips

Peter complains that

"The US corporate media coverage of the tsunami disaster exposes a huge hypocrisy in the US press. Left uncovered this past year was the massive disaster that has befell Iraqi civilians."

Come on....

to be fair you should note that the tsunami killed FAR more people in a few hours than the war in iraq has killed over several years.

Iraqi body count - 15-17,000
Tsunami deaths somwhere between 125,000-400,000

excess deaths (note this is a little different from direct deaths) in iraq could be as high as 100,000
excess deaths in south east asia could theoretically be close to 1 million due to the numbers of homeless the damage to infrastructure the spread of disease and so forth.

comparing the coverage there would be a few thousand times more iraq war articles than tsunami articles (mostly because the iraq war had gone on longer). If anything the iraq war is VASTLY over covered not quite as badly as palestine vs israel and sept 11 are over covered but more so than most events including just restricting ourselves to those that involve violence for the moment - sudan (dafur) the congo and many other events. Actually violent events are hugely over represented temselves - deaths by AIDS starvation and so forth.

This fellow sure as hell picked the wrong comparison here - he should instead try comparing it to the excessive attention we pay to palestine or something like that instead.

Timor donates $64,000 AUD,5744,11814405%255E1702,00.html

"Our nation is poor but our spirit is strong and our people support the government of Timor-Leste in doing this, even though they have so little."

by the way the GDP per capita in east timor is about $500

and it is the poorest country in the world

Aid and it's effect

But enough of this comparing countries by their level of donation. Either donation is taxation in which case we have an obligation to chase after anyone who does not pay their fair share or it is a choice by each individual person or nation to donate what they feel they can spare particularly if it will give them the rewarding feeling of having helped.

Not to discourage anyone from giving aid but as Thaksan (primeminister of thailand) has said himself Thailand for example does not "desperately" need monetary aid. It like most of the countries are perfectly capable of borrowing the money required to address the tragedy (although I have some fears for Sri Lanka and Myanmar if they are hiding their casualties). Aid to the country thus effectively displaces borrowings assuming good governance.

Don’t let that stop you from giving of course, I hardly want to be a force for selfishness, infact I see aid as somthing that creates value in he who gives as well as the one who recieves. So to avoid doing that I shall add -

One can easily make the argument that the governments of the region do not provide the level of care you wish, or that they will not generally give certain types of aid at a individual level for policy reasons, the sort of care Red Cross would provide and that the more funding they have the more influential they will be in providing the care. Also particularly in cases like srilanka it is possible that the country really cannot afford the costs of the disaster and that aid would help to avoid having to take crippling loans and any delays that a lack of credibility might imply.

The greatest aid then seems to be expertise - the engineers and the people who identify bodies and the doctors the planes and ships for transporting things - and anything else that cannot be bought. Then there is aid in kind like that offered by phizer - with cash total value $35 million that’s REALLY generous.

However - I have also heard people argue money is better than physical aid because then the countries or organizations involved can choose how to spend it. I guess there are many ways to look at it - what do you think?

by the way - I also note for all the critical people on the radio the other day - Thaksan's company has put up $10 million plus the possibility of more.


from Mike Liveright who commented at

The ordering of the countries, by Relief/(Personal GDP) is:

01 Norway
02 Sweden
03 Denmark
04 Netherlands
05 Switzerland
06 Belgium
07 United_Kingdom
08 Finland
09 France
10 Canada
11 Australia
12 United_States
13 Ireland
14 New_Zealand
15 Austria
16 Spain
17 Germany
18 Italy
19 Greece
20 Japan
21 Portugal

NZ far more stingy than USA .. apparently....

Hmm and I always thought NZ was fairly generous with its aid...
Oh well I guess not.
Apparently we spend our development aid inefficiently by spreading it across many small projects. They probably have a point.


The death toll in Acheh, the region worst hit by last Sunday's tsunami, may exceed 400,000 as many affected areas could still not be reached for search and rescue operations, Indonesia's Ambassador to Malaysia Drs H. Rusdihardjo said Thursday.

He said the estimate was based on air surveillance by Indonesian authorities who found no signs of life in places like Meulaboh, Pulau Simeulue and Tapak Tuan while several islands off the west coast of Sumatera had "disappeared".

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The solution for Global warming

the first thing we have to do is determine how desperate we are - in that regard we need to asses exactly what effect a 3.6 degree rise in temperature will cause how much a 2.5 degree will have how much an 8 degree change will have. And be clear how much CO2 we burn to get that change. This is to allow us to see how desperate we are. If we will get a day after tomorrow effect (I doubt it but we need to know) then we need to take strong measures as I will outline below. In fact since one would hope we are risk adverse with out planet if there is a reasonable chance of a worse case then we should assume it.

But first the optimistic scenario - What if instead of taxing the burning of oil we just paid countries to keep it in the ground. You could pay them money cash now or pay them at the sort of rates that they would have gained income from oil if they had drilled it. This eliminated oil from the system pushing up the prices and setting a maximum amount that will be burnt without having to bully end users. Where would the money come from? Well UN bonds of some sort UN taxes or Kyoto money.

Or there can be the rabid pessimist scenario or somewhere in-between.
Anyway - assuming global warming IS very bad.......

What should we do... well let’s look at some similar situations...

When we deal with ivory or cocaine or WMDs we don’t put a tax on their usage. The thing that is successful in the end is targeting the supplier.
One can do that in any way that is feasible but in the above cases we
1) Secure the means of production,
2) Ban the harvesting of it
3) Prevent the exporting of it.
One country at a time if needed using different strategies as required.


Besides the above argument there is also the "point of least resistance" argument

The Kyoto system picks a fight with the USA and later on the Chinese and Indians (who will slam into a massive new tax when they reach an arbitrary level) will see it as picking a fight with them. The harm is also pretty immediate and direct. It is no coincidence that the US opposes it. I see high chances of you loosing the Chinese Indians if they expand to a certain level and you will have no way of enforcing it. If you loose either of them it is dead in the water.

What if like any good politician we did not pick a fight with the powerful (at least not at first) - we instead co-opted them and instead picked one with the weak. Then we could get the job done much faster.

Sounds unfair? Well I'm trying to save a planet here - unfair comes a very distant second.

Instead of controlling china India USA etc you can control Saudi Arabia Iraq Iran UAE Venezuela etc. Much more progress can be achieved for much less effort. Besides relying on oil has benefited these countries rather less than you might think. You MAY also in the long run need to secure china's coal reserves and US oil shale (depending on if that ever becomes feasible to mine) etc in order to prevent it being mined but - since so much of it is NOT feasible to mine at the moment - that represents an opportunity besides that will be ok once the ball is rolling and it will occur BEFORE china starts telling the world where to stick it. And the whole process will pump up the price anyway with no way to cheat the system.

Kyoto could play a supporting role to this policy but I suggest the socialist parts should be ripped out of it... every country should face some sort of control immediatly (the US + aust would probably sign it then). If you want to be socialist - do it in ANOTHER treaty.

Having said that as greyshade notes -
"One of the great myths is that Kyoto involves huge economic sacrifices on the part of signatories. Perhaps the main reason for going ahead with it is to demonstrate that the global economy does not grind to a halt."

In this way Kyoto fights some of the arguments it has created by alienating the USA. By this I mean the US opposes it as it sees the treaty as a socialist measure designed to help places like china catch up with it by limiting its use of energy - they thus self justify with various excuses such as the above. Whatever you think of china catching up or socialism this stands in the way of the treaty being successful.

RE the substance of the argument - Of course less energy usage amounts to us having less stuff created but that is not really a disaster in itself. The world economy will probably adapt if it is managed properly. Anyway global warming will cost money too as will running out of oil.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Insane aids people

NRT grabs the wrong end of the stick complaining about Selwyn and declaring that htey are "ignorant rural hicks"

regarding this article,2106,3142462a10,00.html

Not that I want to create discrimination against aids victims or intellectually handicapped people or that the selwyn people may not partly be motivated by irational fear BUT two things

1) From a protection of society point of view
"Was prosecuted in 1999 for having unprotected sex with four men."
That would potentially make him a serial killer right? Even if the insanity defence was "accepted" (which is what seems likely)he is still technically a person who repeatedly takes action that can/will kill others.

"Truscott was "absolutely no risk whatsoever unless those residents choose to indulge in unsafe sex with him".”

In which case it would be his job to refuse, or hte trust's job to restrain him - it is not the general public's job to use their psychic powers to tell that he has aids. If you place such oblications o npoeple you may as well give up on public health altogether. AND if he does not refuse we have a major problem - the deaths should be on his or his immediate care givers head.

2) Now a trust (as opposed to a proper government facility) seems to be taking care of this person - bringing us to the point of the article - are they violating his rights? I.e. do they have the right to detain him? Surely the question should not even arise. It sounds like it may breach the council rules at least since to me - although I dont know his case in detail - "he is not a danger" and "he is not being detained" sound likely to involve a contradiction.


The body count is 80,000 dead now..,4057,11809953%255E421,00.html
If we are talking "excess deaths" - the numbers will probably be multiple hundreds of thousands.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Osama and iraqi resistance alliance

osama forms an alliance with the iraqi resistance.

"WASHINGTON - Preliminary analysis of an audio tape urging Iraqis to boycott elections planned for next month indicates that the voice belongs to Osama bin Laden, a senior government official told NBC News on Tuesday. "

“Bin Laden gets the benefits of Zarqawi’s notoriety,” said Vince Cannistraro, former CIA counterterrorism chief. “He (al-Zarqawi) has got the pre-eminent insurgency in Iraq. He’s the one who is the bloodiest, who carried out the most dramatic and public suicide bombings.”

The difference between this and other bin Laden alliances, Cannistraro said, is that bin Laden — a Sunni Muslim — “has not been a vocal enemy against the Shiites. By adopting Zarqawi, he’s taking that whole package, someone who is virulently anti-Shiite.”

Still it may be a mistake, afterall a total lack of aliances makes it ambiguous who your exact enemies are making it easier to have allies in the left and throughout hte muslim world.


there will probably be significantly more than 1 million people homeless as a result of the earthquake - probably quite a bit more than the amount of homeless in Sudan (of course these people aren't being hunted by genocidal maniacs - but it demonstrates the magnitude of both problems).
they are searching the trees for dead bodies

Must be a soul wrenching job...
Death not only around you but above you and below. thousands of bodies laid randomly all over the land.


Thailand has a bit of a problem
Apparently there were a very large number of tourists in the area hit by the tidal wave, and many of these people have Rh negtive blood - but they dont really have that blood type in thailand.

"The Thai Red Cross has a mere 3,000 Rhesus negative donors on their register throughout the country. Many of these donors are not contactable by telephone. In a city with an estimated population of over 10 million people this is not many."

"So what happens when a foreigner - tourist or resident - is involved in an accident or requires hospital admission and Rhesus negative blood is needed in a hurry? The hospital will contact the Thai Red Cross. If they don't have any in stock then the family of the patient is often told to find the blood themselves!"

Big trouble for any tourists who are injured or need other medical attention from Thailand's strained resources.

Monday, December 27, 2004

So what about kyoto?

I am in two minds about Kyoto, and that is because I disagree with both camps.
I am reminded of a theory proposed I believe by Jordan at "just left" there are type one people who support any move in the right direction and on the whole one would have to say that Kyoto does vaguely lengthen the amount of time we have with the current environment so for the sake of those couple of years it is a good thing.
Then there are type two people who oppose any move that does not really solve the big problem. The problem is that if one accepts a halfway house that fails to solve the problem then there are many type one people who just relax. In a sense putting a bandage on the problem thus reduces the likelihood of people actually solving the problem.

I thought I was more of a type one person but it is possible that we need both types. Someone needs to remind everyone whenever the issue is discussed that Kyoto is NOT a solution it is nowhere near solving the problem. All the scientists are fully aware that Kyoto will not get anywhere near solving the problem just like they are aware that global warming exists. If Kyoto is signed by every country we must realise it needs to be changed again within the next decade or so at least into a MUCH stronger treaty - and if we want to approach it rationally we need to be very clear about that - deception has no place in a good debate.

But not only is that true but I think Kyoto attacks the problem from the wrong direction. It presents a path that will in my opinion never succeed and pretends it can. In many ways that is worse than nothing because it distracts people from real solutions.

Finally Kyoto is corrupted by politics. It has become the left vs. the right or developing world vs. the USA. With the apparent freedom it gives to developing nations to pollute, this is also reflected in their unwillingness to consider the real solution as I have proposed earlier. That does not mean Kyoto is not better than nothing but at least if nothing was happening everyone would know we were not doing anything about it - as it is most people THINK Kyoto solves the problem even though it obviously does not.
Even worse you could get the US and australia to sign a more effective version of the kyoto protocol - it is in part the hidden adgenda of kyoto that prevents them from signing it.

Even a best case scenario like grey shade has proposed in my comments lets say 60 years from now we completely replace fossil fuels because wind power is more efficient and so ridiculously plentiful as to make it not feasible for any nation to burn oil just sitting under their feet - THEN Kyoto will have saved us .08 deg or so of change the earth will be about 2 degrees hotter instead of 2.08 degrees. The odds that a disaster would be caused by that last .07 or so degrees is basically nothing.

Worse yet - that is the optimistic scenario of Kyoto supporters other scenarios (proposed by opponents) suggest the effect would be FAR less. Surely if one is going to tie the hands of their economy one would want to actually see a tangable result.

SO what do do.. all i can think of is to play the missing role of the type 2 even if I am the only one.


At least 4,500 people killed by the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Tsunamis killed at least 13,000 people in Sri Lanka, 3,500 in India, 866 in Thailand, 52 in Maldives, 44 in Malaysia, 30 in Myanmar, 8 in Somalia and 2 in Bangladesh. Tsunamis also occurred on the coasts of Cocos Island, Kenya, Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles. The tsunami crossed into the Pacific Ocean and was recorded along the west coast of South and North America. The earthquake was felt (VIII) at Banda Aceh and (V) at Medan, Sumatra. It was also felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. This is the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake.

that comes to about 22,000 which would be an underestimate most likely.

On a political note I notice that the talk of the thai chat boards is that the US did not protect/warn them on purpose (afterall it is the USA's job) or worse yet set off the earthquake. The world has truely become cynical.

Uniersal basic income

Greyshade had done some good work modeling a proposal called "universal basic income" this is a mechanism to solve the problem of marginal tax rates close to 100% asising from reductions in benefit as ones income increaces.

It sounds like a good system that could be viewed as socialist or not socialist depending on exactly how you operationalize it but either way it should be more efficient. No discouragement for work AND even the small changes to the taxation of richer people seem to be efficient.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Democracy or socialism

No right turn notes

Democracy works best when people participate

But if one reads the following post he spends his time trying to subvert democracy.

Writing in the Guardian, Tony Benn highlights six dangers for Labour which are progressively alienating its core supporters.
and that the New Zealand Labour Party has adopted the Blairite [read democratic] tactic of trying to outflank their opposition on the right. While this robs National of issues .

Labour has fought hard to avoid being labelled "soft on crime"

Which probably has something to do with almost everyone who voted telling them they wanted them to be harder on crime in a referendum. Labour has decided to only mildly ignore their wishes plotting a course halfway between democracy (following the referendum) and total disregard for democracy (doing what no right turn seems to want).

This is also curious
He argues

The SIS, in a transparent play for more funding, claims that Islamic terrorists are likely to be in New Zealand. I guess they have to explain the success of the free Zaoui campaign somehow. But seriously, I think Keith Locke is right to ask why, if there are so many "terrorists" and "terrorist sympathisers" in New Zealand, none of them have been charged. We have laws on our books making it a crime to collect money or financially support terrorist organisations. And we have laws against assisting in the production of weapons of mass destruction. If the SIS has concrete evidence that people in New Zealand are doing these things, they should hand it to the police so it can be put before the courts.

Well last time I check sympathising with terrorists was not a crime. These individuals have obviously not committed any crimes against NZ because there have been no terrorist actions against NZ since France attacked us (damn frogs).
NRT's question amounts to asking "why don’t we breach human rights by arresting people for crimes they have not yet committed". Or removing the presumption of innocence.
It is likely that there are some people in NZ who were terrorists overseas there is probably a large number of sympathisers and a small number of people who would take terrorist action if they had the chance the fact that one could say those things does not
A) Mean that one can tell exactly who is doing it
Or B) that arresting people for "excessive importation of fertilizer and sulphuric acid" is going to achieve anything other than making it impossible to keep an eye on those groups.

Global warming

Even if no one ever takes another plane ride again or never drives a car again (and there is zero chance of this being achieved) you are still up the river without a paddle. Partly as a result of the free rider effect and partly because "sustainability" is nobody burning ANY fossil fuels.

Almost every product you buy probably required fossil fuels to make it in some way.
So what can you do?

Sadly, I have not seen anyone else proposing a real workable solution except in as far as they bet that there will be a miraculous invention of free energy in the next few decades (dreamers).

The best they can do is suggest we reduce global warming from 3.6 deg /100 yrs to 3.5/100 years via kyoto OR some fairy strategy that obviously wont work regarding everybody just "deciding" that they wont fly planes anymore.

It is time for hard choices - are we willing to do what it takes to solve the problem or not. If not we better prepare for quite a bit of change - if so then there are some REAL hard choices to make choices that will be even harder for the left than the right.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Global warming III

OK I am likely to trust this fellow

"Prof. Yohji Uchiyama of Tsukuba University, pointing out that fossil-fuel reserves will be depleted four or five centuries hence if the world's energy demand continues to increase at current rates, made the following statement highlighting the need to focus on the quality of resources: "

or this

"Our climate is warming as the sustained combustion of fossil fuel increases the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) that trap solar energy. At the present rate, the complete burn up of the remaining accessible fossil fuel reserves will raise the present average temperature of the globe from 15° to 23°C in the course of the next two centuries."

so 40-120 for the reasonably easy to find / clean fuels and 200-500 for all of the fossil fuels.

Better than I thought.

I suggest that is an opportunity - buy all the dirty fuels NOW (as per my peaceful alternative to the kyoto protocol). But if we dont do that we need to at least figure out a strategy.

the question then is how much of the (lets say) 8 degrees of temerpature rise are we willign to tolerate - if we stop carbon usage in 350 years we can assume we will have had no effect at all. lets say we declare 3.6% as the most we can tolerate. In that case we need to stop all fossil fuel burning by 2100. OR slow fossil fuel burning with a kyoto protocol and buy us some more time to stop it by lets say 2010.
I presume (as you can see by my definition of the target as "the most we can tolerate") we want to be risk adverse and if that is the case one cannot "bet" that during that period a new perfect energy source will emerge - and even if it does we will still have to make fossil fuels illegal. Anyway we need to define our target.

Update on climate

actually standard temerature estimates are 1.5 to 5.8 C for temperature projections for 2100.
So lets say
No action 1.5-5.8 (depending on assumptions) by 2100
Kyoto - I could not find much on this possibly 1.43-5.55
(using a .15 deg change to the mean
and my solution - somthing like 0.4-1.5
Any disputes regarding these numbers?

I have seen arguments such as this which argue that the economic costs of cutting oil usage are too great.
there is however one flaw here and that regards the nature of the losses. If oil is to run out soon then slowing usage now actually REDUCES the cost because it smooths the transition. This setting 2100 as a target causes peopel like the above author to push out the costs beyond 2100 as if that makes them cease to exist - rather similar to the way the supporters of kyoto push out the effects of burning the residual amount of oil beyond that point (I refer hee to the fact that under kyoto we will STILL burn all the oil it will jsut take a little longer).

So lets say it costs us 37 trillion till 2100 to reduce the emissions to a reasonable level. and lets say that is close to the point at which oil runs out in the normal scenario (not unreasonable). In that case the above author's "world" will suffer a catostrophic loss in the decade 2100-2110 (a total loss a major energy supply) while the other world will still have oil reserves to maintain a functioning economy.

So this is rather like Kyoto itself - they both effectively move the chairs on the deck of the titanic by pushing out or pulling closer the time that we run out of oil and the rise in temperature by a few years.

New Zealand's HUGE surplus

As DPF wrote recently on just left
"The claim one can not give those who pay the tax any of their money back is just ideological fervour."

But so too is the claim that one should.

In theory what matters is the efficiency with which one uses ones capital (which as most people looking for tax custs would admit is not great), and the cost of capital. This allows one to chose a debt position. As one finds more efficient uses for capital one can take a more agressive debt/equity ratio, of course this all amounts to government speculation (And one needs to be aware that a lot of government expenditure is effectively consumables).

Then one needs to consider the role of the government as the "insurer to the nation" where it should tax low and spend big (well bigger - particularly since more expenditure items should become feasible with cheeper asset prices) in bad times and tax high in good times.

Now UNLESS you think 4-5% is average growth then any money taken now (which does not completely destroy the growth) can be returned by tax cuts (and other methods) when the growth falls below whatever the long term average is (let us hope it is 4%!) in order to push the growth rate back up to that mark.

A risk adverse nation would arange for the low point in a bad cycle (ie coming out of a bad depression) to have a debt level that is acceptable - this may well be related to international credit rating agencies.

One can see from the USA how one can totally swing around a economy - if tax cuts had been given in the Clinton years wthere would have been much less credit to pull the bush tax cuts out of.

There is of course a secondary argument about exactly how much the state should spend on "consumables" ie social welfare and so forth, as opposed to giving tax cuts. But that is an argument for another post.

Global warming

Real climate notes
The main points that most would agree on as "the consensus" are:

1 The earth is getting warmer (0.6 +/- 0.2 oC in the past century; 0.1 oC/decade over the last 30 years) [ch 2]
2 People are causing this [ch 12]
3 If GHG emissions continue, the warming will continue and indeed accelerate [ch 9]
4 (This will be a problem and we ought to do something about it)

The big problem is however 4 and even more importantly "5" which I will add

First I think (4) is worth expanding on... Do we have a reasonable consensus the effects of global warming?

1) A significant amount of people in cold climates should benefit those in warm climates should be disadvantaged - possibly a little bit of migration as a result.
2) Related to (1) the absolute amount of life on earth should increase (warmer temperatures and more CO2 -> more life generally speaking)
3) BUT the amount of change should increase making it harder to manage - more people will thus fail to do this and there will be more crisis (eg Ethiopian crisis) than there would have been otherwise.
4) And because many animals cannot adapt as fast as humans - the diversity of species should decrease

I think the balance is probably that most people would consider the effects a bad thing but they need to be quantified this is because of question 5...

There is a 5) is global warming worse than what it would take to prevent it.

Most people would say yes - but let us look a little closer - I will offer you a VERY extreme solution that should be about as effective as possible in reducing the effect.

First the aim - "to make a significant dent into global warming one by reducing fossil fuel consumption to zero by 2055 reducing by 2% per year."

The effect of this is probably world wide depression rather like the 1930's (or possibly just like the oil shocks if we are lucky) together with a requirement for an enforcement body and a few wars (since some countries will want to break the rules).

I guess this solution would result in somewhere around a very long term 1 degree rise in temperature using a very rough extrapolating from the standard PESSIMISTIC graphs.
It would be about 3.5 deg by 2100 for doing nothing and I guess about 3 for using Kyoto? Maybe 2 but obviously not less than 1.
The question then is IS THE DIFFERENCE (as opposed to the absolute amount) worth the sacrifice.

This is of course just an example I assumed the pessimistic situation to make the numbers bigger. Probably the statistics are more like .5 degrees (my solution) 1.2 degree (Kyoto) and 1.5 degrees (business as usual) or something similar.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How evolution works

Stephen Jay Gould has written extensively on the importance of evolved non-adaptive traits (what he calls 'spandrels'):

All organisms evolve as complex and interconnected wholes, not as loose alliances of separate parts, each independently optimized by natural selection. Any adaptive change must also generate, in addition, a set of spandrels, or nonadaptive by-products. These spandrels may later be "co-opted" for a secondary use. But we would make an egregious logical error if we argued that these secondary uses explain the existence of a spandrel.

(Care of Philosophy et cetera

I would argue (as I did before this article existed) that the gene produces a protein (or more) NOT a trait. The protein then interacts with various other existing systems in the body and thus creates traits. A single gene will thus tend to be associated with multiple different things. One of which may well be dominant in its selection via natural selection many of the others may be detrimental.
But it is worse than that because evolution could occur by a sort of degradation of genes for example

Whether a gene is beneficial or not as other genes are added that are dependant on it and so it becomes fixed (i.e. if it changes the other genes fail). Thus a gene that is detrimental to survival may become a fundamental part of an organism by chance. It is difficult for natural selection to follow it all the way through BUT if natural selection has added a big disadvantage and is slowly covering up for it that gives much more latitude for experimentation.

This is a vital part of evolution because as creationists rightly point out - something that is beneficial in its final form (eg the human eye to use an often quoted example) may well be disadvantageous in its earlier forms.

It is not just random choice the experiments that are made because certain solutions will be more likely than others and certain old solutions may re-emerge by being activated from old genes.

In fact natural selection should lead to "dead ends" for example with bacteria that are perfectly evolved for breeding and surviving - why would it evolve into a "higher life form"? Any attempt to add a second cell would be likely to make a sacrifice somewhere else (eg speed) and thus be out competed. Every step it took in the direction of humans would make it less able to compete against its ancestors. The only reason is via a massive drop in the competitive pressures (like the birds on islands) OR spandrels.

Ethnicity and Growth

While doing some research I came across this.

I wonder what people think IF this is a significant effect does it have any influence on the way that we should operate?

It would seem that according to some long term research done in Australia

The Prosperity Potential Indicator is a forward looking measure that attempts to gauge an area's economic growth potential based on certain socio-demographic features. ... Different features will produce different outcomes,
Features such as: The level of ethnicity; Income disparity; Propensity to
Spend; and Skills of the workforce.
If a particular area is characterised by a high levels of ethnicity (foreign born individuals), low workforce skills and income disparity the level of income generation and retained expenditure within the community will most
Likely be insufficient to support a robust economy.

Rather NOT politically correct I think.

Now if this is true (and it is unlikely that they are wrong at least in the Australian case) this is contrary to the common theory that diversity results in growth or dynamism, the same arguments used on the TV and by politicians constantly.

First we must ask is it better that we lie to ourselves about this and prevent this work from becoming public because it is in a sense dangerous? (Just like eugenics and talk of racial superiority is dangerous)

Secondly there are a number of ideas with potential policy implications
1) Is immigration is a considerably inferior (possibly even having a negative GDP/capita growth effect) method for up skilling compared to education of locals?
2) Are Immigration policies attracting immigrants that reduce the average skill (required skill) level of the population? If so do we possibly have a very poor immigration policy?
3) Is there a very bad integration between foreign and locals, resulting in a dual economy?

Note that this measure is not "current wealth" it is "long term prosperity potential". So it implies a fundamental problem. And they had many factors in their model so it is unlikely that there is some simple way to deal with the problem.

If this is indeed the case then should we do something about it? Or are the social implications of doing anything too negative?

What if a diverse nation like the USA or NZ or Australia that has social reasons for allowing diversity will never be able to maintain long term growth rates as fast as or provide services to its citizens like a country (eg Japan) that resists diversity?


Sorry for not turning on anonymous postings, I have not fixed it so that you can.
Now it is all ready for you to spill your minds onto my blog canvas!

Laws and theories

I have figured out a major problem with the objection to evolution of creationists. And it relates to how we look at evolution.

One comment argued that

"Evolution is most certainly a theory."

I dispute this partly by disputing his definition of "evolution"
Evolution at least in as far as we would say 1+1=2 or "gravity pulls things down" is a "law". The reason for this is that the fact that organisms can change due to mutations is beyond doubt and experimentally provable. In fact you will see such mutations around you in the human and animal populations (most humans on earth have observed these repeatable experiments). Secondly the fact that some mutations are selected for and against by the environment is also totally beyond doubt in both the human and animal populations. Finally to make it "real" evolution it is clear that if you want you can breed a species so that they can no longer - or no longer wish to breed with their ancestors (speciation).

No reasonable person disputes that right?

This is evolution. 100% observable and testable. Just as observable and testable as gravity.

This is a more limited definition than the one that the creationists are trying to attack but it is identical to the form in which we describe other "laws" like gravity. For example "the theory of gravity" does not include reference to the moon orbiting the earth and it is not dependant upon the moon orbiting the earth to be true.

But what you could be disputing is that evolution explains human development - in this case things get a bit hairier. - In this case we are tending towards the history based meaning of "fact"

As the comment notes
"The crucial difference is that the existence of the American Revolution is limited by times and place."

BUT evolution does not need to have occurred everywhere. Maybe a better example than the American Revolution is thus "war has shaped human history" vs. "evolution has shaped life on earth".
Feel free to take on either of these assumptions.

For example if you could prove that humans did not evolve on earth (i.e. we are aliens) science would still be pretty dubious about claims that evolution was false because of the weight of evidence and that it does not depend on any single part. Evolution was never intended to be such a rigid and thus fragile model.

Now the burden of proof falls upon the creationist to demonstrate WHY the law of evolution (its general effects) did not operate. Rather like if you proposed that the moon used to be a yoyo attached to the earth with a string - I would expect you to have to explain why the law of gravity did not operate.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Did the American revolution really happen?

I read this...

Was the landscape around the small town of Dover in Pennsylvania created in just six days? Were the gently curving hills perfected, the streams formed and finished, the wide, empty skies fixed in place beneath the firmament and the narrow wooded valleys completed? Was it all really done in less than a week?

It was, at least according to the creationist beliefs of much of the town's population of 1,800, who have little time for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. And their fundamental beliefs are set to gain further currency.

As of next month, in a hugely controversial move, the town's high school will become the first in the US for several generations to teach a form of creationism as part of its curriculum.

In Dover, the school board will meet lawyers this week to discuss its options and decide whether to go ahead with the changes to the curriculum and fight the lawsuit. The members' decision will be carefully scrutinised not just by the townsfolk of Dover but by school boards across the US which are considering similar measures.

In Grantsburg, Wisconsin, for instance, a school board has revised its curriculum to teach "various scientific models of theories of origin" though it has since argued that it will only be teaching students "about the controversy surrounding evolution" and not ID.

In Charles County, Maryland, the school board is considering a proposal to eliminate textbooks "biased toward evolution" from classrooms. Similar proposals have been considered this year in Missouri, Mississippi and Oklahoma. In Cobb County, Georgia, school textbooks have for the last two years contained a sticker which informs students: "Evolution is a theory, not a fact."

Indeed, if recent polls are accurate, the Dover school board members may not be lacking in support. A poll last month by Gallup suggested that 45 per cent of Americans believe that humans were created by God in their current form within the past 10,000 years. "

I think if they say this... "evolution is a theory not a fact"
They should also say "the american revolution is a theory not a fact"
I mean the evidence that the american revolution occured is not nearly as strong as the evidence for evolution. And we certainly dont see the american revolution repeating itself in an experimentally verifiable way.


Spam has been increacing and I have started to find it is reaching hte point where spam exceeds not only proper mail (it achieved that mark a long time ago) but also all other traffic - by a huge margin. What that means is most of the bandwidth that we spend pays for mail that our filter will block.
Not a problem?

Well imagine what happens if every spammer/advertiser in the world can send mail to basically everyone in the world in one go. then each person gets a hundred million odd messages per cycle from these guys - possibly in multiple different versions. Now our filters and processing power MIGHT be able to keep up with this but can our bandwidth?

It will be particularly annoying in places where internet conenctions are not so fast.

Sedition and democracy

No right turn is upset that sedition laws but he has the wrong end of the stick

"So, for example, saying that the royal family were inbred imbeciles who were intellectually outmatched by their incontinent corgis would be seditious"

Sedition obvious from its lack of use, requires a significant degree of seriousness so it is likely not to apply to this individual UNLESS he REALLY intended to axe Helen Clarke.

But we will work through NRT's points anyway to see if his logic is sound.

“Saying that we should practice civil disobedience or simply ignore laws that are stupid, unjust or a gross violation of human rights is a no-no as well."

NRT is telling us that conspiring to break the law is illegal... and that he thinks it should be legal? And his justification is "some people break it already" and "theoretically they could be justified" Which is really rather like saying murder should be legal because at times one might be justified in killing a person.

> And being a Communist or a unionist and stirring up the lower classes against their "betters" is obviously right out.

What the sedition law is doing here is protecting democracy. It is saying democracy is the way to change government. What NRT is advocating is the use of methods such as physical force to change governments. Sure that is all lovely when YOU are the one applying the force - but when it is a military commander or a Nazi party subverting democracy I’m sure NRT will get a new found love of sedition laws.

There is a simple scale democracy on one side and the law of the jungle on the other side. One allows certain individuals to apply force (and thus subvert democracy) in order to allow them to vent their frustrations – but at some point for example terrorizing the leaders in order to get them to change the government to the system that you want, this subversion of democracy goes too far. The magnitude of the benefit possible from such a strategy is immense – (an example would be a party which threatened all the politicians lives until they all passed laws they wanted) and therefore the deterrent must also be considerable.

> Note that this is about intentions - you don't even have to say any of the above, you only have to think it. In other words, we have Thought Crime in New Zealand.

Has NRT heard of "attempted murder"? If I drive very close to you as you walk across the road I am innocent but if I was actually aiming to hit you and I missed I am guilty - thought crime - yes indeed. Got a problem with that?

> I guess all those bookshops currently stocking that pretty new edition of The Communist Manifesto are in deep shit, then.

NRT is being ridiculous.

1) No they are not and he knows it

2) Even if a law is being broken that does not mean it SHOULD be broken - so his whole line of argument is specious.

> I can think of no better example of a stupid and unjust law - and like other stupid and unjust laws, it deserves to be broken. Until it is repealed, we should make a point of violating it, gratuitously and wantonly, simply to show how stupid it is.

Does NRT know what he is asking? His pathetic little examples won’t start up sedition charges and are hardly “gratuitous” violations - what will definitely do so is a conspiracy to kill Helen Clarke and replacing her government with a military junta. NRT can go play with those guys if he wants if so I hope they have a jail cell reserved for him.

Pilger's supports suicide bombings

"Do you think the anti-war movement should be supporting Iraq's anti-occupation resistance?

Yes, I do. We cannot afford to be choosy. While we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq, we have no choice now but to support the resistance, for if the resistance fails, the "Bush gang" will attack another country."

Pilger is so tired of the USA that he feels he is forced to side with anyone even those who would behead aid workers and even "john pilger"s because at least they are not americans .

Where along the line did pilger loose his mind? somwhere near where he droped his sense of morality?


Makes me think of phil collins again

"Here we are all gathered in what seems to be the centre of the storm
Neighbours once friendly now stand each side of the line that has been drawn
They’ve been fighting here for years, but now there’s killing on the streets
While small coffins are lined up sadly, now united in defeat"


A victory by terrorism is a clatons victory...
the victory you have when you are not really having a victory.
You go to war with a foreign country burn your own country to the ground and then declare victory when they leave (there being nothing left worth fighting over). Not only do you sacrifice your country but often your humanity too.

Dont forget those less fortunate

It's Christmastime
There's no need to feel afraid
At Christmas time, we call all our friends and we celebrate
And in our ivory towers we can pretend the world's at peace
We can ignore the troubles of the world at christmas time

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's the world of genocide
Where the only water flowing is their warm blood as they die
And the only bells they ring there are those of the janjaweed
Well tonight thank God the world ignores them instead of you

And we will keep ignoring black Sudanese this Christmastime
The greatest gift they're dreaming of is life
(Oooh) Where no peace keeper ever goes
No UN soldier Knows
Do they know it's Sudans "soverign right" at all?

(Here's to you) raise middle finger for everyone
(Here from them) dieing from the machine guns
Do they know it's Genocide at all?


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Global warming

Global warming scientists are getting it wrong.
it does not MATTER what happens in 2100 or any arbitrary time in the future - what matters is
1) the damage done by each million tonnes of carbon released as CO2
2) the total damage done when all the fossil fuel is burnt

point 1 allows us to no longer have to predict human variables from the data - the worst of these are 'will thee be a new technology like cold fusion" and "will china grow at 10% every year forever". Not jsut because they are difficult to predict but becausehtey will be dependant on any solution we offer - ie we will slow growth in order to slow output.

we should have lots of information to test our scenario's against - so our trend prediction excluding human factors like there being a new technology for creating energy or variations in economic activity (or rate of growth of economic activity) should be pretty good.

Unless we are in (or, less likely, are about to pass through) a buffer zone of some sort in which case this temperature prediction stuff is missing the point - what matters is defining the bufferzone and the exact amount of CO2 it can buffer.

I am interested to know what happens when we burn ALL the oil, and natural gas and coal (depending on the low oil supply and high oil supply theories) as opposed to just what happens in 2100 because this defines the magnitude of the potential threat and allows us to define exactly where our line in the sand is. I know this introduces some big assumptions but one of the useful ones is the same people who propose continuing as is tend to believe there is a very large supply and thus a larger effect. This could (if hte effect is large enough) point out a contradiction in holding those two views simultaniously. Or if the oil runs out before the environment is too damaged point out that the problem is self containing. Either way it would reveal an important part of the graph.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

How to win the war in iraq

There is only one way to win hte war in iraq and that is to take control of hte definition of winning. At present the US administratin have effectively allowd thsoe who oppose them to define winning - partly a result of starting a war they did not really have enough support to start. Basically htey start with "we will remove sadam" but it has morphed into "create a little USA in the middle east".
If the US saw iraq as a threat it needs to define its objective as defeating iraq - this was achieved very easily. But as your objectives get more complex it gets more and more difficult to win the war as long as your defeat is defined as "the enemy preventing you from fully achieving your objective".

So what to do?
Have tightly defined objectives - go into the country if you have to (only if you have to) achieve them, and then leave. Be sure of your objectives before you start, and make sure htey can be completed in a reasonable time frame - After you start, dont leave your objectives up for public debate and DEFINITLY dont make any changes to them after the fact.

Even If the US is feeling lost now it is never to late to start doing it right.

Does peaceful resistance work?

Many poeple will say "of course" look at ghandi - but there is still clearly somthing to dispute afterall indias independance was not entirely the result of Ghandi's actions there were also indian terrorists and the general trend for britain to abandon its empire.

Nothing is EVER solely the result of one thing in the political sphere. There are hundreds of equally valid "reasons" (necessary but not sufficient or contributory) why any event happened.

But for those who support terrorism as an answer in places like palestine and iraq will note that the western worlds focus on ghandi as hte reason for indian oindependance is in part propoganda to encourage others to try that avenue as opposed to terrorism. and indeed that is in part the case. BUT

A) In doing so they allow the supporters of resistance fighters to make themself the bad guy - in that they are the one wishing death (as a means to an end but it is ALWAYS a means to an end) to result from a situation and they are the ones convincing themselves to try to resolve it without death. In a debate like this if you are wiling to vigorously take the moral low ground based on pragmatism this is the same logic that leads to all the great evil people - "my enemy is bad (or at least I think so) therefore I must be as bad or worse to win" it is obvious where that leads.

B) The system creates a system where non violent resistance is more effective. i.e. after making hero’s of Ghandis - it will become much harder to kill a new Ghandi and there is more pressure to respect him and do what he says. In this sense it does not matter WHY they became important, how cynical the colonial powers may have been, the ball has started rolling and they cannot stop it. Most of them have convinced themselves of the validity of their own argument anyway.

C) In any bargaining position you can make yourself in a stronger position by escalating the conflict (and showing a greater disregard for your and their welfare). If it was implied that I would kill you if you did not give me a good deal on my groceries (for example, all you own) then I would probably get a good deal - Or I might not - in which case either you or I would have to deliver on the threat. If you accept that as a legitimate strategy then every negotiation will start to look like that as those with the least fears acquire more and more stuff and force those with the most fears to become desperate.
The logic of terrorism in a sense relies on the fact that so few people take it seriously.

D) If you have a terrorist organization and you win and become the government don’t be surprised if they run the country like a terrorist organization. If you have a peaceful political organization and they win they may well run the country like a peaceful political organization. Thus a country where independence was won by disordered violence is likely to be in a poor state – one where it was won by political means or better yet just granted will likely do better. As I noted before the existence of the peaceful organization creates an acceptable alternative that can be differentiated from the terrorist organizations and assumed to keep them under control when it has power.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Doctors say Yushenko was intentionally poisoned

Well there you go..

Life Expectancy

People often talk about how japan has a high life expectancy and this is probably due to their healthy eating habits.. But what if it was not? what if it is because japanese just genetically tend to live longer? let us have a closer look

Asian americans - 81.5
US in general 77.2 (largely european)
i.e 4.3 yrs difference

I dont know about the USA but in NZ asians are slightly poorer than the general population so I'm unconvinced the "they are rich" argument holds water (although it would explain some of the further drop down to the black community).

AND from other sources

Japan 81.04
Australia (approx) 80

thus if we were to place them in order of life expectancy controlling for ethnicity

- Australia (by a land slide)
- Japan

Not that healthy food does not help a little but the healthy food argument is unessercary - if anything you should be trying to explain why japanese live such short lives despite their great wealth and genetic advantage. I assume researchers introduce the healthy lifestyle argument because people dont like to have to argue that europeans tend not to live as long as north east asians (on average) even though it is an obvious fact.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Speedway II

Finnaly an anti speedway person comes out of the wood work.
todays herald has an article by annie theod who argues that she lives some distance away from the speedway and was surprised by the noise when the wind blows in a certain direction which prevents her from having barbeques.
OK here are the key issues
1) from a "greater good point of view: how many people go to the speedway? how many people would have had a barbeque and were denied it by the speedway?
Does the interests of a few barbeques outweigh that of the people going to the speedway? I doubt it...
2) from a fairness point of view - this is rather like a person buying a car and then complaining that it does not have the acceleration they want. The residents bought the houses in the region presumably at a discount price because of their nearness to the speedway. If they wanted quietness they should have ensured what they bought was in a quiet area - they would probably have had to pay for it one way or the other though.
But there could be a solution - if htey really hate the noise maybe those who complain can get together a fund to build a big fence and set up some bushes or whatever to block hte noise. Since they are trying to increace the effective value of their houses above what it was when they bought it they might as well pay for it as opposed to making us (the wider community) or the speedway pay.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


There is a fatal flaw in modern western medicine, something that demonstrates the issues between utilitarianism and socialism.
I was watching the program on aids and the key fact seemed to be that they actually have a vaccine - that is they can cripple the aids virus and give it to people and that this leads to immunity to the virus.
But no one wants to try it. Why? because they are scared that it will mutate into a full blown aids virus - now the risks may outweigh the possible gains in the US (they did not in the case of polio or any other vaccine but they MIGHT) but in Botswana where apparently 80% of males will become infected anyway - how is it conceivable that the risks outweigh the possible gains of the irradiation of the virus? Even if it does go wrong the thousands killed can easily be outweighed by the hundreds of millions that could be saved.
But modern medicine sees it differently they are too scared to trial medicines on humans and to do tests on people. It is UN ethical or inhumane. But why do we value action so much over inaction? But every day that they wait to do an experiment (if it will indeed work) they through inaction are partly responsible for another thousand or so deaths.
Wiling informed participation in experiments seems to be a complete non issue - there should be no need for years of testing on animals unless it is just to make it safe enough for the humans to be comfortable with it (of course one has to have a reasonable belief it is worth the net harm it is likely to do - but in aids vaccines it is a no brainier). Even forced "experiments" (like forcing people to take polio vaccines) may be reasonable.
I will probably sound like the PNAC here but it may take a disaster to force medicine to see the folly of their current strategy.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

EU To Work At Lifting China Arms Ban

The EU has usual has determined that human rights abusing countries are rather under represented amongst high tech weapons carrying nations and are unfairly prevented from shooting their citizens in the most efficient way. The EU in its enlightened pragmatism is thus going to work hard to lift all such sanctions.

I wonder what all those people (chomsy's, fisks etc etc) who accuse the US of supplying human rights abusing nations have to say about this - most likely they won’t say anything because the EU is their darling. In reality the EU is pragmatic to the point of being willing to sell their souls - even worse on the same criteria than the USA is.

Afterall they did not care that france and russia supplied far more weapons to iraq than the US did and the US was the only one to stand up to iraq over the things that it did all they do is point out hte inconsistancy of having supplied any weapons at all to saddam (before it was proven he had done anything wrong - somthing they were supposed to have used their psycic powers to predict).

Fortunately however the EU will never get the chance to be the hegemon - they are just a skid mark on the underpants of history. 7% of the world economy by 2050.. And they will hardly be distinguishable from africa in 2100.

No more smoking from Tomorrow

Sorry smokers - but I am looking forward to being able to go to bars and pubs and any other buildings without worrying about the health risks and without smelling terrible when I leave. I know it is all nanny state and such but hey, just saying I for one will be a happy fellow

Childrens rights

On News Talk ZB (radio) today I heard Larry Williams talking about children and the fact that they lack the ability to look into the future the way adults do - he uses this to say that children should not have "so called rights".
Larry as a liberty leaning individual is walking on dangerous ground here, why?
Well yes statistically children under 21 probably pay less attention to their future than do people over 21. In fact the effect would increace slowly all the way down to zero, BUT there are the same sorts of differences between individuals.
A basically similar argument would be "politicians tend to have a longer term view than average citizen’s therefore average citizens should not have rights".
Of course not all politicians can conceptualize the future clearer than every citizen but it is also true not all parents can do that better than their children.
In fact an even more appropriate comparison is the one that shows that mental alertness starts to drop around the 30's and by 50, 60, 70 by the same principle ones rights should be taken away.
If indeed one can demonstrate that a person does not have the mental capacity to be responsible decision maker in a certain area then fair enough, maybe someone needs to help them make those decisions but the above argument is only valid (in itself) from a highly authoritarian perspective.

students going overseas

aparently 1/3 of Nz students plan to go overseas right away and 2/3 plan to go overseas in the shortish term.
BUT only 16% of NZ students plant to go overseas. the obvious conclusion is that we have a large amount of foreign students who planto go overseas right away. no problem right/ well not in itself but the problem arises particualrly in schools such as enginering. Universities dont jsut build another engineering department - these sort of capacity issues are likely to change slowly and have nothign to do with hte amount of NZ engineers we want to produce - similarly hte amount of NZers wanting to do engineering also change slowly.
On the other hand the fluctuations in foreign students change relatively quickly. So what happens is that the engineering school gets flooded with foreign students - the university instead of creating more spaces just raises the entry requirements pushing NZ students into other courses. Then the foreign students go back overseas leaving NZ with a lack of engineers.
You only realise there is a problem quite a few years after (maybe 10 years) the fact when companies start complaining about a lack of engineers in NZ and even then no one is held accountable afterall universities are not held accountable for the level of training they give NZders they are instead accountable for hte amount of articles they can publish and the amount of money they can get out of the students.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Blind Spots

Philosophy et cetera talks about blind spots. To keep you political peopel happy you can consider political as well as visual blind spots.
I have a special advantage here because I have a blindspot dead in hte middle of one eye but not the other (and political blind spots by the million I guess heh). Well the blind foundation provides thoese eye slides that show it like a fuzzy dot in the middle of the eye and others talk about it as a space the brain fills in. Well actually it is neither it is jsut a space where no information is provided at all - not even its size - you cant tell how big it is. it is surrounded by a bit of fuzzyness but this is probably because your eyesight gets worse approaching it but it is almost as if space is bent so as to exclude your vision of that point (like looking through a special lense that makes seeing a certain thing impossible).
What that means is that you are seeing basically a raw unprocessed image of what your eye gets as information THEN in the next few moments your brain starts processing it and saying what you should have seen and filling in gaps and so forth. But while you are looking straight at it there is a possibility that you will see the real thing.
maybe that can be used on those wiht political blindspots as well as those with optical blindspots.
Of course the amount of time you have with the raw information (if you are not concentrating) is rather short.


The debate now on about the speedway is a classic eample of greed. why?
Well when you buy a house you pay a bit more if it is next to a golf course - you pay a little less if it is in a high density environment, a little more if it has nice houses nearby a little less if there is a moterway.
... But what if you could buy a cheap hosue next to a moterway and in a high ensity environment and hten force all the other poeple and the moterway to go somwhere else? Yes you would make a lot of money. So it is no wonder at all that a person might buy a house next to a spedway or airport and complain about hte noise - they want their super discounted hosue to be worth a huge amount of money and why not? But it is a stupid system that would entertain such greed.
as with all such events the residents should have to demonstrate that hte event causes more harm to them than good to the comunity, AND in the case of somthing like the speedway (which has ben around for seventy somthing years) the burden of proof should be VERY heavily upon them.
I understand that the issue here is that the speedway exceeds maximum noise levels - but then one has to wonder - has the speedway got noisier? or have htese peopel been building and buying houses within a certain zone of a noisey place? If it is the latter are they not endangering their own health? If you built a house right under the flight path into the airport Obviously your house is going to have excessive sound.
frankly I thought the V8 street race should have gone ahead and I REALLY think that these residents should be told to sit down and shut up - or they can sell their property to someone who doesnt care so much.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The new geniusNZ blog

This may be the new location for my blog - tblog does not seem to be particularly reliable