Fun fact: Kurt Vonnegut wrote about these topics in the novel "Player Piano" in 1952. Yes, the same year Helsinki held the Summer Olympics.
It's long overdue for a movie adaptation, although player pianos are a bit obsolete these days. They've been replaced with autoplay streaming media, so when someone does get round to making the movie, here's what the promo poster might look like.
Ann Pettifor, one of the few who correctly predicted the Great Recession, further reinforces what I wrote to begin with.
It's not just physical tidalwaves that need guarding against, but political ones too. Especially the ones caused by Cyclone Donald, Cyclone Nigel, Cyclone Marine, Cyclone Hugo, and Cyclone Vladimir.
But as Todd Niall's excellent RNZ Insight programme explained today, we are now very much paying the infrastructure bills shirked by the councils of the 60s, 70s and 80s
A period that was dominated by the late unlamented CitRats ticket. Now that the supercity structure has basically broken their self-proclaimed birthright on power...
As every domestic political debate seems to be escalating towards hyperbole and madness, a couple of new media-political tunes have come across my desk. I feel it is important to the nation that I share these.
And not just domestic political debates either. We're really, really hoping that the semi-unilateral decision to jump into Syria with F-35s and Typhoons doesn't turn into another Iraq or Libya.
Maybe it's time to dust these off:
The worst kind of racism I've personally encountered in my lifetime tends to come from trust fund kids hailing from leafy suburbs, such as the ones I had to put up with at a prestigious Christchurch private school.
It's closely related to the kind of racism that put Trump in the White House - though there was a Rust Belt distress dimension to it, Trump's support base was still weighted towards those who've "already made it" and pulled up the ladder behind them.
How do we effect change to that is the challenge.
I've written about this before, but a good start would be to look at the Scandinavian press regulation model, where rulings on journalistic misconduct would not at all pay. In NZ's case, Press Council/BSA/OMSA rulings on the Generation Lost and Asian Angst controversies would have had financial penalties for the offenders.
Sometimes the Press Council makes a difference. In the case of the Asian Angst ruling, it led to long term changes at North & South - the ruling ended the journo careers of Robyn Langwell and Deborah Coddington, while the magazine itself eventually cleaned up its act.
But with the Generation Lost ruling, Paul Holmes remained his old self until TVNZ and his advertisers kicked him out over the Cheeky Darkie remarks. Even then, TVNZ still carries the baggage of a discredited sink-or-swim ideology. Maybe TVNZ is so long gone that it wouldn't be too radical to just liquidate it & restart it afresh with RNZ values. And despite arguments against, getting the Commerce Commission to look at the media landscape, or better still, a Royal Commission, would be prudent. I strongly believe that cartellised media ownership is just as hazardous to free speech as bad old-fashioned government censorship, especially if Sinclair Media's buyout ambitions are anything to go by. (See link to video upthread).
And with the rise of organised disinformation agencies, including but not limited to the Kremlin-linked ones, some nations and even companies are setting up official fact-checking units. The French, at least, seem to be first out the gate.
If we want to know what a media lapdog looks and sounds like, look no further than the TV stations controlled by NewsCorp wannabe Sinclair Broadcast Group.
The common thread with what's happening in America, Australia and here in NZ is the creeping cartellisation of the media landscape, which is just as detrimental to free speech as old-fashioned state censorship. Maybe it's time to dust off and update the 1986 Royal Commission on Broadcasting and Related Telecommunications?
Meanwhile, things are no less scary in the old media world.
2500 more than National were planning, though.
Can’t bite the “invisible” hand that feeds, eh? The very same hand that pulled up the ladder and laughed at everyone standing below, only to lose its grip when the Great Recession blew everyone down to the ground. Now that hand is holding a "Leave" sign in Britain or a "MAGA" sign in America.