Posts by Moz

  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    The kind of polytech that helped produce the Poly-1?

    I may have used one of those, as part of a Scout Jamboree somewhere, but beige plastic thing with handles, all smooth-ish plastic and I can't remember any of the details. It seemed less hackable than the C64 I had somehow managed to acquire ($1000 was a lot of money back then).

    At that time the hacker community was ham radio based for the most part (unless you wanted to do TV with the Christians). I got some valuable help from local radio people and ended up with a "tweaked" C64, before the C128 came out with similar mods.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead, in reply to Prudence,

    I'd build a huge workshop where people could...

    There are "maker spaces" around Aotearoa, as well as other community workshops. If you're a man there's the men's shed movement, there are often similar things that are more inclusive if you search. Search is cheap now we have the internet, what people often need is the keywords to use :) Also, local councils are often good at having a list of things like that, it can be worth looking at their website(s), and as part of that libraries are starting to provide those resources (since apparently polytechs can't do that any more. Polytech used to be great, you'd pay $50 for six months of weekly evening classes in a workshop where you could generally work on your own vaguely-related project under expert supervision).

    It can also be worth broadening out to things like bicycle co-ops because community groups that incidentally do workshop-related things will often welcome someone who "just" wants to make their workshop better in exchange for using it. I have refitted a bowling club workshop on that basis once, they had a "shed" (I'm being charitable) that I did up and turned into a grounds-shed and workshop using their money and mostly my labour (the bowlers helped at times). I'm pretty sure both sides were happy with the arrangement (I definitely was). For a few months I had a much better workshop, but then ... I was renting, I had to move, suddenly it wasn't over the back fence any more. Bah!

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration,

    It's possibly useful to remind ourselves that in many cases overseas investors are not buying for cash returns so much as they are buying security. Through diversifying but also because often investing in their home country is extremely high risk. They're buying into our legal system and government as much as they're buying into our housing market. Something our lords and masters might want to keep in mind when playing fast and loose with the legal system.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration, in reply to steven crawford,

    , language like “first home” gives the impression that aspiring to multiple home ownership isn’t greedy

    "first home"? I don't understand how someone can live in more than one home at a time. There's home, and there's "all my other houses" (which number is probably zero). The "first home" thing is designed to be completely misleading from the ground up. It's designed to separate young (under 40) people trying to move out of rentals into owning a home from people selling their current home and buying another.

    The question should really be put as "landlords vs homeowners". Should we favour people leveraging multiple houses to buy another over people who want a stable place to live? But that would make it clear that the law deliberately favours the rich, and would also make the link to tenancy laws uncomfortably obvious.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    My issue with this is the reason we need them is because we've failed to educate residents to fill those roles. Sure in an emergency

    By "really, really need" I was thinking more of the emergency than the current approach of "why train people, we can import them". The latter is bullshit, the former is pretty unavoidable. There's also a "paying for talent" aspect, we import expensive livestock and plants to improve local stock so why not do the same for people? Admittedly I'm thinking Nobel Prize winners rather than the rugby players that some might prefer, but I think the idea is sound.

    To be honest I'd be happiest with your list in reverse order :) but that's probably just me.

    To me "we came to your country and made a problem/disaster" takes precedence over other refugees. Aotearoa isn't as bad as some, but we have our share of locals who took great risks to help our UN missions or soldiers then got shafted. I think that's far more shameful than the indirect "shame about the war in Yemen {shrug}" stuff.

    The family reunion approach works better than raw refugee intake I think. Once one family of refugees has got to the point where they can persuade the system to let them bring in family you have a whole lot of helpful things in place. New New Zealanders are arriving to a place they know a bit about, people they know and who know them, they have social and financial resources to help them get started, and so on. I see it as an unofficial extension of the refugee program in that sense (I suppose I should mention at this point that my recently-ex partner is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees so I am both somewhat aware of how this works, and biased towards it. Her step-sister with husband and kid arrived this way, for example).

    I presume NZ has the same problems with exploitation of vulnerable workers as Australia does? Over here one common scam is "you can only legally work X hours, so we pay you X hours at minimum wage. You work all the hours we want or we will dob you in for working more than the legal hours". The awesome thing is that it actually works that way in practice - if the company admits to breaking that law the worker is deported and the company asked if they would perhaps consider thinking about making a policy telling staff not to work more hours than their visa permits.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration, in reply to Harkanwal Singh,

    when we judge humans by quality, I think we all know where that leads.

    It's in a way worse, because we know that we have no way to accurately judge quality. Fraudsters are the obvious example, often people think they're excellent for years until they get discovered we find out they've been living a lie all this time. If we had some kind of "human quality measurement tool" immigrants would be well down the list of places to use it. Politicians spring to mind as good test subjects.

    The problem of (mis)use of bad measurements sort of flows from that and is sort of dependent on it.

    My preference is to first accept immigrants we desperately need (the "really really skilled immigrant" category), then those we have an obligation to (former colonies in the Pacific, those we've invaded), then those with connections here (family reunion), then refugees. But I think using immigration to cover up problems with the government's economic theories is a disaster. Per capita GDP is the least awful of the measures they use, but GDP is almost as problematic as "immigrant quality" (see, I dunno, Marilyn Waring's "Counting for Nothing" from back in the 1970s as one example).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration,

    I keep thinking this so I have to say it: the combination of the label "Golden Dawn" and politics, especially the politics of immigration, is an unfortunate one.

    Google is not your friend here:

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The new establishment, in reply to Craig Young,

    their descendants are proving true to their genetic heritage and behaving in a similar manner

    I think it's cultural heritage rather than genetic. Australia was set up by a bunch of toffs on the basis that "I stole it, it's mine now" (seriously, look at Torrens Title) and anything else they could get away with. They also brought actual criminals along, presumably in the hope that they'd look better by comparison.

    I think that has produced a culture of "get away with anything you can" and disrespect for the rule of law. Not primarily obeying the law, but about seeing the law as important and something that's a product of the people working together to produce a decent society. Australia worships fraudsters and thieves (Alan Bond, Kerry Stokes, Ned Kelly) as much as sportspeople (the cult of Bradman!), with intellectuals and lawmakers way down the list. Aotearoa has David Lange at the Oxford Union speaking powerfully and passionately about nuclear weapons. Australia has Rhodes Scholar Tony Abbott completely lost for words. Things are different here.

    Aotearoa isn't perfect, but geez there are things in Australia that have to be seen to be believed. You think the terrorism raids on Tuhoe were bad, read up about "The Intervention" (don't blame me if you start crying when you read that). It's not a civil war if one side isn't fighting, you know.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The new establishment, in reply to Craig Young,

    Moz, you do realise that at the rate Oz is going, we’ll probably be legislating for legal recognition of polyamory by the time...

    I wish.

    Australia... sigh. Morals, laws, ethics... don't come here for those.

    I just did a feedback form for my bank and the question "would you recommend BankWest to your friends" got a 100 word comment along the lines of

    I'm not even willing to admit to using BankWest to my friends, let alone suggest that they involve themselves with the criminal cartel that owns BankWest. I am balancing my dislike of the paperwork and cost involved with changing banks against the moral and legal horror that is your parent company.

    Bankwest is owned by the Commonwealth Bank who have regular criminal problems which they claim are due to incompetence rather than malice. (links are representative rather than exhaustive)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A thundering clash of, in reply to mark taslov,

    Few - I suppose - would have found the tenancy tribunal or any other Government department as dogged and efficiently hostile as WINZ/MSD in its holding to account.

    My point was more that the bureaucrazy doesn't just trip up the poor, it trips up the PM and everyone in between too. I don't think any of us could cope with an "are you a law-abiding citizen" audit.

    The basic principle of British law is that everyone is guilty, the question is who should be prosecuted.

    One consequence is that anyone who falls foul of the legal system can be legally persecuted via investigation. It's technically not punishment, but after the third or fourth time the Police turn up to your workplace and take you away to "assist with inquiries" your employer is likely to lose interest in you. Ditto turning up to court, complying with tax audits and so on. All legal, no prosecution required. In the worst instance you get David Bain and Aurthur Allen Thomas.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 998 posts Report Reply

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