Is New Zealand going to hell in a handcart? If you fancy your skill at predicting the future, you should hurry over to optimisticpredictions.com and help yourself to $1,500.00 worth of free bets on questions of that nature. Yes, it's a gimmick. I like gimmicks. Gimmicks got me started on the internet and one of them still does a nice job of supporting the family.
The more I produce of them, the less certainty I have that a particular one will capture people's interest or not. I just know that if you want to make a point of some kind on the old interweb, you have a very substantial range of options, constrained by merely your imagination and the criminal law of the world's various jurisdictions.
So anyway: optimisticpredictions.com. It's a companion site to the new book, Civil War and Other Optimistic Predictions. I won't give away the ending, but if you'd like to get a flavour of the thing without handing over any money, by all means click over to the site and read the free excerpt.
In the book, I test various doomsday predictions about this little country's future. For example this one:
'This country could be brought to its knees by internal conflict and perhaps civil war over the coming decades as a direct result of this bill.'
If that sounds unlikely to you, then by all means pick up a copy and find out what this author made of that comment.
All the tough ones are there:
--Is the Treaty of Waitangi driving us apart?
--Do civil unions threaten the sanctity of the family?
--Are liberal social values and political correctness undermining our moral foundations?
--Are we destined for economic or environmental meltdown?
Predicting the future - often bleakly - is a national pastime, and now you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home in a nice, friendly, readable 200-odd-page book. And because I think it's a good idea to let people have their own say, the companion web site is running a betting market to give everyone the chance to put some free money where their mouth is and bet on the future.
Right now the odds on the Treaty being declared null and void are probably the best a gloom merchant will ever get, so if you happen to be of that doleful disposition, go on, fill your boots, before things get better.
Adam Gifford has an excellent column in this morning's Herald on Telecom's woeful broadband performance.