Thursday, March 25, 2010

ZenTiger A quiet day in blogland

Had a quick scan of the papers, and it seems to be a fairly quiet day in blog land.

Doug McKay has been appointed the new head of the Auckland Super City. "McKay has 20 years experience at senior level – he has headed Lion Nathan, Carter Holt Harvey, Goodman Fielder, Sealord and most recently Independent Liquor." Looks like he has a good business background, and might even be able to get good deals on staff functions, always a bonus. I wish him luck. November 1 is not so far away, and there's a fair amount to get done between now and then. And that's without factoring in the politics. He's got a tough gig.

Auckland also caught my eye today for a second reason - some visiting Hornets! Awesome. What's their range - 2000km? The mid air refueling on long trips must be a logistical nightmare. So when Hornets land, a huge support team cannot be too far away. I trust Auckland will practice her hosting skills for our good neighbours, and it's good practice for the Rugby World Cup. So turn on the charm, Jaffas. If the Wallabies assemble this kind of fire power though, we better be prepared to end the nuclear ban if we have any chance of mounting a strong defense.

Earth Hour is nearly upon us again. It's all about raising awareness of course, and that's one of the things I dislike about these empty gestures. Every year slightly more people turn the lights off for a whole hour and send a message that raising awareness is all society needs to do to act in a sustainable way. It's stupid. Try turning everything off for a whole week. Then we get a taste of the brave new world Greenies want for us. That might do more to encourage sustainability than going to a candlelight dinner in a restaurant to show solidarity with carbon traders. We could do so much better if we drop these distracting feel good childish crowd pleasing and got real. I'll get around to blogging in more detail about this later. In the meantime, read my 2008 post: Save the Planet in One Hour and Other Ideas. I'll have to come up with a new bunch for this year. It's becoming traditional.

55 comment(s):

KG said...

Great to see the Super Hornets here. :) Apparently the avionics package alone is worth more than $30m per aircraft.

As for Earth Hour....I intend to turn on every light in the house, as a symbol of man's climb out of the darkness of the cave into the light of civilisation. (and as a gesture of pure cussedness, it must be admitted)

ZenTiger said...

I find a certain sense of irony in the fact that various cities are vying to get dibs on being "the city of darkness". I thought Satan had copyright on that sort of thing :-)

And next people will demanding we turn off the windmills, hydro dams and cover up the solar cells to protest man's rampant use of natural resources in a sustainable way.

Here's just one idea that goes beyond Earth Hour: Turn off the TV every day, for an extra hour, save the planet (code for "waste not, want not") and save your mind. So, to start with, DO NOT tune in to the news the next night to see how much power the world saved for one hour, ignoring all the lights left on in multi-storied office buildings every other night of the year.

If people want to support feel-good gestures such as this, then see if they can follow it up with at least one real act. You might even get the support from cynics such as myself.

KG said...

Well, Zen, turning off the windmills may not be much of a protest:
The first detailed study of onshore wind farms has found that 20 of the sites produce less than 20 per cent of their maximum output with some producing less than 10 per cent.
Blyth Harbour in Northumberland is thought to be the least efficient wind farm producing just 7.9 per cent of its maximum capacity while Chelker reservoir in North Yorkshire operates at 8.7 per cent of its capacity.

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/carboned/

ZenTiger said...

Hey, at least Wind turbines stops chickens from evolving the power of long distance flying. I'd never get a decent Kiev then.

KG said...

:) the quantum of solace...
But I'd much prefer my taxes went to something more practical than chicken Kiev.

Sean said...

It is possible to raise awareness and get real. It's not one or the other. Usually after becoming aware of a situation one can then think about doing something concrete. Hopefully they will.

ZenTiger said...

Sean, I'm a bit amazed that people are unaware of the global warming debate. I'm more amazed if they are actually aware of the counter-theories to the "settled science".

I'm also very cognisant that some of the awareness campaigns aim only to justify an inept and inappropriate political response.

I had to laugh at the news paper this morning. Some "champion" of the Earth Hour was advising it was important to turn the lights off for an hour, but then added "it's OK if you sneak away to watch desperate housewives". It reinforces my suspicion that it is propagating a belief that if you participate in a gesture once a year, for an hour, and even do that badly, that is your obligation settled.

Meanwhile, the people that quietly go about the real business of sustainability, by turning off the TV, turning off standby, investing in cleaner technologies, etc (and I might get around to explaining the etc in a post) sit back and shake their heads, because that's where the real change is happening, and it's been happening, and when it finally gets noticed the Gorites of the world will act as if it was their efforts, and that in itself is another dangerous side-effect of such empty gestures. Turn an hail the idol that is idle, but claims the moral high ground for sneaking away to watch TV in a darkened room.

Sean said...

I don't think anybody is unaware of the global warming issue, but if the Earth Hour spurs more people into action then it is at least achieving something. I understand your scepticism because not everyone is doing everything they could do, but of course this is unrealistic. The Earth Hour is simply a tool in enacting a culture change. Whether it is effective or not remains to be seen.

Maybe the Earth Hour has been hijacked but the media and the politicians and the do-gooders. But this shouldn't take anything away from the original intent of those who came up with the idea in the first place. Like I said I don't know what its ultimate achievements will end up being, but unless you have a better idea to get the general population reducing energy waste, I will remain dubious of the pooh-poohing that get bandied around the blogs. It's so easy to criticise, but it's probably more productive to come up with some improvements or new ideas. I don't see so much of that.

ZenTiger said...

Unfortunately Sean, it's a very big IF you have there. More likely to be used as justification by politicians to implement carbon trading schemes designed to make us poor and a few select people rich, with no material benefit to the planet.

Also, I have come up with ideas. Lots of people have, and many are being implemented every day.

MK said...

"We could do so much better if we drop these distracting feel good childish crowd pleasing and got real."

They don't want to do better Zen, they want to feel good, that's the whole point of it, leftists only want to feel good.

Psycho Milt said...

Some linguistic advice: when you use "leftists" as shorthand for "people I don't like" or "people doing something I think is stupid," you render the term meaningless. My daughter does much the same thing to the word "random."

KG said...

Just as you do with the term "fascist" Milt.

Mind you, a leftoid flinging the term "fascist" around does at least have some amusement value...

Psycho Milt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psycho Milt said...

I believe there's only one person I've encountered in the blogosphere whom I call a fascist - and that's because he is one (or doing a good impersonation of one).

But if you'd like to talk about rendering the term "fascism" meaningless, I should point out your ongoing attempts to portray it as a left-wing phenomenon are a bold step in that direction. Not to mention your fellow blogger MK declaring Barack Obama (of all people) a fascist just yesterday, over here.

KG said...

Perhaps you've spent too long hanging around students and living off the taxpayer Psycho to see things as clearly as you might otherwise.
Try reading Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" for starters. It'll make a refreshing change for you after a diet of union pamphlets and the Worker's Daily.

Fascists are against individuaism and believe in the collective.
Fascists believe in minimum wage laws, government restrictions on profit-making, rigidly secular schools...
The Nazi version simply added racism and anti-semitism.

Much, much closer to today's leftoids than it is to conservative ideology.

Oh, and Obama "of all people"?
You can't see past the fact that a half black man was elected President, can you?
What, nationalising banks and the auto industry and healthcare,wanting to disarm the people, expressing contempt for the Constitution, suggesting that news outlets should be "regulated", and so on and on is perhaps not enough?
Roll on the Worker's Committees and the gulags, eh?
You're a little collectivist posing as a caring liberal, a Palestinian sympathiser who tries to justify bombing Jewish kids and the deliberate targeting of civilian homes and schools with talk of "resistance to the illegal occupation".
You're contemptible.I've scraped higher life-forms off the bottom of my boots.

Psycho Milt said...

Oh great, now the liberals = fascists bit and the Obama = fascist bit. Pulverising the English language to mush, one word at a time...

Ciaron said...

For a worded man, you're bloody dumb.

left leaning socialist power freaks parading as liberals = fascists.

True, classical liberals have had their identity stolen by the aforementioned.

AFAIA, the true liberal doesn't ram his ideology down his neighbours throat,(or demand the government do this for him) and simply asks his neighbour to reciprocate

Psycho Milt said...

Which is all just another way of saying "People I don't like = fascists." Seriously, the word has no meaning at all when you use it like this.

KG said...

seriously the word has meaning all right. You're simply either too thick or too dishonest to admit that it applies to you and your kind.
I'd go with dishonest, given the left's track record.

Psycho Milt said...

I see "dumb," "thick" and "dishonest" also get the semantic shit kicked out of them in right-wing nutbar world...

Ciaron said...

Can I be just like you?

ZenTiger said...

Maybe it's never a quiet day in blogland?

Psycho Milt said...

Always somebody arguing somewhere...

Ciaron said...

Do you find arguments follow you around Milt?

Could it possibly be because you start them?

Most threads here and elsewhere are civilized discussions until you show up.

I believe there's only one person I've encountered in the blogosphere whom I call a fascist
I believe your the only one here who thinks he's a fascist.

Sean said...

In the 1993 movie "Rising Sun" Sean Connery's character tells Wesley Snipe's: "They say if you resort to violence, then you've already lost."

I think this can be applied to blogosphere ... "They say if you resort to hurling abuse, then you've already lost."

Psycho Milt said...

Most threads here and elsewhere are civilized discussions until you show up.

Some people don't respond well to hearing disagreement - it's not a reason to remain silent.

I believe your the only one here who thinks he's a fascist.

I seem to be the only one here who knows what the word means, so that's hardly surprising.

"They say if you resort to hurling abuse, then you've already lost."

I think me and the Crusader Rabbit guys are way beyond attempting to persuade each other through rational argument...

Sean said...

Yes, but at least you can keep your cool. Can't say the same for some others.

KG said...

aaah..two leftoids, indulging in some mutual grooming.
The only question is, which is the parasite, and which the host?

And the Crusader Rabbit guys aren't interested in "persuading" leftoids of anything. We don't feel the need to be polite to collectivists.
Crusader Rabbit exists to poke fun at, abuse and ridicule the left. :)

Sean said...

KG - you're the only person who refers to me as left. Pretty weak defence mechanism actually, but whatever makes you feel better.

Psycho Milt said...

Compared to them you are left, Sean - you and almost everyone else.

And the Crusader Rabbit guys aren't interested in "persuading" leftoids of anything.

Well, obviously. If you were, you'd trouble yourselves to learn how to string an argument together...

WAKE UP said...

Obama may (or may not, for the sake of argument) be Fascist, but, being profoundly UN-American, he's certainly not happy. There is no joy in Mudville, and no good will come of this.

KG said...

"KG - you're the only person who refers to me as left."

A famous Queensland Premier ( who was originally a Kiwi) once said "if it looks like a crow, flies like a crow and sounds like a crow--it'll get shot like a crow".
Seems about right to me.

KG said...

"Well, obviously. If you were, you'd trouble yourselves to learn how to string an argument together..."

Well, hardly. It'd be like preaching ethics to chimpanzees. We have better things to do.

Sean said...

Well I guess that makes you the scarecrow KG. You know, the one in search of a brain in the Land of Oz.

ZenTiger said...

PM, you postulated that no-one here understands the definition of fascism.

I think I have a rough idea.

Putting in my two cents worth, the discussion KG wants to have is predicated on the audience's ability to stop thinking in mere left/right terms, which is simply a framework for contextualising information.

Using a left/right spectrum doesn't make the framework correct, just useful.

In understanding the elements of fascism that point to the dictatorial nature of collectivist thinking from the left, one needs to adopt a new framework, and the usefulness of doing so allows us to see the same information in a different light.

Until the two conversations agree to discuss things this way, then it will not be productive.

To offer a counter opinion on rudeness, and what inspires it:

One can gain a perception that just because some-one argues their case with polite language, it does not follow that they are being polite.

For example, it may come across as rude to stick ones fingers in ones ears and go "I will only see things from a left/right political spectrum so everything you say is wrong when working from that framework".

At least KG knows he is being rude, whereas PM, you may be doing it out of stubborness, not wanting to acknowledge the required mind shift, or perhaps a simple misunderstanding in missing the point that context provides meaning, but perspective can change that. Sometimes by turning ideas on their head, we gain new insight.

It is fair to say that the left/right political spectrum has it's own shortcomings, and is acknowledged by some scholars as being inadequate to fully explain the overlap with authoritarian and collectivist ideologies.

Stalin was as much a dictator as Mussolini ever was, and a dictionary definition of communism being all about the freedom of workers becomes woefully inadequate when understanding the dynamics communism, for example.

Thus, your comment about the word fascist becoming meaningless is only relevant when sticking to ones guns over viewing the world as either left or right. In any other context, it may well generate a response borne of frustration when the conversation faces being railroaded into the usual left/right dialectic.

Perhaps that explains KG's frustration?

Sean said...

Enough of KG's sexual frustration Zen, this is a family blog.

Psycho Milt said...

For my part I think KG's frustration is quite adequately explained by his militant refusal to accept that an opinion he disagrees with may nevertheless be legitimately held.

I'm certainly open to considering totalitarian systems in terms of their similarities as collectivist dictatorships rather than on a partisan left vs right basis. There's no point in doing that, however, if the other party in the discussion (KG, not you) is interested only in inventing his own definitions in order to present perfectly ordinary people or perfectly ordinary govts of Western countries as somehow "fascist." It's a cheap rhetorical trick undeserving of being treated seriously.

PS: I wasn't seriously suggesting I'm the only one here who knows what the word means, just having a dig at Ciaron and KG.

KG said...

"For my part I think KG's frustration is quite adequately explained by his militant refusal to accept that an opinion he disagrees with may nevertheless be legitimately held."

Well, you may think that explains it Psycho, but you'd be wrong.
I'm perfectly capable of accepting opinions I disagree with and doing so politely, while trying to learn where the other person is coming from. It happens often in CR, for example and very often in personal conversations.

What I have difficulty with--and what moves me to rudeness and contempt--is socialists dressing up their collectivist, destructive claptrap with weasel words and evasions.
If I describe something as 'fascist' or whatever it's because the realityof it (not the theoretical basis or the desired outcome) conforms to that description.
You recently gave a great example of your imperviousness to facts when arguing with Ciaron,who knew a lot about the subject of collision avoidance regulations. You knew next to nothing, proceeded to demonstarte that yet still claimed you knew who was in the wrong over the Ady Gil incident.
Yet you still pose as an intelligent, informed commenter.
You're neither, in my view. Just another leftist with a fast mouth and and a tenuous grasp on the concept of liberty.
I actually dislike the left/right descriptors but right now they're an adequate substitute for pro/anti liberty. And you fit into the 'anti' side rather well.

Ciaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ciaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Psycho Milt said...

If I describe something as 'fascist' or whatever it's because the realityof it (not the theoretical basis or the desired outcome) conforms to that description.

Oh, that's right. I forgot to include "...and his inability to distinguish between opinion and fact."

Ciaron said...

keep digging, you're making my day :)

Psycho Milt said...

How empty your days must be...

Ciaron said...

On the contrary, I'm working on 2 assignments and enjoying the comic relief.

Sean said...

"On the contrary, I'm working on 2 assignments..."
- oh dear, a student, explains the vast array of wit (quoting Blackadder doesn't count!). But is also explains Ciaron's ascendency in this debate for as Oscar Wilde said - "I am not young enough to know everything."

KG said...

oh dear..an student, one already with a solid track record of achievement.
LOL! I love seeing someone shoot himself in the foot.

Sean said...

aaah..two far-rightoids, indulging in some mutual grooming.
The only question is, which is the parasite, and which the host?

Ciaron said...

Exactly how young am I then Sean?, enlighten me with your superior intellect.

Sean said...

It was a punt obviously Ciaron. Don't take it too seriously. Cheers.

Ciaron said...

I'll just get you some toilet paper, so you can wipe your mouth.

Then maybe you could use a phonecard?

Sean said...

Oh, "Wit alert!!"

Ciaron said...

Just taking a punt, cheers.

ZenTiger said...

I can't remember what the post was about, but I suspect the last dozen comments haven't extended the topic much further, all witty banter aside.

So to be incredibly fascist, in a right wing kind of way and yet simultaneously come across as some self-righteous lefty "I'm doing this for your benefit" style of polite arrogance, I'm thinking of shutting the thread down (which makes a vague allusion to the power of property rights, and yet confirms the authoritarian, anti-freedom, stance that one encounters in lefty blogs, simultaneously indicating the irreconcilable differences over the left/right wing dichotomy).

I'll see if I can think up a new post, perhaps on witty insults so we can cut loose as if only to offer a list of gratuitous prose without directing it at any one in particular (although we all know who we are :-) )

Unfortunately, I have to go out tonight so there's no time to re-read this comment and see if it makes sense, but there's a hint in there somewhere, I'm sure.

Have a good Easter Break folks. New material is on it's way!

Regs, Zen

KG said...

Hint taken. ;)

Seán said...

Well it's all in the name Zen (which I think you may have alluded to above). If you're going to give the post this sort of title, we will make sure the opposite happens ;-)

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.