“Our Debt Has A Life Of Its Own And Is Out Of Control”

7 Dec

Barnaby writes for The Drum, on Their ABC (h/t @margotdate):

What to do with all this water

Why is it that every time the Labor party involve themselves with anything that relates to competency it turns into an unmitigated disaster?

Why is it that every time you look to the details behind their doorstop interview they are just never there? There is a pattern of behaviour that is quite evident in this Green-Labor Party administration. When they announced the NBN, the largest infrastructure program in the nation’s history – larger than the Snowy Mountain Scheme – there was no cost benefit analysis, and of course we are now suffering the affliction of a monster that is starting to commercially wander around the yard in a very similar fashion to a big white elephant.

Our desire to cool the planet via a carbon tax works on the rather peculiar premise that there will be a global climate change agreement by 2015. There is not even a sign of that, but we handed away one of our greatest strategic advantages, cheap power. Australia’s plan is nothing more than a mad gesture which no-one else is following and no-one cares about. On top of this, the only climatic effect it will have is inside buildings rather than outside, as people find they can’t afford to keep themselves warm in winter and cool in summer.

Our debt, which as I stated years ago would get a life of its own and go out of control, now has a life of its own and is increasingly out of control. We are heading towards our third debt ceiling. We have increased the ceiling from $75 billion to $200 billion to $250 billion and it is not stopping.   Lately we have been borrowing $2 billion a week and our Gross Debt is now $221 billion. If we don’t depressingly extend the nation’s credit limit again, then soon the presentation of our nation’s credit card at the checkout will result in the attendant telling us that “transaction declined, see bank for details.”

Now this pathological ineptness in management has arrived in water policy. Your government is now the biggest irrigator in the country through the Environmental Water Holder, Ian Robinson, but instead of watering spuds and onions, they water 2,400 venues for frogs and swamps.

In the very last sentence of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s 2010-11 annual report, Mr Robinson states that “the Commonwealth environmental water is required to be managed in accordance with the Environmental Water Plan, which will be set out in the Basin Plan.”

Mr Robinson only wrote this in July this year but it is already out of date. The draft Basin Plan released last month does not include an environmental watering plan.  Instead, that task will now be flicked to state governments, who won’t need to come up with one for another three years.

A farmer will tell you exactly how they get their water, exactly how much water is stored in dams, how much water is lost when it is moved to a field to water a crop and how much water it takes to water a crop through the season.  They will also be able to tell you how much is left to start next year’s crop.

Every farmer has their watering plan. If a farmer didn’t have a watering plan, they wouldn’t be much of a farmer.  The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder currently has 1,075 GL – 1,075 billion litres – of water. Quite a bit; in fact more than what would fill Sydney Harbour twice and they are buying much more. This is to water 2,442 environmental assets, 2,442 environmental crops so to speak.

But when the very valid question is asked, “where is your watering plan?” the predictable answer comes back – they don’t have one. It’s obviously in the draw with the cost benefit analysis of the NBN, the global modelling of the carbon tax, the plan to control our debt, and a myriad of other incredible statements that come without a clue of how to deliver them.

Australia is merrily spending billions of dollars buying an asset but there is really no plan of where exactly it will come from, how it is to be used or where it will be stored. There is a rough idea, but that’s as good as it gets. When there is no plan, the environmental water is dropped arbitrarily in the river from public dams to flood out farms and close public bridges like it did on the Murrumbidgee earlier in the year, at a time when there was not a cloud in the sky. The environmental benefit of these actions is at best vague most likely unknown.

If I was back with my accountancy hat on, I would make sure I got my money off this Green-Labor client prior to starting their work; from what I have seen they are not going to be with us as a business for long.

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23 Responses to ““Our Debt Has A Life Of Its Own And Is Out Of Control””

  1. JMD December 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I updated E3 – Government Securities Classified by Holder, just today. The trajectory is unprecedented. Lucky government bond prices are still rising.

  2. Australian Management Academy December 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Barnaby, Sure it is necessary to differentiate your party and yourself from the labour and green parties. I would expect you to do that. But what I am having difficulty with is that in taking the stance you do, you are not offering anything better. I like politicians to be vocal like yourself and Bob Katter, but both of you need to see that us voters like substance in policy. We like to chew over whether a party actually has a plan. My feeling is that the next election, if two years away, will be a surprise to the coalition paticularly if you keep going the way you are.

  3. Andrew Richards December 8, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    When Barnaby attacks the NBN, he shows that the Coalition is no better than the Labor/Green alliance, and is just as clueless about REAL economics as they are.

    For all their stuff-ups and gross incompetence, the NBN is the one positive move the Govt has done as it actually improves our economy.

    When it comes to infrastructure, it is nothing short of insanely foolish to try and base its approval on a cost/benefit analysis.

    Here’s the reality. As with all infrastructure, you need to look over a timespan of 50-100 years in terms of a return if you’re actually building infrastructure properly (ie to actually last), and will never get an accurate picture of returns by looking at how much money it brings in.

    Here’s the reality which the Coalition need to wake up and realise that this is the 21st Century about: the NBN now is far more critical than the old PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) was when it was installed and for one critical reason- this isn’t just a case of keeping things future proofed, but of actually catching up and bridging a gap.

    As time goes on, more and more of our communications will take place over IP protocol, even phone calls. That isn’t just a case of home users with an account paying for it that way, or businesses with accounts.

    Communication underpins our ENTIRE economy.

    The quality of our communications infrastructure is a key factor in determining the quality of our essential services, and commerce- both in terms of logistics and actual trade. When we finally wake up and realise that we need manufacturing, it will be even more critical then.

    Because of this, the NBN actually improves our physical economy.

    In fact the reason the NBN is bigger then the Snowy Mountain River Scheme is because the Snowy Mountain River scheme is just one of roughly 13 (from memory) smaller schemes that were meant to make up a much larger water scheme right across the country, except those who REALLY call the shots in this country, had the whole thing shut down.

    But then like everyone but the CEC in politics currently, Barnaby’s party, is staunchly opposed to nationalised banking and the credit based system which allows us to build these kinds of large but critically essential infrastructure projects. Then again, the CEC are about the only political party out there who ACTUALLY believe in our infrastructure heavily contributing to the health of our economy.

    Barnaby, if you’re reading this; a helpful hint. When trying to discredit the other side; it helps to not simultaneously discredit yourself- especially when you have highly valid points about the genocide being attempted through the use of the Basin Plan to destroy this country’s food bowl.

    • Twodogs December 8, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      A cost-benefit analysis is all about justification. Benefits can also be non-financial as well as financial.

      The supporters of the NBN also supported the previous plan they had. So what changed? The government line. And so the supporters all fell into line. Suddenly, advocates of fibre-to-the-node became advocates of fibre-to-the-home. And before we get carried away with FTTH, I live in a townhouse, and we’re gonna have to a fortune to get it into each townhouse from the MDF. And even if you don’t, running wireless devices defeats the purpose of fibre. Your laptop is the weakest link.

      Of course, the NBN is “off the books” so doesn’t show up as the liability it is. In any case, a cost-benefit analysis would have included wildly optimistic take-up rates like every other forecast.

      • Andrew Richards December 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

        FTTH is where things need to go though, including sorting out MDF based issues like what you bring up. Informed people switched to FTTH from FTTN for one reason- it makes more sense.

        One thing which people forget is that how long the NBN will last for. Take a look at how long the PSTN has been in place- 75 years if you take if from when the trunk line to Tasmania was installed into our network.

        The NBN has to last at least that long.

        Then add to that the pace of technology. Technology and its applications were fairly slowly paced until the mid-1980s. Heck, until Apple, the concept of a home computer to anyone in the industry was a room sized monstrosity of a server (remember, terminals were not computers, but merely I/O devices linked to a server by communication lines). Hard drives in the early 1980s were 10Mb and the most common software medium until the advent of Apple was paper.

        At that time, several informed individuals were of the opinion that the most computers needed in the world would be 12. At that time, computers were giant servers which took up a whole room though.

        Apple, and in response to them, IBM changed the nature of computing and gave computers a role in business and the home which before that was inconceivable to practically everyone in the industry.

        At this point, the Internet was no more than a failsafe for protecting data in the event of a nuclear holocaust- running on X-25 prior to 1980 and on TCP/IP from 1980.

        Noone, even 30 years ago, could have conceived of the internet being what it is today.

        What changed that was a CERN researcher coming up with a new software language. All Tim Berners-Lee wanted to do was make it easier for he and his colleagues at CERN, along with other research institutes to collage and organise their research data. Yet the application of html, which would become the standard language of all web pages, would revolutionise the telecommunications industry.

        The internet as we know it, has existed for 17 years, and in that time, the pace of technology has leaped exponentially.

        15 years ago, solid state memory cost $500/Mb. Nowadays, you can by a 2Gb micro SD card for $20 (which would have cost 1 million dollars were it made back in 1996).

        In a few years, the first quantum (10 core) computers will hit the retail markets, and will make what you use now look like a pocket calculator in comparison. You can build a supercomputer out of several old PCs these days for under a thousand dollars. Do you think that raw computing power wont also be backed up by software to take full advantage of it, and requiring an equally crazy amount of bandwidth?

        Wi-fi networks are the weak link currently, but in time, our approach to them and their limits will improve too to the point where they’re no longer an issue.

        If the current pace is anything to go by; we’ll need FTTH in the next 10-15 years, definitely within the next 30.

        You and other naysayers need to stop looking at this as something which is going to pay for itself in the next few decades, something which needs to have limits set based on current technological limitations and something which is going to be determined by uptake rates in the next few years.

        You don’t build something like this for now- you build it for where things will be at 50-100 years from now.

        As I’ve said, those of us who know the history of computers and telecommunications have heard your kind of argument before- it was the argument that said there would only ever be a dozen computers in the world. Look at how wrong those predictions were….

      • Andrew Richards December 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

        One other thing I just realised I’d left out is the work that’s been being done on optical computers as well. Once that takes off it opens doors to new ways of computing at which point your bandwidth needs skyrocket as well.

        All of this is exactly what the NBN needs to be built to handle in its lifetime.

        • The Blissful Ignoramus December 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

          Thanks Andrew, lots of interesting perspective viz. the NBN here.

          A couple of thoughts.

          Firstly, given that (for reasons I suspect we mostly agree on) availability of finance is effectively limited, and more importantly, carries the burden of debt servitude, I disagree with the rationale that an infrastructure project – no matter how beneficial or future-proofing – should be undertaken in absence of solid cost/benefit analysis. Deliberately embarking on a (espec. if known) loss-making exercise of grand dimensions, only ensures greater servitude. Now, in my “perfect world”, there would be no debt (ie, interest) burden associated with desirable infrastructure projects for society’s betterment (I think you know what I’m saying here). But the fact is, that is not our present reality. No matter how solid the arguments for merits of a “government” project, I could not rationally countenance support for it, unless it could be plausibly and rigorously demonstrated to generate a sufficient return over life cycle to repay the debt + interest incurred in financing it.

          Secondly, whilst I find it exciting, I also very deeply question the merits of the human race so rapidly gearing itself towards almost total dependence on internet (electronic) technologies in the maintenance and “development” of civilisation. Why?

          All it takes is one solar flare (natural). Or a nuclear-triggered EMP (man). And it’s all over.

          Just try to imagine what happens when we all wake up one day … and nothing works. NOTHING. From the simplest household appliance, to your phone, car, communications infrastructure, public transport, industry, agriculture … everything, and I mean everything, kaput.

          • Andrew Richards December 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

            2 things here.

            Firstly, as time goes on, something will give, and the current financial system will die out- sooner rather than later. When that happens, as history repeats itself; those on the LaRouche/Roosevelt/Curtin and Chiffley side of the economic debate will win out again and when they do, we’ll move into a need for infrastructure and financial reform. I honestly cannot forsee the NBN being completed or even close to being completed before we hit that point.

            Once you hit that point though, you start to move into nationalised credit based economies where infrastructure becomes a key priority.

            Regarding cost-benefit analysies though, I disagree- at least in terms of the way cost-benefit analysies are done these days.

            Take a look at roads for example. Unless you slap a toll on them (which is ludicrous btw) they will make no money themselves. Furthermore, roads are meant to last decades, ideally centuries and beyond.

            How can a cost-benefit analysis of say, a road which only looks say, 20 years into the future and only looks at the money it DIRECTLY brings in, give you any idea whatsoever of how feasible that road is?

            The short answer is that it can’t. In the case of that road, the way it recoups costs is through the business it facilitates, be it freight, assisting businesses through commutes or travel companies.

            Furthermore it doesn’t just do that for 5-10 years but for decades.

            Yet you apply a standard cost-benefit analysis to it and you don’t see far enough into the future, or far enough afield to see the revenue it’s generating indirectly.

            Your second point has missed a key point about the NBN. The greatest bulk of its cost is going to be on the cabling itself. Sure the routers and repeaters are going to be fried, but realistically, they make up a minority of the NBN cost- made even smaller when you go from a FTTN to FTTH model.

            In the event of an EMP to to solar flare activity, the one thing which will be completely unaffected is the cabling as EMPs have no effect on glass.

            On that note, purely optical receivers, amplifiers and splitters will also be unaffected and so again, even your transceiving component of the system will be unaffected to a large extent (in fact it will mainly be the digital to optical converters which are what go in that situation).

            One thing which actually backs up my point from what you’ve said is that when said event happens, you need infrastructure which can be rebuilt as easily as possible.

            Glass arguably fits that bill far better than copper or wireless do- especially when we’re moving into a period where EMPs become a more frequently likely possibility and a move to purely optical systems makes more and more sense.

            • The Blissful Ignoramus December 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

              Andrew, I fear you miss my point viz increasing human reliance on electronics. Your argument (in context of NBN) that the big costs are unaffected by solar flare/EMP events is fine and logical, but only in the small-picture isolated context of one parameter (ie, “What kind of infrastructure would best handle flare/EMP events”). As such, it remains merely an argument that investing (borrowed at interest) money into glass, is better than pouring it into other things such as wireless. My point was to question the fundamental premise of the Information Age “explosion” – the transitioning of much/all of the human race into total reliance on electronics. Your response still assumes the long term wisdom of doing so, (ie) the very point I am calling into question.

              Secondly, your argument in favour of the NBN viz. financing is (with respect) a statement of unsupported opinion/prediction. Specifically:

              “…the current financial system will die out- sooner rather than later… I honestly cannot forsee the NBN being completed or even close to being completed before we hit that point.”

              “…Once you hit that point though, you start to move into nationalised credit based economies where infrastructure becomes a key priority.”

              Can you support these assertions/predictions? Links?

              I for one would need much stronger evidence for your base argument than merely the above quotes, before becoming more open to accept your premise that it is wise to pour borrowed money into what is essentially an infrastructure “black hole”.

              With respect again, it is my opinion that essentially what you are arguing can be summarised as follows: Based only on your opinion/prediction of likely timing of major world events (ie, when the present financial system will fold), we should act irrationally now with respect to large scale borrowing and spending on electronic, government-run infrastructure.

            • Andrew Richards December 18, 2011 at 1:35 am #

              I haven’t missed anything TBI. Your first point is essentially the Green argument that science and technology are negative factors and it suggests a flawed worldview.

              The reality is that the way this process has been corrupted and eroded aside, technology is the application of the scientific discoveries which come about from human beings maximising our return on our greatest resource which is our creative potential.

              Without science (and I mean realscience, not the glorified statisticianry passed off as science these days), you have a reduction in the standards of living, a rampant increase in mortality rates and a corresponding decline in average life expectancies, the return of diseases thought long gone, and with it an inability to survive natural disasters and with it the comprehensive destruction of national sovereignty.

              Why do you think that Prince Phillip once publicly spoke out about the need to remove science and technology from society? People say the guy is nuts, and try to dismiss him, but her’s the thing- his ilk and those in power share his views- the difference is that unlike Prince Phillip, they’re capable of keeping their mouths shut about what they really believe.

              Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Greens here also want us to return to being tree dwellers? And that’s whose viewpoints on technology you want to share- the ones pushing the great Global Warming Swindle?

              You might want to think about that one. I’ll cover your second point in my next post so this isn’t accused of being one big, single slab of text.

            • The Blissful Ignoramus December 18, 2011 at 10:25 am #

              Andrew, I see the same pattern repeating here as in previous posts you have made, directed at other commenters and myself. Simply, you have misrepresented the position of the other person, then sought to attack that, rather than their (my) actual position. It’s called a “Straw Man” argument … I imagine you’ve heard of it.

              Please note well Andrew … nowhere have I said, or implied, that “science and technology are negative factors”. What I did say was this: “My point was to question the fundamental premise of the Information Age “explosion” – the transitioning of much/all of the human race into total reliance on electronics.”

              Can you spot the stark differences?

              This pattern of misrepresentation and hasty assumptions concerning others views – along with your prevailing borderline inflammatory “tone” – is genuinely disappointing to me. Why? Because I agree with much of the substance of your comments. In this case (1:35am), I agree wholeheartedly with your second and third paragraphs, and have no quibble with your third and fourth.

              You mentioned “…human beings maximising our return on our greatest resource which is our creative potential. I agree, and point you to the writings of Nikola Tesla on “The Problem Of Increasing Human Energy” as an example of a viewpoint I admire.

              Please exercise more self-control in future comments Andrew. When in any doubt on someone’s actual view, ask. Don’t assume.

            • Andrew Richards December 18, 2011 at 1:44 am #

              As for your second point; you yourself have provided several pieces of evidence about our imminent collapse economically and realistically which mirror what I’ve been saying. Meanwhile, the NBN will take years to roll out nationally, meaning that it will be nowhere near completion before our economy collapses.

              Then we get into the latter part of your second point which is utterly flawed, as it calls vital infrastructure a “black hole”.

              One thing you need to understand about REAL economics is that your economy is only as good as your physical productivity, as opposed to the notion that we base our economy on our nation being the equivalent of a glorified professional gambler.

              When you consider that your money ultimately has to have a real world value, this should make complete sense to anyone possessing even an ounce of common sense.

              It therefore stands to reason that if your economy is based on what you are physically able to produce, then it is determined by both your actual physical production levels, and your capacity to increase physical production.

              Your capacity to increase physical production is directly determined by your infrastructure, in the form of roads, essential services and essential utilities.

              One of the most crucial of these is communication as it is the transport system which directly maximises our creative potential as a race. I’d explain why, but a brief reflection on the way discussions shape ideas and the way ideas develop when communicated, should make that point blatantly obvious.

              If need be, I can also point out why large scale infrastructure projects eing funded and developed are the solution to an economy in crisis, but what I have just demonstrated about the importance of infrastructure to the physical economy should be sufficient for that.

            • The Blissful Ignoramus December 18, 2011 at 10:38 am #

              “…the latter part of your second point which is utterly flawed, as it calls vital infrastructure a “black hole”.”

              No, Andrew. Once again, you have misrepresented my statement, and thus, attacked a false premise.

              I referred to a singular, specific example of infrastructure (the NBN), as a “black hole”. You have distorted my very specifically directed comments into another Straw Man, a sweeping generalisation which is not my position at all. To wit, the implication that I have called all infrastructure a “black hole” – and you have added the term “vital”.

              Note well Andrew – my comment above is quite clearly only referring to the NBN. I do not think it is “vital” infrastructure. And by definition (ie, absence of any cost/benefit), it is a spending “black hole”.

              Again, your inflammatory tone is repeating, and escalating. I’ve warned you before … this is your last warning. One more aggressively toned comment directed at other commenters or myself … ie, wholly unnecessary attacks/slurs on others’ intelligence such as “this should make complete sense to anyone possessing even an ounce of common sense” … and your commenting privileges will be removed.

              You are your own worst enemy, Andrew. Think about it.

            • Andrew Richards December 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

              TBI, what you’ve failed to grasp here is that your enitre question here is entirely contradictory.

              On one hand you’ve come out and agreed with the focus being needed to be on the maximising of the human creative potential, but on the other hand you’ve contradicted that position by claiming that a move to high technology is a flaw in society.

              The problem there is that as you begin to maximise your creative potential, you begin to gain an increasing understanding of scientific principles, which in turn will manifest themselves in the form of high technology, or a society increasingly based on electronics.

              I’m not contradicting your points about EMPs. I completely agree that EMP shielding technologies should be at the highest possible priority with R&D globally as it affects so much of our infrastructure.

              However to argue anywhere along the ideological spectrum which states that high technology (relative to our understandings of the universe) increasingly becoming entrenched in the fundamental practical aspects of society is at best a folly and at worst, evil, is to take a stance along the ideological lines of Green Fascism.

              That doesn’t mean someone is necessarily knowingly a die-hard greenie, but it does mean that the green fascist movement has conditioned their thinking to some extent. Considering the significant role of TV in conditioning society over the course of the past few decades, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

              Your concern would have merit if we no longer had physical base skiils due to our level of high technology (to the point where even ICs could not be manually repaired), but not only are we not at that point yet, but with the way things are going, we’re not going to reach it.

              The flaw with your argument is that it essentially combines the skills shortage we’re facing (which is the push by the British Empire and its International Banker flunkees to destroy national sovereignty and depopulate), with the counterpush of those advancing science and technology.

              The upshot is that it becomes a “throw the baby out with the bathwater” response that is actually self defeating.

              This entrenches itself further with your response to the NBN.

              If you feel I’ve attacked a false premise, then I put it to you that you cannot grasp the deeper implications of your own argument here.

              We are both in agreement that Infrastructure is vital to the sovereignty of the country.

              We’re both also in agreement that the human creative potential is the greatest human resource we have. I would also put it to you that logically communication is how that creative potential is maximised.

              Yet you’re arguing that the the big infrastructure project centred around said communication framework is a “Black Hole”- the very backbone of the piece of infrastructure vital for maximising our greatest resource as a race.

              In the analogy of the anatomy of a house, it forms your foundations. You cannot coordinate essential services without it. You cannot coordinate logistics without it, and you certainly cannot advance your creative potential through scientific discussion without it.

              Certainly as a part of that analogy, you have no house without supporting beams, walls or a roof, not to mention the furniture within it, but those foundations, are crucial.

              So in short, what I said was accurate.

              I’ll deal with my “tone” in the next post as it actually raises a crucial issue, which if you can truly understand it, is a true game changer- best summed up by the analogy of the “red pill/blue pill”.

            • The Blissful Ignoramus December 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

              Andrew, this is truly exasperating.

              >>“..by claiming that a move to high technology is a flaw in society”

              I did not claim that. Read it again.

              >>“..to argue anywhere .. that high technology (relative to our understandings of the universe) increasingly becoming entrenched in the fundamental practical aspects of society is at best a folly and at worst, evil…”

              I did not argue that, either. Read it again.

              >>“Your concern would have merit if we no longer had physical base skiils…”

              I suggest you get out in the real world, Andrew. The average Australian male increasingly cannot even perform the most basic maintenance on his own car, struggles to assemble Ikea flat packs, and certainly wouldn’t have the first clue how to grow (or hunt/trap) his own food. If survival necessitated it (cf. EMP/solar flare discussion), the vast majority would die inside 3 weeks. Alternately, look at the statistics for job sectors. “Physical base skills” are unquestionably being eroded. Dramatically.

              >>“The flaw with your argument is that it essentially combines the skills shortage we’re facing … with the counterpush of those advancing science and technology.”

              I did not argue that either. Once again, you erect a Straw Man based on your own distortions, misinterpretation/s, and ass-umptions of what others have actually said.

              >>“..then I put it to you that you cannot grasp the deeper implications of your own argument here.”

              As above, since I have not made the arguments you have claimed, this comment is both arrogant and foolish.

              >>“We are both in agreement that Infrastructure is vital to the sovereignty of the country.”

              I did not say that, either. I have said (in other posts) that examples of the IMF taking infrastructure as collateral is “asset-stripping”. And I have said that the IMF’s dictating the nation’s budget constitutes a loss of sovereignty. I have not said anywhere, in sweeping generalisation, that “Infrastructure is vital to the sovereignty of the country”. Again, even in claiming mutual agreement, you put words in the other person’s mouth. It is impossible to have a reasonable, calm, informed and intelligent discussion with you, when you persist in doing so.

              >>“I would also put it to you that logically communication is how that creative potential is maximised.”

              I disagree, and cite the apparent near-impossibility of having a simple, reasonable, calm, non-inflammatory, intelligent discussion with you, as a perfect example. Our (that is, you and I) “creative potential” is not maximised by our “communication” … on the contrary, we waste our time pointlessly arguing and (all too soon, in your case) descending into vitriol and personal animosity. IMO, “communication” is overrated.

              Be that as it may, this is a BIG and sweeping claim you have made. The burden of proof is on you to support it with evidence. But please, don’t bother, because I can’t be bothered with yet another point of argument. I simply wanted to make the point that you’ve made yet another BIG sweeping claim, without any evidential support.

              The rest of your post continues on from the former false assumptions and sweeping generalisations of what I did not argue at all, and thus, need no comment.

              Andrew, the reality of this entire “discussion” is this.

              I merely (and clearly) questioned the wisdom of the human race becoming totally reliant on electronics. That is all. Nothing more. Questioning does not imply anything other than that … questioning. It does not presume to take any one position, or another.

              Until you learn to exercise self-control, and not project your own views, biases, assumptions, and above all, conclusions about others onto others … in clear contradiction of their simple statements … you are skating right on the very edge of overwhelming my tolerance threshold, and getting yourself banned.

            • Andrew Richards December 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

              I was in two minds about addressing this first, but I realised that my discussion of the NBN actually flowed into this one.

              TBI, one thing you’ll start to realise sooner or later, is not only just how aware those truly calling the shots in this world are of the dangers of a large, aware and question population, but how long they have been aware of it in terms of how we’re conditioned on so many levels and have been for decades.

              It’s not a simple thing either. Television has been used for decades to do it, the school system has been engineered to do it and social customs such as chivalry have been conditioned to do it for centuries.

              While I have no doubt you’re aware of it to some extent, I question how much you’ve considered the deeper implications of it when you bring up my tone.

              Consider this: we are conditioned in a schooling system that tells children when they are young, vulnerable and impressionable that they are stupid and worthless.

              We are conditioned in schools to view failure as something which makes us worthless.

              We are then fed half truths in the mix of some actual facts (such as Darwin being a pioneer and not the fallacious plageurist he actually was) and because of that conditioning, if we don’t know something or are proven wrong on some fallacy we’ve been conditioned to believe is a fundamental truth; then we react to our conditioning as if someone is calling us a worthless and useless moron.

              Where it gets insidious is that so many people out there simply do not know how to think due to a two-fold psychological trap that has been implanted as part of that conditioning.

              The trap is this: initially society was based on the notion that the PTB spoke absolute truth and only what they said was fact. Then we supposedly became “enlightened” and decided that there were no universals, no absolute truths and no absolute knowledge based on individual human limitations based on a single lifetime – in short, the very antithesis of a scientific approach.

              We then compounded this by attacking science by reducing all observations to a graph where a line of best fit is taken without sufficient analysis of the data which may lies outside of that, and from there we applied statistics to try and explain even the most complex of phenomenon.

              In short the British Empire has corrupted our intellectual compasses while using our own self-esteem to trap us from breaking free of it when it’s pointed out to us, because due to the nature of that conditioning; if we do not have the knowledge we were given in school, we are nothing in our own minds.

              Therefore when someone comes along who has broken free of it and is therefore of sound mind, then a psychological shock is going to kick in at some level and to varying degrees.

              The problem there too is when someone is of contradictory mind through no fault of their own- stating things which have meanings which they did not even realise they had, due to the principles of what is said.

              Noone would question your opposition to the Green Fascist movement, yet your stance on technology is a Green ideological stance and therefore perpetuates that ideology. The reason for it is simple, we’ve all been conditioned to it to great extents through psychological conditioning through both the media and being institutionalised by things such as school.

              The reality is though that there is only one constructive ideological approach to take if someone truly wishes to break free that Matrix of psychological control.

              That is that the human creative potential must be given the highest value in society along with the discovery of scientific principles for the advancement of our race. Part of that is that everything in the universe is governed by principles- be they sound principles, or unsound principles. Every opinion we have is governed by those sets of ideological principles.

              In terms of unsound principles for example; not everyone would lynch someone based on race or indulge in ethnic clensing. However a simple racial slur, while at the opposite end of that scale, is still perpetuating the same underlying ideology, even if the person doing it would be horrified at the sight of a racial lynching or ethnic clensing.

              In short, my “tone” is one which goes straight for the underlying ideology of what has been said regardless of what the person meant to say, because it’s important when regaining our sovereignty, when regaining our ability to think, to uncover and dismantle every single psychological trap out there that we’ve been implanted with.

              I have no doubt I have a few still buried deep in there too and I’d love nothing more than to be aware of them so they can be removed. Someday, someone further along than I am will point them out to me too just as I point them out to people who aren’t as far along as I am.

              Should people be angry when it’s pointed out? Sure, but the anger is best directed at those who instigated the conditioning to begin with.

            • The Blissful Ignoramus December 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

              >>“While I have no doubt you’re aware of it to some extent, I question how much you’ve considered the deeper implications of it when you bring up my tone.”

              You are conflating one subject (ie, control of media, propaganda, perception management etc) with quite another (basic courtesy, civility, and respect for others).

              It’s quite simple Andrew.

              This is my blog. I make the rules.

              I welcome polite, civil, non-aggressive, non-personalised discussion.

              I do not welcome impolite, uncivil, aggressive, personalised “discussion”.

              In my view, your posts overwhelmingly feature the latter.

              I have been extremely tolerant, and repeatedly tried to assist you by pointing out my expectations.

              You continue to sporadically appear, and flout the basic conventions that I have outlined. One more instance of same, and I will (reluctantly) render you the first (and hopefully, only) reader to be banned from commenting.

            • Andrew Richards December 18, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

              I’ll deal with these 2 issues in my final ever comment on your blog as I can see that it is utterly futile for me to continue posting here.

              Again you’ve succeeded in confusing 2 issues here- the skills shortage and the role technology has to play in it.

              You bring up issues with thinking such as building kit-form furniture, and yet that has come from a situation where our scientific minds have been eroded and we are actually technologically and scientifically regressing.

              Yet at the same time you’re saying we’re becoming increasingly reliant on technology, which is incorrect, or else you would see a culture which is actually becoming more scientifically and technologically advanced- as that reliance would see us continuing to create more and more advanced technology, which simply isn’t happening.

              What we actually have is a society of passive consumers and it is actually a reliance on consumerism and having someone or something else do everything for us.

              When that extends to hired help, then you’re looking at far more than simply technology. That’s the flaw you’ve made here with your rather superficial assessment of things to have drawn that conclusion from the situation.

              The problem here with everything else is, to be quite blunt, ego.

              The irony of your response to my last post was that you say that propaganda had nothing to do with the issue of my “tone” yet your reactions and general societal reactions to the conditioning of said propaganda are exactly what is at the heart of things here.

              The reality is that 90% of what we think we believe is what we have been conditioned to believe and in fact we’ve been conditioned to believe it to the extent where it becomes a matter of personal pride and emotional reactions.

              Have you ever stopped to think of how much your automatically equating a society completely dependent on consumerism to an over-reliance on technology has been influenced by the green agenda and decades of anti-technology social programming?

              Then you have the stanch defenders of Darwin. People are conditioned by their teenage years to believe that Darwin’s work was original, when even he says it wasn’t, that his theory is conclusive scientific fact, and that if you contradict it, you’re automatically a creationist.

              Yet by perpetuating that belief someone becomes a proponent of eugenics as that was the agenda behind Darwin. They may abhor the Holocaust, and be vehemently egalitarian, yet that is what that conditioning regarding Darwin for example, makes that person.

              However there is a flaw in mistaking recognising that continuous action with a character judgement.

              From an early age, we are conditioned with an “US and them” mentality. We see it in wars with “the other”, with the Christian Right in the US, some of whom even have the warped belief that they will even get to judge people with God during final judgement.

              Therein we also see the other problem with it – the inability to separate a person from an act they commit.

              The problem isn’t my “tone” but rather the psychological defenses my tone triggers.

              When someone is called a racist for example, the underlying attitude of most of society is that it’s somewhat of a “scarlet letter” damning them to hell for all eternity or some degree of that.

              The reality is though, that someone is only a racist for as long as they hold onto said racist beliefs, and therein lies the truth of action and character.

              It’s even more true when someone has been conditioned into some form of belief that they otherwise would not have, and at the end of the day, everyone in society is brainwashed to varying degrees.

              As with all brainwashing though, the mind rails against being freed because there is familiarity there, even if the belief is toxic, just as your mind has railed against it where you have said “my blog, my rules”.

              Let’s face it, the logical approach would be that if you believed something and then had this other belief in there which went it a completely opposite direction, then wouldn’t the rational thing to do be to question how that belief got there to begin with and change it?

              Yet your reaction is far from uncommon. I’m aware that my “tone” is somewhat inflammatory, but inflammatory to those specific psychological defenses.

              You claim that I need to alter it, but tell me, if you walked into a room and found someone “at risk” who was cutting, would you let them keep doing it or would you rip the knife out of their hands to make them stop right away if that’s what it took?

              Sadly in this case my efforts have failed and your psychological defenses have won for now.

              I’ll take my leave of this blog, and completely unsubscribe from all of it. I wish you well though, and I hope that one day, you reach the same level of awakening that I have reached currently.

            • The Blissful Ignoramus December 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

              Thanks Andrew. I wish you all the best in your quest to educate all that you are the Awakened One.

              Farewell.

  4. WBWM/BRL December 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    With respect to the both of you, I feel that you are both missing an even bigger, and valid, point.

    The way I see it, Andrew has got some very valid points, investment in infrastructure, especially something that will support the countries ability to keep up with the ever changing nature of information delivery, should not be considered something that will be nothing more than a “Black Hole”. In terms of networks, Australia languishes way behind the pack. But we have the best economy in the world??? (Sarcasm, so much that even Canberra can taste it.)

    TBI, the argument that you and Barnaby so passionately put forward has it’s merits, merits which are (unfortunately) based on economic truths, truths that will become evident soon enough. What I cannot seem to grasp is why the villains in the treasury department, past and present, cannot competently deliver a cost effective solution and strategy to deliver something this country desperately needs, and has needed (infrastructure wise) for the past 10 years.

    Would it be foolish to say that by privatising the telecommunications industry in Australia the government has lost it’s ability to swing the necessary stick effectively or even more to my liking, in a brutal and unforgiving manner?

    Why does the government not issue a mandate that the 2 big ones (Telstra and Singtel) must put into place the necessary infrastructure, like right now, and then after it’s in, talk about who gets the share of the pie. Obviously I feel that the cost should be laid squarely at the feet of the industry, and not at the taxpayer.

    Call me extremely naive but if the owner of the biggest telecomm company in France can do it then why can’t we? He and his company/corporation have reaped extremely large benefits, both fiscally and from the business community, from delivering this sort of service to France.

    I’m sure that the boards, and to an extent, the shareholders of both of these Australian (Australasian) corporations know this to be true, so is it a matter of government ineptitude and blocking? Or is it that they don’t want to foot the bill, only to roll in the glorious mud of the profits?

    Perhaps I’m confused, or maybe I’m just stupid, but this country desperately needs this network, it just shouldn’t be paid for out of my, or your, tax money.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus December 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

      WBWM/BRL, setting aside for the moment the more peripheral discussion points (electronic dependence viz. solar flare/EMP vulnerability, wisdom or otherwise of cost/benefit analysis on major infrastructure), rest assured that I agree with you in principle. That is to say, IMHO there is absolutely no logical reason why infrastructure (such as the NBN) cannot be built … without burdening the taxpayer with debt + interest. The root issue for mine, that impacts literally everything, is the nature of “money”, and more specifically, who has been granted exclusive rights to issue it.

      You might like to read my essay on this fundamental topic here, as background for my personal worldview as it pertains to money/currency/debt.

      • Andrew Richards December 18, 2011 at 1:22 am #

        The answer to that is simple- Nationalised Banking in a credit based economy as opposed to privatised central banking in a monetary system.

        The obstacles to it are the fact that the rich and powerful of this world would lose everything if it was ever actually implemented and the British Empire would be finished as it no longer is able to practice control through economic warfare.

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