Links 30 November 2020

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Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)



    …’Get those pipes in the ground … fast …’ says former Key government policy advisor Matt Burgess …

    … Infrastructure debt financing and provision is THE major issue …

    Which prime ministers oversaw the biggest house price increases? … Rob Stock … Stuff NZ

    Helen Clark and Sir John Key were the post-1990 prime ministers who presided over the most rapid increases in house prices during their terms in office.

    Figures from CoreLogic indicate annualised house price inflation during each of their terms in office was an eye-watering 11 per cent for Clark and 9 per cent for Key, both far higher than either inflation or wage growth. … read more via hyperlink above …

    Access full post …


      Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown rules end for some workers, but Melbourne CBD may be forever changed … Leanne Wong … ABC

      … as 100 million skilled women dispersed throughout India rapidly re – join the workforce … as part of a massive and unstoppable trend globally …

      … an essential read …

      Work from home revolution is a surprise boon for India’s women … Saritha Rai … Bloomberg / The Economic Times

      Welcome to the new and real world of rapid dispersal and decentralization.

      • Prime Minister Helen Clark? You mean the Helen Clark that boasted that she had “7 investment properties. They are my superannuation fund!” – that Helen Clark? And we wonder why property price extortion never stops! (PS: What about your ex-PM super, Helen. You know, the one you get, indexed, for the rest of your life?)

        • Since the Bill Clinton era when our “left wing” politicians embraced neoliberalism its surprising how many of our socialist leaders became multimillionaires after leaving officer

          • Most were multimillionaires before they entered office. Someone dependent on working a job to survive simply can’t take 3 months off to pursue an election campaign on the chance they get into parliament.


            … What would it be in New Zealand ? …

            If CPI Measured Actual House Prices, Inflation Would Be 3% Right Now … Zerohedge


            Submitted by Joseph Carson, formerly chief economist at AllianceBernstein

            “Actual” consumer price inflation is rising during the recession. That runs counter to the normal recessionary pattern when the combination of weak demand and excess capacity works to lessen inflationary pressures.

            The main source of faster consumer price inflation is centered in the housing market. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted a 7% increase the last year, more than twice the gain of one-year ago.

            The sharp acceleration in house price inflation represents the fastest increase since 2014 and runs counter to the patterns of the past two recessions. During the 2001 recession house price inflation slowed by one-third, while in the Great Financial Recession housing prices posted their largest decline in the post-war period, falling over 12% nationwide. … read more via hyperlink above …

            Access earlier related post MB post …



            … Will media ask New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern what the deposit requirements are in Auckland and New Zealand generally … and why there is such a wide difference with America ? …

            … with a follow up question … when can New Zealanders expect to see American pricing levels restored in New Zealand ? … check out the 16 Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Surveys below …

            … and spare us the child poverty / youth opportunities ‘crocodile tear’s phony political playacting please …

            House Down Payments Soar To 20 Year High As Banks Crack Down On New Loans … Bloomberg / Zerohedge

  2. Cool and normal.
    “Sydney has reported its hottest November night on record, with the official start of summer still days away.

    The city recorded a minimum overnight temperature of 25.4C and then hit 40C during the daytime on Sunday.

    Dozens of bush fires are already burning in New South Wales with hotter weather predicted on Tuesday.

    The states of Victoria and South Australia also reported soaring heat over the weekend.

    “November has been quite unusual in many ways. We have only seen about half our normal rainfall and it is quite possible it will be one of our hottest Novembers on record,” Andrew Watkins, of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) noted on Friday.”

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      When I was a lad our Father used to make us sleep on the tin roof at times like that, but not until after we’d lit the camp stoves up there to get the breadovens heated up for the early morning bake. Added a couple of degrees to the the ambient temperature for the five hours we had to stay up there.

      And we were grateful for it.

    • Can confirm.

      Saturday morning tidy up, shirt soaked.

      Sunday garden work for 3 hours, wore rashy. Soaked through, shorts ended up soaked too. Gunt and crack.

      Two extremely unpleasant days.


      Guess what accompaniment I had to the garden work I did on Sunday morning? And Saturday.

      Just fn guess.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Penthouse letters section worthy.

        I must go. I must have a little lie down.

        Edit: first though, what colour was the sponge?

      • Northern Rivers
        Moving house – I thought I chucked a lot of stuff out when we left the farm
        Fortunately moving literally around the corner

        Two very hot days
        Many many hydralites

        Mercury hard cider to finish
        Then a 12yo single Speyside

      • Were you serenaded by the lovely rhythms and melodies and soaring symphonies and pounding beats of the only economic tunes that matter in this country?

        Construction and renovation?

        • Nah like these sanders that go nnnyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaa, really up and down in pitch.

          He’s doing it in his back yard, so about 3m from where I am.

    • So that’s the option up here in Sh_tney – 40,000 people living in a space previously occupied by 100 cows, 60KM from the CBD, or for the same price you can have a flammable poorly built sky kennel 45KM from the CBD. After your first 60mins to get to a toll road it is then $20 each way each day to get to anything that resembles a job to pay for it all.

      But you get caught suggesting that all of this has made it a much worse place to live and it’s R word for you.

  3. Is winning innovation?

    So I’ve been cogitating upon the essence of winning, in the 30 minutes or so that I’ve spent brush drying my absurdly long Rapunzel like mame.

    It started with a reflection that humans always and universally give deference/preference to winners. And I really mean universally, whether it be a clash of brute strength a-la Tyson, a dash in a flash a-la Bolt, or the methodical and measured advance of a chess grand master – the winner takes all and is granted a special, though ephemeral, position.

    Why the same response in so vastly different endeavours? I will here posit that winning is innovation, it’s ephemeral because its only as good as someone tries to surpass it. A record no-one wants to break will not be recorded…

    • Why the same response?
      Because it is hard wired into herd animals, sheep, cows, primates, apes and humans. The leader of the herd is decided by winning. Winning some sort of physical contest. All members of the herd need to be able to judge and respond to this winning for leadership to be maintained.
      And in something perhaps a little deep and philosophical for a monday morning, maybe this also contributes to the success of “democracy”. After all everyone loves a winner…

      • Nah I don’t buy that. Herds behave as you say but they don’t innovate. The America Bison was following “the winner” to the last bullet. Einstein did not win the contest in 1914 but much much later, this is innovation.

        • The Traveling Wilbur

          There’s one other variable that explains that – you touched on it earier re fields of endeavour. It’s the difference between success and winning.

          Success is just winning at something society holds to be of value worth rewarding. And you don’t even have to come first to be successful! E.g. owning only 7 IPs. Success! When people talk about winning and/or animal behaviour they really mean just success (as animals don’t rest on their laurels in that dept. – just ask Reusa).

          Norma Jean Baker didn’t marry A. Miller because she thought his work was groundbreaking. He was successful and massively built up by the press and literrary establishment at the time – which brought him to her attention – and nature did the rest. Never would have happened otherwise.

          • Yeah I don’t know. Success is also the root of successor, and therefore is something of a vector descriptor. Winning is final, though ephemeral, so a scalar descriptor.

            Not sure it’s actually the same thing, but I take your point on consideration.

      • Remember when I pinged Bill Black over a convo we were having and it was all about Milgram …. duh … but some had some stoopid [tm] deductive antiquarian watery notions …. remember – ?????

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      To extend @bj above on one point, it’s hardwired that winners will be able to have first pick of the females to breed with.

      Confusing for some at cricket award ceremonies these days (never been an issue in the NRL ones).

      Makes for better human stock in the long run is the oft touted hypothesis. That bit is probably bollocks. Otherwise grizzly bears would be 18ft tall by now. 😨

      • That’s also not true. In clan societies and especially evolved clan societies, maintaining clan loyalties is much more important and marriage organised accordingly.

        • The Traveling Wilbur

          Accidentally addressed above with new comment and succea vs. winning.

          I agree with you. It depends what the rules are as to how things work and what’s permissible. That in turn defines what the range for ‘success’ can be.

          But the above is true for proto man, where one assumes no rules existed.

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          TTW, but what if grizzly’s started off as 18mm. tall.
          OK That was only a cheap shot. If anything it was the other way round esp comparing it to Arctotherium Angustidens which was 11ft high.
          Although the original Ursavus Elmensis was thge size of a fox.

          • BTW, animals don’t know that they are herd animals, or pack animals, or flocks or shoals or whatever. Humans decided that…

          • Entirely my point, they don’t know that, it’s just hard wired into their brains.
            People rationalize a lot of the decisions they make but the reality is a lot more of human behaviour is hard wired than people want to believe.

          • Maybe so but I don’t want to believe I want to understand. You keep saying “hardwired” but that itself is an analogy with a very recent genesis.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        You speak for yourself there my smaller prize friend.

        I’ve definitely got nothing smaller about my prize nor have I had any complaints in that department received from members. of the general public. Which I know for sure. One major benefit of always remembering to clone a first date’s phone.


    • It started with a reflection that humans always and universally give deference/preference to winners.

      No they don’t.

      • Citation needed.

        Also, perhaps I should emphasize I mean in the aggregate, not every individual instance, of course.

        • Every competition ever where people on the losingnot-winning side have not switched allegiance to the winning side.

          Which – outside of situations where being on the wrong side is likely to lead to death or serious hardship – is going to be pretty much all of them.

          They recently had a big one in America, you may notice the current outcome does not align with your assertion since some 70-odd million people are most definitely NOT “giving deference/preference” to the “winner”. (Actually, to be fair, it’s unlikely all of them fall into the Trump cultist bucket, but a sizeable percentage clearly do.)

          (I assume we are now going to see a review of what “winner”, “deference” and/or “preference” means.)

          • Well the point is if they come back to play next time, they did accept the winner and due deference/preference was awarded – if grudgingly.

            You’re welcome Smithy.

          • I would, however, state that the grudging acceptance is precisely the germ of innovation, and not the preference given to the winner as per bjw’s herd observation – which I think is well made.

          • Well the point is if they come back to play next time, they did accept the winner and due deference/preference was awarded – if grudgingly.


            No it’s not.

            Sorry to disappoint you on the dearth of revision…

            Well I guess if you’re Humpty-Dumptying it, there’s no need to revise.

            I would, however, state that the grudging acceptance is precisely the germ of innovation […]

            Plenty of innovation has been made that wasn’t a response to loss or threat of oppression from “winners”.

          • “plenty of innovation has been made that wasn’t a response to or threat from” – nor did I stipulate it. I stipulated that innovation *is* winning – the driver I did postulate on, nor did you counter my position with your irritating small mindedness….

          • The arguments are:
            1. “humans always and universally give deference/preference to winners”
            2. “I would, however, state that the grudging acceptance is precisely the germ of innovation”
            3. “Winning” and “innovation” are equivalent.

            The first is prima facie false because finding counter-examples to disprove the absolutes of “always” and “universally” is trivial, to the point that most people probably encounter one every day.

            The second equates “grudging acceptance” with “the germ of innovation”, which against is easy to disprove simply by finding innovation that was not motivated by “grudging acceptance” (for example: motivated by curiosity).

            Your equivalence between “winning” and “innovation” rests entirely on your own circular assertion that they are equivalent. Again, any example of “innovation” absent a competitive motivation disproves it – no competition, no “winner”.

          • “The first is prima facie false”

            Incorrect. You didn’t address winning, you merely stated its negation which implies the former.

            “finding innovation that was not motivated by “grudging acceptance” also incorrect because you fail to grasp that the acceptance is the crux to innovation, tho not ingenuity.
            Its not circular its purposeful, and although you have provided counter arguments I have addressed them.

            Over to you

          • drsmithy …. mig suffers from a bad ontological hangover w/ a side of day job logic being transferred onto everything else past and present.

          • That’s fair. I was more emphatic in my statements than I am confident in them.

            Its how I approach argumentation…

          • Incorrect. You didn’t address winning, you merely stated its negation which implies the former.


            Errrrr, no.

            “finding innovation that was not motivated by “grudging acceptance” also incorrect because you fail to grasp that the acceptance is the crux to innovation, tho not ingenuity.

            Again, you are saying something is true because you say it is true.

            “Innovation” doesn’t require “winning” (or even competition) and consequently doesn’t require “acceptance”. It requires the discovery or creation of something new. That’s what innovation is, and why “winning” isn’t “innovation” – because it does not require anything new to be created or discovered. Ie: you can “win” without “innovating”.

          • Incorrect still. Winning is possibile without innovation. Not vice versa. Innovation is winning, via the mode of universal acceptance.

            You’re welcome.

          • Winning is possibile without innovation.

            Yes ?

            Not vice versa.

            Innovation is impossible without winning ? Patently false. Disproven by any non-competitive example of innovation where “winning” is irrelevant.

            Innovation is winning, via the mode of universal acceptance.

            What ?

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Maybe it would have helped if we’d all bothered to answer the actual question you posed. Sigh. I hate it when that happens… sorry.

      No, winning is not innovation. Nor is success. There is plenty of both going around without a hint of a smidgen of innovation in either, right as we speak about this.

      Is that a problem? Nope. Is that state of affairs limited to herds? Nope.

      Why is winning not innovation – plenty of chicks getting snapped up on Tinder by guys/gals running the same plays that have worked for the last decade; Lots of people still buying BTC and making out like Solomon; plenty of Labor state governments getting elected.

      And none of them did anything at all innovative. 😉

    • To be fair: almost every Uni has summer term classes since:
      – they figured that they can get use out of building that would stand idle for months
      – they rehash the same material
      – the actual work is done by the most junior casual ‘teaching only appointment’ academics

      On the other hand:
      – most of these students will be straight out delivering food because the whole let wh_tey do our group assignments/use contract essay writing/substitute exam candidate on the day because we all look the same scam is de rigueur and we are only here for the PR visa end game

  4. “Norway makes its first discovery of highly pathogenic bird flu, H5N8 ” as we open up our borders.
    The next pandemic is just around the corner and could be worse than the current one. No lessons have been learned. The global system is going to revert to the form that favours rapid dispersal of skanky bugs throughout the world. We won’t change until we experience a disease that is truly selective in the Darwinian sense.

    • History says we won’t change then either, other than the selection of immune systems far more capable of fighting the new diseases as well. Hence the complete wipeout of indigenous populations throughout the world by diseases only mildly troublesome to the Europeans bringing them.