Wednesday, September 16, 2020

In which "Ned" starts the day, and not even Dame Groan or an independent scientist can alleviate the tedium and ennui ...

The pond has had to explain many times that its job is to see the world as it exists in the minds of the reptiles, but not to fall victim to that phantom reality.

Applied to nattering "Ned", this is a herculean task requiring the brutal recognition that the silly old possum still spends words freely, but they rarely make sense, making it impossible for the pond to purge the pessimistic notion that we're comprehensively fucked ...

And with that introduction, which might be read as an apology, on we go ...

Now around this point, it is obvious that "Ned" doesn't have the foggiest, and quite possibly neither does SloMo, and "Ned" might have been better off contemplating SloMo's latest bright idea ... you know, Scott Morrison's power plan is nothing but a gas-fuelled calamity ...

The pond was astonished to see that the reptiles gave up without a fight, no, without even a whimper, as the black coal man went from this ...

... to gas, apparently abandoning clean, dinkum, pure, brave, bold, honest, valiant Oz coal for an attack of the gas vapours. Where are the reptiles storming the citadels to restore dinkum digger coal to its central place in the known reptile universe?

Meanwhile, "Ned" ploughs on, under the apparent delusion that he and SloMo can somehow fix things in the ongoing war with China ...

 Completely clueless, and the pond won't waste any more time by rambling on about the rambling "Ned". Let's just get the last gobbet done and mythologically dusted ...

Already there are new scandals and new points of conflict, as the war the reptiles began so blithely with SloMo now lurches off into the distance, and "Ned" pisses into the wind, and what a feeble, wretched pissing it is ...

And so on, and so to an infallible Pope on the latest comedy, even though a tad mangled by the gallery format ...

And so to the pond's explanation of why "Ned" ended up at top of page. Look at the rubbish the reptiles are serving up these days ...

Servile Shanners? The venerable Sexton trying to sort out Boris?

Yet again, with the greatest reluctance and trepidation, the pond had to turn to Dame Groan, blathering on about the tyranny of distance and experts, as if stuck with Geoffrey Blainey back in 1966 ...

Yes, it's just another part of the reptiles' war on comrade Dan, but it raised an ontological question for the pond.

Dame Groan's topic is the tyranny of experts (apparently we're just getting over the tyranny of distance, with long haul jets just a dream in the year 2000), but is Dame Groan herself posing as an expert on experts?

And if she is, does that mean that the pond is exposing itself to the tyranny of an expert on tyrannical experts?

It all got terribly confusing and Alice in Wonderland for the pond, and the old noggin began to hurt, but at least the question had been asked ...

Hmm, don't get the pond wrong, but it sure sounds like Dame Groan is posing as an expert on experts, in a tyrannical way, and even has the cheek to slap down an economist on the basis that he's not an epidemiologist,  and yet the pond isn't certain what epidemiological expertise Dame Groan brings to her expert attack on experts ...

The virus isn't very lethal?

 "Bob, it's so easily transmissible, you wouldn't believe it ... I mean you could, you could be in the room ... I was in the White House a couple of days ago, meeting with 10 people in the Oval Office and a guy sneezed — innocently. Not a horrible ... you know, just a sneeze. The entire room bailed out, OK? Including me, by the way."
“This thing is a killer if it gets you. If you’re the wrong person, you don’t have a chance.”
“So this rips you apart,” Trump added. “It is the plague.” (Vox)

Oh that was just for the comedy of the killing fields ... is it wrong to nominate Dame Groan for a job in the White House? She might find soul mates ...

And there could be plenty of laughs ...

Yep, that's the expert way to deal with experts. Put a loon in charge, and put them on a leash.

What's that, the White House is already well stocked with loons? Never mind, back to Dame Groan, struggling with the comorbidity of stupidity ...

Oh fucketty fuck, "as it is with climate change..."

She really is a silly old chook, headless most of the time ... and her tyranny must be resisted, but don't bother to have a contest with her. Instead, here, have a cartoon to celebrate ...

And so to the bonus of the day, and once again the reptiles forced the pond's hand. The pond has not the slightest interest in Peter Ridd, who jumped the shark and nuked the reef fridge some time ago, but look who the reptiles lined up to make him seem more palatable ...

A visit from the cult master! And in climate science denialist mode too! It seems so unfair that the cult master landed with Ridd when Dame Groan so badly needed his services, but that's the way it goes with the reptiles ...dinkum coal one day, and an attack of the gases the next ...

The good news is that the Riddster can be done and dusted in just two gobbets, which allows the pond room to slip in a joke ...

And some cartoons on a related theme ...

The pond feels that meme most days reading the reptiles ...

Look, the pond could go on and on about assorted matters, and try to help Ridd get his head out of the unfortunate position of being deeply stuck up his reef arse ... point out perhaps that it's a big, wide world, and things are going down that have implications even for north Queensland ...

But what's the point? People can google and it's better just to get through the next gobbet and get to the punchline ...

He's posing as an "independent scientist"?  What the fuck does that mean? Is there such a thing as a
"dependent scientist"? Has the pond lost what little grasp of the English language it once held? Does tautology and redundancy have any meaning these days?

Never mind - and there has been a lot of never minding today - it's on with the immortal Rowe, with more Rowe always here ...


  1. Is curmudgeon gender specific? I would suggest an exception be made for Dame Groan even if it is.

    Here we have someone making a claim to expertise herself suggesting that all the other experts should be ignored.

    The obvious thing is that economists as a class do not seem to support this view, only those scribbling for Murdoch and a few needy individuals like Gigi Forster (does she look a bit like Ayn Rand? Convergent evolution maybe?).

    The thing that drives the reptiles nuts is that the expert advice has worked. Most states are zero or close and Vic seems to have this under control. After years of being told government is not the answer along comes a crisis and suddenly government is the answer.

    Meanwhile, in other Murdoch jihads, it appears the poor judgement he has shown in media of late extends to energy assets as well.

    1. Yair, the Groanie is truly hilarious: let's not submit to the tyranny of 'experts', let us submit to the tyranny of Murdoch reptiles who know everything about everything and always have and always will. Mind you, when it comes to submitting to Anders Tegnell, I fully agree with her. But what is most amusing is that Tegnell's Sweden is never really compared with its Scandinavian neighbours without immediately segueing into those other European nations (UK, France, Italy Spain) that very clearly took action 'too little, too late' and then, just to compound their gormless cupidity retreated 'too far too soon'.

      The clear success stories - in particular Taiwan and NZ, and yes, despite the Melbourne 'wave', Australia which has a population 2.5 times that of Sweden and a death rate less than 14% of Sweden's even now. Sweden has actually about 5,847 deaths out of 87,345 cases as at Sep 14th. Australia has 816 deaths (729 in Victoria) out of 26,738 cases.

      Gigi Foster, though, is just another of those QALY worshippers who simply isn't concerned about death so long as it isn't hers. And I'd guess, though not being an expert, that Gigi has no idea at all about the increasing number of 'long haulers' that may never fully recover from a COVID-19 bout (long lasting heart, lung and/or liver problems, apparently). So it isn't a matter of just getting a bit of COVID-19 and then fully recovering.

      I wonder just how much Gigi would like to suffer, say, heart problems for years and then die comparatively young because of them. And I wonder why she's happy to impose the same on lots of other people too.

    2. Funny how they keep doubling down where all the actual outcomes are screaming "ya wrong!"

    3. Show me the money !

    4. And talking about "long haulers", kidneys too:

      Fears Covid may leave thousands in UK with severe kidney disease

      But don't worry it doesn't kill you quickly, so no big QALY deal, eh.

    5. On the slow burn ....and now, suddenly fast tracked fracking of Oz, no one has followed the matter better than Michael West. He nicely exposes Rupert’s reptile machine and their ongoing war on science and what it is all really about.

      Geopolitics and energy and whose new world order will rule has quickly become front and centre since the arrival of Covid, which was most fortuitous for Morrison’s unelected committee of gas barons......and right on queue, today we had Andrew (“in an environmentalist”...his words) Liveris speaking at the NPC, effusing the genius and insightful vision of SloMo and the great gas recovery.
      If you can get the transcript, it is well worth the read....eye watering stuff. It’s our way or the highway because we know what is best.
      The only journalist to question the idea of the Govt. subsidising/funding the gas industry was Catherine Murphy and when Liveris said to her that it was just a redistribution of monies she looked as if her head was going to explode.

      His speech was basically a rerun of the theme of Ian Bremmer’s book, which he insisted everyone should read.
      On the other side of this new world order coin there is this
      Since both items were written pre Covid, there now appears to be a frantic and forceful effort to get the Leveris agenda up and running .....right now, because it is business as usual until at least 2050 as far as this Govt. is concerned.
      2020 really is looking a lot like the crossroad year.

    6. Too many 'experts', CA and Groanie has forcefully warned us about the tyranny of this. I dunno exactly what 'globalisation' means - apparently it means different things to different people.

      I used to get value from reading Michael West when he still worked for, and I still read, the Fin Review. Maybe I should look at his web site now.

      But I did like this from Bremmer: "There has never been a better place and a better time to be alive than right here, right now." Well, of course not; who could possibly think otherwise.

  2. At the risk of adding to tedium (mea culpa, several times) the mathematics of epidemiology are relatively simple. Robert May showed the world how the outcomes could become quite dramatic over several iterations, and he provided guidance for people with high-school level maths. to prove this for themselves, initially using programmable calculators, later with personal computers. The message is that small changes in the factors in the logistic, taken through a couple of iterations, can lead to remarkable rises and falls in proliferation, particularly of something like a virus.

    The Dame shows no awareness of this; or, perhaps, that is better expressed as an unwillingness to admit to this, because - well, we are paid to maintain the attack on two state governments.

    She kinda slips up, by admitting that, whaddya know - 'we' have learned a bit more about this particular coronavirus in the last few months, and that has allowed public health advisors to better focus their actions. But that in no way excuses her cheap attack on 'experts'.

    There was a time when those who claimed proficiency in one professional area of study, if they sought to engage in debate with practitioners in another area of study, at least did them the courtesy of getting familiar with the theory and practice of their work, otherwise the critique does not get above the level of ' Ah, ya father's mustache'.

    1. No, stay with the "shows no awareness" Chad, because "sometimes words have two meanings" and in one she simply has no awareness to show, and in the other she suppresses her awareness for the usual paid agitprop reasons. Or in her case, maybe both.

    2. When my kids were younger I thought I'd use a spreadsheet to demonstrate compound interest because, you know, not understanding it is a wealth hazard. They just stared at me as if I was mad. They couldn't see how this would ever affect them.

      This is the problem, it all seems too abstract to most people even though it is playing out in real life all around them. The alternative is not to think at all and assume everything will doddle along as it was if no changes are made.

    3. But do they get it now, Bef ? I did mention, did I not, the pronouncement (in the Nation Review back in its day) from the wise educator that: "For ordinary kids the mathematics taught in schools is too much, too soon. For those who might become professional mathematicians, it's much too little, much too late."

      I think, all things considered, that could be said about quite a lot of human knowledge. Reason and logic, in general, for one.

    4. Ah - they could do the maths (ATARS in the 97-98 range) it was just the indifference to things that didn't jump up and hit them in the face.

    5. So, do they now see how it would affect them and if so what wrought this change ?

    6. One does, probably due to her work requiring a lot of planning, the other one tends to just react to what is immediately in front of her and doesn't look far into the future.

    7. Ah yes, the behavioural dominance of know-how of proximate utility versus the deeper satisfactions of useless knowledge: "The search for answers to deep questions, motivated solely by curiosity and without concern for applications, often leads not only to the greatest scientific discoveries but also to the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs."

      The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

      And especially in mathematics where "pure" mathematics may be developed for centuries before becoming "applied". And vice versa too sometimes as, for instance, the very practically applied 3,4,5 right angled triangle was known and used for a very long time before the purity of geometry produced Pythagoras' Theorem.

  3. Ok, well there's always Nullius Ned to have a good hard look at. Here he goes: "The task of Australian foreign policy is to see the world as it exists but not fall victim to that reality." Isn't that a cognitively stunning proposition: see reality (a feat never actually achieved by Ned or any other reptile of course) but don't "fall victim" to it.

    By not 'falling victim' to reality, I take it Ned means "never act on reality, always stick to your 'matrix' world of imaginings". Which is what reptiles do because the pay for pushing imaginary world(s) is much better than for trying to explain reality to a completely decoupled world.

    So: "Applied to China this demands brutal recognition of the downward spiral in our relations ..." And the spiral has been downwards ever since the high point of Tiananmen Square - our relationship with China was great then and that's why Australia has over 1.2 million residents of Chinese ethnicity, many of them being refugees from Deng Xiaoping's Chinese wonderland. But I don't recall Deng imposing trade barriers on Australia - maybe because he couldn't quite afford to back then. But Xi can happily afford to now, so the only question is, will he allow all those Hong Kongers to emigrate to Taiwan, UK or Australia ? I would have thought not, but I guess we'll see.

    Anyway, moving right along Ned informs us that: "One day, hopefully, Scott Morrison will sit down with Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang." Oooh, can't wait - it'll be just like Trump and his favourite dictators. And that, I reckon is Ned's highpoint for the day, it's all "downwards spiral" from there.

  4. Just a small digression: I was reading The Conversation article on Mulan the movie and came upon this: "Rather than being a story of female empowerment, Mulan promotes the idea that women must put male authority figures before themselves to achieve recognition."

    Well, surprise, surprise. But then isn't that also the lesson from the story of Jeanne d'Arc ? Them Chinese always get there first, don't they.

  5. For your amusement if you haven't seen it already.

    DB launched this attack after the Media Watch story aired.

    Looks like a lot of people hanging out on the sky twitter feed to amuse themselves at Dogger's discomfort.

    1. Just as well Doggy Bov isn't an 'expert' then, or Dame Groan would have to be warning us not to accept his "tyranny".


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