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Some thoughts about mooted changes to Media ownership law in Australia

 

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People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.

Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles.  My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly.  With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media  consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.

Cheers Comrades

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On Gender Equality

Its the conclusion in this video…

Dreaming of equality without rancour …

Cheers Comrades

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Canada inspires with funding cut to NRTEE

In some instances Canada is often seen as being quite similar to  this country. We are both countries which have a large land area and lots of natural resources with comparatively small populations. We also have rather similar cultural traditions derived form our British colonial heritage. Of course our climates could not be further apart and I reckon you have to be tough to stand the Canadian winters in a way that even Tasmanians don’t come close to. They too have suffered the ravages of the millenarian  Green religion but its good to see that they are finally beginning to fight back and that they are beginning to dismantle and de-fund a quango not unlike the much derided “Climate Commission” created by our own Labor/Greens government.

click for source

Sadly it may take a bit of time, and a change of government, for the Climate Commission to cease embarrassing the poadlitical grown ups but the experience in Canada does show that it can be done and that in these austere times the saving is very much to the advantage of the nation.
Cheers Comrades

#Slutwalk,#fashion, personal responsibility and safety on the streets after dark

Lets  consider just how earnest but confused the organisers of those little pieces of street theatre actually are shall we?

click for source

John Lydon says:

You never listen to word that I said
You only seen me
For the clothes that I wear
Or did the interest go so much deeper
It must have been
The colour of my hair.

source

When it comes to women who are sexually assaulted after going out getting pissed and then staggering around our cities (the sort of scenario that the Canadian policeman who inspired all of this feminist outrage was talking about)  well then   I think that think that the Mountie was wrong, it is not the way that a woman is dressed that makes her vulnerable in that situation it is being pissed and isolated that does it. In the animal kingdom most predators are total opportunists and to honest I think that the same thing applies to those men who would  take advantage of drunken women in the wee small hours in our cities. Now its all well and good to emphasise e that the all women should be safe on the streets after dark but it is most imprudent to assume that wishing for something is going to make it so. As individuals we all have to take responsibility for our own safety as we go about our work or as we seek our pleasures and this applies equally to men and women who go out on the town.

I’m going to upset a few people here but I think that there are a lot of women who are confused when it comes to the message that they send to the world with their public image. Human beings are after all like so many animals they communicate  to their fellows in the way that they present themselves to the world. In fact there are lots of birds and animals that put huge amounts of effort into display to demonstrate that they are available and worthy of mating. In many of these species it is often the males who are the dedicated followers of fashion but in our society it is generally women who put on the the display, they are told that they are validated by  how attractive they look and there is a huge industry that exists to make their validation happen.

There is however a sort of schizophrenic aspect to the feminists who wan to insist that women should have the right to make overtly sexual displays and at the same time they denounce we poor humble blokes for noticing  the size of the breasts, a well shaped bottom that is emphasised by particular items of clothing , or even just  what we may find hits all the right notes of our personal  tune. You can’t have it both ways. If you make a personal display that emphasises your sexuality then don’t be surprised if men notice you for that  reason and make judgements accordingly. That is just the way that we are biologically programmed to respond to sexual display.  By the same token though it is NEVER acceptable for anyone to assume that a sexual display means that there is some sort of implicit  general consent to sexual activity. The thing is no matter what the current fashions happen to be men and women make judgements about their sexual availability and they may even seek to do more than just look. The problem lays I think in the way that we are constantly told that we have to maintain a sexual display. I say we here to be inclusive of both men and women because the fashion industry has long realised that  men and women can be induced into parting with large amounts of cash to maintain a sexual display as a matter of course even when the need is less than urgent once that pair bond has been already been established.

We are all in the thrall of a fashion industry that tells us that we are only validated by having the newest and “most beautiful plumage” that money can buy. Frankly I think that it would do the cause of women (and men) far more good if those young idealistic feminists  who are running the Slutwalk street theatre  were to turn their attentions to the fashion industry in general and consider just who the players that lead and dictate what is socially acceptable in terms of personal  presentation. If history teaches us anything about the nature of “Fashion” it is that it seems to bounce between being very overt to very modest in the amount of flesh that is on display and as the industry has managed to make the obsolescence cycle shorter and shorter to boost sales I think that it has got to the stage where there is absolutely no good sense at all, and even less appreciation of just what messages any particular type individual display makes to the world.

So my message for Slutwalkers everywhere is this; wear whatever you like, display as little or as much flesh as you please that is your right, with you 110% on you having the right to do as you please, but it is unrealistic to think that having a “right” to personal safety will ever guarantee your safety,  because there is no way that we will ever have a society without some (hopefully very few)  nasty people and  violent crime. I am reminded of the advice that a good friend once gave me on the occasion of my first  ever visit to Sydney as a young man ” always walk the streets with a sense of purpose and as if you own them, even if you are lost, them and you will have no trouble”  There is a message in that advice for young women*  too.

And a final quote from that song to ponder:

Public Image you got what you wanted
The Public Image belongs to me
It’s my entrance
My own creation
My grand finale
My goodbye

source

Cheers Comrades

* although I tend to think that teetering on 4 inch heels in a short dress while pissed makes this rather difficult.

Things we don’t know – about climate

A really good guest post is to be found at Anthony Watt’s blog at present which really goes to the heart of my own argument about AGW. I post an extract below bit please take the time to read the full piece:

Things we don’t know – about climate

I drafted this article on November 19th, 2010. At about ten that morning the weather channel, which gets its data for Lethbridge, Alberta from environment Canada and thus ultimately from sensors less than ten kilometers from my house, said the temperature was -17C. At that same time, however, the sensors about four feet above my roof reported a temperature of -19.2C.

By coincidence, and again according to the weather channel, the all time record low for November here, -35.6C, was set on that same day in 1921.

The source number for that claim, presumably 32.08F, is actually an interpolation from various agricultural research and military facilities across southern Alberta, because the airport weather station has been moved a few times and many of the source records lost – but it should be obvious in any case that neither the thermometers in use at airports in 1921 nor the processes in place to record temperature supported anything like that level of precision.

So how cold was it here before I left that morning? there’s really no way to know – and how did that compare to 1921? I don’t know that either.

What I do know is that the values shown were averages taken over time; that neither instrument is predictably accurate to even one decimal place; and that the air between the two is of variable depth, variable humidity, in constant motion, and had markedly less than one chance in twenty-two of being at a real average temperature of -18.1C at about 10 AM that day.

So how does this extrapolate to sticking a thermometer into the troposphere to estimate our planet’s near ground air temperature? Well, in total the world has less than one sensor for every sixty thousand square kilometers; about three quarters of them are closely grouped in the United States, western Europe, and the militarily significant part of southeastern Russia; almost none have trustworthy time-of-readings records for more than a few years; most of the records are both short and discontinuous; most of the readings are accurate only within loose bounds; and an unknown proportion of the time series supposedly formed from instrument readings contain unknown interpolations.

There are other sources of information. For example, weather satellites have produced records for perhaps half the earth’s surface since about the mid seventies – but those records too have unknown source errors; may now contain accumulated and largely undocumented differences from the source data; show significant coverage bias favoring areas important to civil aeronautics; and are generally accessible only in the form of time series whose values are derived from real measurements pertaining mainly to the upper troposphere through calculations calibrated against the same ground sensor readings they’re used to extend and correct.

In contrast many of the proxy records are both long and internally consistent – but they don’t help because these are very coarse grained: whether they’re based on isotope decay or tree rings, the best “rulers” these produce are location specific and marked in decadal or century intervals, not globally applicable and marked in seasons or years.

The bottom line on this is simple: I can’t pretend to know the temperature within a few kilometers of my house right now to within a couple of degrees C without making basic scientific errors in everything from measurement and imagined precision to application – and when people like Jones and Hansen announce in all apparent seriousness that the entire earth is now 0.5C degrees warmer than it was during the period from 1961 to 1990 they’re asking us to accept a very precise number on the basis of data that’s much worse than mine and in the face of applicability, measurement, and computational ambiguities that are orders of magnitude greater.

Paul Murphy.

The credulous have accepted the notion of human agency in “Climate Change” for entirely political reasons and to that end they have been acting in an entirely religious and dogmatic manner. Frankly I would love to hear their explanation of just how they can reconcile the clear problem with the basic data that Paul Murphy outlines in his piece with the certainty that they exhibit about what is clearly little more than a handful of unsupportable claims about the climate from all of their Profits* of doom.

Cheers Comrades

*deliberate spelling

That’s an interesting email…

I like this guy and his attitude to those who have been harassing him online. There is a message in here for us all.

Cheers Comrades

Equality of drunkards

Now if a bloke goes to a night club, gets pissed, and ends up in some less that pleasant circumstance we quite reasonable assume that  the wilful over consumption of the grog was his choice and that the consequences that follow are to some extent his fault because of his intemperance.  But we still seem to hold the rather quaint view that a woman as seriously on the grog is not responsible for the consequences of being on the piss in the same way that we hold men responsible. Yet stories like this one show that women can be just as unpleasant when drunk en mass  as men are:

“They were drunk, it was an alcohol-fuelled incident and there was no real victim,” said O’Brien. “However, we will be following up with Cavallotti because their patrons were extremely intoxicated and we need to warn them about the dangers of over-serving liquor.”

Two of the women were kept in the cells at the RCMP detachment until they “sobered up,” said O’Brien.

A witness to Friday’s escapades who did not want to be identified said one woman stood on her chair to watch the male exotic dancer, who was dressed up as a police officer before he started to remove his clothing. The women behind her took exception because their view of the stripper was obstructed.

At least four police cars responded to the assault.

Calgary Herald

Gender equality must surely mean that men and women have both the same rights and the same responsibilities when it comes to public behaviour so perhaps the time has come for feminists to acknowledge this just a bit more rather than trotting out the same tired old tropes that hold women to different standards than men.

Cheers Comrades

Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades

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