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Of cabbages, kings and a meeting of Blog war protagonists
Sinking Super myths
Warren Truss at the Brisbane Conservative Club:
He then went on to say some pensioners enjoyed a lifestyle that included overseas trips funded by superannuation.
“Increasingly the lifestyle – and the savings for superannuation – are being seen as the opportunity to enjoy a few cruises and the luxuries of life for a few years until it runs out and then people wish to fall back on the aged pension.”
Queensland president of the Australian Pensioners and Superannuation League, Ray Ferguson, completely rejected Mr Truss’s comments, saying they were “out of touch”.
Mr Ferguson said a growing number of baby boomers were retiring with mortgages still to be paid off and with nest eggs of about $150,000.
“I completely reject Mr Truss comments that pensioners are wasting their nest egg on luxury overseas trips,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The fact is that – and the evidence supports it – the baby boomers today are retiring, our prospective pensioners are retiring, on a less than $150,000 nest egg,” he said.
“And a lot less for women because they have had not spent the same amount of time full-time in the workforce.”
He said more retirees were often paying off mortgages with their superannuation.
“More and more baby boomers are retiring with a mortgage of around $40,000 and $60,000,” he said.
“The most sensible thing for them to do is pay off their mortgage.
“And once they do that there is not much of a pool of money left over as far as their superannuation … is concerned.”
Some thoughts about mooted changes to Media ownership law in Australia
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.
Putting your ghost into the machine
I came across this today and it tickled my love of the bizarre way that technology tends to follow speculative fiction. In this case its all about the long held wish for a way to have a secular form of eternal life by downloading consciousness into a computer so that the essence of a person can go on long after their body has surrendered to death.
The service has been created out of MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program. When users sign up, they will link the service to their various digital streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, emails, photos and geo-location history. Once data is being collected, Ursache says there are two main processes required – “making sense” of it and then using it to “emulate” the user.
“Of course, ‘making sense’ and ’emulating’ are still primitive today,” he acknowledges. “But by periodically interacting with this avatar, you will allow it to make more sense in the next 30-40 years that you still have to live. This way, it becomes more accurate and knows more about you in time.”
The ability of Eterni.me to “make sense” of the data it collects will be key, but is one of the most difficult challenges the company has to tackle. The service will analyze both textual and visual information to choose what information can be used to help an avatar better emulate the user. Direct interactions with the user will help to make the emulation more accurate.
Ursache explains that the end result should be a tool that people can use to find out more about their forbears, such as photos, family events, opinions and hobbies. He likens it to a research tool, such as a search engine or timeline, and is clear that the aim of such technology should be to help people.
“I think technology should make our lives easier, period,” he says. “If technology can help with leaving a legacy, or solving other problems for dead people’s relatives and friends – such as inheritance, access to information and so on – we should find a way to use it, of course without creating additional harms.”
A private beta of Eterni.me is expected in late 2015 with the public launch expected in 2016.
I don’t know if this is just an example of hubris or just a denial of mortality and I don’t know if it would really provide comfort or the creeps to those we leave behind when we cark it. What I do know is that there are likely to be people who will grab onto this technology in their grief at the loss of a loved one and that it may well even make them unable to move on with their lives. Further lets just imagine that the avatar becomes complex enough to be sentient rather than merely reflexive, will the simulacrum be the person it was derived from or will it be some new kind of monster? I just don’t know if this is a good or a bad idea so I will just await the wisdom of the Sandpit’s readers on this one.
What makes me Laugh
Some may well be wondering just what I find to be funny or amusing, well I love clever wordplay and inventive insults that make good use of the delights of the English language Boris Johnson, the current Mayor of London is a talented wit.
• Last year, when the London assembly voted not to debate Johnson’s budget amendment and requested that he leave the hearing, he berated them as “great supine, protoplasmic invertebrate jellies“. Once again choosing jelly (see Clegg, above) as his insulting noun of choice, he qualified it with no less than four adjectives. Great, meaning large; invertebrate, meaning spineless (not like those spine-riddled jellies you get nowadays); supine, meaning inactive (again, not to be confused with those jellies you see hard at work, doing press-ups and the like) and protoplasmic – an especially odd choice of adjective for a jelly, as protoplasm is the colloidal liquid from which cells are formed.
I am very much inclined to thinking that Johnson is channelling Oscar Wilde in his put downs and insults and it should surprise no one that Wilde is also right up there on my list of great wits and masters of the Queen’s English. However when it comes to contemporary humorists and purveyors of satire my tastes are very eclectic and largely apolitical. While I certainly do like social commentators like Pat Condell I also enjoy ardently left wing comedians like Alexi Sale. In many ways I’m pretty old school when it comes to comedy and satire, The Goons, the Goodies and Monty Python are utterly classic prototypes for good humour as far as I am concerned. They all managed to produce satire and and clever jokes that are largely immune to being dated the way that many contemporary stand up routines that focus on politics become dated.
Happy days are here again…
My businessman brother was chiding me this morning for not posting about the stunning victory of the Tony Abbott led LNP this morning but I have been just stepping back and enjoying the way that others have been reacting to the game changing result. From Ray focusing on the real possibility that Sophie Mirrabella may lose her seat of Indi to the despair of the far left zombies like the Taylors at a certain dishevelled electronic Cafe and the pretentious and wilfully obscure pseudo intellectualism of Lavatus Prodeo its all been a bit of a hoot to be honest. I am also very well aware that with the change of government to one that I broadly endorse a political blog like this one faces new challenges. Many readers may now be expecting me to defend the government and the way that it prosecutes its policies. I certainly will defend the policies that I believe in but you won’t find me defending anything that I disagree with just because its something done by “my team” I don’t roll that way. To be entirely Francis I think that we are in for a rather politically boring couple of years and as such there will be far less political stories for me to write about.
As some readers may have noticed I do have interests other than Australian politics so I expect to write a bit more about those topics when the mood takes me I am also hoping that I can make some good progress on my Morris Eight project (depending on my heath issues 😦 ) popular culture topics will feature a bit more and I want to look at some more domestic life issues too. That said I think that you never know just how the issues will present themselves but if you want to keep up with the Sandpit then please subscribe to the blog for email updates.
Anyway I offer this vid for your viewing pleasure:
That all said I am not the only one who writes for this blog and I very much look forward to the other authors here contributing to the debate about the future of our country even when I disagree with their arguments. You see political discussion is not so much about the destination, which is always a moving feast, as much as it is about the journey and the conversations that we have along the way.
- ‘Tony Time’ euphoria for Abbott backers (bbc.co.uk)
- Tony Abbott’s key policies face rough ride in the Senate (theguardian.com)
- Tony Abbott opposed eco-taxes, hate crime laws and gay marriage – and won a landslide (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Conservative Christian Tony Abbott wins majority in Australia (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
One More Day
Cheers Indeed Comrades!
The bright side of Kevin
When even the normally very Labor friendly Fairfax press runs a piece on their front page suggesting that a substantial loss for the ALP might not be such a bad thing for the party you have to accept that things are very crook indeed on planet ALP:
There is some value here for the ALP being comprehensively defeated because if the party were in fact a shrubbery it would be one that is need of some serious pruning to remove a great deal of the old and twisted wood and to make it into something that can be admired by those of us in the middle rather than just the creatures of the ideological left, most importantly the ALP needs to learn how to manage the business of government with competence and sound administration. and until they either learn how to do this or recruit those who can already do this they will never again be a credible government that can be trusted.
- Bob Hawke and crackers (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- The Ghost Who Walks (archiebutterfly.wordpress.com)
- Rudd defends dumping ALP candidate (bigpondnews.com)
- Call and Response (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Rudd fails to rally voters at home (smh.com.au)
- Ghost of Gillard haunts ALP (smh.com.au)
- The ALP’s Achievements (realnewsone.wordpress.com)