>> In the absence of a clearly articulated and worked out alternate policy,
>First, there must be a problem that requires drastic measurements as
>infinite detention and violation of International obligations?
>Can you explain this problem to me first?
You may recall that Labour came to power in a blaze of moral righteousness,
saying they would have a humane refugee policy. Numbers increased
dramatically with no end in sight to exponential growth. [By the way, the
Greens ridiculed the notion that the policy change would increase the
numbers of boat people markedly. They were proven utterly wrong.] So they
tightened policy. It seemed to me that they eventually muddled into an
incompetently executed version of the Howard/Abbott policies.
Now why would they do this? Some people argue that they listened to the
polls and, being cynical uncaring fiends, decided to sacrifice the refugees
in order to buy votes. Personally, while I was no fan of Rudd or Gullard, I
do not think they are that heartless. I just think they were mugged by
What reality? That there are about *20,000,000* refugees around the world,
many of whom would come to Australia if they could. There are *billions* of
people who live in very poor countries, and polls suggest that a *third( or
more of them would move to a rich country if they could. As one indication,
in 2008 there were over 13,000,000 applicants for the green card lottery to
get into the USA - even though the odds are very low.
So the problem is that unrestricted immigration implies huge numbers of
people coming to Australia. The implications can be enormous: housing
shortages, unemployment, breakdown of our ability to fund the welfare
OK you may not accept this scenario. Fine, but where is a solid analysis
that shows it is wrong. As far as I can see, all the evidence suggests it
is basically correct.
Or you may say that this is acceptable, because the need of these people is
so great. The need of these people outweighs the harm to the locals. I
think that is a very defensible view. Why should we in Australia have such
a high standard of living while millions of people die of starvation and
hunger each year? Should we not be prepared to accept a big cut in our
standard of living to help those people?
What I have been asking for is this: What is your specific policy proposal
for immigration, including refugees? Where is your analysis of the
implications of your policy? And a statement that the implications are X
and I accept those implications for these reasons.
I accept the cogency of the arguments that we should do far more for poor
people (whether increasing immigration is the right way to do this I am
unsure). But I find I am not prepared to drastically reduce my own standard
of living to implement this insight. I find few people are. Anyone on the
mailing list who donates more than say 40% of their income to such causes
is welcome to speak up at this point, but there are very few such people.
This is embarrassing. We know what we should do if we value other people's
welfare as much as our own. But we don't do it. The obvious conclusion is
that we don't value other people's welfare as much as our own.
I would also suggest that anyone who wants to demand that the Australian
people accept a large cut in their living standard, should demonstrate
their bona fides by, for example, showing that they currently donate a
large slab of their income to such causes.
Otherwise people can rightly say that talk is cheap.
When you look at other contentious issue, such as global warming, there are
plenty of resources that analyze the issue and possible solutions in
detail. This issue is different, which is very interesting. Google searches
uncover much moral posturing, but little else.
Digressing from the earlier thread on tertiary education; to primary and
Natasha Mitchell conducted an interesting interview with:
David Gillespie, his book is called /Free Schools, how to get a good
education without spending a fortune;
/Life Matters /,/ AM Wed//29/1/2014/
I found his an interesting view of primary and secondary education.
It is unfortunate in the context of PM Tony Abbot's current 'industrial
that it has a rather unflattering view of teachers unions;
so perhaps I should add that on the whole I see a useful role for unions
regulated free-market economy; I just wish they could !
regards Rohan McLeod
Quoting "Russell Coker" <russell(a)coker.com.au>
> I think that private schools do provide a better service than government
As the author says: You pay more for business class on the plane and
you get champagne - but all arrive in London at the same time;-)
There is a lot of "fuzzy feelings" in education debates. Who cares
I had a quite "basic" public scholl education. I do not feel disadvantaged
> I've heard rumors of up-market McDonalds "restaurants" which have
> and other trappings of real restaurants. I'm sure that they are better than
> regular McDonalds by many criteria (probably including food
> quality), but they
> are still McDonalds.
And? Everybody knows that eating too much McDonalds isn't good for you
- but every day an upmarket restaurant will not be good either.
Maybe McDonald is worse - because you can go there more often without
(Disclaimer: I don't like McDonalds food - I just find McDonalds
a general question about file-systems and file fragmentation.
As the price of storage of bytes drops, do file systems really need the
economy of fragmenting files to fill fragmented empty disk space?
That is if there is insufficient space between two existing files,
the new file is just written in the first interstitial space which is
or the unfragmented space starting at the last file;
and small interstitial empty spaces are just wasted.
Do any file-systems do this and if not is the reason simply storage
regards Rohan McLeod
Quoting from :
A loose-knit collective of Australian technologists has formed what it
has dubbed an online crowdsourced think tank focused around the
National Broadband Network project and has started putting together a
submission to the NBN Senate Select Committee which will argue for a
network built on the best available ‘fit for purpose’ technology - not
on political ideology.
The think tank, which has been dubbed the “NBN Alliance”, has set up a
Wiki-based website  which allows any contributor to work with the
organisation on NBN-related issues.
 Delimiter article:
 NBN Alliance wiki:
On Sat, January 18, 2014 9:30 pm, Tim Josling wrote:
> For example, when customers take price to be a signal of quality, demand
> can go *up* when the price is increased. I experienced this during my
> consulting career when, after increasing my rate, the demand went up.
> like jewelry shops and other outlets for status goods also tend to find
> demand can go up when the price is increased.
Lev Lafayette, BA (Hons), GradCertTerAdEd (Murdoch), GradCertPM, MBA (Tech
mobile: 0432 255 208
RFC 1855 Netiquette Guidelines
From: Russell Coker
> Now could you please ask the ANZ people to remove that .sig.
Have you ever worked in a large corporation?
> I don't think that there's anything criminal in Austrian Economics, it
fails to predict the economy and is advocated by people who don't even
understand other people.
I have studied Austrian economics as well as the other types. The Austrians
don't seem any more silly than the others (though that is not saying much).
If you judge experts by a) ability to make predictions that turn out to be
right b) ability to explain things that otherwise make no sense c) ability
to design things that work d) ability to fix problems, the economics
discipline as a whole is an epic fail.
From: Rohan McLeod
Tim Josling wrote:
>> ...the economics discipline as a whole is an epic fail
>Tim I quite agree;
>but would you agree the fundamental problem is a failure to accept,
> the necessary constraints of objective falsifiability.
>Two of which would be :
>- abandonment of value judgements
>-operational definitions of terms;
> regards Rohan McLeod
Not sure. These are very complex issues.
My view on falsifiability is more along the lines of this. I try to update
my opinions in a Bayesian way when new evidence comes along. This tends to
lead to a state of having very few 100% certain views.
> From: "Lev Lafayette"
> In contrast I don't see much argument against a core economic principles,
for example, that if the supply of a good is restricted the price goes up,
or if the price is increased the demand is reduced.
For sure... I think a lot of economic principles are true at a zeroeth
approximation, even a first approximation, but not much past that point.
Take for example, your suggestion that when prices go up the demand is
reduced. This is true sometimes.
For example, when customers take price to be a signal of quality, demand
can go *up* when the price is increased. I experienced this during my
consulting career when, after increasing my rate, the demand went up. Shops
like jewelry shops and other outlets for status goods also tend to find
demand can go up when the price is increased.
Another example, a very important one, is asset markets. After a long bull
run in the US stock market, various indicators of investor demand are at
all-time *highs* (margin lending, AAII sentiment, put/call ratios etc).
When house prices rise, people can get more desperate to get in "before
it's too late". The price is up and the demand has gone up as a result!
Having studied both economics (intermittently since 1971) and physics
(intermittently since about 2007), I find that the big difference is that
the physicists tend to take their models a lot less seriously than the
economists. Simplifications like "perfect markets" are very useful
abstractions, which help to explain much. But one should not confuse real
markets with perfect markets.
As another example the efficient markets hypothesis is true to a zeroeth
degree, but it depends on efficient arbitrage which breaks down in all
sorts of ways (agency problems, risk that cannot be gotten rid of,
regulatory impediments to competition etc).
Witness also the long delays in recognizing - and hostility to those
pointing out - the non-normality of fluctuations in financial market
prices (see eg Mandelbrot's autobiography). And this non-normality is not a
small issue. Out in the margins, it means the risks are thousands of times
higher than the standard models would suggest.
I'm in need of buying a couple of devices and I'm hoping to borrow
from people's experiences. These are:
- Photo negative scanner
- For scanning those old 35mm film strips
- Good quality scans
- Support for Linux not necessary
- Save to SD card or USB stick or PC via USB
- Preferably TV out for preview
- Easy to use
- Self-contained unit, not a PC card or USB dongle
- Both analogue and digital TV tuner (yes, I know analogue is no
longer transmitted, but this is for a specific application where it
still is used)
- No internal HD - records to external USB HD
- Remote control
- Ability to set up recording schedules easily
- Playback is on same device - no need for media conversion
- Either TV out or HDMI, not too fussed
I would really appreciate any suggestions or pointers on either or both.