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Labour’s clustertruck policy is total carnage

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When Labour last attacked truckies there was a nationwide blockade of the nations towns and cities. On that day they al drove ont he left hand side letting people transit as they protested.

Truckies by and large are courteous drivers. But LAbour continues to attack them.

Labour’s policy this time though is a sham. Of the 11,000km of NZ roads their policy will affect just 60kms, mostly in Auckland. Their claims of people fed up with holiday traffic held up by trucks are fanciful, and anyone who lives in Auckland knows the problems aren’t the trucks at holiday time…it is the crappy roads, roading choke points and people towing boats and caravans that hold people up.

Still, Labour thought this was a winner, and a more spectacular policy cock up I haven’t seen in many a year.  Read more »

Ooh! A corpse! Must Facebook that…

Have we become so detached from the real world that we will forget the most basic of human reactions:  to help each other when we are in trouble?

A body seen floating in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour was ignored, joked about and photographed, but few people were willing to help.

A sociologist says the reaction from the public wasn’t surprising, because the immediate response in the digital age is to take pictures for your friends rather than to act.

Brett Taylor, from Beachlands, East Auckland, came across the body floating face-down beside Princes Wharf on Monday morning. He and his wife stopped, made sure police were called, and waited for the body to be picked up by the police launch.

The number of people who took pictures on their mobile phones and walked away was upsetting, he said.

But University of Auckland sociology lecturer Ronald Kramer said it was just a sign of the digital times.

“I definitely think living in cities and within our media-saturated environment, you do become desensitised.

We have such an avalanche of media images coming into our lives these days.  Is an upside down floating corpse really upsetting to anyone after having been exposed to thousands of realistic looking corpses on TV news, not even counting the ones in movies.   Read more »

Wednesday nightCap

The culture of “shut up”

Jon Levett writes at The Atlantic about modern society’s propensity to shout down those who we don’t agree with.

A recent example is the ostracisation of the Mozilla CE for daring to democratically put his money where his personal beliefs lay, and for daring to support one side of a democratic argument.

Then there is the case of Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty being bullied off air, and the moves by the media and the pro-warming crowd to silence skeptics on global warming who dare to challenge their views on the matter.

Teacher unions and scientists use this technique all the time…”Shut up, when was the last time you were in a classroom teaching”…as if that is a valid argument for the right to have a say on education. “Shut up, what is your science degree in relation to? Was it in climate science” using the same childish argument to silence critics.

Homer Simpson once said that alcohol is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. And I kept thinking: That’s actually a pretty good description of the Internet and how it’s changing our discourse. It’s basically the cause of, and solution to, everything that plagues our culture.

That’s an exaggeration, of course. The Internet didn’t cause Donald Trump, and it certainly can’t solve Donald Trump. The way you defeat Donald Trump is by getting the ring of power into the hands of a pure soul, a hobbit, say, and that hobbit must journey to Mount Doom and release the ring into its fires. But the Internet: Did you know that every single day, the Internet produces more speech than was created between the dawn of civilization and the year 2006? You didn’t know that, because I just made it up. But it feels true. We are all bombarded. We are drowning in information. It’s no longer thrown on our doorstep each sunrise, or even just broadcast into our living rooms; it’s in our hands every waking hour; the endless stream of talking, as we spend all day moving our eyes from screen to screen to screen; it’s the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see before we go to bed. The shower is the last safe space, which is why it’s the only place where we have decent ideas anymore.

In many ways this is good and getting better: We have unlocked the gates and we are removing the gatekeepers. We aren’t beholden to the views of the three green elders in the village. (See, I tied it back.) But what happens next—how we face the downside of so much connectedness—will determine whether or not this revolution empowers us, or once again empowers those gatekeepers. And I don’t want that to happen, because those gatekeepers suck. They’re arrogant and easily swayed by big, nice-sounding dangerous ideas; they’re ambitious and careerist and forgetful and unimaginative and shortsighted; they’re subject to groupthink, beholden to corporate interests, and enamored of fame and power.

I don’t want those voices to drown out the diverse and compelling voices that now have a better chance of making it in front of us than ever before—even as we still have a ways to go. And what I think we have to do, then, to protect this new wonderful thing of ‘a good idea can come from anyone anywhere’—is we need to stop telling each other to shut up. We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up. You aren’t going to shut up. I’m not going to shut up. The idiots aren’t going to shut up.

We need to learn to live with the noise and tolerate the noise even when the noise is stupid, even when the noise is offensive, even when the noise is at times dangerous. Because no matter how noble the intent, it’s a demand for conformity that encourages people on all sides of a debate to police each other instead of argue and convince each other. And, ultimately, the cycle of attack and apology, of disagreement and boycott, will leave us with fewer and fewer people talking more and more about less and less.  Read more »

Occulus Rift – game play of the future, now

Half of US judges use social media

I wonder how many judges in New Zealand are very active on social media.

Nearly half of US judges are using social media – with most of them on Facebook and a minority venturing onto LinkedIn, according to the Legal Talk Network.

Research reveals that 46 per cent of judges are using social media but it presents a number of ethical dilemmas for them.

The Network gives the example of a judge in Georgia who stood down after it emerged that he had sent a friend request to someone who was on his future trail list as a litigant, ‘later releasing her on a personal recognisance bond’. Other judges and lawyers have also violated the Codes of Professional Conduct and of Judicial Conduct.

Source:Legal Talk News  Read more »

Cunliffe continues to focus on the things that matter…like trolls

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David Cunliffe says he is going to focus ont he things that matter to the NZ voting public.

You’d think that this would be the economy, or perhaps jobs, maybe health…even education given the support of the teacher unions.

But no…when your entire election strategy revolves around poorly spelled, error ridden, tweets and Facebook posts on social media then you really have to focus on the things that really matter…like controlling trolls….and what John Key is doing on his Facebook page.

DC-FB Read more »

Ground Crew training session: Facebook edit history

Hi Team, welcome to another Whaleoil Ground Crew training session.

As we head toward the election, we need to make sure that our eyes and ears are finely tuned to what is being said and written out there.

A feature that many of you may not realise exists, is Facebook’s Show edit history function

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It can be particularly enlightening to see what thought processes led to a final Facebook post.  All the edits that didn’t make it are still accessible.

To use a Green Taliban example, their final revision said this

We’ve just announced a transport plan that’s great news for Kiwi kids, parents and motorists.

Check out #safe2school! www.greens.org.nz/safetoschool

Safe to School requires no new spending and will deliver up to $4 billion in gains over 40 years.

The revision before it, this  (focusing on the changes only)   Read more »

Union thug to walk plank and join another sinking ship?

The tip-line has informed me that rumours abound about the future of “union thug” and all-round boof-head Beven Hanlon.

It seems his fellow Corrections guards have fallen out of love with this nasty piece of work, following my revelations about his lies to journalists (link) and inappropriate content on his Facebook page.

They are telling me of lots of strong suggestions he is about to stand down from his role as president of the Corrections union, to try and get on the Labour list.

If so, Labour should be very wary, as his workmates have been happy to spill the beans about this clown.

Oh yes Beven, I’m aware of the “unfortunate incident” when transporting a prisoner.  Read more »

Politician resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him

Whaleoil has visited this story a number of times, when people buy fake “Likes” or fake traffic to increase their perceived popularity.

Everyone may well have a mate called Dave, but it doesn’t look like social media users want that mate to be the PM. Maybe it’s the bedroom tax, maybe it’s the legal aid cuts. I might even be the widely mocked picture of him on the phone to Barack Obama.

Whatever the reason for his apparent lack of popularity on social media, David Cameron’s team have resorted to paying to get him more Facebook likes.

Yes, Conservative strategists have forked out thousands in party funds on Facebook ads to get the David Cameron page more fans on the site, The Mail on Sunday reports.

Facebook wouldn’t reveal any specifics on the deal, but a marketing expert told the paper that the social media campaign would have set the party back around £7500.

The cost – which some Twitter users have noted is more than they earn in a year – even seems to have worked, with likes on the page more than doubling in a month to hit 128,000, overtaking Dave’s mate Nick Clegg who is on 82,000.

What’s the point though?  It’s one thing to buy your likes or your traffic, but unless you do so unobserved, everyone knows you’re faking it.   Read more »