Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Summer Ramble, #001


I can’t claim to have been on top of very much news at all over the last few weeks (been too busy chilling out on the beach), but somehow these websites persist in staying open in my tabs. Maybe you should take a look at them too.

Five breakthrough technologies reshaping the economy – CASEY RESEARCH (30-min video)

The era of wearable computers may begin to dawn in 2013.
Will Your Next Computer Be In Your Car, On Your Face, On You Wrist Or In Your Ear? – FORBES

“Robots, high speed trains, electric cars, and cutting edge electronics; you know what country I’m talking about, right? Japan. But, move away from the bright, hi-tech lights of Tokyo, and you will find none of the above anywhere to be seen. Shocked? This is Japan’s low tech reality.”
‘Japan: high tech image, low tech reality’ – E.N.O.

The southern hemisphere’s tallest residential skyscraper is about to begin construction in Melbourne, leapfrogging the existing title-holder the Eureka Tower, also in Melbourne.
The new tower that has tensions rising – THE AGE
Highrise construction in Australia, skyscrapers 100m+ – SKYSCRAPER CITY

“Skyscrapers typically take a long time to build. The top 20 tallest (currently completed) towers in the world took, on average, 5.3 years to construct. But a company in China called Broad Sustainable Building, with a track record of putting up buildings in a jiffy, is now planning to construct the world’s tallest building—838 metres—in just 90 days.”
On top of the world in 90 days: Building the world's tallest skyscrapers – ECONOMIST

From the it’s-not-all-going-to-hell-in-a-handcart files… “This generation of young people is the best behaved in decades.”
British society:  Not so broken – Daniel Knowles, ECONOMIST

“There were many really big moments in science this year. From finding a long, long sought subatomic particle to pushing the limits of extraterrestrial exploration to righting an ethical wrong, science took some big steps in 2012. While they may not all be discoveries exactly, they all will have a major, lasting impact on science and the world. Here are Wired Science's picks for the biggest discoveries, breakthroughs and moments in science this year.
Top Scientific Discoveries of 2012 – WIRED

“Many parents do a form of St. Augustine’s prayer, hoping that
their child will be strong-willed and persistent—just not yet.”

- Daniel Wahl

Egypt still seems heading for sharia.
Muslim Brothers Face Off With the Liberal Street – DAILY BEAST

“Ever since the first intifada erupted in 1987…’things have steadily declined in Gaza.’” Guess who’s responsible.
How the World Enabled 25 Years of Palestinian Decline – Evelyn Gordon, COMMENTARY

“Shinzo Abe, Japan’s new prime minister, has some exciting new ideas about how to make Japan’s economy grow. How about the government borrows a lot of money, prints some more, and spends it on building bridges and roads all over the country?” If that doesn’t sound so new, it is because it isn’t. It is what Japan has been doing for 20 years. With no success. At all.
It’s a mad mad mad mad world – Detlev Schlicter, COBDEN CENTRE

And in France, “success, creation, talent—difference, in fact—must be punished.” Says the world’s most well-known Frenchman.
Depardieu Justly Condemns France’s Theft by Taxation – Ari Armstrong, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

Pragmatic environmentalism? Or the beginning of the movement’s philosophical capitulation.
The Great Schism in the Environmental Movement – SLATE

Enjoy your $100 million of oil money, Al Gore!
Big Oil pays Fat Al. – TIM BLAIR

Wow! Apple paid "1 out of every 40 dollars in corporate income taxes collected by the U.S. government last year.”
Inquiry Into Tech Giants’ Tax Strategies Nears End – NEW YORK TIMES

America’s most illuminating economic charts?
The 7 most illuminating economic charts of 2012 – James Pethokoukis, A.E.I.

“Economic theory had been rejecting this conclusion for generations, but it was suddenly made respectable by Keynes.”
Thoughts on Capital-Based Macroeconomics – John Cochran, MISES DAILY

The fiscal cliff: “Two months of arguing over 10 hours of savings.”
- Mark Steyn

“When it comes to serious, lasting budget constraints, our leaders in Washington have the escape talents of Houdini. The ominous approach of the fiscal cliff put Democrats in a position to extract a lot more revenue and Republicans to force real spending cuts. That prospect drove the two sides to agree that the only reasonable option was neither. They fixed the budget the same way they always fix it: wrapping it up with a big red bow and shipping it to the taxpayers of the future.”
An Exercise in Fiscal Evasion – Steve Chapman, REASON

“Washington proves again it’s incapable of course correction.”
Two months of arguing over 10 hours of savings – Mark Steyn, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

“Congress avoided the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ only bypassing tax hikes and leaving out-of-control federal spending practically untouched. But, to those with friends in political places, Congress rewarded special tax breaks.”
Nascar and Rum Makers Got Tax Cuts; You Should Have, Too – T.O.S. BLOG

“And now left-progressives are aghast as they witness first-hand the Santa Claus principle liquidating itself on their own pay stubs and find themselves holding the bag, following the payroll tax hike Obama recently signed into law.”
The Santa Claus Principle in Action – Daniel Sanchez, CIRCLE BASTIAT

“In a Country where Clamour always intimidates and faction often
oppresses the Government, the regulations of Commerce are commonly
dictated by those who are most interested to deceive and impose upon the Public.”

- Adam Smith, in a 1785 letter, quoted as Cafe Hayek’s Quotation of the Day

Like reading early New Zealand history first-hand? Then as long as you have a tablet and an internet connection you can. Free.  If you want a good story to start you off, start with one of my favourites:  John Logan Campbell’s Poenamo.

Here’s a good New Year’s Message to take on board:
Charity Begins With Wealth Creation – John Stossel, CREATORS.COM

Climate sensitivity will out.
Man-Made Global Warming Likely Benign, Reports WSJ Columnist Matt Ridley – Ronald Bailey, REASON

However, "it no longer seems that truth is the ultimate goal in the climate change debate"
Climate of Doubt - Amanda Maxham, VOICES FOR REASON

Front Cover

“Suppose you saw a building on fire. Would you seek counsel from the arsonist who set it ablaze for advice on how to put it out? You say, "Williams, you'd have to be a lunatic to do that!" But that's precisely what we've done: turned to the people who created our fiscal crisis to fix it. I have never read a better account of our doing just that than in John Allison's new book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure."
Our Government-Created Financial Crisis – Walter Williams, TOWN HALL

Oh yes, Fergus Hodgson from the Stateless Man interviewed me for his online radio show in December last year about NZ as a haven for liberty-minded folk from around the world—especially for those disturbed by the sorry state of freedom in the United States. Scroll down to the 12 December show if you want to hear me demonstrating they shouldn’t come here if they expect a good telephone line.
12/12/2012 Show Topic: New Zealand as a Liberty Haven – OVERSEAS RADIO

You're being lied to about fracking! Follow the evidence.
Dishonest Land: Hollywood’s Promised Land Slanders the Fracking Revolution – Alex Epstein, MASTER RESOURCE

Historian Niall Ferguson takes the long-term view of China’s future in this fascinating recent documentary:

“Claims of an “Islamic Golden Age,” from roughly the 8th to the 12th centuries, are not politically correct propaganda; such a Golden Age was real. During that period, numerous thinkers of the Arab-Islamic world—many of them committed Muslims—wrought significant advances in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, literature, and other fields. Sadly, that era came to an end; tragically, for the past eight hundred years, it has not been revitalized; terrifyingly, during those centuries—and continuing today—religious fervor has superseded reason and crushed intellectual culture under Islam. For fully eight centuries, the Islamic world first coasted on its past glories and, then, collapsed into a cultural Dark Age, where it remains.
”Who were these great thinkers? What were their accomplishments? Who influenced them? And why did Islamic culture ultimately reject reason and fully embrace faith?”
Great Islamic Thinkers Versus Islam – Andrew Bernstein, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

Just in case you haven’t seen 2012’s finest autocorrect disasters - here they are. Stephen Fry personally guarantees squeals of laughter.
The 25 Funniest AutoCorrects Of 2012 – BUZZFEED

Students get to ask questions regarding Leonard Peikoff's new book The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights in the West are Going Out:

Watch Yaron Brook & David Callahan Debate: Is Capitalism Moral?

You can learn from this:
An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car – NPR

Not sure if you saw NZ’s musical year like this. Some of the commenters certainly didn’t.
The Corner’s 2012 Year In Review: Top 10 Moments In New Zealand Music – THE CORNER

Music writer Graham Reid picks his best albums of 2012.
Best of Elswehere 2012: The Editor's Top 40 – Graham Reid, ELSEWHERE

“High culture was concerned with truth. Now it propagates nonsense. From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty. Fake ideas have replaced real ones.”
The Great Swindle – Roger Scruton, AEON

The Psychedelic Furs before that Molly Ringwald film, those Billy Idol haircuts, that long slow dive into mediocrity. Live 1981.
The Psychedelic Furs before that Molly Ringwald film... – DANGEROUS MINDS

Good news: There’s a new Graham Parker album. With The Rumour! Bad news: You still can’t buy it in EnZed. Or even listen to it on Spotify. Still there’s always YouTube.

And the song we voted our favourite song this summer at our house:

And my second-favourite in that vote:

[Hat tips to Robert Tracinski, Andrew B., Russell W., Geek Press, Stephen Hicks, Dangerous Minds, Stephen Fry, Kelly Elmore, Paul Hsieh, Zac, Mark Steyn, Gloria Hanna, Manny Montes, Rohit Gupta, Arts & Letters Daily, Seeby Woodhouse ‏, Martin Kramer]

Thanks for reading.
And always remember: the pub is for life, not just for Christmas.


  1. A fine picture.

    "Canute" Cresswell and his merry band of glampers showing the locals how to dine alfresco.

  2. British society "not so broken" - yeah, right.....

    As I've mentioned over on Lindsay Mitchell's blog, the UK is facing some *massive* challenges in the welfare, social unrest and crime areas, particularly from Muslim immigrants.

    Remember the Muslim rape gang in the north of the UK who were operating for about 10 years? The police knew about them but refused to arrest them because they thought such an arrest would be seen as "racist".
    (Bloody "political correctness", the curse of the West).

    If that kind of blatant PC-inspired "blindness" continues in the UK, then anything could happen - up to and including coups. People will take only so much of being lied to by the BS MSM and having their VALID concerns about immigration being ignored.
    It is called "being disenfranchised" and it is a recipe for violence.

  3. The Furs were great at the old St James in Queen St most recently.

    Higgs Boson remains as elusive as AGW.

    Leonard Peikoff is entertaining but showing some health issues. I downloaded that one, thanks.


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