Australia’s NBN; where taxpayer’s money goes to die

National Broadband Network chief executive Bill Morrow has warned there may never be a time when all Australians get the fastest available internet speeds, as such a project would cost “billions and billions” of dollars.

For those unaware of the Australian National Broadband Network, it is a national government initiative to deliver fibre optic internet to 90% of homes and business in the country and satellite or high speed wireless internet to the remainder.

No, really; that was the ambitious stated deliverable of the programme when it was launched in 2009 and it would only cost 43 billion dollars and take 8 years to complete.

So, imagine everyone’s surprise to learn, a year past the original scheduled completion date, NBN won’t actually deliver its objective and won’t be able to connect everyone.

In fact, the scope of the deliverable has atrophied whilst the cost has increased. Most dwellings won’t be receiving fibre to their home but that bleeding edge technology known as copper wire, the stuff Alexander Bell used to summon Mr. Watson over.

In addition, depending on which source you go to, the cost has blown out to nearly double the original estimate. Then there’s the lived experience of those consumers who have been connected; a Google search illustrates a potential systemic level of service delivery failures.

If only this fiscal disaster at the expense of the taxpayer could have been predicted in some way….

Bill’s Opinion

Australia’s NBN is a case study of why government spending is always, I repeat; ALWAYS inefficient and results in sub-optimal solutions. There is a list of mistakes as long as the cables they aren’t installing with this programme, but some stand outs include;

  1. The wrong “exam question” was asked. Instead of, “how will the government provide high speed connectivity to the entire country?“, the question should have been, “how does the government provide high speed connectivity to the 3% of the population that the telecommunications providers will find uneconomical to connect?
  2. The politicians behind the creation of the programme determined the solution not the problem statement by initially stating that the high speed connectivity would be via fibre optic cable. In the meantime, the global market in wireless technology has introduced 5G which is capable of speeds close to those selected by most NBN customers.
  3. Rather than deregulate the telecommunications market and local planning laws to allow multiple new telecommunications providers to compete for business and then oversee their services to ensure quality and value, the NBN programme opted for a central planning approach. The clear evidence around the globe of large, centrally-planned programmes is that they spiral out of control.

Government programmes take on a life of their own, regardless of the good intentions at the outset, and eventually become a siphon direct from the wallets of the taxpayers to the employees of the programme. The NBN is likely to be the case study of this in future.

Everything is racist.

Even how one pronounces the name of a consonant is racist.

No, really it is;

No research has conclusively established….” seem like the most relevant words in that paragraph.

I heard a talk radio show once. Extrapolating the comments by the callers is a valid and reliable scientific approach“.

By pronouncing the letter H in the way that you do makes you responsible for the extinction of other languages“.

…and, not content with driving other languages to extinction, you are also responsible for historic and current violence against minorities“.

“Sinister. Yes, it may seem harmless but you’ve killed other languages and dealt violence on the innocent with your language pedantry, you monster. Look at what you have done. Happy now?

Bill’s Opinion

Voltaire didn’t actually write the quote being paraphrased and re-purposed above, his biographer did.

….he is also an utter cockwomble with a complete disregard for critical thinking, investigation of fact and application of logic.

He must be very comfortable and well at home in academia.

Meaty, Beaty, Hannah Mouncey

Our old friend Hannah Mouncey was back in the legacy press this week, on IDAHOBIT Day (yes, that’s a real “day”). The Grauniad gave him her some column inches to write about transphobia.

There’s no need to read the complete article, it’s mainly self-serving guff about how the AFL are tying themselves in logical knots trying to work out what to do with a “woman” player who has been on testosterone treatments (i.e. they were a man) for their entire life until their mid-twenties but wishes to compete in the female league. The picture Hannah and the Grauniad chose (above) to illustrate the injustice might not be quite as persuasive as they would hope. Nice guns there, Hannah, what do you bench?

The key part of the entire column is here;

But with latest figures showing 80% of young trans people having self-harmed, 48% reporting having attempted suicide at some point in their lives and rates of depression and anxiety approximately 10 times higher than other young Australians, it is important that people are aware of the impact their actions have. Those commenting on trans people and their place in society – as Chris Judd has recently – really need to be careful about the potential impact this has, as well as ensuring that what they have to say is informed.

Firstly, the comments by Chris Judd are here and are about as balanced an opinion as one is likely to see on any subject and has several academic studies referenced in support of the opinions. In summary, the physical advantages of a male athlete over a female athlete are not negated simply because they have recently reduced their testosterone levels and increased estrogen; the bone and cell advantages remain. For a less scientific version of this view, refer back to the picture above.

Secondly, Hannah seems to have jumped to the conclusion that transgender folk are depressed as a consequence of societal factors, rather than than a more inherent cause. It’s worth repeating that the only groups of people with documented rates of suicide approaching those of transgender people were prisoners in Soviet gulags and Nazi death camps.

For there to be a societal cause to the transgender suicide problem, we would have to agree that transgender people are being brutalised at a comparable scale to those two groups. Let’s just pause for a second and, if need be, go to Google and search for images and video footage of the liberation of Belsen.

Can you honestly claim western society is treating people like Hannah in a way that is similar to those war crimes?

Hannah also raises the issue of the perceived irresponsible use of speech that risks “harming” young transgender people. Apart from the balanced and academically-referenced article by Judd, the only evidence of this “harmful” speech offered was a news article reporting some signage on a bathroom door in a restaurant in the US (i.e. another continent away from Hannah’s house). What was the signage?

This;

Bill’s Opinion

Using our patented razor, it’s most likely that transgender people are depressed and suicidal due to their internal existential conflict rather than the reaction of the outside world to the outward displays of their internal existential conflict.

Regarding the irresponsible use of language, of course it is important that we consider carefully how we discuss the problems of others but it’s a dangerous path that leads from suggesting we can’t discuss facts. Hannah currently benefits from free speech; there are many locations in the  world where he she would be unable to write a newspaper column such as the one in the Grauniad simply due to who he she is. Be very wary of restricting what others might say, regardless and especially if you disagree with what it is they are saying. The true test of your belief in free speech is that you specifically allow and defend the right of opinions you reject to be expressed.

As for the bathroom signage…. well, I think it’s quite funny actually.

In fact, why would a Grauniad reader feel that it is offensive given their firm assertion that Bruce Jenner was a man and Caitlyn Jenner is most definitely a woman. If that statement is correct, what is inaccurate or offensive about the doors?

 

Luxurious lamb

Welsh farmers will need protecting against evil foreign farmer following Brexit.

It’s obvious isn’t it, really?

The poor farmers of Wales will have to contend with the unfair competition from New Zealand farmers once the UK has exited the EU and struck trade deals with its former colonies.

This is indeed an economic tragedy on a scale of which there is no precedent.

Imagine the devastation to the British consumer of cheaper, market-priced food appearing in the supermarkets.

The Welsh Assembly is correct in its assertion that government intervention is required to ensure that no farmer is negatively impacted by this loss of EU subsidies and market protection from superior or cheaper imported products.

Or perhaps we are being sarcastic.

Bill’s Opinion

Why would the Welsh Assembly prioritise a small group of farmers above every carnivorous UK citizen?

The best interests of everyone in the UK who enjoys eating lamb is for them to be able to source a quality product at the best possible price.

Protecting a particular special interest group at the expense of the consumer is a return to mercantilism and the Corn Laws. Of course, this is precisely what the EU has been increasingly implementing over the decades following the UK’s entry into “The Common Market” (that was the name of the entity of which the 1975 referendum confirmed continued membership).

Perhaps feminists should talk to Jerry Hall

My mother said it was simple to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I said I’d hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.

Jerry Hall

Jerry was wildly off the mark with her infamous quote. No, what the world really needs can be summed up by this classic piece of critical thinking;

But until men are doing, on average, half of this daily work (housework) worldwide, and finding the joy and benefits in it, we will not achieve the full equality that women and girls deserve.

Hopefully that’s cleared things up for everyone.

Of course, there’s a few assumptions inferred in the article linked above, none of which are explicitly called out or tested with those annoying things we sometimes refer to as “facts”.

Assumption 1

Men and women are equally-suited to whatever task they decide they wish to undertake.

Whilst it’s true that there are many areas of human endeavour where women and men are able to perform at equivalent levels of competency, there are surely countless areas where this is patently untrue. Anything requiring physical strength, real-time mental assessment of a parabolic curve, endurance, etc., as evidenced by the difference in Olympic records.

Yes, there are some women who are stronger, faster, more skillful at judging parabolas than many men, but these are on the extremes of the female distribution. A difference of one standard deviation results in almost 100% of the best humans at those tasks being male.

Assumption 2

Men are lazy bastards lying on the sofa while their wives clean the house.

Perhaps the author, Gary Barker, is guilty of this but the majority of men are busy working, often in more physically-demanding and dangerous jobs than women.

Assumption 3

All or most women actually want men to do half of the child caring and housework.

Sure, there will be some women who want there to be a perfect split of domestic duties but anyone who has met other humans recently would also realise that most women would rather not get up on a ladder with a bag of tools and fix the roof or sit on the laundry floor with the washing machine in bits as they hunt a rogue sock stuck between the drum and the filter.

Assumption 4 

The gender pay gap is significant and is a result of duh patriarchy.

Oh Uber, not only are you destroying vested interests and rent-seekers in the taxi industry, but you’ve chucked a big rock in to the previously-placid lake of feminist logic.

Bill’s Opinion

Gary Burton, CEO of Promundo Global and author of the article linked above is either guilty of mendacity in his avoidance of the 4 elephants in the room OR he’s unable to think critically about a subject without allowing his inherent biases to intervene.

What inherent biases?

Well, Promundo’s business model requires that there is gender injustice for it to justify taking the begging bowl to a plethora of governmental bodies for its funding each year. Click that link and go to page 16 – Financials and look at the number of different United Nations’ agencies so generously handing out other people’s money for us to be lectured about our domestic choices.

Oh, and it should surprise nobody that Gary’s utter bollocks was published on the website of our friends the World Economic Forum.

Dear Gary, do your own fucking vacuuming, you Cultural Marxist.