Category Archives: Australia

The Treasurers


Conservative Treasurers of Australia; John Howard, Peter Costello, Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison walked into a bar.

The barman said, ‘If this is a joke, there can only be three of you.’

The Treasurers said, ‘There are.’

Poll Sum 28th Sept, 2016


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At last there are two polls from which to create a Poll Sum.

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While Essential continues to do its weekly voter intention poll, until now, all other pollsters have quit the field. Possibly believing the USA Presidential Polling is sufficient. Monday saw the first Newspoll since the election and it may be the only one for a month! We shall see.

So here are the numbers, scant though they are.

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Raw numbers and percentages.

Note the comment about NXT and HON numbers

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The raw numbers look like this, across two charts.

Minor Parties

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The Major Partiespoll28f

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the Two Party Preferred

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The difference between the two parties

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Malcolm Turnbull was able to fluke an election win on the day yet appears to have continued to lose popularity.In the nearly three months since the election the gap between the L-NP and ALP has grown to around 5%!

How long will he last as leader?

How long will this dysfunctional Government last in a fractured Parliament?

Australia’s Prime Invertebrate


The jellyfish masquerading as a leader.

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Empirical Discussion of Malcolm Roberts


Some of us have heard Senator-Elect Malcolm Roberts using the word ‘Empirical’ on numerous occasions.

Last night a whole lot more got to hear him use the word many times during the ABC show, Q&A.

Just what does the word mean and why is it at odds with much of what most scientists say and believe?

The Oxford Online Dictionary has the following definition.

Impirical

So what Roberts is saying is that you cannot predict anything. If you see something happen and cause an outcome then you can explain it but you cannot use that event to conclude that should the same thing happen again that the outcome will be the same.

So scientists should never predict what MAY happen as a result of certain current conditions.

In Malcolm Roberts’ world anything to do with climate change is unprovable and so should be ignored because it relies on another long word.

extrapolation

In the Malcolm Roberts Universe it seems that any extrapolation is badly unscientific. I won’t insult my readers by quoting examples where we extrapolate outcomes from current data every day. In life or death situations which we simply take for granted.  Tried crossing a busy street between traffic lately?

Malcolm, your repetitive use of the word ‘Empirical’ does not show you to be a knowledgeable scientist.

I note that your degree is in Engineering.  Applied Science. The lesser brother of Theoretical Science.  Yes, you can build stuff, you can play with Meccano with impeccable skill. Yet you have not learnt the skills that are Science. You have not developed a theory from repeated and repeatable experiments. You seem to show little understanding of that essential scientific method.

Every scientific theory relies on extrapolation.

A scientific theory is not something dreamed up at 2am by a group of bored people. It is an explanation garnered from empirical evidence discovered through experimentation, extrapolated within the theory to a predictable outcome then discussed, torn to pieces and accepted or rejected on the evidence and on the logic by others who also know the subject. That is what peer review is all about. Yes, theories do change around the edges but once accepted they are surprisingly robust. Even Newton’s three Laws of Thermodynamics still hold despite the tinkering Einstein provided with his theory of relativity.

I’m sorry, Malcolm, you do not convince anyone with any knowledge of science.

You are just a passing thorn in the side of progress.

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A Tale of Two Malcolms


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The New Senator From Queensland


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A Tale of Two Paranoias


Every now and then I leap in where angels, and sensible people, fear to tread. This is one such occasion. I am about to upset some of my best FB and Twitter friends.

Why?

Because they are being silly and contradictory! YES, fb friends and fellow tweeters, this means YOU!

Two weeks ago, with the closest election in years being counted in the seat of Herbert and with its outcome actually being important on the National stage, there were cries for cyber-voting so we could get a quick result. Forget the fact that the Government, through the AEC would need to collate edown with this1very elector’s details onto a single database, the quick result was essential in their minds. Hackable, manipulatable and useful for deciding which electors were traitors to the cause, an internet-based electoral system was essential!

I wasn’t happy with that idea and said so. And was ignored in the heat of the argument FOR internet voting.

Now we have an Australian Census about to be conducted. For the first time it will use the internet to collect information from those who prefer the Internet to paper.  And guess what.

moral outrageMany of the people who were pushing for internet voting are loudly decrying the ‘loss of privacy’ an internet-based census will lead to. Disregarding all the other databases  Government and the Multinationals have on every individual in Australia, somehow giving that same information to the Census is just plain authoritarianism.

Personally, I think that holding information for 100 years and then releasing it, as happens in Britain, is a good thing but then I sometimes wear a genealogist’s hat. When I am just a plain human being, I cannot see why there is this cognitive dissonance between a voting database being potentially misused by Government and a Census form potentially being carelessly handled by that same Government. Or not, as the case may be.

One or the other, people! If online voting is a good idea, so is an online census. Or vicky verka.

Is a little consistency here on the intertubez too much to ask for?

Dont do it again