Saturday salon 18/11

1. The future of humanity

Set aside an hour to listen to the IQ Squared debate on “Humanity is designing its own demise”

Toby Walsh, Professor of Artificial Intelligence UNSW, Signe Dean, science and health journalist, Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics CSU, and Kristin Alford, Futurist go at it with zest, intelligence and learning.

Unbelievable progress has been made, especially in health and wealth. Among the things I learnt was that we don’t need to fear AI, just the people behind it, and that Elon Musk is actually mad, but will have a colony of 1,000 people on Mars by 2050.

That might be a good idea, because like the dinosaurs we are doing nothing about developing the capacity to divert the next big asteroid. It was also said that we should be thinking about what would happen if a supervolcano blew up, giving us a winter for 6-10 years.

The last one was Toba about 70,000 years ago, which is linked with the controversial human genetic bottleneck theory. Seems there was Toba, there was a bottleneck or bottlenecks, but not sure one caused the other.

Clive Hamilton said that 70 Nobel Laureate-winners nominated climate change as the biggest existential threat. 71 actually.

I tend to disagree. The worst would be a repeat of Carrington Event in 1859 which if it happened today would burn out every transformer on every electricity grid on the planet, ending civilisation as we know it, because they take about a year to rebuild, and guess what, you need electricity to do it.

2. One Nation rabble

As often, Brisbane Times has the best story about how One Nation and Fraser Anning parted company as soon as he hit the deck in Canberra.

Pauline Hansen wanted Anning to resign so that Malcolm Roberts could be reappointed.

She was also livid with Roberts’ staff, who she thinks were encouraging Anning to jump ship to join Bernadi’s Australian Conservatives.

Anning who had expressed disinterest in running in the Queensland state election at Hanson’s urging, saying he wanted to pursue business in the US, at first couldn’t be found by Hanson, then changed tack and decided he wanted the Canberra gig.

All this and his rapid demise made ON look like a rabble, not for the first time, but one that has voted with the LNP 85% of the time. Here’s Hanson in a party room meeting:

3. Queensland election: One Nation question dogs LNP in leaders’ debate

The Guardian has the story. Sky News ran a leaders debate at the Broncos League Club, with Steve Dickson, the ON former LNP minister included, but not the Katter Party, who have two members in the current parliament, nor the aspiring Greens.

Galaxy Research selected 100 ‘undecided’ voters. When Nicholls and Palaszczuk were asked whether they would do a deal with One Nation, Palaszczuk, said, “Ah,no” explaining that she would go into opposition rather than depend on ON for supply or confidence.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls has a complicated answer to this, which sounds evasive, but amounts to “Yes”.

During the meeting the audience and everyone started chanting “Yes, or no!”, to which Nicholls kept repeating his standard schtick.

As a result, 60% at the end of the ‘debate’ said they would vote for Labor, 12% for the LNP, 10% ON and 18% undecided.

Suddenly the election is looking winnable for Labor, after the Adani distraction.

Palaszczuk’s biggest message is, ‘If you vote Nicholls you’ll get One Nation and chaos.’ It’s not a scare campaign, just scary, and what most of the ‘experts’ are saying.

In breaking news:

  • Labor is neck and neck with Scott Emerson in Maiwar. That was supposed to be LNP in a canter, or Greens as a remote possibility. ReachTEL has Labor 10 points ahead of the Greens, Essential sees them close to a dead heat. Ali King for Labor is running a very ‘green’ campaign.
  • The latest Newspoll suggests Labor to win.
  • In that item you’ll see that Nicholls is about to take the gloves off and attack Paluszczuk directly and personally. That doesn’t always work, as Anna Bligh found with Campbell Newman.

Nicholls has been smiling until his face hurts. I wonder whether he’ll keep doing it while attacking Palaszczuk. Here’s the Courier Mail trying to make him look good and her shifty:

By the way, Dickson says he was in the Newman cabinet meeting when Nicholls proposed sacking 14,000 public servants after Newman promising they had nothing to fear, and it was Nicholls who wanted to sell assets via 99-year leases and pretend it wasn’t privatisation.

And guess what, Steve Austin, my favourite ABC announcer (not!) interviewed one only of the 100 attending the debate, and that one was one of the twelve. She turned out to be rabidly hostile to unions and thought the state was going to the dogs under Labor. Then he issued an open invitation for anyone dissatisfied with politics and how the state was going to call up and have a whinge.

4. Turnbull has a win, kind of

Some are saying Turnbull had a win with a clear ‘yes’ vote in the same-sex marriage debate.

He and others might be a little surprised that Abbott is now taking all the credit.

It was Peter Dutton’s idea, you klutz, just go away!

I’ve said that people should read Andrew Jakubowicz at The Conversation and listen to him at the Religion an Ethics Report.

On Mark’s Facebook a gay Chinese Australian familiar with Western Sydney (I think she lives there) said don’t blame migrants or multiculturalism. She said the ‘No’ campaign was out in force with nasty homophobic stuff, basically hate-speech lies. And it scared people. She said the “Yes” campaign concentrated on the eastern suburbs, but more particularly when it ventured west it was white and middle-class in its messaging. In Chinese “Love is love” is meaningless.

She said that when she explained the whole thing to people who had already voted ‘no” they expressed regret and felt they had been duped.

The Oz has an article “Diversity shouts no” with a map of Sydney showing a dozen electorates conjoined in red. The gay Chinese Australian woman shouts back that they’ve gotten it wrong.

Elsewhere, Carol Johnson says Turnbull’s problems are far from over. The idea was to wedge Labor, but the LNP has wedged itself.

We should all understand that about a third of the population really don’t want same-sex marriage, and many are not at all tolerant people. They are the kind of people who think they know how we should all live.

There was a segment on the ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report, Does the same-sex marriage debate end with Australia’s ‘YES’ vote?

In that segment we hear praise for James Paterson’s bill, now withdrawn, from Canada as representing the international norm. A famous case in Canada upheld the right of a printer not to do work for a gay couple. It’s like “We don’t serve your type in here”.

Then there was Scott Stevens and Waleed Aly in a torrent of words, a virtuoso performance of two of our public intellectuals in The Same-Sex Marriage Debate: Are We Better For It?.

Finally we have this, from the Nationals:

    A push for a banking royal commission is set to come from within government ranks, reportedly in retaliation over the bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

I heard Matthias Cormann say they can legislate all they like, but the Government won’t fund a royal commission, so it won’t happen.

I’m coming to admire Cormann, he does the deals that need doing, keeps the show on the road. Doesn’t lose his cool like Turbull.

5. Turnbull’s new zen

No doubt Turnbull is in trouble. Newspoll earlier this week saw the Labor lead open up to 55-45 TPP. If that is not bad enough, when people were asked how well Turnbull is doing his job, he came out at a net -29, compared to Shorten’s -19. Small comfort that he barely leads Shorten in the best PM stakes, with a 36-34 lead and 30 per cent uncommitted.

The Oz’s main headline was “Turnbull’s Horror Poll Slump”. Dennis Shanahan wrote about a seminal change in ministerial attitudes as senior ministers lose faith in Turnbull’s judgement over the citizenship saga. Four Corners program Malcolm in a muddle told us that the conservatives now owned the Liberal Party in Victoria, and were on the move in NSW, with the so-called Warringah motion. Ostensibly it brings democracy to the party. In practice it brings conservative control via unlimited branch-stacking. They need a 60% vote to change the branch constitution. If they don’t get it, there will be a meeting in Sydney with Cory Bernadi the guest and it will not be business as usual.

After Turnbull’s ‘win’ (Abbott had declared that 40% ‘No’ would be a moral victory), Chris Kenny is writing in the OZ that Turnbull has undercut his greatest victory since seizing the prime ministership. The summary line of the article reads:

    The same-sex marriage win will be overtaken by the energy crisis and citizenship fiasco.

The editorial is telling Turnbull he must sharpen the divide so that the conservatives can distinguish him from Labor.

Janet Albrechtson tells us that the Liberals badly need a plan to restore credibility with the electorate. Did she write the editorial?

Other front page news is that Keneally has wiped out the Liberal lead. Yes John Alexander has dropped 10 points, and he is now level pegging with Kristina Keneally TPP.

Philip Coorey in the AFR was apparently on the Asian trip with Turnbull. He says Turnbull was like on happy pills. Even Canada messing up the big trade agreement he was going to bring back as a trophy didn’t faze him. Turnbull has found his zen by understanding you can only control the things you can control.

While Matthias Cormann and Peter Dutton on their morning walks are talking about how to run the show, he’ll be OK. If they start talking about who is next, he’ll be powerless to stop them.

5. Other stuff

There is lots of other stuff going on, but on Monday I have my daughter, her man, and my granddaughter landing here for two weeks. We have an election on and Mark is coming up to be in the mix. He’s actually still registered here, I mean our place, so will be voting. No doubt we’ll see him at least once.

So after this outsized effort posting may be sporadic at best over the next two weeks.

84 thoughts on “Saturday salon 18/11”

  1. It may be a winner in the regions but I suspect the sort of LNP voter who lives in at least the leafy suburbs would be most unimpressed with the way Nichols is sucking up to ON and the idea of giving taxpayers money to Adani.

  2. John, I have no idea why the broadband failed, but I suspect it had to do with changeover to NBN.

    On Adani, I’ve just updated the post as per this comment.

    It is sickening to see people lusting after jobs when the impact will be negligible or negative.

  3. Usually we get about 15 or 20 posts per day being accessed in the back catalogue. Today it was 112.

    It’s not someone starting from the beginning and reading everything.

    I’m curious. What’s going on, and if you are reading so much, tell us here what you think!

  4. Only a guess, but perhaps your detailed and informative posts on Adani, Qld election, electricity markets have attracted new readers?

    I recall it was a very partucular topic,
    a discussion about ABC TVs “Bastard Boys”, that led me by chance to Larvatus Prodeo. Before that, I hadn’t been aware of Aussie blogs.

    My impression is that more folk are casting around…… for information and opinions.

    Then again, maybe it’s Jumpy’s cousin, finally coming to see what the Jumpster has been banging on about???

  5. Ah yes, ” Bastard Boys “, another example of the ABC taking LNP talking points and running with them.
    And on the eave of an election no less !
    Probably cost Rudd a couple more seats.

  6. From the other thread on John accidentally using GST, I was certain he meant GFC.
    But it got me remembering the panic preGST and terrible time straight after the introduction in the construction game.
    How hysteria whipped up by politicians can be so harmful.
    All parties do it, the media promote it and none of it is beneficial to the Country.

  7. I meant to say in the post, Noel Pearson says Turnbull lying over Indigenous voice to parliament.

    Pearson says Turnbull supported the proposal back in 2015 and encouraged him on the issue.

    And just in, Richard Denniss says the Coalition’s crisis has a simple cause: it keeps supporting deeply unpopular policies.

    The $120 million opinion poll to silence a dozen Coalition backbenchers is but one example of the tactics that have the Labor 10 percentage points clear of the government in the latest Newspoll.


    in a recent Queensland leaders’ debate hosted by Sky News and The Courier Mail, not a single audience member supported taxpayers giving Adani $1 billion. Not one.

  8. For what its worth I clapped, cheered, and shouted “shame” (to Turnbull’s NBN failure), in all of the right places. Afterwards I shook Don Cameron’s hand saying “I’ve had an argument on the Housing Insulation Programme pointing out that we would not be having summer power shortages but for belligerent Abbott”, he replied “that was a good very programme”, to which I replied “that was a great programme,…how’s about digging out Greg Combet’s file on Abbott and making it public, Newman’s is a doozey”, to which he said “I gotta go” then after a moments refection punched my arm and said “See, Ya”. All of that Scottish brogue flushed away by the fun of the day. I hit his back in recognition. It’s a bloke thing.

  9. …at the Kristina Keneally campaign launch that was. Great event with a resounding speech in support by Bill Shorten after very heartfelt introductions from Linda Burney and Tania Plibersek.

  10. BilB, I suspect Keneally will do Alexander over, albeit in a tie-breaker.

    One of my gripes is that he’s commonly termed a former tennis champion. He was a terrible commentator on Channel 7, a passable doubles player, highest ranking as a singles player was 8th.

    He was part of a bunch of also-rans who came after John Newcombe and Tony Roche. At doubles he achieved less than half what Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde did later.

  11. Brian, I don’t want to be mislead, could you please post the ten planks of Marxs Communist Manifesto?

    If I use your source I may avoid the inevitable ” cherry picked untrustworthy source !!! ” allegations, maybe.

  12. Hey BilB, did you bump into Kristinas mentor and patron Eddie ? Or Uncle Joe ?
    Uncle Macca is predisposed due to some clerical error unfortunately.
    Nice company she keeps and deserves to be called a political Champion.

  13. So at 9.18am Mr J

    you allege that the ABC was unfair to the ALP; using Liberal “talking points”.

    Back then, I thought the programme was a slightly fictionalised account of the wharf lock-out and strike circa 1997: Patricks vs MUA. At the time I thought the programme was fairly sympathetic to the wharf workers, the MUA, and the lawyers representing the unions.

    Can you please point out where the bias lay?

    I’m interested that you don’t say that “the ABC criticises the ALP from a Green/Left position”, as some are wont to claim.

  14. Apparently John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command, has stated publicly that if his President ordered a nuclear attack that John Hyten considered to be illegal, the attack would not be carried out.

    He said he would discuss other options with the President.

    Heartening to see some advance notice that the rule of (international) law is likely to be respected.

    source: Fairfax online.

  15. Kristina Keneally, Jumpy was an MP at the same time as criminals who are now in gaol, just as…and I’m struggling here to think of a good and honourable LNP mp and I’m stuck so will….say…Malcolm Turbull (I see Malcolm as much victim as villain) is in the same party as Tony Abbott who will I believe eventually find himself in gaol, that does not make Keneally nor Turnbull the same as locked away criminals such as Eddie Obeid is, and Tony Abbott should be. MP’s generally don’t get to choose the company they must keep during their day job. Keneally helped put Obeid away, I wonder if Turnbull will do the same for Abbott.

    What is that now 5 or 6 for the Jumpyphile?

  16. Trying to find a good and honourable LNPer I came across this with a delightful quote on Howard

    “Former prime minister John Howard said at a US Studies Centre forum last Thursday that he is becoming more sceptical about climate change”

    Clearly Howard has lost all relevance to Australia and its future.

    People would do well to take notice of new Senator Jordan Steele-John who hushed the chamber with a recent speech which was basically,… millennials have little time for you “Old White Guys”, you don’t listen to us and run everything to suit your own interests leaving little to nothing for those starting out, so don’t expect any consideration from us in the long run.

    I’m hearing the same narrative from my daughter, so its not just Steele-John having a brain fart.

  17. BilB, if you think Shorten, Bowen, Albo, Plibers or Keneally care about you and are better placed to tell you how to live your life any more than Turnbull, Abbott, Dutton, Bishop or Alexander then feel free to gush like a 14 yo girl in the front row at a boy band concert.
    But don’t project that garbage onto me.

    You realise I lean to libertarian principles and distrust all politicians right ?
    You start lionising an LNP one, I’ll express their flaws as I see them.

  18. Jumpy,

    No politician is going to tell me how to live my life, nor for that matter any religion or trumped up packaged ridiculously flawed ideology such as Libertarianism.

    I thrive and succeed despite the politicians, despite the business sociopaths and despite all of the other crap that life throws up, including old age.

    I live as best I can guided by scientific principles of observation clear thought and judgement according to what I believe to be right and fair for all around. My daughter has gone one stage further heading down the respecting the environment, nature and all animals vegetarian path. We live our lives and do our share for others, including paying our way and paying our taxes.

    We live in a community and in an environment. Our future depends on a harmonious community an on that environment being stable. Any ratbag who puts himself above community and threatens our environment simply to become richer is going to get a serve from me.

  19. No politician is going to tell me how to live my life,…

    Really, try living it against what they tell you and you’re a criminal.
    I hope you learnt something at the rally to deserve your Pom Pom waving.

    ( not a personal attack nor support for Trump or Abbott as falsely accused repeatedly)

  20. Hi Mr J.

    Any further remarks you would like to offer on Bastard Boys….

    I won’t demand an answer, but am curious.


  21. I was thinly veiling sarcasm Mr A.
    ” Bastard Boys ” was obviously an ABC hit to sway viewer in the lead up to the Howard/Rudd election.

    The % of conservative views prompted on the ABC is statistically insignificant from zero.

  22. Ah, missed your intention.
    Frightfully sorry, old chap.

    I must ask my batman to be more alert. He pre reads the Press and the Blogs for me, as I laze on the sofa sipping creme de menthe, cursing the poor for paying too few taxes. My tax accountant tells me the finances are in a most torpid way. Chin up, I say, but he says only private prisons and medical imaging are up this morning. Doubles as stockbroker, mates rates.

  23. Jumpy, your fingers are dribbling all over the keyboard. Please have mercy upon it!

    Why would you want 10 planks of Marxism from me who doesn’t know anything about it and not read those who have made Marx a specialty?


    My daughter has gone one stage further heading down the respecting the environment, nature and all animals vegetarian path.

    My daughter went down that road a couple of decades ago, and honestly, I worry about her long-term health prospects. I believe as a species we evolved omnivorous.

    Pace the Dalai Llama.

  24. I agree with you on that, Brian, but she was heading for having a weight problem which for a type 1 diabetic that held greater risks. For the time being it is beneficial but I suspect the taste of a lamb chop will pull her back in time. We had the omnivore discussion the other day. The plan is for her to be living on her own boat in a year and a half’s time in Europe and when that becomes a reality she is not averse to eating fish caught for her own consumption, the logic being that all fish are just food for the next bigger fish so in moderation not quite the same as mammal slaughter.

  25. A late teenage recently adopted vegetarian in our family fainted in summer humidity twice, GP noticed signs of developing anaemia, and advised the fainter to eat red meat once a week to prevent low blood iron. Luckily they took the doctor’s advice.

    Years later: fit, healthy, active, successful young parent of three active children.

  26. It was a phase in that case, late teenage, idealistic and considering the ethical questions…. The person is still very idealistic, but eats meat regularly. Not as often as in the family when young, but neither do the person’s parents now, either.

    It can be a phase.

    Mr J would reject my anecdote as being merely anecdotal.
    I like chatting.
    I make up my own talking points.


  27. **Robert Mugabe Bulletin**

    Mr Mugabe has just tried to play his last practical joke on Zimbabwe.

    No one is laughing.

  28. OK. Who would be surprised? The man is a psychopath and that is what psychopaths do. Their world is all about domination of other people, he will never give up. He has been able to force situations in the past with lies and shear brutallity, he believes he can do it again. They are at the point now where in a cult the poison vat would be being mixed up enough for the whole country. That is the cornered strategy of the long time successful psychopath. Jones town, Wako Texas,

  29. Sorry BilB

    We had RN breakfast on this morning and there he was on the 7am news, ponderously explaining that he would be presiding at a Party meeting in a few weeks’ time.

    He used some old favourite words like “contradictions” and “solidarity”.

    Apparently senior soldiers sat next to him during his prepared speech.

  30. Brian 10:16pm yesterday,
    You recommend an ABC story about Marx directly to me on the End of Civilisation thread.
    So I listened to it and looked into him a bit.
    You brought Marx up.
    That’s why.

    On the Veggo thing, it was a phase for my middle Son too.
    He went to Newcastle to study, got a girlfriend that was at Uni, went full vegan for 18 months.
    It wasn’t an ethical thing for him but a dietary thing, he’s into toxin free and extreme calisthenics or something.
    And to the amusement of his brothers, uncles and grandfather he’s the only wine drinker in the entire family. It’s 100% beer up here.

  31. Brian,

    I tend to disagree. The worst would be a repeat of Carrington Event in 1859 which if it happened today would burn out every transformer on every electricity grid on the planet, ending civilisation as we know it, because they take about a year to rebuild, and guess what, you need electricity to do it.

    There are observations of the sun occurring continuously. Our civilization would have about 12 hours warning to do something about it. That may mean shutting down the electricity grid to protect the critical distribution transformers and generators, while the solar storm passes by. That may mean doing without electricity for days to weeks. But it requires an emergency plan in place to be activated effectively and in a timely manner.

    There’s likely to be some damage: satellites fried, and those countries that weren’t so prepared. But at least our food crops would be unaffected.

    A super-volcano eruption would be far more catastrophic, because there is nothing we could do to protect our food production/supply. The devastation (i.e. reduced sunlight, freezing temperatures) could last for a decade, or perhaps longer. Basically most of the population starves and/or freezes to death.

    Then there’s the planet killing asteroid. If there’s limited warning time of it coming, it’s all over for us. More warning time may give us time to “nudge” it out of the way. But we need to see it coming first.

    But unless we stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, we will be toast.

  32. Geoff M,

    Good points about Carrington.

    There should be accurate models of solar wind flow, even hypersonic, to draw on.

  33. Very interesting zoot at 11.36pm Qld time on 21st.

    Very creditable statistical investigation. Amazing how powerful that can be in difficult, complex matters.

  34. Yeah, if very credible statistical investigation means deleting all other data that will render the conclusion false.
    Nice find.

  35. The subject of my link was a report with the abstract reading thus:

    Objective: Model the global distribution of public mass shooters around the world. Method: Negative binomial regression is used to test the effects of homicide rates, suicide rates, firearm ownership rates, and several control variables on public mass shooters per country from 1966 to 2012. Results: The global distribution of public mass shooters appears partially attributable to cross-national differences in firearms availability but not associated with cross-national homicide or suicide rates. Conclusion: The United States and other nations with high firearm ownership rates may be particularly susceptible to future public mass shootings, even if they are relatively peaceful or mentally healthy according to other national indicators.

    Obviously Jumpy’s understanding of negative binomial regression outstrips his grasp of averages.

  36. Homicide by guns, common in many nations.

    “Suicide by police” has been recognised over here in Victoria for several decades. Person does some flamboyant, public, potentially violent act. For instance wielding large blade. Apparently hoping that coppers will end the confrontation by shooting him (usually male, sometimes with previous psychiatric problems )…..

    Is that thought to be the case in other States? Other nations?

  37. zootmeister

    Please have some sympathy. Mr J used his library card and borrowed a book about regression.

    First two chapters were OK.
    Then it got onto weird stuff about people reliving their childhoods and believing in childish fantasies.

    No binomials or error estimates.

  38. Strangely, he started in 1966, I wonder why.
    Then removed all mass murders that were not a gun.
    Then removed mass shootings perpetrated by terrorists.
    Then remove mass killings ordered by governments carried out by soldiers or anyone involved in ethnic cleansing.
    Ignore the fact gun ownership is rising massively yet homicides are falling.
    Ignore that states or cities with the highest regulation on guns have the highest gun homicide rates ( All Democrat Governors and Mayors if he cared it look)

    And who’d of thunk it, Shazam!, interesting chaff for the hungry hoplophobics.

  39. Strangely, he started in 1966, I wonder why.

    He explains why in the article.
    Please don’t be offended if I accept the findings of an academic over the arguments of someone who believes shopping is bigotry.

  40. He points to a marker, not an statistical reason.

    And I do like the walks down memory lane that have nothing at all to do with the subject.
    Particularly when what I said was correct and your framing is so disingenuous.

    Please continue.

  41. GM: The effect of Carrington events is greater for long transmission lines using AC instead of DC current. I suspect that the risk could be reduced by using DC power on long transmission lines, increasing the use of micro-grids etc.
    However, technical risks are being increased as we increase the use of integrated systems and undervalue the desirability of system robustness and vulnerability of cyber attacks..
    Think for example what happens if there is a GPS failure or attack in a world where we insist that autonomous cars should not be able to be switched to manual. And……??

  42. For anyone who has heard themselves saying “damn you keyboard” as the mistakes fling off the fingertips,….check out the Logitech K780 multi device wireless keyboard. Awesome.

  43. John Davidson (Re: NOVEMBER 23, 2017 AT 9:28 PM):

    GM: The effect of Carrington events is greater for long transmission lines using AC instead of DC current. I suspect that the risk could be reduced by using DC power on long transmission lines, increasing the use of micro-grids etc.

    I’m puzzled how a length of cable, whether it is used to convey AC or DC current, will react differently to a “Carrington event”.

    I am aware that conveying DC current over long distances is more efficient than AC current – power factor losses become an increasing problem with AC over long distances. But can you please explain to me how a “Carrington event” would be less damaging to a DC transmission system when compared with the same length AC transmission system? The induced currents in a length of cable due to a “Carrington event” would be the same, would it not?

    However, technical risks are being increased as we increase the use of integrated systems and undervalue the desirability of system robustness and vulnerability of cyber attacks..

    Agreed – but what have cyber attacks to do with a “Carrington event”? No power, no internet.

    Think for example what happens if there is a GPS failure…

    A “Carrington event” would likely disable/disrupt GPS.

    But my earlier comment was in disagreement with Brian’s comment that a “Carrington event” would be WORSE than a super-volcano eruption event, or large asteroid impact event. There are actions we could take to minimize the disruptions caused by a “Carrington event”. There’s nothing we could do in a meaningful way to substantially minimize disruptions caused by a super-volcano eruption. And what we could do about a large asteroid heading our way depends on how much warning time we have.

  44. GM: See here for a very basic explanation of transformers. They only transfer energy from the supply side to the output side for AC power. If there is only DC current on the supply side no energy is transferred.
    You also need to understand the idea of reactance in electrical circuits:

    In electrical and electronic systems, reactance is the opposition of a circuit element to a change in current or voltage, due to that element’s inductance or capacitance. … As frequency goes up, inductive reactance goes up and capacitive reactance goes down.

    A DC current has zero frequency. This means that if a DC voltage is applied across the supply side of a transformer there is no reactance and the coil will burn out.
    My understanding is that a Carrington even drives changes in magnetic fields. Changing magnetic fields create electrical currents and voltages along any conducting wire to changing magnetic fields. The voltage/current changes will be proportional to the length of the wire.
    Hope that the above is enough for you to work out the answers to your questions.

  45. Voters will vote.
    New government will take power in a peaceful transition. Russia will not hack it.

    Then Mr Turnbull will depart.

  46. John Davidson (Re: NOVEMBER 24, 2017 AT 2:24 PM):

    A “Carrington event” induces electrical voltages and currents in lengths of cables – the longer the electrical cable, the greater the effect. A large “Carrington event” will induce large voltages and currents in long transmission lines, that are likely to overwhelm the electrical transmission system’s insulation and short out the weakest part of the system – that may be the transformers and/or rectifiers – the cable insulation/insulators – it could be the generators supplying the power – it could be the devices utilizing the power (i.e. motors, computers, heating elements, etc.).

    I understand that transformers are susceptible to damage due to DC currents. But a DC transmission system has an AC to DC rectifier at one end, and a DC to AC converter at the other end – these are vulnerable to the effects of a “Carrington event”, are they not? Unless you are suggesting we convert every appliance over to utilizing DC supply – I don’t think that is practical, and even then, it doesn’t solve the insulation breakdown problem due to induced over-voltage due to the “Carrington event”.

    Stand-alone and “micro-grids” would be less susceptible. Large electricity grids are much more vulnerable – both AC and DC.

    But my point is there are things we can do to lessen the potential damage, if we have an effective plan in place, and act on it in a timely manner, to ride-out the solar storm. It may mean we do without grid electricity supply for a few days. It’s not the end of the world, like a super-volcano eruption would likely be.

  47. ON polling in the low twenties in some seats, but a disaster for the Party…..

    Doesn’t pay to go out claiming a big breakthrough before the actual voting…..

    Looking forward to further opinions from Queenslanders. Was it two elections occurring in parallel, or was it as usual much more complicated? Answers in less than 800 words.

    Neatest correct entry wins a prize. If only that prize could be good governance!!

  48. Don’t know that ALP can get 47 on their own.
    And with refusing to do a deal with anyone probably can’t get there.
    Even if they break that promise ( fundamental core election promise ) it’ll be a shaky 2 seat majority.

    There were 32 seats that ON didn’t even contest so that pretty good the total primary vote for them. Only maybe 1 seat though.

    Greens look like zero seats again with their traditional 9-10%, and really the only party against Adani.

    KAP 2 seats with.

    LNP again with a terrible campaign and candidates that didn’t even look like they wanted to win.

    All in all a forgettable election dominated by forgettable candidates.

    Result; another term of raised taxes, higher spending and bigger debt. Only probably slower than what would be the case if a solid majority, from either side, would have happened.

  49. I have computer problems again. After a few days on the Sunshine Coat I opened an email and the screen “popped”. Everything is large, fuzzy, and elongated. I’m assured by expert it’s just a matter of fiddling with the settings, but neither my wife, who is good at these things nor I, separately or together, can fix it.

    Young son is coming over tonight, so he’ll have a go.

    Meanwhile Jumpy, thanks for the 10.05 summary and link to Antony Green.

    Dennis Atkins on the CM reckons Labor will get 50 or more.

    The short story is that Nicholls can’t get there, Palaszczuk can. If she comes up short, she will be premier pretty much whether she likes it or not and can govern as a minority with no deals on supply or confidence or anything else.

    Each bill to be considered on its merits on the floor of parliament. What is more democratic than that?

    The Greens should be pleased. Caused havoc, increased vote and might get one seat. ON caused havoc, will probably get one, but only one and will be mightily disappointed. Malcolm Roberts is history until the next federal election.

    I’ll do a post if I can this arvo.

  50. Zoot, I’ve just checked out Kevin Bonham. I have respect for him, but he’s out of his patch. You have to know more about Qld than he does to make sense of what is going on.

    The swing to Labor in ‘greater Brisbane’ was 9.2%. There are a lot of Labor seats now on 70% plus TPP.

  51. Brian: Looks like the once safe LNP seat of Moggill where I live will need go to preference counting (LNP primary vote 48.3%)
    Even more interesting, Ryan, which used to be the Libs safest Qld seat would go to Labor or the Greens if the state election votes were the same for the next federal election.
    Some people are saying that the LNP experiment has failed because the old National party influence is stopping the LNP supporting the small L liberal policies they need to win in the SE. (And vice versa.)

  52. In other Parliamentary news, it appears that Senator Brown Rhiannon representing the Socialist Party of Australia [Moscow line communists in the Brezhnev era] NSW Greens will not have the prized number 1 position on her Party Senate ticket when/if she runs again.

    Australia has a long history of rejecting candidates of the outer margins, either directly when they first stand as candidates, or later when the voters wake up.

    It would appear that ON now faces a decline*. Whether that takes many years or a few is up to our fellow citizens.

    Mr A.

    * yes, I know…..
    “My demise has been announced but I’m still alive!”
    Magazine poster after the 1977 Federal election: “Is Labor Finished?”

  53. Brian, that’s an interesting take on Kevin Bonham (I’m not doubting you). The few things he has written about WA indicate he has a relatively good understanding of the situation here, and we’re even further away from Tasmania than you are.
    Apparently the ABC can no longer afford spell checkers. Jumpy’s link contains the egregious spelling “hussle and bussle”. Yikes!

  54. Indeed zoot.
    What on Earth are they useing our $1.2 billion per annum on !

    JJJ is very much part of the dumbing down of our public broadcaster I suspect.

  55. Wow, the ABC runs a national television, radio and internet service on only $1.2 billion a year? They’re running on the smell of an oily rag.
    We should triple the amount at least.
    (I’m unable to find figures but I’m sure I’ve heard that the Nine network costs us around $5 billion annually).

  56. zoot

    A friend told me during the 1990s that as soon as The Australian Computer Society weekly magazine began using computer spell checkers, the number of typos increased noticeably.

    Spell chequers are knot our friends!!

  57. John Davidson (Re: NOVEMBER 26, 2017 AT 11:13 AM):

    Thanks for the link, but I’m well aware of this.

    My original question at NOVEMBER 24, 2017 AT 10:53 AM was:

    I’m puzzled how a length of cable, whether it is used to convey AC or DC current, will react differently to a “Carrington event”.

    I put it to you there is no difference. For both AC or DC transmission systems, for a given equal length of cable, the induced voltages from the “Carrington event” would be the same, with the likely prospect that the over-voltage (due to the “Carrington event”) on the transmission system would find the weakest link and cause a breakdown in the insulation somewhere. Therefore, anything connected to the transmission system is at risk of being “fried”, whether it’s an AC or DC system.

    As you say, DC transmission systems are used for longer distances, because they are more efficient – less power losses – compared with AC transmission systems. Longer distances would be more susceptible to “Carrington events”. Therefore DC systems would be at greater risk, because they are more generally utilized over longer transmission distances.

    Most of the stuff in houses could run on DC power if required. Things like computers have to convert AC power to DC before using.

    Indeed – but we have an existing, wide-ranging AC grid supply system. Are you arguing that domestic appliances should be utilizing DC supply? I don’t think that would be practical. All the contactors/switches would need to be much more robust for DC, compared with AC contactors/switches, for a start.

    Different appliances can have multiple internal DC voltage supplies. What domestic DC supply voltage would you pick to standardize to? What industrial DC supply voltage would you standardize to? We need to work with what we’ve got, and unless there is an overwhelming case to change, why do it? A case in point: In the US and Canada the domestic supply voltage is standardized, but different regions in north America have different industrial supply voltages – a nightmare if you wish to relocate industrial equipment from one region to another.

  58. SSM Bill:

    Simon Birmingham
    George Brandis
    David Bushby
    Mathias Cormann
    Jonathon Duniam
    Mitch Fifield
    Ian ​Macdonald
    Nigel Scullion
    Anne Ruston
    James Paterson
    Jane Hume
    Marise Payne
    Linda Reynolds
    Scott Ryan Dean Smith

    Carol Brown
    Catryna Bilyk
    Doug Cameron
    Kim Carr
    Anthony Chisholm
    Kimberley Kitching
    ​Sue Lines
    Jenny McAllister
    Malarndirri McCarthy
    Claire Moore
    Louise Pratt
    Lisa Singh
    Anne Urquhart
    Murray Watt
    Penny Wong

    Andrew Bartlett
    Richard Di Natale
    Sarah Hanson-Young
    Nick McKim
    ​Lee Rhiannon
    Janet Rice
    Jordon Steele-John
    Rachel Siewert
    Peter Whish-Wilson

    Stirling Griff
    Rex Patrick
    David Leyonhjelm
    ​Derryn Hinch

    Chris Ketter
    Helen Polley

    Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
    Eric Abetz
    Slade Brockman
    John Williams
    Matt Canavan
    Barry O’Sullivan

    Lucy Gichuhi
    Fraser Anning
    Cory Bernardi
    Brian Burston

    Michaelia Cash (abstained)
    David Fawcett (abstained)
    James McGrath (abstained)
    Zed Seselja (abstained)
    ​Arthur Sinodinos (on leave)
    Bridget McKenzie (abstained)

    Jacinta Collins (paired)
    Sam Dastyari (attending funeral)
    Pat Dodson (leave)
    Don Farrell (attending funeral)
    Alex Gallacher
    Katy Gallagher (leave)
    Gavin Marshall (overseas)
    Deb O’Neill (abstain)
    Glenn Sterle

    Pauline Hanson (abstained)
    Peter Georgiou (abstained)

  59. GM:

    I put it to you there is no difference. For both AC or DC transmission systems, for a given equal length of cable, the induced voltages from the “Carrington event” would be the same, with the likely prospect that the over-voltage (due to the “Carrington event”) on the transmission system would find the weakest link and cause a breakdown in the insulation somewhere.

    What you are missing is that AC transmission lines have little resistance to DC voltage hence it doesn’t take a lot of DC voltage from a Carrington event to burn out the vulnerable transmission coils.
    On the other hand, high voltage DC circuits are designed to handle high DC voltages and would, I suspect, barely notice the voltage increase caused by a Carrington event.
    I have no particular desire to convert homes to DC power but was merely pointing out that most of the appliances could be converted to DC if required and that some appliances convert AC to DC before it can be used in the appliance.

  60. Mr J

    Did you print that list so that no Senator can escape her or his responsibility in the matter?


  61. Mr A
    I just wish I knew an easier way to find Politicians votes on all legislation ( but I’m an IT klutz ) and see them.
    We can contrast and compare with other votes on similar issues from the past.
    The only power we give them is to vote yay or nay, what they say is moot.

    The Lower House list will be more interesting to me as they’re directly representative.

  62. Interesting, Mr J

    In the US a Congressperson’s entire “voting record” is regularly cited during their re-election campaign.

  63. Indeed interesting Mr A.
    Perhaps there is that facility with Hansard or the Parliamentary Library but as yet I’ve not found it.

    Perhaps it’s difficult to find on purpose, I can’t say.

    It’s rather easier with ALP and greens coz they get expelled if they cross the floor in all but conscience votes, but the rest would definitely be interesting.

  64. By your observations, then, you want to kniw how Ma McGowan and Mr Wilkie have voted in the HoR, and how the cross bench Senators have voted.

    It’s always big news ifa Lib or Nat crosses the floor; you’ll hear.

    Parliamentary Library is excellent. For instance they have an economics unit, independent of Treasury.

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