Saturday, June 30, 2012
Monday, May 02, 2011
It lead me to post this in the forum:
The past year-or-so, I've been observing couchsurfing from a bit of a distance. Work over the past two years has posted me in 'unique' locations and I haven't really hosted much.
I digress; I have been a member of Couchsurfing since 2004, before the great crash of 2006 (i was actually traveling at the time of the crash and it inconvenienced me greatly) and have witnessed a transformation of the whole culture of couchsurfing.
In the beginning it was small, still run by two enthusiastic and brilliant people. There was a real buzz to the community. Everybody was willing to help everybody and people really took the time and went out of their way. It was just about the traveling.
The past few years has seen it become something much more than that.
It's not just a portal for travelers to connect and locals to help them.
It has somehow morphed into a gumtree/facebook/dating site like service, but I guess that comes with the increasingly swelling numbers and, unfortunate, bad press.
People are now seeing it as a means-to-an-end for their own personal gains and agendas.
Call me nostalgic, but there was something romantic and pure about the old couchsurfing. The couchsurfing where every would-be-guest would thoroughly read your profile before writing, where a desperate last-minute message would be responded to honestly and quickly, not ignored.
It seems to me, that the truly great people of couchsurfing are disappearing, or maybe rather being engulfed by the influx of people with a different purpose.
It could also be a generational thing. I'm not sure.
Either way, my feelings are pretty clear. Felt the need to put it out there as i fade from the couchsurfing existence.
It was well-received by the older, more 'traditional' couchsurfers, however some of the new, younger surfers, who appear to be only using the site for free accommodation in order to party more, brushed it off with a blase attitude that I used to be quite known for.
Is this me getting old?
Friday, April 08, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In breaking news just in, reports from US Military Command for operation Liberate Libya have surfaced claiming the accidental death of Muammar Gaddafi (full name Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qaddafi) at the hands of US military forces.
Brief reports, released from NATO head of operations, suggest that three wayward cruise missiles, that were launched by the US aimed at the main airfield of Tripoli, landed within the presidential complex, 72km (45miles) away.
The report claims that the three missiles caused minimal damage to the palace, the only damage being a few murdered guards and Gaddafi; himself suffering shard damage approximately ½ inch wide, entering the skull between the eyes. X-rays of the skull reveal the shrapnel was bullet-shaped.
In an attempt to clear the area, US and NATO forces we seen securing the complex, removing all items to prevent looting and physically controlling Gaddafi’s 43 concubines.
More to come.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Having never accessed Twitter, I don't know how it works. Well, I know how it works, but I just wouldn't know, immediately, how to use it. This isn't in any form a deterrent, I just don't care for twitter. I find the concept quite mundane. Plus, lately, I've been all over google reader like a nun sandwich. Adding twitter to my current long list of internet musts for the day would decrease my productive output to somewhere nigh on sackable.
However, if I did tweet, I most certainly would have twatted this the other day:
"Just got off the toilet, didn’t think the Indian was that spicy last night. Surprised."
I was reminded of this today as I thought of another tweet whilst at the local sandwich shop:
"Just had a sandwich made for me by a guy with one hand. Strangest thing; he wore two gloves!"
Would I have any form of following?
Can you post photos on the twit?
"Just saw this speed sign. Is it indicative of my future uncertainty toward dyslexic foreigners?"
Monday, December 13, 2010
Then i heard that she is dating Shane Warne.
Devastated. Absolutely devastated. She is forever tainted and i don't think i can ever look at her again.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
As an increasing number of voters become disillusioned with the major parties (particularly as they seem to be meeting in the middle), the Greens in Australia are attracting more and more of the Primary vote. This was made clear in the recent Federal Election; a 4% swing in both the lower and upper houses, which culminated to a total of 13% of the vote in the Senate. These are extraordinary numbers for a minor political party, however the news gets better if you’re a Greens fan as they are tipped to achieve in greater numbers in the upcoming Victorian State Election.
The word is that we could have a hung parliament, with the Greens holding the balance of power. I quite like the Greens as a minor party. I agree with the ideology of a lot of their policies. However these are very broad policies (at both a federal and state level). Policies that don’t go into much detail but demand radical change / action. Policies that disregard, or just simply don’t even consider, ramifications to the broader community. Both of which, I believe, is not something you want from a major party.
Let’s take a look at some of their policies:
· “We’ll be making rapid emissions reductions and supporting workers in carbon intensive industries like Hazelwood power station to re-skill and adjust to low-carbon jobs.” There is only one way to make rapid emissions reductions and that is to shut down Victoria’s coal-fired power generators. What will we then do with no electricity? It will take years and billions of dollars to replace and compensate current energy generators and it is simply not feasible. Where are these low-carbon jobs? What industries are they in? It seems to me the only way that all this can become possible is by building Nuclear Power Stations. But the Greens would never allow that to happen now would they?
· “A smart grid would place energy generation and consumption side by side, with each house and business supplying power for each other.” Where is this ‘smart grid?’ How long will it take to build? At what cost?
· “We will end duck shooting, puppy factories and jumps racing.” What the Greens haven’t mentioned on their website is that they want to ban all shooting and gun ownership. They also want to ban recreational fishing. The greens also mention on their website that they want “the most humane and effective means available to be used in the control of introduced and pest species,” which I am pretty sure is with guns, rather than introducing a virus or other methods. I’m actually quite passionate that something urgent, and drastic needs to be done about swelling rabbit, fox, camel and cane toad numbers in Australia. These introduced species are wreaking havoc on farming and native flora and fauna throughout the country and less of them would massively increase efficiency in both farming practices and native species growth. Something akin to the great buffalo round-up from the Northern Territory is required, and was even suggest by Kevin Rudd in regards to camels, but he was labelled a murderer. Duck shooting is tightly controlled by the DSE. Each year different quotas are introduced depending on the numbers of duck populations. There has been an increase in the duck population in recent years, even though bag limits have increased. As for jumps racing; personally i enjoy it and even though the risk of serious injury to the horse is slightly greater than normal racing, I don’t see how you can classify them differently. Equestrian Eventing should be in that category too, have you even seen cross-country?
· “Long term government borrowing is the preferred mechanism for funding long term infrastructure investments.” Government borrowing is the one thing that is not acceptable right now. Heavy borrowing has landed Greece in hot water and is about to make Ireland insolvent.
· “The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is unfair, regressive and places an unfair burden on individuals and small business.” I strongly disagree. I believe the GST simplified taxation and greatly reduced tax minimisation attempts by companies and individuals. It is an efficient and fair system, maximising tax revenue with less effort.
· “International institutions such as the World trade Organisation (WTO) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank must assist countries to achieve their democratically determined priorities within ecological constraints.” Why? Australia has recently enjoyed, and will soon again, very strong budget revenues. Why would we need funding from WTO, IMF or World Bank? Why can’t we just do it ourselves? Oh, that’s right. We have to borrow heavily over the long term to invest.
· The Greens will raise “the company tax rate to 33% and broaden the company tax base by reducing tax concessions.” Good luck dealing with business lobby groups on that.
· They will “reduce Australia’s foreign debt and foreign ownership through use of trade, financial and regulatory measures to ensure more productive use of foreign capital and strengthening of Australian manufacturing, recognising the need to support economies in developing countries.” But how? There is no detail.
· They will “implement a gradual and long term shift in the tax system from work based taxes to taxes on natural resources and pollution including... other ecological taxes and charges at a level sufficient enough that their prices reflect the full environmental cost of their production, use or disposal.” Again, the detail is deplorable, however moving the tax system from work based taxes to natural resource based taxed is deplorable. Natural resources are a finite quantity. They will run out. When they do the Australian economy and workforce will evolve and transform into other sectors. There will always be work, but there will not always be resources. Also, a tax on resources contradicts the Greens policies on Indigenous Australians, as Indigenous Australians, effectively, own the resources that are in Australia. Taxing them is not an option as they are not the government’s to tax.
The Greens do address (address in a very casual sense, like most policies, they mention it as a general statement with no substance nor execution strategy) some interesting things that other parties seem to be very good at ignoring. Issues like mental health and same sex marriage. Their general approach to humanism is quite good. However, like all their other policies, they are not costed, they have no detailed plan for implementation and they don’t seem to have any idea how to pay for it (partly because they don’t know how much it will cost).
If the Greens want to become the third major Party that they think they will be (categorising the Liberals and Nationals as one party), then they need to grow up and start acting like one. They can’t continue to make brash, general statements that you would only expect to hear from someone wearing a beret or someone who doesn’t really know much about politics.
I don’t mind if people vote for the Greens; but I do mind if they vote for them ‘just cause’ or they don’t fully understand what the Greens will do if they hold the balance of power. If you want to vote Greens, you need to understand what they will do to this state (and country) if given the opportunity.
On a side note, if the Greens do get 20% of the vote, that means that one in five Victorians voted for them, nowhere near a majority, but they would effectively hold the balance of power in government. I believe this is a major flaw in our parliamentary system as we would be left with representatives that have the support of 1 in 5 Victorians having a much greater say in government policies than their vote count should suggest. Meaning that policies that the majority of citizens don’t agree with or don’t support would be getting pushed to the forefront of government agenda. Which is flat-out unfair.