The coming triumph of communism

Now that I’ve grabbed your attention and driven Graeme Bird apoplectic with the over-egged title, I’d like to share a video with you.


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28 responses to “The coming triumph of communism”

  1. Joseph.Carey

    I think you’ll find Graeme Bird is a closet commie.

  2. Eric Sykes

    Thanks, good stuff.

  3. Russell

    Of course she didn’t have a macaw ….

    I was listening to TEDx 2011 last weekend on RN and one of the talks was by an ‘avian behaviourist’ who whistled up a macaw as part of his presentation.

    Radio still can be fantastic.

  4. Jacques de Molay

    Wasn’t this the event Daniel Johns (Silverchair) performed at too?

  5. Helen

    Well, according the Hun readers, a suggested tax on McMansions is “communism”! (Haven’t seen the word bandied about so much in letters to the editor since the cold war!)

  6. David Irving (no relation)

    And rightly so, Helen!

    Everyone has the right to erect an environmentally unsound faux Tuscan horror whenever and wherever they want.

  7. dave

    Thanks Helen ๐Ÿ™

    Apparently, intellectuals should get a real job!

  8. TerjeP

    Surely the government should slap a tax on this trading thingy. I mean if people are free to trade and swap without friction they might figure out that the imposed middleman called government doesn’t really need to do as much as it does. People might get to like freedom and surely that would lead to bad things and exploitation and stuff.

  9. Chris

    Helen @ 5 – taxing large houses is a bit of wierd thing to do since it does end up also being a tax on large families. And a poorly designed and built small house can use a lot more energy on heating/cooling than a very well designed large one. Even more so it you start looking at per-capita energy usage. I would have thought it better just to improve energy efficiency requirements for houses, both big and small.

  10. Helen

    Oh, I’m not in favour of that policy per se. Clunky and over-specific for that kind of need, as you say. I was just amused at the predictable outbursts, seeing as the suggestion seemed a bit of kite-flying rather than a serious possibility. (But then, I would never have predicted the silliness of the private health insurance rebate or the $$$ to private schools.)

  11. Mercurius

    @Chris — you’re missing the point. The important thing is…COMMUNISM!!!!11!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    But seriously, it is staggering how much the fear of the spectre of communism continues to deform public opinion, a generation after the end of the Cold War. We are, even today, delaying important and necessary environmental reforms, at a huge future cost to ourselves, because of the Nick Minchins of this world; who believe, sincerely, that moves to limit carbon emissions are part of a green/left plot to de-industrialise the West. Seriously. That is what they believe.

    The spectre of the USSR may succeed in doing what the actual USSR never came close to doing — cause the democratic capitalist nations to implode their own economies off the back of fear about what will happen if we ever take our foot off the gas…

    To get my SF geek on for a moment, I’ll quote Frank Herbert: “Fear is the mind-killer”.

  12. Mercurius

    (Havenโ€™t seen the word [Communism] bandied about so much in letters to the editor since the cold war!)

    Helen, I think it’s increased since “we” killed Osama Bin Laden. When you’re addicted to fear, and your main supplier is off the streets, you’ll go back to a bad old neighbourhood and look around for any old junk you can find — you know, huffing on old posters about the Yellow Peril — whatever gets you through the night… ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. David Irving (no relation)

    Chris, the problems are that most of those large houses contain fairly small families (as a rule), and they aren’t particularly well-designed. (If they were, they wouldn’t need those massive air conditioners.)

    So yeah, a tax on them would probably be a good thing.

  14. Helen

    I took a photo with my phone yesterday with the intention of blogging about it – don’t hold me to it, I’m flat chat, but… it illustrates the change quite dramatically. We are a suburb of 1950s WBs, one of which sits next to a monstrosity being built on the site of one which has been demolished, which would probably fit 4 of the old WBs inside it. Putting a Box on the Back is one thing, but this is building a megabox – it’s perfectly rectangular and built to the boundary.

    How many people are going to live there? I don’t know – it’ll be interesting to see. If they have more than one nuclear family, or grandparents, sharing the space then all power to them. If it’s just one nuclear family – yeah nah. Just silly. (Remember, someone’s got to clean, heat and cool all those rooms!)

    We’re next to a park, and I’m quite down with the idea of losing useless lawn space, but you could fit two quite nice ecologicallly clever dwellings in those blocks and still have space for a few shrubs and flowers.

  15. Mindy

    @ Helen or even, FSM forbid, a vegie patch *she says hypocritically considering the state of the vegie patch at home*

  16. Link

    That was very interesting, and I hope she is correct, but she really oughta watch her back, there is absolutely nothing in this for the Corporatacracy and they ain’t gonna like it one bit. No doubt they’ll try and shut down the whole thing by unplugging the net.

  17. Russell

    Mindy – this can be a dispiriting time for vegetable gardners: gets too cold for lettuce, white butterflies swarm to the broccoli etc, but now is the time to plant new strawberries or resuscitate your old ones – well worth the effort come summertime.

    Helen – you know that George Formby song “When I’m cleaning windows”? Well, your window cleaner could tell you that many of these mansions are built with the second floor only barely completed – no floor coverings etc. The owners feel that they have to build big as an investment for later resale. Madness.

  18. Chris

    Helen & Mercurius – the accusations of communism are rather amusing. One thing I noticed while living in the US was how the word communist is used as a genuine insult over there, whilst over here you’d probably just get looked at like you were a bit weird.

    DI @ 13 – well the fundamental problem is (mostly) the ongoing usage of coal fired electricity rather than the size of the house itself. So it would seem to be a lot more precise to tax the power usage rather than the size of the house which would inadvertently tax houses which are large, but very energy efficient.

    And even if there is a large innefficient house but its powered 100% by renewable energy should we really care?

  19. Russell

    Large inefficient houses must have more environmental cost to build, and, on today’s lot sizes, block each other’s solar access – there are very many letters to my local paper complaining that a mansion being built next door will block the sun from coming into their living areas.

  20. Chris

    Russell @ 19 – yes there is an embodied energy cost involved, but a carbon tax will take care of that. Solar access is extremely important. Part of the problem is just the way they cut up blocks. I built my house such that even if they build a 2 storey house right to the boundary next door on the north side I’ll still have good solar access. But you need to plan ahead and have a big enough block to do that. It’s pretty important for me because I don’t have a heater and rely 100% on the sun.

    And quite a few councils at least on paper take into account preserving solar access for neighbours as one of the criteria when assessing development applications.

  21. Paul Norton

    Whilst on the subject of TEH COMMUNISM…

  22. Russell

    “but a carbon tax will take care of that”

    Chris – there are lots of people who can afford to pay more to build gigantic houses. In the end, the environmental damage is done. We actually have to stop doing things that unnecessarily use up resources.

  23. David Irving (no relation)

    And even if there is a large innefficient house but its powered 100% by renewable energy should we really care?

    Call me a wowser and a commie if you will, but yes. The embodied energy in those babies is huge.

  24. David Irving (no relation)

    Thanks, Paul @ 21. Gee, glibertarians are so cute when they deliver a spittle-flecked rant about us watermelons.

  25. dave

    command economies always fail? and the free enterprise system always works? sure it works, for some.

    on a related note, i received a chain email today at work, politely circulated by another member of the team which claimed that the CO2 emissions from volcanos wipes out any carbon savings we might make by using efficient lights, driving fuel efficient cars, wind/solar power, bike riding etc. I checked it quickly against the oracle and found enough indications to suggest the article was misleading at best and most likely total crap. But what was really interesting was how many of my colleagues agreed with the thrust of the argument, ie CO2 is harmless, warming is a lie, and Gillard is going to tax us out of existence.

    I vaguely heated little debate ensued and surprisingly the considered response by another team member was rejected because…it had too many words in it!

    I kid you not.

  26. Uncle Buck

    The Commies are everywhere!!
    Just try getting through the day without wearing, touching or using something made by a communist.

  27. dk.au

    I like your blogging strategy, Paul.

    Seems to work much better than my stupendously overegged analysis.

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/11/18/radical-utility-anti-expertise-and-collaborative-consumption/