Cheeseburger Gothic

Fuck you is more than a policy

Posted Friday into Lunch Time Video by John Birmingham

... it's a philosophy.

More gold from the internet backlash to #Australiansforcoal.

With thanks to Professor Boylan for the heads-up.

20 Responses to ‘Fuck you is more than a policy’

Murphy would have you know...

Posted Friday

Strange to watch this on the same day that my semester load has been cut in half due to my current employer's unwillingness to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

I feel like I'm trapped in an ideological sandwich while they take turns ass raping me.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted Friday

No worries, mate: the "trickle down" economic theory will provide lube for that ass raping. The lazy, no good underclass get no lube. But those who work have earned some lube. Not too much, of course. That would obscure the intended message.

Murphy mutters...

Posted Friday

I don't need any lube.

I'll take it like a man.

I guess.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 5 hours ago

Whenever someone says "trickle down" economic theory why do I feel like someone is pising in my pocket?

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Halwes asserts...

Posted Friday

The bosses have a solution for the underclasses lube drought. They have this neat little process that converts coal to oil. Of course it's hideously expensive to produce and fatal to the environment. I'm afraid ideology has nothing to do with it. This world is ruled by BHP and Rio Tinto's gangster energy tycoons, money, corruption and violence. Ideology is a smokescreen. The new opium of the masses. The best we can do is try and preserve the parts of our own local environment that aren't corrupted, and therefore aren't wanted, by the corporations. When the masses eventually say fuck you there may be pockets of hope still existing.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday

Yeah.

Fuck you.

It is the new policy.

Anthony asserts...

Posted Friday

Having worked on the Brown Coal Liquefaction (Victoria) pilot plant in Mowell for the entire seven years of the project, I can assure you that coal to oil is not hideously expensive to produce. The Coal Liquefaction pilot plant in Morwell had a break even price of oil at $60/barrel. The reason for not proceeding to an eventual commercial plant was that there was no immediate need as oil supplies became reliable again.

The rationale behind the project (which came out of the first oil crisis) was to ensure that sufficent oil supplies would be availble for emergency use in the event of supplies becoming unreliable for whatever reason.

It's also not particularly worse for the evnironment than any other use of oil and is a lot better than using brown coal for electricity generation. The "fuck you" atttudes can be nicely shown by the removal and sale of fire fighting equipment from the Hazelwod open cut mine wich diectly contibuted to the recent issues.

While we certainly need to move away from fossil fuel use (especially the use of brown coal since it's particulaly nasty stuff to burn) , the argument for doing so is not helped by exaggerated statements. When you make statements that are provably wrong you give the "fuck you" lot a free kick,

Coal burning however is by far the worst contribution to greenhouse gases. The coal industry is very happy to see more and more emissions regulations coming in for motor vehicles as it distracts from their contributions. Motor vehicles world wide conribute around 18%. Until proper renewable methods of power generation occur, implementing more and more electric vehicles merely adds to the pofits of the coal industry. It doesn't particularly decrease greenhouse gas production. It does shift visible polluton away from cities but the same greenhouse gases are still emitted fom the generators.

Tnterestingly I've yet to hear about anyone protesting the Indian cattle population which contributes 18% of all methane to the atmosphere.

Anthony is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday

Geez I hate using the "keyboard" on this tablet. For some reason it doesn't like some lettrs...

Halwes puts forth...

Posted Yesterday

Give me a break. If it was $60 a barrel and not environmentally bad we'd be making it right now and stiffing the arabs for their $100 a barrel high sulphur content crap. What happens to what's left of the coal when the oil has been taken out? Hideously expensive is the cost of the whole process not just the end product. For example I understand that there is a very high use of water to refine this stuff and a problem with what to do with the waste water as well as the coal waste. Interestingly though there were some really good statistics on the abc last week about how owning one dog is the equivalent of two landcruisers as far as green house gas goes. This included the cost of food production to the environment for the dog as well as waste emissions. As for the Cows in India. They are sacred and can't be touched as is the fossil fuel industry. I do agree about the false feelgood factor of electric cars though. I wonder what wonderfully clean power source the people that drive them think that their chargers are plugged into.

JBtoo reckons...

Posted Yesterday

In many cases, solar - and at least they are trying to do something positive, not ignoring the problem or sitting back and whigeing about it.

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday

Unfortunately trying to be positive isn't going to work. The greenhouse gasload of an electric car construction is very high as is the cost of manufacture and transport to the vehicle manufacturing site of the batteries. I'm pretty sure that hydrogen power is the future and mucking about with expensive, hard to dispose of batteries as base load sources shouldn't be where all our research and development dollars goes. Then you get back to vested interests and corruption, big coal and corruption and politics and corruption. Trying to be positive doesn't cut it with this mob.

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drmarkhayes reckons...

Posted Friday

We need to find out the real names of these people in this "advertisement", and then find out their employers, and have a word with them about reviewing their employment conditions. If any of them are public servants, or related to public servants, we can at least warn them of the recent edict from the PM & C's office that it is against PS regulations for public servants, or their families, to criticise government policies even anonymously or in a so-called private capacity in off-working time. A Note needs to also be made in their File. They're also ignorant because they obviosly cannot spell 'cognitive dissonance' or understand the current correct philosophy of combined neo-liberalism and post-modernism as brlliantly demonstrated by Mr Hebderson on ABC TV's Lateline recently ~ http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/news/lateline/video/201404/LATs_WedForum_1604_512k.mp4

tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday

Thanks for that link meant to find it the other day.

Am wondering how long before it disappears down the memory hole

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Shell puts forth...

Posted Friday

The opiate of the masses is, and has always been, opium,

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Friday

I've never tried opium. Religion, yes, but not opium.

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Friday

I remember Opium in the 80's. Very popular.

You would suddenly collapse back onto the wall of the elevator, eyes watering, throat constricting. Desperate to diagnose that your impending respiratory collapse was temporary, you would force out the question.
"Cough, uuurrgghh. Opium?"
"Yes." she would coquettishly reply, flattered you had noticed.

Man! that was one intense perfume. Yves Saint Laurent, I think. It went with padded shoulders.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted Friday

Nope. Not for me. I will stick with more mundane inebriants.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted Friday

Nope. Not for me. I will stick with more mundane inebriants.

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Dr Mark Hayes mutters...

Posted Friday

Hon Senator Brandis, Attorney General and Minister for the Arts, has just announced the Abbott Government's policy on the climate change "debate", no doubt ahead of his colleague, Hon the Minister for the Environment, Mr Hunt, rolling out the Government's direct action policy.

Because this is a Commonwealth Government Minister saying this, it is Govcernment Policy, and all public servants are duty bound to support it, and the more loyal will actively promote it, not only through their work but also privately, because public servants, under the new PM & C edict, must not have opinions which differ from those of the Minister.

Senator Brandis, you've made my Easter Friday!

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Shell swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 6 hours ago

Am certainly not advocating that anyone try opium. Was merely quipping in response to another comment. Around the turn of the century some 25% of males in China regularly used opium. It wasn't an accident. Given the rise of use if opiates, such as OxyContin in the US am making the observation that if you want populations distracted, lethargic, indifferent, there is no opiate like opium. Do not try it. And no, have never tried it myself.

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Big strong muscly choices

Posted Thursday into Blunty by John Birmingham

Wasn't sure if this metaphor would hold up for 500 words. But it did. Cos I got metaphor muscles.

Wasn't sure I could even get 500 words out of the state gubbermint's stupid Strong Choices website. Until I realised just how stupid it was.

At Blunty.

20 Responses to ‘Big strong muscly choices’

pi is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday

awesome pic

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted Thursday

The pic is great, but - once again - I ran to the Instrument just to realize I had no idea what is going on.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday

Neither do I Paul, neither do I. I think its a Queensland thing.

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pi is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday

think 'florida'

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted Thursday

To explain, it's a fairly standard scenario. Our right wing state government has manufactured a bogus financial crisis. Needless to say, they reckon the 'rational' solution to the fake crisis would be the transfer of wealth from the people to the plutocracy. In this case, an asset sell-off.

Yes, the financial situation is so critical they are embarking on a massive multi-million dollar marketing blitz the like of which the battered local citizenry has not previously seen. Using every conventional and black art technique of PR trickery, this is proceeding under the wartime banner of Strong Choices.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday

Thanks for the 'splanation, W.

It comforts me not at all that you lot are letting this happen in much the same way and for the same reasons we let it happen here.

pi mumbles...

Posted Thursday

We learn from the masters.

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Red puts forth...

Posted Thursday

Very clever. I love your ingenious writing style/s, JB. Once again, you make me laugh.

So the banana Prem and poincy Prem are together in bed, threshing out the black hole debt on roids, mouths foaming in anticipation at further cuts. Whip that cash good, fellas. Can't wait for the bedding down of the diehard state and federal budgets.

Oh yeah.

Joanna

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday

CSIRO told me part of my problem is Mercury, in the physical life support system.

Am formulating treatment.

And

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Halwes reckons...

Posted Thursday

I'm not sure that I would screw around with these people. I have bad, fairly recent memories of the politicisation of the police force which seems to be at plague proportions at this time right across our country. All it takes now is for some idiot to yell " law and order" and a shitload of crap seems to descend from the heavens and fall directly on the heads of the underdogs. You remember how it was. The proof will be when the premiers' moneygrubbing mates, and there are plenty of them, form a private consortium and legally steal public assets. Who needs to keep on winning elections when your mates are rich and grateful but by then we'll have been well and truly scalped.

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday

I unserstand you have a wife and kids now JB.

"Free Speech" was a wank from your youth.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday

You better keep me fkn Alive

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted Thursday

Part of free speech is not drowning out other voices Dino. And that's what you're doing, which is why I've been culling your comments.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted Thursday

Fairnuff,

Gave Joanna a 'ahrd time'. No one one else.

I will drown out no one any more.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted Thursday

And PAuls Adviice to DIVerSify?

Too Late.

My suggestion is you stay right where you are.

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Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Thursday

well the coppers and the Law are gonna come to my place.

First Draught- On the front wall-

Steve next door is a Fuckwit

Warwick next door to him is a liar who spends time with 'childcare' on a Tuesday.

Fellatio not Horatio my anus.

Ben acroos the road uses dogs to pleasure the bitch from Israel who says she's from Brazil.

Any Questions?

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted Thursday

JB

I have been flagged a a 'Security Threat'.

You know no fukker from Asio or the feds will come near me.

Cause they fuck chickens and drink my shit.

All Official though JB.

All Official.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Thursday

They're not gonna read this are they JB?

Cause I saw a really big fukker in the Feds in Cnberra.

Thick as two planks probably a clone or an Alien.

But Asio worries me.

Like a pen of unwanted dogs.

They get mean.

Stupid but mean.

Permission to access the cerebral firewall...

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Jarrod asserts...

Posted Friday

JB, I had a go last night after a few beers and solved the State's budget pretty easily. What I did was make the big mines pay some tax then fucked over all the pensioners by getting rid of all thier benefits. After all those baby boomers are fucking over us Gen Xs by destroying the pension system and making us xers work till we are 90 so I didn't feel any sypathy whatsoever.

I did like the statements that higher mining taxes might make mining companies move. What a load of bullshit, what are they going to do move the coal!!!

With the money I saved I bought some land for conversation and spent some money on education and training.

It is a ridiculous push polling stunt, but expect to see more in the future as we have polls described as consultation and democracy.

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Leviathan Wakes on TV

Posted Wednesday by John Birmingham

Syfy are, thank god, going back to sci-fi, and have commissioned a long form series based on James SA Corey's Expanse series. We discussed Leviathan Wakes here a while ago, one of my fave deadline reads this read.

I am hideously excited by the prospect of this. I don't know whether this breaks the drought for space based sci-fi on teev and I have no idea whether the producers will do the novels justice. But damn, it will be worth watching anyway.

I made a note a few weeks ago to link to this blastr.com piece about SyFy's chief poobah promising to do less bullshit monster movies and more serious space opera, but work got ahead of me. I guess he wasn't lying.

19 Responses to ‘Leviathan Wakes on TV’

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted Wednesday

Wish I was a Prince JB.

Seriously, don't you wish you were a Prince?

FFS JB!

Captain attempting to overcome the minor complication of not being a Prince.

Sweet baby cheeses

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Rob mumbles...

Posted Wednesday

I hope its better than the 100, cos that series is a stinker. And Resurection is nothing like the book which is really good.

Lulu asserts...

Posted Wednesday

Did you see The Returned (SBS), a French series which I think Resurrection was based on?

Rob would have you know...

Posted Wednesday

no but i may obtain a copy soon and watch it but it's french, me and the french have issues.

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday

Chortle all you want, but the guy who came up with the following SyFy movie poster should be doing all yours and Phelan's book covers because *this is FKN art*

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlP76lXCIAAMSV4.jpg:large

Barnesm mutters...

Posted Wednesday

Why isn't this illustrator adorning the front cover of every airport novel ever.

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted Wednesday

It was raining really heavally here last night.

Had Acadaca on 11.

I don't thing the neighbours appreciated it.

It's quiet here now.

Jnes bolt ipa cocksuckers will denie the rainfall last night.

Aske them to come here and turn down the ute stereo playin' acadac on 11.

They won't do it though.

Cocksucker neo fascist bent over monkey apologists.

Or maybe they are wrong?

Nah.

they're just shit eating monkeys.

"Do as I do"

"Another peice of shit little child?"
let me shove it down your throat...

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted Wednesday

I too am excited. The Expanse trilogy was my stand out go to read last year (I waited until all three books had been published before begining the read). So glad Syfy chose to go the TV series route with this one as a telly movie for each book wouldn't have done justice to the story.

Brilliant stuff, and excited to see "that Orbit Books had ordered a further three books in the Expanse series, in addition to five novellas set in the same universe" now if only I can get a model of the corvette class fast-attack light frigate The Rocinante.

Maddoug mutters...

Posted Thursday

http://expanse.wikia.com/wiki/Rocinante?file=Rocinante.jpg

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday

Wouldn't a model of that on your desk look cool.

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday

Captain,

Permission to advise the fuckwits who can't understand the Computer.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Wednesday

oK JB,

Computer has taken sides.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday

What's that?

Computer has a question?

Killit Kill it know!

Hey Comp,

See you soon...

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pi is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

It has been too long since a book club.

My nomination :

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/14/2312-kim-stanley-robinson-review

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

I'm reading the first book now in between visits to Plutarch for other reasons.

I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. It isn't exactly pulling me in like Paul McAuley did. OTOH, I was slow to warm to Revelation Space so who knows?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted Thursday

What i liked about it was its a vision of the near future that I can imagine, that calls out to a big damn hopeful time but with the familiar people we see now. Not Star Trek's gee wiz utopia.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted Thursday

or the waaaay too advance world of The Culture.

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Aaron has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday

Is there an audio book version? Am looking for another book but determined to stop straining my eyes at night without giving up a much loved habit (reading, the other really awesome thing you can do on your own)

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted Friday

SPOILERS > > >

5

4

3

2

1

Holden is supposed to be a former naval officer, right?

So. . . he broadcasts at the ship which just killed his pals and his lover from his little shuttle. Then he flies round in circles waiting for HQ to get back to them. Top that off with HQ telling him to cooperate with the ones who might have been guilty of doing the killing in the first place. Then he broadcasts in the clear at them with more threats and he is supposed to be really smart because he did this.

.

.

.

I'm having a bit of trouble.

Oh, and this internal dialogue with himself where he says, "I'd never nuke a ship full of civilians. I'd refuse to follow the order, they'd have to shoot me, bleat, bleat, bleat, bleat. . . "

I want to like this novel but Holden sounds too much like one of my students in the back of the classroom who is used to bullshitting their way out of their problems. I can see a college student behaving this way but not a naval officer, not even a former, disaffected, particularly stupid one.

As for the detective story, I can't even get started with it.

So I'm pretty disappointed. I was hoping for something as good as Revelation Space and/or The Quiet War. Instead, well, I feel like I may as well have wasted my time reading one of Scalzi's novels.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Busy

Posted Tuesday by John Birmingham

Apolz for the tardy updating. There's a surprising amount of shit happening here, and combined with school holidays, it's making it difficult to allot time to personal blogging. I'm also constrained in how much I can talk about yet. As in, nothing.

But in a couple of weeks, I may have some news.

11 Responses to ‘Busy’

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tqft mutters...

Posted Tuesday

You seem to have your priorities straight.

And the news to come sounds good

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

I'm hoping for a film or telly deal announcement.

NBlob mutters...

Posted Wednesday

<i>Word </i>is that Channel Ten is making a 6 part mini series loosely based on JB's article in The Monthly Appeasing Jakarta. To follow on from Puberty Blues.

In other news Channel Ten is allegedly about to go belly up. Rumours hint @ it being becoming the Fox Au franchise.

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

JB, we know you base all your characters on people on the Burger. Just letting you know, if Hollywood is calling, we will be more than happy to do the right thing by you and be the actors.

Just let us know. We can start working out. Though that should not be a problem, don't underestimate the slimming provided by the modern girdle.

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Halwes reckons...

Posted Wednesday

What is this? Have I logged on to operation f*cking sovereign borders or something?

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

Nice Sgt Schultz impersonation there JB. Lebeau will bake you an apple strudel. As for the news, its probably to do with the script for a reboot of "Willing and Abel".

Lulu would have you know...

Posted Wednesday

No, it's something about a bottle of Grange ...

Big Willie Style has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday

You're both wrong. The big motherfucking news of the day is - forget your Great Big New Airport, forget the NSW guy resigning - a young, utterly unremarkable, and particularly untalented pair of British parasitic elitist toffs have landed in Straya at fucking taxpayers' fucking expense (with their snotty kid in tow), to do......prety much nothing, except shake hands, point at shit, talk in plummy accents, and pretend they give the slightest shit about what the fuck goes on down here.

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peteb has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday

...

.

.

.

that's nothin' backatya

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Wednesday

As the host organism is busy, there was a pleasant 10 minute discussion of 2 Sci-Fi books on Radio National this morning.

Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson
The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

The reviewer is Bryan Gaensler, the Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney, having previously held positions at MIT, the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/book-review-with-bryan-gaensler/5391312

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Generation of losers

Posted Tuesday into Blunty by John Birmingham

Did anybody in Generation X expect to retire at 65? Maybe not. We’ve always known the Boomers were going to swarm across the landscape like wrinkled locusts consuming everything in front of them. They got all the sweet deals and it looks like they’ll get the last one too, retiring at 65 on a publicly funded age pension.

At Blunty.

31 Responses to ‘Generation of losers’

Varangian78 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday

Great article JB, as true as it is concerning.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday

Cheers, V.

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Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday

I've been very concerned about this issue since we robbed the upcoming generations of their ability to access their super and jacked up their retirement age until just before they are pushing up daisys. The trouble with our dumb boomer logic is that the Xers will be making the laws and writing the budgets when we are dribbling over our copy of the financial review trying vainly to remember who signs what and where on the corrupt family trust documents. I don't expect much sympathy from them and nor do we deserve it.

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Red puts forth...

Posted Tuesday

Baby Boomers can include those born up to 1964. I was born in 1963, so to some, I am a late, on-the-cusp Baby Boomer, while to others, I am a first-minted Gen X. You may yet call yourself a Baby Boomer, JB, although that’s unlikely. Don’t want to be old before your time.

The retirement pension age may well go up to age 70 in the next couple of years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually edges up to age 75. My father worked until he was 75. He’s now 77. The ability to work into old age (say, to 75) comes down to individuals’ capacities to work and their state of health.

My survival mode started at age 48, when I realised I wasn’t getting any younger. For a start, I’m trying to stay as healthy and fit as I can at age 51. According to a recent bio-age test, I’m only 32. Ha. OK. I’m willing to believe that. That means I can work until I’m 100.

I turn 51 in June but I’d say my physical health is 90 per cent better than most people in my age cohort (eg I’m running my first full marathon--42.2km--in July). Nevertheless, I noticed that I started to feel older and tired easily more from around the age of 48.

Given that many people start to feel the effects of ageing from around age 48, how will many Australians cope working for another 25 or 30 years? Physically, I don’t think the majority will have the energy to work until age 70.

I don’t think working to 70 or 75 is a bad thing—it’s great if you are able to, and all power to those who can and do—but there will be many elderly people who cannot cope with the physical, mental, and emotional stresses of participating in the paid workforce.

Then again, I doubt that a lot of older people will be able to get paid work again, even part time, if they lose a job due to unforeseen circumstances such as retrenchment or further casualisation of the workforce. There is still discrimination amongst employers towards older workers. Employers simply want fresh, energetic, younger people in jobs, particularly in full-time work.

I’m not overgeneralising here: it’s a cold, hard fact. I know from my experience trying to get work once Campbell Newman retrenched all the contract/temporary public servants in Queensland. Once you’re over 45 these days, it’s tough to get work regardless of high levels of education or experience. Just don’t lose your current job. There are simply not enough jobs to go around.

Technology has killed off much of the need for workers. The workforce is shrinking in part because of our ‘smart’, technologically driven societies. There are also global influences on Australia’s workforce. It hasn’t regained equilibrium since the GFC.

There’s always volunteer work to occupy the unemployed, but that doesn’t pay the bills. If older people are forced to live on the pathetically low, barely survivable level of unemployment benefits—Newstart Allowance (or whatever it’s called in the future)—then it’s a sorry indictment on society. Is that any way to treat an older, frail generation? No respect or sense of decency, these days.

Let me exaggerate now, people, and get a bit silly. Let’s say governments of the future legalise voluntary euthanasia and encourage older, frail people to die earlier. Just get rid of the old sods. Put them to rest; encourage them to push up the daisies. Whatever. Add to that, a one baby per family stipulation, forced sterilization, and, the big whammy: World War 3. The big war should kill off millions of people and rebalance the over-population problem. Bingo! Problem solved. Sick.

Hey, I’m being sarcastic, people (if you’re sad old grey matter has not picked that up), but there’s an ugly element of truth in these comments. Overpopulation + fewer jobs + fewer working to support the older/frail/infirm = we have a problem, Houston. It is an unsustainable world we live in.

Conclusion: life wasn’t meant to be easy: suck it up. Or, alternatively, it’s a case of survival of the fittest. We will adapt. Perhaps. You decide.

Joanna G

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted Tuesday

Why not start even earlier a la Logan's Run?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Tuesday

I hadn't of it in those terms, but a really, really interesting angle that I dont think anybody has thought about yet is the increasing ill health of Gen X and the later cohorts. Rising obesity levels in particular will constrain their ability to work later in life.

Red would have you know...

Posted Tuesday

I was tempted to write that obesity is the Australian norm in my comment (above), JB, but thought I'd offend too many overweight readers here.

So true. Nothing ages and limits people quicker than obesity.

Joanna ;)

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Miss maudy has opinions thus...

Posted Tuesday

I don't know about the idea of retirement being extended to 70 - I can only look at my own motley collection of Old People (of which I have more than my fair share) and say that it totally depends on the person and the work they do and their level of fitness (mental and physical). Even looking at my own friends - we're all between 40 and 50, and some of us would have another 20+ years of work in us. Some wouldn't.

This means the OPs who aren't capable of working for whatever reason are dumped onto the disability support pension (which will be cut out) or left to rot in the mire of newstart

OP #1 (male aged 74) 'retired' before he was 60 due to ill health - no way he could have worked to 70. Desk job when he was working.

OP#2 (female, aged 73) worked in a physical job well into her sixties and still does labouring every now and then.

OP#3 (female aged 72) would happily continue working now if someone would have her.

OP#4 (female aged 71) never worked a day in her life.

OP#5 (male aged 71) still pretty fit and active, did volunteering until he got sick last year.

OP#6 (male aged 69) still works to fund overseas trips and uses OP#2 as labour.

(OP#7 died aged 60, but fortunately retired at age 55 so he got to have some fun)

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Tuesday

I'm aware of four people who have continued to work in offices after 65. Two are totally useless, one has some skills but causes too much damage by insulting everyone, the other works at about 40% capacity.
The superviser of one of the useless ones took a posting in probably Africa's most dangerous country just to avoid the horror of daily dealings with the oldster. I kid you not.

People have rightly made the point about the challenges for manual workers continuing on, but I can't see it being much easier for the office worker. The problem in office work these days is that, even if your desk doesn't change, your job continually does. Every few months, a new system, totally new tasks. Output, Output, Output. Every keystroke and movement logged. There is some mythical team of three people in India that you individually have to out-produce. You just get too old for it. Try as you might, you can't think as fast. At some point, about 4 system iterations ago, you just lose the thread. Maybe if they could spend the last 10 years with the same tasks, but that just won't be feasible I reckon.

Lulu asserts...

Posted Tuesday

w - and there are physical challenges involved with office work as well: RSI, carpal tunnel, etc etc.

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Tuesday

You are right there, Lulu.
As health experts has stated, the office is a biologically toxic environment. Primarily, all that sitting down; bad hearts, bad backs, plus, as you say, RSI, carpal tunnel etc.
A friend of mine was considering early retirement at 55 and chatting about it while waiting for the train. Another bloke overheard him, he was older, but looked fit and healthy. He said. "Excuse me, I can't help but overhear you. I'm 61, but I retired when I turned 55. The mates around my age that I worked with, that decided to work on, they have been dying off one by one. All I can say is, if you can afford to retire, I strongly recommend it."

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Tuesday

Yesterday I heard Kevin Andrews dolefully intoning on the need to work until at least 70.

This comfortless message reminded me of Mr. Andrews other great policy passion; keeping voluntary euthanasia illegal. Remember, back in 1996, when he rose spectre-like from the parliamentary ooze to tell us that our death will not be at a time of our own choosing, not if he has anything to do with it. With his corpse-like face and funereal voice, Mr Andrews seemed to be the embodiment of Death itself. I still get creeped out thinking about it.

So, to sum up Mr. Andrews contribution, you can't stop working and you can't die until there is utter physical collapse.
I find it hard to warm to this dude.

Halwes asserts...

Posted Wednesday

I still can't believe the feds never busted me after the letter I wrote to scumbag Andrews after mum died a lingering death. Doctors do the right thing eventually by upping the morphine dose to lethal levels. Andrews and whatever wonderfully benevolent god you may worship need people to suffer painfully in an undignified manner and feed the doctors next holiday to the Algarve first. If you've got any brains then you are thinking about this stuff well before you are too incapacitated to pull your own trigger.

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Aaron puts forth...

Posted Tuesday

Good article I was ranting with a friend about baby boomers just yesterday so it's like jb has rolled in cavalry style to back me up. The generation themselves aren't bad but the policies designed to target their particular votes have been the true danger.

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tqft reckons...

Posted Tuesday

Work requires a job. What jobs?

Bunyip ducks in to say...

Posted Tuesday

Yup. I've been rendered redundant by Sensible Govt(TM), so I'm basically an unskilled 50 year old. In the country.

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Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday

I had my rant at Blunty but seriously, I didn't ask to be born in the Boomer demographic. We've looked after our kids as we were by our respective parents - no Winnebago, no OS holidays. We live reasonably well, paid our taxes, get zero government benefits and provide child care, interest-free loans and/or gifts. Interestingly when our bank stuffed up recently, daughter offered us $60k in a flash out of their mortgage account (we needed $10k in the end). The whole generation thing glosses over the fact that there are greedy bastards and shit parents in every generation, not just Boomers. At least part of the solution seems to me that we save compulsorily through an expanded Super scheme, with a safety net for those who can't. Until we can guarantee that all 70 year olds are mentally and physically capable of working, this simple age rise sucks. And BTW, I doubt that I'll ever get a cent from the pension and damn few benefits so I don't personally have a stake in this.

insomniac asserts...

Posted Tuesday

If both my grandmother and father develop Parkinsons while in their 60s, what are my chances of working until I'm 70.

Greybeard mutters...

Posted Wednesday

Exactly. Also to the above rant, we raised the first two kids and managed the mortgage on just my salary - women had to resign when married in them days. Not because we were bleeding marvellous but because you could do that then. By the time No.3 arrived, not so easy and like many others she returned to work when he was kindy age. Facts of life, each generation does what it can with conditions at the time, but we don't control those conditions. But she also salary sacrificed a high percentage into Super which is why we're now able to live in reasonable comfort. Industry Super - it's da bomb. But if it were centrally organised by the Feds as in the US, it could cover those who can't get jobs, are frequently out of work etc. Civilisation is having each others backs and sharing the loot. Or something like that.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday

That's socialism, and that makes it evil.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted Wednesday

How come the devil's got all the good tunes?

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Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Tuesday

Hey JB,

I recall your article about "Greedy Hippies Stealing Electrons'.

This Fuckwit who live across the road from me claimed the solar panels and solar hot water were an 'eyesore'.

Yep.

What can I say.

Fuckwit.

Am leaving the neighbourhood.

Will confront him shortly.

I ripped the inverters out of the wall and smashed them on the streer.

I am sure he saw them.

No response.

Another Jew coward.

Seeking locale` with integrity.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted Tuesday

Yeah so for a year or two the inverters have not been connected to the panels.

No Income.

Paying full electricity prices.

Wanna see him suck my dick?

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Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday

The comments on BT made me think of the 'four Yorkshiremen' sketch:

"We used to live in this tiny old tumbled down house with great big holes in the roof."

"House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, half the floor was missing, and we were all ‘uddled together in one corner for fear of falling."

"Eh, you were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in the corridor!"

"Oh, we used to dream of livin’ in a corridor! Would have been a palace to us."

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Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday

The comments on BT made me think of the 'four Yorkshiremen' sketch:

"We used to live in this tiny old tumbled down house with great big holes in the roof."

"House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, half the floor was missing, and we were all ‘uddled together in one corner for fear of falling."

"Eh, you were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in the corridor!"

"Oh, we used to dream of livin’ in a corridor! Would have been a palace to us."

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted Tuesday

Captain,

Some ignoramus mentoned Houston.

I will adjust the Haarp Frequency.(The Wave JB, the wave).

My associates in Austin are enquiring as to whether we need extra voltage.

ACDC HIgh Voltage.

The offer is there.

I have thanked them and the staff at JPL.

Next fuckwit that mentions Houston may recieve a headache...

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted Tuesday

Too much, Dino. Too much.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted Tuesday

Aye Aye Captain,

But Honestly who need more than Kiss and Madonna?

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday

You know the first time I remember going to UNSW was when I was 10 years old.

Yep.

Buncha brass uniforms told me I should study physics and chemistry.

I asked them why I couldn't do what they were doing?

Since they had no fucking idea about physics and chemistry.

Oxymoron?

Fuck yeah.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Wednesday

Signal to noise ratio, Dino. Signal to noise.

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Aaron would have you know...

Posted Wednesday

Well it's certainly generated so e healthy and not so healthy debate. I like greybeards thoughts.

As mentioned who will employ someone at 65 let alone 55? I can see a future where you will have to present a medical along w your resume, assuming they even look at it.

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Respond to 'Generation of losers'

Smart Enough to Know Better

Posted April 11 by John Birmingham

19 Responses to ‘Smart Enough to Know Better’

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted April 11

You know Ebola is in Africa.

Why don't they release it in the western nations.

Cause when there is a problem they shut down embassies, break women and childrens arms and threaten the word with biotech in fkn AFrica!

Release the fkn virus in Melbourne or Canberra!

Why release it in Africa? People don't understand. Release it in the West and then we will have an understanding.

Go on. Do it.

-http://hypster.com/playlists/song/bNWhKCxeo-Y?NEVILLE+BROTHERS+++my+blood

We will release our own biotech.

On its way...

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 11

Will listen to the podcast later today.

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted April 11

Captain,

From Memory George Bush Jr was the biggest aid donater to the Africans in History.

At the Time.

I understand the Chinese are offering support.

Request permission to use the wooden stake...

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted April 11

Is it true that Dee Why Police station is controlled by a Jew? You know the Norhten Beaches Heroin trade is controlled by 'Le Suif'. That's his real name. 'pig gut lesuif.' Fucks little girls or sends minions to do it for him cause he ain't got it anymore? herion on the Northen Beaches is controllled from Canberra. Where is my payment for the telegraph pole up the Arse of the female Prime minister who got raped in Melbourne by the Jewish Council?Silence?

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11

Police are coming to get me.

Ganna be off the internernet for a while.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11

Um...i'm fkn kind of in favour of NATO doing a FKN PRE EMPTIVE FKN STRIKE on those retards and that FKN SPASTIC PUTIN!

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robW swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 12

My biggest unanswered science question: Why is it a house can burn up at the same time it is burning down?

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted Monday

I think it's kind of the same as raising a house and razing a house.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted Monday

and why is it called a building when it's already been built?

Dave W mutters...

Posted Monday

Fuuuuuuck, that's just blown my mind.

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Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Sunday

Hey JB,

'Got arrested' with the usual verbal lies from the 'Police' force.

How much dick do they suck?

Glad I have an IQ that was rejected by the Police force.

No broken bones this time.

Some dick (Cuntstable) pushed me when I neede to pee.

I challenged him to push me again.

He declined.

There's your standard of the 'Police" force.

Cocksuckers.

You should read the shit they claim is 'Fact'.

I pity them.

Rooms for rent in Northern beaches too...

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted Sunday

What's worse?

A Felony or Pergury?

Doesn't matter.

Cops are Dumb Cunts.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted Sunday

Just got hung up on the phone by a bitch who did,'t know the difference between a felony and Prjury.

I will fuck her up the arse and she will scream with delight.

Bartlett at Dee Why.

Bitch Pig shit eater

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted Sunday

That was a mistake.

A little girl and a little boy dressed in Police uniforms claimed I intimidated etc them when they returned my stolen passport.

Yep reported in stolen after they came here last night.

Then I said well what do I do?

Result= sprain ribs and two sprain kness and having to listen to fuckwits.

I am so over the NSW Police now.

There loss.

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Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted Sunday

JB If your Passport gets stolen that's a Felony isn't it?

Unless the NSW Police take it and break some bones.

The it's ok

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted Monday

S/N in this post currently below significance.

Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Tuesday

I'm just doing my best to disrupt the pattern. I think it's worked, too.

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted Tuesday

Captain do you hear that back pedalling?

Some people have been demoted.

They have a long way to go till they get down to my lvl.

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Respond to 'Smart Enough to Know Better'

Tom Lehrer profile

Posted April 10 into Music by John Birmingham

Buzzfeed has become a shorthand joke for everything wrong with online churnalism. But that's unfair. They do some great long form work. Including this piece on one of my favorite musical satirists, Tom Lehrer. His total canon consists of 37 songs, and yet he towers over the 20th Century, or at least that part of it concerned with musical satire.

If you're Lehrer fan you'll thank me for this link. If not, I pity you.

Lehrer then incorporated Lehrer Music, bought the rights to the record from Trans Radio, and began selling it by mail order through P.O. Box 121 at the Cambridge post office. He rented an empty room on the second floor of his rooming house, hired Harvard freshmen to help him with packing, and trudged down to the post office every Monday for months to send shipments.

By 1954 — when he was trying to avoid the draft by working for a defense contractor — he had sold 10,000 records. He had also quickly dissolved Lehrer Music, of which he was president, in December for “various reasons,” among them: “Certain stockholders objected to the president’s face.” He gave up and shipped off to Fort Meade in 1955, an early officer in the National Security Agency. (He is believed, during that time, to have invented vodka Jell-O shots.) By the end of the decade, he had sold 370,000 records.

14 Responses to ‘Tom Lehrer profile’

S.M. Stirling mumbles...

Posted April 11

"Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" alone earned him deathless fame.

"I just make zem go up

Where zey come down

Zat's not my department

Says Wehrner von Braun

Nazi, Schmatzi, says Wehrner von Braun."

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted April 11

For more Tom Lehrer, there was a very good radio interview on Radio National's 'The Music Show' back in 2006. Unfortunately, now just the transcript is available. I listened to it live at the time. Tom was bubbly and engaged, which is not always the case as he can be a bit over talking about something he gave up 40 years ago. But this interview was fun and informative, Maybe the fact that the interviewer, Andrew Ford, is a doctor of music and a respected modern classical music composer helped pique Tom's interest, plus, as Tom plugs, his 3 CD boxed set had just come out.

Click on 'Show Transcript' on this page
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/musicshow/tom-lehrer/3344656#transcript

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Bondiboy66 is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11

My ex's mother was a big fan. And I one of my diggers in the Army knew most Tom Lehrer songs and would sing them at random times....mind you the same chap knew The Internationale also and happily sang it when playing enemy on excercise.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11

When I was growing up in Chicago, every kid in my neighborhood knew the lyrics to all of these songs:

Be Prepared
Harvard Fight Song
I Hold Your Hand in Mine
Irish Ballad
Lobachevshy
Mlf Lullaby
My Home Town
National Brotherhood Week
New Math
Poisoning Pigeons in The Park
Pollution
Send The Marines
Smut
The Elements
The Irish Ballad
The Masochism Tango
The Old Dope Peddler
The Vatican Rag
We Will All Go Together when We Go
Wernher Von Braun
Who's Next?

Only now do I realize how odd that was.

damian reckons...

Posted April 11

National Brotherhood Week in particular, for some reason, has been a central component in my concept of comparative religion for as long as I can remember. Also, Vatican Rag is still the core of my mental model for Catholicism.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 12

The Vatican Rag is musically funny, too, being a parody of Ragtime. Lehrer was not just a funny man, he was an amazing composer.

My personal favorites, at the top of my list, are The old Dope Peddler, I Hold Your Hand In Mine and the Harvard Football Fight Song.

Come on, chaps, fight for Harvard's glorious name.
Won't it be peachy if we win the game?
(oh, goody!)
Let's try not to injure them, but
Fight, fight, fight.
And do fight fiercely.
Fight, fight, fight.

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Guy asserts...

Posted April 11

When my Dad was young he had to smuggle a copy of Tom's record into his parents house as they didn't approve of this "awful man". When I was the same age we were performing Tom's songs in charity shows. They still make me smile.

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Bunyip puts forth...

Posted April 11

"... I often feel like a resident of Pompeii who has been asked for some humorous comments on lava.

F'ing golden. Ta JB.

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Ian Slinger is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11

"If you're Lehrer fan you'll thank me for this link."

Thank you for that link.

My introduction to Tom Lehrer was unwittingly via The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band in the 70's and the enthusiastic rendition of The Masochism Tango on their Australia album. They even did a rendition of it on an ancient ABC late night music program called Radio With Pictures where I seem to recall Microphone Mic Conway was beating other band members with a string of sausages. Good times.

It wasn't till years later that I joined the dots with other pieces of music and realised it was Tom Lehrer underlying them all. This article actually fills in a lot of the gaps.

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AuntyLou swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11

Thank you so much JB. I needed this reminder. I was introduced to TL by a boyfriend's sister back in the 70's. I had a lovely friend from a very Catholic family that I introduced to "The Vatican Rag". She loved it so much that she took to to her youth group...thank Dog for young, hip priests who didn't nominate her for instant excommunication! I guess I love most how often TL songs are still relevant. My husband is a little bit sick of how often I sing the bit from "Send the Marines"..."then might makes right/ until they see the light/ they have to be protected/ all their rights protected/ 'til somebody we like can be elected!"

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Rob has opinions thus...

Posted Monday

brillianrt, Must try and get a CD,

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Greybeard reckons...

Posted Tuesday

Love Tom Lehrer. One of our favourite ways to traumatise the kids in their teens was for the Beloved and I to do a duet of The Masochism Tango. With props. Eventually they all learned to love Lehrer too. Can't wait to corrupt another generation.

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Respond to 'Tom Lehrer profile'

Guest post. The definition of 'lots', by Warddog

Posted April 10 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I have been struggling lately with estimating sizes of files and apps, Is it 200GB or 200MB. It's definitely lots, but what's lots nowadays?

And then I realised that the definition of lots has changed by 9 orders of magnitude since I first started coding. 3K used to be lots, and 3MB was oh wow amazing, 3GB was unthinkable vast open space, 3TB wasn't even talked about. Nowadays I have systems approaching 3TB in RAM let alone disk space but I still have to deal with all of the other units (an even down to byte level - so 12 order of magnitude all up).

It will only continue ..

If I have 200 albums how much disk do I need? Can I fit it on a flash drive (or how soon till I can). Is that a lot of storage? NB Assuming 10 songs per album and 5MB per song it's only 10GB which is next to nothing today - I could fit it on my phone. It wouldn't have fit on the big iron Solaris box we used at the Board of Secondary School Studies back in 1998. It would have choked after only 40 albums. But it still marked all the year 12 QCS exams, ranked and generated OP results and generally ran the rest of the business.

16 Responses to ‘Guest post. The definition of 'lots', by Warddog’

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted April 10

mY Guess will not be how much but "where is it"?

3TB Ram? OMG.

Search Functions etc.

Trashman asserts...

Posted April 11

3TB of RAM? What are you doing JB? Modelling nukes for Havoc?

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Rob asserts...

Posted April 10

My new $170 smartphone (and my old one for that matter) has more memory, faster cpu and storage than a $1000 PC my sister bought me in 2002 (1gig amd chip, 512 meg ram, 20 gig hard drive) so I always had to be a bit shifty with storing music or photography projects on it.

Now my new PC, Tablet and phone are just chokka block with music, files, movies and general crap. I'm so used to it I never back up anything. which was a mistake when my spare hard drive died with 10 years of home photos and movies on it. ($500 minimum to repair)

so lots is probably too much to worry about but not enough to be careful....

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S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted April 10

I suspect the whole enterprise will die of complexity unless totally automated.

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Anthony puts forth...

Posted April 10

I'm ancient enough to remember installing a one gigabyte drive network drive (three actually in a ID array) It was the size and weight of a housebrick.

But even earlier than that I have a pair of discs from an ancient Burroughs B4700 mainframe. Each is solid brass with a magnetic coating, has a diamater of nearly three feet. The cabinet hlf four disks nd together with the associated motors lctroics etc it weighed 575 pounds. All four discs held around five megabytes.. They were a fixed head (non-removable) disk with one head per track and a wondrous access time of 20ms.

Now that was a real disc drive. :)

Dick asserts...

Posted April 10

When I first started work,our billing system was a 20Mb Micromation computer with 640k RAM. Booted it up with an 8" floppy. Had a line printer that was faster than you would believe but, and I used that printer right up until 1999 when we retired our Novell network.

WarDog puts forth...

Posted April 10

Well when I first started work, we had to collect our own stone tablets each morning before resetting that new fangled abacus thing.

Sorry, couldn't resist :-)

tygertim mutters...

Posted April 11

When I went to. College, I took the then exotic computer class. The machine was an IBM 360. You had to have a working knowledge of two languages, Fortran and Cobol. You had to write the ENTIRE program each time you operated the machine. You entered the program useing paper (a manila type of cardboard) punch cards. Debugging was a BITCH ( and a very frequent insurance). The IBM 360 filled an entire room. Thank heavens for progress.

Sudragon ducks in to say...

Posted April 11

Stone tablets? Stone tablets?

We had mud. and a stick. I remeber when IT support deployed pointy sticks and the outrage that occoured from those who didn't want to upgrade.

Tell that to the kids today and they won't believe you.

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted April 10

All of Usenet (without the binaries) up to 2002 totalled less than 200 GB of data.

Google indexes approximately 130 Exabytes of visible internet data.

damian would have you know...

Posted Sunday

A human genome fits in around 0.9GB, zipped. But we don't know how much computational resource is required to model consciousness. It seems that the answer is "lots".

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dweeze mumbles...

Posted April 11

dweeze's law of storage: "however much you have got, you will always fill it up and need more" or: n+1, where n is what you have and n+1 is what you need.

'puters & sheds, especially... I now have 3 sheds... and they are all full. Time to build another one.

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ShaneAlpha asserts...

Posted April 11

Just wait until recording video in 4k resolution becomes the norm, it's going to suck up drive space at a rate to bring giant smiles to the CEOs of the hard drive companies.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted April 11

Yes long gone are the days of using an apple II and loading 5inch floppies with progs on them......

Or ye olde Spectrum using music cassettes for data storage........

Trashman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 12

I still have ye old Spectrum +3 - and it works! 30 years old!

Have an emulator on my PC, but I still fire it up occasionally to hear the sqeal fo the tape loading...

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tqft asserts...

Posted April 12

Early job I had involved using an actual IBM PC. Think green organization. Besides harddisk had a tape drive for backups. Had to turn the machine on and leave it for a while in winter to warm up as the timing was off if you didn't.

8086 for ever. Well it seems that way.

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Respond to 'Guest post. The definition of 'lots', by Warddog'