Tag Archives: Radio New Zealand

Delta #EpicPowerFail 6 – Thick as a Brick

gary-larson-the-far-side-1-3-tweaked-by-whatifdunedin-pinimg-com

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Thu, 3 Nov 2016 at 10:59 p.m.

Thick as a brick
Shallow as a bird bath
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
A few sandwiches short of a picnic
Bought his doctorate online.

Come in Dr Parton….

Your correspondent was both entertained and aghast this morning when enjoying Choysa and a scone, he read Dr Parton, Aurora chair, dutifully parroting Grady Cameron’s lines in the ODT …. “aged network”, “our approach to its management is conservative”. Dr (Polly) Parton also said “it was “not appropriate” for him to respond to comments made by another chairman”. Your correspondent agrees it is not “appropriate”. It is essential to his credibility to do so, as Polly Parton is right – it is amazing that the chairman of a lines company, far away, has felt the need to make scathing comments about the lackadaisical approach to essential infrastructure he has found in the South, and called Aurora’s response “a lame excuse”. When did you last hear the CEO of a council make scathing comments about another ? —or one mayor disparage another in biting terms. It just isn’t done…. so now the attention of the entire lines industry, and the Commerce Commission is riveted upon Aurora as it has just been confirmed by the chair of Marlborough Lines, with no axe to grind, that Aurora’s mess and subsequent evasions are inexcusable.

Some other gems of the re-cycled obvious from Polly in the ODT were “Age … is one reason why we have marked so many poles for replacement” – how fascinating that the board and Mr Cameron only discovered these 40- to 60-year-old poles were aged and needed replacement around the time Mr Healey left three weeks ago.

Readers, while Aurora and Delta have an arrogant disregard for the interest of the consumers and ratepayers, they are very fearful of the Commerce Commission. And the Commerce Commission is under no illusions about the incompetence of Aurora. Not only did Aurora get warned for network failures this year, and are now ranked in the bottom 3 of the 29 lines companies for reliability, they were also warned about their lack of investment and incompetence in 2014 by the Commission.

On 26 June 2014 the Commission wrote to Aurora issuing them with a warning for non-compliance and raising concerns. They said:

“21. There are a number of concerns that we would particularly like to draw to Aurora’s attention … These concerns are:

21.1 Aurora’s vegetation control has been insufficient to prevent significant tree encroachment on lines, which has likely contributed to the frequency and duration of outages….”
Mr Cameron took great delight in waxing lyrical about the dedicated vegetation management unit Delta set up in 2015-16, and how Delta charged Aurora $4M for clearing 34km of lines. We now know it wasn’t anything to do with Mr Cameron, it was forced upon them by the Commerce Commission because they had neglected it for decades. In true Delta form, the cost of $130,000 per km is probably overstated by a factor of 5-10 dependent on difficulty.

“21.2 Aurora has had an increase in defective equipment incidents”.
Oh yes. Aurora’s own Asset Management Plan (AMP) spells out the failures, and impending ones, as noted in #EpicPowerFail 5. In relation to poles, Aurora reduced the number of poles it was going to replace in 2017-18, in its 2016-2026 plan, due to the mendacity of Matt Ballard, GM Capability & Risk. Reacting to public pressure and casting aside the long term plan due to a “perception problem”, without a funding plan in place is just giving the Commerce Commission all the evidence they need that the board isn’t in control and doesn’t know what it’s doing.

“21.3 There seems to be shortcomings in Aurora’s knowledge of its asset condition”.
….(Translated from bureaucratic-ese, this is : YOU ARE USELESS AND INCOMPETENT, and everything we have heard from Aurora recently confirms that this fault has become exponentially worse.

“21.4 Aurora’s reliance on its 6.6kV network as a back up to its aging 33kV cables in Dunedin could lead to major power outages.”

Ominously for the Directors, the Commission was clear about the consequences of further non-compliance, warning Aurora :

“Notwithstanding its 2013 and 2014 compliance, if Aurora fails to comply with the quality standards again, its 2012 non-compliance will be a relevant factor that may lead us towards a stronger enforcement response. Particularly relevant would be the extent to which concerns raised following Aurora’s 2012 non-compliance contributed to the second non-compliance.”

Here we are, four years later, and 3 of the 4 concerns are front and centre of the latest crisis. A lot of words have been written, meetings held, and plans begun, but the network has continued to decline. Unless the Commerce Commission has another spineless apologist like Rebstock of the Audit Office investigating, then the springs in the boardroom ejector seats are tightening.

Readers, we are all frustrated that Mr Cameron, Mr Ballard, and the directors have not a thread of integrity left among them, preferring eventual forcible removal (health problems anyone ?) to decency. But readers, how delicious will it be when they are kicked out, as that will almost certainly be the end of all of their directorial ambitions. Getting kicked out by the Government is the sort of thing that even the Institute of Directors would frown upon, despite overlooking a lot of other venality. As noted at What if?, the Government cannot afford to have tourists killed or suffering from power outages in their #1 tourist region in Central Otago, so it will not be open for Mr McLauchlan to go crawling to Minister Woodhouse, who doesn’t carry a lot of weight now in any case. McLauchlan’s other great fixer, fellow South Canterbury Finance trougher, Denham Shale, is now dead. Mr McLauchlan feeling the chilled air of exposure perhaps ? Perversely, we can be glad that Messrs Parton, Kempton, Thompson, McLauchlan and Frow are all….“thick as a brick”.

Final thought for the evening. If you were Grady Cameron and the board, and wanted to quickly replace 10,000 poles to “restore public confidence” then does buying steel poles from China that are made from less ductile steel (ie more brittle) sound like a good plan ? (Chinese steel is typically 20-25% ductile, whereas NZ seismic requirements generally require 32-34% ductility. It is near impossible to get Chinese steel at this ductility. A recent example is the problems with steel products imported from China by Steel & Tube). Yes readers, you heard it here first, not only did Mr Cameron fail to tell you where the $30M was coming from (they don’t know yet), he also neglected to mention they are buying steel poles from China. And remember, readers, not only did Mr Cameron describe this as “a good plan” on National Radio, but that he “was excited by it”. Truly…… “thick as a brick”.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
2.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset Management Plans does it take to get a Real One ?
1.11.16 Delta/Aurora/DCHL corporate whitewash #dangerousnetwork
31.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 4 : Delta/Aurora, Drugs and Dividends
29.10.16 Mr Crombie, not quite the spent force
28.10.16 Heads of Delta/ Aurora/ DCHL/ DCC out to lunch
27.10.16 Bev Butler says ‘Come in, Grady’ #LGOIMA #Delta
27.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 3 : Rotten Poles and Greedy Algorithms
25.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 2 : Plaudits to Saunders & Elder : Delta…
22.10.16 DCC struggles with Governance…. Delta/Aurora/DCHL…
21.10.16 Dunedin City Council must hang the companies out to dry
20.10.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail : Delta fulfils Adam Smith’s 1776 Prophecy
19.10.16 Grady Cameron and Graham Crombie : Eyes tightly shut #FAIL
13.10.16 COMPLETE Dis-satisfaction with DCC, DCHL, DVML, DVL, Delta….
9.6.16 Aurora Energy Ltd warned by regulator

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *epic fraud* or *dchl* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: pinimg.com – gary larson the far side, tweaked

11 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Delta #EpicPowerFail 5 : Grady Cameron on RNZ : How many Asset Management Plans does it take to get a Real One ?

rnz-logo-1Tue, 1 Nov 2016 7:50 a.m.
Morning Report with Guy Espiner Link
Hefty pricetag to replace Dunedin’s rotting power poles
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (duration 3′40″)
Dunedin and Central Otago power company Aurora Energy is to replace 3-thousand rotting power poles at a cost of 30-million dollars.

****

guyon-espiner-radionz-co-nz-grady-cameron-odt-co-nz-merge-1

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 1 Nov 2016 at 11:35 p.m.

Readers, your correspondent has nothing new to offer tonight —but just many examples of what we already knew : Delta/Aurora chief excutive Grady Cameron treats the facts with almost radioactive distaste, and is completely willing to say and do anything to save his own skin. Now, we have a “polemic” of evidence.
Rob Hamlin is correct – there is a massive coverup underway. Let us consider Mr Cameron’s cancerous comments on RNZ with Guyon Espiner today :

The new Aurora plan with an extra $26M was ‘nothing to do with Richard Healey’ ….The board already had a plan in place because “back in September I went to the board and advised them that I wasn’t happy with the progress of our current plan in terms of how fast we were getting through the replacement programme” …. and “the plan that was announced yesterday was the revised plan”.

Now there are several obvious problems here, and the first is Mr Cameron’s mealy-mouthed dissembling that “back in September” he went to the board. September was only 5 weeks ago, and, just 4-5 weeks or so before that, in April 2016, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Mr Cameron released Aurora’s long term Asset Management Plan (AMP), all 185 pages of it for the period 2016-2026. The specific purpose of this doorstop is to schedule “asset replacement”, and the plan of course specifically provides for pole replacement. Mr Cameron is asking us to believe that the very next week after the 10-year AMP was complete, he woke up and thought ‘Good grief ! We have completely messed up the asset management plan we have just had the board sign off, and which we have just spent months on ! We must re-do it immediately and add $20-30M to pole replacement ! That is Job #1 Today…. (after mid morning madeira cake and my daily PR strategy meeting). Readers, there are many at Delta who will confirm that Mr Cameron’s GM of Capability & Risk Matt Ballard, was instructing staff the exact opposite…. “that under no circumstances is the current $2.96M budget for pole replacement to be exceeded, for ANY reason, and GET USED TO IT”.

aurora-asset-management-plan-april-2016-march-2026-front-coverIn the fantastic event that there is any shred of truth to this rubbish from Mr Cameron, he needs to be sacked for incompetence, because he has just shown he is incapable of producing an asset management plan that is credible or even somewhat reliable. It is so bad that Mr Cameron could be accused of numeric dyslexia. How can a board comprised of accountants, to whom forecasts and numbers are religion, put up with this ? Is it because Mr Cameron has promised them Mutually Assured Destruction if he was removed? There is plenty of evidence and emails to show that far from wanting to resolve this, Mr Cameron and his enablers wanted to play the man and sweep this under the rug, an approach that continues to the present day.   

Your correspondent has received information that provides the translation code for Grady Cameron’s weasel worded dissembling “back in September I went to the board … not happy with the progress”. It is this : Mr Cameron advised the board ‘We employed incompetent staff who claimed they could “reinforce” poles for around $1200 each, to give a maximum 10-year extra life, but this $1,200 was a figure pulled from their own fevered imaginations and staff and contractors have told us to take a hike, it will cost around $3,000, which compares VERY unfavourably with the cost of a straightforward new pole with a 50-year life at around $5,000. Being the desperate incompetents we are, we had latched onto this half-baked and untested theory like a barnacle on a boat hull and assumed we could reinforce more than twice as many poles as we needed to replace over 10 years. (7290 reinforcements vs actually replacing just 3381 poles).’ (Readers, see Page 78 of the Aurora AMP). ‘If we do a half-baked reinforcement approach we have another budget problem of $13M, but if we put in all new poles we will have a blowout of around $28M (over and above the apples vs oranges $26M issue I deceived the board about earlier).’

Grady Cameron confidently stated to the nation that the plan unveiled yesterday “was the revised plan” (the board had approved)…. For about three seconds, and then when queried by Guyon Espiner incredulously “so nothing at all to do with Richard Healey ?”, Mr Cameron went into high range reverse and forward mode – at the same time. He responded “NO…. the plan that we’ve we put forward is a more aggressive plan now….” due to “a significant amount of public scrutiny”. Memo to Mr Cameron : The public scrutiny only started because Richard Healey broke ranks and blew the whistle, to the cost of his career.

Your correspondent thinks that Grady Cameron is also fevered and mainlining on dividends. If Mr Cameron was telling the truth, that he had concerns, and a plan that very coincidentally was the same as Richard Healey’s then why did he cancel the meeting with Richard Healey who wanted to discuss his concerns about the state of the network ? He should have been saluting a fellow soldier, not burying him…. Instead of refusing to meet with him, why did Mr Cameron discuss taking legal action against Richard Healey when Mr Healey was still an employee of Delta ? (Yes we know about this Mr Cameron, you have very few allies left within Delta —perhaps you should be looking next to you and channelling Shakespeare ….et tu, Matt Ballard?). Instead of cancelling the meeting, why did he not send an email to say, ‘Dear Richard, I have some fantastic news, all or most of your concerns are solved, we are going to be announcing a huge increase in pole spending of tens of millions of dollars immediately (just as soon as I can arrange the requisite saturation PR coverage that portrays me in the best possible light and take the focus off the Noble debacle). I would be delighted to meet with you for 3.5 minutes at 10.36am after mid-morning espresso and madeira cake to outline this to you. Your humble CEO, Grady.’  

homesafe-logo-thinkdelta-co-nz[thinkdelta.co.nz] 

It is often the little things that give the game away…. And try as they might, the PR minders can never control the interview process. Grady Cameron spent several minutes explaining to the country how this was just a misunderstanding and he had – before Richard Healey (!), realised what was wrong, and he and the board had a plan to fix the very things that Mr Healey was complaining about. Guyon Espiner asked near the end, “Do you thank Richard Healey for putting pressure on you for this ?” ie for helping Grady Cameron receive great exposure in the media to explain his hitherto secret new plan to the nation, very similar to Mr Healey’s, that all was well, the network was aged but safe, lots of poles were being replaced. Instead of “Come back Richard, my fellow safety conscious soldier in arms, all is forgiven,” we and the country heard his CEO mask slip and got the real, petulant Grady Cameron who snarled “No I don’t thank Richard Healey” —proving that this was all just a charade, and Mr Cameron and the board were ropeable that they had been exposed as ineffectual and incompetent guardians of the region’s electricity network.     

Continuing down the charade theme, consider this final thought for the evening, readers – Cameron, Crombie, and the board of accountants announced this plan WITHOUT ONE CLUE AS TO HOW IT IS TO BE FUNDED. This is sheer arrogance and disdain for power consumers and ratepayers – what other public expenditure of this level has ever been announced with no discussion about who or how it will be funded. The board of Delta and Aurora have proven yet again, how incompetent and derelict in their public duty they have become.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: radionz.co.nz – Guyon Espiner | odt.co.nz – Grady Cameron

27 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Hot air, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Travesty, What stadium

Mayor Cull and the GREAT Asbestos Defeat ….trucks in toxic waste

Dave doesn’t know whether to swallow his kornies or not.

Dave breakfast gruel - Warcraft-All-Nighter-Gamer [cartoonaday.com] tweaked (1)

His hair is turning grey, he’s feeling tired and he looks old.

Meanwhile, someone files divorce papers.
[“I thought we were Green! I can’t understand you anymore! Asbestos for cash?! These are your scarves, your suits, I’m throwing out the window – along with this stupid bike helmet, used camel shackles and all the skanky lycra. Go away!”]

Secretly, young woman seen rubbing hands with glee at so much dosh.

[Stifle obvious questions about what else goes into Green Island landfill. This is Tartan Mafia town.]

DCC receives $millions for landfill dumping of hazardous waste, WHO CARES ABOUT GREEN except for the imprint of Serious Money to bolster Council slush funds, rugby? stadium ? cricket ? – anyone ?

NOO! For Sue’s next trips to Oxford, staff’s Grand Central City Plan, and some left-over to pay planning fees and charges for the VB’s aquarium, hotel and connector bridge to the waterfront.

[Share spoils, maties! Leave suspicious Ratepayers out of it.]

There are no serious equitable plans to improve South Dunedin or Mosgiel drainage systems, or manage coastal erosion.

The dilemmas of High Office and short men.

Cheaper to dump hazardous waste at Dunedin than at Canterbury.
DCC stoopid again, takes a cheap ride instead of bumping up contract price.

Deals worth millions of dollars —council staff cite commercial sensitivity.

### ODT Online Tue, 24 Nov 2015
Asbestos fill headed for Dunedin
By Chris Morris
Up to 12,000 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated fill from Canterbury is destined to be dumped in Dunedin, but that might just be the tip of a toxic – but lucrative – iceberg. The Otago Daily Times understands the Dunedin City Council has more than one contract to accept contaminated material from outside the city at the Green Island landfill.
Read more

The latest inanity. [Comic Sans]
Cull on SDunedin RNZ interview 20.11.15 (2)Source: RNZ News: South Dunedin considers sea level threat.
20 November 2015 at 8:42 a.m. (AUDIO LINK)

[Listen and Learn] At another thread:

JimmyJones
June 17, 2015 at 9:49 am

Hype O’Thermia: YouTube and Wikipedia are good places to find out more about ICLEI. ICLEI teaches the DCC how to inflict the Sustainable Development world view on the citizens by using devious, undemocratic, secret and manipulative methods. ICLEI has helped the DCC to produce “marketing and communication” strategies to break down barriers to their deeply stupid ideas being accepted by the public. The goal is “behaviour change”. East Germany had the Stasi (Staatssicherheit), now we have ICLEI, Dave Cull and Sue Bidrose.

The influence of ICLEI explains a few things – like the DCC’s tendency towards increasingly secret (staff only) decision-making (eg the development and implementation of the Environment Strategy) and the generally severely deficient level of public consultation due to: skimpy information, poor publicity, expanding decisions beyond the scope of the consultation and treating it as just a ceremonial procedure (eg Dave’s Bicycle Network and its implementation). The pursuit of ICLEI’s goals is a direct cause of the underfunding of the city’s deficient (and worsening) infrastructure.

As far as I can tell most DCC councillors don’t know that the DCC has become a member of ICLEI and are unaware of the financial cost and its big influence in forming DCC policy. This demonstrates a problem with the attitude of the staff that councillors need to fix. The collusion between Dave Cull and Sue Bidrose is, however, a barrier to this that needs to be overcome. Councillors need to stop sleepwalking and start to become aware of the decisions that are being made without their involvement.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: cartoonaday.com – Dave breakfast gruel [Warcraft-All-Nighter-Gamer tweaked by whatifdunedin]

15 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Cycle network, DCC, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, NZTA, OAG, OCA, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Tourism, Town planning, Transportation, University of Otago, Urban design

Harold Marshall, acoustic architect, engineer and physicist

Philharmonie de Paris 10 [amazonaws.com]Philharmonie de Paris 10a [archi5.fr]Philharmonie de Paris

### radionz.co.nz Sunday 8 February 2015
RNZ National – Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
10:40 Sir Harold Marshall – Acoustical Science (Link)
Sir Harold Marshall is an award-winning and ground breaking acoustic architect who loves Bach. Knighted for services to acoustical science, the stunning new ultra-modern concert hall the Philharmonie de Paris [designed by Jean Nouvel] is the latest in a long line of prestigious projects he’s been involved with. Sir Harold explains why it is in fact the “great grandchild” of Christchurch’s Town Hall.
Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3 ( 22′ 22″ )

Harold Marshall 1 [marshallday.com]Professor Harold Marshall, with an independent chair in Acoustics, taught the principles of acoustic design to many of us at the University of Auckland School of Architecture. The Acoustics Centre NZ is now hosted by the School of Architecture within the University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries.

Currently, Marshall Day has 16 international offices.

█ Marshall Day – Acoustic consultants & noise control engineers http://marshallday.com/regionpage/marshall-day-acoustics-new-zealand

Philharmonie de Paris Published on Jan 20, 2015

Philharmonie de Paris – Opening – January 2015
[English subtitles]
http://www.philharmoniedeparis.fr/en

### the guardian.com Thursday 15 January 2015 12.51 GMT
La Philharmonie de Paris: is this a new musical and social future for Paris?
By Tom Service
The controversial concert hall might not have been quite finished and its architect might have elected to stay away from the opening concert, but it still sounded amazing. The first sound heard in the new Philharmonie de Paris at its opening night gala on 14 January was applause: a sustained and spontaneous ovation for François Hollande and his retinue as they took their seats in the balcony of Jean Nouvel’s surreally imaginative interior, an asymmetric assemblage of gigantic floating panels, clouds and boomerangs, of crazily diverse surfaces, colours, and acoustically adjustable geometries and movable seating and stage configurations, all nested within an outer shell whose chaotic lines and curves are covered in 340,000 geometrically tessellating metallic and concrete birds. Mind you, where I was sitting, there was also exposed MDF, chipboard, half-painted flooring, and chair numbers written on Post-it notes. Nouvel – the architect who didn’t attend the opening of his own €390m project – was right: the Philharmonie simply wasn’t fully ready by the time this inaugural audience took their seats.
Read more

See also: ‘François Hollande opens Philharmonie concert hall – but without architect’ (The Guardian 15.1.15)

Philharmonie de Paris 10 [aasarchitecture.com]Philharmonie de Paris 3 [artscape.fr]Philharmonie de Paris 2 [philharmoniedeparis.com]Philharmonie de Paris 6 [philharmoniedeparis.fr]Philharmonie de Paris 1 [philharmoniedeparis.fr]Philharmonie de Paris 9 [f1g.fr]Philharmonic de Paris 13 [theatlantic.com]Philharmonie de Paris 7 [panoramio.com]

Bouygues Construction Published on Dec 18, 2014

Paris Philharmonic Hall by Bouygues Construction
[English subtitles]
Designed by Jean Nouvel, this new venue features a modular 2,400-seat auditorium, numerous rehearsal rooms and secondary performance spaces and a teaching centre. It will host concerts by leading symphony orchestras along with a wide range of cultural events. With electricity consumption below 50 kWh/m2/year, the hall meets the highest standards both for its acoustics and for the environment. http://blog.bouygues-construction.com/en-direct-des-chantiers/loiseau-fait-nid-philharmonie-paris/

Philharmonie de Paris 8 [pgoh.com]Philharmonie de Paris 12 [wallpaper.com]

Philharmonie de Paris Published on Oct 30, 2014

Le chantier de la Philharmonie de Paris : les « oiseaux »
Reportage sur le chantier de la Philharmonie. Pour tout savoir sur la fabrication et l’installation des oiseaux en fonte d’aluminium qui constituent la couverture du bâtiment et le pavage du parvis.
http://www.philharmoniedeparis.fr

parisBbg Published on Jan 16, 2015

Philharmonie de Paris – Inauguration – Concert de gala et standing ovation pour François Hollande
Premier concert donné à la Philharmonie de Paris, en présence du Président de la République – 14 Janvier 2015
Architecte Jean Nouvel

00:00 Extérieur
00:39 Intérieur
07:38 François Hollande avec Manuel Valls (premier ministre), Anne Hidalgo (maire de Paris) et d’autres personnalités
08:04 Le Requiem de Fauré, extrait de «In paradisum»
10:08 Extérieur

Bande-son: début de Daphnis et Chloé de Ravel (Suite n°2) interprétée lors du concert d’inauguration.
Orchestre et Chœur de Paris
Dir : Paavo Järvi

Philharmonie de Paris 11 [metalocuses]

█ More on Philharmonie de Paris at Google Images

█ Architect: Jean Nouvel http://www.jeannouvel.com/

See Jean Nouvel’s editorial in “Le Monde”: the reasons why I will not attend the opening of the Philharmonie de Paris (14.1.15) via his website.
[Smartphone access to that desktop link may be denied, instead go to:
http://www.jeannouvel.com/ (English) > News > Select item for 14/1/2015]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: Philharmonie de Paris – (from top) amazonaws.com; archi5.fr | aasarchitecture.com; artscape.fr; philharmoniedeparis.com; philharmoniedeparis.fr; philharmoniedeparis.fr; f1g.fr; theatlantic.com; panoramio.com | pgoh.com; wallpaper.com | metalocuses.com

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, Design, Events, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design

RNZ Sunday Morning —The Decline of Reason #mediapoliticsculture

Updated post Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 at 3:16 p.m.

Radio New Zealand National – Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
11:40 Helen Razer – The Decline of Reason

Cover, A short history of StupidHelen Razer and Bernard Keane were going mad over the deteriorating quality of public debate and the dwindling of common sense in media, politics and culture.
So they wrote a book about it: A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream.
Helen joins Wallace to talk about why so much has gotten so dumb.

Audio | Download: OggMP3 (13′ 47″) Link

BOOK REVIEWS

A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream
By Bernard Keane & Helen Razer
Published by Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781760110543

I
Reviewer: Gordon Findlay
Posted on December 15, 2014

It would be great to make this compulsory reading for every journalist, blogger and aspiring politician, but I can’t imagine them persevering with it. It would ruin their life’s work.

I think that the deterioration of public debate, and the absence of common sense and moderation in both media and politics, are pretty much givens now. But why? And where did this come from? These are the questions that this apparently light-hearted, yet fundamentally serious, book seeks to answer.
For these authors, stupid comes in many forms, and damages us in many ways. And yes, ‘stupid’ is a noun for these 329 pages. Many different types of stupid are identified, and an attempt is made to find their origins. Far too many ‘species’ of stupidly are identified to list them all here. But the rise of individualism over social responsibility, vaccination denialism, excessive partisanship in politics, the conflict between sentimentalism and reason, postmodernism, fallacious opinion polling and reality TV might be a representative sample. For me the most important forms of stupidity identified were three: the inability to understand numbers, the preference for emotion over facts, and the ignorance of historical contexts.
A real attempt is made to pin down the development of stupidity in its many forms. This takes us into an elementary, and often light-hearted, discussion of the development of some core ideas in western thought. The authors also make a determined effort to be seen to be in touch with popular culture, invoking as many memes from popular culture as can be squeezed in, from Dallas to the Bond movies. The authors are Australian commentators, and quite a lot of the stupidity is taken from Australian sources.
[…] A broad-gauge rant, which is based on gently concealed erudition. But a rant nonetheless. And that becomes the book’s weakness. The writing is always turned up to eleven. In places the F-bomb becomes a carpet bomb. This continuous bombast makes reading more than a little tiring. But it’s a great source of one-liners.
Cont./ Booksellers NZ blog

II
Reviewer: Frank O’Shea
Posted on December 12, 2014

The problem with a book like this is that it encourages the reader to become more alert to Stupid.

This book sets out to show how much of public discourse is guided, not by reason, but by Stupidity. It is the work of two writers for the online magazine Crikey, and even those not sympathetic towards that journal’s independent take on the news, will find much in the book to stimulate and delight.
[…] There are phrases that pull you up with glee: “… the cheap meth of personal development seminars”, “the Oprahfication of wisdom”, “the well of homeopathic opinion”, “a prostatariat of old white male journalists”, “holistic healing … rip-off bollocks with a whale-call soundtrack”. And you feel like cheering aloud when you read psychiatry described as an “iffy branch of medicine … a pseudo-science … an impotent practice”.
The level of Stupidity in public debate in Australia is probably no higher than in other Western countries. It is unlikely that politicians, for whom the luminous vest photo op is more important than any discussion of complex issues, will be changed by what they read here. But then again, their success is based on the well-founded belief that the rest of us are Stupid.
Cont./ Sydney Morning Herald

III
Reviewer: Martin Hirst
Posted [2014], undated

The writers have very different tones and registers in their prose; but the bigger issue is that the book doesn’t seem to really know whom its enemy is.

I am a big fan of both Crikey political editor Bernard Keane and freelance writer Helen Razer. They are intellectually sharp, write with good humour and come across as eminently rational in their thinking. […] Keane and Razer are friends and obviously share a dislike for stupidity in all its forms (and they are many); but they are not cut from the same cloth. Keane comes across as a socially-concerned individualist, verging on the libertarian, while Razer is more than willing to own up to her own proto-Marxist and critical feminist intellectual development. Razer is also a bit of a potty mouth, so if you are offended by the occasional use of c—t, f—k and s—t in your reading material, perhaps you should only read the chapters by the more (ahem) refined Mr Keane.
But I’m not fazed by Ms Razer’s crudities because I love her razor wit and sharp insights. Her chapter on reason and unreason is one of the best in the book and one paragraph in particular sums up her (and my) take on the psychological pressures of modern working life: “When we fail at life as it is so broadly and meticulously prescribed, we call it mental illness. We have failed life. We are not permitted to think it is the conventions of life that have failed us.” (p. 164)
[…] both authors, but particularly Bernard Keane, have a blind spot to the ultimate form of Stupid: the problem of the system itself. Razer calls it “liberal democracy” and Keane calls it “liberal capitalism” and they ultimately concede it is all we’ve got. However, this is an ahistorical approach that denies the evidence of the past that it is the economic system that breeds inequality and that ultimately needs a certain level of ideological Stupid among the general population in order to prevent mass (and organised) public opposition that would be capable of overthrowing it. Previously Stupid systems of political economy such as slavery and feudal aristocracy have been defeated and replaced, so why not stupid Capitalism? If Stupid is in the way, then it is serving some purpose of the ruling class. After all, as Marx once wrote in his critique of Hegel: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Insert “Stupid” into that sentence instead of “Religion” and read it again—it makes perfect sense!
Cont./ Academia.edu

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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RNZ: Cost of economic crime

My conclusion (which should sound vaguely familiar) – our priorities as a country are completely screwed. If we put as much energy into cracking down on economic crime as we did chasing welfare cheats – we could afford a proper welfare system…. –Anthony Robins, The Standard 21.10.14

### radionz.co.nz Updated at 1:17 pm on 19 October 2014
Sunday Morning – sunday@radionz.co.nz
Economic crime costs up to $9.4bn
By Jeremy Rose
Economic crime is costing New Zealand up to $9.4 billion a year according to a draft Serious Fraud Office (SFO) report obtained by Radio New Zealand.

Listen to a full discussion of the document on Sunday Morning (48:55) {Citifleet gets a sound bite}

At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying that a number of Government ministries had been working for two years on a report quantifying the cost of economic crime and it would be presented to Cabinet in the near future.

But the report did not make it to Cabinet and was not released.

Read the SFO draft report obtained by Radio New Zealand

Radio New Zealand obtained a draft copy of the SFO’s report under the Official Information Act. The methodologies that would have made it possible to calculate the total costs were redacted.
However, Radio New Zealand has also obtained a copy of the report with the estimated costs of the various types of economic crime included – which put the total cost of economic crime at between $6.1 and $9.4 billion.
The report noted that was more than twice the combined annual budgets of police, the Department of Corrections, and the courts; more than the total net profit of New Zealand’s top 200 companies and top 30 financial institutions; or the equivalent of $2000 for every adult living in New Zealand.
Read more

SFO Economic Crime [RNZ graphic][Graphic: Radio New Zealand – some estimates in the report]

****

ODT 20.10.14 (page 8)

ODT 20.10.14 Letter to the editor Eaton p8

● ODT 16.10.14 Feeley speaks up for SFO
● ODT 18.10.14 SCF witness omission puzzles

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Broadcast Notice: RA Lawson, architect

RNZ National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday
22 September 2013

9.40 Norman Ledgerwood – Dunedin’s Victorian Architect
Norman Ledgerwood has just published a book about RA Lawson, the architect behind some of the country’s most important historical buildings. Scottish-born Lawson designed the First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle and the Dunedin Municipal Building. In his 28 years working in Dunedin from 1862 onwards, Lawson designed over 250 buildings, and his work also survives in many towns in Otago and Southland.
R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin, by Norman Ledgerwood, with photography by Graham Warman, is published by the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand.
http://www.cemeteries.org.nz/

● Norman Ledgerwood ( 17′ 56″ )
Writer who chronicles the career of architect Robert Lawson, the man responsible for much of the historic skyline of Dunedin.
Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3

Publication: 25 September 2013.
From the publicity material . . .

RA Lawson Victorian Architect of Dunedin [HCCTNZ]Following the discovery of gold in Otago, Dunedin quickly grew to become the largest and richest city in New Zealand. Among the architects who influenced the young city was the Scottish architect, Robert Arthur Lawson.

Lawson became more than a leading architect of the day, he was deeply involved in the management and affairs of his beloved Presbyterian Church. Over a short period Lawson played a major role in the growth of Dunedin — taking it from a small township to a city of remarkable and enduring Victorian architecture.

Lawson’s most significant works — First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Building — take their place amongst the country’s most important historical buildings and grace Dunedin to this day, giving the city its distinctive
character, unique among New Zealand’s towns and cities.

In R.A.Lawson Norman Ledgerwood celebrates the life and career of Lawson, and Graham Warman’s photographs offer an elegant tour of the living legacy of Lawson’s most prominent buildings.

This handsome volume is printed on fine art paper and is richly illustrated throughout with historical and contemporary photographs, as well as many of Lawson’s architectural drawings.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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