Stream of Consciousness Week 10th May 2021

Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…

  • While periodontally compromised and loose, not in agreement that a natural tooth which is otherwise “vital” (alive and receiving blood flow and has no signs of decay) needs to be extracted. The area has received periodontal treatment and the gums are healing up. Suggested to them they splint the tooth at the first instance, give the bone area an opportunity to heal and then we can reassess in a couple of years whether or not we need to extract and replace it with an artificial implant. Will be seeking a second opinion.
  • However, I wish to iterate the above does not in anyway reflect on the other work that the dentists have carried out which I felt was done professionally and to a high standard.

Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 10th May 2021

Sub-reddit /r/newzealand headed for far-left extremism?

In the same way that far right extremism (actually any sort of extremism) is undesired and troublesome, the “/r/newzealand” subreddit on Reddit I would say is fast approaching an example of far-left extremism cultivating very divisive pile-on attitudes by way of epic group think and will admit, I’ve started to be become troubled by some of the views expressed in that forum recently.

It’s been a while since I last visited, but I think I will continue staying away (just as I stay away from far right extremist sites). New Zealand society I feel can ill afford to tolerate groups that seek to cultivate an “us versus them” and “all or nothing” mentality. The Echo chamber effect I feel is accelerating.

An example of this (out of several) is the unrestrained carte blanche hatred for anyone who so much as declares as being an owner of even a single investment property. Further more, I’ve noticed many members are taking the most extreme example of poor landlord conduct and using that to tar all investors with the same brush. I can assure you landlords most certainly are not all like this, far from it and would urge people not to let the conduct of a minority colour us all.

I will caution that the /r/newzealand subreddit I feel is getting less and less representative of the views held by mainstream New Zealanders in general and would further plead that people please engage their brains before being swept up by the mob mentality and jumping on the bandwagon.

Some balance, please, people. Surely we are not savages and should not aspire to become such. We’re better than this.

 

Sub-reddit /r/newzealand headed for far-left extremism?

Stream of Consciousness Week 8th February 2021

Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…

  • The Old adage of “when taxi drivers start talking about their gains in property and shares, it’s time to sell” has fallen on it’s sword. I still recall a Taxi driver who was taking me to the airport talking about her investment gains back in 2015. It’s now 2021 and the markets are still booming. I’m still of the opinion in broad general terms that economics as a discipline has very little relevance or credibility.
  • I am still going hiking, but predominantly only to maintain fitness. Much of the scenery is very similar between certain hikes and consequently I am only posting the occasional gallery now when there is something substantially new to show. I’m also no longer particularly keen just to hike trails for the sake of ticking them off (That Buzz is gone).
  • While I acknowledge the Government has done well with managing and mitigating COVID-19, I am still perplexed at why the government is refusing to do anything about housing affordability and housing in general. I’m also perplexed at why more people aren’t piping up to hold this government to account and grilling them over this unfulfilled pledge of theirs. I would say acting on this would actually assist in improving our country’s net mental health. Houses were supposed to be homes for people to live in, they were never meant to be instruments of rampant financial speculation, especially not one that is seemingly wilfully encouraged of by this government.

Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 8th February 2021

RBNZ Misallocation and inflated housing market

For those who don’t yet know, I ended up buying a house in Rolleston. Essentially the RBNZ’s so called “money printing” finally got to me. I feel I had to act to stop any further erosion of my savings base.

The financial system seems to have evolved to rewarding property investments and speculating as opposed to encouraging economically productive activities such as hard work, toil and enterprise. The money simply isn’t getting to the small and medium business which I feel matter most to the economy.

There still remains several unanswered questions as to why LVR’s were removed on Investment property in the first place which I still assert was a rather ill thought out move. People seem to have turned to defending the RBNZ as simply being a bystander in all of this but I personally still hold them jointly culpable (along with the Government) for Housing affordability issues.

RBNZ Misallocation and inflated housing market

Bank runs hypothesis

Another risk scenario that could happen is that some fed up savers could begin withdrawing their savings in frustration at Central Bank policy. Given sufficient enough numbers could culminate into a bank run where it generate it’s own momentum feeding upon itself.

Asset prices would continue to rise in the meantime while people convert their savings into other forms, however once a full on bank run is in motion, Asset prices then could snap back the other way while money supply contracts, loans are recalled and people forced to sell assets in a sliding market in order to fulfill collateral requirements.

Subjectively, the risk of such an event happening in the next few years I feel is currently ‘low’, but thought it was something worth putting out there.

Bank runs hypothesis

Cold calls from Georgeson a Computershare subsidiary

Turns out the phone calls from +61 3 9415 5000 I’ve been receiving is from Georgesons, a Computershare subsidiary who are using the same outbound number and probably utilizing the same call centre staff as Computershare. While my view may certainly be debatable, I feel personally this impacts on Computershare’s reputation of impartiality as a share registry and Administrative service.

“Georgesons” acting on behalf of APVG (wishing to take over MetLife Care) have repeatedly called me on my number stating the directors of APVG are encouraging MetLife Care shareholders like me to vote yes to the take over offer.

They also wanted me to advise right there and then on the spot which way I would be voting. I repeatedly replied saying that “I have yet to review the information and I am unable to provide you an answer right at this point in time”. I suspect that Georgeson staff are given incentives.

Have finally got around to reviewing the documentation and will personally be voting ‘No’ to the take over offer. In a high level (superficial) nutshell…

  • Offer I feel is a little bit too low for the potential future gain I will be leaving on the table.
  • (To be direct) Tired of losing access to an ever diminishing range of investment opportunities, given the global liquidity glut courtesy of central bank endless money pump.

NZ Shareholder’s association have also provided their views to their members with the view of voting against the take over offer.

 

 

Cold calls from Georgeson a Computershare subsidiary

Pumping up the Money Supply, the ultimate treatment for financial market ailments?

Disclaimer: Not financial advice (as with anything else in this blog)

With endless money ‘printing’ and liquidity injection, the US Financial Markets have almost completely (if not completely) decoupled from their underlying real economy. Financial markets globally no longer represent the general health of their respective economies by any reasonable measure I feel.

The decoupling I believe started way back in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 when liquidity creation was employed to restart the economies. So far since then, it seems when any sort of crises happens to spook the market, the treatment response has been to pump even more liquidity into the system and it seems to have been surprisingly extremely effective at least at treating any symptoms for the last 12 years.

What the end game is? I don’t know. It goes back to a post I penned back in November 2019 where I asked what would be a trigger to a sustained correction? (Not just short sharp corrections of the types we’ve been having recently)

One potential threat which could end up defeating the effectiveness of such monetary policy would include some sort of catastrophic, devastating and tragic famine by way of insect plague or widespread natural disaster where food security gets impacted and food supply contracts causing food prices to spiral out of control (by way of hyper inflation) where people find themselves being forced to sell assets into a sliding market to feed themselves and their families just to survive. Continue reading “Pumping up the Money Supply, the ultimate treatment for financial market ailments?”

Pumping up the Money Supply, the ultimate treatment for financial market ailments?

No new active COVID-19 cases in NZ

There are officially no more known ‘Active’ COVID-19 cases in New Zealand. We move down in to Alert Level 1 tonight.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/418524/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-reveals-move-to-level-1-from-midnight

Still need to be vigilant obviously.

“We will almost certainly see cases here again. That is not a sign we have failed.”

“If we get one or two cases in the future – which will remain possible for some time to come due to the global situation and nature of the virus – we need to shut down those cases fast. The last thing … we want to do is move up the alert level system again.”

My feeling is though, heading into the Winter seasons in future years, it may still be a good idea to practice some sort of social distancing primarily to protect the more vulnerable in our communities.

No new active COVID-19 cases in NZ

Bull Trap Warning still in force (currently)

Update: 6th June 2020 – The Bull trap assessment, as a prelude to a sustained bear market, is increasingly looking shaky with the current short term bull market likely to challenge previous highs. Longer term Secular Sideways market view, with large bull and bear cycles, still stands.

The S&P 500 is still behaving in a way that signals a possible (rather than probable) bull trap. Again, nothing can be said for certain and this assessment is very much certainly subjected to change and re-evaluation on a dime.

Main concerns at the moment is the inherently delayed corporate and economic reporting (including unemployment rates) where the full of effects of the measures behind CoVid-19 may not be fully realized and reported on until a few months down the track. The effect and global reaction so far has been sufficiently deep as to invoke a long-lasting change in the way we go about our lives going forward. At the moment, my feeling is that the latest bull leg (given the unexpectedly large magnitude and severity of the preceding fall was certainly to be anticipated) has mis-priced the effect of the measures surrounding CoVid-19 I feel.

Laying out the possible scenarios in a very broad and general way for my own edification… Continue reading “Bull Trap Warning still in force (currently)”

Bull Trap Warning still in force (currently)

Stream of Consciousness Week 27th April 2020

Stream of conciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into it’s own separate post…

  • bull trap warning still in force (for now). Discussed in another post. Currently Looking cautiously at the US unemployment figures due out on the 8th May (U.S. time). As with all view expressed in this blog, views and sentiments may change on a dime.
  • I’m running out of space on my Main VPS (hosting NUI.NZ). The consolidation of KAHA into NUI.NZ is going to have to be deferred.
  • Franchising as a business model I feel is increasingly on the rocks in Australia, and this was before CoVid-19 ever hit.

Older Stream of Conciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 27th April 2020

Stream of Consciousness Week 20th April 2020

Stream of conciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into it’s own separate post…

  • Looks like we are indeed going to need to be a lot more cognizant of all respiratory diseases and not just Coronaviruses going forward I feel. If CoVid-19 is causing this much concern, then Influenza while not the focus at the moment I assert is also a bit of a worry. Even though we have Vaccines for seasonal Influenza, my current feeling is that they have been pretty woefully ineffective in recent times, particularly in the elderly. Some sort of social distancing and social counter measures every flu season is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.
  • Bull trap warning still in place. Still trying to feel the pulse, but signals are all over the place at the moment. Can go either way. At this very point in time, it smells very much like a classic bull trap, but again, given the erratic nature of everything at the moment, anything could happen. May take the opportunity to reduce equity exposure further, then do a pre-emptive buy back later on the track (in the guise of catching a falling knife mind you).

Older Stream of Conciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 20th April 2020

FaceBorg – Privacy? How about we talk about the concentration of power?

To be honest, privacy issues aside, I am significantly far more concerned around our continued almost exclusive reliance on Facebook’s products to communicate with our friends and family and subsequently helping Facebook, a sole for profit entity, gain a very concerning amount of control over our lives collectively.

Facebook Inc. aren’t some benevolent entity, they are a business and their first and foremost mandate ahead of anything else (including a head of wider social concerns) is to ultimately maximise profits to their owners.

Decades on, I desperately struggle to see why more of us aren’t concerned about this. Please, can someone enlighten me as to the faults in my thinking here? Please?

Also, Custom Audiences. I know I am alone in this thinking, But I consider businesses uploading my personal client information as part of a Custom Audience List to Facebook a breach of my privacy. You are effectively giving my personal information over to a 3rd party and that is not OK.

Facebook use that information to their advantage by matching up information as to where I have been, where I have shopped, etc.

We really don’t need to be rewarding nor supporting Facebook’s on going track record of behaviour, and we really don’t need to help support such a company (particularly a for-profit one) taking so much power and subsequently control over our lives.

FaceBorg – Privacy? How about we talk about the concentration of power?

Stream of Consciousness Week 13th April 2020

Stream of conciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into it’s own separate post…

  • My intuition is signalling a potential medium term bull trap warning in the financial markets globally. Again though, “who the flip knows?” would be pertinent statement in this situation. I’d say the secular sideways market actually started back in 2018. The correction was a long time coming and even then, surprised it hasn’t tanked further than it has before doing it’s first reversal
  • The streets over the Easter Break were full of people along with family groups walking and riding around the neighbourhood enjoying the sunny weather.
  • The :matrix.org channel had E2E Encryption enabled by one of the Mods (an action that can’t be reversed at present). At the moment, not too sure I favour doing this for a channel that is intended to be publicly accessible and viewable by the public anyway. Currently, considering where to drive this… Will let current room members ultimately gauge how they feel about it. Picking I will retain the current now encrypted channel for more discrete and casual banter and then create a new unencrypted channel for Public NZ discussions and easier community on boarding. Technically, should be fairly easy to swap over if needed.
  • It’s not just COVID-19 we all have to be mindful of I feel. It feels as if we are also losing the war against influenza with the Flu shot seemingly showing a trend of gradual loss of efficacy over the years. There’s been a few anecdotes last year of Influenza outbreaks (Causing several deaths) in several rest homes across the United States despite vaccinating all their residents along with Nurses at those facilities exclaiming how useless the vaccine was. In that vein, yes I’d expect that the physical distancing (“Social distancing”) measures implemented will become mainstream for years to come after COVID-19 subsides, particularly in the flu seasons.
  • Anecdotally, would seem the Earth has started to heal, but it’s early days yet.
  • It is also probably a time for making us more mindful of what actually matters most to us.
  • With all these layers of software infrastructure and application development. What really is the point? Would this ultimately extend human life and make it more meaningful? We appear to be getting to that crest where we are using tools for the sake of it. Have we lost sight of the more root objective?
    To add: This popped up on HackerNews… Ask HN.

  • That said, have recently dropped Hacker-News from my personal links and from my daily visitation. I feel there has been a bit of probable Astroturfing and too many short “Wow! This is so cool!” type posts that add little to the discussion. There are indeed still some good posts and comments to read, but the time spent sifting out the good from the pointless became just a bit too much for me personally (Seems to be something that befalls all Internet forums admittedly)

Older Stream of Conciousness thoughts can be found here.

Stream of Consciousness Week 13th April 2020

Current Personal Take regarding CoViD-19

Indeed, my views have shifted over time. This is a rapidly evolving situation where frankly anything can go. I do agree that CoVid-19 is serious enough to warrant extra and utmost caution including taking measures such as proper and thorough hand washing, staying well away from others if you’re sick (CoVid-19 or not), and drastically limiting any non-essential travel. This is more so with protecting the more vulnerable in our communities (such as those who are elderly, who have pre-existing medical conditions, who are immunocompromised) along with flattening the curve to avoid overloading our health services (which includes the many hard-working health personnel on the front line).

At the moment, I am of the feeling that the lockdowns happening around the world on balance will save lives but a question does hover over whether these measures will ultimately be a net positive for people’s livelihood in terms of situational (e.g access to gainful employment, individual “agency”) and mental well-being overall in the longer term.

While I agree this situation is indeed serious, I am still of the opinion that many of the commercial mainstream media outlets globally have been irresponsibly fanning a counter-productive, unhelpful, and needless level of panic among the general population by cherry-picking the most extreme stories to come out of this. It would appear that a lot of people on the regular social media channels have been induced in to talking themselves in to a funk including lapping up what I consider as needlessly extreme apocalyptic fearporn doom scenarios and this appears to be getting more pronounced as the situation rolls on. I have been avoiding through blocking as much as possible, my own consumption of any mass media or social media during this period.

I don’t begrudge our own Government imposing a lock down. Given how globalised we were, The New Zealand Government had to do something (or at least been seen to do something) and it appears to be having at least a visible and measurable positive effect by way of decline in new cases each day. In saying that, as the lock down rolls on, I am seeing a lot of people’s mental well-being starting to decline being holed up in their homes and I am concerned that we could see a bit of increasing push back happening in the form of defiance or disobedience among a few of our own citizens.

People I feel need to be mindful that the Data, particularly surrounding death rates, coming out globally may be skewed until such time we can broaden testing availability to more of the general population. The people who will be most often tested at this stage of the cycle naturally will be the ones showing the worse symptoms.

Once this current situation recedes, It will be interesting to see if we will also be taking more consideration of other potentially deadly respiratory diseases such as influenza from here on in. I’m picking physical distancing (more commonly referred to as social distancing) will become a matter of habit for a few years after CoVid-19 comes to pass and may even be something encouraged as a matter of common courtesy every flu season.

Again, like any view expressed in this blog, my views are most certainly subjected to change as events unfold and as new information comes to light.

Current Personal Take regarding CoViD-19

Mass Clinical Trial of potential treatments against CoVid-19

Clinical trials of potential candidates for CoVid-19 treatments are now currently underway to see if any of the below mentioned drug combinations offer any efficacy in slowing down or reducing the effect of CoVid-19 on patients.

Science Mag: WHO launches global mega trial of the four most promising treatments

Potential treatment candidates include…

  • Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine
  • Remdesivir
  • Ritonavir/lopinavir
  • Ritonavir/lopinavir + interferon beta

I’d expect there will be other potential treatments in the pipeline coming online to be ready for clinical trials.

In my own non-professional opinion, if any of these clinical trials are actually successful, the earliest we could perhaps see these treatments becoming mainstream is may be 5-9 months. I would currently pick in reality this could be over a year, but again I reiterate this is a stab in the dark prediction.

CoVid19 is indeed a very serious series of viruses and firm + swift proactive steps need to be taken, particularly with protecting the most vulnerable in our community (e.g The elderly, those who are immunocompromised and those with serious pre-existing medical conditions). At the same time, I still assert that I see a totally needless, unhelpful and counter-productive level of group think, panic and herd mentality that is being perpetuated in an epic unprecedented feedback loop across social media channels and the majority of the Mainstream media / Mass media outlets globally.

Mass Clinical Trial of potential treatments against CoVid-19

I fear the panic more than the virus itself

In confession, I currently feel greater anxiety towards the panic and public reaction over the COVID-19 virus more than the virus itself. This sentiment of mine is no doubt subject to change however as events unfold.

Yes, Take positive proactive steps to safe guard yourself and your community, friends and family including such precautions like proper and thorough hand washing, staying away from others if you’re sick. But please don’t be an idiot and fan the fear around social media or hoard stuff like toilet paper.

That said, yes, I believe the New Zealand government could be doing more to safe guard our borders and taking stricter quarantine measures at our major ports, at least to slow any spread down and minimize overloading our Health services (by way of helping to “Flatten the Curve”).

I fear the panic more than the virus itself

.NZ Domain Yearly registration prices are to rise.

The .nz Domain prices are to rise after InternetNZ announces wholesale price increases. Claim is that registrations are falling. Monthly Registration statistics can be found here… https://docs.internetnz.nz/reports/

I believe a lot of the more recent new domain registrations were speculative after the release of the direct second level registrations under .nz and feel that may be it’s just a gradual decline back to the mean.

Increasing prices in my view will no doubt accelerate the so-called decline. I plan to have a look into their financials when I get a chance. (I don’t expect to find any irregularities – though worth checking for my own edification)

.NZ Domain Yearly registration prices are to rise.

Seeing straight through Thrifty Car Rental Australia “Smiles all the way” marketing

I have had largely reasonable experiences with this car rental brand in Australia. Vehicles provided have predominantly been received in clean, tidy and good condition. Majority of hires have been smooth with one disappointing experience in the middle involving one of their licensees operating in Suburban Melbourne who I felt were dishonest and were also caught posting fake reviews to boot (Dandenong Thrifty / Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd). Continue reading “Seeing straight through Thrifty Car Rental Australia “Smiles all the way” marketing”

Seeing straight through Thrifty Car Rental Australia “Smiles all the way” marketing

Huawei P30 Pro Camera – Hybrid zoom

Update 13 October 2019 – So took the Huawei P30 Pro and compared it to the Panasonic TZ110 and another quick test…

At x5 zoom…
Native zoom for the P30 Pro’s x5 Camera. To my untrained eye, it is fairly similar enough in detail. The TZ110 may be a touch more natural in detail and colour reproduction.

Continue reading “Huawei P30 Pro Camera – Hybrid zoom”

Huawei P30 Pro Camera – Hybrid zoom

Auckland Local Body Elections

Admittedly, it’s been difficult to figure out who to put a tick against for the Mayor vote for the Auckland Local Body elections. I’ve spent at least two hours in total reading about and researching all the candidates over the last week.

Some may argue that spending two hours is a total overkill, but admittedly, I do hold Civic responsibility quite seriously, and the fact that we do get to vote as part of a democratic nation is something I consider extremely important.

Resources reviewed and canvassed include…

  • The Voting instruction booklet / Candidate information. Same information is available on the Auckland Council Website. (Just click “+ More search options” then “Show mayoral candidates”)
  • The Spinoff NZ – Local Policy Website
  • Radio NZ – Mayoral Candidate Debates
  • The Candidates own resources, such as their own personal (campaign) website and social media accounts.

So far my research has come up rather inconclusive. The decision made more difficult is the candidate information appears to vary between mediums (i.e Candidate information booklet vs the Candidate’s website).

Auckland Local Body Elections