Keith Rankin - Latest News [Page 2]

Covid19 Death Semantics

Tuesday, 9 November 2021, 12:33 pm | Keith Rankin

Last year the Government was careful to count anybody who died with a Covid19-positive status as a Covid19 death. Now we keep hearing about such deaths which the government is saying will need to be referred to the coroner before we can establish what they ... More >>

Influenza: Global Epidemic 2017 Versus The Flu Season Of 2019/20

Thursday, 4 November 2021, 9:30 am | Keith Rankin

The global influenza epidemic of late 2016 to early 2018 was a pandemic in all but name. For the United States, see The Perfect Storm Behind This Year's Nasty Flu Season , The Atlantic 14 Jan 2018; and Last year's flu broke records for deaths and illnesses ... More >>

Covid19: Revaccinate Now, And Address Influenza Too

Thursday, 28 October 2021, 11:34 am | Keith Rankin

In its pandemic response, the New Zealand government has consistently been tardy, and then found itself playing catch-up, having to 'go hard' (indeed a 'world-leading' hardest) on account of its lack of preparedness. Further, having gone hard, there ... More >>

Covid19 Premier League: Spectrum Of Public Health Choices

Thursday, 14 October 2021, 11:30 am | Keith Rankin

Now is as good a time as any to evaluate and reflect on the public health policy choices made in the period from February to April 2020, re the Covid19 pandemic. Here I have postulated a 'league' of 12 economically advanced countries which have ... More >>

Global Housing Crisis, Human Rights, And Entitlement Finance

Thursday, 7 October 2021, 4:27 pm | Keith Rankin

This last week I watched Push: The Global Housing Crisis on Al Jazeera , featuring Leilani Farha, Canadian lawyer and former United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing. She is now leader of The Shift (the global movement to secure the human ... More >>

Covid Immunity Calculus

Thursday, 30 September 2021, 4:36 pm | Keith Rankin

Quiz Questions: Which foreign country or territory is closest to New Zealand by jetplane? Which foreign country or territory had the world's highest per capita incidence of Covid19 last week? Before giving the answers, I would note that the worst-affected ... More >>

Vaccination Rates And The Population Denominator

Monday, 27 September 2021, 2:57 pm | Keith Rankin

We are learning that, in the absence of high levels of natural immunity to Covid19, New Zealand will need extremely high vaccination rates before it can repudiate its growing 'hermit kingdom' status. (It is important to note that the expression 'hermit ... More >>

Table Of Excess Deaths From Covid19

Friday, 24 September 2021, 8:57 am | Keith Rankin

The table below uses raw-death data published downloaded from to predict what death numbers would have occurred in 2020 and 2021 had there been no Covid19 pandemic. The actual death numbers are compared with the predicted (counterfactual) ... More >>

New Zealand Superannuation: The Rules Versus Common Sense

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 12:25 pm | Keith Rankin

Radio New Zealand ( Checkpoint ) ran stories last week about New Zealanders aged over 65 stranded in Australia who are at risk of having their pensions ('New Zealand Superannuation') stopped, and then having to repay the funds they received while ... More >>

Indo-Pacific: The World's New Geopolitical Buzzword

Friday, 17 September 2021, 12:05 pm | Keith Rankin

I have been watching the sudden rise to prominence of the word 'Indo-Pacific' these last couple of months. These last couple of days it may have been the most repeated word on Radio New Zealand. According to Wikipedia today, Indo-Pacific is "biogeographic ... More >>

Breaking NZ’s Covid Siege: What Needs to be Done, and When

Monday, 13 September 2021, 9:25 am | Keith Rankin

New Zealand is under siege from Covid19. We can learn some things from medieval city sieges. A traditional siege takes place in a fortress, and the besieging agent waits outside the wall or the moat. The defenders also waited, in a battle of attrition; ... More >>

Quarantine, an effective temporary Public Health measure

Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 2:04 pm | Keith Rankin

Public Health measures are restrictive 'health' imposts by an authority over some or all of the people subject to that authority. In most cases they are both 'merit goods' (having benefits which people ought to be willing to pay for), and 'public ... More >>

Pandemic Feedback

Friday, 3 September 2021, 2:35 pm | Keith Rankin

Dynamic living processes get into feedback loops. The most common is a negative feedback loop, whereby processes self-regulate; when something happens then something else happens, in response, to offset the initial event. If it gets cold, we put on ... More >>

Positively Medieval

Tuesday, 31 August 2021, 12:52 pm | Keith Rankin

Following the completion of the Taliban reconquest of Afghanistan, I heard Helen Clark on the radio news say, among other things, that the Taliban are a "medieval theocracy". While she's literally correct, 'medieval' has unfortunately become ... More >>

Covid-Delta, Science, and the Problem of Known Unknowns

Friday, 20 August 2021, 4:42 pm | Keith Rankin

It's a known known that the late Donald Rumsfeld's principal legacy to the world is the following quote: "As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there ... More >>

Loss Of Language, And The Future Of Science

Friday, 13 August 2021, 5:15 pm | Keith Rankin

In our age of unnuanced media reporting, cynicism, and political correctness, words and meanings are subject – perhaps increasingly – to an effective process of cancellation. It's not a new process, in the past certain words might be replaced ... More >>

Territorial Fundamentalism In Our Post-Globalisation Era

Tuesday, 3 August 2021, 4:48 pm | Keith Rankin

We have this pretty fiction that the world is made up of approximately 200 politically autonomous nation-states. This in the entrenched 'Wilsonian' view of the political world that, in particular, was sort-of realised after World War One; a view that ... More >>

Inflation Fears, Bullshit Costs, And Inappropriate Policy

Friday, 16 July 2021, 1:12 pm | Keith Rankin

It is true that New Zealand – and the rest of the world – now faces substantial inflation pressure. As the 2020s unfold, the biggest macroeconomic story – as in the 1920s after World War 1 – is likely to be about how we address these pressures ... More >>

Unrented Rentals And Property Hoarders

Monday, 5 July 2021, 4:24 pm | Keith Rankin

I was encouraged to hear Nicola Willis, National Party's spokesperson on housing, make the key point that the central problem in New Zealand's housing crisis is that of people being squeezed out of the private rental market . I made this point and ... More >>

Allegations, Abuse, Echo-Chambers And Youth

Friday, 2 July 2021, 4:28 pm | Keith Rankin

On Monday, as I drove from Kerikeri to Kamo, on Radio New Zealand Kathryn Ryan was interviewing students from Christchurch Girls High School, who were commenting on vague but serious claims of sexual abuse, with the finger being pointed mainly at ... More >>