Category Archives: Politics

The National Broadband Network – Government vs. Coalition

Some time ago I blogged about the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN), the centrepiece infrastructure policy of the current Labor government. I'd like to follow up on this issue from a different perspective. In the meantime, both the government and opposition have dedicated themselves to a national broadband policy. So I'd like to analyse the issue in this new context. In this post I will no longer ask the question "should the government build a national broadband network?", but rather "given that both sides of the House have committed themselves to a national broadband scheme, which is the superior model?". I'm firmly of the opinion that the Government's NBN policy is by far the superior model.

First let's compare the Government's and the Coalition's models. The Government's NBN policy will roll out optical fibre to almost every premise in the country (93% fibre coverage, with various other technologies, such as satellites or wireless, reaching the remainder that are remote and inaccessible). This is the so-called 'fibre to the home' (FTTH) approach. It will guarantee 100Mbps downstream bandwidths to all areas covered by fibre, and is easily upgradeable in the future to 1Gbps speeds (indeed optical fibre is capable of far more than this). The Coalition's scheme on the other hand relies on 'fibre to the node' (FTTN) technology, whereby fibre is rolled out to cabinets on the street corner, which are subsequently connected to individual premises using existing copper cables. The Coalition claims this will guarantee 25Mbps downstream speeds, but will be much cheaper than FTTH.

Let's begin by considering the cost issue. The Coalition criticises the NBN as being too costly, claiming that their FTTN approach is vastly less expensive (the Coalition claims $17b less). If we work off the assumption that the copper infrastructure 'comes for free' then this might be a reasonable claim. But it doesn't. The reality is that the Australian copper network is nearing the end of its lifetime and will be in need of complete replacement in the near future followed by ongoing maintenance. To my knowledge, this cost has not been factored into the Coalition's estimates, which significantly underestimates the total long-term cost of the network. Fibre has a very long lifespan - on the order of at least half a century. This is not the case for copper, which deteriorates very rapidly, requiring constant maintenance or downright replacement. I suspect that once this is factored into the pricing, the Coalition's plan will not be quite as cheap as touted. Telstra currently spends $1b per year maintaining their copper network. Accumulate that over the life expectancy of the NBN and you've got a hell of an expense on the order of $50b for maintenance alone. Then there's the energy consumption cost. Powering optical fibre is very cheap - light doesn't take much energy to produce and transmit. Copper on the other hand uses electrical signals, which, when deployed across the entire country, adds up to a very hefty electricity bill (according to one estimate I read, such a copper network would require the equivalent of at least a whole coal-fired power plant to drive). To my knowledge, this has also not been factored into the Coalition's estimates. In summary, it's highly debatable whether, all things considered, the Coalition's plan will actually be cheaper in the long term. But let's for a second give Abbott the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's spot on in estimating that his FTTN scheme is $17b cheaper than Labor's FTTH. With a population of roughly 22 million, and amortised over a life expectancy of around half a century, this amounts to $15 per person per year in net savings (admittedly not accounting for compound interest or return). This is a pretty small additional price to pay for an immensely better network, which almost certainly has economic multiplier effects worth well in excess of $15/person/year. The economic arguments being touted by Abbott and Turnbull seem like lunacy.

Next there's the bandwidth issue. The Coalition themselves admit that their FTTN scheme guarantees vastly inferior bandwidths compared to FTTH. In the case of FTTN they guarantee 25Mbps downstream (which can only be guaranteed if you're living right next to a node, and deteriorates exponentially with distance from the node). This is barely more than what lots of existing broadband customers can access with today's infrastructure. Furthermore, it's not upgradeable, as the 25Mbps figure all but saturates what's possible with copper technology. The Government's FTTH scheme on the other hand will guarantee 100Mbps downstream, which, as mentioned earlier, is easily upgradeable tenfold (and probably more) in the future. There are fundamental physical reasons why copper will never achieve these kinds of speeds (electrical channels are subject to capacitive coupling, interference and resistive loss - light isn't). Thus, if one of the objectives of a national broadband policy is to be future-proof then the Coalition's plan is dead in the water.

The Coalition's broadband policy seems incredibly shortsighted. We need to factor in Moore's Law - the exponential growth in demand for computing power and bandwidth. Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have stated that their alternative caters to today's demands (Turnbull: "The Coalition plan would meet current demand for broadband services"). While a couple of tens of megabits (at best) may satisfy today's needs, it most certainly doesn't satisfy tomorrow's, and it strikes me as myopic to base a major technological infrastructure project worth tens of billions of dollars purely on today's needs. The advent of ultra-high-def (4K) video will already saturate the bandwidths being promised by the Coalition, not to mention applications in 10 or 20 years time (e.g. future developments in cloud computing or higher-def, multi-channel video). By the time the Coalition's infrastructure is complete, it is likely to already be obsolete technology. If we're going to spend tens of billions of dollars on such an infrastructure project, then the most pressing requirement should be that it caters for tomorrow's needs, since this infrastructure, being as expensive as it is, should last us decades, not months.

If we're going to invest this kind of money in such infrastructure, then we should only pay for the infrastructure once. The coalition's plan will require paying for it over and over again as the copper network deteriorates, until, ultimately, people realise that it can't provide the bandwidths we need, at which point we're going to have to reinvest in the infrastructure from scratch and roll out FTTH anyway. So why not just do it right in the first place?

The final issue I'd like to touch upon is that of competition. The Coalition consistently criticises the NBN for being an uncompetitive monopoly. I heavily dispute this. Inevitably such infrastructure will be a natural monopoly. It makes zero sense to have half a dozen fibre lines running into each household, each owned by a different provider, to compete with one another. It would be hugely economically inefficient since the majority of it would be unused (of course, if secondary providers do decide they wish to run additional cables into people's households, they shouldn't be legislatively prevented from from doing so, but I can't see this happening). So the best we can hope to achieve is to maximise competition within the context of this natural monopoly. The way the Government intends to achieve this is by structurally separating the wholesale and retail divisions of the NBN, such that the infrastructure is owned by NBN Co., but they don't have the right to sell it to individual consumers. Rather, there is a level playing field in which third-party retailers can purchase bandwidth wholesale from NBN Co. and resell it to the consumer. This is exactly what's being proposed by the Government. Under the proposed scheme, there will be no barrier to market participants purchasing bandwidth wholesale, so that even small competitors will be able to enter the broadband market. This will create the closest to a competitive market that we can realistically hope to achieve with such a project. A broadband market with a level playing field in which even small competitors can compete is a pretty decent deal.

Laughably, Tony Abbott recently said it's a mistake to put all our eggs in the one basket (i.e. spend all our money on fibre as opposed to spreading the investment across a diverse range of technologies). This is an absolute joke. When it comes to traditional investment and portfolio management theory, certainly the ethos "don't put all your eggs in the one basket" is a very wise philosophy. But when it comes to technological infrastructure, this doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Surely it makes sense to choose the superior technology (fibre) and use it universally rather than investing in a mix of inferior technologies (copper) just in the name of "not putting all your eggs into one basket". Should we equip school computer laboratories with a mix of cutting edge PCs and 1990's 386 computers, just because we don't want to put all our eggs into the one basket? No, we should just choose the best technology and employ it universally. Should we equip half of our defence forces with Soviet MiG fighter jets for the sake of diversity, or should we just universally adopt the latest NATO fighters? It's a no brainer.

Given that both sides of politics have committed themselves to investing in such infrastructure using public money, it makes zero sense to choose the technology to cater only for today's needs, which has to be continually replaced and upgraded, and which doesn't cater for tomorrow's needs.

The NBN is inevitably going to be one of the big policy issues determining the upcoming federal election in September, and the fact of the matter is that the Coalition's policy is a joke - it's much (much) slower, it's almost certainly not cheaper, it's not at all upgradeable (unless we abandon the copper and switch to fibre), and it doesn't accommodate for tomorrow's needs. Why waste the money?

The media and democracy

Democracy is about so much more than just voting for your leaders. There are many other facets like freedom of speech, freedom of belief, the right to a fair trial, the list goes on. One very important facet is freedom of the media. But equally important is an informed citizenry. Importantly, freedom of the media is not necessarily sufficient to achieve the latter. Why? Because any media source has its biases, which people are exposed to and influenced by. The key, therefore, is not just to have free press, but diverse press. These two objectives are not necessarily mutual. So how do we achieve both?

Many libertarians advocate zero government intervention in the press. I believe this needs to be broken down into two separate arguments:

1) Should the government regulate existing private sector media?
2) Should the government fund independent media to provide an alternate source to the private sector media?

I believe the answer to (1) should be 'no', and the answer to (2) 'yes'. If we were to do (1) we would effectively undermine freedom of speech and expression, dictating to people what they can and can't say, or dictating who has the right to say it. This has been a big issue recently in Australia in relation to Gina Rheinhart - Australia's richest person - who has been seeking large stakes in the Australian media. Many oppose this because, as a rich and powerful woman, she might have a right-wing bias. I'm sure she would. But any stakeholder in the media will have their inherent biases. So legislatively preventing her from having a stake in the media would be a very dangerous path to follow - it would put the government in the position of passing judgement on who can, and cannot, have a stake in the media, which would introduce systemic bias in itself. This has been a contentious issue in Australia recently, with the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, attempting to implement a 'Public Interest Media Advocate' to make decisions on this issue. It hasn't received a very warm welcome. In relation to question (2) however, if we were to not do this, we would risk complete monopolisation of the media by a small number of private players, which may undermine diversity of views.

The significance of monopolisation of the media cannot be understated. Historically, this is how every dictator in history - Fascist, Nazi, Communist or otherwise - either came to power, or maintained a grip on power. Thus, centralisation of the media is an issue that needs to be taken very seriously, and for this reason I support government-funded independent media. Diversity of views is essential to the democratic process, and monopolisation of the media all but ensures that diversity of views in mitigated. In Australia, the ABC and SBS - the two government-funded sources - are the only media players I refer to when watching TV (which, admittedly, I hardly ever do). The others are typically shallow and populist, and I cringe to watch them. Personally I'm grateful for the existence of the ABC and SBS, and in particular their status as non-private sector players in the media market. If they were to either cease to exist, or become privatised, diversity of views in Australia would suffer.

There is one issue, however, which is far more important to diversity of views - consumer behaviour. If consumers choose to obtain all their information from a single source, then it's largely irrelevant how centralised the media is. The internet is our biggest blessing when it comes to disseminating different viewpoints, but one which is, sadly, under-utilised. Personally, on a daily basis I read at least half a dozen major news sources from around the world, plus numerous minor ones, and additionally many blogs. This information is at everyone's disposal in the internet age. The problem is that people are daft, and have too much faith in the mainstream media, to stand up and make use of this wealth of information that sits at their fingertips. Thus, in my mind, independent media, while important, is not the sole solution to the problem. The solution is a cultural paradigm shift, whereby the population is aware that all media has its inherent biases, and therefore the onus is on them to seek out a cross-section of different sources. In the digital world this can be done in a matter of seconds.

If media diversity is a priority, which it should be, then our number one goal should be to make people mindful of the need to seek different opinions and never take any one source to be the literal truth. I pity the poor soul who has their TV permanently tuned to Fox News. If they spent just ten minutes each day online reading competing international sources, voters would be far more informed, the quality of political discussion greatly enhanced, and leaders far more accountable for their policies.

Mining taxes anyone?

The Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), aka the Mining Tax, is a big issue in Australia lately. For the non-Australian readers, this is a tax on non-renewable resources that are exploited by the mining industry on Australian territory. Most people from my side of politics vehemently oppose the Mining Tax, criticising it as "yet another tax". If it is indeed yet another tax, then I certainly fit into the category of not wanting additional taxes. However, if it is a replacement for other taxes - notably income tax or company tax - while remaining revenue neutral (i.e. the total tax burden hasn't increased) then I would strongly support such a tax.

To justify this position, let's consider why taxes on companies in general are bad. In a globalised economy, it is very easy for businesses to shuffle around on the world stage. If company tax is too high in Australia, companies will begin moving offshore and we miss out on their jobs, productivity and tax contribution altogether. It is the fluidity of commerce in the globalised era that stipulates we must remain competitive by keeping company taxes to a minimum. This is a philosophy with which I very strongly agree.

Companies exploiting non-renewable resources are somewhat different however. These companies make their profit by digging up and processing what's under the ground. Unlike other forms of business, what's under the ground doesn't and can't get up and move to the other side of the world - it remains under the ground on Australian territory, irrespective of government policy. While it's true that excessive taxation on the mining sector might undermine companies' incentive to exploit our natural resources, who might instead turn to reserves in other countries, this isn't nearly as big a disincentive as company tax on the non-mining sector, where business operations are much more dynamic and can much more readily cease their operations here and resume somewhere else - the options for mining coal in other countries are much more limited than the options for running a tech startup.

So, do I support more taxation? No. But do I support introducing a mining tax if we are spending every cent of the additional revenue to offset taxes on non-mining companies? Absolutely. The question to me isn't "should we have more taxation?". I presume everyone knows where I stand on that issue. To me the question is "some level of taxation is necessary, so what method of applying it has the least adverse impact on the economy?". Thus, if presented with the question "should we have higher company taxes and no mining tax, or a lower company tax with a mining tax, but with the same net level of tax revenue?", my answer is squarely that a mining tax is the way to go.

I believe both sides of politics in Australia are arguing for and against the mining tax in the wrong way. If the government were to sell the mining tax using the logic I just presented, I think many more conservative/Liberal voters would see the sense in a mining tax. Small business, which makes up a significant conservative voter base, and a substantial fraction of the economy, would be attracted to the idea of a lower company tax.

It is frequently argued in the media that the Mining Tax will drive away investment in Australia. No doubt this is true. But if it were used to offset other company taxes, the flip side of the coin would be that it would attract investment in other sectors which are more dynamic. Unfortunately the level of political debate in the country is rather low and this issue is being argued by the media in a very simplistic manner - as is the norm in the Australian media these days (I'll save my issues with the media for a future post).

Thanks Bob

Recently, on behalf of a group of concerned Australian scientists, I sent a letter to the Australian Foreign Minister and Shadow Foreign Minister regarding the plight of a young Iranian physicist who was imprisoned in Iran for "communicating with a hostile government" (read the letter here). Today I received a personally signed letter from the Foreign Minister, The Hon. Mr. Bob Carr, indicating that the government had expressed concerns to the Iranian government about this case. A big thank you to those who signed the letter, and a huge thanks to Mr. Carr for his support.

Open letter to the Australian Christian Lobby

This is my open letter to Jim Wallace, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby. Please share this letter via social media.

Dear Mr. Wallace,

In the last year the ACL has released significantly more statements on homosexuality than on all other social issues combined. This bias brings into question the agenda of the ACL and suggests that it is not one of advancing Christian values, but rather of promoting the narrow social interests of a niche clique with a radical social agenda.

Your organisation openly supports legislation to allow schools to expel students for being gay. You are in effect supporting segregation on the basis of biological traits. This is no different to the radical 'Christians' who 50 years ago supported segregation based on another biological trait - race. If you sincerely support segregating schools on the basis of sexuality, you are indeed intent on turning back time and restoring policies which, thankfully, are a part of our past and not our present. Rather than reverting to a White Australia Policy, you seem intent on implementing a Straight Australia Policy. Thankfully your views are so hysterically out of touch with mainstream Australia, and indeed the vast majority of the Australian Christian community, that your organisation is teetering on the brink of irrelevance.

You claim that your organisation is there to lobby for 'Christian values'. However your values are inconsistent with those of the broader Christian community. Recent polling indicates that the majority of Australian Christians support equal marriage rights, and I suspect virtually none support your policy of homosexual segregation in schools. This brings into question whose values you are really advancing. They are most certainly not Christian ones.

Recently your organisation received massive donations from the Gloria Jean's coffee franchise. Gloria Jean's is privately owned - in part by members of the radical Hillsong Church - with a global sales estimate of $500 million dollars. Perhaps, rather than being a beneficiary of these massively wealthy individuals, you should criticise the 'Christian' owners on the basis that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24).

During a recent television debate you equated gay rights activists with Nazis, suggesting they had a lot in common with Joseph Goebbels. I fail to see how people who are systematically discriminated against demanding equal treatment is tantamount to fascism. To my knowledge Joseph Goebbels was not a gay rights activist, nor particularly in favour of any form of human rights for that matter. To the contrary he was complicit in the mass summary execution of homosexuals. If anything is fascist it's your disregard for the democratic will of the people. Using its affluent business connections, your organisation systematically lobbies against the will of the Australian people and indeed against the will of the majority of Australian Christians whom it claims to represent.

On ANZAC day you posted the Twitter comment "Just hope that as we remember Servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for — wasn't gay marriage and Islamic!". It now appears that, according to you, our servicemen and women are not dying to defend Australia, its democratic values and its pluralism, but only non-Muslim heterosexuals.

I notice from your portrait on the ACL homepage that you are an attractive, clean-shaved man. This must be an inconvenience to you given that Leviticus 19:27 states "Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard". Your suit is rather attractive too. I assume it's not made of pure wool, which is problematic given that Leviticus 19:19 reads "...nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together". But then again, it is obvious that these sections of the Bible are not intended to be taken literally - they need to be interpreted in their proper historical context - correct?

On the other hand, your arguments against homosexuality are based on a strict literalist interpretation of small segments of the Old Testament. If you identified as a Biblical literalist, at least we could give you merit for being consistent. However, if you were indeed a Biblical literalist you would be an institutionalised schizophrenic, serving ten consecutive life sentences in the Hague for war crimes. But until the day comes when you stop wearing that fancy suit of yours, you stop shaving and you stop eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:10), I am reluctant to give credit to your claims of biblical literalism.

What bothers me about your partial literalism is that you have a very pick-and-choose attitude as to what sections of the Bible are intended to be taken literally. You seem to very conveniently ignore the sections of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, that would inconvenience your own lifestyle, while literally interpreting the sections that give you justification to preach discrimination and hatred towards others.

According to the interpretation of the New Testament I was taught as a child in Sunday School, the essence of the New Testament is to express love and acceptance towards others, irrespective of who they are. Certainly this is the message of "The Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:29). The New Testament tell us "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1), yet the mainstay of the ACL is to judge and discriminate against those with different biological traits.

The New Testament is filled to the brim with references to helping the poor - "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed" (Proverbs 19:17). But rather than donating money to help the poor, your organisation is financed by and cooperates with the super rich. Indeed, your public statements on the evils of homosexuality massively outnumber your statements on social policy towards helping the poor and homeless. Perhaps you should use the immense wealth of the ACL and its benefactors to run soup kitchens or provide subsidised housing for the destitute.

You routinely insinuate that homosexual relationships are prone to breakdown. Perhaps it's time you made public statements on heterosexual marriage breakdown. In Australia approximately one third of heterosexual marriages end in divorce. In relation to marriage, Mark 10:8 reads "You are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate". Perhaps you should focus your attention on addressing heterosexual marriage breakdown rather than advocating preventing loving people from entering marriage in the first place. The New Testament has made its position on divorce quite clear, but you don't seem to have much to say on this issue. On the other hand, I've been searching all morning and can't find anything about preventing loving people from getting married, yet you have a lot to say about that. And certainly there is no biblical precedent for segregation in schools on the basis of sexual orientation.

Mr. Wallace, your organisation does not represent the Australian Christian community - I think the majority of Australian Christians would be embarrassed by your organisation. You represent a clique with a fanatical sexual obsession with what goes on in other people's bedrooms. You and your organisation are deeply hypocritical and extremely selective in your interpretation of the Bible. I'm left asking the question "who does the ACL really represent?", because it certainly isn't the Christians.

Sincerely,
Dr. Peter Rohde

Letter to the Foreign Minister and Shadow Foreign Minister

This letter was sent to the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, and Shadow Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, on behalf of myself and 19 Australian scientists.

Dear Hon. Mr. Carr and Hon. Mrs. Bishop,

Recently Omid Kokabee, an Iranian graduate student in physical optics, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Iran for "communicating with a hostile government" after spending time abroad at the Institute for Photonic Science in Barcelona and the University of Texas in Austin. He had already spent 15 months in prison pre-trial. He has consistently denied all allegations and no credible evidence was presented against him in his court proceedings. His field of work does not include nuclear physics.

As a group of concerned Australian scientists, dedicated to the ideas of open science, freedom of travel and open scientific collaboration and communication, we are writing to you to request that you use all diplomatic means at your disposal to ensure that Mr. Kokabee receives a fair trial.

Australia has a proud history of fostering open scientific collaboration and communication, and we have many high quality Iranian scientists working in Australia. It is therefore important that a precedent be set both domestically and at the international level that prosecuting scientists, who are neither activists nor involved in sensitive government work, is unacceptable and undermines scientific progress and the notion of a free society. Iranian scientists contributing to science in Australia, of which there are many, should never have to live in the fear that upon returning home they may be prosecuted.

We sincerely hope you will review the details of this case and use your status as Foreign Minister and Shadow Foreign Minister respectively to push for Iran to give Mr. Kokabee a fair trial.

A Nature Magazine report of the story can be found at http://www.nature.com/news/iranian-physicist-sentenced-to-prison-1.10642

Sincerely,

Unions – Vandals & Extortionists

The recent debacle with Qantas has rekindled my thoughts about the union movement in general. I firmly believe that unions are, in general, a negative influence on our society and many of their activities amount to blackmail and economic vandalism. While there are some legitimate roles for unions, such as providing advice to members and legal representation when the need arises, the bulk of contemporary union activity centres around industrial action, or, as I like to call it, extortion.

When someone gets a job at a business, they agree to do a certain amount of work for a certain amount of pay. It is not an agreement entered into solely on one side. It is not an agreement forced onto one side by the other. It is a voluntary, mutual agreement. I find it outrageous that, after entering an agreement voluntarily, that one side (in this case the unions) retrospectively decide that actually, on second thought, they want more than they agreed to. Then, to achieve that aim, they engage in strike action, with the aim of blackmailing the business by threatening them with bankruptcy if they don't acquiesce. This is extortion.

Imagine that you hired someone to help clean your house, and you agreed to pay them $10 an hour to help you out. Then, a few weeks later they turn up outside your house with a bunch of mates, threatening signs and refusing to work unless you agree to $20 an hour. Would you (a) give them $20 an hour, or (b) fire them an hire someone else who is willing to do the work they agreed to do? This example precisely reflects what's happening in the union movement around the world.

You might say, why not give them $20 an hour - they'd be better off, it's only fair? The answer is, simply, that it drives unemployment. Why employ one person for $20 an hour when you can employ two for $10? Thus, the activities of unions effectively act as a driving force for unemployment.

Those in support of unions frequently claim that unions are there to represent workers. This couldn't be further from the truth. Unions do not represent workers, they represent paying members. Therefore, those who are not represented by the unions, and I'm specifically referring to the unemployed, get no representation whatsoever and lose out. I'd rather have solidarity with someone who is unemployed and priced out of a job, than someone with a job and a comfy lifestyle, who simply wants more.

Indeed, it is questionable whether union activity even benefits the members. When people earn more money without a corresponding increase in productivity, people have more money with which to buy goods, but the amount of goods hasn't changed. This is inflation. When inflation occurs the RBA responds by increasing interest rates, which means that everyone is paying more on their mortgage, more on their car loan, more on their credit card, and no one is better off.

Some hardline critics of unions advocate banning unions as a solution to the problem. This solution involves taking away people's freedom of association. So, how do we prevents these kinds of activities without taking away freedom? By giving more. Specifically, employers should be allowed to discriminate against employees on the basis of union membership. They should have the right to say "we'll employ you, provided that you don't join the union and engage in strike action", and negotiate these terms into the employment contract. Secondly, because industrial action amounts to extortion, employers should be free to fire employees engaging in that kind of action and litigate for losses. This solution addresses the problem, without depriving anyone of inalienable rights.

I hope the outcome with Qantas strengthens the public's skepticism of the union movement and opens people's eyes to the true nature of collective action. It's time society recognised the true face of unions. They are not there to help people out or make sound economic decisions. They are there to accumulate power into the hands of union bosses and thugs so they can later run for public office and become a minister (or undemocratically overthrow a Prime Minister). This needs to stop.